Wee little punkins.
Be honest: what’s your favorite candy. REALLY.
First Treaters: 6:45.
Uhm, WTF? We were not prepared for this. Lights go off now… why are you treating at a stranger’s house during a pandemic?
Hooray! It happened again!
In the early 2000s, I first heard about NaNoWriMo from a number of Inter-Web-A-Tron bloggers that I had made friends with in Portland. Since then, I’ve made a number of attempts at actually completing a NaNoWriMo novel, and often, they are detective stories. Most of the time, I never finish. (Especially the years I was in college; I usually started strong, then petered out just before Thanksgiving.)
Once, in the last 20 year, I’ve completed the 50,000 words in 30 days goal, and while that story has sort of languished since then, I’ve suspected that I could do it again, and learn from the mistakes of the past.
And, as we are in for a long winter, and since writing and isolation are a good combination (hopefully keeping me occupied the whole time) seems like a good hobby this winter.
I’ve got a few ideas, and no reason to leave the house. I think I’m gonna do this. I don’t think I’m gonna do an official registration on the site, but I’ll do the next best thing, and track it all on this blog. I may put links in to the story as it develops.
Hopefully this will be fun, too. It’s only 1,600-ish words a day, which is likely less than the amount you write on social media every day.
Any fellow writers want to take this on with me? We could start a writing club, have Zoom Encouragement meetings, etc. It’s a no-pressure thing.
As I suspect a lot of us will have a lot of time on our hands this winter.
Any writers out there wanna join me in participating in NaNoWriMo this year? We could start a support group and help each other stay on track. We’ve got no reason to go outside this month…
You ever wonder why the two political parties in our country are at odds with each other, completely polarized against each other? Our parties did not look the way they do now even 30 years ago, but if you were to look at the ideals of the parties before WWII, you would not understand how either party got to the point they got to, now. This polarization, and the idea that your politics could (and should) completely embody your identity, is something only as old was my own parents.
As usual, On The Media has the story…
Hiking with Colin Hix.
The test print looks good. You can pre-order this single, if you wanna hear what the non-experimental music I make sounds like.
I feel ya, Sluggo.
A Roundup Of Halloween-y Things You Might Enjoy!
I started getting serious about Halloween radio in 2003, and since then, I’ve done my best to offer some very cool sounds that complement this time of year. With that in mind, I have a few Halloween themed audio albums that you can enjoy, and a Halloween podcast that you’ll want to subscribe to! We had a lot of fun this year, and I’m pretty proud of what it out there. So, maybe you can add these to your holiday playlists?
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The Cosma-Mutations Split CD.
Part of Hal McGee’s Electronic Cottage Splits series of releases, which has paired 40 artists in a number of complementary and impressive ways, and created an excellent body of work that displays a great cross-section of experimental artists working today. Michael Cosma & I cooked up a little Halloween release, with eerie tunes and a spooky original story set to music. An hour of experimental Halloween sounds that will complete any home. You can pick up a digital or CD version from the EC Bandcamp Page, or get a CD version from the WTBC Store.
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The Ways of Ghosts by Ambrose Bierce (Read by Austin Rich)
Now five years old, this release compiles some recordings made for Halloween Radio, with some new recordings and other bits and bobs, to present our first Spoken Word release. The centerpiece is a reading of an Ambrose Bierce collection of stories, with music and SFX that highlight the supernatural eeriness of these creepy tales. You can pick up a digital copy form the WTBC Store.
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Hallowtide Harmonies by Mini-Mutations
Recorded live, while on tour with Mark Hosler during the first Mini-Mutations tour, the shows were building up to a big Halloween performance at the Re-Bar. This digital album collects almost two and a half hours of halloween atmospheres, creepy cut-ups, collage stories about trains & haunted houses, with lots of ghosts flitting about the entire time. While this only captures the “spooky” parts of that tour, those were some of the most fun, and they’re all here, for you to enjoy. You can pick up a digital version form the WTBC Store.
