solarbird: (zoe-and-doctor-and-brig)

I don’t listen to my own work much – I mean, I hear it a lot, in rehearsal, right? – but it’s not just that, it’s that I can’t hear anything but all the flaws. I’m told that’s pretty common, but not universal; it’s just a quirk some artists have. Actors, too; Bill Shatner just recently said on his Twitter account that he never watches his own performances after production, for the same reason.* He’s not the only one; just the one I’ve seen say so recently.

But even with all that in mind, I do listen to my own material occasionally, for one reason or another. I listened to a few tracks on Dick Tracy Must Die this past weekend, and aside from the usual hyperfocus on flaws nobody else ever hears, I listen to those vocals and know – know – how far I’ve come as a vocalist since recording those back in 2011.

A lot of it, I can live with. The vocals… I don’t know. So I think about going back and fixing them – by which I mean re-performing them entirely – but that opens whole shipments of worms, not just individual cans. Would I start screwing with “Shout at the Desert” and how I think it’s recorded too fast? Would I start remastering the whole damn album? I have new albums to make, I don’t have time for this – but I’m insecure and worry that my old vocals are weighing down my current opportunities.

Balanced against that – I don’t get many album reviews, but the few I have got have been pretty damned good.

That’s a pretty scary rabbit hole, no matter how you look at it. Lucas’s revisionism started out fine, too – no? Don’t believe me? Look at the before-and-afters for Young Indiana Jones. That’s where it started. The revised cinema-oriented episodes are genuinely better than the shorter as-aired episodes, and are really kind of wonderful. That round of Lucas revisionism was an unqualified success. Only later did it turn feral.

So, yeah. I kind of honestly don’t know what to do here. If anybody who has heard me perform lately has any opinions, I really do want to hear them, because the artist is generally the worst judge of their own work. And while I put up a pretty good front, I don’t always have the confidence I should just to bully my way through.


*: And jokes about overacting aside – of course he’s guilty of it on a regular basis – he’s also a very good comedic actor and does, in the right hands, deliver an entirely credible dramatic performance. If you don’t believe me, go watch his turn on Playhouse 90 sometime. I suspect he’s just flat out better at drama on stage.

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

solarbird: (assassin)

Normally I don’t post on Tuesday, but what the hell: j0, I’m a dyke. Deal with it. If you didn’t know that already, I don’t know where the hell you been. Uranus, maybe. XD

If you also didn’t know this already, My Boyfriend is Sailor Moon slash commentary, about the reported attempt to swap the gender of one Sailor to make her into a heterosexual pretty-boy. If you don’t know the story, it’s here. And all lulz aside, this kind of shit is why I still post on Coming Out Day.

I’m also a total Kigo shipper. I have Kigo art on one of my stage props, just for my own amusement. There, that’s maybe something you didn’t know. ^_^

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

solarbird: (music)

Okay, so, when I added “Rain of Jaguars” to the list of apocalypse engines on a whim last week – it’s always been my favourite apocalypse legend by far – I was absolutely not expecting it to win, much less for people to start speculating about the mechanics of jaguar apocalypses, or “Jaguar Apocalypse” to become a miniature meme, but all that happened!

So the poll I had planned for this week is now put off, and instead we have this instead! It’s a poll populated by readers of this blog, a combination of “Apocalypse Jaguar is my ______________ Cover Band” jokes and Apocalypse Jaguar discography entries!

You guys are total freaks, you know that, right? XD

Creator of the winning poll entry wins a signed album, suitable for framing, playing, evangelising the band (aheh), distracting police while you finish targeting your heat ray, reflecting lasers onto the moon, what have you.

I gotta tell you, I might ask to steal one of these graphics for show poster art. I’m not sayin’ which. But one of them. See if you can figure out which. Meanwhile, go vote!

Discography Entry or Apocalypse Jaguar is my __________ Cover Band?

[[CLICK HERE TO VOTE, THE BOXES DO NOTHING]]

Anna and I will be at VCON this weekend! Are you coming? If so, let us know, and come say hi!

I’d write more, but it’s 1am. Here, unrelated to anything, Rainbow Dash vs. Starscream. I lulzed.

