Track of the Week: Dry Your Eyes by Wax Tailor

This week’s track is Dry Your Eyes featuring Sara Genn, off of Wax Tailor’s In The Mood for Life.

I haven’t heard much of Wax Tailor until I stumbled upon this album. In the mold of RJD2, he’s a French producer/DJ and on his album there are a variety of guest vocalists and a broad variety of hip hop styles.

Dry Your Eyes carries a trip-hop sound, much in the way Mono’s Life in Mono was. In many ways the song brings you back to a time when Sneaker Pimps were on the radio. That’s a large part of the reason I like the song, as all those trip-hop acts in the late 90s were making their mark on both electronica and hip hop.

Brooding and built in layers of a plucked guitar, a synth and ambient noises of what sounds like a playground, the track wanders through the lyrics. Sara Genn’s delivery of the chorus “Dry your eyes, those tears are all you’re given / It’s no surprise now, your heaven’s what you’re living in” is haunting (and somewhat depressing) over the strings.

Flash iPhone Apps and the iPad

If you were anywhere near tech news today, you probably noticed Apple announced the iPad. I don’t fully get it, but hey — they’re Apple and they’ll probably sell a few million of them.

The cool thing for iPhone developers is that their iPhone apps run out of the box on the iPad. The iPad is 1024×768 device that runs an “Apple A4” processor. What this means to iPhone developers is their UIs will be by default upscaled by 2x from their native 480×320 to 960×640. I’m going to assume there will be some unused areas of the screen since the aspect ratios don’t match up between the two devices.

The processor, an Apple A4 is a new beast that has no mention prior. I’m going to venture a guess here that it’s an ARM core, probably Cortex A8 or Cortex A9, built with some of the IP they acquired from P.A. Semi.

Since they’re running iPhone / iPod touch apps which are ARM binaries, it’s unlikely they’re running an emulation layer of any sort, and just running the apps straight on the A4 core.

What does this mean for Flash app built with the Packager for iPhone? It means more devices and faster processors! We’ll be working to ensure that our packager works to enable developers to target the new iPad device. Even today, apps that are already in the App Store built with the Flash Platform should be supported.

My colleague Michael Chou has posted additional information on the Flash Platform blog. Also, Christian Cantrell has posted a great article on authoring for multiple screen sizes that went live today.

Track of the Week: Fences by Phoenix

This week’s track is Fences by Phoenix off of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. I admit I’m very late to the Phoenix party. By late, I mean a Grammy nomination and about a year late.

I heard this track first mixed in to The Twelves’ Essential Mix, where the repetition of “dissident” and “miss it” makes for a great house mix over a dance beat. I’m not totally sure what the track is about — the the chorus is “Fences in a row / Why are they protecting Rome?” seem to make sense but not really in the context of the rest of the song.

Nonetheless, I’ve been loving the song for a few weeks. It’s a great little indie rock song with a simple 4/4 beat. The super funky bass line it’s built on sounds like it’s out of the 70s and Thomas Mars’ vocals are infectious. If you don’t have the album it’s worth getting for nearly all of the tracks.

Track of the Week: Revolution by 2Pac

We return to some raw rap for this week’s Track of the Week, Revolution by 2Pac, off of the Rap Phenomenon II Mix Tape by DJ Vlad, Dirty Harry, DJ Green Lantern.

It’s hard to find any real authoritative information on this mixtape. From what I know, it’s a collaboration of DJ Vlad, Dirty Harry and Green Lantern to do a tribute to 2Pac’s career. My exposure to the mixtape came via @airlai, who sent it to me in 2007 or so.

It’s the second of two mixtapes, the first of which was a tribute to Biggie. While most of the mixtape is good, this track is great. Angry, raw, powerful and mixed masterfully with new vocals by Busta Rhymes, this song as far as I know does not appear anywhere in 2Pac’s catalog. It’s a composite of spoken word, prior raps and never-before-heard raps from 2Pac.

