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Tom 7 live @ Open Mic Night, 5 Sep 2008 (09 Sep 2008 at 19:14)
OK, here is the other music post, as foretold by the bards. I played "open mic night," one of the first times I've played by myself in front of an audience of more than 2 or 3 people. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I'm trying to get better at this. It's strange because I don't think of myself as being nervous in front of others (like for example when giving talks), but I definitely make more mistakes when I'm playing guitar for an audience. Maybe it is the distractions. Anyway, I got a mini camcorder a few weeks ago to play around with, and so there are videos of this performance:







I highly recommend clicking through to view the "HD" versions, or even downloading the 1080p AVIs linked on the bottom right of those pages. I was limited to 10 minutes so I was playing fast. The middle one, Post-Glacial Identity, I think is the best performance of the three (contains fewest screw-ups). I also have a fourth video of the remainder of my 10 minutes, which I want to show you, but I'm hesitant because it gives away one of my best secret projects, which I want to arrive in the most best way possible. I'll let you know.
Categories:  video  tom 7 music (15 comments — almost 9 years ago)   [ comment ]
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I WROTE A HIT SONG (27 Jul 2008 at 17:57)
Hey what's uuuup. Sometimes I get sad or whatever and the two best kinds of therapy for me are running and super-introspective attempts at dark songwriting. (Example: Quad Emotional Damage) Because here's what happens: I struggle to write sad-times sounding crybaby music and hurt or hurtful lyrics and I find out that I usually can't do it, or if I "succeed" that I don't even mean it and then the song is really just commentary on my strange self-punishing desire to feel bad and to put myself in the situation where I'm trying to write a song in order to express some kind of mean emotion I don't have, which also happens when I run really hard and that makes me feel bad for a different physical reason, and I shout "FUCK" and then I just feel like an idiot. Except with the songwriting, then at the end of the day I have a song which makes me feel better not just because I've kind of dealt with something in this neat metacircular way, but because I made something and that act is something that always makes me feel satisfied, 100% of the time without fail.

Today that song is Theme from Loss. If you are not up on your chess metaphors, this song might seem meaner than it is.

As of today I believe I'm in the best physical condition I've ever been in my life, by the way, because I'm training to run the San Francisco Marathon next Sunday. Is anyone else going to be there?
Categories:  mp3  tom 7 music (9 comments — 12 years ago)   [ comment ]
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AAD-22: Conditional Independence Day (09 Jul 2008 at 08:57)
Spoiler alert! This album-a-day contains spoilers for the TV show Lost (Season 2). (I always wanted to say that, heh heh.)

Conditional Independence Day


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On the 4th of July long weekend (Independence Day in the U.S.A.) I recorded another album, called Conditional Independence Day. That is a tepid probability joke. It is becoming increasingly difficult for me to find a solid free day to do this, and since I've made something like 25 of these now, also increasingly difficult for me to be all uppity about the AAD rules. I certainly spent less than 24 hours on it (probably about 12) but they certainly spanned more than 24 because of a number of other fun things I didn't want to skip out on during the weekend. AAD regulars know this means at least -1,000 points for me.

I think there are some good songs on here. I kept them all in standard tuning plus capos that I have handy, because even though I love alternate tuning and weird preparations, I hardly ever play a song after recording it if it requires a lot of setup. I've gotten less bashful about playing for other people so this is important now. I actually found it very pleasantly easy to write these songs this time. On the other hand I had a muy malo time recording: Since I've gotten a new computer with Vista my old software (Cubase) doesn't work any more, and I can't emphasize enough how important it is to be familiar with your equipment and software and know how to get a good sound out of it without struggling. I struggled and my voice was failing from a cold (which you can hear prominently in Poison Control) and astute listeners will easily be able to tell in a bad way how many times I punched in on the vocals. Often I was just like, screw it. That's fine since AAD is not about perfection, but it is disappointing to me after reaching the level of satisfaction with recording process that I had on say Betrayal at the Knights of Columbus to take a step backwards. Oh, well.

Sometimes people complain that they cannot understand my songs as respects lyrical topic. For this album I therefore present to you this useful collection of abstracts:

Post-Glacial Identity. An iceberg with anxiety disorder risks withdrawal pangs for a chance to feel again—but is the melting glacier a metaphor for the disintegration of a relationship, or is it the other way around?

Oddity. Given the wherewithal by watching VHS archives of their favorite childhood television shows, a young couple attempt unlicensed surgery to remove a vestigial craniopagus twin from their newborn child.

New York Welcomes You. An out-of-state visitor gets a rude reminder that ignorance of the law is no defense, but a lucky blunder allows him to escape—only to find himself embroiled in a life of crime.

Theme from LOST. A flight from Australia crashes somewhere in the Pacific, and the passengers must fight to survive—but who are they fighting? (Meant to be an inappropriately sappy theme song for the television show.)

EURion. A clerical error leaves an important project sixty seconds shy of its intended length, but time stretch technology allows an impulsive recording to save the day at the last minute—literally. (True story. The epitome of filler.)

This Works on Average. A svelte woman needs a tracheotomy after shouting so many times at men who pick her up—literally.

Conditional Independence Day. A prodigious youth attempts a record-breaking marathon session of Dromedary Kong—but in his haughty carelessness is defeated on level 5.

Dioramarama. Upon closer inspection, an extra credit project proves to be a sophisticated and manifold booby-trap.

Poison Control. A cable installer unable upsell his customer to the extended package connives a complex long-term poisoning gambit—in an attempt to turn a later visit into a sexual encounter.

