The timeline of deaths in Alien.

Here's a timeline I did that maps out when people die in the film Alien. OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT! The times listed at the bottom are the times between deaths.


Top 100 Songs of the Decade: 75–51.

75. DJ Shadow - Right Thing (GDMFSOB)
Private Press 2002
Where Entroducing was grimy and fuzzy, Private Press is clean and sharp. I almost chose You Can't Go Home Again for this spot, but Right Thing spans the middle ground between the straight-ahead pop of Home and the schizophrenia of Monosylabik.

74. The Juan MacLean - Give Me Every Little Thing
Less Than Human 2005
Listen to those synths. Is there any doubt why I chose this?

73. The Knife - Neverland
Silent Shout 2006
The Knife finds balance between the dark and the light.

72. Band of Horses - The Great Salt Lake
Everything All the Time 2006
It's nice to hear wistfulness and pure rock working in harmony.

71. Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
Paparazzi Lightning 2005
I read a review describing Ghostland as "Daft Punk for frat boys." I think Daft Punk is Daft Punk for frat boys. This is just fun. Also, there is a party in the sad sad city.

70. The Radio Dept. - I Don't Need Love I've Got my Band
Pulling Our Weight EP 2003
This is the first Radio Dept. song I ever heard after downloading it by accident. I was instantly hooked to their fuzzed-out synths, whisper singing, drum machines and warm reverb.

69. Plaid - Itsu + Oh Be Doo
Dial P 2003
This song is kind of dirty for being so upbeat. It feels like something sinister is lurking underneath.

68. Death Cab For Cutie - The New Year
Transatlanticism 2003
"So this is the new year, and I don't feel any different." That about sums it up for me.

67. Pinback - Penelope
Blue Screen Life 2001
Such sweet lyrics about the death of a goldfish. The different melodies of the song interlock so well, and the whole thing comes off as sweet without being saccharine. We're verging on twee here, for sure.

66. Sleater-Kinney - One Beat
One Beat 2002
One reviewer stated that Sleater-Kinney sacrifice immediacy for angular melodies and riffs that "don't catch hold," but this riff definitely grabs you immediately and pulls you along to the end of the song, even though the melody appears to have no end.

65. Ratatat - El Pico
Ratatat 2004
Ratatat can write a hook; just not a whole song.

64. Matthew Dear - Dog Days
Leave Luck To Heaven 2003
With all the bombastic dance music and thumping beats I was hearing, the tiny sounds on this track seemed to fit together so tightly that there's no room for reverb. The track is dry, but not as a sacrifice, as a necessity.

63. Aesop Rock - Daylight
Labor Days 2002
The first Aesop Rock song I ever heard, when I wandered over to the stage where he was performing, Daylight is practically his opus; it's just esoteric enough to be an engaging listen, while meaningful enough to make you want to understand. I'm still not totally sure what he's talking about, but I believe him.

62. Gwen Stefani - What You Waiting For
Love.Angel.Music.Baby 2004
I first heard this track on airplane headphones. It sounded like dirt. When I heard it on a decent set of speakers, I kind of fell in love. It's all about that beat. These lyrics are ludicrous.

61. Ida Maria - Oh My God
Fortress Around My Heart 2006
Oh. My. God. This equals energy. The song's about either being out of control or barely in control, and the music matches the lyrics, with Ida sounding barely able to hold onto the reins of her own guitar and voice.

60. LCD Soundsystem - Someone Great
Sound of Silver 2007
Not sure what to say about this track. It's got me in a bit of a trance here. I need to let it finish.

59. The Bug - Poison Dart ft.Warrior Queen
London Zoo 2008
This track is dirty dirty dirty. How does one even imagine these beats? And I have no idea what she's saying.

58. Saves the Day - This Is Not An Exit
Stay What You Are 2001
Saves the Day seemed like they would be able to bring emo back, but then it was taken back by the crapsters and pop-punkers. They managed to make a great album, full of nice melodies, well-thought lyrics and true emotion instead of preening self-important whining.

57. The Field - Silent
From Here We Go To Sublime 2007
Utterly simple, yet completely hypnotic; this is true trance music. Not the thumping four-on-the-floor variety with sirens in simple chord progression, but the kind that melts away your fears and worries as you drift along the pulsing rhythm.

56. Smoosh - Massive Cure
She Like Electric 2004
Two sisters with a combined age of 22 made this song. It would be on the list even if they weren't so young, but their age makes this track all the more impressive.

55. The Radio Dept. - The City Limit
Pulling Our Weight EP 2003
It was good enough to name my blawg after it.

54. Interpol - Obstacle 1
Turn on the Bright Lights 2002
Like an updated version of Television's Marquee Moon, Turn on the Bright Lights is the real rock revival I was waiting for.

