Sunday, December 21, 2003

Holiday Party -- Now With 20% More Party Pictures!

We had our 7th annual Holiday Party at the house last night -- lots of food (click here for the menu and picture of the table), friends and some new faces. With all the bad weather Friday and into Saturday morning, I wasn't expecting many people beyond the neighbors (and even then it might be a dangerous trip across the street). But, we ended up with 24 26 people, and one of the newest members of the planet, Eight-Day-Old Alex Olsen (pictured here w/ his mother, Dawn).

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Yet Another Remix

It's been a busy couple of weeks musically -- This time a remix of the Lovespirals song "Walk Away" available here. Keeps the original version's theme and instrumentation, but with a little more dub and some jazzy vocal phrasing...

Monday, December 15, 2003


More SIMRONAN remixing here. Dig those scissors as hi-hats samples...

Saturday, December 06, 2003


So, do you Like VNV Nation? then this may be for you ;)

I had too much time on my hands yesterday w/ the snow and all... so it would help to go here first and read from the bottom up. (Cliff Notes version -- it's a parody site of VNV Nation, hence the SIMRONAN name -- don't miss the "How To Get That Futureperfect Sound", inside synth jokes abound).

When you get to this, download it. Then later came this, and see how I spent an hour of my life yesterday.

Huge props to batty_ for hosting the track...

Friday, November 28, 2003

10 Seconds

During this holiday season, if you live in the Cleveland area, and you happen to see a commercial for Alson Jewelers, listen to the music...

Yes, that's me.

It's amazing how much time and work goes into writing and producing of a short commercial ;)
Thanks to the fine folks at Rosenberg Advertising for the opportunity.

Friday, November 14, 2003

Man, this blows...

Tony Thompson dead at 48.

Somewhere on tour Andy and John Taylor are thinking "I'm next"...

Friday, November 07, 2003

Saturday, November 8 / Pat's In The Flats (Cleveland)

Subliminal Self

Saturday, November 8
Pat's In The Flats
2233 West 3rd
Cleveland, OH
(216) 621-8044

(at the bottom of literary hill in tremont)

The tofu set (this time) will fall somewhere in the Bremuda Triangle of downtempo, dub and glitch played with assistance of circuit bent instruments (SK-1 in particular).

The show will also feature Subliminal Self (synthpop) and no_tech (technical/melodic/chaotic idm/post-rock/dancepunk mayhem).

Show starts at 10pm, the cost is $5.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Post-Gig Wrap-Up and other hyphenated words

Thanks to all those who came out to the show Friday night -- great costumes all the way around, especially jeremy and batty_ for their borg-licious outfits.

Tenant opened the show in fine fashion with some great music, tasty drumming and very nice vocal work... I'll see if Steeeeve has pictures that we can link to... (bonus points for the DEVO outfit and energy dome).

Our set went pretty well considering it was only our seventh rehearsal... I pulled the bass DI out for a few minutes between songs, which made me look sillier than usual trying to figure it out (duh!) but all the songs sounded good (plus a nice version of "Killing Moon") and by far the best version of Pyscho Killer to date -- bringing along the French lyrics to the middle section really helped ;)

Of course the big closer "Everyday Is Halloween" by Ministry ended the set -- we did the song the original way during the verses (fake british accent and all) and then re-imagined the chorus sections as if present day Ministry were playing it. Yow!

All in all a fun evening... I think we're ready for next year.

Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Why I Hate Homework...

My son's homework that is. Every night it's at least three assignments, and on top of it, they're also taking their CBE's this week. Part of the problem is time management is not something a nine-year-old grasps intuitively. TV, internet, video games, Harry Potter all fight for his attention and homework comes in a distant second. Our only rule on homework is it has to be done before dinner. I'm sure there's a way to show mathematically the time allotted divided by homework load equals a very small number of minutes.

That, and much of it is writing -- lots and lots of writing. I try to stay out of the way, available for spelling checks and missing words, but some nights are better than others. He gets stuck or I have to nudge him in the right direction, or sometimes even do part of it to show him why this works and that doesn't. I don't remember 4th grade being this hard... and I know it's only going to get worse. I'm dreading the day Algebra starts...

Thankfully my daughters 1st grade homework is a little easier (plus she has the same teacher as my son had, so I'm prepared). She wants to do it right when she gets home so she can play afterwards. Check back with me in three years...

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Everyday Is Halloween

As mentioned below, I've been rehearsing for a show at The Hi-Fi Club in Lakewood on Halloween night.
If you'd like a copy of the flyer Patrick made, go here.

Last Monday's practice went well -- we went through the set twice and knocked off the rough edges
on a couple of tunes and nailed others down -- we're probably 90% there with one more rehearsal to go.
The set contains songs from Bauhaus, Joy Division, Ministry, Misfits, Echo and The Bunnymen, Talking Heads and Concrete Blonde... it's been a great deal of fun to play with a band again, although my fingers might not agree. ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Cubs Fan Witness Protection Program

Woe to the guy who possibly cost the Cubs their shot at the World Series. They'll have to put him in the witness protection program, but the Feds would probably off him too.

Or as Craig put it -- "That wasn't a baseball game. It was a lost Seinfeld episode, with George in a front-row seat."

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

OK, tack this one on to my holiday list...

The Bass Station is one jacked up boombox, yo

802.11b, a 120GB hard drive, and an MP3 decoder, and that is controlled using a web browser. Besides being able to play MP3s, it can also stream audio to other devices in its local area network, double as a file-server for file-sharing. Sure to come in handy for our next breakdancing battle.

