Archive for the ‘songs’ Category

an awful lot of skyrim

SHOW SHOW SHOW! FRIDAY! ACROSS FROM THE BON MARCHE PARKING GARAGE! (and sadly next to where the Night Kitchen used to be). Leannan Sidhe, CRIME and the Forces of Evil, Kräken-Röhl! BE THE AUDIENCE!

Monday’s post on the future of creative economics generated a lot of discussion over on Livejournal, with a bunch of back-and-forth over that and SOPA/PIPA/ACTA and so on.

Also, there’s been a whole lot of Skyrim in the lair, lately? And this kind of happened. Really, there’s no excuse for this kind of behaviour, but:

“Open Mic Night at the Winking Skeever”
a.k.a. “Anybody Got a Banjo?”
2012 Solarbird, the Lightbringer (Dara Korra’ti), Minion Anna (Angela Korra’ti), Minion Paul (Paul M. Johnson)
Creative Commons 3.5 attribute/noncommercial/derivative works allowed

(to the tune of “O Susanna”)

I used to go adventuring
To see all I could see
I ran into a Draugr lord
Who took my leg from me

Fuck you Skyrim
Now I’m an amputee
I stand around this shithole town
With an arrow in my knee

This little kid just won’t shut up
About her mother’s job
I’m gonna cram this mammoth tusk
Right up her yapping gob

Fuck you Skyrim
Now I’m an amputee
I stand around this shithole town
With an arrow in my knee

I like to go down to the pub
The finest mead to drink
The bards, they only know two songs
And both songs really stink

Fuck you Skyrim
Now I’m an amputee
I stand around this shithole town
With an arrow in my knee

Adventurers come to this town
And lord it over me
They wander ’round and beat me down
‘Cause I’m an N.P.C.

Fuck you Skyrim
Yeah “Be all I can be”
I’d give my life to leave this town
and sail the northern sea!


please say they have to

—– 30 —–

I sometimes sing “I stand around this shithole town” as “And I stand around in this shithole town,” but the former is more like the O Suzanna syllabics and oh just kill me now. XD

After the show on Friday… okay, I won’t get out of there ’till 11:30 or so, so we’ll probably just load out, get some food, and head home. But Saturday and Sunday we’ll be at Conflikt! You goin’? Say hi!

Click to download PDF

show announcements

Two more show announcements already! W00! In addition to January 27th with Kräken-Röhl and Leannan Sidhe at B-Side Music, we add:

  • February 26, 2012: House Concert, Portland, Oregon. Details TBA, but 4-6pm. This may end up being a private show, I don’t know yet.
  • July 14, 2012: Live at Comic Sands/Clallam Bay Comiket, Outdoor show, multiple sets through the day. Details TBA, but this will NOT be a private show! C’mon out, everybody!

ALSO, I posted this a couple of nights ago but everybody missed it because lol, drunk. The final Cracksman Betty track was released on the 31st! Read about all that here, and come back with me, to days of old, when computers weren’t bought – they were built! By hand! Come back with me – to the days of The S-100 Bus!

We close one year and open another


With the close of 2011, we come to the end of the Cracksman Betty project. But not before we add a 12th track, a gift for your New Year 2012.

Some of the songs on Cracksman Betty are centuries old. This final addition – one I’ve been promising quietly for two months – isn’t traditional. It’s a cover, of sorts. The music and arrangement are my own, but the lyrics are by a musician named Frank Hayes. Frank wrote these lyrics in 1982, a mere 30 years ago, not centuries. But in computer terms, that’s at least as many generations in the past.

So come back with me, to days of old, when computers weren’t bought – they were built! By hand! Come back with me – to the days of The S-100 Bus.

It is, of course, a free download. Enjoy.

a silly little thing

First: I am looking for people willing to host house concerts in February and March. This is very easy – like hosting a small party. I’m looking for crowds of 6-12 people, counting the hosts, and it doesn’t have to be a house per se – it can be a condo or apartment or anything. I can play acoustic sets or can bring my own PA; all you have to do is invite your friends. Check the youtube page to see what one of these is like.

Second: So I kinda went on a bender in the studio? And then it was 3:30am and there were robots. Or I guess technically cyborgs. And robots. Anyway, this happened – and give it a minute, because it builds, the wheels don’t fall off all at once:

And no, you haven’t heard this. You’ve heard parts of it, but this is what actually happened. XD

Finally: Noted Canadian musician Heather Dale, who has a much larger career than I do, called Dick Tracy Must Die “Purity and edge; technical prowess and a kick-ass attitude” and informed you that “This disc will light a fire under you! Check it out!” Please, do. And maybe consider the pay-what-you-like albums Cracksman Betty and Espionage: Live from Mars as stocking stuffers in your end-of-year giving.

Please and thank you!

this has been a difficult week

It’s been a difficult week. I don’t talk about those, much, because that’s how you lose followers, but, well. There are a bunch of reasons, but talking about that has done me far more harm than good in the recent past, so there you aren’t.

