Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crazy Busy Day

Been doing too much this morning. Invoices for our Arts School, running errands, and getting promo ready for next weeks STIFF Screening of Rat Rod Rockers!

Rat Rod Rockers! Review in Rebel Rodz

Just got a DVD review for my new film Rat Rod Rockers! in Rebel Rodz Magazine. They are pretty fast with the reviews. I just sent the DVD in last month!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Bass & Charger

Just noticed one of my 1966 Dodge Charger Die-Cast cars is almost the exact same color as my newly acquired Ibanez SR300 Bass. Had to take  a picture.

Also started writing a new scene for Chopper Chicas this morning. Starting to get into the writers flow.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

BioFuel Not Electric Cars (Flogging A Dead Battery Horse)

Below is a post I made on BNET about an article entitled 
"For the Record: Chrysler is Clueless About Green Cars"

Chrysler is not actively pursing Electric Cars because electrically powered autos are not the answer. I think many in the automotive industry realize this. The infrastructure is not there and never will be. Biofuel is the answer. This is working in Brazil and other forward thinking countries to ween themselves from the petrol nipple. In the Northwest extensive research is being done by SAFNW (Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest) to turn our region into the Saudi Arabia of BioFuel. This is because of the fluctuating prices of petroleum causing a destabilization in bottom lines for the airline industry. SAFNW is a joint research program by Alaska Airlines, Boeing, Port Of Portland, Port Of Seattle, Washington State University which has found that BioFuel can be cost effectively produced from various sources (timber waste, solid waste, algae- not corn) for aviation and other uses. This would of course include automobiles. Any car can be converted to Bio for around a $300 investment. Most manufacturers currently make flex-fuel cars and trucks. BioFuels (including Ethanol) burn an average of 80% cleaner than gasoline and diesel. Burning coal to make electricity to run cars that have limited range and have to e "plugged in" is ridiculous. Investing billions in battery technology, is not necessary. The infrastructure to convert to Biofuels is already there. No investment needed. If someone did want to spend the extra money to buy a hybrid and then use the excess BioFuel generated electricity to power their home for a few hours or put back into the grid, good for them. I like my Dodge Charger and want it to run hard and fast. I plan on converting it to Ethanol in the near future. You should read the works of David Blume and others on the subject. Not only do Biofuels burn clean, they (if produced from the right materials) reduce solid waste and other bio wastes that would end up in landfills, etc. BioFuel can create thousands of instant jobs. The technology is proven. It is happening now.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reason & Record Software

Just dropped $169.00 to upgrade my Reason 4 software and get Record as part of the deal. This is for my MacBook Pro setup. On my G4's I was running (believe it or not) Cubase SE as my main recording software. I had actually downgraded from Cubase VST 5 because SE was an OS X program and ran video fairly well. When I tried setting my TASCAM US-428 up with Cubase SE on my new (to me) laptop I kept running into recording errors- so I figured now was the best time to try something new. Record has some great Line 6 sound effects and since I use Reason quite often, the move should be relatively painless. I also use Soundtrack Pro sometimes for the great Spacial Reverbs. As a music composer Reason is an incredible piece of kit and I have been using it religiously since Reason 2.0. The biggest plus with this new setup is being able to record on site, both for film and for live style recording sessions. For example- we have two nice upright pianos in our Arts School Auditorium. With this mobile recording studio- I just setup the laptop next to the piano, plug in a few mics, put on some headphones and record. I can record in halls, on the beach, in a car, where ever. I guess the question is will my new laptop set-up tempt me to abandon all my outboard gear? Time will tell.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Chopper Chicas Movie Poster

Spent the whole day working on the pre-production version of the Chopper Chicas movie poster. I think the final image is very strong. The original photo by Shannon Brooke was incredible. I tried to tread very lightly on her image. Graphically I used some old metal finishes for the "Chopper Chicas" wording, adjusting the hues to match the actresses skin tones, then desaturated and slightly lightened the background to pull the actresses out front. This is a two part process in Photoshop, first making duplicate layers, completely cropping out the background of the upper layer, adjusting the background layer and then reassembling the two layers. The first go round with this process killed the shadows on the shop floor, so I ended up with a third "shadow" layer. Of course all told I had 32 layers in the .psd file before I was done.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Kustom Kulture Fest 2011

On the Ferry to Kingston, WA.
D.A. at the vendor table
The wife and I headed out early (tho not as early as we initially intended) for the Kustom Kulture Festival in Silverdale, WA. The festival promoters had asked us to screen Rat Rod Rockers! in the early evening. Even with the crappy cold rainy weather, the Silverdale Hotel grounds where the festival was being held were full of people and cars. We setup our vendor booth right across from the outdoor stage and chatted with the passers by. We had lots of interest in our wares, with excellent DVD and shirt sales. The bands started early with Angie And The Car Wrecks (who's drummer didn't show), followed by The Hard Money Saints, The Graceland 5, The Rockets, Tumbledown and finally Three Bad Jacks. Between band sets, various pin-up models took the stage for an extensive multi-part pin-up contest. One festival promoter said over 2,100 people came despite the weather. We eventually decided not to screen Rat Rod Rockers! as the weather was getting worse and I couldn't see setting up our 20x10 projection screen to show the film in a down pour. The promoters agreed. We talked about screening next year, but indoors in one of the hotels convention rooms. Roy Kay Trio was playing in the hotel that night and we were tempted to rent a room and stay over, but decided to head home jst before sundown. Even with the weather it was a very good day.

