Archive for December, 2012

h1

2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 11 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Advertisements
h1

Post #400: Summing up 2012

December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wow! Yeah, with food being ready to cook and guests arriving at any minute, I’m gonna be brief. This year has been pretty amazing and looking back I am honestly astonished and proud of my efforts these past 12 months. Jeez, no wonder I’ve been tired, ha ha ha.

January started off with two teaser videos for The Norliss Tapes and a jingle (my first!) for French radio show Megawatts (check it out on YouTube). February saw The Cymatics Euro tour and the release of the 3-track EP Sugar Punch (later on discontinued, but I’m not gonna get into that). March saw the debut of The Norliss Tapes with A Little Bit Tipsy, featuring a kick-ass organ courtesy Staffan Segel, and the video soon followed. I also made the sleeve for German fanzine Ox Magazine‘s CD compilation Ox Fanzine Compilation #101.

The second quarter saw the release of Norliss’ second video A Trip To the Moon and The Cymatics Hang Out appeared on the Ox compilation CD mentioned above. After a week’s vacation in April, Bad Robot EP was released with the A Trip To the Moon EP being released prior to that. After May I’m actually surprised to see that June produced nothing (!!!), but to be honest I have no idea why.

July kicked off with The Norliss Tapes getting in touch with the producers of The Adventures of Superseven and Sandra West leading to a fruitful relationship that goes on to this day. And personally this opened up the world of creating soundtracks for me – something that I am really interested in pursuing in the future. I finished the sleeve for the Herz und Liebe EP – thanks to the gorgeous Eva Halloween – and The Norliss Tapes wrote the first track specifically for the S7 series – Space Pussyfoot. July also marked the debut of Bad Robot as it was the first track to be featured in the S7 show, namely Operation: Live to Die Another Day. August saw the release of the experimental QUAD – The Norliss Tapes Spatial Stereo Mixes 3-track EP, plus Bad Robot once again being featured in the S7  double episode Op: Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill. After yet another week’s vacation in September I joined The Bigfoot Diaries‘ editor-in-chief Troy Church on air as we discussed corporate music and radio on The Fallon Forum, The Norliss Tapes released the Herz und Liebe EP, and both Bad Robot as well as Space Pussyfoot appeared in the end credits of the S7 series. I also chipped in some $$$ on Kickstarter to help finance  Scott Crawford and Jim Saah‘s upcoming documentary Salad Days: The Birth of Punk Rock in the Nation’s Capital to be released in 2013.

The final quarter saw an amazing amount of productivity that actually surprised the heck outta me when I finally had it written down on paper. The Norliss Tapes released the It’s Halloween EP (complete with a video) in October, I finished two videos for the Bad Robot EP, found the time to do the Haunted House of Horror’s Horrific Halloween Twist-a-Rama! podcast (available on MixCloud), wrote a second song exclusively for the S7 series (Superseven in Space Theme), plus saw more songs being featured in the S7 series. Troy Church got in touch and commissioned Halloween-themed artwork for The Bigfoot Diaries and once the Halloween EP was released I sat down to remix and remaster my old hardcore outfit Gå Vidare till Norrmalmstorg‘s sessions and the Blästrad EP was released – complete with two videos. After an interview with punkoutlaw.com regarding GVtN’s EP in November and the video for The Norliss Tapes Groovy I immediately began work on my first solo effort entitled Call Me Greenhorn. The debut S/T EP was released (with two videos of course!) and work on the debut full length began with Australian musician Jamie Coghill aka The Jimmy C providing the drums. The Norliss Tapes had more songs featured in the S7 series but November also saw Call Me Greenhorn’s Here Comes Gorbot debuting in the show. I finished the Armageddon Dub but made it available on my SoundCloud as I deemed it too dark to be included on the full length. December saw me beginning work remixing three tracks for an upcoming EP – finished during my two weeks of holiday vacation – and GVtN was approached by a German label expressing their interest in including some tracks on an upcoming compilation slated for release in 2013 – to which we said yes.

Damn. That’s quite a list huh? I’m satisfied albeit a bit tired. Anyway, Happy New Year everybody!

h1

Pic o/t Year!

December 30, 2012

copyright ???

Yeah, well, “picture of the year” might be a bit overdoing it, but this meme is not only funny but oh so true. As I’ve dabbled with video editing and gotten a taste of what that software can do I gotta say you movie folks sure have a lot of advantages, as you actually can “fix it in post” as the saying goes. It’s not the same when it comes to sound. Oh, I am longing for some sort of VST that effectively brightens up a muddy sound without it turning into a trebly mess that’ll shatter your teeth fillings, or maybe evens out a badly miked drum kit when the tape masters are no longer available. Or maybe a highly effective noise remover that doesn’t end up turning the sound into something robotic – which most do if you crank it up and give it a listen. But what you’ve got coming in from the mike is what you get, and until someone out there start adding some of the said functions to audio editing software then the old musician saying “you can’t polish a turd” stays true.

