Thursday, July 29, 2004

"Last Comic Standing" Drinking Game:

Rule: Drink until something's funny.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


No 'blogging today, but if you're really bored you can always Buy a CD. We're having a special 2-for-1 sale next month and the rest of this month in honor of my glorious birthday. Buy 1 Robot Love CD for $10 (shipping included) and I'll throw in another Robot Love CD for free because you'll probably want to give at least one copy to your friends. Just enter the quantity as "1" and put this special code somewhere in the PayPal comments box thingie or email it to me: "2FOR1", and me and the Robots will send you 2 "Robot Love" CDs (which as anyone can tell you, come in an awesome, shrink-wrapped, spine-stickered, fully-illustrated, full-color, 6-panel paperboard package) for the former price of only 1 "Robot Love" CD.


Yeah! I know!

You're not only getting 2 "Robot Love" CDs for the price of 1, you're helping me finance (or at least justify to myself and my loved ones) the next one!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Just because it's been about nine years since Britain first introduced me to it:

"The Fountainhead", Starring Skull Force
Here's my sorry 'Blogger profile.

Now you can see just how many words I've wasted on this thing over the last three years.
The real "enemy of thoughtfulness."

Seriously, folks. Motes n' Beams.
Alizzah Is In The Hizzouse has some PP T-Shirt Parodies. Reminds me of a certain poster contest from a few years back.

Annika's 'blog is the bomb, however.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Uh-oh! Fun Portrait!

Fun Portrait!

Courtesy of Portrait Illustration Maker: "Let's make an original icon!" (which has got to be an anagram for something really profound).

Also, let's see: need a thought or direction on a song to do this weekend. I can do another song for kids, a song for adults, an adult song for kids, or a kids song for adults. Or all four or none of the above.
Posted my latest musical creation (2 posts down) to the thread on the KVR-VST forum where folks are posting their music created with Camel Audio's Cameleon 5000, and received this comment from Ben, the fellow from Scotland who created the synth:

I'm really impressed with the quality of these tunes! Great stuff. Nice one all of you! I'm just listening to Colouring Monsters at the moment. I defy anyone to listen to it and not smile Kind of reminds me of Belle and Sebastien.

That made my whole day. In honor of Ben, I'm probably going to have to change the official spelling of the title to Colouring, though. But -- Belle and Who?

Update: Checked them out on Amazon. Some nice melodies going on there and suddenly I don't feel so bad about my own voice anymore.
By now you've all seen the shirt and while I could probably get rich marketing a "I drugged and helped gang-rape some chick!" t-shirts to the local frat boys around here (you know, to help remove that stigma), there would really not be enough irony in such a shirt (at most one layer of irony). So, when I finally do make my shirt, it will be available for $15.99 in sizes S through XXXLT and say on the front "I Blew Up The Clinic Real Good!", because it's always best to dress in layers.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


It's been a while (almost five months) since I've posted any new music, so here you go. This song was inspired by 'Xander's coloring book (a monster coloring book) and the attention with which he colored in every picture in that book, and included us in the fun. He's also pretty good at roaring, so his roar is featured in this song, as well.

Victor Lams - "Coloring Monsters" (256kps .mp3 format)

Tech Notes: with the exception of the vocals, drums, and percussion, all of the sounds on this track were made with Camel Audio's excellent Cameleon 5000 additive synthesizer. Spectral morphing rules, yo!

Anyway, let me know what you think. Unless your feedback is negative, in which case I'll probably give up for good this time. Nah, seriously: let me know what you think.
Trailer: "Peasant's Quest"

Okay, I concede: Nothing beats Trogdor. This is the funniest thing I've seen today.
Abortion Clinic Says Playground Would Upset Clients

"The main reason (for the objection) was that their clients would be hopping out of their car to enter the back door of the clinic and would hear the voices of children and I guess they felt that was going to emotionally upset them," Mayor Charlie Gregorini said, as reported by Australia's Sunday Times. "It would be an emotional situation for someone who's decided to have an abortion and then the last thing they hear before they enter the clinic is the happy voices of children."