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

solarbird: (assassin)

Hello, London! and listeners across the globe on the ARfm live stream! I just heard that one of our tracks, “When You Leave,” is on your station a few times this week, courtesy Paul Baker’s Soundscapes programme! That is so awesome I do not have words for how much awesome is is crammed into that. Hee hee hee hee Cascadian elfmetal bands say HELLO, LONDON! \o/

We’re new, so all this is a big deal for us and we’re not being cool and detached about it, not even a little. Fuck that! This is awesome and we’re not afraid to say so. \o/

So poke around the site a bit! Click on the Music link above to free-stream our music, including the new studio album Dick Tracy Must Die, the live EP Espionage (Live from Mars), and the ongoing piracy-and-revolution Cracksman Betty project. There’s also a mailing list you can join to get occasional newsletters and free downloads, and you can friend us on Facebook.

If you like what you hear, tell your friends! We don’t have any gigs in the UK yet, but we’d love to change that!


ETA: Seriously, this is the best Monday ever, or what? Bubo G. Gear just messaged telling me I’m between Betsy Tinney and Amanda Palmer on his Dementia Radio-hosted Shifting Gears show today, Tuesday 2 August 2011, at 4pm Cascadian/Pacific! (That’s midnight tonight London, 7pm Eastern. Live chatroom here, and Archive here, if you missed it.) Talk about some good fuckin’ company, what!

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: (music)

Time for a Dick Tracy Must Die review roundup! If you know of any reviews I haven’t seen – and I find Google’s web tracking to be highly unreliable – please let me know!

Same for if you review it yourself! I love reviews. Any reviews, seriously, because word-of-mouth is most of what we independent musicians have. Like Seanan McGuire has said, even negative reviews are good reviews because, and I quote, “having reviews reminds people that a thing is worth reviewing.”

So all reviews are ♥, and here are three that are ♥ ♥ ♥!

Over on Amazon, people have posted two really positive reviews! It’s very exciting. ^_^

The first is from R. Piper, who says, “crime et. al. do amazing things with bouzouki, voice, lyricism, and emotion. “something’s coming” is truly scary, “”stars” is wistful-teary, when you leave” is a total song-virus, and “my boyfriend” just makes me laugh :)” Yay!

The second is from Silussa (hiya! XD ), who says, “I won’t claim that this CD sets a mood; the tone of “My Boyfriend” and of “Hide From Me” are completely opposite. However, if you want something very definitely not mainstream pablum, but rocking enough to crank down the windows and turn the radio up, then I recommend Dick Tracy Must Die.” Thanks! I hope people take your recommendation! \o/

The third is over on CD Baby, one of the places you can order the physical CD. There’s a new review entitled “Metallurgical Delight,” by Paul Fergus: “I’m blown away by the growth and diversity of what is now a full fledged wild growth of gemstone artistry. I know other people are cluing in, but I still feel that nyah ha ha covetous glee of having found a true treasure at last in the adventure realm…” Dude! Thanks!

I’d love to know what iTunes listeners think, but there haven’t been enough ratings yet. Go rate it, iTunes users, pleeeeeeeeease! ^_^

That’s all for this month! Hopefully there will be more in June. The next big show is at Seattle’s Venus Lounge/Mars Bar, in July. Hope you can make it!

PS: Since I’m quoting Seanan here, I want to note that the second in her Mira Grant Newsflesh series, Deadline, just came out. I read Feed, the first book, and if you haven’t, you really should. That’s true even if you’re not particularly into zombies; it’s political thriller SF wrapped in a crunchy horror outer shell, and nicely done. One of the things I respect in an author is a willingness not to pull her punches, and she doesn’t. I’ll be reading Deadline as soon as I can get a copy.

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

solarbird: (assassin)

There’s no vinyl version of Dick Tracy Must Die, but if it existed, the mailer would probably look like this:


Actually a multi-CD mailing, packaged flat

I have a motley assortment of old media blanks lying about (cassette, minidisc) but no way to make a vinyl LP. Or an Edison cylinder, for that matter. But I think about it. XD

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)

Show Friday! 6pm(ish), Green Bean, Greenwood, Seattle. C’mon out if you can! I still don’t know whether there’s an act opening for me or whether I just have a realllllly long set. If the latter, I’m ready, I’ll take it! MOAR STAGE FOR ME! XD

And if you’re on LJ, you already saw this:


First CD to a Cascadian radio station

KEXP should have received this today. Hopefully they’ll decide to play something from it!

PS: Portal2 does not disappoint. Just sayin’.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (assassin)

So I was out doing various Day Job Things when I got an IM from Anna: holy crap we’re on iTunes, early! And the mp3s are on Amazon! No sign of CDs yet, but you can get those here, or on CD Baby, or at Sonic Boom Records.

