Spotify in the car

Post by Mark

Last month I signed up to the Spotify music service and since then I’ve been using it non-stop. Imagine iTunes with an unlimited supply of music and you have Spotify. Just search for whatever artist or album you want and you can start listening to it right away and it’s free. If you don’t want to sign up to any of their paid subscriptions you can listen to music but every now and then you get interrupted by ads. If you do subscribe to a package then there are many advantages including the ability to use their iPhone app.

If you sign up to the Premium Spotify account you will automatically be granted access to their iPhone app which is a downsized version of their desktop software yet with all the same capabilities. If you’re lucky like me and have a car stereo that allows you to stream music to it using bluetooth then you’re in for a nice surprise because Spotify works flawlessly with 3G. So far in the two days I’ve been using it I haven’t had any streaming problems. In fact, it’s been very responsive and fast when searching for artists and playing or forwarding songs. You really forget the fact that the music is actually being streamed and even the sound quality is pretty darn good. Spotify in the car is just incredible.

So if you haven’t signed up to Spotify you can do so by visiting their website [Here]


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Fatima Al Qadiri is in the Guardian

Post by Mark

Kuwaiti artist Fatima Al Qadiri got a lot of hate here the last time I posted about her, and now she’s featured as the new band of the day in the Guardian. Even though it doesn’t mean much being in the Guardian, at least she’s being appreciated instead of being attacked. [Link]


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Ayshay by Fatima Al Qadiri

Post by Mark

Multi-talented Kuwaiti artist and musician Fatima Al Qadiri is the producer and vocalist behind Ayshay. I just heard her latest track called WARN-U and although I didn’t like it I do like the remix of it which you can hear at the bottom of the post. From what I heard her music has been gaining a lot of recognition lately in the underground scene in New York but haven’t really heard anything about her locally.

Fuelled by her fascination with the sacred songs of Islam ‘WARN-U’ is a homage and reinterpretation of the sounds that have haunted Al Qadiri since she was a child. Constructed entirely out of her own vocals, which she filtered and layered upon one another ‘WARN-U’ is Al Qadiri’s attempt to reconfigure the concept of ‘sacred’ music as inspiring divine love and divine fear.

She’s always been pretty weird (in a good way) so it’s no surprise really she would come up with something like this. For more information on her upcoming album click [Here]

Ayshay – WARN-U (Nguzunguzu Remix) by TriAngleRecords

Update: You can check out the music video below, looks like it was shot in Kuwait. (Note: turns out it was shot in Qatar)


[YouTube]


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Event: The Hoppin’ John String Band

Post by Mark

The Hoppin’ John String Band, a Bluegrass group, will be in Kuwait as part of a U.S. Embassy sponsored visit and they’ll be conducting public performances in several locations. All public performances will open to the public and free of charge. No tickets or seat reservations will be required. Here are the details:

The U.S. Embassy Kuwait In cooperation with the National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters presents: The Hoppin’ John String Band

Date: June 15, 2011
Time: 7:15pm to 8:30pm
Location: National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters’ Al-Dasma Theatre Mishref Theater (next to the Mishref Cooperative)

Date: June 16, 2011
Time: 9:00am to 10:00am
Location: Live on Sabah Al-Watan (Al-Watan Television)

Date: June 16, 2011
Time: 8:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: The Higher Institute for Musical Arts

Date: June 18, 2011
Time: 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: Live on Raykum Shabab (Al-Rai Television)

Date: June 19, 2011
Time: 7:15pm to 8:30pm
Location: The Al-Babtain Central Library for Arabic Poetry

Here is a link to the U.S. Embassy Kuwait Facebook page [Link]

Update: June 15th location was changed


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Event: Mojolaters Blues Band

Post by Mark

The Mojolaters Blues Band have two upcoming gigs. The first is going to be held at Cafe Supreme in Salmiya this Wednesday while the second is going to be held next Thursday at Al Manshar Rotana. Check below for more information:

Cafe Supreme
Date: May 18th, 2011
Time: 7:30pm to 9:00pm
Location: Cafe Supreme, Salmiya Hawalli (opposite Sultan Center)
Ticket Price: It’s free – No tickets

Al Manshar Rotana
Date: May 26th, 2011
Time: 9:00pm
Location: Al Manshar Rotana, Fahaheel (Al Kout Ballroom)
Ticket Price: KD12 +15% and includes and open buffet
Reservation Number: 23931000

For more information visit their website [Here]

Update: The Cafe Supreme gig got canceled because they weren’t able to get a license sadly


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Event: Hairspray

Post by Mark

Hairspray is the latest musical performed by the Kuwait Little Theater. It’s directed by Kirsty McDonagh with an all singing, all dancing KLT cast of talented actors. Most of the performances are already sold out but they still have some openings available so if you’re interested you need to book right away.