Yet More Wine Tasting

It's time again for the big Holiday wine trade shows with four scheduled last Sunday alone. Logic and logistics indicated we could only hit two shows in the time frame and still spend some quality time at each tasting. First off was the Vintage show at their huge warehouse -- 26 tables including some really nice single vineyard Zin's from Ravenswood (Monte Rosso, Barricia, Big River, Teldeschi), including the tightly allocated Old Hill Zin. Bonus points for the tchotchkes (clock, buttons and antenna balls). Also got to try some of Markko's Select Reserve Chardonnay (Late Harvest) and Pinot Noir as well as see Arnie Esterer again.

Other highlights included the Burgess "Enveiere", Domain Drouhin Pinot Noir, Mount Veeder 2000 Cab, Franciscan Meritage Magnificat, Franciscan Simi Valley Lanslide Cab, Veramonte Primus, Kenwood Jack London Cab (and bonus taste of the first Ohio pouring of their "Artist Series"), Dominus, Chateau De Pez, Pride Mountain Merlot, Mayacamas '98 Cab and the fabulous '90 Cab.

Then after a quick trip across I-480, we rolled into the Private Reserve tasting. Once settled in after receiving our "tasting tour t-shirts" we headed straight for the Shingleback (shiraz and cab) and Gatekeeper (shiraz) table (both are brought in from Precept -- and we were not disappointed. Keep an eye out for those two Australian's plus their third wine, Red Knot (shiraz and cab).

Other Hightlights: Chateau Caronnes Ste Gemme Cru Bourgeois Haut-Medoc, Domaine Jean-Marc Bouley (Volnay) Pommard 1er Cru Les Rugiens, Domaine Robert Arnoux Nuits St. George 1er Cru Les Corvees Pagets and Nuits St. George Les Poisets, Domaine Paul Autard Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee la Cote Rhonde, Franco Cesari (Verona) '98 Amarone Classico Superiore "Il Bosco" DOC. Bridlewood 2000 Arabesque and Syrah, Milliaire '99 Clockspring Vineyard Zin Port, Stuart Cellars '98 Zin Port (even though there's half a case in the basement already) and Duck Pond 2001 Port which is made from Merlot grapes, which is unusual...

NP: Jassen -- Juno 106's Swan Song

Thursday, October 02, 2003

It's October 2nd, Right?

Liz got all the plants in off the deck on Tuesday and Wednesday in anticipation of the clear cold night (and the threat of frost), but we awoke to f'ing snow flying past the window. Then, in typical Ohio weather fashion -- the sun came out. It did look interesting on the radar though, striaght-line lake effect snow streaming off the lake, right to my house!

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Cat Town. Go. Now.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

It's William Faulkner's Birthday today -- go read "Light In August".

Sunday, September 21, 2003

Sportscasters I Loathe, Part 27

Add Trev Albert to my growing list of guys that make me grab for the remote. Joing Bob Trumpy and Cris Collinsworth in the hall of shame.

The restraint that Rece Davis showed from choking him was commendable... I tried to sit through College Gameday Final this morning, but kept flipping over to A&E to watch the great NRBQ show (side note -- Keith Richards has finally become a talking skull -- frightening).

Monday, September 15, 2003

I've got blisters on my fingers!

I did something tonight, I haven't done in six years: I went to band practice.

There's a Halloween gig coming up in Lakewood and I'm playing bass for a cover band -- playing all your alternative Halloween favorites, such as "Bela Lugosi's Dead", "Psycho Killer", "Every Day Is Halloween", "I Want Your Skull" and who knows, depending on just how much alcohol is involved -- "Monster Mash" (as re-imagined by Ministry).

My fingers will be hurting tomorrow...

On the drive to practice, the sun was setting behind a localized rainstorm which made it look as if it were behind a smoky orange gauze curtain, very ethereal and hypnotic looking. The only other time I'm seen a sky that color was on the way to the Smiths "The Queen Is Dead" tour at Public Hall going over the same bridge (Valley View)...

Saturday, September 13, 2003

The Man In Black

Just passing this link along as nice tribute to Johnny Cash. It's down at the bottom of the page. While it's no Wall Of Voodoo, it's my second favorite cover version...

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

alternative to what?

Matt Welch (via the Columbia Journalism Review) casts his keen eye on the recent Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN) convention in SF and finds the current batch of Alternative Weeklies somewhat lacking.

All the newspapers looked the same — same format, same fonts, same columns complaining about the local daily, same sex advice, same five-thousand-word hole for the cover story. The people were largely the same, too: all but maybe 2 percent of the city-slicker journalists in attendance were white; the vast majority were either Boomer hippies or Gen X slackers. Several asked me the exact same question with the same suspicious looks on their faces: "So . . . what's your alternative experience?"
Hello, Cleveland! If that's isn't hitting both targets (Free Times / Scene) with one missive...

While all the points contained in the piece won't be news to most bloggers, it is a strong overview of who is out there and what buttons they're pushing with Journalists (with a big J).

Richard Karpel (AAN Executive Director) responds:
Too bad he didn't read the papers instead of just looking at them. Because the notion that alternative newspapers are all "the same" is an absurdity that could only be uttered by someone who hasn't read any of them. Does anyone who has spent fifteen minutes with, for instance, the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the Chicago Reader, have any doubt that one is from Mars and other is from Venus? Is there a New Yorker aware of The Village Voice and New York Press who doesn't know they are vastly different in both substance and style? Are there residents of Seattle who can't tell the difference between Seattle Weekly and the Stranger? Or Cleveland Free Times and Cleveland Scene? Or, or,or .... (emphasis added)
Obviously he's never looked at the two side by side -- without looking the cover (especially if they're flipped over so the back page is showing) you'd be hard pressed to differentiate between them.

