Archive for March, 2012

just making sure you guys do not feel neglected

So much to do, so little time to do it. Doing some second-crew work for Anna’s book this afternoon, and besides that, nwcMUSIC 2012/Norwescon 35 starts in six days! SO MUCH GRAPHIC DESIGN SO LITTLE TIME.

Hey, filkers, don’t feel left out of the design goodness, ’cause you sure as hell aren’t:

guest hosting on google+

Tonight’s one of Leannan Sidhe’s bardic circle hangouts on Google+, and I’m filling in as guest host! C’mon by if you want to play, or if you just want to watch and listen! It’s usually a mix of musicians and storytellers, but you never know who might show up.

Official start is 6pm Cascadian/Pacific, 8pm Central, 10pm Atlantic, but I’ll open things up before that for testing and sound checks. The Hangout creation announcement and link for joining will appear here, on my G+ page, so watch there for a link.

You need a Google+ account, but you don’t need microphone or webcam to be a listener; there’s a concurrent text-based chat window. Linux, OS X, and Windows are supported.

C’mon out, eh?

oh so you mean

Sometimes I take old folk songs and rewrite them into the Republic of Cascadia universe. That’s where “Columbia” came from, for example – the first song I wrote what got covered by another artist. Sometimes I write new music, sometimes I don’t. The latest one is “High Barbaree,” which is an old song about a pirate encounter, and of course, in all traditional versions, the pirates lose, but that’s not the way we roll here, now, is it?

But while I came up with a chord set I really like – yeah, this is one I’m substantially rewriting – I’d been stuck for a while on lyrics. Then last Thursday, I realised that in my version, High Barbaree is the name of the ship, not the locale, and a nice chunk of verses all came tumbling out of my brain. Yay!

It’s now about blockade-running privateers for the Republic, and atypically cheery for me. It’s not finished, but now I see how to get there; I should have a first draft ready for nwcMUSIC 2012/Norwescon 35. T-10 days and counting!

preparing for nwcmusic

So much more work to do for nwcMUSIC 2012 at Norwescon 35! I’ve been making posters and banners and all that. We’re also going to run an open mic (first time) and a session (first time) and Cascadia’s Got Talent! (which is really Cascadia’s Got a Gong Show, but let’s not quibble) and many other performance opportunities including overnight playspace – there are so many things going on!

Plus concerts, of course. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. So much awesome! It’s the kind of lineup I can’t believe we’ve managed in only our second year.

So what do you guys think of the “social digest” thing anyway? It’s only posted a couple of times so far; this is an example. It’s one of the features of Fanbridge, and I asked the mailing list before turning it on and people seemed okay with trying it. I didn’t entirely realise it’d echo to Facebook and Twitter too. XD Do you like it?

PS: “Colour only, sir. More expensive!”

another day another dime

So there’s this social micropayments system called Flattr. Members sign up, pay a little a month (€2), then can, on sites with a Flattr button, click on that button. The click is logged. At the end of the month, the €2 is divided across all the buttons you clicked on, less 10% which goes to Flattr, which is how they make money. Wikipedia says it’s been around since 2010 but only went really public in 2011.

Have you even ever heard of this thing before, or seen a Flattr button? I mean, it’s the kind of thing that’d be cool, if people used it, but I really doubt people would. Certainly my experiences with online revenue make it seem unlikely – I’ll make more money at a single good show than I have lifetime online. (That’s why I’ve been focused on YouTube lately – YouTube is far more plays per day than Bandcamp, CD Baby, or iTunes or any of that, and since I want shows, well…)

So have you even heard of this? Do you use it? Do you know anybody who does? Now that you know about it, would you use it?

do not post actual content to c/o/m/p/u/s/e/r/v/e/ Pinterest

A PSA: under current as of now license, anything you post to Pinterest belongs to Pinterest, including for resale and licensing, forever. I haven’t seen a license this broad since CompuServe tried this in the late 80s. Be aware.

Scientific American outlines the license.

billy corgan thinks everything sucks

This is going around: Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins thinks everything sucks. Here’s a YouTube embed:

Basically he agrees the major label system sucks, but not for the same reasons we do; being one of that tiny percent to actually make money in it, he thinks that part is just fine. He just thinks the people who do manage this feat are the “winners.” What he hates is what he calls the “singles mentality” and homogenisation, combined with the death of the album form, which he sees as removing the connection between little indie band (j0) and MEGASUPERSTARDOM RAR!

And he also spends a lot of time crying for the mass cultural experience.

But at the same time, he also hates on the indie scene, mostly on his exposure to it through alternative rock, declaring it eternally “precocious” and incapable of sustaining an audience or band, dismissing it entirely as, “What’re you going to do, sell albums to the same 10,000 people every year?” and saying bands that go that route are just going to be working back at Burger King in ten years.

As opposed to almost all major label artists who end up back working lousy day jobs and bankrupted.

Personally, if I can sell 10,000 albums a year, I’ll be totally psyched. I’d also be making more money than most major label artists. But to him you don’t count unless, as he puts it, grandmothers know about you. You have to CHANGE THE WORLD, MAN. Like he, um, didn’t. (Sorry, guy, got news.)

I don’t actually want to spend this entire post hating on this interview, because he has a bunch of things to say in there which are varying degrees of legitimate, like how goddamn behind the technology curve the major labels have been and continue to be. But god damn, dude – do some fucking math. The label-and-album system that did work for you (and for about 10-15 other artists a year) didn’t work for anybody else. Except the labels, of course.

