Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Driven Away

As I mentioned in detail in my post referring to the song 'I Cry' by Bass is Bass, I perceive the 90s in a blue-white colour. Print media from the decade that I was exposed to probably had a big influence on that.

There was that song, and then this one by Amanda Marshall, that gives me this blue-white 90s imagery at full-blast:

I was exposed to her via my mother. Somewhere in my house is a cassette tape of that exact album of hers shown in the video above. As soon as I heard the opening piano in the car on Boom FM a few months ago, I recognized it immediately, but couldn't place it until I heard Marshall's voice.

The lyrics narrate a story of a woman defiantly leaving her abusive husband and fleeing the city in which they live (Birmingham). Marshall gives quite a valid reasoning for the woman's walking away - apparently the guy uses a gun to change channels on TV. I wonder why Marshall's writers behind the song chose to set the song in Alabama's largest city. Is/was it a likelihood domestic relationships such as this one could be more rampant there than elsewhere?

Asking that question, I wonder what a writer would write behind a song called "Ottawa." Birmingham would be the setting/title of a song about domestic abuse. What would Ottawa be about? Or Toronto? Or Calgary?

Losing faith in the Sens, stumbling upon an opportunity, and getting to the "promise land" would be my guesses. "Interstate" would be changed to "Trans Canada Highway" though.

But about the music. There are a few elements of the song that are present in other adult-contemporary 90s songs - such as the hi-hat rhythm (offbeat) for example. Or the really low bass lines, or the jazzy guitar near the end. The Soprano sax in the middle.

As for the imagery it gives me, it translates into many visuals in that colour pallet. One notable scene I get is of high-rise buildings off Fisher Ave, bordering the Experimental Farm, on a cold, late afternoon. My mother lived there before I was born, and I can picture her coming and going from there. This is during the music of the chorus. The sax during the bridge is really pleasing. It gives me nighttime Manhattan images (you get exactly that in the music video for 'Near Wild Heaven' by R.E.M., from 1991, and hey, even in blue). That, combined with the jazz guitar at the end, give me the general look of sitcoms from that time, most of which took place in grey or cream-coloured Manhattan apartments. Like Seinfeld or Friends or, well, not NewsRadio. That was a radio station.

I see settings or ideas based on my awareness of memories I have from that time. Like seeing my father downtown, seeing downtown from his truck, etc. Cloudy days with a blue hue to them. The piano consists of white shapes not too different from several musical notes on a staff glued together as a chord, but with the stems pointing downward.

It's a very good song that gives me a partly nostalgic view of my childhood in the form of seeing places I've only seen in media from that time, as well as what I see as general attitudes from that time. It sounds quite likable to me. The lyrics tell a nice story.

For a grade, I'll give it:
A - Music
A- - Lyrics.

I like the acoustic that comes in now and then as well - it also seems like something used in more than one contemporary 90s song. And Marshall is yet another Canadian (although her mother's from Trinidad & Tobago). We produced some pretty good things at the time - songs that for me, overly visualize it for me. Which makes me like it quite a bit.

Red Cloud

Wednesday, April 8, 2015


In the past I've tried starting a couple of 'specialty' blogs, like the art-focused one I have on this domain that was supposed to be handled by both me and my father, as well as a photography-focused one on here as well (created for my Photography program).

On Tumblr, I tried a similar thing based on the original photoblog that got me interested in photography in general, [daily dose of imagery], where I would post one image per day. That worked out amazingly; I posted several images on one day, then one ten days later, then another a month later, and another two months later.

I blame my laziness at image production - the idea was I used Lightroom to import the image into a special catalogue, edit it a little, use Photoshop to edit it more, and then upload a web-size version to the Tumblr blog. That whole process - including double-checking the image metadata such as exposure, etc. in writing my descriptions and adding all the darn tags and italics and whatnot wasn't conducive to my self-discipline. As far as I'm concerned that blog is virtually defunct, although there are some pretty good images on there I think.

This time it's different. This time there's no nonsense with Lightroom and 1-per-day rules and extra editing and technical descriptions, fancy italicized titles. On Facebook, my panoramas - specifically my equirectangular panoramas, and the stereographics that go with them - are enjoying a constant audience of people that really like them. It's gone as far as some old high school classmate's girlfriend adding me because he showed them to her (to be fair both are students in the same photography program I graduated from). I like to think I've mastered what I've been learning and practicing for the last five years, from the equipment to digital masking and stitching.

So alright then. I've created a Tumblr-based photoblog that is nothing but these equirectangulars I've produced over the years. People seem to like them - as well as the stereographics - so why not create a place to put them, and without the uptight process of cataloguing them, 'processing' them, figuring out exposure times and f-stops that were used, image numbers, and fancy bolded/italicized formats of descriptions. I put whatever I want on there as long as it's an equirectangular panorama that I created, past or present, stitched perfectly or erroneously.

All I do beforehand is make it web-sized (otherwise the 33mb images would never upload) and add my name at the bottom to ensure credit is obvious.

It doesn't matter how old or new it is, and the description I write is minimalistic and individualistic. Instead of describing the image, I just point out when the main subject was built. That screenshot above is of a panorama taken in May 2011. I could tell you it was taken on Prince of Whales Drive, south of Hog's Back, with residential housing across the street and a co-op housing development at the left called Carillon. Nah. But hey, it was built in 1978. In my pano of the parking lot at Merivale Mall, all I say is that it was surfaced in 1977. I use my own aerial photos for accuracy.

This is much more easy-going than cataloguing and editing images every single day. I can continue to add more as I create them. Who cares if some are old and stitched badly?

This new site is a photoblog for images of a specific type, which are posted when I want. Should be no problem to keep up with something like that. I'm happy people seem to like them.

Almost forgot: The ___________.Pn refers to how I label my panoramas on the computer. The one above would be something like "PrinceofWhalesPn." Pn obviously standing for 'Panorama.'

Red Cloud