LAST CALL

Sep. 20th, 2012 11:35 am
solarbird: (Default)
LAST CALL for the Talk Like a Pirate Day free music download:
 
http://music.crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/album/cracksman-betty-remixed-and-remastered
solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Up early, waiting for my partner and occasional collaborator Anna as she gets dental surgery done – it’s nothing serious, but does involve anaesthetics which mean Anna requires babysitting. Note: DO allow texting (because hilarious), but do NOT allow root access.

This diurnal thing is for the birds.

We have a winner on the review lottery; thanks to 403 on Dreamwidth for the kind notes about Cracksman Betty, particularly the songs Song for a Blockade Runner and Columbia. Get me your address so I can mail you a signed physical CD! The band address works fine. :D

Leannan Sidhe’s Kickstarter project has hit $2500, or 83.3%; statistically speaking, they’re sure to make it at this point. So go pick a level, ’cause at this point you’re pre-ordering. :D They’ve also announced some stretch goals.

And finally congratulations to friend-of-friends Mira Grant, whose novel Blackout has made the New York Times mass-market paperback best-seller list. I’ve read the first two (Feed and Deadline) and have this concluding novel queued up to read today while babysitting Anna. I’d've read it before, but I didn’t want to lose a day, which is what tends to happen with these things.

Have a good weekend, everybody!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (pony-singing)

THANK YOU everybody at Folklife who stopped by and chatted and said hi! And particularly all the people who stood around and listened. It’s hard to get heard over the din at Folklife – I mentioned on Twitter over the weekend that Folklife is mostly about yelling and I stand by that – but this was a good year! I guess I’m getting better at yelling. Also at when to perform and when to kick off for a while. XD

I’m sad it’s over, even if I have a pretty epic case of the sleepies. Seriously, I’ve been writing this for 45 minutes and being distracted by oh hi kitties. You kind of lose track of the whole awesomeness of this music thing in all the grinding day-to-day business bullshit, and huge epic festivals playing with other people remind you.

And it doesn’t hurt anything when a stranger walks by and then backs up and looks at you and goes, “…are you … did you do that Skyrim fan song about the Winking Skeever?” and you can go \o/ and say “yes! Yes, I did!” And they ask if you’ll do it live and you do. \n/

Folklife wasn’t even the only thing awesome this weekend! I can’t talk about Anna and things involving certain creative efforts other than Faerie Blood. But I want to. And I’m not even talking about the soundtrack and certain plans we have for that which aren’t signed yet. But I want to. I can say that the Leannan Sidhe Kickstarter has charged up to 72% on what is normally a totally dead weekend, so that’s awesome – go push them to 75%!

Oh, and the review raffle thing has until Thursday. So go write up a little commentary thing about Cracksman Betty in public and link me to it by Thursday EOD if you’re in.

I got more, but you go ahead. What’d you do this weekend?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

I’m gonna street-play Folklife this weekend – and attend, too, particularly as weather changes. XD Say hi if you seem me! Also, this is the last weekend for the review raffle, so post a public review of Cracksman Betty and let me know!

Also, I signed up for ReverbNation. Who should I tell it I sound like? I’ve dropped a couple of bands but I need more.

ReverbNation is also making weird things happen where Facebook is telling me people are liking my activity there but not linking me over, but when I go there directly it’s not showing up there. I’ll figure out what that’s supposed to mean when I’m not so busy. If you’re doing stuff, where does it go?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Hey, guys, I need some help filling out an Eastern Canada house concert tour! I have gigs in Toronto and Moncton, but I’m looking for Montreal and St. John’s, in late July and early August. House concerts are really easy to host, and I don’t even need crash space or anything. If you have any pointers, please throw them to me, because I’ve never been these places before!

Also, HI to Cascadian Independence Project people! The album you’re looking for is Cracksman Betty! We’re doing a review raffle, so if you post a public review, let me know! Give Dick Tracy Must Die a listen, too. Full-band elfmetal RAR! :D

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Cracksman Betty has shown up on iTunes! It costs more there! I don’t know why! But they make those decisions, not me! Clearly they think it’s a real album. :D Yay! It’s not much more, they just set their standard pricing on it. But that’s okay by me. ^_^

If you haven’t given a listen yet, you can hear the whole thing right here, on Bandcamp. No 30-second samples here! They you can buy it on iTunes, or hopefully give it some review love, which it very much needs.

