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SundryPosted by General Manager 17 Sep, 2012 10:50 For some obscure reason the Blog has been somewhat latent lately. Not
due to the strivings of it's members. No Sir! It is more a like lack of
time and other obviously bad reasons from the administration. Member
Walt's latest newsletter is the first up on the updating that now
hopefully will commence with a higher frequency! Better late than never,
and for us who missed the release-party. Next one! Walt is the wiz of
pumping out weird music and he addresses all his out-of-town friends.
His new album just came out, and so he's forwarding his local music
newsletter to you for your perusal. He hopes all is well and that you
remain un-Tea Bagged in this poisonous political climate. Endure!
Member newsPosted by General Manager 17 Sep, 2012 09:29 Good evening to ya, and welcome to the latest edition of my newsletter.
Here's where I'll keep you posted on all my latest musical goings-on,
be they recordings, band or solo gigs, or even just the occasional cool
music that I've stumbled on that you might like. Hopefully these
tidbits will sail through your corpus like interstellar particles, with
the crucial difference that they stick to your gray matter with their
hooked little claws rather than passing between your molecules and out
the other side. I guess I could call the newsletter "Velcro Quark," but
it doesn't roll off the tongue quite the same.....
news from these parts, folks. My new solo album, "Life Outside the
Tent," is now available! Click here to hear bits of each song and to
buy the darn thing (the physical CD or via download): http://cdbaby.com/cd/walterehresman2.
You can also hear three of the songs--Aqua Girl; Your Supersonic
Stare; and Unimpressive Specimens (my song about the wretched Teabagger
Party)--in their entirety here:
http://www.reverbnation.com/walterehresman. And starting next week, you
can also purchase the CD down at Antone's Records on Guadalupe St. here
Stylistically, the new album covers quite a bit of
ground. I'm told that the opening track, "Aqua Girl," sounds like a
cross between early Cure and Interpol, but I think it sounds more like
an updated Byrds. You be the judge. What I can say is that it was the
only track recorded outside of Snipe Bog Studios.......with the session
held at Chronicle Poll-winner Million Dollar Sound Studios last
December. My good friend Kurtis Machler, who owns the studio and
produced this song with me, played bass, and tasty drums and background
vocals were laid down by James Rader. The rest of the album was
recorded and produced by me here at Snipe Bog Studios throughout 2011.
The songs touch on styles ranging from ska to post-punk to Irish pub
rock to West African desert music. If you like Gang of Four, the
Specials, Flogging Molly, Ali Farka Toure', Bill Nelson or Lou Reed, I
think you'll find something to like here. Lyrically, lots of ground is
covered--the hypocrisy of the Teabagger Party, betrayal in
relationships, American jingoism with a heaping helping of war-tech
fetishism, meditations on cognitive dissonance, existential devastation
in this Time of Spin, and the dangers of internet dating.
thanks go to James Rader, not only for his fine musical contributions
to Aqua Girl but also for handling the graphic design for the CD
package. He really captured the look I was going for of an old, faded
circus poster (not to mention the aplomb with which he fielded my
request to Photoshop in a large pile of elephant shit onto my right foot
in the cover photo). Thanks James! Thanks also to Kurtis for his
sensitive mix and patience as we worked on Aqua Girl (27 tracks in Pro
Tools!), as well as for his bass playing on the track and for taking the
photo used on the CD label (there's a story behind it, but you'll have
to ask me over an adult beverage). Thanks also to Nigel Jacobs for his
photographic contributions. I also want to give a big shout-out to the
guest musicians who contributed their talents to various songs on the
album: Vic Ramirez (vocals on the bonus track "Echo Down the
Years--version #3); Bruce Salmon (trombone on "Unimpressive Specimens");
Nigel Jacobs (fiddle and background vocals on "The Company Will Swallow
You"); John Jankowski (background vocals on "The Company Will Swallow
You"); Chris Finelli (rhythm guitar on the hidden track "After HST, It's
All Damn Statistics--instrumental version"); and Max Grossenbacher
(piano on "Echo Down the Years--version #3").
It's been a
blast recording this album, and I feel good about the final product. I
hope y'all like it, and can join me at the official CD release party:
Saturday, June 30, 7:30-9:30, New World Deli (4101 Guadalupe, http://www.neworldeli.com/).
We'll be spinning the album and, as a special treat, there will be an
hour-long performance of new and old songs where I'll be joined by Vic
Ramirez and James Rader, essentially making this a reunion of the Delphi
Member newsPosted by General Manager 24 Aug, 2011 09:57 As August nears it's end a little look in the rear view mirror seems appropriate. During the course of the summer the Ministry completed a couple of small projects: HopArt in his birth-town and an attempt for "The Worlds longest street-painting".
