Femmes fatale mix  

Posted by Wayne Bretski in

I've been teaching myself rudimentary audio manipulation recently, both for school purposes as well as entertainment. I've always enjoyed making mixtapes and such, but perhaps due to the talent and prodigious output of my roommate DJ Jewels, I never did get around to learning the ropes in college.

Well, I got super-obsessed with Audacity and made a genre-bending mix that was really fun, subsequently lost all my data in an program crash, and painstakingly re-mixed it for the beginning of the school year. I felt like I learned so much, but after listening to those songs a million times each, I needed to start something else pretty quickly. Right about the time we went to Sedona, I started pulling together this epic, three-suite mix that was to start with a sample from David Axelrod's The Human Abstract, that would reappear throughout the mix as segues. Suite II was to be called A Change of Heart, and would feature female vocalists in a variety of genres, but primarily uptempo. The third movement was to be a hip hop mix based around DJ Shadow's Midnight in a Perfect World, which samples the lonesome piano chords from Axelrod.

Basically, they all blew way out of proportion.

Suite I is languishing. At 36 minutes, it has run out of creative steam and I don't know what to do with it.

Suite III is still being worked on, but it's pretty well done. Clocking in at 79:20, this is a CD-R away from a good road trip. But it's not as carefully put together as...

Suite II has been re-named to Femmes fatale and teased out to feature length. Again, around 79 minutes of music, for those who still quaintly like to burn their music to CD. Perhaps more of a creative constraint than anything.

Listen up:
Femmes fatale by Bret Sikkink

The lynchpin of the mix is a track called "A Change of Heart" by El Perro del Mar, and a Rakamonie remix that appears halfway through. We detour through the off-key warbling of Nite Jewel, the droning sludge of Fever Ray, and back through the looped sampling of Star Slinger before a quick trip to the dubstep of Bristol, England. The mix finishes with a series of modern rock favorites.

The mix is hosted by Soundcloud, a really cool music sharing website which allows for timed comments. The tracklisting is posted via timed comment, with the song's artist and title at approximately the point that it starts within the mix. Enjoy.

Supplemental materials:

David Axelrod's The Human Abstract

DJ Shadow's Midnight in a Perfect World

Arizona State Fair  

Posted by Wayne Bretski

Miss Bee is taking a photography class with a colleague, and they had a field trip last night. Wednesdays are free at the Fair with a donation, so off we went to the Fairgrounds on the west side of downtown. First thing I noticed was the vintage Coliseum, which our friend informed us was the former home of the Suns. Built in 1965 and known as the Mad House on McDowell, the Coliseum holds a whopping 14,000 people. With moderate effort, I could determine how it compares in size to other defunct NBA arenas, but the effort is beyond me just now. It seems tiny, all I'm saying.

Here's my compatriots walking along the main food midway. The usual gross-yet-tempting and gross-and-WTF? fair fare is there, with perhaps a slight southwestern flair: chile relleno dogs, Navajo fry bread, and corn tamales seem unlikely in the midwest.

I took this to show my DSLR-toting companions how I would have set up this shot down the Goliath slide, and it turned out okay. I should have checked for a horizontal frame, but it gets the point across.

"Beer: Stronger than Sarsaparilla." Is that an endorsement?

Love the Ferris wheel.

The AZ event is relatively small compared to MN and IA (think county fair), but bottom line: the Fair is the Fair, no matter where you are. Good times.
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Congratulations from Kindergarten  

Posted by Wayne Bretski

Miss Bee's class invited me to come down to their room and watch something "they had practiced". Sometimes I go down to watch a song or poem, but this time it was all the kinders saying congratulations and giving me a card!

Miss Bee gave me a big blue heart, and everyone in the class wrote me a letter. They had no idea exactly what was going on, but the enthusiasm was terrific! I hung them up on a bulletin board in the empty room next door.

"You've got to have the courage...of your convictions."  

Posted by Wayne Bretski

"Julie and Julia" clip:

Promo for Julia Child as the French Chef:

I enjoyed the greater bulk of "Julie and Julia", particularly the black and white clips of Meryl Streep acting out famous French Chef scenes.

Also, "no paella for you" on finding the Seinfeld clip. You can read the script if you google Seinfeld Paella, but why bother? In lieu, here's a somewhat stupid, I mean frenetic, mashup of Seinfeld one-liners. Just in case you don't have the 9-disc set. Sucker.

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