Mike Made a Music Video? Say What?

Greetings!

Yes, it’s true. “Brink” by Daybloom: (more info below)

This is only the first of many music videos on the way, as well as reviews and other content. And you can keep up with it at the new record label I have launched:

https://www.facebook.com/QuadrivalentRecords/

https://www.instagram.com/quadrivalentrecords/

All the pieces of a record label have been in place for some time now, and lately, promotion of the arts I’ve been pushing out into the world have taken center scene in my creative efforts.  It only makes sense to take this publishing company I’ve been using for copyright and promo purposes and rebrand it as a label.  To date, it has already accomplished more than many indie labels I’ve communicated with in the past.

Enjoy the video, and check out the rest of Daybloom’s debut album, if you’re inclined.

Toodles!

-ML

Fresh Ear Candy for Your Hungry Head

Greetings everyone. Fond salutations. Fervent civilities.  And Happy National Mayonnaise Day.

I’m beaming to you today, in the midst of lockdown, direct from Biscuit Bend Studio in the capital region of New York. And I bring ear candy to spice up your day!

Outnumber the Living has finally released its debut album, Elegies for Solaris. It dropped just this morning and is available on dozens of platforms, just like all the other Quadrivalent/Biscuit Bend productions. And just like them, it is completely FREE at the Bandcamp site.

For now, there are no hard copies available. It is stream/download only and will stay that way as long as feasible. Get your copy now and share it with your friends!

Outnumber the Living @ Bandcamp

outrun1

Stay safe, everyone. And let your creative side out. There’s never a time like now!

New Music! Oooohhh

Don’t wanna read?  Click the album cover to go listen:  FrontCover

Greetings everyone, Octopodian and “normal human” alike!

Yeah that’s right, I used scare quotes.  What even is a normal human, anyway?  I’m calling you out.  Provide evidence of your normality and humanity or else risk being categorized as something questionably other.

I’ve roused from the sweet silent slumber of blogging hiatus to bring you fresh news!  There have been developments on the music front I must share.  How could there not be?  It’s been a couple years since I posted an update (sorry about that).

Let’s see, where to start…

The big news for folks interested in my toodley-tunes is that all my projects are now available for FREE on their respective Bandcamp sites.  Not only can you still stream anything (and read along with the lyrics) right there on the Bandcamp player without having to download or install any apps, but now you can download the original music for your very own without signing up for anything or paying a single cent!  Unless bandwidth becomes a problem, this will continue indefinitely.

And let’s be real here—bandwidth won’t be a problem unless I win the popularity lottery.  But as the saying goes, you can’t win if you don’t play.  My obscurity adds to your benefit:  imagine the cred you’ll get when you talk about the recording artist you follow who releases albums in several genres and publishes books, too?  And the material isn’t even dismally horrible!  Or so my closest, ego-coddling friends tell me.

Additionally, hardcopy CD prices have been slashed in half.  Most of them are just $5 (the Enantiodrome EP is only $3) plus a modest flat rate for shipping.  These are full-length LPs, people.  This is not a drill.  And there are bundles available, so check out the bands!  If you’re feeling it, reach out and let me know what you think.  I would warm my heart to find out that some of my work made it into your regular spins.  Likewise it would give me a great guffaw to hear that you thought it was so bad, you had to listen to other music immediately just to get the remnants of it out of your ears.

For those of you who have followed my work…

Mother’s Mistakes has changed status to inactive, due to the passing of my very good friend Frank, who made up the other half of that project.  The two full-length albums we completed together are available and will continue to be.  I’m very proud of them and I know he was too.  Since the release of Seldom Reached and Never Kept, he and I had put work into a pair of albums, one featuring each of us.  As a Biscuit Bend product, his album will be available to interested parties who inquire after it.  If there is interest, I could set up a streaming service for Frank’s music.  Let me know if that piques your interest.

The album I composed as a partner-piece in our final endeavor is now available as the latest album under the Orphic Elegy name.  The official release date is April 1, 2020.  It is titled After Sunset, and is available for free download and streaming at the Orphic Elegy Bandcamp.  If you like it, consider buying a hardcopy for only $5.  Who else can give you such value?

On the horizon…

Outnumber the Living’s album is complete will be made available some time this year.  I’m really excited to put this record out—it’s my first full length metal record engineered entirely on my own.  The fellows really put in their best and it shows.  It seriously rips.  Er, wait…slaps?  It slaps.

The Daybloom album is fiiiiinally in its last throes of production.  I am able to dedicate a lot of time to it this spring and will get it out of my basement and into your ears soon.  Kate and I are currently discussing the hardcopy design.

My second book is not far from being complete.  The writing is mostly complete and has been for a while, as it is a collection of short stories I have composed over the years.  But, since many of these pieces have been sitting for some time, I am giving them a final revision before putting them into print.  The cover art is done.  I plan to record an audiobook version soon, and I expect to get this whole thing released mid-2020.

As always, The Octopode will be the first place to find updates and links to new available works, previews, etc.  Thanks for checking out this post and have a damned good day!

-ML

I Can’t Say “Lake Titicaca”

rage

Why don’t people notice when their speech is goofed up?  Does that guy with a lisp just not realize that everyone around him is able to pronounce sibilants that he always misses?  Does that girl who makes all her Ms into Bs and her Ns into Ds because she’s restricting exhalations from her nose not hear that other folks aren’t doing this?

