Thursday, December 24, 2009

Too Soon For The Year in Review?

In no particular order.

Top five places I traveled to in 2009:
1. Ireland
2. Tokyo
3. The same hotel as Ghostface Killa in Belgium
4. Amsterdam
5. Okinawa
6. New York City
7. Austin, TX
8. The East side of town
9. Osaka

Top five phrases that I heard a lot:
1. Can I hop on your laptop for a bit?
2. You got new pants. I didn't really think of you as a jeans guy.
3. Thank you.
4. Will you ever learn?
5. When is ____ going to be done?
6. Yes.

Top five stuff that I thought a lot:
1. My life is too much fun.
2. I should throw a ___ party.
3. What should the name of my new band be?
4. I'm sorry.
5. I woke up too early.

Top five things I want to say:
1. I miss making dinner for you.
2. I'm not really sure what the deal is.
3. There are new, undiscovered forms of joy. Right?
4. pedal steel is fun to play
5. I meant it.

Keywords for 2009:
Dinner, lunch, breakfast, ticket, Bionade, email, MegaBus, fix, repair, lamp, sprouts, DVR, campus, phone, text, Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, dude, relationship, party, travel, cruise, writing, teaching, human subjects, trust, singer, IP address, business, bass line, tahini, password, B-line, board game, burrito, roommate, soulmate, boring, Mama's korean restaurant, Snow Leopard, cassettes, friends, rice, kombucha, country music, blanket, Europe, subway, Subway, bathroom, airport, dishwasher, early, sleeping, shows, exciting, German through pictures, car, flickr, computer, iPhone, blog, privacy, Obama, Bakehouse, basil, walks, Japan, far-mar, beard, quote, douchebag, timing, timezone, internet, Andy, gas station, surfing lessons, ravioli, wrestling, acceptable, terabyte, unacceptable, hot dog, beats, Okinawa, birthday, sickness, lucky, search, candy, chocolate, Calpis, cucumber, PureData, widow, Arduino, camera, push-ups, broken, love, time, block, Juggalo, trifling, arrangements, battery, head lamp, board game, pedal steel guitar, friends, hipster, Dr. Steve Bruhl, early, late, worry, test, laundry, Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, dark socks, talk nerdy to me, Melvins, hotel, barbecue, van, Ingo, ginger, mandoline, circus peanut, Metallica, Halloween, Jambi, overrated, Blokus, train, humping dog, SIM card, silver fox, Netflix.

Top five movies I saw in 2009:
Mister Lonely, Good Morning. The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia. Oh, and Festen.

Top five albums that came out in 2009:
Whooooo caaaaares.

Top five bromantic crushes of 2009:
Dave Walter
Tyler Damon

Top five iPhone apps I actually use
1. Mail
2. Safari
3. Facebook
4. TweetDeck
5. GV Mobile
6. Prowl
7. Drop7
8. Phone
9. RjDj
10. Maps

Top five purchases of 2009:
1. new coat
2. Panera that one time
3. pedal steel guitar
4. brown rice
5. mandoline slicer
that reminds me, I need to get a kevlar glove.
6. dark socks
7. humidifier
8. another lamp
9. stuff from UniQlo
10. new shoes (purple)
11. portrait in Osaka

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brozen Felipe


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Young, Limitless

Here's to an explosive night on earth! May it always feel this young and limitless. I hope to always live with the gift of fascination.

A little pedal steel meditation I was jamming earlier:


Monday, December 07, 2009

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My Dad's Book Dedication and a Minor Misprint


My dear dad recently published a book in Brazil.
This time he dedicated it to me and my mom.
But there was a small misprint.

Dad's Book Dedication, small misprint

The dedication reads "To Barbara and our Michel."
"Michel" isn't the Portuguese way of spelling Michael or anything. It's just a typo.
Or it's my dad's way of getting me to think that I got a book dedication when the book is actually for Mom and my dad's friend named Michel (although I am not aware of such a person).

But seriously though, I am very proud of my dad. In case you're wondering, this book is about The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, a novel written by Brazil's most distinguished author, Machado de Assis. The title of my dad's book means "The Rattle of Brás Cubas." Like a baby's rattle.

