Podcast recommendation

Here’s a podcast recommendation for you.
It’s BBC 6 Music’s BBC Introducing Mixtape. And here’s the direct podcast link.

The problem with a lot of music-related podcasts is copyright. Basically, that means that even if you’re listening to an interview with an artist, and even if they’re discussing their latest release: the lyrics, the chords, the harmonies, you don’t then get to actually listen to the music because their record company says that it can only be played in certain countries. To avoid any complication as to where people can and can’t download stuff, the radio station cuts all the music out of the podcast so as not to annoy the record company. It’s frustrating and kind of defeats the object. There are ways around it, apparently, but I’d imagine that they are extremely naughty and illegal so I certainly wouldn’t recommend that you try them. Not even a little bit.

But the BBC Introducing Mixtape is different because there are no record companies involved – these are unsigned artists. And thus, there are fewer rules on where their music can be shared and played. This is a good thing. and the music isn’t bad either. Although we seem to be heading vaguely towards a folk-rock sound, there are glimpses of other stuff – really good stuff.

Like So&So, for example. His Down The Crown [soundcloud] is quite fun. I know that it’s considered poor form to say “he sounds like…”, but it’s inevitably, parallels are going to be drawn to Mike Skinner and The Streets, and that’s no bad comparison.

And a bit of RoBoTaLiEn – I can’t forgive the way it’s written, but the music is a bit Carter USM with speedy rhythm almost drowning out the lyrics. I was bouncing in my car.

Best bit (possibly, anyway) about the whole thing is the lack of interruption, save for the reminder that you can find the tracklisting and band info at freshonthenet.co.uk, so you’re never going to miss out on the stuff you want to know.

Exploration starts here.

1 Comment | Tagged , , , | Posted in 6000 recommends, music, positive thoughts, uk

When Gmail let me down

I have a couple of gmail accounts. One for the day-to-day stuff and one for the blog. And I have to say that for a free service, it is superb. It’s got a lovely intuitive interface, it’s always accessible and it’s very reliable. Until today – or rather November – it was, anyway.

I went onto my “blog” gmail today to send an email, which is a bit of an unusual occurrence (99% of its use is receiving email). No issues thus far, the inbox mildly replete with a few Superbru reminders (I don’t really use them) and a handful of PR emails. Once I’d sent the email I went in there to write, I decided to tidy out the inbox, but as soon as I had deleted the 23 items in there, another 142 suddenly arrived. In one lump. They weren’t there before. Honest.

I think I would have noticed.

Mostly nowt important – stuff from The Pixies about their latest re-release, more Superbru reminders, some abuse jokes about Eskom, and a couple of missives from WordPress.com. But the earliest one dated back to November 26th. So 2½ months of emails in one go. And moreover, the wodge included 4 emails from early December which were time sensitive and are now well past their use by date and have made me look rude and/or lazy and/or a bit crap.

Ugh. Apology emails are on their way out right now.

Looking back at the emails I deleted, they were interspersed with the ones that arrived in one huge lump, so Gmail was apparently sending some emails through, but not others. So this was some sort of selective constipation, which makes it even more weird. Googling gives no possible explanation, but then what do you type into the search box – it’s one of those difficult things to Google (such things remain Google’s biggest (only?) major fault).

Has this ever happened to you? Or can you suggest a reason why it might have happened to me? (Please leave my atheism out of any possible explanation.)
There’s no indication that this is happening or has happened on any other gmail account running on the 6000.co.za domain.

Colour me confused. Shade me embarrassed. And tint me acutely disappointed.

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A bit weird

This is mildly creepy.

Step forward the new Dialdirect TVC: “The Notebook”, filmed in Kalk Bay (at least some of it) and currently airing on SA TV right now. Have a look. And curse those darn onions that someone is cutting nearby and which are making your eyes water. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Lovely. I’m almost ready to buy some insurance. Almost.

But now, look at this:
We have an ironing board, and a kitchen. We live in a house. We have a blonde-haired son. And we also have a beagle which bays at the vacuum cleaner. Big wow.

But here’s the odd bit: in the ad, their beagle is called “Mr Tiger”.

Our beagle is called Colin Tigger.

