Cheap And Plastic #2 is now for your enjoyment!

My continued friendship with Hal McGee and his Electronic Cottage group of artists has been fruitful yet again, as I had another track included on the most recent compilation, Cheap And Plastic #2. This is a sequel to the 2012 compilation that has a killer line-up in and of itself, so to be included in the follow-up, which again has an incredible playlist, is nothing to sneeze at. And the comp was sequenced by Chris Phinney too, who knows a thing or two about how to sequence a compilation. I’m continually impressed with the kinds of work this group churns out, and it humbles me when I think that I’m occasionally not in the mood to write and record. To see how much material these folks have put out is pretty motivating.

The Cheap And Plastic concept is actually pretty great: sure, it can be easy to make a lot of experimental music when you have a ton of gear, often very expensive, that can accompany you while you perform an instrument that you are playing “live.” So, to cut to the chase: what can you do with the cheapest gear you have? There’s a little more to it than that, but the idea is to be quick, to be cheap, and to find inspiration in the innovation that thrift-store gear can offer you.

To that end, I decided to use a keyboard that M found for me while in a thrift store: a “Beat Bugs” branded toy that is shaped like a skateboard and has a keyboard on one side. While the samples of animated kids characters playing Beatles songs will be LOVELY to bend, there is something very simple about the generic synth sound that I’m really fond of. I’ve used it a few times on different pieces, but usually as an overdub, on top of other stuff I’m recorded. For this piece, I only used this keyboard, and allowed myself to add another take over the previous one, provided I panned it differently.

Using only those two tools (this keyboard and panning), I proceeded to compose something of which I’m really quite fond. There are no samples, and no slowed down loops that I’ve manipulated on the computer first, which then creates a bed of sound for me to mix and chop samples over. None of that. In a way, it’s just me, the keyboard, and the music that came out of me. Some of the simplest sounds I’ve ever made.

While my track is only one of many, it’s not what this is about. You really should check out the whole thing, as the other artists are very excellent, and there’s tons of cool things in this collection. And it’s LONG! I’m still working through it, there is so much excellent music here!

I get to make some cool music, and participate in some cool stuff, and I’m truly humbled by how lucky when I think about it. Hopefully some of you are entertained by some amount of this, because I’m having a very good time.

Fliers

I bought one of these portfolio folders from the @artdepartmentsupply and put my fave old show fliers in it.

I attended / performed in all of these shows, except the X flier, which I got from an ex many years ago, who has since passed away.

I have twice as many that still need a home, but these are the important ones. At least they won’t rot away in a box somewhere, not being seen or stored well.

Looking at these makes me miss being in Cathead more than I have in years. And it made me miss a period in PDX where Cheryl and I would go to shows several days a week.

And another era, before that, when Sierra and I would go to shows all the time in Eugene.

And even further back, when I wanted more than anything to see live music, and play in bands, because holy shit, these albums are amazing.

Music is the best, and I wish I could put up fliers again.

I fuckin’ miss all of you.

Books

I’ve been very lucky, and have received a few excellent books in the mail lately, which I’m very much looking forward to reviewing.

“This Could Be The Cover” is a book where it is mailed around to different artists, and they each fill a page before mailing it to someone else. (I got it from Hal McGee, and I desperately need to fill a page and send it along.)

“White Screen” was published by my mail-art pen-pal, John M. Bennett, in 1976, one year after I was born!

Formaldehydra’s new CD / Zine is perfect for trying to get work done in the afternoon.

“Medicine For A Nightmare” is a beautiful book / zine that contains art written / drawn / photographed during the pandemic.

Amazing stuff, and I’m very excited to have a change to get stuff like this!

Thanks friends!

#SalemSnailMailArtSwap

I went to check out the #SalemSnailMailArtSwap at The Art Department today, and it was really excellent! It’s so cool to see an art show like that in Salem, and I couldn’t wait to check it out. Plus, I hadn’t been in since a lot of the new changes have been made, so it was worth the trip. The store looks great, and I picked up a new portfolio so I can hold my old show fliers. I already need another one.