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This program launched in 2020, and it’s a collection of all sorts of stories about life in these modern times. For October, I read stories and poems that help put listeners in the holiday spirit, with selections from Richard Brautigan, Ambrose Bierce, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mark Twain, Robert Frost and O. Henry, some classic tales that are perfect for those late-night flights of fancy. The last installment of this four episode series airs tomorrow on KMUZ at 10:30 AM, but you can also catch all the shows by Subscribing To The Podcast.
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Keeping in-step with our annual tradition (going back to 2003), we offer four new radio broadcasts, with live music, a returning a guest, and a long trip to the movies… in an at-home, safely quarantined kind of way. It all begins with a live Mini-Mutations / forest journey into an ancient place I’ve never been to before, so I can catch a performance by Daona in a clearing. Then, I get lost on my way home, wind up in a House on Haunted Hill, then get stranded on Horror Island, and finally, get to the radio station where I get to hang out with DJ Victrola, who is more than game to talk Horror Movies with me. It’s a little MST3k, a little “live music overdrive,” a little “podcast hang with a friend you care about,” and all of it is very, very “in the mood.” The best way to stay in touch with this show is to subscribe to the podcast, here on iTunes, which includes roughly the last year or so of podcasts. But you can always visit midvalleymutations.com, to find all the back-episodes.
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If you want immediate access to hundreds of hours of free Halloween radio, then this is your one-stop shopping for all the fun. We have done it all over the years. Phone calls from people who had ghostly or supernatural experiences? Check. Recordings of Old Time Radio Horror broadcasts? Absolutely! 60’s monster songs and spooky frankenstein dance numbers? Undoubtedly. Trips through the Punk-In-Patch? In a Misfits shirt and everything! I even get guests to come and read scary stories on the radio, use Ouija boards, play live, or just enjoy the ambiance. I re-run all the old Closet Radio Halloween programs, and feature my annual sister-in-radio, DJ Victrola! This feed offers all the episodes, from all the shows, and give you the chance to enjoy some one-stop shopping for everything Halloween Radio. You will most definitely want to subscribe to this iTunes Feed so your party will have the right vibe! Can you dig it?
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Be Seeing You!
This has been an excellent season, and I look forward to it every year. Hopefully this brought a little joy to your ears, and helps set the tone for a fun a excellent season. This year has been hard. Maybe some fun music and radio will soothe you, for a little while, anyway.
I wrote these words, had an epiphany, copied these words into google, and sure enough…
Soup Is Good Food.
Coming soon. I had a couple small roles in making this film. Here’s a taste of what to expect.
And that is how Mail-in voting works in Oregon.
Someone drew a symbolic picture of a shirtless man fighting evil from another world, and it feels like a 2020 metaphor.
This week on the program: DJ Victrola (Vicky Mazzone) joins me for our annual Halloween Spook-tacular! This year, we watch some old horror movies, tell some scary stories, and talk about our favorite horror movies! The fun starts this Wednesday, on KLFM.org.
I probably think about this snippet of this song three or four times a day… often on a loop that will not end for up to an hour.
I’ve never seen a better photograph.
We waited a few days so we could vote together. Now we just have to safely deliver these to a drop box later today, and we have done our part. Damn it feels good to be a gangster.
Looking at the Taurus card and being very confused reminds me of my friend Chris Brook’s old astrology column he wrote for my zine, “They’re Just Hurling Chunks Of Rocks In Space, They Don’t Control Your Life!”
His column was eerily accurate, every month.
“Trying to do the right thing is hard. The right thing is wrong for most others.”
I watched two hours of vintage Universal Horror films. I’m as “on-edge” as I would be if I’d seen the debate.
This showed up in my mail not too long ago, from “Kevin,” from somewhere down in CA. This is clearly a gift from someone who knows me, but… I don’t know them.
This is a pretty great gift… but… where did it come from?
I hate only being half as good as I need to be at the things that are mundane, but not enough of an expert at any esoterica to be even occasionally useful.
The boys are home.
Now if only the router worked…
I am sad. I am having computer problems and can’t seem to google the answer. I need help. From a Mac nerd that knows Wi-Fi. Are you the one that can help me?
I’m worried. My boys went in to get chipped and snipped, and I’m all worried Pop over here, hoping they are okay. I’m sure they will be, but damn. It’s hard to be a responsible father.
