solarbird: (korra-excited)

Back from beautiful British Columbia, and on to Conflikt! We came back with cider and bagels, as is tradition, and a good time was had by all.

Here’s a pretty good shot of the three regular members of Le Vent du Nord – I didn’t get a great photo of the substitute fiddler (here’s the best of them), but he did a very nice job. And got fired four times in one night! That’s pretty good too.

Three out of four isn’t so bad

Busy loading gear at the moment so I can’t make a big post, but hopefully I’ll see some of you at Conflikt. Here’s the schedule; my show is at 8:30 tonight. Day memberships are available, and it’s a two-show bill with Betsy Tinney opening at 7:30. TOTALLY WORTH IT C’MON OUT.

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solarbird: (Lecturing)

Off to Vancouver for a show! Not one of mine tho’, we’re seeing Le Vent du Nord tonight at the Rogue.

I mentioned that the instrument pickup I built last week sounded really good if I used my finger, but terrible using their standard attachment methods. I tried attaching it using a plastic clamp, but at first, that didn’t seem to help, so I rebuilt the piezo portion of the device, without the double-sided tape which had confused me the first time around.

That’s had an interesting effect. Held on by hand, the sound is definitely different – lots more low-end – but I think I like it less. But at the same time, using the clamp now works – it sounds the same with the plastic clamp as it does held on with finger, which is a huge improvement, and makes it usable on stage.

This is definitely something which requires more tinkering, but I’ve got it far enough along to try using during Friday’s show. Because SURE UNTESTED GEAR WHY NOT right? Well, you have to test it sometime. XD

Time to fly. See you at the Rogue?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (Default)
I donated last year to the Wise Theatre fundraiser, and apparently that included either one or two free tickets, I didn't even know. But I just got email reminding me there are only five shows left to use them.

Anyone in Vancouver interested in these shows? As far as I know, they... out to be transferrable? If anybody nibbles, I'll find out. I'm in town on the 3rd, but busy at VCON, and then I'm not back in town again until November 7th, and back out before the 14th, so yay timing! Or the opposite of that.

Anyway, the shows:

· Oct. 3rd Slim Cessna:
· Oct. 10th Now & Then Megaphone Fundraiser w/ Rain City Chronicles (10 tickets only):
· Oct. 22nd Supersuckers:
· Oct. 31st Halloween Bash:
· Nov. 14th Live @ The Wise Cousin Harley
solarbird: (music)

Back from Maillardville and Festival du Bois! Here, have a bunch of festival pictures. I saw things exploded and posted about it, but it was over in six hours, making it possibly the shortest-duration F&SF explosifluffle I’ve ever seen.

And how was your weekend?

Vishten. I forgot my real camera so all these are cell phone. You can see what kind of lighting I was up against.

The Puppetmasters do crowd control. Or something like that.

“Do not EVEN post that to Facebook!”

De Temps Antan, with Eric, not to be confused with Le Vent du Nord, with Simon. My Beaudifferentation skills are poor, but Eric is the chatty one.

Famillé Leger

I was doing Frog Mitten Boxing all weekend.

Serene Anna is Serene

It’s'a Shadowbox a’Mario!

(The forecast was for snow. It turned to rain.)


The Gang at the Rogue

My stupid phone camera wants to turn all spotlit stage performers into columns of light, particularly if there’s a dark background. I could defeat it, but only at the cost of Holga emulation.

Thanks again to Geri and Robert for putting us up, and putting up with us. Next week, Victoria and up the island points north!

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

Off to Festival du Bois for the weekend, soon; won’t be back until late Monday night. I feel strange heading out after four months mostly stuck at home recovering from eye surgeries, but a little stranger stepping out while the Bone Walker soundtrack is going so well! My calendar feels like one unending game of Jenga sometimes.

I’m keeping the collective noun for a group of microphones poll open until I get back. If you haven’t seen that list, do – everybody came up with great suggestions, and some of them are really funny. The poll for favourite is surprisingly close.

Meanwhile, I’ll be on twitter and stuff, but have some links to keep you busy ’till I get back.

