Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Planar Chaos Capsule Reviews

Courtesy of NicotineJones of MiseTings

Planar Chaos - White
Planar Chaos - Blue/Black
Planar Chaos - Red
Planar Chaos - Green/Gold etc

My thoughts? I really like Giants, and not so much Boros Deck Wins, so the extra stuff in RW is pleasant, but the Hammerheim dude doesn't do a lot for me. Shade of Trokair looks nice; Sinew Sliver-Cautery Sliver could be a lot of fun, and I really want to play Pyrohemia for something. Dreamscape Artist (the Harrow guy) seems really good too, maybe with the Ana Battlemage to back him up (so I liked BUG a lot too).

Oh p.s. happy birthday to me! Just discovered this little snippet of info:

http://www.w3.org/ — 23 January 2007 — Based on widespread implementation experience and extensive feedback from users and vendors, W3C has published eight new standards in the XML Family to support the ability to query, transform, and access XML data and documents. The primary specifications are XQuery 1.0: An XML Query Language, XSL Transformations (XSLT) 2.0, and XML Path Language (XPath) 2.0; see the full list below.

These new Web Standards will play a significant role in enterprise computing by connecting databases with the Web. XQuery allows data mining of everything from memos and Web service messages to multi-terabyte relational databases. XSLT 2.0 adds significant new functionality to the already widely deployed XSLT 1.0, which enables the transformation and styled presentation of XML documents. Both specifications rely on XPath 2.0, also significantly enriched from its previous version.

W3C’s XSL Working Group and XML Query Working Group, who created these specifications, have addressed thousands of comments from implementers and the interested public to ensure that the specifications meet the needs of diverse communities.

Nice! Looks like some of my favorite technologies just became official! Thank yous to everyone involved!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Loney Dear

Okay, so Loney, Dear makes me happy, very happy, and I'm sure we'll hear more from them (him) in the future. The song I am John is so infectious, in fact, that I can't stop listening to it. The sound is kind of ABBA-esque, kind of Belle and Sebastian-esque, kind of Brian Wilson-esque, kind of its own thing. The song actually reminds me a lot of Broken Social Scene, which is odd, since Loney, Dear is really a one man band, one Emil Svanangen. It has a real "pass the mike around" feel, even though I believe it's all one guy with an impressive vocal range, guaranteed to cheer you up, and never gonna let you down!

I'm gonna go on record here with this one before someone beats me to it -- "Sweden's Robert Pollard"

Loney, Dear - I am John

Friday, January 05, 2007


To start, apparently, like Pixies before them, Sprites choose not to use the. Fine enough! I checked this out with a visit to their wonderful website, a real work of art by one Susie Gahramani. The website is all friendly and tweedy, much like Sprites' sound. I love grainy vocals, and head-sprite Jason Korzen's definitely fit the bill, reminding me in a way of Mark Kozolek or Nada Surf.

And who doesn't love horror movies? Dropping pop culture references like a genial Quentin Tarantino, George Romero is the track on Modern Gameplay that I can't get out of my head.

Sprites - George Romero
Sprites - I Started a Blog Nobody Read
Sprites - Do It Yourself


Musical Quark: Collectives

Okay, I love the new K-OS track Valhalla. Love it. K-OS is a contributer to the Broken Social Scene collective, which Wikipedia describes as a "Supergroup." I'm also loving Lambchop's Kurt Wagner showing up guest vocals on a track by Morcheeba. Like Lambchop, Broken Social Scene is both a small (1 or 2) group of core members, and a whole bunch of people who also showed up for a particular session. Collectives are a wonderful thing, and the world should have more of them.

To quote the Sprites website:
People have frequently assumed that "Do It Yourself" was written specifically about Barcelona, but its not entirely the case. The song is really just about the difficulty of writing songs with other people, the compromises involved, and the inevitable disappointment. Jason felt so strongly about this that Sprites, the band, was intentionally formed with a changing cast of characters. Not a backing band, but a group of friends who could come together in different arrangements, write songs together, perform, and hang out. Nobody should ever have to be kicked out. The band would never have to break up.

I want to be in a band when I get to heaven; anyone can play guitar!