I.e., Not Ace Ventura, Pet Detective

"Anyone who makes emotional dramas or what might be called 'serious' comedies about parents and children, men and women, is operating on Bergman's turf."

--Andrew O'Hehir, "Remembering Bergman," Salon, July 31, 2007


"Mini-Terror" [mp3 removed]

"Mini-Terror (Rhythm)" [mp3 removed]

While I have limited software on my computer to test it (I may have found the problem--possibly a fried out firewire card--knock plastic), I did this with one softsynth and a virtual rhythm box (plus multitracking). I also present the rhythm track without the softsynth parts--you can hear things otherwise hidden in the mix. The rhythms are a mix of live analog-modeling synthesis and sampling, but since the sampling is all of live analog synthesis (a TR 808) treated with the same kinds of digital effects it's a minor distinction.

Update: The sudden, involuntary reboots I am experiencing on the Sony VAIO are not the fault of the firewire card. I thought it was only happening when I was playing/composing media but last night after watching a video it shut down while I was websurfing. It's not a virus unless it's one that survived wiping the C drive. I've never really liked this VAIO and am thinking about using it for parts.

Update 2: This restarting problem began shortly after I added a new external hard drive. I'm going to try working with it turned off. I know this is fascinating. Also, I made a couple of minor changes to "Mini-Terror" and re-uploaded it. I'm really happy with it now--there's kind of a simulated scratching thing in the middle using some backwards snares that I'd like to explore more.

Ludwig Schwarz

ludwig schwarz

Painting by Ludwig Schwarz at Road Agent gallery, Dallas.
This is a tasty jpeg but the gallery's painting-triumphalist rhetoric is annoying. You can't brag that an artist's "past exhibitions have encompassed sculpture, video, installation, [and] conceptual performance" and that after being shortlisted for a prize for that work "he has focused primarily on painting" because "to become a great painter, one must dedicate oneself to the process." You just can't. The non-painting work is not there to provide cachet for an artist's sudden devotion to manual labor. Either he's always been serious or he hasn't. From what I know of Schwarz's work over the years painting has been one of a multiplicity of his activities, as it is for many artists. These myths of the dedicated painter have to be kept on life support for the sake of an intellectually retrograde, craft-driven market.

Another Letter re: Bush's Roots

I have a letter published in Camille Paglia's Salon column this week. (She's devoting every third column to reader mail.) It's probably suscription-only but here's the link. I was responding to an erroneous statement by another reader of hers, who claimed that George W. Bush (the Pres) had only lived in Texas beginning in high school (and a Houston suburban school at that) and therefore wasn't a true Texan. I thought it was widely known that Bush had grown up in Midland (my home town, too, till age 16). Midland is more cosmopolitan than surrounding towns such as Kermit or Notrees because of oil money but it's always been an arch-conservative bastion. Bush didn't just go native, he was born native.

Update, 2012: A commenter corrected both Paglia and me that Bush wasn't born in Midland. But he did grow up there, which was the point. Here's a comment I posted to that thread several years late:

Very late correction to my letter posted above: George W. Bush was born in New Haven CT but raised in Midland TX and later Houston (I said he was born in Midland - whoops). Since the substance of my letter was about his upbringing and not his first two years as a baby in Connecticut, am not sure why commenter E. Seco is so irate about the goof. (A friend googled "camille paglia" "tom moody" and Seco's gripe came up -- not my letter or this column.)