Through The Grass

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I posted this on flickr a while back to see what people thought of it and I had a couple of requests to see it appear as a desktop so here I am with it as a nice big sunny wallpaper for your computer screen. At first I thought it somewhat boring but I think its grown on me, I like the warmth of it and I always love shooting into the sun like this. Behind the grass you can kind of make out the shape of a lake in the distance. It was taken at a rest stop off the side of an interstate somewhere between Memphis and Chicago and was a surprisingly peaceful place considering it was right off a huge highway like that..

Please respect the terms of use inside the zip file containing the image which you can download by CLICKING OR RIGHT CLICKING HERE to save the attached file. Enjoy!

Chevy

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As requested I made this image into a desktop for everyone, its one that I didn’t expect to have demand for as a desktop. Its a film image so please ignore the bits of dust I didn’t get all the way out. 30 minutes of dust removing in photoshop is my limit for one lil’ desktop. This van has seen a lot of miles in its day and recently someone broke into it and tried to steal it by forcing the starter to turn without a key and tore up the starter in the process. Still works though which is good…

Anyways, please respect the terms of use inside the zip which you can download by CLICKING OR RIGHT CLICKING HERE and saving the attached zip file. Enjoy!

Looking Up

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A little something light and warm for the coming cold. I have a number of new images I have been waiting to post as desktops and I will be posting them as I have time to do so. In other words, you can look forward to some great new images here soon! In the mean time, enjoy this image taken while I was visiting a farm this past weekend.

As always, please respect the terms of use within the zip file containing the desktop which can be downloaded BY CLICKING OR RIGHT CLICKING HERE to download the attached file. Enjoy!

Black Cabs

Some of you may remember a post a while back about a french site that featured videos of somewhat spontaneous, live recordings of a number of great musicians and I have recently come across another concept similar in nature.

The idea is they get musicians to perform scaled down versions of songs while riding along inside a cab. More specifically, the famous black cabs of England. Its an interesting idea to me and its fun to watch through the videos of a lot of really great artists featured on the site. (seriously though, the artists featured are great) My only criticism really, is that its a bit distracting and honestly not as personal and intimate as you would think it might be but I’m not sure I can really explain why that is. That and I wish they had a bit faster server running these videos… or maybe that’s just me. At any rate, below I have embedded a few random favorites but you can visit their site through this link for more.

Pinball

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Taking a break from my film desktops for a moment I found these images in my archives while I was looking for some other photos I needed and I remembered that I always did want to make desktops of them. Hopefully this is not a repeat post.. I have this feeling like I posted these back in my twistedsun days but I can’t remember, haha… well either way, here they are for your desktoping pleasure.

They were taken of an old pinball machine that had long sine stopped working and was sitting in pieces in a basement for years and years. It did make for a few interesting photos though. My favorite shot was one I took with the Canonet and I posted it to flickr a while ago.

Not so much to say this time around. I mostly just wanted to get these up for everyone. It seems like I’ve been on a roll here with desktops the last few days and it feels good. Heres hoping I can keep up this posting momentum!

Please, remember these are not to be used for any sort of commercial use (as defined in the terms of use inside the zip with the desktops) and to download these fine looking images simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to save the attached zip file. Both images are there in the same zip file so enjoy it and let me know what you think!

Oxygen

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I’m enjoying being able to post some film images as desktops, I’m wondering if readers are enjoying them as much as my usual clean digital imagery but really, I see this as an interesting direction to take the idea of a desktop image because usually you see ‘desktop/wallpaper’ sites that are all full of perfect looking photoshop creations or one of a million zillion perfect landscape shots. Don’t get me wrong, those sorts of things have their time and place but I feel they have become so common and uninteresting in many ways.. but maybe thats just because there is such an abundance of people learning the basics of photoshop and churning out the same old same old. That’s not to say I haven’t been through a photoshop phase myself…

Anyway, with my film work I tend to shoot much much less often and it takes about four weeks to go through a roll of film. The subject matter is typically different as well because I find with film I wait for a shot or a moment in time that seems appropriate for it. I look for things that could evoke some sort of nostalgia or sometimes moments that have a unique feeling or subject matter that would be emphasized by the use of film.

Subjects such as this, my father injured his knee recently involving a deep cut and needed to have a surgery to clean it up so when I visited I brought along my little XA and shot film because hospitals have such a strange feeling to them with so much white sterility all around. This coldness matched with the fact that I was visiting my own father in this place just seemed appropriate to shoot this way and I’m glad I did. The hospital room was full of dark shadows and film does such a great job of handling that sort of light.