I never did a review raffle beforehand because there wasn’t a beforehand! So I’ll do one now instead: write and post a public review in the next two weeks (plus a little – two weeks plus the weekend) and I’ll email you a special home-burned CD edition of the album. (It’ll be less S-100 Bus which you’ll still have to download on its own because of licensing, but it’s free, so that’s okay.)

This should play the whole album for you:

Post the link to your review here in comments to enter. And have a good weekend!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Cracksman Betty, alternate history songs of riot and revolution, is live on Bandcamp now. The album of not-entirely-traditional songs we never really intended to make is online, 13 tracks on the web, including “The S-100 Bus” (also available as a free download) as a bonus.

I really said the best of what I think I have to say on Friday. This is CRIME and the Forces of Evil – or various subsets thereof – not taking everything quite so seriously. It’s an alternate history lesson, it’s kicking back in the studio just to have fun, it’s riot girls dyking our way around Vancouver starting fights (not that I’d know anything about that, aheh), it’s cyborgs doing it for the lulz…

…and it’s kicking out some good old alternate-world Cascadian piracy, riot, and revolution folk.

It’s also a good lead-in for the Faerie Blood/Bone Walker soundtrack we’ll hopefully be doing in a couple of months; that’ll be somewhere between this and Dick Tracy Must Die in tone, depending upon where you are in the books. :D

This new album leads off with a brand new track, “Song for a Blockade Runner/High Barbaree,” something you’ve never heard. It’s a new song, with new music, telling a different version of the High Barbaree story, one with enough references to the original to mention it – but it’s from the pirates’ side, and set in the Republic of Cascadia’s 1973-1974 war for independence. Hit PLAY now:

Oh, if you bought the pre-remaster Cracksman Betty for money, at a show or something? Contact me. Send me a photo with your CD. I’ll throw you a download code.

I worry a little about this album, I admit it. We’re mostly about the elfmetal, and the rage. This has elements of that, but it’s a different angle, less complex, and absolutely as sedate as we’ll ever get. I don’t want people to think we’re losing our edge. Din of Thieves will disprove that in 2013, but that’s a year away.

Despite that, as much to my surprise as anybody else’s, I’m convinced of this album. My beta listeners certainly were. If you forgot the reactions I quoted, here they are again:

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

…followed by an assortment of “impressive,” “SO MUCH BETTER” [capslock as per original], “awesome,” and “I love Dalek Boy so much.”

I hope you do, too. Hit PLAY. Find out. Tell your friends.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)
uploading files! they're hidden tho'. NO PEEKING. :D
solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Put simply, this is the album we never meant to make. It was a record-something-every-month project, named for a safecracker (a “Cracksman”) and a blackjack with a woman’s name (a “Betty”), adorned with pirate skull and burglar’s tools, and we finished it up last December… or so we thought.

But the thing is, I went back and gave those recordings another good hard listen, and realised that I’d improved a lot both as a vocalist and an engineer over that year.

So I decided to clean it up, and do some new vocals, and oh, I can totally make Dalek Boy funnier, and Old Black Rum can be a lot more rowdy, and oh, I have this new song (“Song for a Blockade Runner/High Barbaree”) that’ll fit in just great, and…

…somewhere along the way, this became an album. It became a piece, a thing, not just an assemblage. Not a complex a piece as Dick Tracy Must Die or far-reaching as Din of Thieves will be, perhaps, but an entity, a set.

‘Or,’ I asked myself, ‘did it? Really? Am I just making that up? Let’s ask some beta listeners.’

And the first response back was:

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

…followed by an assortment of “impressive,” “SO MUCH BETTER” [capslock in the original], “awesome,” and “I love Dalek Boy so much.”

So I guess I wasn’t making it up!

