I’m not sure if the BBC has been duped but they ran a story today about Anthony Ghosh, aka DJ Talent who is selling his gold teeth because “Records aren’t really shifting these days…”. I never heard of Anthony and I never knew gold teeth could be worth $60,000. Click to view the story, photo and please come back and tell me if any of this is real: Downturn forces DJ to sell teeth
I have a friend who is a psychiatrist. She’s an middle aged woman born in Eastern Europe and she treats some of the hardest cases out there such as prostitutes and heroin addicts. We call her “The Oracle” because her method is to only tell the patient what he/she needs to know at any certain given moment. She’s quite smart and funny and I always enjoy getting a chance to speak with her.
A few years ago when my music was mostly of the hard, angry, screaming type I gave her a CD. A few weeks later she was visiting my family and she pulled me aside and told me something extremely profound. She said, “You know Oliver every song you write, you write about yourself.”. Over the following weeks I studied my own songs and realized she was right on. When I was singing about hate and destruction I was really just expressing how much I hated myself, how angry I was at myself. Ever since my eyes were opened I look at kids making angry music as some of the most wounded members of society.
For well adjusted adults this is pretty clear stuff but for someone like myself to come to a wakening point it’s thrilling. My own music has improved dramatically now that I can write from a different perspective. I can tell my own story without hiding behind a veil of an anonymous third person. An effect of my new perspective is new music is far more serious.
Today a good friend of mine asked me if it was ok if we just traded mix CD’s this year for Christmas. I guess hard times are here so this years official Wire to the Ear Christmas gift guide is strictly limited to great but budget priced stocking stuffers.
Schematic of Moog Synthesizer T-Shirt. $14. Available at Etsy. link
Puremagnetik Micropak Sample Pack. $5.75 per month. link
Video tutorials are a great way to learn software. You can pause, switch to the app, try things out and return to the show. For a limited time Grooveboxmusic is giving away three hours of Ableton video tutorials. I love Ableton Live and so should you. With Live you need to learn and use the program for a few weeks before you get that “AH HA!” moment. These tutorials are sure to help you out and since they are free and you have some Xmas vacation time coming up I don’t want to hear any excuses.
“Our friends at Grooveboxmusic.com are giving Ableton users free access to a collection of high-quality Ableton Live tutorials running over three hours in length via the Ableton Web Pass. This collection of tutorials covers topics such as how to record and edit, virtual instrument basics, warping, designing electronic drums and much more. The videos are hand-picked from the extensive Ableton Live tutorial collection available at grooveboxmusic.com. This offer provides seven days of access from the day you sign up and enter your access code. Offer valid until December 31, 2008” – Ableton.com
I’ve wanted to pick up one of those little flash audio recorders for a while. You know the ones such as the popular Zoom H2 and pretty looking Sony PCM-D50. I never got around to grabbing one and I’m really glad. It turns out my iPhone makes a pretty sweet recorder.
I downloaded the Griffin iTalk app from the iTunes store and recorded a few clips. iTalk records AIFF files using the iPhone’s built in mic. You hit a nice large red record button and it displays a green “recording” symbol and an input meter. If you pause and start recordings and they remain in the same file. You can name and add notes to your files on the phone. To transfer the recordings to your Mac you install a small program called iTalk Sync which once launched detects your iPhone. A few clicks and you can drag the files from the iTalk Sync window to your desktop. Everything works smooth and easy but how does it sound? I will let you be the judge:
My mother tells me about her day at work:
My step father Doug talks about the weather:
On the check out line at ShopRite (a supermarket):
Some vocals I recorded with Julie for a book reading. I added a gate, compressor and eq on this one:
Everyday I am discovering fun musical apps for the iPhone. Imagine taking an iPhone with this app back in time 20 years. I love the gentle sounds synthPond creates but for me to use it in my own style of song I would need to be able to add my own harder sounds.
“synthPond is a relaxing spatial sequencer and audio toy by conceptual new media artist Zach Gage. Unlike a normal sequencer where you place notes on a grid and a moving playhead plays them, in synthPond you place nodes in a field (pond). There are two major types of nodes. Circular nodes release waves at certain intervals. Hard-edged nodes release waves when waves hit them.” – apps.stfj.net/synthPond/
There is a free and pay version of synthPond available: iTunes
Yesterday I was upstairs on the phone with Social Security. I was finding out if I had to go in person to their office to get a replacement card or if I could do it by mail. My wife and I need the physical cards in order to get the new health insurance we want. We had full coverage in Germany which ended the day we were no longer residents in the country (6 days ago). There wasn’t a way to get new coverage in the USA before I was here. I figured I should get the new insurance right away because you never know what could happen.
