I've been avoiding posting anything about the riots in America. This turns out to be quite easy, because this is a music app blog. I don't want to post something that feels like I'm just interjecting my hollow support for a popular cause that I'm bandwagoning on. Now I'm beginning to feel like by not posting something, I'm somehow demonstrating opposition to the movement.
Racism is really fucking dumb. I shouldn't have to say that in the 21st Century, and I'm disappointed that I find myself in a position where I feel that I have to. I grew up in the melting-pot of Northern California suburbia, watching Webster and wearing knock-off MC Hammer parachute pants. I honestly grew up thinking racism was one of those things that was solved before I was even born, like Polio. But, like Polio, there seem to be an awful lot of people who want to bring it back.
So here is my formal declaration that I am in opposition to racism. And Polio. If you're a racist, think about how stupid anti-vaxxers look. If you're an anti-vaxxer, think about how stupid racists look. If you're a racist anti-vaxxer you win the prize! You get to eat the whole bag of dicks!
Unfortunately I don't think we're going to see anything positive come out of any of this. Just as with the protests in Hong Kong, or Occupy Wall Street, the bureaucracy we are opposing is simply too endemic. Systemic racism is as much a part of America as McDonald's. In fact, it is institutions like McDonald's that will continue to perpetuate racism under the banner of capitalism. Employers need cheap labor, and corporate prisons need bodies. Systemic racism ensures that both needs are met, and corporations can fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities to investors. If you want to change that, then we're talking about an entirely different kind of revolution than the one we're seeing today.
Dr. Cornell West gave a very heart-felt interview that discusses the problem. The professor points out that "Black Lives Matter" arose at a time when the United States had a Black President, and a Black Attorney General. Yet there was nothing done for African Americans. Democracy is a farce. If you expect the majority to uphold the rights of the minority you haven't been paying attention. You should have voted for me.
I've been playing with BLEASS alpha for while now and just realized that I hadn't done a Let's Play for it. I've corrected this omission with a lengthy exploration of the app. I felt confident enough in my knowledge of the app to go into this one without pre-planning, and I like the results. This is a different kind of Let's Play where I'm just allowing myself to get lost in the sound design process, and having fun jumping around through the app to make it do interesting stuff. I linger in the my happy-weird-place longer than I usually let myself in a Let's Play.
This is my response to the recent popularity of live streaming videos. I personally think live streams are a bit of a mess, so I'm trying to capture that spontaneity in a tighter package. I'm very open to feedback about this approach, and my execution here.
BLEASS has been producing a bunch of fun, feature packed, AUv3 effects and now they've brought us BLEASS alpha. This is a powerful synth! I'm having so much fun in this video but it runs long! This isn't a "tutorial" where I'm telling you how to do a thing, this is my sound design process of trying to create a thing. I love the end result!
The music technology pioneer Florian Schneider passed away just after his 73rd birthday, following a short battle with cancer. Together with co-founder Ralf Hütter they formed one of the most significant music acts of the past 50 years. Kraftwerk provided an important cultural touchstone during a trying and divisive period of history, bridging gaps across the world in their fan base. In a time when popular media used "German" as shorthand for "bad guy" it was difficult to embrace my own German heritage. Kraftwerk was one of the very few connections I had growing up.
They have also inspired generations of musicians. While my own music bares little resemblance to theirs, it owes everything to their technical pursuits. Florian was a big part of that. He pushed the band to explore new territory through technology, and held several patents; including their classic Robovox vocal processor.
Many modern musicians who've never heard Florian's name owe him a debt of gratitude. On their behalf: Vielen Dank, Herr Roboter.
Field recording household objects has been something I've thought about doing for decades. It's probably something every musician thinks about at some point. I've never taken the time to do it, and I'll bet there are many who can say the same. Klevgränd saves us all a lot of trouble by making the dream happen for us!
Klevgränd brings us a unique percussion instrument that lets you play with household items like a drum machine. I'm using Rozeta's many interesting sequencer plugins to make it all sound lively!
I love April Fools. Even the jokes that don't land are at least a break from the norm. It is the one day that makes us all seriously question what we read on the Internet. I think that's a healthy annual reminder that we should be this skeptical on all the other days of the year. Unfortunately I have to agree with the many people who have called for April Fools to be cancelled this year.
I know this won't come as a blow to the many of you who don't give a shit and just want your regular sites to give you your regular content. You're getting it today. If you scroll past this post you'll find lots of new articles. There are 3 new apps today! There's lots of stuff to take your mind off the crisis.
You should also scroll past this if you don't want to read a political rant on your favorite music app blog. Just go straight down to all those new apps and videos. I don't want to force my opinion on anyone. I frankly don't believe anyone can convince anyone else of a political opinion on the Internet. I also don't want to bum you out. I never post about sad personal shit here, because that's not what you're coming to read. But this shit has hit way too close to home, and I'm super sad right now so I want to rant. Please just scroll past to the new apps if you don't want to hear it. Endless finally came out of beta, and BeepStreet's Drambo is even more amazing than we ever realized. There's lots of fun stuff below this post.
Abandon All Hope Ye Who Scroll To Here
My husband works at a hospital. He's in IT, not medicine, so he is not directly interacting with the many Covid-19 patients there. He still has to go into a building he knows is full of a bug that is killing people all over the world. None of the other people in that building are feeling particularly great either. Quite a lot of them are at their breaking point. These are the modern mundane heroes of the health care industry, and they're being wiped out by a host of villains.
If you're looking for a career change, or have been furloughed indefinitely, you should make use of your free time to start studying medicine. There is going to be a drastic shortage of nurses and doctors in America very soon. It shouldn't have happened like this, but it did. It is still happening! It is a slow motion train wreck that is killing the very best of us, and it is leaving the survivors feeling hollow and betrayed.
It's almost laughable now how easily Americans have looked down on the rest of the world for decades. Now places like India are actually dealing with the threat, while we fumble this at every turn. The shortages of personal protective equipment were easily avoidable. The mass infections we see all across this nation were avoidable. We just didn't avoid it. We hemmed and we hawed and we didn't take the threat seriously.
Shit rolls down hill, so let's look at the top of this mountain of failures. I don't know how you felt about the President of the United States of America 3 weeks ago, but I can't imagine how anyone feels good about him now. His response to the crisis has been irresponsibly inconsistent, and dangerously narcissistic. Meanwhile we continue to have states that are still not on lockdown. As I write this, a quarter of all Americans are living in states that are acting as if this is a normal Wednesday. This is going to needlessly prolong the infection throughout the whole country, because they're more concerned about their fucking tax revenue. Trump has signed a lot of executive orders in his term. He's failed to sign the one we needed most. If he shut this all down 3 weeks ago, we wouldn't have hospitals bursting over capacity.
Even in states that are on lockdown, there are a disturbing amount of people ignoring the order. I'm actually way more pissed with these folks than I am with Trump. Assholes ignoring the order to stay home are the real villains. These are the people who are putting everyone at risk. Especially hospital workers. This whole shortage of personal protective equipment is appalling, but the situation is made much worse when people are unnecessarily getting themselves infected. These idiots are using up the resources that protect the lives of healthcare workers and their families.
Every single day my husband comes home from the hospital he's shaken. He's had a grueling work day, and on the drive home he is devastated to see so many people outside and still congregating in groups. Is this really just a country full of dangerous narcissists? How are so many people more concerned with their fucking petty social nonsense, than they are with the well-being of the healthcare providers they are endangering?
If you're a threat to the heroes, you are the villain in this story.