Enjoy! And see you Tuesday.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (Default)
Fred Herzog's photos of mostly Vancouver, mostly from the late 1950s and early 1960s, but not exclusively. The one directly linked, too, though - that's old St. John's. I've been there. But the Vancouver photos are great. There's also one of south Lake Union, Seattle - kind of now known as Amazonia since they put their main campus there - in the same period.

Also here are some excerpts. They're awesome.


Oct. 9th, 2013 11:08 am
solarbird: (Lecturing)

Experiencing VCON from the programming side… isn’t all that much different to experiencing it from the attendee side. Which is good, since I love attending the convention and didn’t want to lose that part.

Anna and I drove to Vancouver – and yes, we did go to Vancouver, even if the hotel was in Richmond – which we never do. I vastly prefer to go by train, but with all the cargo we had this year? If you’re bringing me in to do panels and a show, I am coming prepared. Handouts, multiple costume changes, gear for the show, bits to show during howto panels, extra instruments to be extra lively at panels – I don’t screw around.

Programming front-loaded me pretty solidly, with three presentations and panels on Friday. From 6-8pm I was talking about building an audio kit on the cheap and, with the help of Joe Fulgham from The Caustic Soda Podcast, the Home Recording 101 panel. We had a funny moment when a few people showed up asking where the knitting panel was – they came back a couple of times until we all figured out what was going on.

Bloginhood gave some very positive feedback, and yeah, I did kind of go off briefly on condenser vs. magnetic-field-vibration microphone head technologies, but dammit, how are you going to do mad science if you don’t know how these things work? Still, I can probably save that for second quarter.

After that, I hopped over to the Kaiju Konfessions Monster Movie Sing-A-Long, which Stan Hyde runs most(?) years, with updates and new material. Stan is a monster kaiju fan (ar ar ar) and really, really knows his kaiju flicks; he’s a lot of fun to listen to. I also ran into Jax, who came as a late-80s Software Pirate, and who lugged a (working!) Commodore SX-64 around all weekend and set it up for games several times.

Did you know Commodore made a luggable?

Friday night’s “Collaborative Filk Creation” panel mostly just turned into a jam, but really, isn’t that kind of the point? I met Greg Cairns there, and we ended up hanging about some at music panels and jamming in the con suite on Sunday. He’s a guitarist and vocalist, and also does DJ work on the side.

My biggest worry on Saturday – the Songwriting Workshop – actually went really well. I’d never hosted one of these before, but had three people (of the four maximum allowed), so it took the form of a presentation followed by work on individual songs. Since it’s an F&SF kind of crowd, that meant I could talk wave physics, so I did. Also maths. I went in all I DO WHAT I WANT and fortunately the audience turned out to be quite receptive. XD

Also, Conflikt have asked me to rerun it at their convention in January, and I’ve said yes. You’d almost think I was getting a reputation for songwriting or something. ^_^

This has got awfully long, so I’m going to post the next part tomorrow.

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

Hello, VCON attendees and members of the West Coast Science Fiction Association! Click here to download your very own copy of the Kitting Out Cheap handout, in convenient PDF form. You’ll also probably be interested in the Studio Buildout Series of blog posts, and maybe the the Home Recording 101 outline.

This post is going up before VCON even starts! If you see it before or during, my concert is Saturday at 10pm, in Sea Island Ballroom A. That sounds like a very large room. Please come fill it or I will be lonely and sad. Also, I have a fifteen tesla magnetic field generator, and I suspect many of you have vehicles. Don’t let me get bored. I’m just saying.

Regardless, enjoy our new free-download single, “Kaiju Meat”, and the Cracksman Betty bonus free download track, “The S-100 Bus.”

Welcome to the Lair! Oh, and, try not to die. (That’s supervillain for “I like you.”)

eta: And here’s songwriting workshop supplemental material version 0.1 alpha.

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solarbird: (music)

Here’s my VCON schedule for this coming weekend – they’ve got me pretty busy Friday evening, as you can see! Then the Saturday afternoon workshop, and the concert at 10pm.

VCON 38, October 5-7, Vancouver, BC

I’m not entirely sure why they have me moderating a “What Is Filk?” panel on Sunday, but I’ll do my best. ^_^

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (shego-rule?-you?)

