pasithea: glowing girl (Default)

Well. I ate the lactarius last night and thus far, I'm still alive so things are looking good. :) Actually, I don't think there are any seriously poisonous members of lactarius family. About the worst they'll give you is a serious case of 'tastes like burning' or upset stomach. None the less, I prefer to be 100% certain of my identifications before eating mushrooms.

On the whole... Would definitely eat again. They're easy to identify and pretty good as a snack. I minced garlic and stuffed the caps with it, then sauteed them in olive oil for about 15 minutes. Sadly, cooking removes most of their beautiful color but other than that, they're pretty pleasantly crunchy and nutty tasting. Kind of between water chestnut and woodear fungus. It's possible that steaming and pickling wouldn't suck their color out. May have to try that with the next ones I find.


I've been thinking about memorizing a few songs for flute and ocarina. Mostly like irish and american folk tunes. Problem is, I can't find any good books on the subject. There are lots of collections but I'm not really quite good at reading sheet music and humming it to get a good idea what it sounds like. I've picked up old music books in the past only to find that they have a weird scoring or that they're abbreviated or truncated pieces. So I don't really know where to begin looking.

I have come up with a backup plan though. I went searching for free sheet music online and stumbled across a large archive of bad midi versions of various folk songs.... PERFECT! The MIDI gives me an idea what it might sound like and I can convert midi to sheet music. Then I just need to adjust the music to the proper keys for the various instruments. ... Now I wonder if there's a program I can use to shift the key of a score. Possibly I can do it in Garage Band. Hmm. I'm open to suggestions.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I kept Stacey up too late Friday night to get her out of bed in the morning to go oyster hunting Saturday morning. So instead, we went to see a matinee showing of Taking Woodstock It was playing in Palo Alto and we timed it such that after the show was over, it'd be just a short jaunt up to the woods to do the hiking we'd planned to do that morning.

The film has gotten mixed reviews, but most of the negative reviews have come from either A) People who were throwing a tantrum about the main character being gay or B) People who were throwing a fit because it was a movie about Woodstock that had none of the nostalgic music from Woodstock that they desired.

On the topic of the first part. DEAL WITH IT! Look. I know a bunch of our current right-whingers are people who like to blither on about how the Boomers were the GREATEST GENERATION EVAH and they want to take pride in an event that they were no part of and claim the awesomeness of it as their own as a way they can look down on the rest of us... But here's the thing... The movie was based on the AUTOBIOGRAPHY of Elliot Tiber. He is gay. He wrote it himself. The guy that gave Woodstock a venue after right-whinge asshats ran them out of two other venues was a GAY JEW. Suck it up!

As for the music... I think I understand the artistic choice to use stuff that wasn't at Woodstock. The event was about the music, yeah, but it was about the music of the moment, not nostalgia. It was also about love and peace and all that, not about RIAA profit margins. We all know what Janis Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, and the Who sound like. Does everything need to be nostalgia and remix?

Besides, the movie was presented as being about the town and the kid who was managing the venue. He wasn't quite part of 'it' and the townspeople certainly weren't. Finally... How could a 2hr film possibly even hope to pay its due to three days of nonstop music? It's not feasible. You could never present the true sound of Woodstock in that amount of time.

Personally, I'm lucky enough to have a pile of reel-to-reel tapes my dad had and one of them happens to be a few hours of stuff that was recorded live at Woodstock (patched off the sound system, not open mic) and even the ~6hrs of sound I've got really doesn't even start to cover what things must have been like.

So... Now that I've addressed the critics, let me address the film: I really thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was really neat to see a film about Woodstock that wasn't focused on nostalgia and pop culture but instead was showing you the behind-the-scenes. All the people who worked to make it happen and the amount of effort and organization required to pull it off. The sheer scale of the thing is boggling. Burning Man caps at 50,000... That's about 1/10th the estimated 500,000 that were at Woodstock. It must have been totally overwhelming. The logistics of trying to pull off an event of that magnitude are staggering.

Speaking of Burning Man, I think that was part of what interested me most about Taking Woodstock. A lot of the people at Woodstock were proto-Burners. There was much commonality but there were also differences. It was really interesting to see what 40 years of event planning has done. Woodstock was not a Zero-Impact event. The people going to the thing made quite a mess by most counts and left the event sponsors doing a lot of the cleanup. Plus, it was different from Burn in that it was a show. At Burning Man, there are no spectators. You are part of it. I think this happened at Woodstock too, but not as consciously or intentionally as Burning Man. It's a subtle change in philosophy but it's important. Perhaps it was just my timing on seeing the film and my interests and some of my current project goals but I found the film really enjoyable and inspiring.

