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Brad Sucks: Guess Who's a Mess album cover

Guess Who's a Mess, my third album. 10 tracks, instant downloads.

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Whoops. I found out on Friday that last week I accidentally uploaded a very old version of my Guess Who’s a Mess demo. That’s pretty embarrassing, I was actually pretty horrified but I think I’m good now. Anyway here’s the latest one instead:

Guess Who’s a Mess (demo 2)

Okay, moving on…

Posted on - January 31, 2011 [at] 5:10 pm by Brad
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Hey, who wants to hear me bitch about iMacs! I don’t care, here I go:

Switching to a Mac has been great in every way except for like… the hardware. I should point out that I began this switch by buying a refurbished 27″ iMac from Apple.com to save $300. I’m not made of money you guys. I’ve bought many things from there before and all the devices have been flawless. Except for iMacs I suppose. A rundown of the iMacs I have known:

iMac #1: Worked great! Then I went to install an additional 8gb of RAM. One of the RAM slots was so out of alignment I couldn’t get one of the sticks in there. I contacted Apple Support, they offered to let me buy another one and then refund my money for the first when I returned it. Fair enough.

iMac #2: Right away I noticed the hard drive was noisy (even when idle). I had iMac #1 and iMac #2 beside each other before I returned #1 and could easily tell the difference. Turns out it was a noisy Seagate drive. Since I’m recording with this thing, that’s kind of a big deal but bleh I didn’t want to return it yet again. Then I noticed the left internal speaker kept making annoying intermittent crackling/static noises even when the audio wasn’t in use.

I talked to Apple support and they suggested I unplug the power cord and plug it back in and see if that helps. The iMac didn’t immediately make the noise when I started it back up, so the friendly Apple guy said to call back if it did.

It did later, but it took me three days call back. I was out of my 30 day return window at that point and was told I’d have to take it in for repair + be without a computer indefinitely. I told them that made me so so sad so they talked to various managers and eventually agreed to replace it, plus gave me $150 credit back for my troubles. Nice!

iMac #3: This is the one I have on my desk as I type this. The RAM slots are fine. The internal speakers make no unwanted noise. But I’ve noticed the fans getting loud a lot whereas I realize now I never even heard the fans on the other ones. When I’m recording for instance or watch a few Youtube videos in a row, the fan turns on and is pretty loud in this small office. After an hour of mixing just now the top of the case is too hot to leave my hand on for more than a second or two. The others were pretty warm but not at all like that.

So. Do I have the energy to complain about this one? The fan noise is annoying and maybe not tolerable. The extreme heat worries me that it’ll be prone to failure over time. But I’m getting pretty tired of swapping these bastards out. Basically I want to give up on buying refurbished and go buy a brand new one, but what if they’re prone to the same issues?

So: ugh.

Update: well, that resolved itself. The display on iMac #3 died last night. So now I’m on hold with Apple support. Woo hoo hoo.

Update #2: Here is what the display looks like! (The lines move!)

broken imac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update #3: Talked to four supervisors. They’re taking iMac #3 back and refunding my money. I’m gonna drive to the Ottawa Apple store and buy a new iMac that hopefully isn’t a piece of junk.

iMac #4: Seven hours later my Time Machine backup is restored and I’m back where I was almost 24 hours ago.

Posted on - January 27, 2011 [at] 4:25 pm by Brad
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Hey, here’s another messy demo:

Guess Who’s a Mess (demo)

It’s the title track and will probably be track 6 on Guess Who’s a Mess.

Posted on - January 25, 2011 [at] 7:02 pm by Brad
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Scott’s rolling to a stop on his solo live playing. I think that’s cool, I started to weigh in with a comment on my own struggle with playing live but it got too huge so here it is:

A couple of years ago I was fed up with playing live. Some people love to perform and I’m just not that guy. I wouldn’t say I’m shy but I wouldn’t deny that I’m an introvert. Then I had a pretty bad string of rough, demoralizing gigs and it was messing with me. I’d travel home afterwards all bummed out and thinking my time would have been much better spent recording or writing or doing stuff on the internet. Plus it’s easier and more fun to me.

I got fed up, took a break and decided to play less shows but to make them more meaningful. Promote them better, book them better, work harder at them. In 2010 that approach was pretty successful so I’m planning to play some more in 2011.

A lesson I learned, and this may only apply to me and my city, is that there’s very little point to playing thankless gigs. Maybe you’re getting some practice in. Maybe you enjoy it. But you’re not building a fan base. You’re not generating buzz. If you have a small draw, which most bands do, you’re spreading it too thin over many sad shows rather than saving it up for a few good ones.

Now that I’m taking this new approach I’m enjoying the shows way more. I’m still not much of a performer, but I’ve been enjoying the crowd interaction. I like getting yelled at. I enjoy feeling like my being there and doing my thang is facilitating a good time for others.

So when people come out now, tell me they like my stuff, tell me they’re looking forward to new music, it’s pretty great. It’s very easy on the Internet to group fans into one single entity. But when I meet people face to face who seem to genuinely connect with what I’ve done or what I’m doing, well that’s encouraging and awesome and nice.

Posted on - January 20, 2011 [at] 3:50 pm by Brad
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Last night’s show was fun, thanks to everyone for coming out. These three shows I’ve done with the new band have been pretty encouraging. I’m not someone who actually really enjoys performing or being on a stage, but I do get a huge kick out of an energetic, happy crowd and instigating a good time.  So I’m gonna let that motivate me into more show bookings and hope it’s enough.

Posted on - January 8, 2011 [at] 7:38 pm by Brad
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Well, 2010 was a mixed bag Brad Sucks-wise. My live show is sounding good I think and I’m happy with that. A few encouraging shows went down. I got some demos done. But I betrayed a next-album deadline and overall I was distracted with some mid-year depressions and med change as well as other projects and jobs.

Money from the Brad Sucks stuff is nice but it’s unpredictable. It’s been hard to justify working on music for potential future maybe-dollars when there’s guaranteed money waiting for me somewhere else.

But I need to do better. It may sound awful, but my goal for 2011 is to treat music more like a job. As opposed to a hobby that gets pushed aside as soon as I have another opportunity. I’m fortunate to have anyone wanting new music from me at all and I’m disappointed I didn’t deliver more in 2010.

But that’s in the past. I hope you’re all doing great.

Posted on - January 1, 2011 [at] 5:42 pm by Brad
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