adrian is rad


another “colour” spectacle

Filed under: — adrian @ 12:22 pm

From the same people that brought you that spectacular bouncy-balls-in-San-Francisco Bravia ad (which, incidentally, first alerted me to the amazing Jose Gonzalez) comes another amazing commercial. It’s basically a building demolition/ fireworks display, except done with paint.

The commercial is pretty great by itself, but go ahead and watch the making of as well. The actually did all of that (as they actually dropped a quarter of a million bouncy balls down the hills and streets of San Francisco). There’s something really cool about doing something that would be a little cheesy with computer graphics instead with real materials, people and dollars (or pounds, as the case may be). The Brits seem to have the corner on that market, starting with that ridiculous Honda ad a few years back.


I’m on the radio tonight! listen!

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:10 pm

Last minute^H^H^H^H^H^Hfew hours, I’ll be filling in for a sick DJ tonight from 6-9pm PST on the KZSU. Listen in!

Give it a listen—it’ll actually start at a reasonable time for you east coasters. Also, I won’t be on tomorrow in my normal slot because of the aforementioned Sebadoh concert.

[Update:] playlist


half nelson

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:36 pm

I saw Half Nelson tonight. Basically it’s a story of a gifted inner city teacher whose life is also falling apart and who has a massive drug problem. The teacher also develops an unusual (and at times inappropriate) relationship with a student.

Ryan Gosling (I love those cupcakes like McAdams loves Gosling. Two, no six, no twelve, BAKERS DOZEN.) plays the teacher, a role for which he was nominated for an Oscar (but did not win).

It’s a hard movie to watch;—umcomfortable enough that I physically squirmed at a few parts. But the acting and story are good. Gosling and Shareeka Epps, who played the student, both turn in stunning performances.

The ending seems to happen about five minutes too soon. The future is indicated, but weakly enough that there is still a hint of doubt.


Announcing! February 2007 Mix Tape (vol. 8)

I meant to post this the one day I was back between South Africa and Mexico, February 14, but I got held up. I had a brilliant theme, given that it was St. Valentine’s Day: Love Songs: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Well, it almost worked out but I feel like it won’t have the same relavence or weight posting it today. Oh well.

You can download the zip file with the following:
1. mp3s of the songs
2. liner notes
3. playlist files (iTunes txt file and an m3u file—I think the m3u file might actually be right this time)

(for the iTunes file, simply import all the songs to your library and then go to file->import and then select the song list. you should now have the 2007feb playlist in your iTunes with all the songs in the correct order).

If you want to read the liner notes before downloading the whole thing, they’re here. There are a bunch of great songs on here, from 60s girl groups, to Pedro the Lion (he sure is good at the Bad and the Ugly), to Jose Gonzalez. I also took this one apt opportunity to throw in a couple ’emo’ songs.

Adrian’s February 2007 mix tape [zip file]

This’ll be up for a limited time (~1 week) before being moved to a password protected folder.

If you like the artists or songs, I suggest supporting them by buying their music, going to a show, buying merchandise from them or at least telling other people about them.

Anyway, I hope you like this one even if it’s a bit past its due. I have a bunch of great songs in my mind for the next one, so hopefully I can get back on track for that one.

suddenly busy concert week or two

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:54 pm

I haven’t been to a rock show in a while and all of a sudden, it seems like I’ll be going to quite a few, with Noise Pop this week, a couple of Stanford Concert Network shows and some random bands coming through (some of which I’m considering/ am seeing multiple times). Here’s what it looks like:

There are also Badly Drawn Boy w/ Adem, Elvis Perkins, Adem (headlining) and other bands at the end of March. Goodness, life’s so hard.

Sacred Harp Singing, Awake, My Soul, and I Belong to this Band

Filed under: — adrian @ 11:05 pm

I saw a review of I Belong to this Band: 85 Years of Sacred Harp Recordings in the latest Rolling Stone (which I apparently have a subscription to, maybe because I’m a world famous radio DJ.) I tried to find Rolling Stone’s review online, but I did find one in Stylus.

From that CD, I found a documentary about Sacred Harp, Awake My Soul. Did anyone see this? Apparently it aired on PBS recently. The trailer actually give a decent, quick introduction to Sacred Harp singing.

For a taste of it, listen to my favorite song in this style (from the Alan Lomax-recorded Southern Journey, V. 9: Harp of a Thousand Strings – All Day Singing From the Sacred Harp by the Alabama Sacred Harp Singers):

Alabama Sacred Harp Sings – Sherburne (mp3)

Sacred Harp (wikipedia!) is a form of shape note singing, which was developed as a form of notating music such that four shapes on either a line or a space indicate the eight notes of the scale. Sacred Harp was a hymn book written using shape notes in 1850s. It’s been sung in pretty much the same way since that time, largely in the American South. See also: how Sacred Harp is sung.

