Archive for November, 2014

First single!

The Bone Walker sneak preview is up now! The first single – “Something’s Coming” – is out RIGHT NOW. Preorders for the CD are up right now too!

I was going to post this as “PREORDER THE ALBUM YOU FUCKS” but Anna was all NO NO NO NO NO but personally I think that’s a great slogan. She has no idea how to market, I tell you. And yet, I’m taking her advice.

Seriously tho’, preordering pays for the mastering engineer and we need this thing mastered. The whole album won’t ship until January 2015 though so don’t think it’s that kind of gift, ’cause it’s not. But you can have the single RIGHT NOW! which is pretty cool.


Sneak preview AND single RIGHT NOW!


The Bone Walker sneak preview is up RIGHT NOW. The first single – the full-band studio recording of “Something’s Coming” that has been the most-asked-for thing for the last three years – is out RIGHT NOW. Preorders for the CD are up RIGHT NOW.

Preordering pays for the mastering engineer and we need this thing mastered. So RIGHT NOW is a great time to pre-order. The whole album won’t ship until January 2015 and we all gotta deal with it, but the single? You can have that RIGHT NOW.


something is coming

Something is coming. Not saying exactly what. I mean, you know it’s not the new album, that’s not coming out ’till January and the big release event at Conflikt.

But something, and something relevant. And soon. Probably Friday. GOSH I WONDER WHAT IT COULD BE. I’m trying to be coy, and frankly, I’m bad at coy. I’m better at orbital bombardments. Oh well, I have a plan, I’ll stick to it. OR WILL I?

Until I decide, enjoy this rock candy and chocolate geode I made. I’m pretty happy with how it came out, particularly after the…

…rocky start I had making it…

Distant early warning: January 30-February 1, 2015

NOW IT CAN BE TOLD: We will be having the official release event for Bone Walker: The Free Court of Seattle Original Soundtrack Album at Conflikt 2015 in Sea-Tac, just south of Seattle, Washington. It will also be the release event for book two in the Free Court novel series, also called Bone Walker.

This is going to be a full-band event, with readings, details of all of which will be forthcoming once everything’s nailed down. Certain key guest players from the album will be joining us on stage, and it’s going to be awesome.

Otherwise, sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, things are happening. More to come soon. Lots more, I hope. 😀

something entirely new: recording horns

Getting ready to try to record horns in my personal studio – a trumpet and a trombone. Frankly, I’m not sure this is going to work. But Shoreline decided we couldn’t use their facilities once they found out there was money involved, which limited our options pretty dramatically – here, the park by the lake, maybe on the bus? That’d add a unique sound – but one way or another, we’re trying it.

Maybe it’s for the best we didn’t get to use Shoreline’s studio. I’ve always used virtual boards, and when I walked into the control room at Shoreline, it was kind of like this:

so many switches

…only much bigger, because they have had some upgrades. Apparently Paul Allen gave them a bunch of stuff and I was all, “…I know what all these knobs do… in theory…”

So, yeah! My studio it is. Wish us luck.

edible geodes!


SCIENCE! Sort of.

happy I bailed when I did, I suppose

I’ve been hearing about the finale for this year of Doctor Who, and most people are really unhappy. Had I not already bailed, I would’ve turned the finale off halfway through, for certain, when they pulled one reveal involving a particular Cyberman. So I’m glad I wasn’t there for it.

Aside from that, though, I’ve never heard The Doctor Who Podcast people this upset and unhappy. I’m hearing a lot of reasons, and many of them sound awfully familiar.

Several episodes ago, in response to “Kill the Moon,” I sent in some audio feedback they chose not to use. I’ve transcribed the core of it, taking out introductions and the like and adding a phrase to clarify a point that was clear in spoken form, but not clear in written text. It is otherwise unchanged. I present it for your consideration.

Audio feedback for The Doctor Who Podcast
Recorded 11 October 2014, transcribed 10 November 2014

I just watched “Kill the Moon.” And I can’t care anymore.

I have seen almost every surviving episode of Doctor Who. There’s a few I’ve saved, kind of holding in reserve – but the local PBS station here runs them all in sequence, starting way back at William Hartnell and chugging right through to the end of the classic series, and then starts over again. Which is how the second doctor, or as I used to call him, Shemp Doctor, is my doctor. Because that’s where I came in.

There are a lot of reasons why I’ve been unhappy with Mr. Moffat, but I’ve been sticking with him, thinking, ‘I’ve made it through Colin Baker, I can make it through this.’

And then “Kill the Moon” happened.

Doctor Who has descended to a point of incoherence I associate with the television show Superfriends. This was an animated show, a superhero saturday-morning-cartoons little-kid’s show, and pretty much literally anything could happen at any time. It didn’t have to make any sense.

And here we have an episode of Doctor Who wherein… the moon… magically doubles its mass, turns into a space dragon, flies away, and leaves a replacement… moon egg… in its… place?

Lost in Space would’ve thought twice about this.

I don’t expect hard science from Doctor Who. It’s space fantasy, I get that, it’s science fantasy, I get that. But I expect things to make some degree of sense. I expect there to be some coherence. I look for some relationship to the world in which it’s set.

Now yes, yes, yes, yes, it’s a fool who looks for continuity in the annals of Doctor Who. But I’m not talking about continuity across episodes, I’m looking for coherence within one.

Right now, there are fewer rules in the Doctor Who universe under Moffat than there are in Hogwarts. It is a more magical – by which I mean random and arbitrary – place than the Harry Potteruniverse.

And I can live with that to some degree. I can live with that if it’s a light hearted and kind of silly environment. For example, The Thrilling Adventure Hour. That is totally a magic world; anything can happen at any time, and it’s hilarious.

A lot of old Who, when it gets kind of magical and random, at least has a charming eccentricity to it, kind of a lightness that you can go along with, that you can follow along with, and you like the people on screen.

But this isn’t that. This is trying to be drama. But in this environment, there can be no consequences, there can be no results of actions, there can be no results of decisions. Drama relies on all of these happening, and without them, fundamentally, there can be no drama.

Right now, anything can happen, at any time, for no reason. That is not drama. You cannot run drama that way, it doesn’t work. But that’s where Doctor Who is right now.

All the things that make a magic world work are missing. I don’t like any of these people; there’s no humour; there’s no light touch; it’s all very heavy handed; it is deathly serious and because everything is arbitrary, there can be no drama that functions as drama, which means there’s nothing left.

Fortunately I have Big Finish, which I will continue to attend to closely, and I have the classic series. But the current series… I’m just done.

Wake me up when Moffat’s gone. I’ll give it another go then. But not until.

numbers stations are passé

Check this out: listening to dead satellites. Or at least semi-dead satellites. These are satellites with dead batteries but with transmitters which turn on whenever the solar panels are in the right direction anyway. Some of the noises they make are weird and interesting.

I particularly like Transit 5B-5, launched 1964, for military navigation purposes. But recordings of many different satellites can be found at the link. Echos of the cold war – fitting, don’t you think, for the days surrounding the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall?

holy hell play this thing right now

I’d seen this going around day before yesterday, but hadn’t hit play. It should’ve been labelled MAD GENIUS AT WORK – HIT PLAY NOW. Because goddamn.

Yaybahar by Görkem Şen from Olgu Demir on Vimeo.

The idea of using long heavy metal cables as resonance objects in and of themselves is pretty brilliant. (Tying them to the soundboards makes it loud, but isn’t the source of the sound generation.) And keep playing after the initial bit; yes, the damn thing is tonal.

It’s called a Yaybahar (emphasis on yay) and was invented by Gorkem Sen. It sounds like a hurdy-gurdy and a sitar and an electric guitar and a cello and an early moog somehow managed to have one very large and kind of weird kid. And I want to invite that kid to my party.

(And thanks to @djwudi for the tip.)

mozilla and firefox careen into a ditch

So Mozilla’s The Open Standard published a pro-GamerGate op-ed on Tuesday and has been on a “gamergate is a legit issue with facts on both sides” rampage on Twitter.

Of course, the very idea that there are “facts” on the GamerGate side other than having been set up to harass and force women out of gaming and tech is laughable. As those of us with sanity keep pointing out, we have the goddamn chat logs, this is proven.

But then they went reaching out to the stalker ex-boyfriend with a restraining order to write for them, causing the GamerGate misogynist crowd to come cheering in en masse.

Now, I’d been in this already, but bringing in the stalker ex-boyfriend with a restraining order?! Really?! So I threw that in their collective face, and apparently, that was a little too embarrassing or inconvenient or something:

But despite that, they’re sticking to their facts-on-both-sides legitimisation of the whole misogynist movement, talking about encouraging “active participation.” The official Firefox account was spending a lot of time on it in particular. (Here’s an image if the tweet doesn’t load.)

So yeah, that’s awesome, by which I mean horrible. Given the degree of Brogrammer Rampage I’ve been hearing secondhand out of Mozilla dev offices lately – from guys, I might add – I can’t say I’m entirely shocked. Disappointed that it’s so official, yes, but not shocked.

Still, it’s a bit of a kick to the face. Guess I’ll be adding “delete Firefox from Lair computers” to my todo list today.

eta2:: Hello and welcome, surprise flood of Facebook users! You may find my other posts on GamerGate and related topics of interest as well.

eta: Oh look, here’s a writeup of previous Mozilla tacit support of GamerGate.

ps: It was a pretty quick explosion, I have to say. Blogosphere events last a few days; Tumblr ones do, too. Twitter, though – this was up and down in a few hours. I went up to double-digit interaction updates per refresh in about 10 minutes, sat there for a while just trying to keep up, then back down to a more normal one or two an hour by evening. Very strange to see happening. I’ve had stuff go viral before on Tumblr – far larger than this – but this felt really ephemeral in ways those didn’t. Interesting.

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