Six Degrees of Brian Eno
I'm on another music-buying kick. I bought a huge chunk of albums yesterday at a local used record store called Rasputin's. They have CRAZY selection there. It's huge. I filled in a lot of gaps in my prog rock and new wave collection, also some jazz and hip-hop:
- Del tha Funky Homosapien - Both Sides of the Brain
- Brian Eno - Another Green World, Here Come the Warm Jets, The Essential Fripp & Eno (with Robert Fripp)
- The Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics
- The Gorillaz - Demon Days
- Herbie Hancock - Thrust
- Jethro Tull - Bursting Out (Live)
- King Crimson - the ConsruKction of Light
- Best of Ladysmith Black Mambazo
- Miles Davis - In a Silent Way
- Mos Def & Talib Kweli are Black Star
- Peter Gabriel - Plays Live
- Pink Floyd - Meddle
- The Police - Regatta de Blanc
- Queen - Sheer Heart Attack
- Ryuuichi Sakamoto - BTTB
- Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
- Van der Graf Generator - The Least we can do is Wave to Each Other, H to He who Am The Only One
- Ween - Mollusk
- The Who - Tommy, Who's Next
- Yoshida Kyodai - Vol 2
- Frank Zappa - Uncle Meat
Time permitting, I'd like to do capsule reviews on these.
I decided to become a Brian Eno fan since he's worked closely with some of my favorite musicians - the Talking Heads, David Bowie, and Robert Fripp of King Crimson. Brian Eno is one of those guys who's not so much famous in his own right as he is the power-behind-the-throne of lots of much more famous artists.
In fact, you can probably play "Six Degrees of Brian Eno". Sushu challenged me to find one for Bjork. Here it is:
On the soundtrack for Dancer in the Dark, Bjork sang a duet ("Seen it All") with Thom Yorke from Radiohead, who got together with Andy McKay to cover some Roxy Music songs for the Velvet Goldmine soundtrack, and the first two Roxy Music albums featured Andy playing along with Brian Eno. Ta-daa! That's like 3 degrees.
P.S. I am a nerd.
Creator Studio with the author of Axe Cop
I'm going to a a comic artists' event in San Jose on March 6. It's put on by SLG studios, a company I haven't heard of, but the important thing is that there is going to be an "interactive demonstration" of graphic storytelling technique by Ethan Nicolle, the artist of the amazing webcomic Axe Cop.
Haven't heard of Axe Cop? Ethan does the art; the story is written by his 5-year-old brother. The result is...
"But the avocado caused Dinosaur Soldier to turn into an avocado who can shoot avocado out of his hands."
...unique, and hilarious. The kind of weirdness a 5-year-old can come up with is really impossible to fake. You should read it!
Yuki Hoshigawa #33
Yuki Hoshigawa # 33: Do you want to be a stalker? is up. I'm rather proud of this one.
Many thanks to Sushu for the post-production Photoshop work!
I just might be able to keep to this 2-comics-per-month schedule. Huzzah!
By the way, I fixed the comment form on the comic page, and I added a new RSS feed just for the comic. So you can subscribe to that if you want to get just the comic and not the blog.
I got a shot of H1N1 ("swine flu") vaccine on Tuesday.
By Wednesday morning I had a sore throat and mild fever, like I was coming down with a cold. But was it an unrelated cold, or was it an immune reaction to the vaccine?
Today I've still got a sore throat; if I had caught a cold my nose would be running by now, and it's not. So I'm pretty sure it's an immune reaction to the vaccine.
I know that vaccines work by basically giving you a mild, non-virulent form of the virus. But this is the first time I've had anywhere near this bad a reaction to one.
If the vaccine is this bad, I'd hate to have the real thing!
One of the worst things about playing the accordion is that there's nowhere good to put the sheet music. My collection of paper sheet music is rapidly expanding (I just added a printout of the Beer Barrel Polka downloaded from the internet.) I got a music stand, but that only helps if I'm at home and sitting in front of it. What about when I'm traveling around giving performances? Last Thursday I brought the accordion to work (yes, on my bike; that was "fun") and played it for the Firefox 3.6 launch party, and the lack of any place to put sheet music was a real problem.
Here's the plan: I'm gonna get me a set of goggles with built-in video-screen, like these ones here. Hook it up to some kind of smartphone/pocket computer. Write a program for said pocket computer that will scroll sheet music across the screen at an adjustable rate while generating synchronized metronome clicks. Then I can load a large library of music into the phone, and I'll always have it in front of my face even if I'm dancing around.
That's right! I'm going to be an... accordion cyborg!
If all that works out, then Phase 2 is going to be hooking a microphone up to the accordion and sending that into the phone as input. Then I can run the signal through a Fourier transform to detect what notes are being played, and compare those to what's on the sheet music to give myself a score. It will be just like Guitar Hero! I think Guitar Hero is just about the best teaching method ever devised, except the skill that it teaches you (plastic baby guitar) is completely useless. Why not apply it to a skill I actually want to learn?
WARNING addictive Flash game
I had plans for today, but then I found a link to Fantastic Contraption, and before I knew it I had wasted the whole day. So be warned.
It's a 2-d physics engine puzzle game. Each level has a pink ball that you're trying to get into a goal area; there are five very simple pieces which you can use in unlimited quantities to get it there. (Three kinds of wheels, two kinds of sticks). Everything behaves according to mostly realistic physics, and half the fun is watching your plans go awry as objects tip over, collide, get flung, slide off of edges, roll away, etc.
Unlike other physics-engine puzzle games (yes, this is a genre now), Fantastic Contraption doesn't limit your piece supply or score you based on the complexity of your solution, and levels have no single right answer. So your creativity can run wild. It's up to you whether you want to find a brilliantly elegant solution using a single falling stick positioned just so, or whether you want to use 300 pieces making a giant walking spider bot with back-mounted trebuchet to deliver the pink ball in style. There seems to be quite an active YouTube community posting videos of their proudest achievements.