So I agreed many months ago to record a version of Wolf Parade’s “I’ll Believe In Anything” for my friends Alex and Laurenn’s wedding. They wanted to have their first dance to it, but the original is way too fast and indie rawk to slow dance to.

I’ve put together a massive orchestral version that has taken a very long time to put together. I arranged the song with a Brian Eno-style piano, pizzicato strings, bowed bass, a Moog, a Hammond Organ, a horn and woodwind section, plus loud distorted guitar. Tonight, I had Kiva Singh and Thom Chrastka and his lovely new lady friend Rosalie (I think that’s the right spelling) come by and record backup vocals, layers and layers of ‘em.

All told, there’s something like fifty audio tracks in Reason (or will be, once I’ve got the drums separated to be mixed individually) plus three submixes (instruments, guitars and backup vocals) and a reverb track. It’s the most complicated thing I’ve ever done musically, incredibly hard to mix (trying to harmoniously blend 50 audio tracks is like herding cattle) and it sounds exceedingly lovely. The background vocals are awesome; it sounds not so much like a choir but maybe a high school gym full of people singing the song.

If Alex and Laurenn are okay with it, I’ll post it sometime after the wedding (which is on Saturday) so you can hear it. I’m monstrously proud of it.

Now, back to mixing.


Green Panda

A new image of the Zenarchery panda; I’m trying out a new illustration style. (If you like it, I’ll totally sell you a print of it.)


Paul Smith ripped off Robert Hodgin!

Apparently one of designer Paul Smith’s patterns is a pixel-by-pixel copy of a Flickr image by Robert Hodgin (who wrote the Magnetosphere visualizer that is now the default visualizer in iTunes, and who has also been an immense help to me with my Processing code)!

Robert says, to be fair, that the “birds” in his images come from other people’s Flickr pics. But so far as I can tell, Robert traced images of birds to create silhouettes for his piece. Smith simply copied Robert’s work.

That’s some sad shit. I hope Smith compensates Robert somehow, even if it was just one of his designers who ripped Robert off.


Secret Halloween Cover

If you were to point your browser here, you might find a special (and ridiculously silly) Red State Soundsystem Halloween cover. Because I love you. And I was really bored on this late Saturday night / early Sunday morning.

Happy Halloween, folks.


Pimpin' Lost A Hero

Rudy Ray Moore, better known as “Dolemite”, died today. Sigh.

Way down in the jungle deep, The bad ass lion stepped on the signifyin monkey’s feet. The monkey said, “Muthafucka, can’t you see? Why, you standin on my goddamn feet!” The lion said, “I ain’t heard a word you said.” Said, “If you say three more I’ll be steppin on yo muthafuckin head!”


DIY Storage

A couple of years ago, I read an article online about a dude who bought a tiny house in Marin County — so tiny he didn’t really have space for all of his computer gear.

So he got himself a wire bread rack, replaced the crappy plastic shelves with hardwood, and stored not only his computer and stereo components, but his clothes as well!

Since then, I’ve been really wanting one of these. And lo and behold, tonight I found one sitting next to the dumpster behind a restaurant right by my house. (I’m assuming it was there to be thrown away, because it’s covered with cobwebs and dusty and slightly bent-up in places. I’d hate to think I stole something they were using.)

Anyway, I dragged it into my new apartment and put it in my new office and it’s awesome! All the crappy plastic shelves were still in it, but that’s fine; I’m not concerned about looks as much as utility. I can put all of my music gear and cables and tools and random stuff in it and still have space…all in a roughly 2′ by 2′ space!

So that’s cool.


Pimp My Jihad, Mk. 2

If you know me IRL, you may have seen me wearing my “Pimp My Jihad” shirt I made a few years ago, with a tricked-out AK-47 on it. Well, here’s Mark II:

Pimp My Jihad Mk. II

I’m pretty proud of this design. It was extremely complex and time-consuming to do. It’s currently up for critique at Threadless. If you like it, big up it in the critique and hopefully it’ll go into the competition, where you can vote for it!

If Threadless turns it down, I might try to figure out how to print it myself, if y’all are interested.

(And yes, the Arabic slogan on the shopping bag is the Arabic word for “pimp”.)


Oh Hell, The Finale: Oh, Shit.

I broke down and went to UMC.

It wasn’t a salivary stone at all. Mea culpa. I was wrong.

Instead, I have been told that apparently the entire lower half of my skull consists of four severly impacted wisdom teeth. One has punctured my maxillary sinus. Another is disrupting the movement of my jawbone. And this one is one giant abscessed mess. I am going to be spending the next few months of my life making friends with oral surgeons. The nurse told me these should have come out a decade ago…and now they’ve grown upwards and forwards. She literally suggested that I was probably lucky I don’t have tusks growing out of the sides of my face like a goddamn triceratops.

Also, I’m borderline diabetic.

I can’t afford this at all. My God. I’m so fucked right now.


Oh hell, interlude

Not having to pay some retard doctor $2500 for an hour’s worth of simple surgical procedure? Priceless.

[Update: No, I'm not really going to do this. Well, probably not.]


Oh, Hell, part 2

So I definitely have a blocked sublingual gland. I’ve been alleviating the symptoms by…well, you don’t want to know. I seem to have a salivary calculus, or stone, in my sublingual gland under my tongue. I’ve been trying to dislodge it (which is ungodly painful), but I think it’s too big. (This just happens sometimes, and nobody knows why.)

I don’t qualify for Medicaid. I can’t afford insurance. I’ve tracked down the specific procedure required and I would do it myself, but A) I couldn’t do it without a fuck ton of Lidocaine and some specialized probes for dilating my salivary duct, and B) I’d be very, very afraid of cutting my facial nerve and ending up looking like the Joker. There’s also an ultrasonic treatment, but I’m not sure how I’d go about that.

(That probably sounds nuts. But hell, I’m broke and insurance free, and I’m a DIY kind of cat. I could probably build an ultrasonic probe that would break the stone up, given a bit of time.)

It’s probably not life-threatening unless it gets infected. It just hurts like a sonofabitch whenever I eat anything.

So, if you’re of the praying or hoping persuasion, hope and pray for me that I get the job I’m currently applying for, so I can get insurance and get this fucker cut out of my mouth.