The abortuary came to an agreement with the childcare centre through a mediator, that a two meter concrete wall would be erected to block the children's sounds.
Strong Recommendations:

"Fairly Oddparents: Channel Chasers" The new 90-minute movie premiered tonight. Funniest NickToons feature ever. We lost it somewhere between the Charlie Brown ("But I wanted to see the Great Menorah in the Bagel Patch!"), Speed Racer, and Scooby Doo parodies (and we even missed the "Heavy Hal/Fat Albert" parody). Since it will undoubtedly air a million times between now and next Tuesday, it's highly recommended, check it out.

"CheapAss Games' 'Kill Doctor Lucky'" Dawn and Brian came over tonight and we played this game for the first time ever. I was concerned that the rules would be too complicated, but we got right into it and had a fun, hilarious time trying to kill the old pawn. At seven dollars, it's DEFINITELY recommended.

We also played "Metro" which was a blast until the earthquake ('Xander) destroyed Paris in the crucial endgame (we all had a good laugh about that, actually).

All in all, not a bad evening!

Friday, July 23, 2004

Unless I lose the use of my voice between now and tomorrow night, there should definitely be some new music this weekend. Hopefully well worth the wait.
Someone should ask how all those Moors got under his feet (i.e. in Spain) to begin with...
U.S. Congress declares 'genocide' in Sudan.

It is good that this is finally being recognized... but what are we going to do about it?
Stephen Greydanus reviews "The Bourne Supremacy".

Tells me everything I need to know to want to see it (though it sounds like Franka's role is smaller this time around).

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Mega Man vs. Ghosts N' Goblins

Awesome, awesome find by Fr. Bryce.

The game is A LOT easier playing as MegaMan than it ever was playing as Arthur -- credit that to the Buster being a much better weapon that the javelin (I never got my power bar sufficiently low: does MegaMan get knocked out of his armor and have to run around in his undies, too?).

Monday, July 19, 2004

In other news, this week's "The Dead Zone" episode was another winner. Well into the "third" season and it has yet to come close to jumping the shark.
"You do not believe me? You will, Dr. Jones. You will become a true believer."

Sunday, July 18, 2004

This is not the song I promised yesterday. The truth is I started three songs between then and now but didn't remotely come close to finishing any of them. I had plenty of time, and a new toy (Cameleon 5000), but didn't have any inspiration.

So I downloaded the free ProtoPSG, which is an emulation of the great PSG sound chips, and fooled around with that for about three minutes and here you go:

"Requiem for a Sega Master System" (also a requiem for a lost weekend, creatively speaking, too). Listening to this now, I think I may be on to something: use the retro-sounding PSG emulation as a scratch pad for musical ideas I can formulate later on the huge monster synths which can be pretty imposing when you just try to come at them with a blank canvas. We'll see.

Anyway, earlier, in disgust, I ran out to EBGames and picked up "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" for GameCube, which was on markdown. That's a lot of fun. Seriously. I didn't think I'd enjoy it as much as I am. Anyway, hopefully some new music next weekend.

In the meantime, however, if anyone has ANY IDEA how to uncork this writer's block (I think I'm too afraid to complete anything because it won't be good enough to justify not doing anything creative for the last two months), please let me know. The person who comes up with the best suggestion can be my muse for the week.

And there's a new reflection up at

Saturday, July 17, 2004

Britain links to a bunch of Panasonic "Hi-Ho" commercials. And my life is better for it.

In other news, I realize it's been about four or five months since I've done any new music.. so who's up for a new song this weekend?
Nicely done.

Soundwave is looking RAD! Frenzy starts kickin' it at about the 2:20, so stick around for that.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

And here I thought "cultural issues" were "values-based".

Why can't they just state the obvious: the Democrats have no "moral credibility" and if they start speaking to anything that means anything, they will "lose".