Someday (although I might have to save this one for the afterlife) I will first read The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas and then see what my dad wrote about it in his book. I'll have to read both of these books slowly and with the help of a dictionary, as my Portuguese is not what it once was. And even when it once was, it probably wasn't enough to read heavy stuff like this.

On the back cover, the last line, centered, says this:
Valem as perguntas
"The questions are worth more than the answers."

I love my dad!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009



Sunday, November 22, 2009


Sunday Doodle 9

Friday, November 06, 2009

For When You Can Dance


Thursday, November 05, 2009

Locusts and Honey

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Agent Aloe

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunday Drawings

Sunday Doodle A
Sunday Doodle B
Sunday Writing

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Must Try Ginger Bears

I have no idea how to get them though. Google suggests ordering them. That might take too long.

Flight, Black You Wore


"Black You Wore"

Now I know I've gone on record as saying that you should be cautious of any band whose guitarist uses more than two pedals (and you should probably run if the bassist uses any pedal other than a tuner), but tonight after one peanut butter cup and one KitKat, the effects sound pretty alright.

And besides, it's a computer, not pedals. Even worse? Yeah, maybe.

Picture via.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Railroad Town

A rendition of "Red Sun" by Neil Young from the album Silver and Gold.

When the red sun sets
on the railroad town,
And the bars begin to laugh
with a happy sound,
I'll still be here
right by your side,
There'll not be anyone
in my heart but you.

And the dreams that you're having,
they won't let you down,
If you just follow on
'cause you know
where you're bound,
The well will be flowing
and the words will come fast,
When the one who is coming
arrives here at last

On the grassy hills
of the railroad town,
Where we cut through the fences
and over the crown,
Where wind was blowing
right through your hair,
I dreamt that my Momma
and Daddy were there

And the dreams that you're having,
they won't let you down,
If you just follow on
'cause you know
where you're bound,
The well will be flowing
and the words will come fast,
When the one who is coming
arrives here at last

When the red sun sets
on the railroad town,
And bars begin to laugh
with the happy sound,
I'll still be here
right by your side,
There'll not be another
in my heart but you

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Silver Days

At 27 seconds into the song you can hear a car backfire, not a gunshot.

picture via That Will Be Fine, from here.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Searching for Heavies

Picture via uuiuu.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Oaken Wings

Old Oaken Bucket of Wings.

Thank You, I'm Sorry, I Love You. Make that ukulele ring.

I cannot stand watching people eat wings. It's just ding.

Jared Cheek, the back of Corey Fogel:

Friday, October 02, 2009

Chunklet's Answer to Oblique Strategies

I always liked Chunklet's answer to Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies cards, so I finally got around to scanning it. Such a funny, smart publication. Try using these next time you're in the studio working on one of your jams.

oblique chunklet
Oblique ChunkletB

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

First Nips of Fall

I went and took a walk out in the new, crisp fall air with my little guitar, and the ideas for notes came to me, the same way that powdered faeries come to Tori Amos and give her lunar song-gifts.

Minor detail: Built to Spill was probably playing a show down the street at the same time I was recording these. Maybe they're bleeding into a few tracks.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A New Kind of Pedal


So I started trying to learn to play the pedal steel guitar two days ago. I don't own one or anything, but there's one at my friend's recording studio, and when I found out that he had one, it sort of dawned on me that I had always really liked the sound of the pedal steel, and I've probably said at one point or another that I wanted to learn to play. It just sounds really mystical the way the notes bend in and out, and it's one of the true great American instruments. So I go over to my friend's place as often as I can to try and practice. I had a real breakthrough last night because I found a chart that shows what pedals you use to make what voicings at certain frets, so that clears up a lot of the mystery. It turns out you can just think of everything as being chords, so that helps. The code has been ever so slightly cracked. Although what I really need next is one of those hex tools that tunes the pedal bends. I have no idea where to look though.