This does not bode well for my day. Cheers!
Do I know a “Kevin” in Santa Fe Spring, CA?
Michael Cosma & I received a very sweet review from Jerry Kranitz, an author of the book, “Cassette Culture: Homemade Music and the Creative Spirit in the Pre-Internet-Age.” Jerry is also a member of the Electronic Cottage community, and actively supports independent artists of all kinds. Here’s his review of our release, which you can still get from Hal McGee’s Electronic Cottage website for both a CD or Digital version. (You can also get a CD from the WTBC Store.) Thank you so much, Jerry! What a cool review.
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EC Split 4 by Michael A Cosma & Mini-Mutations
So far, I’ve found four films for my October Horror Festival, that contains only films where people wander around a mansion or castle, there’s the suggestion of ghosts, and suits of armor are part of the set design.
The House on Haunted Hill (1959)
The Bat (1959)
Horror Island (1941)
The Secret of the Blue Room (1933)
Two of these films are from 1959, which is interesting. (I wonder if there was a shared set, even?) But the second two are straight off of the original “Shock Theater” package of films, which was assembled by Screen Gems in 1957, and distributed to a number of TV stations across the country. The original Shock Theater package came with 52 movies. (One a week for a full year.) A second package, the year later, came with 20 more films, and by then, Horror Hosts were popping up all over, hosting these movies late at night. The Shock Theater package ushered in a new age of interest in horror movies, at a time when rock and roll was on the rise, and American Culture was seeing the influence of teenagers in a big way, something that wasn’t the case in the years before.
I think the appealing thing to me is that most o these films seem to include some sort of secret passage, or secret doors that lead to strange rooms. I think there’s any number of people who would love to live in a house with this kind of design, and while I’ve never lived anywhere like that, if you throw something like this into the film, I’m pretty much into it.
I’ve seen some of the Shock Theater package, but not all of it. But I suspect there’s a few more Suits Of Armor Shlock out there that I’m not familiar with. The idea is sort of genius: use cheap movie FX and a single, “Haunted House” set with an ensemble cast to plow their way through a tense (or, in the case of Horror Island, comedic) script, probably very quickly, based on older movie making practices of the “B” variety.
I’ve found all of these to be wonderfully charming in a corny way, and I’d be curious to see if I can find more for this list. I suspect there’s a lot more that I’m not familiar with.
In the meantime, I’ll keep working my way through the Shock Theater package. I’m sure that’s a good start.
There is a genre of movie that doesn’t get made anymore, where people wander around a castle or a mansion late at night, looking for ghosts or money, and occasionally they hear a suit of armor fall over.
I would like to see more movies like this.
“The film was shot near an active nuclear site in Utah, where eleven tests had happened the year before. The set was contaminated by nuclear fallout, but producer Howard Hughes and the local population had been reassured by the Atomic Energy Commission that the area was completely safe. After location shooting, Hughes had tons of contaminated soil transported back to Hollywood in order to match interior shooting done there. Over the next thirty years, 91 of the 220 cast and crew members had developed a form of cancer. Forty-six had died, including John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Pedro Armendáriz (who shot himself soon after learning he had terminal cancer), Agnes Moorehead, John Hoyt and director Dick Powell. Lee Van Cleef had throat cancer, but died of a heart attack. The count did not include several hundred local Native Americans who played extras, or relatives of the cast and crew who visited the set, including John Wayne’s son Michael Wayne.”
“The casting of John Wayne as Genghis Khan is generally considered one of the worst casting decisions of all time.”
I’m feeling the isolation craziness big time today. I so desperately want to socialize with a few friends, see a show, maybe a movie. And I know how devastating that can be, even if I would feel better afterwards. There’s no good solution, except that the entire world shut down and we all get UBI and we increase frontline worker pay by 100 fold and we abolish capitalism and racism.
But I don’t see that happening. So I have anxiety.
Serious long dark tea-time if the soul, today.
These guys are still great.
Going over my ballot, I keep having this incredibly unnerving feeling about how things will work out… and then this song comes on a Halloween Show that I was listening to.
