Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
 
March 23, 2008

Im on ur stage, fuckin' with ur songs...

by Chris Randall
 



I was just merrily uploading old video clips of SMG live shows to YouTube, and this particular one got me thinking. If you're not familiar with the catalog of Sister Machine Gun (and frankly, for the most part, I wouldn't expect you to be) this particular song, written in 1989, was fairly bog-standard "industrial" dance/rock for its time. Since I've had to play it what seems like 165,000 times live (in actuality probably only 1500 or so; we didn't do it on every tour because it is too hard on my throat) I have a tendency to change it up a bit.


In the above iteration, we eschewed the nu-beat (in the A Split Second sense of the term) origins in favor of a Chicago wrawk kind of sound, pretty much indicative of that entire show and the surrounding tour. I personally don't really have any problems doing that sort of thing, as unlike some artists, I can get bored fairly easy playing my own music. That's not really what this post is about, though.


At the end of the first verse, when the chorus is right about to kick, the band has to stop to wait for a measure for me to sing the intro to the chorus. For some hare-brained reason, I just didn't. Obviously, as you can plainly see in the video, the audience, the light guy, and the soundman were all expecting it. To the band's extreme merit, they were quite used to my ways and waited until I actually sang it rather than going with the general flow, and for that I give them great credit, since we didn't plan to do anything like this.


In any case, to the actual point of this post: how much do you feel you should be allowed to fuck with your own released music on stage? As much as the audience will put up with? Or should you hew close to the origins in general. I suppose it depends on whether you have a resilient (read: long-established) audience, and whether you have resilient music in the first place. Obviously, you know my feelings on the matter: as long as the song is recognizable as such, everything else is fair game.


 
March 20, 2008

Portishead Out On A Limb...

by Chris Randall
 



Now, I'm a fair-weather Portishead fan, I'll be honest. I, like many, like Glorybox but not much else. I have to say that they're smokin' a lot of weed in prep for their new album, if this little film is any indication. It is, in fact, reminding me of Joy Division, or maybe, well, I'll let you be the judge.


 
March 19, 2008

PoCo...

by Chris Randall
 





Finally took the plunge and got a PowerCore X8 from AudioMidi. It should be here on Monday or so, and I'll offer up some pithy comments. For the PoCo owners out there, what are the must-have additional plugs? I have a $500 voucher to spend at the TC Store. I think I can live without X5, as it comes with X3, so we can go ahead and rule that out. And the Sonnox stuff is unfortunately out of the question, as there is no possible way I'm installing any PACE products on my computer. (Because that whacking big rack-mount dongle wasn't enough, apparently.) Anyone have VSS3, and if so, is it The Shit?


 
March 18, 2008

Argh...

by Chris Randall
 

Adam's "inner geek" aside, sometimes computers make me want to go out and kill things. Is there a way to insert a DVD in to a Macintosh and select, say, Chapter 1, and select, say, "Save as FLV", press "Go," and come back in a couple minutes to an FLV file that will actually play? So far as I can tell, the answer is "no," but seeing how the Macintosh is the hub of my digital lifestyle, I know that not to be true.


And the first person that points me to either Wondershare or Aimersoft (which are, in fact, the same exact program with different skins, and I use the word "program" to describe a collection of code, rather than the more prosaic ideal, which means "something that, like, works and shit," and the word "skin" to describe a UI-shaped cock being crammed in my eye-holes) will be Rickrolled.


 
March 18, 2008

DS-10 == rainbows and kittens

by Chris Randall
 



Good news for the rest of the first world. Via Mr. Kirn of CDM, we learn that the Korg DS-10 for Gameboy will be available in the whole world, not just Japan. I had originally thought that a Japan-only release, while keeping the Cool Factor suitably high, would in fact be the utmost in silly, looking at it strictly as a business decision.


If you've been living under a rock for the last five days, the DS-10 is a Nintendo DS cart that contains what appears to be a well-done facsimile of an MS-10, along with a sequencer, a lil' drum machine, and some Kaoss-like features. This is, in short, the absolute epitome of using company resources just for the hell of it to do something fly. I personally can appreciate that, and it's the main reason I don't lump Korg in with the other large manufacturers; they are wont to do this sort of thing from time to time, and it makes all the difference. Yamaha occasionally steps up to the plate (most recently with the Tenori-On of course) but Roland hasn't done anything worth crowing about since they pooped out the D-50 and ruined music making forever.


Frankly, I didn't see anything else released at Messe worth getting wet over besides this. (I wasn't there, so I didn't physically see anything.) But I have to say that while this is essentially useless in the grand scheme of things, it is the sort of toy that can really give you a nice little piece of inspiration, and it'd be a hoot on a long plane ride, too. I'll be getting one, and I imagine you will too.

 

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