solarbird: (korra-excited)

Since it’s been announced, I can confirm: I have accepted an invitation to be Toastmaster at Conflikt 9, January 29-31, 2016. It’s my first GoH position at any convention, and as I’ve been saying, I am confused but honoured to have been selected and I will do my best to be a good one.

Conflikt Chair Jen Kilmer asked me to pick my personal Toast title, as is tradition; previous officeholders have been Toastmistresses, Toastmaster both standard and burnt, and Toastmonsters; I have chosen Toastmuppet. Expect inordinate amounts of Kermitflail, starting right now:

The release concert on Sunday was pretty much amazing, at least from our end. We never did manage to have a rehearsal with everyone at once, but it didn’t seem to hurt us too badly on stage. A lot of people stayed through Sunday afternoon to hear us, and I cannot thank all of you enough for that.

And hoo, I will never complain about setup time for other bands again. Okay, well, I will. But not as much. We took over an hour, and that was as simplified as I could make it, and with all the advance material I could hand over handed over, and nobody screwing around.

And, of course, once again, thanks to everyone: Alexander James Adams (drums, vocals, backing fiddle), Paul Campbell (hammer dulcimer), Jeri Lynn Cornish (cello, bones, chorus), Angela Korra’ti (flute, readings), Leannan Sidhe (vocals), Skellington (lead fiddle), Betsy Tinney (drums), and S.J. Tucker (bass, chorus). It would quite literally have been impossible without you.

Highlights of the convention – hoo, I dunno, it’s hard to pick. Alec’s show was great, and not in that “as always” way, there was something extra in the energy that night. Having the rest of Tricky Pixie on for a few songs probably didn’t hurt anything. The PDX Broadsides won Saturday’s concert set, no doubt – they’re much better live than in their older recordings. (I haven’t heard the new album yet tho’ – I only heard old demos.) I’m so glad I’m having them in for nwcMUSIC this year. Oh wait, that’s still technically embargoed, lol. Regardless, they’re really good live. And Stringapalooza’s set on Sunday was the tightest thing I’ve ever heard at a convention, they were amazing.

I stayed through the near-very-end of the dead dog/smoked salmon; I like leaving while there are one or two holdouts still holding out, so I don’t feel like it’s really over even though it is. And there were two, and a couple of others who were just there to listen, at around 1am Monday morning, so I packed out before they could change their minds. Sunday night is particularly good as far as I’m concerned, because I’ll do any damn thing, and that includes the relevant-for-20-minutes-thanks-a-lot-guys Doctor Who song I wrote in 2013* and have performed live never, a cappella DEVO tracks, and pretty much anything anyone asks me for, rehearsed or not. I will just do the thing. And it’s great.

Also, this happened – thanks Tom!

S00j wrote a really relevant post about Conflikt and Filk in general, particularly as its position in the geek hierarchy, and you should go read it. She touches quite directly on some of the things I’m trying to address indirectly through the way I feature filk as the founding pillar of geekmusic, and the way I talk about the punk nature of their hands-on/DIY aesthetic, and the participatory culture foundation underlying all of that.

Definitely worth reading. Give it a little thought.

*: it was pretty good, too.

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

solarbird: (molly-oooooh)

I need this. I need it like burning. It’s a device that basically turns anything, and I mean anything, into a percussion instrument.

Including the coffee cup.

I see how it’s made and I’m kind of thinking, y’know, maybe I should build that.

Then again, maybe I should stop adding new projects and finish ones I’ve already started. Maybe that.

(Thanks to Klopfenpop for the link.)

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: (molly-oooooh)

If you’re into the whole old-school SF idea of planned/constructed societies and all that -and if you haven’t read much SF of the 30s though early 60s, you’ve missed out – you really need to read about Synco (a.k.a. Project Cybersyn) in Chile during the Allende administration, before the Pinochet coup d’etat. Because they tried it, for industrial production.

The Wikipedia article gives you an overview, but THIS WAS REAL, NOT A MOVIE SET:

The Opsroom or Operations Room: a physical location where [nationalised industry] information was to be received and stored and made available for speedy decision-making. It was designed in accordance with Gestalt principles, in order to give users a platform that would give them a chance to absorb information in a simple and comprehensive way.

They didn’t get finished before the coup d’etat – the screens were used, but they had to have slides prepared each day rather than getting the data straight from the computer. But they were using the data – successfully, in many cases. All the major production facilities were, in fact, connected, via a massive network of telex machines, and data was flowing to the central computer, which was modelling and predicting based on daily data, and heuristic decisions were being made and acted upon and everything.