Here's the first thing I've made up on this instrument. It's nice to work with something that makes you really not sound like yourself. I realize it's pretty sloppy, but either I will remain sloppy and that will be my style, or I'll get better at this instrument in the future, and then look back on this one day and think it's cute.

This instrument belonged to a respected Bloomington musician who passed away recently. This makes me really savor the opportunity I have to play it. I'm thinking about maybe buying it. I mean, what the heck, right? When I'm older and have children, it'll be that weird thing that their friends might catch a glimpse of when they come over to play "opto-tweeters" or whatever will be popular in the future.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Golden Guys

I decided to take advantage of my weird throat condition/coughing that's been going on to hit some lower-than-usual notes and do some Tuvan throat singing.

What if the Golden Girls were replaced by a bunch of equally saucy old dudes? It might sound a little something like this:


Thursday, August 06, 2009

When I Get Really Tired I Sound Like Dr. Steve Bruhl

I'm so sorry. I don't drink, so it's not drunkenness. Maybe just sleepiness and Bruhliness. Is this what happens when people "vlog"? No wonder vlogging isn't really a real thing.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Consequentially, He's Eaten By a Bear

I came home and sang a song for this rainy night.

"Won the war, I lost your prize.
Won the war, I lost the look in your eyes."


The title of this blog post comes from a Them song. A really good one.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Friday, July 24, 2009

One for David Amram

My newest piece, performed by the Kirkwood-Rogers Philharmonic back in the early 70's. ;-)


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How To: Setting Up an Unlocked iPhone for O2 UK's £10/mo Prepaid Data Plan

Have an iPhone? Going to the UK? If you'd like to use your American AT&T contract iPhone for data in the UK, you're most likely way better off unlocking it and swapping in an O2 UK prepaid SIM with their £10/mo unlimited iPhone data package than paying $24.99 for 20MB, $59.99 for 50MB, etc. for AT&T's international data roaming plans (plus the fear of overages), or worse yet, using your iPhone for roaming data with no int'l roaming package (you will probably cry when you get your phone bill). So don't do that.

This may go without saying, but in order to use a SIM card other than your AT&T SIM card, you'll need to jailbreak your iPhone and then unlock it using the ultrasn0w software unlock. There is plenty of documentation about how to do this elsewhere on the internet, so I won't cover this in detail here. These are all safe, reversible, and relatively easy processes, so quit being a wuss, and stop mumbling about your warranty or whatever. You can do a regular iTunes restore and it will go back to normal. Nobody will know, I promise.

The Background:
Having recently installed the ultrasn0w software unlock to my iPhone, I was anxious to try it out. Like many tweaks for jailbroken iPhones, the ultrasn0w unlock was one of those things that I didn’t need to do, it was more just a matter of being able to do it that made me interested. I'm already on AT&T in the U.S., so I didn't really have a need for a carrier unlock, but then recently I found myself in the UK, and I read that O2 (the carrier that handles the iPhone in the UK) offers a prepaid iPhone data plan for just £10 a month (~$17 USD). This is a tremendous deal for several reasons, the first being that most carriers don’t offer any sort of monthly “unlimited” data plan on a prepaid basis, let alone one that is cheaper than AT&T’s $30/month in the U.S. (Finally, something that is cheaper in the UK than in the States). Also, getting an O2 SIM card in the UK and putting credit on it about as simple as can be. In the UK it seemed like pretty much every corner shop was selling prepaid SIM cards for every single UK carrier, and what’s even more common is places where you can buy the “top up” prepaid credit to keep your prepaid SIM going. Corner stores, grocery checkouts, ATMs, the internet, they all offer top up service for pretty much every carrier. Plus, you'll have a UK phone number, you get free incoming calls, and be able to dial around and send texts to UK numbers for very reasonable prices (especially cheap if you're calling other O2-wielding iPhone hipsters). There are details here (but don't buy this site's SIM card with no credit for $25, just wait until you get to the UK and buy one for £1 at the airport or anywhere else).

