Archive for December, 2011

something new and something best forgot

NOW IT CAN BE TOLD: Kräken-Röhl, CRIME and the Forces of Evil, and Leannan Sidhe, Live at B-Side Music, January 27th! Doors 6pm, shows start 7pm, more info on the show page and after that to come! ๐Ÿ˜€

NOW IT HAS BEEN FORGOT: Over on Twitter, Attoparsec‘s Matthew Dockery mentioned clearing out the old CRT computer monitors, and being glad of it. I replied that it’s funny how CRT monitors have no loyalists or preservationists, certainly not of any scale, unlike computers themselves, and vinyl LPs, and to a lesser extent CDs, the like.

It’s me, too; I have a couple of old Amiga CRTs I’ve held onto just in case, and even I want to get rid of them.

And that got us talking about old technologies without fandoms. Examples include CRT computer monitors, and those wretched devices, the FAX machine. So we’re wondering: what other dead tech lacks a fandom?

The polling software I have doesn’t allow fill-in-the-blank answers, but I’m going to start a poll anyway. Add other suggestions in comments!

What Fandomless Technologies Are Best Left Forgot?

  • CRT computer monitors (35%, 7 Votes)
  • FAX machines (35%, 7 Votes)
  • Dial-up modems (20%, 4 Votes)
  • Pagers (15%, 3 Votes)
  • Nonlinear Video Editing - as in, direct-tape video editing. (15%, 3 Votes)
  • 8-Track cassette and radio station "carts" (15%, 3 Votes)
  • Audio Cassette Tape (10%, 2 Votes)
  • Floppy drives [Disputed - see comments at band blog] (10%, 2 Votes)
  • Line editors. Oh gods, line editors. (10%, 2 Votes)
  • Slides & transparencies (5%, 1 Votes)
  • ADD YOUR ANSWER IN COMMENTS! I'll edit the poll to add them. (5%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 20

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up with which i shall not put

My principles have cost me a fan. That sucks. I don’t have fans to burn, and if I had more business sense, it wouldn’t’ve happened. But I have principles, even when they cost me; you might notice a parallel here between real life and band conceit. That’s not accidental.

Here’s the story.

Elsewhere, I relayed an article about Gary Johnson. He’s the libertarian-who-means-it candidate, not Ron Paul; he lacks Ron Paul’s history of racism, and other fatal liabilities. A self-described lover-of-my-music popped in to say disagreed with Mr. Johnson about almost everything, particularly marriage rights. “Marriage is between a man and a woman.”

So being a married dyke, I said, “Well, that includes me and Anna! So there you go,” quietly unfriended, and that was as far as I was going to take it.

But then this person sent mail, chiding me for how I “can’t tolerate as a friend, someone who has a different path from [my] own” and going on about how people like me are about hypocritical about tolerance.

I wanted overnight to cool down. Anna said I shouldn’t reply at all, but I realised I wanted to make a public response, because, in the end, they won’t read it, but maybe someone else will. And that way, maybe it will mean something – even if it is all way too personal. In this particular context, there really is no way for it not to be.


I have spent my entire. life. fighting efforts to keep and make me less of a person in the eyes of the law. I have spent, as they say, both blood and treasure in this war. My arms are wrecked for typing; I can’t do software anymore. (I’m terrified it’ll spread to playing; I work hard to prevent that.)

I’ve been assaulted, harassed on the streets, received death and rape threats more times than I can count. I’ve done ground work against religious conservatives working nationally-funded initiative and legislative efforts dedicated to making me various degrees of illegal, be it blocking me from employment, mandating public schools teach that I am “illegal, immoral, and wrong,” keeping me outright illegal in several states (as was still true when Lawence v. Texas (2003) finally tossed out those laws), and on, and on, and on.

I have spent hundreds of hours monitoring social-conservative and fundamentalist radio broadcasts, sitting there transcribing the blood slander they espouse. (It’s akin to blood libel, but instead of killing the children of gentiles to make our bread, we supposedly rape or molest the children of heterosexuals to “turn them homosexual,” and that’s asserted to be “how we reproduce.”) I’ve sat there listening to people like Beverly LaHaye extoll the virtues of bullying and child abuse against queer children to force them to “repent.” This included intentionally making your own children homeless.

I have not enjoyed it. Aside from the soul-searing brutality of it all, I loathe politics, and always have. But, of course, I lack the privilege of ignoring these fights.

And somewhere around the 20 year mark, I ran out of patience with people whose idea of “diversity” is keeping me second-class in the eyes of the law, on any level. That’s a sophistry I no longer have time for in my life. If someone wants to have religious beliefs, that’s their own lookout, and none of my concern; when they cry prosecution and demand legal action against me for it, I am done.

So do I lack tolerance for your intolerance of me? Do I lack tolerance for saying me and my family should be less than and unequal in the face of the law? Yes. Yes, I do. I also have contempt for the assertion that not being okay with your legal stances against me is “intolerant.” I mean, really? “You won’t let me legislate against you! You’re INTOLERANT!” Yeah, fuck that. I have had more than my fair share of that, and I am finished with it.

