Discover more from Sonikmatter: An Occasional Newsletter
Let the Airing of Grievances Begin!!!
Volume 10: December 23, 2021
It’s Christmas time in Hollis Queens
Mom’s cooking chicken and collard greens
Rice and stuffing, macaroni and cheese
And Santa put gifts under Christmas trees
Decorate the house with lights at night
Snow’s on the ground, Snow White so bright
In the fireplace is the yule log
Beneath the mistletoe as we drink egg nog
The rhymes you hear are the rhymes of Darryl’s
But each and every year, we bust Christmas carols
Run DMC - Christmas in Hollis (1987).
I got a lot of problems with you people. It is December 23, or at least when I started writing this, and the official start of Festivus. First of all, it is a hell of a lot harder to write a newsletter than it is to run a website. In the halcyon days of Sonikmatter, we had a few thousand people a day...and then the Facesmashes and the Twittwits and the Micebases came along and ruined it all. And I could let you all type type type, and I’d come in and say something offputting about some musicband, and it would satisfy you for another week until I had something coherent to say.
This coming year I hope to focus more on you and less on what I find interesting.
SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT!!!
Okay, this is less an airing of grievances than hope for the future. To be honest, I have a lot to be optimistic about. This mailing list is nearly a year old! I hadn’t thought it would make it past the first month, and occasionally, work keeps me from publishing as much as I should. Life has been better over the last month than it has been in a long time — I had surgery that allows me to go on without excruciating pain that I have had to pretend didn’t affect me but manifested itself in ways that made me see the world darker than it should be. I could continue counting my blessings, but let’s get to what you are here for…music.
Beatles Beatles Beatles
Disney Plus has a 6-hour miniseries from Peter Jackson, and the first hour I’ve seen, it is amazing for any Beatle fanatic. And that is where I ended it…it takes so much concentration, where every minute of the video feels as if it could be an hour of Rock History 201 that I had to stop watching. For those of us with ADHD, this is the 21-day recording of the Let It Be album that led to the eventual breakup, showcasing George’s original resignation from the band, Ringo leaving to film Thomas the Train Engine (before morphing into George Carlin and then Alec Baldwin), Paul and John strangling one another, and some Harikrishna dude stinking up the joint while on a hunger strike against rock stars, George Martin trying to class the joint up, and Billy Preston coming to the rescue at the end. I presume.
Again, I didn’t watch it all. I swear I will, but damn…this is a documentary about a documentary with the documentarians taking as much space as the Beatles and then Jackson taking the credit for their work. So, I read articles about the documentary about the documentary, and videos around the time of the documentary about the documentary. As such, I share with you some of the highlights. Free of charge. Unlike Disney+.
George Harrison on the Dick Cavett Show:
Paul McCartney Breaks Down His Most Iconic Songs:
And maybe not so free: Masterclass Ringo Starr Teaches Drumming and Collaboration:
Masterclass has been one of the saviors of the pandemic for me. They aren’t paying me to say this, no matter how much I beg someone to sponsor this mailing list — it is just a great resource, and unlike the documentary, is bitesized and never overstays it’s welcome. ‘Lessons’ are between 7 and 15 minutes each and include a workbook for every course that while limited, gives you the basics to dig for more knowledge.
1. Meet Your Instructor
2. Have You Heard This? Ringo’s Early Days
3. Playing in Bands
4. You Don’t Need a Lot: Drum Kit Essentials
5. Making the Kit Your Own
6. Navigating Your Kit: Tips and Technique
7. Playing With Feel
8. Turning Life Into Lyrics
9. Connecting With Your Audience
10. Different Strokes: Drum Demo With Jim Keltner and Gregg Bissonette
11. Expanding Your Horizons
12. An All-Starr Jam
If you have the time and patience and can get your hands on it, WATCH GET BACK on Disney Plus or wherever you torrent your videos. It is beautiful; it is enlightening and denser than any fruitcake you will be receiving from octogenarian neighbors around this time of year.
Instrument News: Kurzweil k2700
In a Festivus miracle, we now have a new sound editor for the K2700 from Soundtower as well as an update to the operating system.
Francisco over at Kurzweil writes:
Do not miss all the fixes and improvements on the recently released K2700 update. Many more events in Song Mode for your songs, Direct numeric entry to select your QA Bank, improved setup/multi import from PC3 files, half damper pedals doing the right thing when assigned to on/off functionality (like inc/dec, etc..), new Analog In Mode parameter to better handle mono inputs, and more!
Geeking out with C.K.
Former Sonik partner, and still amazing friend, continues with his series of Eurorack builds, this week with the Transient Modules mixer.
Again, like and subscribe to his channel and share these with your friends. It is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to get into building their own devices.
Intro to MIDI with the Crafsman
Do you have someone that bothers you about music tech but doesn’t know the first place to go? Send to SteadyCraftin. This video goes over some of the basics of MIDI that you will most certainly know, but I enjoyed the loving sh*t out of it. His channel is focused on craft making and generally toys, but he has Mattel Drum Machines, Talkboxes, and usually getting sued for copyright infringement after buying royalty-free loops.
Stephen Fortner writes on his Facebook page:
Arturia’s new plug-in makes any audio track sound like a Mellotron. It’s free until the end of the year, and you get a user manual and in-app tutorials written by me!
You know what, coming from Stephen, you should run out and download this as soon as possible.
Sonikmatter: Mind + Music + Technology
An occasional newsletter. Barely fact-checked and often wrong.
Reader Submissions: In response to the last letter, ‘Jivey’ sends in this tune.
If you’d like to be featured, please call (415) 683-1381 and sing, rawk, or keytar into the answering machine!
Thank you for reading, Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, Happy Chanukah, or simply thank you for being my friend.