Hangouts on Air

Google+ Hangouts live “On Air” are now available to anyone. This is certainly going to be great for musicians. If any Wire to the Ear readers broadcast your studio or a live show please let me know. I really like that you can record the sessions.

“Today we’re excited to launch Hangouts On Air to Google+ users worldwide. So if you have something to say—as an aspiring artist, a global celebrity, or a concerned citizen—you can now go live in front of a global audience. With just a few clicks, you’ll be able to: Broadcast publicly. By checking “Enable Hangouts On Air,” you can broadcast your live hangout—from the Google+ stream, your YouTube channel or your website—to the entire world. See how many viewers you’ve got. During your broadcast, you can look inside the hangout to see how many people are watching live. Record and re-share. Once you’re off the air, we’ll upload a public recording to your YouTube channel, and to your original Google+ post. This way it’s easy to share and discuss your broadcast after it’s over.” – Google

Follow me on Google+: plus.google.com/10268…

photo credit: gigaom

TC-Helicon Voicelive Play

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to add a hardware effects unit to my live show exclusively for vocals. While Ableton is an incredible live tool I don’t want to be fiddling with pixels while I sing (scream). Although I could have a dedicated MIDI controller set up just for my vocal effects I don’t want to complicate my set up further as I already have a controller for synth/drum parts and Ableton is running a HD video in sync with the live show. I’m a huge fan of TC-Helicon. If your a reader of the blog you know Voicemodler for Powercore was my favorite plug-in and I recently picked up a Voiceworks Plus in my studio. I had my eye on Helicon’s live voice boxes for a bit but honestly they seemed a little pricey and complicated or too large. I am at my very limit as far as suitcase weight goes. I overlooked a January Namm announcement they made for a box they are now selling called the Voicelive Play. What I really like about this box is that I can set up presets, name them and click through them easily as my show and songs progress through a live set. The great feature that made be buy the unit is the HIT button. Basically it’s a second layer of effect(s) that you turn on for say a chorus or break. Watch the smartly produced aka easy to watch and learn from online manual above to get into everything this $250 box can do. If your a Sound on Sound subscriber you can read their review of the Voicelive Play here: link. See you at the show!

“Whether you’re at the top of the charts – or just a dreamer with a microphone, VoiceLive Play gives you hundreds of song & artist presets to choose from, helping you create amazing vocals. Featuring automatic backing harmonies, vocal double tracking, pristine EQ and compression, lush reverbs, hard-tuned robo-voice – all the the goose-bumps-on-your-arm effects that make today’s Billboard hit vocals “pop”. If hundreds of presets wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to download new and exciting artist presets each month for free via VoiceSupport.” – tc-helicon.com

For more info: tc-helicon.com/products/voicelive-play

MoMA Kraftwerk Retrospective

I saw Kraftwerk live years ago in New York City. It was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. The show was very cold, steril, German and clear. I won’t be missing this MoMA showing. Tickets go on sale Feb 22 at noon. I’m not sure if a ticket will get you into 1 or all of the 8 nights (all different performances!).

“Kraftwerk will give a series of eight performances, each devoted to one of its albums, as part of a Museum of Modern Art retrospective of the electronic music pioneers in April, museum officials said. The performances during “Kraftwerk-Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8,” on consecutive evenings starting April 10, will not only feature tracks from one of Kraftwerk’s albums, but also other original compositions intended to showcase the group’s influence on contemporary culture. Projected images, including 3-D ones, will accompany the music. The albums will be performed in chronological order, one each night, starting with “Autobahn” from 1974 and working up through “Tour de France” from 2003.” – NYTimes

For more info: kraftwerk.com

photo credit: Cristal en Vivo

The Horrorist Live – Phoenix, Arizona Show Report

I’m back from my live show and weekend in Phoenix, Arizona. I performed for a old friend who I went to College with Bill Kraemer. I went to SUNY Purchase which at the time was mostly an art school. The campus was 85% freaks. Bill and his friend Marcel had a techno act called Technosphere. I remember visiting their room across campus. Marcel was a really skinny tall guy from Belgium with a heavy accent. They had mini studio featuring a Rogue Moog and some ART rack efftect processors. They had dayglow shirts, toys and stickers and were properly ravetarded. In my elephant sized box of cassettes waiting in my mother’s basement sit a few Technosphere compilations. Maybe someday someone born a decade later than yours truly will obsess over them as I do with early 80s electronic demo tapes. I had not seen Bill in more than 15 years so I was looking forward to seeing him.

I’ve been working hard at my day job recently so when I received my Silver Medalian upgrade card from Delta my frown started to relax a bit. You get such a card for racking up a zillion frequent flier miles in a short time. The big deal is with the card I get automatically upgraded to business class. Not only to I get my own armrest but I can use all the fast check-in lanes and in general feel superior to everyone else. On my way to Phoenix I went.

