Posts tagged misc
A blog post, which I wrote

Totally not dead up in here. Stuff I'm working on:

New music

It's being worked on. I had a slow start in the new year but I'm back on track finishing up demos for the new album. See photographic proof:


I'll post stuff as I finish it, which better be soon if I hope to be nearly finished this album this year.

Live show

The live show is coming along nicely and is basically ready to go. It's myself, a laptop, a drummer (Justin) and a guitarist (Ben). I think it's sounding a lot closer to the albums than the last live setup that was more of a garage rock version of the songs (which was fun for me but apparently not what most people wanted to hear). I just got this book today so you know it's serious.

Figuring out what to do with my live show

Did you know I'm not at all popular in my home town of Ottawa? That sounds amazing but it's actually true. Gigs here are generally both empty and demoralizing. So I'd like to actually play for some people and maybe make, rather than lose, money.

Apparently I'd do well in places that are very far from my home but I'm not sure how to get the live show there without losing a ton of money also. And furthermore: money.

Recording a band

There's a band I know (and like) and I'm recording their album. They're pretty different than my stuff so I'm learning a lot. How to record a drum kit, how to record a rhodes piano, how to binge drink, etc, etc. I just bought this book so you know it's serious.

Boring stuff

I've been trying to be better about a lot of areas I'm bad in. Bios, photos, t-shirts, promo and so on, they're tedious and boring processes and I don't want to talk about them. I also bought a car. And an iPhone.  And we have a new foster dog (our fourth!):


His name is Milo. He has no home but he's hanging here until he gets one.

GeneralBrad Turcottedog, live, misc
State of me

I seem to Twitter more than I blog, so let me get caught up here:

  • My dog Maui was spayed Friday and is full of reflections on life without a cone collar:


    She's got 12 days to go. :(

  • I'm still slowly working on the new live show. The pace should pick up soon and maybe some shows in a month or two?
  • I tried out some LandRollers (in my living room):


    I'm thinking about getting some of these to skate with the dog instead of buying a new bike (which was the original plan for this year). Only catch: I am not a skilled skater.

  • I'm also so close to being done with the new web design:


    Looking forward to getting that out the door.

  • Sellout Central Episode 13 goes up tonight at midnight. The fact that I've stuck with it for 13 episodes is all thanks to my podcast generator script. Still not sure I can do the entire year though – do I really like that many songs?
Various updates

Crunch time. Here's what I've been up to:

Mixing the album. Did a mixing meeting with Rob and am back on track with the album. Actually excited about getting it out, which is strange for me. It's really taking an embarrassing amount of time. You would think this would result in exponential improvements and new material and awesomeness and you would be wrong. Just a lot of coordination and logistic delays.

I've been reading a lot about the album being dead and all I can think is: THANK GOD. I'm not sure I ever want to do this again. But what to do instead?

Getting ready for Harvard + the show in Cambridge. Looks like there'll be a Metafilter meet before and during (and after?) the show on the 12th. I think I've got my show pretty much down, new Firewire card = improved stability, blah nerd blah.

The big thing lately has been packing all my gear to get down there. Do you know what a custom guitar flight case costs? I will tell you: around $500. That's five HUNDRED dollars. It would be cheaper for me to fly to Boston, buy a $250 guitar and throw it in the garbage on my way home. I honestly haven't ruled that out but for now I've ordered an SKB Freedom case which apparently "smells" (read the reviews) but works good.

If my guitar is shattered on the way there, I'll buy a cheap one for the shows and give it to a homeless person before I leave.

Getting the website ready for the new album. I've been re-jiggering all my store stuff for the new album and beyond and that should go live in the next week I hope. Due to lack of sales I've decided to drop the OGG format and limit it to MP3 and FLAC. Simpler for everyone. OGG fans can always get the FLAC and convert it as it's lossless after all. I want to support open formats but I'd rather it not feel like a waste of time, energy and resources.

Halloween 2007

Last Halloween was our first time trying to go all out on the decorations. This year we extended it out a bunch and improved a lot of little things. Some photos:

October 31, 2007 084

October 31, 2007 043

October 31, 2007 077

October 31, 2007 104

October 31, 2007 102

October 31, 2007 130

October 31, 2007 114

Everything went over real good. The black light where we gave out the candy was a big hit. We wound up dragging a big mirror out so that kids could see themselves glowing and they really dug that. You can see more pictures here if you're interested.

Fake It

451px-Seether-bandWeird, just got a call from my drummer saying "Turn on the radio! There's a song called Fake It that sounds like yours but it's some other band!" I realize I don't even have a way to listen to radio in the house so I went and looked it up online. It's Fake It by a band called Seether that I had not heard of.

Sounds pretty different to me, though now I feel like a tool maybe releasing an album in a month or so with Fake It as the first track.


Looking at their album they also have a song called "Breakdown" too and my album will have "Total Breakdown". Good thing I never finished my song "FMLYHM (Fuck Me Like You Hate Me)" though or man would I feel stupid!

Brad Turcottemisc
CAPTCHA Blindness

I played Half Life Episode 2 and Portal over the weekend. EP2 was good, Portal was brilliant (and many props to Coulton for the awesome credits song).

Anyway I was trying to search the Steam forums and you have to prove you're human by entering a CAPTCHA. I got so many wrong I gave up. Here's a small sampling:

captcha-04 captcha-01 captcha-03 captcha-02   captcha-06 captcha-05  captcha-07 captcha-08

Can you guys read any of these? I had to check with friends to make sure I hadn't suddenly become colorblind or something.

Early data points to Valve's CAPTCHA algorithm sucking and my vision being fine.

