9 Aug 2013

Look up to a shining light

Author: will | Filed under: LBC, music, video, YouTube

There are days when a Loose Bloggers Collective topic is fun and bothersome. Shackman came up with “If you could only hear 5 more songs what would they be and why?”, well I can’t pick 5. I have narrowed it down to 6. Or 38 depending on how you count.

Let’s start with a bit of creation, “Baba Yatu” by Christopher Tin.

This has shown up on the blog before. Its a favourite I discovered by accident when Jemima Kiss and Aleks Krotoski were talking about game music on the Tech podcast. And for those of you who didn’t guess or recognise it, its the opening sequence to the game Civilization IV, and was the first video game theme to win a Grammy award. Its a soaring theme that feels like hope. Its also the “Our Father” in Swahili.

And I just love it. When I find a song I love I tend to play it repeatedly live a seven year old. A lot of YouTube bits passed over my screen.

The next three all have the same source. I used to review music, so when a song stuck, it needed to be good to stick.

First is the loud “For the Kids of the Multiculture” by Sonic Boom Six.

SB6 are a Manchester based band I heard nothing about before I heard the track. And I played it silly. Its the kids saying, we may be different, but we will work together despite of what’s put against us. It’s soft of inspiring.

Next is “When the Night Kills the Day” by Lauren Pritchard.

I knew something was wrong about this song, then I realised that “Blue Roses” is a euphemism for bruises. Its the song of the abused still in love with her abuser. And based on an old job which sometimes haunts me, I know there is a lot of truth in those words.

Lastly of the three is “It’s Not Easy Letting Go” by Candi Staton.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bought the CD behind this. Candi Staton is best know for her classic disco tracks and remixes, but It’s not easy, is an older sound. Its a love song, most of her songs are, but this is, sometimes you have to let go, and the resignation in her voice shows that its a breaking heart singing with a brave face.

And now, the numbers go weird. I got interested in mashups (back when they were called bootlegs. I know, I know, its a really messy term now), and DJ Earworm was a feature since the very beginning. Now this gut has a reputation, so much so that Annie Lennox approved him to do a mashup of her back catalogue in “Backwards, Forwards“.

The track features parts of “Why”,  “Walking on Broken Glass”,  “Little Bird”,  “No More I Love You’s”,  “Waiting in Vain”,  “Something So Right”,  “Dark Road”, “Sing” and “Shining Light”. It ends up being a bit of a retrospective of a great artist.

DJ Earworm has a reputation now. In 2007 he took the Billboard top 25 for the year and ran his magpie brain over them to make a single track. Its become a yearly tradition now. My favourite is from 2011 with “World Goes Boom“.

There are some tracks that just make you want to dance. Isn’t that enough for inclusion (and no I’m not going to list the sources).

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “If you could only hear 5 more songs what would they be and why?”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar. And I think I need to find a link for Shackman.

The LBC topic this week is online shopping, and this isn't about online shopping, but metamathematical analysis and predications to the London riots and looting which took place in 2011.

Hannah Fry from UCL has a nice video for the analysis. It seems that, yes the riots could be predicted, how the riot would spread, but not the spark to set things off.
It turns out that the distribution of rioters travelling to the riots match the distribution of shoppers travelling (or rather retail spending flows).

And as for the five finger discount, or "shopping with violence", matches shopping analysis and also the predator-prey model.

Looking at mobile phone analysis (memo, turn your phone in the airplane mode, or off before rioting), the spread of the "idea to riot" follows the contagion model, and the spark zones matches the recent budget cuts.

Which means I need to look at the new austerity measures a lot more closely…

28 Dec 2012

Just saying that this is Dublin

Author: will | Filed under: Dublin, Ireland, Irish, video, YouTube

"I still believe in Bewley's"… I think that's the only line you would need to change to do a version of this in any Irish town or city. I still believe in Sir Henry's, I still believe in King John's, I still believe in Eyre Square…

So take a walk through very late night Dublin City, with salty (NSFW) language and a fundamental truth, "there are ten good reasons to go, but a thousand tiny ones not to, and you can't tell which is which anymore."

6 Dec 2012

The rain falls down

Author: will | Filed under: Ireland, LBC, music, video, YouTube

The icy weather across the country has broken for rain. And I'm playing catch-up with the Loose Bloggers Consortium, again.

The missed topics are "Rains", "Doom and Gloom" and "Music" so the song below comes to mind. "When the Rain Falls" by Eleanor McEvoy.

