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John L Murphy "Fionnchú" RSS Feed (Los Angeles)
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Musique De Film Imagine
Musique De Film Imagine
Price: $11.99
39 used & new from $5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eno + Ennui, June 28, 2015
This review is from: Musique De Film Imagine (Audio CD)
As the membership of this band dwindles to frontman and founder Anton Newcombe and whomever he hires, the music lowers its volume. No trace of the raucous neo-psychedelia of the many line-ups of The Brian Jonestown Massacre remains on Musique de la film imaginé. Instead, as the title promises, this soundtrack for an imagined French film provides subdued moods for reverie.

Starting off the tracks quietly, “Après Le Vin” and “La Dispute” conjure up ambling melodies on Brian Eno’s late-1970s albums. “Philadelphie Story” adds the voice of chanteuse SoKo to dramatize the emotional surge of this ballad. It sounds as if from a French New Wave movie over half a century ago.

“L'Enfer” adds a mid-tempo set of drums, bass and keyboards. Yet it is no longer rock. Over six minutes, it descends by simple progressions into its titular subterranean atmosphere, gloom and not fire. Many songs repeat motifs. The listener can create his or her own mental visions of what these songs suggest.

No credits have been provided in this review disc. It appears as have recent BJM recordings on Newcombe’s own A Records label. The publicity material mentions Newcombe “on behalf of” his band. Recorded at his studio in his adapted home of Berlin, the understated quality of many tracks persists. Newcombe has departed so completely from his previous style that issuing this largely solo recording under the BJM moniker may confuse loyal fans. However, the albums he has issued under the band’s name since his relocation have anticipated the introspection and mature shifts of this latest release.

Asia Argento is best known as an actress in her father Dario’s provocative Italian films. She sings on “Le Sacre du Printemps” but her voice is mixed down. She suggests more than shouts her lyrics in French. At six minutes, this is over double the average length of nearly all the other tracks, many of which pass by rapidly. Like much of this brief album, it is a respectable tune, but no song here can be called a standout.

Later tracks help recover the emotion. Returning to the Eno feel, “Le Souvenir” employs simple keyboards to create a brooding sensation. “Les Trois Cloches” totals a few chimes over twenty seconds. The best song comes late on. Lonely percussion over strings and electronics evoke well “L'Ennui.”

“Au Sommet” closes Musique de la film imaginé smoothly with yet another self-effacing Eno-esque arrangement. The attention Newcombe devotes to his craft, and his predecessors, merits respect. His band may dwindle to him alone, but he may, as this album attests, find a future career in film-scoring.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2015 7:11 PM PDT


Audiosharp AS1158 Premium Metal Super Bass Stereo In Ear Earphones with Detachable Cable Mic Microphone (Black)
Audiosharp AS1158 Premium Metal Super Bass Stereo In Ear Earphones with Detachable Cable Mic Microphone (Black)
Offered by Audiosharp
Price: $79.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Detachable-cord IEMs, June 27, 2015
Years ago, when In-ear headphones were a novelty, I had some with detachable cords. I liked this touch, and since then, I keep wondering why other manufacturers now don't make them. Sur S520 provides the model for those looking for such an item.

One cord with a right-angle cord is provided as well as the default straight-plug. I prefer the former, as it takes up less space in tight places. This seems the recommendation for airplanes, for instance. The plugs are thinner than other brands. Stress points lack reinforcement found on slightly pricier models by competitors. However, for the price point in the sample provided me, they have some features of higher cost models.

For instance, the sound is pleasant. Full range, and not the soundstage that separates sounds noticeably. These may not be audiophile level, sure, but for the cost, they are comfortable to wear, if a bit large in the ear even in the medium flange size.

Other flanges are provided, and the case allows you to carry these (but maybe not the other cord) in a little zippered pouch. I always like a case to protect these IEMs. No left-right marking is shown, but if you put them in with SUR facing you as inscribed, they will fit as designed. Far as I can tell.

For as a previous reviewer noted, the manual is confusing. I know these are not a complicated item. But there is no tech specifics on replacing the cord if desired, or the headset separately. The advantages of the detachable design are evident in the copy, but it is not written clearly and is repetitive in the manual and on the box. I take this into account for my review rating.

If this is not an issue, these are recommended for their detachable design, slightly bass-heavy but agreeable sound, and price point. They are a bit larger and weightier than some competitors, but I reckon they may last longer if treated with care and gently.


