Sunday, August 31, 2003
Saturday, August 30, 2003
Friday, August 29, 2003
a few days ago i got a nifty package in the mail from my friend erin. the wonders inside were:
- a sesame street pillow case
- a modern english tour t-shirt from 1984
- life lessons from the bradys by anthony rubino jr. (pocket book)
the modern english t-shirt is a large, but still doesn't fit me, either i've gotten rather fat, it's shrunken quite a bit, or a large was much smaller in 1984. i was never able to see modern english live, though they were one of my favourites from the 80s. the brady book has lots of advice to give such as:
saying "pork chops and applesauce" in the voice of humphrey bogart can be a lot of fun. give it a try. you know you want to.
if you're going to an unfamiliar tiki cave in hawaii to return a cursed idol, leave a trail of popcorn so people can find you in the unlikely event that you're held hostage by vincent price.
ah, yes. definately advice worth heeding.
Posted by robot action boy at 3:47 PM
Thursday, August 28, 2003
facelift for a corrupt industry, a critical look at the itunes store:
People are paying for songs on the iTunes Music Store because they think it's a good way to support musicians. But by giving musicians just a few cents from each sale, iTunes destroys a huge opportunity. Instead of creating a system that gets virtually all of fans' money directly to artists-- finally possible with the internet-- iTunes takes a big step backwards. Apple calls iTunes "revolutionary" but really they're just letting record companies force the same exploitive and unfair business model onto a new medium.
Posted by robot action boy at 1:21 PM
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
the 25 greatest electronic albums of the 20th century. another list to drive me batty. apparently the 20th century began in 1977. they do qualify this later in the article by saying they settled for the last 25 years, but how boring is that? why not just be honest at the beginning and call it what it is, instead of pretending these even remotely reflect the 20th century? where is perrey and kingsley? or the music of les baxter that uses a theremin? or clara rockmore for that matter? my suspicion is it's another list created by people too young and too ignorant to know about music that happened prior to 1977. i'm not surprised, but it's still disappointing.
Posted by robot action boy at 4:10 PM
Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Monday, August 25, 2003
Sunday, August 24, 2003
yesterday i hung out with a new arrival in taipei, cindy. we spent the afternoon talking about music in taiwan and teaching. she clued me in on the haku's house webpage. they have lots of groovy old records for sale. some of the western ones aren't too expensive, but the asian/international ones are on the pricey side.
Posted by robot action boy at 6:01 PM
Saturday, August 23, 2003
on thursday one of my classes was cancelled so i spent that time at the taipei fine arts museum instead. their current shows didn't interest me as much as some of the past ones. there were some interesting paintings on display, but a lot of them seemed stuck in some sort of pomo 80s world. a few of the works were sars themed, but overall i wasn't that impressed. the basement of this museum is where i usually find the most interesting work. currently they have their art awards work there. one piece i really liked here was a small white room you walk into and on the walls and floor are black contour line drawings of objects in a house. so you can stand there and see where the table is and where the window is, etc. it's almost like being in a cartoon.
on my way to the museum i passed this sars billboard. most of the sars posters and warnings have been taken down now, but this one remains.
and back in the mrt station, i was warned about strong wind.
Posted by robot action boy at 12:27 PM
Friday, August 22, 2003
Thursday, August 21, 2003
well, it looks like i'll be keeping that saturday group class after all. the person who originally took it away from me, apologized and said she should of talked to me first before trying to give it to another teacher. so that is good. however, i've managed to let myself get roped into teaching a second class on saturday, but just a one on one. i don't even like teaching on saturday much to begin with, what was i thinking?!
Posted by robot action boy at 11:56 AM
Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
rune's barf bag collection. and what a collection it is. over 500 bags from 108 countries. the one above is from south africa though it appears to be more about throwing things away than puke, but maybe that's just to draw attention away from its true purpose. via j-walk.
