here there be hungry hungry hippos

Spent the day today retching and sleeping, sleeping and retching. Only recently have I dared to put food anywhere near my mouth, knowing the DOOM that might await me.

Now, I play the waiting game.

I’ve received a couple of emails over the past day or two complimenting me on my (never-updated) web writing, which only serves as a reminder that I need to finish the design and coding of my new websites. I’m splitting my website into two websites, now. One of them will be a more traditional weblog, with external links, commentary, reviews, winamp playlist, comments enabled, etc. The other will be much more low-profile. Three sections devoted to writing — personal narrative, dreams, fiction, and nothing else. No links, no comments, no fancyness. After they’re online, I’ll probably stop using LJ entirely, unless I feel like coding up a hack that syndicates my entries to my LJ, without using the crappy native RSS syndication.

I already have the domains in place for these sites, and I’ve got the backend up and running for one of them. I’m going for a table-free pure XHTML/CSS layout for these sites, which is taking a bit of time to get right. After the CSS is in place, I want the markup to be flexible enough that I can do a site-wide redesign via a replacement CSS file, with no modification to the XHTML whatsoever. Secretly, I’m not finding it nearly as challenging as I thought I would, which is part of the reason I’ve been so lazy about it. I think I’ve learned all I’m going to learn about the technology. Might be time to pick up a new skill.

With that said, the sites will degrade gracefully in any browser, all the way down to Lynx. They will be perfectly viewable in screen-readers for the blind, web-enabled cellphones, crawlers, or any other reader from HTML 1.2 onwards. Now if only I could find someone to pay me for doing this.

Every time I start to feel good about the music that I’m writing, I see a show that kicks my ass. Mono No Aware’s live set was some of the most intelligent rhythmic noise I’ve heard in a long, long time — Iszo’s music just keeps getting better and better, and Prospero really impressed me with his techno-oriented stuff. There’s a lot of really talented people working in industrial music today, and I want to make sure that any contribution of mine is on the same level, regardless of how well received it is. I don’t want to be the next Noisex.

I’ve been focusing a lot on structure, but I need to work more on the sounds themselves, I think. A lot of the ‘noise’ that I’m working on is ending up too muddy, or harsh, or whatever. It lacks a certain clarity and definition that I feel is essential to the kind of music I want to make. Also, I can’t write a melody to save my life. It helps, though, that I’ve had a good dozen strangers contact me out of the blue to let me know they liked my Iszoloscope remix (including being asked to play in the UK based on that one remix alone), especially considering that my contact info isn’t listed on the Iszo website.

I might be working on with Lament Configuration on a track or two sometime soon, which strikes me as an opportunity to make some really wicked music. I think his music really excels in the areas where my music suffers, and I have some solid ideas about what it is that I have to contribute. If we manage to find a happy medium somewhere between the two of us, it could sound pretty good. If my remix work with Iszo/Urusai/Converter has taught me anything, it’s that I work a lot better when I’m not left to my own devices. Working with someone else’s melodies/beats/etc., I really put a lot of effort into writing music that highlights and compliments the work of the other people involved. My own music is not nearly so sacred to me, and I think that my work suffers for it.

This Sunday will mark the first of the new Retro Underground weekly night at Zaphods. I’m hoping that as a new night, the crowd it’ll attract will be one that is there primarily for the music, and not necessarily the social aspect that seems to be so prevalent in the other weekly electronic nights in the city. As a new weekly without an established crowd, there’s a lot of room for people to find a space they enjoy, especially if they feel out of place in the more genre-specific nights like Tuesday@Phods, Thursday@Buddha, Friday@Surface, etc. I might be too optimistic about this, but I really do think there are a lot of people in this city that will come out for the music.

I’m also looking forward to working with all the wicked DJs involved in it. Recently, a lot of the events I’ve been involved with (rave, radio, art or otherwise) have felt like work (which it is), but with any luck this night will be something special.

We’ve got great music, wicked DJs, and a good venue. All we need now is for people to show up.

16 thoughts on “here there be hungry hungry hippos

  1. Since your lovely lady has her comments turned off, could you send some love her way.. I hope shes having a better day today.. a MUCH better day in fact.

  2. I certainly will. She’s sleeping right now, I think I’m going to try to see if I can make her breakfast-in-bed. If I do, I’ll include a much-love note from you. :)

  3. The Retro Underground sounds neat. Especially since it means different venues AND different nights (tuesday wasn’t my fav night out during the week).
    So I guess my only question is: will there be lots of different music? Thats mostly what I crave.. fewer playlists and more ‘new’ ‘old’ ‘odd’ stuff. Ya know?

    [BTW: I assume I missed something… is tuesday no longer industrial??]

  4. You confuse me.

    It’s at the same venue as Industrial Strength Tuesday, which is still Industrial.

    But, yes, there will be lots and lots of different music.

  5. I will be coming to Sunday nights, but I will have to mix the first two due to exams the next mornings. After exams are done I can come out more though, provided I get a job and have any money.

  6. k – let me know cuz i turn into a pumpkin at 10:45ish cuz I have to get up early on monday to save the country. as usual.

  7. Yikes! 11ish may be too late for me to start DJing on a Sunday. I was hoping for a 10-10:45ish shift..

    must check with boss to see if I can work alternate hours on zee monday..

  8. Well, I remember I was really impressed from your track that Leslie played on Tuesday.
    And I would not say if this if I would think anything else.

  9. we’re hoping that the punk rock aerobics will be ending in a month or that we’ll be busy enough to take over the whole night ourselves…

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