Song of the Day – “Jane’s Getting Serious” – Jon Astley

Jon Astley (no relation to Rick; no rickrolling today) took a break from his career as a producer (Who Are You) to headline a couple of albums in the eighties. They are mostly forgettable, except for this song about a guy that doesn’t know if he’s as invested in the relationship as Jane.


Song of the Day – “Am I a Loser (From the Start)” – Eddie Holman

A brilliant track from the singer of “Hey There Lonely Girl”.

Some sources credit the backup singers as The Larks, the artists behind my favorite doo-wop song. “My Reverie” (Song of the Day March 14, 2009). From 50 years ago.

Song of the Day – “Let Me Fall” – Peter Case

The lead singer of The Nerves and The Plimsouls has released plenty of solo material as well. This is a guy I need to catch up with.

From 1998’s Full Service, No Waiting.

Song of the Day – “Charmer” – Aimee Mann

I haven’t played any Aimee Mann in awhile; why not the title track from her latest, 2012’s Charmer?

You know you’ve got killer cheekbones when Laura Linney’s face looks round in comparison.

Song of the Day – “Walk Right In” – The Rooftop Singers

These one-hit wonders were formed expressly to record this song. When Eric Darling heard a 1929 recording of “Walk Right In” by Gus Cannon & His Jug Stompers, he knew just what he wanted to do. He put together an arrangement for dual 12-string guitars and a female singer.

His instincts were good, because the song went to #1 in 1963, scoring the highest-selling single ever for Vanguard Records.

Warning: earworm dead ahead. You’re liable to be hearing this for the rest of the day.

iPhoneography Apps: Pencil FX – Drawing Room

Sketching is the basis of most visual art. Before most painters apply brush to canvas or sculptors touch granite or gears or fashion designers start cutting fabric, they sketch out the idea or rough out the drawing. So it’s really not surprising that digital artists sketch as well, or that there are tools that will allow non-artists to get the same look by turning photos into pencil sketches.

The app I’m covering today is Pencil FX by Insatiable Genius. It’s not like other sketch programs I’ve covered like Instant Sketch, Ripped from Reality or MySketch. Ripped and MySketch look as though the pencil or chalk is scrubbed across the paper in one or two directions, becoming denser to fill in darker areas. Instant Sketch is purely edge detection. But Pencil FX, like its sister app Toon Paint, detects edges and then smooths them to give the lines more flow while also adding shading.

Pencil FX is a universal app, running on both the iPhone and iPad. However, it could use some interface tweaking because it will not run in landscape mode, and the bottom buttons are almost out of range on the iPad. Below you’ll see the opening screen, which allows you to choose your source.


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Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “Shines” – The Donkeys

The Donkeys are an indie band from San Diego that specializes in songs that sound as if they could have come from the seventies country-rock explosion.

“Shines” is the song that closes out their fourth and latest album, Ride the Black Wave; “Sunny Daze” starts it off. Can you imagine a better summer album?