Sweigh's UI

Sweighing in on the Sweigh App

Sweigh, the clever portmanteau of sway and weigh, is the title of a recently launched iPhone app that serves as an interesting new social media platform. Giving weight to what matters to you, Sweigh falls somewhere between reddit and a game of would you ever. Users can post a variety of content, under  many categories from Technology to Food & Drink,  asking questions which other Sweigh users can answer and vote on.

Created by Chris Monteleone and Jamie Proctor, Sweigh is still very much in its infancy, but fills its niche very well. Providing near instantaneous feedback on content, Sweigh feels incredibly engaging especially when compared to networks like Facebook and Twitter, where it often seems like shouting into the void. Millions of status updates, messages, tweets and images are shared by people every day, but only a fraction of these posts get responses. Sweigh tries successfully to avoid that problem.  Bite-sized bits of content are perfect for today’s uber-connected social media users while still being engaging and thought-provoking.

A unique platform combined with a clutter free and eye-catching user interface, it’s certainly an attractive and appealing alternative to other social networks. One interesting feature is the ability to either post anonymous content or to share with friends.  This is a refreshing change from the pervasive data mining so common on the rest of the web.

Sweigh, like almost everything else on the internet is not without its quirks. For now it’s only available on iPhone and iOS 7 leaving Android and Windows Phone users out of the loop. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however as someone who primarily uses Android devices, I can’t help but feel a little jaded.

Final Verdict

As far as social media goes, there’s a ton of competition, Sweigh manages to stand out exceptionally well, it’s clever, easy to use and entertaining. Assuming they launch Android and web versions I suspect Sweigh will soon be a household name.

If you want to start sweighing in on what matters to you, you can grab it from The App Store here.

Real Men Don’t Scream at the Fire Hydrants

Real men are the epitome of the human race

Real men don’t get intoxicated
Especially not on light beer
Real men get Drunk

 Real men don’t sing karaoke
They invented it

Real men don’t stop drinking at last call
They find another, manlier bar that’s still open

Real men don’t stumble drunkenly
They walk with purpose, even if that purpose makes them a little disoriented right now

Real men don’t scream at the fire hydrants
Because that’s how they got arrested for public disturbances.

Quandrant Debut EP: Elements

Liverpool based Quandrant is back with their début EP Elements! it’s AWESOME! Even though they’ve parted ways with their previous drummer, David Stephenson their edgy, metal inspired, progressive sound still rocks just as much as it did in their single: Through the Veil.

The British rockers are in top form with their shiny  début EP and it shows. Elements is a must have for any alt-rock enthusiast. Extra long tracks leave plenty of room for some epic solos!

Quandrant’s début EP features three new tracks from the band and the previously released Tripartite from their 2012 single.  It’s almost a half hour of crunchy bass, technical guitar work, and the eerily falsetto vocals  of Lloyd Rock.

Elements is edgy and melodic without being too mellow, and Quandrant’s dark and moody sound comes off surprisingly upbeat in places which is a pleasant break when not a single track is less than five minutes.

Overall Elements is a solid effort from Quandrant and worth every dime you want to give them. Quandrant’s name your price model means that Elements is an excellent purchase, suitable for every budget.  You can buy Elements from Quandrant’s site at music.quandrant.net 

I would recommend Elements to anyone looking for indie progressive rock with a metal twist sound. Thanks to BandCamp it’s even audiophile friendly with Lossless FLAC downloads available.

I’d love to hear more from Quandrant and I hope you will too.

Don’t forget to follow Quandrant on twitter @Quandrant, and while you’re at it, follow me too @The_IanM.

Keep on being awesome Quandrant!

A Look at MIC:LEE

Hey world! Ian here with some new sounds from up and coming Canadian producer and emcee, MIC:LEE!  For your listening pleasure I’ve embedded a playlist of his tracks for you to chill with while you find out what I have to say.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve never been a fan of rap, MIC:LEE could change this.

Mike Lee Louisseize hails from Barrie, Ontario and damn he’s good! He hit me up on Twitter this morning and asked me to take a look at one of his newest tracks PATIENCE(??) ft. KEN-GEE (prod. Maze)

(If you have something you want me to look at, it’s really that simple, just hit me up @The_IanM)

I figured I’d do him a solid and look at everything! His upcoming Albumn, The MIC:LEE Project is coming up soon!

