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Jilted John will be back this summer.

Saturday 23 February 2008 · permalink

Tags: arts · music

The NonPop Podcasts are back.

Saturday 23 February 2008 · permalink

The excellent NonPop podcasts presented by Scott Unrein are back in tune (and with a new design) after almost almost a year of hiatus. The music is mostly modern classical.

Time to dust of my own microphone and get Acecast running again.

→ No CommentsTags: arts · music

Tags: arts · music

The Battles —- prog, not post-punk

Sunday 9 December 2007 · permalink

The Battles are namedropped in both a Sunday Times piece on underground dance music and are strangely called “post-punk revivalists” by Emma Warren in The Observer’s 50 top albums for 2007.

Mirrored rightly belongs in a year end list, but let’s call the music for what it is. Prog rock.
Mirrored is late King Crimson (Discipline) , Bill Nelson’s Red Noise (Sound on Sound) with a dash of Gentle Giant vocal effects. Prog rock updated for a new audience.

→ 1 CommentTags: arts · music

Blogariddims 31 - It’s So Different Here Volume 1.

Tuesday 20 November 2007 · permalink

Download Blogariddims 31, MP3@192Kbs, 60:00 minutes>

blogariddims 31 gallery

This is one hour of straightforward avant-garde electronic goodies, treated and non-treated voices, some phonography, computer code noise and the old pause signal from the Norwegian radio. There’s at least two tracks running at the same time throughout the one hour mix and if you don’t like it at first, try it again later or when in a different mood —- it might grow on you.

I started out with several ideas for my second layered mix for the Blogariddims project (an “English Organic” mix with ie Virginia Astley and John Foxx’s The Garden? an all-female mix?). After compiling tracks for a couple of months and reducing the running list to around 20 tracks I ended up with a pretty much full-on electronic mix to go with my Blogariddims 9 effort.

Blogariddims 9 consisted of 100% Norwegian tracks; but on this one I have restrained myself to a handful of current homegrown artists like Nils Petter Molvær and last year’s big releases from 120 Days and Lindstrøm.

The exception is Arne Nordheim’s pause signal/music for the Norwegian Broadcasting from 1970. Arne and the recording engineer were working on a different project. The engineer had a dental emergency, so Arne decided to have a play with the kit in the studio to make his entry for the 1969 competition for the broadcaster’s pause music. It is one of the earliest electronic pieces I can remember hearing as a kid (Hot Butter’s Popcorn being another one). Even if the quality of my sample is not the best I wanted to include it (I make these mixes mainly for my own enjoyment).

I’ve put in some classic modern music from Stockhausen and Reich plus a voice piece from Bernard Parmegiani (unknown to me a month ago, but an editor’s choice at the newly discovered avantgardeproject.org). There’s also an extract from a longer interview that Stockhausen did in the US in 1964.

Noise, found noise and flat out experiments. I like it. So for added spice there’s JJ Burnel’s Triumph Bonneville revving up, Pete Shelley’s computer code for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (sounding like old-fashioned “modem breath”) and Bernard Szajner’s (Zed) reversed half-speed track from the tapes used for the recording of Visons of Dune (mixed with Fremen from this album. Vangelis is probably best known for his more accessible works (and soundtracks), but I remember buying Beauborg on cassette around 1980 and it made a lasting impression of being enclosed in an electronic space, so here it is. Vangelis is currently involved in space issues of his own with the new Acropolis Museum.

The mix takes its title from Rachel Sweet’s debut Fool Around from 1978. An album I picked up a year later to go with Jona Lewie and Lene Lovich. The album (on white vinyl that does not exactly improve the audio) is varied (courtesy of producer/writer Liam Sternberg) and still quite charming. The standout track is It’s So Different Here. Although I doubt many of today’s kooky Scandinavian female artists (from Stina Nordenstam to Hafdis Huld) have heard of Rachel Sweet the song in some ways preempt their music with a good 30 years.

There’s also a long Harold Budd track (from a release on the short-lived Uniton label), Fripp’s Exposure and a free online tune from the wonderful Lomov.

I finish the mix with Anja Garbarek’s Stay Tuned again. It’s quite simply the best track Kate Bush never wrote and the perfect tune to finish a mix with.