So rambling aside I thought that although this is much colder than most photos I may post here as desktops I figured some readers would enjoy something such as this. Please leave any comments you have and let me know if you like me posting these film images in addition to my digital work. I’d like to know what everyone reading thinks about it.

Please respect the terms of use and only use the image for personal use as your desktop unless you write me and ask about using it otherwise. I appreciate your understanding! To download the desktop size version simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to download the zip file attached to that link and as always, enjoy!

Keepsakes

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I’m a bit on the fence still about the quality of the scans I’m starting to use and that is apparent here in this image and is still my only pet peeve when it comes to the current state of digital photography. You can see it all in the shadows, the rugged looking gradients really bug me but it could be worse I suppose. I think that the newer digital cameras out today are getting better and better in these areas and its a great thing to see happening finally. This is part of what I love about using film are the amazing soft gradients and tones when it comes to shadows and darker imagery.

All the same, I have another desktop for you and its another film shot. This time around I tool out the dust because this one felt better without it, probably because its darker in nature. Its kind of a homage to all the memories many of us have crammed away in closets and corners. I like the way the afternoon light coming in through the window adds to the feeling of time gone by and a song by Jason Anderson seems to come into my mind every time I look at this photo. The song is called waiting and regret and one line of the songs reads, “A box of notes and keepsakes, I cant seem to discard..” Which should explain the name of the desktop for you.

As always, this is to be used for personal use only please and as always I do hope you enjoy it. To download the zip file containing the desktop sized version simply CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to save the attached file to that link.

Dusty

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Some of you know I have been fighting my scanner, or lack there of, for some time now. I had two around the house, one was an old skinny Canon and the other a fat old Epson. Both have seen better days really, the Canon has been traveled with so many times over the years that it barely works and the image quality of the scans is always a disappointment but its all I have had because, until yesterday at least, the Epson has not been working at all.

With a little frustrated messing about with the usb connection on the scanner the computer suddenly recognized it and I went happily scanning away and finally scanned in a handful of film images I’ve been wanting to share for a while now. So the good thing about this is that this Epson scanner is able to scan at higher resolutions, ones I am happy enough with to be able to supply a few film images as desktops from time to time which is something that has been requested many times by readers.

So to celebrate the capability I humbly present to you this image taken with my great new Olympus XA that I had mention in a previous post. I do realize that there is a good bit of dust in this image and while normally I would edit all of that out I’ve decided to leave it in this time around at least to see if anyone complains. In some ways it could be seen as annoying but in another way I find that it kind of adds another dimension to the image. Kind of like how crackles and pops add to the sound of listening to an old record, a bit of dust kind of adds a nostalgic analogue feel to the image and seeing as it is a film shot I thought it would be interesting to see how it would feel if I left most of it in.

I’ve had this as my desktop today and I found that it made my desktop feel more welcoming somehow, like instead of staring at a bright crisp glossy computer display I feel like its feeling a bit more welcoming like im looking at an old photo dug up from the bottom of a shoebox somewhere… or something like that :)

As always, the image here is for your personal use ONLY and I present them to you in this way out of good faith that you will respect that. To download the desktop CLICK OR RIGHT CLICK HERE to download the attached zip file.

I think I will begin making the desktop links text links at the bottom of each post, hopefully it wont be to much of an inconvenience for you, just an effort to draw attention to the rest of the content and to the bit there at the end where I mention the use of the images. Oddly enough, people out there in this world like to think that if an image is downloaded from the internet its like finding a 5 dollar bill on the ground and can simply take it and do with it what they please. anywho.. enjoy!!!

On The Hi-Fi

Well, good news is that I have finally gotten this great software called MacJournal to upload posts and images to the blog for me so I can write posts locally on my macbook and upload them without messing about in the WordPress back end. This means it will be easier for me to post and hopefully lead to me being able to post more often so here’s hoping.