Member newsPosted by General Manager 28 Apr, 2011 08:52 Our member Jeremy Turner has been deeply engaged in the Second Life
virtual community for many years and have currently designed his own
"bot" named Qiezli, as a home-work assignment in his University
Second Life is a popular chat-based virtual world. It is a user-generated world because people can create and exhibit their own content (clothes, objects, architecture etc) in this collaborative space. But there is also "robots" in SL which the creators/designers have put in there in the first place. Most of those robots are "chatter-bots" who walk around as humanoid avatars and engage in Eliza-like conversation.
Jeremy explains: In Second Life, any avatars that are not controlled by a human and are autonomous/automatic are called "bots" (short for "robots"). However, since my entity is meant to be some alien abstraction, I do not think the word "bot" is visually appropriate. I prefer the word "agent" since it applies to all artificial intelligences (as well as ourselves but that gets a bit confusing).
Qiezli is a "living" alien creature made out of shifting abstractions and representations. It wears video on its body. It daydreams about ideas in its inventory and occasionally when interacting with someone else, it may show video-portraits on its body.
I want to start creating artificial agents in virtual worlds. Qiezli may become an automated performance artist or perhaps have its own ideas about what it wants to do..that will take more programming though. I have always been interested in Artificial Intelligence. I also wanted to represent the utopian possibilities of cyberspace somehow so I focused on abstract aesthetics rather than a social message, for its content.
Qiezli hovers around in the air and "wears" various abstract video-patterns on its body...it kind of visualizes what it is "imagining" at the moment. When it meets one person, it "reflects" a video-portrait of one avatar (not the same person). When it meets more than one person, it wears a group video-portrait.
Jeremy has recently put up a blog about Qiezli, in a bit of a haste. The reason to hurry with a blog now is that he is submitting a conference paper about Qiezli and documentation was required to be online so Jeremy hastily assembled a blog. Jeremy says that even before he entered academia, he was in the habit of documenting as much as he could on blogs.
Turning Qiezli into an agent was a homework assignment. Jeremy took "Metacreation" last term (by Prof. Philippe Pasquier) and the goal of the course was to create an agent that appeared to exhibit its own sense of "creativity". Jeremy's ambitions are to turn his dissertation ideas towards designing virtual agents like these. He needs approval of his committee first though... But he says: I will find out this summer. Best of luck Jeremy!
Member newsPosted by General Manager 10 Jan, 2011 18:49 Member Walt sent us a newsletter the other week to let us all about an interesting gig he has got coming up on Thursday night, Jan. 13, 8-10pm at Casa de Luz, 1701 Toomey Rd. (over behind the original Chuy's on Barton Springs Rd.). This will be a free 2 hours of improvisational music, singing and dancing, being organized by Brock Roser, late of the band/performance artist troupe Kan'nal (http://www.kannal.org/). Brock is an innovative player of the Australian didgeridoo, as well as a percussionist and vocalist. Each year, he puts together one of these improv performances, and this year Walt has been invited to join in. Walt will be playing guitar, Turkish saz and doing a few processed vocal effects. Lots of talented Austin musicians, singers and dancers will be up on the stage, and it should be quite the spectacle! Do not miss this if you are in Texas on Thursday!! Get over to Austin!
Walt is sending us a note to tell about his new solo album, ominously-titled "Well....Let's Look at Your Track Record, Shall We?", release date Nov. 5, 2010. It is available to listen to, you can read about it (and even to buy physical CD or download tracks) here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/walterehresman. Downloads are available, also, at all the usual places, and you can also listen to the entire opening track here: http://www.myspace.com/waltehresman (click on "Summer Calls the Shots").
The cover shows Old Scratch himself, behind a big oak desk with law books and a framed picture of the Titanic sinking in the background, evaluating the new recruit in Hell and piercing the layers to get at the Truth so as to better assign the proper level. Dante would be proud.
Being the 13th solo album since 1989, Walt feels he really hit upon a lucky number for 2010. I think you'll find this album has a bit more of a jazzy feel in places, but there's also some shark guitar so hopefully it all balances out. Walt hopes you enjoy what you hear, and buy copies for your aged auntie, beloved clergy, and just generally all friends and family of delicate and frail disposition......if you're in their will, of course.
On a side-note Walt also adds that since last Summer, he's been playing lead guitar and talking drum with a 10-piece West African ensemble called "Aciable". It's lead by singer/dancer Jean-Claude Lessou, from the Ivory Coast. They have been gigging heavily around Austin, and hope to get into the studio early in the new year.
Member newsPosted by General Manager 01 Oct, 2010 10:00 Member Vilks is on a North American Tour at the moment in cooperation with The International Free Press Society. If you are in the neighborhood of Toronto or Boston check it out!