I think that we get used to the little handicaps we introduce into our speech for one subconscious reason or another.  They become a part of our habit and are effectively invisible.  Or inaudible, rather.

Nothing brings those errors into crisp contrast than recording yourself speaking, and then listening back.  Most folks dislike hearing their own recorded voice, due to the fact that it is a different experience than hearing it as you speak.  When you speak, you experience both internal and external stimuli, so when the sound is separated from your body and played back, it sounds foreign.  You don’t like it because it isn’t you, isn’t a sound you would want coming from you.  And it’s embarrassing, because you realize it’s how everyone else hears you.

I use that example to help guitarists understand why they hate the sound of their rigs miked up and recorded.  When you are playing with an amplifier in the room, all that low-end boom from the cabinet and the reflections of the room make up part of your sensory experience.  As does the feeling of playing it, of having that resonating instrument in your hands.  Separating and playing back the sonic response from a point right in front of a speaker (where the mic is) takes away much of the original experience and thus, much of the enjoyment.

For the last couple months I have been recording my own voice, reading Shame the Devil, a novel I published a few years ago.  Recording an audiobook.

It’s been hell.

I sit there and read a sentence, hear myself missing syllables, slurring consonants, having weird vocal breaks in the middle of passages that you can only understand by using context . . . and then I do it again, and again, and again.  Trying to stop that behavior.  Failing.

And it gets worse.  There are a lot of parts of speech I simply cannot pronounce.  Normal things that when I try to mouth them, cannot be uttered by the equipment in my head.  Like the word grasp.  I can pronounce it all the way out to the P, but put it in a sentence and I cannot do so without taking so much time it breaks the sentence in two and ruins the rhythm.  “Trying to understand more than he could grasp put him in a difficult situation” becomes “Trying to understand more than he could grass, puh, put him in a difficult situation”.  I hear it, I know I’m doing it and I know what I’m doing wrong, yet I cannot change it.

I should have taken speech class in elementary school.

My Ss are too soft.  My Ts are often missed or only implied.  My CHs are inconstant.  I can’t seem to get out of an M fast enough to keep rhythm, so I either sit on it too long or avoid it altogether, making “mountains” into “mmmountains” and making “permanent” into “peranent”.  I cannot say “Lake Titicaca” more than once unless I am allowed to take four seconds to do it.  I cannot say “Lake Tiki Titicaca” at all.  Not even once.  Maybe if I have eight seconds.  It should only take about one second.

My advice to you, is never to record your own voice.  It’s like going into a bathroom somewhere, and looking at yourself in a mirror under that weirdly penetrative fluorescent light that exposes every bit of skin damage you’ve had since you were eight years old, and makes you look like you haven’t slept this month.  It’s reflective of a part of you your brain has willfully trained itself to ignore.  Sometimes, ignorance is best.

However, if you’d like to hear me masticate an entire novel with my nasal, error-laden, lisping, always-sounds-like-he-has-a-cold voice, you should absolutely listen to me read my novel.

You can get the audiobook for cheap or free, or just check out a three-minute sample of it, at the Amazon page for Shame the Devil.  Just click on the mic:

micpic

Sticking to Convictions

What do you do when faced with a disaster?

So many of us tend to disregard the emotional impact of negative things.  As though it shouldn’t matter how you feel.  We make practical excuses to disguise the emotional decision we have made.  But why?  Emotions are a huge part of us, and why should it be a bad thing to acknowledge that they inform our choices?

When faced with a major setback in a project, it is normal to want out. No matter how strong your desire and conviction to pursue your goal, your emotional commitment can be waylaid by a disaster.  Knowing that this is temporary, and allowing yourself to acknowledge the feelings but wait them out before making a decision to walk away, is the responsible way to handle it.  Throwing up your hands and making what could be a solvable problem into a permanent defeat is the cowardly way.

The work of coming back from catastrophe is in itself a confirmation of your commitment, and a reaffirmation of your conviction.  Even if you do it badly, just the act of doing it puts your heart back where it needs to be.

Sometimes that work is made worse by the degree of the disaster.  Sometimes, it’s hard, back-breaking, filthy work.  I wrote about such an event that happened to me shortly after I started work on my log cabin.  You can read about it here.

wheelbarrow

Touchin’ Stuff

I like touchin’ stuff.  Do you?

I remember the first time I touched a bass guitar with the intent to use it.  I was twelve.  Nothing I did sounded good, and the songs I was learning were ones I didn’t like much.  But there was a complete sensory experience involved in having the instrument strapped to me, and laying my hands on it.  The weight of it.  The finished wood of the neck.  The strum in the amplifier.  The smell of metal on my fingers.

It is intoxicating; the experience of interfacing with a reality that holds a potential for you.  Linking with a corporeal present that you could bend into the shape of an as yet impossible future.

I wrote about this in my log cabin chronicles this week.  You can check it out here.

telepolebench2

How Short Can You Horror?

worm

Another month, another Misfortune 500.  Very short tales I come up with to go alongside random images.  The pic above is a banana peel with a bit of stringy banana material on the end of it.  I thought it kind of looked like a worm.

I’ve talked before about how the backstory is what makes the pictures into horror, or into whatever you’d like.  You, the writer, have all the power.  How many words do you need to exercise it to your satisfaction?

Check out the story I set down to go with this image here.  C’mon, it’ll take two minutes.  Lemme know what you think.