Thursday, April 23, 2009


So you think you can stone me and spit in my ai-eee-ai...
So you think you can love me and leave me to di-eeee-ie!



No Change

"Keep in mind the scanner and floppy drive are not musical instruments."

**help, we're held captive, tied down with scsi cables and old printer ribbon. the computers have run amok, taking over th


found on Topless Robot

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Technology: The Future is NOW

Gather round, troops. It's time for our Biannual FutureTown Round-Up. (of the future!) Technically this is the first one, but with my new future-seeing abilities, I anticipate another one in the near, ah... future. I've been meaning to start some new traditions around here, anyway. So Biannual it is!

Now please join me in taking a moment to honor these innovators who, for lack of a day job, pushed the envelope in musical development. (of the future!) Technology pioneers who not only lived on the edge, but promptly fell off of it. These instruments are lovingly crafted, and recently fangled. Click through the photos for Wired's original article.

1. Overtone Violin (of the future!)

Dear Overtone Violin, I stumbled upon your eHarmony profile, and I must had me at "Sonar Sensor." Also, again at Sonar Sensor 2. But then Button Matrix? Video Camera? Bottom Control? I think we're moving a little fast here.

Plus, I'm a bit concerned about this "tech-sessory fetish" you mention, illustrated by your fingerless lycra glove. With velcro. And some sort of USB cable just kind of tacked on there. I know Lawnmower Man. And you, sir, are no Lawnmower Man.

#2: Boing Boing (of the future!)

This litle gizmo is described as:
"...producing sounds such as bounces, collisions, trembles, shudders and shakes."
Sounds like Scott Weiland is out of rehab again. Heeeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy*

#3: Beamz (of the future!)

Immediately, points lost for including a "Z" in an attempt to tug on our futuristic laser-strings. Secondly, Laser Strings! Lastly, it's a clear patent infringment on Nintendo's U-Force from 1989 (and yes, I looked that up, but it was a mere formality.)

So that's it. Buy one of these crazy gadgets, then break it and see what oozes out. My guess? Very little magic.


Friday, January 9, 2009

A Cautionary Tale

In every soldier's life there comes a time to make a choice between good and evil, between right and wrong. Down one path lies eternal light and fulfillment, down the other... self-loathing and despair. Come with me, then, and listen as I spin a tale of deepest horror.
The place: Somewheresville, CT.
Our subject: A young Meredith DiMenna
Her destiny: To defile the ear canals of our nation's best and brightest.

A young girl sits alone in a school stairwell, eyes still stinging from the taunts and jeers of her cruel classmates. She hears a door open and moves to leave but is stopped short, looking up into the welcoming eyes of a stranger.

"I'm sorry, I couldn't help but notice that you were crying...
in C# minor." (WINK!)

And so it began. Friendships were founded as scales were solfeged. Ties were tacked, costumes were co- ordinated, and recitals were rehearsed. Above all, alliterations were abused.
A dark cloud had decended upon young DiMenna. What was once called glee club, barbershop, doo wop - a bonafide, Boone-ified way for youngsters to get their music fix - we now know by its Latin name...

a cappella.

Fun Fact: New York's Binghamtonics host the annual
For-The-Longest-Time-A-Thon, responsible for nearly
half of Binghamton's student suicides.

Whee-oo-oooh-huuuh-the longest...

After long years of harmonizing and martinizing*, Dimenna honed her powers of vocal prowess, to the point where A over high C is no longer a challenge, but a weapon. Her powers are now used for evil rather than the other, better, if perhaps a little boring, super-good. I give you exhibit A:


If you haven't heard the original, then rush over to Amazon and plunk your buck down. It's worth it. This poor song, once tall, was brought to its knees by the sheer power of sibilant cymbals, fricative flams, and plosive percussion. DIY-indie-punk will never be the same. And now that liberal-arts college students have gotten their hooks in it, (Their catchy, catchy hooks,) soon we may not be able to tell the difference between Fugazi show and Phish Phestival.

So I implore you. If, in spite of the evidence, you're still inspired to wear a constrictive uniform, shout on command, and stand stock-still for hours... why, have you considered the Army, son?!

*you think the seams in those chorus shirts are gonna pop all by themselves?!

Friday, October 31, 2008

We've Only Just Begun make bad Carpenters puns.

Thankfully, today's (brief, all holiday-like) post concerns the other Carpenter.


We received this recording anonomously, credited to someone named Aggrocragg. I suspect Boyle's involvement, if only because the tapes were redolent with the stink of carrier pigeon guano that's become his calling card. Hopefully by Thanksgiving I'll succeed in grabbing, stuffing and roasting one of those flighty bastards, but no such luck yet.

Happy Halloween! But remember: if you're home tonight... minding your own business... and some kid comes knocking at your door asking for candy...

He could have just killed his sister.


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Say Goodbye... productivity.

Another lapse in DemoWAR, another sorry excuse, sure. But this time you get to share in the spoils. For the last forty-eight hours we've been distracted by And since that translates to forty-eight hundred hours in military time, that's like two hundred days of real time. (And that translates to two hundred hundred days in militar- okay, sorry.)

And I can hear your protests already.

"Mtv? Mtv, you say?! You call this music?! You call this television?!"
Now wait! Let me stop you before Red Rage Vision descends and you rush around in a Kurt Loder mask and your Remote Control boxer shorts, lobbing a sledgehammer into innocent tv screens. I understand your reaction, and I am here to help. Now please, put that statue of Riki Rachtman right again and get to the nearest internet node.

