Several awesome things make a post

I’ve been total Scattershot Girl when it comes to blogging for some time–like many, I’ve found most of my day to day online communication shunted over to Twitter and Facebook. But that said, I’ve had several recent lovely things happen that are worth sharing with you all in longer, blog-based form. So! In no particular order:

  • Finally saw The King’s Speech, since userinfospazzkat got it via Netflix. That was a very satisfying film, and I’m not at all surprised that it’s spawned so much fanfic across my various Friends lists and such. Everyone in that film did an amazing job, and I have much increased respect for Mr. Colin Firth now. Also, mad love for the scene where the speech therapist’s wife comes home and discovers the King and Queen in her dining room. :D

  • Also, as of today, finally saw Source Code with userinfosolarbird. Mad, mad props to userinfomamishka for recommending that! It’s a nice, tight little SF flick, and if you like alternate-reality type plots, try to catch this before it vanishes entirely. If you’re local to Seattle, it’s still playing at the Meridian 16 downtown, and it’s running at the Crest as well.

  • I have finally found a way I might actually read more comic books: the Dark Horse comics app for the iPad. I installed this on the grounds that a couple weekends back, Dark Horse had a sale of all its digital versions of Serenity and Firefly comics. Since I didn’t have Shepherd’s Tale yet, I thought what the hey, I’d buy ’em all. The iPad is definitely more suited to digital comics reading than the iPhone, that’s for sure, although the iPhone does actually talk to this app as well.

    Also on the iPad, I have a shiny new app called TunePal, recommended to me by Marilyn, one of the fiddle players who attends the weekly session userinfosolarbird and I have been going to. Those of you who know the Shazam app will find the way this works familiar; it basically identifies songs. But in this case, it identifies traditional Irish tunes! You can play them at the app on an actual instrument, or, it’ll identify ’em if you’re playing them in iTunes as well. Then it goes out and hits up a big ol’ database and yoinks back several guesses as to what it thinks you just played it. It’ll show you sheet music for its guesses, and it’ll play the sheet music for you as well. And, you can add tunes out of the database manually by searching for them as well. You can’t import your own tunes, which is my only complaint about the app, but it’s otherwise very, very cool. Any of my fellow music geeks out there who are interested in trad tunes, you should be checking this out.

  • Speaking of the iPhone, my coworker Joe pointed me at my new favorite iPhone game: Tiny Wings. You play a birdie with, of course, tiny tiny wings, and the object of the game is to get the birdie to fly as far as possible by tapping. It’s super-cute and only 99 cents, so check it out.

  • FOLKLIFE! Well, that deserves a whole separate post, but I’m noting it here anyway.

  • And while I am still technically on book buying hiatus, I’ve picked up a few freebies. And I will unrepentantly, UNREPENTANTLY I TELL YOU, break hiatus wide open to buy userinfoseanan_mcguire/Mira Grant’s Deadline this week. Because GIMME. Seriously.

  • My friend userinforavyngyngvar is sending me a Blu-Ray of a-ha’s last concert in Oslo! Thank you, Yngvar!

  • I am sorely behind on Doctor Who posts, and will shortly be doing a catchup post. It’s an indicator of how much I’ve not been paying attention to the net lately that I totally missed that BBC America did NOT air the second half of the two-parter on Saturday, to wit, bah. I did not however give enough of a damn about this to actually try to find and download the episode; it’ll air next week as far as I know, and I can wait that long. Especially given that we’re about to have the mid-season hiatus anyway. Just nobody spoil me, mmkay, those of you who’ve already caved and downloaded the ep anyway?

  • And because it’s always worth saying, mmmmm blackberries of my marketboys mmmmmm.

Recently listened-to new music

I have continued to work through my Not Recently Played playlist, in my ongoing quest to play everything in my musical collection at least once this year. Right now I’m spread out between the letters L and O, which has had the happy side effect of letting me play several new purchases roughly where they appear in the alphabet. (Although several of these were actually earlier in the alphabet so I had to go ahead and play them too.)
One of the first notable ones of these was the new album by Danielle Spencer, who y’all may or may not remember is Russell Crowe’s wife. She’s a musician in her own right and I first heard about this when the Grunts were on tour in 2001; I bought the first album she had out at the time. Now her new one, Calling All Magicians, is available on iTunes. Her voice is still very strong and she’s got some nice work on here.
Second up, I picked up the new two deluxe 2-CD editions of a-ha’s first two albums, Hunting High and Low and Scoundrel Days, and have finished listening to the former. These have been put out as part of a-ha’s final push before they retire, and they’ve put all sorts of extra material on here, including demo versions of stuff and a bunch of things never released in the States. I’ve now listened to the 2-CD version of Hunting High and Low, and it was odd and enlightening to hear all the demo versions of every track on the original released album–and how Morten Harket clearly hadn’t nailed his own style down yet when those demos were cut. He’s a lot more wavery and wobbly in his delivery; thinks he may have been trying to channel Bowie some, or perhaps Klaus Nomi. All the material never released in the States is fun to listen to, too.
‘s new album Mischief is delightful and well worth your listening time. I already knew “Ravens in the Library” from live performances of hers and Tricky Pixie’s, but I also quite liked “Neptune”, partial as I am to Greco-Roman mythology.
Gaelic Storm’s new album Cabbage is a nice strong addition to their discography overall; it’s their usual mix of lively instrumentals and songs with lyrics about whiskey, sex, or death. In other words, traditional Celtic music. ;>
Last but not least I must mention that I’ve finally listened to an album by the Storm Weather Shanty Choir, heartily recommended to me by ! These guys are great fun, and the particular album I chose, Off to Sea Once More, has versions of “Rolling Down to Old Maui”, “Leaving of Liverpool”, “Leave Her, Johnny”, and “South Australia”, all of which were familiar to me from other artists and groups. But most importantly, this album has a version of “General Taylor”. Which is of course sacred–SACRED, I TELL YOU–to me in my GBS fandom, and it was really cool to hear an alternate take of this song, with a whole bunch of other verses I hadn’t heard before. Lots more stuff in here about Santa Ana, and their chorus is different from GBS’ as well. Thanks, , for recommending them!
Still on the “Not Played Yet” playlist: a recording of Daphnis Et Chloe, picked up after I heard the Seattle Symphony and Chorale perform it live (although the recording is the Boston Symphony); the 2-CD version of Scoundrel Days; Karan Casey’s Ships in the Forest; Benjamin Doerr’s Sketches of a Real Life; Shanneyganock’s Volume VII; Jane Siberry’s When I Was a Boy; a 2-hour Marian Call performance I picked up as a freebie from her mailing list; and La Volee d’Castors Y a Du Monde À’ Messe!. And oh yes, a whole bunch of Doctor Who podcasts, as well as the next chapter of the second book of the 7th Son trilogy by J.C. Hutchins.
Lots to listen to!