Electronics And Photo – Phones
Tonight Shirley Manson1 and her Garbage2 cohorts played just the third date of their short 20 Year Queer tour at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, and nothing came off as planned. Nothing. “Everything quite literally has gone to the f---ing shitter,” is how Manson described it, four songs in. But then nothing with Garbage ever has come off as planned, as Manson will attest to during one of about half-a-dozen between-song monologues, that were all ad-libbed to distract the fans as a team of fidgeters tried to fix every sound and tech problem known to man and steer the show to some kind of victory lap.
“Our career has been filled with Spinal Tap moments!” admitted Manson, as drummer Butch Vig3 knowingly knocked out a 'b-boom-tsh' after her. “Hasn't the past 20 years been one messy old motherf---ing ride?” The L.A.
resident said the band had been rehearsing the set for a month. Manson, however, had to veer off set-list entirely due to countless hiccups from the moment they finished opener "Supervixen" and the transparent curtain which had thus far half-obscured them from view failed to draw itself back. It half hung in there, helplessly, and a backstage body had to come and shlep it over to achieve lift-off.
“We thought this gig would be smooth like silk and fluffy like pink feathers!” Manson said, against a divinely '90s backdrop of grime-y pastel lighting.
Her hair, dress, feather boa and eyeshadow all match the pink tones of the original artwork for debut album Garbage which they intended to play in full tonight. “We were going to play the first side of the record without me saying a f---ing word,” she laughed heartily. “But f--- I need to improvise and so do you! The motherf---ing shit is about to hit. Be prepared.
Be willing to adapt. To adapt is to survive!”
Manson – one of the most prominently controversial figures in '90s alternative music -- made a reputation of being the opposite of predictable. “I'm sure there's one asshole in the audience that will ask me for a refund tomorrow on Twitter but you can go f--- yourself!” The audience roared with cheers. “You're gonna get something unique tonight. So Tweet at me, but I'm gonna charge you double motherf---er.”
The band is celebrating two decades of being the opposite of rubbish, proving themselves to be indispensable when it comes to hard melodic pop with provocative messaging and forward-looking production.
Throughout the night, Manson apologized profusely for her lack of professionalism in addressing the audience so starkly, admitting to how much her manager is already having a meltdown at the thought of what tomorrow has in store once the dust has settled. “He has his head in his hands already,” she said, pointing.
It's a testament to her command as a band leader and her still-magnetic power as a performer that she can wing a sold-out gig at the open-air, 6,000 capacity Hollywood amphitheatre, and all with an enormous grin on her face.
Eventually she abandoned the plan completely. "I feel so discombobulated. I'm gonna need a whiskey shot. I'm not fucking joking." A whiskey shot comes out and down the hatch it goes.
To allow time for the people backstage to “reboot all the shit”, including the horrendous feedback on her microphone, Manson orders her band to play an acoustic cover of a Vic Chesnutt5 song. Chesnutt passed away in 2009 and Manson was visibly shook as she thought back on fond memories. “He taught me a lot about songwriting, he taught me a lot about being truthful. He taught me a lot about laughing my f---ing ass off.
So this is a song called 'Kick My Ass'”.
The moment is among many of tonight's highlights which also included a cover of The Jam's "Butterfly Collector"("It's essentially about star-f---ing") and a special version of "Stupid Girl," made so by the welcoming of original bassist Daniel Schulman to the stage. Due to the nature of the evening's throwback to that initial breakthrough period, Manson introduced “obscure” b-sides, such as "Girl Don't Come", which she argued was a prototype feminist anthem. "We don't expect 90% of the audience to know some of these,” she said, but then delivered them with as much silhouette-throwing and body-shifting, as she did the big hitters ("Vow", "Queer", "Only Happy When It Rains"). “These songs don't really belong to us. They belong to you guys,” she said. “You have allowed us to be privy to your nutty terrifyingly heartbreaking things.
We share the same lifetime literally."
She's right. As those razor-sharp riffs screamed out across the amphitheatre, the cigarette smoke in the air suddenly reminded me of the cigarette smell of my hairdresser's fingertips, the hairdresser I went to in Glasgow in the 1990s and asked to die my hair like Shirley Manson's. The journey of the audience here is one and the same with Garbage's journey through rough and smooth over the past two decades, led by a human who was never afraid to show fault.
So it's fitting that she must admit to many faults tonight. And it's the faults that make the show. Introducing the song "Trip My Wire", Manson says she “hates” it when bands repeat themselves, so she decided now three nights into the tour to interview Butch Vig live onstage about his memories of the song.
