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The Work Of The Residents

This is being written in preparation for the upcoming TODCRA wiki -- the main page for this article will basically be a list of the albums and such, linking to album sub-pages and such. But I figured I'd write it now, because I am bored.

Anyway -- I figured that since there are the following two conditions:
a) Many TODCRA Members Who Are Residents Fans
b) Many Residents Albums That The Neophyte May Need A Guide To

that it might be cool to do a TODCRA guide to the Residents. Basically TODCRA members will end up adding to these pages (or here, perhaps posting comments and such) with their own notes on these albums and hopefully they can point people into the way to know which records to pick up.

A good place to start, also, is RzWeb for straight information about the albums and the concepts behind them, as well as all sorts of cool Residents history and all that. So, yes. Check that out too, if you're so inclined. Once, before even hearing a Residents album, I read all of RzWeb because I was bored. It made me realize that even if it turned out I didn't like the Residents' albums, they were interesting enough to be cool just on merit of existing.
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Past The Barber And Gymnasium

This is the third in a series of mix CDs, the first two being Jeff Bridges... I Don't Need No Jeff Bridges To Put Music To My Poem! and The Opposite Of Smoke Is Egg Whites (and as an auxiliary to these, on Mondays, I choose a couple of MP3s to be posted at Phancy.com, along with notes).

Like the last one, it's a themed compilation, this time, it's all covers. Mostly cases where both the original and the cover are cool, but there's some where the cover is a complete re-working of a lousy song, or cases where I haven't even heard the original. (There are even one or two in the "whoa, that's a cover?" category.)

I hope folks enjoy these tracks!

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A quick update.

Just so you know, our good friend Orson Welles As A Kitten found something after being let go from TODCRA.


A few months ago, I sent out Jeff Bridges... I Don't Need No Jeff Bridges To Put Music To My Poem!, a set of mix CDs made up of songs that I enjoyed but most people hadn't heard (or, in some cases, heard of), but hopefully had a sense of longevity to the listener, so they didn't get sick of them or think they were a one-off novelty listen or anything like that.

Putting that set together was a lot of fun, but I couldn't include a lot of songs I wanted because of the constraints of the length of a blank CD. Originally, it was just going to be a one-disc compilation, but there were so many songs that Had To Be On There, it expanded to two. That still wasn't enough for everything, so I decided to go for more songs and tended to cut the longer ones -- only one song longer than 5 minutes ("My Love" by Takako Minekawa at 6:53) made the cut.

That one went pretty well, so not too long after doing it, I thought I should do CDs quarterly -- and I knew what I wanted to do for the next one. Since I opted for shorter songs before, this one was only going to have songs that were over 5 minutes long. Most of them are in the 5-6 minute range, though there are a few that are much longer.

To make it a little more interesting, I set a few rules for myself: First, no remixes or extended mixes of songs. It just seemed a little cheap to say "Well, 'Flying North' is a really great song, so the 6-minute long remix will work, even though the real one's only 3!". Anyway, a lot of extended mixes are kind of lame, when they just splice in the chorus a few extra times and slicing and dicing lines from verses.

On a similar idea, live tracks were also out -- there's a lot of songs where they'll be short on the record, but extended out during a live performance. (Ween's really good at that; everyone probably knows about their 22 minute version of "Poopship Destroyer", originally about 2 minutes of the
Pure Guava album; but unfortunately, this meant, too, that there aren't any of the really awesome versions of "Voodoo Lady" that they've done, either.)

Lastly, no medleys or song segues -- the only thing worse than pretending an extended mix counts is jamming two songs together, claiming it's just a long track. Anyway, it's common for songs segued together on a record to have been written at wholly different times -- for example, the suite that makes up the B-side of
Abbey Road. (In fact, "Her Majesty", the bonus track from that album was originally intended to be in that medley, right after "Mean Mr. Mustard" -- and there's also different versions of "Mean Mr. Mustard" where his sister has a different name, from before they decided that "Polythene Pam" was going to be part of the medley.)

Unfortunately, this set has the potential to be a less satisfying listen -- if someone didn't like, say, two of the tracks on each disc of the original, that was only about 5 minutes out of 80; here, it'll be 10 minutes of dislike minimum. This one actually went through a lot more changes than the first set did -- the second disc, especially, but I think this line up is pretty good, and hopefully turn folks on to some cool music they haven't heard before. There are some bands that appeared on the first set, but I tried to get new and different bands on this compilation,
The Opposite of Smoke is Egg Whites.

