Saturday, March 31, 2012

What I've been listening to in March 2012

As before... this doesn't represent ALL I have been listening to but it does point to some of the artists I've really been enjoying in March. It also demonstrates that when I'm given an album to listen to... I listen to it.

Oh and there is a wee clue as to who the first artist to be released on We Are All Ghosts is...


Loving... the surreal art of Damon Pla

Crescent Moon :: 16" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas

When I make a connection with someone via social media, I look them up. I don't just follow anybody... I look for something we can share.

I met artist Damon Pla on Twitter and I was blown away with his surreal art... which is, btw, only a small part of what he does... but it was the work that I really got.

I think the paintings I've included in this post are stunning and truly ripe for posters... one of which - Harvest Moon - was used as the 2011 Rehoboth Film Festival Poster. These are BIG paintings... the bottom two especially.

Seriously, this is my kind of art and I'd love to see him work on album covers... I could really see these paintings on a 12" vinyl cover.

At the bottom of this post I have embedded a short YouTube timelapse video that show Pla in action... it's something else entirely.



After I posted, Damon contacted me with some images, links and this piece of news:

"This summer I will be creating a huge time lapse in which the camera will travel on a track around my studio while I create the painting taking each frame while jumping in the air to create the illusion that I will be floating around the painting while it is completed. My homage to gravity."
Can't wait to see that!

Harvest Moon :: 25" x 35" Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Enlightenment :: 36" x 54" Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Inner Light :: 38" x 62" Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas

Loving... HPPodcraft "Live in Leeds" poster by Army of Cats

HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast poster

I really love listening to the HPPodcraft podcast and thought this poster for an upcoming live event in Leeds on the 4th April was pretty special indeed. They retweeted the illustrator - Army of Cats aka Graham Pilling - and I just went a bit nuts for it.

Pilling's work is really first class and his Flickr page is well worth a donder through.



April 2012's Calendar / Wallpaper

April 2012's Calendar :: 1280x800

It's that time of the month again. This month's picture was taken in Olly's garden and features a bamboo tree I am very fond of and a garden ornament made from Hama beads. There was something 'zingy' about it that really made sense. We are now in Spring (in the Northern Hemisphere) and a Spring calendar/wallpaper is just what the Doctor ordered.

The "iPhone without calendar" and "Kindle3" wallpapers are different... still Spring-like... but tailored to a request from my dad.

Usual flavours are included below. I don't have a "new iPad" and don't know anyone who has one... if you want a pic for it let me know along with the dimensions and I'll get one to you. Enjoy and thanks for everyones willingness to have my photography on their devices... it is appreciated by me.


iPhone with calendar + iPhone without calendar
980x800 for Andrew Berry's HTC Desire HD

Friday, March 30, 2012

'An Ghaoth Aduaidh' by Dextro... a 37 minute music and video piece

I love fellow Scot Dextro's music and was very excited when I received an email from him today that spoke of a new piece of music that he had created... along with visuals.

'An Ghaoth Aduaidh' is a 37 minute music and video piece born out of Dextro's live performances. It was put together with the kind support of The Newbridge Project who facilitated a recording space and curated a live performance of the work.

I love it and hope you will too. Please check out his Bandcamp page and download the audio for your offline enjoyment.



300312_ Lachlan

My sister Janey gave birth to her second son Lachlan Edward on Tuesday... and I was able to pop up to see him this evening. He's a wee cutie and so placid... or he was until he needed fed.

I've taken a few photos as a gift for the family... but couldn't resist posting a couple on here. I wish I was as handy with a camera when my we'ans were that size.


300312_ Olly & Dayna with Lachlan

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Received in the post... Good Weather for an Airstrike tee and CD

I am a huge fan of Tom Honey's Good Weather for an Airstrike music project and to celebrate my recent weight loss (17lbs since the start of the year) I decided to treat myself to a large (not extra large) GWFAA tee and his most recent album - Underneath the Stars (which I reviewed for thefuturelements).

The tee is delightful... a lovely army green colour with a design by Danielle Self... and the CD... well... it's simply fab. I bought the tee and CD bundle... and would heartily recommend it.

