Close - Give It Up

I'm not certain about the mix of this yet, but here is the latest (with all instruments & vocals) version of Give It Up, which up until last week was an instrumental - not because it sounded good as an instrumental, but because we hadn't fleshed out the ideas yet.

Give It Up - mixed 122008 - right click to download (control click if your a one button mac user)

There are two parts to the song in two different keys. We thought it was begging for a cause/effect or /problem/resolution relationship between the two parts. we managed it lyrically; but i also wanted to "get there" with the production. I drew inspiration from ye olde scottish islands - not really - but Wicker Man did come to mind as i was laying out what sounded like very VERY traditional folksy tracks. This made sense for the more lyrically grounded front end of the song. The second part needed to space out a little, as a voice of reason or something definable yet unobtainable. Go go gadget reverb machine.

The reason I'm not sold on the mix as of yet is that I can't hear the bass drop quite as well as i want. There really needs to be that foundation underneath the treble and midrange... acoustically and metaphorically, i guess.

The lyric:
All alone a 6a.m. even though there's someone sleeping on the edge of the hole you made when your feet hit the cold day dreaming - porch lights in snow, side walking slow.

Shake your head full of memory of a day when nothing mattere; weren't you only there yesterday - faces behind you open in side you.

The weight of every bleeding heart pulls the knot of your hangman's windsor. Hit the street to face the day. It's the same everyday's the same everyday. the same. thesamethesame.

If you want to make it end, make it end.
If you want to give it up, give it up.

Eternal daydream tortured past weight of ashes feather crashes it crashes down.
From dirt to dirt it's just that plain irrational but not insane you're not insane.
You're not insane
{First wordy part is my fault. second crazy part is vince's.}


Magic Babies - review of Cytunes launch party.

A really nice review of ths Cytunes.org benefit on friday night - during which the Magic Babeis "killed."
The Magic Babies played first and killed with a set of groovy power-pop songs. The band's music is reminiscent of Big Star's more upbeat tunes. The set included a great Hollies cover that I can't remember now (if anyone knows what it was, drop us a line in the comments). Definitely check The Magic Babies out if you have a chance.
There are photos of each of us. nice photos! this has never happened to me in this band before - my super-power is lense dodging. you can see why. i'm putzish, galen is cute, charles is thoughtfully crapping and dave is plainly rocking.


lunch with the wurly and an evening with you

i just got back from lunch with the wurlitzer.
he's going to be D-less tonight. i removed the reed (a metal plate that get's struck instead of a string) so i won't need to tape the key down or risk hitting a sour  note(and i mean RANK! - halfway  between the C# and the D. oof.). There are only a few songs where this note gets tickled, and given the live club sound, i'm thinking it won't be missed. plus, if i'm on my game i can compensate

i experimented a little with tuning it, though . it started off flat, which means that it needs more solder on it - apparently, as the physics goes, the as mass and/or the surface area of the solder increases the pitch raises (this makes some sense as far as the surface area goes because it's like frets on a guitar or holes in a flute  - but, i didn't have any solder on me. so, i thought i'd file away at what was there to get myself familiar with it and see how much make a difference in notes. i'm pretty confident (and i have to read up on the type of solder and procure a file that i can squeeze inbetween the dampers and arms) that i can solder onto the reed to tune up without having to spend too much money.

this is the same reed that i had to buy before, so i'm thinking that i either play that particular not very roughly, or the replacement was a little weaker than the rest. It's hard to say.

Regardless of my D-less-ness, I hope to see a lot of people out tonight. The Flute Flies are debuting their stuff tonight. Cytunes is launched online, so go buy music. Might i recommend The Ready Set? Ryan Pound's long awaited recording of my one-time Raleigh's favorite band ever finally gets out. They were the greatest. His songs, Dustin's guitar, Brian's drums, anne's cello, and katrina's voice made for a perfect ensemble. The Ready Set isn't playing tonight (or probably ever) but you might get to hear some from the DJ.

Hope to see you there.