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


What a stupid story: People get Ice Cream Headaches, no body knows what causes them, to avoid them don't eat cold foods in a hurry. They don't even tell you how to REALLY fix an ice-cream headache after you get one, which is when you really need some good advice in a hurry: rub your tongue (or anyone else's tongue, for that matter) on the roof of your mouth to heat it up and you will quickly end the brain-freeze (which is the REAL official term, but don't expect the idiots at Forbes to tell you that).

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Strong Sad and The Cheat's Experimental Film video is now online. Not just because it's a video for a They Might Be Giants song, but I think this is my favorite output from the Brothers Chaps yet.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Spine, Preliminary Review: Buy This Album Immediately

Okay, this album isn't even out yet, and I've just downloaded it (with the complimentary -- not meaning free -- single) and haven't listened to all of the songs yet, but I need to send a shout out to this album because it's pretty essential.

In a brief nutshell, this is the "Flood" of 2004. The Johns have gone back to their experimental roots (the first cut, "Experimental Film" could be kind of, in a self-depricating way, the metaphor for this album) but updated them with innovative rock and pop arrangements, incorporating their own musical interests (John Linnell returns to the Autotune effect for "Bastard Wants to Hit Me", a funny song perhaps about road rage, and the "TMBG's Other Thing" traditional brass band shows up on "Museum of Idiots" which is becoming another of my favorite tracks... Linnell is really using the Rhodes electric piano to great effect these days). Lots of piano and acoustic instruments on this album (have to love "Stalk of Wheat", one of my recent Dial-A-Song favorites, with it's flexitone) though synthesizers and electronic effects (occasionally ring modulation and comb filtering, which appears to be another favorite effect) are used on a range of tunes, too, and always groovily (love the synth arps on "Broke in Two"). Overall excellent composition, melodies, arrangements, and lyrics on this one. Smush "John Henry" together with "Mink Car" (two of their more underrated albums), take pop and rock music simultaneously forward and backward 30 or 40 years, and you might wind up with "The Spine".

Actually "The Spine" defies definition... let's look at it another way: 'Xander (who considers "No!" to be his favorite album of all time) started dancing at the first tune and didn't stop while I was playing the album, and by the second verse of the vast majority of these songs you'll be singing along (and then you'll start to think about them or laugh) so that makes this album a success by any definition.

Definitely go buy this tomorrow or order it on Amazon, or download it from They Might Be Giants dot com. But get the extra EP, "The Spine Surfs Alone", too, because that's got some great tracks on it, as well ("Skullivan" and "I'm All You Can Think About" being two instant classics of the "The Spine Surfs Alone" EP).

I know it's not called for, but expect me to go track-by-track on this one after I spend some time with it.

They built this whole neighborhood out of wood, out of wood.
I guess I'll still be around when they burn, burn it down.
I will be standing around when they burn it down.
Here in the Museum of Idiots.

Honey, I'm there when you need me, please believe me, please believe me.
I'll still be right where you left me, if you manage to forget me.
Where we met is where you may forget.
Here in the Museum of Idiots.

If you and I had any brains, we wouldn't be in this place.

Chop me up into pieces if it pleases, if it pleases.
And when the chopping is through, every piece will say, "I love you."
Every piece of me will say "I love you."
Here in the Museum of Idiots.

Every piece of me will say "I love you, you you"
Here in the Museum of Idiots.
White you're waiting for your copy of The Spine to download, check out Homestarrunner's Decemberween In July specials.

Now if I could just get that link to Strong Sad's video for TMBG's new single "Experimental Film" to work, we'd be in business.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Star Trek Apartment.

And if you ask me, this guy was doing a public service.

ßê@û†iFu£ @t®Ø©i†iê$™ juxtaposes critics' comments on both Farrenheit and The Passion and shows just why even the Gemeinschaft cannot be trusted to be an accurate assessment of a film's worth.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

These should quench your thirst for wacky and incomprehensible foreign Flash cartoons for a while.

Brought to you by g200kg, the guy (or gal) who programmed this PSG-board emulation VSTi. The sounds of the classic Bally/Midway games are now mine! His (or her) orginal music is also pretty awesome, as well. Wish I could read his (or her) weblog, though.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

It's pretty inspiring and it doesn't sound so bad, actually.

