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Doug, Jerry, and Ty’s newest CD is a fun listen. If you liked Ogre Tones, you’ll like this one. Doug and Ty split vocal duties, with Jerry singing the ballad “Julie”. I had to hunt this one down in stores: Best Buy, Target, and our local CD Warehouse didn’t have it. I found the one copy that was at our local Borders. I’d recommend checking out song samples and purchasing it from one of these online retailers:

Amazon ($11.99)

CD Universe ($13.90)

Update: Wrote this last week (5/29) and never published it! Don was asking me my opinion and I wondered if he had seen this post. 😉

nin-theslip-24-96-wav-replaygain, originally uploaded by aharden.

Which of these tracks is not like the others? Brian Gardner at Bernie Grundman Mastering in LA was the mastering engineer for these 24-bit-depth tracks, some having over -10dB of Replaygain. That’s kind of like saying you have a 24-foot-deep pool when in reality you dug a 24-foot-deep hole and filled it with 10 feet of concrete before putting water in it.

Just got done listening to Cindy and John DJ a fun mix of classic and modern rock with a focus on indies.  Great stuff.  Go check out RadioUgly.com.  They’re on Saturday evenings at 8-11pm.  There are several other shows there as well.  I’ll be back!

I’d been intrigued by the Linksys NSLU2 (and the associated NSLU2-Linux project) a while back. [see linkblog] When some $30 refurb units came up on Slickdeals yesterday I couldn’t say no. I should have one in a couple of days. Any advise as to which firmware to run on it would be helpful. I plan on trying out the different MP3 server packages on it, as well as doing general CIFS serving and some Python hacking. I’m leaning towards SlugOS/BE.

Update (3/31):  I spoke too soon.  CompUSA (I mean TigerDirect) first put a hold on my order to confirm my PayPal credit, then they put it on backorder, now they’ve cancelled it.  And I had to keep going to their website to find out the status; they didn’t have the balls to email me to let me know.  Guess I didn’t get in on the Slickdeal or run in the hamster wheel quickly enough.  After this disappointment I can’t recommend doing business with CompUSA.com or TigerDirect when there are awesome mail-order places like NewEgg.

I received plenty of heads-up notices from the Rush.com mailing list about ticket pre-sales for the upcoming leg of Rush’s 2008 US tour, so I was plenty ready to purchase tickets for Scott, Mark, and me to go see them at Hersheypark Stadium on 7/17.  What I didn’t expect was to get 3rd row center section seats!  MusicToday might be finally getting the best tickets in the hands of fans and not scalpers!  I think they added a CAPTCHA prior to ticket assignment since the last time I used them — I think that helped.

We are psyched for the show, that’s for sure!  Now the wait begins.

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I’ve been deemed Rush fan #1451; I received my numbered collectors’ edition copy of Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab’s remaster of Rush’s 1980 disc, Permanent Waves, yesterday. This completes MoFi’s treatment of what I (and many) consider Rush’s golden era: PeW, Moving Pictures, and Signals. I own the MP and Signals Ultradiscs that were released over a decade ago. I wish I had the 2112 Ultradisc; I should have bought it when it was originally at retail.

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I listened to it last night on headphones. I didn’t do a blind listening test against my copy of the original Mercury issue of the CD, but it did seem to sound a little clearer. Of the three albums in the aforementioned trilogy, Signals needed the most help, but the others already sounded pretty great. I was surprised to see an Ultradisc produce Replaygain values in the -5 dB’s, but I supposed that’s to be expected nowadays. The Mercury issue of the album has RG values in the -0.9 dB area, and the MP Ultradisc actually has a slightly positive RG value. Both of these indicate plenty of headroom.

The packaging has changed considerably from the other two Ultradiscs. The new one comes in a cardboard gatefold package with a minimal (but faithful) booklet and the gold CD in a soft sleeve. I’ll put pictures out on Flickr soon.

Am I glad I dropped almost $1/music-minute on this? Not yet, but I think I’ll get there…

Haven’t blogged much about my bass playing or gear lately, so here’s a brain dump.

eBay is a great place to get used gear.  I’ve bought the majority of my effects (most used) from eBay auctions.  Of my current effects setup, I bought all but one pedal from eBay.  The used ones came in excellent shape.  I can usually tell from the item photos if the condition of the item is what I’ll like, but the seller’s description and reputation count a lot.

My current setup:

“Righteous” config (the one I play with at church):
– BOSS Chromatic Tuner TU-2 (purchased new from eBay)
– BOSS Bass Limiter LMB-3 (purchased used (like new) from eBay)
– BOSS Bass Chorus CE-2B (purchased back when I was in Buffalo)
– Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI (purchased used (like new) from eBay)

“Raucous” config (playing rock):
– BOSS Chromatic Tuner TU-2
– BOSS Bass Limiter LMB-3
– BOSS Octave OC-2 (borrowed John‘s last Friday night, bought a used one from eBay the day after;  can’t wait for it to arrive)
– BOSS Bass Chorus CE-2B
– BOSS Flanger BF-3 (traded for used (like new) from another TalkBass member)
– Tech 21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI

My GLJB is great after almost a year of regular use.  Last week I decided to get adventurous; I wanted to adjust the neck relief down a bit by tightening the truss rod.  I knew the truss rod adjustment was at the body end of the neck, but what I didn’t know what that there wasn’t full access to the truss rod nut without loosening the neck joint.  I did just that and tightened the rod by a quarter turn.  The results were slight, but noticeable.  I may give it another quarter turn the next time I change the strings (which should be in about six months).

I’ve been playing with John, Joreen, and others outside of church more regularly, doing some of John’s material as well as covers from the Dead and other bands.  We are hoping to play out somewhere in the next few months.  Details will be revealed when relevant!

Since I received my iPod Nano 4GB (1st gen), the included earbuds stayed packed in the box.  For years I’ve preferred Sony’s in-ear-sideways-based headphones.  The cord on my favorite white Sonys started to fray, so I decided to give the Apple earbuds a shot. After slipping on the foam and snugging them in, I have to say they’re not too bad.  I’ve listened to a little bit of music on them and might have stronger opinions if that’s all I listened to on them.  However, I still use the Nano for podcast listening 95% of the time, so the earbuds will be fine.

I haven’t been this pleased with Foobar 2000 in a long time. The default user interface (UI) in 0.9.5 has been significantly upgraded, with integrated support for things like album art, autoplaylists, and themes. I’m already tweaking out a new config that uses the default UI combined with the Facets plugin I linked to before, changing away from Columns UI after using it a few years and dabbling in the Panels UI a little.

FB2K is my favorite app for encoding, tagging, organizing, and, oh yeah, playing my digital music. If only it would stream to my Airport Express…

Update: Added a screenshot of my current config.

Foobar 2000 0.9.5b1

I was alerted a few weeks back to the impending MFSL pressing of Rush’s 1980 album Permanent Waves via one of my Google News filters, and Power Windows just confirmed that Amazon has the product available for pre-order: Permanent Waves MFSL CD. I have the MFSL versions of Moving Pictures and Signals, so this would complete the re-treated set of what I consider the pinnacle of Rush’s output. Not that their other stuff is bad; these three albums are just so good.

MFSL (Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs) CDs are noted for their ample headroom and pristine quality. I’ve kicked myself several times for not picking up the 2112 MFSL CD when it was at retail. Once these pressings leave retail, they fetch a pretty penny on the open market. My pre-order for the PeW MFSL is in. How about yours?

@aharden

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