Usually there is a different conductor for each song. The singers run through the melody once on solfege before running through the song once. They then move right on to the next conductor and the next song. There’s no practicing or rehearsing songs.

My favorite idiosyncrasy the style are that the singers just sing. There are no pretenses of being polished.

In much the same way that it’s been sung for the last 150-odd years, it’s still sung today, in fact, I could (and am considering) sing in a group in Palo Alto though, I have to admit I’m not very good at site singing.

Ralph Stanley at St. John’s Presbyterian

Filed under: — adrian @ 8:54 pm

Last night I saw Ralph Stanley at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley. Laurie Lewis opened. Tickets were due to my wicked smarts and quickness with the internet in responding to a flavorpill quiz.

Laurie Lewis (and Tom Rossum and the Right Hand Band) was up first. She’s a local bluegrass fiddler and singer. Her band’s set was good and her band’s tight. It went by pretty quick.

Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys came up next. Right at the beginning of the set, Laurie came back on and made a big deal because it was the eve of Ralph’s 80th Birthday. They had a cake and a proclamation from Berkeley’s mayor.

Once the festivities ended, the set started in earnest. Ralph introduced the members one by one (including Ralph Stanley II and Nathan Stanley, the grandson) and they did a short number featuring that member. They then did a few full band numbers, Ralph did ‘O Death’ solo and a capella, and then went back around featuring each member that had a solo CD out (which was most everyone). From there it was a couple more full band numbers before the set ended. Ralph didn’t do all that much in the set aside from singing on the full band numbers and playing clawhammer banjo for one song. It seemed a bit obvious to me that this was, at this point, a franchise. They were selling the Stanley name and artistic vision more than his actual musicianship. It sort of reminded me when I saw the Count Basie Orchestra 15 years after Count’s death.

All of that said, his band was tight. When you’re Ralph Stanley, you can get some good pickers for your band, certainly. Going into the show I was actually a bit afraid that the show would drag on a bit, but, even though the set was well over an hour, it didn’t bore or drag on. For Ralph’s performances himself, he certainly can still sing and play a mean clawhammer banjo. I enjoyed the night.

(more photos after the break)

Elvis Perkins live (studio) mp3s

Filed under: — adrian @ 7:01 pm

Daytrotter has some mp3s of a recent in-studio by Elvis Perkins. They’re four songs, all originally on Ash Wednesday. The voice recording is a bit boomy but they’re otherwise good.

Arcade Fire live in NYC

Filed under: — adrian @ 6:51 pm

I haven’t talked about music much lately. I’m about to unleash a slew, so steady yourselves.

NPR has Arcade Fire’s performace from last Saturday at Judson Memorial Church in NYC both streaming and download. The first few minutes are a bit rough fidelity-wise because the band starts the show in the audience for the first song.

Also heresay has mp3’s from the Friday Judson show, all split up nicely.

wikipedia is so weird.

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:18 pm

I understand writing stupid things in wikipedia, but sometimes people write really, really odd things. For example, someone ammended hair:

Sometimes the hair can become transparent. I don’t know how this happens but it just does. Beware of transparent hair, and if it does happen to you quickly use your own urine as shampoo.

Of course, it has since been editted out.

(Thanks to Jesse for this. I can’t link to him anymore because he abandoned his blog.)

Avedon’s In the American West at Cantor Arts Center

Filed under: — adrian @ 1:11 pm

Dylan, Melissa and I went to the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford to see their exhibition of In the American West by Richard Avedon. It’s a set of photos taken from 1978-1983 of largely working-class inidivudal from the “West” against a white backdrop. It’s mostly working class and non-working people: miners, housewives, farmers, drifters, house-wives.

They were originally taken on 8×10 negatives. The prints are huge, 1.5-2x life size. You can see every detail and with the white backdrop, the audience is left to study the face, the eyes, the scars, the oil or coal or gypsum or drit from the hard day’s labor in the mine.

The exhibit is arresting. As a photographer, I feel like I would done it differently. I wouldn’t have done the white backdrop, for example, though I think it worked to good effect.


this one goes out to Dylan

Filed under: — adrian @ 10:49 am

Ipod Breathalyzer with FM Transmitter

Better or worse than that ipod dock/ toilet paper dispenser?

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