2005 in Podcasts and Blogs - plus a lobster
This was my New Year's Day. 0001PT 1/1/06 began unpromisingly with a long wait at the taxi rank in LAX, inhaling petrol fumes, trying unsuccessfully to find a comfortable way to sit on a soft suitcase. It was a depressing crawl towards midnight as the waiting line shrank slower than the waning year. But having arrived home, downed a welcome glass of whiskey and so to bed, new year's day itself went rather better - a risotto with a fine lobster, a lobster perfectly in the pink one might say, a splendid thing, glowing in its complicated armour. Before this one went under the hammer "her-in-doors" immortalized him in pencil (see pic). It's not every lobster that is sketched lying in state by a genuine Hollywood animator.
Much of New Year's night was spent, however, preparing for Monday's radio segment, chiefly cutting together a montage of the year in podcasts. To avoid all this effort effervescing into the ether as is the way of all radio I've included it in a podcast of the year along with a re-run of the interview with Tim Worstall about his book 2005 Blogged. There's more from Tim in the pods and blogs segment here (link valid until 9/1/06).
The intro music for the podcast is a new piece I've called "Reversal" (non-commercial use with attribution OK download here). A guitar track failed to go with the drums again (must buy a better sound-card so the sequencer runs without latency) but it survives in this piece as the carrier wave that shapes the vocoded "weird birds" and lead synth sounds.
New Year New Tune
I've written a new musical "bump" for podcasts, and I'm putting it out on the web under a "use for whatever you want with attribution" license The song (heh!) is called "4Everything" and you can download an mp3 here. Hope you like it, feedback, especially from more experienced Reason users welcome. I'm one of those people who's fascinated by music though I suffer an odd kind of tone deafness. I can differentiate pitch quite happily, but I cannot remember a tune to save my life. So while I can play along to music on tape on the guitar quite well ask me to pick out a simple tune and it will take me half a day to get it not-quite-right. Does anybody know a good way of treating this affliction? Suggestions welcome.
Saving the Blues..
The Baton Rouge Blues society is organising a very worthy campaign to find paying gigs for the many local musicians without work thanks to Hurricane Katrina Behind the project is blues society president David Couvillon, a man who as the former military governor of Wasit province in Iraq has already demonstrated an aptitude for charitable work. In this mp3 recorded a couple of weeks ago and first broadcast on the pods and blogs segment on BBC Radio FIve Live David tells me why the campaign is so important to keeping local music alive. If you want to hear a good example of the type of music still coming out of New Orleans in spite of all that has happened have a listen to this song by local bluesman Burton Gaar.
Rock turned 50 this month. The Comets, formerly of Bill Haley and The Comets were in town to mark 50 years since their song "Rock Around the Clock" became the world's first Rock and Roll number one, and to finally, belatedly, be inducted into the Hollywood Rock Walk. The anniversary coincided with the success of the Deep Impact mission; The Comets even played a gig at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory by way of a joint celebration. In the podcast we speak with 3 of the Comets and author Jim Dawson
The JCB Song
The JCB Song by Leamington based band Nizlopi filled me with homesickness and nostalgia. It's a lovely tune, the same sentiments as Texas Eagle by Steve Earle, but as camp as cricket-jumpers. Shows you don't have to be a tough Texan to sing about farm machinery and "daddy". The video animation is simple, beautiful and affecting. By the way this is what a JCB is
Tone deaf in Tulsa
I've been fooling around with itunes and it's new podcast function, and on the way decided to publish a playlist, heavily influenced by what I heard on the excellent KPIG radio (now that's a REAL radio station, custom Harley giveaways, and DJ's all of whom sound like they were roadies for The 'Dead)
Listening to real music, put together by real musicians is an unpleasant reminder of my own shortcomings when it comes to writing a good tune. I need to invest in Cubase or similar so I can incorporate the guitar, which I play a bit, with the electronic pieces written on a keyboard (which I don't play at all). Anyway for those of you who own a copy of Reason - here's the latest piece of intro music I've composed for the podcast in .rns format - all constructive suggestions on what I can do to improve the quality of music on the podcast are very welcome.