I have a new favorite book designer

I am in no way ousting Roy Brooks from top dog  in my favorite designer list; but, I have discovered someone who should be on everybody's list of Person Who's Books I Will Always Buy Given The Choice Or The Money:
Coralie Bickford-Smith

Following links from Under Consideration's Quipsologies I happened upon this blog post from Penguin UK, which employs a unique (although inaccessible) interview style.
It has been a long time since i've been so freshly enamored by and taken with a specific designer's style -- the last being Brian Wood, who has since ventured into and dragged me along into the world of comic books.

The Arabian Nights set is f*&king fantastic. I'm a sucker for a box of identically themed items, but the box itself usually falls flat - more of a wrapper or packaging for a retail shelf. not in this case. Bickford-Smith seems to design specifically for the shelf and the tactile experience Her use of patterns is leaving me dizzy and giddy. I can't even imagine how much time i would spend oggling and running my fingers over (and, yes, probably smelling) The Penguin Classics Set - which is only available from the Waterstone shop in Engerland, apparently - better for me and my financial situation, for certain!

I am curious about her pages, too - that, is if Penguin let's her monkey with the insides too.


Things that are or have happened.

I'm not particularly interested in "giving Thanks." That is not to say that I'm "ungrateful" or a Pilgrim-shaped Scrooge. I'm just not interested in the notion of bowing in supplication to a hypothesized entity that, frankly, could have done a lot better, if indeed anything was "done."

For the same or similar reasons I am most certainly not feeling "blessed." I don't think that any of my conditions or situations makes me superior to anyone. Being "blessed" certainly implies that there are those among us who are unworthy of an imagined superiority.

However awful this may sound to you, there are things that happen and things that take place in my life or that I bear witness to in the lives of others - things that fill me with contentedness and a bright sense of identity - a sense of connectedness to the planet on which I stand and the people and things standing here with me. These things that simply are or that have happened to me make me feel happy and fulfilled:
  • Leeann and lots of very personal things about her, which I'm keeping to myself.
  • Roy's healing heart and the doctors who know their stuff
  • The ever expanding list of Best Friends
  • I own a house that I can pay for
  • Bike rides and bus rides to work
  • Shapes of buildings against a clear blue sky
  • The color of trees or the shapes of their branches
  • Music
  • Writing and then playing music with friends
  • Writing and the recording music alone
  • Comic books
  • Good comic books and graphic novels
  • Small, meaningful and respectful contact with respected creative-types on teh internets
  • Insightful or whimsical contact with re-discovered friends as if you've only last seen them yesterday - yes, specifically Facebook
  • President-elect Obama
  • Millions of families saying "Obama" around their tables, too.
  • Great books - for their writing, design, age, or smell.
  • My Nieces, Nephews, Brother, Sisters, Mother, Father, Steps and In-Laws. (They are all more important to me than my proximity and phone-bill indicate.)
Of course, I could go on. That in itself should go on the list.

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! Please eat well, nap better, feel "blessed" if you like, give "thanks" if you want to; but, do take the time to look around and inside yourself and consider the things that compel you onward through the day.



having done read it: The Armegeddon Rag

The Armageddon Rag The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I cannot think of a more perfect book for me to have read in the wake of the most exciting presidential election I may ever witness. This book, although pure escapism, packed just the right punches to rank it not only on the "dad was right" list but also on my own all-time favorites list. Here are the reasons it resonated with me:

1. The author: I'm one of those who loves his epic fantasy series, the Song of Ice and Fire for reasons way beyond "I like me some swords and dragons" I'm in it for the political/familial sprawling drama. So, I was very pleased to see that his ability to set the stage, paint the characters and deliver the intrigue was all present.

2. The peace movement: As a youth, I was envious of my parents for living through the tumultuous 60s. Dad was a musician, so he had the records for me to grow up on. For me, those records go hand in hand with the notion of passive resistance, marching for what you think is right and loving the planet and the people on it. The Armageddon Rag is set up

around an aging activist who is having identity issues because he has lost the drive for activism that fueled everything he did in the late 60s. There is a lot of action and reference to Grant Park in Chicago, which resonated with me because of the celebration on election night. In fact, the entire energy surrounding Obama's campaign gave perspective and connectivity to the rising action of this novel.

