Archive for November, 2012
Oh man. Well, call me a Johnny-come-lately, but this was news to me yesterday as I don’t really watch TV or follow any celebrity gossip whatsoever. I’m just way too busy with my own life and the decisions needing to be made on a daily basis to keep up with Madonna‘s personal life or where Elton John might buy his wardrobe. But the story of George Clooney’s boyfriend is a prank of epic proportions that had me laughing out loud. (Unless you already know it) Read on!
The story roughly goes as follows: During the 2009 Venice Film Festival Brad Pitt was on site to promote Inglorious Basterds and apparently got tired of being asked “so when are you gonna marry Angelina Jolie?” about every two seconds he finally started answering the question with “when George Clooney marries his boyfriend.” This was taken seriously by some as Matt Damon found out the following day (while doing press for The Informant!) as he was approached by an Italian journalist that confronted him with a “is it true what Brad Pitt is saying about George Clooney?” Not thinking much of it he kinda went “oh yeah!” and then had the additional info filled in and decided to just go with it. It’s a guy thing. We’ve all been there. Somebody asks you a stupid question when you’re already tired and you decide on the spot you’re gonna take the guy for a ride.
So anyway, Damon leaves Venice and goes back to the USA when poor Clooney arrives in Venice to hold his press conference for his movie (and I’m guessing it was the great The Men Who Stare at Goats). And this is when things got surreal. As seen in the footage below, a gay Italian man proceeded to strip while announcing his sexual orientation and begged George to marry him instead.
This is just epic. I was laughing so hard reading about it (and seeing the footage) that I just had to share it. Like I said, apologies up front if this is old for the rest of you, but damn did I have a good laugh! The incident (it begins 10 seconds in):
As you may remember I wrote about cool projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo some time ago, and publisher Ken Eppstein of Nix Comics recently launched The Big Ask, Baby! giving you the opportunity to support independent comics. In his own words Nix Comics is a small indie publisher in Columbus, Ohio, specializing in tried and true pulp genres now overlooked by a mainstream comic market dominated by conventional superhero fare and corporate advertising power. To date he’s published four issues of Nix Comics Quarterly and one issue of each Nix Western Comics, Nix Comics for Kids and Astonishing Tech Tales (The latter for Columbus based IT service provider, Network Logix).
Reading about his campaign on Kickstarter he’s planning a quite busy 2013 to say the least with seven new issues to be released bi-monthly, and offers up tons of goodies for those who pledges – including free subscriptions and t-shirts up to an exclusive, custom made eight page comic book advertising your business, or as a special gift or just for kicks!
Well, here’s a Kodak Moment you never thought you’d see: Author Stephen King posing with bass player Danny Dirtbag of The Meatmen outside a Vermont gas station. Taken from their official page on Facebook, the story goes as follows:
So, our four string slinger, Mr. Danny Dirtbag is out on the road with High on Fire, Goatwhore and Lo-Pan. Fortunately the driver had to take a tinkle in the middle of Vermont, and they ran into Stephen King who quickly called out Dirtbag’s hoodie and said, “We’re The Meatmen and You Suck!! I own all the records!” So, they snapped a shot to say hello to Tesco!
Now, I knew that Mr. King was a big Ramones fan as he not only mentions them in several of his books, but also snuck in Sheena is a Punk Rocker in the movie version of Pet Sematary (it’s the song the truck driver listens to when he runs over Gage) and had them writing the (great) theme song for it. But him being a fan of the meaty men came as a surprise as they are, ahem, a bit of an “aquired taste”. Does this mean there’s any chance of a protagonist humming Toolin’ for Anus in a future novel?
Awesome! I got this via Art Chantry – one of the greatest graphic designers out there these days. Starting out in the late 70s in that first wave of American punk rock he’s truly old school in his approach as he refuses to use a computer and instead xeroxes, rips, staples, burns and shoot (!!!) his works in order to achieve the desired effects. Ironically enough he hasn’t received half the credit he deserves (despite the sheer amount of emulators out there) and even though he might not be a household name his original posters fetch some pretty impressive bucks on eBay etc. To make that fact even more disheartening he recently stated that the guy who was hired to do the (now iconic) Pulp Fiction poster had admitted to him during a reception that it was in fact “designed to look like an Art Chantry piece.” Well, how about getting the real thing?
