solarbird: (asumanga-yay)

The times on the webstreaming site are a little confusing, so: we are being livestreamed 2pm Cascadian/Pacific on Sunday, barring the usual things-running-lateness. And! There are several other shows and events also being livestreamed both today and tomorrow, so drop in for any and all of those, too!

Also Bone Walker is now live on iTunes and CD Baby! We are officially in general release. Yay!

That of course includes Amazon, so if you preordered from there, you should be getting things. And if you wouldn’t mind dropping a review, we’d love that, ’cause they really do help. You don’t have to have bought it there to review it there.

Of course, Bandcamp is where you can stream the whole album uncut (and also where we get the largest share of the purchase price, yay? economics?) and that’s also the best place to get the physical disc.

Yay! We’re official!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (korra-excited)

Anna posted photos of her contributor’s copy of the CD today. The first contributor copies are going out and this really is your last chance to get a pre-order of Bone Walker, the CD – at this point it’s really closer to just an “order” – and have a chance at owning the test disc, too. :D

Long show rehearsal today. Very productive. We have a mini-rehearsal on Thursday and then one at the event and then it’s showtime on Sunday at 2pm! Come see us on Sunday! It doesn’t conflict with the Superbowl, you can do both!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (korra-excited)

holy hell, check out what’s up to number 80 on the weekly Alternative chart on Bandcamp.


Yeah, that’s right. Bone Walker.

I know it’s not a huge pond but it is the pond we are in and it is a chart we are on and with a nontrival number, and we’re still in pre-orders mode. \o/

Talking of, if you prefer AmazonMP3 to Bandcamp for some reason, Bone Walker is up for pre-orders on Amazon now, too.

i’m just like “what?” at number 80. we entered the weekly chart yesterday at 129. today we’re number 80. at least as I type this. I guess I need a @wilw flail gif or something now because that’s what it feels like. :D

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (music)

Meanwhile, on the novel side, Anna just posted good news: Bone Walker (the novel) is now on Amazon for pre-order. She also has MOBI and EPUB versions ready for proofreading/testing – go look at her blog post for details on both.

And since I posted late in the day yesterday; in order not to make the Kickstarter backers wait any longer, we’ve gone ahead with a soft release of Bone Walker the album on Bandcamp only. The general release will wait until closer to the release event, but we didn’t want to make Kickstarter people wait any longer than they have already.

We’ve seen one or two public comments already – if you see any more, post in comments? That’d be really helpful. Thanks!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (asumanga-yay)

So Bone Walker is genuinely ready to go in download form. We’re holding the full release (iTunes, CD Baby, all that) until the book is ready too, closer to the CD release show at Conflikt.

HOWEVER! We realised over the weekend that since we are ready, it’s unfair to keep it back from the Kickstarter backers who have been waiting so long. And since the easiest way to get that sorted was to hand it out through Bandcamp, we’re gone ahead and made the Bandcamp edition LIVE.


Final Wraparound Cover

Yep, THE BANDCAMP VERSION OF BONE WALKER IS COMPLETE AND DOWNLOADABLE NOW. You can also still pre-order CDs, and one of you who pre-order the physical CD will get the little bonus we mentioned before. If you pre-ordered the CD already, you should have mail and download codes in your inboxes.

We aren’t ramping this monster up through the roof yet – the big event will be the book and album at the same time, and all that, and there’ll be the show and it will be awesome, like y’do. But the Kickstarter people have been incredibly patient, and sitting on it another couple of weeks just seemed rude.

It would be really nice if you post a review or comments if you let us know. That would be really excellent of you.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Lecturing)

Last year, I spent a lot of time engineering my first project largely for someone else. Leannan Sidhe’s first album, Fragile Dreams, had come out in 2011 and been well received. In 2012, she’d got the money together to put together the follow-up and counterpoint, Mine to Love, the darker opposite to the light first album.

Now, I know Shanti, Leannan Sidhe’s bandleader and songwriter, and I’d helped her a bit with her Kickstarter project. But there weren’t any plans for me to be involved in the project for real, other than occasional moral support. It was all going to be recorded and produced in Oregon, at Alec’s PhantaSea Studio, and mastered by his brother Doc, at Endless Creations.

