Stefan's Naturally Aspirated Blog

No New Products at HMV and Fopp Marks Further Demise of the Guy-Street

Convent GardenFoppHMVMusic IndustryMusic MegastoreMusic RetailOxford StreetVideo Retail+-

For the uninitiated, the ’Guy-Street’ is the part of the High Street that generally appeals to male shoppers - stereotypical for sure but it mostly holds up. Around 10-20 years ago there were a myriad of shops for the average bloke to browse through while the more retail-oriented part of the family properly hit the shops. I like to use Oxford Street as a benchmark as it is relevant to this particular article. Over the years it has been home to at least 4 record stores at the same ...

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The Future of Digital Music 2019

Album Releases 2019Breakthrough Artists 2019Future Music 2019Future of MusicNew Artists 2019New Music 2019+-

First things first - I used to call these features ’The Future of Music Online’ but feel said moniker is a little bit old-fashioned and probably has been for a while. I’m really talking about Digital Music - and to break it down further could go as far as to say just digital music streaming and playback - or ’Spotify’. I actually used to be subscribed to Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal. I subscribed to the last one named to access Prince’s full catalogue back ...

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Film Release Highlights for 2019

At the Movies 2019Film Highlights 2019Film Releases 2019FilmsmoviesWhat to Watch+-

As all the commentators are saying - 2019 is likely to be very much the year of Disney - with all its main studios active on the release schedule - Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and of course the main Disney Pictures Studio. Leading the way are 5 Marvel films, we get Toy Story 4 from Pixar, Star Wars Episode IX from Lucasfilm - and an assortment of mostly live re-makes of Disney Classics - like Aladdin, Dumbo and The Lion King. Notably for me also, one of my favourite Directors - Quentin Tarantino ...

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Best of Entertainment 2018 - Film, TV, Albums, Songs, and Graphic Novels

Best Albums 2018Best Films 2018Best Graphic Novels 2018Best Songs 2018Best TV 2018Entertainment 2018+-

I think the byword for this year has to be ’eclectic’ as there seems to have been no single unifying theme in any of these categories. No specific genre type dominated or set the scene - and there were excellent representatives of pretty much every kind of sub-genre. I found it easy to assemble the first 10 selections, much more tricky to then limit the selection to 20, and hardest of all to place them into a specific order. I would say largely the top few or 10 are the most ...

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November 30th Breakfast Briefing - Monetising Content and Affino Roadmap

Affino Breakfast BriefingAffino EventsAffino RoadmapAffino Unified Digital Business PlatformFeaturedMonetising Content+-

The weather gods smiled on us this last Friday when around 50 or so Clients, interested parties and Affino staffers convened at the One Alfred Place Store Street Lounge for the key annual Affino State of the Union Address. Sitting midway along Tottenham Court Road - light flows in through three sides of rather generously placed tall arched windows - the superbly naturally-lit space would make for an excellent art atelier.


Guest Speakers on this occasion were Marjan Askins, Head of ...

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9 of the Best Pop Art Collectibles of 2018

Camilla d'ErricoCoarseDunnyJei TsengJT StudioKidrobotLandwehr & WaschkLuke ChuehMark RydenMunkyKingScott TollesonTara McPhersonToumaToumArt+-

I possibly have too many hobbies these days! as I find it difficult to let anything go - I just seem to be adding new areas of interest almost every year. One of the things I’ve always been into though is Vinyl / Pop Art Figurines - along with Surreal Pop Art - artists like Mark Ryden and Marion Peck, Camilla d’Errico, Tara McPherson, Audrey Kawasaki, Amy Sol, Caia Koopman, Nicoletta Ceccoli, Femke Hiemstra, Luke Chueh, Shunya Yamashita, Touma etc.


Of course my major focus ...

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12 of the Best Toys for Christmas 2018

AnkiBoxer RobotChad ValleyFingerlingsFisher PriceFurreal Buzz PetGraviTraxHot WheelsImagniextLegoPlaymobilRavensburgerTheo Klein BoschVTech+-

There are plenty of lists out there with 50 or 100 of the best toys to get for Christmas - but I’ve narrowed the selection down to just 12 that I really like the look of - hopefully something for everyone. There are a few items here that carry over from last Christmas to a degree - like the Fingerlings and Anki Vector Robot - but most of these toys were released this year.


When I did my best of LEGO overview I overlooked the Sunshine Catamaran - so am making amends for that now. ...

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The 15-ish Best New LEGO Sets of 2018

Best Lego 2018Best New Lego 2018LegoLego Gifts for EveryoneLego Sets+-

I’ve been a lifetime fan of LEGO, although there have been lapses here and there. I kind of filled the available space at one time and then changed tack to more guitar-related matters and shifted most of those sets to other younger family members. Alas those young’uns no longer seem to be the slightest bit interested in LEGO - choosing to build within the virtual realm instead - on apps / games like Minecraft and Terraria.


Which is a crying shame really as 2018 has been ...

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The Rather More Extravagant Electronics Gifts Guide

Best Electronics 2018Electronic Gadgets 2018Electronics Gift GuideGift Guide+-

Because of the size of some of the items on this one I decided to limit the listing to 16. This means I’ve left out laptops, tablets and smartphones - which I believe rather depends on which side of the Apple/Android/Windows divide you fall - with my still being somewhat reluctantly loyal to the Apple camp even though prices are getting increasingly ridiculous and slightly unjustifiable in some regards,


In any case I’ve selected 16 of my favourite ’gadgets’ this...

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The Really Useful Sub £100 Gadget Gift Guide

Christmas Gift GuideGadget Gift GuideHandy Tools and UtilitiesPractical Gift Guide+-

So I’ve compiled a handy list of some of my perennial favourite utility gadgets along with some more recent arrivals. I also had an eye towards longevity and minimal environmental impact here to a degree - so there are some eco-gadgets mixed in. I have about half of these all told and all have really been exemplary since I first acquired them and are still in tip-top condition.


There should hopefully be something here for everyone - these are all useful tools to have around the ...

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