Category Archives: music

Patreonage


I’ve finally broken down and put together a Patreon page. It’s just a beginning — I don’t know exactly what to do yet…so I’m offering a story or a piece of a wip each week, plus access to music that then public won’t see for a while and the opportunity to have me write something from your story prompt.
Just part of an overall effort to organize and focus. I’d welcome participation and suggestions. Thanks for reading!

RPM and Reverbnation Updates 2/20


New tunes up at RPM Challenge 2017. Just about up to the minimum chronic requirements, and have enough music as well 😛
Also one of the RPM tunes morphed into a jazz-rock number, a little reminiscent of maybe Vanilla Fudge with a little Cipollina and a little Jimi thrown into the hopper.

Strumpet


Strumpet — That’s the name of the first track for my 2017 RPM Challenge cd. You can listen to the 320k version at the site or the 128k version here. Feel free to tell me what you think. It’s a bit of a departure for me as it has absolutely no guitar on it, being a bent sort of piano jazz with a swing to it and some trumpety nonsense. I’m at RPM as Doctor D because their site is stupid and wouldn’t allow me to do it as ‘moderan’, like I’ve done the other four or five times I met the challenge. Most of this is live. The bass part is played by my trusty Dean Playmate, the keys are my pos Casio, the drums are midi re-voiced, and the horns are a mix of techniques.

Madness


I got a little bit exercised today by this article, about the “8 Tribes of Sci Fi.”
Rubbish, absolute rubbish. An ill-considered word salad.

To start with, it considers “sci-fi” which I consider to be the z-movie mentality that pervades tv and pop movies. And it calls the wrong things “sci-fi”. The article might fare better if it were said to be talking about “fantasy”, the umbrella term for science fiction and other related imaginative fields, or about “speculative fiction”, a higher-brow way of saying the same thing.

Read the thing for yourself. Feel free to regale me with your version. Or not. Continue reading

Method


Though I conduct my fictional affairs with a good bit of handwavium and a helping of deus ex machina, because that’s the nature of the beast, still, I’ve railed against such use in the past. And I was probably right, then.

Context.

Heh. Yeah, right, you say, and rightly so.

But boundaries, fuck ’em. I was wrong, plus it’s addictive…to be unleashed, to not worry about what hard-sf fans are gonna say, or what plot twist came straight out of tvtropes. To just tell the story as it occurs to you. Er, me. Because pov.

That’s a fun plaything, too. Perspective.

Just tell the damn story. I was good at that when I was young. I would just write until I was done. Wrote a 67,000 word novel in one day, on notebook paper, in pencil(s), longhand. It was awful. Only three people have even read part of it. They’re all on Facebook. *ducks* Continue reading

Son of the Big Dumb Object


EgoOne of my very favorite things in the world of fiction is that cosmic force, the presence that is imposing just because of its size, the very Big Dumb Object itself. An example, seen below, adds consciousness to the mix. The presentation is excellent. I love the image. But not enough was done with it, plotwise, back in the day.
One of the things that makes me create is the desire to see a better version of things, at least in my eyes. My first writing was done in response to a comic-book villain I thought terrible (the Stilt-Man, as in DD#48). So I come by it naturally. My art is, at least initially, imitative.dd48 It always has been. I like a certain amount of structure, a framework to stand on, before taking the great leap into the unknowable seas of imagination. My first drafts, first versions of things, almost always have a large portion of synthesis, of combining previously-known ingredients into a new stew, stirring it up, and then improvising over the changes. Continue reading

Tinfoil Baseball Cap


As usual, we’ll cover a lot of subjects with a too-small, too-thin blanket. But cover them we will.
Firstly…Saturday night, for a little while, my one-man internet band moderan was the #1 band in Tucson/Rock, according to data from music-posting site Reverbnation. I’m sitting at #2 right now.

It was pretty easy to get there, and the maneuver was mostly pre-planned. I embarked on a series of cover tunes, some of which I’ve actually registered. Eventually I’ll register them all, but they’re about 20 bucks each, and I plan to do a LOT of them. Cuz they’re fun. I have a system for producing them quickly, based on midi drums and the forty or so years I’ve spent playing those songs, off and on. The music ranges from pop tunes like Killing Me Softly through progrock epics such as Dance On a Volcano.

I sing, play all of the guitars and basses (with a couple of notable exceptions for collaborators), most of the keyboards, some of the strings, and arrange and produce the tracks. The drums are fashioned from midi tracks, which means faithful timing. I seldom monkey with the structures, though I add or change instrumentation.

You can listen here: Continue reading

Updates, January 23


Sorry. That resolution to blog every day, or even more frequently, didn’t go very far. Where were we? I dunno. So…this is what’s been happening. I wrote stuff, made some music. Here, try some Bowie cover:

intaI have a story in this book, a short entitled “Eddie”, based on a fragment I wrote fifteen years or so ago. Just a little bit of shock and awe. Really cool cover. Ran Cartwright does good work. I have a round robin piece that I’m puzzling over, and have launched into a piece that has more detail about what Brown Jenkin did while he had the Silver Key. Both are for book appearances (hopefully, anyway), as I move along the path from unknown to virtually unknown to little-known.

Little-known is not so bad, and I’m also working on the better-paid part. Because I have bills too. A grand a month, a little writing money and my babysitting money, that’s not so much to live on.

But I don’t want to be entirely mercenary…I’m still planning a series of shorts for shoggoth.net, and I will release some music gratis. But the days of just letting everything out there are probably over.
I’m older, and sick, and tired. I’m trying to work on less pieces and make them count instead of just spinning and spinning and spinning. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be willing to slug toe-to-toe with anyone else working weird.  The same for guitar, composition, et cetera.

