Just look at it:
No, really look at it:
I DON’T THINK YOU’RE LOOKING AT IT PROPERLY …
This is the music that powered the year for me:
- Bertrand Belin — Hypernuit: heard this on the radio. He has an awesome voice. Seeing as it’s all in French, I have no idea what it’s about, but that’s okay.
- Calvin, don’t Jump! — Under Bridges: Kirk Pleasant’s first major outing from his Canadian location. Combines E6 ambient and skronk with some thoughtful songwriting.
- Colleen and Paul — Colleen and Paul: happy, sunny, folky, lovely. Enjoy it before it becomes car ads.
- Dum Dum Girls — I Will Be: Motown meets The Jesus & Mary Chain, with screamy lofi fuzz. Like Strawberry Switchblade (DDG are big fans) with maximal noise.
- Entertainment For The Braindead — Roadkill: Julia did a banjo album! It’s great — and free!
- Frightened Rabbit — The Winter of Mixed Drinks: juddery Scottish gloriousness with full miserability ahead.
- Jónsi — Go: this album’s so sunny it farts marigolds.
- Peter Stampfel & Baby Gramps — Outertainment: dementedly demented, with demented bits gleefully stuck to it. Gramps sings like Popeye’s ancestor, and Peter’s got the caterwauling yawp down pat. They’re having so much fun making this, they don’t care what you think.
- The Ruby Suns — Fight Softly: don’t you dare call them Animal Collective Lite. They can dance better, for one thing.
- Stereo Total — Baby Ouh!: “irritating” is not usually a word one associates with a favourite album, but Stereo Total are completely annoying. I love them for it.
- Sufjan Stevens — The Age of Adz: this is a hard album to like. I was about to completely give up on it when I played it on a long subway ride home. I’m sold. Charming, but difficult.
Here’s six not from 2010 that also helped make the year:
- Brett Dennen — Brett Dennen (2005): he’s got a weird little voice in his first album, but Don’t Forget is as catchy as anything.
- Charlotte Gainsbourg — IRM (2009): it’s a Beck album! Not sung by Beck!!
- Kyle Creed — Liberty (1977): this is the clawhammer album. Kyle played such a clean banjo; e-v-e-r-y note’s in the right place, the volume’s right, he doesn’t dominate (bluegrass pickers, take note). So brilliant, and finally available on something other than cassette.
- Major Organ And The Adding Machine — Major Organ and the Adding Machine (re-release): squee! An expanded version of 2001′s mad outing complete with the movie. Spot all your favourite E6 musicians!
- Raymond Scott — Soothing Sounds For Baby (1963): The first volume (designated for one to six months) is about my level. I’d have been tripping spheroids if this had been playing near my crib.
- The Turtles — The Turtles Present The Battle of the Bands (1968): a delightful confection of phenomenal songwriting and playing making a very silly concept album. You’d hardly believe it was all done by one band.
Podcast: scruss-best_of_2010 [mp3]
The bloke standing behind the console looks like he’s working an iPhone – in 1959!
(actually, it might just be a cigarette; see the open pack of Luckies by Grace Murray Hopper’s right elbow.)
Image nicked from the NMAH | COBOL – COBOL online exhibit.
Geoff Apps dropped a comment in an earlier post to say that he’s updated the Aventura for the 21st century. I’m going to have a hard time justifying not buying this bike.
I wonder what the good people of MetaFilter will think?
This arrived today:
A bright pink EMUS soprano ukulele from Empire Music. I’m confused — not merely because I’ve never known Canada Post to deliver on a Sunday, but:
- I haven’t ordered from Empire since 2007
- I have a ukulele already
- I’m relatively unlikely to have ordered a pink one.
It actually plays quite well — but where did it come from?
Dammit, is it really December? Anyway, this is what I listened to this year:
- Albemarle Ramblers — Gentleman from Virginia
- Amanda Palmer — Amanda Palmer Performs The Popular Hits Of Radiohead On Her Magical Ukulele
- The Apples in stereo — Travellers in Space and Time
- Arcade Fire — The Suburbs
- Bart Veerman — Some o’ Mine and Some I Like (2003)
- Basia Bulat — Heart Of My Own
- Belle & Sebastian — Write About Love
- Ben Veneer — Ben Veneer
- Bertrand Belin — Hypernuit
- Bill Holt — Dreamies (1973)
- Brett Dennen — Brett Dennen (2005)
- Brian Wilson — Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin
- Broken Social Scene — Forgiveness Rock Record
- Calvin, Don’t Jump! — Under Bridges
- Caribou — Swim
- Carolina Chocolate Drops — Genuine Negro Jig
- Charlotte Gainsbourg — IRM (2009)
- Chris Coole & Ivan Rosenberg — Farewell Trion
- Colleen and Paul — Colleen and Paul
- The Corin Tucker Band — 1,000 Years
- Dan Jones — Dan Jones and The Squids:Live 09
- Dan Jones & Peter Wilde — My Name Is John Smith
- The Delgados — The Great Eastern (2000)
- Dum Dum Girls — I Will Be
- Eels — End Times
- Eels — Tomorrow Morning
- Elf Power — Elf Power
- Entertainment For The Braindead — Roadkill
- Final Fantasy — Heartland
- Forest City Lovers — Carriage
- Friendly Rich and the Lollipop People — The Sacred Prune Of Remembrance
- Frightened Rabbit — The Winter of Mixed Drinks
