March 16th, 2008

aussiepoida - LOL

Sigur Rós - Heima | Die Herbstzeitlosen | HT Problem, fixed | Cooking

Blake and I have been wanting to watch disk 2 from Sigur Rós' Heima for some time now. We've watched disk one on a couple of occasions and have grown to love it. Disk one is a documentary with interviews and live performances, while disk two features the performances in full. The reason why we have not actually watched the second disk is because of a technical fault in my system that I have only last night managed to rectify.

I was up late last night, mostly fuelled on coffee, as a big wave of annoyance came over me which motivated me to find out what was wrong. You see, earlier that evening, my parents came over for the first time to watch a movie. I was pretty displeased when the sound started clipping... in fact, I was a little embarrassed. Either way, I realised it was time to get to the bottom of the problem and get it sorted.

Fault detection in these sort of systems is always a nightmare, simply because there are so many variables - Amp/Receiver/cables/dvd player/dvd/combination of some/all etc... None the less, I was determined to find the fault.

Fault is probably a strong word, but lefts just say that all those fancy sound enhancing features on some DVD players... you dont want them. I've been under the belief that there was a problem with the audio encoding on disk two, which caused a rather unpleasant crackling noise to come out of the centre channel, and sometimes the rears.. the cause of the problem was actually the 'Dialogue Enhancer' feature, which pushed the centre channel signal over the normal threshold under some circumstances, causing it to clip at the pre-amp stage of the sound reproduction.....needless to say, all DVD player based sound enhancement features have now been turned off. I am pleased.

...anyway, just to back-pedal a little - My parents and Markus came around for dinner last night. I made a Beef and Vegetable Casserole with some mashed potato on the side. I think it turned out pretty decent, and the guests seemed to like it. I didn't think it was as good as the Risotto I made the night before, but I guess its hard to compare the two. I always find that casseroles/stews/goulashes always taste better the following day.

As a special treat, my parents bought along the Swiss movie-hit of 2006 - Die Herbstzeitlosen.

The story revolved around an old lady, Martha, who's husband had recently died. She's in her 80's and is looking for things to do, to get her mind off the fact that she is now alone. With the help of the local vixen (probably a strong word to use), she rediscovers her passion for creating beautiful lingerie. As a result, she decides to open her own lingerie shop in town, much to the conservative town-folks' disgust. Needless to say, comedy and tragedy happens as a result. It was basically a feel good movie, akin to Kinky Boots. It was cute, Swiss, enjoyable, though nothing extraordinary. 6/10. returning to the topic in the first paragraph - We finally got to watch Disk two from Heima.

Sigur Rós - Heima

So after months of expectations, were we disappointed? I sure as hell was not. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. The sound was fantastic, the song choices were spot on and the visuals suited the music brilliantly. Furthermore, it was long. Due to some strange disk authoring, I cannot say how long it actually went for, but it certainly felt like a very complete representation of their music, as well as what they were trying to achieve with their free Icelandic tour.

Their music is truly the sort of that comes from a deeper place. It is not music created to make money - its music created for themselves, and that is what makes it so very different. In an interview I saw a while back, the band members stated that in Iceland, no one makes music to make money, because there simply aren't enough people to actually buy it there. Icelandic musicians primarily make music for themselves and for each other... it it comes to pass that it makes them some money, then they eat some Þorramatur and rejoice. But making money from their art is not at the forefront of their thinking... as such, some of the most interesting, and most beautiful music in the world, comes from a little island with a population of less 315,000 people. 8/10