Anyway, I got this from TapeOp Magazine‘s official page on Facebook, and if you’re unfamiliar with the magazine/website – really? – you sure have a lot of great info, tips & tricks etc. waiting for you. Unlike some other magazines I’ve seen/read over the years, this one is run by people who are true audiophiles and instead of just promoting the latest digital toy released on the market they fill every page with interviews and articles covering all sorts of creative recording techniques from the initial babysteps with cylinder recordings more than a hundred years ago to modern sessions using digital formats. I highly recommend anyone who’s remotely interested in audio/recording to check them out. You’ll find the official website here.

h1

More Webisodes

December 29, 2012

Great news for fans of The Adventures of Superseven and Sandra West – all 40,000 of ’em baby! – as the complete series is now available to stream on Webisodes.com! Season 1 and 2 plus some bonus goodies including the video for The Norliss Tapes Groovy and a sizzle reel featuring the kick-ass funk song from The Jimmy C that I’ve mentioned earlier. 43 episodes in total, make sure to check ’em out here.

Speaking of the Groovy video it is still available as a free download in the .wmv format – as all parties involved believe in grass roots promotion – so you can get it here (335 MB) and if you have a YouTube account etc. feel free to post it. Sharing is caring!

h1

Lloyd Charmers Dead at 74

December 28, 2012

Oh man, this is some sad sad news that was just made official on Trojan Records‘ page on Facebook: Legendary Jamaican musician and producer Lloyd Charmers passed away in London yesterday from a heart attack. He was 74 years old. Friend Winston ‘Merritone’ Blake paid tribute to him earlier today in The Jamaican Observer saying “He is the last of the dynamic producers who brought diversity and quality to our music.”

Growing up on the rough streets of Trench Town in Kingston, Jamaica Lloyd began his musical career in the 1960s and moved on to producing music under the Splash insignia in the 1970s. His musical output is massive to say the least and his unique style of producing could be heard on records by artists such as Ken Boothe, The Gaylads and Byron Lee and the Dragonaires – as well as on his own reggae classics such as Dollars and Bonds and the x-rated (!!!) Birth Control, that was later on “borrowed” by UK outfit The Specials for their Too Much Too Young. Read more here and more tunes below.

R.I.P. Lloyd.

UPDATE: Trojan Records just posted more information and a nice bio on their website. Check it out here.

h1

“It’s about Audience Participation”

December 28, 2012
Original (and funny) VHS ad.

Original (and funny) VHS ad.

Yeah, well, once again the hostess with the mostest Eva Halloween makes me reveal my inner nerd as a recent post on The Year of Halloween offered a horrific animated .gif that I immediately recognized was taken from Lamberto Bava‘s 1985 Italian gorefest Demons. In fact it’s one of the highlights towards the end. But I’ll admit it was a bit unsettling realizing my said nerd-dom was at such a level one photo would be enough for me to recognize it’s origin.

Anyway, being directed by genius Mario Bava‘s son you’d probably expect this celluloid effort to be a beautifully shot and staged piece of subliminal Euro gothic and well, you’re wrong as it’s quite the contrary. Junior’s effort is not bad, it’s just loud, packed with gruesome special effects – how about maniacally laughing demons groping out the eyes of their victims? – and to top it off has a heavy metal soundtrack that I gotta admit fits nicely as “loud” is the word that pretty much sums it up. And as we’re talking a movie that was made during the height of 80s fashion there’s some pretty loud colors and outfits that smack you right in the eyes too.

Kinda re-imagining George Romero‘s zombie concept it’s basically about a collection of strangers in Berlin receiving invitations to a free screening of a horror movie at a recently renovated cinema. One of the patrons scratches herself on a mysterious silver mask outside in the lobby, and as the movie progresses she gets sick and turns into a demon. Once transformed she attacks the moviegoers and all her victims turn into demons too and soon all hell breaks loose. As someone has bricked up the cinema during the movie (!!!) a small bunch of uninfected barricade themselves in order to survive.

Quite gory and violent despite being 25+ years old it still has some strong material that certainly aren’t for everyone – I gotta admit the “teeth sequence” still makes me cringe and if you’ve seen it you’ll know exactly what I mean. Produced by Dario Argento himself it received enough success to warrant a sequel and a third (unofficial) that I frankly haven’t seen. Check out the trailer:

UPDATE: Well, as I stumbled across this on YouTube I thought I might as well share it. Ghoulfriends and boyfiends, I give you Demons in all its uncut glory! And as I already wrote this is a pretty gory piece of entertainment, so you’ll decide if it’s something you wanna watch.

h1

Pic (summing up) the Week

December 28, 2012

copyright ???

