Please enjoy a single!

I’m getting ready for my first show of the season, this Wednesday, May 12th, at Marina Park in Kirkland, Washington. My curtain time is 4pm, and it’s an hour show; basically one long set. It’s a completely new venue to me, so I’m quite nervous! I’ve got my setlist made up, though. I keep fiddling with it, but I’ve got the basic plan down.

To celebrate, I’ve decided to go ahead and release what I’ve been quietly circulating to a few people as “release candidate 1” of the first complete song off the forthcoming album Dick Tracy Must Die. Please enjoy “Thought You Knew” via Bandcamp! Clickie:

<a href="http://crimeandtheforcesofevil.bandcamp.com/track/thought-you-knew">Thought You Knew by Crime and the Forces of Evil</a>

As I’m typing this I don’t have any album art, or art for the single. But I’ll hope to fix that tomorrow, at least for the single – the album as a whole, well, those graphics can wait. ^_^

The day I can afford ProTools, I'm launching Ardour into space

Because I’ve just lost another night’s work to Ardour’s automation spontaneously corrupting, setting values to invalid numbers, and hanging or crashing, necessitating deletion of every goddamn piece of automation in the entire piece, and starting completely over, before it’ll just. not. hang.

It’s all I can do not to punch my fist right though the screen, it really is.

Wow, that really is forgiving, isn't it?

So now Kohaku and Summer both have pickups built in, which is an odd, odd thing, but they work pretty well so far and I’m setting up and labelling things for the summer show series. I also found a kokiriko! Finally! Not as cheap as the one I missed buying earlier, but not much more expensive, and it’s got a really nice sound to it, so as second chances go, it’s pretty good.

And I tested my SM58, finally. Little differences in behaviour between it and the 57 seem to make a massive difference in how my voice sounds over the PA. The 58’s little treble spike is exactly where I don’t want one in my vocals, and I guess the metal sphere keeps me at the right distance away from the diaphragm, and, well, yeah. It’s like it filters out a lot of the worst parts of my voice and blurs over a lot of the worst rough bits. Patrick Tewson of The Popular Monsters told me he loved how “forgiving” it was, but I wasn’t hearing it until now.

Maybe it’s also this PA, which does really good things to every vocal (mine and others) I’ve put through it, too. Either way, I like it.

cddb insinuates something…

…I’m told, via email:

Okay I finally got around to opening Sketchy Characters today, because I’m such a slacker with new music and ANYWAY I laughed so hard when my earnest CD-ripping software identified the CD as R. Kelly’s single “Fiesta.” Outbirds is apparently a remixed version with Jay-Z. You’re so connected to the rap scene! Hee hee hee.

-yam

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ^_^ I’m pretty sure I’m not actually trapped in the closet, but I have made fun of Scientology in front of John Travolta, so maybe that’s the connection.

And I hear from the sound of the lawyers outside that it’s time for a FREE PERSONALITY TEST! Better go! By the way – send help?

HELLO OREGON! ARE YOU READY TO

It’s official: I’ll be playing Centennial Park Amphitheatre in Redmond, Oregon on July 12th; a solo show, two sets starting at 1pm. It’s a new venue – they’re not even done building it yet! – so there aren’t pictures. This is where it’s going to be, though!

I’m all excited! I’ve never played this far south before and certainly never driven this far for a gig. It’s going to be an ADVENTURE! And scary. But awesome.

I would like to book another gig earlier that weekend in either Portland or Eugene, preferably Eugene. I’ve got crash space offers both places (thank you thank you thank you Andra and thank you thank you thank you Fred!) and if I’ve got one show I should surely have two, right? In an ideal world, I’d drive down to Eugene, do a show there, sleep, drive to Redmond, do the main show there, poke around at obsidian beaches that dragons left behind, then go up to Portland, sleep, do a smallish show there, and drive home after. Is that insane?

And btw, anybody got any connections at venues? ^_^

Oregon gig offer

I have an offer of a gig, in central Oregon, north of Bend, in a little town called Redmond. (Short story: I mailed the wrong Redmond, we figured it out, they listened to my stuff and are offering anyway.) It would be kind of awesome to take it, because it’d be the furthest away I’ve played other than Boston. But it’s nearly seven hours away by car, I don’t have lodging, and a hotel would be out of the question just because there’s no possible way to come even close to breaking even if I do that.

I didn’t expect to be facing this kind of dilemma this summer. Suggestions?

better than new

I found something!


l00t

After some work (including a new coil for the horn tweeter, $26), it’s better than new! Howcome?


Now with extra fusing!
The left fuse is for the entire speaker, the right fuse is just for the horn tweeter.

The loudspeaker is designed to be used as either a monitor (for large environments) or mains speaker (for smaller environments, and my use) and has a tripod mount point and everything. It’s also fuzzy! But not very, about which I have mixed feelings. One of the internal components had a manufacturing date of April 1990, which makes it almost exactly 20 years old. I love what the large main does for vocals. I mean damn. And the low end is super crisp.

I got really lucky stumbling across this in a pawn – it was really cheap because it looked ‘way worse off than it actually was, but they let me poke at it and it came up fixable! Yay!

mmmmm tasty success

I found a pawn shop speaker, a Crate UFM-15H. The horn tweeter wasn’t working but the rest sounded good, and $26 for a new coil later it’s all happy. I’m modding the crossover board to add fuses to prevent that kind of shit but I need another drill bit to surface mount the cartridges. (Fuses you can only change by opening the case are fuses that end your gig.) Tomorrow I will buy this.

strolling off with

So I found this Samson S63 while out pawn-shop trolling and decided, “yeah, I could stroll off with you” and did. It’s a six-channel power amp with onboard mixer and EQ (three-knob per channel and 10-band graphic for overall), 10 years old, in good working order. It’s missing a knob, but that’s what guitar picks are for. It also has a reverb effects box onboard that you can cut in on a per-channel basis. (It’s variable per channel, which is a neat trick. Voice smoothing much? Oh, much.) It also has separate monitor mixing and monitor outs, tho’ they aren’t amplified. Those’ll be handy later.

I wish it had a headphone pre-amp and I still need a loudspeaker, but it’s a start.

I have a second, separate problem

I need some sort of small, reasonably-portable sound solution for vocal amplification for my solo gigs. And maybe a mixer amp would be nice, so I could amp my zouk and mandolin as well. (They’re both much louder than my voice. Also I will need a reasonably rugged vocal mic for outdoor use. SM58, I presume?)

I’ve been poking around at pawn shop listings going, “um… this looks nice?” but honestly I have no idea. I found this Peavey for pretty cheap (assuming it works) but of course there’s no speaker there, and for all I know it could be total overkill or totally inadequate. And I have no idea about what to look for in speakers.

I need some solution I can run myself, and really, I’d prefer an all-in-one amp+speaker+mixer solution, but I have no idea whether that even exists. (And the Peavy amp being separate, I could point it at me and make adjustments on its front panel in ways that seem reasonable.)

So, um, hints, clues, and so on, appreciated. I know what kind of things I’d want for a full-band gig, but this is a totally different animal. What do I actually want?

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The Music

THE NEW SINGLE