I watched three movies on the flight. First was “Trust” staring Clive Owen. Even though Trust is rated well on Rotten Tomatoes skip it. It’s just a kiddie porn fantasy rape movie. Hollywood should be ashamed of producing this kind of thing. Next, I watched Strange Powers the documentary about Stephan Merritt and The Magnetic Fields. If your a regular reader here you know MF is one of my favs so I knew I’d love this film (and I did). Stephan explains his songwriting process which consists of him sitting in gay bars for eight hours listening to bad disco. Dark mood indeed. I was thrilled when they showed his apartment and there in the corner was an Electrocomp-101. These are rare synthesizers and I too am a proud owner of one (serial number 521 to be exact). Lastly, I saw True Grit which I thought didn’t live up to the hype with the exception of the end sequence. I won’t spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet but it’s properly sad as all movie endings should be.

I land in Phoenix, meet Bill and it’s hot. In the sun it’s much much hotter than you think. I had to get a few things at CVS so I took a walk. CVS was only a few blocks from my hotel. Somehow I got lost, disoriented and had to ask for help getting back. It’s that kind of hot. I realized anyone who lives in Phoenix is surrounded by something that could easily kill them.

I arrived a day early and spent the afternoon in the Hotel’s pool. The San Carlos is a famous place built on the site of an early American Indian school house. That’s where this hotel’s bad karma started. In the 1920s a woman jumped to her death from the roof. Later, Bogart and Marilyn Monroe made the Carlos there home for short stints. It’s a properly haunted place and before I even knew the history I was taking photos of it’s creepy Kubrikesque hallways.

For dinner Chris Randall was kind to pick me up and take me to the Gallo Blanco Cafe at The Clarendon Hotel. Here I believe I probably had the first good mexican food in my entire life. A simple fish Torte that’s still on my mind five days later. If you read this blog you obviously know who Chris is. He creates the Audio Damage plug-ins, makes music and has a blog called Audio Industries. All his efforts are unique and above par interesting. The conversation was good and it’s always nice to validate your own life a little by meeting people with similar interests.

Later Friday evening I met with Bill, his friends and Ralph aka Kung Fu grip. Bill’s 1987 Toyota Camry looks like it was lost in the dessert a few years. Fully covered in pink dessert dust and full of disorganization. Flyers, containers and well just a bunch of unidentifiable stuff. Bill couldn’t drive for what ever reason so his friend Matt took over. Matt was wearing a NY Yankees cap tilted to the side. So here we are four guys in this car and Matt in his hat. Yes of course we get pulled over. Yes of course Bill doesn’t have insurance. Let’s just leave the rest of this night unspoken about ok?

The next day there was more swimming then the live show. The venue was inappropriately huge but soon after arriving I was able to meet a few new friends who flew from surrounding states to catch me. The show starts and as with every time I perform in a new place I have to work hard to prove I’m there to have fun with the crowd. In a good mood I manage to get everyone from frozen in fear to yes let’s dance like we are Germans.

For more info: thehorrorist.com

The Horrorist Live in Denver Colorado

This weekend I returned to Denver, Colorado to perform for a second time. The event was called Gasmasquerade due to the fact show goers were advised to incorporate gas masks into their scare wear. The club called Tracks was in the warehouse district and is normally a gay club. It’s got a good sound system and is decked out with some very nice lighting effects, an LED message wall and disco balls galore. As you can see from the photos this was a full on gothic party. Dave “Vendetta” the promoter has finessed the scene in Denver for many years so when he tells people to come out they do so. I thoroughly enjoyed my entire time there including my stay at the purposely strange in a good way theme floored Curtis hotel. Thanks to everyone who came out and it was good to meet a lot of you after the show.

“The Goths were an East Germanic tribe of Scandinavian origin who played an important role in the history of the Roman Empire after they appeared on its lower Danube frontier in the third century.” – Wikipedia

For more info: thehorrorist.com

Espenhain Show Report

I’m back from a long weekend in Germany. The airline lost my luggage going and coming. To get my equipment in time for the show I had to go from the Leipzig airport to Tegel Berlin by car. This all took so long that I had to go directly on stage without sleeping almost 24 hours. Everyone reacts differently to situations like this and I just get basically [more] insane. Luckily that’s exactly what my live show calls for so it was all for the better. The show photos and the video I made above (music and video recorded in the car on my iPhone) shows my state of mind. To see the full set of photos from the night: click here. The Wet Club in Espenhain German has been properly opened. Stand by the Innovators!

“On the Autobahn. Driving on the Autobahn in a Mercedes Benz with an Italian. It’s the Axis Powers because we have a Japanese girl tied up in the trunk. We’re the Axis Powers driving on the Autobahn.”