I'm proud to support independent music this good... and really hope the other bands I adore release tees... I'm on the hunt for some new smaller threads.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Loving... the artwork from Futuresequence's releases


This morning I received a copy of the "Good Evening, Ghosts EP" by Radere... from Michael Waring, the man behind the awesome Futuresequence. I hope my review will be posted on thefuturelements shortly... if you like ambient soundscapes then you'll love it, imho.

Anyway... what I got thinking about while I was contemplating the EP was how brilliant the artwork is for each of the Futuresequence releases. They are wonderfully unique and really capture the essence and spirit of the music they represent.

I hope Michael doesn't mind... but I've embedded them here for your viewing pleasure:



"I'll Make You Quiet" by Radere

"A Dream In Blood" by Sun Hammer

"Within That Aura" by Widesky

And finally...

"Good Evening, Ghosts" by Radere

Hopefully you'll agree... truly first class!


The Sequence3 cover can be purchased as an A3 print here. If anyone wants to get me one... please feel free :-)


Sigur Ros have announced that they will be releasing another studio album in May... which will be entitled "Valtari".

According to the tracklist is as follows:

01 Ég Anda
02 Ekki Múkk
03 Varúð
04 Rembihnútur
05 Dauðalogn
06 Varðeldur
07 Valtari
08 Fjögur píanó

and there will be “more electronic stuff than before” according to bassist Georg Hólm... although it's not a dance record... apparently.

I, for one, can't wait.


Friday, March 23, 2012

What I've been listening to... for fun... recently

It's been a while since I posted some of the albums I've been listening to for sheer pleasure... I'm very much on a singer/songwriter tip at the moment.

First up is ’the great morning disaster’ by Frank Fuller... which is a truly delightful collection of songs backed by varying degrees of acoustic and electric instrumentation... guitars... piano... drums etc. There is such beautiful melancholy in his voice... beautiful because he has a way of engaging the listener... an immediacy that brings them into the song. When you find you are singing along to this album, as I find myself regularly, then you know Fuller has you.

Next up we have ’making mirrors’ by Gotye... who will need no introduction in certain circles. I'm not a big fan of ’pop’ and I could have easily condemned Gotye to this genre if I hadn't first sought him out on the recommendation of a friend and actually listened to him. He is wonderfully leftfield with a talent for songwriting and sound-making. In fact, the sounds he makes on this record are truly fascinating and really enhance his already strong songwriting. He’s someone deserving of his success and the hype that surrounds him.

’Pictures of Our Youth’ by David’s Lyre was another recommendation that really paid of. His musicianship and songwriting skills are really strong... he creates wonderfully unique indie rock soundscapes that are engaging and hold their own in comparison to similar tunes in the same vein. Why this chap isn't the darling of the UK’s music press is beyond me... he’s been an excellent find in 2012.

In addition to the singer/songwriter genre... I’ve also been digging more post-rock sounds.

I recently reviewed ’what's the farthest you can see?’ by Sky Flying By for thefuturelements... here's a snippet of what I said:

"The atmosphere presented is definitely upbeat… there is a warmth about their sound… an optimism which I find both reassuring and inspiring. This comes from a band who are keen to demonstrate their mastery of their chosen genre… and, to be honest, don’t really have to. They make it all sound so effortless… the ebb and flow of quiet and loud… of slow and fast… of soft and hard… it really is breathtaking how beautiful this album is."
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I also picked up "the narrow state", the debut album by Rumour Cubes and totally love it. Their post-rock soundscapes are a delightful cross between shoegazy guitars and neo-classical strings... with particular emphasis on the violin as an instrument of melodic beauty when pair with some seriously powerful guitars. There is even some spoken word on the second track which is an eloquent expression of now.

Another album in that no-man’s land of post-rock, neo-classical and ambient is the wonderful "never give up" by the talented Will Samson. The instrumentation on this release is truly first class... imaginative, expressive and, at times, subtle and restrained... it is like the soundtrack to a favourite film... it has that feeling about it.

Last up is ’Rooblauw' by all shall be well  (and shall be well and all manner of things shall be well) by ... which is a collection of extremely atmospheric and wonderfully immersive post-rock soundscapes. This album is an album to get lost in... I find it deeply moving and emotive... and it really deserves to do well... as do all the albums in this post.