I had a song recorded that I wanted to release to you guys this month. It’s a cover, sort of; one where I rewrote the traditional music the artist I’m covering used, but kept their (original) lyrics. But the copyright holder isn’t answering my mail. Maybe January.

So I’m going to do something I don’t usually do, since it seems a day for that. You’re getting a preview – lyrics to one of the new songs I’ve been writing.

The supervillains of CRIME and the Forces of Evil were superheroes, once. We lost; our world inverted, fell to villainy, who got to declare the new good. There’s nothing actually mystical about that – it wasn’t some sort of magic wand. As a rule, people follow authority.

Most of the old heroes switched right over, and are still thought of as heroes. “Thought You Knew” is written to one of them, in fact; the first song written after the fall.

We didn’t. Those of us who refused to yield, well – here we are. The new supervillains.

I’ve been writing the song about where we lost, or, at least, where the loss became inevitable. I haven’t played it out, yet – it has edits today – but I probably will, in February. And it seems fitting – with Congressional approval of the indefinite suspension of right to trial, and SOPA, the new Internet corporate censorship bill – to post it now.

“Scene from a Starship on Fire” (Working title only)
(C) 2009-2011 Dara Korra’ti/CRIME and the Forces of Evil
(There are bits I wrote in 2009, but didn’t finish; this is how I write.)

From the forthcoming album, Din of Thieves

intro rhythmic, like a siren, or alarm

What the hell?
What the hell are you doing?
Where the hell have you been?
Have you seen this disaster?
I don’t know where to begin

There’s a moment when I look at you and see the world ending
There’s a moment when I look at you and hope that you choke
There’s a moment when I think of you and run like the devil
There’s a moment when I look at you and simply cannot joke

What the hell?
What the hell are you doing?
What the hell does that mean?
Don’t you know what you’ve started?
Are you a part of this scene?

In the second that you turned around I knew it was over
In the second that you turned around I knew you were gone
In the second that you thought of it I blanched at the insight
In the second that you shifted weight the weapons were drawn

What the hell?
What the hell are you doing?
What’s got into your brain?
How could you do this on purpose?
Are you completely insane?

In the smallest crack of madness lurks a simple unwinding
In the smallest crack of crazy I see light in your eyes
In the smallest slip of costume there’s a clarity moment
In the smallest careless instant I see through your disguise

What the hell?
What the fuck were you hiding?
Just what have you become?
You know full well where this takes you?
You aren’t the first to succumb

Watching you change as though turned on a nickel the
Moulding takes shape as you’re spun on the stone
Is there even a thought that you’ll naught but betray me
Do you need, do you want, will you reap what you’ve sown?
Spinning so slowly as your angles assuage you
The steel and the sharpness stand in by your side
The cast of your shadows changes slowly to ember
But this time I’m ready; I know now that you lied

What the hell?
What the hell were you making?
Why have you gone for your knife?
Don’t you know I don’t love you?
But you do not own my life
What the hell?
What the fuck were you thinking?
We made a pretty good team
You made an awful decision
Only now
do I see it’s part of the scheme
What the hell?

Lifeboats, everyone;
Abandon ship.

I have a present for the fan mailing list

If you’re on the fan mailing list, you have a present waiting for you. It’s from last Friday’s show with Leannan Sidhe. Several people have already downloaded it since I put it up a little while ago. If you haven’t, go check your inboxes. A URL awaits! 😀

If you aren’t on the fan email list, you can’t download the present! NO LINK FOR YOU! And it won’t be put on Bandcamp. But you can still sign up – and if you do, you’ll get a link! A tasty, tasty link. With smarties!

Leannan Sidhe Sound Check, last Friday. Also enjoy videos.

I should’ve tried to record the Spooky Action show, but I didn’t. The lighting wasn’t anything my camera’s video function could handle, and also, I was lazy! But I did get a couple of nice cellphone pictures of the fire. The 3GS’s camera is a lot better than the old first-generation camera, f’srs:

Fire and Sparklies

Next show, third of four on this mini-tour*: FRIDAY! At Sidhehaven! (evite, Facebook.) I’ve got an idea for Dark and Light sets and I’m going to try them out here. Come! Bring a friend! It’ll be awesome.

Also, I REALLY WANT TO MAKE SOME BUTTONS and bring them to the show! Does anybody have a button maker I can borrow, like, today?

*: Weird trufact: I was very, very briefly in a band called Minotaur. I can’t type “Minitour” without seeing them instead. And no, Minotaur never had a minitour. It almost had an EP, tho’…

one hell of a start

So, wow. The first two stops in my first House Concert Tour are over – the guest appearance with Leannan Sidhe on Friday, and the Spooky Action at a Distance party and show on Saturday. Thank you so much, Fern and Corvi and Juli, for throwing these events and letting me be involved! I had a great time, and I hope everybody else did too!

