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Nazboy "dragonheart" (Wales,UK)

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Food for the Heart: The Collected Sayings of Ajahn Chah
Food for the Heart: The Collected Sayings of Ajahn Chah
by Achaan Chah
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.39

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Guidance for Serious Practioners, 24 Nov 2013
I have been studying The Dharma and meditating for several years and have found this to be one of the most perfect guidebooks I have read. For those who don't know; Ajahn Chah is a famous monk in the Thai Forest Tradition of Therevada Buddhism. He was ordained as a Buddhist at the age of 20 and dedicated his entire life to following the teachings of the Buddha. He taught many well-known monks (such as Ajahn Brahm) who have since gone on to set up successful Buddhist Centres across the world.

I purchased this book based on a recommendation from a fellow meditator whom I met on a retreat and have used it consistently alongside my practice for the last few months, digesting the teachings slowly and putting them in to practice. I must say that the teachings have really helped me to progress a lot both in learning how to work with the mind and with my understanding of the most important aspects of Dharma. The style of teaching here is remarkably simple yet extremely profound. Ajahn Chah expounds on all the common issues that serious meditators face when on the cushion such as understanding sensations, letting go, observing the mind, attaining mental balance, right attitudes to practice etc. Some familiarity with Buddhist teachings may be beneficial to make full use of the book, however explanations are given throughout of the most important aspects such as Precepts, Noble Truths, The Characteristics, Aggregates etc, all explained thoroughly. In particular I found the descriptions on handling mental defilements to be particularly brilliant as they cleared up a lot of confusion that was obstructing my progression.

If you are looking for a beginners manual I would probably look elsewhere first (Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenburg or Mindfulness Bliss & Beyond by Ajahn Brahm are excellent). But if you already have a good grounding in Buddhist teachings and maybe a few years practical experience under your belt then I couldn't recommend this book highly enough.


Because Of The Times
Because Of The Times
Offered by Direct-Offers-UK-FBA
Price: 3.11

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is what you call delivering the goods, 25 Mar 2007
This review is from: Because Of The Times (Audio CD)
When I first got my ears around this album I knew it was something special. Showcasing a bundle of brilliant new tracks Because of These Times proves that the band is really coming of age. Caleb is back as good as ever with his quirky lyrics and unique squeely voice and the guitar work is fresh with plenty of southern-fried riffs and vibrant hooks that will get inside your brain and have you whistling away after a few listens.

By now you may have heard the advanced single 'On Call' and initially thought hmmm this isn't the familiar old KOL sound that I know?. Well fear not because you will find that the single is in no way representative of the album's overall flavour. Not that 'On Call' is by any means a bad track, in fact it just shows the versatility of a band that is capable of taking their sound in other pleasantly surprising directions.

The feel of the album is a fine mixture in pace with a few slower thoughtful numbers ('True Love Way', 'The Runner', 'Arizona') mixed in amongst a barrel-load of pacey rock gems that are the now familiar KoL trademark. The effect works nicely, starting out slowly the album opens with the delicate but steady 'Knocked Up' then launches in to the bass-heavy 'Charmer', it then mellows out again with 'On Call' after which decending in to the raw 'McFearless' featuring some excellent drumming technique from Nathan. Just four songs in the album is already cooking.

The track order sits really well and you never really feel like anything sticks out of place. The usual fun numbers are present throughout including one of my personal favourites 'Ragoo'. 'Fans' is a really catchy song, a lovely little feel-good track featuring acoustic accompaniment. 'Trunk' is a funky little ditty with a really nice dream-like chorus layered with a soulful vocal drift from Caleb. My stand-out track would probably have to be 'Camaro', a punchy rocker of a tune which really gets your head bopping.

There are plenty of songs here that have single potential and of course with such a fresh sounding body of work there will surely be some great live gigs to come from the boys in the future. you can just tell that these guys are really enjoying making music and not scared of being the victims of previous success. Let's face it there are not many bands these days who make it to 3 albums while improving each time but Kings of Leon seem to pull it off in style. I really can't wait to see them on tour this summer, easily the coolest band around at the moment.


Passing Stranger
Passing Stranger
Price: 8.85

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting British Talent, 20 Mar 2007
This review is from: Passing Stranger (Audio CD)
Wow, that is all that can be said about this album. Scott's approach to his songs is masterful and not in any way pretentious. His songwriting doesn't pander to the mainstream (unlike many other solo artists these days). If you like acoustic guitar based music like myself then you will recognise that Scott is a truly talented player using a combination of styles including delicate strumming, slide and fingerpicking. The guitar playing is really mellow and loose and with Scott's laid back voice the whole scene blends together nicely. The arrangements have a dream-like quality, with multi-layered instruments including sitar, flute and tabla keeping things sounding insteresting. There are very few moments where the album sounds overly commercial.

