Archive for January, 2009

An Unproductive January (but this post has a million mini-reviews to make up for it)

Posted in David Attenborough, Diary, Film, Final Fantasy X, Gadgets, Games, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Ansell, Music, Personal Musings, Piano (Instrument), Repo! The Genetic Opera, RyanDan, Sansa Clip 8GB MP3 Player, Television, Three Graces with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 28 January, 2009 by Nicola

The amount of articles written in December compared to this month is kind of appalling.  But I have not abandoned my blog.  I came down with the flu!  I was helpless!  It began all innocent enough but then it just turned into something really, very evil.  Just evil.  The incarnation of evil.  I am now almost fully recovered, though my ears are still blocked.

I still have my Christmas presents to go through and review – I got enough of them.  I also have had a good month for finding new music.  I am also wasting money on piano lessons – something I will never be good at.  Being a beginner at 23 is something of a handicap, but it could be worse, I could be starting at 50.  Actually, apart from writing hardly anything on this blog, it’s been a good month (media wise).  Continue reading

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Three Graces: Their Debut Album

Posted in Music, Three Graces with tags , , , , , , , , , on 26 January, 2009 by Nicola

Classical Crossover has become a huge market since Sarah Brightman and Vanessa-Mae began to lead the way in the mid-nineties, and the genre has suffered plenty of quick market ploys on young singers and instrumentalists that are not expected to last, but the companies can get their quick buck, and it’s an achievement for the artists to get a second album.

Decca, the same label that homes Hayley Westenra, however, has bigger plans for this classical pop girl group that have been dubbed as the female Il Divo. The effort put into this group is easy to see scanning the names of the producers and song-writers – some of the biggest names in America. The album is slick and the production is squeakingly polished. The three girls are stunning to look at and are brought in from different areas of music in the same way the UK’s All Angels were. The image of the group is effective; the name refers to Greek Mythology where the Three Graces were ‘beauty’, ‘wisdom’ and ‘charm’, three componants that their marketing team claim to be traits that shine through their vocal performances. Continue reading

What Illness Does To You

Posted in Diary, Final Fantasy X, Games, Personal Musings with tags , , , , on 7 January, 2009 by Nicola

Oh man, I am not well.  I bloody hate it when I’m ill.  More so than others as it is so rare for me.  I normally go around boasting from the rooftops that my immune system is better than yours, but I have now been hit with a douse of evilness.  I’m a good person, I drink my litres of water and get my eight hours of sleep.  Why?  Why do this to me?

Illness is not good for me, not only physically, but also mentally.  Why?  Because I’m stuck in bed all day.  Do you know what that means?  It means I pick up my Playstation 2!  The only games I have are Final Fantasy ones.  Why is this bad, you ask?  I have started playing Final Fantasy X, and this would be fine if I could just play it for the duration of my illness, but as it is, the game takes about 180 hours of my time.  So once my illness has subsided, I will be addicted to the damn game again, and will need to follow it through to its end.  This puts everything else in my life on hold, as I use every spare moment to play the game.  I fear for my blog during this time, I fear for my keyboard practice, I fear for my reading, I fear for my dog.

Final Fantasy is evil.  It takes lives away.  I would write something worthwhile like I usually try to do, but I want to get off this stinking PC to play Final Fantasy.  If I’m not here for the next decade, you’ll know where I am!  God help me!

Bad Sunday: FFX-2, Fundies & ALW

Posted in Andrew Lloyd Webber, Bad Sunday, Final Fantasy X-2, Fundies, Games, Music, People with tags , , , , , , , , , on 4 January, 2009 by Nicola

BAD GAME

Final Fantasy X-2
I fucking love Final Fantasy to my very core.  It’s a nostalgia thing.  It all started with Final Fantasy VI back when the SNES was the console.  I basically continued playing all of the games as I got older, but I must say, that this game knocked the love dead.  I played it almost a year after it came out, I even completed it twice, and got 100%  I remember at the time thinking it was all a massive chore.  But you know what time does to you?  It goes on, and look back and think ‘Ah… it wasn’t so bad, it was kind of fun… I’ll play it again!’  This I tried, and this I failed.  It’s as shit as I ever remembered.  And I haven’t played a subsequent FF game since.  Thanks a lot, Rikku! Continue reading

Ten Best Classical Pieces Of All Time

Posted in Classical, Erik Satie, Henryk Gorecki, Johann Pachelbel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Katherine Jenkins, Lists, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Music, Personal Musings, Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with tags , , , , , , , , on 3 January, 2009 by Nicola

As I compiled this list in my head, I found that I couldn’t possibly put them in order.  It was difficult enough picking just ten of my favourites.  I have ignored opera and choral pieces for this list; I’ll do them another time.  Heaven forbid including them all – you would probably be reading ‘Fifty Best Classical Pieces Of All Time.’  Don’t expect expert or professional commentaries.  I just listen to some classical, I am clueless about musical composition.

So here are ten of my favourite pieces, in no possible order:

Symphony #7 – 2nd Movement – Allegretto by Ludwig Van Beethoven
Beethoven probably has the most famous Symphonies under his belt, (I’m thinking of his fifth and ninth here, of which I want to bash the fifth to death with a cricket bat) but this is my favourite, and the 2nd Movement from his 7th is dark, broody, mysterious and melancholic but with dashes of light and hope seeping through.  I might be using the adjective ‘beautiful’ a few too many time during this list, but I’m going to first use it here.  Me love. 
Continue reading

Shockingly Fantastic Books: Wilkie Collins’s “The Woman in White”

Posted in Books, Shockingly Fantastic Books, Wilkie Collins with tags , , , , , on 2 January, 2009 by Nicola

Shockingly Fantastic Books is a weekly series by me, where I pick out one of my favourite books to write about.  All of the books in this series can be found at the bottom of the post, and they will be struck out as I write about them.

The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
This book is immensely special and brilliant in many ways. It is thought of to be the ‘ultimate’ sensation novel (which started detective stories, such as Sherlocke Holmes). At the time of its publication it had Victorians waiting outside shops in their hundreds waiting to get the next installment (bit like Harry Potter these days, I suppose…) The reason for this is the suspense and mystery it created and it was one of the first to do so. Continue reading