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Alan Jeffrey
20 most recent entries

Date:2008-07-18 21:29
Subject:Delia Derbyshire / Warp

Lost Delia Derbyshire "experimental dance" recording from the late 1960's. Derbyshire says "Forget about this, it's for interest only". Paul Hartnoll, says "That could be coming out next week on Warp Records." http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7512072.stm

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Date:2008-04-15 20:31
Subject:Scotland Yard Gospel Choir

Went out to see Scotland Yard Gospel Choir last night, not knowing much about them. Was very pleasantly surprised, they turn out to be a very Pulp/Smiths-influenced band, with the same style of self- and everybody-else-deprecating lyrics. Weird hearing Jarvis Cocker intonation from a Chicago local. Their MySpace samples don't give a flavour of their live show (apart perhaps from Aspidistra, so make sure to play that one if you do the clicky thing on the above link).

The event turned out to be a six-act mini-festival, notable for a couple of the support acts. Gay4Girls is a SYGC spin-off, featuring a blistering wall of guitars (3 guitars, 1 bass, 1 drums): this was their first ever gig, not that you'd know it from the performance. Northern Room were a really good band in a genre I hate: the U2 / Simple Minds mega-stadium rock blech. They had all the air of being 2009's Arcade Fire. Bizarre hearing that style of music in a small venue with about 100 people in the room, you expect the other 999,900 audience members to be behind you somewhere.

The gig went on for four hours, my feet hurt when I got back home at midnight.

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Date:2008-02-23 13:50
Subject:Steve Whitaker 1955-2008


I'm shocked to hear of Steve Whitaker's death, far far too early. I knew him from B-APA, Caption, the London Cartoon Center, and working on the design of Comics Forum. Most recently we'd been posting each other comments on photos, artwork, etc. His last flickr posting was a superb vectorization of a naff photo I'd taken. He was incredibly gifted visually, with a superb eye for colour, a steady brush hand, and a Toth-like sense of where to put the perfect line. Goodbye Steve.

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Date:2007-12-05 19:33
Subject:More fun with video processing

A Makefile which allows you to drag and drop youtube URLs from (e.g.) Firefox to a subfolder, then run "make all" and magically they get turned into ipod-friendly .mp4 files. Tested under Ubuntu Linux. The youtube-dl package does the youtube preprocessing, followed by mencoder grinding away. The sed options took a while...

MakefileCollapse )

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Date:2007-11-18 20:36
Subject:Small child or cackling mad scientist?

cash advance
This livejournalMy professional research site

Generated by the mildly amusing Blog Readablity Test. Pointer from Eddie Campbell's blog.

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Date:2007-11-14 13:44
Subject:Andy Vectorized

Andy Vectorized Andy Non-Vectorized

It's all the craze, this VectorMagic thing. I threw some line art at it to see how it got one, and it must be said I'm not sure I could tell the difference between the original and the vectorized version.

ETA screenshotCollapse )

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Date:2007-10-30 13:53
Subject:Getting legacy videos into Quicktime

Well this only took about three days to write...

MakefileCollapse )

Then make all and watch the smoke come out the back of the machine.

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Date:2007-10-06 18:44
Subject:More memery

martinskidmore writes a followup to his previous post, suggesting a round of the ever-popular game of "I can't believe they didn't include X", where "they" is Acclaimed Music's top 107 albums of the 1990s, and X is Orbital. How could you include Leftfield, but not etc. etc.

My 10 "I can't believe" artists (I know, the brief was 10 albums, so there was some feature creep...):

Amber, Tri Repetea - Autechre
Heaven or Las Vegas - Cocteau Twins
When I Was Born for the 7th Time - Cornershop
Dead Cities - Future Sound of London
Autoditacker, Niun Niggung - Mouse On Mars
Green Album, Brown Album, In Sides - Orbital
Songs for Drella - Lou Reed and John Cale
Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Dots and Loops - Stereolab
Dream of 100 Nations - Transglobal Underground
Dubnobasewithmyheadman, Second Toughest in the Infants - Underworld

Truly the 1990s were a time of squeaks and bleeps.

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Date:2007-10-05 09:45

Tagged by jinty: seven tracks that have stuck in my head.