But we’d played together a couple of times, and she’d even started her Roses and Ruin live/live-in-studio side project at my place, and I designed the album cover. So once a few Real Life Things happened – the normal sorts of budget issues, the problems of commuting 360 miles(!) round trip for recording sessions – she came to me, and asked if they could do some recording in my studio. The gas savings alone would salvage their budget.

Roses and Ruin by Leannan Sidhe
(Will launch Bandcamp)

I didn’t own the vocal mic she had been using in Oregon, and, for that matter, my mic supply was pretty small and specialised at the time. But she was able to throw me some advance money, all of which went to MOAR MICROPHONES, all of which I’ve continued to use elsewhere. So my studio got another level up opportunity. And I’d never stepped up on a major project like this before, not one involving other people – particularly other people in large numbers. I admit it: I was pretty nervous.


Shanti’s preferred vocal mic, the Oktava MK-319

So I started learning about miking other people, and other instruments, and more other instruments, and still more other instruments. And about juggling schedules (and cats – all events involve juggling cats, but musicians are the cattest cats of them all) and getting people to agree to things and editing and pulling out tricks and making guesses and other guesses that actually work and occasionally diffusing creative differences and feeding people who are sugar-crashing and and and.

I’d always been a good editor; I became a really good editor. Alec called some of my edits phenomenal. I’ve been told I have a good ear; I got a better one, at least in some ways – Mickey told me this was the first time a recording of his guitar sounded like his guitar sounded to him. I became very well acquainted with the term “audio fatigue.” I got good at working with people hundreds of miles away and upped my Dropbox account to Pro status, because I needed to. And the Big Board (and Big Book that goes with it) became a Big Deal.


Project complete

Along the way I started making suggestions. Not all of them were taken, but a lot were. I ended up on a couple of tracks, “Voiceless” and “Once More,” where in the latter case I’m everything but the voice. And I got first mix on four songs, which … it’s kind of a resume thing, where even if everything you do got redone, it still means you got to set the tone. All to the taste of the artist, of course, but nonetheless: first to set the tone.


The dual monitors got their first big workout, and it was good.

And now, here we are. The Kickstarter backers have had their copies for a while, the pre-release concert – a while ago at this point – went over well. I wish I had good photos, but I don’t, so have this bad one, gussied up with too many iPhoto effects:


Leannan Sidhe Pre-Release Concert

I’ve wanted to point people at this album for a while, on several occasions, often when talking about production tricks. Other than the core band members, of course, I probably worked as hard on this album as anyone, and while that work was technical, it was also creative. Just in a different way.

But it’s been delayed, because reasons; it simply hasn’t been available to anyone else. Now, it’s out, and I finally can do that pointing. I wish I could point people at “King of Elfland’s Daughter” in particular, because it’s great, but for copyright reasons it can’t be streamed. So go buy the thing, it’s well worth your 99¢. I’m not even on that one and all I recorded were vocals and cello so it’s not even me tooting my own horn.

I think everybody involved learned a lot on this album. Some times good, some things necessary, some things difficult, but learned nonetheless. The production was, occasionally, troubled – and not just from studio-splitting – aad the result is dark, but strong. Even though it’s not the kind of music I do myself, the skills I acquired have already been used and heard on “Kaiju Meat” and will certainly be heard further on Bone Walker. All of these are gifts for the future.

But for now, what matters is that Mine to Love is finally out to the public. Given it a listen. See what you think.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (korra-excited)

Remember Mine to Love, that album I co-engineered last year at Supervillain Studios, and ended up playing on too? Leannan Sidhe’s second album? It’s finally out! It came out today! I didn’t know! SURPRISE!

I’ll post more about it tomorrow, but my favourite song on the album (which I’m not even on) is King of Elfland’s Daughter, which isn’t streamable because of copyright reasons. Just go buy it, it is worth your 99¢, trust me here.