  • [00:06-03:56] Kakonita (Deathprod Mix) - Nils Petter Molvær (2001)
  • [00:33-04:44] Croydon Streetnoise (phonography, soundtransit.nl)
  • [00:39-08:19] part 4 of interview with Stockhausen (www.stockhausen.org)
  • [02:56-13:38] Abandoned Cities - Harold Budd
  • [06:23-09:43] Friday Temptation (Tone scene 1) - KH Stockhausen (www.stockhausen.org)
  • [08:59-13:05] Kind of Pale - Lomov
  • [09:52-10:22] Pause Signal for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation - Arne Nordheim
  • [11:38-20:29] Come Out, Come Down, Fade Out, Be Gone - 120 Days
  • [12:58-15:05] ZX Spectrum Code - Pete Shelley
  • [15:26-24:16] Superficial Music - Bernard Szajner
  • [20:45-24-52] Fremen - Bernard Szajner
  • [24:25-28:57] Exposure - Robert Fripp
  • [26:01-33:59] Monomoods - Maja Ratkje
  • [31:37-34:28] It’s So Different Here - Rachel Sweet
  • [33:30-42:38] Beabourg - Vangelis
  • [34:35-39:06] Triumph - JJ Burnel
  • [40:07-46:26] Ponomatopees II - Bernard Parmegiani (www.avantgardeproject.org)
  • [43:18-45:39] John Peel - Delia Derbyshire/Brian Hodgson (www.delia-derbyshire.org)
  • [45:49-51:02] Further Into the Future - Lindstrøm
  • [46:10-51:53] Pulses - Steve Reich
  • [51:17-55:10] Why She Couldn’t Come - EST
  • [51:43-54 :48] Sky Island (phonography, www.soundtransit.nl)
  • [54 :48-59:04] Stay Tuned - Anja Garbarek
  • [59:15-59:45] Pause Signal for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation- Arne Nordheim

→ 5 CommentsTags: arts · music

Fish do sleep (Times).

Thursday 18 October 2007 · Fish do sleep (Times).">permalink

Researchers have now been able to show not only that the fish sleep, but that they can suffer from sleep deprivation and insomnia.

→ No CommentsTags: Cat2

Hurwics, 90, shares Nobel price in economy for mechanism design theory (Times).

Thursday 18 October 2007 · permalink

Mechanism design theory looks at the paradoxes that result when economic actors withhold information about their preferences. When one person wishes to buy a unique item, and another is happy to sell it, they both may have an incentive to lie about the true price they would be happy to trade at. As a result, trades that ought to take place often do not do so. The Nobel winners have investigated how no auction, however designed, can truly create a perfect outcome for everyone concerned. While abstract, the theories have applications in the real world, as they suggest that markets may not be the best way to provide so-called public goods, such as roads and television programmes.

Tags: Cat2

Britain to claim more than 1m sq km of Antarctica (Guardian).

Thursday 18 October 2007 · permalink

The claim would be in defiance of the spirit of the 1959 Antarctic treaty, to which the UK is a signatory. It specifically states that no new claims shall be asserted on the continent. The treaty was drawn up to prevent territorial disputes.

The Antarctic submission reflects the UK’s efforts to secure resources for the future as oil and natural gas reserves dwindle over the coming decades.

Tags: Catg

The new Taliban (Observer).

Monday 15 October 2007 · permalink

Tags: Catg

Avantgardeproject.org —- 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic music.

Monday 15 October 2007 · permalink

The Avant Garde Project is a series of recordings of 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic music digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today.

The analog rig used to extract the sound from the grooves is near state-of-the-art, producing almost none of the tracking distortion or surface noise normally associated with LPs.

I am downloading the sampler/editor choice selections to get a taste for what this is (now that the NonPop podcasts have taken a break).

→ No CommentsTags: arts · music

Come in number 17, Acecast is back.

Thursday 30 August 2007 · permalink

After a year’s break from podcasting at Acecast I have decided to revive the site and my half-hour shows of free and legal music. The tracklisting has been ready for months and it shows. One of the bands on the show, Headless, have split (ouch). Hopefully we’ll hear some of the members in new bands in the future (The Ivories broke up shortly after I found out about them as well).

The tracklisting is below, head over to Acecast to download the show or subscribe in iTunes. I’ll freshen it all up with pictures and download links in the days to come.

  • Wildspot — Belbury Poly (signature tune)
  • Danza 3 — Night-Time Epitome
  • 21 to 35 — Boom Bip & Doseone
  • Sway (demo) — Headless
  • Acid Reprise — French Theory
  • Sonic Infusion — Mudhoney
  • Everybody Daylight — Brightblack Morning Light
  • Dogwood Rust — Comets on Fire
  • The Greatest — Cat Power
  • London, Leicester Square, Musicians — Dallas Simpson (ambience)

→ No CommentsTags: arts · music

VS Naipul interview and article.

Wednesday 29 August 2007 · permalink

Although I have never read Nobelist Naipul, I am with him on Jane Austen,

I thought halfway through the book, ‘Here am I, a grown man reading about this terrible vapid woman and her so-called love life.’

