2014 – Year in Review


Hello folks,

and welcome to my good old fashioned year in review, 2014 edition! So grab a select beer or favourite cognac and join me in celebration for the end of a great year and the beginning of a new one. As I’m writing this thing I’m getting ready for a New Years celebration of my own, and I’ve started my drinking a little early (so if my sentences don’t quite make sense or I’m rambling more than usual just stop me). I find if I slowly roll into my drink count instead of plummeting into a desperate sprint around 11:00, I’m a little more socially tolerable. I’ve picked up the Mill St. Seasonal Sampler and I am hyped. I was drinking the new 100th Meridian from Mill St. last weekend and it was amazing. It’s an amber ale (which I love) with the Mill St. signature organic flavour. It’s probably my new favourite beer. But the sampler has traditional Organic, Tankhouse, and three other selections that I’m stoked to try out.

Hell, I think I’m going to have to start a beer blog… or do what I usually do and forget to post altogether but have high hopes of making a new segment on this here blog. Ah well, New Years Resolution anyone? If anyone has read my ramblings in the past you know I hate… hate, New Years resolutions. But I was listening to Indie 88 on the way to grab beer and, I think it was Matt talking about average attainable resolutions, which I thought was hilarious. He mentioned that he’s never been to Swiss Chalet so that was his resolution to eat there. I think my average attainable resolution will be that if I ever see a penny on the ground I have to stick it my shoe, so I’ll have good luck all day through. That will guarantee a great 2015.

Coming up with New Years plan is always a huge chore. There are a thousand options, and most of them quite frankly will suck, we all know this; Don’t kid yourself. But alas we ask our friends and family, “what are you doin’ for New Years” and we weigh the options and choose the best plan. This year I’m going bowling with the family and hopefully finding an after party not family related for the remainder of the evening.

Okay, on to the topic of the evening, music!
This year has been huge for music, as it always is. But for me especially with the discovery of Spotify my music listening and collection has gone through the roof. With the ability to grab any record as soon as it gets released, generate a playlist and shoot it over to my smart-phone to listen on the go; we as music listeners could not be more stoked. Now, I’m not too invested in how Spotify treats developers and musicians but as a consumer it’s a god sent service.

My favourite record of 2014 was from this band called Alvvays. They’re from Toronto and they embody this perfect blend of surf-rock and modern indie. Surf-rock and indie are my jams. It’s easy to listen to, it’s fun and it doesn’t take itself seriously. That is me allover. Lyrics are never my thing. I love certain lines in songs that mean something to me, but I don’t really care what the musicians intended. That’s their business. If I wrote songs it would be for me, and I wouldn’t care if people understood them or not, I would just want them to like the song. I alvvays catch these little snippets (see what I did there?) of lyrics from their songs, like the intro of Adult Diversion “How do I get close to you, even if you don’t notice as I admire you on the subway” and it just warms me up. I’m a pretty quiet passive dude and that’s totally something I would do. Admire someone and just be too scared to say anything about it. It just reminds me that we all always have growing to do, no matter how old we are.

Anyway that’s my pick for favourite record and you can see my list of 20 albums that I loved this year below. I usually make a playlist on 8Track but, I think I’ll just post my spotify playlist and maybe that’ll force you to download the service… do. it. now.

Alright, thanks everyone and have a killer New Years!

Favourite Records of 2014:

  1. Alvvays: Self Titled
  2. Rural Alberta Advantage: Mended With Gold
  3. Hey Rosetta!: Second Sight
  4. Shakey Graves: And The War Came
  5. Mimicking Birds: Eons
  6. Real Estate: Atlas
  7. The War On Drugs: Lost in the Dream
  8. Generationals: Alix
  9. Bleachers: Strange Desire
  10. Allah-Las: Worship The Sun
  1. MacDemarco: Salad Days
  2. The New Pornographers: Brill Bruisers
  3. Jungle: Self Titled
  4. Yellow Ostrich: Cosmos
  5. Temples: Sun Structures
  6. Andrew Bird: Things Are Really Great Here, Sort of…
  7. Angus and Julia Stone: Self Titled
  8. Bahamas: Bahamas is Alfie
  9. Manchester Orchestra
  10. Sylvan Esso: Self Titled

Favourite Tracks of 2014

  1. Black Keys: Gotta Get Away
  2. Alvvays: Marry Me Archie
  3. Bleachers: Rollercoaster
  4. Shakey Graves: Dearly Departed
  5. Mark Ronson: Uptown Funk



Processing 1.5.1 Fun – Revolution

John Lennon

John Lennon Typography – Using Processing 1.5.1


John Lennon – Original Image

Here’s a typographic portrait of John Lennon done using Processing version 1.5.1 and all the lyrics from the song Revolution. The code I was using was about 5 years old and wouldn’t run properly on the newest version so I had to downgrade and change a few things around to getting it working – such as the P2D renderer not registering so I had to switch to JAVA2D in a few cases but I’ll post the code below so you can see what I was working with. Most of it is pulled right from the reference, but I see this as a learning experience for me.

I wish I could say that I wrote all of this code but I’ve been playing around with this all day and I at least understand it a bit more and am going to keep working with it to get some more personalized results later on.

Here are the links to the references I used and also a link to a Processing text book with a few basic typographic Processing tutorials.



Reference 1.


Reference 2.


PDF Type + Code Textbook.




April 1st – Mac Demarco, Cloud Nothings releases

Whew, that was a lot of class updates. Haven’t been on here in a while so I figured I would share a few things I’ve been working on! At some point I’ll have to start developing a portfolio and fully document these things… but I’ll save that for when I actually want to engage in the professional world. For now I’m content just sitting here and minding my own business. I tend to be in the blogging mood just after Religion class; gets my philosophical mojo going.