There are a number of things that I really like about the presentation of the album, firstly he hasn't front loaded it with the better tracks, they are arranged in a way where high quality gems can be found throughout. The beautiful Elusive for instance is near the end where it can be looked forward to. White Feathered Medicine is also a personal favourite with some lovely string plucking and delicate melodies, this also comes toward the latter half of the album. With no less than 17 tracks you can easily take your pick of faves and leave the rest, you will still have yourself a full album of decent songs. I personally find listening to the whole thing right through to be an enjoyable experience.

Each song is really well written, and lyrically strong. You can tell that Scott has put a lot of thought in to all aspects of this album and the net result is something that you will want to play again and again.


Microsoft Natural Ergo Keyboard 4000  (Retail Packaging)
Microsoft Natural Ergo Keyboard 4000 (Retail Packaging)
Price: 26.86

77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice keyboard but it does have some drawbacks, 12 Feb 2007
So far I haven't heard a bad word said about this keyboard hence why I was encouraged to go out and get myself one. For me personally the keyboard turned out to be a little dissapointing in terms of usability.

Being a touch typist I had hoped that an ergonomic design might actually benefit my typing speed, ironically I found the split keys to be one of the most irritating features because they made typing feel more awkward. I like to know where my keys are without looking but the partitioning in the centre of the board meant that I had to try to reajust my technique to adapt.

The size is another drawback for me, this keyboard is a whopping great thing so if you are limited on deskspace then avoid it. In part this is due to the extra buttons on the top and the non-detachable wrist rest needing that extra space. The keys are also lower set compared to my old keyboard (MS Internet Pro) and I found that coupled with the wrist rest it was particulary hard to get used to when playing first person shooter games. Just because I'm not used to having the extra height in the position of my hand I guess.

Another drawback is that some of the keys have had the standardised size altered to fit the keyboard design. In particular I found the Enter Key to be a pain as it has been made smaller meaning it's not quite as easy to locate without looking. The lip on the right-hand side of my B key also gets stuck under the cenral partition every so often which is driving me mad.

The space bar is another victim of the design, it is curved upwards in the middle and I found that you have to apply more pressure with your thumb than a normal keyboard when touch typing. It has caused me to accidentally miss spaces now and again when attempting to type long letters.

Besides the cons it is a stylish looking board and quite comfortable on the wrists. It also has a lot of extra buttons to make office and internet activity easier (Undo, Redo, New, Open, Close, Back, Forward, Home, Favourites, Mail, Volume, Play, Pause and more). If you have already used an ergonomic board or if you have the patience to adapt to one then I would definately recommend this. Unfortunately I think I am of the old school and prefer the standard design which I am used to, hence I am selling mine and reverting to a more standard design.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2012 11:53 AM GMT


Veneer
Veneer
Offered by westworld-
Price: 10.00

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Simple acoustic melodies with echos of early folk, 17 May 2006
This review is from: Veneer (Audio CD)
Being a lover of simple acoustic guitar music in general, particularly fingerpicking styles, I tend to jump on just about anything which has that basic sound to it. So after hearing just one song by Jose (Hearbeats) and loving the beautiful melodies, I grabbed hold of a copy of the album.

Amazon describes these pieces as 'indie pop bedroom songs', which I think is slightly misleading so don't be put off by that. If you love acoustic fingerpicking with rhythmic patterns that create feeling and mood then you will surely enjoy this. Stylistically there are tones of Nick Drake and Leonard Cohen ringing out in Jose's playing. The most recent album I could probably compare it to is Sun Kil Moon's 'Ghosts of the Great Highway'.

This is not Simon and Garfunkel repackaged as other reviewers have said, just because some artist's music is similair in style does not make it an immitation, or any less enjoyable. S&G did not invent this sound and in my opinion they are not the pioneers of it either (Scarborough Fair was copied from a traditional english folk song for a start). Also to say that it is dreary and monotone is very harsh, yes the style of the artist's delivery can be melancholy, but so was nick drakes and his legendary status is in part a testament to that.

Artists like Jose are keeping the acoustic scene rolling along, and that can only be a good thing in my opinion.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2012 10:33 PM BST


Right Now
Right Now
Offered by EliteDigital UK
Price: 28.95

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the acoustic delights of wizz jones, 30 Oct 2005
This review is from: Right Now (Audio CD)
If you are a fan of acoustic folk, contemporary or traditional, then you will thoroughly enjoy this CD. The songwriting is fantastic, the arrangements original and after many listens I can't find a bad track on here.

I find it quite surprising that nobody has written a review of this album yet. Wizz has been around for a long time, but maybe it is just because he has never gotten the notoriety he deserves that he is often overlooked. He was around at the same time as Jansch and Renbourn and has played with them both.

I first came across Wizz from reading a Nick Drake biography and hearing a couple of his tracks on the Bert Jansch compilation 'Acoustic Routes'. He was a prominent figure back in in the 60's folk scene and I think some of his guitar work is up there with the best solo acoustic artists from that time.

