Archive for the ‘random coolness’ Category

will you lookit all this

So busy this week – updates may be ragged, sorry! Rehearsals, nwcMUSIC/Norwescon deadlines including some things I can’t wait to talk about, shows, prep for shows, other shit I still can’t talk about… there is too much. Here, enjoy some bullet points:

I may give polls a rest this week, mostly because I don’t have time to think up a good one. XD But today is Halloween, so you can still go pick your favourite horror film if you want.

Do you get door-to-door kids in your neighbourhood? We hardly get any trick-or-treaters at the Lair. It’s a weird holiday for me, because I don’t have the tradition, and I really don’t know what to do with it. I tried giving away death-rays one year, but working ones are spendy, and who wants broken toys? I’m a supervillain, not a jerk, and not the right kind of clever to come up with something like, say, Snarkkula’s brilliant tradition of gift-wrapped mayonnaise packets. So we have candy! And we even give some of it away.

Except the smarties. Those are ALL MINE!

wow this got long

It’s Friday! Friday very early in the morning, Cascadia time – really still Thursday night, socially, you know how that goes.

I have something I can’t talk about yet! But I can talk about November 5th. Doesn’t November 5th sound nice? I think it sounds nice. Maybe nice for a trip down to the south sound. Just, you know, for fun. That evening.

This should not be confused with the House Concert at Sidhehaven, which is on November 11th, and further south! Please RSVP there or here, and come and stuff – it’s my very first house concert! And I’ll have a new song.

I also have something else I can’t talk about too specifically, but I’m hoping to release as a new free/pay-what-you-like Cracksman Betty track! It’s a cover song. Of sorts.

See, I’d heard this song, and liked it, and when I was prepping for the Talk Like a Pirate Day show at Juanita Bay, I realised with a little tweaking it could be a really good modern pirate song! So I was trying to remember how the music went from memory and reconstruct it, and, um, I kind of… missed. By a LOT.

By which I mean I wrote new music, like y’do. Oops. XD

But I really like my version. o/ So I’ve got permissions request in to the original artist, and we’ll see! He’s not opposed in principle, but wanted to hear it, and he has an mp3 waiting for him. It’s still mostly his lyrics, so I really hope he signs on. The original music was traditional, so we’re good there.

Oh, mustn’t forget this:

What else? I found out that some people missed a bunch of the horror film polls entirely – like, didn’t see notice of them or anything! That kind of explains the low turnout. Are people seeing the final championship poll?

Or are people just not as into horror film as I thought, even this time of year? That’s kind of a shame, since all of these are really good in different ways, from Quatermass and the Pit‘s postwar British SF to what is for my money absolutely Carpenter’s best film Prince of Darkness, which has…

A lot of films use the warning/message-from-beyond shtick. Lots of them. That part of This Island Earth is the part that’s actually really effective, creepy, and weird. I love that first reel to death. (In the MST3K treatment, it’s almost entirely cut out – it’s too unironically good. You could mock it, but why? Best to cut it out.)

But in horror – for my money, no film plays that game better than Prince of Darkness. None. So much ambiguity, so much uncertainty, but at the same time, so much existential need to act. Fantastic.

And! Bride of Frankenstein. For my money, the best of the classic era. So luscious, so lovingly filmed, so weird. It’s like an art film, in the best senses – experimental, daring, a story of defiance with a cold heart of hardest stoic inevitability, wrapped in a tight little horror plot, bundled in some of the most beautiful visuals of the classic Universal horror set. What’s not to love?

I’ll leave you with this bit of WTFery, IMPORTANT INSTRUCTIONS from a box of labels I bought three days ago:

I had an HP IIIp – in 1994. And guys, even grandma’s not using that printer anymore. It’s not even like that’s generic print art; these are instructions specific to those printers. And to no other printers. Just those. Print cartridges for them haven’t even been available since 2007. Guys – let it go. Okay? XD

who do you trust

Last Friday I mentioned that I was building a database of publications that review and talk about music, starting with a list of majors. Well, that’s sorted now: 263 magazines, newspapers, and similar, all categorised.

