NorCal NoiseFest 2020 Performer Profile

Holiday Special is one of the hardest working people involved with the NorCal NoiseFest every year, and the is mostly because AV is a totally essential part of the fest, and they handle all the photography and Performer Profiles, as well as tons of other stuff. So I was flattered to be asked to be in one of the profiles this year.

Here’s the best thing I’ve seen all day: someone else cutting down my rambling conversation by 1/10th and improving the way I sound by 100 fold. If you’ve ever been curious about what I do, and wanted a three minute summary, this is it:

NorCal NoiseFest YouTube Channel:

youtube.com/NorcalNoisefest

See ya this weekend!

Another Appearance on KWVA

Marc Time has been doing double-duty over at KWVA ever since the virus changed our lived completely and dramatically. He’s been re-running a wide-range of his old shows, not only during his normal time slot, but all over the schedule. And with a large archive like his, there’s a show for every occasion.

I’ve been lucky enough to guest on his show a few time, and this Thursday (1 October 2020), at 8 AM, KWVA will be re-running the episode where Colin Hix (from /root_DIR) and I tell Cathead stories, and hang out with Marc for his show. I reveal some new production pieces I made just for his program, and overall, it’s a lot of fun.

Here’s my archive or the program.

Marc is one of those people that I will not be able to visit until the virus is handled; he and I are different generations, and I don’t want to risk spreading anything to him if I can avoid it. So until we can hang out again, it will be recorded memories like this.

Tomorrow. 8 AM. KWVA. Tune in!

Facebook Post: 2020-09-26T20:46:39

The entire time I’m watching the new Great British Bake off, I have to admit that I’m completely distracted by where I know Matt Lucas from.

That, and how in the hell would you willingly quarantine with Paul Hollywood.

(He was on ‘Little Britain.’ A show I didn’t really watch. No wonder I didn’t recognize him.)

Sorting Through The Timeline

Sometimes it’s difficult to make sense of the past. Things happen quickly, you do a little of this, a little of that, and then, before long, it’s been almost 30 years and you have to rely on old journals, the memories of close friends and collaborators, and at times, strange information that you end up Googling online, to fill in the gaps.

The funny part about archaeology, in whatever form it takes, is that the things you do find are often as surprising and unexpected as the things you set out to find in the first place. Sure, you might think you found the remains of an excellent village that you can then now try and make sense of, very quickly you discover that the only section of the village that is yielding anything worth looking at is the dump, and even those finds are mixed with… let’s just say, garbage.

Digging through old files, boxes of fliers and documents, and my own “source documents” from various events and experiences, has (more or less) yielded a near-complete list of the musical endeavors that I have participated in, going back to my first efforts in 1994. I have excluded anything that never made it past the “idea” phase; we had to have played out at least once, either live or on the radio. This immediately controlled for some of the more odd and ambitious groups I was involved with, but also brought the idea down to earth in a way that was manageable. This list is the stuff that there is enough evidence to occasionally raise the odd question about this one or that one, every so often.

Obviously this is in progress, and obviously, there’s probably some obvious bits I have strangely omitted, for some strange reason. I hope to improve this list as new evidence is uncovered, and as The Archive is massaged into some sort of shape that makes sorting through documents and files much, much easier. Until then, if you help remind me of something that I clearly forgot and / or omitted, I would be happy to hear from you.

Facebook Post: 2020-09-25T14:25:47

I think this is all of our Halloween decorations. Six tubs, 11 Blowmolds, a dead branch / skeleton wreath, and a 5’ cardboard coffin.

We are a bit behind on our decorating; the smoke made the garage a bit toxic to hang out in, and this stuff was in our attic, which requires a ladder, etc. A lot of trips up and down, Blah blah blah.

Anyway, we can now begin the decorating!

Postcard Art, 2021

As the future becomes less and less certain for all of us, we all need to find something fun to cling to that will offer us some hope as we strap in for an uncomfortable year coming up. It’s hard enough to remember to do the chores if everything is falling apart, let alone face the neighbors with the same vim and vigor that you once contained. You need a little something to put a little zest in your step, even if it is temporary and arbitrary. 

