Saturday, 30 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Soulsurfer – Nulleins

Really like this sound. Soaring tech-house with some dubby elements to it. Helped define the sound of the now sadly defunct Thinner label.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Rikarda – Oliver Huntemann

Never heard of you before Mr. Huntemann, but I am impressed by this ass kicker of a track.

The Giants Rib

Nice introduction to a geographical feature I live near and speak about here quite often, the Niagara Escarpment. Quite fond of it.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Monday, 25 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Orson – Nuspirit Helsinki

I saw a segment on 60 minutes once on Finland. A stoic old Finn, commenting on how difficult they find it to show any emotion, mentioned how “a Feennish man myt ssay I luf youw to hiss vyf on hur dess bed to cumfohrt hur.” I probably wasn’t meant to laugh, but I did.

Something tells me these funky, jazzy Finns aren’t nearly that uptight.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - You Can’t Pull The Wool Over My Eyes – Benny Goodman

First learned of this from a Jeff Healey cover. Can’t find that on YT, but this is just as damn good.

Sounds a bit crazy maybe, given how much I love all the new stuff, but I almost think music reached an apex with stuff like this in this era.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Sky (Dub Mix) – Moonbeam

The first fifteen seconds of this track do my head in. Would love to make a track out of just that part. The rest isn’t terrible, but that is definitely my fave section.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Lego Turing Machine

In honour of the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth, a Lego Turing Machine

S.o.t.D. - Fallen Light – Phaeleh

I think on the rating scale of songs, this may well come in at a 97 or 98 out of a hundred for me. Holy hell is this ever a great track. The subtle buildup with the strings, the fantastic vocal sample, the insanely funky breakbeat drums. Wow! Orgasmically good.

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Tales of Anex and Bit

New book which was illustrated by my pal Seth. While in a year or two it may not be so noteworthy any more, all the illustration was done on an iPad.

S.o.t.D. - Nebulos - Lessov

A London, Ontario lad. Yeah, I’m going to have to vote him as the most exciting producer ever to come out of the town I grew up in. It’s got some cheesy 80's sounding drum rolls in this I can live without, but this is still a totally kick ass tune.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Bibliophilia: Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins

Wanted to see what the hype was about, and I have to say I see now. Liked it. Since I have a shrivelled up black coal where my heart is supposed to be, the whole love story thing was lost on me.  But I enjoyed it a lot. The characters, the setting, the plot all drew me in. I’ll read the other two as well.

S.o.t.D. - In Progress – Trentemøller

Reminds me a bit of Terry Lee Brown Junior - which is definitely a good thing.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

We’ve come full circle

I have a malady: 
2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root.  
1000 A.D. - That root is heathen, say this prayer.
1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition, drink this potion. 

1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.  
1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.  
2010 A.D. - That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.

S.o.t.D. - D.F.T.F – Need For Mirrors (Feat. DRS {Broke N’ English})

If only the people producing all the crappy hip-hop would listen to this for some inspiration.

Friday, 15 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - 4U – Synkro

The production on this is just out of this world. The vocal snippets, the random breaks, a bit of rumbling bass, it’s all so smooth.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Finest Hour – Submotion Orchestra

Great voice, and the song creates a great mood.

Bibliophilia: Kill Shakespeare: Vol. 1, A Sea of Troubles – Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col, Andy Belanger

Kill Shakespeare: Vol. 1, A Sea of Troubles – Conor McCreery, Anthony Del Col, Andy Belanger

I hated English in high school, and Shakespeare was on the list of reasons why. I have read voraciously since I was a child, certainly have all my life, and like to think that I can write very well, but I absolutely detested the way English was taught. Having A Separate Peace painstakingly dissected, and Romeo & Juliet parsed down to dust - yawn. It was only after that, long after that, that I began to gain an appreciation for the Bard.

Like Fables (which I have raved about on here before) this takes known stories and characters and puts them into new situations. Heroes (Hamlet, Juliet, Falstaff, Othello) and villains (Richard III, Lady Macbeth, Iago) are written into entirely new scenarios, in a story to either kill or protect a reclusive wizard named William Shakespeare. Recommended.

