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Module – Remarkable Engines

March 10th, 2011 No comments

Module is on amazingly prolific artist.

I accidentally found Module when looking for music by Jessica Chambers, since she features on the five track of his Remarkable Engines album a full seven years after it was released. Kiwis may find the thirteenth track What is Seems from the same album oddly familiar.

In 2009, he wrote the soundtrack for the video game Shatter, by local developer Sidhe.

I find it makes for excellent coding music.

All his music is on bandcamp in a DRM free format of your choice. Including FLAC.

Ultimate Music Source

March 6th, 2011 1 comment

Hi, my name is Edward, and I’m an audiophile.

I’m also cheap. I refuse to spend several thousand dollars on a CD player and fiddling around with swapping discs, when I’ve already gone to the trouble of ripping all my music to highly convenient FLAC files. Instead, I cheated. I did buy some nice speakers and an amp, but I’m not going to discuss those. Suffice to say that they are nice.

What I did buy, is a tiny silent computer made by NorhTec in Thailand, and a USB soundcard, made by Pro-Ject Audio, who reside in the Czech Republic. The computer is JrMX Microclient. It has a one gigahertz 586 compatible processor, 512 MB of ram, USB and ethernet ports, and in my version, internal space for a half-terabyte 2.5″ laptop hard drive. The delivered cost for this to New Zealand was USD$149 + USD$49 shipping, plus another hundred odd for the hard drive.

On to the computer, I loaded the latest version of the Debian* operating system, and the music playing software mpd. Onto my phone, I loaded MPDroid, which let’s me control said music software from my phone.

All my music is now on this computer, which I can control from my phone. This means I can come home, pull out my phone, and have all my music instantly available. I have no need to turn on my desktop, mess about with a laptop, external hard drives, insufficiently sized iPods, fumble with a poorly designed TV driven menu, sort through CDs, or any other such nonsense, it’s all just there.

It’s running. In a month or so, I might put up some technical details of the software, and how well it works in practice.

* Ubuntu doesn’t support the Ethernet module. Nobody seems to be quite sure why.

Gig – Stellar* @ Bodega

October 17th, 2010 No comments

Last night, Bodega hosted the second to last ever gig of Stellar*. Due to turning up far too early, my flatmate and I scored a fantastic spot right at the front table just to the side of the stage.

Unfortunately, due to Ticketmaster being a pack of useless overcharging fools, and everything on the Internet incorrectly indicating that there would not be door sales, we paid an extra $5.50 for the privilege of having to line up again when they finally got their act together and managed to send Bodega the list of people who had paid via the website an hour after the doors opened. For this privilege, they charge an $8 service fee – a fact which is hidden as much as legally possible. In future, when tickets for a gig are listed via Ticketmaster, I’m going to ring up the bar directly, and see if there’s door sales – it’ll be less of a hassle that way.

Moving on. For whatever reasons, my flatmate and I were making a run on being the only people in the audience under thirty. (Except for the two girls at the end of the stage, who made eye contact multiple times, where we had several opportunities to go talk to, including when they stuck around afterwards – but no, we wussed out like the sad geeks we are.)

Seth Hapu was enlisted as an opening act, accompanied by himself on his iPod for backing instruments. For those of you who looking up his videos on Youtube, that’s what he sounds like live – there’s no auto-tune here.

Clearly, the whole crowed was there for our fix of Mix. I own Mix and Something like Strangers, but I had to dig through my boxes of CDs for the latter of the two, since it never made enough of an impression for me to rip it onto my hard drive. The crowd was appreciative of the bands newer efforts, but it was only when Boh Runga told us that “This next song is called Undone” did the audience join in with the leg-slapping, singing-all-the-words and bawling-out-the-chorus dedication that indicates true fans. I’m pretty sure the band knew this all too well, since their expressions seemed to indicated that someone further up the chain of the record company wouldn’t let them simply play the entire Mix set. I suspect they got their own back however, when the inevitable encore brought the band out to end with the signature songs, Part of Me and Violent, played with the kind of hell-for-leather  and damn-the-executives approach that had characterised the favoured songs.

Which is probably just as well, since the whole affair lacked the controlled clean production values found in the studio version of the songs I’m used to. It was, like the band, a distinctly Kiwi affair. There was no security guards, and members of the band made fun of themselves, and talked to the audience during and afterwards. In some ways, it felt more like a new band just starting out, rather than an established eleven year old band on their farewell tour.

Stellar*, you will be missed.

Sola Rosa – Get It Together

August 27th, 2009 No comments

Sola Rosa is an Electronic band from New Zealand. They released Get It Together earlier this year, and now they’re currently on tour around New Zealand.

I’ve been playing their album a tonne through through the exceedingly cool preview system on Bandcamp. My favourite tracks so far are The Ace Of Space (1), Turn Around (Feat. Iva Lamkum) (2), Del Ray (3), and Humanised Feat. Bajka (4).

They’re playing next Friday at the San Francisco Bathhouse, ticket are $29.50 via pre-sale.

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Albums I Like

January 5th, 2009 No comments

I purchased a bunch of music in 2008. As in, actually purchased physical CDs. Here are some that I thought were quite good, along with the tracks that I liked. Some of these might be a bit different.

  • David Vandervelde – The Moonstation House Band
    • Jacket*
    • Moonlight (instrumental)
  • Anika Moa – Thinking Room
    • Good in My Head
    • Youthful
    • Harry & Leena’s Song
  • Nina Simone – Gold
    • I Put a Spell on You
    • Ne Me Quitte Pas
  • Cold War Kids – Robbers & Cowards
    • We Used to Vacation
    • Saint John

* I had this song set as my ring tone for my work phone when I was on call in my previous job. Now, every time I hear it, I think it’s 3am and the call center is ringing me to tell me a server is down.

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Don McGlashan has take up Residence in my Head

January 2nd, 2009 No comments

This song has been in my head for four days now. Out!

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