Ian Hawgood

Usually Hype Machine tends to promote dance remixes and indie tracks. I was really surprised to hear something this dynamic and good. Check it / favorite it on hype machine if you like. I don't know anything about the artist, but I'm intrigued.

http://hypem.com/#/artist/ian+hawgood

Sonically rich, full of interweaving textures. For some reason I don't want to say ambient, even though I'm sure that is what most people would lump it into. It just feels a little too involved to be straight up ambient.

Sight vs Sound (Sun, Oct 18, 9 pm)

Q4 is a really cool venue just north of Humboldt Park. I will be playing at this event this Sunday, which sounds like it'll be a lot of fun. Live Art, DJs, and tons of music to wobble your eardrums...Oct 18!!! Don't miss it!


WHAT: Sight Vs Sound @ Quennect 4
WHERE: 2716 W North Ave
WHEN: Sun, October 18th, 9pm - 2am
DETAILS: $5 cover

Art
Jesse Trevino
Sarita Ore
Lee Jones
Spencer Hutchinson
GiGi Deluxe
Rosemary Barria

Live Art by:
Andrew Leonardo

Vendors:
Craft Nite

Djs:
Limbs
Harlot
QBot

Performances:
Batty Switchblade
Creation
Zirafa
Anvil Ballet
Count Brent and the Maestros
Pretty Good Dance Moves

Hyperkewl (this monday!)

6:00 to 6:30 Orange Drink
6:30 to 7:00 Sitari
7:00 to 7:30 Zirafa
7:30 to 8:00 Kkrusty
8:00 to 8:30 Protmann
8:30 to 9:30 Velva

$2 suggested donation
Sept 21, Monday, 6-10pm
Hyperkewl @ Barbara & Barbara
1021 N Western Ave
(between Augusta Blvd & Cortez St)
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 578-5781
barbaraandbarbaraloveyou.com

Two Zirafa shows in the next two weeks

Hey ya'll,

Just an FYI I'll be playing two shows in the next two weeks (just booked em today). One is this upcoming Monday (very, short 5 min set), and the other one is the following Monday (longer set). Mark your calendars!

Sept 14, Monday, 8pm - 11pm (
Ephemera Festival (5 min slot in rapid-fire show, should be interesting)
Hungry Brain - 2319 W Belmont

Sept 21, Monday, 6-10pm
Hyperkewl @ Barbara & Barbara
1021 N Western Ave
(between Augusta Blvd & Cortez St)
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 578-5781
barbaraandbarbaraloveyou.com

New Digs (what's new?)

After bouncing around places for the past year, finally moved to a new apartment farther north in Chicago. Thai, Pakistani, Indian, and all sorts of good eats are in the area, and we live within walking distance of several cafes / train / record shops / and a movie theater. One of the things that sold me on the apartment was the farmer's market that is held every Tuesday about a block from where we live. Finally went today and for about twenty bucks I walked away with a ridiculous amount of produce, including some raspberries. I *thought* I knew what a raspberry tasted like until I tried these. There is a certain aftertaste and flavor that is straight up MISSING from store-bought raspberries. Highly recommended.

Also after about two years of riding loaner bikes, I finally bought my own. I had trouble finding a bike that fits due to my odd torso / leg ratio and because of my riding style (lazy?). I like to be able to lean back at low speeds but lean forward at higher speeds. Finally decided that a smaller frame was the way to go and then I could adjust the seat height and handlebar height - plus it would be lighter which is good for hauling up/down stairs. After searching for a while I finally found an old chro-moly Shogun 12 speed with friction shifters. I paid a reasonable price for it, but goofed by taking it to a nearby shop to swap out the drop handlebars for something more upright. I regret going there 'cause the guy really messed up. He put in a ridiculously tall handlebar stem which made the handlebars waaay too high, and he replaced the brake housing with some antiquated housing that required a bear claw grip to squeeze the lever and made an insane grinding noise. Also he put the grips on backwards...

So after some futzing I swapped out the stem, but the brakes were really messed up. I had to take it to another (better) shop to fix the previous guy's shoddy work, argh. But even with the goofup I still stayed under my budget, so it worked out. I don't mind the friction shifters for now but might swap it out for an internal hub some day.

All in all, been trying to level up my living situation. Probably wise too, with winter approaching...

Hyper-information

Haven't been giving this site enough love as of late...since about mid July I've been kinda hooked on the Facebook / Twitter scene. Not that I'm posting that much really (I don't even own a twitter account) but I have noticed I get more info about what's happening with people I know through these sites. But those sites definitely feel like socializing in a bar, whereas this site feels a little more like home.

