Behold! A new music video by my band, Sick Ridiculous (&c.). Nels and I filmed this a few weeks ago and I just finally got the time to put it all together this weekend. The song is Sick Day, which is sort of our band theme song, and easily one of my favorites. Watch:
Please consider watching in HD at Vimeo, or even downloading the 1080p original from that page. This is some life-size pro shit we're talking about here. The recording is new, too; get the Sick Day MP3 for your growing collection.
Also: We are playing this Thursday at Smiling Moose in the South Side, upstairs. We're opening for Sound Of Urchin (and others), who themselves opened for Tenacious D on a recent tour. Yes, we are now in the Six Degrees of Billy Joel territory. If you're in the mood to rock, come see us! The Facebook event has all the deets. Costumes encouraged.
A few weeks ago our friend Donna successfully defended her thesis and threw a party, even waiting until a Tuesday night so that Nels and I could play at that nice party, so of course we wrote a song for the gig. It is called Lausanne... Jealous? because Donna is about to take a post-doctoral position at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland. More than usual—which is saying a lot—this song is loaded with detailed in-jokes and difficult puns. I will provide some hints, since we received positive feedback about the fact that we did this before playing the song at her party. There are three national languages in Switzerland: (Swiss) German, French, and Italian. The Swiss invented the Swatch watch, which you are encouraged to wear multiple of on your arm, for fashion. (Nels and I predict a Swatch fashion resurgence, soon.) They also invented the Swiss Army knife and cheese. Donna always serves mostly cheese at her parties because she has a gluten-free diet. Donna's dissertation is about some objected oriented programming stuff. At EPFL she'll work on Scala, a maximalist language which combines all known programming ideas into one Java-like syntax. It was made by Martin Odersky, who also made a Java extension once called Pizza. That's probably enough to get you started.
Still in queue: ICFP contest report (very soon I'll even be able to include the final results, heh), new T7ES song, Pac Tom update, pics from various events. Shame.
Two new fresh ampersand delicious musics from ridiculous de sick
(02 Jul 2009 at 00:18)
Well they are not that fresh. As I have mentioned before when we are invited or invite ourselves to play at a party, we (Sick Ridiculous and The Sick Ridiculous) have a deal (as in contractual obligation) to write a song for (and possibly about) the party. These are two songs from two parties in Q2:
Come with me iff you want to live. (Pronounce: "if and only if".) This song we made for Cortney's birthday party at Gabe's house. It is about the public policy implications of when in the year 2039, our future automaton overlords send back in time robotic simulacra to kill Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in order to stop House Resolution 676, his present day perennial bill to create a single-payer health care system in the United States, on account of in the future the Universal Health Care system is the one remaining outpost of human resistance against the terminator bots. Right?
Hurricane Dan (2006). This one we made for Katrina and Dan's party for when Katrina got her Ph.Desus. The joke here is how we introduced it as a song about hurricanes, but it turns out to not be that hurricane that you might think we'd write if we were writing a song for Katrina's Ph.Desus celebration about hurricanes. I bet you have a hurricane named after you too, or at least a tropical depression. Continues our surfing minitheme.
Both are guitar and singing affairs with super rude electric guitar solos. If you're just gonna listen to one, I think I like the second better.
As foretold by the bards, we played our show at Waffle Shop. This was awesome. It's a totally cool place. The folks running it were super friendly and helpful, like e.g. offering to brew me coffee and tossing us free shirts (seen above), and serving our custom waffle, the "Twix Ridiculous and The Sick Bisquickulous". Lots of people came out, sang along, and even people wandered in from the street, maybe on purpose. We unlocked an achievement: Our Facebook page now has 1 fan that is not already our friend. I don't know if it's related. What you see above is Waffle Shop standard operating procedure, which is that they in addition to serving fresh, golden-crispy waffles, also film a reality show on the premises, which mainly means interviews with patrons but in our case interview with the musical guests. More lovely pictures on flickridiculous, courtesy Maja. There are some muy bueno pictures of us playing too, courtesy some dude née drxiv. Overall a great experience. I think Waffle Shop was happy too, like they kept our setlist to display in their tool shop / kitchen and seemed pretty impressed with the crowd volume. In fact if you go to waffleshop.org right now you will be greeted with manifold splendour. I dunno when video will be available, if ever. I hope eventually so you can see my dancing, which was very popular. We decided during the interview that the right way to describe it is "aggraceful."
