February 28, 2008

Two Stunning New Jazz Albums

Posted in My Jukebox Review at 3:15 am by qballkubal

 

Gak gampang buat menemukan album jazz yang bagus. Kalo gak jatuh ke pop, gw sering menemukan band yang meng-claim album terbaru mereka bernuansakan jazz padahal ujung- ujungnya funk. Imbasnya, jadi banyak anak- anak muda yang salah kaprah dalam mendefinisikan jazz itu sendiri. Okay, Maliq and The Essentials and Tompi have some jazz influence in their music. But that was only a little, a tiny bit of it. Or like Bali Lounge project which has more although I would call it a new age music. Tapi gw juga ngerti kalo jazz yang berat banget bakal bikin kepala lo pusing dan malah susah buat nikmatinnya.

 

Gw masih ingat momen- momen Jazz event terbaik yang pernah gw alamin di Bandung dulu. Nope, it was not a huge event. Instead, it’s more like an underground concerts. Yang pertama adalah Jazz Statement akhir tahun 2003 yang diadain oleh Common Room di Tobucil jalan Kyai Gede Utama. Ruang tamu yang gak seberapa penuh dengan penonton dan musisi yang jadi satu dalam suasana informal, jadinya bikin akrab kita semua. And the performance? Mantaflah! Puas gw walaupun kok terakhir ya jadi acara clubbing. Event kedua di Hotel Preanger Bandung dan masih oleh Common Room cuman yang ini musisinya lebih banyak dan lebih bervariasi jenis jazz yang ditawarkan oleh para musisinya. Still, acaranya diadain di dalam kafĂ© hotel yang kecil tapi tetep bikin nyaman pas nontonnya. Yang paling mantep pas Syaharani manggung. So close with us that all of us seem chat with her instead of watched her singing.

 

Gw kangen ama musik jazz yang bisa menggambarkan suasana kafe kecil yang kental bau kopi and rokoknya, perhaps like New York or Chicago in the era of Ray Charles. Makanya pas gw nemuin dua album ini gw suenengnya luaaaaar biasaaaa! For you jazz lover, album mereka wajib didengerin.

 

 

Jose James: The Dreamer (2008) and Herbie Hancock-River: The Joni Letters (2007) merupakan dua album yang bisa memberikan pemahaman baru buat generasi muda tentang Jazz. Suara Jose yang berat- berat ringan (bariton cuy!) dan musik yang bukan crossover tapi beneran bonafid Jazz. Dijamin begitu lo dengerin musiknya, pikiran lo bakal di bawa melayang- layang! Nuansa piano, double bass, dan drum berasa banget. Herbie Hancock sebagai sang legendaris Jazz pianist kembali lagi dengan album terbarunya setelah lebih dari 8 tahun (album terakhirnya keluar tahun 1998). Masih dengan studio yang terkenal oleh mainstream bisnisnya di bidang Jazz recording, The Verve, Herbie menawarkan suasana yang berbeda dari Jose, lebih kalem, matang, dan slow pace. Kayak Santana, dalam album ini Herbie berkolaborasi dengan banyak artis seperti Corrine Bailey Rae, Norah Jones, Tina Turner, Louciana Souza, and etc. Album ini memang agak lebih berat daripada Jose dan butuh waktu buat membiasakan diri untuk bisa menikmatinya. Tapi sekalinya udah terbiasa, dijamin lo bakal dengerin terus ampe mampus!

 

Dua album ini cocok didengerin pas baru pulang kerja ato kuliah. Tutup pintu kamar, sediakan headphone and minuman favorit lo dan setel musiknya to the maximum level! Cocok juga kalo lagi strees di lab ato di kantor pas deadline lagi menghadang. A suitable music during your rush time and crisis.

February 27, 2008

The Lord of the Rings

Posted in Readinglights at 3:53 am by qballkubal

Hehehehe, the reason why I haven’t reviewed any books lately is because I’ve been stuck with this one thousand something pages of story about the Middle Earth since October last year. Yup, you don’t read it wrong, it’s more than one thousand pages (including the appendix about the life, calendar, and race description of people of Middle Earth). I bought the all three books of The Lord of The Rings in one volume compilation edition. As it was on sale at that time, I didn’t want to miss that chance.

I think I don’t have to explain what the story about this book, for a lot of people have watch the movie over many times. Instead, I want to tell you about the difference between the book and the movie. Well, it is indeed different in many ways although the plot is still the same. This is probably the only book I’ve ever read so far with so much richness in English literature. Not even Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling or To Kill The Mocking Bird by Harper Lee have the same richness as LOTR. Tolkien are sure one hell of genius who can create such vast imaginary world.

The only thing that bothers me is that I have to open the dictionary every time I read the book. Hehehe, some of the words are not even listed in there. Damn! Is this book that old?

February 24, 2008

What a fool I am!