On only the thinnest tangent of connection, I started teaching myself to play the Beatles song "All you need is love" I'm learning the second-guitar chord parts first because chords are a lot more challenging for me than the first guitar melody. It's the first time I've tried playing guitar since I gashed my thumb with a meat cleaver a month ago and I played my acoustic guitar which as a wider neck than the electric. Happily, I was able to play for about half an hour before it started getting a little achey and I decided I'd best give it a rest. It's going to take a while before my thumb is really back up to full strength (I'm going to be taking it easy for the next two months just to be sure I don't re-injure it) but the outlook so far is promising.

Heh. Stacey isn't a big fan of the Beatles but likes a few of their songs. She skeptically asked if my book had "Paperback Writer" in it and was surprised that it did.... Actually, this book contains EVERY Beatles song (though some of them are in easier keys than they'd normally have been played) Somehow, this ended up in us looking the book up online and... Holy crap, I got a steal! I bought the book on our store credit at the used bookstore for what would have been $12 (but was effectively free due to trade-ins) The book is Beatles Complete Easy Guitar by Hal Leonard publishing. On Amazon stores, the book sells for between $65 and $210 O_O Wow. Glad I got it when I did. Needless to say, the book is out of print and is unlikely to ever be printed again. F***ing greedy music labels grubbing for every penny. *sigh* The current implementation of copyright law makes me so very sad. At the end of Taking Woodstock, Mike mentions that what happens next is probably that everyone sues everyone else as they chase the money. I don't know if this was an anachronism put in by Elliot or prophetic, but it is sad. Greed is so ruinous.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Silicone is awesome. Apparently years ahead of its time. How ahead of its time was it?

Even the advertising was way way way ahead of its time. Apparently, they didn't really know how to sell it, so in the 70s, they created this album of songs about Silicone. Avenue Q, eat your heart out!
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Last night, I tried using ArtRage again for making a fairly complex piece. I was really enjoying the brushes and such but then it decided it couldn't save files anymore and to make a long story short, I lost about 2 hours of work and was very very very unhappy. So... I decided to get away from my computer. Take a walk and do something else for a while. It was only about 10:30 at night so I took my flute, walked over to the park and played for a while. I like playing outdoors more than in my apartment as I'm more willing to really cut loose and play with wild abandon.

Long ramble about social spaces )


Jan. 4th, 2009 02:13 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Fellow mad-scientist, [ profile] doctorpinkerton put up a new picture of his band yesterday ( )

For some reason (perhaps simply because I enjoy the company of mad scientists) this inspired me to draw my own version of his logo. Of course, I really stink at drawing caricatures, but for doing something quick and just for the heck of it, I think I didn't do too bad, and at any rate, I had fun.
(Yes, I know drumbot isn't evil. All mad scientists make mistakes)

BTW, if you like mad-scienced themed metal, you might check them out.

Flute Fruit

Aug. 5th, 2008 12:30 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
It's so good to have my flute back in my life. I've been playing while walking to and from work. Finding I have a lot to relearn and I'm not yet anywhere near as good as I was before the accident and I stopped playing 17 years ago, but parts of it are finding their way back.

What I really need to do in the near future is spend some time learning to compose. I've got the basics of just noodling around until I find some little progression that I like and I understand staying in a key and mixing other things into the progression to keep it from getting too stale but right now, I do feel like I'm repeating my progressions a little too often and I could do a lot more to mix things up. Of course, since it's single instrument and impromptu, I can't really take breaks and let other instruments come to the forefront to solve this problem, so what I really need to do is compose my progressions into a complete song or I need to get out ye olde garage band and mix in some other instruments. Why not? I can play keyboard, guitar, and recorder as well.

It's all just a matter of practice and finding the time though, I suppose. Still. It's quite nice to have my flute back.

Here's a couple samples of progressions I've worked on.

These two are posted in [ profile] dvnt_spirit:

WoodSong Variation 1
WoodSong Variation 2

Not as far along with this one (mostly because it's a lot harder to play) but it's definitely got some interesting bits in it, though I'm not fully convinced this isn't something I heard in a Shpongle track. :P
Untitled, unfinished

Opinions/suggestions/etc much appreciated. ... I don't know how to compose music. I could use any help I can get.


