Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Straight Shots

I guess it's time for another Buried Folderol Week here on the old Cacophonous World (you in the back! stop groaning!). This distinctive piece of buried folderol comes to us directly from Autumn, 1996. My setup at the time was the Roland JV-1000 synth, an old Roland phrase sampler (which I sold on Harmony Central the next year), an Alesis SR-16 drum machine, an SM-58 microphone, my trusty Yamaha four-track cassette recorder, and a fictional character: the quintessential Lounge Lizard, Mr. Straight Shots (nee Straight Shotz). Anyway, this was all done "live" to four-track, including the various vocal layerings and sound effects. And yes, I guess I had been listening to George Duke's "Reach For It" before I wrote this one.

This particular mix I did earlier this year, hooking up the four-track to my PC. Unforunately, the pan pots got a little dirty all those years in storage and no amount of compressed air could prevent some crackling as I tried to duplicate the wild panning effects during playback. I ultimately scaled back on the panning and this is what we're left with.

File this one under "juvenilia".


Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Weblog (Demo)

My weblog recently celebrated it's fifth anniversary (though it's kind of weak now). Around the time I started the weblog (2001), I wrote this tune in a kind of Lionel Richie/Commodores groove. The whole "I want a boy..." section was taken from some random girl's weblog. My co-worker at the time had found it and she and I both agreed it was just about the saddest thing we'd ever read, so it fit the whole pathos of the tune. I never really got around to finishing this tune up, but the lack of polish maybe fits the subject matter.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Spiritual Combat!

Let's take a trip back to the early 1990s when everyone was techno-ing up a storm. I did this track a couple of weeks back for a KVRAudio contest and when I played it for the host of The Catholic Cast podcast, he said he'd like to use it there as well. Consider this a sneak peek for when that podcast does eventually return.

For those who are curious, that's Fr. John Corapi on vocals. If you think it's cool, you should buy his tapes and DVDs.


Friday, June 16, 2006

Cold Duck Time (Interior Monologue)

I know "Weird Jazz Week" was last week, but I just remembered this song and wanted to slip it in. I did it in September, 2004, for a kvraudio.com contest where the theme was to create a song using only one instrument. While this is what I technically did, perhaps this wasn't directly in the spirit of the competition.

Regardless, here it is along with sincere apologies to the dearly departed soul of Eddie Harris.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Coloring Monsters

It's song 42! Time for something extra special: the first song to feature our son who provided not only the ferocious roar but (obviously) the theme and subject matter of this song (by virtue of engaging in the aforementioned activity but also in needing to reminded that monsters are not always to be feared -- though I guess it doesn't help that I taught him about grues to keep him in bed). It may be lame to admit that there are some of your own songs that you really like, that you're really proud of how they came out, but this is definitely one of those.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Meanderin' Orange

I did this tune in early 2003 when I got my first "ROMpler" (a virtual instrument which plays instruments which have been sampled but to which you can't add your own content), Sonik Synth (one). Anyway, I wanted to see how faithfully I could emulate a Jazz quartet (and string section). Unfortunately, to some ears I strove to such a degree for authenticity in the trumpet part -- simulating some detuning due to an uneven flow of air through the instrument -- that at some point it goes a little way flat and the trumpeter sounds less like Miles Davis and more like the mortally wounded bugler in Sonny Giannotta's 1962 comedy recording "Last Blast of The Blasted Bugler" (my parents had a record of that and played it for me when I was a kid; if you're familiar with the recording you'll realize that explains an awful lot. If you have a digital copy of that recording, long out of print, please email me).

Otherwise I think this is pretty slick. Also, you may have noticed by now that I tend to give my instrumentals names with bad puns in them. This is not by any form of intent. Regardless, "Weird Jazz Week" is now concluded.


Monday, June 05, 2006

(Life Is) Salty

Time to let the Professor pick the theme.

I, Professor Whimsey, henceforth and without further skiddoo decree this week to be "Weird Jazz Week" here in the Cacophonous World.

Here is a track from Victor's "Robot Love" CD, written and recorded in the summer of 2000. Much has been said about this track, that Victor wrote the first two lines in Salzburg, Austria, and then the rest three years later in Michigan; that the psychotic spoken word part in the bridge was not written by Victor at all, but was spoken aloud by one of his former co-workers and friends and transcribed by another former co-worker and friend. Much has been written, it's true, and so it is hard to seperate legend from fact. In that spirit, here is the song.


Friday, June 02, 2006

Captain Sisko's Badasss Song

Our second "Buried Folderol Week" concludes on the same note it began: that of incredibly rare favorites (of mine, anyway) made with found or sampled audio. This Friday's tune is one of my favorites and it actually came together in an interesting manner. It's no secret that I consider Deep Space Nine to be the best television series of all time, and it was my companion through most of High School, College, and then my first forays into the Real World. I learned a lot from Captain Sisko. Anyway, towards the end of season five, I believe, I was up late at night and the show happened to be on and since it was an awesome episode (the Dominion's all in a snit because Sisko mined the wormhole with cloaked, self-replicating mines) I decided to put a microphone (the ol' Shure SM-58) in front of the television's speaker and record some of whatever Captain Sikso was saying (in this case it's a great exchange with Jeffrey Comb's Weyoun character).

Anyway, once I had the recorded audio from the TV on one track of the four-track cassette recorder, I grabbed a drum part from my Alesis SR-16 drum machine (since it was so late at night, and you may recognize this, I recycled the same drum program from "Too Damn Muggy"). I recorded in a bassline along with the programmed drum part onto track two of the four-track, which left two open tracks for improvised synths, which I recorded directly onto tape and, as they say in France, "Veiled!": a defining moment in my musical history.