we hardly knew ye

It appears that my long-disused Alesis SR-16 drum machine has given up the ghost. I plugged it into my analog mixer and then into Garageband the other day and tapped a few pads experimentally. Rather than the very-good-yet-clearly-sampled drum sounds I was used to, I instead heard blasts of trashy, staticy, distorted digital noise with the vaguest hints of drum sounds buried in them.

"But that's awesome!" I clairvoyantly hear you thinking. Yes, in certain circumstances it could be very cool. But it's a sound that you can only use sparingly and it's a shame that such a quality, versatile machine has been reduced to a novelty noisemaker.

I have no idea what might have happened to it. It's been more or less sitting around untouched for a good long while. Ah well. Entropy wins again.


my city was gone

On the Great Grand European Tour of 2000 (the subject of the forthcoming Euro Zero Zero "visual memoir") my friends and I had the privilege of visiting the community of Christiania. Christiania is essentially a squatter community that has been more or less left to its own devices (lengthy ongoing legal battles aside) for several decades now.

Unfortunately, it appears that the Danish government has decided to build privately owned condominiums within Christiania. To this point all property within Christiania has been collectively held. In addition to the condos the government wants all existing Christiania residences (mostly ex-military barracks and DIY houses) incorporated into the Danish public housing system which will increase the rents paid by the residents from approximately 250 DKK to "between DKK 2500 and 4600 for a 50 sq. m apartment."

This, if it happens, is essentially the end of Free State Christiania. I will be sorry to see it go, and doubly sorry that I didn't take any pictures while I was there.

You can read the full story at The Copenhagen Post Online.

Thanks to Boingboing for bringing this to my attention.


I fly DIY

So we ran into a technical snag this weekend with the recording. While the Firepod audio interface is working wonderfully, I'm having issues in which I get an error message from Core Audio saying that my hard disk is too slow. I have to figure out if the hard drive or bus speed on my laptop is causing some kind of bottleneck when recording seven simultaneous tracks, and if so what I can do about it. External firewire drive using a firewire hub? Use Jeff's slightly faster bus-speed Powerbook? Get a Mac Mini? The bus speed isn't all that fast on the minis and I haven't yet seen what the RPMage and throughput is on the hard drives in those suckers. Pick up an old dual G4 tower that I can pack with fast-ass hard drives and lotsa RAM?

It's all a money sink, but man we're having a good time with this.


she done done it

I opened this month's issue of Res magazine warning: page is chock full of animated ads for Adobe products that will probably slow your browser to a crawl to discover that the artist who did the wonderful cutout paper piece on the Adirondack Furniture building which I photographed this past weekend has a name! She calls herself Swoon and the intarweb tells me she has pieces up all over NYC.

So Swoon, if you ever happen to read this, consider this a shoutout. I love your work.


Swoon interview from 2003
Swoon interview from 2004
Swoon Google search results


that's not writing, that's just typing

Finally finished transcribing the euro-trip journal into Word in preparation to lay out the pictures + words published thing which I'm tentatively titling Euro Zero Zero. I've also got about half the photos from the trip scanned, so the next step will be to edit the photos and re-write the journal into some kind of actually interesting narrative.
Not getting much done otherwise yesterday or today; I've come down with some mild flu-like thing which is making me feel like ass and lazy as hell.


everybody's workin' for the weekend

Things Began this weekend. Jeff and René and I laid down three demo/guide tracks for the Seize Them! recordings (I was saying "album" before, but it'll probably be a lot more like an EP. of course, what does any of this mean in the age of the .mp3?), and it all went pretty well. I think I've got enough to start doing focused overdubs on those songs and really flesh them out.

On a trip to Guitar Center I indulged my long-time desire and bought an 8-track firewire audio interface to use for multitrack recording. Specifically I bought the Presonus Firepod. My man Tom over at GC was kind enough to give me a pretty good deal. So we are practically a recording studio up in here:
Seize Them! practice space

On Saturday I went for a two-hour bikeride around Long Island City and saw plenty of neato stuff. Pictures of some of it are up at my Flickr page.
mermaskeleton 3

Getting the Firepod allowed me to move the little Behringer 8 channel mixer I have into my room which inspired a redesign of my working setup, showing here (notes are on the pic's flickr page):

Man, I feel like a commercial. But the overall thrust is that projects are happening, for real. I am very happy about this. As soon as the new FCP system is installed at work I'll begin working on the Mr. Brownstone concert video. ISOTA stickers are delayed a bit, though the final design element has been decided upon. Printing funds kinda got diverted to the Firepod, but hey... sometimes you gotta reprioritize. Tomorrow I'll start scanning the photos I shot on the '00 Eurotrip for the journal book. Here's to continued productivity!

Now as my friend the ninja would say, get back to work you fucking slackers.


all systems are go

Tomorrow I begin recording what will become Seize Them!'s first "record". Here we go.

Additionally my moleskine has about five or six other projects requiring my attention.

It is on, people.


lucy in the sky

This is a little "off topic", whatever that may mean here, but it's just too cool to not propagate.

A faint, reddish glow called the Extended Red Emission (ERE) pervades space's dustiest places. Astronomers have puzzled over the phenomenon for more than 3 decades. Now, a team led by Huan-Cheng Chang of Taiwan's Academia Sinica claims the glow comes from nanodiamonds in space.

Read all about it.


oh yes we are live as hell

New! Sorta improved! Mostly useless!

ISOTA has moved into the more modern world with delicious and nutritious Atom and RSS syndication feeds. You can find the links for your favorite flavor over in the sidebar.

Now, content...

Yeah, I got nothin' for today.


put your lips together and blow

Today I had the pleasure of editing a short promo video for The Louis Armstrong House & Museum. It's out in the Corona neighborhood of Queens and is one of those places I really should visit.

The promo will be shown primarily at the New York City tourism office in Times Square, so if you happen to be down there sometime soon look up at one of the monitors and you might catch it. It's not terribly fancy but the director of the museum created a good audio bed for the still images and video of the museum interior that we used. The tourism office is running the video silently, of course. Ah well...

I've been thinking that it's time for me to start writing a feature-length screenplay. It's something I never finished while in school and I'm inspired to make 2006 the Year of the Movie. Unfortunately I don't have any story ideas yet so if anyone has some feel free to toss them my way. You might even get a "story by" credit! Excitement!

Sticker design will probably get one last revision before being sent off to the printer. It's still missing something but I'm just not sure what. Speaking of stickers, you should check out this cool montage of the "Stormtrooper Che" sticker.


nerd day

My friend René and I went out in the drizzly day to the Big Apple Comic Con today. I brought along the Transmetropolitan page I own for inker Rodney Ramos to sign, which he graciously did. Slim pickings overall on the original-art-buying field today but I did break down and buy a page from Richard Sala's Peculia and a page from an Authority arc drawn by Glen Fabry. They're pretty awesome and I spent three times what my art budget was on the two of them... but hey, it's been a long time since I've bought art.

I also fell completely in love with Liza Biggers while I was at the con, but it turns out she's married.

My camera was with me, but I declined to photograph any of the rent-a-ho chicks.

In other news we had a fun time with the band tonight, and my hands played the best guitar I think I've ever played. My right index finger almost started to bleed around the cuticle. This is because I rocked SO HARD.
If I can ever get this shit out of garageband I will be happy.



how not to do it

Okay, I may or may not be serious about wanting to be mummified (signs point to yes), but this woman went about it entirely the wrong way. ISOTA does not support half-assedness unless it is on the part of ISOTA.

CINCINNATI, Ohio (AP) -- The mummified body of a woman who didn't want to be buried was found in a chair in front of her television set 2 1/2 years after her death, authorities said...


and the increase come

Finally saw my friend Farid today for the first time since this spring. He's working as a personal assistant to Tim Robbins now. We're thinking we should put all our creative, film-aligned friends together and get some kind of project off the ground. In one scenario, this is a way to just get something made. In another, it could be the beginning of our own American Zoetrope. Watch this space.

In other news, I did a quick revision on the James Brown sticker. The Black and Brown sticker. The Infidel Sorcerers of the Air sticker. The ISOTA sticker. I like it.

ISOTA sticker ver. 2



So maybe there will be two aspects to my mummification. One is, shall we say, analog: the physical preservation of my body for as long as possible. The second could be my Digital Mummy.

The Digital Mummy would embody an attempt to project information about myself as far into the future as, or further than, my physical body. It would be an interesting contrast to my general belief that nothing digitally stored can be considered archival.

Perhaps I should buy a dedicated cheap computer to begin my Digital Mummy on. Then again, probably the easiest way to ensure prolonged survival of information is via wide dissemination. Getting as much as possible out there onto The Internets, with plenty of redundancy.

Also, it seems to me that the only mummies which really survive are those considered to be famous. Kings and whatnot. So maybe the Digital Mummy can help keep my Analog Mummy famous enough to survive.


I have a new long-term project: I want to be mummified.

Maybe I should look into hooking up with The Long Now Foundation. Can you imagine a mummy from the mid-21st Century turning up three thousand years later?

Wouldn't you want to be that mummy?
I know I do.