Got some things done today, figured I’d talk about them.
Last night I was having a massive pain flareup so I smoked huge amounts of cannabis. That made me feel somewhat better (if a bit silly) but it also meant I was extremely hung-over today and ended up having to cancel meeting up with Spud for a thing.
But, I got some basement reorganization done and hit a major milestone, and also listened to some great music while doing it.
This year’s Song Fight! Live will be premiering August 26 at 6 PM PDT/9 PM EDT. Please join me and my music friends with the mirth and merriment as we all perform songs while pretending it’s a concert! (And join in the live chat.)
The air was clear enough™ today (AQI in the upper 80s, which is still no fun for me to be outside but that’s good enough for being in the basement) and I got goaded along by some folks on the Song Fight! discord to “just do it,” so I decided to start the process of reorganizing stuff.
I’m still having some pretty bad anxiety while driving, but the choir has started up rehearsals again which gives me a reason to drive at least once a week. Last night I felt anxious on my way there but totally fine on the way back.
Anyway, today I finally made my way out to the Renton Uwajimaya, which I’d been wanting to go to for a while, mostly as a driving acclimation thing but also to get some ingredients that I haven’t found at any of the Asian groceries in White Center. Most of the drive, as it turns out, is the same as the drive to the church the choir’s rehearsals are at, which makes sense since Renton is just a bit further down Rainier Ave. And I was anxious but I made it just fine, and on my drive back I was anxious in a few spots but I made it just fine.
I think if I keep doing this stuff I’ll feel fine faster.
I got stuff done today! For example:
- Uploaded a new release of the VRChat critter avatar (which is still on sale for $10) which fixes a long-standing bug in an Easter egg that people keep on complaining about about 5 seconds after they learn about the Easter egg
- Finally replaced the AI cover art on my Novembeat 2022 album, on both Bandcamp and itch.io (sadly it’s a huge pain to replace it on Spotify/iTunes/etc. and totally not worth it)
- Uploaded a full album video of Novembeat 2022, mostly to make it easier to share on VRChat (I will probably do the same for other albums as well)
- Wrote a couple of long-winded posts on Cohost, namely:
- Also finally set up automatic crossposting from Cohost to Mastodon
Oh yeah also I’m getting fairly active on Cohost and my asks are open. It’s fun. Way nicer than Tumblr, anyway.
Getting back on my “listen to music to calm my shitty brain” thing, because it was helping and then I started to forget to do it again.
- Jeff Lofton - Nola Beat
- Kaiser Cartel - Carroll Street Station
- Jeremy Blake - Mini.Mod
- Ambienteer - ataraxia
- State Shirt - So Weird
I might add more as the day goes on.
Here’s what I’ve bought this month:
- Inverse Phase - discography
- Magic Arm - discography
- Artemis - discography
- Blue Nagoon - Here Be Dragons
- Vektroid’s discography (having forgotten that I’d already bought it in 2015 and Bandcamp unfortunately doesn’t let you buy just the stuff that isn’t already in your collection)
- Bird Streets - Lagoon
- C. T. Matthews - Ducky’s Delivery Service OST
- nomnomnami - Charm Studies OST - Magical Beats to Study To
Stuff that grabbed me
- The ancient Song Fight! title “Indie Rock Bottom” still has some great songs on it. Mouth Reliant, prayformojo, and Narboutique stood out in particular.
Back in the day I was really into The Verve Pipe, not to be confused with The Verve. I always found it disappointing that the only song of theirs which got any real radio play was The Freshmen, which I didn’t care for (and is one of the few songs I’d always remove from my MP3 collection after reripping the CD over the years).
Anyway, a while back I found and downloaded a bunch of their live recordings, such as The Back Room @ Colectivo Coffee on 2017-11-25, which is an absolutely amazing performance of a bunch of their songs reimagined from angsty grunge/alt-rock to bittersweet country/folk, which was not a transformation I was expecting but holy cow does it work.
