Into The Badlands

My band is currently in the studio working on our debut album, and we’re planning on releasing at least two music videos for it. One we’re going to be shooting at a show, but the other, for our song “Into The Badlands”, we’ll be using stock western footage and various show clips. Now, we previously recorded the song on out first demo, and I put together a small draft of the music video using the old version of the track, but the final cut will be much cleaner, and with the new and improved recording of the song. I used the Kdennlive software, as it runs on GNU/Linux, and grabbed a few live clips of my band, and some stock western clips from Archive.org, which are all free.

 

Weekly Summary (Week 3)

With my musical background, I had plenty of prior experience working with audio, so I faced very little challenges. I did four audio assignments which I very much enjoyed, and a couple of daily creates (listed below) that I was able to add my sociopolitical twist to. I enjoyed the few comments I received and It was recommended that I focus more on the point of the story, than trying to bulk up the length of it. I’d have to say, I resonate with that. When I write songs, I keep them short and to the point, no need for a prog rock jam if you can make your point in a minute twenty seconds, so I’ll be sure to apply that to stories as well. I feel as if, besides this, I did well on the assignments. I do need to step up on my commenting on other blogs though, and increase my interaction with other posters, ans if I could do things differently, I would probably do that.

Listening to Ira Glass, there were a few key points that make a story great. First, you need to grab people with a question. They will always wait for an answer if they are presented a question. Next, you can keep people waiting for the question if you add suspense. You can be involved in the most boring story ever if you wait, and wait, and wait. Suspense drags people along wo wait for the question. And lastly, you will need trial and error to see if the story will really catch people.

I listened to the first episode of ScottLo, the introduction podcast, where he talked about setting up the podcast and trying to make his contribution to the course. He mainly talks about how easy this can be as long as you’re willing to set up the hardware and software. I also listened to the Ted Radio Hour, where an MIT professor who was very supportive of emerging technology, especially in the field of therapy. It used layers of different sounds, soft music, audio samples from the seal, and the narrator all combining to talk about a comforting example of technology use, from the buildup to the dramatic conclusion.

Speaking over the crackling radio broadcast of a space craft drifting through the void, it makes you feel like you are in the capsule. You hear their voices sound and clear, as if you were standing right next to them when they crashed. Next to them when they died. You are there with them. You were with them. You will always be with them. This could have been real, and exploring the what-ifs through audio gives a glimpse into what-could. You hear the shock in their voices, the tense nature of their speech, not knowing what will happen next. All through the story, you are right there with them.

 

DAILY CREATES:


A little while ago, one man sat on a stage performing, but suddenly he was elevated to the world fame status of Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. At last, it was revealed that this performer was nothing more than an Artificial Intelligence, disappointing everyone who has followed him. Was this whole thing just a facade? Is this the direction entertainment is heading? Is this… the end? The original video can be found here.


It’s known that Chris Christie opposes ending prohibition in any form, including the legalization of medicinal cannabis. Juxtaposing Christie into the protect can convey two things: one, that he’s not willing to do anything to further his point than launch a “sit in”; two, the irony of Christie being anywhere near a pro-cannabis protest. Using GIMP, pasting the PNG onto an existing photo was easy (once I found a rather open area to do so). The original image from here.


Punk Rock is 99% do it yourself. DIY or Die. No one is a bigger sellout than the those who sell their integrity to the corporate machine. Bands usually control the recording and selling of music, directly or through another local musician who specializes in the sort of thing. For example, my band recorded our own demo, and our upcoming LP is being recorded by another local musician who happens to be an audio engineering student. We burn our own CDs, run all of our online distribution services, and as exemplified here, we even press our own cassette tapes. We burn a CD, play it through a CD player, run an aux cord from the CD player output port into the mic port of the tape machine, and hit record. It’s rough, improvised, but at least WE control it, and not some record label. Tapes are very popular in the musical underground, and the more rough, the more DIY, the more awful looking, the better.


I would have chosen something written in the Cherokee Syllabary to pay homage to my Aniyunwiya ancestry, but it was invented by Sequoyah relatively recently, so it can’t really be considered an ‘ancient’ manuscript. Indigenous ‘alphabets’ in the Americas are few and far between, so instead I decided to use the Incan Quipu, which was the record keeping system for the Incan Empire. As it was primarily used for numbers, I thew on “Correct answer, but next time show your work!” to the bottom of it in the infamous red pen of educators. Just remember, Western Civilization is not the only civilization.

Hack

Wake up. Boot Up. Log in. Hack. Shut down. Wake up. Boot Up. Log in. Hack. Shut down.¬†Wake up. Boot Up. Log in. Hack. Shut down. On repeat for weeks until the problem is cracked. Anything from hunting bugs in a program to breaking into another secure computer. Forget to eat? Redbull and vodka. Forget to sleep? Redbull and vodka. This is your life now. You haven’t shaved in weeks. You thrive on the numbers and strings. You breathe binary. You know no other life. Wake up. Boot Up. Log in. Hack. Shut down.