Anyway, not only is the show incredible, and the other entries are very, very cool, I was stoked to see that my entry was prominently on display! How very cool! I don’t think I can do the show justice here, only to say that I was really excited to see so many other people who are local, and also participate in mail art! I am humbled to be included in such an excellent show.

Has anyone named the snail yet? Because it is amazing.

The other artists did incredible work, so you should check it out the next time you’re downtown. I’m looking forward to hearing about the other excellent events that they will put on this year!

Thanks again!


Our Program Launches March 21st!

Our new program launches on 21 March 2021. There’s a lot more information over on that page.

20 Minutes Into The Future

Our Premier Episode will be airing at 23:00 PM, GMT, on 21 March 2021.

6 PM, EST, or 3 PM, PST.

You can hear a sample of our pilot now if you subscribe to the show:

iTunes RSS or Generic RSS. We are also on Mixcloud.

Subscribe today, and live… 20 Minutes Into The Future!

* * * * * *

36 years ago, BBC 4 took a chance on a very unusual 60 minute “telefilm,” that was to offer the backstory for their new “digital presenter,” who would be showing 13 weeks of music video programing later that Spring and Summer.

What began as an experiment in testing out “cyberpunk” on broadcast television, became “Max Headroom,” who ran rampant through our culture as he moved from mainframe to mainframe, infecting us with the same kind of digital buoyancy that we were all looking for in the…

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As it stands, the real job ahead of us in 2021 in convincing our family members that they need to get on board with some much more progressive politics than any of them think they are willing to allow. Because, every single one of those people who voted for and are aligned with a more fascist interpretation of America are someone’s family.

So: how do we get our family members to improve points of view that are truly distasteful?

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.

The memories feature here has achieved an interesting effect when considered over time: I’ve been reliving a barrage of my own political posts from a wide range of time periods on a near daily basis, and I’ve been noticing this fairly acutely, in the last calendar year.
I don’t think I disagree with anything I’ve written on here in the past. Most of my points seem like they reflect how I feel to some degree.
But…
Why did I post it at all?
In general, I think the best thing I can do now is lend my voice to the right causes when others feel marginalized. And I’ve found a creative outlet for my personal point of view, and I think both my radio show and my music are more interesting than my tirades ever could be.
Sometimes I feel motivated to act, and writing online is immediate.
But why do I need to share all this stuff at all?
If I’m expressing myself politically in a satisfying creative way, and if I’m the first to lend my voice to good causes when I can do so helpfully…
then… 
what function does saying something online like that serve? Just because I feel it to be true, it should be online? Isn’t this like a character in a movie directly stating their motivation in dialogue?
Isn’t it… uncouth?
I’m starting to link that, perhaps, I am of the wrong age to express myself like that. I have art and radio, and I will champion good causes however they arise.
But my, these, “these things I believe…” posts are getting a little tired.
To these eyes, anyway.

Tonight, at the Graveyard Bar: two excellent acts are coming through, and a new act that I’m playing in is opening up the show. Black Noise Orchestra is brand new, so be gentle. Sweeping dark guitars & ambient drones fir heavy dark vibes. You should check it out. A little something different, and I think you’ll dig it.

I had a dream where I was trying to explain myself to other people, and no one knew who I was. I tried to say to anyone who would listen, “C’mon! I love The Halo Benders! Everyone knows me!”
Not sure how that exactly identifies me, but sure. Why not? I do love The Halo Benders. But is that my only defining trait in my own dream logic?
Apparently?
Friends: I’m playing my very first United Sound Collective gig at Shotski’s Wood Fired Eats, and I really want you to come out. Katy & the Null Sets is one of my faves, and we’re both supporting Motorcoat, so it should be fun. I’d like to see more odd and fun shows like this, and if you live on this side of town and have been curious about what I do when I play, then this is the perfect compromise. Oh! And it’s free! Come on down!

In my mind, this was a lot further away… but it’s this weekend! Noise Therapy, with Justin Smith, Herd William, devils/club, Talc & Rock Forming Minerals. I’ll be doing a shortened, live version of my radio show, Mid-Valley Mutations, with a crew of great experimental artists. And we’re playing at an art gallery, too. Come on down. You won’t be sorry.