But what is it? Here’s the track list:

  1. Song for a Blockade Runner/High Barbaree
  2. Captain Kidd
  3. Paddy Murphy (Victory Boulevard Style)
  4. I’m a Rover (Live in Juanita Bay)
  5. Columbia (Scene from a Revolution)
  6. Danny Boy (Instrumental) (Live at El Dorado)
  7. Red is the Rose (with Leannan Sidhe)
  8. Great Big Sea
  9. Old Black Rum (West Coast Style)
  10. Dalek Boy (Cyborgs Behaving Badly)
  11. Red is the Rose (Live in Studio – bonus track)
  12. Dalek Boy (Radio edit – bonus track)
  13. The S-100 Bus (Live in studio – web-only bonus track)

I think it’s CRIME and the Forces of Evil – or various subsets thereof – not taking everything quite so seriously. I think it’s an alternate history lesson, and it’s kicking back in the studio just to have fun, and it’s riot girls dyking our way around Vancouver starting fights (also fun), and it’s piracy, and it’s kicking out some Cascadian folk and cyborg lulz.

And it’s dropping on Monday. Of that much, I’m sure. :D

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Oh guys seriously I did not think Cracksman Betty could sound this good. Not what’s online now; the re-engineered/re-mastered version that’s in progress. It’s always going to be a bit of a jumble as an album, having been originally just a place to put all my trad-o’-the-week/fortnight/month songs, but it’s so much better a jumble than I ever thought it would or even could be.

And I don’t mean just individually as songs, I mean as an album. It’s actually starting to hang together as a work. I don’t know what to call it – Alternate History Folk, maybe? But that’s awfully long. Regardless, it has a form now. It is shadowy and rough, but it is a beast, of genus undetermined.

I’m even thinking of asking Kickstarter if it wants to pay for mastering. No lie.

Did I mention there’s a new track? I don’t think I mentioned there’s a new track. There is! “Song for a Blockade Runner/High Barbaree.” I’m really excited about it.

Of all the reset-in-Cascadia traditional folk, this is the most changed from its original; it makes “Columbia” sound unedited. “High Barbaree” is about taking down pirates; “Song for a Blockade Runner” is the other side of that story, in 1973, during the Cascadian War for Independence, a goddamn hardscrabble pirate and smuggler anthem. It’s new music, too – not so much a traditional-song rendition as a long-lost fraternal twin, come in from the cold Salish sea.

12 tracks on the CD, if I print one. 13 tracks online, with “S-100 Bus,” which has to be online only for licensing reasons. Eleven songs, plus two “radio edit” versions as bonus tracks.

None of this is going live quite yet – I’m still twiddling bits and I want to redub another line of vocals. But – it’s coming. Soon. :D

PS: Anna’s fantasy novel Kickstarter just hit 45% and she’s dropped an excerpt from “Blood of the Land,” another Warder universe story, as a teaser. She’s really hoping to hit 50% this weekend. Check it out!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)

Sometimes I take traditional songs and modify them or just outright write new versions set in my Republic of Cascadia universe, where Cascadia gained independence in 1973, and a bunch of other things are different too. Despite the way things fell apart in that time in that world, it’s not dystopian – people picked things up and put them back together in new ways, like mostly, people do.

The traditional “High Barbaree” is about an encounter with a pirate ship where the pirates lose, and if you know us, you know that’s not how we roll. I was stuck on this song for a long time, despite having come up with a great zouk riff for it – until a couple of weeks ago, when I finally realised that in this version, High Barbaree isn’t the place, High Barbaree is the ship. And then the rest just came tumbling out.

I’ll be playing this at nwcMUSIC, if I can wedge in time between running all the things. XD

High Barbaree
2012 Crime and the Forces of Evil
Neighbourhood of E

Look ahead, look astern, look the weather in the lee
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
There’s a lofty ship about us; we sail fast and free
Sailin’ down along the coast on High Barbaree

Oh are we a pirate, or man o’ war?
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
It depends on who you’re askin’; we’ve been both before
Sailin’ down along the coast on High Barbaree
Oh if you are Alaskan, then we bring you your breads
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
But the Californians hate us, and they’re after our heads
Singin’ down along the coast on High Barbaree

Runnin’ gun, runnin’ rum, runnin’ iron and gold
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
And sometimes runnin’ things we don’t wanna be told
Sailing down along the coast on High Barbaree
The Douglas Fir we’re flyin’; this sea it is ours
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
And should you try to stop us we’ll put flame to your stars
Singin’ down along the coast on High Barbaree

Oh priviteering’s rough, not much pay to be had
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
The voyage is never ending, and the food’s pretty bad
Sailing down along the coast on high barbaree
But be a Yankee or a Dixie? Oh I’d rather be dead
Blow high, blow low, and so sail we
We’re betting all we’ve got that something better’s ahead
Singin’ down along the coast on High Barbaree
Sailing down along the coast on High Barbaree

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2012, CASCADIA, AND ALL SHORES BEYOND!