With that in mind, we are sending out 12 postcards next year, one for each month, that will offer a unique look into the work I do. With the inclusion of visual art and QR codes, you will get a multi-media creative piece of mail art, delivered to your home once a month. This is very much inspired by the wonderful musical postcards that Dylan Houser / Formaldehydra has been sending out this year. They are such a delight to receive, I had to go and make my own. 

There is no cost to you, if you want to get your address on the list, just send me an e-mail. But donations are very much appreciated.

Postcard Art, 2021. Do Your Part! Mail Some Art!

Facebook Post: 2020-09-24T20:49:53

The Rich Family Film Festival continued this evening with our second installment, the 1981 feature “Clash of The Titans.” A favorite as a kid, for a while it was hard to find, and then for the longest period of time it was only randomly available streaming. Finally, when physical media died, it was easy to find a DVD copy in almost any thrift store for a dollar, so I picked one up.

Every part of this movie is still good, and everything about this movie still works, 40 years later. I will watch it plenty as I get older, so I should probably find a Blu Ray or something, soon.

Facebook Post: 2020-09-24T20:26:49

Me: “…what about a pegacorn?”
Adam: “A what?”
Me: “A pegasus and a unicorn mix.”
Adam: “Pegasus was the flying horse’s name. There is no such thing as a pegacorn.”
Me: “In fantasy, there’s no such thing?”
Adam: “THERE’S NO SUCH THING!”

– A conversation from the early 2000s I reflect on often.

Facebook Post: 2020-09-22T18:31:21

“The Damon Runyon Theater radio series dramatized 52 of Runyon’s short stories in weekly broadcasts running from October 1948 to September 1949 (with reruns until 1951). The series was produced by Alan Ladd’s Mayfair Transcription Company for syndication to local radio stations.

John Brown played the character “Broadway”, who doubled as host and narrator. The cast also comprised Alan Reed, Luis Van Rooten, Joseph Du Val, Gerald Mohr, Frank Lovejoy, Herb Vigran, Sheldon Leonard, William Conrad, Jeff Chandler, Lionel Stander, Sidney Miller, Olive Deering and Joe De Santis.

Pat O’Brien was initially engaged for the role of “Broadway”. The original stories were adapted for the radio by Russell Hughes.

“Broadway’s New York had a crisis each week, though the streets had a rose-tinged aura”, wrote radio historian John Dunning. “The sad shows then were all the sadder; plays like For a Pal had a special poignance. The bulk of Runyon’s work had been untapped by radio, and the well was deep.”

Falling Away

I got banned from FB. For the fourth time, actually. A three day suspension. In a way, I’m sort of surprised it hasn’t happened more often, or more pointedly, because of how often I engage with it. At this stage, I would certainly shut me down if I used my own website this often.

Every time, it has been for the most boring reason. This time, I commented the phrase, “Americans are fucking weird,” on a post. There was no ability to appeal; my account was shut down for three days, and I had to think long and hard about why I might want to return.

I’ve had a problem with Social Media for a while. I made an album about it. I just feel this need to keep in touch, and I really try to do it. But apparently my relationship with it is not quite right. There’s something wrong when I seem to want to break the rules of a platform constantly, and more importantly, I don’t feel right about how much energy I put into it, anyway.

I’m going to make a conscious effort to change the way I use FB, and all social media, for that matter. Something doesn’t feel right about the relationship I’ve developed, and I need to find new ways to interact with everyone in a way that is sustainable, and healthy. You may have noticed I finally decided to make this site Ad Free. I’m hoping to do that on all my sites, soon. I’d like these places to be about the content I make, and not about other garbage.

As time moves on, I will try to reduce my relationship with FB (and all social media) tremendously. My hope is to keep it for music, and even then, largely for communication. I like making art, and keeping in touch with my friends. But the psychic cost of using FB the way I was using it needs to come to an end. I don’t need that in my life. I need to remove myself from the picture, as best I can.

I can share more stories of reasons I got banned. They are all boring stories, and they illustrate how FB is becoming less interesting, and more uniformly gross and arbitrary. I loose large number of friends daily, who no longer post there, and I wonder why I keep doing so, myself.

