(not so) Recent Concerts

Since my last update, I’ve been to two shows at the Middle East in Boston. I’ve been sitting on this post for weeks and weeks now, and in the interest of getting things off my plate, I’m posting it as-is without any images.

The first show took place downstairs and featured Freezepop, with The Information [myspace], The Main Drag[myspace] and Michael Hensley. The Main Drag’s performance was so much better then I had expected from such an early act. Their cover of LCD Sound System’s All My Friends is to die for. The Information is another great northeastern rock band that I really enjoyed. I’ve picked up “8 Track”, but I’d really like to get their other album as well. Freezepop played for an hour and a half and put on a great show. Their stage presence perfectly balances being larger-then-life rockstars and down-to-earth scenesters, and it feels like they show is a dialog with the crowd. Icy roads made it so I didn’t get home until 4am.

The second show was upstairs and featured Casiotone For The Painfully Alone [myspace], with Clue to Kalo [myspace], Musee Mecanique and Pants Yell. I went to the show for Casiotone and I wasn’t disappointed by Owen Ashworth’s performance (although he wasn’t set up to perform some of my favorite songs). The other bands weren’t my cup of tea, but the beer was good (Sam Summer and Harpoon Munich Dark on tap) and my friend Karl lives within walking distance of the club, so everything worked out fine.

I Never Liked You

I just read through the graphic novel I Never Liked You by Chester Brown. It was a pretty quick read for me, and what the New York Times described as a “troubled youth” was – for the most part – a typical nerd youth. Although the story ended on a low note and left me feeling empty and depressed, it did leave me hungry for more of his work and I’ll be checking out Louis Riel from the library as soon as I get a chance.

Tettix – The Artist Formerly Known As Cicada

I was watching a time-lapse video of the assembly of a LEGO Ultimate Collectors Millennium Falcon, which I understand is the largest LEGO set ever released with over 5000 individual pieces. Personally, I’m still waiting for the DBZ set with over 9000 pieces… What really caught my attention however was the surreal, synthetic background music. Thankfully Boing Boing Gadgets editor Joel Johnson took the time to talk about the music in the post.

The band is called Cicada. It turns out quite a few musicians decide to name their group after the cacophonic insects, so make sure you’re looking at the correct group if you look them up. A lot, perhaps all, of their music is available to download – for free – from their website. I’ve grabbed 3 albums so far: Technology Crisis and Technology Crisis II seem to be in the style that they are best known for. The songs sound likey they’re ripped directly from video games except that they are original compositions. The third album I listed to, Choralsepctic is a completely different animal, being comprised of a cappella renditions of popular music and, in a few cases, more video game music. I’d highly recommend giving them a listen if any of the above sounds entertaining to you. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose except a few MBs of bandwidth.

6/17/08 – Just a quick update to avoid long term confusion: Cicada changed their name to Tettix.

EMail Encyption on OS X using GPGMail

Mail encryption has always been something I’ve wanted to do, but avoided because I didn’t have a seamless way to encrypt and sign my messages. After reading comments by Donald Kerr, Principal Deputy Director or national intelligence, where he says that american citizens need to understand that privacy means the government and businesses protecting their information, I set about taking matters into my own hands once again.

Luckily, I’ve been using Mail.app on my Macbook as my primary mail application for some time, and I found this article on setting up the GPGMail. The instructions there work almost flawlessly despite being over 5 years old. I’m still contemplating an eloquent way to start the entropy daemon to start on startup, and GPGMail doesn’t work with Leopard yet, but should be up in a few days according to the author.

My current public key is available on MIT’s Public Key Server, just search for 0xC339DB0B.

Desktop Tower Defense

Desktop Tower Defense

./ linked to this article on the most addicting flash games available. I can’t vouch for any other then Desktop Tower Defense, which is the most instantly-addicting flash game that I’ve ever played. Like all good flash games, it only takes a few minutes understand the mechanics, but you’ll quickly be challenging yourself to beat your own score and those of others. I’d write more, but I’m still trying to get all the way through a medium-difficulty game without losing a life.

Vint Cerf discusses the future of the internet

Vint Cerf, current chair ICANN, will be stepping down from the post at the end of this year. He’s often credited as a founding father of the internet for his roles designing the internet and the protocols that it runs on. Mr. Cerf did an interview with NPR’s Day To Day that aired today. You can listen to parts of it here, but you’ll need to read the accompanying text in order to get the whole story.

Listening to his insight to the future of the internet was certainly enlightening, but I’m used to the Web 2.0 philosophy, so his “it’ll be ready when it’s ready” attitude towards domain names that don’t use the Roman alphabet or a left-to-right syntax was a bit of a turn off.

iPod Touch Commercial

Since the iPod Nano commercial generated a great deal of interest in the band Feist, I figured I’d head off any questions that might come my way and point out that the song in the newest iPod Touch commercial is Music is My Hot Sex by Cansei De Ser Sexy, also know as CSS, a band from Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Various sources are reporting that the video was made by Nick Haley, a freshman at the University of Leeds. Apple touched it up a little and has been running it on TV, with permission of course.

Twitter(ific!)

Last April I started playing around with Twitter, but I didn’t really get into it until July after Adam showed me Twitterific by Iconfactory. I gave up on getting Twitter to work with IM and my cell phone and started tweeting through Twitterific exclusively.

I’ve been filling it with thoughts, annoyances, personally directed (but not private) messages, and links, several times a day, and my IM and Facebook status messages are set to my twitter url pretty much all the time these days. The Twitter application for Facebook is one of the few that I use and I’ve tried and failed to get Twitter Tools to work with WordPress 2.3.1 so I could have my tweets cross-posted here as well.

Pile of Gold video redux

Pile of Gold Music Video Screenshot

Following in the footsteps of yesterdays post, I’m reposting the compilation I made of the videos posted for The Blow‘s Pile of Gold music video (which you can read about here). This time though, I’m posting the (mostly) uncompressed 163MB version. I can’t guarantee that will stay up forever due to the size, but I’ll be monitoring the traffic and I’ll update here if anything changes.

Name:Pile of Gold – Music Videos compiles
Size: 164MB
Download Link: Pile of Gold Music Video