Here’s a player for the entire album other than that track:

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (music)

Another in-progress instrumental piece from the Bone Walker book series soundtrack; I’m calling this one “Kitsune at War,” at least for now. Three kinds of drums, mandolin, Irish bouzouki, fiddle; still missing are flute and a second fiddle:

It’s quite a scene I’m trying to paint here, with kitsune, a water dragon, representatives of faerie, and a member of the unseelie court hanging out around the fringes. It starts simple enough – and this is the first quarter of the scene – but mashing up Scottish (Douce Dame Jolie) and Japanese traditional music (Oedo Nihonbashi/お江戸日本橋) was not easy! I ended up treating it more orchestrally, and brought in and modified Kendis’s tune as glue, turning that into less “Road to Lisdoonvarna” and more “Forced March to Lisdoonvarna.” Or that’s what I’ve been calling it in the studio. XD

Most instruments (drums – even the electrics are played live – mandolin, irish bouzouki) are me; Sarah Kellington of Pinniped is on fiddle. We have another fiddler working on this (whose name will be familiar to many of you, but all that in good time…) to be added in, and a flautist (same notation). (MYSTERIOUS IS IT NOT? Yeeeeeeeees.)

Anyway, a 50 second excerpt for you. Enjoy.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (mandolin-and-flutes)

I’m sick of talking about eye surgery and all that other crap. Remember the Bone Walker/Free Court of Seattle soundtrack album? Here, have a sneak preview work track – it’s the Irish tunes set which goes with Chapter 23 of Faerie Blood:

Normally I wouldn’t throw a work track out there, not even as a sneak preview, but yeah. This is missing the percussion, a male voice counting in individual tunes in Gaelic (because plot reasons), some chimes, and final assembly, but it has the right shape. You can see what rough beast caleighs its way towards Newfoundland in this.

That’s Ellen Eades on hammer dulcimer, Sunnie Larsen on fiddle, me on mandolin and Irish bozouki, and…

You may notice also notice a bass instrument in there. I’ve posted it separately:

I am so pleased with myself over this entirely accidental discovery. Everyone I’ve played it for has guessed standup bass or double-bass (including a professional cellist), but give your opinion; then guess what it actually is. I dare you. I double dog dare you.

I’ll tell you this much: it’s not synthetic, and it’s not a double-bass.

Actually, should I make this a contest? I haven’t done a contest in forever. First person to guess right – WHO HASN’T ALREADY BEEN TOLD AND YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE – gets a download of any album I have on Bandcamp, including this one once it comes out, which it hasn’t yet. Go!

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (korra-excited)

I have released a slightly updated version of Kaiju Meat. It’s not really a remix as much as it is a couple of technical corrections and undoing a compromise made originally because I didn’t have time to build the automation to do what I actually wanted to do. Now I have.

People who listen mostly on earbuds will hear the most difference, mostly during the bridge. People who listen on laptop speakers, second most, same place. Anna says it sounds better but wasn’t sure why. That’s exactly what I wanted.

This is all prompted by a project. Yep, there’s a reason. Stay tuned, hopefully soon. :D

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (podcast)

Surprise! The Geekmusic Podcast! Episode 5, September 2013. It’s a short one (18 minutes) but it’s here. I play some very early bits from the Bone Walker soundtrack, talk about nwcMUSIC 2014, plus – SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT! – I’m an attending pro at Vancouver’s VCON this October! I’ll have a 10pm Saturday show, and will be running a workshop and some panels.

But here’s the podcast:

Tell me who you want to hear about or hopefully just outright hear in a future episode, too! Hopefully in October or November we can get back to normal lengths.

Oh, if you don’t like YouTube, we have direct mp3 download and Soundcloud links at the Podcast page, like usual.

In related news, an update on the post I made yesterday about the return of Seattle Geekly: they made their Kickstarter goal! Go them! But it’s not too late to jump on that bandwagon, they have stretch goals and such, like y’do.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (cascadia dance dance revolution)

This new song, Kaiju Meat, comes out of an extremely strong positive reaction to Pacific Rim, merged with the Cascadian Mecha Militia and its Dance Dance Revolution Team; it was made for the Jaegercon online convention this weekend.

In an alternate universe, the Cascadian Mecha Militia largely stood down in favour of the more powerful Jaegers – but when Seattle’s Jaeger fell, the not-decommissioned Mecha Militia Dance Dance Revolution Demonstration Team (a Seafair favourite!) stepped in and finished the job. This is their victory song.

Most importantly: special thanks to tereshkova2001 from Tumblr, and Kathryn Tewson from Facebook, who answered the call for volunteers in the chorus.