Thus is the daily grind of a programmer. Now, I do have to say, most real programmers use GNU/Linux (or at least some other *nix like macOS or BSD), but the Windows XP sounds were so believable. And dial-up is so outdated, but what better way to convey getting online? I mean, if I’m using a decade year old OS, why not throw in a two decade old technology too? Splicing these tracks together in Audacity was no problem.

Sound effects can be found listed below:

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN3xp8uOVL4
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsNaR6FRuO0
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxDQWtXSVpA
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nQ2oiVqKHw
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gb2jGy76v0Y

Anrufen

Although my favorite type of music would be generally labeled as rock (more specifically, 80s hair metal, 80s hardcore punk, and 80s thrash metal), I do enjoy some electronic music. Usually I listen to bands that combine electronic (ie: Industrial, Techno, or Ambient) with rock, like Rammstein (Industrial Metal), Burzum (Dark Ambient), or Atari Teenage Riot (Digital Hardcore), but I can get down to some Throbbing Gristle (traditional Industrial) or Chipzel (Chiptune). There’s also a subset of extreme music that combines death metal and/or hardcore punk with industrial/electronic/noise music, usually categorized as cybergrind, noise rock, or the sort. There’s so much to chose from, so combining with these noise/grind/rock influences with my love for nerd music (like the Hacker Rap of Dual Core), I was able to create the beat below, titled Anrufen (butchered German for ‘To Call’), dedicated to the Phone Phreaks of old who paved ways for the modern hackers. I made the original percussion beat in the FOSS drum program Hydrogen, and gathered a few samples of phones, dial tones, and the infamous dial up tone, layering them all together in Audacity. With some adjustments in volume and sound, the beat came out. I did release this song and a few others on a Noise EP I did a while back, but this exemplifies the creative process I went through to make the EP.

 

Cultivated

I run a small record label called Petty Treason Records, mainly putting out my own music, and that of friends. I’m also friends with a guy who runs a group on Facebook specializing in music promotion, called Cult XLV. A little while ago we worked on putting together a compilation album/mixtape like thing of a bunch of local/regional bands to cross promote to each other’s fan-base, and I love how it turned out. I would recommend giving this whole thing a listen, as many great Punk, Metal, Rock, Hip Hop, and Noise acts from DC, Maryland, and Virginia are featured. I didn’t edit the tracks much, but I did use audacity to convert¬† the songs (that were usually sent to me as .mp3) to proper lossless audio format (.wav or .flac). Anyone can run a record label with enough time, and if it’s not a serious thing, you don’t need to take much time. The album cover, track listing, and all the info was of my own doing also.

 

Mashup in the UK

The Sex Pistols are by far, the greatest boy band of all time. You cannot debate me on that. They were a band put together by record producers, featuring people who couldn’t play their instruments (at least Sid Vicious), but I still love them. Motley Crue, is my favorite band, and sure, they wore makeup and big hair, but they were as punk rock as hair metal could be (I mean, their first album was pretty much Glam Punk, in the style of the New York Dolls).

The Sex Pistols released their song Anarchy in the UK as a single in 1976, and it would on their first (and only real) album, Never Mind The Bullocks… Here’s the Sex Pistols. It really sent a message in the UK that would be picked up by bands like Crass and the Subhumans, and later on by numerous anarcho-punk bands across the world. It would be covered by acts like Megadeth and Green Jello, and become a common stable in the world of hard rock, where we all know the lyrics, even if we don’t know what Johnny Rotten was really saying.

Years later, Motley Crue would cover the song and feature it on their 1991 compilation Decade of Decadence. Their version would be slightly faster, adding that metal edge to their version of the song. I’ve mashed these two versions up, as it adds a layer of dissonance to both songs. It’s almost if the original version echos after the cover, reinforcing the message of chaos that that combined tracks preach. Personally, I want to go join a black bloc when I hear this version, and it’s only half because of the complete perversion of a great song from two amazing bands that I want to get away from.

http://youtubedoubler.com/lv0R

Weekly Summary (Week 2)

This week threw much more at me than the previous week. I did get behind on one daily create, but the remaining three were completed. I did a few design assignments, which were great. I was able to parody a great movie, reduce one down to four major plot points, photoshop myself onto a mountain, and make a fake tattoo for one of my favorite quotes. I even did the PhotoBlitz (I did german up my title though), and examined some elements of images and photography that I will be applying to my own designs. This week was also the first time I’ve had to create gifs (you don’t pronounce it jraphics, so it’s a hard G), so that was definitely a challenge. But a challenge that I learned from, just as all these other were. I did better on my procrastination, but I do need to be better about that.