Foot Support Gel Soft Pads by VIVEsole - Best Silicone Shoe Stickers to Help Prevent Pain from Blisters, Bunions, Corns, Calluses, Friction,Pressure Spots, and Heel Pain - Can Be Used in Any Shoes or Sandals - 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Foot Support Gel Soft Pads by VIVEsole - Best Silicone Shoe Stickers to Help Prevent Pain from Blisters, Bunions, Corns, Calluses, Friction,Pressure Spots, and Heel Pain - Can Be Used in Any Shoes or Sandals - 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
Offered by HEALTH SOURCE
Price: $9.99
2 used & new from $8.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Very small!, June 27, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
These stick on easily, as intended for a shoe. They are slightly squishy, and they can come off a surface and onto another. My only question is how much they can handle the movement of a shoe against the skin as a mediator and protection, but so far they hold.

Think of a conventional blister bandage, and these are similar. They are applied to ease pressure points on the foot inside a shoe.

These are very small. They came in a giant box, and at first I thought the package was empty. (Item received for testing purposes) The gel soft pads are shrinkwrapped on a cardboard insert inside the box, at least when mine arrived from Amazon. I say this as a head's up in case your package comes this way. I wish the product had been sent in a more eco-friendly way, given its tiny "footprint"


DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Microfiber Pet Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, Blue
DII Bone Dry Warm, Soft, Plush, Microfiber Pet Blanket for Couch, Car, Trunk, Cage, Kennel, Dog House, Blue
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Good for car trips with your dog, June 27, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is three by four feet. Made of polyester, it is useful in my case for putting a dog blanket down on the car's backseat. My dog tends lately to roll on her back when in the car, so I figured this might help the shedding problem and the wear and tear on the seat fabric. It is lightweight and can be washed easily. Thick enough to provide some layer between your pet and the surface, light enough to stow away.


The Magic of Awareness
The Magic of Awareness
Offered by Audible, Inc. (US)

4.0 out of 5 stars "Laying down our burden", June 27, 2015
I reviewed Anam Thubten's companion collection of talks, also read by Frank Stella, No Self, No Problem. This addressed those with a familiarity with Buddhism, but who (reading between the lines) seemed to have become frustrated with their lack of progress towards "perfection." Thubten directs practitioners away from this false hope.

These talks continue this path, grounded in meditation and in cultivating awareness. For convenience given the format on audiobook, I will copy and paste my Audible guided review.

What made the experience of listening to The Magic of Awareness the most enjoyable?

Frank Stella's earnest, emphatic, but calm narration is well matched to Anam Thubten's insistent message that urges the listener to abandon the ego's defenses to find bliss within.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Not applicable. This is aimed at Buddhist meditators and practitioners. I reckon it's too advanced for those without some experience with the teachings and the path. It may encourage, like his other book "No Self, No Problem," those who have hit a dry spell.

What does Fred Stella bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Buddhist teachers convey their instruction by personal conferences and talks so the oral nature of this medium makes it well-suited. His steady voice deepens the ambiance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, as it is too much to take in. Even four hours at twenty minutes or so a chapter concentrates a lot to ponder. The oral presentation may reward revisiting and rewinding. My one improvement would have been an introduction, as the chapters feel more discrete and the unifying approach taken by Thubten needs more attention and effort to be grasped, especially given the audiobook. The words are often simple but the intentions are profound.

Any additional comments?

Thubten's theme is that the dharma tells us to "lay down our mental burden," the constructions of the mind that prevent it from seeing the "groundless ground" and the Tibetan concept of "luminous mind" that transcends by "prajna" our thoughts and concepts. He wants us to abandon our "spiritual library" accumulated of concepts learned but not experienced. This "prison of duality" prevents the ego from dying and ultimate truth emerging. "Oneness-emptiness" cannot be found by speculation but by direct encounter.


No Self, No Problem: Awakening to Our True Nature
No Self, No Problem: Awakening to Our True Nature
by Anam Thubten
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.13
78 used & new from $7.98

4.0 out of 5 stars "Getting rid of your baby teeth", June 25, 2015
Buddhist teachings are traditionally conveyed in the spoken word. Getting rid of baby teeth means that we need to get away from childish expectations of what the spiritual search is all about. Anam Thubten divests us of the trappings and veils around the core.

I liked the glimpses of the author as he talked to a very affluent NoCal-Berkeley audience, probably, and tried to steer them away from what Chogyam Trumpa called "spiritual materialism," adding up "points towards perfection." Thubten advises inner direction, and grounds this in meditation and awareness.

What lingers are the sections when Anam Thubten talked about prayer, not as a petition to a divine entity, but a search for the transcendent truth of prajnaparamitra. This is not found by speculation but by a direct encounter with the ultimate within which we find our being. This firm caution from Thubten steers us from setting up goals to meet, or fulfillment to rush after over and over.

"Spirituality is Not a Teddy Bear." Anam Thubten challenges us to take on a spiritual discipline, not to escape into petitioning a god who denies or accepts our pleas. He reminds us how the quest for truth is full of ego traps, and how difficult it is to stay focused upon it. This book is best read (or heard) by those who have basic knowledge of Buddhism and have been practicing a while, but who might have hit a dry spell or wondered why more "fireworks" have not happened. Thubten cautions us against such hopes.