So there are about three weeks left of class and man, what a year it’s been. I really hope I’ll make it through these next few weeks but I’ve been working pretty hard lately – especially in comparison to the first part of my year in Interaction Design… #slack – so I think I’ll be just fine. I have three more years to work on my anti-slacking skills anyway.

Hopefully I’ll be posting on here a little more since my stress level has all but depleted. I have a few more assignments like actually coding that app design I’ve been working on, but I’m feeling much more calm.

Speaking of calm…(nice segway amiright?) today is April the 1st, and for some reason everyone decided to release amazing records today! I’m talkin, Mac Demarco, Cloud Nothings, Manchester Orchestra! So much solid listening. I’m trying to think of a good way to share these records with you fine folks… does anyone read WordPress posts anyway?

Serious question here.

I’ll just make a little handy list for starters.

1. Mac Demarco – Salad days


Vancouver born, New York… raised? Whatever, he lives in New York, he’s Canadian and makes rad records, check it out!

2. Cloud Nothings – Here and Nowhere Else


Garage punk-rock with a new emo twist. I akin them towards the likes of Japandroids… but maybe that’s just me. Listen. Love it. Tell me what cha think.

3. Manchester Orchestra – Cope


Holy crap, been waiting for this record since I listened the crap out of their last one while on over seas journeys. Always great. Never not great. I really hope I don’t have to explain this one. Haven’t fully dove into it yet; because it came out today, but I do not doubt it’s glory. And also Kim and I are seeing them on May 19th! Way hyped.

Those are the three to come out today… all in one day. Simmer down. But there are two others I’ve been super stoked about so I’ll post those as well.

4. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream


Super killer chillwave tunes. Psychedelic vibe with airy vocals. I’ve been hyped on psychedelic tunes like Kurt Vile (former of War on Drugs) and Allah-las recently, so this was a welcomed new album for 2014. Really dig this record; easy listening and really growing away from post Kurt Vile blues.

Not really sure if they had blues, it was just an assumption… because Kurt Vile is rad.

5. Real Estate – Atlas


Cannot say enough great things about Real Estate but they never disappoint. And I love their record covers. Super simple and really well formatted. I can see the grids.

Obviously I have a trend of chill, airy tunes going here but seriously great records released this year so far. I think I say that about every year. There’s just always something else to look forward to and I like to keep my tunes all in the family. Here is a quick taste of Mac Demarco’s new record but seriously, just go buy it.

If I wasn’t a starving student I would as well. I take cash or cheque…

tuesday. jan 14. 2o14

chvrches. the bones of what you believe

it’s about 10:00a.m. on tuesday and I just finished my first philosophy of world religion class, I’m listening to neutral milk hotel’s random back catelog in preperation for the concert on the 19th, andd I have decided to stop using proper puncuation for this post. no capitals, in the right places. stop me if this gets annoying. i think i’m already annoyed… i have a lot to talk about so i’ll try and make it quick.  also to note a music recommendation/warning(?) at the end.

first to note; i am back in class and i’m havin’ a blast. my assignments include the following: developing an application (probably mobile) for a toronto music festival, creating a concept for a science-fiction user interface, creating a unuseless object that is more inconvenient then useful AND learning about jainism, buddhism and others.  initiate jealously.

in my philosophy class i think i’m the designated buddhism enthusiast, seeing as how i was the only one hyped about buddhism topics. i might have to crack open my buddhist books. but our prof is so wicked. in one class he referenced rage against the machine, explained he was one of the few jainist experts in north america, AND talked about his archaeological trip to the middle east to prove parts of the bible. beyond hyped and totally inspired. it almost makes the 8:00a.m. time worth it. almost.

in music related news, i saw Tokyo Police Club last friday and am seeing July Talk this Friday and as i mentioned before NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL on sunday. so far, my concert attendance this year is very acceptable. unluckily some other friends bought tickets for the NMH show for the following day. so as it stands so far i’ll be alone, which i am totally okay with, just kinda funny it worked out that way.

TANGENT:one topic i wanted to bring up was the idea of music videos.  recently i started to think about delving into electronica music to get a broader scope of what music can be, and i’ve started watching a few videos to get the visual aspect as well.  in my college program we use digital mediums to create works and art and other various projects, and some of that closely resembles concepts explored in electronica culture. so i wanted to bridge the gap and start maybe developing interactive art pieces using code (program called processing, open-source, in case you were wondering) directly inspired by electronica music. i mean, that’s why i’m in this college program, to explore new frontiers in art mediums… i’ve been watching a lot of battlestar galactica, so my heads kinda up in the air.

and i think that’s all i wanted to say. man i can talk a lot. makes me wondering if anyone ever, ever gets this far into my posts. and the answer is most likely not. so i can say anything i want. anything at all…your mother is a hamster and your father smells of elderberries…

so with inspiration from my new interest here is some different music than what i’m used to.  band is called Chvrches, and they’re from scotland. i know, i know, it’s not true electronica.  but chill out, i’m easing into it. i had one of my friends who is really into electronica give me some recomendations, so i’ll get to those later. i was super tempted to put some Neutral Milk Hotel, or Real Estates new single but i’ve had this song stuck in my head, and it fits with my topic theme. so there.

Tune Recomendation Diiv – Doused – Oshin

So I know I just posted about The Front Bottoms, so I should probably recommend their stuff, which I do, but as I said bellow, I’m a little burnt out and wanted to recommend something that I just check out today.  It’s a band called DIIV and the album is called Oshin, I don’t know anything about this band… but they have great weekend hangover tunes.  Giver a listen.

  • Diiv (dirlmusic.wordpress.com)