Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Recent criticism of the use of myriad as a noun, both in the plural form myriads and in the phrase a myriad of, seems to reflect a mistaken belief that the word was originally and is still properly only an adjective. As the entries here show, however, the noun is in fact the older form, dating to the 16th century. The noun myriad has appeared in the works of such writers as Milton (plural myriads) and Thoreau (a myriad of), and it continues to occur frequently in reputable English. -- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/myriad
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Radium (also known as RDM) is known primarily for cracking and releasing high dollar audio editing software such as Cubase VST and Pro Tools. [...] In 2004, it was discovered that some of the sounds included with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, such as WMPAUD1.WAV, were authored using a pirated version of Sound Forge which was supplied by Radium.
...and Steinberg owes them a commission for SX3 and the two upgrades I've purchased since Radium's v.3.7 hack made me a Cubase user :)
Friday, August 12, 2011
The cutting-edge styles of a dog who loves hair
Sure, she's man's best friend, a good girl, an enthusiastic sock-carrier, and so much more, but this canine has another gift that puts her squarely in the realm of artistry. Ruby is an inspired hairstylist with an eye for the look of tomorrow, such as would put Jonathan Antin to shame.
She needs no diffusers, no product, not so much as a comb. Her only tool is her deft tongue of neverending drool. Enjoy some of her creations in the following pictorial, and try to imagine how such a mind works. She works only when inspiration strikes, usually on lazy weekends on the couch in front of the television. She asks for no understanding of her craft and only a pat on the head for thanks.
In short, she IS hair. That's what she does.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
When we were listening to the take of "The St. Louis Vipers Club" on Kitchen Swing after recording it, Steve asked Cass, "sounds pretty good, huh?" Cass nodded enthusiastically and said, "yeah, nobody play like that no more." True, to a point, but nobody ever has or ever will play anything like Elvin Jones did.
Elvin was my last real hero, a player who I truly idolized. I only got to see him play once, at the Hollywood Bowl, where I gazed at him through binoculars until my arms fell asleep. He was a grinning tiger down there on the stage, looking so natural and fluid that he made the rest of his Jazz Machine, all monster players less than half his age, look like they'd never performed in public before.
Watching him then, I guessed he had a good ten or twenty years.
A lot of jazzers can tell you who's on a record just by listening. I've never been any good at that. There are three or four musicians I can recognize: Monk, Harry Connick (because it sounds like a new recording of Monk), and Elvin. Maybe John Coltrane. A lot of people think Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham invented the broken triplet (triplets played between three drums -- y'know, "boogita boogita boogita"), but Elvin played them first. And up until the day he died, nobody played them with more style and swing.
What Elvin played couldn't be notated! There simply just isn't a way to write down the way he kept time. My friend Joe Adamik, drummer for Califone, likes to argue with me about Elvin's technique. I think he wouldn't be able to play corp level rudiments, at least not the satisfaction of any corp leader (provided they didn't know it was him). I don't know, maybe he could, but years and years ago I felt I had to make a decision: I could either take the path to mastery of technique or of swing, and it was listening to Elvin that made the choice easy for me.
Groove, feel, swing, call it what you will, but that elusive element of music is what moves people, literally as well as emotionally. Although Elvin's work with 'Trane is considered avante garde, it still stands up as some of the very rare material in that style that has an undeniable accessibility, even a spirituality. If I could ever be a part of something even half as great as any project Elvin worked on, I'd consider my life's work complete. If you can find it, check out the record he did with the group Oregon. Elvin and tabla -- now THAT'S a cool record.
Naturally, the man was full of humility and humor, which made him a role model for any serious artist. Pianist Keith Jarrett once said that the most important thing artists can do is question the purity of their desire to create.
Listen to two measures of Elvin Jones expressing himself through the drum kit, and you'll hear that his is truly a pure musical soul.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
What Went Wrong?
a parenting primer
If you're visiting this web site, maybe you admire musicians, but the fact is that they don't contribute to society in any measurable way. Kyle became a musician against every attempt by his mother and father to dissuade him -- WHAT HAPPENED? Can you protect your children from the pitfalls that Kyle encountered in his life? More importantly, can you save yourself the disappointment that his parents undoubtedly suffer? Whether you are already a parent, or hope someday to have children, you have a commitment to them, and to society, to not make the same mistakes. Let's take a closer look at the early signs:
Here we see a happy four-year-old with his father on Halloween. Dad is obviously a successful businessman, Mom a talented seamstress.
TROUBLE INDICATOR: Costume.