3. The music: I have a wound. I joke about it; but, it still haunts. My mother took away my KISS records and gave me Chicago tapes. Talk about scarring a child! (I'm not missing the irony of the band's name). Even at 14, when I was convincing my dad that I needed a CD player, I promised him (and I'm sure it saddened him to hear) that I would never buy a Rock and Roll CD. Can you imagine! {I've rationalized every CD purchase since - in other words, I've broken that promise, thank you.) Regardless, when the author talks about activism in the 60s being so closely associated with music, I get it. When the room you're in is filled with people all listening to the overwhelming sound of a song that you know and love and real people are up there making it happen, it IS magic. It's the good fight.

4. sci-fi-fantasy-elves-and-shit: A rock and roll book about self-recognition and magic that heavily references Tolkien? sold.

The first half of this book rolls by incredibly quickly. There is a marked sense of realism in which you start to identify with or recognize the main character and all of his associates. Midway through the ground shifts from under you and you're reminded that it's a fake story on a page; but, this doesn't mean the quality of the story telling drops. If anything it indicates how amazing George R.R. Martin is at his craft.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes the horror genre, to anyone who got moved by the election results, to anyone who really likes what music can do to you, to lovers of the Song of Ice and Fire sage (break out of the genre from time to time, it's good for you), and to anyone who is in their 30s and struggling or in the 50s or 60s and remembers.


before reading, I said:

Dad calls this one of his favorite books; so, I'm excited to start it in the rare and fleeting free moments of the weekend (which starts Friday, right? right). I had it shipped in from Charlotte though the Interlibrary Loan program, which I highly recommend.

View all my reviews.


Onlooker - The Closest Distance NEW DEMO

There are a couple of songs that I wrote a while ago that died on the table when i brought them to Vince for new Close songs or when i tried to record them myself as new Boar tracks (see "Helping Hands" for a good example - that one died again with the Magic Babies. oh well.)

One in particular, The Closest Distance," managed to get played once or twice at a close show; but, it was a little to torchsongy - or maybe too emo - but definitely too personal to sing on acoustic guitars to a cross-legged crowd of 15 acquaintances. The subject matter is probably more elusive than I give it credit for - nobody ever said anything about it (although Vince kindly forgot to include it in additional sets) - But then nobody ever says anything really about any song, do they. Not a bad thing - but with this one in particular, I felt funny enough or too close to the topic that i needed to shelve it.

It's been long enough and it occurred to me that Onlooker is just the right project to give it the attention it deserves (I do think it's a good song at heart, it just needs guidance). Travis may or may not know what it is I'm singing about; but, he always knows (or guesses closely enough) where I'm coming from and (i think) he takes pleasure in this sort of vague portraiture.

Right Click and save to hear an extremely rough take and mix.

The closest distance possible
between two lonely people -
the smooth communion
of inhibitions -
it is the point
where communication
your best defense.
Your closest friends
are nowhere around.
Please, forgive me.
Find a reason
to do this all again.
This isn't how this ends.

a light romp, eh?

It took me a few days to get the vocal delivery right (although the quality needs to be examined for peaking in some parts). The rang on this song is... well... soaring - It used to be that at "are nowhere around" I crept further up the scale. That is precisely where the emo lived, i think.

I recorded this all to a metronome at 100bpm to allow for Onlooker madness to ensure. I hope that it does. I think this will be a good start to a new 2 song EP (to follow up Folow Me Down / 93 and Cry).

I hope you enjoy this very early version.


