2013 Music Rewind

Time, once again, to review some of my favorite music releases from the past year (pretty much the only regular feature of this “blog”). 2013 was a very fruitful year for alt-R&B/future-R&B as well as for Chicago-London bass hybrids. All the usual caveats apply. There is always too much music to hear all the great releases in a year but these grabbed me more than the rest. I look forward to reading all the other lists to catch up on what I missed.

Chants – I Feel Like I Feel It
If memory serves, I heard about this release via dj /rupture’s Mudd Up blog. The most obvious signposts are Shlohmo or Origami Sound’s post-Burial soundscapes but Chants manages to make an electronic music album that sounds extremely personal and expressive. There is a strong enough identity to shrug off easy comparisons.

And the pricing starts at zero dollars: http://hushhushrecords.bandcamp.com/album/i-feel-like-i-feel-it
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Easily fix problem with Facetime log in

Recently, Facetime on my work laptop stopped working properly. Even with the correct ID and password, the app would “verify” my account but then refuse to activate Facetime. Instead I would get this error:

The registering device does not have appropriate credentials

Thanks to this post:


I learned that a simple “killall imagent” command in the terminal would restore Facetime functionality!

Yay, internet.

Arundel (Papa M acoustic cover)

I posted this video recently of my acoustic cover of “Arundel” by Papa M.

Someone asked in the comments for tabs, so I went about trying to make some. I used TuxGuitar, which was not a bad experience but the pdf export looks really fuzzy. If anyone has any tips for improving the output, I’d love to hear them.

Download: Papa M – Arundel tablature (14KB)
Tuning: (low to high) C G C F C E

Hope you enjoy learning this piece, it’s one of my favorite guitar solos.

[UPDATE 13 November 2017]: Thanks to a commenter on YouTube I learned the new version of TuxGuitar has better PDF output. The tab file has been updated and it is much easier to read (plus smaller file size)!

My Favorite Music of 2012

There are still some great albums and singles being released mid-December, including a new 12-inch from Burial, which could easily be included here if I had had more time with them before compiling this year’s list. As always, this is my small contribution to the mass of music nerd list-making that happens at the end of each calendar year. I’m sure I’ve missed some of your favorites and I will likely read a lot of other lists to satisfy my curiosity over missed items and unjust dismissals. I hope you find something to enjoy!

Selections in alphabetical order

Burial – Kindred

Hyperdub have released two 12-inch records from Burial in 2012. If you like Burial you likely know what to expect. No surprises here: crackly atmosphere, meta-rave sonic vocabulary, skittery percussion… All the things I always love about Burial, no matter how same-y it’s starting to get. The only surprise, then, could be that I’m still not tired of Burial music.

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Copy calculated bpm data from algoriddim djay to iTunes using Applescript

It’s been a long time since I’ve messed with Applescript.

I modified a script I found on the algoriddim forums. This script would run through all tracks that were analyzed in djay and try to write the bpm data to the mp3 tag in iTunes. If your library is large, this could take days.

My modified script will take the currently selected tracks in iTunes and look for bpm data in the djay metadata plist file. Potentially a much smaller and more focused task.


[UPDATED 29 Feb 2012] I have included support for manually-set bpm values, which are stored by djay in a separate plist file.


[UPDATED 29 Mar 2012] I have included support for copying key data to iTunes, with translation of djay’s integer value to string representation


[UPDATED 23 Dec 2012] Bugfix: reset bpm variables in script to prevent old values from being held in memory for the next track. Thanks, Kieron Thorpe!


[UPDATED 22 Jan 2013] Bugfix: tracks with a key of 8B-C were being skipped. Thanks, recoltonRobert!
Enhancement: warn user if no tracks are selected in iTunes.


Download “Get bpm and key from Djay.scpt”

Best Music of 2011

2011 has been a remarkable year. It has seen volcanic eruptions disrupt global travel, political uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa, an official end to the US occupation of Iraq, the emergence of a genuine political protest movement in Occupy Wall Street, incredible flooding in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the end of the second Steve Jobs era at Apple, the return of The Muppets and a continuing effort in the US to dismantle due process and replace the “will of the people” with the profit motives of corporations.

It has also been full of interesting musical activity — intriguing new releases practically every week of the year. So much music that it would be impossible to spend the time to give each a fair shake. So here I have gathered my favorite releases of 2011 which had attracted my continued or repeated attention. There are many omissions, to be sure, but that is why I read others’ lists.

Selections in alphabetical order (mostly)

Burial – Street Halo

Burial returned this year with a stellar 12-inch and several choice collaborations. Expanding on his strengths as a producer of atmospheric and emotional sound design, Burial also played with some different tempos on Street Halo.

Continue reading “Best Music of 2011”