electro-music 2006

dreams of interpretation.

M2: It’s funny that you mention mouths appearing where there were not mouths before. It was scary — when I was like, I don’t know, eight, nine, ten years old I had a recurring dream. This LITERALLY lasted for the better part of five or six YEARS, well into my adolescence, and it was always EXACTLY the same, as if were just a TAPE replaying every time.

The WORLD was FILLED with FACELESS CREATURES. Pretty much everything that was… mammalian… uh, was completely and totally FACEless – except these ROUND MOUTHS – perfectly round mouths – would appear from nowhere, generally in the forehead region, just LINED with these RAZOR-SHARP TEETH –



F3: Yeah, I used to be obsessed with echinoderms because they have creepy little mouths like that.

M2: OH YEAH! And, and, like, the, this dream, like, basically, I was surrounded by these things, and some of them were like, vaguely recognizeable as like, people or creatures or animals that I KNEW throughout my life, and, and, there was no real sense of malice for the first good HALF of the dream; they were just kind of, AROUND. And then they started, like – but they stayed at a relative distance. Then, uh, in, er, uh, the, uh, middle-ish, uh, uh, uh, of the dream, or so, they started, uh, just, getting CLOSER. As I was going through all these different places they’re MUCH, MUCH CLOSER, and these MOUTHS start appearing. And they start coming TOWARD me.

F3: This sounds like the zombies in Zelda.

M2: Wuaouh, UEH, I, uh, maybe. This was BEFORE I ever played Zelda, so, but yeah, crazy-crazy.

But th- uh, the DREAM always ended the SAME WAY; uh, like, this MAN and, we-, uh, he’s in, like, a BOWLER hat, and he’s FACEless. And he takes off the bowler hat-

F3: Magritte! Your whole dream was about Magritte!

M2: Well, yeah, it IS very Magritte in that regard but- well, there’s no apple, but instead of an apple there’s this BIG FUCKING MOUTH, and he just, like, LEANS TOWARDS me, and I close my eyes and scream, and I open my eyes, and I’m on this LITTLE GREEN WOODEN DINGHY on the middle of an OCEAN, like, just, OUT IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. And my MOM’S DOG, he was-

F3: Dinghy! (Laughs uncontrollably) Sorry!

M2: He was a BELOVED FAMILY PET. His name was Machette – my mom had THREE STANDARD POODLES named Machette. She brought her first one back-

F3: Like “machette”?

M2: Uh, well, uh, yes. FRENCH pronounciation of “like the word ‘machette’ ”.

Uh, she brought it back, uh, in the 1960s when she moved back – she’d been living in Paris and she moved back to the United States. She’d been working, uh, in the US NATO office, and uh, she was good friends with one of the French ambassadors, and when he moved to a new apartment he couldn’t keep his standard poodle, Machette, so he gave it to my mom; my mom kept her for a couple of years, moved back to the states, and she flew Machette back with her. And every time Machette died, she would get a new Machette.

So I always knew a black standard poodle, female, named Machette. This was like a staple… like a pinnacle… like a PILLAR of my CHILDHOOD, like, the ULTIMATE SAFETY, ‘cause there was always a dog named Machette.

And at the end of this dream, I’m in the middle of this OCean, no land in SIGHT, no sun, no clouds, just OMNIDIRECTIONAL LIGHT. And this faceless Machette comes up out of the water, puts both front legs on the edge of the boat, and this BIG MOUTH appears, and I was like WOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!!! and then I wake up.

And I literally had that dream once a month for five years.

Yeah. Fucked up. “Mouths appearing where there were not mouths before”… something so specific has to be in some… it has to hit on some eventual – some insecurity or something. I don’t know.


[M2 === Aaron] [F3 === Beth]

interpretations of dream.

So the other day, I had this dream that I was flying back to Columbus, Ohio, to perform some sort of musical drama. The performance was, like, going to be in two weeks and it was like, not going to be performed in Columbus, but rather in Philadelphia, and the script was still incomplete, and we hadn’t, like, finished writing the music or practiced at all or anything.

So, when I arrived at Steve’s condo, Ashley and Ryan were, like, building some animal out of plastic and, like, filming it. Or something. This went on for a couple of days, except they were always filming different things, like Cheerios and Floam creatures and sea-urchins-that-look-nothing-like-sea-urchins. Made out of pipe cleaners.

