Mixing Ventura

Ventura is recorded, with the tiny exception of some gang vocals that I’ll be reaching out to KC folks to help with in a few weeks.  As I’ve been finishing up the guitar leads, I’ve been mixing one song, creating a template of sorts that I’ll use as a foundation for the other tunes.  That’s coming along nicely, too, so while there’s a lot of mixing to do, I expect it to go smoothly.  I just need to give it the time.

Jill’s been giving me hell about whether it will ever be finished, but I feel like we’re still on track for a summer release (which is perfect for the album).

Free Music from Your Library

Did you know that both of my library systems, the Kansas City Public LIbrary and the Mid-Continent Public LIbrary, provide access to a music streaming and download service called Freegal?  Your local library may, too, or subscribe to a similar service.

Freegal lets users download up to five DRM-free songs per week, so as a patron (and taxpayer) in both systems, I can just about get a free album every week.  Not bad.  It seems like the Freegal library focuses on more recent releases, and only from specific record labels, but I’ve found plenty of music I wanted: Nine Inch Nails, The Twilight Singers, Phoenix, High on Fire, and Baroness, just for a few examples.  All I need is my library card number and PIN.

I’m sure services like these came about in response to Napster and piracy in general.  Does anyone know if they have a measurable effect in reducing piracy?

Log in to Freegal with your KC Public Library card / Log in to Freegal with your Mid-Continent Public Library card

Check your library’s website for details.

Fugazi Live Series Lincoln Arrives

FLS0992_Gavin-JensenI saw Fugazi in Lincoln on April 17th, 2001 – great show! – so since the band announced the live series a little over two years ago, I’ve had a browser tab open on that show’s page, waiting for it to go live.  (I even scanned and submitted my ticket stub, which you can see if you click on the poster, then click “Next.”)  A couple of weeks ago, it finally did.

Was it worth the wait?  I knew it would be.  It didn’t bring back specific memories of particular moments, like some of my bootlegs do, but it’s a blast to listen to.  Listening reinforces the image in my mind of standing in the middle of the crowd, the band on stage in the wide room with the low-ceiling, Guy’s SG, the tendons in Ian’s neck, and how happy I was not to have to worry about any moshing.

I had only been checking the page every few months, and even had done so in early January, but checked back again the other week after a conversation with my colleague Julie.  She’d asked what Mars Lights sounded like and I cited Fugazi and the Stooges as major reference points.  She turned out to be a Fugazi fan who had seen several KC-area shows, so I told her about the Live Series, we looked up her shows (one of which is available), I checked back on mine, and – ! – there it was.

Did you see Fugazi?  Is your show up on the Live Series, and if so, have you checked it out?

Tim’s Instrument-Making

Tim‘s been making flutes for a couple of years.  This week he finished his first ukelele and put it up for sale in his Etsy shop, and it looks amazing.

Tim's uke

The body is a cigar box; how rad is that?!

I’m impressed by Tim’s attention to detail and the amount of time and energy he spends on his instruments.  Take a look at the flutes for sale; he’s spent hours and hours experimenting with how to size a piece of bamboo to play in a certain key, the size and spacing of the finger holes for precise tuning and playing comfort, and learning how to make them sturdy.

Whether you’re a potential buyer or just checking out the photos and details of how these instruments were made, spend a minute at his shop.  You’ll learn something cool.