Thursday, 26 July 2007

The Unexpected Radio Slot of Yesterday

My good friend Kate from The Australian Republican Movement organised for me to DJ for ANU Bush week yesterday.

The story goes that we turned up with no speakers and lucky for us RawFM were broadcasting live through a nice big sound system. One collaboration later and my good friend Jitwam Sinha and myself were broadcast all over Australia!

It was quite a nice afternoon - nice people, nice soundsystem and nice music!

Get Lost

My friend sent me this map and I thought I would share it with all of you so you don't get lost on the internet!

Click on the map for a larger version.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Would you like to go 'up' to dinner with me?

The dictionary definition of Ex-treme: the furthest or utmost length beyond the ordinary or average.

Benji Fun definition of Ex-treme: Dinner in the sky, Car Bungee, Toilet Racers and many more seemingly ridiculous definitions including "death riding".

Dinner in the sky is my favourite and probably the most 'practical'. It shows us that with the technology that surround us today and manifests itself as the tools of creativity the sky is the limit...or is it?

I do wonder though what would happen if you dropped your fork or needed to go to the toilet!

Benji Fun have also given me a great marketing idea that would work well locally - Segways with advertising on them. If you think about local scooter advertising campaigns and the costs involved the segway could be a good alternative; being much cheaper, better for the environment and standing out as much if not more than scooter ads. The only real question is could they reach as much of an audience as the scooter ads?

We may see this trend over the next few years!

Computer Music From The Jazz Diaries

An interesting post by my friend at The Jazz Diaries - The first ever compilation made solely on a computer, which was later sampled by Radiohead in "Idioteque". Look out for there new album which is "scarier than OK Computer"

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Happy snaps from last nights dream

Happy snaps of my new friend I met in my dreams last night, lucky I had my camera!

Skippy spends most of his time drinking near the bright lights. He likes sailing his ship on the high seas but loves nothing more than visiting his extended family in Vegas.

If you can guess where I met Skippy I will give you lifetime membership to all Callitech happenings!

Friday, 20 July 2007

It's never too late to start playing an instrument

Many people I speak to wish they had started playing an instrument when they were young.

It's never too late to start playing an instrument!

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Who needs a Secondlife?

It’s hard to believe but there are more than 8,000,000 people worldwide “enjoying” Secondlife. Personally I wonder whether there is any correlation between this and 8,000,000 people being unhappy with their first life, or their first wife!

The online world has become a haven for marketers including the Australian Broadcasting Corporation who recently bought an island within Secondlife. Basically this means that our taxes have gone into marketing ABC to these somewhat bored, lonely and obscure individuals, and personally I think just as with Facebook this is a big bubble waiting to burst. I’m not the only one who thinks so either – The LA Times declared that “ the marketing possibilities of the virtual world are dead” and Time magazine placed Secondlife in their “5 worst websites of the year”, ironically the same year that they said Time person of the year was ‘you’.

The ABC Managing Director Mark Scott seems to be grabbing at any opportunity to ‘understand’ the changing landscape of media. A while ago I attended a GoldmanSachs speaker series where Mark told everyone how technocratic he was by using a daily weather widget and an rss feed reader. He also stood there and told a large group of youth how they were using media today, boasted about his dealings with the Prime Minister and got into a somewhat heated debate about Rupert Murdoch with the chief editor of The Daily Telegraph. Lucky for him he can hide behind the ABC’s charter!

Have a look at Darren Barefoot’s classic parody site “Get A First Life” and then “go outside, membership is free”!

Record a Pirate

No longer getting enough adrenalin from stealing music off the internet? Now thanks to you can try your hand at pirating records:

1. Make a box with wooden sides and cement on a glass base making sure it is airtight.
2. Place the record in the box with the side to be recorded facing up. Mark the centre hole with some window cement.
3. Mix Silicone ("smooth on" oomoo 25 or oomoo 30) for at least 3 minutes and pour into the box by starting at one corner. Fill the box to about half a centimetre and make sure that it is even. Sit and dry for 6 hours.
4. Peel off the silicone once dry and cut off any excess around the edges.
5. Turn the silicone over and pour liquid plastic ("smooth on" task #4), ensuring that nothing spills over the circle made from the record, and also brushing or blowing out any air bubbles.
6. Once dry carefully loosen the new record from the mould and use a drill to make the centre hole marked with the window cement.
The mould is reusable so if you want to give some copies to your friends just repeat the process!

