Archive for the Scarehouse Category

Alien Visitation

Posted in Delirium Dog, Music, Performance, Scarehouse, Video on December 5, 2011 by deliriumdog

I have a good deal of video footage from our work at The ScareHouse this year. Live stuff and other bits we shot specifically for music videos. I was sifting through it all and planning on cranking out a quick live video, but decided to do more to it. The live footage by itself is interesting, but does not exactly hold one’s attention for the several minutes a song lasts. So I started adding graphics and effects, learning new software all the while, and before long realized that it was going to be a longer endeavor than I initially planned.

That’s where the alien comes into play. A single, focused idea that gives you a little taste of the Delirium Dog live thing we were doing married with some semi-hot alien-dancing action. Ursula has always wanted to put on a puppet show so I brought the alien along for her to play with when she was not singing or pressing buttons. It was her idea to add the lights to his (or her?) arms, which really makes it. We’ve talked about doing our whole act as a puppet show. It could happen. Until then, you’ve got this as a teaser.

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First Delirium Dog Live Set

Posted in Free Downloads, Music, Performance, Scarehouse on November 7, 2011 by deliriumdog

After several weeks in which I spent every waking moment preparing for the first live performance of Delrium Dog, I finally have to time to stand back and take stock. We recorded a good bit of it and I’m surprised how much I’m happy with it overall. I just made one set available for download (below) and the only editing I did was to snip a couple minutes out of T.O.L.S, which I played live for about 20 minutes.

Click fast! This will only be available for a few weeks (or until I run out of space on Soundcloud and need to replace it). Click the little arrow on the right to download for free.

The deal was that sometimes the groups passing through the Scarehouse would be spaced out more than five or ten minutes apart. This was not often, but during those times I would go into a holding pattern until the next group showed up. This made for a recording that was, to my ears, irritatingly repetitive at times. So now if you find the edited recording to be irritatingly repetitive, I have not excuse other than it seemed to make sense at the time.

The first three tracks (“Summoned,” “Stay” and “T.O.L.S.”) are extended versions of the ones found on Delirium Dog’s first two albums. The last tune, “Shragger’s Blues,” came from my new fascination with Abelton Live. While all the music was performed using Live, all the little bits were reassembled from Logic Pro. “Shragger’s” is the first tune that I composed completely within the program. The hot drum beats come from a solo I recorded from drummer Rich Shragger back in 1999, when we were in a band together. When the horn section kicks in, it’s from a 1929 recording of “Blue Is The Night” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TGBGyafhc4). And other sounds from I don’t know where.

On the tail end of “Stay” is a dubstep style riff that also did not exist before I was preparing for the live show. When I was saving the pieces in Logic Pro, I found myself creating new permutations as well as saving bits that never made the final mix. In some cases, they sound like a whole new song.

Enjoy!

Random Thoughts from the First Weekend Playing at The ScareHouse

Posted in Creativity, Delirium Dog, Performance, Scarehouse, Uncategorized on October 3, 2011 by deliriumdog

First thought: Wow, what a blast!

Actually, that’s my first thought now that it’s over. My first thought when we started playing on the first night was “What the hell am I doing!?!?” I’ve had that thought at several moments over the past few weeks preparing for this gig. It especially hit home while putting on my custom-made costume, which is pretty fab but includes a neon green fishnet top which, let me just say, has never been a part of my wardrobe prior to Friday night.

I’ve managed to be free of Impostor Syndrome for  quite a while. Years, maybe. Then came my battle with Who The Hell Cares About What I’m Doing Syndrome. (“There are a million people out there on the internet making music and starving kids all over the world–what makes you feel like you’re so special, Delirium Boy?” That sort of thing.) The supportive atmosphere I found at The ScareHouse, as well as online and other friendly corners of my life, helped me greatly with this. But then the What The Hell Am I Doing Syndrome sneaks up on me and it feels like a proxy for all the previous syndromes combined. My wife reminded me that this is what happens quite often to every artist, and I think “oh yeah, I guess so” and try not to think about it any further.

Then the performance starts. If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know what an odd type of “show” this is. It took a while for the first visitors to wind their way through the first haunt (“Foresaken”) and into Delirium, so starting early as we did was not necessary and the first 20 minutes was basically a holding pattern. No problem, I was still getting my bearings.

The “pulsing” of the groups that evening was strange. We started to see groups coming through, then there would be 5 or 10 minutes with nobody. I tried to time it so that we were not singing our hearts out to an empty room (more than half the songs contain some singing) and got better at extending or shortening sections of the songs as needed. I would use the spaces between groups to switch songs. Ableton Live cannot have two projects open at once, so I would cross-fade to a sound bed on my ipod for the 30 seconds or so it takes for me to open a new song.

What was difficult as a performer was getting any sense of reaction from the highly transient and distracted audience. This was easier Saturday night when there was a sold-out crowd and a more continuous stream of people. Great energy. It often felt like a real party at which new people were constantly were arriving and joining in. I never got tired of seeing people stumble in, a tad disoriented, take in the wacky surroundings and start to dance. One group appeared to be professional club-hoppers because they were dressed the part and could really dance. I was glad to see that the music worked for them.

With all the distractions, few people could actually see me, but some (and not just my brother) waved and acknowledged that they knew who I was. At 8ish, we were told that four Ghost Hunters would soon be passing through. I had a good groove going and didn’t want to risk stopping it just as they entered but ended up keeping the same tune going for over 20 minutes. I felt less guilty about that when closing time rolled around nearly seven hours after we started. That was a lot of time to fill, and somehow I did it without repeating any piece more than twice. Maybe it was a time warp. Perhaps we were abducted by aliens. Maybe the rest of the cast of Delirium are aliens. Who’s to say? The fact they didn’t want to kill me after many hours of sonic assault definitely raises my suspicions.

During the final hour, delirium was more than just a concept–it was our true state of mind. I was working a new high-energy piece that strings together dozens of variations of the Amen Break with sound effects, rhythmic bird chirps, deep bass hooks, and other bits of randomness. (You may not realize it, but the Amen Break is etched into your sonic memory in a way that forces you to want to dance.) Thinking that closing time must be just a few minutes away, I must have kept that going for 45 minutes–adding different effects to extend the sounds and slowly boosting the beats per minute to keep people from falling asleep. I searched my hard drive for more sounds to throw in, but I’ve kept the performance computer lean. Too lean, apparently. Next weekend, I’ll be better prepared.

A Strange Show in a Stranger Venue

Posted in Creativity, Music, Music Making, Performance, Scarehouse on September 26, 2011 by deliriumdog

In just four days Delirium Dog will perform it’s first live show. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, will hear some part of it. Maybe a few minutes each. About a dozen folks will hear the whole thing several times (lucky them!).

Certainly I’ve played to smaller audiences, but never a stranger one in a stranger venue. We (Ursula and I) will be in a “DJ booth” about eight feet off the ground inside the ScareHouse’s Delirium 3-D haunt. Guests will be handed 3-D Glasses upon entering this neon world in which every flat surface leaps at you with whimsical imagery. The sets and cast members create the atmosphere of a cartoonish rave inside the whacked-out mind of Delirium, who is there to meet you at the end of the haunt with her new friend, Cupcake.

The "DJ Booth" looks down upon the visitors of Delirium 3-D. Photo by Rachelle Gasparich.

And then there’s music. Loud, pulsating music. On nights we are not performing there’s an eclectic mix of pop, rock, electronica, and novelty songs (including some Delirium Dog) that are all dance or groove oriented in some way. But for six special nights (Sept 30th, Oct. 1st, and Oct. 6th-9th) we will be performing Delirium Dog songs (and some Delirium-ified covers) completely live.

Although I will be triggering a lot of pre-recorded loops and samples, I have it set up in such a way that things will never come out the same way twice. In fact, I expect the longer we perform, the more I will be mutating the songs to the point that they are barely recognizable. I can remix the songs as we go and add all sorts of wacky effects on the fly. Both Ursula and I will be singing live, of course.

