Sick Ridiculous at Waffle Shop
(08 Apr 2009 at 23:44)
Hey: Some of you locals may know about this place called Waffle Shop in East Liberty next to Shadow Lounge. It's a "real" waffle store in the sense that they serve waffles, but it's only open from 11pm to 2am two nights a week because it's also a CMU art project to create a reality TV show about local people's stories. Here's a story: my band Sick Ridiculous and the Sick Ridiculous will be playing there this Saturday night. The show is free. Since we're the only band and it's starting deep into the evening and it is pro bono we should have pretty good control over the start time, so I promise if you come you won't need to wait hours for the show to start. (We'll update the Facebook event and maybe here if the time estimate changes.) But moreover there are not just promises about not disappointing you but promises about 'appointing, e.g.: I got a new guitar which should increase our rock-sound without feedback quotient, which is also beautiful and has a rainbow strap and sounds a monster; this same night is a big WRCT dance party at Shadow Lounge and Ava next door so you can combine both activities into one wholesome well-rounded night on the town; we will be debuting our new song that I think is called School of Mines; and as resident musicians it is bandatory for us to invent a waffular concoction that will be available for purchase that night only. I can say for pretty sure that the waffle will be vegetarian and named after some contortion of our band's name; for example if it were composed of x86 and ALPHA microprocessors it might be called the "CISC Ridiculous and the Sick RISCdiculous", but optimally the named parts would not only be vegetarian but actually non-toxic food. Do you have suggestions? We have some ideas but we will absorb your ideas too if you deliver them to us by commenting. All submissions become property of Sick Incdiculous, LLC.
Tom 7 Entertainment System show at Belvedere's, March 27
(22 Mar 2009 at 02:25)
I know I've mentioned this before, but now there's a poster. And it's coming up soon. I'm playing with William Sides Atari Party, X-Buster, and Bit Mummy. I don't really know anything about how this is going down (like band order or timeframe) other than the 8pm listing, but I am fairly certain it is really happening. Performing this video game music is not as obvious as performing stuff that's created in the first place with guitars and the mouth. But I have written some software and I am working still on some hardware and I promise I will not just sit behind a laptop, at least. And Belvedere's is a pretty cool spot, in Lawrenceville. Come if you want. Unlike the incessant Sick Ridiculous shows, this may be the only chance to see this project live, like, ever.
PS. The show at the Lava Lounge was really fun. Thanks for everybody that came! :)
#1: Steelers win Superbowl. You've probably also heard about this, so I just wanted to mention: (a) I have Steelers theme song covers; (b) Now Steelers have more Superbowl victories than any other team (6), which is Six Ridiculous; (c) My playoffs beard now becomes my private property, which means I can shave it at any time or link it to some other event out of my control (d) This was probably the best football game I've ever seen, though it could have been better with an intentional safety—which apparently Tomlin was planning to take (!) if only we had not gotten an accidental safety instead; (e) Guys, intentional safeties are so sweet, like rocket-jumping, or shooting yourself through the shoulder to kill the bad guy standing behind you at the end of the movie. Do you like it when I put other single characters (?) in parentheses in the middle of the parenthetical-letter-delimited list? Or is that confusing?
#2: You are hereby invited to our first real Sick Ridiculous & etc. gig on Saturday February 7 at 9pm at Smiling Moose. I am pretty sure this show is going to really happen unlike last time because, for example, we are the featured event on Smiling Moose's web site. We're playing with two other bands: one which comprises our friend and his friends and which I like a lot (reminds me of Steven Malkmus side projects, but bearded), and one that I don't know but their music sounds good on the Myspace. Because I have a particular kind of hangup about this, I want you to know that I don't expect any person to come just because he or she's my friend (except Nels; you gotta come dude because you are in the band), nor does becoming a "fan" obligate you to attend future concert outings. But, more people makes it more fun for everyone. If you are dying of grad school destitution and cannot afford, I will pay your cover and buy you a drink. This animated concert poster may or may not hypnotize you into compliance:
I also have a highly probable but not finalized gig for Tom 7 Entertainment System on March 27 at Belvedere's, with a few other chiptune bands. Please place a tick mark in your calendar. This will be my first time performing that stuff publicly too (though I conveniently have some hot technology in the works for it), and a rare opportunity.