So I went around the corner and bought an O2 SIM card for £1, and then bought £15 of “top up” prepaid credit (£10 for the data plan, another £5 for regular phone credit [I wasn’t planning on doing too much talking, since I know about three people in the UK anyway]). I put the SIM card in, the iPhone did its "searching" thing for about 60 seconds, and then voila, “O2-UK” shows up in the carrier display, and 3G shows up in the connection display. Ultrasn0w works. Freedom from AT&T! Plenty of bars. Life is good. Right? Sort of.

There are a few things about getting the data plan set up on the iPhone that are not mentioned in the O2 literature that comes with your SIM.

First off, the booklet that comes with your O2 SIM card says that you can add the iPhone data plan (the "data bolt on" as it's called) via a text message or by calling their service number. Here’s the thing: Don’t do it by text, unless you like waiting. If you subscribe to the data plan via text, they’ll send you a text back saying that your data plan will be activated within 48 hours. 48 hours? WTF, right? They can send you an automated text message back saying they’ve received your request, but they can’t actually do anything about it for up to 48 hours? If you are a person who is alive, you will find this to be pretty unacceptable (especially if you're a traveler trying to get stuff done). This either means that the data that you DO use until then will be pulled out of your prepaid credit at the rate of £3/MB (!!!), that you’ll be too afraid to use data for this reason, or you’ll simply not be authorized to use data until your account is authorized (this was the case with me). All bad options.

Make the Call to Customer Service to Activate Data Plan:
This is why you should call the service number to activate your data plan. Dial short code 4445 from your O2 phone. It will cost 25p of your credit, but it’s worth it to call them, to tell them you want your account activated NOW, not in 48 hours. After about 20 minutes of waiting on the phone, they were able to tell me that my money had gone through (a text message saying that the data plan was activated and that £10 had been taken out of my credit came while I was still on the phone with the phone rep). So, they say you’re set up (this time the phone rep told me he couldn’t guarantee that it would be working immediately, but that my data plan would be working within 24 hours), but you’re actually not. The man on the phone told me I just needed to restart my phone and everything would be fine. Not true. I have no idea why he didn’t tell me that you need to tweak your carrier settings specifically for a prepaid account in order to get iPhone data working. So here I thought I had working iPhone data, but nothing was coming through. Phone calls worked just fine, I was getting promotional text messages from O2 just fine, but every time I tried to access data, I got a notification on my phone saying that I wasn’t set up properly to access data on the phone. I thought this was because of the 24-hour delay, but once I got back to the hotel and got on the internet, through much poking around on their website, I found out that there are carrier settings that need to be tweaked in order to get data working. Nice. Thanks for telling me about that, O2 phone dude. Anyway, once I followed their instructions, everything was fine, data came in at a nice speed, I stopped feeling like I wanted to punch someone. It made me wonder if there was actually any waiting period at all, but there was no way of telling if it was the the settings being wrong or the plan not actually being activated yet.

So here’s what you need to do:

(From the O2 website, hidden deep in the "How do I activate my iPhone?" section of their help menu.)

  • Put the iPhone sim card into your iPhone.
  • Connect your iPhone to a USB port on your computer (but not on the keyboard) using the dock and cable in the box. iTunes will open automatically
  • iTunes will guide you through activating and syncing things like contacts, calendars, music, photos, podcasts, videos, email accounts, and web bookmarks.
  • Download the latest iPhone software if there's an update available
  • Top up £10 or more

You'll need to change the APN settings to Pay & Go to get things like internet and picture messaging (MMS) to work.

Click here for a step-by-step guide of how to change your settings or follow the below steps:

  • Go to the settings menu and choose General
  • Choose Network, then Cellular Data Network
  • In the Cellular Data APN box, change to – you don't need to change the username and password
  • In the MMS APN box, change to – again, don't change the username or password
  • Ignore the Visual Voicemail APN box – it's not available on Pay & Go
  • Turn your iPhone off and on again
  • Text keyword "MMS" to 1010 for free. We'll set up picture messaging and let you know when it's done.
  • If you've got a 2G iPhone, you won't be able to send picture messages. But we'll send you a text message with a link so you can view them.

