it’s official: bone walker has already…

Whelp, it’s official: Bone Walker has now outsold all other work combined on Bandcamp.

I was going to post today that we were really close to doing that, that Bone Walker was going to outsell everything else its first month of release, but then I didn’t even have time and it’s already happened! So thanks to all of you who’ve bought it, and if you haven’t, go give it a listen already.

And then last night The Dead Kennedys linked to the band blog from their facebook page (no, really), which is pretty much in my top ten of “things I never anticipated saying.” That was kind of neat by itself, and then I was all, “Wait, this means the Dead Kennedys have heard of me” and wow that is also not a thing I expected to happen. Thanks, whoever did that!

Oh, and last Sunday, Anna and I went out to the Seattle Geekly studios and recorded an interview for their last podcast. That might go up tomorrow, I think. Fun!

Anyway, so, yeah! Exciting week!

seriously though this lenovo/superfish thing is bad

If you’ve missed it: Lenovo have been shipping pre-installed crapware that is basically an insta-rootkit on all their machines for over a year. It’s called Superfish, and it’s partly an image search tool, but it’s really about ad-insertion – it sticks Superfish-placed ads onto other peoples’ webpages.

And hey, guess what? Turns out it also sticks a broken SSL certificate in your machine and the password is publicly known and anyone an p0wn your machine at any time even if you uninstall their crapware. It is literally worse than Sony’s infamous CD rootkits and active exploits are circulating now.

Seriously, this is incredibly bad. Their current removal tool doesn’t even fix the problem, tho’ they’re promising one that does. But given how they’ve behaved so far (best summed by “eh, fukkit, and fuck you, losers”), I don’t expect any new one to work either and most certainly would not trust it.

So if you have a Lenovo machine that shipped with Windows in the last couple of years, you probably need to level it and install another OS – a direct-from-Microsoft copy of Windows would be fine, of course. If you’ve installed Superfish for some reason, well, same notation. It’s that bad, and yes, I really mean it.

Lenovo should go down over this. They won’t, but they should. Superfish needs to be sued out of existence. That might actually happen. It’d be nice, anyway. But they’ll probably just change their name and carry on.

nwcMUSIC Sneak Preview

YES IT IS FINALLY TIME! It’s the 2015 nwcMUSIC Sneak Preview grid!

It’s a little difficult to schedule things this year, and the 10,000lb gorilla in the room is of course George R. R. Martin, and everyone has had to move around a bit. But I think we’ve come out well, on the whole.

Also, the graphic is wide this year, because reasons. Regardless, here we are!


Clicking makes bigger

Possibly the strangest thing we’re dealing with this year is the cojoining of Cascadia’s Got Talent! and the Norwescon Masquerade; Special Events asked us to be their halftime show, and we’ve agreed. And to think just two years ago we were still in exile up in the Salon.

I’m particularly hoping people come out for Kadesh Flow‘s show on Saturday. He’s coming all the way out here from St. Louis, so nerdcore crew, MAKE YOUR APPEARANCE! He’s really good, and you should go listen to his stuff.

We also have our first Cypher. We were only able to wodge in an hour for it, which is too bad, but we’re glad to be hosting it, and I hope it comes together. For those who don’t know, a cypher is basically a nerdcore filkcircle, and this one is a demonstration/instructional version, and it’s our experimental effort this year. I hope people like it.

Anyway, that’s your sneak preview. See you at Norwescon? I hope so!

an important bookstore wants to stay open

Borderlands Books is an important enough independent SF/Fantasy/Horror bookstore in California that it has a Wikipedia entry nobody has even nominated for deletion. But like most independent (and many not-so-independent) physical resellers, they’ve had trouble competing with digital and online-only sellers, and have reached a crisis point.

And as a mostly-digital artist doing mostly-digital work, I still think physical media matters. I think used books matter, too, which is why I buy only DRM-free books in digital form. Seanan McGuire has talked a good bit about how much used book matters, and while I already cared, her thoughts made me care more.

But as I said above, Borderlands Books have hit a crisis point, much like Scarecrow Video did here in Cascadia last year, and are faced with having to close down. But, also like Scarecrow, they’re trying a new path to staying around. They’re looking for sponsors, more or less – they aren’t going the complete 501(c)3 route, since unlike Scarecrow, they aren’t a library-like environment, so that wouldn’t work as well. But it’s similar.