Handsome volumes of Duanestuff and plastic cd cases of modstuff are right around the corner. Before Crazytown will be back on sale at Amazon in February, with a print edition option (yay!) I’m not going to re-up with Amazon exclusive, though. Didn’t deliver as I had hoped. The book will move to Lulu next year, and will stay at Smashwords.

I’m investigating physical cd/download possibilities for a couple of things — the Brown Jenkins blues tune will be one, and discs of literary tributes, cover songs, and vocal versions of previously-released material are not far behind.
Been sitting on that stuff for a while.

And Cub Tracks seems to be going well. We’re undergoing a format change, and there are a few nay-nays, but the articles in general are well-received, with some getting tremendous readership numbers (at least the ones I can collect). I’d be interested to know what the sticky factors are. Maybe I should ask Al Yellon, who runs the site. He might know. He hasn’t said a peep to me about any pieces being substandard or anything like that — I’m allowed, even encouraged, to continue. So that’s a plus.

I enjoy crafting the articles. They’re aggregations of links, but they can be massaged into different media presentation styles, looked at with new eyes. I do quite a few with “themes”, essentially framing devices more or less related to some of the linked content. Mixed reviews, I’m afraid, but that’ll change as things gets more baseball-related. I’m still just drilling down into what works for the audience..heh, to the point that I just up and asked them what they wanted.

It turned out that they didn’t know.

So it goes back to what Al likes. He’s the boss, the editor. If my copy passes his desk, then things are good.

I have some ideas about form that I’ll use tomorrow. Have to cut down on the time it takes to do those articles. The last one took most of the day, since the girl was over. Like eight solid hours of mostly gruntwork, copying and pasting, then cutting and pasting. Structuring the whole document as a baseball game, with a lead-off man segment, ten innings, extras beyond that. Nobody said anything about that, and I’m operating on the principle that no news is good news there. Like when I used to slip my tape into the party music player, and nobody complained, I knew I was good. It was acceptable.

The girl. Ohhh boy. She’s been a problem since her parents called the other day and told her that he’s working again, and that they planned to visit. She has this fantasy built up, you see, where they turn out to be real human beings with competence and financial wherewithal, and take her home to live happily after. That this has been repeatedly proven to be abject nonsense doesn’t dissuade her, and consequently she turns into demon child when she speaks to them because she’s caught on the horns of the dilemma — give up the fantasy, grow up and deal, or be childish and believe in the Easter bunny.

I just want the drama over. There are papers that the parents need to sign for the custody to be permanent, and those need to be signed. And then the child needs to be removed from negative influences as much as possible, and go sit in a corner with her thoughts, and deal with those.

She’s afraid to. I understand. But she’s also eleven, too old to be playing “look at me, aren’t I cute” instead of doing her assigned work, far too old to be snuggling up to such forlorn possibilities. Time to put on the big girl panties, I tell her.

She was such a colossal pain in the ass today that I got a migraine. Defiant, selfish, willfully ignorant. She screwed up her English homework to get attention, took out her calculator and started doing her math homework with it (!) like I wasn’t three feet away. She played the food game. This is where she takes real little bites, and chews slowly, a hundred time each mouthful, and stares wall-eyed at the tv screen.

Fuck that. People have been letting her get away with it for years. It’s a waste of everyone’s time, and it’s over, at least under my roof. 1/2 hour, and the food gets thrown away, and she goes hungry. Her choice. She wasted so much time scewing up her homework that she didn’t get to go across to her house and feed the pets — so the small creatures had to wait until after dinner. Animals like the security of being fed at the same time every day. But she screws that up too, so she can get attention.

She refuses to go after positive attention, even though she claims to like it better — largely because it takes effort to do good things instead of being lazing about wallowing in one’s own ignorance.

Great model, as least character-wise, for Cassilda, who I’ve been writing up recently also.

Yeah, I’m mad at her, and mad at several other someones. It’s a GOOD thing that I don’t have the ability to wish people into cornfields or anything like that. All I can do is to have them die horribly and slowly in stories…

Wait. That gives me an idea.

’til next time.

With Folded Brain


Third+Eye+Doctor+StrangeShit. I forgot to talk about the King in Yellow stuff. I’ll get back to it by and by. I WILL BLOG EVERY DAY. I WILL BLOG EVERY DAY. I WILL BLOG EVERY DAY.I promise. Or something like that.
It’s effectively New Year’s Day. let’s just go with that polite fiction, and on to the content…

Continue reading

Well…


logoI know, deep subject, joke too-often told. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Last time, I reported that I was going to try to blog on the off-days from creating Cub Tracks. I just skipped a couple of days.

They’ve been busy days. I’m amid one of those spells of productivity that I seem to be cursed with and I’m generating new copy and riffs in bulk. Some of it is even worth keeping.

Here’s todays Cub Tracks (Masters Reality) – link – with the fabulous image:

gettyimages-2406034-0-0

Ozzy and Sharon “sing” the seventh inning stretch.

I build these articles as little stories. First I prospect for links, in mostly predetermined places, and see what kind of narrative can either be gleaned or imposed on that collection of webpages.

I’m looking for things that either can create discussion by themselves, or that augment previous discussion on other pages on the site, or that continue the prevailing narrative of the fanbase in general.

Right now, the Cubs are the top of the heap. They’ve conquered as much of the baseball world as you can without actually playing the games. So I’m playing off of that.
The rest I pack with in-jokes, subreferences, links to videos, links to sarcastic commentary, whatever works to further the entertainment value of the piece, or to educate and inform. Just discovering how much I can do with the form.

It takes a couple or three hours three days a week to accomplish this all. The process is pretty involved, but I think it’s worth doing things right. Continue reading