Once I did this, everything worked fine. Everything else about the O2 experience I found to be very nice. The phone tells you how much credit you have left every time you make a call or send a text message, so it won’t be a total surprise when you run out of top up. They sent me little text messages about promotions, free stuff you can get on their website, etc. They also sent a free text message with an MMS picture, showing that unlike AT&T, you can in fact use MMS here (although for the prepaid plan, it costs something like 25p per message).

O2 Coverage:
I found O2's wireless reception to be very good, especially compared to what I was used to with AT&T in the U.S. When the phone said it was getting 3G, the data speeds were as fast as one would expect with 3G (unlike how it is in the U.S., where the phone might say 3G, but sometimes actually gives you no data or very slow, intermittent data). 3G coverage was available in just about every city (even little ones) I passed through, and seemed to be almost everywhere in London. And even when there wasn't 3G, and even when there wasn't EDGE, when I was getting that mysterious "0" in the middle of the countryside at the Latitude festival, data came through, slowly, but surely. It always came through, even amongst all the hundreds (thousands?) of other iPhone-wielding nerds at the festival who were all tweeting away or whatever. This is a HUGE contrast to what it was like at SXSW 2009, where you could barely make a phone call from downtown Austin on AT&T, let alone use data. At SXSW, my phone would claim to be getting 3G, but mostly just produced error messages. So all in all, I have to give a thumbs-up to O2 in this department. Their coverage actually covered.

Breaking the Rules:
O2’s terms of service forbid tethering and VOIP over the cellular data network (two things that jailbroken iPhone users tend to enjoy) but I did both pretty frequently and they worked just fine, my service did not get cut off, and I didn’t hear from the provider about it. I wasn’t BitTorrenting movies or anything, but I also wasn’t really holding back. I used about 200MB for the 5 days I had it, and had no problems.

Side note - O2's JPG Compression:
One weird thing: Maybe this is how they can afford to make it so cheap. Unlike AT&T in the U.S., all jpg’s that go through O2’s cellular data network get severely crunched. They have a server-side thing that noticeable reduces the size (and quality) of jpg’s that get sent in to the iPhone. It wasn’t immediately apparent at first when using just the iPhone, but I first noticed this while I was tethering, when I looked at photos I had uploaded to my Flickr account (via hotel WiFi earlier) and noticed that they looked like a really crappy, low-quality jpg. Surely this is not how the pictures I took actually look, I thought. I check the photo files I had saved on my computer, they looked fine. Did a little Googling and found this article (which offers a fix to the problem). Sure enough, they’re crunching them down before they send them out. But ya know what? I’d almost say that that’s a trade-off I’m willing to take for speed’s sake. Most of the time when I look at a picture on my iPhone, it’s scaled to about 33% of its original size anyway, and I’m just looking for the general gist, not a super nice picture. Sure, the colors might look a bit wonky, but I’m willing to accept that if it means that stuff loads faster. And if it really bugs you, if that’s a trade-off you’re not willing to accept, you can change it from within your carrier settings.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Video by Keepon, harmonica by Flash. The guitar is Chiemi's. Funny that she has a pipsqueak guitar just like mine. Well, it's not just like mine, hers is even a little bit smaller.

Good times in Okinawa. I'm having so much fun, I can't even blog.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Greetings from Japan


Hello all. I'm in Japan until July 8th.
I arrived in Tokyo the day before yesterday. The jetlag was severe this time around.
I've been staying with my friend Yuki, and we made a song together yesterday.
She played the piano, did all the percussion (including that awesome triangle), and also did the singing that you hear at the beginning of the song. Pure Tokyo pop production! It was pretty fun, and I can now say that I participated in a recording session in Tokyo. Here's the song:


I'm playing a few shows in Okinawa next week, I'll try to post something from those as well.

Time for lunch! It's Friday afternoon here, I'm from the future!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Damn, It's Time You Find The Diamonds

A few choice selections from the "Song Idea Generator" iPhone application. Boy, has it generated some ideas. C'mon dude, stop hiding Hong Kong.

