Director Gary Rydstrom Talks About Strange Magic

Director Gary Rydstrom talks about Strange Magic.  Photo courtesy of Merlot Mommy

Director Gary Rydstrom has a lengthy career in Hollywood, most famously as a sound designer at Lucasfilm and Skywalker Sound, working on films ranging from Saving Private Ryan to Wreck-It Ralph. Strange Magic represents his debut as a feature film director. Continue reading

The Astronomically Correct “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” Is Fun and Factual

cover art for Astronomically Correct Twinkle Twinkle

Tired of singing about your confusion as to what stars are–when you know exactly what they are and why they twinkle? Try this new version instead! Continue reading

The Nerdy Dozen: 12 Indispensable Albums of 2014

nerdy dozen

I probably reviewed fewer albums in 2014 than I have in, like, a decade. But that doesn’t mean I was at all short of quality music over the past 12 months. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a dozen of my favorite releases from calendar year 2014. Continue reading

Ultra-Long Battery Life Bluetooth Headphones Are GREAT!

8 Driver headphones

I’ve just spent the last eight days traveling with the wife and kids, and one of the few constants of our travels is bringing along the iPads, a couple of phones, and a laptop for work. And chargers. Argh. Chargers left and right, all different types for a mix of devices.

In the car, the boys are playing mostly pew-pew games and all of them with really annoying music when they’re not watching a DVD movie on the fold-down screen in back. When it’s not my turn to drive, I’m usually watching a movie on my laptop or listening to my music on my phone. As you can imagine, the noise level in the car (and the hotel room) can get a little crazy at times. For this recent holiday travel period, I instituted a headphones-only travel rule. Continue reading

How Great Can This Day Be: Lori Henriques Makes Music for All Ages

HowGreat

When it comes to music, young children like simple rhythms, funny rhymes and repetition. A lot of repetition. They can listen to the same thing over and over forever. And they will. There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself listening to insipid drivel that will make you want to stab your eardrums with a pencil, unless you proactively seek out the good stuff. Lori Henriques writes the good stuff. Continue reading

Marian Call: Yippee Ki Yay

MarianCallYippeeKiYay

Marian Call, my favorite geek songstress, has released a new holiday EP titled Yippee Ki Yay. Like most of Marian’s catalog, this release is an eclectic mix of tracks, eight in all, that emphasize her voice and witty writing style. The album opens with Marian’s acapella rendition of Ave Maria which I’ve had the privilege of hearing live. What follows is a delightful path through the beauty and comedy of Marian’s work. Continue reading