Holy cats. The Flaming Lips have always been a tongue-placed-firmly-in-the-cheek-that-is-only-capable-of-being-earnest kind of band anyway, and they always wear their anxieties and their beliefs on their sleeves. This song seemed, to me, to always be about how, even with only evil all around us, we can still be good people, and that we are not alone. (There are others that aren’t evil.)
However… there is a part of me that can only see this dark version now. We are naive, trying to think that smiling and holding hands at this time. Because… well…
Wow, today is really hard. Be nice to me; I had to clean the gutters.
“With loving hands knowing evil will prevail
Knowing evil will prevail
Knowing that evil will prevail
Knowing evil will prevail
Knowing that evil will always win.”
Half Eye is Seattle artist that began in the early 90’s, combining home recordings, indie rock riffs, and odes to Udo Kier, issuing a number of albums that are dark, murky explorations of longing and loss, with a sense of humor that is as much a puzzle as it evokes a guffaw. Over the last 30 years, Half Eye has cultivated a unique sonic pallet that is immediately recognizaable, and yet only implies influences without directly pointing fingers.
Shot Reverse Shot materialized in the summer of 2020, when a sufficiently futuristic-sounding date had finally been achieved. This quintet of rock & roll androids, clones and cyborgs, have been locked in the server room this year, plugging into the Master Control Unit, so they can lock down the algorithms that will render their first tunes into sound recordings, in an audio range that you can hear! The first of these songs have been pushed to the server, and with Austin Rich producing these tracks, they are sounding pretty excellent.
WTBC is very excited to be releasing their first 7”, and with the help of these two artists, we think this record, made by Gorbie Lathe Cuts, will be something very special. These songs are not available online, and comes with beautiful covers and a collaborative mini-zine, all designed by Half Eye & Shot Reverse Shot. Bonus digital materials will give you plenty to enjoy while you spin this 45, and people who purchase this record will get a special discount when purchasing the forthcoming Shot Reverse Shot album coming in December.
Limited Quantities, on White, Lathe Cut Discs.
This is Rock Music! Not exactly an “experimental” release!
Available in November. Pre-Order NOW!
$12 includes shipping. (A little more for outside the US.)
WE NOW LIVE IN THE FUTRE.
I realize, after watching this movie tonight, how much of a mark it left on me as a kid.
♬ It’s a two-sweater morning… ♬
My friend Deana Sharp mailed me this fetching bow for my hair. It’s reversible!
Person 1: “Here’s a thing I think!”
Person 2: “Interesting. Here’s my take.”
Person 1: “Wow. We both understand each other perfectly.”
Person 2: “I don’t think we do.”
So stinkin’ cute.
The Boys both posed for these shots.
Maybe you saw the Experimental Music exchange that I host, and you thought to yourself, “Well, I don’t make EXPERIMENTAL music, but I would like to get in on a music exchange with the stuff that I do.”
Well, here’s your chance. We have a number of spots open for folks who make music, and want to share it with a supportive group of artists who are using the mail to share their work. This is a good way to support the post office, musical expression, and your friend circle, too.
Join us! We have had some pretty excellent releases this year, and I think next year will be great!
For 2020, I’ve been managing an experimental music exchange. Each artist picks a month, we send each other new releases, and we enjoy using the mail. I could use one more person for the group to cover all the months for our 2021 exchange. Are YOU interested?
I woke up in the middle of the night to rain. It was so lovely I went and laid on the couch to listen.
Not precisely Halloween, but where else do you file a record like this? It’s like soundtrack music (and FX) for short, noir / horror films that don’t exist. A true gem.
One of my favorite “scary sounds” LPs, not only does it make good use of stereo FX, but it is one side of pure soundscape atmosphere, almost like an experimental record. I certainly trace some of my taste in music back to this.
Side B has all the FX isolated. I keep meaning to “remix” this album. Maybe next year…
Custom Record divider for the Halloween section.
Decorating, phase two.
Over a year in the planning, this new split record was made by Gorbie Lathe Cuts, and is available for pre-order, as we speak. The record itself won’t ship until November*.