VCON asked me to host a songwriter workshop, which is kind of amazing, and I said okay, which is even more amazing. So, Vancouver, if you want to workshop a song with a supervillain? Now is your opportunity. Details below, but move fast, deadlines are kind of now. Or the 30th. One of those.

VCON 38, Song Writers’ Workshop
Instructor: Dara Korra’ti
Date: Saturday, October 5
Start Time: 2 PM
Duration: 2 hr
Max participants: 4

Singer songwriter Dara Korra’ti will meet with workshop participants for a collaborative review of songs-in-progress. The focus will be on general feedback and constructive criticisms for improvement from both her and other participants.

Participants must submit the work-in-progress they wish to have workshopped no later than September 30. To submit, send the lyrics you have written so far and a recording (or a link to a recording) of the song or the music your lyrics are for via email to

Any quality recording is fine – even a phone recording – though obviously higher quality is better within the constraints of sending a file by email. If your lyrics are written to go with an existing, popular song you can just provide the title name of the artist. If you have written your own music, you may also submit the score but, at Dara’s request, the deadline for a submission with a musical score is a week earlier (September 23) to give her more time to review it.

While not required, participants are encouraged to bring their favourite, portable musical instrument to the workshop.

NOTE: Online registration for VCON hands-on workshops are normally restricted to those who have pre-registered with those who purchase a membership on site only being allowed to register if there are open spaces available the day of the workshop. However, given the nature of this particular workshop (that is, material needs to be pre-submitted), and the fact that pre-registration ended on Sep 15, anyone who would like to participate in this workshop but who has not pre-registered for VCON is invited to contact the VCON Director of Programming to discuss possible options regarding their participation.

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

While a song is not a documentary, all of these variations actually happened, the first one repeatedly. In none of those moments some people call “ironic” but actually contains no actual irony, I was at a party this weekend hosted by the Agora featuring the Attoparsec Cocktail Engine, and while it was not capable of making a true kamikaze, it was capable of making one of these terrifying variants.

I labelled the programme card for it, “PAIN.”


You can’t get a good kamikaze in Vancouver
2013 Crime and the Forces of Evil
or maybe Mary Kaye and the Cosmetics, it’s that kind of song

Should probably be played with banjo or possibly ukelele
Also tuba. BOMP bomp BOMP bomp BOMP bomp BOMP bomp

You can’t get a good kamikaze in Vancouver
It doesn’t matter where you buy your drinks
You can’t get a good kamikaze in Vancouver
Gods know I’ve tried and every one just stinks

Verse 1:
[on beat] Sometimes they’ll swap out the lime for orange
A trick they learned while serving in the Navy
I should be glad at least it is a citrus
But something I could rhyme would be nice maybe


Verse 2:

The Sheraton Vancouver’s pretty pleasant
Although it’s really really really really really really really really really really far away
The kamikazi served was phosphorescent
That kaiju flavour sticks with you all day


Verse 3:
Le Vent du Nord was playing in Coquitlam
     Spoken: Yeah, I’m gonna rhyme something with Coquitlam. Watch me.
Le Festival du Bois’s a panacea
The drinking at the restaurant left my face numb
A kamikazi’s not a margarita!


Verse 4:
Davie during Pride is made of glitter
Commercial is a starker raving zoo
The kami that they served me was so bitter
The other girls around me bit ‘er too

ar ar ar
But still I tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
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solarbird: (pony-dj-pon-3)

Anna and I were in Victoria last week, and she picked up a mammoth at the provincial museum. (And, by the way, I had no idea how fucking big those animals were. Holy hell in a handbasket those things were big. I know, I know, they’re called mammoths, but ‘jumbo shrimp’ are called ‘jumbo’ and that’s not true now is it?)

I posted lots of pictures to Twitter about ADVENTURES! And now, mammoth needs a name. And she was debating whether mammoth was male or female and I said not to force mammoth into a false gender binary, and now we just need a name.

The post is over on her blog. Go vote to name our genderqueer mammoth! Also, respect genderqueer mammoth’s identity, or they will trample you into viscera. Just see if they don’t.