Full lyrics and tablature are available. Thanks to those who suggested song titles and topics. Now go to AAD #22: Conditional Independence Day to listen.
Categories:  album a day  tom 7 music (20 comments — almost 9 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Up-to-date: Album-a-day (22 Mar 2008 at 12:33)
Wowza, I knew I was behind on album-a-day updates, but when I finally got around to posting the backlog (and I was doing this thing where I don't pee or eat until I'm done even thought I definitely need to eat and pee because of all of the coffee) I realized that it was over a year overdue! Now the album-a-day page is up to date. We can have a little party because this last batch of updates (53) put the total count (388) past 365, which if you think about it, means that this project has wasted/enriched a whole person-year of music making. (OK, not really, since most people do not spend the whole 24 hours making music. But it is symbolic, dude.) I apologize to all the AAD faithfuls for taking so long with their albums. The main reason for this is that I have a half-written automated version of the AAD submission process, so the idea of doing this manual cut'n'paste business is extra off-putting.

Another thing is, someone mentioned in the submit comments that he had heard about AAD in an NPR segment about National Novel Writing month, which also mentioned AAD. Did anyone else hear this or know where I could find it?

By the way, since it's been about 10 years since last time, I have begun ListenQuest Maximus 2008. This is where I listen to all of my CDs in their entirety (I have like a thousand??). You can tell that I'm doing this because it is the only occasion in which I listen to the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers soundtrack that I ill-advisedly bought when I was a They Might Be Giants completist because it had one unreleased song on it. So, like, do not take my recently listened box as any kind of recommendation for the next several months.
Categories:  listenquest  album a day  tom 7 music (23 comments — almost 13 years ago)   [ comment ]
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Theme from Camp Spoonhowopic (07 Sep 2007 at 09:46)
Tomorrow I'm off for the weekend (with lots of friends) to Camp Spoonhowopic, the non-wedding non-ceremony (it's a "camp") celebrating the union of the Spoonhower and Copic families, thus the eponymous portmanteau. And speaking of eponyms, I was commissioned—by which I mean gently requested without fee—to create an official Camp Spoonhowopic theme song. Since they've had the song up on their blog for a month or so, I figure it's fair game to share it with you guys: camp-spoonhowopic.mp3. Be warned that essentially the whole thing consists of in-jokes, but maybe you will like it anyway.

See you next week!
Categories:  tom 7 music  mp3 (5 comments — 13 years ago)   [ comment ]
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AAD-21: Exile on Atari ST (17 Feb 2007 at 20:08)


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My 21st Album-a-day is now available! It's called Exile on Atari ST. The Atari ST was the computer that I grew up on... I pretty much learned to program on that thing. I think part of the reason that it took me a year to get around to making another album was that I really liked my last one and I was worried about whether I could repeat that success. I feel like this one is not as good, but then again I do always think that right after I've finished.

I also entered Songfight, which is why one of the songs is called "House of Hodgman."
Categories:  album a day  tom 7 music (31 comments — almost 6 years ago)   [ comment ]
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UPD: Album-a-day (02 Jan 2007 at 16:02)
Happy New Year everyone! Fun fact: 2007 is the biggest year number that anyone has ever experienced ever. Since today is back to work day I spent the day catching up on things so that I could procrastinate my thesis work. For instance, I updated the Album-a-day page with 30 new albums—it hadn't been updated since June! Phew. It's badly in need of a database backend; I feel like a Web 0.5 typewriter blogger.
Categories:  album a day  tom 7 music (15 comments — almost 14 years ago)   [ comment ]
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NEW: AAD-20: Betrayal at the Knights of Columbus (12 Mar 2006 at 19:05)


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Well, I went a few hours over (shame) but I finally finished my twentieth album-a-day. It's called Betrayal at the Knights of Columbus.

One of the best ways to cure a case of musical constipation is to do a totally balls-out recording; here I am doing that in many ways: by picking some of the stupidest sounding MIDI patches that I have access to, by singing about websites, by using my first take as often as possible, and by writing songs about Pittsburgh and things on my desk. I think that the results are positive, but I may be too delirious to tell right now.

Thanks everybody for the song title suggestions.
Categories:  album a day  tom 7 music (37 comments — almost 12 years ago)   [ comment ]
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NEW: AAD #19: Quad Emotional Damage (15 Aug 2005 at 00:30)
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I made an album-a-day this weekend, my 19th and the first one in slightly over a year (!). This concept album is my attempt at making a "Ponyoak," that is, a break-up album, so it is supposed to be sad. I put myself under substantial thematic and technological limitations, so I am too exhausted now to appraise the result. But there are at least 2 or 3 songs on there that I think are really good, which is all that one can really hope for with an AAD. (Well, I guess I could also hope that it reaches Heather emotionally and causes her to fall in love with me again, but given how oblique and actually sometimes a little mean [unavoidable; apologies in advance] the lyrics are, that is probably not gonna happen!)

Album: AAD #19 "Quad Emotional Damage" Project: Album-a-day
Categories:  album a day  tom 7 music (20 comments)   [ comment ]
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NEW: Album-a-day #18 ''Fake Mars'' (08 Aug 2004 at 17:00)
NEW: Album-a-day #18 ''Fake Mars''
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This weekend I finally made a new album (my last one was over six months ago!). I think it came out pretty well, but you can judge for yourself by listening to Tom 7 AAD #18: Fake Mars. For those of you who are just joining us, almost all my music is made this way: in 24-hour explosions that I call album-a-day.
Categories:  album a day  tom 7 music (67 comments — almost 6 years ago)   [ comment ]
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