53. Fall Out Boy - Of All the Gin Joints in All the World
From Under The Cork Tree 2005

Say what you will about Fall Out Boy, but this album was full of fantastic hooks. This one always forces me to instantly sing along. This song alone has at least three great melodies.

52. Passion Pit - Sleepyhead
Manners 2009
This entire album is a chore to listen to, with the singer's warbles calling out some pretty inane lyrics. But this track still pleases with its wordless chorus, tinkling bells and thumping beat.

51. Bloc Party - Banquet
Silent Alarm 2005
This track charges out of the gate like a second second-wave of rock revival. Everything's so crisp, the beat is fast and its energy is undeniable.

A colour palette.

Based on this.

Items not as described.

These are from a site called Item Not as Described that finds amusing posts to Craiglist and other such websites, especially highlighting those that are particularly misleading and ridiculous. Here are three that had me laughing.

"Get these rocks out of my sight."

"I love the French."

"My dog doesn’t really need a loveseat to sleep on."


This drawing I did won a game of Pictionary.

It's Abe Lincoln.

Top 100 Songs of the Decade: 100–76.

I didn't bother giving clips for tracks 200–101 (sorry). I've included streaming audio for these. Enjoy.

100. Hot Chip - Ready for the Floor

99. Evil Nine - Devil Stuff

98. Vitalic - Newman

97. Simian Mobile Disco - I Believe

96. The Chemical Brothers - Rize Up

95. Band of Horses - Our Swords

94. Hot Chip - Boy From School

93. The Radio Dept. - David

92. MGMT - Electric Feel

91. Lykke Li - Little Bit

90. Cut Copy - Feel the Love

89. Alias - Am I Cool Now

88. Cinematic Orchestra - Flite

87. Utabi - Windo05

86. Bonobo - Pick Up

85. Does It Offend You, Yeah? - Dawn of the Dead

84. The Radio Dept. - Pulling Our Weight

83. Underworld - Luetin

82. Modest Mouse - Ocean Breathes Salty

81. Cut Copy - Hearts On Fire

80. Maserati - Towers Were Wires

79. Prodigy - You'll Be Under My Wheels

78. My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus

77. Sigur Ros - Svefn-G-Englar

76. Rogue Wave - Nourishment Nation

Top 200 Songs of the Decade: 200–101.

I was inspired by Pitchfork's list of The Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s to create my own list. I don't have the time or inclination to make a list of 500 tracks, so I decided on 200, which took forever anyway. I slowly pared down the tracks on my computer to list of about 300, then ranked those further, then even further. My eyes are starting to hurt, but my ears are opening up to wonderful music. Here are the back 100, in no particular order.

Title Artist
Zodiaccupuncture Aesop Rock
Wet Floors Akufen
Heavy Lifting Ambulance LTD
Stay Where You Are Ambulance LTD
Brothersport Animal Collective
My Best Friend Annie
Collective Memory Loss Aphilas
New Way, New Life Asian Dub Foundation
Breakaway Basement Jaxx
Like Eating Glass Bloc Party
D Song Bonobo
Imaginary Places Busdriver
Do It Again Chemical Brothers
Bonafied Lovin' (Tough Guys) Chromeo
Call Me Up Chromeo
Fancy Footwork Chromeo
The Light Common
You Can't Hurry Love Concretes
Born Too Slow Crystal Method
Going Nowhere Cut Copy
Unforgettable Season Cut Copy
Allure Danger Mouse
Two Ways Out Darker My Love
Fuck the Law Dead Prez
Company Calls Epilogue Death Cab For Cutie
Title and Registration Death Cab For Cutie
Ein Fur Die Damen Death in Vegas
You Can't Go Home Again DJ Shadow
Being Bad Feels Pretty Good Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Brighton Rock Elastica
Ready2wear (Benny Benassi Remix) Felix da Housecat
Shoot 'em Down Ghostland Observatory
Vibrate Ghostland Observatory
Electrostatic Bonj De Lonj Global Goon
The Sweet Escape (Feat. Akon) Gwen Stefani
Blind Hercules & Love Affair
Natural High High Contrast
Over and Over Hot Chip
PDA Interpol
Black Sand Jenny Lewis
Rise Up With Fists!! Jenny Lewis
Remain Jose Gonzalez
Grace Kate Havnevik
I'd Rather Dance With You Kings of Convenience
Sex On Fire Kings of Leon
6 Days Klute
Machines Do the Work Klute
Silently Klute
Can't Get You Out of My Head Kylie Minogue
Cross Your Fingers Laura Marling
'93 (Don't Stop Now) Lemon Jelly
Breaking It Up Lykke Li
We Own the Sky M83
Hold the Line Major Lazer
For the Actor Mates of State
Miura Metro Area
Galang MIA
Hombre MIA
Disco Science Mirwais
I Can't Wait Mirwais
Gravity Rides Everything Modest Mouse
Lay Low My Morning Jacket
Off the Record My Morning Jacket
Drop The Pressure Mylo
Guilty of Love Mylo
Hey Ya! Outkast
1901 Phoenix
Avignon Pinback
Offline Pk Pinback
Clark Gable Postal Service
Against the Tide Radio Dept.
Always A Relief Radio Dept.
Deliverance Radio Dept.
Ewan Radio Dept.
I Wanted You To Feel The Same Radio Dept.
Lost and Found Radio Dept.
We Made The Team Radio Dept.
Idioteque Radiohead
Cars & Calories Saves the Day
Temperature Sean Paul
New Slang Shins
I Got This Down Simian Mobile Disco
Florida Starfucker
Yoru No Melody Sunny Day Service
Speak Easy Swayzak
Phantom Limb The Shins
Sleeping Lessons The Shins
Weak Become Heroes The Streets
The Groove That Just Won't Stop Time Machine
Oops (Oh My) Tweet
Mo Move Underworld
Lighpotllution Utabi
A-Punk Vampire Weekend
Oxford Comma Vampire Weekend
The Kids Don't Stand A Chance Vampire Weekend
I Luv the Valley Oh! Xiu Xiu
Maps Yeah Yeah Yeahs