Need a frame of reference? Compare Sara's DynaVox (which you can hear in action here) with two other "professional" singing-synthesis programs:

Yamaha's Vocaloid (who's first incarnation is Zero-G's MIRIAM, LEON, and LOLA. Listen to audio-demos here (even though MIRIAM is supposedly based on samples of some famous professional vocalist, I can't stop laughing when I hear "her" rendition of Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes, though she's nowhere near as bad as LOLA). People make jokes about the "Vocaloid" name and as cruel as those jokes are, I'm not sure they're entirely undeserved.

Anyway, Vocaloid reminds me of the guy on who wrote all these ragtime pop tunes with Latin lyrics and then had his Macintosh sing them. Wish that guy was still around.

But what's really freaky is when you move away from sampled phenomes and into the range of pure digital synthesis, as is the case with VirSyn's Cantor. What is it with these European synth programmers and "Scarborough Fair" demo tunes? Actually, what is it with Europeans and their lame music, in general? Is it any coincidence that all of these supposed "virtual vocalists" are coming out of Europe, home of Junior/Senior, Vengaboys, and God only knows what else? Attention Europeans: your music is wack. It's pretty telling that the only way you can get anyone to pay any attention to it is to hire people to have sex on stage while you perform. Personally, I blame socialism, Lutheranism, and Red Bull.

Anyway, here Cantor takes on Roberta Flack... and, well... at least now you have a whole new appreciation for Sara Pyszka's unique accomplishment.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Huzzah, Michigan!

The Washington Times: Marriage gets a boost in Michigan

The amendment would end domestic-partner benefits in places such as the city of Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, said Wendy Howell, spokeswoman for the Coalition for a Fair Michigan.

Should be an interesting run-off in November.
This is the first review of "Father Joe" (not to be confused with "Farmer Joe") I've seen so I'm linking it here. It would appear that my worst fears have been realized beyond even what I feared would be the worst realization of them.

Courtesy of The Dawn Patrol (how come I don't have a cute caricature of me on my 'blog? And how come I don't have my own jingle? Oh wait, I kind of do.. they're called 'BlogTones. Someone in the club tonight has stolen my ideas)...

Seriously, though, check out that there 'blog.
Another cool thing about the They Might Be Giants concert (aside from that they opened dramatically by playing a recording of Orff while strobe lights flashed -- ironic, but made even more so by the presence of a guitar tech rummaging around on stage during the opening) was that John Linnell has picked up a Kaoss Pad and added it to his rig. He was mainly using it to trigger vocal samples, but he got to feature it briefly during what Flans called "The future of music: 20 years from now you'll be driving in your car and this will come on. And you'll be struggling to find something good to say about it."

So now of course I want one :).

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

So here's our weather forcast for tonight (from Local 4 Weather)...

Tonight: partly cloudy during the early evening, then becoming mostly cloudy. Scattered showers and thunderstorms with an isolated tornado, large hail, and damaging winds possible through 11 pm, then showers and thunderstorms likely.

HUH?!? I've read a lot of weather forcasts, but this is the first one where they've actually predicted an "isolated tornado". Check back here tomorrow to find out just how isolated this tornado really was.
Meredith is right: Travis is the new star of the Internet and will generally make you feel good about things.

Monday, July 05, 2004

The Kicker

A few posts down I mentioned how much we enjoyed the opening act at the TMBG show, Common Rotation. I wondered, though, when I checked out the band on why so many Amazon customers who had checked out the band had also purchased every single piece of Buffy, The Vampire Slayer merchandise Amazon sells.

Well, turns out the frontman for the band is Adam Busch, who played "Warren", the evil, robot-building, eventually-flayed geek on seasons five through seven of the show.

But you don't have to take MY word for it.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

And even after all that dehumidificaferating, it's still Too Damn Muggy In Here (right-click to save-as).