Onlooker - shoulda posted a while back - 2 new songs (rough mixes)

93 and cry (right-click or control click for you mac users and save)
This electroacoustipop jam was named for the BPM and a Bowie song. But, if you take it a step further and infer stuff from our separate personal historys, you can paint some rather bleak possible snapshots of what this song might be about (93 was the last year we lived in Michigan). I think whatever think you imagined, though, would be more of what the song is about for you and little to do with what it means for either Travis or myself.

Acoustic guitars, Etsy pump organ, fruity loops, ebows, banjo, vocals. dig it


Follow Me Down (right click blah blah blah)
Finally finished this one. It needed a new vocal recording. I may have posted about it before; but, basically, this is a song about floods, the river styx, bad choices, futility. oh, and good times.

Acoustic Guitars, iBook's garageband string patch through LabSeries Reverb channel, banjo re-recorded vocals.

I love the end of this song - the "space out" section.

Close - Arrowhead

This is a new (better) mix of Arrowhead. The ending was lacking something. Turns out it was lacking lack. Dripping the gleeful tracks out was just as effective as plopping them in, it turns out.

Arrowhead - Oct 22 - right click (control-click for macs) and save for listening.

The ending vocals is a mixed down EQ'd low-level mix of 8 of my redonkulous vocal harmonies. The vocal harmonies are precisely the trapping i referred to in the Muted Post Horn post - the things i needed to get away from for a while. Not that i don't love making far too many vocal tracks, but after 3 or 4 songs in the key of D, i was getting a little redundant, i think.

enjoy this Arrowhead track. It's another of Vince's fine snapshots of childhood.

Close - Swamp Fox

As eluded to before, Vince penned another winner called Swamp Fox. It's another song in D (thanks to his new love, the open tuning).

right-click (control-click if you're on a 1 button mouse) and save this, if you like:
Swamp Fox - mix Oct. 22

There's a lot of vocal tracks in there that are not necessarily buried, but placed to add texture. Two guitars. And tuning doodle. and a chicken shake. that's it.

I enjoyed writing the harmonies for this... although i felt a little silly, like it was getting too close to the Eagles at times - but that was when they were high in the mix and up front for recording. Now they're nicely tucked away.

The hard part here was to get the guitars to be at the right volume throughout. although the part is repetitive, there are bits and pieces that were jumping out. I had to stop thinking of them as guitars and more of hypnotic loops...



Close - Muted Post Horn

If you like 10 minute ambient acoustic drones, have this:

Muted Post Horn - right click and save or if you're on a one button mouse, control-click and save.

I have had a very strong urge to forgo traditional songwriting and my vocal pitfalls and record a stream of consciousness piece with Vince. He indulged me. We've got 4 tracks total here. 2 Vince acoustic guitars, 1 me acoustic guitar (with eBow), and one Nord on an organ patch (Dear friend Brian let me borrow this for temporaries because my Wurlitzer crapped out during a Magic Babies show).

Vince has been playing in an open D tuning, so i re-tuned to an open A for giggles. I think the swells, as unplanned an un-choreographed as they were, turned out to be very natural and aesthetically pleasing (in other words, fly).

I definitely need to do more of this.
Enjoy. Sleep well.


Currently Done Read It: Stranger In A Strange Land

... and i can't get the U2 song out of my head...

Stranger in a Strange Land Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I would have given this five stars - in fact i was totally prepared to. I was prepped and ready, aged and defended against what had previously turned my off of and away from Heinlein in the past: his sexist pigism.

The last time I read him was in college - it was "Job" - and I was oh so sensitive, much too sensitive to recognize what passes less as sexism than it passes for setting. This time I put myself in a 50s vision of a Noir future - a future of flyer cars AND an ass-slap on dollface's hiney - and laughed naughtily at grandpa and his silly ideas and never let them get in the way of the story. The story is worth every one of the five stars available. and the discourse it provokes (I talk to myself a lot) is timeless and pertinent, as the best of Science Fiction should be.

That Fifth star was removed because, even thought Sexism is there as "future-color," our loving hero from Mars uttered some shameless Homophobic rhetoric as a coda to an two page long rant about free, unconditional love and sharing that love as your see fit. Not only did his hands-in-the-air-oh-no-not-me-with-a-dude-not-ever break the suspension of disbelief, but it complete contradicted all the allusions to the (always forgivable, I'm sure) girl on girl action.

Silly grandpa.

View all my reviews.


having done read it - The Andromeda Strain

The Andromeda Strain The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton

My review

rating: 2 of 5 stars
Reads like an pseudo-scientific annotated account of a really bad episode of CSI (is there another type?) in one thing happens and it takes forever to recount.

The only interesting and/or novel thing about this ...umm... novel was the explanation of the space aged technology, i.e. in-flight photography, and [gasp] electron microscopes.

View all my reviews.


The Magic Babies - tonight @ the Cat's Cradle

We're playing tonight at the Cat's Cradle inthe benefit show for Cy Rawls. You can read all about Cy and how much the music scene loves him here.
We play early - 7:30.
I think the show will be recorded for posterity. I hope to be able to hear that someday - I'll share if it's allowed.

Also on the bill, Polvo! They should pull a really large crowd for at least their portion of the night; so, i'm sure as far as fundraising goes, this will be a huge success. It kind of has to be.

come if possible. see you there.


Close - Arrowhead - very very early mix

Arrowhead, as i mentioned a few posts ago, is in a state of incompletitude. We made significant progress this week with the mix, adding an organ track, and talking through - and talking out - ideas of just where this needed to go.

right click (or control-click all you lovely mac users) and save:

the organ saved my butt here - i was originally intending to add a ton of overdubbed "oo" or "ahh" tracks in a chordal round or canon; but, in talking it out, we realized tonight that what we were trying to replicate might be easier to just do as nature intended: with a cheap-ass hand-me-down casio keyboard from th 90s - yes, it has speakers. I went direct and added a light reverb to warm it up. there may still be a pop from the attack of the organ sound; i'll have to compress that out.

This particular mixdown is missing a ton of ideas. but, the last half is so droney and spacey that it needed to be documented in its raw state.

i intend to add some subtle doubling of the low-mixed harmonies and maybe a coda of the chorus at the end.

i don't want to forget that for the first chorus, I had thought at one point of dropping the guitars and adding a pounding octave and fifth piano and maybe a tom 1/4 beat. the vocals conjur a war chant in my head. This adds to the visual that the song is trying to paint. Vince wrote this about a childhood experience - maybe he'll comment here and add hi two cents, but i wouldn't count on it... NOBODY reads this bunk! ;)

enjoy the download. it is of course raw and incomplete and not properly mixed; but posterity calls.


Having Done Read It: Farenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars

awful! i can't believe the ideas this book put into my head.

there ought to be a law..!

just kidding. 4 stars really. this is the kind of sci-fi book that makes me love sci-fi. yes, it's the future; yes, there is a robot dog; yes, there are wicked cool televisions; but that's not the point, is it? There is enough of a displacement in setting to force us to focus on the things we understand and see how very close we are to what is happening or has happened.

I had assumptions going into this book. Everybody knows what it's about. Everybody except me read it in high school. I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't just a book about what everybody says it's about - There is strong character development and great pacing.

The printing i read has two afterwards by the author - the first isabout how he wrote it; the second is more of a rant against editors and other censors. Very funny and very potent.

great book. I will read it again someday, for sure.

View all my reviews.


having done read it - Calvino snacked on my brain.

If on a Winter's Night a Traveler If on a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a trip. If you can handle displacement, vagueness, wild supposition and fantasy - the kind of fantasy that takes place only within thought, not within a castle with dragons, silly - then you will truly enjoy this book.

Calvino lures you into his web and then snacks on your soul while you let him because it was your idea in the first place, right?

[semi-spoiler aside for those who've read this: my next book is Farenheit 451 which i'd picked before picking up this calvino... making the calvino more pertinent and potent, no?]

View all my reviews.