So. We were going along, filming weird things and writing weird things – oh, and I think we might have been, like, keeping a blog of all this or something – when the guy who was going to play keyboard said he wasn’t coming, and we had to rewrite everything for four people instead of five – which we might have had to do anyway, cause, like, we were trying to maintain correspondence with the number of tines on a typical dinner fork.

Then we started having these rehearsals. And I think one night during one of these rehearsals, I was going to, like, chant some lyrics or something, and then Steve started waving his hands above his head, which I recognized as the universal signal for “dance like a robot,” so I started, you know, dancing like a robot. And then the music stopped and Steve was like, “What are you doing?! That was your cue to come in!!”

Anyway, one day Steve and I went to the airport, where Beth was, and it was weird because I knew immediately who she was even though I had never met her in person before. Then we picked up Aaron at his house in Newark, and he started driving and then we realized that we were going west, and for some reason, we, like, didn’t want to be going in that direction, so we turned around.

So we were, like, driving somewhere at night and it was dark, you know, because it was night, and all of a sudden, we were in, like, this dark tunnel and Ace of Base started playing really loudly and the car windows rolled down. Then the sun came up and we like found this hotel in Philadelphia, and it had a toaster that didn’t really toast things, so I brought the untoasted bread to our room and fell asleep on the floor for two hours.

Then we were, like, at this old house that was called an “arts center” and this guy who called himself Dr. T was, like, projecting some really crazy fractals and Hindu gods on this screen, and I almost became hypnotized and, like, had to go out and get some fresh air.

And then, we, like, did the show, you know, and there were people watching and clapping once in a while, and afterward, someone came up and told us that it was “fun.”

Well, you know, even though that was over, we were still kind of trapped in Philadelphia, so we wandered around in Chinatown and bought some fake fruit to keep the projectors company, took a trip to New Jersey, and ate at the Great American Diner Pub.

The next day, we were back at the arts center and had to do some visuals for some other musicians who were there, so we were, like, putting some postmodern evil flashing teapots up on the screen, and after that, we went outside. While we were standing there, I was suddenly having a panic attack from all the mind torture, so I bummed a cigarette off of this guy, and you know, it was just like being in Germany, because I was standing there smoking with other people who were smoking.

We were almost ready to get out of there, but then the van started clicking, and it turned out that, like, besides trying to communicate with us from the Twilight Zone, the van’s battery was dead. So we had to jump it, which was difficult because it was dark, you know, and we couldn’t see. But Michael Victor lent us a flashlight and we got things working, and we left to go to Perkins. Except that it wasn’t Perkins, it was just an overly-airconditioned diner where old men go to talk about killing their wives.

Well, finally, we escaped and were driving back to Columbus, stopping along the way to pick up a Christian selfhelp book about how eugenics is good and how identifying your complicated, unpredictable, genetically-inherited temperament will help you find your vocation and marry a beautiful wife.

Then in the end, the whole thing turned out to be some sort of moralstory about why you should never leave your whale in the desert because, you know, it’s kinda useless there.

dear steve

I would like to thank Steve for allowing me into his home and letting me be part of something really special.

The last couple weeks have been an amazing experience. I was able to learn so much. From the stop motion animations, the sound recordings, and the video syncing. It all let me part of something creative and unique.

Highlights of the trip:

  • Any time spent down in the mine.
  • Highway coasting behind semis.
  • Rocking out with our voices in the car.
  • Dinner with Briggs.
  • Denison Tour.
  • Whit’s custard shop.
  • The cat gun.
  • Being able to perform in front of people in Philadelphia (albeit behind a computer).
  • Setting up and learning about the sound system.
  • Blogging.
  • Creating.

And the quote of the trip: “This is the Denison bridge, where many a student has tried to kill himself and failed.” - Steve (while pointing at 12-foot-high footbridge)


The day was busy as we were getting everything finalized and written for the final rehearsal tonight.

Sometime in the day we ate lunch at a Chinese fast foodish place. Everything is a blur before lunch. Mostly what I remember from the morning is: viola stand made, Ashley finished up arranging some songs, Steve finalized the last video patch, Tina finished editing all the final set lists…the amount of finished tasks goes on.