May. 19th, 2008 01:38 pm
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
A pretty boring trip report. )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
The title of this entry is a lie but it summarizes a thought rattling around in the back of my head.

Most of my friends can recognize a song and the musician it's associated with in just a few bars. Very very slowly I get tiny bits better at this, but I'll never be like them. I wasn't allowed to listen to a lot of types of music when I was a child and in a lot of ways it crippled me. I like music, and when I practice, I have a bad habit of practicing for hours on end. The funny thing is that though I now listen to music far more than I ever did when I was younger, I don't really remember any of the band or song names, except for those of the tapes and CDs I purchased, and of those artists, often I can identify other pieces of their music beyond what I had heard before.

It occurs to me that what really changed is how I listen to music. I used to consciously put in a tape or CD that played the music of one artist and sometimes I'd listen to it several times out of laziness, enjoyment, or interest. Or I'd listen to the radio, which had a bad tendency to play the same few songs over and over and pound the names of the song and artist into you.

Then MP3s, the 5CD changer, iTunes, streaming internet radio, and podcasts came into my life and now I'm listening to an unending stream of sound that's of a particular genre but I'm not conscious of who is playing what, and I don't remember their names. Not sure is this just a personal problem or if it's something that will happen to a much wider range of people as they grow up and grow accustomed to having more music than they can ever realistically consume just a click away, though it does explain something about the interchangeable nature of boy-band pop stars.

Just something to think about.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So. I'd realized that playing the guitar was one of the things stressing my knee because of the way I sit. So yesterday I got a strap. Took me a little bit to get the feel of it. Slightly different than sitting some how but I have it now and ...

I played so hard I destroyed my knee, but today I grew more metal still.
I was playing so furiously I snapped my pick. Rock!

(Okayokay, it was a THIN pick. This is a really non-metal accomplishment but you don't know that. For all you know I was using a um... Switchblade! Yeah! As far as you know, I was using a switchblade for a pick in it exploded in a shower of sparks as I hit an E minor chord!)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Just looking around for some noise, I stumbled into this. Very cool. :)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Um... Wow...

I wonder if [ profile] doctorpinkerton had anything to do with his mysterious disappearance.

And now I return to learning to play 'Little Brown Jug' at 70BPM without falling down.

Aw Cripes!

Mar. 25th, 2007 11:45 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
So... After practicing with [ profile] prickvixen's guitar for the past week, I've become more and more sure I really wanted my own electric. Softer strings and being able to practice with headphones on until all hours of the night is fantastic and is leading to improvement speeds similar to keyboard.

So... Started looking around to see what was available in my price range and had the type of sound and sound quality I want. Even a week of playing gave me some ideas about that and things to test.

So I went and looked in a few places. First time, just looked. Too intimidated that other people might hear me make noise to actually try out something and play it. Oooh. So many pretty shapes and colors. Easy to get distracted by that, but I know looks don't make a musical instrument...

Oh how this would later come back to haunt me... Read More... )
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
After a few days of diligently stroking the PrickVixen, I can now smoothly switch between C, Em, G7, and G chords without any hesitation. I can hit F fairly consistently and transition from G7 to F or C to F with only a little hesitation, and I can play through several simple songs including a chorded version of Little Brown Jug and Scarborough Fair... Look out ren faire! Here I come!

The rest of Happy's book looks pretty easy. F is the last named full chord in it although all of the songs have markings for optional chords and many are ones I don't yet know so I could go back through and learn to play those songs again with the chords or I could move to another book.

Next, a little piano practice and some drawing.

In other news, got my hair cut today. Still waiting on dye to re-color it but I like this stylist a lot better than the last one. In fact, I think she's a definite keeper. She even told me it looked like I was doing a great job bleaching and dying my own hair and since that was working, she'd suggest I keep doing it myself and save money. (She has rainbow colored hair too BTW) Though she did suggest I might try a darker color like a green or blue. (which coincidentally is what I was going to do next) So that's good.


Mar. 20th, 2007 12:17 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I'm still on that music bent. Been playing a mix of guitar and keyboard every day. Works out alright with being gridmonkey. I can't really leave my computer anyhow so it's good to have something to do.

For both I've been working my way through a variety of books. When I get stuck in one, I switch to another.

So far, the best book for Guitar for me has been Happy Traum's Basic Guitar Lessons It's got a good progression for learning chords and stuff and it doesn't have cheaty TAB, string numbers or even note letters. Just music. Makes me sight-read a lot better. If I recall correctly, I paid 50 cents for this book when we were up in Washington. Heh.

