Randi Calls Bullshit On Supernatural Speaker Cables

November 17, 2009 Posted by admin


In what has audiophiles everywhere in something of a tizzie; it appears that James Randi’s million dollar prize will be on the line, over the quality of speaker cables! James Randi, an ex-macigian turned paranormal debunker has for many years been offering a million dollar prize to anyone who could prove, in double blind scientific tests, that they possessed paranormal powers.

What does this have to do with speaker cable you ask? Good question. A few weeks ago, Pear released their new Anjou Speaker Cables for a wopping $7250 for a 12 foot pair. Now Pair have claimed a number of unique design concepts justify this ludicrous price: including “Proprietary Hybrid GeometryNever seen before in audio cable design, Pear Cable has developed a new and completely unique hybrid geometry for the ANJOU Speaker Cable.” |

Whatever that means. Although the cables did draw some laughably positive reviewsfrom a few audiophile sites. Well Randi was having none of this nonsense. He states that the outrageous claims (and price) are unjustified and if the human ear could tell the difference between Pear and the nearest competitor, Monster Cables, the cables would be paranormal. After some back and forth it appears that Michael Fremer, a Stereophile Magazine writer, has accepted the challenge (with or without Pear’s consent, this appears unclear) and will be testing the cables against normal Monster cables.

It appears that Randi has run out of real paranormal takers and is starting to take on the world of corporate bullshit. Well, he is certainly going to have his hands full. For my part, I like the initiative. I think we should line up the bogus products, overpriced shams and most importantly that national embarrassment of Danie Krugel. Take them down Mr. Randi, I beseech you.

No More iTunes Envy

November 9, 2006 Posted by admin


Enter AmazonMP3. No longer will you have to struggle with ridiculous file formats and the need for foreign credit cards. The online retailing giant has taken the next logical step in its evolution and opened a digital music store. What’s more it’s gone about it in the right way.

As reported previously, AmazonMP3 will sell DRM-free albums and individual tracks from a host of leading major and indie labels. At present these include Universal, EMI, Beggars, Interscope, Matador, Arts and Crafts, Alligator, Sanctuary, Rounder, Sugar Hill and Trojan with more to be added. Albums range in price from $5 to $9 with most new releases at the upper end of that. With tracks going for between 89c and 99c, there is significant incentive placed on the purchase of full albums.

The platform is still in beta, but a quick scan of the catalogue revealed the latest efforts from The New Pornographers, Feist, Spoon, Arcade Fire, The National and even Kevin Drew’s debut, released this week and currently on heavy rotation. I also saw back catalogue stuff from Pavement, Radiohead and Sonic Youth to name a few.

Indeed, if AmazonMP3 comes to offer anything near the comprehensive range of CDs that its parent has accumulated, there will be little reason for anyone to use iTunes at all. Here’s hoping for a price war.

Wired Listening Post points out that although DRM-free, AmazonMP3 tracks will carry a watermark. As these watermarks merely indicate the place of purchase and are added by the labels to the master and then supplied to Amazon, they do not currently pose any privacy risks. This is a situation that will need to be monitored however if the whole posse of major labels jump on board.

Something from Kevin Drew, because it’s a happy day.

What Have You Done Today?

October 5, 2006 Posted by admin


I hang my head in disgust. While I would normally be the biggest cheerleader for the promotion of South African music, this nonsense gets us nowhere. What am I talking about you ask? Well…

Last week the geniuses at Absa/Absa’s overpaid marketing firm decided that in order to engender a little more hipness in their corporate image they would commission Danny K and Kabelo to produce a corporate anthem (jingle?) and subsequently press the single and distribute it to all their staff. (side note, it took me a little while to figure out how to rip a CD, haven’t done that in a while.) In addition to the CD, Absa staged a live concert in the JHB CBD for all it’s workers. There was plenty of fanfare and more than a few snide comments I would think.

So, Don, what’s wrong with that you ask? The promotion of SA music? Putting on a concert? All good things? NO! Firstly, listen to the track. It is dogshit. While I know that many of our readers would be able to dismiss this trifle as another example of cheesy, crap, SA pop, for many of the recipients of the CD this may be the only sample of South African music they listen to this year. What a good impression it will make.

And lastly just as a footnote, the idea of such an old school bank like Absa trying to rev up it’s image with a “cool” jingle is so laughable. The whole thing overflows with unintentional comedy. Thoughts?


