Sunday, January 25, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
elbow, "the seldom seen kid"
while people fawn over crappy indie music like the weepies and los campesinos, elbow quietly (at least in the US) delivered one of the most beautiful, compelling albums of the year. while vampire weekend is fun, elbow is fun, poignant, and lush. imo, the most complete works of the year from first to last track; there's only 2 songs on the album skip past in my ipod.
vampire weekend, "vampire weekend"
i found myself going back to this album again and again. there's something undeniably catchy about the brainy fluff punk of vw, the album expertly captured how i felt on my best days at university of michigan. it can be a little over the top and cheesy at times but it's fun enough to where you hardly notice. best tracks: m79, a-punk, oxford comma, blake's got a new face, mansard roof, bryn.
yoav, "charmed and strange"
never left my 4GB ipod through the year after receiving it from kcrw's cd club in the spring. big hit for everyone i gifted it to, and for good reason: the songs are passionate, unique with sparing production focused on masterfully employed guitar and percussion. if only he was touring in the US... best tracks: club thing, beautiful lie, there is nobody, live.
emilianna torrini, "me & armini"
i wish this had only been an EP: 1/2 of the songs are superb and the other 1/2 sound like she swallowed a handful of oxycotin and then alternated picking her her guitar and her teeth. this is why album sales can suffer but online music sales can soar. nonetheless, try listening to jungle drum and not singing along, or feeling a little boost afer big jumps. she's clearly having a good time. best tracks: me & armini, birds, big jumps, jungle drum.
jack johnson, "sleep through the static"
while i originally dismissed jack johnson as surf-folk music for hip department stores, '08 was the year i gave in and became a full-fledged fan. sleep through the static cemented this for me,a very nice album that is the natural continuation of his previous albums. best tracks: enemy, hope, if i had eyes, what you thought you need, adrift.
coldplay, "viva la vida" + "prospekt's march"
after a miserable 3rd album (xy), coldplay returns with a diverse, striking 4th album. the only real shame is that they clearly kowtowed to the label by not including the "bonus" EP of prospekt's march in the original album (artists typically only get paid for the 1st 12 tracks, guess how many viva la vida has?). anyways, the album feels cohesive yet manages to cover a lot of ground from anthems like viva la vida to the sharp opening instrumental (life in technicolor) and the bluegrass tinged strawberry swing (this track was my favorite and became the ringtone on my old nokia).
- adele, 19
- gnarls barkely, the odd couple
- santogold, santogold
- rodrigo + gabriela, live in tokyo
- top ranking, santogold + diplo (compilation)
- tricky, knowle west boy
- juana molina, un dia
- thievery corporation, radio retaliation
- pacifika, asuncion
hmmmm... not quite but...
- ac/dc, black ice
- evil nine, they live!
- q-tip, the renaissance
- j-boogie's dubtronic science, soul vibrations
- aterciopelados, rio
- beck, whatever the hell his album with danger mouse was called
- monkey by damon albarn & some other guy
- MIA, kala (middle eastern techno & grade school aussie rappers? really?)
- cold war kids, against privacy (title track is great, what happened to the rest?)
- lyrics born, everywhere at once (nowhere i wanted it to be)
Monday, December 08, 2008
chou hanging out in the under arm of an enormous lime-green buddha statue at a little modern art exhibit we visited while in bangkok.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
i don't think i would say that the air was electric, but there was a definite sense of excitement running through the crowd and a nice feeling of community. venice isn't really a battleground community, even for prop 8. when we lean, we go wayyyyyy left until our feet are wet in the beach sand. anyways, we cast our vote after being registered by our neighbor, irene, and set about on our separate ways to work: jane to rosemead and me to culver city.
on the way in, i had a call with our localization team in dublin, ireland about quality concerns (we had issues with finnish translation in the main UI, embarrassing for the locals when showing the product to the finn media). while i'm sure this doesn't matter to anyone, the point of mentioning this is that the call was preceded by 10 minutes of discussion with the irish team about the elections. the 2 women from dublin mentioned that they were going to stay up to see the election results and were thinking it was going to be an obama blow-out win. i hedged: "i think it's going to be very close, down to the wire..."
this got me to thinking about all of my travels this year and the ppl i had spoken to about the elections along the way. the japanese media consultant, german cab driver, norwegian journalist and many, many others. they were all very clear about who they thought we should elect. i remember explaining this to jonathan once, how sometimes people transcend what they are and become symbols-- such that their individual capabilities are ultimately somewhat less important than what they represent: hope, change. this is of course a slippery position, as it can easily turn against you, but with enough substance behind the icon i cannot imagine a more potent leader.
once at work, just like any other day, i kept on eye on my igoogle home page, full of market updates, my gmail inbox, tech news & the latest featured youtube videos. i also popped up the CNN page to keep an eye on the latest happenings. i was expecting exit polls, but quickly remembered (with some prompting) the inaccuracies and woes of the primary season which condemned them to the sidelines. so while i refreshed the page frequently and anxiously waited along with the rest of the world, the day slipped by.
a couple states came in while i was still at work, attending a last meeting. it was split so far, but none of the battleground state results were in yet. i entered the meeting room late and quipped that chuck norris had just pulled ahead of ron paul. i checked out of the meeting a little early as it was trailing off into minutiae and headed home to meet up with jane. we'd decided that neither of us felt like cooking and wanted to be out in the community when the results came in. we walked down to one of our local hangouts in venice, hal's bar and grill, which is a little over a mile away. by the time we had left, it was starting to look good for obama-- they'd predicted that he would take pennsylvania and he had sealed up some important eastern seabord states while mccain racked up a number of wins in the south, such as kentucky.