And they actually managed to make me like The Freshmen. Dang.
Anyway me posting about The Verve Pipe on Mastodon led to someone pointing out an ironic ska cover of The Freshmen which you can hear over on YouTube and it’s uh. A thing. I don’t think I’ll be listening to it again, but hey, it exists.
I didn’t listen to much music over the last few days for a variety of reasons (and didn’t accumulate enough notes that felt worth posting) but today I am happy to report that I’m back on my shit. Not that the actual date/order of listening matters but as always you can corroborate the times on my last.fm profile if you really want.
“General Ed’s Naked Circus” by Helter Skipper and the Gilligan Mansons. It isn’t a particularly great album but it’s fun and I have it because I used to be friends with one of the members of the band, who I vibed with pretty well. Hearing the album again made me realize I hadn’t talked with him in ages, and I decided to track him down. I just hit a bunch of dead ends. If anyone happens to know what happened to a squirrel named “Fractal” from FurryMUCK, please let me know. I remember us sharing regrets that we never got together the first time that I lived in Seattle, and since then I’ve moved back to Seattle and I’ve been here for over a decade this time around and, oops, I really should have reconnected at some point.
I did find a SoundCloud playlist from one of the members which lists the other members. I’m not sure which one is the real-life name of my online friend, although there’s two likely candidates. Unfortunately I can’t find current contact information for either of them (just a bunch of dead Facebook pages). Although the more likely of the two seems to still be active there. I should reach out.
I mean there’s a bunch of consistently-great musicians who submitted for that one and the fight as a whole was pretty great! I’d have had a hard time narrowing down my votes on it if I’d actually listened at the time. But these entries were from folks I’m not so familiar with and they surprised me for various reasons.
The album Here Be Dragons by Blue Nagoon wasn’t in my playlist but it was in a long-open browser tab (based on a recommendation from the person who runs Radio Free Fedi). I finally decided to consume it and, yeah, it’s pretty great! I’ve added the album to my Bandcamp Friday purchase queue.
One of the first punk bands I got really into was Arrogant Sons of Bitches, when they were touring and happened to play a show in my town the same night a friend decided she needed to get me out of the house. Years later, the core members founded a new band, Bomb the Music Industry!, and when I learned about this I got all of their albums.
Anyway, one of them finally came up in the playlist, and it was well worth the wait (and the download). It has all the same old ASOB energy while also being a nice scathing criticism of the modern music industry (especially performative counterculture) and also bringing in a variety of acoustic elements like synths that I don’t recall ASOB ever using.
There’s also a great self-aware line in the second track, “I’ve been writing the same song […] over and over and over again,” in a song which sounds… pretty much exactly like half of the ASOB songs, frankly. It works.
Alternative Facts by KXNG Crooked is a great missive on the political landscape of 2017, which still applies today. Somehow this track doesn’t seem to be on their Bandcamp as far as I can tell. Looks like it was actually released by a major label? Good for them.
Tes Lacets sont des Fees by Dionysos is a fun little ditty. I don’t understand a word of it.
“The Legend” by 5-3 Federation is a classic that is kinda uh. Maybe problematic? Also I think this was one of Lowtax’s musical projects? I’m finding no information about it. I am pretty sure I got it from Something Awful’s front page back in the day, but if there is a link between Lowtax and this track, literally nobody on the Internet has made that connection so it probably isn’t him.
Vektroid is always great. I think this is the first time I heard Telnet Erotika, which apparently has been expanded and rereleased as Telnet Complete. Do I need to update my collection? Looks like yes. Another (potentially expensive) addition to the Bandcamp Friday queue. Man, I’m starting to see why people just subscribe to Spotify or Apple Music these days.
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds has a track called “The History of French Cuisine” which also doesn’t seem to be on bandcamp but it’s a great Frank Zappa-esque jammy thing.
Okay I think that’s enough for right now. Having a mental health shit at the moment