Monday, January 02, 2012

It's 2012!

So what's my New Years Resolution? It really should be to blog a little more frequently!

Well the last time I posted here it was 2008, admittedly it was 31st of December but 2008, come on get a grip and get on with it man 3 years is not a blogging release frequency in any universe, even the 'Hexpekverse'.

Well 2011 was crap, hardly any good new music a dearth of decent gigs and Ubuntu fscked it up big time.

The Ubuntu insistence that we use Unity as our desktop was just plain dumb. The damn thing wasn't any good on netbooks (where is was designed to be used) let alone on a full blown workstation environment. Yes I know Gnome 2 is end of life and I realise it is an alternative to the Gnome 3 Shell but making it default on 11.04 and forcing it on users from 11.10 was a huge mistake Mr. Shuttleworth. Canonical have just dropped the ball and they better quickly pick it up 'cause Mr. Minty is waiting in the wings and he has the solution.

Music wise the Marillion convention was as always brilliant and made more special than ever due to my solo attendance. I met some amazing people who will remain friends for life and discovered some quite astounding new music from Adrian Jones and his band Nine Stones Close. Who is an all round good bloke and top notch guitar player. If you have any leanings towards Pink Floyd et al or the more modern ProgRock sounds of bands like Radiohead this is well worth checking out. As is Paul Cusick whose new album P'dice, may well be my album of 2011 if only he could get my copy to me. I pre ordered it nearly a year ago, get your finger out mate.

Roger Waters reprised Pink Floyd's The Wall at The O2. I was fortunate to have seen Floyd perform it both in 1980 and 1981 which was simply stunning, Rog surpassed himself this show was incredible. Yes I know it wasn't Floyd but with the technical advancements of 30 years it is going to take one hell of a show to top that one.

Great album releases of the year were thin on the ground with nothing totally new to get excited about. The Beach Boys finally released Smile as The Smile Sessions, Pink Floyd tried to flog us its back catalogue all over again, The Beatles finally succumbed to the iTunes machine and became available to download legitimately. They released the entire back catalogue in a remastered form which did clean up the sound somewhat but had the normal problems of too much gain to make it radio friendly. However the release of the original mono recordings was a much better sonic affair. Fair play it was worth scraping that one out of the barrel but why was it so damned expensive? EMI as all the major record companies just love to rip us off time and time again. I think the time has come where music purchasing is going to move to a completely different model and there draconian, neolithic business model is ripe for extinction.

New music as I mentioned was thin on the ground but one beacon shone out. Alice Cooper released a sequel to his 1975 Welcome To My Nightmare. Welcome 2 My Nightmare an album of completely new tunes except for an overture just to remind us how utterly brilliant the original was. Do you know what 35 years on he's pulled it off again, it's definitely my most played release of 2011 so gets my award for album of the year.

Welcome 2 My Nightmare

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