In a nice piece of symmetric marketing over the weekend Naipul is interviewed in The Sunday Times

“After nearly 170 years, starting with Dickens, everything that a novel could do has been done …” He pauses. “These are private views.”

and found over in The Guardian writing about Derek Walcott,

My copy of 25 Poems is beside me now. The cream soft cover is brown at the edges, though the pages with the poems are in fair condition. The very narrow spine is frayed: more the effect of bookshelf light than of handling. Fifty years on, I see more than I did in 1955.

→ No CommentsTags: arts · Catp

Siouxsie Sioux is back (interview Sunday Times).

Wednesday 29 August 2007 · permalink

Siouxsie is newly divorced, fifty and with her first solo-album Mantaray soon out. She does not think much of technology though,

“YouTube,” spits the high priestess of punk, “technology – I hate it.”

People doing their own thing – that’s punk.

Tags: arts · music

Test minipost, no link in the header.

Monday 27 August 2007 · permalink

This is just for testing display of miniposts without a link in the header of the post from WordPress.

Tags: Catf

Google Calendar metalist.

Saturday 25 August 2007 · permalink

→ No CommentsTags: Cat1

It is legal to record your call to the call-centre (Times).

Tuesday 21 August 2007 · permalink

According to The Times it is,

legal to record all calls without telling the person you speak to, provided that it is for your own use. But if you intend to share the call with a third party – for use as evidence in a small claims court, for instance – the failure to explain that you are taping the conversation at the start of the call could lead to a civil prosecution.

Nevertheless, EasyCallRecording.co.uk, a new website that enables people to record and download telephone calls for 10p a minute, including the cost of the call, has helped users to score consumer victories against big players including Dell and Excel Airways. The site’s founder, Ben Fry, was inspired by the “terrible trouble” that he and his wife experienced with the call centre staff of two household names.

Tags: Catm · Cato

William Gibson interviewed in The Observer.

Tuesday 21 August 2007 · permalink

Quite a long interview with Gibson, whose latest novel Spook Country is set in the present. Cut-out quotes,

I have become convinced that it is silly to try to imagine futures these days.

Well, as time has gone along, it has become more apparent to me that people don’t sit down in parliament and say, “What this country needs is the iPod!” This stuff is called into being by people trying to make a buck, or out of curiosity, and it is now completely out of control.

Tags: arts · Catp

WordPress themes metalist.

Monday 20 August 2007 · permalink

→ No CommentsTags: Cat1 · Cat3

Useful WordPress links.

Monday 20 August 2007 · permalink

→ 1 CommentTags: Cat1 · Cat3

Few runners at UK Open (poker) at Loose Cannon.

Sunday 19 August 2007 · permalink

I just did a search to see how many runners there were down at Cannon Street for last week’s UK Open. I haven’t found information for the first event, but there were only 29 players for the second event, 12 for the third event and 15 for the fourth.

I guess there will be a few more players for the WSOPE events in September, but the buy-ins are too big: £2500 HORSE (what where they thinking?), £5000 Pot-Limit Omaha and a £10 000 for the No-Limit Hold’em main event.

→ No CommentsTags: Catk · Catl

Test Link in a minipost header.

Monday 13 August 2007 · permalink

The above test link should go to Acecast, not to the permalink on Halvorsen.org. This is for testing use of a-tags in the title headline using WordPress themes (test on the front page of the blog), as I sometimes might just want to link to an external piece with no comments or content, just the headline.

Themes that work out of the box,

  • Hemmed - all pages inc archives and cats work, not right for this site though
  • Darn Slick Gadgets 1.0
  • fSpring
  • artsemerging
  • Simplr 3.0
  • WordPress Classic 1.5

It’s not too hard to get around this in the Cutline theme though. Removing the a-tag for the permalink in h2 in the index.php file is fine for the front page, but it totally messes up the archives and categories pages.

I’m installing the MiniPosts plugin and hope that this will enable me to work around the problems seen in the archives/category pages (for short posts just made up of an external link within the WordPress article title). There’s some code I hope to be able to reuse (not being a PHP-programmer) for styling the miniposts at the adding Asides page. The little mini-in the titles are just for debug and will be removed.

Tags: Catf

Tags: arts · music

Migrating old Blosxom content to WordPress

Sunday 5 August 2007 · permalink

There seems to be no out-of the box solution for moving a site with several levels of subcategories from Blosxom to WordPress and keeping the subcategories intact. Neither Jason Clark’s, nor hohndel.org’s suggestions worked for me without a lot of work. I’ve had no luck with the WordPress wiki or the standard ways of importing from Blosxom to WordPress.

