Avatar Days

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Hugely impressive short film by Gavin Kelly made for the Darklight Festival four day film challenge about Irish MMORPG players (online multiplayer games like World of Warcraft). The real-life footage of the players is cleverly substituted with their avatars via special effects.

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Band of Blogs: Remix of the year & World Cup song of the week

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Remix of the year?
NYC’s Holy Ghost! Give the enigmatic pop duo Monarchy’s single Love Get Out of My Way a disco makeover complete with Dixon’s clichéd but fitting vocals.
Listen at Nialler9 >

New Jay-Z – Ultra
Just in time for festival season, Jigga drops a track produced by Swizz Beats from the upcoming Trending Topics #4 rap mixtape.
Listen at Nah Right >

Florrie
The drummer from the Xenomania house band who is responsible for banging sticks on Girls Aloud’s The Promise and Alesha Dixon’s That Boy Does Nothing tries out the solo pop thing. With cool electro producers Fred Falke and Moguai helping her out, the tunes sound really good so far.
Listen at Nialler9 >

World Cup song of the week

A mix of Irish World Cup anthem Put Em’ Under Pressure and French purveyors of electro bangers Justice unite these two countries in a manner now implausible thanks to Monsieur Va-va Voom’s handball.
Listen at Soundcloud >

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Sites of the Week: Openbook, Extension.FM, No Modest Bear

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Openbook
Doubling as a voyeuristic look at what Facebook users are broadcasting to the world and a warning to edit your social network privacy settings, Openbook is fascinating reading especially when you use search terms like “just got out of jail”.
http://youropenbook.org

Extension.FM
Yet another reason to use Google Chrome. Extension.FM finds MP3s from the sites you are browsing and adds them to a playlist in your browser.
http://extension.fm

No Modest Bear
Swedish-based music blog with impeccable taste and a particular penchant for sun-drenched, electronic-tinged compositions from the likes of Delorean, Golden Ages, Sunglasses and Teen Daze.
http://nomodestbear.blogspot.com

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Why the entertainment industry needs to catch up to its consumers

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The first music purchase I ever bought with my own money was embarrassingly, a CD by German cheesy techno act Scooter. I was 12 and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Luckily, my brief flirtation with creatively-castrated euro-techno ended shortly afterwards when I became obsessed with the Beastie Boys back catalogue and that kicked off my musical collection properly.

If you’re like me, you have shelves of CDs and DVDs in your house which you’ve been adding to regularly over the years. Recently, I’ve been finding this vast library of music and movies to be redundant thanks to our increasingly on-demand world.

Last weekend, I wandered into a local HMV and spent 30 minutes surveying the aisles of CDs and DVDs. A few years ago, I would have snapped up something to bring home with me but these days all I see on the shelves is plastic stuff. Cheap, finite, locked-in ugly formats which I have no desire to own anymore.

I now buy music through eMusic and iTunes digitally while satisfying my craving for ownership of a physical product by purchasing big beautiful vinyl albums in Dublin record shops like Road Records and Tower Records, which often come with download codes. I’m not alone. A recent report indicates that vinyl sales rose 5% last year worldwide and digital sales make up 30% of all music purchases.

Lately though, the concept of owning entertainment has become less of a desire and you can blame, yes, you guessed it – the internet. Legal services like Spotify, Youtube, Netflix – the on-demand US movie streaming service are making vast libraries of CDs and DVDs in homes feel a bit primitive and dusty. Now, If you want to listen to a Pixies’ first album Surfer Rosa, you open Spotify (18% owned by major labels). If you want to watch a film or catch up on a TV show, you download it via a Torrent or Rapidshare etc. Be it right or wrong, this is how people are consuming media.
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