Sadly, few of these are actually interesting! Some are! A few are great! But most are old-school print dailies or the usual alternative-to-what-exactly weekly. And while those are good to have in the database, I’m looking for things a little more atypical.

I mean honestly, if you think the major dailies are out of touch on news, try music. The front page at the Kansas City Star this weekend? Roger Daltry, Paul McCartney, Kenny G., Boz Scaggs, Laurie Anderson, and a Pink Floyd cover band. HI GUYS, 1986 WAS 25 YEARS AGO I KNOW YOU HAVE A HARD TIME COPING WITH THAT BUT PLEASE TRY.

And sure, they aren’t all that bad, but it makes the point. The “alternative” weeklies are better, pretty consistently. But I need different. Those guys aren’t going to care about me, or people like me. I’m not Baby Boomer nostalgia and I’m not going to be selling Jagerbombs to Bros and the party crowd any time soon, if ever. I need something a little more niche, who isn’t trying to follow the usual Bar/Club/Club/Bar Circuit and is not interested in the Major Label Sucker System.

Do you have any pointers here? Any youtube channels, active blogs, websites, tumblrs, podcasts, whatever – someone that someone like me could send a download code or a CD and say, “j0, whadda think?” Because I want to find those people. I need to find people who aren’t sucking the last drips of marrow from the bones of a Rock Industry Culture that isn’t even aware that it’s dead.

Ask your friends. Comment if you or they have anything. I really want to know who you trust.

In other news:

The Sunday market show at Redmond went pretty well, particularly given the rain and muck. I earned professionalism points just for showing up – the main band cancelled! But the wind stayed down and while crowds weren’t heavy, the kids got into it, I had some nice conversations, I handed out a lot of cards, and told a lot of people about the history of the Irish Bouzouki! (Trinity College really needs to be paying me, f’srs. XD )

If you’re stopping by from there, hi! Next show is my very first house concert on November 11th, at Sidhehaven. There’s an evite here, and a Facebook event here. They’ve hosted a bunch of people of more note than me, and I’m really excited to have been picked up by them for my first announced house concert! These are small and cozy shows – I’m hoping for 6-12 people. If you’re in the south Olympia or Yelm area, come, and bring a friend!

Polls are still open on the horror film favourites – last week and the week before. We’ll pit those winners against the Universal classics of the 30s on Wednesday, so get your final votes in!

no reason, why?

things about which i cannot yet talk

G’morning! There are a bunch of things I can’t talk about yet that I really want to. But I can’t. Some of them are pretty undefined and really not even definitely happening yet, some are definitely happening but there’s one more thing to sort out.

Not that you heard it from me, but relevant dates are probably in the vicinity of 29 October, 11 November, and 18 November. Probably.

But there are things I can talk about!

First, Steamcon says hi!

Not Hardly Everybody

I’ve never been before, so one-dayed it on Saturday. I… mostly don’t have the rhythm of this convention. I enjoyed the sensory immersion in retro cosplay, I even bought a few things in the dealer’s room – tho’ most of that was tea. And any fandom which supports a loose-leaf tea vendor has my approval.

But not being so heavily into steampunk cosplay – which seemed to be cosplay based on fashions anywhere between 1720s and the early 1930s, as far as I could tell, tho’ most of it was Victoriana – I felt rather at loose ends. Also, with a couple of exceptions, it seemed way more “steam” than “punk;” as Torrey mentioned, almost all of the costuming is ruling or merchant class, and there’s not much punk in that.

