(e)tv: Jen’s Wedding!

If you’re not my homie on Facebook, you may not have seen these yet. Enjoy!

(e)tv: Summer Brings a Lack of Wookies

I’m a bad goth chick, as I have never had the time/money/will to commit to going down to Atlanta for 4 days for Dragon Con. I don’t travel well, and I work a lot. In truth, had the recession not hit me this year, I probably would have made it because my sis lives in Atlanta now, which would at least allow me to save on hotel money. Instead of actually going to Dragon Con, I went down to hang out, do whatever, and do a little people-watching.

Despite Atlanta being only 4 hours away, I hadn’t driven there in my 13 years of living in Nashville. I didn’t realize it was so close, and my fear of driving over Mont Eagle was based mainly on childhood memories. In reality, the drama and slope of Mont Eagle only lasts four miles and isn’t really that bad, unless it’s raining or snowing.

I got to Atlanta late Saturday afternoon, and my sister, her friend, Elizabeth, and I took a cab over to the Marriott Marquis (chosen for it’s easy lobby-viewing) to scope out the array of storm troopers, anime characters, and Princess Leias. There was a strong Wolverine representation, which is fine by me on account of the “sideburns” factor. While I stood around saying, “is that a guy? if that’s a guy, he’s hot….if not, never mind,” my sister developed a crush on a gaggle of dudes dressed as Halo characters. Maybe it was Gears of War. I suck at first-person shooters.

This would be a good time to mention that, in addition to Dragon Con, Atlanta was also hosting a Black Gay Pride gathering, an Alabama/Virginia Tech game, and a NASCAR function of some sort. Where else can you witness dudes in burgundy visors (backward, of course) posing for pictures with Predator or a four-foot-ten Gene Simmons?

After the Marriott, we went to a sushi/Thai place, hit a random book store, a bar called The Graveyard (hearse out front? check.), and my sister’s regular bar. I had a couple random blue drinks, which is my fallback whenever a bartender doesn’t know how to make a Blue Valium.

The next day, we had brunch and then went over to little five points. I know, I know. It’s touristy and cheesy, but I had never been and I needed to witness Junkman’s Daughter at least once. We also went to a couple of “thrift stores,” which were mere like vintage stores. For those of you saying, “what’s the difference?” I say, “about 40 bucks.”

After confirming that I was, in fact, mentally prepared to witness Ikea on a Sunday, we went over to witness the seething humanity at the local Ikea. It was fabulous, but in a sort of “I don’t need to do this for at least another year” sort of way, as Ikea is a lot like Disney world, but with crazy Swedish names instead of rides.

Everybody was pretty worn out at that point, so I headed on back to Nashville to put together some video:

Click here if you can’t see the embed.

(e)tv: Crisis of Faith: No Myth

I had all these wonderful intentions of hooking up my computer so as to allow me to run a direct line (really TWO lines, left and right) from the piano while simultaneously recording vocals and then syncing up the audio to the video that would also be running while I recorded.

Software-wise, even without Final Cut, I knew how do to this. I just sort of forgot to consult my hardware. The M-Audio Mobile Pre (known in my house as The Magic Box) only has TWO channels. With the configuration described above, I would need at least three. “OK, fine,” I said. “I’ll forego the intended live performance style. I’ll do that tedious multi-track bullshit, complete with pop stoppers. Then I’ll lip sync the damn thing for video.”

Problem? I have no patience for tedious multitrack recording. I just don’t get off on that shit. I don’t get good work out of it, anyway. I get sterilized “I’m playing to a click track” stuff. I get vocals that are even worse than they are in real life (which I didn’t think possible). I get something that is not fun, takes forever, and loses the point of trying to do this as though you were standing in my bedroom with me.

It ends up looking like fake studio magic.
That’s fine for Britney. It’s kind of her thing.
It’s just not how I roll.
I have no patience.
I was a shitty sound engineer.

So, sacrificing sound quality, I did the thing that was more fun. Maybe I can borrow a better mic from somebody and see if that helps. My SM-57 just isn’t built for capturing a room, and I bought it before I had The Magic Box (which has phantom power), and blah blah blah, gear talk, blah blah. Let’s just all whip out our dicks and talk about tube amps.

I don’t know if there will be any more music coming out of this. It may be a waste of time (which is another reason why I did the faster process instead of the better-sounding one). At any rate, I already had this done and it didn’t take a lot of trouble to do it, so I figured I’d run it up the flag pole anyway.

Sorry if this is a total wank. But, hey…you get to laugh at me in my coke bottle glasses. That’s something, right? (For the young’uns in the audience: I so totally did not write that song. It’s a cover of Michael Penn’s “No Myth.” If you like the song, give him your iTunes monies.)

(Click here if you can’t see the embed.)

Against the Dying of the Light

Well, it appears that the jury is in on yesterday: that shit wasn’t funny, and you (or at least some of you) watched it anyway. So, thanks. Teh Intarnetz have surprised me again, showing me that somebody’s watching youTube for something other than the “I Like Turtles” kid and Spaghetti Cat. Those of you who made it through all nine minutes of that shizz seem to have gotten the point. Also, you kind of enjoy the realness that comes from a bit of crawling. This is good, as there will probably be more crawling. On-camera lack of makeup. On-camera glasses. On-camera crying. I’m working up to it. There’s so little realness anymore.

I learned the “you’re pretty when you cry” lesson from watching America’s Next Top Model. No, really…hear me out on this. For those of you who don’t watch the show (and why aren’t you? it’s awesome), Tyra’s forever telling the women that a pretty picture is good but a real picture is better. Pretty is remarkably easy, but it takes real balls to let the camera see all the way into your eyes, to let it see inside you, to let go, drop the walls, and jump in with both feet. The models who manage this come out with better work, and the ones who are content to just suck it their cheekbones and posture usually end up getting sent home.

I could write you a whole rant about how the value of reality tv is in what you take away from it, and not just what is on the screen, but I’ll spare you. I’ve totally been Captain Wordington lately, and I’m trying to cut back.

Also, that bit about the flashing red light seems to have hit home with you guys. Good. If I have to see that light flashing in my face all the time, you should too, and maybe it’ll make all of us less complacent. I’m so tired of seeing my friends grow up and abandon all the wonderful creative ideas that they have in favor of going through the daily grind and coming home to watch sitcoms. Little by little, people walk away from the creative things that make them who they are in favor of getting married and having kids. Don’t get me wrong: if you have a marriage and kids, those things should be your top priorities…but it wouldn’t hurt to teach those kids to play instruments and Partridge Family it out. Some of my best family memories involve mom, dad and sis playing guitars and me playing along on keyboard. Dad’s desire to have sis and me sing harmony was a bit ill-fated, but nobody’s perfect. More and more I’m realizing that potential boyfriends need to be someone who will be artsy with me. Otherwise, they’re just big time sucks and I’ll eventually be resenting them for taking me away from the stuff I did before I met them. Like, instead of dinner and a movie, let’s have dinner and a craft night.