Steve’s Media Blog

Archive for February 2009

Dinosaur Bones

Dinosaur Bones

When I was a kid, dinosaurs were my favourite thing.  I even got this book made up for me by some friends/relatives that was all about me playing with dinosaurs – and that was the best book I ever had, I’m pretty sure.  I remember the highlight of one year was getting to sleep over at the museum among the dinosaur bones.  THAT was cool.  Anyway the point I’m getting to is that I still love dinosaurs.  Partly because they’re still cool (even though they’re not as popular as the late 80s/early 90s), but also because it’s a bit of nostalgia.

So I was immediately attracted to the group Dinosaur Bones.  When I first heard their lead single NYE on CBC 3’s podcast, I actually didn’t know they were called Dinosaur Bones.  I really liked the song, and after hearing the name of the band, it prompted me to check out the rest of their music.  The initial reaction was representative of what I feel about the rest of their music: I like it.

It’s not heavy rock at all, but it’s not too light either.  It’s a good mix between the two, and is very listenable (is that a word?).  I think my favourite track is still NYE, but their other offerings (such as Royalty) are about the same in quality level.

Imagine my pleasant surprise that they’re coming to Ottawa on April 10th!  That’s a Friday night, so I know I’m not busy that evening.  Really looking forward to it.  It’s at Cafe Deckuf, a venue I’ve been to only once.  It’s a small place, but it’s pretty cool.  Going to be living on the major bus route as of this weekend so getting there/back will be a breeze.

Definitely going to do my best to get to this concert!

You know, sometimes I really like coincidences.  Like when I hear a song in a CBC Radio 3 Podcast from the beginning of February on my drive in to work, and read a review of that very song when I get here.

Jon-Rae Fletcher is a singer I praised a while back; his latest song, Oh, Maria, is not with his band The River – no, unfortunately they broke up.  The key thing is that this song is great, and I love it.  The podcast I heard it on was #194: Julie Doiron, The Hylozoists, Jon-Rae Fletcher.  Incidentally, there’s a really good School of Rock feature by The Hylozoists on that podcast, too.

Also be sure to check out #156 – Sloan, Elliot Brood and Jon-Rae Fletcher for a really great feature on Jon-Rae Fletcher.

Here’s a link to the review and the MP3, from today’s Herohill post:

Reviews:: Jon-Rae Fletcher Oh, Maria

I’ve been meaning to write about Photojojo ever since I heard of it.  I often call myself an amateur photographer; never made any money off my photos, nor have I tried yet.  I have an iStockPhoto account but I haven’t uploaded anything.  The point is, I like playing around with my camera and trying new things.

Photojojo is a website that provides alternate activities to do with your camera.  They release a newsletter once a week with a featured link, and have things that range from board game picture frames to this week’s feature, The Photographic Dictionary.  It’s free to read every week in your inbox (and online).

The Photographic Dictionary is as it sounds: a dictionary with pictures next to the definitions.  It’s neat, and they accept submissions (though not all pictures will be accepted).  I’m thinking of trying to get a photo listed up there – I just need to pick a word that hasn’t been used yet, and take a great photo.

Happy Friday!  Last week saw some sappy love tunes courtesy of Cover Lay Down, but this week sees 11 free albums!  The list is courtesy of The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown, a blog which makes top 11 lists of…everything.  Usually music.

Check out their February 10th post for what they consider the best free albums online; I wanted to feature this last week, but Valentine’s Day was just around the corner… 

The 11 Best Free Albums on the Internet

So here’s something that flew under my radar earlier this month: Facebook introduced a new Terms of Service agreement.  I didn’t hear anything about it, but apparently it produced a big hubbub from privacy rights activists (and probably produced ten more Facebook groups petitioning against Facebook’s ToS).

The basic point of the new ToS is that Facebook owns anything you upload to their servers, forever.  But thankfully, they’ve gone back on that decision and re-introduced the old Terms of Service.

I never really thought about the privacy issues with Facebook before – always just uploaded my photos and such with no worries.  I haven’t been uploading photos lately, but not because of privacy concerns – I just haven’t gotten around to it.  Plus, I feel that their photo uploading utility has become more bloated than it used to be, and is a big pain in the butt.

I think I’ll keep off any photos that I may want to try and sell (not many, but there are some) in the future, but I’m not going to worry too much about other photos.  I have Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family, so I don’t exactly want to shut it out completely.

What do you think?

I did some checking during lunch today and found out that Yahoo has started registrations for its fantasy baseball leagues.  I created two teams: a public league team, and a private league team.  I was going to create a private league but I didn’t think I’d get enough people interested in joining.

Usually I have a so-so track record with fantasy sports.  Either I get a great group of players and have an amazing season, or I really bomb (as evidenced by my hockey league this year…second last place.  Ouch!).  The only problem is it’s hard to determine where I go wrong.  For instance, sometimes I would bomb terribly with a hand-picked squad.  Or, I might excel with a hand-picked squad.  Or I might do really well with players I just let the software draft for me.

Well as I said, my hockey team this year bombed – I thought I had a decent squad of players.  I think part of the problem is I ignore the stats for anyone who doesn’t play for my team (Ottawa Senators), and don’t adjust – or at least I don’t do enough adjusting.  So I thought I’d use a different approach this year.

I’m still going to hand-pick my team.  However I’m going to pick for several different stats, as opposed to getting all the star players.  I figure that this way, I’ll maximize my points.  I’ll have some players who get stats everywhere, as well as key players that get stats in certain areas.  In theory it will all add up to tons of points.

So I’m going to have to do some major research.  I’m thinking I’m going to mainly find some diamonds in the rough – young players who did very well last year / are projected to do well this year.  Add some perennial performers and I should have a strong team.  After that I’ll have to pay attention to stats and make adjustments as necessary.

Wish me luck!

Metric

Metric

Metric has a special place in my heart.  Not for any particular reason, I just like the band.  I’ve got both of their first two albums (2003’s Old World Underground, Where are you now? and 2005’s Live It Out), and I love them.  I had a chance to see them play on my birthday a few years ago but I decided to pass on it and celebrate somewhere else – big mistake, I assure you.  I still haven’t seen them live.

They’ve got a new album out April 14 called Fantasies, on the Last Gang label in Canada.  I’ve only heard one track from the album, Help, I’m Alive I thought it was a great track and really lives up to their previous work.  I’m really glad that it’s not coming out until April, because it means I can set aside money to pick it up.  There are a lot of albums I’ve skipped over but I will do my best not to skip this one.

I learned of a pre-order incentive from Chart Attack: pre-order Fantasies by March 2nd on Metric’s website and you’ll get a free mp3 copy of Help, I’m Alive.  Until then, check out their MySpace page to hear it now (it’s really great I promise).

Also check out their website for a cool, free acoustic version of Help, I’m Alive.

Here’s the track list (which is unfortunately a little on the short side but I’ll deal with it)

“Help I’m Alive”
“Sick Muse”
“Satellite Mind”
“Twilight Galaxy”
“Gold Guns Girls”
“Gimme Sympathy”
“Collect Call”
“Front Row”
“Blindness”
“Stadium Love”