Monday, 28 September 2015

Sunday, 27 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - One with the World – Young Pharaohs

One with the World – Young Pharaohs

Essentially a fairly simple track. A loop of what sounds like a distorted violin, a slow pulsating beat, and the vocals over that. Works really well.


Honda “Paper” by PES

Quite possibly the best commercial ever, and maybe just the best thing ever.


(Any of the other shorts by PES are worth looking up as well.)

Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener’s grave

I walked through Woodland cemetery in Burlington and discovered the grave of Major Paeta Hess-von Kruedener. I was familiar with the story of his death, but I had no idea he was buried here.

One Martyr Down: The Untold Story Of A Canadian Peacekeeper Killed At War

Signage: RBG Signage

This depressing sight greeted me when I walked up to the Royal Botanical Gardens Building in Burlington.
The last one isn’t so bad, but those other three words.... Did anyone who takes any sort of pride in their work think any of that was acceptable? Did someone who spent 4 years and a huge chunk of money at a college produce this? What did they learn in that time? Kerning obviously wasn’t emphasized. Clearly it’s Frutiger, which has good kerning tables. Was it a cheap knockoff? If that is the case, all the more reason to correct odd, and very glaring gaps before allowing it to be unveiled in public.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Signage: Lentil Soup

S.o.t.D. - Fjarlægur – Oskar Schuster

Fjarlægur – Oskar Schuster

Not sure how to describe this. Almost has a bit of a lullaby feel to it. Beautiful and catchy.

Peregrine Falcon Feather

Found this feather at the foot of one of the tall buildings here. 

Had an instinctive hunch that it was a falcon feather.  

You can narrow your search by Unpatterned, Two-Tone, Mottled, Barred, Spotted, Colorful Iridescence, Dark Tip, or Pale Tip. 

And the colour.  

Chose Barred and Gray.  

And the best match I found was....Peregrine Falcon.  

So my hunch was (I believe) right. Maybe I know more about feathers than I think. But, given the size of it, and given the makeup of bird populations in the downtown area, it was a pretty reasonable guess.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Monday, 21 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Hello, My Name Is – Ott

Hello, My Name Is – Ott

The new Ott album is really good.

Bibliophilia: Lazarus – Greg Rucka

Lazarus 01, Family – Greg Rucka
Lazarus 02, Lift – Greg Rucka
Lazarus 03, Conclave – Greg Rucka

I’ve mentioned it before in several reviews of his work, but I am a huge Greg Rucka fan. Not just because he writes great stories, but because his stories feature fantastic female leads.

In an all too real feeling future, where nation states have collapsed, several incredibly wealthy families have carved out their own territories and are in a state of low level war with one another. A small percentage of the population serve these families - scientists, military, etc. - and are known as serfs. Everyone else is charmingly referred to as waste.

Each family has a lazarus, a genetically enhanced human who can’t be killed, who serves as a spy / assassin / protector. The main character here is Forever Carlyle, and she navigates her way through political machinations, both external and internal.

(The one point I quibbled about is why just one? Given that they have clawed their way to power because of their control of advanced genetics and other scientific fields, why stop at just one lazarus? Why not a whole army?)

Despite that one point, top notch.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Do It – Tuxedo

Do It – Tuxedo

I don’t know what happened....when this song started I had all my clothes on.

How To Take Care Of Your Feet

Good article on how to take care of your feet. If you spend any amount of time walking, especially in harsh conditions, the importance of caring for your feet can’t be overstressed.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Borders – Bad Data

Borders – Bad Data

Another brilliant track from the timeless Em:t series. The two guys behind this act, David Thompson & Christopher Allen, were also the people behind Em:t itself.

Signage: Atlantic Jewellers

So often now, interesting signs are remnants. Ghost signs. Neglected, weatherbeaten, a reminder of what used to be. I hope people have the good sense to cover over these signs, rather than tear them down, so that in decades to come other generations can discover these gems.

Monday, 14 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - The Release – Bob Holroyd

The Release – Bob Holroyd

I think I enjoy Bob Holroyd’s music because it has ambient elements, and yet there is tension simmering beneath the surface.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Tenderly (Pépé Bradock Remix) – Soulstice

Tenderly (Pépé Bradock Remix) – Soulstice

(I’ve been trying to find this on YT for years.) This is a pretty decent 4 on the floor house stomper (very different from the original), replete with soul diva vocals, but that refrain that starts at about the 2:30 mark is the magical bit of this track.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Signage: Novelty Shoe Rebuilders

I lamented the other day (with the closing of Active Surplus on Queen Street), how Toronto is just becoming a miasma of blandness. All the cool little shops and buildings that made it a really fun place to visit and live are being torn down for banal condo towers, each one replete with a Shopper’s Drug Mart and Second Cup on the ground floor.