Canadian writers and artists too, eh.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Maninjau Travel Poster

Going through a bunch of USB keys, I ran across this poster I did recently while in school. Had to do a travel poster for an assignment. Didn’t want to spend too much time on it, but had some fun with it any way. Decided to run a few photos through LiveTrace and combine some elements. I’ve never been a fan of any of the auto trace features in illustration programs – they never prodce results I consider satisfactory. Whether it be Adobe’s Streamline or Illustrator’s LiveTrace, the results are always the random results of a computer algorithm. They’re better than they used to be, but still leave me underwhelmed. If this had been an actual paying gig I would have lavished far more attention on it, but this was fine to demonstrate a concept.

S.o.t.D. - The Host of Seraphim – Dead Can Dance

If you’re not completely blown away by this music and imagery, there is something wrong with you.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Saturday, 9 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Karmachanics (Pink Cinnamon Drop Mix) – CwithE

Totally loved this stonker of a tune when it came out (jeebus, 17 years ago already) and it still makes for a kick ass running or cycling track.

50 Things I’ve Used My Leatherman Wave For:

  1. pull a needle through a Cordura and webbing sandwich
  2. crack open pistachios
  3. a fid to open knots
  4. tighten knots
  5. open envelopes
  6. pry apart Lego
  7. cut parachute cord
  8. remove jammed staples from a stapler
  9. open cans
  10. adjust rifle sights
  11. pull out nails
  12. sharpen pencil
  13. cut up boxes
  14. release the ratchet on a zip tie to undo it
  15. cut zip ties
  16. release the latch on MALICE clips
  17. open bottles
  18. remove the childproof feature on a Bic lighter
  19. file finger nails
  20. scrape off stickers
  21. trim nose hairs
  22. cut up parsley
  23. assemble tattoo machines
  24. remove pebble stuck in boot tread
  25. pry the lid off paint cans
  26. remove boil-in-the-bag meals from a pot of boiling water
  27. cut moleskin to treat blisters
  28. peel, core, slice fruit
  29. saw off small branches
  30. remove the cover off a plate maker
  31. kubotan
  32. door stop
  33. plumb bob
  34. throwing weight
  35. beard trimming
  36. paper weight (or more correctly, a map weight)
  37. hammer (small brads and the like if they’ve popped up)
  38. striker for matches
  39. cut barbed wire
  40. dislodge a disc from a drive
  41. clean crud out of a rifle
  42. cut the top off a plastic bottle to serve as a bowl
  43. remove a shell from a bullet to get out the powder
  44. cut the top off of a tube of caulking
  45. pry out a staple
  46. remove a splinter
  47. scratch off the silver stuff on a scratch & win ticket
  48. slice cheese
  49. fix eyeglasses
  50. remove sheathing from wire

Friday, 8 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Ambelio – Arovane

Ambelio – Arovane
Another artist I have never heard of. German fella who I gather has stopped making music. This being my first exposure to his stuff, I'm already sad about that.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

My Favourite Hockey Team

I mentioned a while back that my nephew has become rather enamoured with hockey. I’m personally rather blasé about it, but if it’s something he is interested in and wants to play, I will whole heartedly encourage it and support him.

Now he loves the Toronto Maple Leafs. The once mighty team that hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since the year I was born.

