Friday, May 26, 2006


"Def Leppard has been putting out hit hard-rocking records for almost 30 years. That amazing track record gives them the much-deserved license to get creative every once in a while."
(Doug Miller /, referring to DL's new record of 70's cover songs)

I wonder if that's what he really meant to say.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Go here.

Powered by Evan from Geek Farm.


This dude was wasted.

What's the problem? He's a Lithuanian, for God's sake. He's supposed to be this drunk.


It just doesn't get any cooler than Apple.

I've signed up for a free trial of .mac, Apple's online storage and publishing service. Depending on how the trial run goes, I might lay some money down.

One of the cool things we can do is publish our calendar, through iCal, onto the web. It can be set to publish manually or automatically, and the online version can be "synched" to the calendar at the studio so if we make changes - or if a client makes changes - the calendars will all update.

Check it out.

It's funny because we generally don't list times on our iCal, so it looks like most sessions should be starting at 11pm. Well, that's about right.

The idea here is for the calendar to be available to anyone looking for time. They simply go to this page, see what's available, and book or hold time if they want. I don't know how far to go with allowing users to make modifications - for now it'll just show what's booked and what's open.

Sure beats trying to keep up with email threads about sessions...

Thursday, May 18, 2006


It's up!! It's up!!

It's up!!

The new Smoke and Mirrors Podcast, "Mayhappening", is up at HUEZINE.

Go here, and click on the "Podcasts" link on the left hand side of the screen. Then prepare to have your mind blown.

Thank you, Hue. Again, you are the man.


I'm so mad I could spit.

This tells the whole story.

I think I have to stop reading blogs. They make me angry and sad.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Are we becoming a nation of elderly zombies?

It seems like we may be headed there. More and more elderly people are becoming addicted to drugs - most of them prescription drugs or good old fashioned alcohol.

As the boomers continue to age, it's going to get worse and worse. And with the way drugs are prescribed to our kids, by the time they get to be senior citizens they'll be well primed, with an entire lifetime of drug use behind them.

The wonderful part of the whole thing is that many of the elderly are not able to afford these prescriptions, so we're creating a taxpayer subsidized drug addicted generation, with all of the money going to the Big Pharmaceuticals.

This is one reason I don't believe in legalizing "recreational" drugs like marijuana or cocaine. Because, ultimately, I don't think it will reduce addiction (although decriminalizing it would certainly reduce crime - in much the same way that raising the speed limit to 65 reduces speeding). I think it'll just make more money for the Big Guys, and leave more people strung out. Then we can tax them all to hell (like we do with cigarettes) and take what little they have left.

Ah, well, that's just business, and good business = making money. Right?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Thanks to Amy's Robot, we get a link to this great story about the dorkiest after prom party ever...

"Our whole group we rode in the limo with didn't want to come," said Alicia Charette, 14, who attended with her prom date, Zach Brower, 16. "We were the only ones that did."

At the party, a D.J. from a popular local radio station spun oldies like "Axel F" and "Build Me Up Buttercup."

Monday, May 15, 2006



Send your balls to Iraq.

Friday, May 12, 2006


I've spent some time this week doing my two most favorite things - mixing and cleaning. Now that the 5 song Strikes Again! demo is finished (please check the overhead bins for your personal belongings and thanks for flying with Smoke and Mirrors) I've turned my obsessive-compulsive side to Ted's Record and a track by Nadine Miller called "Scientific True Love" (one of my favorite songs of all time).

So I've got the mixing covered. Nadine comes in for two nights next week to do some more work on this and some other tunes, and Ted continues to work on The Ted Record, which I am not producing. Well, maybe a little bit.

I also pulled apart a big section of the studio and did some substantial cleaning and rewiring. Basically, the cabling behind the rack and between the rack and the mixer and the rest of the studio was a disaster, an unholy jumble of audio and electric wires, USB and MIDI cables, and God knows what else. I finally got down and dirty and unplugged massive amounts of shit (it's amazing how many extra cables you end up finding that way), re-ran the audio and electric (so as to minimize any interaction between the two), and bundled that shit up. So much cleaner, and it should sound better too.

Honest work like this makes me feel good.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Here's a cool site.

Now you never have to ask me what time it is again.



"Home" is one of my favorite Roger Waters songs. I think it's also one of his favorites. From the "Radio K.A.O.S" record... I even love the drum machine.

The choruses always give me chills:

When they overrun the defences
A minor invasion put down to expenses
Will you go down to the airport lounge?
Will you accept your second class status?
A nation of waitresses and waiters
Will you mix their martinis?
Will you stand still for it?
Or will you take to the hills?