Okay, the last ten (!) posts have all been about running or music, so I'm trying to get out of the music/running rut. Here's a thing: I don't want to be rutwise in my extramural behavior either, so I've been trying to do things that are a bit outside my comfort zone. There's a hipster bar Brillobox nearby in Lawrenceville that has a monthly "Drink and Draw" event, which from its name sounds like basically an ideal event, for me I mean, combining two great tastes that go great together—I even have on my vague list of themes for parties to host, a similar hypothetical event—although you gotta be careful because you can't be sure of what sense in which they mean "draw"; for example, WordNet reminds me that it might mean Draw Poker (not so bad) or a tie game (I prefer it to be settled decisively) or maybe even drawing blood, which will make me pass out especially with the drinking. And who knows what kind of drinking they're talking about; like maybe they mean drinking ethylenediamine and drawing blood. No thank you. It does turn out that the kind of drawing they had in mind is human figure drawing like they do in art school. This is I think literally the thing that I am worst at in visual art: realistic renderings of the human form, not because I have some weird misanthropic relationship with the body or lack of appreciation or even for lack of trying, just that it's really fucking hard and we're so good at recognizing people and their deformities that when the drawing is not great, it looks truly terrible. So I went and thought I'd sort of hang out in the shadows and use the occasion as kind of inspiration for whatever I felt like drawing, and maybe do a little halfhearted dabbling in drawing the actual model without anybody being able to see what I'm doing, which sounds good to me, like being in a classroom where they serve beer. 'Cept when I got there, there were only like 3 people in attendance, and so I felt obligated to be in the front row, and everybody could see what I was doing, and I felt obligated to draw the model who is clearly doing these stoic poses right in front of me. So I am inadvertently significantly more outside my comfort zone than I had intended, yikes. I had brought technical pens because that's my favorite for illustration, but requires a certain kind of confidence in stroke that I don't have for human figure drawing. So I tried for a while to do some realistic renderings, where this was the best I got
and it was a good and interesting exercise, but kinda embarrassing. Towards the middle-end I was like jeez, I gotta do something that's not my worst thing or else I can't stand it. So then I started doing me-style illustrations with fonts and crap, and drew for example:
And I like those pretty okay. The art people did at least smile at these, and say positive coded messages like those are "cool" or "fun", which I deserve for bringing pens and then flouting the format. It was definitely worthwhile, though, and I'd do it again, especially with a friend or two in tow. Brillobox is so hipster that it's all-vegetarian now, by the way.
Now, to make sure this post is partly about music to keep up my streak: iTunes spankin' new "Genius" feature (which allegedly has some similarity metric and can create playlists of songs that are two great tastes that go great together) is absolutely fucking worthless. I want it to work, really really, because the main problem with listening to music in this post-9/11 world is that there's just so damn much good of it to be swimming in, so the idea of having a hot ass computer DJ spinning me some stuff that's just what I want and not yet tiresome is really appealing (last.fm is pretty good at this, actually, just not very convenient for the ways I want to listen to music). I always start with something hard when I'm testing out a feature like that, so, I was only slightly disappointed when it knew zippo about Kleenex Girl Wonder or Tom 7 Entertainment System, but then it didn't know Guided By Voices, The Bad Plus, Don Caballero, or like anything in my music collection until I got to shit that they wouldn't even play on All Songs Considered on account of them there songs being embarrassingly popular despite, you know, being called All Songs Considered. The foul language is I guess because it's especially annoying because Apple has this tendency to name and describe things with this condescending hyperbole (e.g. The G4 is the "world's first desktop supercomputer"). At least the Genius Bar at the Apple store can politely replace my iPod when it freezies.
Today was the sixth annual Random Distance Run. Like usual I made the t-shirts: Here you can see the design for the front and back. I decided to try something different on the front (this is 1968 Olympics Theme) and I am running kind of dry on CS puns for the back—but fortunately there were twice as many real sponsors this year so I only needed two. (I had to recreate several of the logos by hand in vector format, though, urgh.)
I also ran in the race, which was 1¾ miles this year. I came in 4th place. I am pretty happy with that.
Also, we went to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins in the playoffs last night. It's so fun to see Pittsburghers all riled up about sports (this was no Steelers game, but still pretty intense). Ottawa beat us, although it was a close match. I'd still be optimistic except that now we have to win 3 in a row....
Random Distance Shirts 2006
(06 Apr 2006 at 14:41)
Realizing that the grace period of oh that lazy Tom, always saving these design projects to the last minute was wearing thin for the organizers of the Random Distance Run I finally got around to finishing the shirt designs for this year. The front design is rather different than in prior years; this is a stylistic parody of "pro-style" race shirts (inspired by this actually professional design except less competent and omitting the female runner because jeez, I spent like 3 hours just drawing the dude and wanted to fit that Hamerschlag in the background and the race will be 85% males anyway, being de facto a Computer Science event). The back side is standard fake-sponsor fare; thank you all for your ideas and I'm sorry I couldn't fit them all in!
If you want to wear this design on your body, registration is still open for the race! (Actually you can register until race day, but if you register in the next few days then you can be guaranteed a shirt of the correct size.)
Sorry to make you all look at my tests
(09 Mar 2006 at 12:16)
I'm testing a change I made to my weblog behind the scenes that should allow pictures to have arbitrary side-text and styles (mostly for mike's benefit, since he loves to upload a picture with every post). So here is a test! I drew this comic in 1997.
Some of the precious quota was preserved
(05 Dec 2005 at 02:21)
Poster Party 200X went really well. It took longer than I thought it would, as usual, but I made twelve different designs and posted them up around campus and if I am lucky, some people will actually see them before someone who does not believe in campus beautification through art tears them down for violating the Draconian poster policy or whatever. Jason also made a series of lovely nonsense/abstract designs. William pushed the limits of type theory / 90s pop crossover obscurity. Adam almost got a very nice vector version of Tutorial 5: Rough but its complexity was too high for Illustrator's tiny brain and our hungry stomachs.
Strangely, there seemed to be some kind of competing confusing-poster campaign going on at the same time... but our posters were in color. Ha!