Sunday, December 28
Saturday, June 20
Just a leetle more tweaking - my cucumber marmalade won't jell.
Update: Got it! Just needed a little C salt.
Thursday, January 01
I wanted to get Crimson, Blue and Fabulous - a compilation of blues brass loops - in the previous Sony Creative sale* but missed out. Fortunately it popped up in their New Year's sale, and I snagged it this time.** And it is good.
Since they had a selection of loop packs at $20 each, I got a few others as well, more-or-less on spec. Browsing around now, I find I have dulcimer loops. Over 150 dulcimer loops. And zither loops. I mean, mandolin, sure, got plenty of mandolin, but dulcimer?
And they actually sound really good.***
I also picked up Poser 7 on sale. I have Daz Studio, which is free but not as powerful as Poser, and Carrara Pro, which is a lot more powerful than Poser but not as friendly. Of course, I've hardly used either one.
And I grabbed a copy of Manga Studio too. Now I have everything I need to produce terrible 3D CGI comics!
Update: Ijits. All the missile sound effects are labeled "missle". 18 of them. Perfectly consistent.
* That was a buy-one-premium-pack, get-two-standard-packs-free sale. This was a selected-packs-at-half-price sale. Worked out about the same, I think.
** List price $59.95, online price $39.95, download price $29.95, sale price $19.95.
*** I have 60 CDs and 1 DVD of Acid Loops that I've assembled since 2000. There are now 115 "Standard Collection" disks (from $29.95 each), 23 "Classic Collection" disks (from $19.95 each), 17 Premium Collection packs (2 disks each, from $59.95), and a bunch of other stuff like a 10 CD $425 sound effects set. I want them all.
Thursday, June 19
Headless Chickens were a 90's New Zealand grunge band that somehow broke the mold and released something brilliant in their second album, Body Blow.
And then retired back into obscurity with the release of their third album, Greedy, which simply sucked.
Actually, listening to Body Blow yet again today, I realised that of the thirteen tracks, two are indifferent remixes, three are outright bad - including the title track - and one has a strong rhythm and an intriguing sound mix but lame* vocals.
With nearly half of the tracks positively missable, how does this album manage to shine?
Well, it starts out with these:
Donde esta la Pollo
The sound quality of those clips isn't great, but it gives you an idea of what they achieved.
The common theme that distinguishes all (but one) of the songs I like and the songs I don't turns out to be Fiona McDonald, who joined the Headless Chickens for that one album. The exception is Gaskrankinstation, which is perfectly suited to the grunge style, and perfectly executed as such.**
* The word has become trite, but it's entirely appropriate here. I refer to Railway Surfing. If you've heard it, you'll agree.
** Even if the music video is a bit naff. And it really does benefit from a good quality recording and a good set of speakers.
Saturday, February 28
My Music is now back on line for your listening pleasure.
If you find anything else that isn't there, please let me know, okay?
Saturday, August 02
The Electric Ant is the one in the blue hat.
|The Electric Ant|
|1||Ant Hill Princess||
|3||The Orchestral Ant|
|3||The Day the Bees and the Wasps Went to War||
|4||End of the Electric Ant||
This is a selection of tracks that are more or less complete but haven't made their way into the world - prior to this. Some because they need a bit of tweaking, some because they are a bit... odd... and don't fit on any of my compilations.
|1||Babes in Thailand||
|3||March of the Clockwork Soldiers||
|4||Film at Eleven||
Monday, July 21
|Long Dry Summer|
|1||Crunchy Frog Blues||
|1.9mb||1.9mb||The frogs are blue because their pond is drying up. The grass and leaves are all dry and crunchy, and if rain doesn't come soon, the frogs will be crunchy too.|
|4.0mb||3.6mb||The mockingbird has left his tree for the big city, and can often been found in his favourite bar drinking tequila and listening to jazz and blues.|
|2.5mb||2.6mb||Damn, that grasshopper is noisy! The summer heat has fried his brain and now he just sings all day long.|
|3.0mb||2.7mb||While the grasshopper plays, the industrious ants are busy working... Except for this one! This ant is electric, and she and her friends are making groovy music down in the basement of the ant hill. (Besides, it's cooler in the basement.)|
|3.3mb||3.3mb||We all know how weasels love to dance. Right? Right! The weasels have got together for a midsummer party. Let's make the floor shake!|
|6||Call of the Aardvark||
|2.5mb||2.4mb||The weasels can party, but some of us have to work. Such is life for the aardvark. But at last it's Friday, and time for Mr Aardvark to head on home.|
|7||Bees and Butterflies||
|3.3mb||3.5mb||The rains are late, and the bees and butterflies alike are suffering. A touching ballad about the plight of the insect life.|
|The Big Wet|
|7.2mb||7.2mb||All the birds and animals and insects have got together to perform a rain dance to bring in the wet. But will they succeed?|
|4.5mb||5.0mb||The rains have come at last, and all the bugs in Bugtown are boogieing their little hearts out. (Do insects have hearts? Well, these ones do!)|
|10||Return of the Electric Ant||
|6.4mb||5.9mb||Liz, Harri and Su from EAO are back with more! The ant hill basement is really shaking now!|
|3.5mb||2.4mb||Most of the time hedgehogs just shuffle along, but they can really move when they need to. Um, what was that you said? Sorry, I don't speak hedgehog. There's never a pocket translator around when you need one...|
|12||Tomboy Kitty's Big Day Out||
|6.4mb||6.1mb||Meow! Meow! I want to go out!|
|13||Crunchy Frog Reprise||
|3.1mb||3.3mb||Can't do anything around here without those darn frogs trying to get in on the act!|
Crunchy Frog Blues is the first track, and the first album, I wrote with Acid. After playing with Acid Express over Christmas 2000, I went out and bought a copy of Acid Rock at my local computer shop.
After installing the package and flipping through the manual, I sat down and created Crunchy Frog Blues (the track, not the album) in 45 minutes. I was so alarmed by this - what if I could never do it again? - that I was afraid to do any more work. Later that night, I sat down, steeled myself, and produced Tequila Mockingbird, Stir-Fried Grasshopper, and Electric Ant one after the other.
The first half of the album was (if I recall correctly) created entirely with Acid Rock. The second half, particularly Rain Dance and Tomboy Kitty's Big Day Out used a wider range of loops; those two tracks in particular being inspired by the thunder and rain sounds, and the "meow" sound respectively.
The name was inspired by the froglike bells (actually a synth) and puk puk sound (also a synth) in the title track, and of course by Monty Python's hilarious Crunchy Frog sketch.
The theme of drought and rain is natural for an Australian; I'm not sure exactly how it came to be, but the tracks naturally arranged themselves in the order you find them. The centre of the album is the sequence of Bees and Butterflies, Rain Dance and Bugtown Boogie: suffering, salvation and celebration. It wasn't planned, though: it just worked out that way.
The three tracks following Bugtown Boogie (particularly Tomboy Kitty) are just me playing around, but I think the results are pleasing.
And if you can tell me what Bees and Butterflies reminds you of, I'd be very grateful.
Thanks to Liz Formici, Harri "I'm a girl!" Apis, and Su Lepido of the Electric Ant Orchestra for their help with Electric Ant and Return of the Electric Ant. My first full album with the EAO is Return of the Return of the Electric Ant
|Every girl needs a new pair of shoes now and then. Shiny shiny!|
|2||Pin the Tail on the Kitten||
|Eeyow! Not this kitten, silly!|
|On ice cream. Mmm.|
|A little time to relax from the hectic bustle of kittenhood.|
|5||Railway Station Cafe||
|Lunch with Mummy and Daddy!|
|Kittens need a lot of relaxing, y'know.|
|Moooon kitten! That's me! My favourite TV show.|
|8||Peaches and Cream||
|(Guilty look, wipes cream from whiskers, missing a bit.) What?|
|Happens to even the best of holidays. Oh well, time to lie on the rug and catch up on my comic books and colouring in.|
|Strawberry? Or cherry? Both! Always both!|
|11||Strolling Through Summertime||
|With my parasol and my new dress and my shiny shoes!|
|12||Tea and Toast||
|Tea time is the best time of day! Lunch time, that's the best too. Any time but bed time.|
|Look! It's a... it's a... What is that, anyway?|
|14||Out on the Bay||
|Here fishy, fishy!|
|15||Always Going Home||
|All good things must come to an end, and all kittens must go home eventually.|
Who is Dance Dance Kitten? Although What Dance Dance Kitten Did On Her Holiday is listed as the third album in the series, it was in fact the first to be written. The name was, I think, inspired by two Japanese fads: Dance Dance Revolution, a video arcade dancing game, and Hello Kitty, Sanrio's horrifyingly cute flagship character.
I think of Dance Dance Kitten as a little girl - I picture her about four or five years old, with long dark hair and enormous eyes - who loves music, and loves to dance. I can't quite make up my mind whether she is a real kitten, a normal girl, or an anime-style catgirl. Whatever she is, she is Dance Dance Kitten.
In this album, DDK (for short) goes on holiday with her parents, first to Rio de Janiero, and then north to New Orleans. This gave me the excuse to play first with various Latin styles of music (using Acid Latin), and then with the excellent Vince Andrews loops for the second half.
Careful observers may note that the track names go from 8 (Peaches and Cream) to A (Rainy Day). What happened to 9? It was intended to be a number called Caramel Salsa - Chocolate's little sister - but I couldn't quite make it work. One day I may come back to it.
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