"Quickly! Then to the bronze Adam Curry!"

Like you, Dear Reader, the entire DemoWAR faculty, staff, and chain of command swore off Mtv in 1995, moments after the death of Headbangers Ball. But it looks like the heavens have finally parted, and the wunderkind behind Buzz Bin and 120 Minutes was allowed to make one last executive decision.

On Mtvmusic, you can watch any video. Whenever you want. With no commercials or VeeJay distraction.

You want a mainstream hit, all pop-up video style? Piece of cake:

Care to dig deeper through the Ball's less flattering moments? Fine:

Want a video you never knew Mtv even had? Shazzaboo:

(When in doubt, just pop "Gwar" in the search field.)

Someone greenlit this, so you'd best take advantage of it. Sit back, relax, and ride the waves of nostalgia while you dredge up your favorite esoteric, bizzare band from the depths of Mtv's vault... Or just watch the full version of Thriller for the eighteen-hundreth time.

...or Sledgehammer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Neck Store

This is John Paul Jones. He was in a band once, you might have heard of them. And now he's playing multi-necked hybrid-trons at events like 2008's "Mano-A-Mando" Mandolin Fest. Why? Good question. Let's look at some of the most common reasons for using a double (or triple-) neck guitar:

1) Lower back pain not quite excruciating enough.
2) "Roadie" cousin needs something to carry so he can get into show.
3) Currently outclassed in onstage guitar-joust matches.
4) Need extra notes for that one part in High Enough solo.
5) You are this man:
"I bet John will steal this idea in 30 years, the wanker."

And really that's about it. If you're considering investing in a double-neck guitar, do everyone a favor and follow this handy little flowchart to see if you are eligible. Remember, the worst thing you can do in this situation is look like you're trying too hard.

12-neck guitars are a different beast, however. Everyone gets a pass. If you'd like, I can just wait here while you all run down to the store to pick one up. Bring a friend—they're pretty heavy!

Hmm, I was kind of hoping for sea-foam green?

All that wood... just think of the resonance. You could pluck a note on N01_S05_F12* and by the time you got down to N08_S02_F05*, that first note is still ringing. Think about the lovely harmonies you'll be able to create, currently unattainable in today's sad state of guitar fret technology.

The downside, of course, is that a stray pinch-harmonic could level a city block.

"Stand back everyone, this pick is loaded."

Sadly, this guitar is just an art project, not a production unit. It's a shame, really, because according to Unwieldyguitaripedia, there are exactly twelve alternate tunings for rock music. (And that doesn't even include DADGAD. Stop the presses, we need another neck!) This thing could be the equivalent of the chromatic harmonica for the rock/folk/blues world. Capos? Throw 'em out. I've had it up to here with your freakin' capos.

So what if it's fifty bucks every time you restring it, this guitar pays for itself in no time with its decidedly-decreased strap budget! It's like a bicycle-built-for... well, I suppose it could get a little cramped back there, but get eleven friends together and you have one hell of a bonding experience!

Thanks to Acting-Ensign Grosz for bringing this to our attention. More of the host gallery's exhibits are available here: Vvork

*In the interest of time, we've used Planck's "Neck_String_Fret" annotation system, or "NuhStruhFroh."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Boys of Summer of '69

Thanks for joining us. You're just in time for the latest unwitting call-and-response between General Dowd and the carrier pigeon chorus of Joseph Q. Boyle. Recently, a flock of said pigeons was intercepted (or rather, peppered with buckshot,) and from their claws fell a package of such import that we rushed it to the lab to decipher the myriad secrets contained within.

Disappointingly, it was a Don Henley song.

I know, I know! But save your boos and hisses. Stop yourself before jumping from a nearby high-rise. I know you're worried that Boyle has gone native, that he's sunk to the level of our sworn enemy. But rest assured! This isn't just any Don Henley song, this is the good one. No, not the one that makes the listener break out in a rash. Not the one we use to make pious monks self-immolate. Right. It's that one other one.


No I don't think I need a shirt, thank you.

Not bad, right? And at least he didn't go all Eagles on us.

Nonetheless, I was forced to retaliate. You see, Henley's Summer is only one side of the coin dated 1984: A year when people still listened to the radio, looked forward to voting Republican, and drove good ol' Detroit steel. A year when the Ministry of Truth stomped Winston Smith into blissful submission. Ah... memories.

And in 1984, when I was but a tender blerenven years old, did I appreciate the nuanced melancholy of Boys of Summer? I did not. Did I instead sing along with the unbridled (dare I say Canadian) optimism of Bryan Adams's Summer of '69? Surely. Did I giggle every time it hit the chorus? No comment.

Adams serves up a paean to his teen years—a time when everything was well and good with the world. Or at least Canada. In those pre-ironic days of 1984, I even missed the joke of a squeaky-clean Adams naming his album Reckless, when he can't even utter a line like "It cuts like a knife" without coming across like Michael J. Fox's foppish body double. I mean, look at this photo-shoot. Is this "reckless?"

Reckless: adj. (rěk'lĭs) - Suffering from a lack of reck.


So I apologize for the delay, but I needed time to prepare a dose of Adams's lap-dog happiness with which to respond properly to Henley's jaded cynicism. Henley, who manages to imbue the most humanity in the part of the song where he's not singing, and Adams, who... Well, just look at that album cover again.

note: The original songs haven't been linked to because you should just listen to this track instead.