It’s not like I have enough fans to waste any. I most certainly don’t. Losing even one hurts me. It is damned difficult to get started in this business, and I need every fan I can get. The smart thing, the business thing, would be to ignore you and have not unfriended. My principles, here, are costing me.

And I can live with that. I lost a lot of friends for my stand against the Bush administration’s torture and domestic spying regime, and against Mr. Obama’s and the Democratic Party’s support of it. I can lose a fan over this. Such has been my story before, I guess that can be my story again.

So long.

— Solarbird, the Lightbringer

Also because I can do this

Here, a video pretty much none of you guys have seen yet. It needs more plays because 4 is a lonely number. Unless you’re monogamous, in which case it’s a crowd – with benefits. Or something, I’m not sure how it works. Anyway, this needs more plays:

Also, because I apparently have nothing better to do:

Did you go boxing yesterday?

  • I had absolutely nothing to do with any severed heads or other body parts you may and may not have discovered. Not that there are any to discover. I'm just sayin'. (60%, 6 Votes)
  • Yes! I also brought a tazer. (20%, 2 Votes)
  • It's not that kind of boxing, dear. (10%, 1 Votes)
  • Not yet, but there's still time. C'mere. (10%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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Because I can

Here, the only mandolin song I have up on YouTube! Yet, anyway.


When You Leave

It needs more plays, so play it. ๐Ÿ˜€ It also has very very slightly more sophisticated camera work than the other ones, so there.

Also, if you’re looking for last-second stocking stuffers? I have DRM-free downloads and I need listeners more than I need money at this point. Hit the tip jar if you would, but mostly, spread the word through giving! Thank yooooooou! <3

comedy gold

Here, this is terrible – try it!

a silly little thing

First: I am looking for people willing to host house concerts in February and March. This is very easy – like hosting a small party. I’m looking for crowds of 6-12 people, counting the hosts, and it doesn’t have to be a house per se – it can be a condo or apartment or anything. I can play acoustic sets or can bring my own PA; all you have to do is invite your friends. Check the youtube page to see what one of these is like.

Second: So I kinda went on a bender in the studio? And then it was 3:30am and there were robots. Or I guess technically cyborgs. And robots. Anyway, this happened – and give it a minute, because it builds, the wheels don’t fall off all at once:

And no, you haven’t heard this. You’ve heard parts of it, but this is what actually happened. XD

Finally: Noted Canadian musician Heather Dale, who has a much larger career than I do, called Dick Tracy Must Die “Purity and edge; technical prowess and a kick-ass attitude” and informed you that “This disc will light a fire under you! Check it out!” Please, do. And maybe consider the pay-what-you-like albums Cracksman Betty and Espionage: Live from Mars as stocking stuffers in your end-of-year giving.

Please and thank you!

this has been a difficult week

It’s been a difficult week. I don’t talk about those, much, because that’s how you lose followers, but, well. There are a bunch of reasons, but talking about that has done me far more harm than good in the recent past, so there you aren’t.

I had a song recorded that I wanted to release to you guys this month. It’s a cover, sort of; one where I rewrote the traditional music the artist I’m covering used, but kept their (original) lyrics. But the copyright holder isn’t answering my mail. Maybe January.

So I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, since it seems a day for that. You’re getting a preview – lyrics to one of the new songs I’ve been writing.

The supervillains of CRIME and the Forces of Evil were superheroes, once. We lost; our world inverted, fell to villainy, who got to declare the new good. There’s nothing actually mystical about that – it wasn’t some sort of magic wand. As a rule, people follow authority.

Most of the old heroes switched right over, and are still thought of as heroes. “Thought You Knew” is written to one of them, in fact; the first song written after the fall.

We didn’t. Those of us who refused to yield, well – here we are. The new supervillains.

I’ve been writing the song about where we lost, or, at least, where the loss became inevitable. I haven’t played it out, yet – it has edits today – but I probably will, in February. And it seems fitting – with Congressional approval of the indefinite suspension of right to trial, and SOPA, the new Internet corporate censorship bill – to post it now.

“Scene from a Starship on Fire” (Working title only)
(C) 2009-2011 Dara Korra’ti/CRIME and the Forces of Evil
(There are bits I wrote in 2009, but didn’t finish; this is how I write.)

From the forthcoming album, Din of Thieves

intro rhythmic, like a siren, or alarm

What the hell?
What the hell are you doing?
Where the hell have you been?
Have you seen this disaster?
I don’t know where to begin

There’s a moment when I look at you and see the world ending
There’s a moment when I look at you and hope that you choke
There’s a moment when I think of you and run like the devil
There’s a moment when I look at you and simply cannot joke

What the hell?
What the hell are you doing?
What the hell does that mean?
Don’t you know what you’ve started?
Are you a part of this scene?