Posted by robot action boy at 1:15 PM
Monday, August 18, 2003
i should never go shopping when i'm in a bad mood. yesterday i went out looking for birthday presents for some friends of mine, but when i failed to find anything for them i picked up stuff for myself.
i picked up mainly cds as usual:
- zhang qi double cd set
- trigger ~ april march
- psicoerotica ~ vip 200
- popp musique ~ andre popp
the zhang qi set(pictured above) is part of a series of double cd releases of old chinese singers. when picking which of these discs to buy, i decide based on the cover picture. the more 60s looking the clothes or hair the better the chances i'll like the disc. this disc doesn't disappoint, and one of the songs even sounds a bit exotica. as with a lot of old chinese music there is that horse plopping sound on a few songs, and on at least one tune drums that remind me of old cowboy and indian movies.
the other discs i picked up more on a whim than for any other reason. i think andre popp may have some relation to roger roger, but i'll have to investigate further.
aside from cds, i continue my fascination with the taschen icon series and picked up all-american ads 50s which is quite nice. one of my favourite ads in it pictures a baby and says before you scold me mom...maybe you better light up a marlboro.
of course no shopping spree would be complete without picking up some sort of toy. i couldn't resist picking up one of the kubrick sesame street series:
when you buy these kubricks, you never know which one you'll get. the set has the count(obviously), big bird, grover, little bird, and ernie. odd that they'd have ernie but no bert.
Posted by robot action boy at 12:29 PM
Sunday, August 17, 2003
these versions of the same candy appear to be made from different countries. the one on the right(magic dust) is manufactured by geef and comes from korea, whereas the one on the left is manufactured by chupa chups and is made in spain but distributed through australia. they are basically the same candy, a sucker that you dip in pop rocks. but the packaging is different. the magic dust packaging is more fun, and seems to at least start to approach the style of candy packaging from the 50s-70s whereas the crazy dips seems to me uninspired and not as interesting.
this is some kind of soda candy from here in taiwan. i haven't tried them yet, but i really like the soda guy on the cover. once again it reminds me of the style of the 50s-70s. have most candy companies given up on putting together interesting packaging like this? or is it just nostalgia on my part?
Posted by robot action boy at 1:09 PM
Saturday, August 16, 2003
on saturdays i teach a group class. today was the final day of the class for this term. today when i got to work i found a note telling me that since i've taught this class for two terms they are giving it to a different teacher and i will have a new group class starting in mid-october. i am not happy. i had just told my class last week that i would be teaching the next level, and so now i had to go in there and tell them that a different teacher would be teaching the next level, and that i wouldn't be teaching them after all. a few of my students were not very happy about this, and at least one said she had thought about continuing but won't now. i'll be complaining to my supervisor about this as they should've told me long ago if they were going to take it away, and they should've lined up a new class for me sooner. on the bright side, this means i'll actually have a two day weekend again.
Posted by robot action boy at 5:54 PM
Friday, August 15, 2003
Thursday, August 14, 2003
one minute vacation:
Surely you can spare a minute to clean your ears? Take a one-minute vacation from the life you are living.
One-minute vacations are unedited recordings of somewhere, somewhen. Sixty seconds of something else. Sixty seconds to be someone else.
just like it says sound samples from around the world, sort of like 365 days, but not neccesarily songs, but sounds or sound bites. pretty cool. and more are added each week. via the exoticalist.
Posted by robot action boy at 9:06 PM
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
delicado is back from brazil. he's got up some scans of some of the wonderful records he bought on his trip. i'm especially digging the brazilian covers for the esquivel albums. ok, so mainly the text is in a different language. but i like seeing those little differences.
Posted by robot action boy at 10:54 PM
Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Monday, August 11, 2003
100 essential films. i tend to dislike lists like this mainly for the fact that i always feel like something is missing. but even with my misgivings i can' t help reading them. this one seems to be a bit different because aside from merely being a list, it also contains indepth reviews of the films on the list. so far they are only up to film number 17. i'll be curious to see if rubin and ed makes it onto the list. via scrubbles.
speaking of films, greencine daily has been discussing the issue of extras on dvds. are they worth it and do you watch them? i've wondered this myself. it seems with a lot of extras, i feel like the information is very shallow. i had grand hopes for an indepth look at all the references used in moulin rouge for their extras, but what we got was more akin to something you'd see on entertainment tonight. the lord of the rings dvd on the otherhand really went in depth, and of the dvds i own, for extras nothing can really touch that. i prefer to see shorts or interviews(if the interviewer is asking pertinent questions and it's not simply a pr commercial) as extras, most of the voice overs i have failed to watch/listen to. some voice overs i just find, well, boring.
it seems with the advent of dvd, every film seems to have some sort of director's cut included. usually i would be inclined to think the director's cut would be the superior version, but i don't think that's always the case. i'm still not sure if the director's cut of almost famous is better than the original theatrical release. there are extra scenes, and that is nice. but does it neccesarily add to the film as a whole? are they neccesary? i mean the original version of blue velvet was 4 hours long. a 4 hour version of blue velvet may not be an improvment. at that length i'm starting to think it's more of a serial and less of a single film. of course the original footage of blue velvet is long lost, so i don't think there is any chance of a 4 hour version surfacing.
