Getting things setup

It's amazingly hot in my apartment at night. I'm not sure why, since you'd think at night it'd get cooler! Anyway it's been a few weeks since I've officially moved into my place and I still haven't unpacked. It's crazy. I'm finally setting up my studio and gear to start recording though - it should be a lot of fun once everything is working!

After my friend Aaron went on a gear-buying fest recently, I started to doubt my recent equipment purchases. Combine that with Brosco's invitation to use his amazing studio for the past few months and it's a recipe for gear envy. For a while, I was really doubting every piece of equipment I owned. Then I started thinking back to how only six years ago I was recording in my parent's kitchen in Virginia. I had to do noise reduction on every single thing that I recorded into the computer because the sound card was complete crap, and which took hours because the computer had a teeny tiny processor. Filtering out cooking noises and people talking in the background became second nature - and I got pretty good at it. Later on in college I had to deal with recording in dorm rooms, and my kitchen training paid off. Throughout it all I never had phenomenal equipment, yet I still got by. Now that I'm upgrading my setup I'm forced to ask myself if upgrading is something I really need to do - or if it's just something I've always wanted to do.

stealing dealings

I have been riding on some free internet at my house for a bit, but it looks like the gig's up. I'm posting this from a cafe before I forget. When I called to setup my internet, I felt like I was part of a practical joke. The guy on the other line (who was actually pretty cool) priced my internet at some astronomical figure. When I asked him if we could go over why it cost so much, he started saying, "Oh, let me just punch in a discount code." I was a little bewildered, but then I realized it was a game we had to play. So I kept sounding very unsure about the cost, and he kept punching in different codes. It was absolutely ridiculous. At some point I just asked him, "Hmm...let me think about that. Are there any other codes to reduce the price?" and he did seem to try his hardest. In the end though, I still felt like I was screwed. Mainly because I have the feeling that somewhere, somehow, somebody knows the coupon code that ends up with the cable company buying them a new car or something.

Is this anyone I know?

I don't usually write about my work (mainly 'cause I think it would just bore people to death), but I couldn't resist this one. Over the last two years I've done a lot of work with Drupal and part of that work has been making an Audio Playlist module for organizing audio files into albums, playlists, podcasts, iTunes skin, etc.

** crickets chirping **

Anyway, I setup a demo site for the stuff I was workin on, where people can upload small, one megabyte audio files and make playlists with it. Today I randomly checked the demo site and found this audio clip. It kind of sounds like Mike Love. Mike, is that you?

Attached audio files: 
  1. Shoopity by Possibly Mike

    0:07 minutes (108.62 KB)

Dance Dance Revolutionary

My sister is holding a remix contest! More info below:

"This is a reminder that I'm hosting an unusual re-mix contest with a cash prize... I would love to get some experiments from you in any media/form, and please pass this email on to your friends.

Stay Free! a re-mix contest
Deadline: postmark deadline extended to September 30
Award for best entry: $100 USD

Your mission is to creatively reinterpret 2 songs written by Lennon/Ono and the Stones in the early 1970s about black activist Angela Davis through a re-mix, cut-up, cover version, video, website, anything goes. There are no rules except that entries should respond to the songs and their relationship to Angela Davis and her activism.

Jared quit today.

Today I received quite a disheartening phone call. It was Chris, telling me Jared had quit his job today. He could barely hold back his tears, I could tell. I didn't know what to make of it. I hardly had gotten time to know Jared. I wonder what had happened. Problems at work? Bad breakup??

There is only one thing that didn't make sense about the phone call:

I don't know who ANY OF THESE PEOPLE ARE!!!!!

8 Million Stories

Soul Position (RJD2 and Blueprint) released an album a while back called "8 Million Stories". In addition to the solid RJD2 production, I particularly like Blueprint's lyrical style on this album. It usually takes me many, many listens of a hiphop record to actually begin listening to the content of the words (I usually listen to the rhythm/melody of the words first) but the storytelling structure of the songs mixed with Blueprint's eyeball-popping-delivery make it impossible to not listen to what he is saying.

Attached audio files: 
  1. Look of Pain by Soul Position

    4:13 minutes (5.79 MB)

An $80 lesson

My friend Onur stopped by today to check out my apartment. I went outside to meet him, and when I tried to get back in my apartment, the door was locked. I should've been surprised, but more ridiculous things have happened to me since I've moved in to my apartment in Chicago. The neighbors downstairs didn't have the number for our landlord, and I of course had my landlord's number safely tucked away in a folder, in my apartment. An hour later the locksmith came and after unsuccessfully picking the lock, used a flathead screwdriver to pop the lock open and I was out $80 bucks. I suppose he did provide a service, but it still felt like highway robbery.

Blog Challenge

I just committed to participating in the Yo La Tengo Late Summer Weblog Challenge. I have to post at least ONE entry, EVERY day, for FIVE (5) months!! As many of you know, I average about one post every five months. So that's 150 more posts than I normally do. A post can be a song, video, text, or whatever. There is no minimum text length for a post. I think this will be a good motivator for me to add new content to this site...We'll see how it goes ;)

Movin to Chicago!

After 5 years of living, working, and going to school in Urbana-Champaign, I'm moving. I'll be headed towards Chicago, where I'll be planning on playing LOTS of music and recording LOTS of music. I also have some new ideas about Big Soup and where to go with it. My move to Chicago also marks a move for my friend/long-time bandmate Brendan Finucane. He's headed to Japan, and aims to make millions trading stocks in ¥en and teaching Japanese kids how to play rock music on a cello.

There's been nothing but static on this site for quite some time. I aim to change that, particularly in the picsounds department. I also hope to start a newsletter, and add some much needed features of this site. My work as a webdeveloper is spent mostly trying to figure out how to minimize the headaches associated with running other people's websites. Sometimes I forget that it's actually fun to run my own, too! :)

I'll be in touch soon.
Take care,

Hey, remember me?

Hi everyone,

It's been awhile. Times are slow around here musically, quite a stark contrast to some of the posts I made over a year ago when Big Soup was happening. I think a lot of it is now I'm a graduate and trying to figure out this whole working stiff thing. It's a different sort of world - people are "playin for keeps", as zack would say. I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, but it's definitely a psychological battle. The biggest difference is that it feels much harder to meet and hangout and play music, since now it is a concentrated effort on everyone's part instead of the casual meetings from before. It's easy to hole yourself up and shut everyone out. And then when you do try to meet some people it can fall apart because of everyone's schedules. Psychological battles.