In the second that you turned around I knew it was over
In the second that you turned around I knew you were gone
In the second that you thought of it I blanched at the insight
In the second that you shifted weight the weapons were drawn

What the hell?
What the hell are you doing?
What’s got into your brain?
How could you do this on purpose?
Are you completely insane?

In the smallest crack of madness lurks a simple unwinding
In the smallest crack of crazy I see light in your eyes
In the smallest slip of costume there’s a clarity moment
In the smallest careless instant I see through your disguise

What the hell?
What the fuck were you hiding?
Just what have you become?
You know full well where this takes you?
You aren’t the first to succumb

Watching you change as though turned on a nickel the
Moulding takes shape as you’re spun on the stone
Is there even a thought that you’ll naught but betray me
Do you need, do you want, will you reap what you’ve sown?
Spinning so slowly as your angles assuage you
The steel and the sharpness stand in by your side
The cast of your shadows changes slowly to ember
But this time I’m ready; I know now that you lied

What the hell?
What the hell were you making?
Why have you gone for your knife?
Don’t you know I don’t love you?
But you do not own my life
What the hell?
What the fuck were you thinking?
We made a pretty good team
You made an awful decision
Only now
do I see it’s part of the scheme
What the hell?

Lifeboats, everyone;
Abandon ship.

Annie Henry concert CANCELLATION

Hey, guys, I posted earlier this week about hosting Annie Henry for a house concert – well, she’s come down with the flu! So we’re having to CANCEL THE SHOW. You don’t want flu germs anyway.

We’ll try to reschedule the show for January. Keep an eye out for that!

some answers, and another question

I’m going to round up the indie maker recommendations from the Recommendations Post, in a minute. But before that…

I have another question! It doesn’t work as a poll, so let’s just go for answers-in-comments again. Specifically:

Who inspires you?

Artistically, musically, engineeringly, whatever. Shit is all fucked up and bullshit, as the sign said, but people keep going anyway. Some of that’s determined ignorance, but not all of it. So: who inspires you? Not what: who.

Leave comments. Others might take notes.

And as promised, indie recommendations-from-fans time! These are all from comments:

And, of course, I recommend my own studio album, Dick Tracy Must Die, which is about as handmade as CDs and digital recordings can be. Buy the studio album for someone, or just for yourself! Short on cash, as so many people are right now? Download Cracksman Betty and/or Espionage: Live from Mars for anything you can afford, including free, and give as stocking stuffers.

G’wan, take a look. ^_^

Finally, I have SOLVED THE LINUX PROBLEM! o/ For details, see comments in the original post. Thanks go out to several people, but particularly to criacow on Twitter who pointed me at a sane explanation for how to swap out kernel images cleanly. I’m now running Linux kernel 3.1.5 underneath Ubuntu 10.4, which is vaguely hilarious, but which fixes the crash bug and gave me room enough to get the hardware running. Yay! My tiny studio is now somewhat less tiny! SIX CHANNEL RECORDING WOOOOOOOOOOOO! ๐Ÿ˜€

any linux kernel people out there

ARE YOU OR DO YOU KNOW A SERIOUSLY HARDCORE LINUX PERSON?

If so, I need their help. Please forward this around, I have a problem and I’d really like a workaround or fix.

THIS IS INTENSELY GEEKY. You have been warned.

I have a shiny new USB 2.0 Audio-compatible device, a TASCAM US-800. It validates as a generic USB 2.0 Audio device under OSX, and all the I/O ports are available. With drivers, it works also under Windows XP, to which my studio system can dual-boot. (Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-G31M-ES2L MB, BIOS version FI 2010/08/12.)

I plug it into my studio system when booted to Ubuntu (10.04 LTS (Lucid Lynx), 2.6.32-35-generic, all patches applied) and the Ubuntu machine falls over dead right after acknowledging the USB device. If I’m in Gnome the whole thing dies almost immediately; if I’m in a text console I have more time. The task queue fills because CPU0 soft-hangs.

Again, the exact same machine in exact same configuration, booted to Windows XP, works fine.

What appears to happen is some sort of interrupt fuckery (“ata3: lost interrupt (Status 0x58)”) and the USB hub controller loses an interrupt and doesn’t realise it, or, looking at the call stack and audio.c, maybe has an extra interrupt mapped to it somehow? With predictably hilarious, by which I mean disastrous, results.

Here is a syslog dump from a boot-through-dying session. It’s pretty typical. The adventures start at 15:41:29. Note the call stack. Note also “BUG: soft lockup – CPU#0 stuck for 61s! [khubd:29].”

This appears to be the most closely-related kernel bug report. It’s acknowledged as a bug but hasn’t been touched in a year. ๐Ÿ™ I am not convinced it’s identical, in part because the workaround described down at the bottom (booting with noacpi) does not work for me.

I really, really, really want to be able to use this hardware on my Linux DAW. I can, yes, use it with my MacBook and Garage Band, or CUBASE on the same hardware as the Linux DAW, and shuffle files over. But both of those options kinda suck.

Anybody have a workaround? Or a dev machine that can analyse this? Pretty-please?

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