When the cowboys and Arabs draw down
On each other at noon
In the cool dusty air of the city boardroom
Will you stand by a passive spectator
Of the market dictators?
Will you discreetly withdraw
With your ear pressed to the boardroom door?
Will you hear when the lion within you roars?
Will you take to the hills?"

Roger will be touring the US in the fall. Tickets for his shows at Madison Square Garden go on sale this Monday. Man, I could have seen both Gilmour and Waters in the same year... ah well, maybe just Rog.

He'll be joined by:

Andy Fairweather Low – Guitar
Snowy White – Guitar
Dave Kilminster – Guitar and Vocals
Graham Broad - Drums
Jon Carin – Keyboards
Harry Waters – Hammond
Ian Ritchie - Saxophone
Katie Kissoon, PP Arnold and Carol Kenyon – Background Vocals

Not too shabby. Andy and Snowy definitely know the tunes, as does Jon Carin (who's been playing with both Pink Floyd and Roger for some twenty years... yes, twenty years). Harry Waters is Roger's son, who appeared as one of the children in Radio K.A.O.S. back in '87. Good stuff.

More Roger, from "Four Minutes", another chill inducing track from K.A.O.S.:

After a near miss on a plane
You swear you'll never fly again
After the first kiss when you make up
You swear you'll never break up again...
And when you've just run a red light
Sit shaking under the street light
You swear to yourself you'll never drink and drive again
Sometimes I feel like going home
(You swear you'll never let things go by again)
Sometimes I miss the rain and snow
(And you'll never toe the party line again)
And when the east wind blows
Sometimes I feel like going home...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Jeez, who cares?

This guy is so desperate for attention, he'd... well... I can't think of anything more stupid than the stupid stuff he's already done.

Seriously, enough already.

Monday, May 08, 2006


My God, I'm buying this for the Misanthrope,

this for Jackson,

this for Tony Alva,

and of course this for myself.


Keith Richards gets head surgery.

It's about time!

Oh wait, this was because of his accident. Sorry.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Well, Bob Lefsetz's rant on Flea's email to the Chili Pepper's fans has certainly got us talking.

I made my (long winded) point over at AVC, but last night I also sent this message to Ted and Fred, and I thought I'd put it here too...

"I hope Bob's rant isn't the summation of that side of the debate, because it's pretty thin. He makes no real point. I guess ultimately it'll be decided in the court of capitalism, but people forget that we're talking about art as well.

Well, sometimes it's art. I'd say for the Chili's it is. And I'm not really a huge fan.

If the people want an easy way to get their music digitally, that's fine. The system is not perfect yet, but that doesn't make it OK to attack an artist you supposedly like for having an opinion on something that's he's more than entitled to have an opinion on. Flea can say whatever he wants about his music and how its distributed, just like any individual, or corporation, or nation, or artist has a right to decide how to present themselves to the world.

To say "legalize the trading and shut up"... Flea won't make any laws. Flea was a musician before the Chili's and will be one after. Bob doesn't get that the music he likes is powerful because it exists on a level well beyond commercial concerns or the technology used to consume it. Businessmen have tried to monetize it, which has no real connection to the experience of making a piece of music.

There are thousands of poor musicians for every Flea. It has nothing to do with money for them.

You'll never TRULY monetize the music. You can't. It's apples and oranges.

The Chili's make music that touches poeple because they give their lives to it. When all is said and done, they have the right to decide how to give it to the world.

It's not tied to to record sales. It doesn't matter if "people will do it anyway".

The fans do not own the artist. His destiny is not controlled by the fans, contrary to Bob's opinion. Flea has an essentially religious point of view when it comes to his music. Bob doesn't understand this. If he were really a fan, he would. Flea's certainly talked about it enough."

Thursday, May 04, 2006


I'm blogging, Strikes Again! is eating at a restaurant somewhere on Grand St, I think.

Fucking great band, fucking great guys, fucking great show.

I saw DFactor and Anonymous, met Tony from the Beatings, and talked Strikes!'s (check out that punctuation, bitch) collective ear off with thoughts about EQ in a live setting.

It was... a blast. The best sound is often right at the front of the stage, where you hear the band, instead of the sound guy's hangover.


The Roughs Kill Me

I also received the roughs of "The Robots Kill Everyone" from George of Via Skyway. The Misanthrope is right; it sounds like a record. It'll sound like an immense chunk of dark beauty when it's done. All of the basic parts are represented in the roughs but will eventually be played by a cast of thousands. I'm pruod of George and how focused he's been.