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I think that "Pretty girl, dance with what I lost" is especially poetic.
Couple this with some Band-in-a-Box, and you've got instant rock.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

As You Can See, I Used To Really Know How to Party

This is from my 25th birthday party.

25th Birthday Party

Also, this picture is proof that Brian Shimkovitz used to hang out at my house with my roommate Mike Klinge.

Since I'm dropping names, here are a few more.
Back row, from left: Peter King, Chris Barth, Aaron Deer, Pete Sebeckis, Jaxon Swain (hell yes, he was worthy of rocking hair like that), Colin the dude who got to make out with Marie Cleaves (not pictured), Brian Shimkovitz.
Front row: Frickin' Maggie Frickin' Hilt! Nothing else matters.

This picture was taken by Heather Haynes.

Photobooth Phun.

Hello world! It's like a vanity license plate, but for the internet.

This is really just an advertisement for the cool flippy thing my hair happens to be doing today. Consider yourself a consumer.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

RjDj Has Pleasantly Surprised Me Yet Again

I've written about the iPhone app RjDj here before (both here and at, but there have been some really cool updates to the application and their web service that are really exciting.

In their most recent update to the program, they have allowed for two pretty important changes:

  • First, users can download new scenes from the RjDj website. This is a big deal because it used to require some iPhone jailbreak SSH mojo to get new scenes into the application, something way beyond the scope of what a casual user would want to do.
  • Second, users can upload what they've done with the scenes to the RjDj website.These are then posted to the website as embedded files that anyone can play. It's not only a cool way of seeing what an RjDj scene does, but it also lets you see what's popular, and what other people are doing with RjDj. A very Web 2.0 way of presenting what I consider to be an already-exciting foray into the world of generative mobile audio.
This beefed-up ability to share scenes and recordings of scenes is exciting because it makes the whole process of creating scenes a more community-based effort by making it really easy for users to submit feedback, for developers to see just how people are using their scenes. Would I have guessed that running bath water would sound good going through Noble Choir? No, but it does, and now I know, thanks to someone who uploaded their audio 17 hours ago.

It's really innovative in that they are not just encouraging developers (this is one of the few times when PDers could be considered developers in the way that traditional programmers are considered developers) to write new scenes for their application, but they are also encouraging the users out there to submit what they've done with the scenes that they're using.

Anyway, here is my profile as an RjDj Artist (for the record, I didn't write that bio, but I am quite flattered by it, they have really done their homework), and here's the scene I wrote, where you can download it (if you have an iPhone and the free RjDj app) and also listen to what other people have done with my creation (anybody with a web browser can do this). Fun stuff.


As the stats show on RjDj, there are 13 recordings that users have submitted using my scene, Noble Choir, and there are 344 people "rocking this scene," which is probably more people than I have ever rocked being in a band ;-)

P.S. Long time, no blog, I know. I haven't had a ton to say lately, and I've also been busy with school, friends, music, and um, other stuff. If you really need your daily Dixon fix (right?!?), I might recommend trying my Tumblr page, which is just a collection of bizarre pictures I sometimes find on the internet.

It's going to be an exciting time for the next couple of months, I'll be sure and keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Summer 2001/No Such Thing as a Perfectly Reliable Digital Backup

It's strange, but true: I've been recording on a computer for ten years now. Back when I first started doing this, hard disk space was hard to come by, so after I was done with a song, I'd run a mix of it and then burn the raw tracks to a CD. I had no real system for doing this, and as a result, when I try to revisit some of my older work in its raw mixable form, it can be a real disaster.

Back in the day, I wasn't too systematic about keeping track of my own music, and as a result, I've lost a few things along the way. In particular, there was a song that I recorded in the summer of 2001 that I remember really liking, but I can't find a copy of this song for the life of me. I can't find a mix, and I can't find the raw files. All I really remember is that there's a line in the song that goes "Monkeys, after all we've tried, threw the bone and I can't see myself desert walking in a robe." If anyone out there has a copy of this song (I tend to give away my own music, and therefore find myself not having my own stuff) I would really like to hear it again. It's been so elusively hyped in my mind that I remember it being some total masterpiece, but I could be completely wrong about that, seeing as how I haven't heard the song in about seven years.

