Three, two, one, let's jam
Rudy Van Gelder, a legendary audio engineer and a major presence in the jazz world, died last week at the age of 91. Why mention him here? Two words: Cowboy Bebop; he helped engineer the Yoko Kanno/Seatbelts sessions for that also-legendary show. Go check out the records and hear for yourself.
The lady with the ukiyo-e
AKIRA fans will be pleased — or maybe not — to hear that Milan Records is reissuing, on vinyl, the Symphonic Suite AKIRA album.
OK, some griping: I never personally understood the revival-of-vinyl fad. For one, a well-engineered CD blows the doors off vinyl; most of the foofaraw about CDs sounding worse than LPs were from the days when digital technology was not well understood and the D/A converters in consumer electronics were quite awful. Most vinyl records today are generally mastered from a high-bitrate digital copy anyway, meaning all you're paying $25 for is the luxury of listening to the whole thing with yet another added stage of noise, distortion, and potential damage to the playback medium.
If you can find it, the JVC CD pressings of the AKIRA soundtrack are well worth it — they were made from 24-bit digital masters, and with a good sound system the taiko drums will blow out your windowpanes.
A major peek
Photos have surfaced on the web that purport to be the cast of the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie in costume. Assuming these are the real deal (and they look pretty authentic), dang if they don't hew pretty closely to the originals without looking ridiculous. Batou in particular; I was worried his eyes would be too literally depicted, and thus tip over into silly territory.
The larger question of whether or not this project makes any sense remains unanswered.
Repeat or die
R.O.D.: Read Or Die is old enough at this point that I guess it could be called a classic of sorts — especially the original cycle of four OVAs, although the whole franchise is larger than that. Now word's surfaced that new anime are being considered from the property. Color me more than a little interested, as I always cottoned to the original's mixture of James Bond Meets X-Men spycrafting.