A little perspective from Douglas Coupland

If someone decides to be a musician now, it means because there is no hope of money at the end of it, it means they really want to be a musician. And if someone is writing now, there is no hope for money at the end of it. So they are writing because they really like writing. So there is this automatic winnowing. Anyone who is mercenary or in it to milk it, unless it is something like genre, which will happen until the sun goes supernova, then… I wouldn’t say it’s good but then it might be a light at the end of the tunnel.

uh, what he says...

Context Is Everything

Damn you, Batty -- as if the Ford commercial wasn't bad enough -- now this song will never leave my head.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Good News / Bad News

Can't have one without the other, pt. 27

Friday, while picking up supplies for the fourth tasting/food pairing on Saturday night, my car decides it's a good time to start making the dreaded "mystery" sound "RRRRRrrrRRRrrrRRRrrr" when I turn the wheel to the right. While this wouldn't be tragic if I were a NASCAR racer, it's difficult to navigate in the real world making only left hand turns. Call the repair place: they can't even look at the car until Tuesday (maybe). Thankfully, it's mostly left hand turns to get there.

Also on Friday, I received the news that I got a commercial gig, scoring :10/:15 spot(s) for a local jewelery store to be shot/edited in October. And it's just enough money that I might be able to pay for the car repair.

Ah well, easy come, easy go...

Update: yep, front brake rotors/pads, that'll be $500, do not pass go.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

busy week for music

Sunday, August 31, 2003


Did anybody else have a nasty flashback while watching the Browns-Falcons Game Thursday? I thought we had time-warped back to 1987 or something when I heard the voice of Bob Trumpy doing the game w/ Don Criqui.


What is it with ex-Bengals becoming annoying sportscasters? (see Cris Collinsworth)

Sunday, August 24, 2003

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Just watched the Warren Zevon special on VH1 and I'm swimming w/ emotions -- happy at just how good he sounds on the record (it's not a fluke, and yes, I have them all) -- pissed that it took him dying of cancer to get the recognition that he has long deserved -- and truly amazed at his attitude through it all.

Having been through a similar situation w/ my friend and bandmate Clay Vause, the sessions w/ Warren in the studio were a painful reminder that I never finished the last sessions that IRB did together. After Clay died (about six months after the recording) it was entirely too much to even think about listening to his voice again. Even after six years, it's only been recently that I can even listen to the music again. I'm not even sure what happened to the tapes, let alone where to find a machine to play them (16 track / 1" I believe).

There are three unreleased IRB songs, provisionally titled "nowhere fast", "sandman" and "angels" -- I say provisionally because Clay always had the gift of taking what would have been the easy route of naming the song after the chorus, and turning it into something far more interesting -- for example on "Big-Bang Payoff" there's a song we had always called "Shine" during the demo recording, live shows, etc -- but when it came time to put it on the record, it magically became "Drive A Stake Through My Heart, Kitty!" The other classic was "Claustrophobia" which became "Which Oswald Acted Alone?" -- one that still makes my head hurt today.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Funk #48 1/2

Normally, I don't troll eBay looking for my old stuff (sure, sure), but here's a link to something I'm not sure even I have prints of anymore, an 8x10 of IRB from 1991. Is it worth the $5? uh, no.

And one for the trainspotters, the picture was shot in downtown Kent and the building in the background is the same one that was on the James Gang's first record. It was just refurbished this year and now houses a financial office...

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Another Day, Another virus/worm

So, of course after snickering about the inability of my Win95 machine being infected with the msblast worm, comes the Sobig.f variant which has dumped an impressive amount of attachments in my spam folder (thank you old version of Eudora that doesn't open attachments).

The really irritating thing are all of the bounces coming from other accounts that think I'm sending the spam (a common technique, forging e-mail addresses as the sender). Read the headers folks -- it ain't coming from my box...

Sunday, August 17, 2003

All I Want For Christmas...

..Is this book "Blue Wizard Is About To Die! Prose, Poems, and Emoto-Versatronic Expressionist Pieces About Video Games (1980-2003)" Copyright © 2003 by Seth Barkan. Here's a short excerpt from a longer piece about Dragon's Lair...


I remember when Marble Madness first came out,
Preceded by Gauntlet, with "Blue Wizard is about to Die!"
And, "Use potions to Kill Death!" Helpful instructions
Meant to simplify a deadly maze of stone and skeletons,
Where four friends would gather together to search for a
Black square tile, representing a hole that took you
Out of whatever deathtrap hell you were in and into
The maw of one even deeper and more dangerous than the last.
I remember the syncopated early FM synthesis strains of
The Ikari Warriors bassline, boom chickaboom chickaboom
Chicka didlydumdedum, with 8bit drums kicking in
Relentlessly behind it on the beach, in red or blue
Bandana, or even at the steel encased end of the game: there was no other music.

Friday, August 15, 2003


Everything is pretty normal here, we missed the blackout by about two cities -- although I'm not sure why, as it surrounded us on all sides. *shrug*

The biggest impact of the blackout was the lack of e-mail (quel horror!) -- my ISP is in downtown Cleveland -- which is why I've kept AOL all these years, since version 1.0, which was what... 1991-92? I still have the floppies from then (1.0, 1.5, 2.0, etc). This explains why I have so many boxes of stuff crap in the back room(s).

Anyway, as things are creeping back to normal, I may not be able to repond to e-mail right away. Enjoy your unscheduled summer vacation day...

Thursday, August 14, 2003

No Free Lunch

So, as many of you on Yahoo Groups have noticed, they're getting rid of all the attachments in the message archives. Fine you say -- it's just old virii, pr0n and winmail.dat files anyway.

Well, not quite -- I've been contributing to an ongoing list called "Sound Injury/Recovery" over the last 8 months or so, and what we do is take an audio source file at the beginning of each month and then mangle it, posting the results to the list, but using the attachment size limitation (<1Mb, minus yahoo compression or around 750kB) as a condition of the remake/re-model.

