Shiny Shoe’s Mark Cooke

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I first met Mark Cooke when he was living in Tokyo, working at Grasshopper Manufacture. He now runs his own studio in San Francisco called Shiny Shoe — the name coming from a particular pair of sneakers he used to have, that I remember him wearing when he presented at a PechaKucha Night in Tokyo — and you can hear more about his trajectory and what he’s up to these days in this interview podcast produced by Autodesk.

Rezzing It Up

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For anyone in the west who follows the Japanese gaming scene, you’re probably well aware of the localization (and more) company 8-4, or maybe the 8-4 Play podcast, that they host on a bi-weekly basis (“a podcast about games, Japan, and Japanese games”). I’m lucky enough to call the 8-4 family good friends, and it was huge news this week to get the announcement that Mark MacDonald, the company’s Executive Director, was in the process of leaving the company (while finishing some final projects) to join Tetsuya Mizuguchi‘s Enhance Games, where he’ll be heading production and business development. Although it could be seen as a sad milestone for 8-4, I couldn’t be happier for Mark, and can’t wait to see what he’ll be helping produce with Mizuguchi at Enhance. I’m sure 8-4 will also continue to be just fine in the hands of original founders John Ricciardi and Hiroko Minamoto and the rest of the team — and we’re told that Mark will continue to show up on the 8-4 Play podcast, which is great news indeed.

Serial

As with everyone else on the planet, I was such a huge fan of the first season of Serial, and couldn’t wait for the second season to start. After listening to just the first two episodes though, I was already ready to step away. It just didn’t grab me at all the way the first season did. I think it’s because what we’re getting this time is more of a whydunnit, and I was way more in the whodunnit of the first season, and the mystery that was evolving with each new episode. Here, it seems like everyone agrees on what happened, and it’s more about whether the suspect was justified or not. I’m not really interested in listening to that story, and so I’m out.

SNOW Magazine on Indefinite Hiatus

As you’ll notice if you visit SNOW Magazine right now, I’ve decided to put the site on indefinite hiatus. I’ve been quite embarrassed by the lack of updates to the site over the last few months, and I think it’s just better to have it go on leave for a while, instead of the lame life support I’ve had it on.

Why the lack of love for the site? I just haven’t really had the time to focus on it like I’d want, and to be fair, I’ve been much more passionate about what I’m covering on The Magaziner — and the Codex podcast — and I think it’s best that I just let myself embrace those things, instead of continually feeling like I should try to come up with something to write about on SNOW, and feeling stressed about it. In the end, it’ll be for the better for everyone, as it frees me up to do more casual writing here, and to continue my exploration of how the magazine landscape is shaping up as it embraces new digital platforms.

As for SNOW Magazine, I’ll just say that it’s going away for now, with no definite plans on when it will be back, or even in what form. I don’t think I was ever really able to do what I wanted to do with SNOW, and I think — and I’m hoping — that what I’m doing over at The Magaziner will eventually inform what the next stage will be. And yes, I’m already thinking — and it’s what, in the end, I’ve really wanted to do — that this next stage or new form will be more publication-like, as in regularly released packages of curated ideas and stories (some people call these magazines).

Oh, and I will eventually reinstate access to the archives.

Codex 04

It’s a new episode of Codex (04), my weekly music podcast, recorded on a late Saturday night (past midnight), not that this piece of information has anything to do with anything.

Below is the playlist for the show, as well as a link for download, and you can also subscribe to the RSS feed so as not to miss any episodes (and apologies, but it seems that the feed didn’t update properly last week, but it’s now fixed).

Codex 04 (33.8MB)

1. Röyksopp – “Eple”
2. Daft Punk – “Derezzed”
3. Tricky – “Murder Weapon”
4. Bear Hands – “Crime Pays”
5. Familjen – “Det Var Jag”
6. The Wombats – “Tokyo (Vampires and Wolves)”
7. Magic Kids – “Superball”
8. Bell – “Dialtone”
9. Freezepop – “Science Genius Girl”
10. Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) – “Do You Love”

Codex 02

It’s no secret, I can be an impatient guy, and after I was done recording the first episode of Codex and released it — something that happened just last night — I was already really looking forward to doing a second one. And so here we are, the next day, with episode 02 of this “weekly” podcast.