At any rate, I’m here with a new music post which has been a long time coming. It seems I have come across a lot of great new music in the past month or so which I am excited recommend to readers looking for something fresh in their ears. Because it’s been a while I have covered a lot of music here so hopefully its not TOO much. There are things I had to leave out because the post was getting to long already but I think I ended up featuring a lot of great music for everyone to check out. So lets get started shall we?
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Akira Kosemura – Tiny Musical
Anyone that has been following the blog here for a while knows how much I enjoy really minimal quiet music and that is still very true. It seems I’m a sucker for music that helps slow tine down a bit and gives my mind some breathing room and distance from the distracting world around me. I think that this genera of music has somehow adopted the name Folktronica but I really don’t like it because I don’t think it really represents the music all that well and, well, it sounds kind of weird. On this album you will find a lot of subtle, understated music. A lot of drifting piano, guitar and light electronics that float along through your mind as you listen. Highly recommended to anyone in need of some music that will help ground your mind during a busy day or relax you at the end of a long one. (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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The Cinematic Orchestra – Live At The Royal Albert Hall
I have not always really been all that into The Cinematic Orchestra but when my ears had the chance to hear the first single from their newest album Ma Fleur. I really enjoyed all of the music on their last album, a perfect collection of songs with a distinct mood about them perfect for listening with your eyes closed.Truth be told, I usually don’t really like live albums for the most part. There is always something missing from them somehow but from time to time there is a recording of a live show that feels really satisfying and really makes you feel like you could be there in the audience. This is one of those recordings. I don’t know to much about the event itself but the recording is wonderful. The performances of the songs this evening with a live string section and wonderful vocal performances really flow great together and its nice to see a good range of material from the group performed and recorded in this way. The music drifts between lighter almost trip-hop like stylings to moments of straight jazz. If your a fan of the band or this sounds at all interesting to you then I suggest you take the time to check this out! (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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Damien Jurado – Caught In The Trees
Over the years it seems Damien Jurado has kind of jumped back and forth between soft, whispered songs and more upbeat full band tracks. While I have preferred his quieter material in the past this album seems to have struck a perfect balance of full band songs and the quiet understated sort of songs that I think he is known best for. Often I find I was reminded of old Heatmiser songs for some reason while listening to the more lively songs on this album but they all certainly hold a feel of their own. This is easily one of my favorites from Damien Jurado. For anyone not familiar, his music varies from gentle indie rock to quiet singer songwriter folk inspired songs. He is a great songwriter in my opinion and never seems to get as much credit as he deserves as such. Take a moment and have a listen. (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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Kate Simko – She Said EP
From what I hear Kate Simko grew up listening to classical music and calls it a big influence in the composition of her songs. I’m not sure if I can imagine that for whatever reason but I do find that I really enjoy her music. It’s like elegant dance/minimal techno and I really love the way her songs evolve over the time of the track. Recently I’ve really enjoyed this sort of dance music that keeps you moving but keeps you calm at the same time (if that makes any sense at all) and this EP has filled that need perfectly. My favorite track on here at the moment is Soltera, if you interested and want a track to listen to before jumping in but really, its all good. (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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Michna – Magic Monday
Another Ghostly release here that I discovered through their free Ghostly Swim compilation. I think the first track on that album is also the first on this full length which it, as far as I know, his first release. Im not sure what it is that drew me into Michna’s music at first but I know what kept me listening. On this album you will find a lot of really catchy electronic that would bee good for a sunny day. A great album for the end of summer, something for those mildly warm sunny days of fall. One of my favorite aspects of this album is the occasional appearance of a horn section which gives the break beat filled tracks a spark of old soul music like energy that I really love. The album carries you through with plenty of chances to get up and dance and I could see anyone looking for some music to liven up their day enjoying this. (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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Mount Eerie – Dawn
I’ve been following Mount Eerie aka. Phil Elverum aka The Microphones since I saw him perform live a few years ago. The performance was outdoors at a college and it was a quiet, nearly silent night and although there was a lot of people in the audience while he performed they were nearly silent the whole time because of his whispering quiet performance. You could hear the crickets singing along and because he asked for the stage lights to be turned off he nearly disappeared into the night as he sang. After the show I bought an album from him which ended up randomly being a japanese import of a cd he released of songs recorded while touring in Japan. There were two songs on that recording that really pulled me into his music, Great Ghosts and The Wolly Mammoths Might Absence. Both are songs about the passing of time and fighting pieces of our past and the recordings of these songs on that cd are still my favorite versions of the songs. At any rate, I have since bought a lot of his material as the Microphones and some of his newer material under his new alias, Mt. Eerie and my favorite songs were always the ones I heard at this concert and the ones on this live import album and that is because they were such simplistic versions of his songs. Many of his albums seem to follow some sort of conceptual idea and while they are good I often wanted to hear these songs stripped down to the essence of the song writing. Finally, this album that he recently released, ‘Dawn’ is such a record. It was him revisiting these songs and recording them in the way they were originally written and conceived, acoustically and with minimal production and It is easily my favorite album of his and I would recommend anyone with an ear for this sort of quiet reflective sort of music to look into it. I have my eye on the vinyl version of this as soon as I have a few dollars to spend. (and if you like that be sure to check out his album recently recorded with Julie Doiron ‘Lost Wisdom’ which I enjoy just as much..) (Artist SiteMySpace)