For more info: thehorrorist.com

Wet Club

I’m heading to the airport soon for a live show Saturday night in Espenhain, Germany. Espanhain is about a half hour from Leipzig. The event is for the opening night at a brand new club called the Wet Club. It’s a large event with a lot of DJs and live acts some of which include Divinity (Divinity.De, Bash Events), Tom B. (Beatbrothers, Dusted Decks), Jokers Of The Scene (Fool’s Gold), Acidkids (München), The Robstars (Beatbrothers), Perry Live! (Zehnvierzig and Psychodevils (Leveltrauma, Pd Records, Trier). I often think playing these German events is a kin to American car companies testing their cars on the Nuremberg Track. If you can rock as good as even the last person listed on the flyer you have some cred. I plan on sweating a few pounds off on stage for sure. If I can I will send you updates from the road. You can of course always follow my obligatory waiting in the airport and about to lift off Tweets (link).

“The solar power plant Espenhain Leipzig is in the municipality. This power plant is a photovoltaic power station. It is a partnership project of the Berlin project development company Geosol and Shell. The power plant was dedicated on the September 8, 2004 and at that time one of the largest of its type in Europe.” – Wikipedia

For more info: wet-club.de

Crazy Wisconsin

It took a little time to grab some photos from my recent live performance in Madison, Wisconsin but I’ve created a nice Flickr set. I wrote a comment under each photo. I also start from the night before the show testing my new Macbook Pro and wireless mic through to the end. So why not start at the beginning and click the Next arrow on the top right of each photo and get my perspective on a fun few days. Start by clicking: here

“One of the first Wisconsians I met was Amber Larsen. Amber is a porno name (sorry it just is), she stuck her tounge out at me, she owned a Chevy pickup and did some glow in the dark hula hooping later at the club…” – Oliver Chesler

For more info: flickr.com/72157626695720833

Tonight in Philadelphia

I am performing live tonight at The Arts Garage in Philadelphia, PA. I don’t play there very often so if you are in town come and say hello. This kicks off a trio of live shows in the USA (Madison, WI and Denver, CO will follow). I’m very pleased to be playing “locally”. Tonight you will also hear “dark electronic” music from Blackwidow, Mike Mythix, Johanna Constantine, Jamie Morris, Carlitoz the Maestro, Mighty Mike Saga.

“Refraktion is held upstairs in the main room at The Arts Garage at 1533 Ridge Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130. There is ample free parking and security and the venue hosts a cafe downstairs with food and free wifi.” – refraktion.org

Event link: facebook.com/event.php?eid=188652104510456

7500 in Marseille

I’m back from France and I’m happy to report that the event known as La Nuit Rouge pulled in 7,500 party goers. I spent some talk time with Pet Duo, Alan Fitzpatrick, Mindindustries and DJ Rush (at the airport). Everything from the moment I started my set was golden. Now since this is a tell all blog let’s rewind to my departure to France from JKF Airport.

I arrive at Long Term Parking. I’m a little later than I hoped because there was of course a few hours of traffic for what should be a 20 minute drive. I get on my Delta, KLM, Alitalia flight. I think they do this codeshare crap knowing they need to blame someone for mistakes so they take turns on each other. I’m in my seat. One hour goes by we don’t take off. Two hours go by we don’t take off. We finally get a report from el captino, “There’s a broken clasp in the cargo bay we are manufacturing a new one. Once we get the paperwork from Atlanta we can fly.” We approach three hours and they tell us we have to disembark. I know why they did this. There’s some new rule you can’t leave passengers hostage more than three hours. Now if you thought that was the bad part oh boy you are mistaken.

I had a layover in Rome. I missed that layover by a mile so when I asked when I could get another connecting flight from Rome to Marseille I was delighted to find out the only one would be late Saturday night at 9:30PM. That would get me into Marseille at around Midnight. I had a 1:00AM set time. That also meant that I’d have to spend 9 hours in the Rome airport waiting for that connection. I thought about canceling my show and just going home but I’ve only missed three shows in my entire career.

I was supposed to play the weekend after 9/11 in Stuttgart. I had my apartment robbed a few days before I had a gig. The third show I missed was my fault. Being that I have performed a zillion times since 1992 I think it’s a record worth keeping nice and I am sure promoters know I am reliable (which keeps bookings coming). So I decided to check into the Hilton Hotel Rome at the airport. I got a day rate of 100 Euros and slept myself into superman again. I woke up and took the short flight to Marseille.

I got to the gig and it was the usual war zone. Pet Duo was on stage with 6 CD players, two mixers, booze. On the same 5 foot wide table sat the lighting guy, his controller, the house mixing console and sound guy. I need a few feet of space too and I was on next. So I hovered around the Pets who are luckily my friends. They are also generally happy people so they didn’t mind me crawling around them. I hooked my gear up. They stopped playing. I started playing. I had a wonderful time after the show (this isn’t really a tell all blog!). Life is good and no matter what I go through to get there it’s always worth it!

“one night in new york city ou encore can you hear the sound… olivier chesler, trop bon, même le personnage c’est quelque chose!!! c’est quelqu’un ce mec!!!” – jérémy couvreur (via facebook)

[flickr-gallery mode="photoset" photoset="72157626044993121"]

For more info: facebook.com/lanuitrouge