Name me!

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

solarbird: (cascadia dance dance revolution)

First: Wednesday’s DIY post is going to be special. We have a guest appearance by Pegasus-award-winner Jeff Bohnhoff, of Jeff and Maya Bohnhoff. Jeff has been performing for 30 years, and has recorded and engineered literally dozens of albums from the studio he built in California.

Jeff brings far more experience and theory to it than I have, but is still delivering an affordable approach to the topic. If you’re into DIY and home recording, you will want to read this column.

As for me; Anna and I are back from VCON! Being all the way out in Surrey, it was Far Far Away times this weekend – I mean, I had to take a bus to the Skytrain – but the hotel was nice, and we brought home the usual collection of books (via a Friday morning run into Vancouver proper), bagels (courtesy Geri, who drive two dozen out to us all the way from Kitsilano, omg thank you!) and cider! Yum.

Lots of kaiju programming this year, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and the El Rons were funny as usual. We had to leave too early to make the Turkey Readings, though! So sad. I love acting those out. Schedule those before Sunday afternoon next year, guys! Some of us have to catch trains. ;_;

There was an extended panel on the pulp aesthetic which talked I quite enjoyed as well; I have a theory now that a lot of what broke the Action Hero Scientist – alive in well in the 1930s, mostly dead by the early 1950s – was the Nazi movement and World War II. Seriously, I mean it; that whole Ubermench/superman thing was entirely the point, and I think they threw it out of fashion for decades.

Before you say Jonny Quest: Jonny Quest tried to square the circle. He had two dads (and no mom: exploitable), effectively; Race was the physical half of the adventurer, Dr. Quest (Sr.) was the scientist half, and Jonny, the child of both, was of an age where he wasn’t either yet, but had the potential to be both. It’s a nice finesse, and I think has a lot to do with why it works. (Despite all its very, very, many problems.)

(And before you say Superman qua Superman: I think Superman survived because he isn’t human. But even with that, he went from “super-evolved/optimised super-man,” the pinnacle of ubermench achievement, to, effectively, “otherworldly demigod.” It’s a different category.)


Strangely, I saw no music programming on the grid. At opening ceremonies, a couple of different people asked what was up with that, and it turns out that their music lead had had to drop out on short notice before the convention, as had a couple of their music pros, so: no filk! But they also said that spontaneous filk was welcome.

And since, as Anna put it, she “can’t take me anywhere,” I found VCON Programming Head after opening ceremonies. Her first words to me were, “NO MORE CHANGES,” so I said, “Just gimmie a room, whaddya got?” She hesitated until I added, “You don’t have to do anything. Just give me a room.”

So she did and I, um, kinda, fixed the hotel printer (you’re welcome, Sheraton Surrey) and Doctor Who-ed my way through VCON Ops for supplies. And that’s how there were eight hours of filk programming and notices and wayfinding signs, and if I’d had any of my own equipment around (or wanted to fight the hotel’s systems some more) there also would’ve been branding, because that’s the kind of shit I do.

Then I went back to the restaurant, finished dinner, and had dessert. Custard. It was lovely.

Actually, creme brulee. Not so different.

I have to admit, I love Doctor Whoing my way through an organisation. And I love that fannish organisations tend to make it easy. “Hi, I’m the Musician. I desperately need gaffers tape and a marker of substance. What’ve you got?” XD

Friday night was a bit thin and only ran two and a half hours, but Saturday filled the Cypress Room. Hopefully everyone had a good time – we were going until something like 1:30 so that’s certainly a good sign. I certainly did. (Overdid it a bit, to tell the truth – my voice on Sunday was a tad… gritty.)

Sadly, I missed the Battlestar Galactica fan club party! I got there literally 30 seconds before they closed. I wish I’d got up there earlier, guys! I honestly didn’t expect Saturday filk to run so late. Thanks for the cupcake, though; it was yummy. ^_^

Anyway, that’s what I did. I hope you had a good weekend, and tell anyone interested in studio DIY about Jeff Bohnhoff’s guest post on Wednesday; they’ll want to give it a look. See you next time!

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

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