liv: cartoon of me with long plait, teapot and purple outfit (Default)
[personal profile] liv
I went to the Pride parade yesterday. I had planned to go to the pre-parade events directly from shul, and when I mentioned this at kiddush, someone I've been getting to know in the past few weeks decided to join me. I was glad of the company and she's someone I like anyway, so I mostly wasn't too annoyed at not being able to do completely my own thing.

The parade was great fun; I will put a few photos up when I get round to it, but I have very few because my camera ran out of batteries about 10 minutes in. Anyway there was such a huge range of people, some in various states of over- and under-dress who were fun to watch, but the vast majority were just people having fun with their partners and friends. I was particularly glad to see a huge group who appeared to be about the equivalent of PFLAG; they were all wearing T-shirts proclaiming that they were proud mothers or proud aunties or proud grandfathers or proud cousins, with the implication being "of LGB young people". That group had a lot of kids with them, as did the crowd marching with a poly banner and the gay adoptive parents group. But in general it was a great mix of people of all ages just being people, with flamboyant over-the-top drag queens and other show-offs being outrageous because they could.

My friend knew her way around better than I did (which wouldn't be hard!), and found us a very cool vegetarian restaurant in Hornsgatan and was generally good fun. We didn't end up going into the Pride party, primarily because they were asking for 300 SEK on the door (about £25) and partly because by the time we got there it was after 8 pm and we were getting tired from wandering around all day in the heat. Anyway it was great fun in general!
I posted a few months back complaining that I couldn't find anywhere to buy mp3s without breaking the law and depriving the artists of revenue. I've been following up people's suggestions way after the event and I want to report that so far, I've been pretty impressed with emusic. It's selling (not hiring) actual mp3s so you don't need to be a member of the site to play what you buy and you can move the files around without hassle. The range is a lot less bad than I expected; it has a fair mix of actual popular stuff you might have heard on the radio, with artists I like but aren't absolutely vanilla Top40 commercial pop outfits. Which is not to say they have absolutely all the music I could possibly want, but I've found quite a few things that I have not been able to find elsewhere even at five times the price and with DRM (details behind the cut). It's pretty easy to navigate and use and pretty easy to browse and find new cool stuff, the way that happens by default in a bricks and mortar shop but you don't always get with online stores. Oh, and they don't absolutely force you to download their widget, which is another plus in my view.

The downsides: you have to give them your card details even for the free trial (which I am currently taking advantage of). The pricing structure is not ideal; instead of paying so much per track, you pay a monthly subscription fee of $10 for 40 tracks per 30 days. Which is pretty good value if you're actually remotely likely to buy as many as 40 tracks in a month (if you expect to buy vastly more than that you can pay a higher subscription which still works out at about 25¢ per track; unlike a lot of these sites the price they quote actually relates to reality). I may pay for a couple of months but after that I doubt I'll justify the subscription. I'm waiting to see whether they will in fact let me unsubscribe painlessly, whether at the end of my free trial period or after I've paid for a couple of months. Because that's the real test with any of these too good to be true free offers!

Anyway, worth checking out by virtue of being less evil and less useless than a lot of sites out there. If you feel like joining, we can both get goodies if I "refer" you, so send a relevant email address to me @lj if you like. I've read the small print pretty carefully and I'm moderately impressed, assuming that they don't drag their heels over unsubscribing, of course.

