Wednesday, December 30, 2009

fresh beats

Check out this guy who makes his own synthesizers and puts them in tupperware containers

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Blipfest Day... 4?: Facundo tore my clothes off and made me dance

I woke up on the couch at my hostel with my friend from breakfast the day before. I checked out, ventured into the snow of the city. Really interesting from my perspective watching everyone dig themselves out. I walked through a frosty Central Park (I was warm enough to take off my jacket) and spent a couple hours trudging through the snow. It was a different place than the day before. Very beautifull. lots of families. more relaxed than I had been in weeks or months. I had a falafel and moroccan tea - another of many firsts - and caught the train to Pianos for more chiptunes. Facundo, who I think booked everyone, picked some great artists. He also forced a margarita straw in my mouth (that's what she said) and it all went down from there! I wound up getting my own, a whiskey and a scotch before the night was done.
I ran into Glomag there who offered me a floor which allowed me to stay for the after-after party in Brooklyn. He led a group of us there on the train and there we were. I met one of the last players at Pianos, C-Trix and, as it turns out, he's hi-fi audio geek like me. We talked about turntables and production techniques with his computers- very cool. Highlights of the night were a 7-person Billy Joel cover chiptune chorus and Animaniguchi. Next morning, a co-couchsurfer treated me to coffee and donuts as I was headed home. In a small twist of fate, I once again ran into SKGB on the Chinatown bus, so I had some company for a few hours before I went home.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blipfest Day 3: I survived the pit at Bitshifter's set

I tend not to use the word "epic" when describing things that are awesome. It is a word often overused for things that are not that exciting. This trip was EPIC. I got to see a bunch of demoscene-based videos, followed by a intro-to-hacker-video-art lecture by mah friend, No Carrier. Links to follow. This was the weekend in a nutshell:

BLIP FESTIVAL 2009 from 2 Player Productions on Vimeo.

SUCH a great show. even though I missed the first day and a half I had a blast. I lucked out with my hostel and had a great experience (although I hardly used my bed for sleeping, more for storage). Once the night got started, nYc had a blizzard, we must have had at LEAST 6 inches of snow. Got myself an LSDJ cartridge so I can start writing for Game Boy and I got to talk to the guy who solders all the cartridges; Jeremy's a swell human being. I nerded out with DeadBeatBlast about the software he uses to write music, crowd surfed with SKGB, watched No Carrier go to town on visuals and just rocked out, despite a bum leg (which really hurts today...totally worth it.)

The Blip Festival pit was more intense than any punk or metal pit I've been in. just incredible.

At the end of the night, I skipped the afterparty and got on the wrong train. So I wound up getting breakfast at, I'm guessing 3 am, at some restaurant on 32 street and watched the snow fall. Then I walked to Penn Station and I was back on track. Even though it was cold, it wasn't that windy and I was well insulated. So I had a comfortable walk to the hostel. One long hot shower later, I fell asleep.

I would, at this time, like to share a Concert Vet's Survival Guide to traveling to shows and loving the cold:
-drink water before hand with a nutritious meal

-bring extra clothes that will fit under the first pair

-when you get to the venue, roll everything up into "logs" and stuff the sleeves of your jacket with them.

-make friends with the soundboard or lighting guy and politely ask to stow your jacket. or keep it in the side of the room where you can monitor it periodically

-keep cool and hydrated! after each set or intermission, be near a bathroom so you can get to the sink. use water to cool off your face, neck, and anywhere else that a lot of blood flows.

-dry off as much as possible. going outside sweaty will GET YOU SICK. I've learned the hard way but I'm fine this morning. also this will remove the heat stored in your sweat and keep you cool and less gross.

-if you have to, stop dancing a half hour early so you can change and get dry. If you're wearing long pants, grab the cuff and pull them upwards and over themselves to make shorts. This will cool you off faster.

-Change and get out of those wet clothes. get your hair dry. make sure you know where you're going. you'll be tired and probably won't want to take the scenic routes

-traveling in populated, well-lit areas will keep you safer. If you get a little lost don't panic. always keep your gameface: look intent on a destination, backtrack, keep confident. don't be vulnerable.

thank you everyone. This was the best winter Break Kickoff anyone could ask for


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Blipfest Day 2: my health club promotes stagediving

Woke up> set up my final> presented my final> RUN home and pack bags> rt 23 SEPTA bus>Chinatownbus>NYC F train> NYC 2 train> hostel> NYC 2 train> NYC R train> BLIPFEST!

The first night was incredible. I rolled in around 10 pm after more public trans than I could imagine. Just in time to see little-scale. I ran into a couple familiar faces and got crazy meeting some new ones. got props for my Legend of Zelda shirt and had a ball. Covox's set was probably the wildest pit I've ever been in. The people here are so nice and, when they're not incredibly busy, will sit down with you and shoot the shit. It's great. didn't get back to the hostel until 4am. I woke up and had breakfast with a stranger and had a strange but cool conversation about how the first of our four dimensions of reality is our thought. I gotta run so I can see no-carrier's hacking demo.



Friday, December 18, 2009

Adventure in the Big Apple

It's 3:09 AM and WHY AREN'T YOU IN BED YOUNG MAN?! Well, I'm making shark soup after a long day of travel. At noon I got on the Chinatown bus to New York for a last attempt to get my final to operate with Professor Jessica Feldman, who I recently nominated for sainthood. We spent several long hours in a coffee shop working in a program called Jitter to get things operating. Unfortunately, not everything went according to plan. I had to make compromises with software limitations AND I missed the first day of Blipfest which was a HUGE bummer.

So 3 transportation systems and what, 16 hours later? I'm writing, praying for a Hanukkah Miracle that everything actually works when I plug it into the hardware for crit.



Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fools for a hearty...

SO much has happened since the last blog entry. I had been meeting with Jess Feldman, a professor for sound art, who had experience with programming. We had several meetings, through the course of which we decided to use this program she had for a peice of hers done a year or two prior. She even had a file that had a bunch of framework for stuff I needed to do. We figured it would be best to use her program, called Jitter, rather than try to reinvent the wheel in Processing.

Fast forward a few weeks later. I'm sitting with my back, litterally against the wall. I have no projector, no camera, and no finished program. I've spent the last couple days trying to figure out Jitter, and while it is more artist-friendly, it is, yet another programming language I have to figure out. So far, no success. but either way, I'm going to Blipfest, three days of chiptune music. y'all should come! I will update if I make any progress on Jitter, which I sincerely hope I can.