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2009-06-21 (0 comments)

Blur of a week...

Last week was such a blur I didn't even have time to post for days... just enough time right now to fix that before I jump back into the fray.

Wednesday we got together with Filbert Snodgrass and went over some material for the 'Crowbar' show in late July. Filbert's done a good job remembering the old songs he helped write and has picked up on a few new ones. We still have a great deal of work left to do fleshing out the 'show' parts of the event. After a quick rehearsal I went over to the practice space of space rock band Alias:Orion and hung out for a few hours to suss what they were doing. Very cool people whom I think we'll be working with very soon...

Thursday (and Friday) evenings I got together with Rachnid's old rhythm guitarist, police capt. Mickey, and began recording his demos. He's got two songs, one of which is a Johnny Cash type number and the other of which sounds like the Byrds. They're both catchy and fun to work on. We laid down a guitar guide track, then drums, then doubled 12 string rhythm parts on both with a pretty Yamaha acoustic 12 string. After that we did some vocals. Next thing will be Rachnid coming in and laying down bass parts and some backup vocals...

Friday morning I got a call back from MTV networks. Interesting! Perhaps they're not totally cold on my involvement with their weird superhero project (see my post a couple weeks back)... and I'd be only too happy to appear in-character on national TV, as long as the conditions were right. More on that if it develops...

Later on Friday I got an email from Dee Long, the writer of DeeSampler, saying that he'd solved the midi program change problem in his otherwise outstanding program. Excellent! With that hurdle removed, I can now integrate full streaming video playback into C.O.G.'s stage show. I settled on a laptop with a broken (and now removed) screen to do the actual work, donated by the very generous Petri Laihonen. It's a Dell 5150 3Ghz P4, and it does a fine job on video clips encoded in xvid. Hopefully next time we perform, our video will be a LOT more professional looking! It's also finally starting to push me into a more modern mindset that would make it possible to deploy a C.O.G. show from much less weighty equipment. The computer rack I've used for all these years has been a heavy albatross indeed... time to do something about it, methinks!

I now have to decide whether to stick with the old composite cable, or string a 50ft s-video cable to the projector. Does anybody have a Dell composite adapter that I can borrow? I would like to see how much better s-video would look. (50ft. of VGA, sadly, is out of the question!)

Friday afternoon, to make a good day even better, I got a nice gift in the mail... really nice footage of us performing in Pensacola. As usual, the sound isn't that good but the visuals are great - John Hand, the cameraman for Nightmare Theater, really knew what he was doing. Their invitation to appear on their show later this year was also very appealing. I think we'll be playing there again, as soon as it starts to cool off a bit.

Saturday I got together with longtime C.O.G. writer Hacksaw and one-time C.O.G. comic artist Ben Beamis, and hashed out plans for a new C.O.G. comic book/web comic. More on that as it develops!

Now it's time to get some BBQ and treat my dad to a well deserved Fathers Day...

2009-06-16 (0 comments)

Happy Spinal Tap day!

In commemoration of our great forebears Spinal Tap putting out a (mostly!) new album today, I dedicate this video of the Consortium of Genius performing Tap's epic classic 'Stonehenge'. This was taped September 19th at One Eyed Jacks club in New Orleans. Big thanks as always to Beth Patterson for her fairy-light touch on the Bouzouki. Enjoy...

2009-06-15 (0 comments)

Wot's next?

Fun time Sat. night at the Hi Ho, albeit not without its little problems and idiosyncrasies (mostly due to breakers failing; strange, as we somehow avoided that problem last time we performed at the Hi Ho.) The owner was, as always, an extremely gracious and appreciative host. Summer heat and a 'Peaches' concert across town cut into our crowd a bit but on the other hand, we saw some faces we hadn't seen in a while, which is always good (such as Sean from Rock City Morgue, Chris from Supagroup, and Casey from the New Orleans Bingo Show.) Tommy from Alias:Orion was in the crowd too; I think a show with them would be a good thing...