All the grit is being polished away. I appreciate imperfection. I like old and rough around the edges. Case in point. The signage for “Novelty Shoe Rebuilders”. I suspect they were already there the first time I ever wandered up Yonge Street in the early 80’s. I wonder how long it will be before they’re replaced by a hip coffee enema bar, or a Ghanaian/Peruvian fusion restaurant. Neither of which will last for a year.

S.o.t.D. - 93 ’til Infinity – Souls of Mischief

93 ’til Infinity – Souls of Mischief

Still think this is one of the best hip hop albums ever.

Monday, 7 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Lost In Time (Synkro Remix) – Synth Sense

Lost In Time (Synkro Remix) – Synth Sense

Bibliophilia: Last of the Sandwalkers – Jay Hosler

Last of the Sandwalkers – Jay Hosler

This is AMAZING! One of the best graphic novels I’ve read in a while. Epic quest, journey of scientific discovery, adventure abounds, intrigue, betrayal, fighting off enemies, the love of family and the importance of friendship, the power of science over superstition - the art is fantastic - oh and all the characters are beetles.

Wonderful book. And the author / artist is a professor of biology, and fills it with cool facts.

Got it from the library, but so good, I will buy a copy for myself.

Bibliophilia: March of the Crabs 1, The Crabby Condition – Arthur de Pins

March of the Crabs 1, The Crabby Condition – Arthur de Pins

Loved the art, but found the story lacked a compelling hook to carry my interest for a whole book. Wait, this was part 1 of a trilogy about crabs that can only walk in a side to side straight line? If I didn’t get drawn into one book, I doubt a trilogy will grab my attention any more.

Bibliophilia: The Army of Dr. Moreau – David F. Walker

The Army of Dr. Moreau – David F. Walker

I had a run of graphic novels I grabbed at the library that did nothing for me. The recently reviewed Noir being one. This being the other.

I thought it was pretty flat, taking the original premise of H.G. Wells’ classic and not adding a whole lot to it. The Allies learn the Nazis have discovered Moreau’s island and the remnants of his work and want to use it to create a race of mindless super soldiers. So they send a bunch of agents to wipe it out. The beasts are noble pacifists, the Nazi’s are cruel savages, the allies show up and convince “Moreau’s children” they need to fight the Nazi menace, lots of moralizing and bloodshed ensues.

The original tale was probably sufficient.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Infinity – Matthias Meyer

Infinity – Matthias Meyer

Uses a sample from 93 ’til Infinity, the title track off of the great debut album by Souls of Mischief, one of the best hip-hop albums ever to my mind. Which itself uses a sample from Heather by Billy Cobham.

Oh and the track itself, Mr. Meyer’s effort? Stonker.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Disco Love – Ian Pooley

Disco Love – Ian Pooley

This album is kind of a classic from the genre. I think this is the standout track though. When the tune proper kicks in after 2 minutes of that tight, syncopated beat, mmmmhhhh... Funky bootyshaker to get your day going.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Thursday, 3 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - That’s Right – Tini

That’s Right – Tini

Bit of a slower booty shaker, that’d work well in a set as a bit of an interlude between more upbeat tracks.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

S.o.t.D. - Desolate – Vacant

Desolate – Vacant

A little bit of a Burial feel, with the spacey ambience, the vocal samples, the brooding atmosphere, but a shitload funkier.

Bibliophilia: Noir: (Vol. 1), The Mohawk Templar – Victor Gischler

Noir: (Vol. 1), The Mohawk Templar –  Victor Gischler


Look, I’ll admit to being pretty low brow, and grabbing a graphic novel because it features a babe in a skin tight leather cat suit.

Even two babes in skin tight cat suits didn’t redeem this.

I didn’t think it was very cohesive, the characters weren’t that well fleshed out, the art was very so so, and every pulp trope was tossed in for good measure. The Knights Templar came to North America, befriended the Mohawks, and built an insanely elaborate underground complex to hide a treasure, which came off like a retread Clive Cussler story. Oh, but first they built a stone tower that you need a special moon stone to place in a slot at a certain time in order for the moon to shine through it to reveal the map that shows where this “duck the swinging blades to get over the bridge to enter the code to open the door to go through another hall with massive sculptures” cavern is. The Shadow makes an appearance in the first part, and I think if he hadn’t, it likely wouldn’t have mattered much. Oh and let’s throw in some totally pointless SM for some titillation. Yawn.

And there wasn’t much “noir” about it. Splitting hairs maybe, perhaps it just referred to the fact the two female leads wore black. But “noir” in the sense I understand it; no.