Upcoming DXM Shows

Monday, May 5, 2003

As long as I’m advertising myself…

Three DXM shows are in the works for the coming two months. New material. New sounds. Yeah.


- May 28th @ Texture (505 Neches) — AMODA Digital Showcase 21, with DAT Politics, KinoEye, and others.

- June 12th @ Texture — Texture Digital Sessions.

- July 11th (exact date and location TBA) — With Mr. Projectile, Miles Tilmann, Proem, and Adam Hinwell.

I hope to have some new EPs for sale, as well, which you can either grab at a show or through the web. More info on that soon. I’ll make some audio samples available here.


Trailing Edge of the Blog Fad

Saturday, May 3, 2003

The past few weeks I’ve noticed that most of the people I normally expect to update their blogs once every couple of days have all but stopped. Well, that’s not entirely true. Some have hidden their blogs from the public, only giving access to a few close friends.

What’s going on?

I think a few different things may have happened:

1. Building a website and watching traffic take-off to some level is exciting. Knowing that twenty or fifty people look at your blog every day or week or whatever (“read” is too strong of a verb) gives the same sort of charge that having essays appear in a locally published indy zine might. Once the giddiness of having one’s writing out in the world wears off and the traffic no longer goes up every week, the allure of keeping a blog might fade.

2. Some blogs began as ways to communicate life’s everyday affairs with a group of friends that may not otherwise get to hear what’s going on. Time passes, people spread across the globe — it’s a nice way to stay in touch. But. Then the friends seem to stop reading it, and the writer doesn’t feel compelled to keep the people who do read entertained, so the quantity (and quality) of posting decreases.

3. The true public nature of a blog becomes apparent, causing the writer to worry and either stop posting or hide the blog. It might dawn on the writer that people at work or their grandmother has been reading their blog about how they got ass-drunk at a club downtown during a promo party for some porn website.

4. Blogging takes time and energy and doesn’t get you paid. If you have a job, you might have creative outlets that you consider to be more rewarding.

So, anyway. Some thoughts. I enjoy writing on my little blog, so I probably will continue even though the above factor apply to me in different degrees — none enough to make me stop, at any rate.



Video Game Developer Randy Smith

Friday, May 2, 2003

Just wanted to post an ad for the AMODA Presentation Series event happening on Monday.

From the e-mail I’ve sent out:

“Randy will speak about video games as interactive art — an art form that has yet to attain artistic maturity or social acceptance. Interactivity, the distinct characteristic of the art form, will be analyzed for its unique ability to create experiences that respond immediately as the audience reacts to the art. Comparisons to the history and deconstruction of other media, such as film and sequential art, will be made in an attempt to find perspective on the status and future of video games.

“Randy Smith is a Project Director and Lead Designer at Ion Storm, a video game company in Austin, Texas. He’s currently working on the third installment of the popular Thief series, the first two of which he helped develop at Looking Glass Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Randy presents regularly on design topics at the Game Developers Conference and is a proponent of formalizing the art of game design.”

I’m the guy coordinating these things. So show up!


Shaving Liza, Part 1

Monday, April 28, 2003

Joe and I are taking a break from shaving Liza, his ghost-white cat. Whew. We’ve got a sofa cusion covered with a blanet out on top of the stone grill in the back yard. Joe mans the electric razor. I hold the squealing, squirming, biting animal tight down against the cushion. The din produced by the cat finally reached enough of a pitch for us to decide to give her a break.

We wonder what the neighbors might think we’re up to, doing such horrible things to a cat right on top of the grill…

Oy. Wish I had a digital camera for this one.


Travel Opportunities

Monday, April 28, 2003

The news reported this morning that several airlines have slashed their fare considerably this spring. They listed a bunch of examples: New York to LA: $191. LA to Washington: $175. (I forget the exact numbers, but they all hovered around $175-$200.)

Anyway. I’ve got a voucher on Delta worth $200… So maybe I should take this opportunity to ditch town and go somewhere for a week or long weekend. But where to go? I could visit someone. Or just go somewhere weird. Charleston, West Virginia. Bangor, Maine. Boise. Toronto. Or not.

Seriously, though. Portland, Oregon has been on my list of places to check out for a while, now. Maybe that’d be a good place to check out. I haven’t seen Eric Parent in a couple of years and I could contact David Chandler (“Solenoid,” for your AMODA-watchers) to see what’s going on. Hm. Well.

Any other suggestions?


