No matter how many times i see these Voyager ‘movies’ it is a thrill.
Ganymede transiting Jupiter, photographed by Voyager 1, 31 January 1979. South is up.
(I’m not completely sure that it’s Ganymede: it looks like Ganymede to me, and estimating its orbital speed from the photos gives a decent match to the true value, but I’ve had issues getting moon positions to match the photos from Voyager 1’s approach to Jupiter.)
Screaming Lord Sutch - I learned about him from the fantastic book - “Unknown Legends of Rock N’ Roll’. He ran for Parliament several times - wish he could have run in the US
Jack The Ripper by Screaming Lord Sutch and The Savages 1963
Psychotic Reactions Go Bang
Originally posted on the AVNation.tv blog - July 22, 2013
I am unclear as to how i got here, ‘all these tubes and wires…’ to paraphrase Mr. Thomas Dolby. The cotton mouth and clammy skin are indications of a night lost to the reveries as at least a witness if not a participant in the annual show ritual of parading half consciously through the hotel lobbies. These indicators are only second to throbbing of my temples and the insistent buzzing in my ears. I feel as though I attended an all night ‘silent rave’ with my headphones blaring Rancid covers of Mel Torme songs. All apparent signs indicate that I made it home of my own accord. I last recall that there were great rumors afoot that Apple’s ecosystem had usurped the show with an empty hall and a single booth.
My plan (or is that pram?, my notes are a mess here), was to arrive early and report first hand on the cranage. I could see it through the haze of the morning Floridian thunderstorms , ritual bonfires, burnt Ozone and cannon smoke. Just now I have the flash of memory of entering the hall bemused by the wake like quiet and the low rumble of mulling crowds. Rubberneckers, i thought, members of the international society of Schadenfreude affectionado’s more likely - these bastards show up in every crowd. I was being paid to be here, quelling the nausea is a job hazard, one steels the self to take it all in and report the horrors to the sedate civilians. I made steadfastly toward the exhibit floor doors with the intent of getting a first view and a keen determination to inhale the acrid smells of battle mixed with linen fresh scent of the pod people of Cupertino.
Upon opening the door there was the blinding light from the show floor which caused me to reach out blindly bumping into the grunting crowd similarly afflicted, all of us groping for a center with a mad abandon willing our pupils to dilate. White lab mice lay strewn before me shuddering in disoriented jerks. Given a few more moments I am sure my bearings would have returned but then came the enveloping cacophony - a demonic surround sound on steroids - it was like Barry Bonds and Theo Kalomirakis merged V’ger like into Vladimir Gavreau’s love child. The effect forced a full cerebral shut down until the mass of stimuli could be processed. As I began to fade into black the air was knife cut thick with hopeful chatter, morning coffee, eggs, a hint of mint and latex -( While I will not dare to presume the reason for the last item, this is a trade show after all). All of these things I could literally pull out of the air like notes of music to a synesthete.
When I awoke, quivering under a thermal blanket and warmed under the hot lights of the Chauvet booth an epiphany issued forth from the Jorge Luis Borges thousand typewriting monkeys in my head. No war had been waged, no remarkable battle, no charging light brigades - This is a Psycho -Billy Circus complete with over joyful slap revber’d guitars. Psycho-Billy the punk of southern garage bands mixing Johnny Cash with MC5 and a dash of B movie horror thrown in for spice - rock n’ roll’s sideshow barkers. To the uninitiated, or those whose little grey cells are in need of more electrolytes, the show floor is a an assault on the senses. It would seem that any manufacture of a device which can produce noise has ascribed to the late Phil Ramone’s ‘Wall of Sound” accompanied more flashing, blinking, pulsating lights that it should be accompanied by a photosensitizer warnings. One does finally become accustomed to the sensory assault but when the opportunity arises leaving the floor into the lesser volume of the lobby can be just as disorienting, causing one to lose footing in a punch drunk head space as the Cochlear nerve wiggles in its own version of a grand Mal seizure.
But we were talking about what was on the inside eh? Just what were the presenters hawking Baptist minister like from the company pulpits? Oddly there did not seem to be an overriding single theme this year, we’ve been trained to expect this just like the film studios pumping out varying flavors of the same film over the summer and holiday seasons. Is it really a coincidence that six studios release a film based on kids games like CandyLand and Chutes and Ladders? The show floor did not seem to have this overly generic commonness, an associate of mine called it ‘evolutionary not revolutionary’. This, I think, hits the nail into the tail of things. The show itself was tremendous but technology-wise the industry has entered a tempo of sostenuto. 3D is dead (hooray!) but 4K is not like Savior-Faire (not everywhere), Apple - Apple everywhere but some droids are creeping in, not so much vaporware there but TIO might just be giving it a go and Microsoft may be bleeding heavily from Surface losses but Linq is inside everything (The song of HD-BaseT they sing). Of new note is the oddly fascinating use of QR codes as a control and documentation interface by AMX
There is, not to put too fine a point on it, no bees in my bonnet as we watch everyone expand their product lines into places that overlap and hip check current (soon to be former?) partners. I am eagerly looking forward to next years show where we may get to witness a true Alaskan ‘Breaking’ party as the Ice cracks in the warm sun of Lost Wages, NV.
Vinyl sales have increased 17.7% since 2011. Time to get a turntable.
oh, Hell Yes!, Wanda Jackson
Flying Saucers and Robots by Mark Bryan
In Their Words… Review of Live Sound Design, Build Your Career as a Sound Engineer
Originally posted to AVNation and AVShout - July 30th, 2013
Author: Nathan Lively
Price: $7.95 / 8.95 depending on reader format Sound-design-live-ebook-nathan-lively-nook-kindle-mac-400px
We humans have found many ways to communicate. Our infinite creativity has provided us the written word, sign language, slang and even long distance forms such as semaphore, smoke signals and ‘talking’ drums. All of these forms have been updated and adapted to be preserved and exposed to a wider audience as the medium has evolved, from books to radio to blogs and texts. It can be argued that while the technological platforms have enabled us to distribute information with greater efficiency to more people at astounding speed, the very nature of its speed erodes the natural flow of conversation. Regardless of our language it is this oral dialog that is the most comfortable and impactful to our little grey cells.
Oral histories are also the most poignant, conveying a feeling of being there with a rhythm and tenor of the speaker through which you could feel what it was like to be there. Two of my favorite books about music are Legs McNeil’s ‘Please Kill Me’ and Jon Wiederhorn’s “Louder Than Hell’ - both of these books have a subtitle of ‘An Oral History of ….”. In the case of Legs it is about the early days of Punk and Wiederhorn’s is about Heavy Metal. The books take interviews from various magazines over several years with musicians, writers and scene makers of the time. The Trick here is that the statements have been taken out of the larger interviews and placed in the appropriate chronological timeline. This technique provides a flow of conversation and perspectives on an event by disparate interviews into a dialog making the events come ‘alive’ and not just a formal recap.
In a very similar fashion Nathen Lively a sound designer and live audio engineer , a frequent guest on AVNation.tv podcasts and who has his own very good show - Sound Design Live, just published an e-book that follows the same oral history methodology. In the book, “Live Sound Design, Build Your Career as a Sound Engineer”, Nathan has taken the transcripts of interviews from two years of producing his show to create a conversation on topics ranging from tools and techniques to the relationships of building a career. What the book is NOT is an ivory tower thesis on audio theory nor a product placement webinar on ‘Better Audio Techniques’. While the textbooks and manufacture seminars can be beneficial it is the apprenticeship like relationship that really provides usable tools and practical knowledge.
I was particularly taken with the section on ‘Working with Technical Limitations’ which focuses on building systems with limitations such as budget, available gear or space. I also really enjoyed Pierre Dupree of the Alley Theater in Houston discussion on minimalist microphone set up in an 800 seat venue. The two pieces are quite refreshing and reminded me of an interview in EQ magazine with Rudy Van Gelder who, much to the writers shagrin, would not talk specific mic models but only types of microphones to be use for an application. At the time the article was a game changer where I stopped looking at model names and focused on learning technique. The book has interesting sections on remote access to controls, mixing with computers vs physical decks, business networking, webcasting and more.
If I had to lay criticism it would only be my preference to having the cast of characters introduced at the beginning and the ‘speakers’ laid directly one after the other like a play - each with their name and lines in order. This would be more in line with Nathan’s background in theater. It is but a small point and most likely go unnoticed by anyone else.
If you are looking for a book to take you step by step through learning a specific technique this book is not for you. If you want an insight to the world of live sound and design, the types of people who can become resources and the pro and cons of some hot button techniques then this book will fill your head with great ideas. Be sure to purchase a copy then read some of his great articles and check out the podcast, you’ll be glad you did.
In 1958 at Tybout’s Corner in New Castle, Delaware - a person could stop by the Town & Country Diner for a milkshake. For 30 cents, you could get any of the flavors they served, which were all flavors according to them.
But, why do we share this piece of Americana with you today? Because today is “National Chocolate Milkshake Day!” Enjoy a chocolate milkshake today, or if you’re looking for a treat that won’t tighten the belt - stop by NYPL’s What’s On The Menu project and check out where and when milkshakes were served across the country.
Alexis Madrigal, Why People Really Love Technology: An Interview With Genevieve Bell
Genevieve Bell: The early ideology of the Internet was about radical transparency, free information, and the sense that the consequences of that would be this sort of massive social upheaval. I sometimes…
Thought you might enjoy Uncle Tupelo’s interpretation of this song.
Whimsicanimals by Randy Otter