Saturday, January 31, 2009

Airships Are Back! Says New Administration!

Time for a bit of the old recapitulation/regurgitation of the past four months, during which I've been busy on every other website of mine except this one.
I'll give a brief rundown of some highlights of mein exciting kampf.

Here's a bottle. Is it empty or just "FULL of air" ? It was once full of delicious DOBBS chocolate-flavored soft drink (around 1965 or so) and it came to me as a Christmas present in December. "It's The Dobbs!" Actually one of my favorite gifts this season; along with the stuff that Renee and Michael sent along.
Also in December I was working on a new fantastic sculpture project- another 'animal head on a plaque' thingy- when I found that my SCULPEY compound, less than a year old, was totally dried-up and turned to powder when one tried to 'soften' it. Since I've replaced the damned material, I haven't been enthused enough to get busy on the sculpture again. I DO have a terrific plan-drawing set for it, so when I sit down and get busy it's going to be super nice.
BELOW: a panorama shot taken fairly recently. I'll be doing matching shots in Spring so that I'll have a comparison panorama. Even reduced in size a bit for upload--it's still about 36 inches wide or so- Click on it and check the detail.
In September 2008, I recorded the first complete project in the new studio, in other words- the two lps and one ep that 'came out' earlier in 2008 used bits and pieces from past sessions in my old studio in San Francisco, and the new lp: Music From the Center of Nowhere is totally crafted in the new studio, using newer software than that used on my older NBC shit, and accordingly it has a very different sound.
This album has a few pieces that point towards the NEXT big project, which'll use more of my accoustic instruments, and feature more singing. The new lp promises to take a lot longer than my usual (I'm aiming for a May'09 finish date) and will be bloody hard to rehearse and sing and play.{The new cd "Leave My Biscuit Be" was actually completed in March 2009}
In OCTOBER '08 I got a wild idea for some reason to record an entire Christmas lp. I think I'd been listening to my TinoCorp Christmas Breaks lp and I wanted to try and compete with those blokes. This led to a couple of weeks of downloading and then processing and organizing a huge pile of new samples for the holiday theme- I decided not to use ANY of my existing huge stash of Xmas and holiday audio files--I wanted fresh new stuff that my 'listeners' (or me) hadn't heard.
I composed a pile of backing tracks, fairly quickly, and then found that I had SO many vocal samples for the lp that I actually had to sit down and make a list of them and try and figure out how many samples would be allowed, roughly, per song; so that I didn't use up all of the 'best' ones on too few songs, and they'd be spread evenly through the record.
It was crazy! I took a picture of the great big oversized sheet of paper that had the 'plot' of the lp on it, since it was so ridiculous and detailed, and that shot is featured in the cd packaging, although it's too small to see what the hell it is.
Some of the tracks came out very well, I thought. It was done VERY quickly, and so there are probably a lot of bits that I would (maybe WILL) change.
ABOVE: a logo made for a Facebook Fan Club page that I may not bother to build. A fan club for rubber stamps. Yay for rubber stamps. I'm very glad to be using mine much more often these days. Since I send out tons of mail-art (you know who you are, folks!) and am always decorating every empty face of every package and envelope. I actually broke down back in November and bought some new ink pads- which I try to do as infrequently as possible, since they're expensive.
I HAVE built several fan pages on Facebook that ARE cool, for those of you who would be able to see 'em.
Facebook...lord, another networking site. I finally broke down and started to use FB, building page after bloody page of art and music there- just on the off chance someone'll see or hear it and like it. It's interesting to be back in touch with so many folks from 20 or more years ago.
November saw me making a couple of compilation pieces (one musical, one not) for ALAN HERRICK of Auricular Recordings fame, which is nice. I like doing comp. stuff. It's always sort of liberating to do songs that stand alone and have no context aside from a possible 'compilation concept'. I like both of the pieces he got a lot- will be looking forward to their releases.
December through January / Taking time off from doing audio. Resting up/planning for the big new lp idea. Started making FONTs, using some old xeroxes of unusual fonts that I still have on file (I used to have TONS of weird lettering, but parted with most of it during last two moves), and, even more exciting- the most bizarre 'symbol sets' of old engravings of all kinds of subjects. Font making is tedious at best, but it's satisfying to make a new font that I really like and will use a lot.
Winter brings lots of cooking projects, as usual. Many lemon pies and batches of chili!
In January I sold a painting (I believe so---I'm awaiting the check right now) to a fella in Copenhagen. Selling art- especially pieces that you WANT to part with, is always a joy. I certainly wish this sort of miraculous sale (he found the piece on his own and came with an email asking for it out of the blue) could happen more often!
It certainly justifies all of the work that's gone into building and maintaining the ART GALLERY page here in blogspot.
is it's location, by the way.