About the cover images, that logo was something I just put together quickly in a couple of minutes because I wanted an image to accompany the post where I announced the launch of the show — for me, a project isn’t really a reality until it has some sort of visual component to it. I kinda still like it now, and my plan is to just change the color scheme every month, but keep the same basic layout (at first I was thinking of moving the letters around each time, but I think I now prefer having a proper logo).

You can download the show below, or even better, subscribe to the RSS feed.

Codex 02 (33.3MB)

1. Caribou – “Odessa”
2. The Books – “A Cold Freezin’ Night”
3. Four Tet – “Sing”
4. Brian Eno – “Dust Shuffle”
5. Das Racist – “Puerto Rican Cousins”
6. Mark Ronson – “Tomorrow feat. Devi Nova & Q-Tip”
7. Guided by Voices – “Kicker of Elves”
8. Pas/Cal – “Grown Men Go Go”
9. Pavement – “Heckler Spray”
10. Belle & Sebastian – “I’m Not Living in the Real World”

Codex 01

Here it is, as promised, the first episode of my new (hopefully) weekly music podcast called Codex. As I explained before, I record it live using the Djay software, so please don’t mind the errors here and there — it’ll get better, I’m sure. This one was recorded at home, but for future episodes I’ll probably try recording at Cafe Pause, or other spots. New episodes will probably come out on weekends, which is when I expect to record them.

The download link is below, but I’ve also created an RSS feed, so subscribe if you dare.

Codex 01 (43.7MB)

1. Mark Ronson and the Business Intl. – “Bang Bang Bang”
2. Laetitia Sadier – “Ceci est le coeur”
3. Stereolab – “Nous vous demandons pardon”
4. Karkwa – “Le pyromane”
5. Sufjan Stevens – “Too Much”
6. Homo Duplex – “No and No”
7. Plumtree – “Scott Pilgrim”
8. Weezer – “The Good Life”
9. Wavves – “King of the Beach”
10. Pixies – “Subbacultcha”

Return of Codex

A long, long time ago in a country far, far away (that would be Canada) I used to have a college radio show. I had two of them, actually, first when I was truly a college student — believe it or not, it was called The Jean Snow Show — and then 10 years ago when I was back in Canada for a year, I did another show on the same station (CKUM) which I decided to call Codex (for a reason I can’t quite recall). I’ve long missed those days of doing a weekly music show — in a proper studio — and although I can’t replicate that same environment, I’m feeling like it’s time to start doing something again like that on the net.

This doesn’t mean the end of Radio OK Fred — we’ll do some more shows eventually, when we can all get together — but this is something I want to do on my own, although I wouldn’t be opposed to the occasional guest. I’ll be using the same setup I use for recording Radio OK Fred, meaning it’s done live in one take using the Djay software on my MacBook Pro. Right now I’m just missing my mic — my trusty Zoom H2 Handy Recorder — which my fellow OK Fredders were recently using for interviews, but as soon as I have it back I’ll get recording.

As for content, it’ll be a weekly mix of 10 tracks I’m into, with me chatting in between — basically the same format we use on Radio OK Fred, although I may occasionally record them live at Cafe Pause. I’ll of course have an announcement here when the first show is ready, and include the track list as well as a prepare a feed for subscribing. Hope it’ll be something you’ll want to listen to, but more importantly, it’s something I need to do now for myself I think.

Grasshopper Podcast Appearance

I mentioned last week that I’d be a guest this week on game developer Grasshopper Manufacture‘s podcast (Flower, Sun, & Podcast), and the episode (5) is now up and you can download it here (it should be on iTunes too). Check it out if you want to hear me ramble (and ramble) about mostly game-related topics.

Pictured, the Grasshopper conference room — complete with ping-pong table — where we recorded the episode. Big thanks to Grasshopper producer Esteban Salazar for inviting me on the show.