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Weekly AUDIO NEWS for October 30, 2002

The Classical Sexy Approach - The upcoming CD from OperaBabes has musical factors in Britain at each other's throats the way Wagnerians and Brahmsians once were. The pair of beautiful young ladies did start out in opera and do have good enough voices (unlike some crossover artists we won't point out). They came to their fame originally via the unusual European phenomenon of having opera singers perform at World Cup soccer games. They're actually a little uncomfortable with the catchy name their agent came up with when he first called them on the phone. But they symbolize a recent trend in marketing classical music to a wider audience by making it lots sexier. There are also the BachBabes in Wisconsin and the Medieval Baebes captivate their audiences with early polyphony and late plunging necklines. A new British group, The Planets - playing jazzed up classics - dress like rock stars, and the CD cover art for several female classical soloists lately looks like it came out of the pages of Penthouse.

Video Proves Effects of Line Conditioner - Many audio buffs use AC line conditioner boxes to lower noise in their systems and achieve a "blacker" silence behind the music signals, but some believe that seeing is believing, and a recent test with video showed identifiable visual improvements. Josh Lehman runs Digital Man Interactive in Atlanta and is an ISF/HAA certified technician. His demo is to first unplug all other devices and conditioners. He then plugs a large-screen TV into a Richard Gray Power Company conditioner, lowers the lights in the room and brings up the "pluge" pattern on the AVIA or Video Essentials Test DVD. You must wait for the capacitors in the display to heat up, which takes about 30 minutes. As they do, the black level onscreen clearly becomes blacker. This means improved shadow detail and more vibrant color.

Classical Music Soothes Dogs - Researchers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, exposed 50 dogs in a shelter to four different types of sounds: an MOR pop compilation including Britney Spears, a best-of-classical CD, a radio program with entirely human conversation, and a Metallica CD. While the pop music and conversation had no special effect on them, the dogs became greatly agitated and barked a lot when listening to Metallica, but became quite and lay down when they listened to classical. In the report published in the quarterly Animal Welfare a spokesperson said, "It is well-established that music can influence our moods. Dogs may be as discerning as humans when it comes to musical preference."

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