Yo yo yo yo yo check out some sweet new (chip)tunes available now at

Seasonal Affective (free download!)
"about // Written and recorded over the course of an unusually harsh winter in New York City, Seasonal Affective reunites the musicians behind Fade to Fall, a six-track interpretation of the transition from Summer to Fall, for the second installment in a four-part series. Featuring guest appearances by composers Neil Voss and Bubblyfish, the compilation spans the full narrative of the season, taking you from the night of the first snowfall to biting winds bearing muddy sleet and ending with the first day you don't need a scarf anymore."

Fade to Fall (free download!)
Also, Fade to Fall EP now available for preorder, featuring some ultra-hot Orange Drink remixes. You can still download it for free though! Or watch the music video below.
"about // music // Written and recorded over the course of September 2008, the Fade to Fall EP offers six unique interpretations of the transition from Summer to Fall. At times both mournful and celebratory, the compilation represents the confluence of several relative newcomers to New York's vibrant and long-standing chiptune community, many of whom are officially releasing their material for the first time. The last half hour of daylight is the recommended listening time."

Fade to Fall (Audio|Visual Release) from Hemlock Records on Vimeo.

Fast Food Tapas

The plan was to meet for some bubble tea. Aaron, Kaveh, and I rendezvoused at Lynnhaven Mall food court per the usual random suburban meeting spot.

BTW, that place is crazy now. Or feels crazier than I remember. The place is swarming with high schoolers walking around very slowly loudly gabbing away and pointing at each other, while rent-a-cops are milling about in large brimmed hats trying to look important. Occasionally they'll approach several kids sitting at one of the tables and mention that they are not allowed to sit there if they are not eating, drinking, or shopping. So the kids get up and join the others slowly walking in a big circle around the food court, gabbing and pointing all the way. A bizarre ritual.

The bubble tea kinda sucks at Lynnhaven mall because if you order the slushy/smoothie kind the tapioca balls freeze. I've never seen that happen at any other place - they must be trying to save money with lower quality tapioca balls. Anyway Aaron and I weren't really feeling it so we started talking about other possibilities. Share a big pile-o-waffle fries? Nuggets?? Oh so many terrible options. And then we had one of those extraordinarily rare moments of brilliance that can really only happen in Virginia Beach.

Fast Food Tapas!!!!

Ok ok ok ok I know it sounds gross. And it kinda was. And it kinda sucked. But it was also amazing. And the best idea ever.

We split up for about 10 minutes, our mission was to find two small orders of food to bring back to the group.

Aaron bought: chicken nuggets and waffle fries
Kaveh bought: sushi and bubble tea (split into 3 small cups)
I bought: bbq wings and Philippine noodles.

Ugh. Actually now that I think about it I can't believe we ate all that shit at once. Gross. But NECESSARY. You don't just come up with an idea like that and not do it, ya know?

Anyway we sat and talked about the Bead-to-Boob exchange rate (for another time) and finished up. Got kicked out by rent-a-cop since we no longer could prove we were eating, and then went in a Christian clothing store. Weird thing, that store. Shirts with Jesus written in graffiti font and semi-hip fashion accessory items. The employees are pushing the shirts, but also trying to push Jesus and talk to you about your spiritual beliefs. The little metal hook device the guy had to bring down the shirts kiiinda made him look like a shepherd. Just sayin! Weird times. Suburban adventure!

Hang drum

Huh, well this is kind of the sort of thing I think I could kind of maybe possibly use in a junk kit. Except this is made with precision hardened steel in Switzerland. But I like the timbre, and maybe it could be made to sound a little dirtier with some modifications.

Kutiman funk remixes of Youtube

This is great stuff. Israeli funkmaster Kutiman takes clips of people playing instruments on youtube and assembles dub/funk/reggae/hiphop/r&b masterpieces. Amazing.

If you were waiting for the 2009 analogy to DJ Shadow's 1996 Endtroducing, this could be it. Lawrence Lessig would be proud.

On Attention Spans...

Wait, what?

Is a song that is only 20 seconds long still a song?

BET After Dark

Digging through some old recordings of mine and found this. Heard this melody on BET After Dark a few years back and once again recently on I basically recorded this little loop to remember the melody although I think the rhythm of it is different on the original. If anybody knows the name of the original song contact me cause it's been driving me crazy for years.

Attached audio files: 

Zombie - o - Zombie!

"In 1977 Fela and the Afrika ’70 released the hit album Zombie, a scathing attack on Nigerian soldiers using the zombie metaphor to describe the methods of the Nigerian military. The album was a smash hit with the people and infuriated the government, setting off a vicious attack against the Kalakuta Republic, during which one thousand soldiers attacked the commune. Fela was severely beaten, and his elderly mother was thrown from a window, causing fatal injuries. The Kalakuta Republic was burned, and Fela's studio, instruments, and master tapes were destroyed. Fela claimed that he would have been killed if it were not for the intervention of a commanding officer as he was being beaten. Fela's response to the attack was to deliver his mother's coffin to the main army barrack in Lagos and write two songs, "Coffin for Head of State" and "Unknown Soldier," referencing the official inquiry that claimed the commune had been destroyed by an unknown soldier." - w

Some new tracks

Two new winter remixes for ya'll.

Zirafa Remix of "Jazzanova - I Can See"

Zirafa Remix of "Public Enemy - Harder than You Think"

Attached audio files: 

Alternative Roads to Success

Spoke with Drew the other day about "getting creative" with distributing and selling music. How can an unknown band become successful without going the traditional routes?

