Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for Aug 27 2015 – DDOP 24

In this episode, I answer the questions: What happened with the song you wrote? Do you have any others in the hopper? What is happening with your book? Do you have any interest in consumer solar panels?

Here is the direct MP3 download for the Evil Genius Chronicles podcast, August 27 2015

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Still Drunk, Still Seeing the Junk

I was pleased over the holidays to see this post on the Beatnik Turtle blog. Tom, aka the guitar player of the band and one of the primary co-conspirators with me in inflicting the song “Drunk Man’s Junk” on the internet noticed that every scotch mentioned by name in the song was available in the Heathrow airport duty free shop. This is was a great and fun note on which to end 2010. I love Beatnik Turtle as a band, I love all the guys I’ve spent time with, and I love that song. It’s gratifying that after 15 months, it’s still the highest ranked song in their popularity list. I didn’t even commit voting fraud!

For 2011, may all you out there keep your heads up but your kilts and your liquor down.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 19, 2010 – “New Things Coming, Old Things Going”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for September 19, 2010. I play a song from George Hrab; I talk about about the new addition to the family and my reaction to a post on Boing Boing; I play a song by the Beatnik Turtle that I co-wrote with them; I talk about shutting down AmigoFish and starting up Ebooks From TV; I play a song by Boiled in Lead and hurl … myself into the future.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for September 8, 2009 – “Dragon*Con 2009 Wrapup”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for September 8, 2009. This show is my wrap up for Dragon*Con 2009, at which I had one fantastic time. I start out with an anecdote about the late great Thomas Fuller of the Atlanta Radio Theater Company; I talk about the panels I was on and the fun time I had interviewing Keith R.A DeCandido; I talk about the fan things I did and the demography of the con; I discuss the bad vibe I get from aggressive jock guys in the Dragon*Con space; I talk about playing my first ever game at a con at a table of strangers; I retell the writing of my song collaboration with Beatnik Turtle and the wacky hijinks around its release; I play the song itself and then laugh myself out of the show.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

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Now I Am a Songwriter

While I was at Dragon*Con, I got a really pleasant surprise. I had been hanging out with Randy Chertkow all through the weekend but I had no idea until I got an email late Sunday (early Monday, really) that Beatnik Turtle had posted the song I wrote with them for their Song of the Day, a tender jam called “Drunk Man’s Junk.

Here’s the story behind it, which actually is two stories in one with a nice sitcom plot twist in the middle. Last year, I was hanging out with Randy, Jason and Tom from Beatnik Turtle on the balcony of a party that was well out of hand. As we were talking, we heard a girl utter the phrase “I can see that drunk man’s junk!” Apparently one of our bekilted brethren had had the one drink too many and hit the deck but in a state of disarray. While we were in the vicinity, I never actually saw the money shot which is probably best for all.

I turned to the guys and said “If you don’t turn this into a song, by god I will!” They thought that was a funny idea. I had already arranged to do an interview with Randy and Jason about their book The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician . I decided to try hard to get the lyrics together and when we did that interview (published here and here), after it was done I sang my song into their portable recorder and they took it back to Chicago. A few days later after a generous assist from Ewan Spence, who corrected a few things no Scot would actually say, I emailed them a copy of the updated lyrics. That was September 2008.

Fast forward to this year’s Dragon*Con. Randy is there but the other two guys are not, and I have meals and drinks and generally hang out with him. Either he did not know this song was going to be posted Monday or he was playing it really close to the vest. Back in Chicago, Jason and Tom and the rest of the band were taking advantage of not being at the con to finish it up.

Here’s where the story turns into an episode of Three’s Company. I would be more vague to protect the guilty, but Evo Terra has been gleefully spilling these beans (so to speak) so it’s out of the bag now (so to speak). I might as well talk about it. As it happens, earlier that evening I was invited up to the intimate room party of the Scotchcast guys, who gave me tastings of several varieties and talked me through the nuance of the experience. It was really interesting and educational and I had a blast with it. I didn’t actually know these guys very well before this but had a great time with them, and was very appreciative of their hospitality. Turns out that one of my hosts was the guy from the inspiring incident. I didn’t know that for sure at the time as I had forgotten a lot of the specifics from last year and wasn’t that familiar with them before sitting down for a visit. I thought there was a good chance of it but my memory was a little shaky as I too was on less than best behavior at said party last year.

Not until I saw Evo tweeting about it today did I know for sure that was the case. I had a sinking feeling when I got the email about the song and a worse one this morning when I saw the tweets but the gentleman in question is being a ridiculously good sport about it. Unlike Evo I’m going to not name names just to help a brother out in staying off the Google page rank for this topic. There you have it. I threw the song over the wall last year, they threw it back about 2 hours after I got to know the guy that triggered the whole thing. Who can figure? If I wrote a song about the writing of the song, it would be silly and unbelievable.