New material by Florida artist Formaldehydra & Oregon artist Mini-Mutations, recorded during the recent fires we suffered from in September. This music isn’t online, and while sold through Bandcamp, cannot be streamed there. If you want to hear these songs, they only exist on these discs.
These records are hand-made in every way; the covers / inserts were printed on free paper with used ink cartridges, cut by Austin in The Lava Lamp Lounge. QR Codes activate unique bonus materials not available elsewhere. And, only available in limited quantities. Once they are gone, they are gone. Just like our dwindling forests.
$12 includes shipping. (More outside the US… Let’s talk.)
The forests need our help. Maybe this will be The Summoning Call?
* Possibly sooner, but hope for the best / expect the worst, yes?
New record coming. You can pre-order it now…
What’s the magic string of words that I type here so that I can have a real-time interaction with a friend of mine?
Over 10 years ago, we got together one night to jam live on the radio, and after the fact, came up with a name for it. Immediately, everyone involved gave up on the idea. I decided that if I kept doing it, with different people involved, I might have a little something. We started as a radio concern, but then I finally played a show under that name, and now I’ve broken all the rules that originally existed for the group. But… well.. sometimes you just keep going, right?
There is a part of me that is having a really hard time feeling like any of this will work out well for anyone.
This song is so sweet. So often I feel like Frankie, just looking for a band to join.
Halloween music is a go!
What an incredible weekend. I’ve attended a few live events online, and they are usually fairly lackluster, without a lot of engagement (or, really, people even showing up). So it was so impressed to find that we had about 100 viewers for most of the three days of NoiseFest, and it really did feel like a weekend gathering, rather than a digital show that we all watched from our homes. The chat was lively and fun, and I think everyone involved had a great time.
I don’t’ have a lot to say that I haven’t said before, so I will merely say: I’m still recovering. For some reason, even though I was at home, it felt like I was with this crew of folks for the entire weekend, and it was nice to know that I could re-create that with something like this.
Anyway, I had fun.
Here’s a couple links I think you’ll appreciate:
Austin At NorCalNoiseFest 2020
This playlist contains all of my contributions to NorCal NoiseFest this year, including my 20 minutes performance, a pair of commercials I made for the Sacramento Audio Waffle, my ad for the WTBC Store (at wtbc.bandcamp.com), both NOYZ STALLYNS performances (the SAW performance, which sets up our NoiseFest Performance), and the five minute film that I made that got shown on Day Three. The ads were sprinkled throughout the three day broadcast, so here’s the condensed playlist, that contains all the pertinent stuff. I even managed to capture to the Real Time Chat window that was going during my performance, which you can watch with the audio of my set to accompany it.
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NF 2020 (In All Its Glory!)
This playlist contains the three, uncut, livestreams from the entire weekend. It is a total of 19 Hours of Programming, from a crazy wide-range of musical artists, from all over the spectrum of Experimental and Noise. In fact, this year is a fairly reflective, introspective year, with a lot of sets that include long, thoughtful pieces. It would advise watching it with the live chat turned on; there’s some pretty excellent moments from the participants in there, too.
Wow. My internet service is garbage today.
This weekend was the most social I’ve been for months. And it was entirely digital.
My old roommate Josh Welton used to say, “We’re the first to show, and the last to go,” when talking about his strategy regarding parties, concerts or drinking at the bar.
So, welcome to Day three of NorCal NoiseFest! There’s so much good stuff tonight, including a five-minute film I made that airs at five PM. But the performers are over the top good, so tune in! You don’t want to miss this!
Jerry Shilling, Elvis’ close friend, claims that Elvis was a big fan, and saw the film almost 45 times. Jerry even claims that Elvis would quote it, relating an anecdote where Elvis referred to his own broken finger as, “merely a flesh wound.”
(This story is told in Monty Python: The Truth. Straight from Jerry himself.)
The NorCal NoiseFest Live Stream continues to be excellent, and yesterday was no exception! Over 6 1/2 hours of experimental music and video programming, some of it streamed live from our respective studios, some of it pre-recorded, for everyone’s sanity.
