Glub glub…


Yesterday. Working the KCRF for Ruth Thompson (see last post). 10:00 a.m. The opening cannon sounds, announcing the beginning of the 2003 KCRF season…and the rain starts.


Hasn’t yet, in fact. I mean, it’s a good thing, I guess–the KC area was in a drought since about June, from what I understand, and for the month I’ve been back, we’ve had temps in the 100s and humidity in the low 30s. It’s been hot as hell, and so dry that your eyeballs feel like somebody is sucking the liquid out of them when you go outside. So rain, in that perspective is a welcome thing. It’s knocked the temperature down to the 70s, for example.

However, when you’re working on commission in a sales booth, it sucks to have the opening day filled with rain—it kept all but the fanatics away, and even some of those stayed home. We were slooooooooow all day. Not a lot of money made.

Made even worse by driving (in the rain, which still hasn’t stopped) the 20+ miles out there this morning, only to be told upon arrival that they’ve cancelled the entire day today because the grounds are so treacherous–too many hills turned into muddy rivers. So, on the plus side, I get an unexpected day off, which allows me to catch up on some writing.

On the minus side, though, an entire day of sales is gone. Bleah.

We’re supposed to dry out tomorrow, though, and it’s Labor Day, so hopefully people will come out.

Listening to the sounds of rain, blowing hard against the window of my office…


Long time, no update

Yeah, I know. I’ve been bad.

So…still pounding away on freelance projects, as well as a few projects of my own.

I backed out of consideration for a full-time gig with a D20 publisher today, because of a couple things–one, had I been chosen for the job, they would’ve required a non-competition clause, meaning I couldn’t work for myself or for anybody else. The more I thought about that, the worse it sounded. Then, item number two, I realized that I would only make about 2/3 of the money with them as I can by freelancing and working my own stuff. The answer suddenly became much clearer. I fired off a polite little note saying “no thanks”, and I’m feeling much better now. It sucks that I won’t get a chance to work on some of their really cool properties (since they pretty much flat-out told me at GenCon that they ‘blacklist’ people who back out on them), but such is life.

Work on Apollyon Noir has kicked into high gear finally–with a dedicated mail list for design and development keeping those of us working on it in contact with eachother, and on the same page. It’s looking like we’ve decided to make this sucker a huge tome, with pretty much everything folks could want in one package, rather than doing the core book + supplements model. As such, it’s most likely going be a Spring 2004 release, to give us time to put this magnum opus together.

In other news, I’ve also started design notes for my first new RPG since UnderWorld in 2000. It’s called Heroes of the New Wave, subtitled “neo-pulp adventures in the 1980s”, and you can read more about it here.

Oh–and this weekend, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival opens. Anyone in the area who wants to say “Hi”, feel free to drop by the booth for Ruth Thompson’s Tarnished Images at any point during the next 7 weekends, ’cause that’s where I’ll be.


Thump-thump Music

So, freelance writing continues. I’m on-schedule for an assignment due next week, and over-due for one that was supposed to finish yesterday (but, then again, I haven’t heard squat from the Line Developer since I delivered the first part of the assignment over a week ago, so I suppose no harm, no foul).

In the meantime, I decided to write something for my blog that has nothing to do with work.

Part of the problem that folks have in getting into Electronic Music (or “Thump-thump Music” as a friend of mine calls it), is that there a quite a few sub-genres, and almost no radio play to speak of….so it’s kinda hard to know what’s good (since there is, as with anything else, a lot of asstastic crap out there as well)and to find out what you might like.

So, with that in mind, what follows are my favorite Electronic Music CDs:

Zero7: Simple Things: I suppose this would be called Downtempo or Chill…it’s laid-back stuff. Really well produced, and I love the three different vocalists they use (two women, one man, who trade off lead duties). Had a minor MTV “buzz clip” with “Destiny”, which is how I heard about it.

Propellerheads: Decksandrumsandrockandroll: This album features the Shirley Bassey collaboration “History Repeating” which was used as the focus of a Jaguar ad campaign, “Spybreak” which was used on the Matrix soundtrack, and the Propellerheads’ version of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, which appeared on David Arnold’s “Shaken & Stirred” 007 remix project. This stuff is generally referred to as breakbeat or big beat, and it’s probably my favorite sub-genre. Hip-hop drums, synth leads, and sample-heavy.

Timo Maas: Loud: This is the first “artist album” (rather than album of his mixes of other people’s stuff) from DJ Timo Maas. Some of it is trance-y, some of it is breakbeat. Good stuff…I especially love the first track, “Help Me”, built around samples from “The Day The Earth Stood Still” and featuring vocals by “I Hate You So Much Right Now” proto-diva Kelis.

Crystal Method: Vegas: I like this better than their follow-up, “Tweekend”. This is classic break-beat stuff–you’ll recognize a lot of it from various ads, and “Trip Like I Do” was used on the “Spawn” soundtrack. “High Roller”, which uses various NASA mission transmission samples, is my favorite track.

DJ Shadow: Endtroducing…: Possibly the best turntablist EVER. DJ Shadow constructs this album entirely from combining obscure samples. If you want to see how a turntable can be used as a musical instrument, this is the album to get. There is some scratching here…but not a lot. Most of the magic is in seeing how Shadow combines a beat from one source, a bassline from another source, and vocal elements and sound effects into an entirely new composition.

Lamb: Fear of Fours: A combination of hard drum-n-bass beats with smooth female vocals. Very hard to describe. Some folks placed it in the genre called “Trip-hop”, so I guess it is as good a label as any. “Little Things” is my favorite track.

So there ya go. Those are my favorite Electronic Music albums.

Back to work.