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listen/look: Towa Tei. . .

Pop music isn’t bad, it is just ruled by a bunch of twats. Throw a little electricity in there and all will be fine. Came across this video on Motionographer saw that Miho Hatori was involved, and I was sold. I really liked the video so I did a little research of my own and was incredibly pleased with what I found.

Goes to show what is possible with a fairly basic and really crazy idea, some fine tuned editing skills, and some nice looking animation. Something about this I just really like, I have been a big fan of Miho Hatori for a long time, something about this type of music combined with her voice is just magical.

He has been responsible for many great things in my lifetime, and I am just now learning about it, what a chump I am. If you have the internet chops, make sure to check out the Last Century Modern album. And let me know if you discover anything else. Not a lot out there from the normal music vendors, so I may try to do a little digging for more.
towa tei
Enjoy! Looks like there may be a new album in Feb. according to my research.

You may have to do a little searching to listen to more.

listen/watch: Blackthought and ?uestlove. . .

I saw a blip of this many many years ago on TV, still not complete, but still the best MC out there:


You already know who The Roots are, if you don’t, you might want to start listening to some better music. Luckily they have made it very easy for you with Home Grown!
the roots - homegrown!
I highly recommend checking out any of their albums in full. Do You Want More?!!!??!, Things Fall Apart, Phrenology, and The Tipping Point are my favorites, but The Roots are kind of special in that they have an endless list of incredible tracks.

[The Roots – WIKIpedia]

labs: Using Google Docs to track your $. . .

I am absolutely terrible at keeping track of my spending, I really didn’t have a simple and quick method.

Now, however, I have discovered an incredibly user friendly and efficient way of doing just that, all using Google Docs, so it will always be available from anywhere with Internet access. Google makes it EVEN cooler with access to all these things Offline as well meaning as long as the info has been recently synced up, you can check your balance spreadsheet, email, etc. without an internet connection, using Google Gears.

Here is my new gameplan:
andoru gameplan

spending report

I followed a Doc written up by Nick Espinosa, that allows be to access the Form to Add a Transaction or Deposit in many different ways, the main one being right from my email Account, other include a simple bookmark, etc. You could even do this with an Internet capable phone (iPhone, I wouldn’t recommend the others). So basically whenever you spend some $, you simply open up the form, fill out the info, press Add and the data will be sent to your Google Docs Spending Report spreadsheet, which you can also access easily from Gmail, or just a simple Bookmark, to checkout your total Balance, or really do what ever you want with it.

You could even make Pie charts of the different categories of your spending, or a line graph to watch how the amount of money you have is falling drastically. . .

Anyway, it is fantastic, I highly recommend trying it out. And for those not using Gmail already, come on already, it is not that tough to switch your email address, and it is definitely worth it.

Also I can email anyone the link the the Google Docs template from my own account so they can use it as reference as well. The part that will take the longest is creating your own custom form that you will use to add data to your spreadsheet. So worth the 10 minutes it took.


project: open-source music

Just like Buster Moody mentioned on his blog we are going to be doing a little song trading. (Starting fairly simple projects in Logic 8, with just basic structure and a little bit of melody, and giving it to another person to do whatever they want with.)

This should be a fantastic way to learn as it is fun to toy with other people’s work and it is also great motivation to keep producing.

Here is the original project I was given:
Gong Song - Buster Moody_take1
Some fine cutlery used to slice up the opening sample, seemed like it would be a great basis for a simple melody.

Gong Song – Take 1 (Buster Moody version)

Gong Song – Take 1 (Buster Moody version).mp3

Here is my version after a few hours of tinkering:
Gong Song - Take 1 (aANDORU version)
I was really interested in the sample he used so I just made some slight adjustments to it, mainly using one as the driver for the melody, and developed my own beat. Still have a lot more planned for this, but we are trying to maintain a quick turn around time.

