Call Off the Search, by Katie Melua
[4 out of 5 stars]
First impression, when I heard Katie Melua was: "Oh, My God! Norah Jones all over again!" I admit I am not the biggest Norah Jones fan there is, but then... this beautiful 19-year old Russian born singer with a voice of gold proved me wrong.
Her approach to music certainly does not go hand-in-hand with her age: that is to say she's not part of the Britneys or the Christinas of the world. With her music and her charm, she's targeting an older audience (or should I say, "more mature"?) with a blend of jazz and blues, which inevitably reminds a lot of people (myself included) of Norah Jones. The big difference lies in Katie's voice, which powerfully resonates when she sings (along with playing guitar) through every single track in her album.
Overall, I like it: I see potential. Though I still am not playing it over and over, I will continue to keep an eye open and my ears attentive to future works by Katie Melua, as she appears as if she's going to be around for good, as an established voice among the best jazz and blues singers of the world.
29 June, 2004
Call Off the Search, by Katie Melua
As hard drive sizes grow beyond our wildest dreams (well, maybe not THAT much, but they DO have a lot of room!), the days of painful searches trying to retrieve some obscure Word file are close to over, thanks to the coming enhancements in the world of
As Steve Jobs said yesterday, at the Apple Worldwide Developer conference:
"Search is a problem for every personal computer company. It's easier to find a document in a million pages on the Web using Google than it is to find a document on your hard drive."
25 June, 2004
Through Macromedia's site, I ran into this interesting "map" for News, appropriately called Newsmap. They pull content from the aggregated stories in Google News. Check them out to stay informed in a visual way!
Also, this afternoon, a colleague showed me the way to this cute site packed with Flash games, called Orisinal. You won't believe how addicting a pastel-based cats or pigs game can become! :)
Posted by manny hernandez @ 11:18
22 June, 2004
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your Salary. If we see you wearing $350 Prada sneakers & carrying a $600 Gucci Bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress in-between, you are right where you need to be and therefore you Do not need a raise.
We will no longer accept a doctor statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.
Operations are now banned. As long as you are an employee here, you need all your organs. You should not consider removing anything. We hired you intact. To have something removed constitutes a breach of employment.
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.
All employees will take their vacation at the same time every year. The vacation days are as follows: Jan. 1, July 4 & Dec. 25
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or coworkers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late
afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early, provided your share of the work is done enough.
Entirely too much time is being spent in the restroom. In the future, we will follow the practice of going in alphabetical order. For instance, all employees whose names begin with 'A' will go from 8:00 to 8:20. Employees whose names begin with 'B' will go from 8:20 to 8:40 and so on.
If you're unable to go at your allotted time, it will be necessary to wait until the next day when your turn comes again. In extreme emergencies, employees may swap their time with a coworker. Both employees' supervisors must approve this exchange in writing. In addition, there is now a strict 3-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders" category.
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Fat people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim Fast and take a diet pill.
ABSENCE DUE TO YOUR OWN DEATH:
This will be accepted as an excuse. However, we require at least two weeks notice, as it is your duty to train your own replacement. Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.
Have a nice workday
Posted by manny hernandez @ 07:33
21 June, 2004
Jesus and Satan were having an ongoing argument about who was better at
using the computer. They had been going at it for days, and God was tired of
hearing all the bickering. Finally, God said, "Cool it. I am going to set up
a test which will take two hours and it will judge who does the better job."
So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away. They moused.
They did spreadsheets. They wrote reports. They sent faxes. They sent
e-mail. They sent out e-mail with attachments. They downloaded. They did
some genealogy reports. They made cards. They did every known job. But, ten
minutes before the time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky,
thunder rolled, the rain poured, and of course, the electricity went off.
Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the
underworld. Jesus just sighed. The electricity finally flickered back on,
and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching
frantically screaming, "It's gone! It's all gone! I lost everything when the
power went out!" Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all his files
from the past two hours. Satan observed this and became even more irate
"Wait! He cheated! How did he do it!! ??? !!!"
God shrugged and said, "Jesus Saves.
Posted by manny hernandez @ 13:42
17 June, 2004
I just ran into this site... seems like everyone in my office was aware of it but me! :S
It's by a guy who says this:
"hi my name is sam,
i draw pictures, from your titles. send me a title, or any thing else you want to talk to me about to: email@example.com"
He's definitely got a load of ery creative ideas. I must say I had never seen anything like it. I downloaded the picture called it's not out there for my wallpaper at work. Reminded me of The Little Prince in a way.
Now listening to: the soundtrack to Riven. Been hooked on it non-stop ever since I found out about it not too long ago. It's this dark, epic soundtrack that never really gets loud, so it also carries a bit of an ambient flavor to it.
