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Month: January 2021

Whoa! A Super High Quality Capture of Daft Punk’s 2007 Lollapalooza Performance

love Daft Punk. And because of that, Alive 2007 is one of my favorite live albums of all time, an incredible mashup of all their music recorded prior.

Really, for me, one of the biggest bummers was that they didn’t also do a proper DVD or Blu-Ray release of the set.

On the tour for Alive 2007, the robots made a stop at Lollapalooza, in Chicago, IL. Earlier this month, someone (YouTube user Johnny Airbag) uploaded the RAW satellite footage from the show, which was used on the screens inside the venue.

Who would’ve thought this would ever surface, let alone 14 years later?

This source was shared w/ me by a tape trader friend after they saw the amateur 3-cam video of Daft Punk’s Vegoose 2007 set I made for this channel. In passing they mentioned they’d recorded a raw Daft Punk “webcast” feed at some point and offered to look for the disc. The video was captured via satellite during the event in 2007.

Amazing stuff.

Enjoy, I know I will.

Some early thoughts on Weezer’s OK HUMAN

Something which is interesting about whenever you discuss Weezer is the innate need to speak about their work as a whole. For others — especially those who revere the band — it’s sort of an establishing point of your taste for the band and their work.

Weezer’s first two albums, their self-titled debut (or, The Blue Album as its better known) and Pinkerton are considered by many to be stone cold classics, even if the former’s gender politics have aged early and the latter was very reviled in its time, leading to Weezer taking a five year hiatus.

Since their return in 2001 with Weezer (yes, another self-titled album, but this one better known as The Green Album), all debate and discussion about the band has kind of been a total mess, as best summarized in an absolutely surreal Saturday Night Live sketch.

Personally?

Well — Blue and Pinkerton are all time favorites. Green is an album which plays it far too safe. Maladroit is an album which isn’t as good as its demos (which Weezer shared all across their website while working on the album). Make Believe has a few killer songs (hello, “Perfect Situation”), but is harmed by being the album which gave us “Beverly Hills”, their biggest song, but a poor encapsulation of what makes the band great. The albums after Make Believe have some strong singles (“(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”, “Pork and Beans”) but are generally worth ignoring. Hell, they even made a cover of the State Farm song which was better than most of their post-Green output.

But then there was hope. Two back to back albums which absolutely blew me away: 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In The End and 2016’s Weezer (yes, again, but this one is called The White Album). They found a way to thread the needle and make albums which united Weezer fans new and old, even if some of the lyrics are a bit cringy (looking at you Rosetta Stone and Ancestry.com references in “Da Vinci”).

…and then we had another slue of weak albums which really was only notable for the band having their biggest hit with a half-assed cover of Toto’s “Africa”.

Suffice to say, being a fan of Weezer is frustrating. Especially when their lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo does podcast interviews about how he writes songs using spreadsheets now instead of feeling them, and releases hundreds of demos which blow away most songs released officially.


Today, January 29th, Weezer’s 14th album, OK Human has been released. The release is a fraught one, as OK Human (yes, the title is a Radiohead homage – Rivers loves that band) was originally supposed to come out in 2020.

The album is a more focused, intimate release for the band, so when they signed up to be a part of the “Hella Mega Tour” with Green Day and Fall Out Boy, the album’s release was kicked down the road, the release delayed for another album to be written and released, the stadium rock homage Van Weezer.

And then COVID happened, and the stadium tour? That was postponed too. So Van Weezer awaits for a world where rocking out is encouraged, and OK Human drops in its place, an album about feeling isolated, alone, and sad. It’s sort of a perfect album for the moment.

And as to how it sounds? Honestly, it’s their best work since The White Album. Yes, I rolled my eyes at certain lyrics, with their mentions of Zombie Hordes and Zoom meetings, but the album — which doesn’t outstay its welcome at a brisk 33 minutes and change — is absolutely brilliant.

Filled with hooks for days, Weezer took the interesting step of replacing their standard lead guitar with a Beatles-esque orchestra. These lush arrangements make OK Human stand out enough in Weezer’s discography as is, but also add a baroque vibe to the album which adds to the emotional weight of the songs.

Lead single “All My Favorite Songs” is a great introduction to the album as a whole, but what is most fascinating is how the album plays as if its an uninterrupted recording, which each song leading directly into the next. If Weezer really does do the OK Human with Orchestra theater tour they hinted at in a recent Apple Music interview, I may need to get tickets as soon as possible.