Don’t Forget

August 1, 2006 Posted by admin


If you’re in the Cape this weekend you shouldn’t be heading anywhere other than to Cloof Wine Estate in Darling for the second installment of the Rocking The Daisies festival.

Thanks to the Muso website, you now know about ‘The Daisies festival’ taking place in Cape Town. You can have an amazing weekend at the festival while you play games at a free online casino.

Ticket Info:
Available online (www.rockingthedaisies.com) or from the outlets below.

The lineup:
Friday 28 September

19:00pm: Love Jones
20:00pm: Rory Eliot and the Reason
21:00pm: Bed on Bricks
22:00pm: Tidal Waves
23:00pm: Max Normal and Associates
00:00am: Goldfish

Saturday 29 September
10:00am: Nungarin
11:00am: Three Bored White Guys
12:00pm: South Paw
13:00pm: Shy Guevaras
14:00pm: Rasthamie and the Warriors
16:00pm: Them Tornados
17:00pm: 12th Avenue
18:00pm: The Beams
19:00pm: Rudimentals
20:00pm: New Academics
21:00pm: Cassette
22:00pm: The Dirty Skirts
23:00pm: Taxi Violence
00:00am: Big Idea
00:45am: Fletcher

Sunday 30 September
10:00am: Restless Natives
12:00pm: Boulevard Blues
13:00pm: jacSharp
14:00pm: Flat Stanley

MC Friday evening: Paul Snodgras
MC Saturday day: Brendan Murray
MC Saturday evening: Martin Evans
Comedy hour 15:00pm
David Newton
Mark Palmer
Paul Snodgras
MC Sunday day: Martin Kintu
Comedy hour 11:00am
Ndumiso Lindi
Nik Rabinowitz
Martin Evans

The Best of 2007…So Far (5-1)

July 14, 2006 Posted by admin

The music world is as vast as the galaxies. In fact, according to the Muso website, you might need a spacecraft to navigate it. This is no different from the gaming world. Visit http://www.best-online-casino.ca to enjoy the best in the gaming world.


All is revealed…

5. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Some Loud Thunder

There is no sitting in the fence with CYHSY. You either love them or hate them. I understand the arguments, he can’t sing, the lyrics are reasonably banal and there is little to speak of in the musical arrangements. I don’t care, I love them and for me Some Loud Thunder picked off right where their debut left off. Alec Ounsworth still has the ability to transfix my imagination in a way few vocalists can. My only criticism of the album is the ridiculous low fi version of Underwater (You and Me) which Ounsworth did a far better job of on an unofficial EP release. Had it made it the album, it would have been the standout.


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Mama Won’t You Keep Those Castles in the Air and Burning

4. Andrew Bird – Armchair Apochrypha

While I expressed my disappointment at Andrew Bird’s follow up to 2005’s Mysterious Production of Eggs I was careful to include many disclaimers. While I thought the tone and feel had suffered at the hand of meticulous production Bird’s work is still of such an exceptional quality to warrant its place in the top 10. Bird is just quite simply one of the greatest performing artists of our generation. Enough said.


Andrew Bird – Plasticities

3. Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sunk

While I have never had great affection for the previous 2000 Modest Mouse albums, this gem provided my surprise for the year. For the first time ever I got what the fuss is about and started to understand why Modest Mouse have been on top of the indie rock game since I was in long socks and short pants. While they have probably moved away from their hard core (a testament to the fact that I liked the album) the band has been at the core of independent music for so long expanding their appeal was almost inevitable. Well a few more Modest Mouse fans can’t hurt.


Modest Mouse – Fly Trapped In a Jar

2. Panda Bear – Person Pitch

If one were to perceive all music as an infinite universe of galaxies, solar systems, planets and stars, one could navigate its vastness in a spacecraft or perhaps more randomly, on the back of a cold and flaming comet. No matter where these vehicles of taste ventured, there would exist at any given time a small constellation or even a single planet that felt most appropriate. Panda Bear inhabits this constellation. Read the review here.


Panda Bear – Bros

1. Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

DON: While I almost certain that the Muso is going to launch into a verbose, flowery explanation of all things wonderful about Neon Bible I will just say this. It is as close to perfection as any album I have heard in the last year. Quite an unpopular stand is that it rises to Funeral’s potential and then far outstrips it. Simply the best album of the year so far. Full stop.

MUSO: No verbosity here. It has only grown in my estimation since I wrote the review.