The new "DJ Booth" performance area. Computer running Ableton Live, mixer, Launchpad, vocal processor & microphone. Photo by Rachelle Gasparich .

Obviously, these shows will not be seen or heard as one does a typical concert. Instead, the guests of Delirium 3-D will experience a few intense minutes of sound and visuals and catch a glance of us if they look up at the right time. Maybe you’ll hear us playing one of our popular favorites or maybe we’ll be riffing away on some strange combination of sounds and beats. We’d love for you to be able to stay a while, but alas, at the end you surrendor your 3-D glasses and go on to be accosted by zombies in the next haunt. (Does that make me an opening act for a horde of zombies?!)

DD in Tunnel

The music sounds great in the spinning tunnel.

This is all a grand experiment. I figure that after 6 nights for about 5 hours / night, we’ll be pretty good at performing this music. After that, who knows where we’ll show up. Finding a venue that is more suitable for an audience to watch and listen to us perform a whole set should not be hard. But finding a venue more suitable for our first performance would be impossible. Delirium Dog was first born in this wacky place, and it only makes sense that we make our live debut there.

Liberty. Tragedy. Lucky.

Posted in Digital Culture, Scarehouse, Video with tags , , , , on May 3, 2011 by deliriumdog

I spent the past weekend in NYC and parts of NJ where a high school friend of mine hosted me and another high school friend visiting from the West coast. We reconnected, toured around Ellis Island (thought provoking) the Statue of Liberty (as moving as I expected) and parts of Greenwich Village and Little Italy (intoxicating as always).

I had barely set foot in midtown, right off the bus, when another high school friend (or grade school if you must know) phoned me. He’s the one who is creative director for The Scarehouse and he sez he’s heading out of town and needs someone to handle a video job. I say oh sure, aside from the fact that I’m currently in NYC, I can take it on.

The job is helping out Ghost Hunter Kris Williams with an awareness/fundraising video about the devastating weather that just rolled through the South. She was disturbed by the news being dominated by a particular royal wedding across the sea and not so much about the second largest natural disaster in US history. So she’s having her Facebook fans who live near the wreckage send in footage and asking her reality show colleagues to send in videos of themselves speaking from the heart about how people who have had their lives torn asunder could use your help.

Throughout the weekend, Kris forwarded photos and video content to me and I would opine back to her about how or if we could use the material. All the while, thanks to them smart phones, I was still managing to be a tourist.

This confluence of events resulted in a weekend where I could enjoy the company of good friends, enjoy beautiful weather and good food in NYC, and see sights like this:

While getting emails of tornado damage in Alabama that looks like this:

And feeling very lucky for my life and grateful I can do something, however small, to help.

You can also help by heading here (Red Cross) and giving what you can.

And you can stay right where you are at this very moment and be grateful for what you have.

Download: “Paratechnoid”

Posted in Delirium Dog, Free Downloads, Music, Music Making, Scarehouse, Soundscapes on February 19, 2011 by deliriumdog

(To skip right to the free download, click downward arrow to the right of the waveform for “Paratechnoid”.)

This track is one of my favorites. Like the previous download, Wandering Souls, it has been with me for a while (since 1999, I believe) and is usually in the mix of songs played  at the entrance to The Scarehouse. I know that parts of it will come back as a Delirium Dog song (with beats and other elements), but I think it stands well on it’s own. Listening to it now, it sounds like something from a movie soundtrack, which is probably what I was going for.


View in Soundlcloud

Also like Wandering Souls, it was composed in Metasynth.

Note: you can download this track and copy it freely for your own enjoyment, but I’m retaining on to all rights for any other use.

Delirium Dog Interview

Posted in Delirium Dog, Glenn Ricci, Industrial, Music, Scarehouse, Video on January 21, 2011 by deliriumdog

At the Scarehouse last year…

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