With the close of 2011, we come to the end of the Cracksman Betty project. But not before we add a 12th track, a gift for your New Year 2012.

Some of the songs on Cracksman Betty are centuries old. This final addition – one I’ve been promising quietly for two months – isn’t traditional. It’s a cover, of sorts. The music and arrangement are my own, but the lyrics are by a musician named Frank Hayes. Frank wrote these lyrics in 1982, a mere 30 years ago, not centuries. But in computer terms, that’s at least as many generations in the past.

So come back with me, to days of old, when computers weren’t bought – they were built! By hand! Come back with me – to the days of The S-100 Bus.

It is, of course, a free download. Enjoy.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (assassin)

First: SHOW! FRIDAY! 8959 Battle Point Drive NE, Bainbridge Island, WA. Doors 6pm, show 7pm, $7 suggested donation, but if you can’t afford that, come anyway.

I’m starting to think I’ve got all I’m going to get out of the Cracksman Betty project. I’ve got one more song already recorded that I’d like to add, and maybe one bonus track, but I think it’s about done.

I have a few specific plans (Touring! The next studio album! nwcMUSIC 2012!) that’ll get underway for sure, but I want to wedge in at least one more thing on top of those, because I’m insane. Got any ideas?

What should I do next?

[[CLICK HERE TO VOTE the checkboxes do nothing]]

Also, Sherry from Sidhehaven took a photo during the show, and said I could post it! Thanks!


photo courtesy Sherry Kirk

Several experiments from the Sidhehaven show worked to varying degrees. Yay! The camera, even with all the space left in the world, didn’t even come close to running out of battery or space on the card! But it shuts video off at around the 38m mark anyway. Note “around the.” The exact time is different each time, and has nothing obvious to do with space left. I don’t know why.

Sadly, the camera’s onboard mic is lame. But I had my good quality recorder hooked up! Yay! But it was through the monitor speaker, which, turns out, has kind of a crappy pre-amp, and the sound quality is kind of not good. Boo! So I have a post-tour goal: build a proper interface so I can use both monitor and recorder at the same time, without losing quality.

Also I need to rebuild that monitor’s preamp. It really does kind of blow.

Hm, sounds like the cats have turned on Radio Two again downstairs. THANKS CATS. Better go fix that before Anna wakes up. See you Friday, I hope!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (assassin)

Leannan Sidhe came by today by surprise and we recorded something! It’s pure trad, which is kind of unusual for me, but not at all for her; I’ll be playing backing zouk for her at first house concert on Friday. Then on Saturday I’m playing down north of Olympia at Spooky Action, ripping it up elfmetal style.

But on Friday, it’ll be more like this. Enjoy:

Separately, I’m kind of amazed that Quatermass and the Pit (a.k.a. Five Million Years to Earth) (1967) is you guys’s favourite horror flick, but it is! And I can’t fault you for that. It’s not mine, but I respect it.

All for now, busy rehearsing. No poll this week, but MUSIC IS BETTER THAN POLLS! Go clickie!

(There’s also a radio edit without the live bits, if you prefer that.)

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Cracksman Betty is the official compilation album of Trad O’ th’ Month songs, which are one-day free/pay-what-you-like recordings of traditional or mostly-traditional music. This latest addition, “I’m a Rover,” was recorded live at Juanita Bay at the “Talk Like a Pirate Day” show I did on the 9th.