Whoof! Well, it sure took longer than expected but I think I am finished with the remix EP! Just zipped up and sent off the MP3s and audio files and unless there’s some last minute changes to be done I’m, uh, done! I’m not gonna share any more info about it as I’m not too sure if 1) all the mixes will be used and 2) when they’ll be released. And as that’s not my decision to make I’m keeping it a little under wrap until further notice.

Even though I’ve certainly mixed and produced recordings before, this experience was a first and it was fun as hell. It was nice getting into someone else’s material and start working on it as you saw fit according to your own tastes – while never forgetting you’re doing it to make the artist happy. And – for strictly personal reasons – I found great satisfaction in doing my damndest to ensure that every detail no matter how small was 100% according to what I set out to do, or as good as it could possibly be according to circumstances. Something that has frustrated me to high heaven while being in the studio through the years as the “close enough syndrome” seem to be the norm these days. I honestly think if you’re gonna do anything you better damn well commit to it. Life’s too short for mediocrity.

Anyway, when I sent off the “almost finished” mixes a couple of days ago I received a very positive reaction, so I am pretty confident about the final results, and listening to the songs on my headphones as I am typing this I can honestly say I’m satisfied.

h1

Pic o/t Day

December 25, 2012

The legendary brown sound.

Well, I am a true believer in trial-and-error, as theory only can go so far and nothing makes you get your gear together like a good mess up. And boy did I go to school today, ha ha ha. I’m not going near that damn thing ever again for the rest of my life, and in the rare occassion I would I’d approach it with extreme caution. Damn! If any of you audio geeks wanna know I can tell you that an FM Oscillator set on sinus waveform will turn a distorted bass into a “building cleanser.”

Anyway, after three great days of just good food and tons of sleep I woke up early feeling energized and rejuvenated and pretty much spent all day adding the finishing touches to the remix EP I’ve been working on for the last couple of weeks. I sent out some rough MP3s a couple of days ago, and now it’s just a matter of doing the final bit of tweaking and then I’m done. While on the subject:

h1

God Jul!

December 24, 2012

It's a meme, no copyright!Well, I guess the excitement of my childhood years kicked in as I awoke on Christmas morning around 6 am after two days of nothing but sleep (and the occasional horror movie). ‘Tis the Season, and no matter what you and your family are celebrating today I’d like to wish you a good one. It’s fascinating when you google something simple as Christmas well wishing in all the languages of the World and soon’ll see that all over this planet we’re celebrating it, albeit under different name and for (on the surface) different cultural reasons. Historically speaking it is interesting to know that no matter where our ancestors lived, three days after the winter solstice began they had a huge feast to celebrate that the Sun was now once again rising higher, giving us longer and longer days.

Now, it is kinda frustrating seeing how a phenomena that widespread still manages to somehow separate (and “offend”) some people, so it’s nice to see a meme with the following message actually being somewhat spread online. I wholeheartedly endorse it’s message:

If you are Jewish, feel free to wish me a “Happy Hanukkah.”
If you are a Christian, feel free to wish me a “Merry Christmas.”
If you are African/American, feel free to wish me a “Joyous Kwanza.”
If you have no affiliation, feel free to wish me “Happy Holidays.”
I promise not to be offended!

Merry Christmas! God Jul! Glædelig Jul! Vrolijk Kerstfeest! Hyvää Joulua! Joyeux Noël! Fröhliche Weihnachten! Καλα Χριστούγεννα! Buon Natale! Feliz Natal! с Рождеством Христовым! Vesele Božične Praznike! Feliz Navidad! весела коледа! 圣诞快乐! Veselé Vánoce! חג מולד שמח! Boldog Karácsonyt! Gleðileg Jól! Selamat Natal! Un Crăciun Fericit! สุขสันต์วันคริสต์มาส! کریسمس مبارک!

h1

Michael ‘Mike’ Sciacca Dies at 47

December 23, 2012

copyright ???

Well, here’s a bit of sad news that’s starting to spread online: Guitarist Michael ‘Mike’ Sciacca passed away suddenly and unexpectedly while performing on stage at the Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas last night. All accounts say he crumpled over during the performance and was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived, the cause of death being a heart attack. He was 47 years old.

With me not being that big on all things metal, I actually didn’t know he started out in pioneering thrash metal outfit Rigor Mortis, and knew him mostly for his work with industrial bands such as Ministry, The Revolting Cocks and Lard. More information can be found on his Wikipedia here and Rigor Mortis’ official page on Facebook here..

UPDATE: According to reports in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Blabbermouth.net Sciacca was pronounced dead at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital, not the club. Read more here and here.

%d bloggers like this: