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40 MPG.

Escort Wagon.mp3


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 technology...

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...

Meanwhile, I've got a car song in the works- Escort Wagon. Now don't laugh, it's a fun little car. Some people actually race 'em.

Those Pequean pickers have revamped the Steeped In Music website. There are some fine recent remixes and just jams and pictures of HooDoos large and small...


At last.

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 MIDI sequencer 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 worked.

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.

This was 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 looking for.

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 Walkin'.


I'm in the process of transferring my domain registration. This is so when you type into your nav bar, you are directed here.

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 song.

1215 mp3


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...


Air. 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 right now.

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 required).

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, yeah...

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.

stereo snare micing


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.

Doug and 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 think.

Looks like 2 new sponsors this month.

Terry 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 judgment...


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 Players page.

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.


Current Releases:

Sam Brown- Something Inside
Something Inside of Me
Bill Nork

It's Not the Heat
Robert Bobby

if wishes...
Subterranean Record Store Blues
the Stokers

guitar player
Dos Ambaine
the Gadjo Playboys

Junk Man
Junko Partner
Dr. Mo