IMGP: All My Friends

One of my favourite episodes of my favourite podcast – Roberto Baldwin singing LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” on It Might Get Personal.

When I first watched this I was blown away. I had somehow not heard any LCD Soundsystem songs up till then. I assumed, based solely on their name, that they were a Daft Punk-ish group that I wouldn’t be terribly interested in – a mistake I’d made before, have made since (Japandroids), and will almost certainly make again.

True Detective Is On Google Play – Even In Australia

I wandered into Google’s Movie & TV Store hoping but not at all expecting to find True Detective. I figured it was a long shot – it’s not on iTunes and won’t be out on DVD till June – but there it was, looking somewhat out of place next to The Big Bang Theory and The Vampire Diaries.

I’ve learned to be wary, though, so even as I clicked through to buy the first episode I thought it was likely that they’d throw up the all too familiar geographical restrictions error. One minute later, however, and I was watching the actual thing – listening to the actual words.

They only play in SD on a computer and you have to stream them, but I’m happy just to be able to watch them at all. Not perfect, but it’ll do for now.

Our Comrade The Electron

We haven’t seen yet what a truly bad government is capable of doing with modern information technology. What the good ones get up to is terrifying enough.

I’m not saying we can’t have the fun next-generation Internet, where everyone wears stupid goggles and has profound conversations with their refrigerator. I’m just saying we can’t slap it together like we’ve been doing so far and expect everything to work itself out.

The good news is, it’s a design problem! You’re all designers here – we can make it fun! We can build an Internet that’s distributed, resilient, irritating to governments everywhere, and free in the best sense of the word, like we dreamed of in the 90’s. But it will take effort and determination. It will mean scrapping permanent mass surveillance as a business model, which is going to hurt. It will mean pushing laws through a sclerotic legal system. There will have to be some nagging.

But if we don’t design this Internet, if we just continue to build it out, then eventually it will attract some remarkable, visionary people. And we’re not going to like them, and it’s not going to matter.

This is a sliver of Maciej Cegłowski’s talk from this year’s Webstock – partly an examination of the life and career of Lev Termen (inventor of, among other things, the Theremin) and partly a rant 1 against the advertising driven “centralized version of the Internet based on permanent surveillance”.

It’s best to imagine Cegłowski on a stage saying these words while reading. He has a refreshingly human giving-a-talk speaking style that is very different from how most people talk when they’re in front of a bunch of people. Watch Thoreau 2.0, his contribution to XOXO, to get an idea of what I mean.


  1. I say “rant” because that’s the word Cegłowski uses himself though, really, as rants go it’s not very ranty.

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain Oral History

Pavement 5 608x413

Well, we’re big Richard Linklater fans, so when “Slanted And Enchanted” was recorded, we were setting out to make like “Slacker Rock.” But now the thing is that this album is more influenced by his second film, “Dazed And Confused.” So we don’t really like being called “Slacker Rock” anymore because we feel like we’ve sorta kinda gone beyond our “Slacker” stage and gone into our “Dazed And Confused” stage.

This is Mark Ibold in an interview with Mark Prindle back in ’94.

If you want to read more about the making of my second favourite Pavement record, check out this in-depth oral history in Stereogum. I especially liked the details of the actual recording process and the role played by mixing engineer Bryce Croggin in crafting the album’s sound.

Rembrandt’s Park

One side of the park has this sign:

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The other side has this:

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Which used to look like this:

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Who says a park can’t have two names? Just because its parents named it Remembrance Park does that mean it can’t choose to call itself Rembrance Park if it likes?

We let countries and cities get away with it all the time. And people! With our short forms, nicknames, and twitter handles, we can’t talk.

So while this might be a sign that the city council needs to pay just a little more attention to detail, I prefer to look at it as a sign of a young park growing up and gingerly feeling about for its own identity. Let’s cut it some slack. Okay?

Raising the Blackbar

For technical reasons too boring to go into I wasn’t able to play Neven Mrgan’s Blackbar when it first came out. This week I finally got my chance. I’d expected to enjoy it but I was surprised at just how good it turned out to be.

There is a really nice balance in tone between humour and menace. Although, as far as I know, there are no alternate paths or endings when I got to the end I felt like I had helped get there.

There were a couple of screens that took me a good couple of hours to work out, mostly because I was overthinking them. I would recommend against peeking at any hints you might find online. You’ll just end up feeling like an ◼︎◼︎◼︎◼︎◼︎ when you see the answer.

It’s not easy peasy, but it’s not that hard. If I can work it out I’m sure you can too.