… at which I work, currently while listening to Said the Gramophone’s list of the best 100 tracks of 2012. /popdownload
I’ve been playing with making animated GIFs from old footage I have lying around.
It turns out that GIF is a terrible “video” format and making them high quality with good loop points while keeping sizes under control requires a bunch of interesting aesthetic and technical tradeoffs (for example, if you grayscale you can discard a bunch of color bits). There are probably savings in duplicating frames using timing metadata for shots that are more still.
That clip is 120 frames, which I think is a fun number because you can use video shot at 30fps to get there in four seconds or “film” shot at 24fps to get there in five.
I’m doing these in Photoshop, but it would probably be better to take a small slice of what I want in a proper video editor with scrubbing, get the loop points right, maybe apply some adjustments, maybe even export it as an image sequence, and then construct the GIF in an image editor or standalone app.
This is a speculative short essay on how the history of music might be perceived in the future. It’s a guess at the probable consensus historical reality of the gestalt, or whatever. That said, it’s probably old news.
I think it’s obvious that Jazz is the successor movement to what we laypeople gross up to calling “Classical”. From there, through Musique concrète you can get to the studio-as-instrument experiments in Bitches Brew:
And once you arrive at Miles Davis using machines to loop samples it’s not too much of a stretch to see him on a continuum that eventually runs through to Squarepusher:
Rock begins to look more like a musical digression from our end of that Jazz/Electronic continuum concrète: a century or so where we became culturally obsessed with guitars, minimal orchestration, and fusion poetry.
(And maybe videogames saved classical music by introducing a generation to 8-bit and the glitch aesthetic. But that’s another story.)
An interesting gun control debate sprung up on my Facebook wall and this link got posted. The first half, or so, reads as fact, and the second, roughly, as rhetoric. Still, rhetoric which itself deconstructs rhetoric is some of my favourite.
Oh, and it’s probably NSFW.
The Guardian breaks down Jodie Foster’s “coming out” speech. Devices discussed include:
(1) Anaphora: repetition of words or a phrase at the beginning of a clause or sentence.
(2) Polysyndeton: overuse of conjunctions.
(3) Ethos: attempt to establish authority or connection with the audience.
(4) Occultatio: a figure that brings in material while pretending not to talk about it.
(5) Tricolon: three units of speech put in a row.
(6) Peroration: final part of an argument.
(7) Chiasmus or antimetabole: four terms in a criss-crossed relation to each other.
The construction of what she said was masterful, and keep in mind that she’s a professional emotion projector. Whatever awkwardness was in her delivery was either intentional, to blush over the obvious construction of the message, or actual heartfelt nerves.
I didn’t realize until I started writing these posts, but FX really is killing it: American Horror Story is another goodie. Fox has always been fantastic at picking up new shows and horrible at supporting them in the marketplace, so maybe a pay channel is what they needed to shine.
The first season was truly great, and it’ll probably work its way into my Halloween canon. The second, though it has some very disturbing moments, isn’t as good — they get rid of the hauntings as a mechanic, and those are what made the first season exceptional (things like disorienting characters with the juxtaposition of shots in the edit — very, very good).
American Horror Story follows a new pattern for television though: each season is planned to be its own complete story arc, and is unrelated to the other seasons, though the supporting actors remain. Season 1 is complete unto itself, as is Season 2. Hopefully the show can find a good stride again in Season 3.
The two extant seasons of Wilfred are also great comedy television (FX is apparently crushing it, because they do Louie too):
There’s a depth to Wilfred which is fun. The audience’s suspension of disbelief mirrors the main character’s blindness to his own obvious insanity.
The series loses the thread a bit during season two — once things start going well for the main character I find myself wondering why he’s bothering with the annoying dog — but things turn for the worse and it picks up again by the end.
There are three seasons of Louie out right now. It’s one of the best comedy shows out there, all pretty deadpan and inevitably drawing stylistic comparisons to Woody Allen:
One of the things I love about the show is how intensely personal the creative process seems. Louis CK is producer/writer/director/talent/editor. There are some rough spots in the edit, especially before he brings in assistance in season three, but the amount of creative energy each episode represents is inspirational.