Whenever we go out to slap a ball around in the driveway, he continually asks me what team I like. Kind of hard to answer when you don’t care one whit about the goings on of the NHL.
“Okay I’m the Maple Leafs. What team are you gonna be uncle Thomas?” 
Sigh. “Uhm....the Amsterdam Giants, the new European expansion team.”
“That’s not a real team.”
“I don’t care. I’m from Amsterdam, I’m a giant. When I become a multi-millionaire that’s where the team I start will be and what they’ll be called.”
“No, it’s gotta be a real team.”
Sigh “Fine. The Hamilton Tigers.”
“That’s not a real team either.” 
“Yes it is. Back in the 20s they were part of the NHL. Really.”
“No, it has to be a team today.”
Sigh. “All right, let me look through all your hockey cards.” 
Given the profession I’ve been in for two decades, I tend to choose a bottle of wine on the basis of the label. Some might call me an uncultured philistine for that, but hey. I decided that I was going to pick a team the same way: on the basis of the logo I like best. I hit on one immediately. The Minnesota Wild. 
It’s the head of some kind of animal that will rip your face off (Bear? Wolf? Puma? Wolverine? Not really sure) and inside it is a boreal forest and a star and a sun or moon and a river that exits where its mouth is. 
“All right buddy, that’s who I’m a fan of – the Minnesota Wild. I have no idea how they’ve performed over the last few seasons, I don’t know who any of the players are, I doubt I’ll ever go to one of their home games, but that’s my favourite team. When we’re out on the street playing hockey, that’s who I’ll pretend to be, or if we’re watching a game on TV, that’s who I’ll pretend to root for.”

He seemed to be satisfied with that and had to admit it was a neat symbol. Now he’ll stop asking me repeatedly who I like best. And maybe one day I’ll get an embroidered patch and sew some Velcro on the back to stick on a cap or pack, or get a T-shirt.

S.o.t.D. - Diskono – Cabaret Voltaire

So good I have to post another track. These guys had a huge influence on my musical outlook in the early 80s. As if I didn’t know I was odd - when other kids were listening to top 40 stuff, I was listening to CV and Throbbing Gristle. Bound to make for a slightly skewed view of the world.

Jim Brandenburg

Back in 1998, I had come down from a long spell in the woods and was partaking of one of the pleasures a city has to offer: large bookstores. I came across a magical volume called Chased By The Light by Jim Brandenburg. The premise was intriguing. Mr. Brandenburg roamed the area around his home bordering the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota between the Autumnal Equinox and Winter Solstice and took one picture per day. Just one.

Later I saw that he had a second volume, Looking For The Summer, again in the same locale, but this time between the Summer Solstice and the Autumnal Equinox. This time though he didn’t impose upon himself the limitation of one analogue photo, but took a bunch of digital photos and saved just the one he liked best. 

Both books were awe inspiring and nature photography at its finest.

You can peruse these gorgeous photos (and many others) on his website. I can’t provide a direct link to them, but on the top right, under View Gallery you will find them. 

A little visual treat for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Why Kill Time When You Can Kill Yourself – Cabaret Voltaire

The rather provocative title aside, this track was a real game changer for me. That driving beat and that throbbing bassline - so different compared to other stuff that I had been exposed to.

Monday, 4 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Fist – Test Dept.

Still one of my favourite records by one of my favourite bands. Heavy metal in the truest sense of the word and not a guitar in sight. Truly powerful music.

Bibliophilia: Blue Estate by Viktor Kalvachev

Blue Estate – Viktor Kalvachev

The covers to this series are fantastic. A stripper with Iban tattoos definitely piqued my interest. The interior art, which is handled by a bunch of artists is a bit convoluted. If you like Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie or Elmore Leonard’s stuff, you will likely enjoy this. The spoof of Steven Seagal is funny, and I liked it all enough to want to read more, but it has its flaws.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Too Much Information – The Police

The Police was one of those bands I liked way back in the day, and then drifted away from. Looking back on it now after all these years, Stewart Copeland’s pounding the drums had to be one of the main reasons I liked them.

Bibliophilia: Pollen: The Hidden Sexuality of Flowers – Rob Kesseler

Absolutely stunning microscopic photos of pollen. The plants and flowers themselves are beautiful, but the parts we can scarcely see are as well.

Friday, 1 June 2012

S.o.t.D. - Don’t Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes At Me – Wynonie Harris

A confluence of big band jazz and rhythm and blues. I can see how this influenced rock and roll.

Bibliophilia: Whiteout – Greg Rucka

Whiteout #1 – Greg Rucka
Whiteout #2, Melt – Greg Rucka

I like his female characters a lot: strong, resourceful, flawed. Humans in other words. 

Set in Antarctica, which makes for a really compelling back drop to the stories. The environment is as much a villain as the human villains. Neat to read of the artists techniques to render a world that is largely white. Would definitely like to see more of these.