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Theo Jansen: A Modern Day Da Vinci

Theo Jansen is a Dutch artist/engineer who lives and works in Holland. Studying Science at The University of Delft Theo soon delved into a more artistic interpretation of science, spending 7 years painting and then progressing into kinetic sculpture. His earlier ‘sculptures’ included a flying saucer that actually flew over the town of Delft and brought the streets and police into commotion. He has devoted the last 15 years of his life to “making new life forms”.

Dubbed “strandbeests”, these skeletal animals are made of plastic electrical conduit and are powered by the wind. A large amount of technology, engineering and science has gone into these animals including genetic algorithms.

Genetic Algorithms simulate evolution to solve complex systems and measure for variables including ‘fitness’. In Theo’s case the algorithms are used to keep the animals in movement within the enclosed lines of the water and the inland edges of the beach.

Theo lets them roam free on the stormy beaches of Netherland and measures their success to update his model and “map the progress of mobility”. Eventually Theo wants to put a whole ‘herd’ of these animals on the beach and let them live in complete autonomy.

This type of work is indeed being researched with utilitarian ends in mind. Andrew Biewener a Professor of biology at Harvard studies the economy of movement and is developing robots with legs that will be able to handle terrain that wheels cannot.

Theo believes that these animals are actually much closer to real animals than the audiences first thought – “It's a sort of symbiosis. I live on these beasts - they give me income - and they live on me, because they need me to make them. You could also say they make me make them. It's already a life form that lives in the media. Many people understand what I'm doing without my having told them; even children, they don't know anything about evolution, but when they look at a beach creature they seem to understand what I'm doing. It's strange. Even in nature - butterflies need flowers, and flowers can't work without worms - everything depends on each other. It's a big symbiosis of many creatures.”

Some of the income that he speaks about comes from his BMW “defining innovations” advertisements, but it’s not hard to guess that he is a “bloody Volvo driver”!

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Breaking News: World Wide Web Crash

The Onion is basically America's online answer to The Chaser and CNNNN.

According to their media kit The New Yorker dubbed The Onion "The funniest publication in the US", although based on everything else in the media kit and on the site I'm not sure if this is just further satirical genius!

Below is just one of the many humourous "breaking news" clips on the site, apologies for the embedded advertisement...damn corporate America!

Sergey Brin "Needs Teepee For Bunghole"

The uncanny resemblance between Google co-founder Sergey Brin & Mike Judges 90's character Butt-Head!

Never judge a book by it's cover!

Are The Wilcannia Mob M.I.A?

A few years back I was lucky enough to see The Wilcannia Mob perform their one hit wonder "Down River" at Homebake. Since then though they have escaped my record collection and mind, you could say they have been M.I.A (missing in action), but alas they have just recently come back into existence with the announcement of M.I.A's new album "Kala" which features a re-edit of the original!

I haven't heard the M.I.A version but I will be heading down the record shop on the 20th of August to satisfy my curious ears.

Production of the re-edit has been done by Australian hip hop artist Morganics, who has spent the better part of his life travelling Australia healing and teaching through Hip-Hop and running social outreach programs in jails, schools and outback communities. The Wilcannia Mob has been one of his more well known projects.

He is also running a hip hop theatre show dubbed "Survival Tactics" featuring the likes of Maya Jupiter. In the show he uses hip hop music, rap, graffiti, beatboxing, breakdancing and scratching to tell a meaningful story about issues faced by youth today. The show costs $25 and this includes a free mix CD on arrival!

18th - 21st July: Melbourne, Arts House
25th - 28th July: Brisbane, Powerhouse
7th - 10th August: Sydney, Sydney Opera House

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Cafe Review: Nest

Nest - Potts Point
It’s Tuesday 12:30pm and I have arrived in Potts Point for a meeting. After wandering down the leafy Victoria St looking for a bite to eat I land at the quaint Nest, a small cafĂ© sprawling onto the street.

A friendly and genuine waiter helps me choose a small dish. Pears poached in ginger and cinnamon with mascarpone on sour cherry toast, accompanied by a pot of fresh earl grey tea. A drizzling of maple syrup and a dusting of icing sugar complete the pear dish sensationally.

Seated around me there aren’t many, however they are an eclectic mix; the young trendy male with horse fur loafers scribbling in a recycled paper diary, the real estate agent in a ‘this means business’ suit, and the heritage listed ladies of Potts Point enjoying a cup of tea, darling.