Aaron arrived early and he began to get everything programmed into the drum pad. Steve finished up sequencing a couple songs so we could start rehearsing them as he continued sequencing more songs.

We rehearsed the songs, and the captioning system.

More songs were rehearsed.

At around 9 pm, a complete, full, all the way through, run, was done. It was a bit sloppy in spots, mostly on scene changes and what not. But, overall, it went relatively smooth.

Another scene change run was done. Thoughts were inputted and changed.

A packing list is currently being made, while the morning plans are being scripted.

Car 1: Green Dodge Minivan (Ashley, Ryan, and almost all of the equipment) Estimated time of departure from Steve’s: 12:00 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival to Hotel: 8:00 pm EDT

Car 2: White Toyota Prius (Steve, Tina, Aaron and Beth) Estimated time of departure from Steve’s: 6:00 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival to Columbus Airport: 6:30 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival to Aaron’s: 8:00 pm EDT Estimated time of arrival at Hotel: 4:00 am EDT


Awakening was delayed as Ashley and I slept past the alarm.

I was greeted in the kitchen by Tina’s already-brewed coffee. She stated it might be too strong, but it was just what the doctor ordered.

Steve was busy sequencing and Tina was creating a book cover for one of our props. So, not being needed, Ashley and I headed to joannfabric to pick up some velcro to secure the Mac minis to the projectors. We chose the industrial version. A trip was also made to Kroger to pick up some bread and fortune cookies for props.

Upon returning, I practiced the subcaptioning, as Tina sang. Steve and Ashley were composing new songs at that time.

We finally recieved news back that we could not use a local outdoor ampitheater because they would not unlock the power outlets for us. The outlets were for “their” use only. We could still practice there, but no power…

Feeling dejected, Tina searched for new parks, and then we tried to go hunt them down. We succesfully found two, however neither park had power outlets in or near their covered shelter. The third alleged park is m.i.a.

We returned home with another sense of dejection. However, Ashley and Steve had both finished up with their two songs. So, in rejoice, we went to go practice them. They went well, some parts needed some adjusting too.

Aaron arrived and our drummer man was here. He set up, and we began rocking out. His drumming skills amazed me, mostly on how quick he could pick up the bassline for each song, and then learn it and memorize it.

A couple dry runs were done of the script. I got to practice video for each non-musical scene. Things went well.

Aaron brought his commodore 64 to generate sounds to be used during the performance.

Currently a midnight snack is being eaten. Whether work has ended for the night has yet to be discussed.

lorem. ipsum.

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i wanna be a popstar when i grow up.

We spent a fair amount of time last night rehearsing Ashley and Steve’s “Disney on acid” arrangement of Drinking Song. People have asked me before how I feel about writing lyrics and then handing them off to other people to arrange. “How do you know that it’s going to sound how you think it’s going to sound? What if they get it wrong?”

When I wrote this piece of text, I wasn’t hearing trippy music. I didn’t envision pipecleaner fish and an octopus swimming around behind me. I wouldn’t have known if clarinet and ethereal piano sounds were the right instrumentation. Did they get it wrong?

If one bothers to put some thoughts on paper, perhaps one is just hoping to remember what one meant when one comes back to it later. And if one manages to slip those words onto someone else, perhaps she is just hoping that it will have some kind of meaning for them. Any kind of meaning.

The danger, then, is not that the composers will get it wrong, but that they will get it right. I’m not sure that I can hold onto the amplified meaning that this piece now contains for me.

But given that I actually have to sing this – in front of strangers. Who are musically inclined. And sober – I had better hold on tight.



It marked the first day of rehearsals. Preparation was needed before we started.

Like any good morning, I awoke to the sounds of Robert’s voice downstairs. He had stopped by to drop off the projector mounts, the projector and the mac mini. He will be back later to drop off some 3chip cameras.

The mounts were still in their raw form, so Steve applied a layer of black spraypaint to cover them up. We also had to widen the mounting holes just a little because they were too close together. 4 1x2 wood pieces were cut to place between the projector and the projector mount in order to raise them up an inch. This allowed for the power plug to be plugged in. The wood pieces were painted and the mounts got another coat too. They were left to dry.