I’m looking forward to the reclaimed time. But more importantly, I’m looking forward to new ways that we will keep in touch.

Facebook Post: 2020-09-21T21:02:54

@marlarp and I decided that we should review our physical media collection, as a sort of Rich Family Film Festival. First up was a selection from Marla’s collection: Sneakers. I’m pretty sure I saw this at some point, and I recognized most of the film, but I couldn’t have told you anything about it before tonight. It was one of her favorites, but it never made it to my screen enough to love it like her.

It’s not bad, but doesn’t come off as being particularly stellar, given that the plot seems like a follow up to Wargames, 10 years earlier, rather than a film from 1992.

Anyway, we decided to keep it. It’s not bad.

Facebook Post: 2020-09-18T18:26:27

I had gotten into the habit of unwinding, at the end of the day, on the patio, (or in the garage if it was cold) and it was a nice change of pace, considering the isolation, and being cooped up inside for work / art / entertainment.

But as the smoke rolled in, I was sequestered back inside the house, which was awful. Even inside, with all the modern conveniences of the 20th Century (which is the most modern our home is equipped with), the air quality in our own home was brutal. I have felt like a caged animal, pacing and spitting and cursing, and no amount of radio or music recording was helping.

So this indulgence is not only wonderful, but much needed!

Facebook Post: 2020-09-18T10:16:31

Editing stuff from the Obadiah sessions made me realize that the inevitable podcast we will start will have two competing themes:

1.) Stories of the worst hangovers we have earned, and how we got them.

2.) I describe a planned “boxed set” release that’s coming up, and Obadiah says everything that’s wrong with that planned release.

Facebook Post: 2020-09-18T08:18:12

Ninah’s Book Meme III:

Love & Rockets is so many things that it is hard to really do it justice without considering the three different kinds of stories you’ll find in the books. I was initially attracted to the book through the Jamie stories; a long, soap opera-like story about two friends / lovers who grow up in the punk scene, and then go on to have very different lives as they grow up and change over time. But side-by-side are Gilbert’s Palomar stories, another soap in a magical realist vein, charting the lives of people in a small Mexican village that is both in and out of time with our current world. But for me, the stories of Mario, the brother who sort of stopped working in comics after his initial fascination with Sci-Fi / strange tropes, are the most unusual, and therefore, wonderful. As a fan for years, the book evolves as it goes on, which is also half the fun.

(Tag yourself to join the fun.)

Facebook Post: 2020-09-18T06:35:33

I woke up in the middle of the night to thunder, and went to lie on the couch with The Boys. It started pouring. I was excited. I listened to the rain and lightning until I fell asleep, and woke up to the best air quality we’ve had in almost two weeks. I’m so excited to merely see an “unhealthy” banner.

If only it would just pour for another day or so…

Facebook Post: 2020-09-17T06:59:06

New project! Lob Instagon & Austin Rich are NOYZ STALLYNS! We’ve got two streaming shows coming your way: this Sunday, as part of Sacramento Audio Waffle #69: Virtual Programing 6.0! (69, DUDE!) Our second show is at NorCal NoiseFest this year, and you can also hear three different versions of our ad for the fest this year on this page, too.

NOYZ STALLYNS! Trying to fix 2020… with Acoustic NOYZ!
https://austinrich.org/noyz-stallyns/

New Time Slot! Same Old Radio ‘Zine!

In the interest of trying to get the radio ‘zine to find the right home, KMUZ and myself have decided that we need to move this show to a time that better suits the program. To that end, we will be moving the program to:

FRIDAYS, at 10:30 AM! 

You can find out more information on the official Listen Page for our program, and of course, the Listen Links over here have also been updated.

I really like doing this program, and I hope that you enjoy it, too. And I think Fridays are the perfect day to do so.

Beginning OCTOBER 2ND, you will be able to catch the show it it’s new time.

Until then: enjoy plenty of back episodes at betweenradiozine.com, our home away from home.

Thanks you!