Movie clips.

Clean, Shaven (8/10)
Peter Greene pretty much blows it out of the water with his portrayal of a schizophrenic that may or may not have killed a little girl. This film is perfectly constructed.

if.… (7/10)
Like a spiraling descent into confusion. Is this really happening? No, it's a movie.

Seduced and Abandoned (8.5/10)
A scathing condemnation of Italian law and the human condition in general. Also, hilarious.

The Thin Man (8/10)
William Powell is still a god.

Play Misty for Me (6/10)
Is that Lucille Bluth doing Clint Eastwood?

End-of-summer movie clip roundup.

Here's a recap of the films I watched this summer. The movie-watching will slow as I start school on Monday. Here are my 10 favourite of the summer.

The Top 10
1. My Man Godfrey (9/10)
2. The Cranes are Flying (8.5/10)
3. Seduced and Abandoned (8.5/10)
4. Clean, Shaven (8/10)
5. Green for Danger (8/10)
6. In Bruges (8/10)
7. The Vanishing (7.5/10)
8. Night and the City (7.5/10)
9. All that Heaven Allows (7.5/10)
10. 30 Days of Night (7/10)

...and the rest:
if.… (7/10)
The Rules of the Game (7/10)
Knife in the Water (7/10)
Mon Oncle Antoine (7/10)
Death Proof (7/10)
The Firemen's Ball (7/10)
Enchanted (7/10)
Star Trek (7/10)
Casino (7/10)
Letters from Iwo Jima (7/10)
Jesus of Montreal (6.5/10)
The Dark Knight (6.5/10)
Play Misty for Me (6/10)
And the Ship Sails On (6/10)
Pauline at the Beach (6/10)
Tokyo Drifter (5/10)
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (5/10)
Bad Girls from Valley High (5/10)
It's a Bikini World (4/10)
Garden Party (3/10)
Next (3/10)
Dirty Deeds (3/10)

The chicken of tomorrow.

I've been watching a lot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 recently, and was surprised to find that something actually inspired me in the world of graphic design. An image in the short film The Chicken of Tomorrow shows a booklet with a chicken on the cover. The chicken itself is reversed out of what appears to be airbrushing (pictured below).

I did a proof of concept to see if I could do an updated version of this look, and lo and behold, I believe I can. I even added a drip to sweeten the deal. This is also a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator; something which I've been wanting to try for a while now.


A map of my brain.

My friend Carol-Lynne (aka Sea Love) and I challenged each other to map our own brains. I believe she drew hers and has sent it to me via snail mail. Mine is going live to the world (aka my close family and friends). Click the image for a larger view and insight into my little grey cells.


Movie clips.

Green for Danger (8/10)
I love movies that put the solution to the mystery in the title.

The Rules of the Game (7/10)
I loved one actor's performance in this film above all else in it. He was ashamed, cowardly and honest, then I saw that it was the director Jean Renoir.

Night and the City (7.5/10)
Sure is a lot of daylight. Also, Richard Widmark is a total weasel. I'm not sure I've ever seen such a contemptuous lonely man.

Jesus of Montreal (6.5/10)
At times powerful; at times dated. In the end, all I can say is "Jesus."

Knife in the Water (7/10)
I love the classic scenarios where people pick up a hitchhiker for absolutely no reason, then are completely uncivil to him for 90 minutes.