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Monthly Archives: July 2008

mad men : set in the sixties with dashing men in sexy suits and women in torpedo bras. also its a damn good show, somewhat reminiscent of the good seasons of six feet under. we are in the middle of the first season, trying to catch up since the second season already started. this show really makes me want to drink scotch.

picture from vanity fair

picture from vanity fair

eureka : the second season of this somewbuhat cheesy sci fi show is just out on dvd. while this show is far from perfect, it has a very quirky buffyness about it. and i have a bit of a crush on jack carter.

americas’s best dance crew : since watching this show i have become an authority on dance crews. i’m rooting for fanny pack. i recommend following the link this youtube video dosen’t do them justice.

project runway : the last season of on bravo. i loves me some project runway. hands down the best reality show that will ever exist.

wall-e : utterly charming, amazingly grand in scope, i almost cried (people were crying all around us).

the dark knight : i liked it more than batman begins, but all i can say is “meh”.

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the first jonathan ames book i read was i love you more than you know, a collection of essays in the vein of david sedaris. after thoroughly enjoying that book i read his other collections before diving into his novels. for some reason i was a bit wary about reading his novels, it turns out that his novels seem like long versions of his essays. with the main characters seemingly based on himself and his adventures in new york and new jersey. the extra man starts with his character ,louis ives, moving from new jersey to new york city and sharing an apartment with an eccentric and mysterious older man, henry harrison. as he learns more about the man’s he gains a unique admiration for him and does everything he can to earn henry’s respect. henry, in his own way, teaches louis how to survive in new york’s society life while not spending a penny. all the while louis is trying to keep his own personal life a secret. the extra man was funny and strangely insightful.

when ever i try to describe jonathan ames writing all i can ever say is that he reminds me of charles bukowski , and thanks to wikipedia i know i’m not the only one. the only problem with that comparison is that most people i know don’t really like bukowski, people often find him abrasive and misogynistic. ames is nothing like that, it’s just they both seem to skirt a line of perversion and grit. i would also say he belongs in the same group as the mcsweeney’s crowd of hipster writers that recall, and are possibly trying to reinvent, the beat generation. i am a big fan of jonathan ames and look forward to his future writing, which include a graphic novel, the alcoholic, and a new book of essays in 2009.

yay! animal crossing if finally coming to wii on november 16th. this means that morgan and i will probably be unreachable till sometime after the new year.

there is something amazingly addictive about this game. there is no way to properly describe the joy of setting up your little house, running errands for the townfolks, chopping down trees, visiting nook’s store, and designing fabrics for my outfits. i should also mention the calming effects of the gentle looped guiter strummed soundtrack.

i am kind of at a loss for words to describe last wednesday’s show by matmos and wobbly at the aladdin theater. big thanks go to jamie for being my last minute companion replacement. thankfully she enjoyed the show, as a lot of you know it can be a huge risk to go to a show with me when you have no idea what it is.

wobbly opened the show, i was pretty excited to see him. his wild why album is a masterpiece of plunderphonics, so i was hoping for some crazy sample manipulations. like most experimental electronic musicians you never get what you expect. wobbly walked out and sat behind his mixing boards, samplers, drum machine and keyboard and produced a glitch filled piece full of broken beats that were constantly teetering on the edge of being danceable. two brave souls did dance in the large open space in front of the stage, i think one of them must have been a dance student becuase he could really move to wobbly’s disjointed sounds.

shortly after wobbly left the lights dimmed leaving only a bright flashing blue light. a theremin like sound seemed to be coming from somewhere. i heard some rustling in the crowd and noticed that m.c. schmidt and drew daniel, the adorable couple that make up matmos, were coming down the aisles with flashlights and laser pointers. they were shining the flashlights and pointers all over the crowd and the stage, after some study i realized that the flashing blue light was some kind of sensor and they were manipulated the sounds by hitting the blue light with varying degrees of lights. i knew we were in for something interesting.

when they made it to the stage they were joined by the honorary third matmos member (and a talented electronic manipulator in his own right) j lesser. together they performed matmos’s unique brand of electronic noise.  they played for a little over and hour with only two songs coming from their latest album, supreme balloon, including a slightly edited version of the 20+ minute title track. the highlight for me (and jamie) was a song off of the west, for which m.c.  and j lesser donned guitars and did some live sampling. also the version of “semen song for james bidgood”, off of the rose has teeth in the mouth of a beast, was amazing, they tweaked it just enough.

m.c. schmidt also handled all the video manipulations, i should say that they weren’t handled live, he made it no secret that he was popping in a different dvd for each piece. he approaches his videos with the same sampling and collage work that is used in the music. an interest he explores further with his (far noisier and abrasive) phase chancellor side project.

after their set was over they came back on stage for an encore this time accompanied by wobbly. this made me happy because their live album wide open spaces, made with wobbly, is one of my favorites. this improv was far too short though, i feel like they were just getting into it when suddenly it was all over.

i have only seen matmos once before and that was in seattle at the detestable venue the triple door. that was more of a pop structured show. this time it was more out there, seemingly trying to eschew traditional song structure. this was an amazingly satisfying show, reminding me why i like electronic music.

throw away your cameras, radiohead has shown us the future of image capturing with their video for “house of cards”.

this atease explains.

The Geometric Informatics scanning system employs structured light to capture detailed 3D images at close proximity, and was used to render the performances of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, the female lead and several partygoers.

The Velodyne Lidar system uses multiple lasers to capture large environments in 3D, in this case 64 lasers rotating and shooting in a 360 degree radius 900 times per minute, capturing all of the exterior scenes and wide party shots. Geometric processed their own data while 510 Systems processed the Velodyne Lidar data. The data was then manipulated by Union Editorial and the Syndicate to create the final result.

thom’s thoughts on the process.

“I always like the idea of using technology in a way that it wasn’t meant to be used, the struggle to get your head round what you can do with it. I liked the idea of making a video of human beings and real life and time without using any cameras, just lasers, so there are just mathematical points–and how strangely emotional it ended up being.”

i must admit that “house of cards” is not my favorite radiohead song, but that still means that it is better than ninety percent of what’s on my ipod.

here is a making of video, if your into that kind of thing.