solarbird: (utena-with-anthy)

I did a lot of vocals recording Monday – some tracks I intend to keep, some more or less placeholders, scratch tracks for other vocalists – all on the new system, all at the absolutely goofy 0.7ms buffer setting, just to see if the system would actually work, being driven that hard all the time, over hours.

It does.

It hiccoughed a couple of times. Nothing involving data loss – after waking back up from screen lock mode, the audio subsystem had to be restarted by me, rather than coming back up on its own. I need to disable screen locking anyway. Once during some playback, I heard a momentary pause, though no XRUNs showed up in the status monitor, so I’m not sure what’s up with that.

I should probably, I dunno, step back a bit? Give it some margin for error? But so far, I’m not being forced to.

In other news, all 39 episodes of Revolutionary Girl Utena are legally on YouTube now. YOU HAVE NO MORE REASONS TO DELAY AND MAY START WATCHING NOW.

(Because jfc the chemistry between Utena and Anthy is smokin’ right out the goddamn gate. I do not like the series’s ending, because reasons addressed pretty directly by Avatar: The Legend of Korra, but everything up until that is amazing.)

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (molly-happy)

Setting up Bandcamp and working on the a lyrics video for Monday’s release while we have a lovely cool, rainy day outside. <3

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solarbird: (korra-excited)


Station II Station
(photo Christian C.)

A few weeks ago, I got to go to visit Microsoft’s anechoic chambers. This was super cool, particularly since I got to visit the world record holder, which was neat. A lot of people find them eerie and/or creepy; I just thought it was awesome. I have a big post queued up next week, with lots of pictures.

But I also wanted – since I had a unique opportunity here – to snap a thematic variant of David Bowie’s icon Station to Station album cover, from his Thin White Duke era, wherein he is also walking into an anechoic chamber. Mission accomplished!

(I wanted originally to do a straight-up re-creation, but the setting was too different. Science of sound damping has progressed since 1978! 😀 And inversion and variation is better art anyway!)

I’m really pleased with it. Thanks for the help, Christian – and, for that matter, the tour, Sean! And I’ll post about the whole experience next week.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (Lecturing)

Hey, this is the last-chance reminder for all you Hugo nominators to go out and get your nominations in and help prevent the monstrosity that was last year from happening again. The deadline is tomorrow!

Yes, the Sad Puppies are behaving this year, and have put up a large reading list that does not constitute a ballot because there are far too many entries. But the Rabids do have a slate, and they will be slate-voting it. It’s a smaller group, one desperately hopes, but they’re organised.

(For the record: Bone Walker is eligible as a Related Work, should you feel so inclined. It’s probably the only time I’ll be able to say that I have an eligible work in pro categories, so there it is! 😀 )

I’ve got my nominations in. I hope you’ll get yours in too.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)

Never made one of these before, but there is a FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING, so:

Bone Walker was officially released on January 30, 2015, at Conflikt. We had a big release show there with most of the album performers – Alexander James Adams, Leannan Sidhe, Angela Korra’ti (filling in on flute, too), Sarah Kellington, plus bonus SJ Tucker on bass and and Jeri Lynn Cornish on cello and Paul Campbell on hammer dulcimer and Betsy Tinney on bodhran (YES BODHRAN) which means I had all of Tricky Pixie in my backup band.

Having read the rules carefully, I think it’s clear that as an official companion/soundtrack to a fantasy novel series, this album is eligible for the Hugo Award for Best Related Work. They may be thinking mostly about books, but we fit the requirements, just as much as the artbooks they describe.

Here’s our entry on a Hugo Nominees 2015 Wikia, which I’m pretty sure is not official, but is there nonetheless.

And, of course, any award that includes music and has January 30, 2015 in its date range would apply to this album – and to the individual tracks, as our Grammy Award adventures this year reminded me!

I admit to a little nervousness about bringing up Hugo Related Work eligibility, because of the traditional social rules against campaigning, and all the horribleness of last year. But there’s a problem I want to address here, to wit: the usual thought on music is that it shouldn’t be considered for any Hugo; it should instead be covered by the Pegasus filk awards given at OVFF.