Funny thing is this post will soon be visible on Facebook anyway as it pulls it in through RSS...

I could see myself being more engaged in social networking sites except I feel like I already spend too much time online. And I also have this nagging feeling that where now it feels like we still have a choice whether or not we have to participate in online networks, in the future I can see it being pretty much full blown social pressure. Kinda like how if you don't own a cell phone now you are almost off the grid. So I'm kinda biding my time until that pressure ratchets up (I think it already has), and I'll be involved anyways whether I like it or not.

Also I've noticed the average length of text messages I'm receiving from people has increased. I think it could be more reliance on text messaging to send greater amounts of information and also just that more people I know have smart phones and can type faster. Me, I'm still trying to tap 3 times to get the letter "z". Again, biding my time till the inevitable purchase of a smart phone.

I heard somewhere that younger kids have anxiety when they AREN'T able to access online networks. This should be surprising, but isn't really. I feel like the more you engage with lots of people online, the more touching human interactions can occur and then when you take that away of course you feel disconnected / detached without it. And you start worrying that you are left of the loop, that you don't know what your friends are up to, that they'll think you are ignoring them, people might be worrying what happened to me, etc..

This seems like a recipe for addiction / dependency. I already know that my online habits have a tendency to get fidgety and compulsive - I check my email over and over or check the same website over and over - so tapping myself into a broader information stream could be pretty overkill. The Iranian election was the first time I've ever been glued to a twitter feed, constantly refreshing it and sifting through it for real information...and that was *incredibly* draining. I think I did that for about a week or two weeks straight and had no mental energy left to do much else. Rumors, speculation, truth, lies - it was all coming at once at 1000 tweets a second.

Too bad the proposal Eric and I wrote didn't get accepted. It was conceived as an absurd joke but it feels more relevant every day.

I wonder if other people know this feeling I'm talking about, the drain of spending too much mental energy filtering through a wealth of raw data. It's completely different than trying to cram for a test or studying a wealth of knowledge for some purpose or goal. It's more like a million people trying to tell you something at once and feeling an incredible compulsion and urgency to decipher it all. Afterward you wonder if the information you've learned is even that important and if it could have waited till tomorrow.

No time to think about that though, I've gotta check bbc.com...

Secret appearance tonight at Orange Drink Show! [short notice]

There have been rumors of a secret sushi performance by zirafa tonight, as he attempts to hijack Orange Drink's show at the Gallery Cabaret. Show starts at 10pm at Gallery Cabaret (2020 N Oakley Ave), hijacking to occur at approximately midnight.

Bandcamp fills the void!

http://bandcamp.com/

Holy crap, this is impressive. It's what I hoped Muxtape would do. And people who follow my critiques of music websites know that I'm very hard to please.

What I like about the Bandcamp website / service:

1) MINIMAL BRANDING. On a band page there is very little branding by bandcamp (only at the bottom of the page).
2) GOOD LAYOUT. The standard layout is great and puts the emphasis on graphics and the music player, which is all that matters.
3) DOWNLOAD OPTIONS. A visitor can choose what format they want to download a track - OGG, FLAC, MP3, etc.
4) RETAIL OPTIONS. A band can give away a low quality MP3 but charge $1.00 or whatever they want for a higher quality download. Simple and effective. The band has total control over the pricing and options for selling their music.
5) BAND TOOLS. This is where they've nailed it. They provide statistics for where songs are being linked from and who is listening to the songs and provide graphs over time. This allows a band to figure out how their music is spreading across the web and see trends. This is the void that has been missing from all previous music sites!

I'm really amazed that Bandcamp was able to balance two incredibly tough aspects of music sites: 1) making it simple enough for a visitor/fan so that they are 100% engaged in the music right away and 2) providing incredible tools for a band to make the most out of posting and selling their music online.

The one thing missing (hey there has to be one thing) is that it'd be great if a band could customize the domain name. *EDIT* Nevermind, actually I just looked again, and it looks like you can. So instead of zirafamusic.bandcamp.com I can simply use zirafamusic.com - fantastic.

So far, I can't find anything they've done wrong. It's simple, powerful, and seems very usable. Plus, the people behind this seem to have a sense of humor which is a plus. I will seriously consider using this for my next release. I would be very happy indeed if this would mean more time for music making and less fiddling with my site.

Here is the video that sold me.

I need to start playing more gigs.

More gigs is better then less gigs and supremely better than zero gigs.

Theta Blast (from the past)

Video for Theta Blast, a song off my first album Makeshift Drifters, circa 2000. Uploaded by Doruk. This video was done so long ago my memory is a bit fuzzy about it...video by Asif and Doruk ('s shadow), starring confused staff at Zeros.