And like it says here, I began blogging last saturday on WFMU. True to his word- Otis set me up just as soon as he took over the blog-reins from Ken F over there. Nice to join their little group. Intimidating, though- since I don't even have a working record player right now or a fast connection. But the time is so right, otherwise--- I'm itching to get in on all of the awesome uploading that people are doing all over the internet- so much interesting audio out there. The other authors there post some heavy stuff- I feel somewhat outweighed by the strength of so much of what goes up there, but I think I have some nice stuff to share, too. The ELTON & BETTY WHITE posting that I've led off with was fairly complex and a good tester for learning their system. The comments indicate what I'd hoped for- there's not much E&B out there for sale of download---the full 46 cuts I'm putting up should make quite a difference in the worldwide perception of E&B- really! I think the stuff is that rare! I had no idea- but research that I've done for the postings seems to indicate that there has just never been much of the White's music available at all.
Anyhoo--- of course- with every step forward, there has to be some kind of damned problem, and in this case it seems (for me) to be their WFMU in-house file storage area. With my slow connection- I need all the time I can get to upload any decent-sized juicy files, and their system is set up to log you out (even in mid-upload/while you're USING the system), or rather time you out, after a period of time. Just my luck-- the period of time just shortened too! It seems now that if I want to put audio in THEIR server, I have to get it done in one-hour-or-less intervals, which is actually pretty dumb- since if you log me OUT before I'm done- it means I have to use MORE of their system time to finish what I was doing! Duh!
Now I'm going to look for an alternate storage area for my audio files, but I don't want to pay anything of course! How aggravating to have a new venue for DJing- and I have all kinds of trouble getting the files up into their system (there's a 50 MB limit per file anyway). I'll just link to another FTP for my future posts, most likely.
Oh, gawd, I should mention the insane five-hour DJing project I did for 'fun'. When I have a lot of new music in house I get the urge to DJ the stuff. So I set up to do one of my usual DJing-WAV-files-on-the-laptop sets, crafting a large pile of spoken word and music files just for the sessions. As usual, I made WAY too many files and the session went on into five parts. Sadly, I don't currently have an easy way to put index points into a giant long file, so these one-hour discs are just big slabs of annotated data, not much use to another DJ. (They are available, with lovely covers, though- just drop me a note to find out how ta git 'em) They have great moments, though! Especially in the first two, most-drunkenly-played hours.
I've had a lot of fantastic things from the library system, as usual. The Young Ones entire series, with great bonus stuff; TERRAHAWKS, as seen in a still below (of YURI the space bear!), which I'm still currently enjoying (I haven't seen them in a long time- and they are still wonderful and hilarious. Fan of Team America? You should see Terrahawks!!)
Lots of Orson Welles dvds- such as the incredible Criterion edition of
MR ARKADIN, as seen below. I recently re-read the BEST Welles book (This Is Orson Welles) and have been absorbing a lot of his work lately. Right now I have
F FOR FAKE in house and it has some wonderful special features.
A couple of Spider-Man 1967-69 TV show stills, from my Facebook Spidey Fan Page.

Jim Steranko comic book art, also from a FB fan page for same.
The Spectre! Yay--spooky heroes. Two images from, yes, another elaborate Facebook fan page.

Some Wonder Woman fun and games. That was one sexy comic! Twisted.
Not here for any particular reason than that it looks good.

Some of the MANY cut-ups typed and cut by me for an unfinished project.
YURI ! The Orsina Galactica. Again, Terrahawks. How to describe it-? Well, it was 1983, videogames were very hot, and space shows like Battlestar Galactica, and here's a show with awesome puppets, great and hilarious voice work, incredible miniature effects and explosions and glorification of miniature spacecraft/planes/cars and exploding variations thereof. There are 'cute' robot sidekicks (in this case a whole regiment of) with a great 'ball' design- the Zeroids; the token black female member of the team (whose wigs change from pink to green to purple within episodes) who flys a bitchen super-jet and also sings and plays cool 80s synth-pop; none of it is taken very seriously- and yet it sort of IS...Lord it's a mess---a crazy, crazy show. I see now why das and I used to come unglued with laughter trying to figure out "What were they thinking???" when watching these.
My favorite show made by the Gerry Anderson company, of Thunderbirds and Space:1999 fame.
Well, that's about it for now. Lots of reading and studying to get through the long cold winter. I'll leave you with a Star Trek alien to whom I've 'turned his frown upside-down'.
May BALOK smile upon you.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,