Now, I think the Pegasus awards are great and I’d absolutely be honoured if considered. But the people I know in the filk community don’t see Bone Walker as filk, and I think they’re right. It’s not. “Thirteen,” which will be released on January 31st of this year – that’s absolutely me doing filk. (Metal filk is still filk!) “The Diesel-Driven Eight Dimensional Jet Car Blues” (Rock filk is still filk!) and “The S-100 Bus“? Filk is filk is filk.

Bone Walker, though… not filk. But pretty clearly an F&SF Related Work.

So there you are. If you’re the award-nominating sort, and feel like throwing something our way, this is it for 2015. And thanks.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (zoe-and-doctor-who)

I called the photo “comping zouk” but NO it’s comping OCTAVE MANDOLIN! But octave mandolin like few people have heard it before. I’m not going to say nobody, but not many people, because this is not how this instrument is played. I’m driving this thing so downtuned and so hard that it’s a trial keeping it from slipping out of tune by the end of the song.

Part of that problem is that these strings are at the end of their life and I need to change them out, and I would’ve have already done, but I’m afraid I’ll lose the special sound quality I’ve managed to get the last few sessions.

And partly that slippage, the wearing, that’s also intentional, because the song’s about a coming apart of life, an overdriving of everything when faced with that, a place where all engines are running at 120% rated output and everything’s still firing but at the same time everything is absolutely tearing itself to pieces as a result and there is nothing you can do about it, and it’s necessary, but… you still know.

Because, see, this is a straight-up Doctor Who song, it’s based on a Vixy & Tony song called “Thirteen,” and it’s forthrightly about the Doctor dealing with whelp this is it, this is the last go, after a 12th regeneration, facing mortality right in the face, which was super-current when I wrote it, which meant for about six weeks, THANKS A LOT MOFFAT.

But even if it’s a period piece now, which it is, I still think it’s good, and while I’ve only played it out a couple of times so far, even audiences which know and love Vixy & Tony’s original – and their fans are loyal – have been all, “wow. …that works.” So I’m recording it for Conflikt, and it’ll be on the Conflikt convention CD.

And, pleasantly, it’s proving a good warm-up for getting back into the studio for Din of Thieves. I do often like being in the studio. Sometimes, I forget that.


Use cyber2015 at checkout for 20% off all music, including Bone Walker, the long-list Grammy Award nominated album.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (asumanga-yay)

Well, the Grammy awards shortlist came out on Monday, and to our… oh, honestly, complete lack of surprise… we did not make the shortlist in either category in which we were nominated. (Bone Walker for folk album; “Kitsune at War” for arrangement, instrumental or a cappella.)

Ah, well, it was tremendous fun while it lasted. But stopping here doesn’t take away that we did get a nod from an Academy member, we did get referred to the jury, we did make it past the jury, and we did become a long-list Grammy nominee.

Twice.

And while the long list was the end of the road for us this year, I’m still pretty damn chuffed about making that.

So thanks to everyone who had any part of any of the process, and hey – I’m finally starting to lay down my first new tracks in a while. Let’s see what happens next year. Because y’know what? We ain’t done here.

(Is there a Grammy Losers party? There should totally be a Grammy Losers party.)


Use cyber2015 at checkout for 20% off all music, including Bone Walker, the long-list Grammy Award nominated album. If you’re with the academy, thank you for listening, and for your consideration.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Hey, there’s a Cracksman Betty review already! Westrider wrote a mini-review on Livejournal. Pull quote:

…it’s clear on every track that the band have not been standing pat. The musicianship, singing, and recording have all been kicked up significantly, and there’s not a song that doesn’t show them pushing as hard as they can to make every one better than what they’ve done before.

Pretty cool 😀

If you spot any other reviews, post links! And please tell people about the album! It may be a surprise album, but I still believe in it or I wouldn’t put it out there.

Oh, I signed off on the distribution agreement today, we should see it in iTunes and on Amazon and all that soon. If you see it there, give it some love!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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oh so many

May. 2nd, 2012 12:54 pm
solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Wow, I hope some of you were there for Monday night’s The House of Julie with Julie Cascioppo – it’s hard to tell, since we filled Chapelspace, and that’s a pretty big room! Thanks again to Julie for having me, and Bill White for handling booking.

 
Meanwhile, it’s Wednesday, May 2nd, and the new album – the remixed/remastered/rerecorded Cracksman Betty – drops Monday. So many last minute things to do!