Reaction has already been strongly positive, and in a day they made it more than halfway towards goal. So if you have interests in this sort of thing, and have the money to be a sponsor, go give their proposal a look. Californians in particular – go see what you think.

Let’s keep the bookstores open, why don’t we?

yay! it’s bassmas!

For a new year gift, Anna got me a bass! It’s a Godin A5, the five-string version of the 4-string bass I was playing around with in Moncton a couple of years ago. It took a while to get ahold of one, but it finally got here yesterday. ^_^

Anyway yeah so that’s what I’m doing today. Have a good weekend everybody!

book and CD giveaway continues

Dark Side of the Glass’s Faerie Blood and Bone Walker giveaway is continuing, with entries still open until the 8th of March. All you have to do is post in comments why you want copies and you’ve got a shot at it, so go do the thing!

They’ve actually added a second-place prize, too – ePub versions of the books. Right now if you enter you’d have a really high shot of winning, so, yeah, go do that!

how can I improve this?

I’ve made a new landing page for people who specifically click on little trade ads I have with a few places. What do you think?

Remember, this isn’t the ad – it’d be hopeless as an ad. It’s what people who have already clicked on an ad see. So we can assume they have some interest out the gate. I’m also kind of assuming they’re readers, since that’s where these ads generally are anyway.

I feel like it’s certainly too wordy but I’m not seeing how to chip it down at the moment. I’d like to lose at least one line.

getting the mailing list back together

We’re getting the mailing list back together!

We have a mailing list. It’s a monthly newsletter, and sometimes we give away list-only things, like we seriously just did today. In this case it’s a fan remix of Kaiju Meat that Russ Birch did, and it’s even crunchier and stompier than ever, and list subscribers get it.

I’m going to work harder on getting and keeping that thing together, too. Plans are afoot, and hopefully there will not be any further interruptions on that front, and we’ll have things to talk about. So, yeah, be a minion, get prizes, everybody wins.

PS: Vancouver was fun, as always. HI OLIVIER!

do you have an “in” at a radio station?

I printed up a short run of special Bone Walker editions which include a “radio edit” version of “Anarchy Now!” It’s FCC-safe (via dropping out lyrics), for places where that matters. Otherwise there’s no difference.

All of those are going out today. Mostly they’re going to Cascadian stations; however, I only made one package type, and there are a few stations in the US and one in Canada getting it, so everybody gets the radio edit. Hey, why not? Dick Tracy Must Die got some airplay in London and Auckland, maybe Bone Walker could too.

But! I have a couple left over. So if you have a personal in of some sort at a local, actually independent radio station that you think might play something from Bone Walker – a college station, something noncommercial, things like that – throw me some mail with details. We’ll co-ordinate, and I’ll get them a copy of the one-sheet and the CD.

i wonder if anyone has noticed

Given all the things we know about Google Play’s new YouTube/streaming terms, I’m not going to be participating. The reasons, as I posted last week, should be pretty obvious.

Still, I need videos up there just so people who go looking for them can find them. I can do that with an ordinary personal account, which keeps me out of their trap service, which costs me a lot but gets me at least a chunk of the YouTube potential audience. It sucks, but those are the realities of going as an indie.

So I’ve decided that like everything else, I’m going to turn this into an art project.

There are a zillion videos of songs up on YouTube, mostly from the vinyl era, set to videos of those songs being played on turntables. Typically, but not always, on 45 RPM singles. Here’s one. Here’s another. SOmetimes you get really weird things, like Herb Albert on 16 2/3rds RPM. They have a pretty standard style to them; it’s become kind of a genre of its own.

So I figured hey, why not beat them to it?

Except… I’m screwin’ around with the format. Not in huge, obvious ways, particularly not at first. This one looks almost normal. The CD that’s sitting on top of the 1948 vinyl 10″ masquerading as as single actually looks a little too much like a label, and that makes the whole thing look like a proper vinyl disc.

Spoiler alert: I have no vinyl pressing. And so far, no one has noticed that the album is rotating backwards.

I intended it to be subtle, particularly in the first one, because there’s a series, and I plan to make them goofier as they go. But maybe this is too subtle. That’s okay. I’ll just ramp it up more quickly than I planned.

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The Music

THE NEW ALBUM