Song of the Day – “Hey Sandy” – Polaris

You may think you don’t know this. But if you’re familiar with Pete, Pete, Mom, Mom’s plate, Dad, Ellen and Arnie, then it’s a song that needs no introduction. That’s because it is the theme song for the Nickleodeon show The Adventures of Pete and Pete.

Polaris was a one-off band that was asked to do the theme. They messed around and produced twelve songs. When they asked to name the album Music from The Adventures of Pete and Pete, Nickleodeon said “eh, OK.”

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iPhoneography Apps – The value of layers, featuring Leonardo

The current explosion of mobile art and photography has introduced multitudes to digital techniques of manipulating images. Many, if not most of them, have no experience with the behemoth of desktop image editors, Photoshop. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Those of us that have, though, realize that there is an enormous value in using layered files to create art. I’m going to introduce some concepts of layering through the use of Leonardo, a brilliant photo editor with hundreds of features.

Layers can be thought of as stacks of glass, with the viewer looking down through them. The bottom glass contains the base image, and each glass on top of that covers part of the composite image below. Each glass has pixels either on part of the glass (with the remainder of the glass being transparent), or covering the entire glass, but being partially transparent in some way. The advantage of layers is that you can go back and adjust each piece of glass: move it around, adjust how clear it is, paint more pixels on it. If you want to add a green tint to a scene, but don’t want it to affect the butterfly you added to the scene, then you move the green tinted glass below the butterfly glass.

Layering is possible in a few apps, like Pixelmator and Laminar. My favorite layering app is Leonardo, by Pankaj Goswami, the creator of Superimpose. It’s a universal app, working on both the iPhone and iPad, and is worth the (relatively) hefty price of $4.99. Like Superimpose, Leonardo has no splash screen, so here’s the app’s icon, blown up ridiculously large.

Leonardo01_01

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Song of the Day – “New Music” Wednesday – “Lean In” – Lizz Wright

After Dam-Funk last week and this gem from Lizz Wright this week, I’m beginning to think we’re in another golden age of soul. Damn, this is good. From Freedom and Surrender.

Song of the Day – “Name’s the same” Tuesday – “Breathing”

Kate Bush – Suzzy Roche

In 1980 Kate Bush released her third album, Never for Ever. This song about nuclear war was the first single.

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The quirkiest of the Roche sisters released a couple of solo albums in 1997 and 2000. This is from the first, Holy Smokes, and is advice for her daughter.

But listen
Be who you are
And listen
To your own heart
Sometimes i listen to nothing
And hear
The secret of breathing
Out in the clear

Song of the Day – “I’m a Genius” – Ian MacNabb

When it comes to loving you, babe
I’m a genius

Ian MacNabb, lead singer of the Icicle Works, knows his limitations. No matter what stupid things he does, he gets one thing right – at least in this song.

Song of the Day – “I’m in the Mood Again” – Elvis Costello

Hail to the taxis
They go where I go
Farewell the newspapers that know more than I know
Flung under a street-lamp still burning at dawn
I’m in the mood again

Exactly what mood is that? Well, considering it’s from Costello’s album North, you can bet it’s pretty melancholy.

Song of the Day – “Red Rain” – Peter Gabriel

Lead track from Gabriel’s biggest album, 1986’s So. I love how the song seems to trickle away like the rain.