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Mew, you crazy Danish band

Filed under: Music — Thomas @ 4:29 pm

4:29 pm

Apparently, the first track off Mew‘s new album is called New Terrain, and when the song is played backwards, it’s an entirely different song called Nervous. Obviously this stretches the concept of ‘song’ a little, but both songs definitely have their own lyrics that you can somewhat make out.

Oh, you crazy Danish indie band! Your raised fist against my new music app will have to be dealt with somehow, but I don’t think I will add the concept of ‘this track is this section of audiofile, but played backwards’ just yet until I can find at least one more case of this kind of craziness!

For now, I will probably make do by reversing the file to a second flac file, and labelling it as an extra bonus track or something.

But still, awesome attempt from a brave band! Luckily I already had tickets for their fall show in Belgium, finally!


Filed under: DAD,Music,Python — Thomas @ 11:52 am

11:52 am

The last few weeks I spent most of my spare time learning a little Django and rewriting the old DAD (Digital Audio Database) code (which was written in PHP) to something a little more modern and malleable.

All these topics deserve separate posts, but for now I’m just content hooking up the various pieces of infrastructure for the overall project.

So, I was happy as a child when I was able to do a query for ‘all tracks that contain a hidden track’ (which I look up by doing level analysis on the files, and figuring out where there are sections with a reasonably large section of silence).

The full list for my collection is below, but it definately picked out the ones I expected, like ‘All Apologies’ (I can’t count the times I was annoyed when a music player played it then shut up for 10 minutes), Lift To Experience’s “Into the Storm”, the Auteurs track, and the beautiful beautiful hidden track at the end of Placebo’s first album.

Pretty soon this player will play these hidden tracks correctly, and DAD will allow you to rate tracks separately.

Here’s the current list (some audio files are repeated because they contain more separate slices):

In [8]: for s in models.Slice.objects.filter(start__gt=0): print s.audiofile
Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know (Extended).ogg
Auteurs – Home Again.ogg
Andrew Dorff – Angel Puppets.ogg
At The Close Of Every Day – Lower World.ogg
Autour De Lucie – Chanson Sans Issue (Remix).ogg
Ash – Darkside Lightside.ogg
Astrid – Say What You Mean.ogg
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Sigh Your Children.ogg
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead – Source Tags And Codes.ogg
Better Than Ezra – Coyote.ogg
Ben Folds Five – Evaporated.ogg
Beck – Blackhole.ogg
Blur – To The End (La Comedie).ogg
Blur – Essex Dogs.ogg
Beck – Debra.ogg
Counting Crows – St Robinson In His Cadillac Dream.ogg
Chris Whitley – Ultraglide.ogg
Cowboy Junkies – Those Final Feet.ogg
Chocolate Genius – It’s All Good.ogg
Coldplay – Everything’s Not Lost.ogg
Drugstore – The Funeral (But Most of All).ogg
Damien Rice – Eskimo.ogg
Damien Rice – Eskimo.ogg
Deftones – Mx.ogg
Deftones – Mx.ogg
Denis Leary – Lock ‘N Load.ogg
Drugstore – Flying Down To Rio.ogg
Ed Harcourt – Like Only Lovers Can.ogg
Elvis Presley – Rip It Up.ogg
Everclear – Like A California King.ogg
Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Little Song.ogg
Green Day – FOD.ogg
Gabriel Rios – Badman.ogg
Geneva – Have You Seen The Horizon Lately.ogg
Grandaddy – Lawn And So On.ogg
Janet Jackson – Special.ogg
Kyuss – Spaceship Landing.ogg
Kyuss – Spaceship Landing.ogg
Krezip – Fine.ogg
Korn – My Gift To You.ogg
K’s Choice – All.ogg
Lemonheads – The Jello Fund.ogg
Lemonheads – The Jello Fund.ogg
Lemonheads – The Jello Fund.ogg
Lemonheads – The Jello Fund.ogg
Lamb – Feela.ogg
Lamb – Just Is.ogg
Lo Fidelity Allstars – Dark Is Easy.ogg
Lift To Experience – Into The Storm.ogg
Magnapop – Voice Without A Sound.ogg
Monster Magnet – Vertigo.ogg
Mansun – Dark Mavis.ogg
Manic Street Preachers – Freedom Of Speech Won’t Feed My Children.ogg
Metallica – The More I See.ogg
Nirvana – Something In The Way.ogg
Nemo – The Headphone Song.ogg
Nirvana – All Apologies.ogg
Offspring – Smash.ogg
Placebo – Swallow.ogg
Poe – Fly Away.ogg
Polar – Kill My Fears.ogg
Phoenix – Alphabetical.ogg
Patti Smith – Notes To The Future (live).ogg
Placebo – Burger Queen.ogg
Pearl Jam – All Those Yesterdays.ogg
Queens Of The Stone Age – A Song For The Deaf.ogg
Robbie Williams РSupr̻me.ogg
Radiohead – Motion Picture Soundtrack.ogg
Robbie Williams – Beyond The Sea.ogg
Starsailor – Coming Down.ogg
Sense Field – Haunted.ogg
Smashing Pumpkins – Daydream.ogg
Sunzoo Manley – Taxidriver.ogg
Sparklehorse – Babies On The Sun.ogg
Sonic Youth – Sweet Shine.ogg
Soulwax – Acapulco Gold.ogg
Therapy – Sister.ogg
Tool – Flood.ogg
Tool – Opiate.ogg
Throwing Muses – Shark.ogg
Tanya Donelly – The Shadow.ogg
Throwing Muses – Fever Few.ogg
Travis – Walking Down The Hill.ogg
Turin Brakes – The Optimist.ogg
Tracy Chapman – I’m Ready.ogg
Thrills – The Irish Keep Gate-crashing.ogg
U2 – All I Want Is You.ogg
U2 – The Wanderer.ogg
Teddy Thompson – Missing Children.ogg
Verve – Come On.ogg
Jesus And Mary Chain – Just Like Honey.ogg
Nits – Meisje Van 16.ogg
Whiskeytown – Bar Lights.ogg
Whipping Boy – Morning Rise-A Natural.ogg
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Modern Romance.ogg
Beyoncé – Bonnie And Clyde ’03.ogg
Sigur Rós – Untitled 4.ogg

