Saturday, 28 April 2012

S.o.t.D. - Emaline - Jeff Healey

The blues stuff he did? Meh. The big band jazz he did? Love it!

I think it was Stuart McLean who mentioned going by his house, and in his basement he had 30,000 old 78s. You mention some amazingly obscure 1920s ragtime track or a rare 1930s big band track, and he would go over to a spot on the shelves, and pull out the exact record. Knew where everything was. Which, given that whole lack of eyeballs, is rather remarkable. And I though my record collection was organized.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Bibliophilia: Samurai: An Illustrated History – Mitsuo Kure & Samurai: The Story of Japan’s Great Warriors – Stephen R. Turnbull

Samurai: The Story of Japan’s Great Warriors – Stephen R. Turnbull
Samurai: An Illustrated History – Mitsuo Kure

Okko featured a character in partial samurai armour. I have always found their armour interesting, and occasionally day dream that if I didn’t have a hundred other things I want to make, I would love to make some kind of cyber-samurai armour from Kevlar and titanium and carbon fiber. Not for any really practical reason, but it would look really damn cool. And it would keep me busy. My knowledge of samurais and the history of Japan is a bit spotty, so I got these out to study their armour a bit. 

Anything about samurais always talks about what noble warriors they are, and their code of honour and all that. I guess, but what I came away with more than anything (and admittedly I didn’t read every last word in these books) is how Japan was essentially involved in a centuries, millennium long civil war, where one rich scumbag fought against another rich scumbag. One feudal lord engaged in petty conflict with another feudal lord for gaining wealth, power, land, prove his martial prowess, whatever. And invariably it was always the little guy who got shafted. Warfare to defend against a foreign invader who will destroy your country, enslave your people? Okay. Warfare without end to see who has the bigger penis? Please.

S.o.t.D. - Milky (PFM Sunrise Mix) – Trickbaby

Milky (PFM Sunrise Mix) – Trickbaby  

PFM are the quintessential chilled out D&B artist.

Bibliophilia: Chew: Taster’s Choice – John Layman & Rob Guillory

This did nothing for me, and I will even go so far as to say I really disliked it.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Time warp

This past weekend, for about the second time in a year, the intersection of Main and James here in Hamilton was closed for use in a film production. Both times it was for a period piece, since it’s an intersection that has old, architecturally interesting buildings on all four corners, something I suspect is a bit of a rarity in a lot of places now.

It was for a series pilot being made by NBC/Universal for airing on the SyFy network, called Rewind. The executive producer is Jack Bender who has worked on Lost, Alcatraz, and The Sopranos. Set in both present-day and 1929, Rewind involves a group of military scientists who hope to un-do a nuclear explosion in present-day New York by manipulating a particle-accelerator to achieve time-travel.

I was in the neighbourhood so I went by to have a look. Not a big car buff, but still cool to see the ones they had out.

S.o.t.D. - Worship – Beat Pharmacy

Worship – Beat Pharmacy

Trippy and bassy.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

S.o.t.D. - Axis Mundi – Kalya Scintilla

Sort of funky, middle eastern tinged glitch-hop.

Birth of a Tool

A reader shared these with me, but I didn’t want them to be hidden away in the comments section. 

John Neeman hand makes woodworking tools – axes, draw knives, framing slicks, chisels, kitchen and hunting knives, and other goodies.

These two short films are not only beautifully done, they show a beautiful process. The shop is envy inducing. I have tried my hand at a variety of skills, but blacksmithing is one I very much want to tackle one day. Oh time and space and money - why must you be in such short supply?

When I have some money, I must talk to him about an axe.

Love the quote used as well.

“It is a tragedy of the first magnitude that millions of people have ceased to use their hands as hands. Nature has bestowed upon us this great gift which is our hands. If the craze for machinery methods continues, it is highly likely that a time will come when we shall be so incapacitated and weak that we shall begin to curse ourselves for having forgotten the use of the living machines given to us by God.”
Mahathma Ghandi

Monday, 23 April 2012

S.o.t.D. - Ring The Alarm (SixteenArmedJack remix) – Tenor Saw

I have fond memories of Jarkko mixing this into sets at the Spadina Hotel. Good times.

Prints & Printer

My bro from another mo recently got an Epson 4900. Not your average desktop printer. At well over a hundred pounds and taking up almost 6 square feet, unless your desk is titan of industry huge, it will take up all of it. Your kids will be able to make a great fort out of the box. (Although to be on the safe side, you might want to hang on to the box until you’re certain there aren’t any problems with it.)