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Praveen & Benoit – Songs Spun Simla EP
Over the last couple of years I had the opportunity to perform up in NYC a couple of times with my friend Matt as A Drop In Silence and both of the times I was there we were able to spend some free time with friends new and old. One of the people we met while we were there was Praveen who, at the time, was the room mate of the guy we were staying with, Colin Palmer (aka. Calmer which im sure you will be seeing in a hi-fi soon enough..). So back story aside I recently noticed that Praveen had a new project that he was working on with another musician I’ve liked for some time now, Benoit Pioulard and that alone was enough to get my attention. Praveen has a really calm, warm sort of a feel to his recordings and Benoit has a sort of a dirty lo-fi kind of approach to his music and together their styles compliment each other really well. I would highly recommend this record not because I know one of the musicians but because it contains some wonderful music. On this EP you can expect really warm, inviting songs that flawlessly bridge the gap between organic sounds and electronic. Add softly spoken singing from Benoit and you have a really great EP. (iTunesArtist Site)

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Squarepusher – Just A Souvenir
It’s been interesting the past few years to see what Tom Jenkinson/ Squarepusher will release next. The evolution of his music has been all over the place but a few themes have always lingered in the mix. Jazz, Drum n’ Bass, Breakcore, a constant explorative spirit and his skill as a bass player. While his early albums were full of often dark danceable tracks there has been a gradual shift to find something more organic in his music. Sometimes that was in the overall mixing and composition style and sometimes in the sound design and use of more traditional sounds and instruments. This evolution has left his music in a really unique place on this latest effort, Just a Souvenir. If you take the time to read his story behind the albums concept, it was based on a dream he had of a supergroup of musicians on stage performing music on manipulated instruments. The result is an album I have really enjoyed lately. Its like Squarepusher the band and holds a really wonderful combination of Jazz, Punk, Funk, and electronica. His simplified approach in production leaves you with the impression that it is a band performing the songs and its a great new direction for his music in my opinion. So don’t go into this album expecting an electronic album full of breakbeats, listen to it as something different all together. Currently this is only available in digital form on Bleep.com but there you are able to preview entire tracks of the album so head over and check it out. (BleepArtist Site)

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School of Seven Bells – Half Asleep
I don’t know much about the story of this group but I do know that I’m happy to have found their music. More often than not I enjoy the music released by Ghostly International (record label) and this is no exception. While this is simply a single/EP with only two songs it has certainly gotten me excited to hear their full length album when it comes out later this month. The title track, Half Asleep, is a steady, dreamy electronic song. One of those songs that is balanced somewhere between shoegazing and dancing along which is a great place to be in my opinion because it is perfect for any mood really. The B-side here Caldo is a bit more on the calm side with its lack of drums but synthesizer, acoustic guitar and beautifully layered vocals are all a perfect match in the song. For two dollars I dont see how you could pass up the chance to grab these great songs and be sure to keep an eye out for the full length at the end of October. (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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The Juan Maclean – Less Than Human
I have always been curious to hear more of what comes out of the DFA label, especially after falling for a handful of songs on the last LCD Soundsystem album. Recently I randomly had a show at a local college with my live audio work and I unknowingly stepped into an electronic music show. I knew I had recognized the name of the group on the rider for the show but I didn’t connect the dots until they started up for sound check and I remembered where I had heard them, on a DFA comp that I had at home. So after their great performance that night I finally made the time to look more into the label and while its not all my favorite music in the world there is a lot of great music to be found. I got a couple of remix albums and this full length from The Juan Maclean, Less Than Human. For those of you now familiar, DFA has this disco rock kind of a vibe to it and this album very much fits in that category. Anyone looking for something to help put a spring in their step in the morning or any time really, should check this out. For an idea of what you can expect listen to the song, Give Me Every Little Thing, easily my favorite cut on the album. (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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The War On Drugs – Wagonwheel Blues
Filling in more on the indie rock side of things I’ve really been enjoying this album by The War On Drugs. It’s music at first reminded me of early Shins in some ways but not so much any more now that I’ve listened to it more. I really like the production of this album, its not as shiny and clean as most of the other music I’ve been listening to. This and some of these songs are really catchy and always seem to get stuck in my head. Start with the song Taking The Farm and you will see what I mean. (iTunesArtist SiteMySpace)

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