Blog

RSS
  • Title?

    18. Sep. 2008, 23:04

  • Murcof at the London Planetarium

    5. Okt. 2007, 8:58

    Thu 4 Oct – Murcof

    The music started so subtlely, at first I wasn't completely sure the show had begun. A quietly escalating whirr of fans. The lights of the great dome slowly dimmed, pinks and yellows appearing at the horizon lines, you could begin to make out stars coming through the falling light. The music began to develop small nuances of character, ambient noises, a pattern emerging. I was in an empty warehouse watching the sunset. It was a little eerie, but mostly, I felt safe, expectantly waiting for...

    Suddenly, the sky had filled with stars. Insects began to chirrup from afar. The music didn't always sync to the visuals, but when it did I made a silent thank you for the effort. Seamless audio/visual shows are a joy to behold.

    Visually, I'm assuming it was the same as the usual Planetarium show. And I have to think we got a superior alternative. An informative educational talk just cannot compare to the wonderful complement Murcof gave the event. I never felt like I was drifting through space. Which is perhaps a pity. But I was in abandoned industrial locations, beside lakes and coasts, in isolated glades and fields, all by night, gazing up at the sky. Mostly the music inspired you to nestle back and relax, but often there were chills in the undercurrent of drifting pad, reverb and white noise. A creeping feeling of eeriness that was quite delicious.

    Gaping at the ceiling of the Planetarium, mouth and feet together in child-like awe.

    Sometimes it was frighteningly three dimensional.

    Near the beginning the moon suddenly fell from the sky. I backed into my chair. The moon was just hanging there inches from my face. Looking impossibly real and substantial.

    Travelling through stars. A planetary-fly-by-tour of the whole solar system. A complete orbit of the sun from the Earth's perspective. I loved being ejected from the Milky Way at ludicrous speed and suffering the feeling of impending doom as we drifted into the endless void our backs to the direction of travel.

    At one point all the stars around us suddenly rushed upwards, neon cyan lines appearing between them. For me the effect was the feeling that hundreds of crudely cut crystals were hanging high above my head. Like a chandelier in a dark, hilltop-house. Mercilessly swaying to the roar of a terrible wind. About to fall. Yes I enjoy this kind of unsettling feeling :) Apparently this display was meant to show the relative distance of our neighbouring stars but I completely missed that due to the way the music and the visuals played together.

    Around halfway we suddenly got a few minutes of more abstract visualisations that reacted correctly to the music. The one that stood out made the most of the pseudo 3D effect the dome creates. A mesh of red hexagons pulsing towards us with the beat. We all agreed we had wanted more of that.

    A measly hour. And I almost didn't go. That would have been stupid.
  • How to mail us your client logs

    4. Okt. 2007, 10:48

    This is a reference journal entry so that I can point people here rather than describe the steps everytime.

    If possible don't restart the client! As this can prune the logs and remove the bits we want to see...

    • Open the client
    • Press ALT-SHIFT-F
    • Drag and drop all the files that end with .log to an email*
    • Set the subject to "Client Logs - <username>"
    • Include a link to the forum post that refers to your bug :)
    • A brief description of the bug really helps**
    • Send to client@last.fm***

    We'll try to keep you updated on status, though at busy times, like just after a release things can get a little snowed under. Thank you - you're all lovely.

    * Zipping them is fine, on mac just the Last.fm*.log files please, on Windows extensions may be hidden, so you should use details view to see what file type it is
    ** When we get hundreds of these a week, it is not that easy to manage the reports if you have to click a link to get the context for each one
    *** Only us four clientside developers read mail addressed to client@last.fm
  • The Cost of Music

    13. Sep. 2007, 0:28

    I would buy more than twice as much music, if it was half the price.

    And I'm sure I'm not alone.

    But the price is probably just right. Pitched by marketing experts to sell music as a quality product. Suggesting there is more value embodied in the product than just a scarred plastic case, a scatter of light artwork and pamphlets, and a fragile, heinously plain disc.

    But the problem with music is its value grows with time. The asking price may turn out to be expensive, or an absolute bargain.

    Music to treasure forever. That's what we all hope for as we tentatively turn the sleeve in our hands. Willing the way the music will make us feel to become apparent there and then between the many racks of the retail store.
  • Music for getting over "her"

    23. Mai. 2007, 11:44

    5 and a half years later, not zombies but singledom.

    The Colour and the Shape

    Good stuff that tends to cheer me up or make me think. Everlong is just plain great.

    How to Measure a Planet?

    Rather melancholy, which probably doesn't help, but at least it matches my mood and helps me to think things through. Awesome music though. I especially love the 20 minute long post-rock-esque title-track, How To Measure A Planet?.

    Nirvana

    Fun and depressing, how appropriate ;)

    Although frankly I need some new stuff. The tag is also getting a little old ;) So I'll gladly accept recommendations.

    I'm also listening to a lot of trance, although mainly because I find it great to program to. Drum n' Bass is also awesome for that. You. Just. Keep. Going! I've also been listening to CCP, the music from Eve Online, which is really nice chilled out electronica. I can really imagine myself drifting through space for most of the tracks. I've also been pretty pleased with the latest Zero 7 album The Garden, although I think it was released ages ago, I only just got round to listening to it.

    Also I could kiss RJ for making it possible to have 6 month charts. I started scrobbling 3 or 4 years ago, and the charts were starting to embarrass me ;)
  • A Teh in the Open

    4. Apr. 2007, 0:58

    I'm currently loving A Tear in the Open, although mostly on my iPod, so the scrobbles aren't reflected in my profile :P

    I picture myself on a lonely hilltop miles from society. It is getting dark. The beauty and inspiration of the sunset has begun to depart replaced by an encroaching intimidation; the night is coming on fast.. Wind whistles through the leaves of neighbouring trees, the sound was moments ago unheard, but now it is eerie, unbalancing, unsettling. The trees are silhouetted against the darkening skyline, floundering around in the increasing wind their unclear forms tease the corners of my suddenly uncomfortable awareness.

    I watch the sun disappear from view and my eyes adjust to the light from the moon. I am safe. I go home.
  • Teh Scarface

    28. Mär. 2007, 0:04

    In an effort to prove I have a varied music taste, I'd like to confess to liking Scarface.

    Is there anything else like this strange melodic Hip-hop? Someone once told me Dr. Dre did some album that had the format of an Opera. I'll have to check it out.

    Last.fm to the rescue!

    Also, tell me, can I subscribe to staff journals? As I never remember to check.
  • Teh New Pornographers

    16. Mär. 2007, 14:42

    Not helping my already abysmal 43% mainstream rating. I am now totally addicted to The New Pornographers. The album with Mass Romantic.

    The Body Says No is a super wonderous track that I totally love.

    Currently all the scrobbles are on my iPod. So roll on a stable 1.2 release eh?

    Please mock me as much as you like.
  • Three Weeks At Teh Last.fm

    19. Jan. 2007, 11:13

    Hello, to whoever might read this. I'm the new client developer. So now we are three.

    Some of you might know me because I used to work on Amarok (http://amarok.kde.org), teh fairly awesome music player on Linux.

    In my time here I fixed a bunch of Mac bugs. For now I am the savior of the Mac-client. It is kind of my responsibility to raise the quality bar for Last.fm on Mac. I have a mac-mini at home, so it is in my best interests to do this too ;-)

    I develop on Linux. Last.fm has an amazing number of Linux people here. And a crazy number of Macs too. Windows is almost in short supply.

    I'm a big fan of quality and polish. I hope to make a difference in that department.

    Bye!