Which isn’t to say the standards weren’t very high – I have too many photos to post here, and didn’t take a fraction of the number I could’ve! But enjoy a few random photos:

A Sharky Constitutional

Putting the Punk Back in Steampunk

Sin By Me

Also, I do not know what era this was, but I would like to visit it

Attoparsec was there, showing off their new their latest invention, the hydrocrystalophone:

A New Musical Instrument

I also spotted a lovely hat which contained a gazing sphere showing an animation of a galloping horse, but sadly did not get a photo! I was hoping for more such gadgetry – that, I really enjoy – but if there, I largely missed it. That said, I do believe I spotted a spy:

Not Stealthy

I spent most of the evening at Second Stage, getting to enjoy shows by Toy-Box Trio, Fein and Dandee, Aeon Now!, and Curtis Eller. All put on good shows, but I was really impressed in particular by Aeon Now!, and if you get a chance to see them, you’d be insane not to take it. Complex lyrics, strong vocals, good arrangements, and the craziest drummer I’ve ever seen perform live means they blew the roof off of that place.

Shooting in the dark is difficult when you have dynamic performers, but I got a couple of decent shots:

Toy-Box Trio

Fein and Dandee, neo-Vaudvillian musicians

Aeon Now

I’ll post more photos to Flickr, later, after I have time to sort them properly.

In other news, Moog has released an iPad polysynth, and for the first month, they’re basically giving it away at 99ยข. Demonstration video here; it goes up to $30 in a month. Grab it now if you’re interested!

That’s all I have for the moment. I’m really excited about things I can’t talk about. Frustrating! But in a good way. Keep watching for updates!

projects and projections

G’morning, everyone! I hope everyone relevant enjoyed a good First Thanksgiving! It’s another Project Week here in the Lair.

FIRST: I want to set up a house concert tour for early winter! I expect both the tour and the houses to be little. ^_^ You and six friends? That’s good enough! These are supposed to be intimate and friendly, while still being actual shows.

I’m looking for anywhere between Vancouver in the north, south to Eugene. I have sent out mail to an assortment of people already, but if you know anybody or are interested yourself? Let me know!

You’ll note this is along the Cascadian rail line. If I can do this by TRAIN! that’s all the better. Acoustic shows don’t need a PA, which means CONCERT TRAIN WOOOOOOOOOO! n/ But you don’t have to have a train station.

SECOND: I’ve been brushing up on screenprinting technique. I’ve been thinking about the TICKIEBOX IS MY MASTER NOW T-shirts, and those shirts are really spendy and that’s without me making money! And that’s stupid, because money should flow towards the supervillain. So I realised, “hey, I’ve got a screen and a squeegee, why am I giving them a piece of the action?” Well, okay, because that was fast and let me bring the lulz. But we’re past that now!

What would you guys like for T-shirts? Drop suggestions in comments. It has to be pretty simple, ’cause I’m new at this. I do have kind of a straightforward idea for a basic crew/street team black T I could try first. These images are first-drafts, but give you the idea:



They’d be available at cost to crew and street team and on any T that people wanted to send me. Others? It’d depend on interest. Whaddya think?

THIRD: I’m working on a new song I may release as a web single. I actually wrote a big chunk of it a while ago but it’s been sitting not-quite-ready-for-prime-time for over a year. It’s about a lot of the same shit the OWS people have been on about. I played with it a bit up in Vancouver last week, but I need a more generalised version, and I think I have that now. I’m excited about this.

FOURTH: I’m on the greater concom of the Norwescon Science Fiction Convention, running nwcMUSIC, the music programming event within Norwescon.

We had a meeting on Saturday. Next door:


I have, of course, submitted it to FailBLOG, where you may vote. Enjoy!

welcome to fall, a.k.a. botanical apocalypse month

Welcome to October! October, the month that feels like going home, the month of falling leaves, of horror movies, of Halloween, of rainy season, of no more flowers but not yet snow, of the Great Pumpkin, and of Wild Chickens. They go for the kill.

I’m in more of a Poison Ivy mood, even if DC Comics probably screwed her up too in the reboot. (<RAEG>GIVE ME BACK MY POISON IVY/HARLEY QUINN YOU ASSHOLES!</RAEG>) We spent a lot of time this past summer trying to beat back the local strangleweeds, debating over which was the leader. Now, as far as I’m concerned, it all has to end in fire, but who do you think is in charge of the Cascadian botanical apocalypse?