Opening act 'Hairy Lamb' were loud, loud, loud! Just the way they like it! Dave Stocker, our fill-in soundman for the evening, had things sounding fantastic as usual all evening long; don't know where we would have been without him (I suspect 'unhappy' is where we would have been...) The mighty Cyberludite was an unflagging trooper with his roadie assistance (as well as this show's bit part as psycho killer Jason.) We sounded tight that evening and had fun onstage, although the vibe in the place was just a little off... don't know quite why, but it didn't spoil our fun. The new album by the almighty Spinal Tap, played before and after C.O.G. also made the time go by sweetly...

And now onto the next chapter! Babelcon is where we're playing next, July 18th in Baton Rouge. Quick poll: if you're going to see us at Babelcon, would you prefer a 'plot' based C.O.G. show, or just more music?

2009-06-12 (0 comments)

Got a bin of old computer parts?

??? If so, I'd appreciate you taking a look in it for me. I'm seeking an old PCI video card WITH A COMPOSITE OUTPUT on it as well as the VGA output. I'm talking about the yellow phono plug type. If you have one of these free, PLEASE let me know!

it's for something special...

2009-06-11 (0 comments)

Funny things happeninging...

Interesting day. Well, aside from work, which was its usual uninteresting self.

Late Tuesday evening, I was contacted by somebody from 'Superheroes Anonymous', which seems to be a league of Real Life Superheroes - and for those of you who haven't heard about this phenomenon yet, the term refers to a special breed of folks who actually condone and practice the habit of going out in public, dressed to the nines in their best spandex, etc., to help people, fight crime, rescue kittens, etc. While not actively denounced by police, these folks are generally forbidden to carry anything more powerful than a can of pepper spray. Most of them put themselves in more danger than the folks they're trying to protect.

OK, now that you have the background, here's the setup. One of the organizers of this league, Ben Goldman, wrote me on MySpace about getting involved with his project as a 'supervillain'. Ben and his crew had been shooting a documentary about their illustrious league, and apparently this project has since landed in the hands of MTV Networks, who are developing a reality TV show around the characters and concepts (apparently they believe they can do better than Stan Lee & Sci Fi Channel's 'Who Wants To Be A Superhero' from last year, and after suffering through viewing that show myself, I can give them the benefit of THAT doubt.) Anyway, 'supervillain' is a role that ol' Pinkerton can play with ease, and I'd almost always welcome the opportunity to get paid for some screen time promoting the band; however, a few unanswered questions remained.

Ben called me this morning to set up a conference call Wednesday afternoon. After assuring me that MTV had really changed a lot, wasn't out to screw anybody these days, and wanted a quality show, etc. he gave me the details and we signed off until the afternoon.

At 2pm, I got on the conference call and was introduced to the MTV producers (at no point did they ask me to keep mum or hold to a nondisclosure agreement, and so I'm blogging this!) They seemed the standard confused, condescending Hollywood types, and I played along with them for a while to scope out what they had to offer. At first they seemed intrigued by me... they clumsily explained that they wanted a villain to take down their superheroes (hmmm, another 'attrition' type reality show setup. Joy.) I asked them several times where the dividing line would be between reality and fantasy on this show, and they were pretty much unable to pin it down... apparently they themselves are confused about their show's structure at this point.

But I could hear crests falling as it slowly dawned on them that I wasn't 'living it' like so many of these costumed do-gooders; I explained that I was an entertainer, that my own group was contructed as a vehicle for music and comedy, and that my participation in this project would necessarily be without relinquishing any character rights (which Ben insisted was a baseline necessity of everybody else's participation too, BTW. Weird!) Oh, and my participation would also be contingent upon the ability to promote my music. It also came out that they had confused the Consortium of Genius with a bunch called the Consortium of Evil. Heh. Looks pretty humorous, but it couldn't be farther from what I'm doing (or at least it had better stay that way! I bet they ripped off our name after the 'Bad Horse' contest last fall.)

We got the pleasantries out of the way and they thanked me for talking with them, saying they'd be in touch. My impression of the whole thing - ridiculous, with the promise of more bad TV to come, and another peek inside the travesty that is the entertainment industry machine. There's something to be said about producers that just don't get the hot new property that they're attempting to exploit! I could dissect this six ways to Sunday, but when it comes down to it, I suspect that Ben and the rest of these well-meaning folks are going to end up a bunch of patsies embarrassing themselves in what was undoubtedly pitched as 'Jackass with a Cape'.

Uhhh... I think I'll pass.

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