The Best Albums of 2008: Vote

NPR and All Songs Considered have compiled their annual list of 100 nominees; you just have to tell them which ones you like the most. If you don’t see one of your favorite artists listed in the poll, you can write-in the album and artist here in the comments section of their blog. If you want, you can go to the poll directly by visiting http://www.npr.org/programs/asc/polls/.

…I came along, I wrote a song for you!

Coldplay was the musical guest on tonight’s episode of Saturday Night Live and they were amazing as usual. They played 3 songs and it looked like they were going into a 4th song as the show ended and the credits started to roll. They performed Viva La Vida, Lost and Yellow on the show and I hope those live performances show up on YouTube or Hulu in the next few hours.

Coldplay – Viva La Vida

Coldplay – Lost

Coldplay – Yellow

iTunes & Ehcache – You figure it out

Thanks to Greg Luck, I discovered something new in iTunes called My iTunes that lets you export your purchases out as RSS or as a widget to display on your website. Check out a sample of my purchases below – With DRM free music from Amazon, I’m not buying anything from iTunes that’s available on Amazon. By the way, Greg Luck is one of the lead developers of Ehcache, which IMHO is the best and most widely used Java distributed caching framework.

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStoreServices.woa/wa/widget?type=1&sf=143441

 

U2 is the BEST band in the world

U2 is back with U218 Singles, which is a best-of CD with all of their hits including two newer songs: ‘The Saints Are Coming’ that was a collaboration with Green Day and a new song, ‘Windows in the Skies’.

Here is the video for ‘With or Without You’ from the Vertigo ’05 Live from Milan DVD

Amazon has the same video on their site as well from the same DVD. The Amazon version of the video also has a clip of ‘Original of the Species’ in addition to ‘With or Without You’.

DVR Alert – U2 Vertigo 2005 Tour: Live from Chicago on HDNet

I guess the title above says it all – Set your VCR, DVR, PC-DVR or Media Center PC to record U2 in High definition. Director Hamish Hamilton gives you a front row seat for all the excitement from the sold out Vertigo tour. Vertigo//2005 features electric performances of songs drawn from across the band’s entire career. Featuring the hits “Vertigo”, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”, “One”, and “The Streets Have No Name”.

There are several replays of this concert on HDNet – Check the schedule here.

dvr, hd, u2, music, concert, live

No Vongo for me

Vongo is basically a video download service that provides movies on demand to personal computers and portable media devices. Vongo Membership allows members access to their movie library but any of the recent movies are considered pay-per-view and not accessible under your membership. So I sign up for the standard $9.99 plan that’s supposed to allow me to view, download any movie and 3 of the movies I searched for at random were pay-per-view – i.e. no free viewing. To view those movies, you pay $3.95. The free movies that you can download ‘expire’ after a finite (3-months?) amount of time and so you can’t keep them forever – You are licensing the movie not really purchasing them and that’s fine

So I download Vongo to see what it’s all about – Sign up, log in and start downloading movies. Every time I try to download a movie, it schedules the download for another time instead of downloading right away. After I got past that, I decided to try out the live Starz stream while I wait for the movie to download and I get the following lovely error message:

Vongo Error

That was it for me – I uninstalled the application and canceled my membership. I hate companies that make you call and talk to someone about canceling your membership. The web is good enough when you want to take my money but not good enough when I want a refund. The person on the phone was very polite and pleasant and I got my refund right away. And the final straw was the uninstaller – I try to uninstall the application and it dies as some file is locked because the player is still running in my task tray. Why is the uninstaller not smart enough to detect any running instances that would have to be killed before it can proceed? I guess I’ll wait for the Google Video announcement tomorrow at CES to see if their application is any better. As much as iTunes sucks, it still is a pretty decent platform for music and video.

Coldplay on Austin City Limits

I just saw Coldplay on PBS’s Austin City Limits and they delivered an awesome show. Every since I found out about the taping via Coldplay’s mailing list, I had set every DVR in my house to take tape the show. Watching the hour-long concert in HD was awesome.

The show was very intimate and Chris Martin and gang did an impromptu tribute to Johnny Cash in the middle of the show. Then they brought out Michael Stipe (REM) as a special guest and they did 2 songs including REM’s Nightswimming, which Chris Martin called the greatest song ever written. He had some pretty funny banter through out the show. The funniest line was when he was introducing Michael Stipe – Chris said that they called Michael Bolton and he couldn’t make it and so they settled for Michael Stipe. It was funny – You had to be there.

The hour-long set was pretty standard with a mix of old and new with ‘Fix You’ closing out the set. Check out the ACL website for pictures and some behind-the-scene stuff including interviews.

Links of Interest:

Coldplay, NPR, Austin City Limits, ACL, music, PBS, HDTV, REM, Michael Stipe

The Best Album of 2005

X&Y by Coldplay
The hyperbole around Coldplay’s latest offering is just incredible. There are people calling them the biggest band in the world and comparing them to super groups like U2 and others. I don’t about any of that but this has to be the best album of the year.

X&Y is an absolutely brilliant album that is bound to be an instant classic. I am so hooked to this album that I haven’t stopped listening to this album since the very first day of it’s release on iTunes. All of the songs are incredibly melodic, catchy and bound to be instant classics. The first single, Square One is a great song but it’s just the beginning, as what follows it even gets better. Chris Martin is just an incredible songwriter and the other members of the band are great musicians.

I read a review where the reviewer called the music on this album as ‘silent screaming’ and I think that’s is really an apt description. The album just has a huge wall of sound that’s really loud without sounding like Metallica. This is a loud, rocking album with incredible guitar work that is bound to have you hooked from the first listen.