To give you an idea of the range, both of my tastes and what's available on emusic, so far I have nabbed:
Trendy but indie stuff like The Pipettes (so I could see what the fuss was about, and thanks to [livejournal.com profile] blue_mai for bringing them to my attention before everyone was talking about); Belle and Sebastian's recent stuff; promos from Yo La Tengo and Gomez (the hipsters were obsessing about Gomez a couple of years back, IIRC). Stuff that occupied the same kind of niche but not ultra cutting edge these days: Presidents of the USA and Eels. Some fine nu-punk: the Distillers and Rancid (ooh they sound so much like The Clash only not so dated) and Flogging Molly. Plenty of old skool goth; I have rediscovered my love for Fields of the Nephilim and been tempted by Bauhaus and The Cocteau Twins. All kinds of older alt stuff from The Flaming Lips to Meat Puppets (I downloaded the original version of Lake of Fire which Nirvana's cover made famous) to early Soundgarden (though only the albums from before they really made it big are available) to Paradise Lost. Cute Celty folky stuff like Dead Can Dance, Loreena McKennit, Capercaillie (though I have way too much of their stuff already, I maybe don't need more).
Addendum 6 Aug: Yeah, I've run out of things that I passionately want and I still have half of my 50 free downloads left. Looking like it's not worth paying for more beyond the first 50. Anyone have any recommendations of artists or songs I should know about?

(no subject)

Date: 2006-08-06 05:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lethargic-man.livejournal.com
If you feel like joining, we can both get goodies if I "refer" you, so send a relevant email address to me @lj if you like. I've read the small print pretty carefully and I'm moderately impressed, assuming that they don't drag their heels over unsubscribing, of course.

I may take you up on that at some point, once I've got to the point of not being able to find any of the tracks on my list for prices I'm willing to pay. I'm already there for some tracks; but for others, I'm still being a quality snob and paying three times the price of MP3 for CD-quality, er, CDs. :o)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-08-20 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lethargic-man.livejournal.com
Well, if you want me to refer you I'll have to do it before I cancel my account, which at this rate will probably be before the end of the free trial period.

Have I missed that yet? I started filling in the application form at the time you made your original posting, then saw your comment about referral, so did not complete the application, and they still sent me emails, including one "Only 7 Days Left To Get 25 Downloads on eMusic", which, I've just realised, was six days ago now. <rolls eyes>

I know what you mean about paying more for CD quality. I resent paying 99p for an mp3 when it's relatively possible to buy a CD for about that much per track.

Only for new CDs; once CDs get deleted from the catalogue, you can only get them secondhand, and their price then depends on their rarity, which is the problem I'm having to deal with on eBay atm.

Plus, these are really high bitrate mp3s, generally about 192k. I don't know whether that's still not good enough for you though. Me, I can't hear the loss the way I used to be able to with the old 50-80k mp3s that predominated when few people had broadband.

I don't know; I have no experience of MP3s so can't tell. The thing is, I didn't think my little speakers were too bad (with bass boosted) until I got my big speakers down here and wired them up so the big ones were in the lounge and the little ones in the kitchen. Then I really notice the difference! It's possible that the same would apply for MP3s—I might not notice the difference now, but would in the future.

OTOH it would only be for a maximum of <checks>16.74% of my singles collection...

(no subject)

Date: 2006-08-06 10:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hmw26.livejournal.com
I've had an eMusic account since April and I LOVE it. (In fact, I just upgraded to their 65-tracks-per-month plan.) I use it in conjunction with Last.fm -- I use Last.fm's recommendation system and then buy things on eMusic. So far I've bought albums by Architecture in Helsinki, Neutral Milk Hotel, Camera Obscura, Go Sailor, Grandaddy, Guster, The Mountain Goats, The Weakerthans, Trachtenburg Family Players, Tullycraft, and The Pipettes. I've "saved for later" albums by Tiger Trap, All Girl Summer Fun Band, Mirah, The Polyphonic Spree, Of Montreal, Talulah Gosh, Beulah, and Iron And Wine/Calexico. I'd recommend any/all of those.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-08-07 03:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blue-mai.livejournal.com
uh you just reminded me, i 'd reminded mysalf sometime last week then forgot again - i'm supposed to be making you a list arent i?
now i've handed in all my coursework (well it's not quite "all" but it is handed-in at least - woo hoo!) i'll get on it. and for livredor i shall have a little think too... although i dont think i quite catch the resonance of your musical taste, i can guess. can you sample before you buy from emusic? and when are you going to unsubscribe?

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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