The Long Way Home

My life-long friend, Don, and his match made in the ether, Gina, are moving from San Fransisco to Chicago and blogging their adventure.
This is a great read for me because I don't hear from him nearly enough (we are both at fault there - but it always feels as though we're picking right up on the longest, most interesting and silliest conversation ever). Also, I've never met Gina, but am finally getting to know her albeit in a creepy i don't really know you sort of way... which is appropriate because, legend has it that this is how they met in the first place.

anyway. read away. it's like going on your own road trip without the fast-food grease and road funk.


close - further on

Vince and I made some headway with a song called "arrowhead" last night. Lyrically it's a short song - Vince brought it to the table as one part ofth three song odyssey about different memories from his childhood. I can't remember what happened to the other two ;)

You won't get a preview of it in this post, because it's in a serious state of disarray - Vocals not mixed or compressed and the guitar is very very lonely.

Also, we scratched for reference two new songs. Once called Swamp Fox that could possibly start with a scronky messy guitar solo that fades away into leaving the acoustics to the the 3 verse tale of some Historical southern mumbo (I tease) - also based heavily in memory.

I think we're developing a theme/direction for this collection of songs. southern nostalgia / southern gothic. whatevs. sonically, we're onto something too.

What else did we scratch.... oh a new 2.5 minute pop sensation. natch.


close - burned re-entry - scratch vocal rough mix

[aside: first attempt at adding an enclosure link - might this be how podcasts are made? it's hard to find an actual how-to for dummies for podcasting, no?]

if the enclosure link fails in function, here is the html link:

right click and download that!

i have a long time love of the song "Song of the Siren." I wanted to make a response. I may have failed there... but I needed to start somewhere.

FOr the longest time, this song only had the words "grow back legs and crawl back to the sea." The more i developed this idea the more it sounded like a rant against creationists, which is fine by me... but it didn't fit the tone of the guitars. the original guitar tracks (here - http://www.bsidedesign.com/blogger/audio/SloppySeconds_Mixdown(062508).mp3 ) felt very erm... seaworthy? This Mortal Coil is probably to blame here. You see, I was one of those guys in high school and college. I lived and breathed 4AD records (and missed a lot of other great things as a result, for sure).

So i thought about a response. Or the flip side of the situation - all from the dead lovers perspective perhaps. that coupled with my obsession with my body being disposed of by burning up on re-entry. oh yeah - i've also just gotten over a 103+ fever (106 at one point,but there were exigent circumstances - caught in the rain, etc.).

LYRICS thus far:

Everything around us
that we know and love,
including you and your precious
face from above
that's staring back in awe and disbelief,
breaks away to clamor and sweet relief.

I haunt you with distraction
again and again.
I call because I'm sorry
I can't control the wind.

Moving up every ladder there was;
going out to fill the hole with some fuss;
crawling back underneath every door;
deflated, flat and empty,
back on the shore;

back at the waves;
back at the sea,
calling to me.

Back to the earth,
back to the days.
Come back to me.


i'm not sure it achieves what i want or see - but i'm also not sure that it needs to. i like being vague enough to give people good guesses.

thanks, as always, for listening. if new here - check the archives. downloads still work.

EDIT - fixed link - old link had bad permissions i think.


currently done read it

Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 6 (Strangers in Paradise (Graphic Novels)) Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 6 by Terry Moore

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a long collection that I am not afraid to recommend to anyone who likes to cry themselves to sleep on their lunch break.

Anyone who likes long story arcs, great tv, copmlex relationships and surprise revelations will enjoy the rich characters and expertly crafted pages (that's right, it's a graphic novel for adults like you).

It's about looooove. ooooooooo.

Five stars for the whole series. Your local library should have them.

View all my reviews.


Close - Fill Dirt first stage

Vince let me play producer on a song he brought to Close. It was almost exactly perfect with just his guitar and voice, I argued. With that in mind it was pretty hard for me to figure out what i could add; so, I took to the role of record producer and tried to corner exactly what i loved about the way it was sounding. It turns out that it was simply the room - my 10x12 wood floor minimally decorated "studio."