This song first came to my attention when the "A Woman's Heart" CD came out. This was an all female, all Irish, compilation of songs and the title song sung by Mary Black was written my Eleanor McEvoy. Unsurprising as she is one of Ireland's highly accomplished songwriters (I really hope there is a league table hidden away somewhere for this title). The album released in 1992 spawned a few sequels and spin-offs and a couple of tours. Poke around YouTube and you'll probably catch a few of the tracks.

The song its self is a jazz, well blues, influenced number. "I woke up this morning" isn't how it starts, but its a collection of minor disasters following a break-up. The coffee's run out, the milk has gone off, the heating won't start, have trouble getting on-line, and when she does, the nasty reminder awaits.

And then it rains.

But it sounds so good.

This is a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on “rains”, “doom & gloom” and “music”.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.

It seems like months ago that a US based TV crew came to film a Coder Dojo session and interview a few of the participants.

Well folks the video is up and it shows sessions in the NCS Cork and the Science Gallery in Dublin.

There are Coder Dojos all around the world now, we really need to see if Coder Dodo Antarctica is possible (I suspect a "R" workshop would be best there).

And yes that is me, looking terrible as usual, in the clip. But its also some amazing minds coding, modding and creating.

CoderDojo.com for details of your nearest Dojo.
Above all, be cool…

13 Aug 2012

London 2012 ain't over yet

Author: will | Filed under: London, social change, stereotype, video, YouTube

Makes you wonder why the games are not combined, or at least interleaved…
For example, have the Mens Olympic 100 meter final followed by the Men's Paralympic 100 meter (part and whole) events.
Why not?

And goalball whizz kids David and Adam Knott is not just why I'm following it.

24 Jul 2012

Bring on the House

Author: will | Filed under: CoderDojo, conference, Dublin, video, YouTube

Coder Dojo celebrated its first birthday by going to Dublin. In act it went to Leinster House for DáilDojo (The Irish Houses of Parliment and its "lower" house) and have a Dojo between Leinster House itself and Buswells.

A few TDs (Irish Member of Parliament) and Senators showed up, some with their kids, to learn coding. We also had Minister Ciarán Cannon and an Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny. I doubt either of them learned even Scratch, but its a start.

I still want to force a Minister to solve the Blockly Maze demo (no I wasn't let).

4 Jul 2012

Rock and Roll 1953-2011

Author: will | Filed under: advertisement, music, video, YouTube

Alex from the +Chicago Music Exchange plays his way through 100 riffs of Rock and Roll from 1953's Mr Sandman by Chet Atkins through to 2011's Cruel by St. Vincent. Someone should do a 100 riffs podcast where you try to interview the people involved and the reactions at the time.

However a non-stop uncut riff through 100 riffs is worth seeing. Its also the table quiz music round from hell.

Naturally its being done in the hopes of going viral (so my little push) with a give-away to boot, but the page behind it http://www.chicagomusicexchange.com/100riffs/ lists all the details, the gear used and the songs and keys featured.

So sit back and enjoy the history lesson.

13 Jun 2012


Author: will | Filed under: Cork, creativity, Dublin, music, record labels, social change, social network, video

Fund:it is an unusual site. Essentially its an Irish only Kickstarter.com Kickstarter clone. What makes it unusual is that large amount of funded projects for such a small population.

I suspect that its the Irish version of the 6 degrees of separation. The theory is that all people are separated by only 6 degrees. In Ireland, with its small population and, well, habit for talking to complete strangers when bored, its about 2 degrees of separation.

That means that if you check in on the projects, you'll likely see someone you know.
Like +Ophelia McCabe .

OpheliaMc is her stage name, and its an actual stage name because she stands on stages and podiums at hip-hop gigs performing. She also works with youth projects, essentially creating a +CoderDojo for rappers, MCs, singers and hip-hop producers. She teaches the mostly female group (I expected a lot of guys) about lyricism and vocalism since 2008.

Which is how I met her.
She is one of the good guys. I would say she rocks, but I don't know if that's right for the genre.
She is an excellent artist.

And she is using Fundit to source-fund her debut solo album and own label, SPLOSION records. The FundIt link is http://www.fundit.ie/project/opheliamc–solo-debut-album

There are a lot of YouTube clips of her, so you can see if you like her sound before you pay your pounds. Or Euro, or Dollars…

And for the record, I put my money down already. I've seen and heard her live. I'd love to hear what a produced version sounds like.

For the record, not safe for Lunch. And X was the easy one according to +Jennifer Gardy