hal's was packed with people gathered around the 2 tvs behind the bar. we eventually found a corner table in the small bar area where we could barely see the TV. if the sense of excitement was tangible at the polling station, it coursed through hal's in loud conversations & cheers every time a new state was announced for obama. of course there were boos for the states that slipped to mccain. again, venice is not what you would call a "swing" city :-) the man with the loud voice started calculating the possibilities, exclaiming how close obama was to victory. our african american waitress seemed unflappable, keeping a cool demeanor & focused on her job.
while we were wrapping up our wine and burgers, the election was called for obama. jubilant cheers erupted from across the bar and outside the restaurant. an african american woman in the bar, tears in her eyes, hugged our waitress and anyone else who seemed equally moved. jane and i exchanged broad smiles, put on our coats and headed home.
while on the way home, cars honked and cheered, independent of the ethnicity of the passengers. people walking by smiled knowingly, we did the same. when we passed the firehouse sushi restaurant, we caught mccain's concesssion speech. moments later, dorian called. we'd discussed the election for many months and he, as his facebook profile called out, was speechless.
at home we watched obama's acceptance speech-- flawless in words and delivery. he and his family looked every bit the part, their joy and confidence spilling over to the viewers and certainly the people assembled in grant park in chicago. i remember seeing oprah straining to get a view of the stage and thinking that our lakers tickets this coming weekend aren't so bad afterall if that's the best seat oprah can muster :-)
i wound down the evening by working on my concept checkpoint deck for the friday's presentation while listening to CNN and watching people's election commentary on facebook. the next day, the moment arrived when it all sunk in the most deeply for me. i was glancing through igoogle when i spotted this article from the LA times. as i read it, i remembered every person i met throughout the past 12 months across the globe who pinned their hopes on the americans electing obama. i think their hopes were never so much about obama the person, but about the ability of the people to have a voice against the establishment-- to affect real change when things were wrong, broken by greed and abuse of power. it was also about breaking with a past pock-marked with racism, an emphatic statement that everyone is equal and anything is possible.
what this means for me is that the next time i step onto foreign soil, i can do so with a little more confidence, knowing that we've done the best we can to begin to right the course of our country. i also hope it means that when we have children, i can point back to a historic moment i was a part of, and explain what happeneed when a new day broke for our country.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
i don't know - lily allen - i don't know single
hott 2 deff - lyrics born - everywhere at once
jesus and mary - martha wainwright - i know you're married but i have feelings too
indago (jez collin mix) - carmen rizzo feat. ladybug mecca - the lost art of the idle moment
think back - galatic feat. chali2na - from the corner to the block
hustle up - galatic - from the corner to the block
big jumps - emiliana torrini - me and armini
jungle drum - emiliana torrini - me and armini
thanks to you (dj cakeface remix) - copeland - dressed up and in line
so many ways - gelka - so many ways single
arcadia - apparat - walls
so special - bomb the bass - so special single
Thursday, September 18, 2008
From: Culver City Site Events
Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2008 6:51 PM
Subject: From Facilities - Film Shoot- 22 Sept
Sony Pictures will be doing a location shoot in the warehouse lot across Slauson Ave (5933 Slauson Avenue) north of the 800-900 Buildings. Filming will commence on Monday Sept 22nd 7am-8pm. Filming will involve pyrotechnic work- shooting and explosive devices but in a contained area within the lot so it should not disturb occupants. Sony has permits in place and a fire safety officer will oversee the pyrotechnic work.
somehow i don't think this sort of thing happens in our springfield, oregon or orem, utah offices...
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
"... and the streamlined UI provides the industry's best customer experience when combined with smart scheduling and silent mode."
"kyoo wa, norton 2009..."
what's on the next slide anyways?
i see, more stuff on usability.
that's really sort of out of order, was that me or can i blame it on pr?
dammit, that's my slide. ah well...
time for a drink of water.
is that guy in the 3rd row asleep or just tired?
his neck just bounced off his chest, definitely sleeping.
i wonder if i could get away with checking my email on my phone...
... nope. turned it off and way too conspicuous.
(big pause by interpreter)
ok, here we go...
(interpreter starts back in)
phew. how did those 5 sentences turn into a full state of the union address in japanese?
is she getting it right? i think i just heard something about an eggplant.
maybe she said the UI is the color of an eggplant.
i hate eggplant, but it's not nearly as bad in japan as it is in the US.
it's smaller and less smushy.
maybe i could try some for dinner, tempura style.
what are we having for dinner anyways?
i need some sake.
that way, if the eggplant is bad, i can just kill it with a swig.
ok, that has to be it.
unreal. she's definitely making stuff up.
time for another drink of water.
i'm 2/3 of the way done with my water. shoot.
let the race b/w my dry throat and my bladder begin!
check out that guy in the 5th row towards the back.
he's sort of like mr. fuji with donald trump's comb over. yikes.
how can his friends not tell him how bad his hair is?
it's sort of like have toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
speaking of toilet paper, is anyone really going to think that manga toilet paper roll souvenirs are as clever as you think they are?
"now every year we conduct usability testing but this year..."