Also, it looks like the stuff I worked on in school a year or so ago didn't all go away either so I'm picking up a lot quicker this time. I actually own 3 guitars. A 3/4 size off-brand mariachi band type steel string with a floating bridge and a warped neck. I paid like $5 for this at a garage sale years ago and first started trying to learn on it. I keep it because... Um... I'd feel bad about throwing it out and it makes good sound effects for animation.

The second guitar I bought, my 'nice' guitar is a Fender DG-20 dreadnought steel-string acoustic. Lovely sound but hard on the fingers. Bought it used.

My last guitar is a nylon-string Oscar Schmidt that I got at the flea market for cheap. Nice sound and much easier on the fingers.

I've been playing the Oscar for the past couple of weeks. The nylon strings are not as rough on my fingers for simple notes but the wide neck and thickness of the strings is making it a little harder for more complex chords.

Plus my acoustics have a disadvantage that I can't play them too late without the neighbors.

Of course, the last thing I need is another guitar. Thankfully I didn't buy another one. [ profile] prickvixen loaned me her electric which I now have plugged into my headphones so I could play all night if I wanted to. Never played electric before. The strings are steel but they aren't as tight as the ones on my acoustic and don't cut into my fingers. The neck is also really narrow. Much easier for learning chords. Woot!

Eventually I may buy my own electric but first I want to A) stick with this for more than a few weeks and B) learn to play well enough that I can play in a store without being overly slef-conscious and pick out something that really has the sound I want.

Keyboard is coming along pretty quick too. I can do concurrent scales on both hands in different keys and I'm playing a fair number of songs that are more difficult than the last ones I studied in the class I took.

Making some progress with composing too but nothing I'd want to share yet.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Ashy and I drank way too much rum last night and went to the flea market where we heard this awsüm band. Night VVulf ünd Night Raven


Jan. 10th, 2007 11:45 am
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
egypturnash: [links to a WIP]
DigitalVG: It's nice but the palette clashes badly with the music I'm listening to.
egypturnash: Aaaw. What's playing?
DigitalVG: Ashy lent me some of John Oswald's Plunderphonics.
egypturnash: Oh god. I don't think ANY palette goes with THAT.
DigitalVG: Maybe a Jackson Pollock painting... If you could put it on the floor and just roll around on it.
DigitalVG: I like it though. :)

I may have to turn it off for now. I'm finding it very hard to program and listen to this at the same time.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
[ profile] mharpold8 and [ profile] prickvixen need to see this video! It's totally METAL

Battle of the Bands
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Hi again,

Rain interrupted the 3rd day at Woodstock, so that gave whoever recorded this time to switch tapes. It also gave me time to chose a better MP3 format.

Again, there's a little stuff at the beginning of the tape that may not be Woodstock. The rest though is definetely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, about 40 minutes of Jimi Hendrix wailing on guitar.

70M of 192 quality MP3 behind this link!

Again, please distribute this. I'll be removing this stuff from TWU in a few days.
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
I don't usually pirate audio, but I'm making an exception.

This is a 12M file but it's an unedited hour and a half recorded LIVE at Woodstock, August 17th, 1969.

This is in the morning. They're setting up the stage, making announcements, and of course, playing music.

the very first song on this tape may not be from woodstock. There seems to be a little bit of other stuff at the beginning and end of the tape (something that was recorded over for this, probably) Anyhow, I wasn't sure so I left it on there.

I'm transferring the other side of the tape now. It's got the Hendrix performance on it.

This stuff was recorded at 3.75 IPS on 1/4" 4-track tape (stereo) and seems to be a pretty good quality recording.

Enjoy and distribute! This needs to be out there. Remind all those boomer sell-outs that once upon a time, HALF A MILLION OF THEM got together and shouted at the top of their lungs, "FUCK YOU!" to a bad president and a bad war.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This has the MP3 compression rate set to _16_ I'll make a 192 version of it in a bit but that file is going to be HUGE.

PS: If it turns out this tape is rareish, I'll re-dub it at 1.5 IPS and get a raw copy (that will be about 2Gigs of data)
pasithea: glowing girl (Default)
Heehee. I was listening to the bad retro arcade music channel I found the other day and heard a song I really liked, 'Playstation Generation' by FireStarter.

That led me to their website:

and that led me to a huge cache of bleepy music: as well as a bunch of crazy german chat-channels. I need to learn german one of these days.

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