…when your electric company (which primarily runs on coal) mails their customers postcards saying they can save the environment by switching to paperless billing.
Things St. Louis drivers do not believe in:
- Speed limit signs.
- Stop signs.
- Yield signs.
- Exit Only lane signs.
- Any sort of stripes painted on roads or parking lots.
- Headlights in rain, snow or fog.
- Headlights in the dark (until the sun has been down for one full hour AND the car has been in motion for at least five minutes).
- Turn signals.
- School zones.
- School buses.
- Basic courtesy.
Things Chicago drivers do not believe in:
- Lanes have a direction.
- Newton’s laws of motion.
- The Pauli exclusion principle.
Things Florida drivers do not believe in:
- The use of pedals to control a vehicle’s speed.
- The need to see.
Maybe you’ve never wondered how I come up with song titles, but there is a thread on Ambient Online about that question, and reading it today coincided with an update from one of my favorite sources of name inspiration.
I’m sure I’ll write plenty later about my process(es) for creating music, but this is what happens after. Or during. Or before!
Sometimes, songs name themselves. I’ll be finishing it up and stop to listen through, about to record, and some impression will strike me and lead to a name. Or not, and I might just pick a temporary name so I can save the project file, and get around to a real name later.
|Textura I||Kermadec Trench|
|Assorted Citrus||Hadal Pressure|
|Five Bool||Loki’s Castle|
Sometimes I have a theme in mind for the album, and that helps me choose a name. Although in the case of Nereus, I already had most of the album done when the theme struck me, and I wound up renaming several songs (some of them, several times.) I had to keep a chart for a while so I wouldn’t lose track.
When all else fails, I consult my list. Whenever I invent or find a turn of phrase that I think has a remote chance of working — or when my spouse suggests it — I put it on my “Song Names” note in Simplenote. Most of the things on this list will never be used, and sometimes I cull the least interesting and least likely. But sometimes going over the list and finding these goofy phrases will trigger a better idea.
Also contributing to this list: the neural network antics featured on AI Weirdness. During my period of prolific exploration in 2016-2017, I leaned on it quite heavily, giving such fantastic titles as “Zuby Glong,” “Crab Water,” and “Corcaunitiol.” I haven’t used it so much on my album releases, but again, sometimes those random strings trigger some ideas.
Here are some great bits from today’s blog post over there:
lower blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob dragon right , screamed . , as sneak pet ruined a whatever their sole elven found chief of their kind , at which involving died other bastard dwarven blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob blob concern
he was a wizard, and explained that he was in a small town of stars.
a rat in the darkness
in the blood of curious
How could one fail to be inspired by such poetry?
(I really like “Zuby Glong” though.)
Another great source of names, phrases, and inspiration is Botnik Predictive Writer. Being both themed and somewhat human-directed, it tends to make actual coherent phrases.
With Salt On Your Arms(I may actually use one or all of these.)
Of This Debris is a World Built
A Small Change of Wavelength
Really though, coming up with names is not the hard part. I feel like, if you’re creative enough to do all of the other stuff then you should have no trouble with…
So… there are all kinds of ways one could introduce oneself. Let’s just go with a quick bullet point list here, because a lot of my future posts are likely to dive deep into specifics.
- Name: you can call me Starthief.
- Starthief?: Yeah, It’s a nickname my spouse gave me once because I was playing dirty at Mario Party.
- Really?: I mean, also I like stars generally, both in an astronomical sense and for various personal spiritual reasons, so at the end of 2015 when I wanted to choose a new band name, I went with that.
- Age: still younger than 30… in hexadecimal.
- No, really…?: non-binary.
- Pronouns: “they/them,” or anything, I’m not fussy.
- Body type: disappointing.
- Day job: software engineer. C++ mostly.
- But really: an electronic musician!
- Genre: “uneasy listening”, spooky, dark, ambient, abstract
- Music gear: Eurorack, MicroBrute, pedals, Maschine, software.
- Location: St. Louis, Missouri.
- Play live?: not currently.
- Pets: 1 cat, 2 dogs, fish. Previously, lizards.
- Politics: democratic socialist, opposed to cruelty and fascism.
- Religion: complicated; generally pagan.
Anything I missed that you’re curious about? Ask me in the comments.
I’m starting up a new blog here because I’m finally breaking ranks with Facebook. I’ve been unsettled by their ethics and business model for a while, but finding out they were trying to deflect criticism with the old “paid protesters funded by George Soros” while somehow simultaneously calling criticism anti-Semitic, and pretending to care about the state of democracy and the validity of news sources, was the last straw.
After dabbling a little with journaling on a Commodore 64, I started more seriously writing in the early 90s on a DOS machine. I kept that going sporadically until the web became a real thing. I may still have a copy of that kicking around somewhere. Then I blogged with hand-coded HTML for a while. Then there was LiveJournal, which was nice for a while.
But somehow we all jumped ship for Facebook and Twitter (and then LJ kind of imploded anyway, bought by a Russian company that was decidedly anti-LGBTQIA+ among other things). And with the rise of social media as such… well, you know how that went.
So this blog is something of a way to rewind to before social media was a thing, as such, and give me an outlet where I can write actual paragraphs.
Because unlike Facebook, some of my readers won’t already know me and will find this via my main site or stumble into it via Google, my next post will probably be a proper introduction.