Facebook Post: 2020-09-14T08:19:48

Books Meme:

A lot of people like to cite “Trout Fishing In America” as his best work, which itself is like citing the most famous song by an artist as their best. There are moments in all his novels, but the wordplay and eeriness that is pervasive in this novel has made me return to it regularly. The language is unusual and wonderful, and pages are infinitely re-readable. It might not be my favorite, but it is one I think of often, even years later.

(Tag yourself if you wanna join the fun.)

Facebook Post: 2020-09-13T19:39:31

At some point last night the AQI tapered off at 168, and I went to sleep hoping today would be better. I spent most of the day making radio / prepping NorCal NoiseFest stuff with Lob Instagon, Das Ala Ubuibi & Ninah Pixie, and when I would check, the meter that was reporting for Salem was broken, so nothing was being updated. So, imagine my horror when we peaked at 617 today.

Holy cats! What the ever living fuck? Like, this is so bad, I can’t even come up with a good joke.

(Something about the 18 minutes missing on Nixon’s tapes seems appropriate… but I’m too smoke damaged to land the joke.)

I could use some wet and overflowing thoughts, please…

A Digital Room You’ll Be Happy To Join

You just can’t keep me off of DFM.nu, and with all the excellent stuff that happens over there, I bet you can imagine why. I’m practically becoming a regular over on UB Radio Salon, and at this point, das & Ninah of Big City Orchestra could have me on every week anyway. What else am I gonna do until the isolation is over?

I’m quite excited about this one, as they have started a new series within UB Radio Salon: “UBRoom,” which features the only Zoom Call you will ACTUALLY want to join. There’s a whole cast of characters joining us for this one, and as we perform a very special show in two acts, you can settle in for the dada radio Zoom Call that really must be heard to be believed.

Coming Up: Sunday, September 20th
5-7pm US PDT / Midnight-2am GMT / 2-4am CEST

UBRadio Salon *SPECIAL SERIES*
UBRooms Session no. 2
Live broadcast with BCO & friends within the covid influence. Together yet apart, sound and words. Improvised radio art.

BCO’s remote cast of characters:
• OTIS FODDER
• AURORA JOSEPHSON
• AUSTIN RICH
• DINA EMERSON
• LESLIE SINGER
along with pixie & dAS in the Chakra Chimp Research Kitchens

via DFM RTV International
http://dfm.nu/
RADIO STREAM: http://STEREO.dfm.nu / http://MONO.dfm.nu
*** more stream choices available at DFM.nu
CHAT: http://dfm.nu/chat

* * * * *
UB RADIO SALON on Internet Archive >
https://archive.org/search.php?query=ub+radio+salon&sort=-publicdate

Subscribe to UB RADIO SALON podcasts:
iTunes >
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/internet-archive-collection-ubradio-salon/id1458916069

iHeartRadio >
https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-internet-archive-collectio-49069740/

TuneIn Radio >
https://tunein.com/podcasts/Music-Podcasts/UB-Radio-Salon-p1216892/

Self-Reflective Isolation-Sounds

Considering any logistic or technological issues that may happen tomorrow due to smoke, fires or viruses, I will be making another appearance on UB Radio Salon, the wonderful program hosted by das & Ninah of Big City Orchestra. I’ve made a few appearances on the show now, and we sort of have a rhythm to these things, now. I will be in the Lava Lamp Lounge, and they in the Chakra Chimp Research Kitchens, and we will be performing two live improvised radio pieces, “Which One of Us Is I?” The program will feature the writings of Jorge Luis Borges, among other things. Tune in, and enjoy the soothing sounds of UB Radio Salon.

Coming Up: Sunday, September 13th
5-7pm US PDT / Midnight-2am GMT / 2-4am CEST

UB RADIO SALON no. 661
“Which One Of Us Is It?” BeeBee CeeDee Orc-Est-Star with Mini-Mutations provided by Austin Rich

via DFM RTV International
http://dfm.nu/
RADIO STREAM: http://STEREO.dfm.nu
***other stream formats at DFM.nu page
CHAT: http://dfm.nu/chat

* * * * *
UB RADIO SALON on Internet Archive >
https://archive.org/search.php?query=ub+radio+salon&sort=-publicdate

Subscribe to UB RADIO SALON podcasts:
iTunes >
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/internet-archive-collection-ubradio-salon/id1458916069

iHeartRadio >
https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-internet-archive-collectio-49069740/

TuneIn Radio >
https://tunein.com/podcasts/Music-Podcasts/UB-Radio-Salon-p1216892/

Facebook Post: 2020-09-11T11:12:48

I am so incredibly grateful to know Vicki Bennett, who has used my voice in a few different art pieces over the years. Here’s the newest, part of a sound installation People Like Us curated for the Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center. You can see the names of the voices listed, and if you click through, there’s a listen link.