It has opened up a whole new area to explore and develop, and I've ended up with some really good ideas for future work based on the other uploaded pieces. Now that resource will be gone as of August 21.


Wednesday, August 06, 2003


Music + Spam = Spamradio

it's like having Stephen Hawking reading classic Nigerian, prOn, HGH, and MLM spam backed by instrumental music.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Summer Vacation, Part 27

Today's vacation day was spent at the Waterpark, or more accurately, watching my kids at the Waterpark. The wife and I spent most of the day watching the kids float in innertubes, go down the big spiral water slides, swim in the giant pool and get alternately sunburned and rained upon.

Daddy did sneak off and play some hoops and get in some time at the batting cage. The good news is I can still hit the ball from both sides of the plate, the bad news I received a nice big blister (now raw spot) on my left hand for the effort. I did crush more than a few, but I'll feel it tomorrow. Didn't hit the putt-putt course because we did that last week in town.

Yes, I know, you want to party with me. ;)

I'll agree it's not quite the same party level as some of the backstage antics from ye olde band era, but more importantly, my kids loved it, and I'll remember that more fondly (and with more clarity).

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Man, the things kids will do to get out going on a family vacation.

Of course, had it been my Hawaii vacation that was screwed, I might not think it was all that funny...

Jeff thinks one way, Cory another way

I think, between the recent CAPPS II announcement and the way TSA has handled other incidents (paging David Nelson), while it's obvious that we need increased security in airports, they have veered a little past acceptable.

For example, read how Alton Brown's Omlette Pan was confiscated in Allentown, PA.

NP: William Basinski "Despair" (from the Antiopic Allegorical Power Series)

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

This Is SportsCenter

It was an interesting hour of TV last night as ESPN aired their behind the scenes look at the SportsCenter franchise. Although Felicity Huffman and Sabrina Lloyd were nowhere to be found in the control room, nor Josh Charles on camera, it was a glimpse into the chaos of putting a live TV show on the air every night.

Having spent a part of my college edumacation in a control room, that's about what it looks like -- you have to have the ability to focus on three or more conversations at the same time while calling camera shots while telling the talent that the rundown has changed and you're now 20 seconds short.

One of the funniest moments (after Kenny Mayne wiping out in the hallway while running a tape to the control room) came when the producer said almost as an aside "were dumping the WNBA scores." -- this was in leiu of getting Bill Mueller footage after his pair of Grand Slams from opposite sides of the plate.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Music Update

I just updated my music site with some links to recently uploaded material, so here are the links...

A couple of new links to some music -- the latest Microsound project "City Of The Future" (based on a audio clip from Tarkovsky's version of "Solaris") has been released and contains my piece "divided highway" (mp3).

An old(er) piece finally made it to the web, called "Osaka At 48 Frames Per Second" (mp3) which can be found along with other remixes of the same piece.

There's two other .microsound projects up -- John Watermann Memorial Project and Stone and Ripple Project. As always, a great collection of artists and tracks...

Friday, July 25, 2003

Put Another Nickle In...

We had the day off, the kids wanted to see "Spy Kids 3-D", and $37 later I'm exhausted...

That's $21.50 for two adults and two kids, $13 for a large popcorn, Skittles and two large sodas, and another $3 for video games afterwards. Now I know why I stay at home, rent an occasional DVD and cook at home 99% of the time.

Damn, I'm starting to sound like my father.

The movie itself was an extended PS2 video game with a moral at the end (forgiveness=good, revenge=bad). Wait for the credits for some outtakes w/ Stallone doing Rocky with a confused Ricardo Montalban -- and yes, there is a Rich Corinthian Leather joke. George Clooney does a pretty spot on Stallone impression as well...

Also noted -- the clever promotional 3" CD wedged bewteen two plastic soda lids. Too bad I won't play it...

NP: Gravity Kills "Guilty"

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Waving, Not Drowning

Three years ago, my son was visiting one of neighbors who had a pool. It wasn't a huge pool, but did have a shallow (4ft) end and a deeper (7ft) end. The kids were jumping into the pool splashing around and having a good time sitting in the inflatable inner tubes. About the time we were ready to leave and walk home, my son (who was six at the time) wanted to go over to the deeper end, which was partitioned off by a floating barrier line. He had been telling us over and over how good a swimmer he was (never having been in a swimming pool that deep before that day), and as he is want to do, did not listen to my "advice" and started to float over there. As he manuevered under the line, he slipped out of the tube and went straight to the bottom.

There are times in a parents life when time slows to a crawl -- this was one of them. He dropped straight down, hit the bottom and bounced straight back up. The look of abject fear in his eyes when he broke the surface scared the hell out of me. As it happened, I was standing right next to the pool, I leaned over stuck my hand down into the water just before he started down again -- my hand slipped down his arm, finally grabbing by the wrist, then I pulled him out in one big motion. After spitting out the lungful of water he had inhaled and coughing for 30 seconds, he began to shake and shiver like it was 30 degrees below zero outside. He knew just how close he had come. He never bragged again about what a good swimmer he was.

So, over the last three summers we have taken the kids to swimming classes at KSU (we also have a big lake -- mentioned below -- about 80 feet from the back door). Even if it's not really learning how to swim, as much as it is learning not to drown, it was important for both of them to learn. Today we finished a two month program for both my son and daughter -- congratulations to both of them for completing the class -- my son in particular worked very hard this time out, passing onto the next level and my daughter for getting comfortable in the water -- it was a long, but rewarding two months for all of us...

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Ark Building

Well, now that the torrential rains have subsided (it's only raining normally at the moment), I can put away the sandbags, shop vacs and water pumps.

We got off easy, considering we were in the worst hit area (over 7 inches in some parts, about 6 in our backyard alone). The lake in our backyard came over the banks for the first time in 12 years, flooding the newly created beach and ruining the grass seed that had been planted two days previously. It also washed away some of the stones around the front perimiter of the lake as all the water came down the hillside like a mini-runaway creek. The house itself survived unscathed, but some of my friends basements had up to a foot of water (plus raw sewage).

This has been one of the wackiest July's I can remember -- between the big storms two weeks ago (which, I neglected to mention on the blog, knocked down a 40 foot section of tree in my driveway, just missing my car by 20 feet) and the sheer volume of rain this week has made it seem more like April...

Friday, July 11, 2003

Marketing 101

First we had the lawsuit by Spike Lee vs. Viacom over the use of the name "Spike" -- now crawling out of the woodwork is a stripper who claims that they stole the idea for Pamela Anderson's new animated cartoon "Stripperella" (Stripper by night, Crime Fighter by later in the night).

Either it's an incredible run of bad luck for Viacom -- or a brilliant marketing strategy designed to jack up brand awareness. Get a couple of high profile lawsuits, "settle" out of court, and it's all the free publicity you can eat.

Having said that, "Most Extreme Elimination Challenge" is pretty funny...

NP: Valdis Krebs, "Drone 1"

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Mergers Suck

Two of my favorite things are not the same as they used to be:

Nike buys Converse -- now in the grand scheme of things, this may not appear to be a giant story -- but Converse makes the one shoe that I wear, namely Chuck Taylor All-Stars. This isn't because they're considered retro, I've worn them for 20 years now -- more importantly, they're made of canvas -- not leather (I don't eat or wear any animal products). I may have to do what I did 10 years ago when they looked to be going out of business -- buy a dozen pairs and hope they don't screw it up (I still have three more pairs left from the original buying spree).

E-xpedient buys APK -- my ISP since 1993, which in internet years is two lifetimes. I understand why they sold, but it doesn't make it any less traumatic...

NP: Jet Chamber (Atom Heart and Pete Namlook)

Monday, July 07, 2003

Doppler This

I almost felt sorry for Mark Johnson and the vaunted "Doppler 5000" radar -- I lost count after the fifth or sixth system crash... Mark was overheard muttering -- "Bill Gates will be getting a letter" But that's what you get for still running Win95 ;)

Oh wait -- I'm still running Win95...

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

While I'm catching up on wine related matters, here the link to the tasting we did Saturday night with Markko Wines...

Post Five Star Tasting

Man, I completely forgot to do the write up for this event (held June 22 @ the Vintage Wine Warehouse).

In addition to some fabulous wines, we also got to meet and take pictures of Bob and Monica with Andrew Firestone.

The best wines: Volker Eisle (99 Cab), St. Supery (Dollarhide Cab -- went back twice for this -- big, big tannins), Silver Oak (99 Alexander Valley Cab -- not released yet), Signorello (99 Cab, with the velvety tannins), Runquist (Not just the Z Zinfandel, but the Primitivo, Barbera and killer Syrah that I tried twice), Regusci (99 Cab and 2000 Merlot -- Jim makes some of the most unique wines I have had in a while), Grgich (99 Cab that was overpriced at 63.50 retail) Fife (Max Cuvee, Syrah, Zin and Merlot), and Gary Farrell Vineyards (Zin Ricci and Zin Dry Creek as well as Pinot Noir Russina River).

Jeff Runquist had a interesting theory on how Primitivo got to Italy -- namely that not all of the immigrants who came here, stayed here -- many went back to the old country with vines from the new country, namely Zinfandel cuttings. He plants his side by side and except for a few minor variations on the leaf and the dates on the maturity of the grapes, they're almost identical.

NP: Blotto "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard"

Monday, June 30, 2003

One Ringy Dingy

So, of course the big news is that the telemarketers have to abide by the new National Do-Not-Call Registry that goes into effect in October. But I have to admit I'm not so confident it'll work after seeing the picture at the top of the page
of the family eating dinner. Check out the phone the woman is reaching for -- I'll wait...

...what year is it again? Or am I missing some intended irony?

NP: The Jam "David Watts"

Wednesday, June 25, 2003 I need a d20 to save?

This brings back many memories of drunk-on-cheap-genny-cream-ale evenings. Is it possible to get hungover on recollections of those times? Because -- Ow! my head...

NP: Violent Femmes "Blister In The Sun"

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

ah.... OK

Octodog. There's a Bobbit joke in there somewhere...

NP: The Jam "In The City"

Fifth Of July Fireworks

Great lineup at the Symposium in Lakewood on Saturday July 5, 2003...

Hungry Lucy,
Thou Shalt Not and
Subliminal Self

Doors open at 8:00pm, show starts at 9:00pm. Admission is only $6.00 for 21 and over, $9.00 for 18-20.

You might want to get there early, because it will probably sell out... e-mail Patrick for $4.00 pre-sale tickets

The Symposium is located at 11794 Detroit Ave. in Lakewood, Ohio.

Thursday, June 19, 2003


So, I'm working on some new soundtrack music this week for a indie film. At the moment it's a moody late night waiting-in-the-desert-for-a-bus-as-metaphor-for-a-new-life theme. (paging Mr. Ry Cooder)

I was reminded of the first movie my music ever appeared in -- "Killer Nerd" (1991). The description and reviews on the imdb are fairly accurate. You either find it so bad it's good, or you just shake your head in disbelief. I was just happy to get a film credit... the soundtrack was done by Sean Carlin (Dink) who at the time was performing under the MC DJ 1/2 moniker... it also featured future international star Dan Curtin (Hi Dan!). We all played at the movie premier at the old Peabody's with the big searchlights, red carpet and everything. Lots of 303's that night...