Self-described as “The only rapper that personifies Will Graham rather than Hannibal.” MIC:LEE runs Jus Another Label on top of his own musical career.

Smooth, bass heavy, funk and jazz inspired beats underline his crisp and distinctive raps, words are distinct, clearly enunciation is a thing he’s heard of!  Speaking of lyrics, MIC:LEE has edgy, subversive lyrics covering everything from broken hearts  and the end of capitalism to finding hope and rebirth. Some of his tracks however, feel a little overproduced but nobody’s perfect.

I expect to hear much more from MIC:LEE in the future and you should too, he’s a little rough around the edges but that’s the best kind of edge.

If that sort of thing sounds like something you want to support, check out MIC:LEE’s Bandcamp, where you can pay what you want to download his sounds.

Able-Bodied Etiquette

What’s an able-bodied person?

An able-bodied person, colloquially known as a “normal” person is someone who is usually capable of unassisted bi-pedal locomotion. Don’t be alarmed if you see an able-bodied person moving quickly, they will be fine. Shocking I know but it’s true, they will be fine. Able-bodied people often have the use of all five senses making them particularly vulnerable to sensory overload, as a result they can often be observed being incredibly absorbed by one or two things, such as their mobile phones, otherwise completely oblivious to their surroundings. This obliviousness often results in minor injuries, such as bumps, bruises and scrapes. Fortunately the able-bodied don’t have compromised immune systems and heal from these injuries quickly.

Oh No! I’ve come into contact with a normal! Am I going to die!?!?!

First, calm down you aren’t going to die. Second, it’s incredibly rude to call someone a “normal” (even if they are). Some Proper English Nouns Instead of Slurs (PENIS) that are acceptable include: PWAD (Person Without A Disability) Able-Bodied Person, and finally, person. If you are aware of another PENIS that we haven’t mentioned please feel free to let us know. Now that we’ve got the very important terms sorted out, back to less pressing matters. No, you won’t die if you’ve come into contact with a PWAD.  Able-bodiedness is not contagious. Chances are at least one of your friends, family members, or coworkers is a PWAD and you’ve already spent an extended period of time with them.

I didn’t realize Able-bodied people were so common, what can I do to make sure I’m not oppressing them with my Disabled Privilege?

If you suspect your mere existence is making those around you feel uncomfortable, don’t panic. Stop doing what ever it is that is causing problems. This could be as simple as getting out of your wheelchair before you get together. If you are missing an arm or leg, be so kind as to get a new one sewn on, or even better, grows a new one. Small gestures like these show PWADs that you respect their feelings and values as a fellow human.

What can I do to make life easier for able-bodied people?

Well for starters, you can leave your disabled privilege at the door thank-you-very-much. Able-bodied people are often very upset if they see someone different. So you can help prevent that by wearing long clothing to hide any prosthetic appendages, the same applies to assistive devices, such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs, keep them out of sight.  It is also advisable to try to stay out of the way of able-bodied people if you can help it; they are very oblivious and could hurt themselves on your equipment, or worse, stop and ask you lots of questions.

I’m still concerned that I’m making Able-bodied people uncomfortable, what can I do?

Well, if you may or may not have noticed, an able-bodied person’s biggest fear is becoming disabled, that and spiders. But everyone hates spiders. Able-bodied people fear what they don’t understand, and they really don’t seem to understand how our lives can be so difficult and painful, thus they fear us. If staying out of sight and out of mind didn’t work to calm the able-bodied people in your life, the only other guaranteed solution is the obvious one: Stop being disabled. Act as though you too, are an able-bodied person.

 

So that’s it! Just follow those simple guidelines, use the PENIS method of political correctness and you can’t possibly go wrong!

Review Green Book’s New EP: A Home, I Hope

Here’s my review of Green Book’s new EP! A Home, I Hope.

Some of you may remember the time I took a look at Drake Sitarz. Well guess what? He’s back and this time he brought a band! Green Book!

Green Book's new EP
Green Book’s new EP

Green Book is, well, Green Book. Featuring Wil Sitarz  on Guitar and Lead Vocals, Drake Sitarz on Banjo, Backing Vocals, Richard Shell has the Drums, Faith Perkins  rocking the Accordion, Ukulele, Backing Vocals, and Mike Stuart on Bass.They’re an interesting blend of the raw fidelity that defines indie music with that twangy feel of folk music. It makes for a nice mellow combination. A Home, I Hope is a far cry from Clyde Machine’s dubstep or even Elle O’Bryan’s haunting solo work but it’s really enjoyable even if, like me, you aren’t really a fan of such things.