Frank Stella narrates this audiobook with emphasis and delicacy. He reminds me of Martin Sheen or Peter Coyote, as he seems in tune with the countercultural message. I do have an ego-block as I wonder how letting go aligns with the needs of the poor and the exploited, and how fixing the world is not a mere "illusion"--but social critique is absent from this individualistic, dogged approach.


10 000 Russos
10 000 Russos
Price: $8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Postpunk intensity meets tribal beats, June 24, 2015
This review is from: 10 000 Russos (MP3 Music)
This Portuguese trio continues the promise of Fuzz Club labelmates Sonic Jesus. Like their Neither Virtue Nor Anger earlier this year, the Russo's self-titled second album packs a one-two punch. First, guitar-driven drones wallop you. Joy Division's metallic grind, post-punk's relentless beat, and distorted or detached vocals buried in the mix convey texture among torment. Naming the first track after early drummer Karl Burns of The Fall is fitting. Even if this song recalls the Wooden Shijps repetition more than that Manchester ensemble, the next track, "USVSUS" offers a Mark E. Smith-like voice ghosting the fringes of this echoed plunge. It begins with a catchy martial beat, and then kicks in gear harder through the effects pedals. It turns brittle. Heavier, it thrusts itself into Suicide territory, keyboards like sirens. Perky drums from vocalist João Pimenta dominate, over the forceful duo of Pedro Pestana on guitar and André Couto on bass, for an impressive arrangement.

"Baden Baden Baden" and "Barreiro" sustain the intensity. The first complements Joy Division floating into space rock. The second chants over a rapid whoosh, as if heirs to Hawkwind. Finally, the cleverly named paired medley of "Shtakhanovets" and Kalume" stir tribal beats and hints of Eastern influences. The later moments conjure up the percussive drones of The Black Angels' early days, or the formative ones of P.i.L, when both of those outfits dared to be different. Let's hope 10 000 Russos remain inventive, for this points to a bright, or as the band may prefer to color it, a dark doom future


IBSOUND 8GB Digital Audio Voice Recorder - Mini Portable Rechargeable Spy Dictaphone with MP3 Player and USB Connection - 1 Year Warranty (Black)
IBSOUND 8GB Digital Audio Voice Recorder - Mini Portable Rechargeable Spy Dictaphone with MP3 Player and USB Connection - 1 Year Warranty (Black)
Offered by SKYBOK
Price: $27.99
2 used & new from $27.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small is the word, June 24, 2015
This is very small, as the photo on the Amazon page indicates. So you may want to keep this in the cardboard box for storage. It also has a simple earbud and charging plug inside. It records in WAV format, 8 gb capacity, and the recording drive charges by the USB.

The manual is not that clear. Not that it is that difficult to use. It's just miniaturized. There are small buttons for on/off recording, but as this is so tiny, this may take some practice to get used to. The functions can handle voice dictation, but as for greater accuracy in nuanced sounds (say music), this is only about the same capacity as a microphone on a phone or computer built-in, not that high fidelity. Everyday use means this will work fine. (Testing provided for review)


THE #1 Rated Kitchen Shears / Kitchen Scissors with Soft Rubber Grips, Along with a Magmatic Fridge Holster.
THE #1 Rated Kitchen Shears / Kitchen Scissors with Soft Rubber Grips, Along with a Magmatic Fridge Holster.
Offered by Coupon Master
Price: $24.99

5.0 out of 5 stars My wife's review, June 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife reports, as a left-hander, these fit her grip well. They are easy to clean, stand up in the dishwasher, and perform as expected. As a serious cook, she finds a lot of items underpar, so she assures me these kitchen shears are a welcome addition to her kitchen repertoire.


Amorus Adjustable Classic Retro Stereo 3.5mm Hi-Fi Bass Earbud Headset Headphone Earphone with Mic Noise Cancelling - Copper Cavity,Kevlar Wire
Amorus Adjustable Classic Retro Stereo 3.5mm Hi-Fi Bass Earbud Headset Headphone Earphone with Mic Noise Cancelling - Copper Cavity,Kevlar Wire

5.0 out of 5 stars Copper design stands out, June 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Copper housing is not used often in such In-ear headphones. It does not add as much weight as you might imagine. These "retro" IEM's from Amorus come with two different sized flanges, a medium rubber flange pair by default, and a right-angle plug with some reinforcement that I prefer.

The cord is thinner braided and coated 48-inch cable, not the "linguine" flat cord of some other IEMs. It is thin, therefore, and may lighten the weight. Also, a phone switch on/off is featured.

The sound meets expectations for this price point. No instructions are provided. There is no left-right indicator on the headsets. They come in an eco-friendly cardboard box, but no case is offered, unlike some competitors. (Provided for testing.)


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