I recorded the show: Sick Ridiculous Live At Waffle Shop, in which you can hear us embarrassingly call the place "Waffle House" several times. Even more embarrassing is that the levels are way too high in the recording, though it gets a bit better once I turn my guitar down. Sorry for always blowing the MP3 version when I do line-in; I thought I was correcting for having this same problem last time by turning it to the lowest setting, but evidently I need more.
We have two shows coming up. Art All Morning on the 26th in some warehouse in Lawrenceville will be some kind of acoustic oddity, but is at 10:30am. I am just telling you, not inviting you; 10:30am is a crazy time to go to or play a concert. Especially if you go to Cortney's birthday party at Gabe's house the night before, which we'll also be playing at! Expect new material and Febreezed classics.
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.
We found out after writing this song last year that there's also a band called Airborne Toxic Event; don't be confused! The phrase of course comes from DeLillo's fine specimen White Noise. I like this song a lot but we haven't recorded it yet, so live or live video or live mp3 is the only way.
This weekend was Open House for visiting prospective graduate students for Computer Science at CMU. I graduated like a year ago but I am still interested in perpetuating the program and helping young people make positive life decisions, so Nels and I played a Rock & Roll Techno show at the unofficial open house weekend house party. As is our contractual obligation, we wrote a new tune for the occasion. It is openho~1.mid. Because it is apropos many of the cleverness in the lyrics might not be apparent, but how could you not like the 7/4 beats and my sweaty freeform dance paroxysm?
As promised, we played our first real gig at Smiling Moose last night. This weekend has been real warm for February and nobody that I know of scheduled a competing event so we managed to get a very good crowd (I'd estimate about 40 (?) of our friends plus people I didn't know). I know that most people came on the basis of that's-what-friends-are-for or cuz that's where the party is and not out of legitimate fandom, so I am especially thankful to all of you for coming and being such a top-notch audience. Here is a picture of Nels and me before it got too hot up there to keep all those business casual clothes on:
You can see the remainder of the pics of Sick Ridiculous and the Sick Ridiculous, Big Hurry, and Central Plains at flickridiculous. These are with my new camera which I am very happy with. To use my old D60 in this amount of light would have been torture. (Thanks to Brendan for taking the glamor shots of us while we were playing.) There is some video too which I will share with you when I've found the best part. (Thanks to Brendan and Ryan for that.)
After we ironed out the sound and screwing-up problems in the first song, I think we did a good job. I had some anxiety about breaking strings. Last time I broke a string during the concert, having just replaced my strings due to breakage two days prior. This time I bought strings that are supposed to last longer ("Elixir") mainly because the store didn't have my favorites (Martin Marquis Phosphor-Bronze Medium), and those broke after a day and a half of mild playing (!). All of these failures have been right at the bridge. I don't get it. Anyway I thought the Elixir strings felt nice but sounded remarkably bad, so I was secretly happy to have to replace them. The night before I had one of those dreams where I'm performing a familiar activity (guitar playing) and something out of my control keeps recurring (string breakage). But these strings held up. It was a good time. I had also thought of some funny or meaningful things to say, earlier in the day, but didn't remember to say any of those during our scheduled banter moments. One I really should have mentioned is that the Smiling Moose bar where we played is immediately across from the place (Pittsburgh Guitars) where I bought my first guitar in college about 9 years ago. That is some hakuna matata shit right there. Also my first band was called Spastic Moose. And speaking of guitars, I really need to get a pickup for mine or get a new guitar with one built in. Is there no one that can advise me on this?
BTW, if you regret missing this show, we'll be playing at the CMU CS dept. semi-official house party at the end of the month.
#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.