Anyway, I guess we all heard the story of the chaos inflicted by Orson Welles‘ radio drama War of the Worlds that aired on CBS‘ The Mercury Theatre on the Air show on October 30th 1938. Narrated by Welles himself the first forty minutes was presented as news bulletins, and with the show being aired with no commercial breaks a lot of listeners apparently took it as a real event – resulting in police departments being swamped by frantic phone calls and witnesses claiming there were suicides and people forming armed posses to deal with the invasion. The outrage this caused in some communities secured Welles’ road to stardom – even though officials in Trenton, NJ at the time probably wouldn’t call the man a genius.
Speaking of which; Have you heard the broadcast? It’s considered to be in the public domain so check it out:
Now how can you not be flattered by criticism like that? I ask you. Dare you even. I’m excited to say that The Norliss Tapes video for Groovy is sure starting to climb in amount of views on YouTube. I’m stoked as hell and thank everyone involved for agreeing to do this. Keep sharing!
You know the phrase “stoked”? Well, I’m no bitter old man (although I do unleash The Angry Old Fart every once in a while) and I consider myself to have most of my childhood enthusiasm intact, but I still think words like “stoked” or “awesome” have become a bit overused. A bowl of corn flakes is nice for breakfast but calling it “awesome” might be taking it a bit too far. That said I am stoked and thrilled to announce the premiere of The Norliss Tapes video for Groovy featuring the cast of The Adventures of Superseven and Sandra West! Yes! Yes! Yes!
The second installment of what I call The Trilogy of Awesomeness, this idea was born early on as I am a fan of the series, but it took some time for me to finally muster up the courage to email Robert and Jerry that produce the series asking if this was doable. To my surprise they said yes and a short while later I had all the footage needed to edit the video. How cool is that of them? I know there’s still a couple of weeks left, but so far this video is the most fun I’ve had in 2012. Awesome!
Anyway, as an added bonus we decided to make this a free download for fans of the band as well as the series. It’s roughly 335 MBs and you can get it here. Please share the link. If you have YouTube both Norliss and the S7 crew would appreciate you sharing the video and don’t forget to check out the Herz und Liebe EP on Bandcamp here.
UPDATE: Director Robert Griffith created an event on Facebook for the video, so please join up here and share among your friends etc. We’ll all appreciate it. Thanks!
So, yeah, this is gonna be yet another one of those posts aimed towards the fellow audiophile, so all you normal people can move along while us nerds drool and whatnot.
Recently I find myself getting almost a Hunter S. Thompson-esque air when it comes to the Molot tube compressor I wrote about earlier. Using this insane piece of technology on everything from drums to the final stages of mastering I’ve kinda adopted his body language and spout off “oh you magnificent beast!” in the same way good ol’ Doc used to talk about Cadillacs and .357 Magnums. I love this gadget. For all its unruliness and unmatched depth of ugly this takes whatever comes through it and sends it straight off to that “whoa! territory” I’ve mentioned in an earlier post. This is a wild buck impossible to tame. Pure masculinity. No holds barred. You just gotta buckle up, buy the ticket, and take the ride with a big grin on your face, ha ha ha.
So with that hunk of Russian primeval just ready to pretty much hurt anything I might point my finger at, plus me reading the great interview Sound on Sound did with French madman Phillippe Zdar about mixing The Beastie Boys‘ great (and final?) album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, I was curious to try out his mixing technique – especially submixing sounds by splitting an audio source into threes (lows, mids and highs) and treat them with a different chain of EQs and compressors. Even though I’ve never been much of a rap/hiphop fan, the Beasties are totally different because they (1) have a unique approach to the form that keeps it interesting and (2) have a genuine punk/hardcore background giving them a street cred that no PR staff in the world can fake, resulting in a musical style that’s energetic and raw. Listening to that album I was blown away by its creativity, the variety of the material and just how dense the damn thing sounded. So of course I had to look it up, read up on the techniques used achieving it and then find an excuse to take what I’ve learned and just try it out.
As soon as I came home Friday afternoon I started working on a dub song using a classic drum loop and pretty much spent all evening working on it. The initial try had me ripping off my earphones again of course ’cause that damn Molot is kinda like dealing with a 900 lb gorilla trying to quit smoking, but once I had the levels right and started getting into it – using mainly tube compressors, expanders, a classic spring reverb and the occasional dub delay – I knew I was onto something. Cranking up the volume the track sounded hot, dense and just jumped at you. I went to bed around 1:00 am and oddly enough had my first nightmare in years. I summed it up earlier Saturday morning on Facebook, so ‘scuse me while I cut and paste:
Wow. I woke up way too early today on account of having my first nightmare in years. Ironically (’cause I don’t believe in the Mayan ‘The World ends in December 2012!’) I found myself in a quiet post-apocalyptic world, sneaking through the streets (’cause if you start hollering out who you are and where you are before you’ve gotten your bearings or a firm grasp of the situation you’re a damn idiot) trying to figure out what the hell had happened.
After breaking into a TV-station I saw videos of chaos, politicians desperately trying to maintain the illusion they were in control (while their bodyguards/police/military were being torn apart by brainless maniacs in the background), tv-presenters crying as they reported the latest updates and then just silence. No specifics mentioned but after all the initial chaos it all just went out like a lightbulb.
And I am aware that it’s anticlimactic but that was the horror of the dream. The silence. Cities completely devoid of life. The horror and unbearable sadness of waking up one day with everything just gone and no one to explain how or why.
Yeah, I agree. I definitely gotta cut back on the weekly amount of The Walking Dead episodes. Anyway, drawing inspiration from that I dug through my old industrial samples and worked out something that would’ve fit the horrific scenario. The title Armageddon Dub was pretty much a given. It turned out fine but way too dark and industrial-sounding for what I had in mind for the Call Me Greenhorn full length. I’m on the fence about it right now, but I’ll make up my mind about including it or not some time soon. It’s available via SoundCloud, so check it out and please share!
News via TMZ as well as USA Today and local papers report that veteran actor Larry Hagman passed away on Friday afternoon after battling cancer for some time. His family later released a statement that he passed peacefully and surrounded by loved ones – as he had wished.
Larry started out in 60s tv-series I Dream of Jeannie and may have become iconic portraying JR Ewing in soap opera Dallas, but me I’ll always remember the guy as the director of the 1972 sequel Son of Blob aka Beware! The Blob. Wanna check out the trailer?
Well, I’ve noticed that I’ve got some fellow audiophiles among my visitors so I thought I’d share the latest find when it comes to free VSTs available: Meet Russian behemoth Molot! And dear God is this a fierce beast! You know the climactic scene in Evil Dead II when the demonic dimension rips through the fabrics of reality and the Rotten Apple Head comes through the door to swallow Ash? Well, this piece of tube-powered compression emulator kinda does that with your sounds.
I initially tried it out on the unmastered track of Call Me Greenhorn‘s album teaser – and to be honest I don’t have a title for that one yet – and I had to rip my earphones off ’cause it damn near took my head clean off. And I live for that kinda sound. There an almost endless amount of variety offered plus some nice presets if you’re new to it or just wanna save some time (personally I found the “room” setting kinda nice ’cause it had a slight SSL feel).
Based on the same technology that gave the World that other beast (the Sovtek-powered Big Muff distortion pedal), it’s a primitive, no-bullshit chunk of gnarly oomph! that does not aim for sophistication. Like author Vladislav Goncharov himself says: “[If you’re…] Looking for transparent compressor? This not your choice. This compressor adds a lot of coloring to sound.” And he’s not kidding. This’ll color everything. It’s loud and noisy and ugly and just everything that makes rough and raw music great.
You can download it here, and he’s offering some limiters and clippers as well that I’m gonna check out as soon as my damn ears stop ringing…