New test song - Notice there is high-end

Now that the interface is working, my terrible songs are now recorded in high fidelity. I liked it better when it was harder to hear how much I suck. ;)

Eureka! I have found it!

Okay, I figured out my Line 6 problem. The only real problem now is that I have to fix it every single time I restart. Anyway, let me break it down, because I'm sure someone out there will need help.

The problem:
Using OSX, PodFarm says "No authorized device connected. POD Farm cannot process audio" at the bottom of the screen. Audio sounds okay in POD Farm, and lousy in all other recording apps.

What's happening:
Everything sounds fine when you're playing through POD farm, because it's happily processing audio through it's own hardware output. But, it's not processing when it creates audio for the internal audio channels in your MAC. So, what you end up recording is just mushy, unrefined crap. Essentially the same as plugging your guitar directly into your computer's mic input

The reason it's doing this is because it thinks your hardware is not legal, or not registered, so it only works in some kind of demo-ish mode.

How to fix it:
You can try a few things.

  1. Unplug your device and then plug it back in.
    Sometimes this actually works.
  2. Launch Line 6 Monkey
    Once it is launched, choose the device that should be working, but isn't:

    This will bring up the next screen of frustration:

    Yes, even though you just told it what device to connect to, it has opted not to connect you. So, hit the "Connect to Device" button, and you should be fine.
  3. Refreshing your device
    If all that doesn't work, you'll have to refresh the device. Luckily, it's easy and only takes a minute. From Line 6 Monkey, choose "Optional add-ons" and then click the button that says "Activate Purchase".

    From there, you'll be asked for a password. Just type "refresh" and it will do the rest.

After each of these steps, you will need to quit POD Farm and restart to test it out. It probably wouldn't hurt to disconnect the device so that it will reset itself, too. In most cases, step 2 is all you will need to do.

With luck, one of these things will give you the following positive result:

Seriously pissed off at music equipment

Tried to record some songs today, but I just can't get anything to record decently. I really don't understand how it is that things will play beautifully through the speakers, but once you record it and play it back through those same speakers, it really sounds like shit.

A total fucking mystery.

It has something to do with the connection that the KB37 makes with Ableton. Somewhere in the middle everything turns to marshmallows.

Girl in a Coma End of Year Message

Just got the end-of-year wrap-up from the chicks in Girl in a Coma, a band that I would never have discovered if not for the awesome Moz-loving chick in my life.

It made me laugh because who knew they were the type to get in bar fights with cops? Well, I guess you can just look at them and see they're the type to get in bar fights with cops. I give them five gold stars for that.

Also, I know there are people who would pay Nina money to beat them up, which I assume is how they avoided doing two to five in state. Anyway, here is a video somebody shot at the Troubadour show where we saw them.

Another PETA thing for fun

Learned about this silly site from the goons at SomethingAwful.

PETA have a way of making me like the things that they want me to hate, or to completely miss the point of what they're trying to say. In this case, the expression on the Colonel's face is so funny that I just want to play with the generator program all day.

Please have fun making your own KFC art. Here's mine.

I expect my comments section to get filled with pictures of half-naked PETA girls protesting, I dunno, clothing.

And, yes, I already know about the other PETA.

Dengue Fever make it to Jeopardy

I'm a big fan of a local band called Dengue Fever. Not one of those crazy fans who learns their songs phonetically and sings along. (Truth be told, I can do that with more than a couple songs by Dead Can Dance and maybe a little with the Cocteau Twins, who actually write songs in gibberish.) I'm also not one of those weird dudes who stalks Nimol with a camera during the shows.

Anyway, if you don't know them, you should, since they are cool as heck. They play a sort of surfin' 60s, psychedelic Asian freakout music. It's hard to describe, so just listen to it.

The point of this post is that for reasons few may understand, they were part of a question on Jeopardy yesterday. How cool is that? I wish I made it on Jeopardy for something I did. That's serious business.

Well, like I said, I don't really take pictures of bands anymore, no matter how cute their lead singers are, so, if you want to see the Dengues in action, check this cool YouTube video.

No, I have absolutely no idea what the song is about, and yes, the only English part is "Hold me close to you tonight."

I hate Kanye and Taylor, still

My rental copies of True Blood were two weeks late, so I went to the video store to return them before I was forced to keep them. Asshole Blockbuster already charged my credit card the replacement value, but I could return them and only be charged two bucks and change for "restocking." I guess that's fair.

But this is all beside the point. The point of the story is that while the cashier lady was checking in the videos, that stupid Taylor Swift song started playing, and she started singing it while verifying my videos were in their proper containers.

She's a grown-ass woman, probably in her late 20s, and she's singing me teeny-pop songs while she should be doing her job. Don't get me wrong, I believe in listening to bad music at work, but IRONICALLY, people. Don't sing the really bad stuff to customers!

There are just so many things that I hate about that song, and I wouldn't have known anything about it if not for Kanye West. Despite being a freakin' boring artist and the worst rapper since Mase, he interrupted a pretty white girl and catapulted her into a stardom that her screechy, practically non-existent singing voice did not deserve.