I wasn’t expecting it to show up on Amazon for another three weeks, so that’s all very surprising! I wasn’t even checking for it. XD

Please, please, those of you with the album and on iTunes and on Amazon – go rate it! It needs stars! Lots of stars! It likes them!

Also, I played here last night:


Oxford Saloon, Snohomish

It wasn’t the kind of event I thought it was, it was more of a blues show, but they brought me up between sets and I did a miniset of five songs while the blues band in charge of things took a break. If you like the blues scene, I recommend it; the first set is an hour plus of solid blues, followed by a break, followed by an open blues jam. And if you were there last night: me, between sets!

The funny part was running into CD Woodbury on the way out. HI CD!

But mostly, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE iTunes! Clickie and rate!

I keep having this strange reaction of “agh I have all these copies I pirated, I should buy it” except “o wait no I own these, like made and actually own own these, lol.” Strange feeling is strange. BUT WHO CARES ABOUT THAT! ITUNES OMG! XD

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (assassin)


Averaging over 100 plays a week for two straight weeks? You guys think of everything. Thanks so much! \o/

Relatedly, Dick Tracy Must Die is now on CD Baby! There are currently no reviews; the link went live Thursday. A couple of you have reviewed it elsewhere; any chance you’d copy those over to the CD Baby reviews page? Or if you haven’t, and you have a CD Baby account, and feel like dropping a nice note, it’d be awfully cool. I wish the 30-second excerpts they’d picked were better; I’ve edited them, but they haven’t updated yet. That might happen by the time you read this!

We should be on iTunes in about three weeks; Amazon, in four to six. Scary. And awesome.

Thanks everybody who commented one way or another about genres. I ended up with altfolk and altmetal/punk. Let’s hope that works!

This guy played “Come On Eileen” in acoustic form at the Dubliner last night, a few acts before me. He was followed by somebody who did some really good acoustic Led Zeppelin:

I was going to be out in Snohomish tonight, but this stupid Norwescon project… agh, I bit off too much. I’m never doing this ticket-book thing again. Not without a big enough budget to get it hired out. Seriously, this is stupid.

So that’s my weekend: stapling together fake publicity ticket books. XD What’re you doin’ this weekend?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (assassin)

Given the limited top-level genre options available for my album on CD Baby, which top-level genre category do you think I should set? This is important for browsing and all that. Currently I’ve piked Folk:Power Folk and Avant Garde:Expermental but I’m having second thoughts. Here are some categories:

  • Folk : Power Folk
  • Folk : Alternative Folk
  • Metal/Punk : Alternative Metal
  • Avant Garde : Experimental
  • Rock : Post-Rock/Experimental
  • Something else, but check CD Baby first

I need to approve all this as soon as they make the changes to the short sample clips that I ordered. Click here to listen if you want a refresher.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (assassin)

I hate it when I have shit goin’ on and gettin’ lined up and I can’t talk about it because it’s not final. I hate it so much!

So much.

Secrets are hard. I hate having to keep my big mouth shut.

But I can say this: Seattleites! Sonic Boom Records in Ballard has Dick Tracy Must Die in stock now. YAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

pictoria

Apr. 6th, 2011 03:47 pm
solarbird: (assassin)

Imagespam! These guys played before me at the Snohomish Thumbnail Theatre:

I was here, last night, at the Stepping Stone in Ballard:

Today I’ve been doing this and this:


and

And tonight I’ll be back with these guys:

…makin’ with th’ session action.

That’s my week. What you been doin’?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

pictoria

Apr. 6th, 2011 03:44 pm
solarbird: (assassin)

Imagespam! These guys played before me at the Snohomish Thumbnail Theatre:

I was here, last night, at the Stepping Stone in Ballard:

Today I’ve been doing this and this:


and

And tonight I’ll be back with these guys:

…makin’ with th’ session action.

That’s my week. What you been doin’?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (assassin)

After much too much time, I present production run 1, disc 1:


Dick Tracy Must Die

Inside | Back | \o/

There are a bunch more too, I just haven’t photographed them yet.

Also, and not to be forgotten, here’s the second review I’ve seen! It’s by Gifted Gear on Livejournal, who gives the album five! stars! \o/ and says:

I could say a lot of things about this album, I could talk about how awesome the drums sound, I could talk about how cool the very idea of mandolin thrash metal is, I could talk about how beautiful Let Me Help is or how creepy Artefacts You’ll Never See is (even though I still don’t know what it’s about), but I’m not going to do any of that. Instead, I’m just going to say this: Dick Tracy Must Die rocks like some sort of big rocking thing that rocks. So stop reading this review and go listen to the album.