Parents - please - remember that the malleable mind of a child identifies with the roles you cast. Look at it this way: Would you rather your child grow up to be scary or stupid? Not much of a choice, is it? When dressing your kids, stick with safe, unscary, non-controversial holiday outfits and unambiguous, gender-specific fashions for everyday use. "But Kyle," you might say, "what's controversial about a clown?" No, clowns are not terribly controversial, with the possible exception of convicted serial killer John Wayne Gacy (who was, to be sure, a poor representive for clowns). But while it wouldn't be totally accurate to refer to Gacy as stupid, scary would be pretty much on the mark. Someone you want your son or daughter to identify with? Probably not. Everybody knows clowns are scary. Gacy didn't help their rep, and your kid won't either.
This is Kyle 1st grade progress report. Although the instructor mentions an improvement in fine motor skils, she doesn't mention how this was accomplished. I distinctly remember this teacher humiliating me in front of the entire class because I couldn't tie my shoes. So, while my classmates were enjoying a film about a purple cow (the plot of which haunts me to this day), I was fumbling with my laces through my tears, hopelessly working one difficult knot into an art brut rendition of a crochet potholder. And by the end of the year I had "improved tremendously"! Remember - the ends always justify the means, and nowhere is this more true than in the realm of child-rearing.
TROUBLE INDICATOR: Organization.
The report notes problems with time management. As you'll see in the next panel, "Kyle's 2nd grade progress report", this problem does not improve. Very likely because of the poor disciplinary practices of this 1st grade teacher who, as I recall, ended up helping me with the shoelaces.
This 2nd grade progress report demonstrates that by seven, Kyle was already on the slippery slope that cast him into the greasy pit of professional musicianship. Math skills, although climbing from the previous year's merely "Satisfactory" progress to "Excellent", were apparently not improving FAST enough for the fat, bitter old bitch who was guiding the pupil's studies. Most troubling though, are the repeated references to daydreaming. While this problem has been greatly reduced in today's classrooms by drugging children with Ritalin prescriptions, in 1976 this Mother's (and Teacher's!) Little Helper was not available, leaving adults with few options apart from writing critical report cards.
TROUBLE INDICATOR: Attention span.
Thanks to modern science, we no longer have to suffer much of the drudgery of raising a child, at least in as far as getting their little eyes to fix on the blackboard with the steadfastness of a six-hour cocaine binge. Unfortunately, many useful child-controlling drugs are illegal. Opiates, for example, unrivalled substances for keeping people quiet, were extensively used in infants' "soothing syrups" like Kopp's Baby Friend in the 19th century. Numerous child deaths resulting from overdoses of the soothing medicines were reported and further lab tests of the day testified to this danger, such as the thirty drops given to a six day old puppy which put the puppy into a peaceful sleep from which, confirming the hypothesis, it never awoke. The determined parent can still procure many Schedule I drugs, to benefit the whole family, but should educate themself to possible lethal dosages and/or combinations. Your government will never love your child as much as you do. DON'T LET THEM TELL YOU HOW TO RAISE THEM!
Kyle's 3rd grade teacher was behind this masterpiece, "What About Me?" Each student was instructed to list "qualities I like about (blank)" that made his or her classmates "special". Obviously this was intended to foster a sense of individuality and self-worth, which we now know to be the very qualities that mark what I call society's "Problem People", especially the individuality thing. Specific to our focus are the comments of Kyle's peers: repeated references to "jokes" and "riddles", and, perhaps most disturbing, one child's appraisal of Kyle as "superman funny man". Although being a fast runner is indeed a valuable skill (and like any tool, can be used for good or ill - in this case, for example, the tool could be used to run from the cops, which would be good), the other qualities eclipse this one, both in number and import.
TROUBLE INDICATOR: Willfulness.
Remember that no matter how hard you try, your child may still blame you for any neuroses, job difficulties (including trouble getting/keeping one) or lasting scars they may take into later years, or even those problems they got all on their own. Many successful lawsuits have been filed on parents years after the child has reached adulthood. Don't be afraid to use "tough love" to create in your child a lasting sense of honor, or, failing that, fear and humiliating debt to you.
This is pioneer jazz drummer Sid Catlett. See the sign on the open window? It says "Don't open window". I'll bet Sid opened that window. Just get a load of that look on his face. It says, "I'll open any damn window I want, white devil." Now, this isn't to suggest that a person's race has anything at all to do with what kind of person they are - white jazz drummer Gene Krupa was likely a frequent window-opener as well, demonstrating the same willfulness he shared with Big Sid. They were willfully trying to clear out all the reefer smoke, I imagine.
TROUBLE INDICATOR: Jazz drummer.
If Ma and Pa Catlett were alive today, they would probably be quite proud of their son's major influence on America's greatest art form (next to airbrushing poker-playing dogs on black velvet), and they might opine, "although we could never get him to keep the windows closed at our house, at least we never dressed him as a clown on Halloween."
