Archive: July, 2008
Or perhaps you prefer pink?
I guess this could be useful: It's a free white noise generator, with a dial to fine tune the density if the static to your preference. There's also a "pink noise" option. What's pink noise? Well it seems a bit bassier. For a more technical explanation, let's consult the grey noise generator that is Wikipedia:
Pink noise or 1/f noise is a signal or process with a frequency spectrum such that the power spectral density is proportional to the reciprocal of the frequency. For pink noise, each octave carries an equal amount of noise power. The name arises from being intermediate between white noise (1/f0) and red noise (1/f2, more commonly known as Brownian noise).
Not to be confused with the brown note.
|They made us promise to hold off on reviewing the X-Files movie until today. |
It's today now, so you can read the review here.
|Hudson Street Press, Aug. 5|
Remember Danica McKellar? No? How about Winnie Cooper from The Wonder Years?
Yes, it's always tragic when a one's real-life identity is swallowed by a fictional role, and it's especially devastating for one's acting career. But instead seeking steady acting work, McKellar has reached into the recesses of her intellectual past — she majored in math at UCLA — to write books geared toward square-root-hating pre-teen girls.
Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss (Hudson Street Press) is the follow-up to her successful Math Doesn't Suck, with even more cute boy metaphors to help the 11-to-14 set grasp integers and exponents. For more than 300 pages, McKellar reframes math for pubescent perspectives: If it's too hard to remember that 3x and 4x can be added together, just realize that they like like each other (whereas 3xy and 4x are just friends). "Integer" may sound too dull, so just think of "mint-eger" — positives are peppermint and spearmint ("These are good for a date in case, you know, there's going to be kissing involved," McKellar writes), and negatives come from the risky Harry Potter Jelly Belly store.
I was never a pre-teen girl, but it still seems like Kiss My Math is the kind of book a mother would push on her daughter after some bad report cards. McKellar's tone is that of the grown-up trying to communicate to kids after adulthood has robbed her of the ability to relate, and she often comes off patronizing. But the unintentional condescension may be easily lost on the target audience. And hell, if it works — and the letters of appreciation spattered throughout the entire book suggest that it just might — then who am I to knock it?
|Episode 2's winning design
CP fashion platelette Rebecca Grites sizes up Season 5 of Bravo's Project Runway every week on Critical Mass.
Going green may be all the rage, but what about all the rage? I remember clearly marked enemy territories by Episode 2 in seasons past. All 5’s giving us is poking fun at the easiest target — "leatha" momma Stella — and then ending scene with a hug of good jest. I want bitter! I want mean!
As far as designs go: Terri got jipped big time. Her navy dress with a fringed halter deserved a spot in the top three, unlike Kenley, whose tulip collar we’ve seen on that runway one too many times. Who would've thought Suede would steal hearts this week with his slashed satin mini tulle masterpiece and that poor Wesley would get auf'd with a knife to the heart from Nina Garcia, the ice queen to freeze all ice queens? All it takes to annihilate the hopes of a Marc Jacobs rookie: Tell him his model looks cheap.
As for the weeks ahead, Tim Gunn's comment clips are coming off weirder than ever — and that’s wonderful. I need to know what a "pterodactyl out of a gay Jurassic Park" looks like, as well as what would make the master of quality, taste and style want to "jump in front of a taxi" before slitting his wrists.
We got a glimpse into Episode 3's rainy-day field trip with that out-of-the-blue bro, Keith, puking at every turn. Keep your fingers crossed for bear claws. Otherwise, a puking bro is just another day at college — not another day on the Runway.
View all the designs from Episode 2 here.
Jon Solomon is once again ready to guide us through another 80 minutes of finds and recommendations from the region, highlighting some of the best bands you can still phone up without dialing 1 before the area code.