I am hoping that more of Wizz's old stuff gets a cd release. Judging by his website he's made quite a few albums.

Good stuff!


Feel Good Inc
Feel Good Inc
Offered by music-a-plenty
Price: 2.44

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very cool track beckoning the release of a new album, 29 April 2005
This review is from: Feel Good Inc (Audio CD)
Essentially this could be defined as a dance tune, however with a seamless mix of styles throughout, rather than define it I would credit it as being quite a unique kind of song. There is a mixture of 3 styles here that blend together seamlesly. With a dance-like beat, acoustic chorus and a surprisingly good piece of rap that drops in, the song unfolds very nicely.
Punching in with the quirky gorillaz baseline that is now almost a gorillaz trademark, slowly damon begins unfolding a story. Gradually this moves in to a dreamy chorus with acoustic guitar. This bit has an almost fairytale-like quality (my favourite bit). Then just after chorus a rap section drops in which sounds really cool and complements the song well.
The video for this is really awesome so check it out if you get a chance.
I am really looking forward to the album!


Around The Sun [Digipak]
Around The Sun [Digipak]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: 10.63

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wheres the energy?, 8 April 2005
Firstly, I would just like to say that I am a long time R.E.M fan and I enjoy almost everything they have ever done, however this album really does not do it for me and I have already started to grow tired of it.
I know that R.E.M do not confine themselves to a set format of music and the style of this album seems to be another new angle from the band. In some ways I think the reinvention is what keeps them interesting, but I found the dreary melancholy pace of this collection of songs a drag to listen to. Ive tried to love it but the album seems to plod through each track with very little spark and the sound becomes quite monotone after a while.
There is a lot piano/keyboard work on here and I think that is partly what puts me off. I have always enjoyed the inclusion of guitar work on R.E.M's albums but it seems they have opted away from this with more emphasis on an electric sound. So far I have listened to ATS right through several times and nothing has really jumped out at me as being special, that is apart from maybe the title track Leaving New York, but unfortunately everything seems to go downhill from there on.


Back To Love 03 04
Back To Love 03 04

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hed Kandi takes a different direction, 18 Mar 2005
This review is from: Back To Love 03 04 (Audio CD)
Owning over 50 Kandi albums I can safely say that the majority of the stuff released by Mark Doyle on this every popular label, is top notch!. I am sad however to admit that every so often a few of the releases (mainly recent ones) just dont come up to the standard we have come to expect.
It seems that with this, the 6th in the Back To Love edition, resources seem to have been drying out. Unfortunately the album offers up a bunch of obscure retro pop songs and remixes/rehashes of songs that have already heard in other HK series.
The style of grooves we know and love are not really present on these discs (except on the remixes), with a mixture of trashy 80s ballads and dated sounding electronica making for a very disjointed experience. In fact the album doesnt flow at all and I found myself wanting to skip tracks after about the 3rd full listen.
There are a few nice glimpses of the familiar style that flash in now and again, but these are few and far between and I feel they would be better living on a completely different compilation alltogether. I know Doyle likes to dig in to old back catalogues and he usually pulls out gold, but most of this music should have stayed in the era it belongs to be honest.
All in all this album is dissapointing even to Kandi diehards like myself. Could this be a sign that time is running out for HK? I sincerely hope not.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 18, 2012 1:04 AM GMT


Welcome To The North
Welcome To The North
Offered by Giant Entertainment
Price: 5.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't stop listening, twice as good as the the first, 5 Nov 2004
This review is from: Welcome To The North (Audio CD)
When I first discovered this band I was blown away by how unique their sound was and the sheer power and range of Harveys voice. This coupled with seeing Roberts crazy rave like dancing really made the band stand out above the crowd at the time. The Music are quite different from most of middle of the road indie rock bands out there and the bands sound is very catchy and distinctive.
I have to admit that eventually I got tired of the first album due to the lenghthy repetitiveness of the songs, so allthough I was looking forward to the follow up I was apprehensive that they might continue with more of the same. Boy was I wrong! The boys have returned bigger, stronger and by the sounds of it more experienced with these fantastic new compositions.
The new album mixes up powerful drum driven rock (Freedom Fighters, Cessation) with thoughtful tracks with a slower tempo (Fight The Feeling, Into The Night, Open Your Mind), which avoid being too cheesy thanks to Harveys magnificent falsetto and range. Then of course theres the funky feel good synthesised tunes that make you feel like grooving (Guide, I Need Love), these more remeniscent of the first album. Each of these different styles blend seemlessly throughout this well constructed album making it feel satisfyingly complete.
I really dont see myself tiring of this offering any time soon. It seems The Music have created an absolute classic with 'Welcome To The North' proving that bands can get better with age. Can't wait for the next one! :-)


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