The sour cherry toast is well balanced with the mascarpone, and the pears and syrup kick in a naturally sweet taste with plenty of bite. Finishing up I am asked if I would care for more, however taken by the quaint but comforting decor I rather enter into a conversation about the creative music endeavors of my waiter and discuss the community feeling behind the feature wall spotted with children's drawings and local talent.

Pears poached in ginger and cinnamon with mascarpone on sour cherry toast $10

Victoria St Potts Point
Phone: (02) 8356 9505

Chef: Prue Myers

Friday, 13 July 2007

Interview With Simon Caldwell

This week I caught up for an interview with Simon Caldwell, who is in my mind one of the more refreshing DJ's to come out of Sydney.

He will be playing this weekend at the birth of Callitech and we've asked him to play a different side of Simon.

Andrew Says: If you were an animal what would you be?

Simon Says: Something endangered ;)

Andrew Says: Favourite food?

Simon Says: Japanese

Andrew Says: How would you best describe your sound?

Simon Says: I play lots of different stuff, from hip hop through to Detroit techno. I also love deep house, funk, jazz and soul. There aren’t really boundaries between these styles in my mind.

Andrew Says: Vinyl or digital?

Simon Says: Vinyl 99% plus a few CDs…

Andrew Says: Where do you shop?

Simon Says: Spank Records, Redeye Records, etc

Andrew Says: What are your thoughts on producing, Have you produced, are you producing or do you see yourself strictly as a DJ?

Simon Says: I have done a little bit of production with other people and I would like to pursue it more, although I think producing and DJing are very different.

Andrew Says: What local DJ’s do you respect at the moment? Are there any noteworthy up & comers to keep an eye out for?

Simon Says: Jamie Lloyd & Jimi Polar, Cynik, Paradise Lost Crew...there are always plenty of good new people…

Andrew Says: What international DJ’s do you really respect?

Simon Says: Chris Duckenfield, Charles Webster, Dixon, Claude Young, Dan Bell

Andrew Says: Electronic music has gone through a myriad of genres, fads & trends. In your opinion what is the key element/thread shared between artists & tracks that become timeless classics?

Simon Says: Tricky question… a lot of it has to do with timing, and not being a ‘genre’ track (except maybe a ‘defining’ track) – something that stands out as unique.

Andrew Says: In playing overseas, what are the key differences that you have experienced between the Aust club scene and that of Europe?

Simon Says: In Europe people tend to be a bit better informed about music, plus perhaps more open to music. Music (including electronic music) is much more part of the wider culture there.

Andrew Says: What do you think will happen in the Aust electronic music scene in the next 5 years, and how can Australia push greater quality in all aspects of the scene?

Simon Says: I think there is a lot of quality in the local scene. There always has been. There needs to be proper support for local artists and DJs rather than importing everything and paying all the money in the scene to people from overseas.

Andrew Says: What is the most humourous thing that has happened to you whilst DJing?

Simon Says: Being asked for the track that’s already playing is always a bit of a giveaway about the state of the requestor. I once got handed a joint about a foot long while I was playing – there were many incriminating pictures taken… but of course I didn’t inhale…

Andrew Says: What do you do through the week?Do you have an alter ego for eg are you an investment banker?

Simon Says: I’m currently studying at uni and operating as a casual international spy (but don’t tell anyone).

Andrew Says: What made you decide to put on your Mad Racket parties?

Simon Says: We all knew each other and wanted a place to play the music that we couldn’t play at other events but which we loved.

Andrew Says: What are your objectives behind Mad Racket?

Simon Says: To put on a party we would really like to go to ourselves. It’s simple really.

Andrew Says: Mad Racket is known for it’s local DJs more so than your internationals. How do you believe you developed this cult status that is associated with the Mad Racket name?

Simon Says: I think we share the emphasis between quality internationals (we try to bring people out before they are well known) and locals. Often people say they like the locals more, which is cool, but it’s also good to keep things fresh with diverse international guests. Hopefully it’s more a trust than a cult. People know we will put on an event that they will enjoy.

Andrew Says: What do you see as the key to Mad Racket’s overwhelming success?

Simon Says: Keeping it simple and not thinking about getting rich.

Andrew Says: We’ve noticed the more upper class Mad Racket ‘cocktail parties’ – is this where Mad Racket is heading?

Simon Says: I think we’re keen to just keep putting on solid parties.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Border Community

Border Community is James Holden's stalwart record label for music "that doesnt fit in a category". It's all "about providing djs with the tools to innovate".