My lady-friend has a litany of hate-speech for Taylor, most of which centers on the fact that the song is clearly a lie. I mean, really, she's wearing sneakers and sitting on the bleachers? Realsies? She is pretty obviously the head cheerleader type.

As for Kanye's comments, he's right from a certain perspective. I mean, yes, Beyonce's video was one of the best of all time. But, only if your single criteria for quality was "Which video most fulfills my need to masturbate to smokin' hot black women while my internet connection is down?"

I know I'm late to this hate-party, but the fact that I still have to live in this pop-country hell is testament to the fact that there is still more to say. I'm just glad I got the videos in on time, that they don't belong to me, as it were.

Holy crap! Spy Stuffs.

Just read this article in the LA Times which reveals that the fella who penetrated deep into an American CIA compound last week and detonated a bomb, killing 8 intelligence officials was a double-agent. Turns out he was a triple agent, I guess.

It's just a weird thing, living in this new world. When I was a kid, we also heard about spies from time to time. We knew that it was a dangerous gig, but slightly glamorous. But, we also understood that there were special rules to it.

Spy Rule 1
When you spy on your country and get caught, they give you a trial and then maybe execute you.

Spy Rule 2
When you spy for your country and get caught, they give you a trial, throw you in jail for a long time, and eventually swap you for some other spy.

Naturally, there was also the threat of being killed during the commission of the act. You might be shot while running away, and of course you'd get beaten up from time to time. Not the safest job, but it had a certain gentility to it.

The Cold War had an etiquette. The Russians and Americans were happy to have this nasty stalemate that typically killed its victims in the third world, or rather had its victims kill each other, keeping our hands clean. Even certain atrocities had a beautiful cleverness to them, such as the Siberian Pipeline Explosion of 1982, which used technological jujitsu to trick the Russians into their own destruction. Even if the story isn't true, it serves to exemplify the type of murder and mayhem we were willing to accept during that era.

We were all afraid of a real war in the 80s. In fact, we all believed in a thing called "Mutually Assured Destruction," and all of us kids grew up believing that with virtually no notice, life on Earth could end, and us with it.

We had cool things like the Doomsday Clock which predicted how long, metaphorically, until we were all goners. In my mind's eye, we were always at 11:55 or later on that thing.

So, with all this weight behind us, why does the modern world seem so much scarier? I distinctly remember being 8 or 9 years old and hearing constantly about the real probability of complete human extinction. They told us that nothing could be done about it. Our parents were helpless to prevent it. We had songs like "Party at Ground Zero" and "Russians" alternately making light and heavy of the situation. Each and every one of us who grew up in the 80s lived day-to-day with this fear in our minds. But, it wasn't a time filled with all this weirdness.

Maybe it was the idea that we'd all go down together, instead of living to watch our friends suffer and die. Or worse, being the unlucky bastard who did the suffering and the dying.

The Cold War, maybe, was a time of black and white, life and death, and here we are living in all these shades of gray. It's harder to handle, I suppose, but it's something that we need to put in perspective.

To paraphrase Stalin, I guess 8 deaths in Afghanistan is a tragedy, and the end of the world is just a statistic.

Offering Choco-Pie to the dead

I recently wrote about my love of Orion Choco-Pie, a product so filled with chocolatey, marshmallowy goodness that it deserved both a picture and a video.

yet another picture of choco-pie

But, the more I thought about it, the weirder that video started to seem. At first, it was just the general creepiness of using the memory of dead relatives to influence snack food sales. Then, it was the hijacking of Filial Piety to sell junk food. And, then, it hit me. There's something even worse.

dead korean grandpa

As any American kid can tell you, the proof of Santa's visit is the fact that the cookies and milk you left out the night before are now gone. Clearly, the old fat guy ate them while he came by, right?

With Asian kids, or really any group of people who leave food offerings to the dead, the proof that the dead receive your gifts is the fact that they shrivel up and disappear. For some people, it's oranges and tangerines, which whither, becoming an order of magnitude smaller than they once were. For others, it's sake or soju or whiskey, or even a 40oz poured into the yard. The point is, over time, it's no longer there.

offerings left for the dead - notice no choco-pie here

But, I have a feeling that a box of Choco-Pie will pretty much outlive the girl in the commercial. It's got a sealed outer box, individually-wrapped foil packages, and then air-tight chocolate magic protecting the tasty tasty cake and marshmallow wonder that is Choco-Pie.

End of year mouth-keeping

Now that they year is over, blogger Dan Warp has a list of words and phrases that you need to stop using this year. I am guilty of too many of them, and I know it has to change. Thanks for making it so obvious.

My only argument is with his willingness to allow "That's what she said" until 2011. That was annoying 15 years ago, and it's even more so, now. Everything else, though, is spot-on.

After reading it, I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth, but still, I'd call it the Best. Article. Ever.

Michael Scott in the office
I really don't care what she said.