Monday, January 1, 2018

Minidiscs and Lollypops

Happy New 2018! Hopefully it'll be better than the old 2018. Last year was full of unexpected ups and downs, but here we are, ready for a new year of blogging and I'll throw a few youtube videos at you too.

For the first entry of 2018, I figured I'd do something a bit different. Before I moved, I bought some crowd recorded concerts on minidisc from Ebay. They came with a hand-stitched donut, reminding me to "donut forget to leave feedback". It was a really nice touch, but I was missing a couple of minidiscs. I contacted the seller, and she kindly sent me a couple more along with her hand-crafted, self-written zine called "Lollypop Shoved Up My Ass". I haven't seen a zine in forever because fuck Winnipeg. This was yet another nice touch, and incredibly cool! I love people who are artsy in some way, shape or form, especially when it comes to music. I love hand-made covers for cassettes and CDs (and the one 8-track I have), and this zine is right up my alley.

I sat and read all 4. She's got a nice writing style, give some reflection into the kind of person she is, and throws a bit of humour in there too. Her music tastes are extremely wide, much like mine are, although I'd choose bands other than U2 and Depeche Mode as my favourites.

Since I enjoyed seeing this product done by the hands of a local in Vancouver, I have to ask... Why is it that all the cool people DON'T live in Manitoba? I'd have a great circle of friends, but fuck Manitoba and it's legion of unfun people with their unadventurous music tastes (and tastes in hobbies (or non-hobbies)).

Anyway, I'm going to check out some of the bands she reviewed in her Zine. Maybe I'll find something new to listen to. I acquired one of my favourite bands from someone who liked that Wu-Tang shit and that screamo garbage.

Before I get into these minidiscs, I'd like to talk about the format itself which I've never covered on this blog until now. I have a love/hate relationship with minidisc. Back when I was making novelty mashups as a teenager, I wanted to buy a minidisc recorder to make album masters instead of using shitty cassettes (and CD burners weren't a reality yet). I was picky though. I wanted a component minidisc unit instead of a portable one, but $300 was a bit expensive for a teenager to shell out. I simply settled on my reel 2 reel machine and left it at that.

Over the years, I've acquired a few portable players. However, I did eventually score a component unit. I was pretty happy about that.... until I used it. The component unit was the biggest piece of shit I've ever used. I should have expected it, because it's made by fucking Sony who made other useless pieces of shit electronics in the 1990s. Thank God I never spent three hundred teenage dollars on one of those pieces of garbage. However, the portable units are robust as hell, and all three of mine work flawlessly. The component unit got tossed in the fucking garbage due to it's unrepairable stripped plastic gears. I would eventually like to get another component unit, but I'm going to be even more picky. It must NOT be manufactured by Sony.

Most of my other minidiscs are thrift store finds with the exception of one pre-recorded one (Belle & Sebastian's "Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like a Peasant"). Having a bunch of self-recorded minidiscs that weren't just copies of other CDs or mixed artists just thrills the hell out of me.

A couple of the minidiscs seemingly have nothing on them (which might be due to a format incompatibility), but the auction specifically said it was for the minidiscs and not the content, so there's no complaints on my end. If they were all blank, I'd probably just record myself singing hits by the artists listed and then re-sell them to some other sucker.

So I ended up with Nine Inch Nails, Bon Jovi, Bif Naked, Weezer, Queensryche, Tool, Barenaked Ladies, Ministry, Alice In Chains, and Our Lady Peace. I wouldn't rate any of these as my top favourite artists, but they're nice to have. Part of the fun was outbidding all the other assholes and claiming victory to these original recordings from Vancouver. So here's a few recordings for your enjoyment. Remember, these are audience recordings.

Listen to Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name"

Listen to Ministry's "Just One Fix"

Listen to Our Lady Peace "Superman's Dead"

Listen to Weezer's "Island In The Sun"

So now that you've enjoyed some hits from the pocket of the person who shipped these to me, let's take a look at the Zines. The covers are artistic collages made from construction paper, markers, stuff printed out, felt, gift wrap, and what is likely random craft junk from Dollarama. While all this stuff is junk to me in general, it's the artist who makes it into something interesting, amusing, and even pleasing. The covers are great.

So here's a couple of snapshots from the zines themselves. I enjoy the articles entitled "Things That Made Me ______ Since The Last Issue". Although both the "Happy" and "Upset" ones are both enjoyable, I always like the negative one better. Nothing gives me better satisfaction than people shitting on things that are awful. Let's look at one!

The live concert reviews are flat out honest, and I like that. The humour of the Brian Wilson concert review brought a smiley smile to my face.

If you want to check out the author of these zines, she gave me permission to link to her Facebook page.

And that's it for this round! For those of you waiting for my next installment of Tech of the Century, it's coming. One thing I've learned is that I can only get episodes out as quickly as I can repair the items I'm working on, and as quickly as I can get videos edited. It's also restricted by space. If I had a bit more space (and didn't need a real job), I could work on multiple projects at once. Right now, this isn't an option, but it might be in the near future. I'm also thinking of doing a series called "Cleaning My Garage" which has been a disaster since I've moved, and many things need to be sorted. There's lots of treasures buried in there, so a series of organizing it might be fun to do. But right now, it's too fucking cold outside. It can wait until the warm weather comes.

But now that the Junq Tour is all posted, I can get back to my regular blog queue (as long as no more family members die this year). See you soon!

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