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Here's an interview
with Bernard Lietaer about the meaning
of money and complementary currencies. I think that something similar could
work for recorded music. The point is to separate the value of music from
the value of money as we usually understand it- as he puts it, "Conventional
currencies are built to create competition, and complementary currencies
are built to create cooperation and community..."
Sponsorship works this way by allowing listeners to support the
creation of new music rather than by treating music as a product to
be bought and sold.
Working on the Mac again tonight. It's like learning a new
instrument, but it's worth it to be able to fix little mistakes like
the ones I make all the time on drums.
Here's a song by Bill
Nork. Bill is currently working in his own studio up around
Harrisburg. He just finished a project with Zan Cantwell
which turned out pretty well.
I was busy over the weekend transferring MIDI
files from my ancient Mac Plus to the merely antique
Mac 8100. It's good to keep up with yesterday's
In the process, I've uncovered a lot of
neglected work, including a piano theme for my Ring
cycle project. Maybe time to dust that off...
got a car song in the works- Escort Wagon. Now don't laugh,
it's a fun little car. Some people actually race 'em.
Pequean pickers have
revamped the Steeped In Music website. There are some fine
recent remixes and just jams and pictures of HooDoos large
I've got an old Mac that
I've been trying to get to drive my Alesis drumbox and my
keyboards. Last winter I got everything connected OK and got some
help from a Mac user I work with who downloaded a shareware
and burned a disk my Mac could read. I installed the program and
everything worked fine- it was very different from the software I
had been using, but I could do enough with it to see that it
The problem was that I absolutely could not figure
out how to set the tempo- the speed that it ran. Everything was 120
beats per minute, all the time.
Now, if you're an idiot
musician like me, you look around for the knob that says
Tempo on it, and if it's software, you look around for the
dialog box that says beats per minute or BPM in it or
something like that. But nothing doing- I couldn't find anything
that allowed me to change and save the tempo.
extremely frustrating because the tempo is probably the most
important thing about a MIDI sequence. Even if all I want is a
steady click track, I need to be able to adjust its speed to
suit the song. After several days of reading and re-reading the help
files and some fruitless searches on the net, I gave up on it. I
felt that whatever it was, it was SO obvious that no one ever
had a problem with it but me.
What I forgot was that
programmers aren't musos. Programmers think different. The guy who
wrote this program (and it's an excellent program) likes the MIDI
language and all the rules that make it work. To him, tempo
is just one of the many control parameters, no more important than
any of the others. It turns out that he has a seperate window to set
these parameters, and there in a list of about a dozen different
things that nobody like me ever uses I finally found what I was
It's actually very cool- the way he's programmed
it, I can draw a line in the window that continuously changes the
tempo throughout the song, or change it at any point in the song.
It's simple, it works, it's just not what I expected. Now that I
know where the tempo "knob" is at, I just have to figure out how to
make it lock up with the Yamaha...
Supposedly in an effort to hoax the people using
P2P sharing software, the band Guster has released their
latest album with vocals replaced by their recording engineer
singing meow. The entire album.
I'm joining forces with Blind Joe Death
for a while. Three rehearsals last week- and I've got blues running
around in my brain all the time... Meanwhile, here's a new lead on
that last song- I call it Dream
I'm in the process of transferring my domain
registration. This is so when you type
www.somewhereoutwest.com into your nav bar, you are directed
I had one of those dreams- one where I'm playing
or listening to music. I woke up and recorded the electric piano
part as best as I could remember it.
That was late last year.
Here's a short sample of last night's mix of that
In view of the recent announcement by the
RIAA that they will begin downloading their own songs from
their biggest fans in order to sue for damages of $150,000 per
infringment, I've re-posted Mike Cote's tribute
to the music industry.
With apologies to Bob Dylan...
A rant from Liv Pooleside.
The lovely and talented phoebes stopped
over last night. She's got a little digital recorder that she needed
some help with.
It's crazy- I don't know what these guys are
thinking of half the time. They made it take around a dozen steps to
turn on the metronome. Even then, you'd better know in
advance how many beats per minute you want, because you can't adjust
the tempo while it's running.
Did the designers of this gear ever
try using it? In about a minute you feel like shooting yourself.
Maybe it's a secret Hari-Kari feature...
New vocal and new mix on This Good Thing.
This one is done.
I was up late last night. I laid down a guitar
track and worked on a mix of This Good Thing. Try not to
laugh too hard at the vocal, which sounds a lot like Clint Eastwood
I see I'm not alone in 1933. Here's a response
by James Traub to people who are trying to draw parallels between
Hi-Hi-Hitler and Bush. (in the New York Times- registration
1933 is so much bigger than that, tho. It
was a very big year. My googling is convincing me that we live in
very small times indeed.
More to come...
Working on one of my older songs that I have
never finished- This Good Thing. It's got a sort of
lounge-organ Latin sound that I really like, and I'm re-doing the
vocal as best I can.
Allright- now here's a rough version of Gil's
song. Chances are there will be some sort of lead instrument added-
I'm considering that moog we used on the last one. Possibly
some Riley background fills. And tougher vocal harmonies,
Just discovered this single-topic discussion list
server. Stop by and leave your comments about the song- absolutely
no registration required.
Discuss this mix
of "She Looks Out For Me"
Recorded some snare for Gil's She Looks Out
For Me the other day. It's played with brushes. I had some fun
with stereo mic placement- have a look.
Some people's girlfriends seem to need proof
when their guy says he's "going over to Jeff's to do some
recording". I swear Dr. Mo was here yesterday and we actually
worked on songs. Really.
Today's song, A Blues, took forever to
finish. I wrote it last Spring and have been working on it off and
on ever since. All the radio noises in the middle are from a 1938
Zenith shortwave receiver.
Dave have pictures now as well as sounds. You can hear them
here next week on Driving Rain.
Driving Rain is on its way. Thanks to
Dave Bronson for some fine engineering and guitar work, and Doug
Riley for mando.
I've barely scratched the surface of the stuff
I've done on the Porta-II. Yesterday I found the original version of
Drivin' Rain, which I now like better than the rockabilly
version it turned into. Time for another call to D&D I
Looks like 2 new sponsors this month.
Keating stopped over last Saturday with a new song. (I think the old
picture of him from Paradise was the motivation.) This one is
begging for some horns.
New link over to the left- Unknown
News is a collection of links to articles not necessarily in the
brain-numbing, "wash, rinse, repeat" style favored by most of the
press these days. Updated daily- be prepared to use your own
I've been looking at every house I pass on the
road to see what size outbuilding its got. Someday we'll be moving,
and I'm trying to form an opinion about what I want for the next
studio space. Those old horse barns look ideal.
I've updated the
Since Joe's project, I've been
indulging in my own recordings and checking out mics and recording
techniques, but I'll be getting back to Gil's song soon, and I think
there will be some new faces in the coming weeks.
Inside of Me
It's Not the
Record Store Blues
the Gadjo Playboys