How cool is that? Thanks Vicki! You are one of my favorite artists, and to be involved in your work at all makes me so incredibly excited. At least, it helps see through the smoke.

Look — A Ghost!

Austin’s Annual Halloween Spook-tacular! 

Subscribe in iTunes.

Subscribe with an agnostic feed.

* * * * * *

Halloween has always held a very special place for me, in that it is such a different holiday than almost anything else. Fall is setting in, the actual seasonal change fills you with a sense that you should celebrate the spookier elements in our lives. Dressing up, passing out treats, becoming in tune with the past. It is something we don’t do in that way at any other holiday, and for that, I am actually pretty excited. It has bee fun to see, in the last several years, the holiday become something that is celebrated for months in advance. It feels like something that I could even sense, way back in 2003, and I could tell there was a hole in the musical landscape, that could be filled by Halloween Music.

While there were certainly others who were collecting halloween music, and certainly I was only an amateur back then, I had hit upon this idea that summer, and needed to see it through: let’s put together a Halloween Mix to accompany the party my roommate was holding on The Day. To that end, I assembled a several hour mix of songs that I found, many in my collection (but certainly others from the internet and friends collection, as was the style at the time).

The mix was quite successful, so the following year, throughout the month of October, I brought this mix to my radio program on KPSU. And, since then, I’ve done my best to bring variations on this mix to the airwaves, to help ring in the season, usually beginning at the end of September.

Now, 16 years later, there are a number of shows available for you to enjoy, all with spooky novelty songs, scary Haunted House sound FX records, Old Time Radio in the horror and supernatural genre, and everything in-between, and, of course, plenty of visits from Vincent Price and Edgar Allen Poe. Over one hundred hours radio for you to enjoy, perfect for parties, putting out on the porch, or enjoying late at night, with all the lights out!

This is also a good time to pick up a copy of the new Halloween Release by Michael A. Cosma & Mini-Mutations. Designed like a Halloween record from the old days, this release contains songs and a spooky story (with SFX), that works perfectly out on the porch, on repeat.

And while you’re waiting to enjoy the music, check out the podcast. You won’t be sorry.

 

WTBC 0025: Michael A. Cosma / Mini-Mutations Split CD

A split release as part of the EC Split series by The Electronic Cottage. The CD includes download codes for “Hallowtide Harmonies” and “The Ways of Ghosts.” You should pick up the digital version from HalTapes, if you can!

Facebook Post: 2020-09-10T18:40:14

The smoke is so thick, Marla now sounds like Selma from The Simpsons. The smoke has greatly reduced visibility. I have the worst things coming out of my nose.

I watched a gentleman, through my kitchen window, happily work outside all day without a mask, installing a new Air Circulation system for our neighbors.

But I’m still undecided…

This stupid freaking year…

The Death of a Domain

I first started looking at, and posting to, the Inter-Web-A-Tron in the early ’90s, first when I saw it in High School, and later, when kiisu first hooked me up, when we live lived together in the Catbave. The earliest website I had was a digital version of the ACRONYM zine I made, itself a consolation prize for the aborted attempts at starting a band called ACRONYM. (Which happened, a few times, but never got off the ground.)

The name itself I’d inherited from a former creative partner, one that he didn’t like. So I adopted it, to his dismay, and it was my catch-all name, for the longest time. The first domain I registered was acronyminc.com, which unfortunately got squatted on during a short interim that I couldn’t afford a renewal, and the second domain was acronyminc.org. It was the home to my blog, and so much more, from the mid-90’s until, well, now.

But again, I let a card expire, and the domain went up, and was snatched away by another squatter. And suddenly, all that work was gone.

