D. B. Bates' Post


Last night was one of the more bizarre experiences of my life. My aunt recently moved back her from San Francisco with her three demon spawn children. After the Chicago sect of the family abandoned the concept of “family parties,” save for important occasions like graduations and, of course, an annual Christmas party, this aunt comes back and decides, “HELO I ARE HAVING DAUGHTER WHO SIXTEEN OF YEARS SO LET PARTY.” And with that, a group of busy people, not used to having family parties, attempted to clear their Saturday night to celebrate the sweet sixteen of a child who for all intents and purposes should have been killed years ago. I guess in a way the fact that she is still alive and has not been admitted to a rehab clinic, an STD clinic, or an insane asylum is an important milestone worthy of celebration.

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I Am Incredibly Responsible

Since the beginning of the semester, I have amassed (at last count) 132 pages from three different textbooks for single class, the History of Africa from 1885-present. Guess how many pages I’ve read since the beginning of the semester? My rough estimate is zero. I haven’t cracked a single goddamn book, and I’m starting to actually feel kinda bad about it. This complete lack of reading any actual assignments coupled with the fact that I’ve shown up for maybe five out of the ten class sessions. This is grossly insubordinate, and if the syllabus hadn’t contained the oh-so-magical phrase “more than three absences may lower your participation grade” as opposed to the normal Columbia standard of “IF YOU MISS MORE THAN THREE CLASSES YOU WILL BE TAKEN TO THE BASEMENT OF THE WABASH CENTER AND DROWNED IN A POOL OF YOUR OWN PUS-FILLED BLOOD,” I probably wouldn’t have missed so much class. But, come on, I can’t even understand what the prof is saying anyway. She has a heavy Liberian accent, and I just sort of sit there drooling and wondering what the hell is going on. Maybe it’d help if I read at least one assignment.

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This is my first blog entry. I haven’t used a blog before, but I spend 98% of my waking life bored out of my mind, and I figured blogging was the perfect complement to utter boredom. I could be wrong, and if I am, I’ll forget about this whole thing roughly three days from now.

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A Chance of Rapture

Title: A Chance of Rapture

Genre: Comedy

Length: 28 pages

Synopsis: A devout farmboy meets God at a rural bar and asks Him to save his terminal sister. God agrees, on one condition—the farmboy must join forces with a handful of other chosen people to stop the Rapture.

Click the image to download.

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Rejection (a.k.a., Winter, a.k.a. Sexual Anguish)

Oh, joy! A weepy-stringed, experimental, hip-hop, jammy sonic collage designed to express, in sound, the emotions that go along with rejection from the fairer sex. Despite the pretension of the concept, I actually…kinda think this song achieves its goal. Don’t ask me what, if anything, I sampled. I don’t want to get sued. Nudge-nudge-wink-wink-saynomore.

When it came time to collect the flotsam and jetsam of my recording history for The ‘You Can Touch It for a Quarter’ Sessions, this was the only song I considered truly “finished”—I never intended to record vocals for it, and it sounded exactly the way I wanted it to. (I did polish it up a little bit with some EQ tweaks and digital delay.) Since I had a list of titles to match songs to, I figured “Sexual Anguish” was the best fit for this. After all, what is rejection from the fairer sex but sexual anguish?

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The Love Song of Gregor Samsa

This is the first original song I ever recorded. Prior to this, I had dabbled with experimental instrumental songs, but this was the first time I wrote a regular song, with lyrics and everything, and committed to recording it. I intended to send up songs like Iron Maiden’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which pompously sought to elevate heavy metal using classic literature, but often missed the point. I thought it would be funny to retell Kafka’s The Metamorphosis as a cheery message of hope, ignoring the central theme of Gregor burdening his unloving family, who finally find happiness when he dies.

The drums are a SoundFont, a technology that was popular at the time of its recording (2001). Even though they’re sort of passé, I still find myself using SoundFonts for a lot of synth applications. They’re more durable than other synth programmers.

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