Location: Kuwait Little Theater
Dates still available: May 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th
Time: 7:30pm
Price: KD5 per person

You can book online [Here]
or call the Box office on 99373678

For more information visit the [KLT Website]


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Review: Sennheiser PX100-II

Post by Mark

I always try to make up some reason to get a new pair of headphones like for example I have ones I use on flights that are under 3 hours and ones I use for flights that are longer than 3 hours. I have headphones I use when I listen to electronic music while another pair I use only to listen to songs ripped at a 320kbps or higher. If I didn’t make up all these reasons and excuses I would probably end up with just one pair of headphone and I would hate that.

But, if for some odd reason there was a law that said every man can only one pair of headphone, then the pair I would want to own are the Sennheisers PX100-II. I purchased the original PX100’s back in 2005 and I posted a review of them here on the blog giving them a 4.5 out of 5. Those headphones became my office headphones since they were easy to take off and put on, they didn’t isolate me completely from my surroundings and they were cheap enough to leave lying around on my desk and not worry about them disappearing, breaking or having tea spilled on them. Around 2 months back the foam ear covers on my PX100 got ripped and I started noticing a rattling sound in the right ear so I decided it was time to get the newer PX100-II as a replacement.

As much as I loved my original PX100 it took me around 10 seconds to literally trash them and call them junk right after unboxing the PX100-II. The new versions are so unbelievably well made! They feel incredibly sturdy and they’re so beautifully designed. I can’t stop being amazed at how perfect these headphones look and feel. Sounds wise it’s hard to judge since although they do sound like an improvement over my older headphones (specially the bass which sounds a lot tighter) but my old headphones were falling apart so it wouldn’t be a fair comparison. Other than the new looks and build quality another nice feature is that there is only one wire coming out of the headphones instead of two (one form every ear). This makes things a lot tidier and easier to fold and pack away.

The final score? This is getting a 5 out of 5 easily. There really isn’t anything to complain about they’re perfect. Although the older PX100 headphones cost me $45 and these new ones cost around $70, I had previously stated in the old review that I would willing to pay double the amount for the PX100. Well the double of $45 is $90 and the newer and better PX100-II cost $70 so it’s still a good deal.

I ordered my headphones from Amazon but that’s because I couldn’t find them in Kuwait. That is until I passed by Virgin at Marina Mall last week and spotted them selling for around KD20. I’ve also purchased another pair of Sennheisers for running (the 680i) and will post about those once I spend some good time with them.


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Japanese Thrash Metal Band with a Kuwaiti Singer

Post by Mark

Faisal Al-Salem is a Kuwaiti who lived in Japan for 10 years and is the lead singer for UNITED, one of the biggest thrash metal bands in Japan. He goes by the name Kenshin over there and the video above is for one of their songs. [YouTube]

You can find out a bit more on Faisal Al-Salem (Kenshin) by checking out an interview with him [Here]
If you would like to visit the bands website as well here is the [Link]

In case you missed it here are posts on a Kuwaiti country music singer and here is one on two Kuwaiti rappers.

via 248pm


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Event: Gulf Jazz Festival

Post by Mark

I’m not a fan of jazz but I know many people are so here is some info on the Gulf Jazz Festival that’s going to be held next month.

April 27th, 2011
There will be a BBQ dinner and concert with two artists that night, the first is the Polish jazz artist Jarek Smietana Trio as well at American jazz artist Karen Edwards.

April 28th, 2011
There will be a BBQ dinner and concert with Swedish artist Monica Borrfors performing with her band.

Both events will be held at the Al Hashemi II Grand Ballroom at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

For more information visit www.gulfjazzfest.com


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Event: Lebanon on the Roof

Post by Mark

Al Manshar Rotana always have some pretty cool music events taking place poolside. This time they’re holding a Lebanese night with a live band playing some Lebanese classics.

Location: Al Manshar Rotana – Rooftop pool
Date: March 31st, 2011
Price: KD12 per person (includes dinner)

For reservations call +96523931000 ext 223. Here is a link to their flyer which also contains contact information [Link]


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