Saturday, October 31, 2009

Music for Late October

Playlist for a wet, overcast and wonderfully gloomy autumn day:

Brian Eno: On Land
Tor Lundvall: Empty City
David Sylvian: Gone to Earth
David Darling: Dark Wood
Hammock: Kenotic
Robert Rich: Echo of Small Things

My favourite time of year.

Monday, October 26, 2009


The LA Times offers up a nice interactive infographic of U2's current "Space Station" stage.

I tuned into the band's live YouTube concert last night, expecting to catch the opening few songs and head off to bed. I was quite surprised by the streaming video quality and audio mix, both far better than I expected. I couldn't stop watching.

I'm curious about the audio - it seemed like a blend of soundboard and stadium ambiance, which gave it a nice reverberating openness. Kudos to whoever put this together.

Watch the rebroadcast.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Here's a nicely written NPR story on Tacoland, an iconic San Antonio, Texas club run by a very cool guy who died with his boots on, so to speak.

Here's a Tacoland stories blog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Fan

Dyson has re-invented the fan. No joke, this is completely different from the old spinning blade technology.

Tom Waits

Monday, October 12, 2009

10 Landmark Albums That Have Created Landmarks

At Sleevage (a blog devoted to album cover art):

10 Landmark Albums That Have Created Landmarks
In no particular order, we’re taking a look at the select few albums that are not only referred to as “landmarks” but have actually created new landmarks. For the passionate fans that love these albums, the places depicted on these sleeves have become sites of pilgrimage.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Still More Glorious Dawn Awaits

Sure, auto-tune's a fad and a gimmick, but it's entertaining as hell in the right hands. Evidence: this Carl Sagan track, which is bordering on beautiful.

Pencil Face

Pencil Face, a wonderfully surreal short film by multidisciplinary production company, Dandy Dwarves.

Pleasant dreams.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Jon Hopkins - Insides (Live at The ICA, London)

Exquisite video manipulation of a live Jon Hopkins performance.

I absolutely love the masterful analog, low-fi, post-punk approach here. This video screams 1979 - the sort of thing I might have seen on The All Night Show at 3:00 AM.

Director/Editor/Post Production: Bison
Producer: James Bretton
Production Company: Blinkink
Additional Camera: Chris Nunn

How the video was made:

We approached Jon with the idea for arm-mounted cameras a few weeks before the show, and luckily he was up for it, so we broke out the power tools and set about making some mounts: After dissecting a couple of tripods and orthapaedic elbow supports, we had a solid platform for the miniature cameras.

We covered the gig with 5 cameras in total: 2 roving cameras, 1 static, and the 2 'lipstick' arm cameras that were wired into tape recorders at the back of the stage. The trickiest part was getting the cameras on and off Jon's arms whilst he continued to play as his set is more or less continuous..

The 'post production' on this video was unorthodox: All analogue and all in-camera.

We were really keen on making a gritty, abstract performance video. So we set to work with magnets, screwdrivers, VHS tapes and a host of other techniques: We made an initial edit and played this back through a £3 TV we picked up at the local market, and 'manipulating' it with a screwdriver allowed us to flutter and flicker the image on screen. We'd also bought an industrial strength magnet and used that to distort and twist the picture on itself. We made several runs through the track in this way before playing everything out to VHS (with obligatory stomping and scrunching).

This effectively gave us a new set of footage to make a tailored, grunged-up edit of the original piece.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Lewis Black

Oh, Lewis - thanks for this. You sir, are exactly right.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Gardens by the Bay

Gardens by the Bay is a huge, sprawling garden complex (the size of 72 soccer fields) being constructed in Singapore. I'm normally not a fan of over-the-top architectural projects, but this does seem pretty cool.