Patrick Watson

Filed under: Music — Thomas @ 1:48 pm

1:48 pm

Last week by accident I saw that Patrick Watson was going to play at the Ancienne Belgique. Annoying, because I had no idea even though I’m on the mailing list and regularly check. So I was assuming it was sold out already.

One of the perks of having a gf working at a radio station is that that particular problem can sometimes be solved, though I would’ve easily gone over there and paid premium scalper price to get in.

And boy, was I glad I did! The concert was simply awesome. Luckily I illegally obtained the new album (after looking for it in 5 record stores in Barcelona and 2 in Belgium, depressing) before the concert, because he opened with 4 cuts from the new album. He nailed Fireweeds, the opener both live and on the album, from the first note. Kristien was duly impressed all through the concert as well.

This week I went Watsonsurfing a little, coming across among other things the scathing reviews on Pitchfork Media, which – Pitchfork tending to be elitist at times – only reinforced my view of the amazing gift this guy has.

I don’t quite remember how I got into him in the first place, but the first hook was (I’m annoyed to admit) his voice’s likeness to Jeff Buckley’s. There’s all sorts of singers and bands that I’ve tried to peg into the Buckley-shaped hole in my heart – the female Buckley (early Heather Nova), the african-american Buckley (early Ben Harper), the Buckley down under (Cordrazine), the local Buckley (Arid), however silly it is to compare. I’ve gotten tired of reading comparisons to Jeff Buckley.

But it was ‘Luscious Life’ that drew me in, and it owes more than just a passing resemblance to Jeff Buckley’s work. Enough at least to draw me in long enough to discover the other sides to Patrick Watson, the effortless blend of classical influences and incredible vocal range, coupled with excellent songwriting.

Not that I needed more convincing, but today I stumbled upon a Blogotheque takeaway show with Patrick Watson (if you haven’t seen blogotheque yet, and you like my kind of music, you’re in for a treat – watch great bands trekking through Paris singing their songs in streets, metro stations and trains, apartments, ….).

If you don’t have time to watch all of it, then take a minute to check out the fourth part. The band is outside on the street in a small alleyway, some people passing by, and they roped in what looks like a random street accordeon player to join in on their ‘Man under the sea’. Around 4:15, the drummer stops banging the garbage bin, the people are softly whispering along with the chorus, and Patrick goes over to the accordeon player, brushes the guy’s hand away from the keys, and while the accordeonist keeps pulling and pushing his instrument Patrick’s hand start drifting over the keys to go into the song’s bridge, two musicians on the same instrument. While doing so he keeps singing through his megaphone.

I’m not sure what Pitchfork where drinking when they claimed Patrick Watson a generic consensus pick, but these videos show that Patrick Watson is about as real as modern music gets. I don’t necessarily like all of his songs, but they’re growing on me more and more, and last week’s concert, even without playing two of my favourites, was spellbinding.