It was a mono recording – originally, anyway – with not enough vocals and too much wind and generator noise. But I fixed all that! ^_^ Give a listen, and download it if you like:

Also, don’t forget to vote in the poll! Several people came up with entries for a contest that wasn’t even my idea, which is awesome, so support fan creativity, go see what they made, and help one of them win a prize by picking your favourite!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come listen to our music!

solarbird: (cracksman betty)

Last autumn, at the very start of the Cracksman Betty project, I did a recording of the traditional song “Captain Kidd.” It’s about the eponymous pirate of yore, and full of murder and hangings and other good fun. It was supposed to be the first in the set, but after putting it out for download on the fan list, I decided I really was unhappy with the vocals. So I yanked it back offline, with the intent to redo it as soon as I had the chance.. and never got back ’round to it.

UNTIL NOW! I finally went back and re-recorded the vocals tonight, all extra snarly and piratey. YARRRR! Enjoy, me hearties!

Captain Kidd
Dara Korra'ti


Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.
Dick Tracy Must Die is out! Buy at CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, or through Bandcamp!

solarbird: (assassin)

New Trad o’ th’ Month!

For years I’ve had a Republic of Cascadia world that I’ve built and have been using for Norwescon and NASFiC and some of my art and other creative efforts. If you don’t know about it already, it’s a long story, but the Republic broke off from the United States and Canada during the Crisis of ’73, and never looked back.

This song, a variation on “Loch Lomond,” came out of the War for Cascadian Independence – specifically, a rather dirty part of the fight involving Americans from the Idaho side of the border, and Unionist minority from the dry side of Cascadia, and it came during a point when things were looking quite bad for the fledgling Republic.

Enjoy.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

Dick Tracy Must Die is out! Buy at CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, or through Bandcamp!

A cameo!

Apr. 1st, 2011 12:01 am
solarbird: (assassin)
Recently, we got a request - well, more of a demand, really - to do one particular traditional song, now embedded below. It came from a trio of vocalists you have almost certainly heard, and might well recognise; they've been around a while. We're very excited to have had the unavoidable opportunity to work with them! Give a listen, and see if you don't recognise the guest performers on this, the new Trad o' th' Month:

And since embedding seems fantastically broken today - seriously, this is where my player is supposed to be, and LJ's editor is actively editing out my player, no, I'm not joking, I have a support request open - pretend this is a player and clickie!

|> In Sunshine or in Shadow

CRIME and the Forces of Evil feat. guest vocals by​.​.​.
Hosted on Bandcamp.com


Whaddya think, sirs?

A cameo!

Apr. 1st, 2011 12:01 am
solarbird: (assassin)

Recently, we got a request – well, more of a demand, really – to do one particular traditional song, now embedded below. It came from a trio of vocalists you have almost certainly heard, and might well recognise; they’ve been around a while. We’re very excited to have had the unavoidable opportunity to work with them! Give a listen, and see if you don’t recognise the guest performers on this, the new Trad o’ th’ Month:

And since embedding seems fantastically broken today - seriously, this is where my player is supposed to be, and DW's editor is actively editing out my player, no, I'm not joking - pretend this is a player and clickie!

|> In Sunshine or in Shadow

CRIME and the Forces of Evil feat. guest vocals by​.​.​.
Hosted on Bandcamp.com


Whaddya think, sirs?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (molly-happy)

The trad album has a name.


Cracksman Betty

…and cover art, as you can see.

This is a web-only project; it’s the Trad o’ th’ Month singles, compiled into a web-album. They’re one-take, one-day wonders, traditional songs about riot, revolution, and piracy, with lyrics which may and may not be updated as the whim strikes. Muah ha ha! As I do more songs, I’ll upload them to the fan mailing list as a fan bonus (click here to join), and, shortly thereafter, up to the Cracksman Betty album page, where you can listen for free or download for a small fee.

A Cracksman, as you might guess, is a stealth thief; a Betty, as you might not guess, is both a woman’s name and a lockpicking kit. If you haven’t heard of the series of stories featuring Raffles, the Amateur Cracksman, he was a contemporary counterpart to Sherlock Holmes, and even obliquely referenced in one Holmes short story. You can download the Raffles stories in ebook from from Project Gutenberg, if you’re interested; I did. ^_^

And, as always, don’t forget the Dick Tracy Must Duplicate kickstarter project. Clicky!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

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