And our blonde-haired son was also recently in a school play. Now, based on the fact that in the ad, little Noah played the role of a tree in his school play, and being aware that there must be literally tens and tens of thousands of different roles available in school plays, guess what our boy was…?

  996192_10151652577802863_1605674476_n     DSC_0094
Yep. And by all accounts, they were both absolutely brilliant: a triumph, dahlink!

Anyway, I liked the ad, and I thought the striking similarities were strikingly similar.

That lovely music, by the way, is the acoustic version of Woodkid’s I Love You. You’ll be wanting the youtube link, won’t you? Yeah, we’ve got that sorted for you, obvs: click here.

2 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in that's a bit mad, the parenting bunny, this is south africa

Be kind to one another…

Wise words from wise wordsmith Jacques Rousseau on his synapses blog this morning, as he admonished some (or more) atheists for exploiting the death of SA author Andre Brink

to score political points for atheism

I can actually think of very few occasions when it’s acceptable to use the death of anyone to score political points for anything. Much like those “No Fly-Tipping” signs you see at the side of the road, this is one of those things that I don’t even think should need saying.

Evidently, I’m incorrect. (Yes, it happens.) (As does the fly-tipping).

It was the choice of words used when expressing condolence that apparently upset some atheists. “RIP” obviously doesn’t fit with their (or my) view of what actually happens when someone dies. But as Jacques points out, it’s also:

a shorthand for extending commiserations, for demonstrating shared membership of a community of caring, and for marking the passing of someone who was considered valuable to that community.

It’s not that the semantics aren’t important here. They are.
It’s more that being judgmental about people using words and phrases which are – in your view – technically incorrect, and more especially, being judgmental about them at a time when emotions are already running high, is not going to change anyone’s mind – certainly not the way you would like it changed anyway.

Yes, I’d prefer for us to use alternatives. But for any alternatives to gain traction takes time. And motivating for them, and gaining consensus for their usage, won’t be easy if you approach that task by being an ass.

Yep. There’s a time and a place for this. Neither of which were ‘the immediate period after Brink’s death’ and ‘on the internet’. Get a grip.

Personally, I’m less inclined to chase people down because of the words and phrases that they use in this context. Live and let live, and yes, educate (but do try to choose your moment more sensibly).
In fact, I even used a quote from Ephesians 4:32 for the title of this post. Just because something comes from what you consider to be a work of fiction doesn’t mean that it has to necessarily be a bad idea.
You only have to look at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate River for evidence of that.

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Art of the Brick

We left it (quite) late to go and see this, and it’s in no way a cheap day out. In fact, it’s neither cheap, nor a day out – but it IS definitely worth your time and money to go and see it.

We went down at 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning (this one, in fact) and despite struggling to get into the actual building it was being staged in, which didn’t open til later, had a fantastic time.
It’s one of those things where you can spend as much or as little time as you want on the way around, but each and every exhibit you see is more breathtaking than the last. The time, effort, patience and detail that’s gone into the sculptures is incredible. Each of the pieces has a short description next to it, which includes the number of bricks used. Most are well into 5 figures. Wow.

Parthenon: 30,201 bricks

The short video introduction by the artist, Nathan Sawaya, was a little ‘American motivational chat show’ for my liking, but when you see the work he has created, you almost want to know exactly how or why he does it. The exhibition is beautifully laid out, cleverly lit (although it does make for difficult photography conditions) and, as I said above, awe-inspiring. It’s fun, it’s serious, it’s whatever you want to make of it – much like Lego – there are no rules.

At the end, there’s even a couple of rooms and an outside area where you can build and create from Lego yourself.
I made a little Table Mountain. It was amazing.

> Tickets are R95 for kids, R140 for Adults, R395 for a family of four. [Computicket]
> It’s worth it, yes.
> It’s in Cape Town til 28th February, then Joburg 13th May – 12th August.
> You don’t need to have kids to enjoy it, but kids will enjoy it too.
> Early mornings seem to be quiet.
> This is not a sponsored post.

Photos are on my Flickr, but don’t really do it justice (in any way, shape or form).
Go, see, enjoy.

Leave a comment | Tagged , , , , | Posted in 6000 recommends, flickr, positive thoughts, the parenting bunny, this is south africa