Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sleepy's Top 40 Part 2

But first ... the Cunning Plan.

I have a disappointment with the new Macbook. It's more susceptible to the network interference that means my audio streaming breaks up. This is the way my network is built :

Internet comes in to the modem router. I'm on cable internet so my options there are a little limited. I have the Virgin Media Superhub, which has served me well so far.
Desktop - is connected to the superhub by a wire for best performance in games.
Macbook - connects to the superhub over wifi
Airport Express - also connects via wifi and sends audio to my hifi

The wifi used to operate on the old 802.11g (don't worry about the arcane stuff) at a frequency of 2.4GHz. Every wifi device should support that, it's the oldest protocol. Trouble is, that means every devices uses it so in built up areas there can be lots of interference. To make matters worse, other electronic wireless devices (phones, baby monitors) use the frequency band making even more interference. And it's the interference which breaks the audio streaming, making me a Sad Panda.

I actually have 2 Panda's but I've barely played them, I've concentrated on Seraphice the mage instead. (Slight longitudinal shift into Warcraft!)

The Cunning Plan has involved me throwing hardware at the problem. My old laptop and Airport Express device had old wifi and couldn't support the newer 802.11n (again, don't worry about the arcane stuff). The new Macbook has far Shinier Wifi. So - cunning plan - set up the devices so they avoid the interference.

That's the plan at least. I'll wait and see if my new Littlewhitebox (the Airport Express) device that arrived today sorts out the problem. If it doesn't ... I'll throw more money at it by investing in Powerline networking. So instead of the audio being broadcast over the air, it'll partly go over the mains cable. Hopefully I won't need to go that far.

Top 40 !!!!

It's numbers 11 to 20 today :

At 20 - Dire Straits - Your Latest Trick. This one is from the classic Brothers In Arms album and somehow I've listened to it more than the other amazing tracks (Ride Across The River, Brothers In Arms). Why do I like Dire Straits ? Cos Knopfler's guitar work is incredible and his voice makes mine sound good.

19 - The Cardigans - Holy Love. This one is from their Super Extra Gravity album which will see another couple of tracks appear in the Top 10. It's one hell of an album, there's outstanding track after outstanding track on it, although I wouldn't recommend depressive people listen to it. The tracks are amazing but they deal with some Heavy Stuff. Ok, this one isn't quite as good as the rest ;-)

18 - The Cardigans - For What It's Worth. This is from the iTunes Original collection. There aren't many iTunes collection albums (I have the Norah Jones one too). They're greatest hits albums again, so I wouldn't recommend them for that because you probably have the tracks already. However, the Originals albums add in interviews with the band in between each track which, in my opinion, makes them worth getting again. This track was originally from the excellent Long Gone Before Daylight album.

Why do I like the Cardigans ? It's not just about the voice, which has that clipped but perfect Swedish accent. No, it's about the band as well. Instead of being in the background, quietly supporting, they're in the foreground being as active a part in the song as the singer.

17 - Bjork's Violently Happy. Cos I love you. Bjork burst on to the scene with this one and she's been brightening up pop music since then. It's been an infinitely more interesting genre with Bjork around, she's utterly unique and half the time you're wondering what weirdness she'll come up next. Gloriously different. And ... that's no way to treat a teddy bear !

16 - Alisha's Attic - Affected By You Not. This one's a B-side so no youtube video. One thing I love about Alisha's Attic is how prolific they were. They only released 3 studio albums plus one which was available only on Ebay. However, each single came with multiple original tracks as B-sides and they are typically incredible. Some are better than the album tracks (I was disappointed with The House We Built). Here's one I could find - AA are definitely Too Far Forgotten.

15 - Adam & The Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier. There's only one Adam Ant. Some would say that's a good thing (see above about Bjork being more interesting). I don't think many groups used dominant drums as much as Adam and the Ants.

14 - Abba - Hasta Manana. There's so many super sweet Abba tracks that could have been on this list but Hasta Manana found its way to the list. Yep. I like Abba and I'm proud of that. Just give them a listen and you will too. Although I'd recommend skipping the Mamma Mia film. You do Not want to be exposed to Pierce Brosnan attempting to sing. It will be with you for life.

13 - Battle Without Honour or Humanity. This one's from the Kill Bill soundtrack again. Instantly recognisable.

12 - U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For. This is the Rattle and Hum version and ... strangely appropriate cos I haven't either. I'm not a huge U2 fan (they're too political and their politics are the nonsensical rantings of those with too much money) but they do make excellent music. But like Tom Cruise and movies, off screen he's an absolute turd but on screen ? He makes some excellent movies.

11 - Roberta Flack - Killing Me Softly With His Song. Sometimes the old ones are the best. This one shows the new girls how it should be done.

Ok - that's enough for now :-) The Top 10 will come in the next few days :-)

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