I was on the phone listening happily to the Social Security automated phone system in English when I heard my wife yelling at Milo (Boston Terrier). After a few minutes it got really distracting so I walked downstairs to discover a horror scene. Blood was everywhere and Julie was trying to stand up near the sink. Apparently something pretty bad happened but I was clueless to what. She was crying, covered in sweat and blood and was starting to pass out. I noticed two incredibly deep large cuts on her hand. My next glance was at the kitchen counter where I saw the Braun Hand Blender in a few pieces. Clearly this piece of crap decided to chop more than vegetables this day.
I picked Julie up and into the car we took off. The freezing air woke her up and within a few minutes we arrived at the hospital. This was a bad enough accident they took her right inside. The bleeding was fully stopped, and an IV was put into her arm with some well needed Percocet mixed into the hydration fluids. The emergency room physician poked Julie’s fingers and with luck she felt all the pricks and pins. She was able to open and close her hand. However, when the doctor told her to resist his finger when pushing her thumb closed she was barely able to comply. It was clear she cut a tendon and a hand surgeon would be needed.
The hand surgeon, Dr. Troy Callahan arrived about an hour later. He was one serious cool fellow. Tall, skinny, young and dressed in a nice suit. He didn’t bother to joke around and just proceeded to lay out his tools. Hand surgery is delicate stuff and he had some wicked gear. Out of a large leather bag he pulled out a wooden box of his own personal steel tools. He also had some crazy looking magnifying eye glasses. I guess tendons are pretty thin and hard to see. He worked silently focused repairing Julie’s hand for about two hours (photo on right). Anyone who watched him create her cast with those bandages you dip in water could see this man was a real artist.
In the end she cut two tendons and a knuckle cap. She will need to wear the cast for about six weeks and then need hand therapy for three months. What’s your guess this bill is going to cost? Somewhere between $8,000 – $30,000? Whatever the price it’s worth it. That said, I talked to the hospital administration and explained my circumstance and they have some ways they can help me with the bill (if I qualify).
There no music in emergency rooms. There was no music all day. When we got back home and she was in bed we put the television on. A few stupid commercials came on. Happy retarded jingles compressed to the max shot out at us. I was never more happy to be home listening to them. Music signaled some return to safeness. Yesterday was just a small hand injury. Music is still important.
This was Cabaret Voltaire at their best. I just love the bubbling bass on this song. I just love the rich analog synth pad. I want a time machine.
“In 1978, Cabaret Voltaire signed to Rough Trade Records. With Rough Trade they released several highly acclaimed musically experimental singles and EPs, including Extended Play, Nag Nag Nag and Three Mantras, and albums such as The Voice of America in 1980 and the widely-hailed Red Mecca in 1981.” – Wikipedia.org
My first computer was a TRS-80 CoCo. Short for Color Computer the CoCo had a Motorola 6508e microprocessor. The 6508e was in some ways the predecessor to the 68000 which found it’s way into the original Mac and Atari ST machines. I had my CoCo hooked up to a television and I wrote a few small programs using Basic. I remember I created my own address book that would randomly pick a friend to call. I still have some of the old cassettes to which my programs are saved. I can barely make out the handwriting on the tapes scribbled in my thirteen year old handwriting. I frequented a local TRS-80 user group run by a guy named Larry Bank who I believe today works at IBM. We would trade games like “Donkey King“.
Believe it or not I was going online way back then. There was a local BBS called Mnematics Videotext I use to log into. To be honest I can’t remember what I even was discussing or downloading. Whatever it was it could not have been all that thrilling because in the early 80s download speeds were at about 300 baud. A slow stream of text would jump out of multi-colored cursor across a bright green screen. I have fond memories of my TRS-80 with the exception of his chicklet style keyboard which was universally panned as being cheap. I think it’s pretty funny the new Mac Laptops have a similar keyboard but no one has made a reference to the old CoCo.
My flashback was all triggered by some photos uploaded today on flickr by rach_thegoat. Apparently her parents gave her some old CoCos. Included in the happy gift was a Cartridge for something called “Stereo Music Synthesizer”. I never owned that Cart and I sure am jealous! Her photos are set to “All Rights Reserved” so I won’t post them here but you can take a look at her score here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rach_thegoat/sets/72157610837576228/