It’s fascinating that in 2021, 27 years (yikes!) after their debut record, Weezer still sounds as interested in the art of music as ever. It’s not many times you say that the 14th time is the charm, but with OK Human, the praise is earned. I cannot wait to revisit this album throughout the year and for some time to come.


Favorite Tracks

  • “All My Favorite Songs”
  • “Numbers”
  • “Bird with a Broken Wing”

Weezer’s OK Human is out now. Check it out on your preferred streaming service here, or via the Apple Music embed below.

Carrot Weather 5.0: My Favorite Weather App Gets Even Greater

Promo presets

Carrot Weather gets major overhaul, now free to download – 9to5Mac:

Carrot Weather has seen some great updates over the years, particularly with some sharp widgets alongside iOS 14 last year. But today’s 5.0 update is next level for the highly popular weather app. Carrot Weather now features a fresh vertical layout, all-new icons built from scratch, a slick “Interface Maker” to customize the app exactly how you want, new “Cards” UI element, and the app has now gone free to download with in-app purchases to unlock all the premium features.

Very nice breakdown from 9to5Mac on this new version of the iOS weather app I absolutely swear by.

The fit and finish on this new version is unreal. I never thought I’d care this much about a weather app, but here we go. And now, it’s free to try, so go check it out!

Tweetbot is Back on iOS, With a Subscription in Tow

Tweetbot 6

Tweetbot 6 Moves to Subscription Pricing – MacStories:

Tapbots, the maker of Tweetbot, has released version 6 of the app, introducing a new subscription pricing model along with a handful of timeline and design updates.

The subscription costs $0.99 per month or $5.99 annually. Many of the features previously available as part of the paid app, including multiple account support, advanced filtering, and push notifications, are now subscription-only features. Tapbots says that subscribers will also benefit from future updates as Twitter expands its third-party APIs and ensure Tweetbot’s continued development. You can still download the app to view your timeline if you’re not willing to subscribe, but the free version is read-only, so it isn’t possible to tweet from it.

I can hear pearls being clutched at yet another great third-party application being turned to a subscription model, but really, it’s more Apple’s fault than Tweetbot’s.

Tweetbot is an app I live far too many hours in. It’s everything Twitter was in 2012, but in 2021. No ads, no Fleets, a chronological timeline, and across device timeline syncing. And they’re using the new v2 Twitter API (which does cost $$$) so the app is only going to get better.

You know how everyone says about Twitter, “I can’t believe this site is free?” Yeah, this is worth the $6/year.

An Oral History of Marvel’s 2015 SECRET WARS

Secret Wars 001

Solve Everything: An Oral History of 2015’s Secret Wars and How It Came to Be – SKTCHD:

Event comics are designed to change the superhero universe they belong to. That’s their fundamental nature, acting as crescendos to recent, notable storylines. They’re also meant to sell comics, of course, but this usually feeds from that same transformative nature. “This story will change everything,” the marketing for each of these titles tells us, again and again.

The problem is this doesn’t always happen. Many events are just big stories with enough oomph to warrant a more significant focus – or even arcs elevated in hopes of goosing orders – rather than something with actual line-wide significance. The rarity of a true universe-changing event, though, can mean that when they do arrive, they have an outsized impact.

One of those – maybe even the biggest of them all – was 2015’s Secret Wars. This nine-part mini-series from writer Jonathan Hickman, artist Esad Ribić, colorist Ive Svorcina, and letterers Chris Eliopoulos and Clayton Cowles was the culmination of not just Hickman’s preceding Avengers and New Avengers run, but arguably the totality of his time at Marvel up until that point. It told the story of Doctor Doom’s reign as a god on a newly remade Battleworld – built from Incursion points of other, destroyed Earths and filled with new versions of old favorites – as Reed Richards, Black Panther, Namor, and a small group of heroes (and villains) who still remembered what once was endeavored to end Doom’s reign and return the Earth to its rightful state.

It was a monster of a series, resulting in the temporary ending of Marvel’s entire line, the destruction of the Ultimate Universe, the migration of Miles Morales (and others) to Marvel’s primary 616 universe, the sunsetting of the bulk of the Fantastic Four for more than two and a half years, and an array of story points that continue onwards in Marvel stories to this day. It wasn’t just a big deal in theory either. It sold like gangbusters and had a deep impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, particularly Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. In short?

Secret Wars changed everything.

This is its story.

Another amazing, comprehensive piece from the madman David Harper at Sktchd. I know, it’s a subscription site, but if you enjoy truly in-depth looks at the comics industry, the guy is doing the lord’s work.