Read more...Collapse )

Who hasn't already been tagged to do this one? Er, swisstone? jimthespy?

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Date:2007-08-29 13:34
Subject:Series 3

The last of the vanilla DW series 3 R2 DVDs arrived on Monday...

SpoilersCollapse )

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Date:2007-08-24 20:33

A bit over a day later, and we have electricity again, together with internet access, and the other trappings of civilization. There are still bits of trees everywhere.

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Date:2007-08-24 02:11

Tornado! Downed trees! No electricity! Torches! LJ posting by mobile phone! How thrilling...

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Date:2007-07-10 21:09


We make food. We eat food. Food good.

Coming soon: we make fire, we make wheel, we make wi-fi network upgrade, etc.

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Date:2007-05-05 14:27
Subject:Attack of the Coffee Makers

Attack of the Coffee Makers

We broke our coffee maker, so we needed emergency backup.

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Date:2007-04-28 20:32
Subject:New! Boots

New!  Boots

At a supermarket round the corner from our house.

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Date:2007-04-19 14:26
Subject:Egg Hunt

It was too cold to do an egg hunt outside. Warnings: may contain squeaky parentese; anyone who already knows how to count to four may experience nausea and irritation.

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Date:2007-04-16 07:03
Subject:How Could You Not See A Bear?

Shot by K. Squeaky parentese by me. Hi sdn!

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Date:2007-04-10 22:04
Subject:Back and Forth

Laura! Hold Janine's hand! Laaaaauuuuuurrrrrraaaaa!

In other YouTube news, J has now worked out that those little squares on YouTube pages are thumbnails for other videos, and that if you point at them and say "Watch That!" then you get to watch a new video. Yes, under two and already with the hypermedia.

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Date:2007-03-15 14:31
Subject:Polar Bear!

Polar Bear big! Polar Bear swimming! Eek! (Holds onto trouser leg.)

Polar Bear (4 of 4)

Also in this set, evidence that photographing otters is difficult.

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Date:2007-03-09 20:14
Subject:Dorkiness Prevails

So, my new addiction is, sad to say lonelygirl15.

I'd kind of ignored it, despite all the press coverage, #1 subscribed channel on youtube, etc. Then a couple of weeks back, I thought, hey ho, let's see what the fuss is about. And now I'm an addict, sigh.

For the rock-hiders, lonelygirl15 started out as a fake vlog on youtube, featuring posts by "Bree", who managed to combine astoundingly well-shaped eyebrows with an interest in Richard Feynman. After a couple of months of is-it-fake speculation, the creators owned up, and the whole pretense of reality has pretty much gone down the drain by now.

So... why do I like it? Well, on many measures, it's not great: the acting is sometimes ropey, the plot is pretty herky-jerky, and the whole Teen Angst thing gets tiresome quite quickly. Its biggest weakness is also it's biggest strength: they're making it up as they go along. It's quite weird seeing a new artform being developed: it's not TV, it's not fan video, it's a weird new thing that doesn't really know what it is.

There are some restrictions: the main one being that it has to happen in "real time", with the videoing, editing and uploading being supposedly done by the characters. There's no anonymous authorial voice, if one of the characters is climbing over a wall, he carries the camera up with him. This produces some weirdness, e.g. watching the characters war-walk around trying to find unprotected WiFi networks they can piggy-back onto to upload the video you are currently watching. And sometimes it breaks down, e.g. when Bree isn't talking to Daniel (who supposedly does her editing for her) but still her videos are edited in the same style. Hmm... But when it works, it's surprisingly effective, and at times has an almost Zapruder film quality about it.

Spoilers ahoyCollapse )

How to catch up on LG15: go to http://youtube.com/profile_videos?user=lonelygirl15 and note that the editors are very good at getting shots of Bree as the sample image for her vlogs. Then go back to the first vlog First Blog / Dorkiness Prevails, and start watching her videos. Every so often, a new character is introduced with their own youtube account, so you'll end up jumping around a bit. I found the easiest thing to do was to concentrate on Bree's videos, and following the "this video is a reply to" chain back to catch up on the other characters. The style of the videos changes quite drastically after the first few months, so be ready for some bumps in the road. Ooh fun!

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