I’m a pretty picky fellow when it comes to headphones. I’ve gone though approximately a pair a year since I started college (2004), all in search of the perfect pair. I want something that is comfortable, excludes a lot of outside noise, and sounds good with the music I listen to. Aesthetics aren’t really a part of the discussion. Over-the-head headphones won’t cut it for me, not because they don’t look good, but rather because they aren’t too portable. I’ve got to find a pair that works well on the metro and aren’t a pain to carry around.
Well, the local DC spokesperson of AT&T, Margarita Noriega, recently gave me a trio of headphones and one Bluetooth speaker to try. I wasn’t told to say anything, and I’m at liberty to write whatever I want (as you’ll see below). The idea was that perhaps I could find a pair worth recommending to the readers of this fine blog.
After some pretty extensive listening, I come with two pairs to avoid, one that I love, and one Bluetooth speaker that would be awesome were it not for the price tag. All three headphones came equipped with a mic for use with a smartphone, though I didn’t get the chance to test those. So these reviews are based purely on sound.
Our favorite summertime residents now have their own Lady Gaga parody video! Everyone who’s ever had to deal with summer interns will get a good laugh out of this. The creators, I’m told, are some students living in Mitchell Hall right here on Foggy Bottom. OOoooOOOOOooooo FoBo featured in an online video!!
Props to the creators! Our hearts are with you.
Hey blog readers! I hope everyone got the prezzies they wanted, and that if you have to go to the mall, you don’t have to elbow anyone in the neck to get that item on sale/return that gimmicky book you received from someone who didn’t want to think too much about things. If you’re like me, you probably are ready to destroy Michael Buble/Harry Connick Jr./other generic Christmas singers after listening to them flow out of the speakers of every business establishment since December 1. HOWEVER, Christmas isn’t over until January 6th, so you might not yet be in the clear.
Here’s the part where I can’t generalize: I have over twenty-four hours of Christmas music on my iTunes. I know. This is the perfect time to scoop up cheapo, awesome, and totally fresh Christmas music from your local gigantor books&CDs conglomerate. Since I am clearly more Christmas-carol-obsessed than your average atheist, here is a list of some albums to keep your eyes peeled for as you continue the shop/return/shop/return loop.
Albums for All Genres...well, for a couple genres..
Many of you probably received iTunes gift cards for Christmas, and I was just browsing around the store and found something I had to pass on. It really has no relation to FoBo, but I think it’s a phenomenal collection. The record label Naxos has come together with iTunes to make a downloadable album of 24 hours of classical music for $9.99. It really is kind of a greatest hits (Bradenburg Concerti, The Four Seasons, Messiah, etc) but not in the obnoxious way so many collections are prone to (“Here, have one movement of the Four Seasons!”). Instead, you get whole pieces, and some actually great recordings. Here’s a link to a webpage that will ask you to open iTunes to look in the store. You don’t have to, and you can browse on the page, but you need to open it to buy. If you want to see the albums that the selections are drawn from, take a look here.
I’ve got a ton of these pieces already, but I’ll be getting the set because I don’t have them all, and the deal is just astounding. If you’re looking to start a classical music collection, this is a great way to do it. For now, I’m off to enjoy some John Dowland, and then maybe some Messiah later on. (Sure, it’s cliche, but whatever.) Enjoy!
Before too long, I will be writing a post on the best Washington, DC classical music blogs. Rest assured that when I do, number one on my list will be WETA’s Classical Critic at Large and blogger Jens F. Laurson. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Jens since he was skillfully manning the helm at the Tower Records’ Classical section, and he is the person who pretty much built my personal CD collection. After having written about Mahler Month a little while back, I thought it might be a good idea to get his thoughts on what went into making it happen. Jens was the main organizing force in the event, and a avowed Mahler addict. After the jump you’ll find my interview with him.
Jens F. Laurson, WETA's Classical Critic at Large
JFL after the jump!.