When we were testing mic placements for his guitar, he couldn't help but sing... which sounded awesome. I decided we should try - instead of recording both guitar and vocal performances together because i must needs tweak and mix - we should try recording the guitar and then keeping the mic placement and body position (on the chair and in the room) the same as if bother were happening simultaneously. The combination of two separated tracks bouncing waves around a room should in theory be the same (mostly) as a single performance, no? I thought and was hoping so.

It turns out to have worked or at least achieved a nice sounding effect.

The bass line i had written on acoustic guitar and it just wasn't working as a recorded track. too much finger noise and not enough notes! Admittedly, my solution to go direct in with an electric bass (thanks to Charles again for the loner) was hastily executed - read: not sure of part and not quite tuned. This will be fixed, adjusted, or dropped. dunno yet.

I added pump organ to facilitate a dramatic swell. It has the added boon of being percussive.

Overall, I think i "got there" with what i was hearing when vince first brought the song. The feeling/intent is so much more real than imagined now and definitely worth a click to listen, i think.

Fill Dirt - rough mix 04/30/08 - right click + save as, or just click to play in browser


Close - a new version of Parachute is cooking

Parchute is an old - OOOOLLLLD - song that vine and i thought we had never recorded (although, after digging through our collections, we found no less than three versions, some of which are pretty nice).

In order to get back in the groove of recording, wee figured it would be a good place to start.

Here's the latest of our efforts:

Warren Ellis' 4am

the latest episode of Warren Ellis' music podcast, the 4am, features "fierce, the fallow foe" - the opening instrumental track of the Poles Apart album.

the previous episode featured onlooker's Cavalier, from Today I'm a Gunamker, which is now for sale at itunes, amazon and emusic.

good listens, both.


Helping Hands (old demo)

I have resurrected an old failed song and passed it off to the Magic Babies. So far what has become of it is a lot more rockin' (naturally) than the original demo (linked below). I think the demo has some merit, but the recording is crappy and a little maudlin. plus i have no idea what is happening at the end of it. I must have been trying to switch keys to butt it up against another tune... but i can't remember what and for who - it may have been a Close idea.

Here is the mp3. right click to save or click to play

Enjoy, for what it's worth.


Dear sir, pepsi is sucking

I just wrote this letter to my trusty US representative:

Dear Sir, 
As you are well aware, North Carolina is in a state of extreme drought. Raleigh, in particular, has enacted further restrictions on residents and businesses. I fully stand behind these measures and have personally taken steps to lessen my water usage and have made my friends aware of the seriousness of the issue, too. 
WRAL reported that the Pepsi Bottling company in Raleigh is one of the top users of our water supply (link - http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/2399333/ ). And according to the Independent Weekly (link - http://www.indyweek.com/gyrobase/Content?oid=oid%3A168902 ), that water is being sold as the Aquafina product. I can't help but feel a little protective of my water supply; I want to know if you think that there is anything that can be done to stop or lessen Pepsi's "production" of Aquafina while Raleigh is in drought conditions. It seems that since governments need to be involved to have small towns tap into new or different reserves, a major corporation should be halted from what amounts to removing my own water and selling it to others (at exorbitant prices). 
I have the utmost respect for your positions on environmental issues. What do you think can be done about Pepsi's abuse of our water supply? I feel somewhat powerless in the shadow of this major corporation and look to you for some ideas and assistance.

I am (not) suprised that the news channels aren't making a bigger deal of this. The other large users of water are public entities - government, university, and hospitals - places that have the ability to install low-flow hardware (and have in most cases) and also inform employees of the situation and encourage habit change.
Pepsi, on the other hand is simply and rampantly bottling up our water and carting it off to god-knows-where to be sold for money - lots of money. I don't think that monetary punishment is in order here. I am more interested in criminal punishment and facility shut-down. I feel this is a near impossibility given how embedded corporations are in local government around here (RTP for those playing at home)... not to mention some jobs on the line. But, come on. It's our water and we are running out. 
No substantial rain in February's forecast.