He thought. He responded. "This one turned into a fierce number because you don't wanna f--- with Shirley M". Except the microphones, and the lighting, and the sound desk, and, well, all the technology here present…
"This is just beyond!” she said towards the show's closing, which climaxed with a performance of "Milk" -- the first song Manson wrote for Garbage.
She recalled nervously approaching her bandmates with an idea, they recorded it immediately and then she went home to her hotel in Madison, Wisconsin and listened to it 100 times. “It still gives me magical feelings.” The white light shining on her porcelain skin as she seduces the crowd renders her totally ageless. But unlike other legends, Manson tonight proved herself fallible. You could see in her eyes how much this means to her. “In this band we have severe mental problems," she said, repeatedly placing her hand over her mouth, trying to stop herself from inappropriately giggling. "We have self-esteem issues and I'm including myself in this.
You would think after 20 years we would develop some sick confidence. We have none. I am not running as President of the United States.
Nor am I going to run for Queen of England.” Well, it's a damn shame.
She might be the only leader who could handle any challenge.
- ^ Shirley Manson (www.billboard.com)
- ^ Garbage (www.billboard.com)
- ^ Butch Vig (www.billboard.com)
- ^ Butch Vig on Garbage, 20 Years Later: 'We Had No Intention of Making Garbage a Full-Time Band' (www.billboard.com)
- ^ Vic Chesnutt (www.billboard.com)
- ^ Garbage: Label 'Washed Their Hands of Us' (www.billboard.com)
In a report, titled Indian Online Travel Industry2 — Going Places, the company said 41 per cent of gross travel bookings in the country are taking place online and the increasing Internet and mobile Internet penetration will play a vital role in the online travel market's growth story. Another factor aiding the growth will be the country's burgeoning middle-class, which is becoming increasingly aware of the need for a better work-life balance. "The increasing disposable income of a growing middle-class has led to more families and individuals planning both domestic and international vacations, at least once a year, which will, in turn, fuel the growth of online travel market," Kunal Doctor3, senior research analyst at Aranca, said in the report. The Indian travel and tourism industry is the second fastest growing market worldwide, following China.
While the worldwide travel market is clocking just 4 per cent growth, the travel industry in the country is set to grow at a compounded annual growth rate ( CAGR4) of 12 per cent to reach $27.5 billion in 2016, it said. The report notes that the government has taken several progressive steps for the tourism industry in recent times, including introduction of electronic visa scheme (e-tourist visa), formulation of a new tourism policy and creation of tourist circuits based on specific themes. "Government initiative of introducing e-tourist visa to 113 countries has help boost foreign tourist arrivals to the country," the report said, adding that the recent depreciation of rupee5 also aided inbound tourism. "There is more interest in India as travellers save around 5-10 per cent on travel cost on account of the depreciation."
Moreover, the passenger traffic has grown significantly owing to airfare cuts, introduction of new low-cost airlines and improvement in the economy. Hotel supply in the country remains upbeat. While the rapid increase in supply has affected average daily room rates and occupancy figures, the tourism department has referred to a shortage of around 150,000 rooms in the budget, economy and mid-market segments, it said.
In an effort to attract a wider pool of domestic travellers, brands like AccorHotels, Berggruen Hotels, Carlson Rezidor, The Gateway, Ginger Hotels and InterContinental Hotels are adding inventory in the economy and mid-scale categories.
"However, the online hotel segment in India is rather under penetrated - with only 10 per cent of hotels accepting bookings online while the overall user-base of people seeking information on hotels online was very high," the report said.1
Even though I book hotels in Sri Lanka it is easier to book a hotel though online rather than calling them several times,” Nuwan Gunarathne, an IT professional told LBO.
I have spent nights in some so called star class hotels who has below the level service.
Comments on those will help the other travelers to think twice before booking and also to the hotel to get improved.”
Huawei isn't exactly the first company that comes to mind when you think of stylish connected devices. The Chinese manufacturer has delved into wearables with its TalkBand series, but those were slow to come to the US, and their fitness tracker-meets-Bluetooth-headset capabilities were peculiar. Now Huawei wants to test the waters of Google's wearable OS with its new smartwatch, simply dubbed the Huawei Watch, and it's a solid first attempt at Android Wear.
All Android Wear watches must work under the limitations of Google's wearable operating system, and because of this, style has become one of the ways watches can stand out.