I needed to start over, anyway.

So, goodbye, ACRONYM. You are a vestigial tail, something that still exists in some forms, here and there. But as for my home online, let’s hope this place serves me well.

Cosma-Mutations Halloween CD is Now Available

SKULL / May The Circle Be Unbroken Split Release by Michael A. Cosma & Mini-Mutations

Michael A. Cosma

EC Split 04 Digital Release by Hal McGee.

WTBC 0025. CD Release, limited to 50, numbered copies, hand made/cut/folded and duplicated in The Lava Lamp Lounge.

Experimental Horror, and a Halloween Novelty Treat, all available from the wonderful minds encased within the skulls of Michael A. Cosma & Austin Rich, both members of the notorious Electronic Cottage, run by Hal McGee. Hal devised an incredible series of Split Digital Releases, where he paired artists to create a sixty minute audio release. In installment four, things get spooky.

Perfect for putting on the porch as Fall Sets In and The Ghouls are roaming about, or for quiet contemplation with you and a select friend you wish to frighten to death. This disc is constructed to work well using the repeat feature, where you could play the entire thing, end of end, over and over, to evoke the perfect atmosphere for waking the dead.

Michael A. Cosma pulls us through his vision of a dark portion of the skeleton, with songs that demand attention while offering moments of exquisite terror. Then, join Mini-Mutations for a suite of new compositions, all a soundtrack to a story eerily familiar, and yet, wholly unique, too.

Each CD comes with two BONUS download codes, offering listeners a chance to enjoy our previous Halloween releases, too:

The Ways of Ghosts: A Halloween spoken word album by Austin Rich that is currently out of print on CD! Featured are Ghost Stories written by Ambrose Bierce, with a few other stories that also evoke a certain mood perfect for the holiday season.

Hallowtide Harmonies: A collection of live performances by Mini-Mutations, all designed to fit the mood and atmosphere of this time of year. All of these were recorded during the 2018 west coast tour with Mark Hosler, and haven’t been performed again since.

Also included is a digital ‘Zine, collecting a variety of Halloween essays written by Austin Rich.

The songs on this disc are only available digitally over at the Electronic Cottage, but if you want this limited CD, it can be yours for the low-low cost of $5.00, which includes shipping.

Prepare for the holiday season, the only way you know how: with new, Experimental Horror by Michael A. Cosma & Mini-Mutations!

Order WTBC 0025.

Exploring The Future

As I consider places where the stuff I make will live in the future, and as I negotiate over 20 years of internet traffic and websites, there are some problems that you just can’t overcome. Lost domains that have been taken over by someone else, multiple places to find various works, and as everything becomes further spread out, some services have died, other’s have changed, and some URLs are embarrassing to forward to folks, when you’re trying to look “professional.”

So, we’ll give this a shot. There’s a menu above; you should be able to find the various places I hang out up there. This will be where the old “ACRONYM” site used to be; not only did that idea become unwieldy, but the site has been plundered. We’ll see how the import goes.

More importantly, we’re going to try and move on. There’s stuff to do, and we don’t have time to fuck about. So this will be where you can find the things I do, easily, in one location. And I’m gonna do my best to keep it simple. Too many choices is etc. cliché and so on.

This will absolutely change over time. Hopefully we can both be cool with that.

I love you. I miss you. Let’s hang out in the comments, and on a call, sometime soon.

Facebook Post: 2020-09-05T17:36:56

Oh yes. Did you know you could get the USPS to pick up packages from your porch for free? And you can even print postage, from home, and pay for it with a card. And it’s not a weird third party service that charges you. It’s just the Post Office. All you need is a scale.

Which are usually around $25. It’s a worthwhile purchase, if you don’t have one.

Hint Hint, those with DIY businesses (or with holiday seasons coming up).

https://www.usps.com/ship/online-shipping.htm

Facebook Post: 2020-09-03T16:52:45

Time to do something about, the midsection, uhm, the crime in this house, which means I need to don my costume and put some hours in on the new Bicycle of Triumph! I will need much encouragement and podcast / boxed set / TV show recommendations, to help keep my crime fighting sharp. What do you have to offer, fine citizens?