(for completists only -- the other film was an indie out of Minneapolis called "Fou" (2001) and had a song called "Subverting The Intent" from my project tofu).

Now Playing: Nation Of Teflon Souls "Pin Your Head To The Drywall"

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Derek Hess Robbed

Update: There's now a $1000 reward...

A few days ago someone or some people went into my gallery and stole the original art for the three Captain America covers I did for Marvel Comics. If anyone can hook us up with information on this, you know we'll take care of you. The Cleveland Police First District Detective Bureau are on the case as well as my own crew. Whoever has these would be wise to get them back to us asap, it's only a matter of time till the hammer drops on your thieving ass's. There will be a grace period of no prosecution If you come forward and bring them back now. This crime is concidered breaking and entering and grand theft, both of which are felonies, which translates to prison ...... not jail...... there's a difference.
If you have any info, contact (216) 281-4868 or

On a personal note -- Derek did a poster for the benefit show we did for Clay (and his medical bills) back in '97. I don't have the original (I think his Mom has it) but I do have the mock-up copy that ran in Scene. I'll see if I can find it and scan it... On the bill that night were our friends -- Dink, Gem, Witch Hazel and Fuzzhead at the old Peabody's.

I've never had the chance to meet Derek personally and thank him, so let me take the opportunity to do so now -- thank you Derek, that was a mighty cool thing you did...

Now Playing: Black Flag "My War"

Friday, June 13, 2003

Subliminal Self Show

Patrick's band Subliminal Self will be playing at The Hi-Fi in Lakewood next week, with In A Cat's Eye and Scare Tactic. Go check out some of his music. Here's the PR...

I am pleased to announce the following show:
June 19th @ the Hi-Fi in Lakewood, Ohio

Subliminal Self (dark synthpop) -
Scare Tactic (heavy industrial)
In a Cat's Eye (epic electro-goth) -

Show starts at 10:00pm and admission is only $5.00 for 18+.
Come on out and hear some great local music!

I'm working on some different mixes of their new material, and it sounds radio ready before I've even started ;)

Now Playing: Warren Zevon, "Nighttime In The Switching Yard"

Monday, June 09, 2003

Akron Rocks*

Just stumbled over Moby's journal on his site, and in particular, the story of the Vatican Commandos (his high school punk band from Connecticut) and the van ride to a gig in Akron -- anybody remember the venue? He doesn't mention it by name, nor does his description ring any bells... scroll down to the 5/29 entry.

* bonus points for the name of the host of the cable TV show of the same name...

Now Playing: Fatima Mansions "Blues For Ceausescu"

Monday, June 02, 2003

Greetings, patrons of Brewed Fresh Daily!

More Baseball

We had the chance to get some seats to the Tribe game yesterday (the Indians won 5-4 in 10), thanks to my friend Craig. Great seats (club level), fine weather (didn't need the jacket after the 3rd inning) and I got to bring my son. I remember going to Cubs games with my Dad (and Grandfather) in the late 60s and early '70s, and I hope that he had as good a time as I did back then...

Three old stadium memories:

Craig and I have been going to Indians games for a long time now. Yesterday's game reminded us of the night we went to a late season Tigers game at the old Stadium, where we crashed a hospital function in the old football press box. Because of the lousy sight lines, a late inning drive to the wall in right field had us guessing if Cory Snyder had caught it or it went out. We couldn't tell, because there wasn't a TV feed (OK there was - but the hospital folks had turned it to Monday Night Football -- Oakland vs. Denver) and there weren't enough fans for us to hear what happened behind the glass. It was a homer...

The best part after the Tigers game was that we had no problems finding the car -- we had parked in the back lot of the Stadium, next to the lake -- it was the only car in the entire lot.

To paraphrase "Plan 9 From Outer Space" "It was kinda spooky-like."

Speaking of spooky -- Wednesday afternoon game against the Kansas City Royals (George Brett, Bo Jackson era). We show up an hour before the game, and end up with 1st base tickets just beyond the Indians dugout. We're the only people sitting in the section until the third inning, when two other guys start wandering around our section -- where do they sit? Right next to us (it must have been a block of four seats that were available). During the game we can see right in the Royals dugout, It's a late season game, Brett's in the batting lead, so he's gone early after getting a hit, Jackson isn't playing, but he is sitting in the dugout -- with a yo-yo -- scaring the hell out of his team mates. But the spooky part comes before the game -- Longtime bullpen catcher Luis Issac is coming in from the bullpen, sees someone he knows in the stands and starts to talk to him -- just then a female "fan" dressed head to toe in Indians gear, stands up behind the man and points a toy laser gun at Issac and fires (dwee-dwee-dwee). We thought poor Luis eyes were going to pop out of his head. Nobody says a thing as she continues to fire at him. Luis finally leaves and she sits down like nothing happened.

But the one that always cracks us up was the last game Reggie Jackson played at the old stadium -- as he, McGwire and Canseco all hit homers and Oakland beat the Indians 13-3 (or something like it). Before the game, as we were just walking into the concourse, Sandy Alomar, Jr. walks by us (in full catching gear) with a bucket of balls, spikes clanging on the old cement floor. and no one looked at him twice (except us, mouths agape). We never could figure out why he was walking through there, unless he was on his way to pick up a hot dog before the game started.

Oh, and I forgot to mention -- after the game, as we're leaving and walking in front of the stadium, I see a guy wearing a t-shirt of my band (Indian Rope Burn). There are less than 100 of those shirts in circulation, and I think I only have two left. I know the drummer from the band Dig has one, because he wore it in the video for "Believe," but it still freaked me out...

Saturday, May 31, 2003

Wrigley Gem

So, I'm watching the bottom of the 3rd inning of Cubs-Astros game today on WGN and the Cubs color guy Steve Stone was going on (and on) about pitcher Roy Oswalt, who just came off the D/L today. And that the Astros would be lucky/glad to get 6 innings out of him and then turn it over to their bullpen which has a very good ERA. Then, lead announcer Chip Caray says " so, what your saying is, that Oswalt will not act alone."

I don't think Stone got it...

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Well, duh...

Avi Greengart, "Wireless and Consumer Technologies" analyst from JupiterResearch, blogs on this story about the introduction of a new 1-megapixel mobile phone camera in Japan, and breaks down the differences between the US and Japanese markets, including this gem...

Japanese consumers have enthusiastically embraced sending each other Hello Kitty animation, making any comparison to expected U.S. consumer behavior completely speculative.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Cuiver Reserve Château Bottled Nuit St. Wogga Wogga

Spent yesterday at another Wine tasting -- this time for Southcorp's line of Australian wines (Penfolds, Wynn, Lindemans, Rosemount Estate). The highlight was of course, the opportunity to try the '97 and '98 Grange (I like the '97 -- but that's me, the '98 has been fetching $300+ in auctions already). The trend seems to be that the industry is trying to fill the gap in their product line between the introductory wines that are fruit forward and inexpensive (read: Lindemans, Jacob's Creek, Yellowtail, Black Swan) and the high end stuff (Grange, Rosemount, etc) that would fall into the $15+ range.

My favorite of the day (besides the '97 Grange) was the Rosemount Estate Orange Shiraz -- great nose, and real sense of terrior (rather than the attempted predictability of the blends from year to year), and long finish. My opinion of it held up even at the very end of the tasting when I went back and tried it again. very unique -- and that's a plus in my book. Also modestly priced...

Other favorites included the St. Henri (Shiraz) and Penfold Bin series of wines -- 389 (Cab/Shiraz), 407(Cab), and 707(Cab, with a massive back end you could eat off of) and a little tidbit that we picked up from one of the reps -- the fruit that used to make the Bin 389 are the grapes that don't quite make into the Grange -- in other words, really really good fruit on it own. Apparently it will cellar alongside it's big brother very nicely, at a fraction of the cost.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

"Cuz I'm An Adult Now...

Yesterday was spent going to the store and buying "work" clothes.

Those of you who know me personally can now pick yourself up off the ground and wipe the spittle from your mouth.

Having been a "work at home" kinda guy for the last, -- oh, who am I kidding. all of my life -- I haven't had the need to actually own a pair of pants (or shirts) that would be considered "casual work" The truth is I've worn either (black) sweatpants or shorts every day of my adult life. And I have no complaints -- they're comfortable, I don't spend time wondering what I'm going to wear, and I keep my clothing overhead down.

So what changed?

Tomorrow I'll be attending a Wine trade show with my friend Bob where there will be 50+ Napa winemakers and reps. We'd like them to come to Bob's store and do a wine tasting (with food, which is where I come in) sometime in the near future. Black sweatpants and Einsturzende Neubauten T-Shirts aren't going to cut it.

So off we went looking for pants. Surprisingly we found them quickly, and --bonus-- they're black. Now do we hedge our bets and buy a second pair that's a litlle bigger, just in case (it's been so long that I'm guessing on the waist -- no, I'm not trying them on in the store, thank you). We decide to go to store number two, where there's a similar pair, a little bigger and on sale. Next up: dress shirt. Rapidly dispatched with two short sleeve shirts: dark blue and black. Then we wander by the shoes -- what the hell, the one pair of dress shoes I own (suitable for weddings and funerals) are 15 years old. Sure enough, there's an all man-made pair that (while clunky looking) will fit. I decide at this point that we best leave before the negative ions in the air of the large store start making me want to buy the hawaiian shirts in the next section....

Thursday, May 01, 2003

Industrial Strength Soap Opera

While flipping through the channels waiting for the Weather Channel to show the radar (btw, shouldn't there be a "radar only" channel?), I stumble across "One Life To Live" on ABC. And what's that song in the background -- Nine Inch Nails "Hurt"?!?!


Then, as the scene changed to a bar, the song changed to -- Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt"

The mind boggles.

Monday, April 28, 2003

A Wine Tasting...

Saturday night was spent catering a wine tasting for my friend Bob Morson at Riverside Wine and Imports. The wine maker Marshall Stuart from Stuart Cellars in Temcula, CA was in town to premiere his line of wines.

Bob has a house that he owns right next to his store and we use that for sit-down tastings, where we pair food with the wine. This is the second event we've done, and as last time, I learned a great deal of information on getting food to the table in time ;)

There's quite a few parallels between the gig Wednesday and the tasting Saturday... moving equipment around, the prep time (rehearsing, mise-en-place), getting finished late and having to load the equipment back in the car, the aching back ;)

But I had a great time, and the folks who attended were very complimentary afterwards, and all the plates came back clean -- that's the true measure of a successful tasting...

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Last Night's Gig

It was a great deal of fun to be up on stage again, but man, I do not miss humping gear out of the club at 1am after jumping around on stage. ;)

The highlight of my set was Chris Foldi joining me for a song which he had written lyrics for a while ago...

Thanks to Jassen, there should be some pictures soon, I'll update as soon as I can get them...

Update: The pictures are in!

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Bebop in Cleveland...finally

Bebop, w/ Escaflowne, WXIII: Patlabor The Movie 3 and Spirited Away...