Huawei came out of the gate strong with one of the most comprehensive collections of smartwatches, and it happens be one of the most thoughtful collections as well. All six Huawei Watch models measure 42mm and feature a 1.4-inch AMOLED display covered in sapphire glass to prevent scratches. Rather than designating men's or women's versions, there's something for everyone's personal tastes: while I prefer the ultra-luxe rose gold model with chain-link band, my boyfriend would want the blacked-out model with its "diamond-like carbon" coating that resists scratches all over the body. You can mix and match bodies with bands, opting for silver, black, or rose gold faces with either leather, chain, or mesh bands.
|SPECS AT A GLANCE: HUAWEI WATCH|
|SCREEN||42mm: 1.4" 400x400 AMOLED (286 PPI)|
|OS||Android Wear 1.3 (Android 5.1.1-based)|
|CPU||1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400|
|NETWORKING||Bluetooth 4.0LE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g|
|CASE SIZE||42mm x 11.4mm|
|PRICE||Starts at £299/€399, up to £550/€699|
|OTHER PERKS||optical heart rate monitor (PPG), dual microphones, IP67, vibration motor|
My review model was the basic silver body with a black genuine leather band (about £299).
While you can't fully customise the watch like you can the Moto 360 using Moto Maker, each Huawei Watch model comes with a matching 18mm band in either leather or metal (making the all-rose-gold watch a whopping £550) and there are more interchangeable leather and stainless steel bands coming soon. The bands slide onto the body of the watch using quick release pin closures, like those on the Moto 360 and Apple Watch, so it's nothing foreign.
Another difference between the Huawei Watch and the Moto 360 is that its display is a full circle without the Moto's "flat tire" effect. The 400x400 pixel, 286 ppi display is gorgeous and displays different types of watch faces well.
I like to switch up the look of my devices often, and I was pleased to see the watch show off the ombre colours of the Reveal face just as well as the black-and-gold accents of the Bronze face.
The display is always on—a standard feature in Android Wear—but Android Wear automatically dims the display after a few seconds. And as in other watches, the Huawei Watch makes the darker watch faces look slightly pixellated when not fully backlit. I did, however, appreciate the palm gesture that lets you dim the display manually.
It'll come in handy in meetings and movie theatres.
The watch's crown sits at 2pm, the same position as the crown on the Moto 360. The Huawei Watch has the typical optical heart rate sensor inside, but it's finicky at best. Even sitting still, it took about 10 seconds to read my heart rate, and taking measurements twice in a row would deliver very different results.
I wish the Huawei Watch came with a charger like the Moto 360's, which props up the watch and allows it to become a desk-side clock at night.
Instead, the Huawei Watch's charger is a simple disk with magnetic prongs that attach to the back of the watch. It's connected to a USB cable, but it comes with an AC adapter as well.
Its rich AMOLED display comes full circle; no annoying flat-tire effect here.
The band is a standard 18mm leather strap.
On the back lies an optical heart rate monitor and magnetic nodes for the charger.
Huawei's imprint on the leather band.
The sapphire glass display resists scratches, making it more durable than other smartwatches.
Reveal, one of the many preloaded watch faces.
You can download more watch faces from the Android Wear app.
Huawei's own heart rate monitor app, which unfortunately is quite finicky.
Google Now info cards are bold and brilliant on its 400 x 400 display.
A normal watch pin connects the band's two parts to the body.
Unlike the Moto 360, Huawei bands don't have a quick-release feature.
You can switch out leather bands with stainless-steel bands and vice versa.
Android WearBased on Android 5.1.1, the latest version of Android Wear maintains a set of notification cards that you can swipe through, dismiss, and hide to view apps, watch faces, and settings. I first connected the Huawei Watch to my iPhone 6, and it was painful how that limited the watch2.
Most of the updates that make the new version of Android Wear useful—like replying to Hangouts messages and downloading third-party apps—aren't possible when connected to an iOS device. Also, I had to keep the Android Wear app running in the background of my iPhone at all times or the watch would immediately disconnect.
The Huawei Watch also froze up on me a few times. The screen would stop responding to my taps, and I had to press and hold the crown for a few seconds to restart the watch.
Huawei believes my specific model may have been damaged in shipping, so they sent me a new one, and I have yet to experience the same problems.
I had much better results when I paired the watch with a Nexus 4 smartphone running Android 5.1.1. Stock Google apps that weren't available on iPhone magically showed up in the app drawer on the watch, including Find my Phone, Hangouts, and Maps. I made use of these particular apps regularly: Find my Phone sends a sonorous tone to your Android smartphone when you've misplaced it so you can find it more quickly.
