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Friday, Mar 6, 2015
Last night I dreamed about you, 202nd most acclaimed album of all time. I'm dancing beside you, and it looks like everyone is having fun. Or are we? An electronic landmark from 2001 is this week's Counterbalance.

Mendelsohn: For your consideration, Klinger, I present to you Daft Punk, the Parisian duo of Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, who pretend to be robots in order to create funky, beat-driven snippets of reimagined 1970s disco funk and 1980s synth pop. On the docket this week is their 2001 career-making album Discovery. Daft Punk has three albums lodged in the 200s of the Great List. Discovery sits at #202, 1997’s Homework is #241, and 2013’s Random Access Memory is #261.


Normally I would have made you listen to Homework, because that is my favorite Daft Punk album, but I’m trying to be a little more open-minded about music and for many years I looked down upon Discovery as Daft Punk’s apparent cash grab since it helped transform them from darlings of the underground to world-wide superstars. In that vein, I owe my friend Josh a heart-felt apology. I repeatedly told him that Discovery was a terrible record and not worth the listen, especially considering that Homework was by far the superior record. If you are out there Josh, I am sorry. You were right, Discovery is the better album. Although the professional football team you root for is still terrible and I will never feel sorry about holding that over your head.


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Friday, Mar 6, 2015
Should the design of a game dictate the nature of the community that plays it, or should the community dictate the design?

Evolve is designed around an ideal situation: You knowing and understanding your role within the group, playing with others who similarly understand their own unique roles, all of whom are in constant communication with each other. In that moment, with those people, Evolve is a fantastic and exciting experience, but the real world is often less than ideal, which raises the question: Should the design of a game dictate the nature of the community that plays it, or should the community dictate the design?


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Thursday, Mar 5, 2015
Canning is like having an investment or retirement fund in your pantry. You make small deposits over time, and there’s a huge payoff in convenience, in flavor.

Eugenia Giobbi Bone grew up in a household where good cooking was the norm. Her father, artist and cookbook author Edward Giobbi, is an avid preserver whose home-canned foods were part of the daily diet. Bone began canning when she was eight months pregnant with her second child. She recounts this experience in Well-Preserved. Published in 2009, Well-Preserved is an invaluable modern manual dedicated to small batch preservation.


Like many cooks, I am both drawn to and terrified of canning. Bone’s friendly, no-nonsense explanation of spoilers and how to prevent them quelled those fears. But it was this sentence that truly liberated my inner canner: “Cleanliness is always important. Not fanatical cleanliness, just washing-your-hands-after-riding-the-subway sort of cleanliness.”


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Thursday, Mar 5, 2015
Seeing either Jukebox the Ghost or Little Daylight would make for great danceable evening and together they only make an evening more excellent.

Little Daylight‘s Hello Memory is one of the more memorable pop albums to come my way in 2014 and it is one I find myself listening to more often than other favorites from last year. Their electro-pop is effervescent, highly infectious and danceable. The Brooklyn trio were opening for Jukebox the Ghost, a relocated-to-Brooklyn trio, on a recent string of dates (some are still coming up) and both performed in Connecticut for an all ages show on the second to last night in a cold, cold February. Jukebox the Ghost‘s own brand of piano-pop has made them a rising star as of late. Their 2014 self-titled release was initially out on Yep Roc Records but the band has since been signed to Cherrytree Records (home to Sting and Feist amongst others) and are planning to re-release the album in the near future. Together, in the Hat Capital of the World, the two bands, along with Secret Someones (minus their drummer) gave the youthful audience a memorable show.


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Thursday, Mar 5, 2015
The bluesy retro rock of the People's Blues of Richmond, especially on their latest track "Outta My Mind", is owed in no small part to producer Mark Neill (the Black Keys' Brothers).

With their latest song “Outta My Mind”, the Virginia rock ‘n’ roll band called People’s Blues of Richmond bring to mind two recent rock LPs in particular, both by the same artist: the Black Keys. The first is 2014’s Turn Blue; the psychedelic washes of “Outta My Mind” align quite closely with the ‘60s psych mood of that album. Most of all, however, it brings to mind the megahit record Brothers, with its retro-minded production and songwriting.


As it turns out, these parallels are not merely by coincidence. In recording “Outta My Mind”, People’s Blues of Richmond sought out producer Mark Neill, who co-produced Brothers alongside the Black Keys and Danger Mouse.


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