Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nueve: the 2009 mix

time again for another best of the year mix. as with all my year-end mixes, I won't necessarily call these my top ten tunes (or 14 in this case), but some of my favorites that I think go together.

I violated my unwritten rule to only include one song per artist this year with J Tillman, but he did release two albums and I have one song from each so maybe it isn't cheating after all.

and now here is the tracklist:
Darkstar - Aidys Girl's a Computer
Purexed - POS
Black Hearted Love - PJ Harvey & John Parrish
Solo Dolo (Nightmare) - Kid Cudi
Daniel - Bat for Lashes
Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective
Lakeside - BLK JKS
Steel on Steel - J Tillman
A Blip on a Screen - The Streets
Don't Forget Me - Neko Case
Kaufman's Ballad - Megafaun
Crosswinds - J Tillman
Coast of Carolina - Telekineses
Gimme Sympathy - Metric

p.s. time permitting a new dubstep mix will be done by end of year as well. also just ask me for a copy if you are gonna see me and it's yours.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

2009 British Television Advertising Awards

saw the BTAAs last night. interesting set of commercials this year.

apparently there wasn't a ton of advertising dollars spent and UK gov spent about 35% of the total so there were tons of PSAs this year. Also a lot of commercials for the BBC and I learned that their tv shows have agencies cut their trailers and plan the campaigns.

Here are my favs from the evening:

Cycle Safety - Whodunnit

it may not be the best PSA ever to come out of England but it's a really simple idea to show how easy it is to miss cyclists on the road

VW Golf - Enjoy the Everyday

VW had a lot of good commercials this year but this was my favorite. The soundtrack from sounds in and around the car is a nice idea but even better is showing how the car as part of your life.

Virgin Atlantic - 25 years

personally my fav as I may have called out here before. it is inspiring, it is funny, it has the product benefits, and it asks for the sale. not much else you could ask for.

and here is the best commercial of the year as voted by the BTAA. The Walker printed the wrong info in their program
Hovis - Go on Lad

It is a strong commercial and it seems to tap into the uncertainty of the last year, but that may be why I didn't think it was the best. we have been reminded so much of the trouble in the economy that I want to be inspired and uplifted by advertising. it's a tough line to balance though because you don't want to appear out of touch with society either.

I will be very curious to see the themes and tones that show up next year

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

music of the month - October edition

here are my fav music purchases of the month. they weren't necessarily released in October just purchased.

5: Five Years of Hyperdub

Usually I wouldn’t consider making a compilation my album of the year, but it has to be said that this collection is easily one of the top releases of the year. There’s a million reviews, so I won’t go into too much detail except to say this:
  • The selection of previously released songs on Disc 2 sound to me like a dance music label that is forward looking and continually pushing boundaries.
  • The selection of new music on Disc 1 though is a different matter. To me these are the sound of a group of musicians who have gone beyond genres. This isn’t dubstep, hip-hop, blip-hop, whatever. This is straight future music. Absolutely brilliant

J. Tillman - Year in the Kingdom

his second release of the year after the excellent Vacilando Territory Blues. Best known nowadays for being the drummer in Fleet Foxes, J. Tilman has been releasing solo albums since late 2004. his style has always been stark and melancholy, but not necessarily introspective until now.
The sound is akin to Minor Works with a mix of solo and fuller arrangements, however this album is definitely his most polished/produced sounding yet which may or may not be related to his day job. The first half of the album has a 60s folk-psychedelia feel but as you reach the end of the album the arrangements become more stripped down and reminiscent of his earlier work.
Though not as strong as his previous albums, I would still take a J Tilman album over most anything our there.

Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of Day
I didn't even give this album a second glance until I heard a few songs on Sound Opinions a few weeks ago. Even then I wasn't sure that this was an album for me, but I previewed the entire thing and decided to take a chance and I am glad that I did. Though I have a few quibbles, this album is one of my favorites this year.

