Song of the Day – “Miracle” – Mac McAnally

McAnally is a Nashville songwriter who, in addition to his work with Jimmy Buffett, has released several terrific albums of his own.

This one comes from his 1980 release, Cuttin’ Corners, which is so obscure that AMG (the All Music Guide) doesn’t even list it. The video is from one of my favorite places to see live music locally, Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse.

iPhoneography Apps: Video tutorial for iColorama

I’ve often wondered whether I should do video tutorials for the apps I cover. There are many of them out there; some spend a lot more time on production than I have to spend. I made the decision to do mine in text form with screenshots since there are fewer of them and because it’s easier to go back and find that one tip that is buried in a long tutorial.

But artists – the ones I try to reach with my tutorials – are a visual lot, of course. Screenshots are absolutely necessary, but sometimes not enough. I encountered that situation recently and it let to my first video tutorial.

I published this photo on the iColorama Facebook page. I call it “The Night Before the Trip”.

The Night Before the Trip

One woman asked how I got the script brush to be so big (you can see it faintly on the left side of the photo). I wrote the following explanation and posted it with the screenshot.

“Remember how I talked about absolute vs. relative brush sizes? Masking is relative (and I’d like it to stay that way), so that allows you to get a large brush size by zooming out on the picture. I used a white Presets>Gradient, inverted the mask, and used the Script 2 brush as the masking brush, touching just once – no stroke. Then it was just a matter of changing the masking brush to a soft circle and erasing the mask over the doll, then lowering the opacity.”

Doll Trip iC

Well, it’s not really a surprise that the explanation was not sufficient. So I set up my camera to record the steps I was taking, and produced this video.

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I can see where this can be valuable, so you can expect to see more of them in the future. I will be scripting them ahead of time, so that I won’t be stumbling over my words. I’ll also work on getting rid of the reflection, since you don’t need to see my forehead and the camera reflected on the iPad screen. I hope you like the new video tutorials, which will be published sporadically. My regular tutorials will continue every Wednesday.

Song of the Day – “Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)” – Jim Croce

Croce sang about more than his share of tough guys. There was “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown”. There was Jim – don’t mess around with him. And there’s that cheatin’, smokin’, racin’, supremely confident son of a gun Roy.

Song of the Day – “Carolina in My Mind” – James Taylor

In James Taylor’s mind, Carolina is a magical place. It seems to me that it does not correspond to anywhere real, north or south. It’s just his “happy place”, a place in his head where he gets away from the real world.

Song of the Day – “Roses Blue” – Joni Mitchell

She’s gotten to mysterious devotions
She’s gotten to the zodiac and Zen
She’s gotten into tarot cards and potions
She’s laying her religion on her friends

I’m starting off a week of singer/songwriters (spurred by the response I had to a Carole King track a couple of weeks ago) with a song from the 1969 album Clouds.

Let me just say that I’ve encountered people like Rose, who Joni describes here. Friends who are friends only as long as you believe as they do. Rose has a twisted idea of what friendship is.

Friends who come to ask her for their future
Friends who come to find they can’t be friends
Because of signs and seasons that don’t suit her
She’ll prophesy your death, she won’t say when

iPhoneography Apps: Photo Tropedelic

If you’ve ever wanted to tune in, turn on and drop out – if you believe that all you need is love – if you know who Peter Max is and what his posters did to your head when you shined a black light on them – then you will want to have Photo Tropedelic. It’s the grooviest, trippiest app around, man!

PT splash

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Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “Raise the Dead” – Caravan of Thieves

This is the second track I’ve featured from 2012’s The Funhouse. It’s still out there, folks, and still full of great music!