musicians, contact norwescon now

As you may know, several years ago, I started and built a small geekmusic festival at Norwescon called nwcMUSIC. I took last year off completely as a sabbatical year, and they continued to do it.

This year, I’m back as an advisor – sort of a showrunner emeritus. And while I won’t be running it, I will be giving a lot of advice and training on how to run it the way I did.

NOW IS THE TIME TO CONTACT NORWESCON TO BE A PART OF NWCMUSIC 2017! Or, for that matter, to be involved in any programming at the show. Here’s part of the announcement:

I know Norwescon seems forever away, but August is actually when the main work of programming begins. SO! if you are interested in being a panelist, get yourself over to this attending pro information page and use the contact link to tell us who you are and why you would be a good panelist.

Please do so even if you have been a pro before, the programming team isn’t constant from year to year.

Bonus request: if you are an artist, and there are workshops/demos you could run, please include that info; art track is my responsibility and I’d like to increase the amount of hands-on programming.

So, hie thee off and fill out the form! That’s EVEN IF you’ve been at nwcMUSIC or Norwescon Programming before. I did it, even. Do it today!

update any apple mobile devices NOW

It’s getting good traction, but I’m going to borrow the band blog to mention this now: if you have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, etc), then go to Software Update and update it right now.

Here are some details at Gizmodo, and here’s the BBC story. Basically, it’s a single-click exploit and your phone isn’t yours anymore.

Seriously, update now, it’s a bad one. Actually, it’s three bugs, each of which is very bad, but they’re all fixed at once.

and so another year’s hugo awards are past

I haven’t written much about the alt-right/”Rabid Puppy” Hugo Award slate gaming lately; as last year, their slate utterly collapsed, with the core of it finishing behind “No Award,” again, just like last year. Theodore (“Vox Day”) Beale did of course claim TOTAL VICTORY, as he will always do regardless, and I got a small bit of banhammered hate on Twitter (aw, they remembered me! I’m flattered) and blah de blah de blah. To be honest, Dave Truesdale’s expulsion from the con was far more interesting.

Really, I’m kind of surprised they still care, what with actual fascists being actual contenders in elections in the west this year. It makes their chosen pond look even smaller. Scalzi wrote a column calling them gum on the shoes of history, which is about right.

I imagine they might give it another run next year even with the new rules in place, mostly ’cause Dunning-Kruger is gonna Dunning-Kruger, and if you want poster children for that effect, I have some suggestions.

Why do white supremacists always look like counterexamples?

Jim Hines has a nice post up about the actual award winners, and it’s a good read.

Meanwhile, the Sad Puppies – as opposed to the Rabids – are concentrating their efforts on a new set of awards, the Dragon Awards, to be given at Dragoncon. Those are over here, and it’s an internet vote so have fun managing that because wow I can’t think of anything easier to hijack, but y’know what? Great. Go have fun, I hope it works out (no, really, I genuinely do) and good luck.

Meanwhile, I’m going to post this and hope the construction next door takes a break today. My studio is sound-conditioned, not sound-proofed, and I have to ask, WHO NEEDS FIVE KINDS OF POWER SAW FOR A CARPORT? I mean, I’m guessing at five, given the number of different sounds I was hearing, and unless they’re starting some sort of electric saw noisemusic band, I’m assuming this is all for the carport and not either music nor lulz.

Then again, the griefer count has been pretty fuckin’ high lately. Maybe it is lulz. These chorus vocals I was mixing are sounding pretty damn sweet despite the saw effects, I got to say, so you’re gonna have to do better than that to stop me.

This is part of a series of posts on the Hugo awards nominations capture by rightist political slates.

late night recording

Up late last night in the Lair’s main studio, recording Kathryn Tewson on backing vocals for “We’re Not Friends.” She’s been singing since she was 14, and you may have heard her on things like Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls, or the live performance of Lord of the Rings this year, she’s done some work for television, and she’s a member of both the Seattle Symphony Chorale and Opus 7. So while it’s rare for a supervillain to admit it, I am feeling seriously outclassed here. XD

She’s put a post up about the session on Facebook. I was really surprised that with all the work she’s done, she’s never worked with a close microphone before! But as someone from an overwhelmingly classical background (and enthusiastically of that school), it’s just not something they do. Her “bloom point” is something like 12 feet away? Which sounds like a beam origination point for some sort of superweapon but is actually where has various harmonics come together in a classical environment.

bloom point

I don’t see the difference, really.

By the way, close-mic being a new thing for her? You can’t tell from the recordings. I mean damn. And, for the record, she’s a joy to work with, so if you need somebody, go hire her.

Two more people left to record, both this week. SCHEDULE, MINIONS, SCHEDULE!

credit where credit is due

Well played, Facebook algorithms. Well played.


Stranger Things title-style generator here.

this is not turning into a gaming blog i swear

Really, it’s not, but I just won a game in Overwatch (Hanamura, Attacking) literally solo by going to the second objective and SITTING DOWN ‘TIL VICTORY because NOBODY NOTICED I WAS THERE.