The new Transformation Sequence edition of “My Boyfriend” worked about as well as I’d hoped. I came up with one more component literally on the way to the show, and added it without rehearsal, and it worked great. I do need to fix the headdress, tho’ – adhesive-attachment worked fine in rehearsal, but not on stage, so I’ll have to do that the right way for next time.

And! I got called up for an unplanned! encore! at someone! else’s! show! I still can’t believe that happened! The audience was all “YEAH!” and I was all “lol sure!” and then was like, “wait, seriously?” And I ended up going back up and doing two more of my own songs. Thanks so much to Leannan Sidhe for putting up with that 😀 because that’s not an experience you get to have very often!

I’m still all O.O over that one.

I am also told that I need to come up with a way to do Dalek Boy – “Danny Boy,” as sung by a Dalek, a Cyberman, and a Mechanoid, a.k.a. the Bacon for Birds people and myself – live, and also, I am told I need to write a song about Munchkin.

Then Saturday! and SPOOKY ACTION! The party got going a little late, which was actually kind of good since it let me get in a little nap after the drive down, and a little warmup before people arrived. Incidentally? Corvi and Juli put on quite the spread of hospitality out on their little farm, I gotta tell you. I think my favourite were the chocolate covered pomegranate seed clusters, because they weren’t dehydrated in any way, so it was chocolate and pom and juicy. So simple yet so good.

But then people started arriving, and everybody played with flash paper and sparkle chemicals around the bonfire, and after a few visits from the Bad Idea Bears I realised I had to do an impromptu rendition of Paul and Storm’s Ten Finger Johnny. I think we managed all the really bad ideas except for flash paper hats, but somehow, everybody still had all their fingers at showtime! And only a couple of blisters.

Bad Idea Bears

Then, showtime! Around 12:30am. Hey, only four and a half hours later than planned, and we get one of those back thanks to the return of Normal Time! I had lots of fun doing the spooooky creeeepy set, complete with candlelight and growls in the dark. That’s fun. <3 But I wasn’t going to send them off into the night that way, so closed on “Stars,” which is an even lighter song performed without all the bass solos and drums and such – the mandolin alone can carry that song, because when I’m doing it solo, I really just tear loose with the mandolin work and am basically playing chords and simultaneously soloing the whole damn time, only ducking the complexity down for lyrics.


Were you at either show and made your way here? Tell me what you thought! This tour is my first set of house concerts, so it’s all new and exciting! And I’m making it up as I go along and having one hell of a good time so far. Best of all, I get another go on Friday! Yay! o/

So I’m really looking forward to this Friday at Sidhehaven. Please come out for it! And if you can’t, there’s the Bainbridge Island show on the 18th.

And while we’re at it – how was your weekend?

This should be fun

If you’re reading this on Friday, listen up: I’m playing tonight, providing some instrumental backup for Leannan Sidhe, at a house concert at 13309 23rd Ave. NE in Seattle. RSVP info here.

It’s mostly their show, of course, but Leannan Sidhe’s lead singer has also asked me to perform one of mine: My Boyfriend, which is my political Sailor Moon song about writing out queer characters in US translation. (If you don’t know the story, listen to it before the song.) This is pretty much the opposite of her and her music – so really, I’m there to throw her into sharp relief. XD

But the request got me thinking, “Y’know, this song is missing something, live.” Of course, what it’s missing is a drum kit. But aside from that, I realised that I think it’s also missing a really terrible costume change mid-show.

I have taken possibly disturbing steps to rectify this situation.

Then tomorrow, all the way down in the wilds north of Olympia, in the South Sound, I have Spooky Action at a Distance, where I’m contributing a set and Juli will be doing a short reading and hopefully some glasswork and maybe some other things! All of which I hope happen. It’s been a while since I’ve done anything Seriously Arty. One way or another, THERE WILL BE ART!

Oh, the latest Trad o’ th’ Month, Red is the Rose (with Leannan Sidhe) is, like the rest of the Cracksman Betty project, a free/pay-what-you-want download.

I’ve had a couple of people say they feel bad about downloading without hitting the tip jar, so don’t download free things. Really, if I minded, I’d put a price on it. This is what Cracksman Betty is for, along with experimentation and learning. Put another way: I need ears more than I need a dollar. NOT THAT BOTH WOULDN’T BE GOOD. But if I want your money that much? Don’t worry. I’ll steal it from you. XD

some days we have surprises

Leannan Sidhe came by today by surprise and we recorded something! It’s pure trad, which is kind of unusual for me, but not at all for her; I’ll be playing backing zouk for her at first house concert on Friday. Then on Saturday I’m playing down north of Olympia at Spooky Action, ripping it up elfmetal style.

But on Friday, it’ll be more like this. Enjoy:

Separately, I’m kind of amazed that Quatermass and the Pit (a.k.a. Five Million Years to Earth) (1967) is you guys’s favourite horror flick, but it is! And I can’t fault you for that. It’s not mine, but I respect it.

All for now, busy rehearsing. No poll this week, but MUSIC IS BETTER THAN POLLS! Go clickie!

(There’s also a radio edit without the live bits, if you prefer that.)

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

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