While inside, Ashley practiced and edited some of the music. Steve finished up adding closedcaptioning functionality to the video syncing software. All of our “popsongs” will have closed captioning running, which is controlled by me using a footpedal, one word at a time.

Tina arrived a little into the afternoon. She has been working on props/imagery/generalcoherence.

With the paint dry, the mounts+projectors+Macs were brought to the practice room and set up. It took a little work, but the two projectors finally lined up. My laptop was setup to control the two minis. Video set up was complete.

Steve started setting up the all the audio tech stuff. Mic checks were run, and then Steve showed us the wonders of a little black box he had. Turning the volume up, and starting to create some feedback, Steve pressed a button and the blackbox eliminated the feedback. This was done several times to different mics and at different volumes. Ear protection, consisting of two fingers, was worn.

We heard news that Aaron was not gonna to be able to make the rehearsal tonight, seeing how he had just drove back from a gig in Chicago, and he was feeling quite under the weather.

So, I stepped in, and we did another runthrough of the script. This time we were mic’d and it was recorded so we could play it back over and over, and grind the lines into our heads. After that, or maybe before it, we had some amazing pizza from Donatos.

I started to edit the newly recorded script while the musicians, Steve, Tina and Ashley started to rehearse a bit.

When I was done, we did a couple full-run-throughs of one of the songs with the video, subtitles, and music. It was quite hard for the first run to get the subtitles exactly right. But now I have the song memorized for the most part (only 6 run-throughs later) and it was getting easier at the end.

More video ideas were discussed for different scenes. Videos that were going to be mixed were added and saved for the different scenes.

Ashley and I threw in the towel and went to bed, while Tina and Steve continued discussing and finalizing video for scenes.


It is late; the day is blurred at the moment. I am sure the more I write the more I will remember, thus defeating the title of the post. However, I will divulge.

Steve, Ashley and I headed to Polaris Grill to meet up with Ashley and Steve’s Grandparents to celebrate their Grandma’s birthday. We had a lovely brunch buffet. As Ashley’s Grandma stated, “The variety here is good.” It was one of the best buffets I had dined upon. Gifts were exchanged, goodbyes were said, and we headed back to homebase.

A carwash was spotted on the way home. We decided to visit it after Steve went to get a haircut.

One of Fantastic Sam’s employees gave Steve a new postpunk hairdo. It is magnificent.

On the way home we pulled into the carwash station. Upon seeing the 6 car line to get an automatic carwash, we decided to use their manual station. With 8 quarters loaded into the coin acceptor, our 4 minutes started to tick down. Ashley applied the initial rinse, and then I applied the foaming soap. The foaming brush was steered around the car by Ashley as I waited to unleash the high-pressure rinse. I rinsed. Steve coated the car in a strange pink and orange substance, I rinsed with some other low-pressure rinse. A shiny coat was applied last. It was a very intense 4 minutes. Some spots were missed, but for a timed run, it was overall highly successful.

Upon returning I was given the privilege to edit all of the sound clips we had recorded in the last week. The main task was to edit the radio announcer parts. I enjoyed the work thoroughly. As I was editing and cutting, Ashley was hard at work composing a melody for one of the songs in the upcoming performance. Steve was finishing up the code to his newly updated video program syncing display-looping fading thingy. From what I remember from last year, the program has many new features. I am excited to be running it this year.

Tina arrived and helped finish up the newly reedited 4 person script. The chaos and/or devastation that hit last night seemed to be in the distant past. All things had returned to normal.

Steak ‘n Shake was visited again, on the grounds of a particular person craving a milk shake. I enjoyed my shake.

The basement was cleaned out, and a mock stage was set up. A character placement and blocking run was done on the new set. Most of the staging questions got sorted out.

We are currently waiting for Robert’s reappearance to the world to get One LCD Projector, One Mac Mini, and One Pair of Projector and Mac Mini Truss Mounts back from him for the upcoming rehearsals. We need them badly to set up and test the visuals. We do not want to be the creators of a headache-like feeling because our animations are too wickedly awesome for people’s brains to handle when overlapped with other wickedly awesome video.

The not so long post has became long as predicted so…

edit title :: “a not so quickiepost”.