There’s more to come! Today’s stream starts at 2 PM, and I have a few bits and bobs in the show that you might enjoy, including a five minute short movie that hans’t really been seen since it was shows to an audience in Corvallis earlier this year (which you can see around 5 PM.)The line-up today is silly good, so hopefully I’ll see you in the chat! Enjoy!
NorCal NoiseFest, Day Two. Getting my game face on. I should scare Denise Chelini and explain that I’ve changed my entire set yet again… and might still, again.
From “mild” to “moderate” is also how I describe my interest in this news story, too.
The Live Stream last night for NorCal NoiseFest was excellent! So many incredible acts, and all of them available to watch, right now! (Or at any time you like.) Five hours of experimental programming, all for you!
Today’s stream starts at 2 PM! And I’m on at 4 PM and 5 PM! You should tune in! It will be excellent!
Here’s five hours of live, experimental programming for you to watch, from last night’s stream. I made a couple of the spots you see during the show. Tonight I’m performing Live… twice, with Mini-Mutations & Noyz Stallyns! It’s gonna be epic. See ya then!
I’ve got a pretty respectable devilock going these days. #HomeDo
A BRAND NEW episode of my new radio show starts at 10:30 AM, today!
After a month off for re-runs, we begin a slew of new episodes with a Pledge Drive broadcast, on our new day and time!
Tune in, to find out why you should donate to KMUZ, and digest this radio diary, from my home, to yours.
What’s really frustrating is that he is probably incapable of processing how apt it is that he’s got it.
He probably had to be told a few times before it sunk in that he had it.
Being sick and having to go to work anyway sucks.
If only I had any sympathy for him.
I hope the corner store is out of his fave meds.
I am 95% prepared for NoiseFest, something I should have been at least two week ago. Oh well. The Boys will be happy that I change the litter boxes today.
For the last four years in a row, I’ve participated in the NorCal NoiseFest, the longest running festival of its kind. So much goes on at this fest, in terms of meeting people, swapping cool music and gear, discussing our particular audio landscape, and everything in-between, that the idea of skipping a year was really hard on all of us. But it didn’t take long to figure out how to move the whole thing online, and soon enough, all the usual things associated with the fest needed to get sorted out: t-shirts, the schedule, etc. And, of course, the compilation.
For the last three years I’ve contributed a track to the comp, and it has been wild to be on a disc with some of these incredible artists. Some real heavy-hitters come out for the fest, and the comp usually captures an excellent cross-section of performers, and a view into the world of experimental music that is pretty varied and excellent, even for those who have never experienced this kind of music before. It seems like more and more people attend the fest each year, and more and more people get involved in the comp, too. The number of tracks per disc on the three I have only increases with each year.
The new comp is out; you can get it (and other merch) over at the Square Site, or you can pick up the stuff that you don’t find there on the BandCamp Page. And, here’s a little factoid that you might enjoy: the more stuff we sell through the merch stores, the more the artists get paid this year. Since no one can pay the cover at the venues this time, and since there’s fewer opportunities for artists to make sales in person, this is going to help all the performers involved make a little scratch.
So please, consider getting some cool schwag, and support people like me with your generosity!
Some of the artists that appear this year’s disc: Kompripiotr, Juice Machine, Don Haugen & John Frank, Human Fluid Rot, +DOG+, Skrunt Skrunt, Instagon, Chopstick and so much more. 33 Artists in all! At that rate, you are enjoying over three performers for every entertainment dollar you spend on this collection. A bargain during almost any calamity.
If you are interested in making a deal directly with me, I have physical copies ONLY, on CD, of the last three compilations. I am selling them for $10 apiece, or any two for $18, or all three for $24. I don’t have an official link, but if you message me, we can work out the details. After the fest, I’ll be re-designing the online store, where some stuff that has not been up previously will be available for purchase, including two new lathe cut records! But if you want to support the fest as a whole, I would use the links above.
I’m very proud of the work I’ve done on these comps. And, for an added bonus, the track on the 2018 disc is a collaboration with Mini-Mutation & Red Panda Death March. What more could you ask for in your musical entertainment? You should pick one of these up, today!