Gong Song – Take 1 (andrewアンドル version):

Gong Song – Take 1 (andrewアンドル version).mp3

We are learning here, so feel to leave a comment/feedback on anything. And if you would like to join in, definitely let one of us know.

look: Ghost in the Shell 2.0. . .

gits opening 09
click to view full size

I just had the opportunity to check this out, and I must say I was very surprised to see something like this, and there are some things I definitely like and some things that just don’t quite fit. Still, going back to re-work something like this is quite an undertaking, and I have found that I really like some of the changes, the overall color scheme shift really does change the mood of certain parts of the film. And the new audio is absolutely phenomenal in most cases.

From what I have heard, the changes were mainly motivated by Oshii himself.

gits opening 10

click to view full size

As an animator that absolutely loves both the original, the sequel, and the the series, I have to say I find some of the enhancements to be extremely well done. The only thing out of the entire thing that really bothers me is the recreation of Motoko in CG for the opening. It was done in a way that actually looks quite nice and it seems to make sense as an opening, but I definitely believe it would have looked better with enhancements on the compositing or re-done 2D animation (only the extended falling sequence would have had to be re-done) to better fit the new environments.

Something that is fantastic though, is how some of these changes have improved the cinematography, like many animated films of its time, Ghost in the Shell definitely suffered from the panning “moving” camera and immediate stop syndrome, having that alone taken better care of here is a great improvement for me.

gits opening 11
click to view full size

And as far as the environments go, I am a huge fan of the Interface and Environmental stuff that was done in Innocence, so I find the change to the opening score sequence to be quite an improvement. Something about the orange that really gets me, and it really works well for this world.

gits opening 16

click to view full size

Something that always bothered me about the original audio was that all of the English voice actors, except for the Puppet Master, were kind of lame, while all the Japanese voice actors, except the Japanese Puppet Master, were fantastic. This version uses the Female voice actor who played Haraway (woman with short white hair) in Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. I think Project 2501 works a little bit better as a female actually, although maybe a certain type of distortion in the voice or something would have added a little more. But it definitely makes more sense to me to have this self-aware entity taking on a voice that actually suits its current shell.

gits 2501
click to view full size

Again, I think with a re-work of CG Motoko, you would have a truly excellent re-telling of this story, the animation is already there, it is just the look that is present in the rest of the film that is missing there.

If I get crazy enough, I may say copyright be damned and do everything I can to re-create those CG versions of Motoko in a well composited 2D handrawn form, with the new environments.

I now have a side-project that will always be in the back of my mind. . .what do you all think?

Everything aside though, I must admit that I am a little nerdy for this whole thing, I really love the new orange look, many of the changes make it a better film for me, but my reasoning is pretty biased and specific. I am interested in what other people think, I am sure a lot of people will really hate the CG opening Motoko stuff, but all in all I don’t think it was done poorly, it just causes some of the emotion to change a little too much.

I still haven’t got to see The Sky Crawlers, and it looks like Oshii is going to be a Samurai film next about Miyamoto Musashi, awesome, there is a Teaser Site already up for that.

Just finished watching the entire new film, and I must say, I really do think it is an improvement, the overall feeling that evokes is just stronger, the overall look, the sound, the characters, and everything else just seems to work better. I highly recommend checking it out.

[Pretty good overview of the changes made]

listen: free the robots. . .

This is a going to be a new series of what should be very frequent posts. Simple really, what new (update: or old) stuff I am listening too. Because I selfishly believe I have the greatest musical taste of anyone with a website called I will try to provide some useful information as well as links to appropriate places to give a listen, and get some information. That said:
now listening - free the robots
Where has this been all my life? I don’t know what the deal is this winter, but I am finding new great music every single day, often multiple times a day.

Best remix I have ever heard. . ?

Listen to this remix, then check out the rest on iTunes (link will open iTunes).

Then do whatever you can to see a live show. And let me know when your going. . .

It is incredible how all of the things I like start to connect to each other, music, animation, people with similar tastes seem . . . not gravitate towards one another, just float around relative to one another, watching and influencing, and creating where best needed.

[iTunes] – for listening or purchase purposes, BUY IT! $5 that you probably would have spent on a hamburger or something dumb like that. Remember, iTunes Plus.

andrew hake | reel | twitter-andrewhake
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