Friday, September 25, 2015


Well, there's absolutely no doubt about it. A song is a thing. I think we can all agree on that. And I can also say, without fear of contradiction, that every song, no matter how insipid, is about some thing. That's a no-brainer.

With that in mind, what's the best way to make an album based on the melodramatic story arc of what can be described as a spacebound horse opera? Simple - break out the thingmaker! What is that, a hot plate, right? Anybody out there on the internets old enough to remember thingmakers? Sure ... you plug the thing in, heat it up, pour goop into a mold, cook the mold on the hot plate, then chew on the plastic junk you create or electrocute yourself by pouring the cooling reservoir water on the thingmaker. Great fun.

Anyway ... what we do is not that dissimilar from playing with a thingmaker. Let's say that our overactive idiotic imaginations are the "goop", if you will. I suppose the "mold" is the usual genres we work within, mostly rock, some bogus country, some other weird stuff we can't define. Then of course, there's the thingmaker itself, our superannuated recording system - a Roland VS-2480 deck we bought fifteen years ago to replace my now shipwrecked Tascam DTRS DA-88 deck. And let's face it, that sucker is not that far removed from a thingmaker.

Great production valuesWe've started to use Cubase a bit over the last two years, just out of necessity, but we're kind of locked into the thingmaker, despite the fact that it's got a beastly 486 processor and a primitive proprietary "closed" operating system - and I do mean closed! There's literally one way to get data out of that thing other than via analog audio outputs, and that's through the coaxial digital outputs. There is no system that currently supports Roland's (again) proprietary R-Bus data ports. The only other bus is SCSI, which of course is toast. The CD burner doesn't work. The optical audio outs don't appear to work either. Thingmaker.

Hey ... that's what Big Green is all about, right? Making something from nothing. With nothing. And for nothing. It's what we do.

News dump.

Wow, what a week. I had to laugh at NBC at one point, trying to pivot between the papal visit and the Boehner resignation. So much news, so little air time! Nothing the mass media loves more than information overload ... you can hear the squeak of joy in their voices. Not sure where to start, but I'll dive right in and let's see where we go.

Arbiter of American "values"Carson's law. Am I alone in thinking that Ben Carson is a truly creepy individual? He's way too quiet, for one thing. And when he does talk, he says stuff like this response on Meet The Press to a question about the importance of a president's faith:
DR. BEN CARSON: Well, I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it's inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem.

CHUCK TODD: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?

DR. BEN CARSON: No, I don't, I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.
Consistent with the constitution? What faith is "consistent with the constitution?" What exactly are these "values and principles" that he's talking about? Anyone supporting Carson on the notion that he is not a politician is suffering from a severe delusion. This is just pandering of the most cynical kind. It happens that most of the Republican electorate agree with Carson - that's not an accident. The famous neurosurgeon may not know a lot about most things outside of his medical discipline, but he does know how to read a poll.

Boehner out. I haven't heard his reason for stepping down, and I'm not sure I'm interested, but my guess is that he doesn't want to negotiate another government shutdown confrontation, which is plainly on the horizon, fueled by the ludicrous uproar over these heavily edited Planned Parenthood sting videos. This must certainly go down as one of the least productive speakerships in the history of the republic. That may not be entirely a bad thing. Sometimes when Congress gets a lot done, it's terrible for the country and the rest of the world (like the bipartisan vote for the Iraq invasion). A more effective speaker may have delivered on more of the Republican caucus's priorities. So ... we may miss you, Boehner. We'll see.

Papal stances. Glad to see the Pope praising Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton in his remarks to Congress. (Martin King and Lincoln as well.) Christ, if he weren't the Pope, I expect the entire southern delegation would have marched out of there whistling Dixie.

luv u,