Fuck yeah! Go do that! XD

If anybody’s in Ballard, I’m planning on hitting the Stepping Stone on tonight. Ja ne!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

At press

Mar. 25th, 2011 01:11 pm
solarbird: (assassin)

The booklet and CD tray sheet (which is what you call the back cover of a CD case) are at the printer, at last. Yay! Please don’t forget to enter the review raffle by EOD April 1! There’s a week left to post something, and I hope some of you do!

Other than posting a short CD review ( ^_^ ), what’re you doin’ this weekend? My throat’s a little hoarse so I’m not playing out tonight, but I’m thinking of an open mic on Saturday if I feel better. What’ve you got?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (music)

It’s been a while, so it must be review raffle time! You can win your choice of one of my remaining ARCs (signed!) or! a download code for the entire completed album! Your pick.

Entering’s easy: review Dick Tracy Must Die in its final release form from the website by end-of-day on April 1st, 2011. The review must be at least 25 words long, public, linkable, and include a link to the music page:

http://music.crimeandtheforcesofevil.com/

Come back here (to the band blog, Dreamwidth, Livejournal, or the official Facebook page) and comment with a link to it, so I know it’s out there. Winner will be chosen by die roll selecting from all qualified reviews. If there’s only one review, the writer is sure to win!


In other news, I’m still trying to find a printer for the 8-page CD booklet. I’m really disgusted by the apparent state of the local printing industry right now, because this is pathetic. Do you know a competent printer who actually wants work enough to return calls and deliver a bid for 300 copies? If you do, I have work for them.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (assassin)

Hey, guys, I’ve been kinda distracted. Everybody I know in Japan is fine, but it’s still been very scary. I suggest Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders as an aid organisation. Right now, for Japanese people, the biggest problem by far is the cold and lack of shelter. It’s been a cold winter and spring, and snow is on the ground in a lot of affected areas, and whereever the tsunami hit, there’s nothing left. It went 10km inland. That’s… it just blows my mind.

Oh, and an aside to all the panicking Americans: THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU. STOP PANICKING, SHUT THE HELL UP, AND HELP. Seriously, Americans and French dropped about a billion A- and H-bombs in the Pacific (and two in Japan) in the 40s and 50s, and how many of those necessitated KI tablets in North America? None.

Hell, there were above-ground tests in Nevada. They were tourist events. This was a really bad idea for lots of reasons but you didn’t need to be popping iodine in Las Vegas, much less 7,000km away.

In band news, the CD duplicator has been difficult to work with, but Acronova has been very highly responsive in trying to figure out the problems. The data sides have been perfect, but getting labels to write has been a real trial. They’re now sending me a replacement writer unit, despite the fact that:

…we finally got it working. \o/ Spool 1 is printed! Both sides! And passes validation/verification 100%!

Now I just have to get paper printers to talk to me. H8. DX

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (molly-happy)

I PUT IN THE FIRST DISC OFF THE PRINTER

\o| ITUNES KNOWS WHO WE ARE AAAAAAAAAAAAAA!! \o/ |o/

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (assassin)

Anna says I should explain why you do CD pre-orders. Okay! Two reasons:

1) Figuring out how many booklets and cover backs to print, and how to print them. If I have over a certain number, offset printing is the way to go. Below that, it’s DYI. (My DYI will look professional. It always has.)

For this, I just need a future count. If you’re on Livejournal, here’s a poll I’d love you to fill out. If not, let me know you’re gonna want a CD some other way. ^_^

2) Paying for printing. If I go DIY, that costs money in supplies. I have access to an eight-colour professional printer I can use myself for the colour sheets, but I’ll have to buy a lot of special inks, paper, and so on, for it.

I’d rather go offset – it’s easier – but I dropped a good chunk of change out of pocket on mastering. Worth it? Yes! But not cheap.

Here’s a greyscale laser-printer rough of the design. The booklet is eight pages, with extensive liner notes. Picture this in full colour:


All this will be in colour.


These’ll be full colour too, of course.

I’d like to run the numbers by the 12th; one way or another, I need CDs by April.

Whaddya think, sirs?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (Default)
So I'm trying to figure out how many CD package books and backs I need to make initially. That's based on pre-orders, in part, but I know some people won't pre-order but do intend to buy a copy. Also, some people won't pre-order for a while. Is this you?

(Don't answer here if you've answered the poll on LJ, I'm actually trying to get an approximation here. XD )

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