Posted by manny hernandez @ 14:23
If you know of any oportunities for a creative and analytical, bilingual architect and designer, please don't hesitate to let Andreina know. She's actively looking for opportunities in the Central Florida area.
Posted by manny hernandez @ 08:13
16 June, 2004
Well this is innovative! An album by Bjork consisting solely of her "voicing" it. As scary as it may be, I am also dragged into the concept. I feel irrevocably pulled by it...
Posted by manny hernandez @ 06:22
This is going to be a great year in music!
Duran Duran is going back to its original line-up from 1983, so I can't wait to hear what they will be putting out when their new album comes in the Fall.
Also Bjork will release a new album in August! In a very BJork way, I just read this comment she made about album releses on her web site:
"Every album I've done, the minute that it's done, I feel really lubricated and, like, 'Wow, now I can write an album in five minutes. And I just want to find out if that's just a fantasy or if it's true."
(I guess that's a little more information than I cared for!) :D
Posted by manny hernandez @ 06:05
15 June, 2004
Ah! Que tiempos aquellos... Sentimiento Muerto, Fito Paez y Charly Garcia en un mismo concierto.
Posted by manny hernandez @ 10:40
11 June, 2004
I ran into this LA-based band this morning by means of Filter Magazine. They sound a lot like Coldplay (which I am fine with, since I enjoy their music quite a bit). They put out an EP which can be downloaded on iTunes and their new album will come out July 20th under Madonna's Maverick record label.
Posted by manny hernandez @ 07:39
10 June, 2004
So this is the blog from my good friend Danilo, whom I've had a chance to work with for the past few months. You gotta read his rants trashing bad commercials! :)
Posted by manny hernandez @ 14:48
08 June, 2004
I've been quite critical of Marillion's work since their concept album 'Brave' back in the early 90s. Though 'Anoraknophobia' improved things, it still wasn't at the same level of creativity as they accomplished with that classic album that was meant to be played "loud and with the lights off."
Finally, in 2004 Marillion takes back on their "brave" sound and brings it to the next level, with their 'Marbles' album. This is a production where there are some extraordinary songs that have a 100% Marillion sound, with accents reminding of Pink Floyd and Genesis carefully sprinkled all through most of the longer tracks, which makes it is extremely difficult to pick favorite tracks. Perhaps the promotional "You're Gone" I could live without, but even that one is far from bad.
All in all, my favorite tracks are:
-The Invisible Man: strong "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" influences to be felt in the beginning, due to its obscure nature, for the most part.
-Angelina: a more contemporary sound to it, but also bringing to mind works such as "Wish you were here".
-Neverland: Strong, up front Marillion, starting with H and a piano and bringing band members in as it grows, displaying some of the craftiest production details in the album.
-The four "Marbles": much more like the Marillion we learned to love in 'Brave'.
The album comes not just as a great musical production, but also an attempt to break traditional music marketing and distribution schemes, something that they attempted their previous album, but didn't quite succeed at due to the shortcomings of their distribution deal. What you will listen to in 'Marbles' is an album whose production AND distribution was taken off the gound by thousands of fans that pre-ordered it even before it was recorded (something I was proud to be a part of).
Once you listen to it, in spite of the album's cost, I think you will agree that breaking the ties from a recording contract can yield things that are extremely worth paying a little more for. And if you feel you can't get enough Marillion with this CD, there's more for you to dig into: go to Marillion.com and get the double CD, which includes much more, but in particular one of the best Marillion songs I've ever heard, called "Ocean Cloud". They definitely delivered on their promise to save some great stuff for the double-album edition that they made available, but they were also able to bring together some great material for this version of 'Marbles'.
07 June, 2004
Jose Duque's drums and compositions (he wrote six of the seven songs in the album) managed to seamlessly blend a host of musical styles and influences in his recent album 'Gathering in Blue', with the aid of some great musicians. The sound of Chris Weisman's guitar reminisces of Pat Metheny as much as it brings other great guitarists to mind, such as Bill Frisell and Ry Cooder. The sax of Chel Illingworth doesn't lag behind, putting the stamp of great jazz music to Jose's production. Jeff Auger's delivers chords that range from outright latin-flavored (with the aid of percussion) to straight up jazz, fusing with Jesse Stern's impeccable bass work and Chel's horn in a way that brought to mind some of King Crimson's flirting with jazz during their 'Islands' period, or Bill Bruford's 'Earthworks'.
All in all, the album, with a very acoustic flavor all throughout its seven solid tracks, leaves you with a feel of completeness and knowing you've heard some music that not only breaks style boundaries in a succesful fashion, but also brings Venezuelan Jose Duque's to the front of the jazz territory. My favorites, hands down: the opening theme, "Where The Heart Is" and the contagious last song.