My friends in We In Cloudz just posted this compilation video of their boat parties in NYC this summer, and I'm honored to be in it, and to have played that epic yacht party with them and Joe Goddard of Hot Chip!

Here's to a short winter.

AuthorDavid Kiss

I had an amazing time playing the Gratitude/Evolver Axis Mundi decompression party this past Saturday night; feel blessed and…grateful that I was given the opportunity to DJ. Below is a recap video by my very talented friend Michael Tosner, with music selected and mixed by yours truly. Even got a little cameo in there too!

AuthorDavid Kiss

1. Banana Stand. Frozen bananas all week. Then we burn it. Hilarity ensues. (I feel like someone already did this, but I can find no evidence online.)

2. Camp Douchebag aka Camp Service Entrance (Read previous shitstorm-causing blog post for explanation.)

3. Live wedding band art car.
I've noticed the very sad lack of live music on the playa, as well as the amount of couples getting hitched. I also support myself as a wedding guitarist and vocalist so it seems pretty obvious. Get a band of professional musicians together, have a repertoire of around 60 classic wedding songs in our pockets, drive around BRC playing weddings.
Cherry on top: play 2-hour sets late night on the playa. Like a Pink Floyd night! Damn I need to make this one happen.

4. Vacuum cleaner art car. No explanation needed. My friend Mike had the same idea and is actually considering making it happen!

5. Camel art car. Distributes water.

6. The pristine restroom art car. You walk into the cleanest, sparkling bathroom with a golden toilet.

7. Pineapple Express art car. This year I purchased 35 pineapples with my camp and we cut them up and distributed fresh pineapple. It was awesome. If I can afford to get a new car this year, I'd like to convert my old Camry into a pineapple, complete with sound system and awesome lighting, and whenever you see it you'll know there may be fresh pineapple inside.
Bonus: get friends to create their own fruity cars, we can link sound systems and have a fruit salad party!

AuthorDavid Kiss

So this article came out on CNN yesterday, in which some "autopsy secrets" about MJ are revealed. Pretty much that he did indeed have vitiligo, a skin disease which changed his pigmentation, that he had his eyebrows tattooed on and tattooed his lips pink, among other things.

This comment by Reddit user jb42 pretty much sums up my thoughts and feelings about MJ:

Not only did he have vitiligo, but he also had lupus. If you don't know what that is, please do some research--it's a pretty awful condition, and it's the reason he never went anywhere without an umbrella toward the end of his life.
Put yourself in his shoes: imagine you are quite literally most famous person in the world; you have cameras in your face ANY time you leave your home, and you have two diseases that seriously impact your physical appearance and health. How would any of you handle it? Everybody who thinks Micheal Jackson was such a 'wacko' has NO IDEA what living his life would have been like, nor do you understand how that would impact a person mentally. Many of us just had acne or bad hair when we were teens/young twenties. It turned many of us into self-conscious, basement dwelling redditors. Imagine if you had to be in the public eye under unbelievable scrutiny at that age, in all your flaws and insecurities. Would you try to hide them? Could you even deal with it? Could you handle those pressures and still go on to become (arguably) the greatest entertainer to ever live?
Now for a second, also imagine that you dedicated much of your life to trying to help sick children, including donating huge amounts of money and building them a fucking amusement park on your own land, and then the entire world suddenly believes you are in fact a child molester. How would you live with that? Assume for a second that he really was innocent (and if you research that too, you will not find a shred of evidence that ever supported any of the accusations against him). That destroyed Michael. You can see how he got more and more reclusive and withdrawn after that happened. Could you show your face every day in public when half the world hates you and thinks you have a sick game where you lure in cancer-stricken children and molest them? Michael didn't turn himself into a monster, society did.
Nobody can even begin to understand what the stresses of his life were like. Like any person who is beyond greatness, Michael was lifted up by people to ridiculous idolatry (which was no fault of his own), and then torn down with the same passion when everyone turned on him. Everybody's expectations of him would have ruined any other person too. Frankly, I think he was unbelievably tough mentally to survive as long as he did and deal with the shitstorm that his life turned into, because of people that judged him for the consequences of his life's circumstances that he had little control over.
Be glad that none of you ever had to have the pigment of your lips tattooed on, just so you could look like less of a freak (due to a disease you didnt ask for), because everywhere you went you had zoom lenses in your face, trying their damnedest to make you look as monstrous as possible. And, to put that in perspective, that was probably the least of the worries he had to deal with on a daily basis in his life.
EDIT: Thanks much to the person who bought me gold.
While I have the podium, I'd also like to politely request that people who are steadfastly convinced that Mr. Jackson molested children spend a few minutes to read some Wikipedia:
No substantial evidence was ever found in regards to any of the child molestation charges, and if you read more about the accusers you will find that their credibility should seriously be called into question.
Some of the people involved in this case seemed to have a personal vendetta against Michael Jackson, and if they had any way to convict him with substantial evidence for criminal charges, they certainly would have.
As my closing comment, I pose one last bit of thought: if you were a parent, and your child had been molested by a man posing as someone trying to help sick children, would you be satisfied with money and disappear? Or, do you think you might pursue criminal charges to make sure the person was locked away and could do no more harm?
Sorry to make this longer, but given the exposure this is getting, I wanted to add one last semi-related comment, and it's about bullying and judging others. Please everyone, realize that these kinds of snap-judgments about others happen every. single. day. They happen to celebrities, friends, family, and people we don't know at all. And these judgments by others hurt people, ruin people, and sometimes drive people to kill others or themselves.
Once a large group decides on a negative perspective, it can be extremely difficult or impossible to shift the tide in the opposite direction. It feels so much safer for us all to join the popular opinion and feel like part of a group, but it's much better for humanity in general if we resist this urge and try to form rational, reasoned opinions for ourselves, and not immediately jump on our instincts when forming ideas about others.
Even if you still dislike Michael Jackson as a person, or you think he was guilty, a lot of his songs were about loving others, and I think this is a message we can all buy into. Please be careful about the opinions you form, and if their only basis is that somebody else said them too, please give some reflection into why you really believe them. Nobody deserves to be hated only because they're different, eccentric, or it just happens to be the popular opinion.

I miss MJ and am saddened that he died the way he did. He was a genius songwriter, singer, dancer, and performer, and we'll never know another being like him. Shame on us for treating him the way we did.

AuthorDavid Kiss

So I've been setting up the live show for Like Diamonds in Ableton, and therefore learning everything about the program so that I'm totally proficient in it.
One of the more annoying things that happens while playing a live show with synths is having to change presets/sound patches between and during songs, especially if I'm operating more than one synth. We're going to want my Moog Little Phatty to be playing live basslines and leads as often as possible. Sometimes it'll be played via midi through ableton clips, other times it'll be either myself or Luka actually playing the synth, but the main thing is, we don't want to be worrying about whether the correct patch is selected. We want to be immersed in actually playing and singing.

So I did a bit of research and it's actually really simple. I tested this out on the LP and the MicroKorg. Couldn't try it on my Juno 106 'cuz it's in the shop, but I doubt it'll work on that anyway.

Here are the instructions:

Obviously, your synth needs to be connected to Ableton via midi.

Create a midi channel in the session view. Make sure the "Midi to" output is set to your synth, and that your synth is set to the correct midi channel.

Add a midi clip. It can be a blank "dummy clip" if you're gonna be playing the synth, or it can have midi music data if Ableton will be "playing" the synth.

Select the clip, and down to the lower, left-hand corner in Ableton the "Clip View" will appear. 

In the "Notes" menu, You'll see "Bank", "Sub-Bank", and "Program". Play with these (it's different for every synth), and voila!

For my Moog LP, I found that "Sub-Bank" changed the patch, and that it was always off by 1. So if I put "42" in the Sub-Bank, the LP would go to patch 41.

Clip view.jpg
AuthorDavid Kiss

Came across this (unfortunately) short-lived blog by synth genius Todd Terje himself, in which he interviews James Murphy. (There are a total of three interviews; the other two are him interviewing Andy Meecham and Morgan Geist.) I learnt more in this JM interview about recording than I have in a long time. I meticulously checked out every piece of gear that is mentioned, and now know which mic I want for my studio (Neumann TLM 193). Definitely give this a read.

Also, here's Inspector Norse by Todd Terje, and Get Innocuous by LCD Soundsystem.

AuthorDavid Kiss