So, anyway, here are my notes on each of these songs. I hope you enjoy them!

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HAPPY 4/04

Dos and Donts of Webcomics

The following post was posted by me in the Tutorials section of this manga magazine board.
If you know what Shonen Jump is, consider this:
Shonen Jump: Keenspot :: Oztaku: Keenspace

Actually, for those thinking it's just an insult-fest it gets pretty serious in some areas
as it should be considered a "satirical tutorial". And yes, I _am_ aware I'm mostly
pretending to know what I'm talking about.

So, here is my handy guide to making webcomics. :D Also, depending on any
replies that involve being angry I will be certain to post them(off the manga board that is).
Because poking fun at complete strangers is always reason for joy.

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The Liner Notes to a Set of Mix CDs

On January 21, 2005, or thereabouts I sent out a set of mix CD called Jeff Bridges... I Don't Need No Jeff Bridges To Put Music To My Poem! to whoever wanted it. It was pretty much a one shot deal, but the bulk of the songs are typically readily available via iTunes or your favorite P2P sharing service or available on CD or LP awaiting your purchase; feel free to make your own copy of the compilation at home.

Since the main idea behind this compilation was to expose people to bands or songs they might not know otherwise, I wrote these liner notes to explain the groups, and provide more information on them, in case anyone wants to find out more about them. After all, what good is finding a really cool band if you can't get any other information about them? So, here's the information, on a track-by-track basis, primarily for the recipients of the CDs, but also for anyone who might be interested. None of the songs were chosen for ironic value; I tend to find all these songs very listenable, and hope others do as well.

In arranging the songs, I found that they sort of worked themselves out into "sides" like an LP, although, length-wise, each "side" here would probably be about 2 sides of a real record, since each disc is about 80 minutes long. Still, though, I kept the side notes in this tracklisting.

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A few years ago, I wrote a song review of "Leper in a Tumbledryer" by Ashfordaisyak (now Meadow House) for my college newspaper. Later, it re-ran in a different form over at the 365 Days Project (along with a link to download the mp3 (scroll down to March 28th)). Since this was written, Dan Wilson (the guy behind Ashfordaisyak) wrote to let me know about the name change (he said that a lot of people had trouble spelling the former name, and that "Meadow House" sounds nicer, which I fully agree, it does), and the new release: A 7", called "The Hermit" -- AND -- Leper in a Tumbledryer is a/the B-side. It's available at Norman Records -- and I just checked, and according to this it is still available for purchase!</a>

UPDATE, 5/25/05: I've found out not too long ago that there's actually a Meadow House full-length coming out! It's called Tongue Under A Ton Of Nine-Volters. I don't think it's out in the US yet, but there might be a US distributor at some point -- I don't know. Also, here's a review!

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TODCRA Presents The Best Of 2004

2004's about up, so we at TODCRA figured we might as well do a year-end best-of list, just like everyone else. So, some of the TODCRA members got together and put together their suggestions. Of course, we decided that it's too much work keeping track of release dates, so we expanded it to things that may have come out during different years but we got into during 2004. And then we realized that was too much work to keep straight, so we just expanded that to be things we got into roughly during 2004. After that, we decided lying was fun, so we expanded it to just things that we claimed we got into the time frame defined as "roughly 2004", regardless of whether or not we'd been into them for years or not. But we at least tried. Sorta.

Anyway, we've cut it up into categories for your convenience. So, take a look, and look at the various overrated items that we're claiming are good, even though you know they're horrible crap that everyone inexplicably likes. And Happy New Year!
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I'm not sure if anyone else who reads this is, but I'm a big fan of the literary journal The Believer, put out by McSweeney's. In fact, I actually like it better than the Timothy McSweeney's Quarterly Concern -- and I do think that's a little weird. Back in June of 2004, they included a mix CD with issue 14 (a/k/a Cassingle).

I read the magazine shortly after receiving it, but it took me a while to find time to listen to the CD. About a month later, I finally went and did a Track-by-Track review of it as I listened. (I tend to find that's the best way to do compilations, but that's just me. Perhaps because it's also the easiest way to review compilations.) And, well, might as well start now!
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