Importing straight from RSS to predefined categories worked best for me and that’s how I will migrate. This will detail and make available the steps for future reference.

The instructions assume that you have a little bit of Unix knowledge and login/filetransfer access to the server where your site is hosted. WordPress should be installed and working. The custom rss flavour and modified rss-importer mentioned will be downloadable soon.

  • Download and install the rss20wp flavour to your Blosxom installation. This borrows the slug setup from Jason Clark, so your old Blosxom filenames (minus the txt-bit) will match the slug of WordPress. This makes it easier to redirect your old Cool URI-permalinks
  • Make a copy of your blosxom.cgi script and call it blosxom.wp. Increase your num_entries to ie 9999 to make sure all content makes it to the new RSS feed and set rss20wp as the default flavour in blosxom.wp. Create a new directory and point $static_dir to it. Set $static_entries = 1;
  • Run blosxom.wp with ie path/blosxom.wp -password="mypass" -all="1"
  • Zip (zip -r) up the directory containing all your rss20wp files and transfer the resulting zip file to your PC (or Mac)
  • Unzip the zip archive on your local computer
  • Make a backup copy of rss.php in your blog server’s wp-admin/import directory and install my slightly modified version
  • In WordPress you can now run Manage/Import/RSS and do a small scale import with a couple of posts to check that you are happy. Point the import to an rss20wp-file for an individual post or a small category and run the importer
  • The posts are not categorized. In an ideal world all categories and subcategories could have been created and posts inserted where they belonged in the old Blosxom world, but I’ve found no tool that does this to satisfaction. So you will have to manually point the posts to their categories in WordPress (and write redirects in your .htaccess file). Your full export (including all subdirectories) of rss20wp files and the Bulk Category Manager plugin for WordPress should hopefully make the migration a little bit smoother (note: this plugin does not do subcategories). I have just imported all my “sports” posts into their subcategories by pointing to “sports/index.rss20wp” on my PC. If you do not need categories or have few posts you can simply import from the top-level index.rss20wp
  • Redirection to old cool-URLs. I haven’t done this yet, but it will be based on the imported WordPress slug. All the old Blosxom posts have unique file-names and the import uses these as slugs. All my new WordPress permalinks are simply /%postname%/ (ie slug), so the redirects should be simple to set up (more on this later). For the old categories themselves it should hopefully just be a matter of redirecting ie “arts/music” to “category/arts/music”
  • If you had a static image directory in your old blog, these can be redirected with ie redirect 301 /img http://www.halvorsen.org/wp-images in your .htaccess file
  • Redirecting an old rss-feed to WordPress feed can be done the same way (or use an XML-redirect). The old feed at halvorsen.org is now redirected with RewriteRule ^index.rss$ http://www.halvorsen.org/?feed=rss2 [R=301,L]
  • When changing WordPress themes the .htaccess file gets overwritten with a basic one. Make sure you take backups.
  • I’ve also added some of my old CSS-customization, for Cutline and other themes that have a .custom class this is easily done by adding .custom in front of your old CSS-classes. So I have ie,
    .custom code, .custom kbd, .custom pre {
      font-family: "VT-100", "Courier New", monospace;
      font-size: 0.75em;
  • Depending on your setup it might be useful to know how to convert from iso-8859-1 to utf-8

→ 2 CommentsTags: Cat1 · Cat3

WordPress setup at halvorsen.org.

Monday 30 July 2007 · permalink

I might as well document what I’m doing with this site as I set it up, for future reference when upgrading themes or WordPress itself.


The theme used is Cutline as it seems to be XHTML valid out of the box and is well documented. All of the old halvorsen.org is XHTML 1.1, Cutline is 1.0 Transitional. Note: post top level headers are tagged with H2 and lists are used for presentation in Cutline so I’ll stick with 1.0.

Modified files,

  • custom.css
  • header and footer.php
  • 404.php

Header images.

These are cropped images taken from Homemade’s Flickr collection. The sequence for changing what images are shown using Cutline is documented, I am currently using random header images. The font used is Coolvetica.

Disabling the visual editor.

This is crucial when dealing with XHTML and is done in the preferences for each WordPress user.

→ No CommentsTags: Cat1 · Cat3

Bye-bye Blosxom, welcome WordPress.

Monday 30 July 2007 · permalink

I’ve been meaning to move away from Blosxom for ages and finally got some time on my hands to do so. It just seems like all the air has gone out of Blosxom-balloon. After struggling to get Ecto to work well with BXR (Blosxom XML-RPC Interface) I’ve decided it’s time.

Over the next couple of days I hope to bring back (most of) the old posts, get a nice template and start posting again.

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