The critical thing is figuring out how the pool table works in to the plan... I'm thinking that there's this motorized deck that lowers onto the playing surface and turns it into a work surface- while underneath the table are some acoustic chambers where guitar amps live...
November 22, 2011
Wanna go back in time? Tom has a very cool site focused on music from Lancaster county called
He started from an '80's punk perspective, but he's digging into Lancaster roots rock as well, and has great stuff
from the 1960's. (I wonder if he's heard of Omnibus yet...)
Drop him a line if you were in a Lancaster PA band or made the scene back in the day.
November 20, 2011
I've made some recordings in the new space- I have a lot of work to do there. The old studio was cozy, and while it had a concrete floor and cement walls, it had a nicely open-joist wooden ceiling and lots of objects randomly located to serve as diffusion. Well, actually, most people would say it was a basement full of junk.
The new place is above ground, has a cement floor and drywalled walls and ceiling, and there is nothing in it to diffuse the sound. Here's what that sounds like... (be carefuul if you turn up your headphones or speakers- there are some really loud bangs)
When I say that there's some "flutter" I'm referring to the sound right after the bang- it's sound waves bouncing between the two closest parallel surfaces, the floor and ceiling. I would have wished for taller ceilings, but I think I can remove the drywall and open this up to the roof- which, being angled, will go a long way toward eliminating that flutter.
Here's some of the first guitar stuff- I had the Hagstrom plugged into the little Fender Champ solid state amp, turned up to about half. There is no reverb on the amp...
It actually seemed incredibly loud in the room- probably because all that sound energy just bounces around.
Finally, there's this. With all that energy in the room, the guitar was going into feedback resting on its back on a table about 3 feet from the amp. It was nice and stable, so I used it for a tone generator and walked around inside. The effects to my ears was amazing- every step affected the volume I was hearing, either in one ear or the other or both at the same time. What they call nulls and peaks. There were standing waves in the room that you could literally map if you wanted to. I expected that, but I didn't expect that me moving around in the room would make such a difference in what the recorder was picking up. This recording starts with me in the room walking around (you'll hear the volume level changing), then going outside and shutting the door. At that point you'll hear a couple of little glitches because of the dirty pot in the guitar, but otherwise it's steady.
Students held a strike at the University of California Davis yesterday. There was some very dangerous sitting down in public which the security forces were sent in to deal with.
Notice the effective use of the People's Mic as one of the students defuses this tense situation.
Wasn't the next revolution supposed to be on twitter? I guess a lot of people didn't get the #...
November 17, 2011
This is some amazing audio. There's no PA system- the Wall Street Occupiers have gotten around that requirement. Where
the sound of the 1930's was that of the dictator ranting at "his people" over the radio, and the sound of the 1980's was the technological sophistication of the television soundbite, the sound of democracy today is one person's voice with a message repeated so that everyone in the back can hear it.
Listen to this track. It's a big crowd this morning. The message carries back through at least 3 stages of repetition. It may be that the message is still traveling...
(I think my favorte part of this clip is that you can hear the people nearby who seem to be discussing what they will be making for lunch... that's democracy too.)
This is what it looks like.
November 16, 2011
Let's see- the movement is called Occupy Wall Street. So far they've managed to camp on public and semi-public spaces in cities and towns across America- and around the world. They have managed to close the port of Oakland, one of the world's largest, just by standing around peacefully.
They have managed to change the acceptable public discourse- you know, the one that the news programs talk about? It's not just about the necessity to kill Muslims by remote control, and cut "entitlements" for the elderly and the sick, and reduce the deficit (which nobody really cares about- ask Dick Cheney) anymore. Now we can talk about the kind of taxation without representation that we, the 99%, have had imposed on us. We can talk about wars fought for
some shady American Interests (oil companies) that nobody mentions out loud. We can talk about the false equivalance between home buyers who went in over their heads and the financial wizards who knowingly sold worthless paper to pension fund managers (and about the rating agencies that played along).
So there's a lot of anger and frustration about this, and I think the object of the Occupy Wall Street movement is to, well, occupy Wall Street. Just shut 'er down.
There's this weird transitional thing going on now- packing stuff in boxes. I feel like I should get wooden crates, some
November 06, 2011
It's always been a story of haves versus have-nots, of "the big fish eat the little ones,"
and while lots of people justify the existing power structure as being "right" or natural or something, I don't agree. There are times of abuse of power and times of pushing back. There's a book about that...
Interesting how this was written in the 1980's, yet here's a chapter that might have been written yesterday-
Chapter 23, "The Coming Revolt of the Guards", covers Zinn's theory on a possible future radical movement against the inequality in America. Zinn argues that there will eventually be a movement made up not only of previous groups that were involved in radical change (such as labor organizers, black radicals, Native Americans, feminists), but also members of the middle class who are starting to become discontented with the state of the nation. Zinn expects this movement to use "demonstrations, marches, civil disobedience; strikes and boycotts and general strikes; direct action to redistribute wealth, to reconstruct institutions, to revamp relationships."
How do you deal with a corrupt political/economic system?
You can start by shutting down one of the world's largest ports. This will get their attention. Does anyone
remember the Gdansk Shipyard?
Obviously, goons will begin breaking heads any day now, and a lot of hard-working Americans will be on the
side of the goons. That's how we roll here in the USA.
Still, it's good to see this message getting out. The system IS corrupt, and the methods we are encouraged to
use ("free" elections, boycotts) are merely safety valves for public outrage. They don't have any effect.
Are the protesters' demands really so difficult to understand? They're quite simple- equal justice for all,
including for the 1% who are "too big to fail". They used to say you do the crime, you serve the time, only it doesn't apply to people committing fraud in financial markets.
And how about some sort of representation in government? How about corporations not being allowed to spend
unlimited amounts of money to buy politicians? Pretty simple stuff.
Here's my little song. It's pretty rough. I recorded it "live" one night last year when I was pissed off, but
it is what it is...
The kids are alright. Tom e-mailed me, asked me was I in a band called the Blame? Seems he's started
a site he calls Tape Wrecks on which he
is collecting stuff about Lancaster bands from days of yore.
Tom was in Jack Lord's Hair, which has to be one of the best band names of all time. So yeah, I sez to him, I
wuz in the Blame, and gave him my version of history. He prompted me to go looking for live recordings, and I found
one (thanks, Skeeter!) from the late-period Blame that isn't half bad. Here's a song that was written before the
Blame, to when Glenn and I did a demo at old Cat Ranch in Paradise. This was probably recorded at Tom
Paines' Backroom, which by then would have been the original Chameleon I think...