His new album is fighting (equally excellent) Phoenix’s new album for airplay on my CD players and computers. 2009 is going to be a good year for the P section of my CD shelf.

first complete accurate rip

Filed under: Hacking,Music,Python — Thomas @ 7:00 pm

7:00 pm

After a weekend full of refactoring code, adding tasks, and putting pieces together, combined with last night’s airplane session, I have my first AccurateRip-verified rip done:

[gst-git] [thomas@level trunk]$ PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:`pwd` python examples/readdisc.py --offset 6 --table-pickle=peel1.table.pickle --toc-pickle=peel1.toc.pickle
Ripping track 1
Checksums match for track 1
Ripping track 2
Checksums match for track 2
Ripping track 3
Checksums match for track 3
Ripping track 4
Checksums match for track 4
Ripping track 5
Checksums match for track 5
Ripping track 6
Checksums match for track 6
Ripping track 7
Checksums match for track 7
Ripping track 8
Checksums match for track 8
Ripping track 9
Checksums match for track 9
Ripping track 10
Checksums match for track 10
Ripping track 11
Checksums match for track 11
Ripping track 12
Checksums match for track 12
Ripping track 13
Checksums match for track 13
Ripping track 14
Checksums match for track 14
Ripping track 15
Checksums match for track 15
Ripping track 16
Checksums match for track 16
Ripping track 17
Checksums match for track 17
Ripping track 18
Checksums match for track 18
Ripping track 19
Checksums match for track 19
Ripping track 20
Checksums match for track 20

CDDB disc id 21115314
AccurateRip URL http://www.accuraterip.com/accuraterip/c/2/c/dBAR-020-00362c2c-031aaa3e-21115314.bin
2 AccurateRip reponses found
Track 1: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 17) [b29a0c41], AR [b29a0c41]
Track 2: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 17) [2ee8800e], AR [2ee8800e]
Track 3: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 17) [9f2dbab2], AR [9f2dbab2]
Track 4: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 17) [467010a7], AR [467010a7]
Track 5: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [f5b0c850], AR [f5b0c850]
Track 6: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [679dbc4c], AR [679dbc4c]
Track 7: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 14) [feddbbef], AR [feddbbef]
Track 8: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [f46adb28], AR [f46adb28]
Track 9: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [cac7a069], AR [cac7a069]
Track 10: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [3f3a1521], AR [3f3a1521]
Track 11: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [80fb00b4], AR [80fb00b4]
Track 12: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [f1534ce2], AR [f1534ce2]
Track 13: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [5953768f], AR [5953768f]
Track 14: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [6e6c2a7e], AR [6e6c2a7e]
Track 15: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [24d519a4], AR [24d519a4]
Track 16: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [21509f9e], AR [21509f9e]
Track 17: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [3e4be9f8], AR [3e4be9f8]
Track 18: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [16ff964f], AR [16ff964f]
Track 19: rip accurate (confidence 11 of 16) [6db5f2b1], AR [6db5f2b1]
Track 20: rip accurate (confidence 10 of 16) [bb898cec], AR [bb898cec]

This version does full index scanning (gap detection) using cdrdao, read and verify using cdparanoia and an offset, .cue file writing (non-compliant .cue, which means gaps/index 00 are appended at end of previous track), and AccurateRip verification.

It doesn’t do Hidden Track One Audio ripping yet (which will now be easy to add, but I forgot to bring a CD that actually has a HTOA to test with), doesn’t do any kind of metadata lookup (so tracks are named track%02d.wav), no encoding to other formats, and no log file generation.

But those are the easy parts…

Hidden Track One Audio: check

Filed under: Hacking,Music,Python — Thomas @ 9:01 pm

9:01 pm

After another day of on-and-off hacking, wrapping cdrdao and cdparanoia binaries in my task interfaces I mentioned before, I inserted a CD by Bloc Party called ‘Silent Alarm’, ran a command, and saw the following output on my screen:

[gst-git] [thomas@ana trunk]$ PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:`pwd` python examples/readhtoa.py
Found Hidden Track One Audio from frame 0 to 15220
runner done
Checksums match
[gst-git] [thomas@ana trunk]$ ls -l track00.wav
-rw------- 1 thomas thomas 35797484 2009-05-01 21:56 track00.wav

I’m going to guess this is the first piece of Linux code that is able to automatically find and rip the hidden track at the start of a CD. (Feel free to correct me using your choice of alliterative insult if I am wrong!)

It’s time to start collecting all my new-found wisdom in something more permanently written down, but that will be for tomorrow.

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