Chris Randall: Musician, Writer, User Interface Designer, Inventor, Photographer, Complainer. Not necessarily in that order.
February 14, 2008

Grindhouse On The Road To Mass Appeal...

by Chris Randall

...if, by "mass" I'm referring to that trait that is an object's resistance to changing its state of motion when a force is applied, and not, say, a large group of people. But I digress. Our Wikipedia entry has stood the test of time thus far, largely because it isn't named the exact same as a reasonably unwatchable form of filmmaking at this particular juncture.

We have the first non-AI website, as well, even though it is somewhat thin on content, to be kind. What's that saying? "The farthest journey begins with but a single step." Or some bullshit like that. The point is that the banner has been taken up, and Grindhouse is on its way. We can't be stopped.

I have (I think) 10 submissions for the "This Is Grindhouse" v/a comp, and have begun assembling them in to something that resembles a record. This is actually a semi-interesting process, because, well, all the tracks are exactly the same tempo, except for our single Grind Dub submission, which is necessarily half-time. I could theoretically just ram them all together. Let's just say that a Grindhouse DJ will have a lot of time on his hands, as it won't be especially difficult to mix these tracks together.

If I get more submissions than can reasonably fit on (or in this case "in" as it will be purely digital) an album, I'll go ahead and start "This Is Grindhouse Vol. 2: Hairway To Steven." Or something. In the meantime, since I am the de facto mastermind of this whole thing (largely because, well, I say I am) I'm going to get started on the first Grindhouse live PA. This will be performed in rural Oregon, as fits the genre definition. Unfortunately, the only audience will be my cat, Pablo, since I don't think the system at the Elk's Lodge can handle the truth.

February 13, 2008

Ricochet Update...

by Chris Randall

Shan't be long now. All five (!) versions are performing flawlessly on all but one of the dozen test systems, and that particular one has all the earmarks of been Just One Of Those Mac Things, so we're gonna let it slide for the time being.

So, all coding is done, and final release installers have been built. The only thing left at this point is the manual, and my own extreme torture testing, which is the last thing I do, wherein I try my hardest to break the plugin, through completely ludicrous actions. (200bpm tempo swings, hard-core rapid automation of all parameters simultaneously, that sort of thing.) I'm doing that now, while Adam writes the manual, which you're gonna probably need for this beastie, unlike most of our products. It is at least as complex as Replicant, in my opinion. Like Replicant, it can be used out of the box and puzzled out without the manual, but if you want to get the full benefit you're gonna have to do some reading.

Anyways, how's tomorrow looking for you? That's where we're at.

February 12, 2008

Git Fiddle Fetus...

by Chris Randall

Started my guitar project today. I picked up a nice piece of lightly figured Western Maple yesterday, and today I roughed out the body. I need to go purchase a drill press so I can finish cleaning it (Robo-Sander ftw), then route the edging and the cavities. As you can see, if you know guitars, I loosely modeled the body shape on a Supro Dual Tone, but I streamlined it in a sort of Jag-ish manner. I guess it's a Jagro. But this isn't a piece of alder with a maple top. It is a solid (and not in the least inexpensive) unglued slab of maple.

I can do all the body work and finishing myself, but the neck is beyond my wood-working abilities, so I'm gonna order a custom up from Warmoth. The main sticking point at this juncture is whether to get Space Invader inlays, really. I have enough of this maple left to do a second one, but I may make a matching one out of a nice piece of black walnut I have my eye on at our local hardwood sawmill. (One of 7 within a 10 minute drive of my house, but the only one that will do custom cuts on hardwood.)

Anyways, we're off to the races on this bitch. My main problem is that most solid-body electrics look too small on me; my frame is much better suited to bass playing, as I'm 6'4", and my arms hang down to the floor, essentially. So, don't let the picture mislead you. The body of this guitar is roughly the same size as a J-Bass. It'll be a canoe paddle of epic proportions when it is done.

February 11, 2008

Grindhouse Takes A Beating From The Man...

by Chris Randall

Our nascent genre has taken a blow from the Forces Of Evil, as our Wikipedia entry was deleted. Apparently all our hard work is "patent nonsense." This, from a site that has a 10K word cross-referenced entry on Light Sabers, which (unlike our genre) are completely and utterly imaginary.

Well, be that as it may, we shall forge ahead undaunted. I have to say that I'm really liking the examples in the previous thread. The nice thing about our genre is that, even with such strict guidelines, it still allows ample room for experimentation. I think it's time we started working on our "This Is Grindhouse" album, frankly.

I think that the album should be free, to foster interest in our genre; once we have it done, you can all go forth to the other forums you're involved with and spread the word, either sub rosa, or with malice aforethought. We'll host it on the Positron! site, of course, to give it the credence of an actual label.

So, if you want to be involved with the comp, make your Grindhouse track per the rules and examples, and upload it as a 44.1/16 WAV or AIFF, and send me a link where I can get at it, and we'll take it from there.

NOTE: If you're going to create your own sub-genre of Grindhouse for the purposes of the comp, make sure that your ruleset is a sub-set of what already exists. e.g.: a dub iteration of Grindhouse should be exactly half-time of a normal Grindhouse track, 70 bpm. An ambient or minimalist version should have elements at 140 bpm. All Grindhouse tracks should be able to be easily mixed with one another, in other words.

February 10, 2008

Bend like Gumby...

by Chris Randall

For those of you not lucky enough to live in Oregon, OPB (the single best public television station outside of Boston) thoughtfully puts most of their productions on their website eventually. The show "Oregon Artbeat" recently did a piece on circuit bending, of all things, and the episode is on their site here. I have to admit that it is slightly creepy to see a piece on circuit bending with such ludicrously high production value, as videos about same tend to use solar effects and be camera phone footage in poorly lit basements.

It kind of makes the whole scene seem somewhat more friendly and less subtly crazy. God, I love this state. I think that we should add circuit bending to the Grindhouse genre somehow. (Even though I live here, the decidedly Chicago-centric GetLofi circuit-bending blog tipped me to this, so props where props are due.)


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