Track of the Week: Pretender by Miike Snow

This week’s track is Pretender by Miike Snow, off of Happy to You. This is Miike Snow’s sophomore album, after his self-titled eponymous debut. If you like the original album for it’s fun, keyboard laced dance pop, you’ll love the new album. It’s in the same vein with a fresh take on the Snow sound. There are a handful of great tracks on the album but I love Pretender’s horn and piano line that gives it a pumping/pulsing pop sound.

Thoughts on India Software Developer Conference

I landed in Bangalore at about 130am this morning, and later in the morning I presented  Sencha Designer 2 at the India Software Developer Conference in Bangalore. Hosted by the magazine Silicon India, it’s the 5th or 6th time they’ve had this conference and the attendance at the show was over 600 people. It’s a weekend show so I was pretty surprised by the attendance. Comically while I was presenting, my laptop once fell off the podium in a huge thud and the lapel mic cut out on me a handful of times.

I attended the “Development” track, and from my vantage, the event was mostly focused around more enterprise software development, with a lot of speakers talking about Java and about cloud solutions. While a lot of the stuff around Java EE and that sort of stuff was largely lost on me, there were a few interesting sessions on the cloud side. I’d never seen much about Windows Azure and one of the sessions was an Azure 101. Looks like it has some very cool features that are very different than AWS or GAE. If I had an app to deploy, it would be interesting to check out. There was one feature it had which was a “migrate SQL” tool to migrate your installed Microsoft on-prem SQL Server instance to the cloud. I can’t imagine how hard that feature would be to build. Very impressive.

I’m in Bangalore until tomorrow evening, then off the Pune for a few days then back to San Francisco by mid-week.

Track of the Week: Dance Or Die by Janelle Moane

This week’s track is Dance Or Die by Janelle Moane off of The ArchAndroid. I can’t get enough of this nu-funk sound (like Feb 20th’s TOTW), and Janelle Moane’s album is chock full of that fun, upbeat, and horn+synth heavy texture. I’d originally been turned on to Moane with her song Tightrope (thanks C for the tip), a collaboration with Big Boi. It’s probably the most friendly / fun song on the album, but I liked this song as it’s a little more laid back and showcases Moane’s lyrical delivery and is just more funky. It’s mixed to run right in to the following track, Faster, which takes the melody from Dance or Die, and pumps it up to a full on dance song, four on the floor with a solid hook. The album as a whole is worth a stream/download.

Thoughts from QCon London 2012

I’m sitting at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Center at QCon London 2012. I just finished presenting “Building HTML5 Apps in Days, Not Weeks”, which was an overview of how to build apps using Sencha Designer 2 Beta, and also how to leverage HTML5 to build cross platform apps. Room was fully seated and people had a lot of questions — so, good signs all around.

Thus far it’s been a great two days here at the event. From what I understand it’s twice as busy as it was last year, and has sold out with over 1000 registered attendees. The attendees seem to be from a lot of smaller dev agencies across Europe which is great since they’re often looking for solutions for projects they’re working on. Tonight, I’ll also be speaking at the .NET User Group meeting, talking about HTML5 and Sencha, then tomorrow afternoon I’m participating in a roundtable discussion on outsourcing (nothing to do with HTML5 or the web — just a general product development conversation). I’m looking forward to the next day and a half here in London.

I’m in Europe until mid-next week, sticking around through the weekend to do some customer meetings next week in Paris. I did manage to sneak out of the event for a few hours to see the Churchill War Cabinet rooms (very cool) and do a little shopping on Jermyn Street. Looking forward to spending the weekend in London and Paris and meeting up with friends.

Track of the Week: D.D. by The Weeknd

This week’s track is D.D. by The Weeknd, off of Echoes of Silence. It’s a cover of Michael Jackson’s Dirty Diana, in a hauntingly simular delivery by The Weeknd. The track is less poppy and more ethereal with heavy synths covering filling in the sound and it’s also a bit slower compared to MJ’s original. I’m a new fan of The Weeknd (thanks Raz for the tip), who is somebody that apparently has been blowing up the indie R&B world since last year. Echoes of Silence is his third full length in 18 months, each one getting rave reviews from both the Pitchfork universe and the hip-hop universe. Having listened to two of the albums, I get what the hype is about. His music is different, and he can sing the hell out of his songs. I’m a bigger fan so far of the third, Echoes of Silence, versus House of Balloons, which seemed to have received the most acclaim. They’re all free downloads, and worth checking out.