More Sketchpad Frivolity

This is an animation I made a few months earlier with Geometer’s Sketchpad. This one features “string art” whose trace colors change parametrically. The music is by William Orbit, from his My Oracle Lives Uptown cd.


2009 Music In Review

As we come to the end of 2009, I thought I would review some of the year’s music I have listened to. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found fewer and fewer new artists that interest me, so I don’t buy nearly as much new music as I used to. So for what it’s worth, here’s what I bought in 2009:

Depeche Mode: Sounds of the Universe

I thought Playing the Angel was fantastic – best thing they’ve done in years. So I was excited to hear about this release. However, I’ve listened to it several times, and nothing on it really grabs me.

Prince - Lotusflow3r

While in Target one day, I saw a display of this 3-cd set selling dirt-cheap. I liked Prince way back in the 80’s early 90’s, so I picked it up. The Lotusflow3r disc isn’t bad, the other two are forgettable.

Paper Route - Absence

Surprisingly good album of retropoppiness. I first heard a song from it on ObviousPop.  Reminds me of Snow Patrol, Mutemath, or Phoenix. I recommend the song “Wish”.

Speaking of Phoenix, their Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is next on this list.

This is a great album that reminds me of the new music that was in the air way back when I was in college in the early 80’s.

Collective Soul - (Rabbit)

I’ve always liked Collective Soul. Ed Roland has a gift for writing catchy melodies, and the band plays unabashed guitar-based rock. This is a good return to form after the disappointing Afterwords. “Welcome All Again” is the first cut, and when it blasts out of the speakers you can’t help but nod along. This cd was my favorite “driving music”. Of their later releases, I like the live set Home.

Buddy & Julie Miller - Written In Chalk

I have everything the Millers have released, whether together or separately. They are two of the finest songwriters on the planet, and this is an excellent collection of rootsy country/folk/rock songs. The antidote to over-produced empty pop music.

Pete Yorn - Back and Fourth

This was a big disappointment after Pete’s excellent Nightcrawler . Listened to it a few times, wanted to like it, nothing memorable.

William Orbit - My Oracle Lives Uptown

I think William Orbit is one of the greatest producers ever. I’ve never liked Madonna’s work, but I bought Ray of Light solely because he produced it. I also like his solo work very much. He has a distinctive style, and his cds are often interchangeable, but when they’re as good as this, I’m not complaining.

In my next post, I’ll run through my Top Ten Albums of 2009.