It was hilarious. I was looking at their advance guard from behind and going, “don’t turn around, don’t turn around, don’t turn around” and they didn’t until suddenly the VICTORY! banner appears and everybody is going WHAT THE FUCK JUST HAPPENED?!


This is even better than yesterday’s game as Pharah (the rocketeer) where – in a round we lost, actually, but I don’t care – a Roadhog grabbed me with his chain and yanked me down to him, except my ultimate was ready so I was all JUSTICE RAINS ON YOUR FACE

it would’ve looked a lot like this, only MUCH CLOSER

pretty sure piggy wasn’t expecting that XD

In actually band-relevant news, I think I have singers for the chorus of “We’re Not Friends” now. Neither are 100% definite but both are very likely. Hopefully we can record next week!

Still thinking on another title tho’. I mean, I actually like the title as it stands? I’d really prefer to keep the title sometime from the lyrics and that’s the best title line in it. But negative titles don’t get the “play” button hit, so there you are.

hee hee hee sitting my way to victory XD XD XD

anybody else seeing these ultimate issues with overwatch?

The last few days have been really terrible for Tracer bombs – and quicily-timed ults in general – on Overwatch. It’s to the point where I don’t consider Tracer to have an ult – the last couple of days, it’s 50/50 whether it’ll even deploy and go off.

I’ve seen lots of failure to deploy with Tracer bombs. Particularly, jink-jink-deploy is almost guaranteed to fail now – if you don’t have time for jink-jink-pause-deploy, it mostly doesn’t, and adding that pause is pretty much a death sentence for Tracer.

I’ve seen explosions with zero damage even with confirmed STUCK notices (and similarly not showing up in stats, which means the server never saw it? despite the STUCK notice?), and in one case, the bomb just outright vanished. I stuck it to a, it showed as STUCK, I teleported back, and it just… disappeared. I didn’t get it back in my inventory, it was just gone, and no damage.

I’m seeing it a lot playing too – in a bad situation, I’ll go in with a nerf ready into a big pile of players, stay alive as long as I can doing as much damage as I can, hit nerf as my damage metre falls close to two digits, and historically, that’s a nerf – often not a very useful one, as it’s basically a Mech Reset – and I get a new mech. Now, generally, nothing. I get an eject, yes – but without the nerf, and without a new mech. And without the nerf to clear the crowd, that’s also an instant death.

Back on Tracer, the jink-unwind problem is getting worse, too. That killed me today in a screamingly infuriating way. We were defending stage 1 at Hanamura, and I do this thing when I’m coming back in after an elmination, where I jink over the short way from stage 2’s cliffside balcony to the cliffside rockery behind stage 1. It saves time and it’s neat, and it’s a triple-jink jump.

Today I did that, was over the stonework, then was suddenly unwound two jinks and falling to my death. It actually backed me up over the cliffs to drop me.

So, yeah.


eta: jfc tonight, tonight, defence in Hanamura, I nerfed to clear the point in overtime on the second point, it rattled off eight(!) kills and destroyed mecha/objects, it was massive and last-second, and it brought up the VICTORY banner…

…and then declared in audio “DEFEAT” (with the VICTORY banner still up!) and unwound all my kills (none of them appeared in my end of game stats), and gave the win to the other team.

What. The. Fuck.

this is a difficult mix

Several weeks ago – probably two months, now – I saw a post by SJ Tucker where she was urging everybody to get their most positive song out there, just because the mood is so very, very terrible.

I don’t know if anybody else really took that up, but I’ve been working on one I wrote earlier this year and that I’ve only performed a few times, called “We’re Not Friends.” It’ll probably end up with some alternative title for release because negation titles don’t twig people and all that. It’s about the kind of fan reaction that you saw to Korrasami, or, as has been in the news the last few days, how Leslie Jones saw Whoopi Goldberg who, in turn, saw Nichelle Nichols, and in all of our cases, we’re seeing someone that isn’t allowed to exist just show up in front of you.

So of course with perfect timing I’ve been fighting weeks of system issues (thanks, Ubuntu), but despite that, I have been making headway on an early single release of this track. It was going to be on Din of Thieves – and still will be, all said and done – but I’m still trying to answer Sooj’s call.

And it’s being a real pain in the ass to mix. It doesn’t want a bassline, I’ve tried. It seems to want its entire low end in the drums. But while the drums it wants are simple, they’re difficult to get to come together sonically in a way that makes them sound like they’re all pieces of the same set.

And the chorus – hoo boy, I’ve reached out to people, but everybody’s busy with Other Stuff, because this is not the time of the year to try to work together some new tracks, apparently. Still workin’ on that. I have very specific ideas about what I want and I’m not getting them.

Still, I’m doin’ my damnedest to pull it together. September’s the goal. Labour day. Labour day if I can, aheh, get it all to work.

the transition masking alone is worth the watch

Watch this. No, seriously, watch this, the transition masking alone will blow your mind. It’s a Disney fan AMV, and it’s got something from pretty much every Disney animated picture since 1989, plus a few others, and it’s great. You will feel happier after watching it.

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