- Frontier Ruckus — Deadmalls and Nightfalls
- Germans — Elf Shot Lame Witch (2008)
- Goldfrapp — Head First
- Gonja Sufi — A Sufi And A Killer
- The Good Right Arm Stringband — The Good Right Arm Stringband
- High Places — High Places vs. Mankind
- Hold Your Horses! — 70 Million
- The Hungry Moment — Phantom 45
- Hurray for the Riff Raff — Young Blood Blues
- James Blackshaw — All Is Falling
- Joanna Newsom — Have One On Me
- Jónsi — Go
- Kyle Creed — Liberty (1977)
- Ladies of the Canyon — Haunted Woman
- M.I.A. — Maya
- Macy Gray — The Sellout
- Major Organ And The Adding Machine — Major Organ and the Adding Machine (re-release)
- MGMT — Congratulations
- Miles Kurosky — The Desert of Shallow Effects
- Mojave 3 — Ask Me Tomorrow (1995)
- Nana Grizol — “Ruth”
- Nesey Gallons — Southern Winter by Smouldering Porches
- The New Pornographers — Together
- of Montreal — False Priest
- Old Man Luedecke — My Hands Are On Fire and Other Love Songs
- The Open Letters — Bicycle EP
- Peter Stampfel & Baby Gramps — Outertainment
- Peter Stampfel & Zöe Stampfel — Ass in the Air
- Pocahaunted — Make It Real
- Princess Pangolin — Princess Pangolin
- Raymond Scott — Soothing Sounds For Baby (1963)
- Robyn Hitchcock — Propellor Time
- The Ruby Suns — Fight Softly
- Smoosh — Withershins
- Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin — Let It Sway
- Stereo Total — Baby Ouh!
- Suckers — Wild Smile
- Sufjan Stevens — All Delighted People EP
- Sufjan Stevens — The Age of Adz
- Sunbear — Moonbath
- The Superions — the Superions
- The Tallest Man On Earth — The Wild Hunt
- Tune-Yards — Bird-Brains (2009)
- The Turtles — The Turtles Present The Battle of the Bands (1968)
- Vampire Weekend — Contra
Must be getting old; two of the albums (Bertrand Belin and Brett Dennen) I bought because I heard tracks on the radio. Consequently, I predict Lawrence Welk in my best of 2011.
I went to Photosynth, and saw this:
Bullets are also small and fast, but I don’t plan to install any of those soon, either.
I knew that nothing good would come of emusic’s plan changes. I mean, dumping all your favourite indie labels and replacing them with mainstream crud; how’s that working out for you, yeah?
Just to show you how things have changed, here’s a list of the most recent artists I’d downloaded pre-plan changes. The ones in red are ones you can’t get any more:
- Barry Louis Polisar
- Belle and Sebastian
- Boards Of Canada — only one album available
- Dum Dum Girls
- Elizabeth Cotten
- Euros Childs
- Forest City Lovers
- Frontier Ruckus
- Gonja Sufi
- Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci
- Hold Your Horses!
- Macy Gray
- Michael Hurley
- Mount Eerie
- Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
- Sun Kil Moon
- The Delgados
- The Moldy Peaches
- The Tallest Man On Earth
- The Turtles
- The Whitlams
- Will Powers
And here was me on a major Delgados kick, and they’re gone.
So cancelled my plan on the weekend, and got this:
Yep, if you’re on an annual plan, you’ve got to sit it out. They don’t offer refunds. So now I have to remember to go in every thirty days for the next nine months to find something – anything! – to download. It’s extremely shabby that emusic are holding over $100 of my balance to ransom. I guess they’re just trying to fit in with the mainstream music industry …
Seems that Shangri-La Toronto wants to surround their building with a bright magenta billboard. This is the view from my office:
It’s so bright everything vaguely reflective on my desk appears to be pink. I’ve made a couple of calls to the City of Toronto – Sign By-law Unit and Toronto 311 and await developments.
Arduino and the Irn-Bru Can Choir present Roy Williamson’s epic anthem:
Like O Canada and The Star Spangled Banner before it, it’s a random midi file (grabbed from Midi files of bagpipe tunes: mercifully, does not autoplay) converted to RTTTL and played through a glued-on piezo.
My timing’s a bit off, but here’s my version:
Stewart C. Russell - Walking in the Parlour
Played on the G C Dobson, tuned gCGCD.
Got the banjo restoration project back from Hugh Hunter. I have to say, he did an excellent job:
This must be around 120 years old, but it’s held up well to some hideous misuse.
A ringtone which has its own special way of telling you to answer the phone:
(and manages to be really annoying while doing so.)
I really like what Thunderbird does when you type a word like “attachment” or “attached” in a message:
It’s got one fewer wheels than the C5 (which, stap me, appeared a quarter century ago) but it does look like a proper recumbent:
While the Sinclair Research X-1 does look quite nifty, I worry about the “Reserve now for £100, pay the rest on delivery next year” terms. It’ll probably turn up at the end of 2012 with a wobbly RAM expansion, and needing a firmware upgrade before it can turn left.
Ecofont claims to help you save ink (and not mass, like drilled out bike bits). The approach is the same:
Both of my printers have ink-saving settings that avoid this horror. Plus, y’know, with print to PDF, who wants paper?