Friday, September 24, 2010

Uploading - The Good and the Bad

There are so many free uploading services available, it's hard to choose which is best. When I started posting uploaded files on this site, I used sharebee, which in turn uploads files to a number of host sites including depositfiles, rapidshare, zshare, and megaupload. The problem is, of those older posts, only the megaupload link still works. So I edited my older posts to point to the megaupload link.

Megaupload has two pluses and one horrific minus. The good news: files tend to last extraordinary lengths of time without being downed. You can download as many files from the site as you like without having to wait fifteen minutes. But the pop-ups are annoying. They seem to sneak past every pop-up blocker in every browser. Worse yet, every so often, you get a nasty Trojan attack from one of the pop-ups. One time I had to spend an hour restoring my computer to a prior state, then using Malwarebytes just to undo the mess I made downloading from megaupload. The same thing happened again recently, only this time my Avast ani-virus caught the bug right away. Sharebee also has pop-ups, but I never see them because I use Firefox and an add-on called Adblock Plus. Side note - I'm a HUGE fan of Firefox. The number of things you can do to customize the browser puts Explorer and Chrome to shame. I use the Opera browser sometimes as well, but that's another story.

Rapidshare must have its pluses, because it is so widely used for music uploads. I'm certainly grateful to the service, but I don't think it is friendly to free users who upload files. They had a thing going called rapidshare points, where you earn enough credits to keep uploading for free. I hear that well is drying up. We'll see.

I started using mediafire; for now, it seems to be a very good option. There are no pop-ups, no limit on downloads, and the download time is quick. I'll probably continue to use mediafire for a while, and when necessary, re-up links that I had previously posted. The list of my mediafire files is in the public domain:

http://www.mediafire.com/angusdegraosta

So far it has the Elgar, Beethoven, and Bert Jansch I posted. I also just uploaded my digital compositions to the folder. I'm not sure what I'm going to upload next. I'll think of something.

Cheers,
Angus

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Folk Favorites - YouTube Playlist

 
Click here to view my playlist, which consists of British, Irish, & American folk gems and some other surprises. If you've never navigated a YouTube playlist, look at the menu of videos along the bottom of the screen. Right on top of them on the left hand side are forward and backward buttons. You'll get the hang of it. The list is set to autoplay, so if you leave to pour a cup of coffee, the songs will cycle from one to the next on their own.

Cheers,
Angus

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Hendrix of Fingerstyle

...at least according to Neil Young. If you like acoustic fingerstyle playing, do yourself a favor and learn more about the Bert Jansch discography. This Scotsman has made many fine albums, including the recent Black Swan from 2006, which has a guest appearance from Beth Orton. Among my favorites is Avocet, an instrumental album from 1979. It's one of the guitarist's own favorites as well.

Between Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, I can't say who I like better. Both men were members of the folk rock band called Pentangle, along with singer Jacqui McShee. Renbourn features on two of the selections in the collection I'm posting. These are a few tunes from Bert Jansch's earlier albums that I called "A Collection" - i.e. my personal collection. He sings nicely on a number of these tunes, which are a mix of his originals and traditionals recorded in the 60s and early 70s. The playing speaks for itself. If you listen closely, you will hear where Jimmy Page borrowed some of his acoustic chops.

On Amazon you'll also find MP3 downloads of Jansch's albums. One online reviewer writes: "Bert and his music seem to come from the same place myth and folklore come from."  I agree. Here is a small sample of his work.























Download here (no password):
http://www.mediafire.com/?uiboci9k5kqld3v

Cheers,
Angus

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Primal Alchemy

Ed Luhrs, the not-so-anonymous alter ego of Angus DeGraosta, wrote this musical number in C-sharp minor, 3/8 time. He asked me to share it with you, and I, being of one mind, heartily agreed.



Composed with Songworks II notation software and GarageBand. I dig the astral video loop. Enjoy!

Cheers,
Angus

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Elgar: Symphony No. 1 - James Judd


This is a gem of a recording that earned a Penguin Rosette and went under along with the record company. James Judd has a keen sense for the mood and subtlety of the score. If you love Elgar, grab it. If you are new to Elgar and are interested in learning more about his symphonies, I heartily recommend this recording and Vernon Handley's recording of Symphony No. 2 (which I posted in April 2009).

I think the cover here perfectly matches the mood of the First Symphony. The knight on the horse seems bold and troubled as he surveys the landscape ahead. His young son clings on for dear life; the daughter looks up to him for reassurance. The combination of boldness and concern, beauty and foreboding gives this symphony a fascinating edge. The opening movement and the finale I find particularly inspirational. You'll find some reviews on Amazon here (including mine, from which I lifted a few of the above words regarding the cover.)

Download here (no password):
http://www.mediafire.com/?ht4zai3guaah2os

Cheers,
Angus