Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sloan X-Mas

Just found out that Sloan has released their Twice Removed deluxe edition as a digital download which has me torn. I really wanted to pick this up when I saw them on tour but it was $90 and I had to pass at the time. Now there's a digital option for $20 and it seems like a no brainer to get. What has me torn is, do I want a physical book to peruse or is the digital copy fine? Something to ponder.

Thinking of Christmas, here's a free Sloan holiday themed track...

                   
               
Later!

mike

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Ponderous Things

I don't know about you, but this place is really looking like it could use a facelift. I'm coming up on my eighth year of blogging (not a peep out of you who want to bring up the alarming irregularity of my posts in the last few) and I might need to rethink the whole idea of the blog. Or just spruce it up and write more for it.

I think when you have more people reading and commenting on your Twitter feed or Facebook page it kind of takes away from the desire to do anything lengthy or blog-worthy. If the roles were reversed, I'd probably spend more time here pondering and writing rather than going for the cheap and quick social media thrills provided by the "other guys".

Anyway, I'm going to put some thought into it and see what I come up with.

Until then...

mike

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Zoinks!

Saw this the other day in the parking lot where we take our recycling:

I really wanted to get around to the front to see if they had the spare tire there as well, but this was all full of awesome as it was.

Really short post, today, I know. Considering it's been a few months since I've been posting, I thought just about any new content was worthwhile.

Anyway, that's it for me for now.

Later!

m

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Infinite Playlist

So, yeah. I got it into my head to make a friend a mixtape (there really is no equivalent or comparable term for the burned playlist so I stick with mixtape) and while compiling the 17 tracks that would ultimately make up the hour of music I also got it into my head to create a cover for the disc from scratch, much like Nick in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

Sounded simple but, really, it was a bit more complicated than I'd hoped. I actually thought I would stress over the tunes more than the sleeve art but I was very, very, wrong. The music came quickly and the actual design came to me very late in the process. I knew that it had to be Jelly bean themed, but other than that I had no idea what I was going to do. Do I paint something? Are there a bunch of dancing Jelly beans all over it like some twisted California Raisin knock off? What materials do I use to accomplish this unknown project?

I knew, at least, that I would need a digi-tray to set the disc in but soon discovered they are harder to find than you might think. Digi-trays are not in high demand on a retail level and do not get stocked by your average, and even your not-so-average, music stores or big box stores. I found some online but I didn't need to order 200 of them, nor did I want to pay $40 for overnight delivery. I wracked my brains and came up with, what I thought was, an ingenious plan.

Hit the music stores that carry used CDs. They often have bargain discs for $5 or less and if they happen to have a disc held in a digi-tray I could buy it for a paltry couple of bucks, peel out the tray, and utilize it in my own far-out disc sleeve. This was something I was able to accomplish at a local shop called The Vinyl Exchange. I found a couple of weird world music discs in cardboard sleeves with digi-trays for $2 each and I was in business!!

I also found an Imogen Heap album and the first volume of Freakazoid!, both for $2, so that was equally awesome.

I grabbed some craft supplies from a local dollar store (cardstock, construction paper to cut into jelly beans, etc.) and proceeded to assemble the case for the disc.

It wasn't a difficult process but it was time consuming. I created and folded the cardstock cover and glued the digi-tray in. Then I cut out each individual jelly bean (all different colours) and glued them on to the cover one-by-one. Lastly, I grabbed a Sharpie and wrote up the liner notes and song info. I wanted to do something design oriented on the disc itself but I didn't have the time or materials so I just left it blank.









I was pretty happy with the results with the exception of how egg-like many of the jelly beans came out, and I attributed the image on the inside of the case to Monet rather than Van Gogh which, as an Art History student, shames me greatly. The person I gave it to doesn't know the difference but I felt like I should still cop to the fubar publicly so perhaps that will go some way to evening out the karma.

I enjoyed the experience, overall, and will likely try it again. I've put together another playlist for the same friend but I don't think the effort for the first one was appreciated much so I may shift the next project to someone else. I'll post images of that one as well when that happens.

Later!

mike

Friday, June 15, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake

A little while ago I made a cake. That doesn't sound like a big deal, I know, but there's a bit of a story behind it and the expectation for how it would eventually turn out was the subject of much speculation here at Jozic HQ. I forgot to take any pictures until very late in the process so I grabbed what I could (it's a pretty amateur effort at chronicling the experience compared to what my bud Carly over at the Citric Sugar blog does on a regular basis).



The story behind the cake takes us back to Ottawa and a trip I took there with my lovely wife about 2 years ago. We stayed with a couple of friends, Meg and Ian, and after supper on one of the nights we were there Meg brings out this chocolate cake. It's the most delicious chocolate cake I have ever tasted in my life. I can eat piece after piece of this thing but, of course, I'm only allotted the one. I beg for the recipe, which she mails me, and I sit on it for 2 years until I finally decide on my holidays that, yes, by gum, I'm going to make this durn cake for myself and see if I can recreate the magic.



Overall it went well, I guess. There were parts of it that I was unhappy with, and despite being told the frosting was perfect, I didn't really think I nailed it. It was good, though. It was eaten fairly quickly. I shared with friends and family and, although there were critiques, nobody just flat-out disliked it or refused to eat it.



A success on some levels, but I'm hoping with the next effort I can achieve better results. Even slightly better results would make me happy.



Laters!

mike

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Passion Pit

I've kind of been ignoring the ol' blog of late. I managed to restore the settings after my last bit of experimentation with Blogger and templates and what-not, then summarily bailed on it. That was a bit uncool.

So, I've returned, ever-so-briefly to share with you a band I've recently discovered called Passion Pit. There's a lot I like about this group, and some I don't, but I dig this song and thought I would share it with you. The site I got it from described it as alternating "between car crash drum-and-bass explosions and a plodding melodic pop that bemoans the many stages of grief inherent in heartbreak." That was all they had to say to hook me, what can I say?



Hope you enjoy.

m

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Under Construction

Well, I decided to play around with the customizer and, as it turns out, I probably shouldn't have. What ultimately happened was I mucked about until I mucked it up and now all the presets and sidebar info and everything custom about the blog has been jettisoned. So, the posts are still here but nothing else is. Which, I suppose isn't a tragedy, seeing as I don't post nearly as often as I should, and I don't get a great deal of traffic, so it's likely nobody has even noticed yet.

Ah, well.

I'll probably have to come on a little later and do some adjusting to get things back the way I would like them to be. Until then, it's going to remain pretty bare bones here. Maybe I'll compensate by posting more. You never know.

Later!

mike

ADDENDUM

Obviously I figured out how to restore my old template. I'll still probably try and tweak it at some point. Everything else is changing, so I may as well. More on this later.

m.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Siamese Dreaming

I've got a little free time on my hands and I've been going through my music collection, filling holes, organizing what's already there, and listening to a lot of stuff I haven't had on rotation for a while.

One such album/srtist would be Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins which I consider to be one of the best rock albums ever. No hyperbole. The songs, the words, the sounds, are all tremendously good and so very tight. The layered guitars, the insane drums, the ethereal quality of Corgan's voice and lyrics which, I would say, has never been recaptured on any other Pumpkins album make this album near-perfect for me. If I'm trying to get someone to listen to the Pumpkins, I usually toss them Siamese Dream.

Now, from everything I've read and heard, after all the tracks had been put down, Corgan went back and rerecorded the guitars and bass originally played by D'arcy and James Iha. The only tracks he didn't mess with were those of Jimmy Chamberlin because Corgan did not know how to play the drums. This would, if the stories are true, make the whole album a collaboration between Corgan and Chamberlin and all that implies.

Other albums followed but most without Chamberlin as he was kicked out of the band after a keyboardist they were touring with died as a result of a drug overdose which Chamberlin was involved with. I won't get into details but the story is probably detailed here.

Flash forward to the 2007 release of the newly reformed Pumpkins album, Zeitgeist. Now, when I say newly reformed, I should qualify that D'arcy and Iha did not return to the lineup for the same reasons they left the band in the first place. Chamberlin, however, did take the opportunity to reconnect with his old band as Corgan had never agreed to losing him in the first place. So, we have Corgan and Chamberlin together again working on this 'new' album - the same guys who were essentially responsible for Siamese Dream - and it turns out to be utter shit. I don't even consider it a part of the true Pumpkins canon because it sounds like a band trying to sound like the Pumpkins rather than actual founding members of the band making up for lost time.

So, what went wrong? I dunno. Maybe D'arcy and Iha had a much stronger influence on the music than people give them credit for. Maybe Butch Vig was instrumental in bringing everything on SD together the way it did. All I know is that the same guys did it perfectly once and cocked it up royally the second time around. Go figure. Maybe it's true what they say about how you can never really go home again.

And on that note...

Later!

mike

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Superman

If you didn't know (and until today, I didn't know, so if you feel bad, don't), today, February 29th, is Superman's birthday. A big Superman fan I know was having a get-together tonight to celebrate and I couldn't attend so I figured I would, at the very least, post something here on the blog, especially since I've been silent on here for roughly two months. I wish I could have been there to celebrate big blue but in lieu of actually being there and debating whether or not the New 52 Superman is better or worse than the previous incarnation, I did do something Superman related today; I picked up the first season of the 1950s television show The Adventures of Superman on DVD for $10. A little less camraderie involved, sure, but I did my part. I'll probably watch an episode or two and maybe some features before bed, I'm sure.

mike