Monday, June 25, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Imaginary Opera Parts

I'm making a list of characters (who are doubled in some cases) in The Imaginary Opera.

  1. Plissken
  2. Chorus/Rachel/Priss/Zhora
  3. Gaff/Batty
  4. Day Tripper/Holden
  5. Leon/Bunny
  6. Bryant
You'll notice there's only one part for a woman. You'll also notice that "Bryant" is the odd-man out (as it were). His character is only in one scene and yet we can't even double him up. Maybe he'll just appear on a TV screen. There's some logic to that actually. 
The part of the Chorus/Rachel/Priss/Zhora is amusingly difficult. She has to sing, dance, and act. And she's a world of quick changes. Right now I dig the idea that instead of her (as the Chorus) supporting the other characters, the other characters support her. They bring her props and they help with her changes. That might be fun.
One thing we haven't established as well as we should is the notion of the palm-flower. I realize that might be "one too many things" but as a ticking clock in the palm of your hand it pleases Us greatly. 
I also do a crap job of killing both Batty and Zhora. I have to go re-work those parts of the script.

Then there's the issue of the music. There are actually fairly few songs in the piece. I think we have most of the themes or at least the rhythm guitar parts worked out. Or at least notionalized. I'll know more in a week. 


NS at JP

Saw Nova Social at Joe's Pub.
I've never seen a show at Joe's Pub before. It's one of New York City's nicer venues. The tables are set such that almost all the seats are unobstructed, and the sound is adequate. You can never get up to real rock volumes in rooms that small (maybe with line arrays?) but they do a very nice job of keeping the reflections from dinging around.
Nova Social has a great live lineup with a string trio.

Headgear Recording is a Brooklyn-based studio with a Trident 80.
Clubhouse is a Rhinebeck-based studio with a Neve 8058.
Ooh La La Records is a Brooklyn-based record label.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Felt Ya

Nova Social is a groovy band with a very Depeche Mode/late 80's Romantic vibe.


The Delicate Cutters have a new homepage.


I need a spacer to put between my amp heads because the handles on top make them impossible to stack. I haven't found them yet but I did find custom wooden guitar-amp knobs.
Right now I'm thinking about getting a wooden picture frame and putting felt on it.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Guitar That Speaks to You

What is the best electric guitar?
I've been complaining to anyone who will listen to me about how hard it is to play the blues. The blues can be deceivingly simple-sounding. For instance, this B.B. King song is simple. There's nothing about the song which is technically that difficult.

But "technical" is not what this music is about. Any 2nd-year student of the guitar could learn to hit all the notes B.B. King plays — and hit them in time — but getting even close to the mastery of his feel is another matter entirely.
Listen to those pianissimo phrases he slips at the end. Those are stunningly beautiful. He gets this sound inside the notes which are just jaw-droppingly sublime.
I read this article on Eric Clapton's going from Les Pauls to Stratocasters. Now the notion, to me, that one type is guitar is "better" than another is absurd. Plenty of awesome guitar players play one or the other. But the thing that Eric Clapton talks about in the article is how the Strat feels to him. It's not even the way it sounds necessarily, but the way the guitar feels in his hands.
Which is basically the direction I've been going in. I feel like I've finally found the instruments and the amplifiers that feel right to me. It took me 30 years, but I finally figured it out.
I still can't play the blues though. I can do Celtic rock — that's something I have a feel for. But the blues just don't work for me. Sigh. OK. Celtic rock. I got that...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Trouble with a Capital "T"

As a sign of how old I am, I'm reduced to Facebooking the children of my friends just to talk to my friends.
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So I met my two closest childhood friends, Todd and Billy when we were 4 years old and our mothers decided to carpool us to nursery school together at the Presbyterian church in Metuchen.
That's just background.
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Anyway, at some point when we were c. 19 years old, Billy had a cassette tape of a band that was a progressive/Celtic/something band. And starting about 10 or 15 years ago I started asking Billy what the name of that band was.
He didn't remember.
I thought the band was called something like Horseheads or something and I started conflating the fact that Billy lived Upstate New York with maybe the band being from Upstate or maybe Billy just heard of them there or something (saw them there?)
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Well this has been haunting me for a very long time. And irritating me. And then back to haunting me. I mean, seriously, what is this band?
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While looking up versions of "Locomotive Breath" on Spotify I found a band... and I realized that the band was this band I've been trying to find all this time.
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The band is "Horslips" and the actual album (which I never knew 'cause it was on a cassette) is called "The Book of Invasions."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

New Cabinet

I needed a new cabinet for a 12" speaker.
I got this exceptionally groovy new cabinet from Carl Johnson. $275 for these pretty cabinets? The price is more than reasonable. The quality of the workmanship is very sweet. They smell nice. And the head is an almost perfect fit for the Lil' Dawg Mutt amplifier. If you remove the plexiglass bottom plate the amp will slide in with just enough clearance for the tubes (the Mutt isn't as wide as the Johnson head cab but you'll see that I offset it so that the cab is balanced.)
New Carl Johnson cabinets. Yes, I've already put Tyrannosaurus Mouse amp badges on them.
Ironically the speaker inside costs more than the cabinets.
Celestion Alnico Blue -- eight ohms of pure love.
All you need are some 10-32 bolts (I used 7/8") to screw the speaker in and the 1/4" to spade lugs to connect the amp.
Another sexy thing about these cabinets is that you can make them open or closed back. I'm going to experiment with them closed back for a while.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tyrannosaurus Thrones

So I have this idea which is unquestionably brilliant. Tyrannosaurus Mouse should play the theme from Game of Thrones.
Now, I suggested this idea to my band-mates and they haven't gotten back to me. Of course, it's been a year since we mixed our album, and two since we recorded it. So we're not really known for doing things right away.
I'm sort of wondering if the melody should be played on bass. 


So if the bass plays the melody (at least in the first half) and the guitar plays the ostinato, with drums playing on the toms, what do the keyboards do? I imagine a Hammond would kick in during the major section.

Robot Christmas video concepts

So I came up with a little ditty called Robot Christmas . And it amuses me. The first verse is about evil robots. They are waiting for t...