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imageI try to stay away from idioms and other bits of faux-wisdom but one that actually stuck with me from recording/songwriting circles is “you can’t polish a turd”. 

Which I always took to mean “if your song isn’t any good, no amount of production or recording wizardy will make it good”.

So episode 19 of season 6 of the Mythbusters is awesome: they polished some animal shit. Which may forever alter my songwriting process. Kudos.

Posted on - January 30, 2009 [at] 10:42 pm by Brad
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imageGraphs of Billboard’s 2008 Hot 100 and Pitchfork’s Best 100 Tracks of 2008

I like the disparate song lengths. Maximum song length on Billboard: 5:21. Pitchfork: 17:03.

Also are we not ready, as a people, to combine the post-grunge and hard rock genres? [via waxy]

Posted on - January 29, 2009 [at] 3:10 pm by Brad
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Radio Aporee is geo-located field recordings. I have no idea what use this is, but I like it.

Posted on - January 27, 2009 [at] 1:01 pm by Brad
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Trying to do a song demo a month in 2009, here’s the first of the theoretical twelve:

Certain Types of People (demo)

Update: BFF GrowYoYoRhino has put together a guitar lesson for this song:

He’s got it pretty much perfect.

Posted on - January 23, 2009 [at] 10:58 pm by Brad
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I’ve been tagged twice now in this Seven Things meme, first by Rob Campbell and second by Dan James. I resist this stuff because I’m boring but I’ve found reading other people’s lists fascinating, so here we go:

The rules:

  • Link to your original tagger(s) and list these rules in your post. (see above)
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post. (see below)
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs. (see below)
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged. (you’ll just have to trust me)

My seven things:

  • Jobs I have wanted in chronological order: Dickie Dee man, baseball player, Sierra On-Line adventure game designer, computer programmer, writer and musician.
  • People I have written fan mail to: Mr. T and Michael Jackson. Neither replied. In my letter to Michael I lied and told him I lost my copy of Thriller and could he send me another one (signed please).
  • When I was 17 and a desperate aspiring writer, I emailed Terry Pratchett to see if he’d answer my questions about writing. He graciously said "Sure, as long as they’re not too dopey". I then asked him what he kept his margins set at in his word processing program. I still regularly think about how stupid that question was.
  • The first concert I went to was Corey Hart (opened by Katrina and the Waves) during his Boy in the Box tour. I had backstage passes but Corey had already left when we tried to go up. (I lied and told all my friends I met him anyway.)
  • A few years ago I was diagnosed with vitiligo, which is the disease that allegedly turned Michael Jackson white. I’m a pale guy so other than it turning a lot of my hair white it’s not very visible unless I tan.
  • When I was four or five I had a habit of peeing on my neighbor’s steps. I can still remember my dad hosing them off.
  • Me: “I need a seventh fact about me.”
    Her: "Why don’t you say that you try to get angry at animals when they run out in front of the car so that you don’t feel as bad if you kill them?"
    Me: ”Did I say that?”
    Her: ”That’s what you told me to do.”

I am tagging Aaron Walker, Courtney Summers, Jesse Dangerously, David Weinberger, William Gibson, Hannah Aviva and Justin Dykhouse.

Posted on - January 16, 2009 [at] 12:05 am by Brad
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Over the holidays I had a look at all the entries for the Fake It cliche video. They’re sweet, but I think we still need some more, so I’m going to extend the deadline out indefinitely.

A few people suggested I put together a Youtube video begging for more submissions, so my crappy beard and I have done that here:

Beard out!

Posted on - January 12, 2009 [at] 4:44 pm by Brad
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Crayon Physics Deluxe is out. Not only is it an amazing game, it has a remix of one of my songs in it:

Posted on - January 12, 2009 [at] 12:58 pm by Brad
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terminal I tried doing a podcast a few years ago and failed. I just wanted to share some music I was into but compiling the podcasts was time-consuming enough that it got pushed aside almost immediately.

So I’ve started another podcast on Sellout Central which I’m planning to put out every Monday.

This time though I’ve spent some of my vacation time figuring out how to automate most of the process.

The nerdy details:

Using sox, flite, lame and a bash script, all I have to do is export a playlist from Foobar2000 and run a script. Sox crossfades the songs and compiles them into one big WAV file, flite generates the speech synthesis for the intros and outros and then lame compresses them into an MP3 with appropriate ID3 tags. So basically, I export the WAVs and then run:

./podcastit.sh [episode #] [# of songs]

And get back a shiny podcastable MP3. Whether anyone will like the songs I like is a whole different matter.

If you want the script, let me know and I can package it up.

Update: and here is the script all packaged up.

Posted on - January 5, 2009 [at] 12:01 am by Brad
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I just break all my resolutions but here are general goals I’m thinking about for this year:

  • Release at least one new demo song a month
  • Fix up this website so it makes me feel awesome
  • Get a new live show together
  • Climb back on the exercise wagon
  • Release a podcast a week

What are you folks up to?

Posted on - January 3, 2009 [at] 4:39 pm by Brad
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