Brad Turcottemisc, tech
It's almost that time again

 September 29, 2007 140

We had a good showing last year but we're gearing up for Halloween 2007. First step is putting up some advertising like this countdown sign that's now on our front porch. Here it is with the camera flash:

September 29, 2007 137

They're laminated fluorescent posterboard letters with a black light shining on them. The numbers are attached to the board with velcro. The crappy pictures don't really do it justice, it looks awesome in person. (We stole this whole idea from here, but are proud of how it turned out.)

32 days left!

Brad Turcottemisc
William Gibson 2.0

williamgibson So last night I met William Gibson. What a super nice man. I was, I think, only slightly to mildly retarded while speaking to him. He said very nice things to me and it was a pretty great and extremely surreal experience. I kept having flashbacks to watching him on Prisoners of Gravity as a teenager.

Aside from the personal meeting, the Q&A itself was inspiring. My ongoing creative struggles seem small and ridiculous when compared with the pressures and ups and downs of a quarter century career largely saddled with the expectations of others.

newsBrad Turcottemisc, people
William Gibson

Wow, linked to by William "father of cyberpunk" Gibson:

People sometimes ask what I was listening to during the writing of a given book. For Spook Country, I've usually cited the complete ouvre of Drive By Truckers (whom I happened to discover for the first time just as the book was really getting started), and, toward the end, Neko Case's Fox Confessor Brings The Flood. But I've been forgetting Brad Sucks, who I discovered when I was somewhere in the middle. Anesthetic's remix of "Dirtbag", in fact, came to have much to do with the tonality of my character Milgrim. I'd drive around and listen to that if I felt I was losing the peculiarly floaty grip that Milgrim required.

I don't know if I will ever feel any nerd-cooler than this moment.

The Anesthetic remix of Dirtbag is here by the way and it's by my fellow Magnatune artist c.Layne.

newsBrad Turcottemedia, misc

I'm at the American Folk Festival in Bangor, Maine right now. I'm not performing (as I am all rock dude), merely sweating my balls off in the searing humidity. Anyway they confiscated our apples at the American border, so you can all sleep safe (for now).

Brad Turcottemisc

It's allergy season so I am a stoned zombie wandering around walking into things and sleeping for twelve hours a night. I sat here staring at the computer today and I think maybe I did absolutely nothing.

Work continues on the album however. There are some great potential album covers in the forum thread with some other sweet ones on the way. I'm trying to think of a way to use the album covers I don't pick for "the one".

Did I mention I'm having recurring nightmares of putting the album out and then nobody buys it and then I get chased by bees? Uhh...

k3000Thinking about selling my guitar amp and switching to running my Boss GT-6 into a keyboard amp (or two). Right now the Behringer K3000FX or the Roland KC350 are the  leading contenders. Sorta leaning towards the Roland because a) I don't know why I'd need 300 watts of guitar and b) I know Behringer stuff will eventually turn to dust in my hands.

Brad Turcottegear, misc
IKEA shopping results

I went to IKEA today thinking I might pick up a few things to improve my office: hannesHANNES - I wanted this as a side-table/keyboard stand so I could put my 50 key MIDI keyboard on the pull-out shelf and my little Axiom 25 on the top with room for junk on the side. In person the HANNES was flimsy and ugly and too deep. I would have had to modify it a lot to work for me and the particleboard was so thin I think it'd disintegrate if I took a saw to it. Pass.

daveDAVE - On the website this looked like a good general use laptop/side-work table. In person it's real wobbly so I didn't get it. I may go back for it, I think the equivalent non-wobbly version from somewhere else would cost at least three times the price. Pass.

bradaBRÄDA - This was pretty much exactly as advertised. Cheap little laptop lap table. Hard on top, cushiony underneath. Also I enjoy the name. Bought.

Also I forgot to look around for a FARTYG.

Brad Turcottegear, misc
Lost mail

I just pulled a few false positives out of my spam filter but I'm not sure I got them all. If you haven't gotten a reply from me, please try again.

Brad Turcottemisc
Canada Hooray

Canada Day celebration on Parliament Hill was good, packed full of people and the fireworks were fantastic. Most of the entertainment was a little too American Idol for me but Feist was great. Too bad she was only allowed three songs.

Brad Turcottemisc
Canada day

Hey happy Canada Day everyone, even if you don't happen to be of the Canadian persuasion. I'll be down around Parliament Hill today gathering data for Operation Don't Get a Hangover. I will report my findings.

Brad Turcottemisc

After the huge success that was my 30th birthday fireworks, my family decided to all pitch in and get an even bigger box of fireworks. I guess we're celebrating Canada Day on July 4th but due to scheduling issues this is the only weekend we could all get together so they're going off tonight. Anyway I decided on Kaboom Man's Hero Box:

A closer view:

The table of contents:

3 - Super Sonic Boom
2 - Ultra Sonic Boom
2 - Fireball Classic - 10
1 - Strobes
1 - Sonic Boom
1 - Jumbo Gold Comet
1 - Tornado Warning
1 - Psycho-Delic Fountain
1 - Crazy Aces
1 - Double Doozie
1 - Top Dog
1 - Crackling Satellites
1 - Killer Bee Candle
1 - Magic Dragons
1 - Party in Paris
1 - Flying Piranha
1 - Matrix
1 - Eye Of The Storm
1 - KABOOM Man
1 - Attack From Mars
1 - Pirate King
1 - 36 Shot Comet
1 - Ground Whizzer

We also got a free Psycho-Delic Fountain (which claims to last for two whole minutes), an additional Fireball Classic and a pair of crazy fireworks glasses for every $40 we spent.

I'm pretty excited about it. Everyone says that firework "cakes" are super cool but I have no idea what they are. This kit apparently has all the best ones that they sell.

Oh and we also got a whole bunch of giant sparklers so the kids can run around and burn each other. Hooray!