The Best of 2007…So Far (10-6)

January 11, 2006 Posted by admin


10. Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full

Why I should be surprised that Paul McCartney’s new album would sneak into my top ten is something that thoroughly confused my older brother. “You know the man is a musical genius?” he scoffed in reply to my incredulity at not being able to stop listening to the album. While I have been too intimidated to launch into a full review of the album there is no doubt that this is one of greatest albums of the year. In fact I think it is so good I am anticipating that it will be a (relative) billboard failure. Apart from the sickly sweet opening track (it didn’t help that it featured in an Itunes commercial) Sir Paul has crafted an album that will be as relevant to us in our mid twenties as to those who were listening to him way back when. Who knew I would be blasting a sexagenarian crooner all through my winter months.


Paul McCartney – Mr. Bellamy

9. Blonde Redhead – 23

While I’ve since come to regard releases like Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons as more notable, 23 served as a welcome, if deplorably late, introduction to a band that has been covering its audience in layers of sweet, warm power pop for years. Previous coverage here.


Blonde Redhead – Silently

8. Handsome Furs – Plague Park

Those that doubted the significance of Dan Boeckner’s contribution to Wolf Parade need look no further than Plague Park for a rebuttal. While the drum machine backed arrangements do wear a little thin in places, there is sufficient musical intrigue here to compliment Boeckner’s considerable song writing talents.


Handsome Furs – What We Had

7. The Veils – Nux Vomica

Awash with frustrations of a faith and twisted narrations of everyday life, Nux Vomica-era Veils is a new platform from which we can view a familiar form in front man Finn Andrews. This time around the band behind Andrews is colourful enough to be flattering and ambiguous together. I’m slightly unsure of whether this was actually released in 2007, but I’m not really concerned either. Previous coverage here.


The Veils – Advice For Young Mothers To Be

6. El P – I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead

In a general sense, I enjoy EL P because his hip hop is grittier and more jagged than most. I have enjoyed I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead because it is an example of hip hop not made differently, but made right. I have enjoyed it sufficiently to put it at six, largely because Tasmanian Pain Coaster is quite simply the track of the year so far.

The Most Eclectic Band On The Planet?

December 6, 2005 Posted by admin

gang2What do you make of a band with a name as cringeworthy as Gang Gang Dance?? That and the fact that they’re making use of some of the cheesiest samples and sound emulations (pan pipes & bamboo flutes) would be enough to make me run for cover, but their debut album “God’s Money” turned out to be one of my favourites from 2005. Beyond the ostensibly naïve approach to soundscapes and the tribal drum sensibility lay a subtle retooling of pop dynamics – a strange approach to juxtapositions and sequences which spoke more about the upside of globalisation than the waning relevance of “world music”.

And now their new “Rawwar” EP takes this to the next level – a frenetic mash-up of musical motifs that signposts the inevitable confluence of cultural identities in a shrinking, media-saturated world. Furthermore, somewhere in there is ragga/kwaito hybrid beat which may give a local artist or two some food for thought – brought to us all the way from New York.

Lucky Dube: A Brief Obituary

October 15, 2005 Posted by admin


World renowned Reggae musician Lucky Dube was murdered in front of his young son in an attempted hijacking in Rosettenville, Johannesburg last night. Reports suggest that Dube was shot by two gunmen who opened fire on his car as he was dropping his son off at an uncle’s for the evening. Dube was injured and attempted to flee but crashed and died on the scene. He will be sorely missed.

Though I have no information on the perpetrators of the crime, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out to those that may doubt that this is just one example of how crime is colour-blind and how the fight against it is one against poverty and not some insidious racial undercurrent.

London Calling

October 10, 2005 Posted by admin

I’m leaving for Chesterton’s surreal and imposing London tomorrow with the prospect of a couple of weeks of self-indulgence ahead. I have many thoughts on experiences at Rocking the Daisies this weekend, but at best that will have to be a task for the plane. My apologies because it deserves more.

By the time I get back this particular world will have changed, in the meantime here is a little taste of what the week has in store for me.

Don’t Forget: Balkanology

June 16, 2005 Posted by admin


Those that attended the last installation or caught Toby2Shoes at Rocking The Daisies will have already bought their tickets. Those that didn’t should take my word for it and do so.

Presold tickets R130 available from the following outlets:

a store – 34 Kloof St
what if the world Albert Hall – 208 Albert Rd. Woodstock
Movie Magic – Gardens Centre
Mimi’s – Lower Main Road, Observatory
One Small Seed – 5 Constitution Street

Tickets will also be available at the door @ R150

Highlights from last time: