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AAD-28: It involves liquefaction (04 Jul 2016 at 10:14)
Good day fine listener! I have created a new album, and It involves liquefaction!

82# pee: It involves liquefaction
82# pee: It involves liquefaction


logo Album-a-day:
· about
· latest
That image is kind of how my ears feel right now. This one was difficult for me, and I'm assessed a penalty of at least -1,000 POINTS for Album-a-Day rules violations, including a 6 hour bike ride in the middle of day 2, and probably exceeding 24 total hours of work. But I like don't think the rules apply to me man.

Some things that made this one hard: I'm definitely out of practice playing the guitar, writing guitar songs, and recording. Most of the guitar songs were a slog and sound derivative to me, and hurt my guitar fingers. I wrote a lot of techno songs, which came out more easily, but the default tempo has increased from 100 to 120 BPM, and I think I get more readily bored with repetition, and so I'd often find myself spending a solid hour at the piano roll and then find that the song is only 1 minute long. But I finished, and there are some parts I like!

Some songs of note: Business Logics is my attempt to write jazz (ha ha). Dude ascending a staircase was the only guitar one that came out Metamucil-style. Bromides was my absurd attempt to cram the zillions of suggestions for song ideas and titles on Facebook into one song. Song about owls for children is by request for my nieces and nephew, and I'm trying to channel TMBG here, but obviously failing. You can mix and match or listen to the whole thing; it's only 20 minutes.

Note that #28 makes this a whole month of solo AADs, if that month is February and it's not a leap year.

Here is a zip file with all songs.
Categories:  album a day  mp3  tom 7 music (5 comments — almost 11 months ago)   [ comment ]
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Escape Cod - Ludum Dare #21 (26 Aug 2011 at 08:49)
Last weekend I did another installment of the 48-hour solo video game programming competition Ludum Dare. They announce the theme on Friday night and then we draw and sing and program all weekend to try to put together a game. This time the theme was Escape, which was a weird theme for me because I've been working on a game just called Escape for like 13 years. The game I made last weekend is called Escape Cod and it's kinda like recursive fish pinball:

Escape Cod

The game's best understood by playing. The basic idea came from Ryan. Thanks Ryan. Initially there was going to be more pinball stuff to do inside the fish, but I knew that the transitions and animations were going to be tricky, so I did most of that first. By the time it got to mid-sunday, I was burned out on implementing physics and I had come to actually like playing the game in its current form, so I just kept doing polish. As usual, when the weekend ended I felt kind of down on the finished product (because of all the things I knew were wrong or wished I could do), but after seeing a few people play and the feedback on the entry, I'm pretty happy with it now. Escape Cod for yourself.

Do you recognize the Cape Cod scene illustrated? I had this canonical image in my mind that I thought was from a postcard or t-shirt that we had around the house growing up. I wanted to get it right so I searched around for image. Turns out I was imagining the bag of potato chips! The title screen is a tribute.

I recorded screenshots from my computer every 15 seconds as well as webcam shots of me touching my face a lot. It's stalkertastic.

I've now entered this a few times. Only Disco? Very! placed in the top 20 overall, but I have done well in the audio category several times. Priority Cats was #2, for example. Since all I care about is winning (winky-wink) I spent a bunch of time on the music for this game too, which you can get in a separate soundtrack.zip. Or make it like an interactive music video by listening while playing the game.
Categories:  t7es  mp3  drawings  tom 7 music  video games  escape (8 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
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My 48-hour videogame: Priority Cats in ''It's dangerous to go alone. Take sis!'' (03 May 2011 at 00:45)
I made a new video game this weekend for the 48-hour game programming contest Ludum Dare! For the contest they announce the theme at 10pm on Friday, and you have until Sunday night to crank something out as quickly as you can. You're allowed to supplement your hacking and drawing and musicing skills with beer and whiskey and coffee, which I did. Not a lot of sleep though. My game:

Priority Cats: It's dangerous to go alone. Take sis!
Play Priority Cats in the browser


The theme this time was "It's dangerous to go alone. Take this!" which is pretty ridiculous. I suspect vote fraud. The line comes from the old Nintendo game The Legend Of Zelda, where at the very beginning of the game a man in a cave gives you a sword and says that. Like as if giving an 11 year old a sword is a recipe for safety! Here at Tom 7 Radar we are big proponents of sword safety (not really. Some people in the computer science department circa 2003ish logout party have some stories about me and swords. But seriously who keeps an actual real sword in their closet at a party?). And there is a fairly famous internet "meme" (that means "picture" in internet language) that is a picture of someone holding a cute cat with that caption. So my game is about a brother and sister cat who go on an adventure outside the house for the very first time. Go ahead and play it (after turning on your speakers) if only for the cat animations and theme song. The controls are pretty intuitive but realistically frustrating! The ending is not too hard to find. If you collect everything then there is a small additional reward.

Also: I recorded 4 brand-new songs, which are available in the soundtrack zip file. And then I made this timelapse video of me programming and drawing and drinking coffee, which has pictures of my screen and also of me touching my beard a lot, via brand-new webcam. I'm goin' all out here, guys.
Categories:  t7es  video games  tom 7 music  drawings  contests (14 comments — a year ago)   [ comment ]
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Tom 7 album-a-day #27: Pro se? ick. (08 Mar 2011 at 00:12)
Hello. Welcome to my 27th album-a-day, called Pro se? ick.. Editor: Double period warranted because one of the periods is in the title and one ends the sentence, duh.

Tom 7 AAD #27: Pro se? ick.
AAD #27: Pro se? ick.


Thanks to new zip technology, you can now just download pro-se-ick.zip which contains all music! Surely the best way to enjoy music is to listen to it, but some context may help:

I made this one on March 6th and 7th, 2011, taking a vacation day. Realistically I spent almost two days on it, but probably still less than 24 hours. Since I am a bearded old timer I do not feel particularly compelled to follow album-a-day rules. I also violated the rule about not writing the material afresh, i.e. the plaintive version of Spring Break Pittsburgh 2006 wooo from AAD-20, but it seems topical since it is currently Spring Break 2011, wooo. -1,000 points! Spoiler alert: I'll argue self-defense.

I made my life extra difficult with this one by holding myself to modern standards, plus trying to minimize repetition in song structure, plus embedding multi-level puns and references and entendre, plus trying to use diverse and dense instrumentation. I think I succeeded, but I sure sacrificed some stereocilia. I also must say that while some songs are literal, not all songs are literal, and when I got stuck I preferred to go with the good line, even if it made it inaccurately dark.

Now just get zip or browse page!
Categories:  drawings  tom 7 music  album a day  mp3 (19 comments — almost 6 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Bakery Square, audio edition (23 Jan 2011 at 12:20)
This weekend I finally recorded this song that I wrote for our inaugural open mic at our new office, called Bakery Square. It's a rare Tom 7 song that I don't record under time constraints. I couldn't decide if it would be techno mix or acousic version or electric rock, so it is all three. Cover art:

coffee-software 2:1 port, settled
Tom 7 – Bakery Square
The lyrics here may be unpenetrable. Hints: We used to be in a building called CIC, and the office was officially known as PIT-CMU. The new one is called PIT-BAK but there was a short-lived passive-aggressive sign campaign (ineffective like all such signs) to rename it to PIT-BSQ I guess because it is a much more valuable word in Scrabble. The cubicles in this place are actually hexagonal, as illustrated above. The rest I guess will remain like some amusing memo to myself, which is how I like it.

Also, go Steelers!, who have their championship game tonight. Speaking of can't decide between techno and folk, here again is my old official folk version of unofficial Steelers song, and also the techno version, now quite amusingly out of date with respect to personnel and number of fingers in need of rings. Very sadly (to me), I will be on a redeye to Zurich for the entirety of the game, a champyinz-strength scheduling blunder.
Categories:  drawings  tom 7 music  mp3   [ comment ]
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New T7ES EP: little o (30 Dec 2010 at 16:44)
The year's almost up, and in my "2010" folder there was only one Tom 7 Entertainment System song (Around The World). What gives? To rectify the situation, I took all the good 2010 drafts starting with the letter 'o' (loosely defined to include the digit '0'), polished them up and wrote a new one this morning, thus creating the four song little o EP:


little-o.zip


Or get them as individual tracks: olimex, opera pro, omision, 0-day weekend. Or don't. It's a free country.

Since it's a free country, I also have the following free bonuses, actually kind of by request:

Bonus #1! Soundtrack for Disco? Very!, my Ludum Dare game I just posted about. Available as disco-very.zip or three tracks: Theme from, Underground Bathroom Complex, Dance C.

Bonus #2! Soundtrack for is lands?, my Ludum Dare game from the summer. It's guitar music, all in zip: is lands? sdtk.
Categories:  tom 7 music  t7es  mp3  drawings (4 comments — almost 7 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Tom 7 album-a-day #26: Method and apparatus for removing the lug nuts (07 Jul 2010 at 01:35)
As has become something of an Independence day weekend tradition, I recorded another album-a-day yesterday and today. It's called Method and apparatus for removing the lug nuts and it's my 26th solo affair:

Tom 7 AAD #26: Method and apparatus for removing the lug nuts
Method and apparatus for removing the lug nuts


The title comes from an "invention" I had during an unusually coherent dream yesterday. Last week (this part is real) we were playing soccer when a lady came over to ask if anyone could help her change her flat tire. I tried but could only get two of the four lug nuts off. Since I was disgustingly covered in soccer sweat and only making the tire iron less effective with that, and not to mention that in my absence Disney—that was the opposing team—scored on us, which I will have none of that (don't worry, we won in the end) I went back to the game and summoned more burly computer scientists to replace me. They did succeed just as the AAA professionals arrived. But anyway, yesterday I woke up having dreamt an idea of how you could use the car itself to undo even the toughest nuts. It's illustrated above. For all I know it's totally standard advice, or maybe even very dangerous or ill-advised (an alternative is to use the jack, but I don't think you'd get as much instantaneous torque). But that's okay because this is not a real patent, it's just the title of my album and the name of the title track, a techno dance party which happens to be my favorite. That track and others:

Method and apparatus for removing the lug nuts. Already backstoried. I think the best track on here. How could a chorus in 47/16 time be so catchy? It's a mystery to me, too.

Nothing makes cars flip out like seeing a bike. Based on a very embellished non-true story inspired by July 4 events. A theme of this album is the narrator insisting that other people "do their jobs" at inappropriate times.

Peace is rest. My entry for this week's songfight. I think this is another of the best tracks. It has percussion using a real percussive instrument, which is new. Also the thematic insisting.

TV chef breaks pizza record. Front-page headline, mainstream news.

Only ___ would rhyme ___ with ___. Uncharacteristically restrained MIDI ballad.

2 am pancakes. True story, but a pretty bad lexicographic pun.

Vulgar fraction 3/4. Straight-up 8-bit ditty.

Literally fall. Something weird is going on with this one, dynamics-wise, like there's a hidden compression plugin I couldn't find to disable. Oh, well. If you find the lyrics annoying, rest assured that they are much much better than the placeholder lyrics.

Label me purple. After achieving the singularity, mankind built a machine to judge them. It always reports "purple", the second-lowest rating.

When people tell me that I am a pretty good dancer they usually look surprised or like I should be surprised. This is true.

Life's a bleach. I'm sure this is an old pun, but I did enjoy it and writing lyrics for it, especially because I love rhyming science words.

Thanks to those who contributed ideas and titles. To enjoy/dismiss music go to the page and download the MP3s for free.
Categories:  tom 7 music  album a day  mp3 (17 comments — almost 7 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Album-a-day #25: everylyyly everyy must it & & than an (04 Jan 2010 at 15:44)
Happy New Year! Please enjoy the bold studio music sound of my 25th solo Album-a-Day, called everylyyly everyy must it & & than an.

Tom 7 album-a-day #25: everylyyly everyy must it & & than an
Tom 7 album-a-day #25: everylyyly everyy must it & & than an


Like last time I got a massive response to my request for song title suggestions, using the Facebook. Thanks everylyylyone! Of course I couldn't use them all, but many of these are based on suggestions, and also there are many that made it as lyrics, or that I make oblique reference to in the lyrics. Hear it for yourself by putting the bold studio music sound in your ears, but you'll probably have to wait until tomorrow for me to post the lyrics, cuz I don't have internet at home due to a billing mishap which is a separate story.

Song key:

Why we don't allow eleven year-olds to run mining operations. Love this one. In these intense guitar-detuning and partial capo configurations, it's a miracle to be able to be able to find multiple parts with different feels, like the major-key chorus. Lucky. One regret is that I didn't let the improvized coda go on longer; I should know better because these often become a favorite part of the song (e.g. Poison Control.)

Sane clown posse ‽. I like the verse motif in this song. I wish it had a more distinct chorus, but I can only blame myself. Would have been called "hot interrobang" (interrobang is the ‽ symbol, which is like a contracted !? only used by nerds and tasteless typographers) by popular request, but I wanted to make sure that my favorite line in the song made sense, so it needs help from the title.

Once upon a tonic clonic. Techno dance party.

A mundane baking event that became a dessastert/confectastrophe level incident. Based on a true story from New York City that Copix or Spoons can tell you about.

Prophet solves the case (it was easy). I felt like this one was a little bit too sparse to be an instrumental, but too spacey to be filled with words, so it has the odd quality of having an instrumental "chrorus", but that doesn't make it less snoozy.

Sistema de entretenimiento de Tomas Siete. Sing me Spanish techno?

My brother's cat which is called Dr. Turtledog, Ph.D.. Mike and Erin are getting a cat and they've already decided to call it Dr. Turtledog, Ph.D., which was my idea.

Regretted purchase. If I was allowed to axe songs from Albums-a-day, this would be the one I'd axe, though it is not entirely without merit.

Watermelon Town, technically Watermelon Township. Okay, here you can really tell I'm making a logorrhea joke in general, because there's just no reason to clarify the incorporation status of this fictional township in the title, especially since that's never referenced in the song. But I do like the logorrhea jokes.

Mr. Natural vs. the Clothes Fascist. At the piano roll recently I have some ailment regarding triplets and polyrhythms. This worked out fine in Once upon a tonic clonic, but this song has at least three failed experiments crammed into it. Likable for a dumping ground though.

Wrecking the ghostlines. This mysterious title was Amy's suggestion. I like writing songs around mysterious titles because it helps me avoid my undesired tendency towards literalism.

* This asterisk coming up is a footnote, which should read "Actually I do endorse these two."

As always, the Tom7.org Foundation would like to remind listeners that the opinions or events expressed in lyrics do not represent the official position or behavior of the lyricist or singer-man (same), and that the Foundation does not endorse drug abuse (prescription or not), improper disposal of handguns, flouting of mining statutes, illegal fireworks or nudity*, or baking with the wrong equipment. Safety is the biggest rush.
Categories:  album a day  tom 7 music  mp3 (12 comments — almost 4 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Album-a-day #24: Baking about architecture (04 Jul 2009 at 22:47)
Good day! It's a long weekend in the USA and like last year this time I recorded another album-a-day. It's called Baking about architecture. In music I only believe in one kind of cover:

Tom 7 AAD 24: Baking about architecture

logo Album-a-day:
· about
· latest
This was a sort of interesting one. It was my first AAD with my new guitar, and also a new mic and preamp. I also more than usual scheduled this one mentally, somewhat in advance (and then withheld guitar from myself so that I'd be itching to go). The weirdest thing is that typically the first song or two I crap out is pretty bad and then later on I have these moments of inspiration. But this time the first was Eating buildings and then some one-minute throwaway thing that became A tribute to attributes and then Text me like where's Rite Aid at. Eating buildings and Text me like... are easily my favorites on the album (if you only listen to a few songs, make it those two.) I got excited by these early successes and spent a long time on them, particularly on lyrics, and then after five hours I was like jeepers I've recorded less than four minutes so far. After that I was a little burned out and had to pick up the pace. I have a new strategy, which is when I feel like a song isn't going so well, I just cut it loose, meaning I finish it but as quickly as I can and don't sweat it (0xCAFÉBABE), so that I can save time for those critical moments.

