This week's roundup of media picks includes some great music, "classic" Star Trek movies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the later years, and more. Read on for details!
As we're building towards the 2013 iTunes Festival from London, I've spent some time looking back over previous years shows that were made available to purchase on iTunes. Of all the ones I've heard, Pendulum in 2008 remains one of my favorites. Their blend of drum and bass combined with some searing guitars earned many a comparison with the legendary Prodigy, but I find Pendulum altogether a little more, 'refined.' I've also had the pleasure of seeing them live myself, and while a recording will never provide the full experience, it gives you a good flavour. One to turn up loud. Really loud.
I know I'll probably make a few people feel old saying this but when I was younger I used to stay up late watching TV and around 1:30 in the morning on CBC they used to play the old Star Trek episodes and they were great. Since then, I've always been somewhat of a Star Trek fan. It wasn't until I was older that I realized there was movies that went along with that show and I began watching them. I never ended up watching all of them but now, thanks to the recent Apple bundles, I intend to. The complete set 1-10 is available on iTunes for $50. All things considered, that's a pretty stellar deal for 10 movies. Keep in mind, this bundle does not include any of the 'new' series of movies.
While some of the seasons waxed and waned as creator Joss Whedon's either found his stride at the beginning or began to get distracted by other projects towards the end, from characters to dialog to structure to story arcs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer remains one of the best TV shows ever to grace the airwaves. "Bored now." "A real pro." "I died twice." "Party in my eye-socket." "Kind of itches."
But the story of Buffy Summers, Dawn, Giles, Zander, Willow, Oz, and the rest of the Sunnydale Scooby Gang didn't end with the show and it's season 7 finale. Whedon and his collaborators kept going in comics. Season 8 was, even by Whedon's own admission, a little lost. It took a while for him to adjust to the limitless nature of paper, pen, and printing. Season 9 returned to a smaller, more personal, more painful place, which is where Whedon excels.
It's not the Buffy of Season 2 or Season 3, the best for my money, but it's Buffy by Whedon, and it's cannon. If you haven't watched the original TV series, go do that first. Seriously, it's better than anything on the air today, and you can find it on Netflix (or iTunes if you absolutely have to own it.) Then pick up the collected editions of Buffy Season 8 and Season 9. Because, the story's not over and she's still got world's to save. A lot.
Markdown is a simple, easy-to-learn markup language for writing and formatting in plain text. You can format your text, insert links, create lists and more. All of my articles for iMore are written in Markdown, including this. It's lightweight, can be written and understood on any device under the sun, and makes editing a snap. The Markdown guide from MacSparky, written by David Sparks and Eddie Smith, will teach you in the ins and outs of Markdown. The iBooks version of the guide uses instructional videos and audio interviews with notable Markdown users to supplement text. The books also lists a number apps and other tools to help you get the most out of Markdown The guide also delves into MultiMarkdown, and extension of Markdown that adds features such as tables, footnotes, and citations. If you're new to Markdown, or if you just want a good reference on hand, this is the book to get.
I tend to go through rotations with most of my music but one artist aside from Foster the People that always gets instant physical download rights on all my devices is MIKA. His latest album Origins of Love is no exception. It's upbeat and a great album to keep you awake throughout the work day.
Most of the music I listen to is either electronic or vocal trance but there are a few artists here and there that really grab my attention and MIKA is one of them. If you pick up this album and love it, make sure you check out his others as well. They are sure not to disappoint.
When White Lies debuted their first album in 2009, the band drew sometimes biting comparisons to Joy Division, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Teardrop Explodes. That was mainly based on the pitch and delivery of Harry McVeigh's vocals. But White Lies is quick to distance itself from early goth-tinged new wave, instead suggesting that they're closer aligned with the experimentalism of Talking Heads and, more recently, The Secret Machines. Whatever the influences, White Lies' sepulchral-sounding frontman and synth-heavy arrangements developed a following of fans who love the 1980s, myself included.
BIG TV is White Lies' followup to 2011's Ritual, and it's definitely the same band, but in a very different light. In interviews, White Lies bassist (and songwriter) Charles Cave stopped short of calling BIG TV a concept album, but there's a definitely a story here that traces the migration of a young woman from the suburbs to the big city. McVeigh still sounds like Julian Cope, Ian Curtis and Ian McCullough, and White Lies' arrangements and melodies still leave them squarely in the comfort zone of listeners who appreciate the New Wave revival that's happened with the rise of bands like Interpol and The Editors.
The Deluxe Edition includes seven demo versions of tracks found elsewhere on the album.
What cool movies, music, books or TV shows have caught your eye on the iTunes Store this week? Let us know!