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:50 am by qballkubal

Damn! How can I be so stupid for ignoring this simple symptom? Pantesan gw ngerasa aneh sejak balik dari Jakarta and install ulang Windows di notebook gw, kok sering banget kipasnya nyala? Padahal program yang sedang gw jalanin tergolong ringan and gw lagi gak buka banyak window. That’s a sign of overload of CPU processing unsupported with sufficient memory (RAM) capacity.

And I don’t know why it took me 2 months before I realized to check the CPU performance on Windows Task Manager. Dan bener aja, gw kaget pas liat physical memory gw kok cuman 512 MB. Perasaan gw udah masang ampe 1 GB deh. Wah, pasti ada yang gak bener ama RAM gw. Perkiraan gw gak salah, setelah gw buka casing RAM posisi slot paling atas gak tepat masuk ke dalam. Jadinya ya gak kebaca ama komputernya.

Hadooooh, ini otak perlu dilatih indera kepekaannya terhadap lingkungan sekitar. Such an ignorant attitude that I don’t like so much.

Picture from approved memory.

February 23, 2008

Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War

Posted in Readinglights at 5:03 pm by qballkubal

Finally! And oh, I thought I will never find this book (the one with illustrations of course) in Malaysia. I’ve been searching for a long time and almost ridiculously ordered through Amazon.com (which gonna cost me quite a fortune). Another thing that made me happy: it’s cheaper than I expected. It’s really a sheer coincidence that I found this book today at The Borders Damansara (inside The Curve), for I only intended to meet with my friend to grab a cup of coffee.

Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War is book two of Abarat chronicles which are consisted of five parts. I have read the first one and reviewed it in another blog . My friend event looked surprised as I insisted to buy only the illustration edition and not the cheaper paper back (this one is quality paper back in art paper). I told him that with buying the illustration edition I’m not only enjoying the story, but also the illustrations made by the author himself, which I found them amusing. Perhaps, it’s the same feeling you get when you watch Alice in Wonderland. Yup, a world with queer looks and unusual people in it.

Can’t wait to finish reading this book! =)

February 21, 2008

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:54 pm by qballkubal

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

February 20, 2008

A phrase that has changed the world

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:19 am by qballkubal

Make sacrifice of a portion of the happiness of a few to the greater happiness of the rest (Jeremy Bentham, 1789)

That phrase above has a huge impact in the world we live today. It is the one who caused Capitalism and the free-market system went berserk, forgeting those who are unfortunate to have the access to enjoy the same benefit with the fortunate one.

It is the one who caused disparities between the rich and the poor in every corner in the world today, as those who have the power believe that it is acceptable to destroy the forest for a profit from paper, to make fishermen suffer for barrels of oil, to make the poor stays the same in the sake of getting richer of the rich one.

This is Capitalism’s achilles heel.
Source from Baker’s book.
Picture from jeremybentham.com

Yellowing paper?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:15 am by qballkubal

Have you noticed that over a certain period of time paper in our textbook, comics, and newspaper will turn yellow? Yup, kalo kita buka- buka lagi buku kuliah ato buku pelajaran pas jaman sma dulu, pasti keliatan kalo halamannya udah pada berubah jadi kuning kecoklatan ato penuh dengan bercak- bercak coklat.

Sampai saat ini, buku dan media cetak lainnya yang beredar di masyarakat berasal dari kertas yang pada saat dibikin lignin-nya (gambar atas) tidak dibuang. Lignin menyebabkan kertas memiliki kandungan asam (pH) yang cukup tinggi. Reaksi dengan cahaya pada ruangan yang memiliki kelembapan tinggi menyebabkan kertas jadi kekuningan. Kandungan lignin gak cuman bikin masalah buat para pemilik buku. Sebenernya, acid paper kaya gini menyebabkan polusi cukup serius karena proses pembuatannya sarat dengan limbah yang susah untuk di daur ulang.

Yang pertama kali menyadari proses ilmiah dibalik kuningnya kertas adalah seorang pustakawan Inggris yang bernama William Barrow pada tahun 1930. Sekarang, penambahan magnesium bikarbonat dapat menurunkan kandungan lignin dan asam pada saat permbuatan kertas. Kandungan basa sebanyak 2 persen udah cukup buat menjamin kualitas kertas ampe 100 tahun. Bahkan buat katalog ato jurnal langka proses cetak ulangnya menggunakan archival paper, yaitu permanent and durable acid-free paper yang bisa tahan ampe 500 taun (ato 1000 tahun dengan kondisi ideal) dari oksidasi.

Gimana caranya lo bisa tau buku yang lo beli dicetak pake acid-free paper? gampang kok, tinggal lihat di halaman pertama yang isinya tentang informasi penulis dan penerbit and liat apakah ada logo diatas ato gak.

Picture and source from wikipedia.