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I’ve been horsing around with Markov chains with the idea of developing some songwriting tools. One of my experiments seemed funny enough to make into its own Twitter bot. It mashes up VICE headlines into strange new ones. Some examples:
If this is something you need in your life, you can follow it here.
I’ve been winding down the “real” work (aka hourly, billable, profitable, stable) in favor of doing music full time (aka unlimited hours, not billable, unprofitable & very unstable) which has been slower and harder than I thought. But I’ve been finishing up a few projects and songs and getting ready to crank out new Brad Sucks material all over the place. Here’s what I’ve been up to in the first bit of 2015:
Bee & PuppyCat
I’ve written a few things for the awesome Bee & PuppyCat show that I’m excited about. The song I’m finishing this week is sung Felicia Day. I got to direct her via Skype which was a new and cool and frightening experience for me. It was pretty awesome to hear her singing words and a melody I wrote.
Natasha (B&P creator) posted this shot of me on the monitor in the studio while I was handsomely directing Felicia Day from my desk here in Canada:
It’s been really fun working on this, I’d love to do more. If anyone reading this runs like an uh, awesome, successful project that needs… bad music… you know, get in touch.
I Don’t Know What I’m Doing on Vinyl
A while back I asked on Facebook if anyone’s interested in a vinyl pressing of I Don’t Know What I’m Doing, which was first manufactured as a real packaged CD in 2005. People seemed enthusiastic so I’ve been moving forward with it.
Honestly, I’m not a person who cares much about vinyl records. I own two: Micheal Jackson’s Thriller and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry and they’re hanging on my wall. I don’t own a turntable. I’ve got more nostalgia for cassette tapes and 128k MP3s downloaded from Audiogalaxy. Pressing (and shipping) vinyl is ‘spensive and a big commitment and I’d like to avoid having hundreds of my own old-ass record in my basement, so I’m hesitant (aka scared).
But I have a bunch of vinyl quotes and I’ll figure out the next steps soon and probably re-ask that everyone’s suuuure they want my 100% digitally recorded album in an old, giant, fragile, heavy, noisy, expensive to manufacture and also expensive to ship format.
My friend Bruce’s album
Over the past year I’ve been helping my Texan chef friend Bruce Enloe out with bass playing and some recording and mixing on his new record Unseasonably Cool (soundcloud link). (Tracks 2, 3 and 7 are my faves.) I also played bass at the CD release show last week, which had this cool poster (designed by Mark Ettinger, drummer of the band):
Also there was an article in the big local city paper about Bruce and the record.
I really wanted to use ANSI artwork for Out of It because BBS’s and ANSI were a huge part of my teenage life. (I was in iCE and ACiD at various points.) I also thought it might be the first time it was done? I found Fredrik’s work on Deviant Art. Pieces of his like “television” and snowy street really stood out to me from other ANSI artwork, which tends to be a bit juvenile and cleavage-heavy. “television” is the back cover of the Out of It CD and I still love looking at it.
I didn’t know Fredrik well, but he was great to work with. Not only did he design the artwork for the package but he handled all the fiddly print stuff to make sure all the colors and pixels came out perfect. He seemed proud of how it turned out.
Check out some of Fredrik’s artwork. You can also watch a captured session of him drawing an ANSI piece if you want to see what it was like to paint with your keyboard and ANSI text characters in the old MS-DOS days.
Thanks and so long, Fredrik. You’ll be missed.
A friend recently reminded me that in about a year it’ll be the tenth anniversary of I Don’t Know What I’m Doing‘s first pressing. I’ve had a few requests for vinyl but not really enough to make me confident I won’t lose money and wind up with a big box of records in my basement. Anyone hot to buy it in an ancient format?
Oh yeah here’s the Facebook post.
Just got back from a vacation in Nova Scotia. Man, I really needed that. What a beautiful province, I ate so much chowder and so many mussels and looked at so much ocean. I also was really surprised at how much I loved the Alexander Graham Bell museum. Turns out I knew almost zero about him, what a rad dude with a rad wife.
I’m really excited about music and recording again. I wasn’t sure that’d ever happen. I’m going to start recording drums for new songs in the next few weeks — it’ll be my first shot at using a live kit and human drummer for Brad Sucks songs so I’m curious/nervous to see how it’ll go.
I’m heading back to XOXO in Portland in September this year. If you’re in town, let’s grab a drink. XOXO was really inspiring last year, it really nailed home for me that my independent Internet creator angst is not in any way special or unique to me.
I’ve been loving the latest Queens of the Stone Age record the new Freeman record (by Aaron Freeman from Ween.) What have you guys been listening to?
The last half of 2013 was a lot better than the first half. But I did spend a lot of time working on getting better musically and cranking out demos, so that’s good. I was really in a slump there for a few years, it was impressive, how does that shit happen? Hopefully no more. Thanks for your patience.
So I’m looking forward to a musically productive 2014, movin’ on into the future, taking more chances, being a person who does things again.
To celebrate, here’s a video Eddie Utah did for Making Me Nervous with a GoPro camera:
Thanks to y’all who came out to the Montreal show. I’m actually glad there weren’t more of you because I’m very shy.
Winding down the year here — I’m playing bass December 27th as a replacement member of The Burning Sensations. The next day there’s a Brad Sucks show in Kingston on December 28th and then it’s time to get cracking on rehearsing and recording some new things in the hopes of a musically productive 2014.
(poster by Geoff Gibson)