Archive for August, 2013

“Wake up, it’s time to die”

The first music video from local band Ephrata is out, and it’s just as delightfully cracked as I hoped it would be. Sword fights, poisonings, arson, all in surreal slow motion against stunning backdrops. And yet it still fits the haunting drone of the song, entitled “Belle of the Ball”. The band also has a new 7″ inch out, available on their website.

“Where the sky’s blue forever”

The latest from Danish singer MØ, “XXX 88”.

Elegant Argument Against American Protectionism

“In the United States, the East has had over the West all the advantages which protectionists say make it impossible for a new country to build up its manufacturing industries against the competition of an older country – larger capital, longer experience, and cheaper labor. Yet without any protective tariff between the West and the East, manufacturing has steadily moved westward with the movement of population, and is moving westward still. This is a fact that of itself conclusively disproves the protective theory.” – Henry George, Protection or Free Trade

Found via the always-excellent Cafe Hayek.

Urban Kaleidoscope

“Ain’t sayin’ you’re perfect, but you’re really really good”

The new single from Dan le Sac and Scroobius Pip, from their upcoming album Repent Replenish Repeat. I love this tune. I really dig the industrial feel and the lyrical pacing. The lyrics themselves feel almost uncomfortably honest, which works well with the voyeuristic turn the video takes during the bridge. Definitely looking forward to the album.

“Hey pretty baby get high with me”

Because it’s been almost a month since I posted a Neko Case track, and we really can’t have that. This one is “Star Witness”, off of her brilliant 2006 album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood.

Amazon Silk: Now with Enhanced Shininess

If you wonder where your humble host has been these past few weeks, I submit for your consideration the shiny new look and feel of Amazon Silk. Thanks to all of my colleagues on the Amazon Silk team. The new version is a huge step forward and I know for a fact that everyone busted their asses to get it done.

I’m on the team that owns the UI look-and-feel and a lot of the user-facing features, so this is a pretty big release for us. I’m damned proud of the browser we delivered and I hope our customers enjoy the new hotness.

And now, a word from the tech press:

“The latest version of Silk has made several improvements, starting with a new tutorial that gives users a better look at the features when launching the browser for the first time. Once the tutorial is completed, you’ll now be greeted by a new start page with a listing of most-visited pages and an empty address bar so you can quickly get to browsing.

Other improvements include a better tab layout to make navigation easier, a new slide-in panel navigation bar as well as an improved “Readability view” that strips out the excess parts of a page to make it easier to get through long articles on web pages. As a whole, the Silk browser seems to have received a much-needed facelift that should impress Kindle Fire users.” – Andrew Martonik, Android Central

Along with the update, we’ve also put out a Developer’s Guide for any web devs curious about Silk and some of its unique features.

Evidence for the Death of Albums, Exhibit n

Die Antwoord, from an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

Are you guys still planning on coming out with solo records?

Yo-Landi: We decided to just do singles, not records anymore. It’s so long. You have to take a year off. At the end, you make maybe 20 songs, and we only end up using 10. It’s such a long process. In the end, the ones with the videos are the ones that seem to be [popular]. So we think it’s better to make a single and make a video for it, a single at a time, instead of a full album.

Ninja: You will get an album over a period of time, an album’s worth of material. But we’re just dropping a single with a video. We feel like it’s a waste for us to make a song with no video. It’s an extension. It’s all one thing. The song exists really strong, and the video gives it a good frame. It’s all part of the same thing.”

Living in the Future: Bathing Edition

William Gibson said that Japan is the world’s default mental setting for the future. That’s just as true for the mundane as it is for the esoteric.

“Now that we all understand who’s in charge here”

Writer and musician John Roderick expands on his infamous “Punk Rock is Bullshit” article.

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Magic Blue Smoke

House Rules:

1.) Carry out your own dead.
2.) No opium smoking in the elevators.
3.) In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
4.) A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place.
4a.) Penalty one stroke.
5.) Pilsner should be in Roman type, and begin with a capital.
6.) Keep Calm and Kill It with Fire.
7.) Spammers will be fed to the Crabipede.