Rendezvous Nov. 27th

It shouldn’t be too hard for anyone to figure out why I like the Rendezvous.  Its a place where I get to do the kind of multi-media, song and dance, keytar, virtual modular, Ableton Live kind of set that I love to do, and have it work to it’s full effect. Like in this video below.

I’m actually not sure I’m going to end up playing this song but you get the idea. Pretty fun.

Michael Ray and the Plastic Sheets: The Plastic Sheets consist of Nic and Gerald of Wickt as well as a guy on drums who I don’t know personally but I’m sure he’s cool. Michael Ray is the guy, who in years long past, orchestrated the video projects for their earlier band, Euphondisson. Here, he literally struts onto the stage to front what these guys tend to call their “country band”. What comes out is more like rowdy, rockabilly inspired punk.

Man in a Can:
Frank Junk is known, of course, for being another 3rd of Tempered Steel. He’s responsible for crafting many of the Thumb Pianos we play. Like the rest of us, playing thumb pianos is not all that he does. It’s unknown at this time what exactly he will do, or how many homemade sound generating toys will be involved. Expect it to be strange and enthralling.

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Temperamental midi sync

The Culprit??

So last night I went to the practice studio early before Tempered Steel rehearsal in hopes of getting work done on a new song. I ended up spending the whole time troubleshooting technical issues instead. The real kicker is that when the other guys showed up and it was time to get out the thumb pianos, is when things started working fine. Go figure.

This sort of thing just kind of comes with the territory when electronic gear is concerned. Sometimes, things just don’t work and then they do. Yeah, it’s very frustrating. I do, in this case, have a theory as to what happened. Just because it’s something I don’t normally do. In my live set up, I have basically two main midi controllers: my keytar, and my Roland FC-300 foot controller. When I got the FC-300, I was promised it could do everything, so when I saw that it had a midi in on the back, I just assumed that I would be able chain it with my keytar and thus be able to use both at the same time. Silly me. It seems every time I get something new I end up making some silly assumption like that. I guess I’ll never learn. So to remedy the situation and be able to use both, I ended up getting an Anatek Pocket Merge. Just one more tiny little box to add to the clutter. So when I got to the studio that night, all eager to get working on my new song, I plugged the keytar in through the Pocket Merge, but not the foot controller. I guess that messed up my system just enough to throw the timing off. I don’t know if it makes any sense that, while troubleshooting, I had reset everything with the Pocket Merge completely bypassed. But it started working again when I reset it with both midi devices plugged in. Perhaps I’ll never know, but regardless, I’ve got a new thing to never ever ever do again.

UPDATE: Playing with things more, the sync issue still comes up. I’m thinking now that it may be on account of this new song using an additional VST plugin as opposed to the just one that I play with my keytar. It seems to consistently come up after I save a patch on one. Strangely, while restarting the computer doesn’t at all help, putting it to sleep be closing the laptop seems to fix everything. Weird, huh? Regardless, the Pocket Merge is off the hook, at least for now.

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Fish Tank

20121027-185407.jpgThis is a picture of the aquarium that’s where I work. It’s a quite large one. I don’t know exactly how many gallons it has or anything, but I understand it to be one of the largest in the city. It used to be that I was the one in charge of actually feeding the fish in here. The amazing thing about those days was that the fish would actually came to recognize me. It’s in a rather large cafeteria dining room, and even when I was all the way at the other side of it, all the fish would clearly be gravitating toward the side of the tank closest to me. This was the case all day long. It didn’t matter to them if it was at all close to feeding time. It’s kind of like my cat is now. Yeah, it made me feel kind of special. Unfortunately, I couldn’t be there all week long, and some of the people working on the weekend weren’t very bright. They had a tendency to over feed the fish, even after being specifically told not to. For those of you who don’t already know, this is a very bad thing to do. They’ll eat until they die if you let them. Funny, that’s kind of like my cat, too. So what ended up happening is they replaced all of us with an automated fish feeder in the tank. It’s been a while since then, and now the fish in there don’t know me from any of the other stupid humans outside their little water world. Oh well, it’s still a pretty fish tank

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Hipster Death Fest – report

Flyer(Josephine- 10/21/2012) And so it was that I was the 2nd to the last act to perform in the 5 day spectacle of noise, metal and experimental weirdness that was Hipster Death Fest 2012. This was a Sunday afternoon, cool down with pancakes kind of event and it went great. To be honest, performing with a scant amount of analog gear, like I chose to do that day, can be quite hit and miss. It sounds incredible when it works out and clicks, but can also sound really tedious and dumb when it doesn’t. I can say with confidence that, this time at least, it worked. I think I managed to channel the vibe of the crowd and the event and make it into one heck of an inspired performance. So thank you to all who came and helped make the show a great success. Also, thanks to the other acts of the evening: Quiet Things proved just how ironic a band name can be by going old school noise via the table full of effects pedals route. Pulling Out the Light filled the room with her deliciously subtle analog tones. And the honor of closing out the festival with a bang went to Sentient Explosive: the explosive combination of percussionist Dean Moore and electronic sound artist Noispoetnobody.
SEE A VIDEO OF THE SHOW

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Das Kraftzwerg

Ffej and his KraftzwergIt’s like the sound of a massive modular set up, but with only the parts that you use 90% of the time anyway, in a compact little box that doesn’t weigh any more than a video game controller. That’s the beauty of the amazing Kraftzwerg. This is a real cool little synth by a little German company called MFB. It’s what I plan to bring and play for the up and coming gig on Sunday. (and not much else) I just love the concept of stepping up in front of the audience with an singular, small machine in my hand and letting that carry the set. Getting the most out of it is part of the challenge as well as part of the fun. All of its compact qualities would be pointless if it didn’t sound great, but that it does. Nice full classic analog sound- the kind that inspires me to play music in the first place. I used it on this track. Listen and enjoy.

Hope you can make it to the show.

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