I have a bunch of new/different equipment and tech now, so I'm interested how you think it sounds from a production standpoint. Obviously I am really cranking the levels as usual; I am just trying to do my part in the dynamic compression arms race. If you are keen to this kind of thing you will notice a lot of punching in and out, which I hate the discontinuity of, but this was part of my expedient process of recording my lyric ideas and melodies as I was writing them so that I didn't have to put them down on paper/emacs so much or rerecord when I'd screw up one bit.

Production notes:

When I set out to make an album I sometimes solicit song titles and lyrics ideas. This time I did it on Facebook and got loads; there were too many to use but lots of these are named by suggestions. Some made it in as lyrics, too.

Eating buildings. I really like this one and it's an obvious opener. Lotsa good lines, and probably the best-recorded guitar one. Eating Buildings is the team name we usually use for puzzle competitions, but this song is more literal.

A tribute to attributes. The only two redeeming things about this song are the title (though not really that clever) and the part where I list some things and their attributes, which depending on what circles you roll in you may be able to figure out. I sandwiched it between my two favorite songs so that you get it over with quickly. (Also then the first 3 are in chronological order.)

Text me like where's the Rite Aid at. Everything really came together for this one. I discovered a new music fact: Triplets are super danceable, particularly when syncopated with some "regular" power-of-two stuff (the "you were so beautiful..." part).

It's so mutual. You can tell when I'm starting to feel impotent on the guitar because I start detuning it, but then you get these drone zone ditties where it's impossible to be catchy. It's not bad, just a snoozer.

Love, train & rust, wrench. Usually during the course of the day at some point I'll pick up the guitar and a song will come to me without any obstacles or anything. These are always refreshing. Max gets credit for the best line, "Sacajawheel-'o-fortune". Note that all of the electric guitar parts in the last 4 songs I've posted on T7 Radar are extremely blaring. I do know how to turn it down, but it's currently set up that way and I just think it's so funny!

Helpy, Invert, Soft Pinky & Flexoid. As my synthesizer ages (now about 15 years old, making it almost vintage) it's interesting to see how useless its once hi-fi General MIDI patches have become. I spend all my time in the extended zone mining it for delightfully ironic fake-sounding stuff like "Tron Flute" featured prominently here.

I'll be acquitted. This is this week's songfight. In songfight, internet people all write a song with the same title and then the songs "fight" with voting. A whole week to write a song is way too snoozy for me, but I like those guys and sometimes do the songfight song when making an AAD.

Mosquito romance. This song was built around this musical element seen in the first bar, which is an increasingly thick series of chords (1 finger, 2 finger... 7 finger) followed by an abrupt faint simplicity. It works great right before the switch to "Malaria..." but the rest of the time it just makes the individual parts seem disjoint so that the song doesn't flow very well. I still like this one.

0xCAFÉBABE. This was the most painful one, when recording. I just couldn't come up with any lyrics or melodies beyond the opening "Cafe babe!" which is annoying after pretty much the first time. You can tell when I just start doing 59th St. bridge song stuff, barely even trying. (Listening back, it's not really that bad.)

You mean FIRENZE?. This was a song title suggestion, which means I don't know if it's an overzealous correction about the local name of Florence (I imagine some high schoolers on a big trip for their Italian language class and there's the one kid who insists on speaking even English in an Italian accent when over there, and has even taken up smoking for cultural accuracy) or whether basically the same image but about Harry Potter fandom. Features my signature 2K+-era sine wave add-chords, a style I like to call "DTMF Jam".

Why won't it melt?. Speaking of Def, about a month ago I first realized what "Mos Def" means. The best science pun in this song, which is ungettable unless you read the lyrics or I tell you now, is about the Mohs hardness scale.

Themes (gotta catch 'em all):
Non-human creatures in love
Things being black
Car crashes
Love perimortem
French words
Sudden abrupt quiet during techno


Now get album.
Categories:  album a day  mp3  tom 7 music (17 comments — 2 years ago)   [ comment ]
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AAD-23: sk7 or die!!! (16 Dec 2008 at 23:19)
AAD 23: sk7 or die!!!


logo Album-a-day:
· about
· latest
Hey you guys remember when on Saturday I woke up bursting with energy and I was postin' like oh hey I'm not going to start any new projects until I've tidied up these already existing almost done projects? Well right after I said that I started mixing the The 7evenths MP3s (coming still) and on the second song I thought hmmm this would sound good with a little extra guitar so I got out the mics and plugged all that stuff in, and then at that point all the hard parts of making an album were dispensed with, so then many hours later there was my 23rd album-a-day, sk7 or die!!!.

It took me a few days to get around to posting this so I'm past the phase where I'm totally burned out and hate everything about it. There's some good songs. Notes and hints:

Sun beam melts ice girlfriend. I'm proud of this one. It just jumped into the brain, in that way that makes me feel a little uncomfortably like I'm just remembering some song I've heard before. Based on the tuning, partial capo, and lyrics I'm pretty sure that's not the case. The first half of the second verse is probably my favorite lyrics on the album.

A for amateur. This one is about paper.

Contessa with the shoes on. A throwaway 8-bit affair. When the bass comes in I like it better than the other one, but then it's over.

Butter car. I think this one's really close to being a top notch song, but it has a handful of cop-out lyrics, some sloppy playing, and a couple of lines that aren't delivered right. Deserves polish and a rerecording. (Butter Car is a strange in-joke from Murphy family Pictionary games.)

Contains lemon-lime taste idea with no natural-seeming flavors. If you are empowered to put this disclaimer on a product, please do.

The gift of beer: the gift that keeps on giving for 45 minutes. One of those songs where I am running low on ideas so I sing about some things that are on my desk or in the news, like beer and Christmas.

Investment banking is a myth. This one also came extremely easily. It's fine. My favorite part is the "revise, resubmit" line (jargon from the academic journal biz).

Cricket chirps or mp3 artifacts? You make the call. This is a field recording, where by field I mean the room where the lizard lives. I thought I was going to need it to round out the 20 minutes but it turned out it wasn't necessary. Field recordings containing environmental sounds are like the peanut butter glue holding cohesive albums together.

Nurturing Parent v. State of Mississippi. Almost called Negligence Torte, but I couldn't resist emphasizing this ridiculous refrain. I wrote this one while I was waiting for my Chinese food, by humming.

Dynamite lettuces. My plan here was to make a nice wandering chiptune with lots of parts that blended into one another, since I can do that late at night without disturbing the neighbors. But I went to a party and was pretty tired when I got back, so it is a medium-sized short-walk chiptune that probably seems pretty undirected. Oh, well.

Some old coffee in the new coffee. This is probably the most Tom 7-formula guitar track, but it does have a certain cleanness to it and I think the twist that the lyrics take is pretty funny.

Theme from Costco. I recorded the guitars for this very early on, but it was the last one I finished. I frequently used a technique on this album (which I think works pretty well) where I would record nonsense lyrics in order to come up with a melody and maybe lyric sound ideas, but this one the nonsense lyrics made enough sense and I was tired enough that I just kept them.

I'm still not keen on my newest recording setup and I miss Cubase and VSTDynamics. But it could have been worse, I could have spent the weekend tidying up already existing almost done projects instead!

Like usual you can snag the MP3s at Tom 7 AAD #23: sk7 or die!!!.
Categories:  tom 7 music  album a day (28 comments — almost 8 years ago)   [ comment ]
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