Pretty Productive Almost-Week-Long Break (Part 2)

With the help of the missus, I was also able to finalize the Tandem album art. She helped me pick out a solid background color (I am colorblind, remember?) and a nice font for the title and track list. We actually went back to the original sketch of the album art for the title layout. Which is quite amusing because the sketch has been posted right above my desktop ever since I started working on the thing, but I never paid much attention to it after I had the line drawing on the computer.

If I'm not mistaken, this is the sixth version of this cover.

The track list art wasn’t changed from my original idea. I just changed the background color and the font to go with the cover.

The track list images are just all the layers that make up the image on the cover.

The other thing I was able to accomplish for Tandem over the break is that the album art you see above… is the one I used in the video I uploaded to Youtube!

It took me a couple of hours to finish the video because it took some time to figure out what I could and could not do with the (free version of the ) video editor I used and which options and settings work for me. But making my next videos shouldn’t be a problem now that I’ve figured those things out.”

Yep, the channel is finally up.  After almost two years. I still need to record two more tracks, but that shouldn’t be a problem. The channel and track 1 being up actually give me a pretty definite deadline for the remaining tracks. Which, for me, is a good thing so the album doesn’t get delayed any further.

Well, that’s pretty much my six-day break. Which actually means I wasn’t able to grade any of the papers I took home. Hopefully this morning I will get started on those…


370 Days Later

It has been a year and 5 days since this blog was born. It has also been a year and 5 days since the floor above ours was razed, and we had to find a new place. It’s been so long since I’ve posted anything, I’ve almost forgotten how to go about this. But maybe that’s how things are, seasons. I just hope I remember enough, so I can post some more things because so many things have happened since my last post… when was it?

Well, first off, I guess it should be mentioned that the family’s doing well. Father-Mother-Daughter-Son family, not a bada-bing-bada-boom family. Just saying.

We’re still staying in the same place we moved into last year. And more importantly, no fire. We originally planned to move out in a few months, but it’s looking like the missus and I aren’t up to the hassle of another move. We’ll probably just get some things fixed up to make the place better and stay here until it’s time to move into our own place. It’s real this time. Barring any major disasters like the Earth’s core stopping, or a giant meteor crashing to the Earth, or a zombie apocalypse, or an alien invasion… Yeah, if nothing like those things happen, we should be home sweet home in a bit over 2 years. Yay!

I am currently on a four-day weekend thanks to the term break at school, but I’m also swamped with reading and checking papers because it’s report card season soon. 178 papers. Count them. That’s not including another 35 journals that I have to check when I get back on Wednesday. Sometimes, I really wonder why I do this to myself. I also wonder why I’m writing this entry instead of checking more papers. But let’s not talk about that during my break.

Sadly, another thing that happened (or not) since my last post was the new electric guitar has been put on hold indefinitely. Though unfortunate, I don’t really mind because the resources are going toward more important things. But looking back, it was quite a feat of willpower and maturity to let awesome guitar deals go just like that. A second-hand, grey Fernandes Jaguar copy from the’90s in very good condition? Ouch. A brand new Epiphone SG for half the price? Double ouch.

Despite that setback, music is still looking pretty good this year. First, there’s word that the Foo Fighters (yes, the Foo Fighters) will have a Philippine leg in their world tour this year! Not like it’s confeeermed, but I’m keeping my finger’s crossed.

Next, though I am still stuck on the last 3 tracks (7, 8 and 10), the Tandem album is definitely going to push through by May, at the latest. I’ve also finished the ‘album cover’ and ‘back cover with track list’. It finally came to me what I wanted it to look like. Yes, I’ve been taken quite a few breaks from checking.

The album cover.

The back cover.

Another thing I’m excited about, and another reason why the Tandem album has to be done by May, is Inhaler reuniting in June! We’re going to record all our 12 songs and come out with an album! A post-break-up debut album, to be exact. We plan to release it on the web just like the Tandem album. We’re also inviting our friend JusTech on board to play guitar. It’s actually going to be amusing how the recording will turn out because all three of us guitarists will be using Telecasters. I’m also actually sure less than a handful of people actually found that amusing.

I hung out with Byugi, our bassist, yesterday and talked about our recording schedule. He suggested we should jam a couple of times to get ourselves back in the groove. I think that’s an awesome idea! I really miss playing live with a band. But it will also mean I need to record guitar and vocal tracks for the songs and send them out, so the rest of the band can prepare. It’s going to be a lot of work, and will probably need some funding to record the drum tracks, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Well, it’s dinner time. I’m going to have to eat and get back to work. Hopefully, it won’t take another several months before my next post. But no promises…

Chores, Shmores, and So Much More

It’s already the Thursday of my week-long break. I know, I know, it’s a lot better than what other working stiffs get. That’s one of the things I love about my day job: the breaks. But I diverge. It’s already Thursday. Just three more days and I’ll be back to the daily grind. Of course, there are a good number of things I’d rather not get back to just yet. But there are also a good number of things that I won’t mind getting back to. So, all in all, it’s pretty even.

Thursday’s almost coming to a close and what have I got to show for the almost-four days of break?