Not going to start spewing out too much in the way of technical details. This article gives a very thorough writeup if you’re interested.

Helped get it set up, and have seen some of the results roll out the other end.
I contributed some old map drawers to the cause.
Like I said, desk top doesn’t really apply any more.
This printer can handle a lot of different mediums. Be they roll fed or sheet fed, the options are far greater with this machine.
One of the things it can print on is wood veneer. Exotic Woods in Burlington has some neat stuff including lacewood.
First up.
Here are some prints by our pal Simon coming out.
Here it is on lacewood.
Different print, different wood. Like the effect a lot. Nice to see it on something other than plain old paper. Gives it a whole different feel.
And some prints by Bryce Huffman.
Some other miscellaneous print outs hanging up, including stuff by Andrew Little and Seth Rowanwood.

If any of those prints look appealing, contact the artists in the links provided.

Signage: Quality Upholstery

Like the fact that you can see an old sign emerging from underneath as time and weather wears away at the current sign.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Saturday, 21 April 2012

S.o.t.D. - New France (Tom Middleton Cosmos Mix) – Orbital

Tom Middleton can do no wrong, and Orbital is pretty swell too. Loving that chugging bassline.

Sita Sings The Blues

I mentioned Annette Hanshaw yesterday. I learned of her through watching the animated film Sita Sings The Blues, where her music is used in the sound track. 
Created by Nina Paley, you can watch it for free, and donate if you think her almost singlehanded effort is worthy of support.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

S.o.t.D. - Darktown Strutters Ball – Jeff Healey & the Jazz Wizards

It bums me out that that damn Angel Eyes is what most people will ever remember of Jeff Healey (damn you classic rock radio and your shallow, endlessly repetitive playlist), instead of the fantastic jazz and big band stuff he did.

Short film about a bowyer & archer

The description says the gentleman is Irish, but the Swiss flag hanging up and his accent lead me to wonder. (A Switzerman living in Irishland maybe?) Takes nothing away from the pleasure and inspiration of seeing a craftsman at work though.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

S.o.t.D. - These Days (Downliners Sekt Remix) – Cubenx

One of those tracks that hangs on the edge, teasing you into thinking it’s about to kick out the jams, but keeps bubbling along at a mellow pace. Feels like cruising along in a convertible on a sunny day.

Monday, 16 April 2012

S.o.t.D. - We Feel (Lo Quai Remix) – Blue Haze

Chugging, spacey, trancey - epic as my nephew would say.

Utter crap

I had walked past a Bentley’s in the mall a lot. Once a week at least, for years. And yet I had never once gone in. You’d think that a bag geek like me would be in there all the time to get ideas, admire the craftsmanship, ask for a job, etc.

I finally went in. It confirmed why I had never gone in before. And won’t ever bother again.

It was all just shit.

The first thing that hits you is the smell of off-gassing vinyl. All the bags are made of the cheapest material imaginable. A Cordura look alike PVC. The seams are really tiny, likely in an effort to get as much material as possible out of a roll. The hardware (buckles, etc.) are the lowest grade available. The straps are flimsy polypropylene rather than nylon. It wouldn’t surprise me if the thread used is cotton. It could be argued that because I've been a consumer of quality bags, and make bags and such myself,for such a long time, that I have an eye for this. I guess so. But doesn’t anyone else discern the low-quality of this stuff? Doesn’t anyone else grasp that a $25 backpack, almost guaranteed to have the seams rip out, or the buckles bust in a year or two, isn’t much of a bargain in the long run? Buy cheap, buy twice. Or thrice.

I suspect that a decade or two ago, the store would have smelled of leather and employed crafts people in North America. Now they get lowest common denominator landfill waiting to happen in from China.

Just depressing.

Tiffany Gorge

Went for a very enjoyable wander out to Tiffany Gorge a few weeks back with some friends.

Tiffany Falls is one of the many waterfalls in this area that course over the Niagara Escarpment. 21 metre high, 6 metre wide ribbon waterfall located near Ancaster.  The creek flows year round, but due to the relatively small watershed area, the flow tends to be flashy and variable. It was named after Dr. Oliver Tiffany, the district’s first doctor.

The gorge is home to the endangered butternut tree, which due to a canker is in decline.

The V shaped ravine contains very steep, forested talus slopes, crowned by an open carbonate rim biotic community, which is very rare in Ontario.
These last three photos are technically in the Dundas Valley, but since these are all the ones I took there, I figured I would tack them on in this post.