This is what I listen to for fun... what are you listening to?


Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Take on me" as performed by Kum Song School

According to the blurb on the You Tube video...

"A-ha's eternal pop evergreen performed by young accordeon players from KUM SONG School, filmed in Pyongyang, North Korea december 2011.../"
It certainly makes for compelling watching / listening. Enjoy.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Switch it off... a poster for my work

A friend at work asked me to put together a wee poster for an idea he had to cut down on electricity usage. This is what I came up with.


PS... it's not my finger.
PPS... trying to get "finger models" is extremely hard in my place of work. Too many people chew their nails!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My thoughts on Incoboto

After recently posting a YouTube video about Incoboto... the beautifully designed iPad game... I decided to download it and have to say... it is an awesome game!

The gameplay is delightful... it is, in essence, a puzzler with really immersive visuals and a lovely soundtrack by the game's creator Dene Carter (which can be bought for £2 from Bandcamp).

It's a wee bit fiddly to start with... but once you get a hang of controller-less navigation on the iPad... there is no stopping you.

I thoroughly enjoy playing it... and am slowly working my way through the levels. I wish it was possible to just stop and soak in the ambience... but that kind of defeats the point of the game. That said... I did download the OST too so I can bask in the music... away from my iPad.



Link to Incoboto in the iTunes Store

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New bird feeders

170312_ tits at the feeder no1

I have nothing against magpies or pigeons... well, ok, magpies... but they greedy and I prefer smaller birds... tits... sparrows... finches... even starlings. Olly is of the same opinion so this morning she picked up two new bird feeders that are designed for smaller birds. I was delighted to see all the tits we attracted with them... and was smug when I saw the pigeons struggle.


170312_ tits at the feeder no2

170312_ tits at the feeder no3

170312_ tits at the feeder no4

iA Writer... now for iPhone

Link to the Apple Store

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

I like the look of this too... Incoboto for iPad

Another game @myopicaardvark recommended was Incoboto for the iPad... it looks awesome and sounds tremendous too.

In fact, the soundtrack is on Bandcamp and is by Dene Carter. I've embedded it below for you to have a wee listen to. I really like it.



I like the look of this... Waking Mars for iOS

WAKING MARS - Official Trailer from Tiger Style on Vimeo.

When @myopicaardvark raves about a new iOS game... I tend to listen... and boy was he raving about Waking Mars this morning.

I'm going to check it out... and I thought I'd share it with you... in case you were up for some Red Planet action.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Birdhouses and serendipity

100312_ in Olly's garden #2

This is the home of a couple of blue tits... they have been coming each Spring for the last 5 or 6 years... faithfully.

Unfortunately this home is no more. Yesterday morning a big fat cat sat on the house (try saying that fast) and took it off the fence. Fortunately our wee family hadn't laid any eggs... no one was hurt... not even the cat... although I will if it comes back to Olly's garden.

130312_ Our new bird house

Anyway... on Saturday, for Mother's Day, the girls bought Olly this fantastically bright and gaudy birdhouse. It was meant to be decorative... a colourful addition to the garden... but it is now in use!!!

130312_ Our new bird house has a visitor no1

Talk about serendipity... who would have thought, when we bought the new birdhouse, that it would become the new home of our wee family... especially so soon after we bought it?

130312_ Our new bird house has a visitor no3

It really did make my heart sing to see them this afternoon.


Two posters I designed recently...

I love designing posters and was privileged to work with Leanne Laird on the top one for an upcoming event at the Clydebank Salvation Army... I was also delighted to volunteer my services for the poster for the next "Rock the Hospices" charity event that's organised by pals of mine at work. Both clients were delighted with the outcome... as was I.

Some days I wish I could work in Photoshop for a living.


Some pictures from my front window...

130312_ a pair of tits

A few more photos of birds... taken with my Nikon d60 with the 55-200mm lens... from the front window next to my front door... including the first time I had ever seen two Robins together.


130312_ a tit on the fatballs

130312_ a pair of Robins no2

130312_ Starling in the garden no1

110312_ Pigeon


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