This album takes the retro-future r'n'b sound of 808s and Heartbreaks by Kanye and develops it into something really interesting and with a lot of promise.

as I mentioned, I do have a couple issues with the album though:

  1. it's too long - needs to have at least three songs cut (ratatat productions, I'm looking at you)
  2. the completely misogynistic track 12 "make her say" - out of character with rest of album. worthless
  3. so I get that it is a concept album, but let people figure out the story. you don't need the narration song titles to tell you the story. Bat For Lashes was able to tell a similar story without all that. trust the storytelling in the songs to pull people along

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Life Lessons from an Ad Man

In this great TED talk, the Vice Chairman from Ogilvy argues that a perceived change in value can be just as important as an actual change in value

Thursday, July 16, 2009

add another one to the fire

uploaded the latest installment of to the DJ mixtape archive tonight

DRC - Androidgeny (pre-release) Feb 95

San Francisco Acid/Trance DJ DRC sent this pre-release version of her classic mixtape after we booked her for a MPLS rave in '95. slightly different from the official version and I always like this one better.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

what we gonna do here is go back

I've been promising/threatening to upload my old dj mixtape collection since I found a box of them in my mom's basement a few months ago.

I never seemed to find the time though, but once I found two more boxes of them this weekend, I knew that I absolutely had to upload them.

so with that in mind, the first two in what is looking to be a very long series have been uploaded and are ready to go. They are both tapes that were favorites of mine so the quality obviously is not the best in parts, but overall they don't sound too bad considering

to make it easier I am just loading them to a folder instead of linking to each individual file (hopefully this works out) - mixtape archive

DJ Earth - Volume 3
An early minneapolis DJ, this was one of, if not the first mixtape I ever bought. I was always fascinated by this mix becasue at the timeI didn't know what to make of the music. most of the DJs I was hearing were playing hardcore, techno, or more striaght up house and to me this sounded completely different. the first few minutes of side one are a little rough sound quality-wise but then it gets better.

Kikoman - Live at GR
Kikoman is from Grand Rapids, Michigan and I can't remember when exactly I picked this up (late 90s is as close as I can get), or why I did. I know it was labeled as tech-house and I think I saw his name on a detroit/michigan party flyer with Richie Hawtin, so I gave it a chance and always loved it. never got a chance to see him play, but turned a lot of people on to this mix.

so that's it for now. my goal is to upload 2-3 a month, so check back.

Monday, June 29, 2009

June Dubstep Mix - It Was Written

recorded this mix early June but finally had time to upload it to the interwebs.

it's a little shorter than normal so I was able to upload it at a higher bit rate making the sound a ton better.


Little Dragon - Twice (16 Bit Refix) - White
2562 - Kontrol - Tectonic
Breakage - Rain - Digital Soundboy
Geiom & Appleblim - Shreds - Berkane Sol
Mala - Miracles - Deep Medi Musik
Pinch - Teleportation - Planet Mu
Kryptic Minds - Six Degrees - Swamp 81
Kito - What If - Disfigured Dubs
Skream - Trapped in a Dark Bubble - Tectonic
Seven - Conspiracy - Aquatic Labs
Skream - Backwards - Deep Medi Musik
Damian Marley - It Was Written (Chasing Shadows Refix) - White

Saturday, May 30, 2009

going through the inbox

I've been spending that last couple of weeks getting caught up on the reading that I didn't have time for during the last few weeks of school.

I've let all my mag subscriptions except for new yorker and the believer run out, but with the New Yorker being weekly it is easy to get behind real quick.

add to that getting the latest issue of the ride journal and an issue of Cog magazine to try and it has taken me a while to be ready to read any of the plethora of books waiting for me next to my bed.

with that being said, I am onto the mar/apr issue of believer and saw that they awarded the 5th annual believer book award to Novel About My Wife by Emily Perkins.  I really liked this book (it was my second favorite book of last year behind Netherland by Joseph O'Neill). 

it reminded me of the story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in its description of a women's seeming descent into madness only through her husband's eyes instead of hers.  in other parts the descriptions of the couple's relationship and the troubles they have is true enough to remind everyone of the difficulty to be found in even a strong relationship.

it also includes one of my favorite passages about the loss of a person or a relationship:
That cliche - I can't imagine life without you - is bullshit. Of course you can imagine it. A poor, grey rag of a thing. Silence at the breakfast table and nobody to share the joke. Hollowness on waking. Sleeping at the wrong times. Uncoupled from the regular swing and tick of time. Doubled over in the supermarket, choking for breath by the freezer section, waving offers of help away, unable to meet their eyes. The shopping list in your hand not because there's so much to buy but because you can't hold anything in your brain.  Buying her favourite biscuits. Six packets of them unopened in the cupboard at home. I could go on.

absolutely brilliant and real.  I would recommend it if you haven't read it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Gear Review - Bicycle Fixation 4-Season Jersey

Was giving this gear some love via twitter this week but wanted to give it a better shout out so here you go.

Bicycle Fixation is dedicated to supporting bicycles and cyclists of all kinds, but have developed a line of biking gear catered to urban cyclists who want to have a bit of style that is bike ready.

For this past Christmas, received a pair of their knickers and a 4-season jersey.

Now that I’ve had a chance to try it out for a couple months, I can say I highly recommend this top. It works great as a baselayer on its own or as a regular top. I received the hemp and cotton one which isn’t as comfortable as a baselayer as the merino would be but I wear a summer weight baselayer under it frequently.

The best feature has to be the hood which has elastic and fits tight so it will go under your helmet. It completely blocks the wind (at least when the temp is 30s or above) without the need for a separate hat. This is a nice bonus when you get caught out later than expected or the temp drops more than expected. In really cold weather it also zips up into a balaclava to protect the face and neck.

I would definitely recommend checking out all of their biking gear.

My Thursday Commute - frustrated edition

Even though I thought that today was bike to work day, it appears that Minneapolis had lots going on yesterday.  I’m not sure who has the extra time on their commute to stop for donuts or whatever they were giving away but whatever works for you.  The other interesting thing I find is that all these extra people can take the time to commute that one day of the year, but somehow can’t get around to it the rest of the year?

Aside from that, I had some car-bike ‘interactions’ that lead to a very frustrating commute.

It started when I was leaving the bike locker at work and a car turned right on a red that was posted no turn on red and almost clipped me coming off the curb

Only a block later, I was waiting to turn left at a light and it turned yellow so I started to go through. Only problem was that a car that was over half a block away decided to gun it and go through the light almost taking me out in the process.

Then it was on the death wish that is the Henn Ave bike lane where not only did I have a car almost left hook me by the light rail but a motorcycle almost left hooked me at 3rd St too.

If all that wasn’t enough, I ran into one of my biggest pet peeves on University—a car using the bike lane as a right turn lane and completely blocking my way.  As I tried to work my way behind that car another car almost pulled into me trying to do the same thing.

Needless to say I was a little pissed off at this point.

I really try to do my best to follow all the rules of the road. I stop at stop signs on major roads, I stop at stoplights, I signal turns when it is safe to take my hands off the bars, etc.  But if cars are going to be this clueless, then is it any wonder that many bike riders are going to be aggressive and make their own rules?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

technologize yourself

I wanted to check out the new live Hold Steady album yesterday and went to the itunes store and came across a full live concert from The Hold Steady at Lollapalooza in 2006.

All the press surrounding A Positive Rage seems to treat it as their first live album, which would be fine if they hadn't released the 2006 concert on itunes.

This got me thinking about what constitutes an album in the music world today. When is it part of a discography or able to be played on the radio?

at this point, once an album is available legitimately to the public, it should be considered a release like anything that is available on CD in your favorite record store.

this may seem like a small, minor gripe of no significance, but I think it says a lot about the music and radio industries and technology. if an artist has a million friends on myspace why not treat the music like any other new release.

for 2 industries that are trying to remain relevant, it sure seems like they are just giving up sometimes.


btw in case you were wondering, the 2006 live Hold Steady is pretty good but Craig Finn's voice sounds pretty rough and scratchy.


on another note, despite being out of print on CD, it turns out that the Lifter Puller albums Fiestas + Fiascos and Soft Rock are available digitally on amazon (F+F on itunes as well).

appreciate the notice that these are sort of re-issued

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Getting it Right - Orange edition

Nice spot for Orange that complements their campaign to enter the market in Uganda.

It creates an emotional connection that keeps you watching and leads your thinking in a definite direction while letting you finish connecting the dots. A powerful way to increase your brand attitude.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Mar Dubstep mix - That Street Sound

been a minute since I posted a new dubstep mix so here you go.  

Fresh for 2009 I give you That Street Sound

Kryptic Minds - One of Us - Swamp 81
Sigha - Expansions - Hotflush
Tes la Rok - Bwwooy - Noppa
Noah D & Roommate - Street Sound - Thought
2562 - Embrace - 3024
23Hz & Numaestro - Zumo - 2nd Drop
Komonazmuk - Bad Apple - Hench
F - Untitled Dub - 7even
Skream - The Shinein - Deep Medi
Kryptic Minds - Six Degrees - Swamp 81
Truth - The Fatman - Deep Medi
Seven - The Darkness - Aquatic Lab
Chasing Shadows - The End - Hench
Cyrus & Distance - Violate - Random Trio
Loefah - Disko Rekah - Deep Medi
Joker - Digidesign - Hyperdub

Good Eats - La Chaya Bistro (brunch)

I had read a review of La Chaya earlier in the week and was intrigued by the concept of a Mexican-Italian restaurant. 