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Geek Alert

via the Benders list on Yahoo -- If you have a SK-1 that you're missing the manual to -- try this link

it's in a .pdf and is about 5.8mb

Fabulous show last night at The Symposium -- All three acts were spot on... Steven K. Smith did his "tribal ambient" set while keeping the beat on his mini-octopad -- Scare Tactic segued nicely between a human beatbox intro and their cover of Big Black's "Kerosene" while Furnace St. proved yet again why they're one of the most succesful acts in NEO right now. Tuneful, powerful and the addition of the live bass really drives the tunes...

Next week, SOB, Subliminal Self and some guy named tofu...

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Some of the promo CD's I made for "A Month Full Of Wednesdays" series of shows have started showing up on playlists -- noteably on IPM and Audiotech, two Michigan internet stations that play electronic music -- I mentioned that Subliminal Self (Patrick's new band) had been played on IPM two weeks in a row, and this week, they played In A Cat's Eye (Greyson, who sang on the "Able Bodied" track) and the tofu track "000109"

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Mix Tapes, er CD's...

I wrote a piece on Tres Producers last year describing my long-term love of making mix tapes -- or "driving tapes" as we used to call them when they were for the long trips to gigs that Indian Rope Burn used to make...

Now, I make mix CD's for my wife and her daily commute, and while we cook dinner together. Today's mix is called "Girls Gone Wild" and features women who swear and talk about sex (not in that order).

01. Pretenders - Precious
02. Divinyls - All The Boys In Town
03. The Runaways - Cherry Bomb
04. The Donnas - 40 Boys In 40 Nights
05. PJ Harvey - Sheela-na-gig
07. Romeo Void - Never Say Never
06. Liz Phair - Fuck And Run
08. Patti Smith - Dancing Barefoot
09. Continental Drifters - Who We Are, Where We Live
10. Let's Active - Blue Line
11. Romeo Void - A Girl In Trouble Is A Temporary Thing
12. Lita Ford - Kiss Me Deadly

Monday, April 14, 2003

from the "It's a dessert topping! no, it's a floorwax!" school of mp3 discussion on Slashdot:

"You might remember George Ziemann as the musician who found his own music banned from eBay because it was recorded on CD-R. Now he's back with a new rant about the RIAA's statistics, which blame piracy for the dire condition of the music industry... (As an interesting side note, Ziemann says that songs are really just ads for CDs, and thus should be freely traded.)"

If you read down a little bit (filter at level 2), you can see just how easy the line starts to blur between artists copyright protection, their ability to make money form CD sales, the RIAA's incresingly shrill "piracy" legal posturing and the labels inability to see the forest for the trees. Don't get me started on the sins of major labels ;)

BTW, is it me or is the RIAA just unable to react in a way that doesn't make them look like idiots?

Update: this link via Boing Boing from The Daily Princetonian by Fred von Lohmann -- a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Suing college students. Forcing ISPs to rat out customers. Petitioning Congress for unprecedented vigilante powers. Deploying armies of lawyers to sue technology companies. Threatening universities and corporations. Demanding that ISPs disconnect tens of thousands of Internet users. Hiring electronic enforcers to monitor computer users.

None of these efforts by the recording industry has put a single nickel into the pockets of a musician. And none of these efforts has slowed the spread of peer-to-peer ("P2P") file sharing. More Americans have used file-sharing software than voted for the President.

there's more to read...

Saturday, April 12, 2003

from the "you knew this was coming" dep't:

see if the site is no longer crushed by traffic...

Thursday, April 10, 2003

from Graham on the microsound list

"You've seen the guerilla re-edit of the most recent Lucas?"… "They seem particularly to pick on him. One day we'll need archaeologists to help us guess the original storylines of even classic films."… "Musicians, today, if they're clever, put new compositions out on the web, like pies set to cool on a window ledge, and wait for other people to anonymously rework them. Ten will be all wrong, but the eleventh may be genius. And free. It's as though the creative process is no longer contained within an individual skull, if indeed it ever was. Everything, today, is to some extent the reflection of something else."

pattern recognition, p. 68.

of particular relevance to the virtual electronic music community, i would suspect... not bad stuff coming from a guy who has a soft spot for bruce springteen:)

and if your interested there some follow-up stuff on Gibson's blog that, if you've read "pattern recognition" will be interesting

from Mark over at AHOT

A few months ago Google quietly opened up an interface to a white-pages
lookup service.

If you pound your phone number into Google (separators are optional), then
if the white pages listing is current (and your number is listed) then it will pop up your address along with a link to Yahoo/MapQuest maps and directions.

If this bothers you, you can have the listing blocked.

- Click on the Phone icon to the left of your name
- There's a link on the resulting page to:
- Fill out the form on that page

Remember also that Google isn't the only service like this. They suggest that you hit up the others as well, and give you this link:


you know the meme has surfaced when it hits the NYT

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Beer and Clothing has my favorite quote of the day:

"Living in Cleveland is like shopping at TJ Maxx. There's really cool stuff here but it happens sporatically and you have to dig to find it."

I just finished a piece that I've been working on -- it's part of the Sound Injury (now Sound Recovery) list.

It's called "Disembodied Two" and you can d/l it here

"Disembodied" can be found here:

Oolong Tea rocks. That's all I need to say.

Oh, and the new issue of Saveur came today -- looks like we'll be having Burmese food this weekend..

Those of you Cleveland (and regional) artists dealing with copyright issues (fair use, sampling, etc) may want to check this conference out. And as a bonus Mark Gunderson from the Evolution Control Committee will be on a panel.

Saturday April 12, 2003 from 9:30am-4pm at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

I wanted to give a shout out to Patrick for getting his track Able Bodied spun two weeks in a row on IPM Radio. I'm just itchin' to do the remix ;)

Also, if you go over to BlogCritics this week you can check out my side project Elliptical w/ Eric Olsen.

The list of the series of shows that inspired this site can be found at SynthCleveland.

The clearinghouse is open...