I want to hear Mike's Replacements-Like records. John VA tells me Mike's made two.

There's so mcuh I don't know about these people I worship with. I say "worship" because music is sacred, and music is sound, and listening to sound is communion.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Do you like to fly?

Here's something you might enjoy - some pictures of and comments on the old Hong Kong airport.

You'd approach by flying through downtown... that's right, through downtown. From the hi rise buildings people would look down on the jets as they approached.

Scroll to the bottom to see the actual pictures, or take a look here.

The airport's been closed since 1998; I flew into the new, much less frightening airport. Ah, well. You can't have it all.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I've been doing... taxonomy.

The "Harmonica Mic" I acquired is a Turner S33D. "Of course it is," you say.

These old guys require a mic cable that screws on, kind of like a coax. Available on eBay, and as soon as I get a darned eBay account there'll be one on its way to Brooklyn.

The headphones are AKG K140's. I'm sure you'll all sleep better knowing that. Made in Austria, like our landlord.

I've also been doing... research.

The Bontempi air organ sounds like a melodica because that's basically what it is, except that instead of Mikedot it has an electric fan. Like any free reed aerophone, it is tuned by altering the size of the reeds. I need to buy a file.

The Tascam 133 is still a Tascam 133. Hasn't been plugged in yet, but man it fills up some rack space.

The guitar pedal is just a switch (oh yeah, THAT's why there's only one jack). I'll let you know if it switches anything.


I can't say it enough. Back up your data.

I say it to every client that walks in the door. I say it over and over and over. And, to date, only a handful have taken backups of their projects. I try to maintain backups for as long as I can, but we simply do not have the space (or the budget) to hold onto 2 copies of everything. We don't even have the space to hold onto 1 copy after a certain period of time.

If you spend several hundred (or thousand) dollars recording your audio, how can it not be worth it to get a hard drive or CDR's (or even your iPod) and take a backup?

As some of you know, one of our hard drives was dropped a while back (not by me or Ted) and became unreadable. This was a 200 gig drive.

It's taken months and months for a data recovery firm to even get a list of files from the drive... but they finally did, which they sent to Tony Alva, and which is some 900 pages long.

Total cost to recover the data... around $2000. That's to get the data onto another hard drive. We have no guarantee it will be usable.

Some (much) of this is client data. I know for a fact there is no backup. Is it the studio's responsiblity to fork over two grand to get this precious music back?

How precious is it if the client didn't see fit to take a copy?

That $2000 could go to pay rent (oh yeah, it's the 2nd. Rent's due. Anyone? Anyone?) or to buy new preamps or an air purifier or any number of things that would make the studio better for our clients. I don't want to pay for this, and even if I end up not, I don't want my partners to have to. We've got bills to pay.

I'll say it one more time. BACK UP YOUR DATA. Wherever you go, whomever you work with, back it up. Because if it doesn't matter to you, who does it matter to?


Sunday I happened upon a little stoop sale on Hope Street (home of Smoke and Mirrors).

Turns out that The Guy Who Runs A Studio is closing the place down for a bit (apparently he does this from time to time) and stuff was priced to MOVE.

Here's what I got (would've gotten more if I coulda carried it)....

Tascam 133MKII - Mixdown cassette deck. It's pro! XLR ins and outs. Can synch to video (circa 1985). Will definitely try mixing to this puppy. "Hey man, we mixed our whole record to tape..."

AKG headphones - don't know the model, but they're vintage late 70's/early 80's. Work and sound great.

Unidentified Guitar Pedal - it's kind of metallic brown. No markings. Haven't put a battery in it yet... no idea what it'll do.

A pair of old Telephone Operator headset/microphone combos. OLD SCHOOOL, as in operators with patch cords. Look like they could hook up to my old Lionel electric trains. Whack.

The essential harmonica mic - I don't know the model #, but according to The Guy this is the one the mouth harpists want to see. Some sort of unusual interface for the cable... will have to do research.

And the big score...

Bontempi Electric Air Organ - has a fan, sounds kind of like a melodica, way cool. But it's out of tune. Turns out it's a "free reed" instrument, like a harmonica (or melodica) so one should be able to file the reeds to alter the tuning. This is going to be fun.

Total spent = $35. Like I said, the stuff was priced to move.

Monday, May 01, 2006


"And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up... too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we're not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too."

--Rush Limbaugh, on his TV show (10/5/95)

Fill the cup, buddy.


I'm sleepy.

I'm so sleepy I could fall asleep.