"Success" meaning generating significant revenue off of music sales.

One idea is to use reverse bounties. A reverse bounty basically just means that people pay for something before they get it. So say Drew has a new album coming out. He would announce that his new album is ready for release but that he can't release it until he generates $1000. After he generates $1000 then the music will be available for download for free to everyone - with the people who paid for it having access to it a month in advance (or some other reward).

Chicago Graffiti and 7 other issues on the brain

Dear King Daley,

1) Repeal the spray paint ban.
Please repeal the idiotic ban against selling spray paint in Chicago. It does nothing to deter graffiti and makes it incredibly difficult to obtain for non-graffiti purposes.

Now I'm a big fan of graffiti. I love the idea of a city full of walls that are exploding with colors, letters, and crazy characters. It creates a richness and liveliness that is otherwise lacking in an urban environment dominated by dull, lifeless, muted colors. But I do hate gang tags, and I do think that a citizen's personal property should be respected. So I can understand that for some people graffiti is a problem that needs to be solved. And for those people I think the city has a great graffiti removal service - just dial 311 and within a day or two city workers will come and remove it. But by no means does banning spray paint reduce graffiti in Chicago. Graffiti artists will simply find an outside source for spray paint (thus making it harder to track), or they will choose to tag with acid markers, stickers, sharpies, or scratching implements (arguably more damaging and harder to remove than paint).

2) Stop selling out the city's infrastructure.
*Sigh* Apparently Chicago has just privatized it's parking meters, allowing Morgan Stanley to take control over the parking meters for $1.16 billion. Supposedly the rates for the meters will now quadruple to $1.00 an hour. The leasing of public infrastructure appears to be a trend in Chicago - recently Midway airport was leased to a private company for 99 years. This is some serious bull. We pay some of the highest taxes in the nation, only for our infrastructure to be sold to the highest bidder, yet we still have a major budget crisis and crappy roads. Could someone please explain to me how this is possible?

3) Stop trying to get the Olympics here.
Yes, we know you like to make yourself look good. But trust me, having the Olympics come to Chicago will NOT be good publicity for you. Just imagine athletes missing their events while waiting for their CTA bus, or by having their flight delayed to O'Hare, or by their taxi breaking down after hitting a 4 foot deep pothole. Kiiiinda embarrassing, no? In the meantime, you are wasting a lot of time, energy, and (thanks to Blagojevich) committing more taxpayer money to this endeavor while your city's infrastructure is crumbling.

4) Stop hating on street musicians and street vendors, and culture in general.
What is the point of banning hot dog vendors from downtown Chicago? Why can't musicians busk on the sidewalks of Michigan Avenue? Why are there so many restrictions for small venues? Almost every major city in the world benefits from street performers and street vendors filling their streets. It creates a sense of communal space and makes the public way something more than a transitory element. The sidewalk goes from being a slab of concrete that gets someone from Starbucks to Dunkin' Donuts and becomes something living and breathing on its own. This seems like such an easy and harmless thing to do. I really don't know why Daley wants to run this town like a police state...

5) Term limits.
Daley, you've been mayor for almost 20 years now, and your father was mayor for 21 years. Combined, the Daley empire has ruled Chicago for almost half a century. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely. With term limits, Chicago taxpayers could avoid the stranglehold of two decade mayors, forcing fresh blood in periodically and flushing out corruption.

6) Get rid of Lake Shore Drive.
The city has done an amazing job of preserving a lot of prime downtown lake shore real estate for public parks. Yet it completely ruins the lakefront for pedestrians by running a giant highway between the park and the lakefront.

7) Corruption.
Yeah, a no brainer, I know. But this city is way too tolerant of corruption. Part of me thinks that Midwesterners take a certain kid-like pride in Chicago's organized crime roots - as if it makes us tougher. The other part of me thinks that there is just a high tolerance for corruption because there has been so much of it, meaning Chicagoans will continue to support corrupt politicians, despite their scandals. If it isn't the police or the politicians, it's the building and zoning departments or the city inspectors. I think the first step in fixing corruption is to simplify and streamline bureaucratic processes (tangled and convoluted red tape means greater opportunities for corruption).

8) Segregation, Classism, and Gentrification.
Certainly these issues are a problem in any city, but in my opinion Chicago simply ignores these issues all together (or are so tolerant that change is very slow). The city focuses on improving downtown shopping and tourist districts while sweeping the voiceless away by bulldozing public housing and conducting arbitrary raids on illegal immigrant workers. There is certainly a lack of prioritization and focus going on.

I started this out as just a small rant about spray paint but realized I had more on my mind. Chicago is a great town, but it keeps shooting itself in the foot. What kills me is that a lot of improvements could be made to this city and it wouldn't cost a dime! They might actually generate more jobs and revenue. Let the street musicians play wherever, let street vendors sell hot dogs downtown, remove beaurocratic red tape to reduce bribery, let me buy spray paint in the store, reduce spending on cosmetic architecture improvements and focus on infrastructure development (but don't sell it), put term limits on the mayor, connect the park to the lake, and reduce the police-state of downtown Chicago.

I think the biggest obstacle in the way of any change is of course Daley. Being a corrupt Democratic incumbent mayor in a heavily Democratic town means that he will continue to win a re-election as long as he runs as the Democratic candidate. The only way it will change is if he leaves voluntarily, or if he makes such a big political blunder that he ruins any chance of re-election.

Here's to hoping things can get better for Chicago in 2009.

Happy new year ya'll!