Posted by robot action boy at 12:26 PM
Sunday, August 10, 2003
today, peter and i went to yingge. a small town outside of taipei. as you can see it is quite feelingful. the town is known for it's pottery and ceramics work. when we got off the train we were pretty hungry, so we went to this little restaurant and had beef noodles. this shop lets you keep the dish your food is served in, if you decide not to keep it you'll get a 50 nt discount. we ordered beef noodles, which were a bit pricey and not that good unfortunately. we opted not to keep the bowls they were served in as well.
just outside the restaurant was a young violinist trying to make some spending money:
after wandering around the various shops for awhile, we headed to the the taipei county yingge ceramics museum. i'd never been to this museum before, but i was pretty impressed with it's architecture, as most of the museums in taipei have rather bland architecture. i've never been really big on ceramics or pottery, but some of the pieces at the museum were very nice. my favourites of course were the ones that reminded me of illustrations from children's books. unfortunatley, they didn't have any postcards of those pieces and photography wasn't permitted.
a few more snapshots from the trip to ingge can be found over on photo action boy.
Posted by robot action boy at 7:20 PM
Saturday, August 09, 2003
i just got paid, so tonight after work peter and i went to guanghua to do a little dvd shopping. peter got the x-men, and i got 2001: a space odyssey and talk to her. i wasn't able to see talk to her when it played here, as it didn't have english subtitles(luckily the taiwan dvd version does). i hope it ends up being worth purchasing. it's odd, but since i've been in taiwan i've lost the habit of renting movies. when there's a movie i'm interested in i just buy it usually. the selection on dvds here is still pretty limited, so a lot of the more obscure things i'd like to see i have to take a chance on mail ordering. though thunderbirds has just been released on dvd here. so maybe there is hope that more oddball stuff will surface.
Posted by robot action boy at 8:33 PM
Friday, August 08, 2003
chain-music a collaboration between quite a few artists: ryuichi sakamoto, haruomi hosono, towa tei, atom heart, ryoji ikeda, carsten nicolai, david sylvian, and mika(pansonic). i'm not sure if this is going to be a real release or what. what you can hear on the sakamoto site makes me think of the work david sylvian did with holger czukay. while you're over there, don't miss the video for oppenheimer's aria. i'm not sure if this is part of the chain-music project or not. but it's quite moving. via chipple.
Posted by robot action boy at 10:45 PM
Thursday, August 07, 2003
Wednesday, August 06, 2003
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
i've been listening to the project: pimento cd quite a bit lately. i mentioned earlier that the version of the theme from star trek they do has lyrics. well, they do a version of peter gunn, and that has lyrics too! what other songs do people usually associate as an instrumental but actually have song lyrics? aside from star trek and peter gunn i can think of m*a*s*h and quiet village. but surely there must be others out there?
Posted by robot action boy at 2:53 PM
Monday, August 04, 2003
stekki dayo productions is set to release a very limited edition dvd-r of the work of award winning filmaker ted mills. i've not seen the work, but the descriptions are tantalizing. the fact that i know the director doesn't hurt much either. looks like they'll only be taking orders for another week(so best be quick if you like to be in on these sort of things). of course i can't resist a deal like this and ordered mine almost as soon as i heard about it.
Posted by robot action boy at 10:38 PM
Sunday, August 03, 2003
a black and white version of this picture can be found here. i think i may prefer the black and white version, but i've already posted the colour one here.
the pictures submitted for this theme seem to be quite strong. i'm especially fond of the colour in this one. makes me think of oil pastels for some reason.
Posted by robot action boy at 4:27 PM
Saturday, August 02, 2003
recently finished the 5th harry potter book, which wasn't quite what i was expecting considering how book four ended. but i enjoyed it nonetheless. the other day one of my co-workers(who also just finished the book) and i were standing outside the teachers' room at work discussing the book when we heard a voice from inside call out how old are you guys? twelve? it didn't discourage us from acting like complete fanboys, but we did shut the teachers' room door so he wouldn't have to hear us going on and on about the book.
Posted by robot action boy at 8:31 PM