Okay, some reviews for you all. First off, let's talk about my new friend, Allofmp3. This Russian site has a sweet deal. They sell music- big label music, obscure indie stuff (I got some Fourtet, now everything is all right (sorry, "Everything is all right" was the first Fourtet song I ever heard- good shit, anyway...)) They sell it dirt cheap, no DRM, and the record industry wants to stop them. But they can't- because they're in Russia, and what they're doing is legal in Russia, do to a quirk of copyright law. I don't know the details.
Anyway, the good shit. You pay by the kilobyte. You don't pay per order, instead, you deposit a lump sum ($25 or $50) and when you buy something, you get to:
- Choose the bitrate (want CD quality? A bit more expensive)
- Choose the file format (choosing a high-compression one will spare you some of the extra cost of that CD quality sound)
The bad news? Getting your music is a pain in the ass- maybe I'm spoiled by iTunes. It encodes your files on request, so there may be some delay on getting your files if you select something unpopular and choose a strange encoding for it. But, they'll let you know by email when it's done (a few minutes for everything I've bought so far) and then you go back to the site, and download it all, one song at a time. Not a big deal if you're only grabbing a handful of tracks, but it lacks the userfriendliness of iTunes when it comes to buying an entire album (what can I say, I'm lazy, and I like just clicking one buttong to get an entire album).
Next up? Well, my childhood hero has been reborn, and I couldn't be happier. I've been waiting on tenterhooks to see if I'd be able to bittorrent this when it came out, and those plucky brits didn't let me down. "Dr. Who" is back. In it's twenty-seventh season, this new incarnation proves why the show never dies a permanent death.
The new Doctor definitely borrows from Tom Baker (my icon for the un-fans), but he makes the style all his own, from the rapid-fire introduction of his character, with the wonderful pause in the middle of a crisis for a civil introduction, "I'm sorry, I forgot to ask your name?". He doesn't limit himself to that though, and he plays the Doctor with his own frantic intensity, bringing something new to the character, which every actor that assumes this role really should do. My only complaint about his dazzling performance? The costume. He's the first Doctor to dress normal. It's strange.
His plucky sidekick is everything a Doctor Who sidekick should be. Female, adventurous, and female. Sorry, I tease my geeks, but one thing that Doctor Who has always done well was strong women. Oh sure, the Doctor would save them all most of the time, but that's because he was the Doctor for chrissiake. Time Lord, hello? But the women were still forceful opinionated, and generally not always desperate for his rescue, and Rose, his new sidekick, is a new face in that wonderful role. She plays it with aplomb, going with the drifting-no-direction-gen-xer suddenly thrown into something stranger than she could ever imagine.
The older Doctor Who episodes gained charm from the campy special effects. And I was pleased that, when the Living Plastic Mannicans started walking around, they were still the guys in rubber suits making jerky motions. Sure, it's campy, but that's why we love it. At the same time, CGI was mixed in, which was done shockingly well. The important part, is that the story could have worked just as well without the special effects. The same story would have been done as a Doctor Who adventure, but the "Nestene Consiousness" (the villian for this installment) wouldn't have been a CGI blob of molten plastic, but instead, a fabric sheet with colored lights behind it. The story would have worked in either case, and the CGI just made it a little easier to swallow.
It's a fantastic revisitation to an old favorite, and it brings back fond memories, as well as awakening for me this... well, it's like watching your childhood hero come back to life. Suddenly, I'm six years old, sitting in the living room, glued to PBS as Dr. Who thwarts the Daleks again. Unlike so many child hood memories, going back to Dr. Who doesn't make me go, "What was I thinking?" (like Voltron did- goddamn!) but instead, awakens my sense of adventure and youthfullness.
So, Allofmp3.com? Fantastic (fantastically CHEAP) music site. The 27th Season of Dr. Who? A RESOUNDING success for this fan. Maybe I'm biased, but if you're a fan, then you'll love it. If you're not, well goddammit, you should be. Go track down the Genesis of the Daleks, and tell me that you don't like Dr. Who. As if.