Ashoka Indian Cuisine

Saturday, April 26, 2003

If you find Indian food to be the krisha’s knuckles, let me recommend Ashoka-brand canned Indian food. Fiesta has it for $1.99 per can — and a can’ll feed two. Cook up some rice and a batch of this stuff and you got a good meal.

My favorite so far is the Palak Paneer.

This link sponsored by ADF Foods Limited, Emerging World Leaders in Indian Ethnic Food™. (Not really.)


New Bike

Friday, April 25, 2003

We conserve electricity around here. Not because we’re earth muffins or hippie tree-hugger vegan anti-SUV unpatriotic liberal terrorists. But because we have no money for it. Check that: My housemate has no money for it. And since we split the bills I do my part to help him conserve cash (and myself, I suppose) by leaving the AC off except for a few minutes at a time after I come back from excercising or something. Fine. I grew up in a house without AC (in Austin) — I know how to cope (and sitting around with the fans on and a thin film of sweat on my body brings back precious memories of childhood). No problems.

So what else is going on? …

I bought a bike today. That’s big news because I’ve wanted a nice bike for a long time, now, and I finally decided to take the plunge and get something good. I enjoy riding bikes. But. All the bikes I’ve owned before have been pieces of shit. My parents had some weird thing against buying bikes with speed shifts — such opulence should be left to the Rockefellers and Carnegies — which made most bikes I owned growing up rather difficult to handle in hilly Austin. And most bikes I’ve had have been sort of rickety, like you worry the front wheel might pop off or the pedals break at any moment. They’ve had rusty parts that cause excess friction. Etc.

So I decided to do it right. My version of right, anyway. I fronted the cash for a Trek 4500 mountain bike, got the good locks (because Austin, according to the guy I spoke with at Freewheelin’, ranks #8 in the nation for the number of bikes stolen — and UT ranks #1 amongst universities for bike theft), and I got a good helmet. Anyway, the bike is awesome. They fit it to my body. It’s got shocks on the front wheel which make going off of curbs and over bumps surprisingly smooth. And it’s got the 24 speeds. And a warranty.

So I’m happy about that. It cost a chunk, but I decided that it’ll pay for itself in about a year because I’ll use less gas and need fewer repairs on the truck. And I’ll get exercise (though in this weather I can’t go anywhere to formal on the bike since I’ll arrive drenched in sweat).

Great. Oh, and riding it for the first time around Hyde Park this afternoon I hit over a squirrel accidentally. A personal first. (I didn’t kill it — just winged it.) Damn squirrels.



Thursday, April 24, 2003

Feels like I’ve been running around much more than normal this past week. Not fun-fun run-around (although there’s been some of that) — more task-completion run-around: Get the car inspected. Make sure the Presentation is ready to go. Fly back home from Pennsylvania. Pay the traffic ticket. Find time to get some work taken care of. Etc.

Now I’ve taken a few minutes to organize my room space: clearing the piles of dirty clothes away from the center of the room where they had been piled as part of the unpacking of my luggage, collecting the miscelleneous pieces of spare paper and trash that has been strewn across my desk onto one small corner of my desk, stacking the books and magazines that normally litter the area around my futon on the shelves. And I can relax. iTunes decided to play the Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works Volume II” when I hit the “randomize” button. How apropos.

Jared took back the amplifier he had loaned me a few weeks ago, so I’m left to my headphones. I’ve decided that my ears get bored when they listen to music coming through one sound source all of the time. So the headphones are fine — a refreshing sonic space after listening to so much on the old Alesis Monitor Twos as powered by Jared’s amp. I have a crappy off-brand stereo on the other end of the room that I sometimes listen to, just because I sometimes do want to hear music through crappy speakers. Don’t know why. It’s just refreshing.

Anyway. Part of my decompression involved tinkering around with audio stuff. Before heading to Penna I recorded “Your Face Was Fireworks” into seperate tracks for each synth part. Tonight I took those recordings and plugged them into Ableton Live to see what new possibilities that might offer as far as live performance and expanding my pallette of available sounds. Took a bit of work. About a half-hour of not-so-fun processing audio files and getting crap set up. And the result sounded awful. Out of sync. Of lower sound quality than I’m used to. Ugh. Disappointing. So I fooled with it for about twenty minutes and then put it away. I’ll get back to it later, no doubt.

I think now I might do some stretching. Since the ankle-crutches incident I haven’t totally resumed the level of physical activity I had been enjoying beforehand. Haven’t played soccer once. I run once a week (or so), but that’s about it. Stretching feels so great, and energizes the body in such a mellow way — I need to take time to do it more often.

So what else? I think that about covers it.