Anyway, in going through my old backups, I found some songs that really don't embarrass me when I listen to them today. In hearing stuff that I did ten years ago, it's been really interesting to hear what has changed about my approach, and what has stayed the same despite whatever conscious decisions I've made. Anyway, here are a few tunes, all recorded during that magically weird summer of 2001:

"Cowboy Boots and Tatts"

I feel like this song really captures the weird thing that I was doing back then. MIDI, metal chords, and singing. I still like this song.

"Generations Reside in Your Eyes"

This song kind of makes me knot up a little inside, but in a good way. It's basically about my future baby-mama, whoever that might be. Religion, death, tradition, travel, hunger. It's all represented.

"Metal Meltdown"

I just like the notes that are played.

"You Were in Your Cell"

An example of the "maximal" approach I was into at the time. Too many notes, for the sake of there being too many notes.

"Old Friend"

This song kind of makes me weepy too. There's just something sad that you can hear in my voice. What a strange summer that was.

In short, I'd like to remind all musicians/filmmakers/digital creative types out there that any sort of digital backup, especially optical media, is prone to corruption, so don't count on that stuff working after about five years or so. Five years may seem like a long time, but soon enough you'll be old like me. There's really no sure-fire way to back up large digital files. The film industry is realizing this as well.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Lesley is Moore

Greetings from NYC. I'm here for the weekend. You will all be happy to know that I am wearing jeans again. I bought two pairs at UNIQLO. I also bought six pairs of colored socks, and a cardigan. So yeah, you can expect a new man when you see me next.


Also, here's a tune I did last week. It has no official title, but I'm calling it "Lesley is Moore" because there was a kid growing up whose last name was Moore, and apparently his dad was named Lesley, so his shortened name was Less Moore, get it?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Belt Brings Beautiful Bonk

Part A (The Setup)

Part B (The Payoff)

Mossy Legs

An ensemble of "gamey" instruments that were living around the house, trying to make the sounds of vegetation.

Picture found here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nerdgasm: Mini vMac for iPhone

Allow me to really geek out for just a minute.

Mini vMac for iPhone (jailbreak), it's a Mac Plus emulator that runs in the palm of your hand. I'm loving this. It is actually quite elegant. The icon for this application is a cute old little Mac, but get this, when you exit out while the virtual Mac is still running, the screen of the Mac in the icon shows a little miniature version of what your virtual Mac screen looks like. How cool is that? Hands down, the coolest icon trick yet. And this is a free, non-App Store program. Check it:
Extreme close-up:
My mind of course turns to this question: Anyone know where I can get a (very) primitive copy of Max that runs on something around OS 6 or 7? Did they ever even make it that far back, and at what point did the MSP (or FST, as it was originally called) come along? Since there is obviously no MIDI out, I'd have to coax a way for it to do its thing via some kind of primitive DSP. I will say though that the sound in this emulation is actually pretty impressive.

Mini vMac - iPhone

This geeks me out so deeply. I loooove emulation! I also like monochrome. And especially the early Mac, it reminds me of how special it felt when my dad took me into his work and let me mess around on MacDraw. This emulation even makes you load stuff up from "disks." Ohhh, so much fun!

P.S. There's also something very wild about the idea that the computer that I first marveled at as a child is now just another thing that I carry around on my cell phone. How weird!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

PDing Again

Finally got IAC (the thing on a Mac that lets you send MIDI to and from different applications) working, so I've been doing some PD work again, this time routing the MIDI output from PD to nicer sounds from other applications. As usual, it's generative stuff, a pedal tone and two higher tones. It gets pretty boring pretty quickly, so the next step is going to be to set up some coll objects and fill them with (human-generated!) note transitions so I can do some Markov stuff off of them. Then, I'll attempt something I haven't done very much at all yet - Doing probability-based rhythms for the notes (instead of just the drum-based stuff I've done already). I have it set up for on-the-fly key changes, but it's hard for me to find key transitions that sound good consistently, so I'll have to work on that too.

Listen to it do its own thing: