Category Archives: music

For Whom the Smell Tolls

I noticed some similarities between my baby daughter’s name, and the name of a famous band. And so this was born:

If the logo survives the vetting process, Spreadshirt will put one of these in the mail to me shortly:


links for 2009-03-06: Pile o’ toys

This impressive augmented reality demo from GE inserts computer-generated 3D objects into live video. First, watch the short video. Then, try it yourself.
Israeli musician “Kutiman” took a big pile of seemingly random YouTube video clips and used them as instruments in his own musical compositions. I could not stop listening to these. My favorites are tracks 2 and 3. His site is overloaded at the time of this post; for now you can see samples here, here, and here.
Can you be an awesome DJ using nothing but a web browser and your computer’s keyboard? Yes you can.
A curious programmer, inspired by Roger Asling’s evolution of the Mona Lisa, asks if the technique could be a good way to compress images. Also take a look at the nice online version of the image evolver he wrote, in which you can set your own target image.
Hilarious Livejournal diary done in the style of Rorschach from the Watchmen comic book series.
The Crisis of Credit, Visualized – An extremely well-produced video describing the credit crisis in simple terms. – “Netflix for impatient people”. A remix of the Netflix site that is “about a quadrillion times easier to browse than Netflix’s own site”.
$timator: How much is your web site worth?
Cursebird. A real time feed of people swearing on Twitter. THANK YOU, INTERNET!
Leapfish. An interesting new meta-search engine with a clean interface. “It’s OK, you’re not cheating on Google.”
Twittersheep. “Enter your twitter username to see a tag cloud from the ‘bios’ of your twitter flock.”
PWN! YouTube. This is a great idea. You just type “pwn” in front of “youtube” in the URL, and voila; instant links for downloading and saving the videos.

links for 2008-10-30

MTV Music – huge archive of linkable and embeddable music videos. Finally! MTV does something music-related!

Roanoke Robotics Society and Club – We actually have a Robotics club in little ol’ Roanoke? Very surprising! In fact, they are hosting a robotics competition event at our science museum this Saturday. We’re definitely taking Iris to this!

Terrorist ‘tweets’? US Army warns of Twitter dangers – Microblogging: A platform for Jihadists?

Paris Hilton In Space – “Paris Hilton will be among the passengers on Richard Branson’s first Virgin spaceflight.” OK, this article just made space less cool. We send enough junk into space as it is.

Sarah Palin Cabbage Patch dolls. *Wink*

Creative computing: Pushing eyecandy around

Back in 1993, during freshman year of college, my friend Brian McEntire introduced me to the “demoscene“, which is, at its best, a group of extremely highly skilled (and often very young) computer sound/video programmers who specialize in creating dazzling presentations that run in real-time on computers. Demoscene folks spend a lot of time trying to out-program each other, showing off what kind of amazing audio and visual effects they can do with computer hardware. Demos at the time were amazing to watch. When I watch the older demos now, 14 years later, they seem very quaint and primitive.

Second Reality, a demo by Future Crew, one of the most famous demo groups back in the 1990s. This was cutting-edge realtime PC sound and graphics back then.

Some of the best demos have come out of the Assembly demoparty, an annual Finnish gathering of demoscene enthusiasts which features a demo competition. Many people enter their productions into the competition, and the winning entries are usually very high quality. The recent Assembly demoparty was held in August 2007, and I was amazed by the creative and dream-like stylistic quality of the winning demo, LifeForce, by Andromeda Software Development, a Greek demogroup.

Screenshots from LifeForce by Andromedia Software Development. Click for a larger view.

To see this production in glorious motion, download the high-quality 246MB AVI movie file via this link. It is a much better experience than watching the embedded lower-quality YouTube version below.

LifeForce demo. Youtube does not do it justice. Get the high-resolution version!!

The pure skill and creative talent needed to generate these real-time productions (the animations are NOT pre-rendered), combined with the fact that the best demo groups consist mostly of teenagers and very young adults simply doing this stuff for fun in their free time, continue to amaze me.

The art of unnecessary censorship

You’ve heard that Iggy Pop song, “Lust for Life”, right?

Well, the new Yahoo Lyrics service thinks that your poor little impressionable mind is not ready to be exposed to such deviancy:

I think we can all tell Yahoo Lyrics to **** off.

I think he blew my mind.

Geekery, as revealed by an instant messaging exchange with Josh:

josh: You know what’s better than Dune?
josh: Iron Maiden.
josh: You know what’s better than Iron Maiden?
josh: Iron Maiden having a song about Dune.

Blips and Bleeps

When I was a kid, I spent a fair amount of time recording songs off the radio. That was back in the cassette tape days, when the only music piracy you could enjoy was whatever you could rip off the airwaves onto your hissy little boom boxes. The ones that would occasionally eat your tapes, chewing up the precious magnetic strips of musical goodness. You’d spend hours rolling the tape back into its plastic housing, unfolding the Gordian knot as you went, eager to preserve the now warbly-sounding once-glorious musical treat.

One night, some time in the late 80s, the local public radio station in Fayetteville was airing some so-called “space music”, which intrigued me, so I busted out ol’ Tape Eater and perched over the record button, ready to capture whatever spacey sounds came out of the radio. What came out was a synthesized song that began my long-standing infatuation with electronic music:

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If the above Flash player doesn’t work, try this direct link.

I’m dying to know the name of the artist who composed this song. Does anyone have any guesses? It’s been bugging me for many years now. The song sounds a bit dated and cheesy today, but I credit that song for diversifying the dominant influences of metal and skate punk on my early teenaged musical interests. Metallica, Anthrax, and Suicidal Tendencies began to make room in my stereo to co-exist with artists such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Kitaro, and Wendy (formerly Walter) Carlos. Nowadays I listen to large swath of musical styles, including many genres and sub-genres of electronic music.

The second “space music” tune I recorded that day follows:

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(direct link)

I’ve never stopped enjoying the discovery of new music. Life would be pretty drab without it!

Beauty of math and music

I love this math/music toy that Jeremy told me about: The “Whitney music box”.

“A flash animation showing the relationship between chromatics, harmonics, and even primes and non-primes.”

“A musical realization of the motion graphics of John Whitney as described in his book “digital harmony”

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Be sure you try the other variations. And especially try Variation 17, which lets you crank the spiral yourself. Hmm… “Crank the spiral?” Sounds like some kind of surfing euphemism.



To celebrate National Day Of Slayer (today is 06/06/06), check out the novelty lounge version of Slayer’s song “War Ensemble” amid this medley of samples from Richard’s Cheese‘s album “I’d Like A Virgin”. Also noteworthy is the haunting Tori Amos version of Raining Blood.

Ultimately, EVERYBODY just wants to makes music.

Remember 80s movie staple Rick Moranis?

You loved him in Ghostbusters. And Little Shop of Horrors. And the Honey, I Shrunk the Everything series of flicks. Well fast-forward a bit from the 80s (a VERY long bit, come to think of it) and you’ll find that he’s released a country music album, of all things, named “Agoraphobic Cowboy”.

(his site | his explanation | amazon reviews)