In conclusion, let's consider another willful personality with an "image problem": Tonya Harding. How did such a talented, driven athlete get such a bad reputation? In her own words, "It's an image that the media has given me as a bad girl because of the things that have gone wrong in my life, and also because I grew up living in a trailer. I moved around 13 different times before I was in fifth grade, no money and no friends. My biological mother made or bought my clothes from the Salvation Army or Goodwill. So, you know, that's where the bad girl image came from."
I swear I did not make this up. In fact, Tonya apparently takes great pride in her humble beginnings, as this quote is prominently featured on the home page of her web site, but that's not what surprises me. What amazes me is her iron will. That, and her web designer's uncharacteristic use of judgement in leaving out any mention of the Nancy Kerrigan episode.
Despite growing up in a trailer, Tonya surely knew that hiring people with not that many less chromosomes than yourself to beat an innocent third party with a tire iron is considered "anti-social behavior". Nonetheless, she steadfastly kept her focus - to win - and skated her way to victory, albeit a short one. Or was it?
Although she was stripped of her Olympic title and is banned from figure skating for the rest of her life, she managed to avoid serving time in prison (although she did go to jail and get community service in May 2000 for allegedly attacking her boyfriend with a hubcap), dabbled in pornography and is, as of this writing, teaching figure skating in Portland and enjoying a resurgence in popularity, or at least a resurgence in her checking account, due to her involvment in Fox Television's hit program, Celebrity Boxing.
I know that really wasn't much of a conclusion, in the sense of summing up the information of the topic in question, but I think it says a lot about the power of the human will. And Tonya is certainly a model of willfulness, which in the final analysis, is really just another tool. Like a tire iron. Or being a fast runner.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Follow along with Kyle as he makes his prototype Loungecaster cocktail drum
Parts, cost and construction of the Loungecaster cocktail drum
Building the "Loungecaster" Cocktail Drum
- (1) 24x14 8-ply Keller shell from www.aitwood.com
- (16) "Tail Lite" lugs; screws and tension rods
- (3) Floor tom legs and "classic type" brackets
- (2) 2.3mm "Slingerland-style stick saver" 14in 8 hole chrome hoops
- (1) "Deluxe" chrome vent grommet
- (a few) misc. "experimental parts"
- (1) 24x54 White Diamond Pearl wrap from http://stores.ebay.com/bestdrumdeals
TOTAL: $336.17 (+ a couple trips to the hardware store)
Remove shell from shipping box. Smell. Thump once or twice with heel of your palm, rap lightly with fingertip. Listen. Find corresponding notes on piano. Thump again. Listen. Rapture!
Trace shell on cardboard; square the circle. Divide each side by 2, connect the dots (for other than 8-lug, consult old highschool geometry notes).
Check with hoop.
Center shell on template, mark lug spacing.
Read camera manual.
Using a T-square, continue tick mark the length of the drum. Apply (1) yard of masking tape to a wall or door. Using straightedge or long level, draw a line on tape strip. Line up tape with the line on the shell.
Using ruler and tailor's tape, check measurements. Run another length of tape along inside of drum to prevent splintering when drilling.
Repeat for all lugs. Using ruler and tailor's tape, check measurements. Check measurements again, using ruler and tailor's tape, from the other direction. Find discrepancies. Discover new and exotic interjections in your native tongue. Check measurements.
Lay a head on the bearing edge. Lay hoop on head. Insert tension rods and screw into lugs to half useable thread length or so.
Insuring that the lug mounting-posts are cool, by pressing the posts into the tape, check measurements.
Repeat for all lugs.
Using a ruler, tape measure, tailor's tape, T-square, calipers and eyes, check measurements.
Deep, cleansing breaths.
Using a brad-point drill bit, drill holes. Remind self that this is a "handcrafted" drum. A "custom" drum. And, if neccessary, "my" drum so just freakin' sue me if I have to do a little "handcrafting"!
Repeat for all holes, checking measurements with ruler, tape measure, tailor's tape, T-square, calipers, eyes, and ACTUAL LUGS HANGING FROM THE FREAKING RIM.
Assemble drum, even though you had to add washers to the GOD DAMN lugs and leg brackets which are still kinda loose sonuvabitch that wrap better make up for that 16th of a freaking inch, but BY GOD you WILL hear this beauty SING TONIGHT!
Disassemble drum. Rub tung oil into inside of shell. Wax bearing edges.
Lay wrap inside up against a straight wall, fixed straight edge, etc. and brush on contact cement (I used Dap Weldwood, red label).
Tape shell holes.
Brush contact cement onto shell.
Align shell with straight edge and lay on wrap. Roll shell on wrap, pressing the wrap firmly onto the shell. Finish seam with acetone one small section at a time.
Clamp seam, re-drill holes from inside of drum, attach hardware.