The song is mixed over Puff Daddy’s Victory (the first line of the melody is Biggie rapping “one, one two, check me out right here”) and opens with 2Pac speaking about gangs in America and the government’s involvement in distributing crack to the ghettos. The content of the raps is most centrally themed about life in the ghetto and wanting a revolution to make things better. 2Pac admonishes his peers for living a “cartoon life”. He closes his raps with this spoken verse:

“Now if we do want to live a thug life and a gansta life, and all of that, ok. So stop being cowards and let’s have a revolution. But we don’t wanna do that, dudes just wanna live of character / they wanna be cartoons.”

As I listen through the song, it’s one of the most powerful, makes-you-want-to-break-doors-down anger fueling 2Pac tracks (or mixes) I’ve ever heard. Chris Rock had commented on the album, “It’s ultimate fighting music. You will kill somebody listening to this sh*t.”

Unlocking the iPhone for Flash Developers

I wrote a post for the Flash Platform Blog entitled Unlocking the iPhone for Flash Developers, which talks about the latest apps that have been built for the iPhone using a pre-release of our Packager for iPhone. I’m cross posting it here.

Over the weekend there was a great article in TechCrunch about the large number of Flash developers who are ramping up to deliver apps on the iPhone using Flash Platform tooling.

As you know, since we announced the Packager for iPhone at MAX, we’ve been running a small pre-release program for Flash Pro CS5. Adobe pre-releases give a small set of developers early access to builds of our tools (in this case Flash CS5) to test and to create content. Developers in our pre-release work closely with our product teams to give feedback and submit bugs. The fun part in the case of the Flash pre-release is the end product of working with our developers, they end up building and getting apps into Apple’s App Store.

We wanted to share a couple of the apps that were built by our pre-release developers that we thought would be interesting to our readers.

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Alchemist
Alchemist is an addictive puzzle that challenges player’s memory, reaction and logic. You are playing an apprentice who has to help his Alchemist master to test our secret formulas and find the one that produces the most gold.


Boost Your Brain
Are you smarter than your friends? Boost your Brain is a collection of fun and addicting games including logic puzzles, mental calculations and memory trainers.


iGevalt
iGevalt is a 3D dreidel simulator for Hanukkah. A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.

We’re starting to see our developers coming to the CS5 pre-release with existing web apps and games they have that they want to build for the iPhone. Our own Ted Patrick made his Sudoku game run as an AIR app and an iPhone app from the exact same code base. Want to do the same? If you have an app you want to build, shoot us a mail at iphone-prerelease@adobe.com. We’ve got a few spots open on the pre-release if you have a specific app you’d like to port.

Track of the Week: 1 Thing by Amerie

Going back to 2005, Amerie’s hit single 1 Thing is this week’s track of the week. I loved this song when it came out, and recently stumbled back on to it when my friend Ben shared with me TheRoot’s Top 10 Hip Hop / R&B Songs from the ’00s.

There’s not much to say about the song that’s not already been said, but a few words never hurt. Amerie’s vocals soar on the track; nearly every line is delivered at the top of her range, but never above it. You keep wondering what “this one thing” is, and what keeps her coming back for it. The song’s production, for me, is the standout. The stripped down funk percussive beat holds the song down, while the guitar on top simply adds to the sound. Most often it’s Amerie’s vocals that give the song the melodic glue, generating a hit song.

Track of the Week: Tik Tok by Ke$ha

To kick off this new year, the track of this week is smack dab in the middle of main-stream-Top-40, it’s Tik Tok by Ke$ha (yes, with the dollar sign in the spelling).

Couple of things about this track deserve mention. First of all, it’s insanely catchy. The techo-pop melody in the beat sounds vaguely reminiscent of something David Guetta might put together. The first few seconds of the song, when it’s just singing and the melody line and before the drums, is the most apparent part of the song where the French-house influence on the production is seen. It’s a great example of how mainstream music is moving to be more dance / electro inspired.

Second, the Ke$ha’s delivery outside the autotuned hooks about all night dancing and drinking sound fantastic. Her carefree opening “Waking up in the morning feeling like P. Ditty” sets the stage for the rest of the song, especially when credibility is delivered to the song by the two lines by P. Ditty: “Hey what up girl / Let’s go”. Her raps (if you can call them that) remind me of Uffie, if you want to find more that’s more in that style.

The song is fun, catchy and largely disposable much in the way that Lady Gaga’s Just Dance was.