This summer, incidentally, marks the seventh anniversary of that song (can you tell I was into Jamiroquai at the time?). Another interesting tidbit about that song: after I programmed the drum track for that song into my Alesis SR-16, I re-used it later as the drum track for Captain Sisko's Badassss Song (it was one of those spur of the moment things). That was a fun time.
Everyonce or while I'll find a webpage of someone who listens to my music who is hip and who I didn't even know about: Dehumidifier Model X44807.
Last night was the They Might Be Giants concert in Ann Arbor, and probably one of the best nights of my life.

The show itself was awesome (the Power Center got its introduction to a rock band -- it usually hosts dance troupes, jazz concerts, etc. -- and it's actually a great venue for rock, particularly on the main floor). Opening for TMBG was Common Rotation, from the Left Coast, who were actually a lot more entertaining and witty than their website makes them out to be (we'll get their CD, but in the meantime you can download a cover of TMBG's "Don't Let's Start" -- which they did not play at the show -- and "Indie Rockin'" -- which they did play, and which is very fun song -- from their website. Both those tunes are from "The Big Fear" (good luck finding it) which was produced and features performances (apparently) from members of TMBG. Anyway, it's a rare band that can have you singing along by the end of the song the first time you ever hear them. They hung around after the show to sign stuff and their throng was even bigger than TMBG's). Then TMBG came on and played a very diverse set: including two tracks from "John Henry" (never thought I'd hear "Stomp Box" live), a bunch from "No!" -- and it was a trip to see all the 20 and 30-something fans there with their kids, singing along to "Violin" -- and a whole lot from their new album "The Spine", coming out on July 13th (which I'm looking forward to because a lot of it sounds hilarious). Of course they played "Birdhouse in your Soul", "Particle Man", and "Istanbul" but managed to give them all new twists. They also did Scan-the-Dial (though no "Lie Still, Little Bottle") And what can you say about any show that has about 26 encores (yep -- they played all 18 "Fingertips") other than the audience (the core audience at a TMBG show never ages: it's always 15-to-19-year-oldw... but with the folks our age and our kids -- though not our kid in particular because we're not nuts -- this time around as a welcome addition) left happy after the show closed with "Sleepwalkers" (one of my favorite songs of all time). This was stop number 2 on their tour in support of the Spine and they're breaking in a new drummer to boot, and I'm pleased to report it was a very rocking performance.

Also amusing, though, is TMBG's free .mp3 for this week (or month), "Bloodmobile" which they did for an upcoming exhibit at a science museum. Click here and follow the link to Free .mp3s.

But what really made it special was that Jackie came with me this time, and we got to share the concert. I can see why a lot of married couples go to rock concerts together (or at least they should). It was a lot of fun to stay out late and drink mocha frappes and eat burritos after 11pm (memo to self: never do this again). Anyway, we're still recovering well into the evening today, which means it was a successful Saturday night.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Well, I guess I need to find out why new posts sometimes appear and sometimes don't with this new host. I think it has to do with my ISP's DNS not pointing towards the new host (I had the domain name transferred, as well). Apparently this is working for some people, though, which is why I suspect it's just my ISP's own DNS server not having the correct record.

But sorting this out can wait until tomorrow -- we're seeing They Might Be Giants in concert tonight!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Okay, I think I have everything moved over to the new host now. Everything I'm interested in transferring, anyway. If you run into anything which doesn't work on the website, just let me know!

I'm moving over to a new host today. Hopefully, once this is complete, all those brownouts we've been seeing over the past three weeks will be a thing of the past.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

"You can't be both Catholic and pro-abortion," read the bright red T-shirts of 10 college students who demonstrated yesterday morning outside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brighton.

What's amazing about this story is that it even made the Boston Globe's radar (if the page has that DNC bannerad at the top when you read the story, ask yourself why Condi isn't in the "rougues gallery". Perhaps her face looked to much out of place?).

Anyway, even if Bush loses to a Kerry/Clinton ticket in 2004 I say the worse the better. The Baby Boomers will make themselves extinct ("Ow. I'm in pain. Gimme pot... No, now I want cocaine.") at some point and then it will be our country. Until that time, I echo the sentiments of pre-revolutionaries everywhere: the worse things get, the better.