Another epic post from City of Sound, this time on one of the Far East's latest 'instant cities'. It's incredible really, as if someone's literally playing Sim City with the landscape there (cf. Blog All Bookmarked Web Pages: Shanghai Diary). Also: I never realised China, South Korea and Japan were in such close proximity as to make a bridge between them a realistic engineering challenge. Please make that happen. #link
Thoughts from Dan Hill on how we discover and listen to music, and the problems that new technology has brought to the table. He's spot on about metadata and context; even five years on the situation remains mostly the same. (Maybe because most people don't care about these things?) #link
"Historically, the shape of rail's introduction to Japan and its development into a tourism industry mirrors that of the West. Unlike the West, steam trains have taken on a symbolic strength that permeates the culture... Melancholy, wistful, an image of the voyage and sadness of life itself." #link
News of the high speed rail crash in China last week (which has raised questions about what some perceive as a cargo-cultish rush into modernity) prompted me to dig up some choice quotes I’d saved back in 2004 from Justin O’Connor’s Shanghai Diary on the City of Sound blog. Seven years may have passed from then to now, and the environment may have changed drastically in the interim – but people don’t change that quickly.
“The men on the construction site work from 6am I think, definitely before 7am. They wake me up, but gently, the drop of metal and scraping of shovels slowly gathering weight around the dreams and then tugging and pulling and then — you’re awake. They work in the sun but drink tea in the shadows. They work until late. It’s hard to tell when, they’re gradually absorbed into the background. Then the flare of an arc welder reminds you. Last night they were laying concrete at 2am. Nobody opened the window and shouted shut the fuck up you fucking inconsiderate fucking fuckers. I suppose they all lay there, tired, hot, that’s just the way it is.”
On things that aren’t fun, and fun that is bad… / Tom Coates being grumpy about WoW. Personally, I think that how you play the game matters as much if not more than what happens in the game itself; I don’t play very often – a month on, a few months off – and I play in a party with Bee, so when I do play it feels like I’m achieving more.
An interesting argument to make, certainly, but Wyman is wrong: the fact remains that not all music is as available as he supposes. For starters, virtually all of his references are to work generated by mainstream artists! For many of the things I like, I still have to do the internet equivalent of crate digging. And the value in that isn't in procuring things that others don't have. I can only wish I could find all the things he says are so instantly available. #link
Director's cuts are fine if they don't replace the original. And it goes without saying that they only matter where the film is of sufficient quality and the original version was compromised in some fashion. #link
Forgot to post these after the last batch. That was four months ago. Oops. Anyway, some more linkage from 2006:
Wayfaring / Web service for creating personalised maps (of walking routes, etc). Completely forgot about this!
Tom Coates’ notes on the RCA Summer Show 2006 / I attended the same show and thought I’d made some notes on it, but apparently not! I only made note of Availabot and the Saddlebag (a utility belt for your chair that really should be available in IKEA by now; sadly didn’t note the name of the designer and can’t find her/him on the RCA website).
ChucK / “…a new (and developing) audio programming language for real-time synthesis, composition [and] performance.” See also: Real DJs Code Live.
Transformed? I don't know about that. But it's certainly made things more immediate, and works very well for events such as sports as they happen. In that respect live blogs might be the new radio. #link
"I read with continuous partial attention and I don’t care that I am frequently interrupting my own reading. I despise the discourse that says we are all shallow, that we are all flighty, distracted, not paying attention. I am paying attention, but I am paying attention to everything, and even if my knowledge is fragmented and hard to synthesise it is wider, and it plays in a vaster sphere, than any knowledge that has gone before." #link
Storyful explains it well: "Out of a fast-flowing river of news, curators are the zen-like bears, sitting amid the chaos, selectively plucking out the juiciest, shiniest salmon and then explaining which bits to eat." #link
On the future of marginalia in the age of the e-reader. I'm of the opinion that e-books make things easier, especially for people like me who can't/won't write in their books. I'd never highlight passages or scribble notes in a physical copy, but I'd happy do it all day with an e-book (I did it a lot while reading Moneyball). #link
April closed out nicely with Knut and Keelhaul playing a free show at the Button Factory. This is what hardcore’s supposed to be! Knut were quite good, if slightly on the hostile side (their vocalist didn’t seem the warmest of chaps). But Keelhaul blew them off the stage with time changes, awkward rhythms and riffs galore. So happy to have finally seen them live.
More gigs in May. Rush at the O2 was what you’d expect it to be: a show. But what a show! Spaceship lights, fireworks, elaborate sets, videos – the whole package. Even if it threatened to veer into Spinal Tap territory at times (mandolin on a stand, anyone?) these Canucks are no dinosaurs; three hours of hits is a breeze to them (it was much harder on my feet).