Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A 10 Year Anniversary

Today marks a couple of really important anniversaries for Beatnik Turtle. Two years ago we had just launched The Song Of The Day and were toasting champagne to the tune of the first song, One year ago we were toasting the close of the project, celebrating the fact that we actually did it - released 365 songs in one year. Wow. That was huge!

However, I was just thinking about TEN years ago. I was invited to a good friend's New Year's Day recovery party - January 1, 1999 (that would be Tom Beeyachski - the mastermind behind some great songs of the day such as Well F--k and The C-Word). He was showing off his brand new Taylor 814-CE guitar. It was the first time I put my hands on this amazing instrument. Ten years ago. A decade. Luckily, later in 1999, he loaned me this particular guitar to play for a while when he spontaneously bought a Larrivee during a trip to Guitar Center to get some picks and strings. After a couple months he asked if I'd like to buy the Taylor. I said "hell yeah!" That wonderful guitar is still with me today. All the Beatnik Turtle acoustic guitar tracks I recorded were done with this guitar, so you can hear the sound on many of them.

Here's to ten years!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

So Long, Goodbye (Again)

A year really isn't a very long period of time. This last one blasted past in a blink. Right now, I'm working on re-mixing and mastering songs for our forthcoming Best Of album. For several of the songs on the collection, we have gone back and added bits and pieces that we would have if we had time during The Song Of The Day project. We've been able to take care of those always-present "oh man - I wish I would have added that guitar riff" regrets. I've also been working with new mastering tools (iZotope Ozone) and really learning how to do the sound justice.

As I adjust some things in the mix and master of So Long, Goodbye I can't help but reflect on the fact that one year ago I sat in this same spot finishing the song so I could post it to the site before December 31 so we could take off and head up to our Studio North facility in Lake Geneva for New Years. Right now I'm doing the exact same thing - finishing up So Long, Goodbye (with a couple of new surprises in store). Listening to the coda of the song, I can't help but get a bit teary-eyed nostalgic for that end of those long days of recording, mixing, and mastering that kept us SO busy during 2007.

I can't WAIT to get started on the 2009 RPM Challenge so I can have that taste of constant frantic music production once again!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Whoa! Social explosion on BT.

In an effort to increase our online sociability, you may notice a couple changes to the side bar on Stay calm, we are doing a social experiment (Pun intended). BT has big, big plans for 2009, and they involve you, our beloved friends and fans. In fact if you so desire, you can join the fun today if you have a Google account, a Yahoo account, and AIM account, or an an OpenID account. Login to the right and you'll be able to post your own BT based messages right here on our site. As always we love to here from you.

Oh, and if you haven't already, remember to sign up for the BT mailing list with our Reverb Nation based widget at the bottom of the right column.

Have a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Post-Winter Solstice or whatever festivity that floats your boat. And remember Santa may not like you, but Beatnik Turtle still does! :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Un-Holidays: Hear Us Christmas Eve (And Then Some)

Happy Holidays! Or, Happy Un-Holidays. Whichever you prefer, we don't judge...

If you're in the mood for some different type of Holiday music, then we got you covered. We're all over the place this month...

1. GeeksRadio - Christmas Eve (6-8 PM Eastern Standard Time)
Some of our Un-Hoiiday music will be featured on the new internet radio station, GeeksRadio at The show is hosted by John "Lumpy" Lemke and you can catch him and his show this Wednesday, December 24th from 6-8 PM Eastern Standard Time. All you need is your computer to catch the stream. And what better way to spend Christmas Eve than with your computer? Eh?

2. CD Baby & CD Baby's Music Discovery Podcast
Also, all this month our album, "Santa Doesn't Like You" has been featured at CD Baby as part of their Rock Christmas list. Our title track from "Santa Doesn't Like You" is also featured on CD Baby's Music Discovery Podcast. Their new podcast is well-produced and we highly recommend subscribing to it.

3. WXRT 93.1 Holiday Spectacular - Chicago Radio
We were also one of the indie artists that make up WXRT's Local Anesthetic Holiday Spectacular this year. Every year XRT DJ, Richard Milne, puts together an hour long show of Holiday greeting from local artists around Chicago. This year we doctored up "I Didn't Know She Was Into That" and added sleighbells. The end result was "I Didn't Know She Was Into Kwanzaa." Destined to be a Holiday classic, we're sure.

4. Directly From Us At
We've been featuring some of our Un-Holiday music on our podcast, including a sound check live version of "Santa Doesn't Like You" and some new ones from last year like "Lies Make The Baby Jesus Cry". Subscribe to the podcast and get a new song each week. It's kinda like getting a Christmas gift each week.

5. Get Our Album, "Santa Doesn't Like You"
Of course, if you want to support us a bit, just grab our album "Santa Doesn't Like You". You can pick up a CD, get it on MP3, or download it from the iTunes (and other fine retailers). It makes a great stocking stuffer. And it's great for kid's! Er...maybe not.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Fog

I'm sure by now, especially if you work in I.T., you've heard of "The Cloud." It's all about little-to-no cost storage "out there" on the internet somewhere. If you use a web-based email service like GMail, your emails are all stored in "The Cloud." What is "The Fog" you ask (besides a classic John Carpenter film)? It's a low rent cloud.

The Cakewalk Sonar files that contain all the individual tracks of all of our songs take up a HUGE amount of space. It approaches 500GB. Add in the Adobe Premier Elements video source files, Sonar files and mixes for our forthcoming Best Of album and we're starting to approach 600GB. We buy a lot of external hard drives. I think we have over 20 external Western Digital's - multiple backup copies of everything.

We just considered the idea of uploading all of these files to Amazon's S3 storage cloud. I did the math and, even though S3 is REAL cheap, it hits close to $100/month to store all these files on S3. They're just too huge. For that cost we could buy lots of hard drives. So, we make lots of copies of everything and toss the hard drives in remote places like my desk drawer at work, our homes away from the studios, and in our Studio North facility in Wisconsin.

We're never exactly sure where we'll find the latest version of a set of song files should our main HDDs crash, but we know they're out there. Kinda like "The Cloud" only much lower rent and not quite as precise - more like "The Fog."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Gig Tonight!

Hey everyone - I'll be playing a solo acoustic set tonight at Sylvie's on Irving Park in Chicago. Also playing their own 30 minute sets will be several talented folks from the Wednesday night open mic at Bad Dog Tavern. Sylvie's is a cash-only bar, but there's no cover for the show so spend those extra $ on some beverages! Here's the details: