Monday, December 28, 2009

Compendium o' Links

Haven't done this in a while; and since my RSS feeder was overflowing with goodies, here goes:

Hillbilly Music gone mainstream? That balloon bass is very cool.

I think this is some dude's PhD thesis. Whatever it is, I want one.

Oh yeah, oh yeah, OH YEAH!!

None of my friends growing up had tree houses or play houses. These kids have something else altogether.

Have you ever had a hankerin' for some candy, but couldn't decide what? Well, wonder no more.

Who says we Canadians aren't crazy?

Can my ipod really make this airplane explode?

Most of these links below are from Dubious Quality. I'm just reproducing.

For any one who grew up in Ontario in the 80s, watching Rick Vaive, this story is very amusing.

Two interesting stories about...traffic lights? Here and Here.

An interactive website of historical scientific progress.

Scared of the real estate market and the stock market, but need a place to invest your money? How about Somali pirates?

No photoshop or camera trickery here; just clever painting. Meet the Ghostman.

Finally the best link of the day: the year in pictures (3 parts)

Top Music of the Decade: Honorable Mentions

So I put together a list of my favorite songs/albums of the decade a couple of days ago. I seem to have forgot a lot. But according to my convoluted logic, since I didn't remember it the first time around, they can't be on my "top list" but on my "honorable mentions" list.

So, here goes:

The band Fun. came out of nowhere this year and put an excellent album together called "Aim & Ignite". Here's "All the Pretty Girls" as a sample: (apologies in advance for the lead singer's pants. )

One of my new favorite Christian bands, Everyday Sunday, put out three albums this decade. I loved them all. Here's a sample, "Stand Up" from their debut:

I've long since lamented that radio in the metropolitan New York City area is abysmal. When I do listen to radio, 90% of the time, I listen to either Pandora Internet Radio or CFNY out of Toronto, cause I really hate NY radio. The two NY stations I do listen to are WRXP and WFUV (an NPR station). I did discover one new band from WFUV: Bell X1, and their song "The Great Defector". It's interesting to note, that it took WRXP 3 months to catch up.

Finally (for now, until I remember more), is the Welcome Wagon, an Asthmatic Kitty special with their song Sold! to the nice Rich man:

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Favorite Songs of "the decade"

So, everyone else seems to be putting together some pretty cool "best of" lists for the decade. Since I aspire to be a music connoisseur, I thought I'd start with my favorite songs.

Let me begin by saying that this is not intended to be a best of list, but a list of songs I enjoyed. I am a late arriver to the "ipod generation", having an ipod for the first time only a 2-3 years ago. So my primary judgement will be how much I listened to it. Consequently my list will be heavily skewed by the last few years.

Anyways, in no particular order:

Regina Spektor - Fidelity (Begin to Hope):

Andrew Bird - Scythian Empire (Armchair Apocrypha)

The National - (Boxer) This entire album is phenomenal. Here's "Fake Empire" as a sample:

Spoon - Underdog (Ga ga ga ga ga)

Editors - Smokers outside the hospital doors (The End Has a Start)

Mika - Grace Kelly (Life in cartoon motion)

The New Pornographers (Twin Cinema) This one I put on for the entire album. And before anyone yells at me for the name of the band, it is taken from a Jimmy Swaggert quote "Music is the new pornography". Here's "The Bleeding Heart Show" as a sample.

Jars of Clay (Good Monsters) Again, an entire album for the list. Here's "Dead Man" as a sample:

Steven Curtis Chapman - Heaven is the Face (Beauty Will Rise). Note, I'm not usually a SCC fan. In fact, historically, I've been an anti-SCC fan. But this song (and others from this album) are incredible.

Arcade Fire had two albums come out this decade: Funeral and Neon Bible. Both are excellent. Intervention is my favorite from both:

And last on this list is William Shatner's version of the Pulp's Common People (Has Been).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Babies, A Movie

The trailier below is from an upcoming documentary by Thomas Balmes, entitled "Babies". It apparently follows the lives of 4 babies from 4 vastly different places around the globe. The first I heard about this is from MPT's blog. It certainly looks very cool:

Background song: Sufjan Stevens, The perpetual self, or "What would Saul Alinsky do"

Tangent: I'm really becoming a fan of Sufjan. I really like all that I've heard of his music: (Just search youtube for more, or Elbows.)