Clementine, a great music player

31 May 2018 / Leonardo Barichello

I am a KDE user since my first steps towards Linux. Currently, my OS is KDE Neon and I am very pleased with it! Apart from very few minor occasional bumps, everything works amazingly well and I get the most updated pieces of software possible :)

My music player has been Amarok for a long (long!) time. It was always successful in allowing to navigating my music by folder instead of trying to categorize and organize it for me. However, since KDE 5, Amarok is stuck in time. Slow and without any new features. After a couple of attempts, I found Clementine. My first impression was: it does the job, even though it does not look great.

Clementine has all the basic features that you expect from a music player, including my must-have folder navigation. It also integrates very well with Plasma. But the tipping point was the "Complete tags automatically" feature: it connects to online databases and suggest the most likely tags for your mp3 files. It works perfectly and it is very handy! No need of using external software and I can progressively improve the organization of my collection.

After finding that feature, I decided to make it look a bit better and faster and you can see how it looks for me now in the image below.

clementine's interface

And here is how you can get the same look:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Clementine. For better performance and look you need at least 1.29 to get the QT5 framework behind it;
  2. Right click on the sidebar and choose "plain sidebar";
  3. Download here a new icon set and follow the instructions to install.

Some day I will tweak the icons to make them even plainer, but even before that Clementine is my favorite music player on linux!

Gong: two good bands under the same name

28 Dec 2017 / Leonardo Barichello

I discovered the band Gong about 15 years ago when I was more into psychedelic music in general. The albums from the Radio Gnome Invisible trilogy are a truly psychedelic experience somewhere between rock and jazz. Good stuff.

Time passes and interests change. Now, I am not so interested in psychedelic stuff, but when I decided to revisit some old albums I came across Gong. After some wikipedia research, I decided to have a go with Pierre Moerlen's Gong: a new formation of the band with more percussion, jazz-driven and less psychedelic. Also, they issued an album called Expresso II. I am not sure the name is a reference to coffee (it apparently was, but I could not find any reliable source), but of course it was enough to get my attention.

Although the style is completely different from the Radio Gnome Invisible albums, I really enjoyed the sound: somewhere between rock and jazz with a really good vibe.

Yamandu e Naná

30 May 2017 / Leonardo Barichello

Naná Vanconcelos é um desses músicos que parecem ter passado por tudo de bom que foi feito no Brasil.

No começo da carreira, tocou com nomes como Joyce, que exploravam o lado mais jazzístico da Bossa Nova, e Milton, que não estava tão próximo da Bossa Nova mas também flertava com um jazz mais livre. Depois foi pro exterior e se misturou com o free jazz. Gravou o que eu considero o melhor álbum brasileiro de jazz, Dança das Cabeças, com Egberto Gismonti. Também gravou com Jards Macalé no lado mais porão e obscuro da Tropicália e com o maldito independente Itamar Assumpção. Sem deixar de lado o regionalismo produzindo bandas como o Cordel do Fogo Encantado.

No show abaixo (até onde sei não existe álbum publicado com esse material), ele toca com um dos ícones do violão brasileiro, o (comparativamente) jovem Yamandu Costa em uma performance deliciosa.

Cordas vivas, by Heraldo do Monte

08 May 2017 / Leonardo Barichello

A delicious jazzy instrumental album full of north-eastern Brazilian swing.

Heraldo do Monte's guitar is at its best and the participations of Hermeto Paschoal are also remarkable!

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