Song: Snack Saw of Redemption

Frenetic Stereoear Here’s the third song from the album “Frenetic Stereoear” titled “Snack Saw of Redemption.”


I took a jazz beat and slowed it down, and by now you can probably tell I like the phaser pedal. This song managed to go on for 2 and a half minutes, though I’m not convinced it should… The title came about because you can hear a hacksaw in the song, and I originally came up with “Hacksaw of Redemption” not really knowing what it meant, but liking the sound of it, but then I changed “hacksaw” to “Snack Saw” in thinking about the “Shawshank Redemption” and saws, in cakes, and bars (and barres) and that’s what happened. Yeah, that’s how it works.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being awesome) I’ll give this song a 6. The offbeatness of it, a bit of variance from the bass, and the phaser on the guitar, just sort of work for me…

Audio Channel Uncategorized

Song: Nuthin’ but an 8-bit Thief

Frenetic Stereoear Here’s the second song from the album “Frenetic Stereoear” titled “Song: Nuthin’ but an 8-bit Thief.”


The beginning and end of this song feature some tone generation done with an Arduino. I was hoping to build an Atari Punk Console in February, but really didn’t have time for it… but I did do a bit of playing around with the Arduino’s tone library. And yes, I completely forgot to incorporate the Easy Button in any song!

At some point this song went a little math rock, though poorly done. I admire the stuff that Don Caballero does, but hell if I can pull it off.

The title? It’s an ode to the bleep-bloop 8-bit style sound that the Arduino generated. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being awesome) I’ll give this song a 4. It’s really just some weird noise with a beat. This one is also short. After I recorded this, I briefly considered making the entire album up of songs that were under 1 minute each. In the end, I didn’t do that.


Song: Pancakes for Brains

Frenetic Stereoear Here’s the first song from the album “Frenetic Stereoear” titled “Pancakes for Brains.”


This is the first song I recorded, and I really wished I had spent some time before February 1st getting the sound down and getting used to playing guitar again, since I’ve done nothing but some basic noodling here and there for the past few months.

The background sound is from the recording I did of Milwaukee Traffic at Night, and the drums are from Brian P. Hogan. (Thanks Brian!)

I think it’s called “Pancakes for Brains” because I had pancakes on the day I mixed and mastered this song. On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being awesome) I’ll give this song a 6. I sort of like the sound, but it’s poorly written and very short. That’s OK, we’ve got plenty more to come…


RPM Challenge: Done

Frenetic Stereoear

It’s done… Once again I’ve completed the RPM Challenge, to record an entire album in just 28 days.

There were a lot of ups and down this year, as usual, but by February 27th, I’d recorded 13 songs, mixed and mastered them and burned a CD.

Once again I feel that the songs may not be that good, but being forced to play, record, use Logic, and actually make something really helped me to learn new things, and have some fun in the process. For me the frustration isn’t in getting it done, but doing it well. Out of the 13 songs, there’s bit and pieces I like, and maybe one or two songs I think are strong, but overall, I’m really starting to feel that trying to make 10 good songs (or 35 minutes of good music) is tough… really tough… and I’m walking away this year not convinced I’ll do it again. Of course I probably think that every March.

New this year is a Fender Stratocaster I picked up used from the one of the guys in ZyFy. Having a good guitar really helped out. My bass is still the old Ibanez I’ve had for about 20 years. I’d love to have a Fender bass someday, but for now, the Ibanez is fine. I’m also running the guitars into a Behringer Xenyx 802, and from there into the Firewire FCA202. This seems to work well, and I now use the 802 for output from my Mac as well, running into an old pair of Bose speakers I’ve not found any other use for. So if nothing else, I’ve now got a kick-ass audio system in my office.

So anyway, the album is called “Frenetic Stereoear” and rather than just post all the songs here, I’m thinking of publishing them one at a time, with some commentary of each one. That should be fun…

Oh, I should also explain how I make these songs. It’s all improvised, and I don’t learn the songs at all, I build them as I go. I will typically find some drum tracks I like (or build them out of individual instruments) and then hit record in Logic and play along to the drums with either the bass or guitar until I find a riff (or bassline) I like. Once I’ve got something in place, I may do a few additional tracks, and maybe drop in some background sounds, then do a basic level mix and move on. I honestly kick these things out in about an hour, give or take a little. Most of these songs have just one or two parts, no distinct changes in percussion, and no vocals. This is part of the problem… I’d like to get beyond these simple songs. I felt I did a bit with Navasio in 2009 since I only did 5 songs, but I’d like to be able to spend more time on less songs and make them better. Maybe I’ll just record 4 or 5 songs next year and not actually do the “RPM” part of the challenge.


Girl Talk (Part II)

If the music doesn’t blow your mind, the contradictions will…

It’s been a while since I asked the question What is Girl Talk? and since the criminal mastermind behind Girl Talk has a new album, I figured I should take a look…

Head on over to and play along if you’d like…

As you may know, Girl Talk is completely reliant on other artists for source material. Artists who actually write and play music. Meaning, Girl Talk’s music would not exist if it were not for the artists which he takes things from. My understanding is that he does not actually pay these artists for their work. That’s OK, because he has this bit that thanks them.

This album is a free download.
Girl Talk thanks all artists sampled.

Please remember to thank me the next time I punch you in the face and take your wallet. Also, remind me to make a nice list of all the people who I punch in the face and steal wallets from.

Now, I’m a fan of Creative Commons, and I’ve been know to call people out when they use a Creative Commons license inappropriately, including re-licensing other’s work when they have no right to.

All Day by Girl Talk is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. The CC license does not interfere with the rights you have under the fair use doctrine, which gives you permission to make certain uses of the work even for commercial purposes. Also, the CC license does not grant rights to non-transformative use of the source material Girl Talk used to make the album.

Consider my mind blown… How does this even work!? As I understand it, Girl Talk uses all of the samples without permission. I’m going to guess that over 95% of the samples he uses are “All Rights Reserved” and do not fall under a Creative Commons license. So… how does one take a bunch of “All Rights Reserved” materials (without permission) and then re-license it under a Creative Commons license? What am I missing here? Am I just not understanding it?

Also, you should note that it’s a Noncommercial license. I mean, Girl Talk doesn’t want you making money from his hard work! (Was that sarcastic enough?) Also, Girl Talk will be in Milwaukee next month, tickets are just $30 (not including the service charges.)

Well, all I know for sure is that this Girl Talk guy is a rebel… He’s all about breaking the rules! He’d never tell you what to do. He’d never tell you how to listen to his album.

All Day is intended to be listened to as a whole.

I’m willing to be schooled on this whole Girl Talk thing… Am I completely backwards in my reading of all of this? Is this guy a champion of artist’s rights? A model citizen of the Creative Commons movement? Let me know…