Once I saw the brunch menu, I knew I was going to have to try it soon and since brunch ended up just being Liane and I today, it was a perfect opportunity.

It turned out to be a great choice too as we both had fabulous meals.

We started with a pecan scone that was excellent and a fresh squeezed glass of blood orange juice.

Liane had the huevos rancheros which were simple but very tasty.  a single homemade corn tortilla topped with a fried egg and then a red salsa.  it had fried black beans and a small salad on the side as well.

I had the mollete, slices of bread topped with fried black beans, chorizo, and topped with cheese.  all of this run through the oven to make it nice and toasty and melty.  this also came with a salad that was a nice complement to the meal with its bright lemon dressing.

I am looking forward to trying their dinner menu, but they are definitely going to be a regular part of our brunch roster from now on.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

things we lost in the digital transformation

We moved a filing cabinet from one room to another and I spent the morning going through old paperwork figuring out what we needed to keep and what could be shredded or recyled.

as we approached newer dates, there were fewer and fewer pieces of paper because we went to online billing at more places.  This started me thinking of all the things that we are going to miss with the conversion to a digital world that we are in the midst of.

going through this kind of stuff (especially if you have stuff as out of date as we did),  you are reminded of old addresses, old hangouts, old friends, and on and on. once all of this stuff is digital we won't have this.

sure in theory you could pull up your account history and find some of this or have some sort of random slide show but it just isn't the same.

it's not like I'm some sort of anti-technology crazy, but once everything is upload, tagged, and searchable our world will be a different place, and I think that there is something kind of sad about that.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

people really fall for this kind of thing?

just got back from a couple of days out of town and this email was in my inbox.  apparently more and more people are falling for this kind of thing lately but I just can't figure it out.

PHONE NUMBER +229 97 017443.

I am MRS MARY DANIEL the Audit Manager & Accounts dept. in the AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB). I am writing to request your assistance to transfer the sum of $22.300, 000.00 (Twenty Two Million, Three Hundred Thousand United States dollars) into your accounts. The above sum which belong to an American national who is now late Mr.Raymond Beck Mrs. Dorene Beck who died on Egypt Air Flight 990 and since then the fund has been in a suspense account.

After my further investigation, I discovered that Mr.Raymond Beck Mrs. Dorene Beck died with his next of kin and according to the laws and constitution guiding this banking institution stated that after the expiration of (5) five years, if no body comes for the claim as the next of kin, the fund will be channel into national treasury as unclaimed fund.

Because of the static of this transaction I want you to stand as the next of kin so that our bank will accord you the recognition and have the fund transfer to your account. The total sum will be shared as follows: 50% for me, 50% for you and expenses incidental occur during the transfer will be incur by both of us. The transfer is risk free on both sides hence you are going to follow my instruction till the fund transfer to your account.

More details information with the text of application form will be forwarded to you to breakdown, explaining comprehensively what require of you. 

Your Full Name...........................


Your Sex.................................

Your Age.................................



Monday, March 09, 2009

they get paid for this? comcast edition

missed a couple of anon comments but here is my response...

fairplay anon 1 & 2. once I posted this I noticed the URL on TV as well, but in little bitty tiny type that is next to impossible to see unless you are looking for it. also why would you have a version on the website that is different from your tv spot in that small of a way. seems like a waste of money to create two versions that differ only by the URL being on screen.


we were discussing the new comcast ad campaign in my psychology of advertising class today and noticed a huge miss that I can't believe neither the agency or client noticed.

If you haven't seen the ads yet they put real people in to a habbo-like virtual environment and they speak-sing about the benefits of integrating tv/internet/phone with comcast.

I find them annoying personally and I think they miss the mobility boat but I think they do a number of things well:
  • they touch on benefits that you should look for and that comcast provides
  • they show a variety people with different needs benefiting from the product
  • they make it seem like it is easy to get these benefits
However if you watch the end of the commercial you may notice something missing (have you noticed it?)

what's missing is may not be obvious unless you realize that this is a fully integrated campaign with a dedicated website, but the URL is never shown.

also the commercials have the tagline dream big but that has nothing to do with the website name.  If you search the googles for "dream big" a paid ad shows up on the right, bit the comcast town website doesn't even make the front page.

I know I am still in school for this stuff, but this just seems like junior league mistakes here for such a big client and campaign.