A Home, I Hope is seven tracks of acoustic mellow and melancholy bluesy folk, with a running time just shy of a half hour. Don’t let its brevity fool you, it’s a solid EP.

Listening to A Home, I Hope you can really hear the twang of the banjo and it blends really well without sounding out-of-place, which is good because what sort of band calls itself “folk” without a solid banjo?

Unfortunately, A Home, I Hope lacks some of the perkiness found in Green Book’s live work, this is more of an observation than a criticism, if you want to check it out for yourself, check here.

All in all, I enjoyed A Home, I Hope and I look forward to hearing more from Green Book in the future!

If you want to show Green Book some love, you can buy A Home, I Hope on iTunes and if you feel you need to try it before you buy it, you can listen to the entire EP on Green Book’s Sound Cloud. Don’t forget to show them some love on Facebook too!

Review: Avenue Q at the LOT!

Heyo! I went to see Avenue Q, the Tony Award winning musical, at the Lower Ossington Theatre in Toronto!

Some background on Avenue Q while the show features cutesy and adorable puppets it explores quite a number of adult themes and is definitely not for children.

I had a blast! While the LOT definitely isn’t Broadway it’s still a wonderful, and wonderfully small, theatre in Toronto. Avenue Q recently celebrated two years on stage at the LOT so the tiny company is no stranger to the wild and zany antics of Avenue Q!

Featuring a stellar cast including Brady VanVaerenbergh as both Princeton and Rod, Alexandra Reed as Kate Monster, and Lucy the Slut, Mark-Anthony Del Brocco as Nicky, Trekie Monster, and a Bad Idea Bear, Jaclyn Serre as Mrs. Thistletwat and the other Bad Idea Bear, Joseph Herbison as Brian, Ellie Posadas as Christmas Eve, and Shakura Dickson as TV’s Gary Coleman.

To fill you in on the premise of Avenue Q, imagine if the characters from Sesame Street, grew up, moved to New York and became disillusioned with life.

The LOT’s incredibly small theatre definitely lent a sense of intimacy to the performance, none of the performers appeared to be mic’d and although they were exceptionally gifted, I occasionally struggled to hear them over the music.

Notably awesome company numbers included You can be as Loud as the Hell you Want, and It Sucks to be Me. Meanwhile I was very impressed by the vocal range of Alexandra Reed, damn that girl can sing! A Fine, Fine Line is one of my favourite numbers from the show and I enjoyed her rendition even more than the Original Broadway Cast.

On the whole the LOT gave their own Toronto twist to Avenue Q complete with some not so subtle cracks at Rob Ford! I enjoyed the show immensely and would totally recommend it to anyone mature enough to handle gratuitous puppet nudity.

You Rock at Life

Life is short, some people say too short. I say oh well. Life is meant to be lived, quit complaining. Life is a great big mess of happy accidents. Live in the moment! Push yourself forward! Learn to crochet! Dye your hair 50 shades of highlighter! Read this blog! Start your own blog! Go cliff diving! Use exclamation points gratuitously! The point is that you shouldn’t care if life goes according to your plan; life has its own plan.

You rock at life! I know this because you’re here, reading this, and if you found Crazy Wicked Awesome you must be doing something right. I have no shame.

If you don’t think you rock at life here are some things you can try to improve both your state of mind and the state of your health.

Self-Affirmation

Studies have shown that there are a ton of benefits to self-affirmation. So don’t be afraid to compliment yourself in the mirror every morning. Research at  Carnegie Mellon University showed that self-affirmation can actually help your problem solving and creativity when under stress.

Exercise

We all know that daily exercise is important, but did you know that exercise can also be a mood boost? Getting in shape can improve your overall well-being. So now you have yet another reason to start hitting the gym, or at least walking more.

Listen to Music!

According to the European Society of Cardiology rocking out to your favourite music can help improve your heart health! No one wants a heart attack! Become a better you with minimal effort!

Feel better? Good! In the immortal words of Douglas Adams, Don’t Panic. Panicking never solved anything.

Something For Everyone