Geek Salad

iPod Therefore I Am

Friday 31 March 2006

Hadyn and Mike are two shuffles ahead of me: first up here, then here, here and here. I guess I'm more of a stumbler than a shuffler. This post would have been up sooner but it has taken me a week and a half to decipher the handwriting in my notebook. Plus I was thinking up a title but ended up subverting Hadyn's original (he's the thinker). The gist: play your iPod on random and make some rambling comments on the tracks you hear. Ramble on:

1. What is Your Secret? - Nada Surf, The Weight is a Gift

One-hit wonders of 1996, famous for their song Popular, a cheap shot at jocks and all-American girls. A friend surprised me by giving me a copy of their fourth album, The Weight is a Gift, which was released last year. Who would have thought they'd still be going and still playing some pretty good songs.

This album also provides me with more evidence for six degrees of separation: I once went snowboarding with the girlfriend of a friend who brought along her American friend who brought her brother along who's friends brother was in Nada Surf. There you go.

2. Mr Cab Driver - Lenny Kravitz, Let Love Rule

This one takes me back to my first year at uni. From his first album, the one he couldn't afford musicians for so he plays all of the instruments. A great anthem about discriminatory taxi drivers. Talk about easy targets ;)

3. Tell - The Stereo Bus, The Stereo Bus

A great album, any of the tracks of which would work perfectly in an angsty, late-teen drama or as a track on a mix tape for a girlfriend. NZ music has just hit 20% commercial radio airplay but there has always been great Kiwi music around, just ignored.

4. Stop - The Kleptones

One of the best albums ever mashed. Queen provide the rhythms and tunes while an amazing array of vocalists are mixed over the top (from Grandmaster Flash to Kanye West. Jethro Tull are even thrown in), punctuated with great lines from classic movies ("Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."). This isn't the best track on the album but it is as close to Hadyn's Justin Timberlake confession as I can get.

See the full sample list at wikipedia

Download the album at The Kleptones website. Ooooh, news-flash, the Kleptones have just released a new mash-up, a double album called 24 Hours. It's so fresh there isn't even a torrent for it yet but they are promising one by the weekend. Being a huge nerd I have run a ruby script to download all of the new tracks. Send me an email if you want me to burn you a copy.

For a good laugh go to Web design as it was in the mid-nineties. Don't miss their news-flash!

5. Song of the Shrimp - Frank Black, Honeycomb

Nothing has disappointed more than Frank Black's solo career. The Pixies reached amazing heights: from an incredible, raw EP and first album, to a gritty masterpiece, through the best surf album ever made. Even their universally regarded-as-mediocre swan song ode to alien abduction album would be a gem from any other band. But Frank Black solo: bad, bad, bad with the exception of his Cult of Ray album which I quite enjoy. Still nowhere near the class of his song-writing for the Pixies.

6. Yeah (Crass Version) - LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem

Long. Monotonous. Uninspiring. Actually the guitar riff's not bad but that was ripped off from Stevie Wonder's great track Superstitious (now why isn't that on my iPod?), and we all know that only the Red Hot Chilli Peppers can pull off a great Stevie Wonder cover.

7. Stone - Okkervil River, Black Sheep Boy

Maybe I'm getting old (and there's no denying that) but alt-country is where the best song-writers have gone. This track is outstanding and it's the low point of the album.

"I thought i knew the bitter dismay Of a lover who brought fresh bouquets every day When she turned him away to remember some knave who gave just one rose one day years ago"

8. Dr Lee, PhD (feat Money Mark) - Beastie Boys, Hello Nasty

If anyone knows where my Money Mark's Keyboard Repair LP is please get it back to me, I miss it so. The Beastie Boys without Money Mark is like Pink Floyd without Syd Barrett. Still good but far too serious. Thankfully they got over their feud to work together on this track for a good fun time. Yay.

9. Time - Tom Waits, Rain Dogs

"The rain sounds like the sound of applause"

Another great lyricist at his peak pulling off one of my all-time favourite albums. I don't know how many cigarettes he smokes a day (but I guess if you extrapolate from Coffee and Cigarettes he would be a 6.4 packets a day man, even though he's given up) but they work to give him his distinctive rasp, perfect for tracks like this.

10. Starlings of the Slipstream - Pavement, Brighten the Corners

Even though it never reaches the inventive, groundbreaking heights of Slanted and Enchanted or Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain I still love this album and this track is a highlight. I almost wore out the grooves on this LP. Admittedly the only reason my Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain LP is still in good shape is because I transferred it to tape. I don't think there's any coating left on that tape.

11. A Reminder - Radiohead, Karma Police CD Single

OK, OK, I've gone past 10 tracks but the good tracks just kept on coming. A great song to soothe you to sleep although it builds up intensity nicely, but not so much to wake you up again.

Track down the 12 inch Karma Police single for the best remix ever made: Climbing the Walls (Zero 7 Mix). Absolute genius.

And that's that. I am.

Monday 24 October 2005

More photos. Some of these are less than 2 days old!! A brief bout of organisation. I'm sure I'll be over it soon if I keep on the medication.

Wednesday 17 August 2005

Nothing too exciting. I just managed to get off my arse and sort out some of photos from the year so far.

Tuesday 23 November 2004

Another boring baby photo

Monday 22 November 2004

Four more photos of Isabella. Sarah took these on Labour Weekend when she was visiting her family up in Pukekohe and Cambridge. You can see that Isabella is already developing a taste for expensive sports and conspiracy theories.

Sunday 21 November 2004

A couple more photos of Isabella: one and two. One day I will catch up on some of the older photos. The big news is she started crawling 3 weeks ago. Now she a a rough-and-tumble all terrain vehicle. Time to child-proof the liquor cabinet and DVD collection.

I have also made some improvements to the home page here (geek alert!). One of the problems I have always had with CSS is that when a viewer increases their font size the divs never resize themselves to accomodate the larger text. Eventually the text spills out of the div. One day last week while playing with CSS in my new job at Weta Digital I realised that the answer was simple: specify widths in a proportional measure such as ems. Voila! Auto-resizing divs. Try it and see the menu grow like Mr Creosote.

Thursday 8 July 2004

Only one photo this update. It's been busy in the last month what with the hectic 48 Hours short film contest and a work trip to London. More photos and stories coming. Then again the Film Festival starts next week...

OK, here's one more from only two hours ago.

Friday 28 May 2004

OK, so it's been over a month since the last update but at last, after several irate text messages from the UK, here are some more baby photos from the last month. Isn't she cute. Oh yeah, we've also managed to name her (although not officially because we've lost the form). Isabella Molly Soane.

Tuesday 20 April 2004


Monday 19 April 2004

Just added a few more photos from Scott and Odette's wedding. A free beer (I recommend Emerson's Taieri George) for the first person who can guess what I Photoshopped out of Odette's hand.

Thursday 15 April 2004

Yay, an update! Some more photos of the continually unnamed little girl. Check out Week 8 (doesn't time fly when you're not getting any sleep). The intervening weeks will be added soon, I promise. Probably before she gets a name. Current frontrunners are Isabella and Sofia. Feel free to email me your vote.

Also, I have started adding some photos to the photography section under Portraits. Hmmm, having Portrait and Wedding sections make me sound like a real photographer and not the mild-mannered Dad that I am.

Sunday 4 April 2004

At last some changes. The seeds were sown at Christmas and now at last some organic growth is happening.

Check out photos from Scott and Odette's wedding last weekend. More shots on the way once my black and white film (yes, that 19th century technology) comes back from the lab. Check out the photography section now.