Dodge Powerwagon

Angie & The Car Wrecks
Graceland 5

One of my faves at the show

Look how dark the sky got

On the Ferry home

Saturday, May 21, 2011

STIFF Red Carpet Party

Kerry Murphy (Ivan Molotov) gives a toast to my
blurry phone camera.
Ed Cox Gallery was standing room only.
We only stayed a few hours but had fun.
Me and the wife went to the Seattle Truly Independent Film Festival's Red Carpet Party last night at Ed Cox Gallery, downtown Seattle. Was fun- we met up with Kerry Murphy (Ivan Molotov from Rat Rod Rockers!). We couldn't stay long. as we had to get up early the next morning to do promo for Rat Rod Rockers! in Silverdale, WA at the Kustom Kulture Festival.  It was nice meeting a few of the area film makers and film enthusiasts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New (To Me) Laptop

Just took delivery of a used Macbook Pro 1.83G Intel CoreDuo laptop. Cost me just over $800 from Powermax.com. Spent all afternoon yesterday loading in software and moving files between my other two G4 towers. I am going to donate Thing 2 (a G4 500) to the family so both kids can Facebook at the same time. What I didn't know was the Intel Macs can't run OS9 in Classic (or at all). I have tons of older software that I still use for file conversions, etc. Guess I am gonna have to slowly shell out some green to update all my vintage software. The coolest thing about going mobile is being able to work on screenplays, edit film and record music anywhere. I also bought a  TASCAM US-100 so I will have a truly mobile recording setup. Just add mics and go!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Super- Super Amanda

Found this pic of Super Amanda recording in my studio from back in March 2008, when she was working on several projects for me at the time. It's too bad she's not closer to Seattle (she's in the U.K. now)- she has severe talent and a great work ethic. That weekend we filmed a scene for Hot Rod Girls Saves The World, filmed a music video for the song Killing Machine and recorded an interview for Go-Kustom TV. Then she did lead vocals on the track Hemi Charger and backing vocals on the songs Listless, Hot Rod Girls Saves The World Title Theme and House Party. Man!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Munster Style

Got some new pics in of Hot Rod Heidi from Zombie Crush for Munster Style, as well as a new track for the accompanying Compilation CD from The Demolition Kings. MS is shaping up and on the fast track.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Munster Style

Shannon Brooke self portrait for Munster Style article
More layouts and file sorting for our new book Munster Style. Had to do some file conversions then move text from e-mails to word processing files. The more I dig into this, the more I get excited about the project. There really are so many great articles and artists involved with Munster Style, it is humbling. I also sent e-mails out to different book printers to see what the first run of 1,000 books will cost and contacted Chrysler Historical Archives to get some pictures for an article I am writing about roadsters for MS.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Hemi Charger Concept Sold AT RM Auctions

According to Muscle Car Revue one of my favorite concept cars of all time, the 1964 Dodge Hemi Charger Concept (based on the 1964 Dodge Polara and the first car to wear the "Charger" nameplate) was sold at RM Auctions for $715,000! I love the big Dodge roadster concept cars of the '60s and 70's. They make absolutely no sense at all- but look cool as hell!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Minimal Home Studio Set-up

Broke out the Korg EA-1 and Korg ESX-1 to start writing my new Burnt Orange album. I loaded the ESX with tons of vintage late '70s drum machine tones including my DR-55 and DDM-220 sounds. The idea is to mix an early Joy Division drum type sound (they used old drum machines with live drum tracks) with surf, twang and dub electric bass. So far the first few track have been beyond my expectations. I set up a minimalist studio at home so I wouldn't be tempted to add Reason tracks from the computer. Also- The Boss Spring Reverb Pedal and Space Echo I bought recently are sublime in this set-up.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Twenty Years Of Sobriety Today!

Well the title says it all folks. One day at a time...live in the moment and all that cal. Happy Cinco de Mayo.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another Reverb Pedal!

Just bought yet another reverb stomp box for my bass rig. Got the DigiTech RV-7 Hardwire series Stereo Reverb box. You may say- "D.A. how many f'n reverb units do you need!?!" Well I am getting very close to a tone that I will use on the next few albums with my Ibanez SR300 picked hard close to the bridge and run through various reverbs and amp simulators, giving it a deep twangy surf tone. The RV-7 will run at the end of the chain (after the Space Echo and Spring Reverb) to add even more depth.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Obama Takes Out Osama

Heard about this last night on the Coast To Coast radio show. Getting all the details today. Wondering how the Republican Party is going to take this one (smack right in the nuts!). They got shot down last week when Obama fired back at Donald "The Duck" Trump about the birth certificate non-issue during a dinner function with "The Duck" in the audience. Now he has done what George W. failed to do for nearly eight years. Realistically this was a military operation based on military intelligence and probably only approved by Obama- but man what a feather in his Presidential Cap! I even heard oil prices may go down because of the news of Bin Laden's death. What a strange world we live in. Will this lead to Osama's Muslim Martyrdom? I am certain it will in the Extremist Training Camps. The pages of his life have now been written. All that's left are the footnotes and the movie deals.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Doggie Beach

Happy May Day! Took the dogs to the Dog Beach in Edmonds today. It's one of the only dog parks around the area. All kinds of dogs everywhere. It's fenced in so the dogs can only escape via the rail road tracks and a difficult climb. Our dog Whisper has tried that route a few times. Great day to be outside in North Seattle. Last night took the wife on a hot date to the local Cinebarre. Dinner and a movie at the same time! Saw Hannah (pretty good action flick). Great atmosphere and decent food. They also play music videos and short indie-films before the feature. They were running my music video Monster Monster last year fairly regularly. Several of my friends saw it play there.