February 28, 2009

Watch this!

Filed under: Mr. T — noam @ 10:40 pm

I’ve watched this entire half hour infomercial several times through.  It is so damn amazing. Mr. T has hit a new career high point.  I pity the fool who doesn’t find this hilarious.

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February 26, 2009

Total Kaoss

Filed under: attic music — noam @ 8:24 pm



My lovely wife Sarah got me this great gizmo for my birthday. It’s a pocket sized synth.  It has 100 preset sounds (watch out for those techno shades) including thereminesque leads, deep sub bass, strange sound effects, drum samples and patterns.

Simply dial up the key and scale, and run your finger around the pad to produce shockingly great sounding arpeggios and melodies.  It also can loop what you’re playing, so plug in your headphones and construct miniatures on the go.

I hooked it up to our stereo, and now our living room has become a tranced out techno club.  The dogs are all waving glow sticks in the air, and baby Emmett just tossed me an invisible energy ball.

Here are a few quick samples, mostly recorded straight with little or no editing….





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February 23, 2009

This is related to Ben’s post a few weeks ago….

Filed under: bacon — noam @ 9:12 am


and so on….

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February 17, 2009

Tim Kaiser

Filed under: other people's music — noam @ 8:54 am

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February 13, 2009


Filed under: mobius band news — ben @ 12:24 pm

Download it HERE.

Happy Valentines Day!

We had a great time making LOVE WILL REIGN SUPREME (2008’s Valentines Day covers EP) at Noam’s house last year. So we had a lot of ideas of how to do another one for 2009.  Do the whole thing over the internet?  Record everything in one day?  Only Tom Petty?

Eventually we decided to make use of a momentarily empty house (except for three rugs and a leftover piano) in North Bennington, Vermont.  We brought in everything ourselves, like we were camping: food, pots and pans, toilet paper, blankets, forks, sleeping bags… and a few tons of gear.  It was zero degrees outside most of the time and felt more or less like camping on hardwood floors.


1 Say You Will  (Kanye West)
2 Love Hurts  (Everly Brothers)
3 Lullaby  (Dixie Chicks)
4 Satellite  (TV on the Radio)
5 At My Window  (Townes Van Zandt)
6 You Don’t Know How it Feels  (Tom Petty)

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February 8, 2009

Yellow Magic Orchestra

Filed under: other people's music — noam @ 11:33 pm

Technopop pioneers of Japan.  Their quirky music embraced the extremely modern aesthetic of early ATARI.  A strange amalgam of disco, techno, pop, japanese, and romantic music. Similar to Kraftwerk in robotic vibe and pop point of view (not to mention tasty vocoder), but where as Kraftwerk repeat minimal melodies until they shift appearance, YMO layer electronic and sonic filigree atop their grooves with typical overdone Japanese cheesiness.

By the way, their keyboard player is Ryūichi Sakamoto, who has collaborated with a number of western artists, including with David Byrne on the excellent soundtrack to “The Last Emperor”.

The videos are truly cutting edge for 80’s computer animation ala TRON. If I had my way, this is what the video for “Loving Sounds of Static” would have looked like.

The real song here, “Firecracker” doesn’t come in till almost 2 minutes. Then it zooms around like a Saturday night birthday party at the old roller skating rink.

Their 1981 album, “Technodelic” is my favorite due to its more restrained sound. Spare, spooky, and infectious; like a Japanese counter point to OMD’s “Dazzle Ships” or even a bit reminiscent of “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts”. Check this album out.

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February 4, 2009

This Week in Earth-Shattering Design

Filed under: the variegated arts, titans of design — ben @ 2:56 pm

Sometimes a magic genius dreams up something so absurd and so perfect - something that fits into your life like a phantom limb you never knew you should be missing - that it’s a wonder you’ve been living without it for the last million years.

Friends, that being said - let me introduce you to the Wake N’ Bacon Alarm Clock.

What is the Wake N’ Bacon, you ask?  Well, thanks for asking.  The WN’B cooks a strip of bacon in its tiny oven when your alarm goes off, thus affording you the pleasing aroma of fatty pork product at the start of every day, regardless of whether you still live at home with mom or employ a live-in chef.

Also, if you didn’t notice, it is being cooked inside a tiny wooden pig.

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February 3, 2009

White Owl Tune Screamer

Filed under: circuit bending — noam @ 11:23 pm

I took a busted old tube screamer and rehoused it in this cigar box.  I added a few pots and a photo-theremin.  Now it produces a variety of distortin’, ring modulatin’, filterin’, tone-oscillatin’, and sound crunchin’.  It also acts as a rich, squealing stand alone synth box. The photo theremin controls the pitch depending on the brightness of the light.

Here it is running over an SK-1:

And here it is emitting sound on its own (with some Fab Echo D-Lay and a little SK-1 background):

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February 2, 2009

John Updike, 1932-2009

Filed under: heroes of the written word — ben @ 11:28 pm

It’s odd timing that I read my first Updike novel two months ago (Couples).  I really loved it, and read another right after.  He made stringing together beautiful sentence after beautiful sentence in the service of a compelling story look so easy.   Considering that he published a new book almost every year for 50 years, I suppose it must’ve been to some extent.  Anyway, a true American icon and artist has passed.  See you later, John.

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