We begin with one of Philly's biggest exports of the moment, Dr. Dog, whose circular piano and fuzz-bass riffs blend together in a tasty indie-psych swirl called "Old Days." Driver UFO delves into the basement for some woozy lo-fi pop, sounding like if Seam got drunk and recorded straight to four-track like Guided By Voices used to. Meanwhile, Dave P. & Adam Sparkles serve up epileptic techno that speaks in robot tongues with "Hoover's Apprentice," which, in its latter half, recalls the engine-sampling beats of Sebastian's "Motor" (caution is advised for the seizure-prone).
|Pattern is Movement|
Pattern is Movement's "Sound of Your Voice" gets chopped up with a remix by CYNE, who tricks it up with a slick verse and some old-school beats. Bottom of the Hudson, on the other hand, craft inspirational soundscapes that reflect sunrises over riverside cities. Sunshine Recorder makes noisy, spectral rock jams that sound like a band filling its primitive cave dwelling with jagged guitar licks and powerful, near-tribal drumwork. Jake Lefco gets back on the rap tip with "Teeth Chatter," a murky, sinister freestyle that wears Philly with pride.
|Bottom of the Hudson|
Goodnight Stars Goodnight Air break things up nicely with dreamy synth atmospherics that conspire to make soothing sleep tones for your insomnia. Sean Hoots, who fronts Hoots & Hellmouth (alumnus of fantastic Philly rockers Pilot Round the Sun), deals in the kind of delightful, twangy barroom anthems you might find on the trucker route between Memphis and Nashville (out-of-towners: note that they're touring extensively this fall). Academy's sunny garage rock will make you grin from ear-to-ear. Duochrome's fuzzed-out guitars on "Negotiating the Driveway" may be firmly rooted in earthly matters, but the interstellar synth riffs above shoot the chug-alug into the stratosphere. Bitter Bitter Weeks' pretty "Trouble" is a nice acoustic breather amidst all the hot beats, big muff pedals and extended jams.
The Cirque bring the noise back in a dancey guitar workout that takes a '50s rollerdisco rhythm track and lovingly fucks it into timeless oblivion, while Velvet Crayon provides a tribute to Nick Drake before thickly applying a layer of Why?-styled (ahem) "indie rapping." Love City are Philly's own, of course, but they might as well be from Detroit Rock City — these guys boogie down with classic rock riffs and some pretty breakneck BPMs. The World Blanket see us off with "This Old West," a vulgar, ass-kicking, horn-augmented slab of deep-fried alt.country. It's the summer — what more could you ask for?
Dr. Dog - "The Old Days" - Fate
Driver UFO - "Issac Newton" - This Is Harrisburg, Not Topeka
Dave P. & Adam Sparkles - "Hoover's Apprentice" - The Sound / The Music
Pattern Is Movement - "Sound Of Your Voice (CYNE Remix)" - mp3
Bottom Of The Hudson - "December Is Only A Window" - Songs From The Barrel Commando
Sunshine Recorder - "Last One" - mp3
Jake Lefco - "Teeth Chatter" - Missing Trooth
Goodnight Stars Goodnight Air - "And Forever" - And Forever
Hoots & Hellmouth - "Home For Supper" - Cdr
Academy - "I Fought The Diabetes & I'm Up 3 To 1" - Hoags (c)
Duochrome - "Negotiating The Driveway" - Tactical Knives
Bitter Bitter Weeks - "Trouble" - S/T
The Cirque - "The Cricket" - Legion Of Boom vol. 1 (c)
Velvet Crayon - "The Ballad Of Nick Drake" - S/T
Love City - "The Other Side" - mp3
The World Blanket - "This Old West" - Pressing Issues
Once again it’s on and poppin’ (for reals)! The 31st annual Rock Steady Anniversary weekend comes correct with another four-day event filled with music, art, history and culture translated through the limbs of the BBoys and BGirls that flock to the East Coast every July. Organized by the famous hip-hop crew, Rock Steady (of which Philly’s DJ Skeme Richards and BBoy YNot are members), the plethora of activities include a celebrity basketball challenge, dance battles and workshops, and of course, some fly ass parties. It all starts tonight. Another connection – in 2004, MC Reef the Lost Cauze won the End Of The Weak (EOW) Challenge at the RSC Anniversary.