It comes in handy when one device is always on your person (the watch) and your phone might be across the room or buried in your bag.
Android Wear lets you send a ring to your phone to help you find it when you've misplaced it.
Hangouts' draw emoji feature is pretty accurate, recognizing scribbles and suggesting similar-looking emojis.
Google Now voice search lets you ask the watch nearly any question from the watch face or from the "speak now" bubble.
Huawei's Daily Tracking app monitors steps, calories, elevation and more.
Maps on Android Wear lets you see businesses in the area and quickly get directions to them.
Hangouts has improved dramatically since the launch of Android Wear. Now you can not only receive message notifications to the watch, but you can reply using voice messages or by choosing from a long list of canned replies. The newest feature is emoji drawing, which brings up a blank screen on the watch and lets you sketch an image.
Android Wear then brings up a suggested emoji based on your drawing (no matter how crude), and you can add multiple emojis to one reply by scrolling through a list of them.
While you can reply with voice and canned messages and emojis in Gmail as well, you cannot do so with every e-mail, and the choices aren't nearly as robust as those in Hangouts. Android Wear also doesn't seem to support Google's custom voice actions yet, nor do voice commands for products like Google's Nest work yet either. Overall, Android Wear has come a long way from its conception, but it's still far from perfect.
Huawei spiced up its watch with some of its own apps.
Daily Tracking, Fitness Tracking, and Heart Rate are activity-based tools that track steps, workouts, and heart rate, respectively.
They all feature the skin of Huawei's Fitness app for Android and iOS which is used in its TalkBand series of wearables.
While they provide an alternative to Google Fit, I recommend sticking with Google's all-in-one app not just for convenience but for consistency, too.Continue reading
Patricia Highsmith is far from a romance novelist - she's so widely adapted in cinema because of her knack for creating psychologically treacherous worlds in which nobody can be trusted. Her 1952 novel Carol, first published under a pseudonym, is an aberration.
It's an aching and heartfelt and ultimately optimistic love story, and Todd Haynes's sumptuous adaptation is a triumph, cherishing every unspoken moment of its forbidden romance. Therese (Rooney Mara) is a solitary shopgirl in 1940s Manhattan, unfulfilled by her prospects, yearning for something more she can't define.
Blazing like a torch in the gloom comes Cate Blanchett1's Carol, a glamorous older socialite on the brink of an ugly divorce, who casually upends Therese's world. "What a strange girl you are. Flung out of space," Carol tells Therese on their first lunch date, and it's an apt description honoured by Mara, who plays both alienation and awakening with rich subtlety.
Her sense of disillusioned guilt around eager boyfriend Richard (Jake Lacy), whose feelings she can't reciprocate, is as palpable and relatable as her overwhelming love for Carol.
There's a reserve and even a chill early on, Ed Lachman's dazzling cinematography holding us at arm's length. We're as entranced from afar as Therese when she first glimpses Carol across a department store counter - but like its namesake, the film has emotion raging beneath the poised surface. Haynes evokes a physical sense of longing, every cautious glance and fleeting touch loaded with meaning, and for all the film's restraint it is incredibly sexy when all that buildup finally unfurls.
Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy preserves the book's heart while reworking its structure, most significantly moving outside of Therese's point of view to make Carol more human and less of a mystery from the start.
It's in her dealings with her pitiable but powerful husband (Kyle Chandler) that the story's more traditional Highsmithian elements creep in, a truly vicious sense of danger underlying their power struggle.
Haynes evokes a physical sense of longing, every cautious glance and fleeting touch loaded with meaning, and for all the film's restraint it is incredibly sexy when all that buildup finally unfurls.
Though not a political story, Carol is steeped in the ugly reality of what it was to be gay in the 1940s, paranoia seeping in as Carol and Therese's carefree Christmas road trip begins to feel more like fugitives on the run.
Haynes has scenes play out through windows, around corners, overheard in snatches, the odds so overwhelmingly against this couple that a bleak conclusion seems inevitable.
And then comes the finale, a ravishingly cinematic series of gliding moments in which dialogue is rendered superfluous by the faces of Blanchett and Mara.
An intoxicating and endlessly surprising portrait of forbidden passion.
Director: Todd Haynes; Screenwriter: Phyllis Nagy; Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson, Jake Lacey; Running time: 118 mins; Certificate: TBC Continue reading