Artists Released include:
James Holden
Lazy Fat People
Nathan Fake
Ron Trent

A cool thing about the community (border) is the artworks used for the vinyl labels is all submitted by fans and community members.

My favourite is the cover for Holden's "The Idiots Are Winning" ep painted by Gregory Dourde:

The Simpsons Movie

A while in the making, The Simpsons Movie will finally hit cinema's worldwide on July 27th, 2007.

To no surprise the plot is very under wraps although Groening has in the past spoken about making a parody of Fantasia called Simpstasia and also possibly making a live action Troy McClure film.

Check out the trailers for more clues

Lego Fantasy

Memory lane is coming back in late 2008 thanks to the new "Lego Universe" project.

“By merging the online world of social interaction with the LEGO concept of play, LEGO Universe will provide our community with an entirely new way to experience LEGO and connect with other players in a fun and imaginative setting.”

Promises include customizable characters, the complete Lego collection and expansive community and collaborative features.


ChangeThis Manifesto: How To Be Creative

"ChangeThis is aiming to disrupt the media pattern with powerful, rational arguments from leading thinkers"

And they have done it again with a "How to be creative" manifesto by Hugh Macleod.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

The Freshmaker meets his Soda Pop

What happens when you mix mentos, diet coke and two crazy scientists:

Bubble Tease Communications Podcast

Looking for some jagged flipside funk and boogaloo blended with a splice of techmania?

Go no further than Maurice Fulton's unmistakable drum sounds and tune into his Bubbletease Communications Podcast:
subscribe to rss feed
add to itunes

Killer Innovations

Killer Innovations is "a podcast with tools, tricks and lessons about creativity and innovation, with a goal to show the listeners that being creative and innovative is a skill that can be learned."

Run by Phil McKinney, CTO of Hewlett-Packard and a true innovator, it has a huge backcatalogue of insightful episodes.

Manworks Design is..."the right idea and perfect realisation"

Manworks Design a.k.a Studio MWD wad founded in 2006 and has all the freshness of a one year old bundle of joy.

The sole parents Sergey & Yaroslav have strong beliefs about what creativity is... "Industrial design for us is the right idea and perfect realisation".

They also follow simple steps throughout the creative process to collaborate effectively.

Joost Poppers

Joost brings you...
[insert 90's style drum roll]
...TV on the internet!

Stormtroopers bloopers

Darth may be black and Luke handsome, but for me Stormtroopers are hands down the best looking characters to come out of Star Wars, even after this blooper below which actually made it into the final cut and onto screens all around the world!

Invitation to Visit Mars

This is an official invitation to explore mars

Bananas are yellow

A scientific study published in Na­ture Neu­ro­science in 2006 uncovered the interesting fact that our perception of colour is based both on the actual colour of the object and our knowledge on what it is suppose to look like, although this seems like an oxymoron as you would need to see an object before you know what it looks like.

Scientists have discovered "that co­l­or sen­sa­tions are not de­ter­mined by the in­com­ing sen­so­ry da­ta alone, but are sig­nif­i­cantly mo­d­u­lat­ed by high-lev­el vi­s­u­al me­m­o­ry,” that is, ex­pec­ta­tions.

This means that if we see a pure­ly black and white pic­ture of a ba­nan­a, it will look just a tad yel­low to us.

Time-Lapse Graffiti

German Artist Lichtfaktor is exploring new creative materials through a much less destructive interpretation of graffiti:

Want to try it out yourself? Well Lichtfaktor has been kind enough to let us in on his technique...

The Basics:
To get the best results you need a tripod
The exposure should be around 10-30 sec (or longer if needed)
Be sure to stay in front of the camera while light writing
To avoid overexposure set the camera to about iso100, and close your aperture as much as possible. if there is still to much light you might have to use a nd-filter
Experiment with filters and light reflection materials

Basically you can use different types of lights depending on the effect you are looking for:
  • xenon - warm golden light
  • LED - thin precise lines
  • cold cathode - thick line
  • flashlights
  • biking lights
  • flashing LED's
  • fireworks

Will Glowsticks Blend?

The creative bunch at Blendtec continue to find exciting new objects to blend

Below is a video of Tom putting a handful of glowsticks into the blendtec blender -

After only adding a marketing department a year ago Blendtec decided to advertise solely on the internet, producing the "will it blend?" video series and unleashing it on the web...and to much success, this episode has been viewed on youtube more than a million times!