As always, the crew will also honor the legacy of those RS members who have passed. This year they pay homage to classic BBoy Frosty Freeze. Seeing that Philly has a definite dope bboy scene (let’s not forget homeboys Phresh Select who repped the 215 on MTV) and the fact that Newark (the spot for the all day FREE concert, jam, food drive) isn’t that far away, I thought it appropriate to have a little chat with RSC president and original member, Crazy Legs about the 2008 festivities.
In the beginning:
The first one we did was Straight from the Heart. We put that together as a music seminar in 1991 and to honor members of RSC that had passed away. That on top of doing something that was a throwback to things in the park being free. There were the main reasons. Every now and then someone passes away and it makes it more important to honor them - brings awareness to those that may not have heard of them. This year’s free concert is a food drive and we are donating it in the name of Frosty Freeze.
On the controversial move of the free concert to Newark:
It has been a rollercoaster road. When it was in NY, it was easier to pullout. At Lincoln Park in Newark the accessibility isn’t the same. But if NJ is willing to show love and not put a block on us and give us a venue, we are happy to go out there and do what we do and do it to the best of our ability.
Still putting the CRAZY in Crazy Legs:
A couple of years ago you found me on the floor battling at these events. Although I throw the event, I can become part of it and have fun.
Old School vs. New School BBoys:
It takes a lot to impress me. Just acrobatics doesn’t do it. Just the fact that these brothers and sisters still come to our event is wonderful. We’ve been in the game for 31 years. it is impressive that we can achieve that. Relevance is that young brothers and sisters are going to add their element to the game. I won’t say, ‘back in my day’…I want them to feel accepted by us as well. We can guide them through our history.
Gettin’ down with RSC:
Rock Steady family in the 80’s, we had like 500 members. We were a big street crew, it was a different approach. Now, we want to go over quality over quantity. There has to be a vibe (between existing members and new members) over everything else. If you aren’t vibin’ with everyone else, I don’t care how dope you are. If you do get into Rock Steady – you have to go through a Right of Passage, which is usually a random battle. The person has to be on their toes. Whatever element you are a part of, you support that and everything that makes hip-hop. RSC is a hip-hop crew, not just BBoy Crew.
RIP Frosty Freeze:
FF and I met in 1980 and I battled him randomly. FF played a big role in bringing other members from Upper West Side to RSC. He was a part of all those things we did like Wildstyle and Style Wars. He was a part of prominent battles. Not to mention he was the protector of the crew as well. It was that type of relationship.
What people can expect this weekend:
A meet and greet weekend. People come from all over the world. They come there to vibe with people, make connections. It is some what of a conference and a great way to bridge the gap between cultures. It is a great summer vacation. They get to see pioneers and different artists. Some people try to make things so elaborate that it ends up failing. We do what we do – present a good hip-hop week for people. This is not meant to be a commercial event that is so extravagant. It’s in New York it is always dope!
No false idols before me
So, if you and I are of like mind you probably think Jenga would be much more fun if you could just blow stuff up. Behold Totem Destroyer, which is pretty much that same concept. Basically, you've got a golden idol - that looks like a monkey crossed with a duck - sitting on top of a stack of blocks. The brownish blocks can be blown up (black is indestructible), sending the stack down, either orderly or in a complete mess, your choice. The only catch is the idol can't touch the ground or you'll bust it's head and have to start again.
See how far you can get, just watch out for the green blocks, they're slippery and bouncy.
Play Totem Destroyer here.
|Photo | Tami Fertig|
|Not the same.|
Eating a new fruit.
I always kinda knew that figs were not just Fig Newtons, but if you asked me, what's a fig? I might still point to a Newton and explain that it's a crumbly cookie envelope containing a moist, sticky jam. Then I saw a little box of real figs — fresh figs — at the Fitler Square farmers market (every Saturday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.), and they didn't look or taste anything like the kind from the box.
