Blue Moon

With the blue moon soon due as a full moon prepares to shine for the second time this month, I thought I'd offer my tune Blue Moon.

Blue Moon by ShowcaseJase

Old flame never tamed
still alive in my chest
your name sounding plain
could still quicken my breath
It aches a whisper quakes
on my soon remembered lip
as the thought is finished quickly
my guard no longer slipped

Why should I even care?
about something that was never there

Do you remember the blue moon?
it was the night you made me swoon
you probably never knew
you were in another room

Ease back from that flash
brought from the depth of my past
to steal back into
a self-conscious laugh
For your memory will still exist
after this moment has passed
It's my lacklustre tale
of a romance at half-mast

Why should I even care?
about something that was never there

Do you remember the blue moon?
it was the night you made me swoon
you probably never knew
you were in another room
dancing to a different tune
with some other dude

The version above was the demo I made in 2007 and I've re-recorded it a few times. The version I've been meaning to finish is the rocktronica one:

Blue Moon by bassling

Bidgee Binge

This video is the first production of my new venture Witch Media. It provides an overview of Think B 4 U Drink, the first initiative as part of Leeton Shire Council's Bidgee Binge project.

Piece Bombs

Let us spray, for we need a miracle for this to happen.

Vibrating String

This pic of my partner Jo and I was one we took ahead of our time working with Alan Lamb for the 2006 Unsound Festival. (The lamb here was named Dewkiss by my son and is the subject of this earlier video Battering Ram.)

We were aiming for Australian gothic.

Alan Lamb is a Western Australian artist known for recording telephone wires and making sculptures which respond to the environment. One of these is 'the wires' he built at the property where we were living.

From 2004 to 2009 I recorded over 70 gigabytes of the sound of this large-scale aeolian harp and in 2010 I edited together highlights to create a three-hour recording Vibrating String.

The opening track has about ten minutes of bowing and then the wind plays the rest. Intermingled are the sounds of the environment, including birdsong, cicadas, insects, bats and a lonely frog who sounds like they find a mate near the end.

Kindle owners must be stupid

Am I missing something or does it seem silly to pay more for a virtual book than a real one?

Cure for blues?

Sound of Not What This Appears

Wagga Art Gallery recently hosted the exhibition This Is Not What It Appears, which was developed by Zeb Schulz for Lismore's Inclusion Arts and Media Centre. As part of the exhibit Zeb organised the recording of an improvised performance and invited me to contribute, which you can hear in the second track above.

It was a really fun experience. Musicians included Zeb, Doug Snug, Scott Lea and Adam Chembroyon, with Michael White recording the result to tape.

We were asked to respond to concepts Beauty, Home, Life, Family, Rubbish, Work, Noise, Techno and Truth as Zeb projected these onto the wall. There were three takes with the third being the one that was used. I played electric bass and a laptop running Ableton Live.

While you sleep

Seeing this reminded me of this:

Damian Callinan

Saw Damian Callinan perform at The Roxy last night and here's a pic from his interpretive dance sequence.

A life in music or music in life?

Embracing racism

My name's Jason and I'm a racist.

Yep, I'm a racist and you probably are too.

The first step in my path toward embracing racism was at university when I read a piece about how people say "I'm not racist but..." right before they make a racist statement. The article put forward an argument that this created an agreed context to be racist because it basically pushed the idea that the real racists were probably Nazis rather than everyday people like you and me.

A year or two later I dated a Nigerian woman and was shocked by the racial comments she'd make. The generalisations I heard about black men and white women were confronting to me. It lead me to say something like "I'm not racist and I'm not sure I can listen to you making these racist comments" before realising that it was easy for me to deny being racist because I don't have to confront racism.

Being a white male in a white patriarchal society is a very privileged position to be in. I rarely encounter racism because mostly I encounter people are also white. If anyone doesn't look me in the eye or gives me attitude, then I'll figure either they're having a bad day or that I am. I don't have to wonder if they're racist because I have a different shade of skin colour than they do.

Malcolm Gladwell wrote a bit on this subject in his book Blink, which is a great read. He found himself surprised at the racist responses he discovered in himself given he had a Jamaican grandparent. In that book he wonders if these responses might explain the high percentage of African-American men in US prisons, given that most sentencing judges are white.

So I've decided to call myself a racist because we should be aware of our biases and try to counterbalance them. I also think the notion of human races is silly given the very small amount of genetic variation there is between us.

Perfecting Sound Forever

Greg Milner's book Perfecting Sound Forever is a great read as well as being a well-researched history of recording technology.

Starting with Edison's wax cylinders and covering the development of the rival Victrola, the introduction of magnetic tape after World War II, then Philips' compact disc and, finally, discussion of the loudness wars initiated by radio stations that have blighted popular music in recent years.

The explanations of the technology were easy enough for me to understand but the highlights seemed to be the people on the periphery who I'd never heard of before, like Leopold Stokowski and John Diamond. The latter has ignited a long-running debate about the effects of listening to digital recordings and there's an interesting quote from Rupert Neve on this topic elsewhere on this blog.

Idea for leftovers

A great idea for leftovers (usually curry in my household) is to store them in those small jars they sell salsa in because it's about a serve. So you can just microwave some rice and mix the leftovers in near the end to warm them up.

And a great technique for cooking rice in a microwave is to put in about half a cup per person and add enough water so that it's about one inch above the rice. Put it on high for about five minutes and then at a lower setting for about that much again. Depending on the microwave you may need to add a little more water and give it another zap until that disappears.

More nationalistic bullshit

What's so Australian about Coke?

My son promoting Leeton

Surprised to see my youngest made the front page of the local newspaper on this cover promoting Leeton.