I love listening to this song. It makes me laugh. It’s both very different from what I expected and very much like what I thought it would sound like simultaneously. It’s different in being a rocker when I always thought of it like a drinking shanty kind of song. A few words in the chorus are different (for the better), and a new bridge exists (for the better) that puts a bow on the whole thing and I really like that. However the weird part of how much of my original idea is there. The tune and meter of the singing are really close to what I sang into their digital recorder last year. Almost all the lyrics are straight from the 2nd pass after Ewan’s feedback. I’ve never written a song that ever propagated beyond my own head before, and especially not one that made it to a full production recording like this. It makes me insanely happy and I’m going to put it as the lone song in my Dragon*Con wrap up episode. Fun times in my podosphere.

Thank you Beatnik Turtle for working with me on this and for a great song. Thank you to the fine gentlemen of the Scotchcast – Jeff, Chip and Michael – for hosting me and my friends. Who’s the guy who inspired the song? To paraphrase the Doors: “Three to one, baby, one in three. No one here gets out with dignity!” Good times, people. Good times. Maybe one day I’ll tell the stories of the multiple times my underwear were found around the Georgia Tech campus in the mid-80s. I too have been the drunk man with the junk.

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for November 23, 2008 – “Indie Band Survival Guide – Part 2”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for November 23, 2008. I play songs by Beatnik Turtle and present the second half of an interview I recorded at Dragon*Con with Jason Feehan and Randy Chertkow about their book the Indie Band Survival Guide. “I Don’t Want to Work Today” is my favorite Beatnik Turtle song!

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Evil Genius Chronicles Podcast for November 11, 2008 – “Indie Band Survival Guide – Part 1”

Here is the direct MP3 download for the EGC clambake for November 11, 2008. I play songs by Beatnik Turtle and present the first half of an interview I recorded at Dragon*Con with Jason Feehan and Randy Chertkow about their book the Indie Band Survival Guide.

You can subscribe to this podcast feed via RSS. To sponsor the show, contact BackBeat Media. Don’t forget, you can fly your EGC flag by buying the stuff package. This show as a whole is Creative Commons licensed Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5. Bandwidth for this episode is provided by Cachefly.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Dragon*Con Wrapup Part 1

Here’s my wrapup of this year’s trip to Dragon*Con. This is probably about the latest I can do it and have my friend brain cells intact enough to remember things. It might should go without saying that there is a looooong post warning, but I’ll try to spice it up with enough pictures to keep some visual interest. [On second thought, it’s out of control and I’m still on Friday so let’s break this down into parts.]

I left work shortly after lunchtime on Thursday. I needed to get going before 4 PM if I wanted to make it to the registration that night and avoid it on Friday. Although I had mostly packed the night before, there were just enough little details to handle that I kept failing to finish packing. It got to be around 3:45 PM and I was still fiddling around gathering minor things. I finally hit the point that I was willing to leave whether or not I had everything, just as long as the car was moving towards Atlanta.

Registration Line Around the Hyatt

I drove pretty solidly through from Myrtle Beach to Atlanta, other than a gas stop in Florence that inexplicably took freaking forever. I got to Atlanta around 9:30 PM, checked in to the Days Inn so that I could park there, and trotted directly over to the Hyatt for registration. Because there was a mixup with my guest status, I ended up buying a registration. That was less painful than you might expect, as the pre-registration was really the zoo.

After getting my badge, I went over the Hilton to see Derek and Swoopy setting up the podcasting and skeptic tracks room. I was willing to help but there really wasn’t much for me to do. Anything beyond one person trying to cable mixers is a complete mess. I did help Derek sound check a little and fix some feedback by walking around the skeptic room on the handheld mike while reprising the Casey Kasem routine.

I needed to find a Kinko’s to run off and cut some flyers, and both the Hilton and Marriott are supposed to have ones that are open until 11 PM. At 10 PM both were closed. Thanks FedEx, for buying Kinkos and screwing it all up. I went back to the hotel room, unloaded the car and found that there was a Kinkos at 100 Peachtree so I drove over there. Now, I used to drive an ice truck in Atlanta and I thought I knew the Five Points area acceptably. I had the hardest time getting to this damn joint because of all the one way streets. I ended up on Peachtree going south past it at one point, which ain’t the best part of ATL to be driving your Honda Civic around at midnight. At least I knew I was doing it wrong, and eventually got back to the Kinkos. Everyone was grumpy and it was much slower than I thought it should be, but thank you Kinkos lady for fixing the cuts of my flyers. I thought they were perfectly lined up so that a single cut down the center would be perfect, but they were a full 1/4″ off. WTF, Dave? She made extra cuts to make them perfect and didn’t even charge me, so that was very kind.