Imagine, instead, a sleek, pink-ish, yellow-ish blob (or just look to your right). The folks at Wilmington, Del.'s Highland Orchards sell four or five of them for $5 and recommend just washing them and popping them in your mouth (provided they are soft and ripe, which they were). I followed these instructions and experienced a variety of textures: the gooier-than-Newton insides; the crunchy seeds; the thin, silky skin. Tasted a bit like a peach or a plum, only much sweeter.
Though figs were one of the first fruits recognized as yummy to humans (remnants have been found in sites dating back to at least 5,000 B.C.), fresh ones are not sold so frequently anymore. Part of the reason is they're extremely perishable (eat them within one or two days of buying them, or else!). Of course, you can always preserve them — get helpful tips here — or bake a batch of newtons yourself.
Too many heath benefits to list here, but it's worth mentioning that figs have a whole freaking lot of fiber, which could be very good or very inconvenient, depending on the rest of your diet. Anyhoo. People also say they've got aphrodisiac qualities because of the way their insides look. And how do they look, you ask? You'll have to eat one to find out.
Francis Ford Coppola’s farm team.
|Zoetrope All-Story, quarterly, $8|
There are only so many bucks to made in books, especially the literary kind, so it’s to a writer’s benefit to at least consider thinking about resorting to stooping to experimenting with telling a story that could one day become a movie. No shame in it.
Zoetrope All-Story, founded by Francis Ford Coppola in 1997, is very upfront about its cinematic underpinnings. For one thing, every issue features a “Classic Reprint” of a work which ended up a motion picture. The current issue includes “Vacation ’58” by John Hughes. (First line: “If Dad hadn’t shot Walt Disney in the leg it would have been our best vacation ever!”)
But Zoetrope’s got its eyes on the future, too. The magazine “considers submission of stories and one-act plays under seven thousand words; first serial rights and one year film option are required.” Signing over your soul or pulling off the ultimate publishing two-fer? I could think of worse fates for a short story than having a guy like Coppola try to make a movie out of it.
Every issue’s got a guest illustrator which means each one looks different and some are tough to look at. (Sorry, Tim Roth. No design awards for Mr. Orange.) The current edition is a pleasantly wide and simply arranged booklet put together by Mark Mothersbaugh (yep, from Devo). He went with a lot of weird oversized cartoon drawings that break up the text nicely.
The issue features Marissa Perry, Shaena Lambert, Yasutaka Tsutuni, Sana Karasikov and that John Hughes thing mentioned earlier. So, yeah, you only get five stories and a couple periphery pieces, but the batting average is high; Zoetrope rarely prints crap. Previous issues star Miranda July, Pinckney Benedict, Woody Allen, Adrienne Brodeur, John Barth, lots of good stuff. If they’re gonna sell us on this idea of cinema-friendly short stories, it doesn’t hurt to have some starpower.
- Arts Events
- First Person Fest
- Last Chance
- On the Fringe
- Philly Artists
- The Curator
- Visual Art
- Arts News
- Artist Profile
- Arts Preview
- Street Art
- Been There, Done That
- Big Ups
- LOL With It
- Critical Mass
- Friday Fill-in
- Ice Cubes
- In Memoriam
- Just Do It
- Just Opened
- Art Phag
- Film Fest
- Movie Review
- On set
- 10 Track Mind
- Album Review
- Concert Review
- Local Support
- Now Hear This
- One Track Mind
- Philly Bands
- Somebody Else Was There
- The Showdown
- concert photos
- DJ Nights Blogged
- Night Watch
- Now See This
- Poetic License
- Printed Matter
- What We Heart
- Idol Hands
- Mad Men
- True Blood
- Useless Lost Recaps
- Couch Potato
- Shore Trash
- Turned ONN
- Video Games
- Free Online Game
- PlayStation 2
- The 1-Upper
- Web Junk
- CAGE MATCH
- Free Online Toy
- Weekend Omnibus