The goal was to have it all be realtime, as their computer capabilities ramped up. Keep in mind: this was in an era when moving this kind of data around and collating it within a single company in most countries could take took weeks, and decision-making could take even longer. They were doing it daily, with an eye towards continuously.

The difference between this and the Soviet and Chinese experiments is that it was intentionally decentralised. They were specifically avoiding those systems and trying to come up with something both socialist and rationalist and distributed – some of the factories had started setting up their own mini-facilities like this central one.

I’m fascinated by what they might’ve come up with, without Pinochet and his military dictatorship. They had the entire system destroyed – Pinochet was about authoritarianism, and had no time for this distributed-authority bullshit.

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

solarbird: (sulu_oh_my)

International Space Station commander Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies, live on CBCMUSIC three days ago. I AM NOT EVEN JOKING. Click through and hit play. Chris’s parts were actually recorded from space, tho’ time syncing would’ve been done later, of course, as is normal.


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

solarbird: (bubbles-is-hardcore)

It’s Friday! I have people coming over to record stuff. Enjoy three pieces of art by other people; one written, two video.

This first item isn’t what you’re going to think it is. I’m going to tell you what it is, and you’re going to go, ‘what? unlikely’ and not even read it, even though you should.

It’s part crackfic, it’s part hard-SF singularity story, it’s kind of creepy, it’s kind of epic, and it’s also quite funny at parts, particularly if the term “paperclip AI” means anything to you. It’s one of the most amazing fanfic efforts I’ve read, and I’m not even in the fandom. Please enjoy:

My Little Pony:

Friendship is Optimal
Caution: self-modifying code.

And if that’s a little too out there for you, please instead (or in addition) please enjoy two mashups.

From an art standpoint, I’m just really impressed by how well this actually just works as music. It’s the kind of mashup that kind of makes sense from the start – it may be R&B separated by time and great distance, but it’s still a collision of two R&B-oriented artists. Please enjoy FAROFF’s PSY vs. Ray Parker, Jr., in Gangnambusters:

This last one’s pretty silly, two rather opposite 1980s pop acts slammed against each other. If you know anything about Billy Idol’s punk era and George Michael’s solo pop career, seeing the high-makeup punk crowd headbanging to George Michel’s high-accellerated crooning is both hysterical and somehow appropriate. It’s not bad musically, either; it sounds too fast at first, but there are reasons – they had to speed up both tracks just to get enough energy into Michel’s singing.

Please enjoy Wax Audio’s Bill Idol vs. George Michael, Careless Rebel:

We’re finally going to see Wreck-it Ralph (a.k.a. Sugar Rush) this weekend. What’re your plans?

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

solarbird: (molly-oooooh)

Going to get the stupid car today. The shop in Kelso can’t find the problem – or even recreate the problem so far – so we’ll be driving north in a tiny convoy, and I’ll have AAA on speed dial.

So here, have a Friday amusement. Seattle’s big passenger rail depot, King Street Station, is being restored. It’s been a huge undertaking and I’m really excited about it as someone who rides Cascadia Rail a lot.

Where it’s built faces two substantially different street levels; King Street is low, and Jackson Street is rather higher. So there’s an upper plaza while the rails, ticketing, and waiting rooms are down on the lower level. Originally, the Grand Stairwell connected the two, and you had entrances on both levels; the stairwell has been closed for decades, but they’re restoring it.

I just found out today that the Grand Stairwell was originally narrowed – but not yet closed – in 1949, to add escalators. I’d never even known those were there, as they’ve also been closed for decades. And following some threads on the construction update I was reading, I found this:


I’d steal it but according to SDOT in this thread, it was gone by the time they took over the station. So sad.

The station took the most damage in the 1960s (…of course…) as it was “modernised” with drop ceilings and and and. Thankfully, in the main waiting area, they did not rip out all the ornate plaster and marble work, but instead hid much of it, semi-intact, behind new material. More of it had to be removed – temporarily this time – for the seismic retrofit, but it’ll be coming back, along with repairs and replacements for the 1960s damage.

There are about eight zillion photographs here, and notes here.

Find some of the pre-restoration photos of the station if you can. That was just sad.

This weekend for me, assuming we make it back in one piece: more recording with Leannan Sidhe, then prep for Second Thanksgiving at the Lair. What’ve you got?

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

solarbird: (assassin)

So Tom Smith linked to this incredibly relevant to our interests article today, featuring this graph:

Plays Share and Growth

So! My agenda is clear and obvious!

1. GET THE FUCK ONTO YOUTUBE. Okay! Have to shoot a video! That’s fun. And:

2. GET THE FUCK ONTO PANDORA. Can do, sport! This one’s much easier to at least attempt. But I need to go ahead and get something I was going to get anyway:

A UPC barcode or several. One right away for Dick Tracy Must Die, more later. I know CD Baby is a decent place to get them but I’ve also heard they’ve kinda started sucking lately. Is there a better place or are they still okay?