  1. Definitely spent more time with the kiddies.
  2. Went out to dinner with the old lady. We had Cajun cooking. It was pretty good, though they could make the servings bigger. The seafood jambalaya hardly made a dent in my gut. I had half the mind to go on a dim sum binge afterward.
  3. Finally blogged about Inhaler. It turned out to be a trilogy; and that’s the short version. But I’m pretty happy with it. Got to insert some Inhaler and Tandem graphics too! Woohoo!
  4. Got to play my electric guitar (after a loooong time) with the amp I brought home. Amp is okay with the volume set at 1 to 2. It kind of sucks that I can’t crank it up to 3, much less 10, to see what it can do loud. Damn those neighbors and their traditional sensibilities! I scoff at you! Scoff, scoff, scoff! From playing around with it, I can say the gain is pretty okay, but the reverb is meh. But I can’t complain, not with the price tag it came with. What price tag? Thanks, IC and former owner!
  5. I finally finished the work I  have been meaning to finish since January! Talk about delay. It’s a writing gig for a publishing company (Before you get all excited, it’s writing Math projects. Oh yeah! Who’s the man? Self high five!). Now, I don’t want to count my chickens before the eggs hatch, but I’m pretty excited about finishing that. Can you say new guitar amp for recording? Why yes you can! How about that! Good on you, luvlite! I’m all Brit about it because I leaning towards a Laney amp over the Peavey that I originally intended to buy. But, like I said, stop counting the chickens, guv’nuh!

Now, what have I not been able to do?

Lady in waiting... to be colored properly.

  1. I was supposed to really work on the album cover for Tandem. I did a pretty decent amount of work. I was able to complete the line drawings over the sketch. I was able correct some mistakes in the sketch and got to draw a Gibson SG and a Fender Jazz Bass pretty accurately. Just not too sure about some of the proportions though, but what the hey. I also filled in the initial colors. Now, that sounded like a lot of work, didn’t it? It actually was, but I had intended to do so much more. Part of me is actually a little discouraged now about coloring the thing. It’s not my strongest area (colorblind, hello?), and I’m almost certain that I won’t be able to pull off the vision in my head. But we’ll see what tomorrow brings, and the two days after it.
  2. I’m supposed to backup my files on DVD and external hard drive. I only got to buy the DVDs and a case for them.
  3. I’m supposed to fix the crack on the guitar Ms. P gave me and change the strings. I got as far as buying the strings.
  4. I’m supposed to clean my desktop. I cleaned the keyboard and mouse, but will probably put the rest off till June.
  5. And one other thing wifey has been bugging me about. The horror! The horror!

That’s about it. I’ll keep you posted (literally) on what I accomplish tomorrow.

Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Let’s begin with a sort of word… well, more like phrase analogy.

categories and tags of this post : arms of a Hindu goddess

I’m in the process of making the cover art for Tandem’s first album. I wanted the cover art to show that Tandem is a one-man band. But I didn’t want to go with the cliché image of a guy walking around with a bass drum strapped on his back, a harmonica mounted near his mouth, and holding a guitar in his hands. I wanted it to be different, but not an Octopus either. After a fair amount of brainstorming, I decided to go with the Hindu goddess Kali. But instead of the weapons, fire, cup, and decapitated head, she’d be holding band instruments.

To go with the Hindu-inspired cover art, the working title of the album is Hindi Mahta Himik. When spelled correctly (hindi matahimik), it is a Filipino phrase that means “cannot be silenced” or “cannot find rest/peace,” which is how I feel about making music. I played with the spelling a bit to make it sound like it’s Sanskrit.

It took  a lot of thumbnail sketches before I got to a pose that I liked. I found it hard to position the instruments in a way that didn’t look crowded. I drew my final working sketch on A3 paper. And just like the Forged Records logo, it was done in Ms. P’s English class. It didn’t turn out to be Kali herself. My goddess has three heads/faces, but I think it still has a strong Hindu goddess vibe to it. Not sure about the headdress though. Looks too much like an onion…

I’m off to read up on more Twistedbrush tutorials to help me get this done right… but not before I serve you this week’s Tripper’s Heaven! To go with our running theme, we have Kula Shaker!

Brit psychedelia

Kula Shaker is a post-Britpop, psychedelic-rock band that came out in the late ’90s. Their music is reminiscent of  ’60s psychedelic rock, fused with traditional Indian music, giving it some flavor of Beatles material from the same decade. The band name actually came from King Kulasekhara, an 9th cenetury Indian emperor.

I only really listened to their 1996 debut album, K. And the only other song of theirs that I got to listen to is their rendition of Deep Purple’s rendition of Billie Joe Royal’s 1967 hit, Hush. Yes, it’s that complicated. The three below are all singles from K. I put the URLs just in case Youtube is being meh.

1. Tattva

You can really feel the Beatles influence in this one.”

2. Hey Dude

I love the guitar riffs in this song, especially the intro that really builds up.”

3. Govinda

Among the three, this song was the one that became a mainstream hit in the Philippines. As I recall, it was overplayed to the point of losing its magic. Youtube won’t show the official video in this country, so we have this slide show of Hindu deities instead.”

Sketchpad (5 of 6)

I used this sketchpad from 2002-2005. The contents vary. There are a lot of drawings of shirt design ideas and drawings of friends of mine sporting them. There are also drawings of characters for my would-be graphic novel.

When I drew the elemental sisters (there are supposed to be 12), I tried out a manga drawing style. I think I was looking through some work by Masamune Shirow during that time.

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