I walked across the street to the Landmark Diner and got a burger after that, mainly because it was right there and open. I had thought about heading to other better late night restaurants but the proximity and ease sold me. It was OK. The dude sitting across from my table appeared to be a big time rapper or music mogul. He was highly blinged up with rings and medallions, and at least a dozen dudes came by to give him their obeisance. I didn’t recognize him but then I wouldn’t. In retrospect I should have snapped a phone cam picture of him just to identify who he was. He must have been somebody. After this, bed.

Friday morning, I got up and read some books for a while. Sad to admit, although I had two book interviews to conduct I didn’t have either of them significantly read. It was a lot like cramming for finals. I read a big chunk of Playing For Keeps, got ready and headed over to the convention. I made the executive call to leave the “Do Not Disturb” sign all weekend because I didn’t want maids farting with my equipment. That turns out to have been the right call, although by Monday morning it was a disaster area.

I’ve spent 14 years of my life in Georgia, the bulk of that in Atlanta and that whole time I’ve been active in science fiction and comic book fandom. Despite that, the very first person I ran into was Ryan Karetas – my coworker and the guy who sat the next desk over from me at the office in Myrtle Beach for a long time. For all of the weekend, I spent a fair bit of time fiddling around with leaving flyers on tables, putting out stickers and such. Anytime you have an agenda of doing this, there is a lot of jockeying at the table. I try to be ethical about it, but when some guy has 17 stacks of the same flyer at 8 inch intervals, I tend to combine them and using the extra space for myself. By the last day, it’s a free for all of Lord of the Flies proportions.

I attended the first two sessions of the podcasting track and shot a little video of each with my very first camcorder. The second one was on shooting video, which I was obviously newly interested in. I asked a question about using some of this info towards indie documentaries. After the panel, Rhett Aultman caught up to me and was interested in talking to me more about what I want to do. He was meeting friends at the Marriott anyway, so I and his wife (parter?) Amy and him all went an hung out for a long time talking about the ins and outs of making documentaries. It was highly useful and I was very glad of it. The con was off to a great and roaring start.

I forget what I did for the rest of the afternoon. Surely it involved fliers of some sort, and back to the hotel room for reading and probably some basic scoping out of dealers rooms and such. At 10 PM I had a session on the podcasting track at the Hilton where I’d do a live interview of Mur Lafferty. However, Evo Terra was throwing a podcaster party in their suite in the Hyatt at the same time. Mur and I decided to go over to the party before, hang out for a while and then come back. There were several potentials for mishaps here, involving pre-interview cocktails and elevator rides. We actually got to the party relatively easily, partly through the efforts of one of Mur’s hometown friends who completely big balled his way onto a service elevator with us trailing behind. We hung out for a while and I left to go back to the Hilton around 9:20 PM since I had a camcorder to set up, equipment to check out and such. I walked into the elevator area as the bell rung. I hopped on a half-empty car with zero wait, and there were no stops between us and the ground floor lobby. In 20+ years of Atlanta SF conventions, I’ve never had a ride like that at 9 PM during a con night.

Me and Mur Share A Laugh

I went over to the Hilton, set up and got everything ready. It got to be close to time, and maybe 5 minutes until 10 PM I got a text message from Mur that said only “Elevator hell”. Uh oh. I had everything ready to go and we had a small audience – about as small as you can get and still have an audience – but I told a few stories and basically vamped for a few minutes until Mur got there. We took a minute for composure as we had a whole hour to get a 30-45 minute interview done. Then we turned on the machines and the magic happened. The interview was great and I have it on both audio and video. It will be posted to the Reality Break Podcast feed this weekend.

After the interview, I schlepped all of my stuff back to the Days Inn and unloaded it all, called home and then went back to the podcaster party. Because I had no function booked on Saturday but an interview at 10:30 AM on Sunday, I had already prepared for Friday as a party night and Saturday as a relatively well behaved quiet evening. With that in mind, I settled in for an evening of revelry. I ended up running into Jason and Randy from Beatnik Turtle on the balcony of the party. They are also the authors of the The Indie Band Survival Guide: The Complete Manual for the Do-It-Yourself Musician, a book about which I had been getting emails from their publicist anyway. I had been planning on replying after the convention when I was less busy, and now here were the dudes right in front of me! We set up an interview for Sunday at noon right after the other one I had scheduled in the same spot, so I was able to knock out two without moving my equipment. Sweet luck!

As we hung out and had a few drinks, a hilarious incident occurred. I’m not going to talk about it here in specifics, because it led to me writing a song that Beatnik Turtle will record and that Ewan Spence kindly sanity checked for Scotsman correctness. Keep watching the skies, maybe we’ll have a podosphere premiere of the song on an upcoming episode of the podcast. The evening was fun and I talked to a number of people that I already knew and people that were new to me. I kept drinking and hanging out and chatting with people so long that I literally closed down the party. I helped Evo and Sheila clean up a little and then it was off to my little room for sleep.

Part 2 coming soon …