Category Archives: Technology

Lets go camping!


Summer is almost upon us and what better way to celebrate the unavoidable turning of the planet on its axis and swirling of the solar system and the way the slow insignificant years of your life slip away like confetti in the wind…

sorry, what better way to celebrate then to go camping! Band – camping that is.

Bandcamp is an ingenious website that allows artists to completely cut out the middle man (i.e continue the destruction of the already dying record company tradition of countless middle men who make then steal your money while you party with the Sugababes oblivious) by releasing your own tracks online for people to buy or download for free depending on what you want to do.

The site offers speedy downloads for hungry music fans and freedom for the bands to have their own webpage with artwork and music. It’s free to use and disturbingly simple to work, though they will ‘in the future’ be charging a nominal fee for bands making money from the site which they say will be competitive with i-tunes and amazon.

The site does not take any rights to the music bar those needed to host and upload the tunes.

Also having a bandcamp account gets your band those vital extra hits on google for your awesome new band.

So if you’re a band with a passion of DIY check out


Amused or Gemüsed?

Todays post – long awaited post I realise – sorry – is on things which aren’t usually musical instruments being made so.

On a cold autumnal/wintery day such as today who wouldn’t want a delicious cup of vegetable soup? How about a soup made of previously musical vegetables? Thats what you can expect to chow down on if you go and see the world’s only Vegetable Orchestra!

The audience are invited to eat a hearty soup made of the previous shows left over vegetables. But getting ahead of ourselves – how do they make a whole orchestra out of vegetables? Well to get an idea – here is a video to show us how.

The first instrument was a tomato created in December 1997, though I hear there were tomatoes before that, its just no-one had really found their sound. It was just tuning up before then.

Based in Vienna, the Vegetable Orchestra was founded in 1998 and plays 20- 30 concerts a year all around the world. The musicians take their work seriously and say that the various noises that can be made with vegetables are unlike those produced by traditional instruments opening up a whole new world of sound.

The group are not all vegetarians or vegans and describe their music as vegetable style. After each show the vegetables are either made into soup for the audience of the next show, given to the audience or put into an organic waste.

As far from vegetables as maybe you can get – car parts. You’ve probably seen the Ford adverts where a piece is played on car parts.

The Telegraphs article about this orchestra going on tour can be found here.

Its a fun idea, mainly based on the novelty though – I feel a little bit that the Vegetable orchestra is more inventive and more interesting in terms of the sounds they can produce, unique to the gig and local availability of different vegetables.

However the worlds love affair with the automobile can not be ignored so I think a tour of instrumental car parts will always be an interesting and popular show – particularly when we do away with cars and get Jetson style hover crafts.

Hover Craft


Hat’s off!

I do believe you have my hat!!

Austin’s Hat hunting game is off to a dapper start today as part of the SXSW interactive festival.

the standard gentlemans bowler

the standard gentlemans bowler

The aim of the game – someone, somewhere in Austin right now is wearing a bowler hat, you have to get the hat from them and start wearing it. You can’t just steal it, you must say ‘Excuse me, I do believe you have my hat.’ then they must hand over the hat to you, and so the hat watcher becomes the hat wearer. When you receive the hat you must take a picture of yourself and upload it to the Umbrella Group website. You must wear the hat at all times or face disqualification!

To win you have to wear the hat for the longest amount of time. The competition starts each day at 1pm and finishes at 9pm for the three days of the SXSWi festival, 13th to 17th March 2009.

The hat is fitted with a small GPS tracking system. Information about the hats location is sent in real time to google maps and you can follow the hat online. The hat twitters regularly too.

The hattening begins outside the British Music Embassy, 30 Latitude, 512 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701.

John Steed and Emma Peel

John Steed and Emma Peel

The SXSW Music began in 1987, while the event now known as the SXSW Interactive Festival emerged in 1994 developed from the SXSW Film and Multimedia Festival. Its all about technology and creativity and features 3 days of guest speakers, panels and just a massive amount of interactive stuff! sxsw-2009-20080801-135900

The Hat Game has been organised by the Arts Council England and digital agencies iShed, locative games firm Simon Games, the Umbrella Group who represent different UK groups at SXSWi and web design company Pollen 8.

Fresh attire

I get jokes.

I’ve been trying to get a bit fitter,  but so far I’ve done nothing. Apart from look up where the swimming pool is. Maybe I need some of these!!!

nikes with ipod

nikes with ipod

The slick ole Nike meets I-Pod shoe. Ah android meets android, android turns into blob, android loses blob… how many times have we heard that story?

Its an interesting idea, syncing up a playlist to your shoe. I’m not sure how I feel about it, surely you could wear your i-pod anyway, why does it need to be in the shoe? The idea of matching the track bpm to your speed is nice, but does mean you need to change your musical tastes if your going to work out if they don’t already match the highbeat rate. They also plug into your running machines and what-nots and adjust the tunes as you work out. Basically it is a good idea, a great marketing idea, but the thing about i-pods is, they’re not very cool. They seem cool, with the colourful adverts and trendy tracks, the simplicity of design (I’ve got a little one, I bought precisely because its so simple and the size of a matchbox). They should be cool, but anything that freaking big with that much colour coding available is not cool. And hardcore music fans generally don’t like them, people on the curve always want the more obscure mp3 players, less obvious badges of their interests LOOK AT ME I HAVE AN IPOD ITS ORANGE AND TINY I’M SO HIP I LISTEN TO KEANE. I stand by it, dads, your boss, social workers, geography teachers and Christians have I-pods. They’re not cool.

(Hellagood is not trying to say all dads, bosses, social workers, geography teachers and Christians aren’t cool, we’re just being socially ironic playing with stereotypes and of course some of them aren’t cool, some are but they’re too cool to be reading this)

This however is quite cool

Got some Bootsy Collins in my trainers, what are you walking with?

Got some Bootsy Collins in my trainers, what are you walking with?

Yeah you wish you had this! I’d have been all over this in the late 90’s. Would have jumped like a mofo though.

Music does help with exercise, it gives you a rythym to match, pacing, relases endorphines, relaxes and can keep you motivation strong.

My question is about DJs in the future. Previously carrying all your records around was enough to keep you fit. Nowadays its all mp3 and protools and laptops, if you can fit all your music in your pocket, whats going to keep those djs healthy? Also when people come round your house they won’t go ‘Wow look at all your music!’ they just wonder why you haven’t bought any damn furniture. Before djs did suffer from permanent neck bend by the headphones and constantly extended arms but now we’re facing a world of square eyed muscle-less technology fiends with extra strong index fingers. I may start a campaign to save our DJs. I’m sure Jamie Oliver would back me up.

Other thoughts today – Beyonce, great entertainer, but there’s something a little freaky about the way her hips seem to move independently of her body in ‘Single Ladies’ I keep thinking she’s going to pop a hip, I rest in the fact Beyonce is probably very health conscious and take cod liver oil supplements. By the way – if you watch the 4music mix exclusive with the sound down and play old Metallica tracks – it totally works. Ha.

Peace to everyone everyone. Jelly and ice-cream for those without i-pods. And free education for all!