I wanted to mention a few of the guest performers who are on this album, so I’ll start with them.

 

  • Angela Korra’ti of Twelve Good Measures provides some key backing vocals on the rewritten “Old Black Rum (West Coast Style).” This is the same Angela who has this Kickstarter project running to get her fantasy series back into print after her original publisher folded. If you haven’t seen that, go look. We’re doing the soundtrack album, which is going to be awesome.
     
  • Paul Johnson – who spends most of his time as a visual artist – provides the raw voices for MC Dalek and MC Cyberman on the track, “Dalek Boy.”
     
  • And finally, Leannan Sidhe provides lead vocals for “Red is the Rose,” probably the most traditionally-performed song on the album. Her band is currently working on their second studio album of dark and reinterpreted faerie tales. Check that out, too.

I have to admit, being mostly into elfmetal, I’m a little hesitant about doing a “traditional” album. But it’s not entirely traditional – not with all the Republic of Cascadia alternative-world material! And it’s a good lead-in to the Faerie Blood/Bone Walker soundtrack.

There’ll be new music on that one, too. Elfmetal-folk hybrids! Here, have a teaser, a snip from a rough draft of “Song for a Free Court/Anarchy Now:”

…I’m not afraid of your power and
your stupid money’s no good here because
a new millennium of pointless grudges
Is sim!ply! not! my! idea! of fun! I’m gonna

START!     by ignoring all your strictures
START!     by sitting all this out
START!     by bailing on this conflict
START!     by building my own map…

Yeah. That. 😀

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (asumanga-yay)

So many awesome things are going on right now that I have to combine announcements! It’s crazytalk. But before I get to that, even, a quick reminder: I’m guesting tonight on The House of Julie with Julie Cascioppo, 7:30pm, in Seattle, with several other musicians including Roo Forrest, Elaine Bono, Jean Mann, and Bill White. I’m Julie’s first guest of the night; come see the show!

TO THE ANNOUNCEMENTS!

FIRST: The new album – the remixed/remastered/rerecorded Cracksman Betty – will drop Monday, May 7, 2012. It’ll lead off with a completely new track, “Song for a Blockade Runner/High Barbaree,” the pirate’s version of that tale, recast in the fight for Cascadian independence, musically and lyrically original.

My beta listeners have described the album as “impressive,” “SO MUCH BETTER” [than the work prints], “awesome,” and, in one notable case:

everything I hear in these tracks is totally Next Level from what came before.

Caps of Awesome as in the originals. Fuck. Yeah.

This is our long-promised traditional-music album. But of course, we can’t leave it at that; this “traditional” music is re-cast in the Republic of Cascadia, songs of piracy, riot, and revolution, with new interpretation, new history, and far more often than you’d expect on a “traditional” album, new music.

You’ll hear more about that – and some of our guest performers – this week.

SECOND: We’re doing a soundtrack album. For reals, assuming the Kickstarter makes it. It’s a book companion for the novels Faerie Blood and Bone Walker. We’ve already committed Sunnie Larsen (who has played with several bands including Bone Poets Orchestra and Vixy & Tony) and Leannan Sidhe, with whom we’ve worked before. And we’re in talks with more.

Bone Walker will be a mix of readings, original music, and the traditional music referenced in the books. It’ll be something new for all of us, which is always awesome. And again – more announcements will be forthcoming!

FINALLY, talking of Leannan Sidhe, they have their own Kickstarter running for their second studio album, More to Love. I’ve heard some of the material; these are some pretty subversive fairy tales. So of course, we’re onboard – I’ve backed the project personally, with, you know, money. My money. Not even stolen! So you know I mean it.

Currently there’s an extra incentive package: a signed print of a sketch from the album cover artist (Rob Carlos), a print of the aurora photograph that’s going to be used in that album cover, and a handwritten card from the band. That’s all in addition to the regular backer bonuses for whoever gets them to $2000.

God damn can you believe all this? And we have more things cooking I’m not even talking about here. More than can fit into this post. But one more super-sneak preview, a whisper, a ghost, a rumour of rage, an echo of elfmetal, a part two of a bigger story, a title:

Din of Thieves.

Muah ha ha ha ha ha!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Two big announcements coming on Monday morning. One’s already up, in audio form. 😀

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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