[poll id=”11″]

And for those of you not lucky enough to live in the Republic, what’s going to engulf your world come the Ragweednarok? As always, if the answer you want isn’t here, DO NOT VOTE, but instead put it in comments. I will add it, and you can vote for it then.

[poll id=”12″]

And if that’s not enough evil for you, check this shit out, found by lj:Flashfire: SAUNAPANTS: THE NEXT GENERATION. You want a terrifying picture?

Yes, it’s Commander Riker. In Saunapants. RedARERT!

PS: Don’t forget that tickiebox is your master now! Also the latest Cracksman Betty song, I’m a Rover, Live at Juanita Bay. Enjoy!

And the winner is

…ME! For being at VCON this past weekend! It’s a smallish F&SF convention, but it’s been going a long time and this year was just lovely. I had all kinds of fun meeting people I know, people I knew from only the net, meeting a bunch of people I had not previously known at all, getting to act out like a crazy person on performance panels (TURKEY READINGS so funny XD ), lolling at Godzilla field research, seeing the single best art show I’ve ever seen at an F&SF convention, explaining away wretched science in classic SF, and generally kicking around like a crazy person on speedmetal. And they put up with it!

Okay, so maybe they had to call in reinforcements.

Guys, you’re great! Let’s do that again next year. Shaddyr, keep this up, f’srs. Garth, Karl, Foxipher, all you lot, it was great meeting or re-meeting you. And I’ve left so many people out it’s just stupid! I’m sorry!

Also, I have cider, bagels of the gods, new reading material, and GREEN AND BLACK KITTY EARS!

Kitty ears are, apparently, the fast-track to good behaviour dealing with US customs. I’ve never been treated half that nicely before. ph33r th3 cut3 0n3s, guys. ph33r th3m.

not one of the cut3 0n3s. ph33r it anyway.

Oh, fine, I’ll stop now. WE HAVE A CONTEST WINNER! For those new, we do occasional polls here at the Blog of Evil, on various geeky topics. They usually appear on Wednesdays, but I make no promises. A couple of weeks ago, we asked about your apocalypse engine of choice, and “Rain of jaguars” was our unexpected winner, and that prompted readers to talking about how Apocalypse Jaguar makes a great band name, and people started coming up with album titles.

So I said, “Okay, I can do that XD” and made a contest out of reader entries, submitter of the winning entry to get an autographed copy of Dick Tracy Must Die.


Rialian’s entry, 2012, Mother Maya Metampomp Up the Volume

…an entry submitted on the blog, in comments. Congratulations, Rialian! Everybody, bow before them! DO IT! Don’t make me use the kitty ears. I’m just looking for excuses. XD

Rialian, I’ll a physical mailing address – I’ll email you about that, assuming the registration email works. If it doesn’t, email me through the contact page.

Thanks to everyone who entered, and congratulations again to our winner!

I’ve got an idea for a poll for Wednesday. It probably doesn’t involve hornets. Probably.

So there's just this one more little thing to clear up

Not much to talk about on the music front today; still wrapped up with day jobbe shenanigans. The recordings from last week still await examination, and my next show isn’t until October, a solo instrumental set over in Redmond, Washington. I’ll be treating it as an audition for a larger spot at the same place next year.

But in supervillainy news, I have something exciting! Thanks to the fine folks at CRACKED, I have found my next lairbuilders! Assuming their technical capabilities verify out, of course. Sure, they also play to paranoid 2012 fantasies, but they play to paranoid 2012 crazies who have lots and lots of money! And they take that money from them. AND – they’re engineers! Apparently, they’re our kind of people!

Finally, the best poll engines are the ones that you can break and hack and make do really stupid things they were really never designed to do. Like I am! Seriously, I have no idea at all how well this is going to work. XD

Last week we found out WHO IS YOUR MASTER NOW?

This week, we ask, WHO IS YOUR THE MASTER NOW? Choose wisely, lest one of the losers make you fun-sized! MUAH HA HA HA HA HA!

[poll id=”8″]

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