You’re so concerned about all this, about the “little” and “indie” bands who are so “precocious?” How about floating some goddamn ideas instead? Because the album as an art form may come and go – Dick Tracy Must Die isn’t just an album, it’s a goddamn concept album – but changing fashion of forms isn’t going to save anybody. Not even the labels.

Meanwhile we, the eternally “precocious,” will be over here, trying to get some work done. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll figure some shit out.

loaning out the keyboard

I’m handing over today’s entry to Anna, so she can signal boost a few items, particularly S.L. Gray’s Kickstarter project to get her backlisted novel back in print. We were all part of the big Willowholt Elfquest RP group which has spawned several published writers and one musician (hiya!). But for more, here’s Anna:

Hello! I’m Angela Korra’ti, a writer and a geek, and every so often I like to plug things being done by my fellow authors!

First up, for those of you who’re on Goodreads, my fellow formerly-Drollerie author Gary Inbinder is running a two-week ad on the Goodreads site to plug his books Confessions of the Creature and The Flower to the Painter. If you happen to see this ad, please clickie! And even if you don’t see the ad, please consider adding Gary’s books to your Goodreads To Read shelves. I’ve read Confessions of the Creature and quite liked it as a followup to Frankenstein; The Flower to the Painter is on my queue.

Second, S.L. Gray, who I am pleased to note as one of the several writers who’ve come out of the Willowholt Tribe I ran way back in the day, has a Kickstarter going to resurrect an old novel of hers, The Dragon Undone. Go check her out and give her some support love, people! As you may guess, Kickstarters are currently Highly Relevant to My Interests, but so is supporting writers of my Tribe. Tell her I sent you!

Third, if you’re a fan of the work of Francesca Lia Block, you might want to be aware that she’s in danger of losing her home. Looks like she’s yet another American whose home has gone underwater and her bank’s not playing nice. Click over on the link to read up more about her situation, and if you’re so inclined, sign the petition they’ve set up on on Ms. Block’s behalf.


Give those some thoughts, won’t you?

Oh, also, tonight, I’ll be doing another one of those Google Hangout online events. Normally there won’t be so many in a row, but Leannan Sidhe are trying to figure out what times are best, so I’m making all the ones I can. We had like 20 participants last time, so it was fun once we got past the technical hurdles. Watch here for the hangout link, sometime around 6pm Cascadian/Pacific, 9pm Eastern time. Hope to see you there!

kinda sorta an experimental online show today

Shanti of Leannan Sidhe is going to give Google+’s ‘hangout’ feature another go today (Monday) and is hosting a bardic-circle-style musician hangout at 5pm Cascadian Daylight Time, which is like 9am Tokyo and midnight London and 8pm Toronto.

If everything goes right, at least a couple or even a few people will be performing, most notably her and hopefully me, taking turns. You need a G+ account but you don’t need webcam or microphone; you can listen and watch and chat in text, like on UStream and similar. It will be informal and chatty.

There will be NEW TRIX with equipment, hopefully to make the sound come out better than laptop microphone would otherwise allow. I bought a new portable sound interface a few months ago (on closeout, one being replaced with a newer model) and I finally have a reason to screw with it! Yay!

Stop by if you have time. It may be entertaining, either musically, or, failing that, possibly a train-wreck kind of way! She’ll post a link here when things get started, so watch that page OK!

So how was your weekend? Mine wasn’t entirely flaily – went down to the Bekah Kelso show at Sidhehaven, hung out here and caught up on Castle and more of Downton Abbey while working on some gear. YES I AM A SUCKER FOR EDWARDIAN ENGLISH HOUSE DRAMA. This isn’t new. It used to be Upstairs, Downstairs, now it’s this, these aren’t the only two. They are a secret weakness I dare not allow myself to indulge – too much.

Anyway! Hangout/online/performance/chatty thing on Google+! Come try it! I am!

weekend update

So I’ve survived my first small brush with the larger YouTube audience with that live video of the Skyrim song (Open Mic Night at the Winking Skeever) I posted last week, and I think I came out I think okay. Many more likes than dislikes, noticable spillover to other performance videos, hopefully one or two of those viewers made it here! (Hiya!)

That was kind of scary, because YouTube is merciless, but coming out okay is good. Almost three times as many likes as dislikes, and over 400 views – it’s not exactly viral, but it’s not bad.

If you missed it, it’s here. It’s about this NPC guard you run into while playing OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, omg, and he’s always complaining about his lot in life. This is kind of him going down to the inn (The Winking Skeever, in Solitude) and doing an open mic. Because that’s the kind of thing I find funny: briefly glimpsed and then crushed hopes and dreams. XD

Anyway, have some links:

Nick Mamatas has a really interesting post on a certain type of story structure he sees a lot.

This is an article about a contest to find exploits in Chrome, but that’s not why I’m linking it. I’m linking it because what the exploit does. Screenshot at URL. I lulzed. ^_^

James Marsters gives an interesting interview, 15 years after the premiere of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer.

This is going viral right now. If it’s not already. It’s in Portland, which, well, really, there is no part of that which is not Portland.

Have a good weekend, guys – you doin’ anything? Me, I’m going to a show, Bekah Kelso down in at Sidhehaven, where I played back in November. I’ve never heard her, but I know a lot of people who recommend her music. Road trip!

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