This is a FREE download. This recording is Creative Commons 3.0 Attribute/Noncommercial/ShareAlike; derivative uses ARE allowed. The song itself is (C) 2013 me, but that’s a separate thing.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (podcast)

Episode 4 of The Geekmusic Podcast is live – direct mp3 download and Soundcloud links are both on the podcast page. I won’t have time to make the YouTube version until I’m back in town again probably next week.

This one’s short – it actually is 22 minutes long, I didn’t make that up – but despite that fully-formed and well-packed, with Heather Dale talking about the new Gates of Camelot bardic/Arthurian MMO and Nicole Dieker stopping by to play us a track off her brand new Giant Robot Album. Plus big show news for San Diego Comic Con, for Seattle if you’re a Marian Call fan, and a host of new releases. Download away!

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

solarbird: (korra-on-the-air)

The Geekmusic Podcast, Episode 3: June 2013 is live! We play a track from Boston band Local Midnight’s first live album, chat with Death*Star and Klopfenpop about music and culture and art and generally cut up in the studio, there’s geekmusic news including a surprising project from The Heather Dale Band, and more. Enjoy!

MP3 download version only, so far; the YouTube version will follow hopefully in a few hours, we hope, but we wanted to get this online right away. YouTube version timing depends upon what happens with the Surprise Plumbing Event today.

You never, ever, want Surprise Plumbing Events. In case that was in any doubt.

Anyway. Clickie!

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

solarbird: (made her from parts)

The band website has been kind of a mess for a while, partly because I kept adding things in weird places that I thought might work but didn’t, and partly because it has always been an assemblage of parts. The blog is a locally hosted WordPress, the video page was just my YouTube channel, the music page was at least partially integrated but is still really Bandcamp – things like that.

Basically, it was a mess, and entirely out of hand. And I read an article a few weeks ago on focus of presentation on your main band page, and decided to do something about it. It’s not so much a redesign – because it isn’t – as a better and more complete implementation of the existing design.

Originally, I just wanted to fix the front page. But then YouTube threw its new page format at me, and that doesn’t work with what I do. And one of my blog readers told me they turned off stylesheets to read my blog(!) because they simply can’t read white on black, and I’ve heard people say they had trouble with that before, and it all kind of snowballed.

So I pulled a couple of style elements from the blog and brought them over (particularly in the left bar), and hammered the other parts of the blog into looking like the rest of the site, made a videos page that’s not on YouTube, updated just about everything for consistency, and, well, take a look at it, will you? Does it render reasonably on your machine?

One big advantage of the new blog format is that I can post wider pictures without breaking the columns. Yay!

I’ve tested it on a couple of browsers and it’s fine so far, but I don’t have every browser or OS. From here, it looks a lot more consistent and frankly less goofy a presentation, but it’s still new code and parts of it could be broken.

And I’m still not sure what to do on phones. On phones, WordPress flips over to Carrington, which is a mobile-specific standard format, which is a a lot easier to read but… not attractive. Also I don’t know how to get the social-candy-icons stuff to show up over the banner on the blog page, because WordPress. I do know how to get them to show up on the Music page. I haven’t done it yet, but will – it’ll be tedious, and can wait until after Folklife is over.

Anyway, give it a look, if you get a chance. Does it work on your machine?

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

a new book

Apr. 15th, 2013 09:28 am
solarbird: (asumanga-yay)

Anna’s new book is out! It’s called Valor of the Healer (yes, spellcheck, because Carina Press is an American publisher, leave it) and you can download it right! now! for an eminently reasonable new-release price. And you should! Because I said so. Also because it’s good. And I helped make certain, um, possibly-seen-as-nefarious mechanisations work better.

Yes, that does in fact mean I’m a consulting supervillain. SHOVE OVER, MORIARTY, YOU AREN’T THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN. Do you have a heat ray? No? Okay then. SHIFT IT.


Clickie!

I am telling you guys, it is so much more fun being on this side of the spoiler wall. It is. XD

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: (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)

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.

solarbird: (assassin)

Too late to say more than that now, but holy shit we have the golden master. That’s right, Dick Tracy Must Die is a release, right here in our grubby little mitts.

More on the music page. Also, more tomorrow, including – yes, I’m sayin’ it – pre-orders. Fuck yeah, mudkips: Preorders. \o/

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

May 2017

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