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil.

solarbird: (molly-braceforimpact)
Oh, this is bad; Alec's looking at foreclosure, like, in a matter of weeks. (Days, really, but.) He and Kore finally have some business plans together to get Fae Hollow back to enough profitability to pay the mortgage, but extension negotiations with the loan agent failed. The bank is moving to auction on the 9th (omg) and they're casting the widest possible net now for a business partner - basically it's a Hail Mary, but if you know anybody in position to catch such a pass, now would be a good time to connect people together.

Contact data is over at Alec's LJ.
solarbird: (molly-spacerabbit)
I don't usually remember my dreams but last night I had an anxiety dream wherein ALIENS! had handed in Lake Forest Park, which was somehow kind of part of Kenmore but not really, and they'd been around a day or two and were making all with the CALM DOWN EVERYTHING IS FINE, J0 WHAT'S UP but there was Something Bothering Me, and when Anna and I were down at a big seating area where Bothell Way normally runs in front of Lake Forest Park Town Centre (with super-long picnic tables, for some reason) and I saw one of the aliens, they looked like Donna Barr's horse-headed fairies which who steal humans and turn them into horse-fairy-world horses! And I dunno whether they'd also steal elves, but I thought, "If Donna Barr has taught me anything, it's don't trust horse fairies" and I grabbed Anna and we ran like hell down Burke-Gilman Trail back to our Vancouver condominium in Kenmore (ikr) only to discover it had been broken into and all our data was gone (laptops, drives, etc) and when I tried to phone the police, 911 wasn't working and I knew Shit Was Going Down.

So we went back down to Burke-Gilman and started hiking towards Bothell and I got it in my head that the ALIENS! were stealing Places They Liked, and considered for a moment that they wouldn't like the strip malls that are going to be torn down in Kenmore, so maybe we could hang out there, but we'd climbed up this hill and when we climbed down we were already in Wayne's Corner, so we went into this railroad-car diner to try to phone Paul, in Bothell, because I was worried there might be horse fairies in Bothell, and it was getting dark already, but nothing worked anymore except neon lights and a jukebox. And then I woke up.
solarbird: (shego-cosplay)
Sony actually is running a game show where the contestants are competing for a software testing job. On the Playstation. WHAT
solarbird: (asumanga-yay)
I've been asked to play a show in Boston while I'm there in June! I've now updated my gigs page! With my new gig! The one in BOSTON!

Excuse me while I squee uncontrollably! ^_^
solarbird: (Default)
Here, something to make you laugh. (Link posted previously by [ profile] kevin_standlee, pointing to [ profile] corwynofamber who linked to a youtube video.)
solarbird: (music)
So, now that I have all the equipment working, I made a test recording today of a new mandolin instrumental (called "January") I've been writing, and got the equalisation drop-ins and such working, and did a stereo mixdown and export to figure all that out. And it worked, yay!

Then I threw it at a few people online to get reactions. I know the noise floor is still too high (that's why I need carpet, to build sound baffles) and it's kind of a sloppy playthrough, but I wanted to see what people thought, and how it sounded on other speakers, and, um, suddenly now [ profile] ysabel is my first sponsor for my first CD, and my brain is all essploded! HI FAIRIES! Here's a shout-out!

i guess that means it's pretty good. omg
solarbird: (Default)
This is the best weather bulletin evar:

I swear this is real. (Uncompressed here).
solarbird: (Default)
Saw this at the Albertsons in Lake Forest Park, down the hill from my house, displayed prominently on the bookshelves by the checkout stands:

Complete Idiot's Guide

Back cover )

It's not really the usual market for this kind of thing. I've been hearing about a lot of religious revivalism on Wall Street amoungst the traders, too.

Mr. Bush signed the bill almost immediately after passage. The equities markets peaked today right as the House started to vote on this bailout. The Dow then proceeded to fall 470.88 points from that high as the bill passed and into the rest of the afternoon to close.

I don't think that's a vote of confidence.


Sep. 17th, 2008 10:57 pm
solarbird: (molly-braceforimpact)
I saw this on Naked Capitalism and thought it was a joke, but it isn't:
The action by the four banking agencies provides more favorable accounting treatment of so-called good will, an intangible asset that reflects the difference between the market value and selling price of a bank. ... Under the proposal issued this week, the regulators would permit buyers of banks and thrifts to count some of the good will toward meeting their regulatory capital requirements.

...this is Imaginationland crazy. This is Wackyland crazy. I...

Good luck.

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