Five Albums I’m Listening To

For this installment of “Five Things“, I have decided to talk about some of the albums that are on my playlist right now that I enjoy listening to.

Mute Math - Mute MathMute Math
Mute Math – 2006

Mute Math is difficult to fit into any one genre. While they have an electronica base, they also exhibit both rock and pop stylings. Their music goes from fast-paced trace to smooth downtempo, and is guaranteed to get your head bobbing to the beat. Although this is their first main release, they have also released an EP back in 2004 entitled Reset which is a phenomenal addition to their repertoire. If good music alone doesn’t do it for you, they also have a phenomenal stage presence as demonstrated by their both their live performances and their music videos.

Queens of the Stone Age - Era Vulgaris

Queens Of The Stone Age
Era Vulgaris – 2007

Queens of the Stone Age have never fit into the mold, and their quirky music certainly shows this. Their odd style of music stands out from the crowd, but not so much that their music doesn’t go mainstream. Their guitar styling is great to listen to, even if it sometimes isn’t the most pleasing to the ears. Their rock styling with lyrics a-la-“Red Hot Chili Peppers” make this a unique band that shouldn’t be passed up.

Cake - Comfort EagleCake
Comfort Eagle – 2001

Cake’s music has always been something to chuckle at, and Comfort Eagle is no exception. Cake is an indie-style band with a sense of a humor and a way with words, and they enjoy using different instruments and effects in their songs. If you’re looking for some music to put on while friends are over to hang out, consider this album (and their others) for some background listening. Other notable songs on other albums include the remake of the Muppets song Mahna, Mahna, and the Frank Sinatra song Strangers in the Night.

Royal Crown Revue - Passport To AustraliaRoyal Crown Revue
Passport to Australia – 2000

Royal Crown Revue is a rockabilly swing group with a knack for getting your feet tapping. Normally I steer clear of live albums because of all the screaming in them. This album is different; there is very little applauding and cheering in it, but is instead graced with the music that you paid for. The band is one of my favorite contemporary jazz groups for their unique sound and groove, and their live album Passport To Australia reaffirms my choice. If you pick up one rockabilly album, make it this one.

Pronobozo - Zero = One = EverythingPronobozo
Zero = One = Everything – 2007

Pronobozo is a phenomenal artist; his unique style redefines breakbeat music. After getting exposure on the internet podcast Hak5 by providing much of the music used on the show, he released his album to the masses under the Creative Commons license. The pressed version of his album is a limited quantity version, and is definitely worth picking up for a listen. This is currently my preferred album to listen to while I program; it has the perfect mix of downtempo stylings, breakbeat, and that instrumental “smoove” feel to keep you in the programming groove. What are you waiting for? Go buy this album. Now.

Five Web Comics I’m Reading

Something that I will try to do every once in a while is give a review of five of something that I think is particularly noteworthy to take a look at. It could be plugins, software utilities, websites, photos, or, web comics, like today. Today’s installment of Five Things is about five web comics that I make a point of reading whenever they update.

1. Everyday Decay

Everyday Decay takes place in a post-apocalyptic zombie survival scenario, updating Mondays and Fridays. The art is quite impressive, with an interesting story line including drama, comedy, and “a healthy dose of WTF”. If you like zombies (and who doesn’t?), this is definitely one to check out.

2. Cyanide & Happiness

If you’re looking for a daily giggle involving plays on words, take a look over here. The art isn’t amazing, but it’s always worth reading for the comic relief, and there’s no story line so you can pick up at any point without feeling that you’re missing some key point brought up a year and a half ago.

3. Optipess

This is currently one of my favorites that I never miss. Kristian Nygård from Norway does a great job with each comic he makes. The name, Optipess, comes from the combination of two opposite words, optimism and pessimism. And, as Kristian puts it, “the comic is devoid of continuity, character development, story arcs, logic and wit”. Despite that he thinks that his art isn’t great, I disagree. Optipess updates every Monday and Friday.

4. Least I Could Do

LICD is not for the prudish. Its quirky story lines and abundant sexual humor are great for an open mind. The stories are great, the art is fantastic, and it updates every day. Seriously. Check it out.

5. Return on Insanity

Return on Insanity is a comic starting out by my good friend Tyler. It’s had its ups and downs trying to get itself started, but it’s doing great now. There’s a committed artist helping out, and I help with the web design. The story lines have departed nicely from reality, and center around Tyler getting started with his first business endeavor. The art and story has improved ten-fold over the past year as you can see from the archives, and this is one comic not worth passing up.