A note about Kasatochi’s Obligatory Soft Rock Album

KasatochiThere’s a new Kasatochi album, about an hour long, featuring video-game-style chiptune covers of venerable soft rock, R&B and power ballad favorites. And where, in the early days of Kasatochi, it used to take me one caffeinated insomniac night to take a new album-length Kasatochi download from concept to completion, this one took two years.

Consider this post a set of “liner notes” explaining why. Read More

The Electric Lightsaber Orchestra

Alone In The UniverseAs anyone who exists within my orbit has been unable to escape knowing, there’s a new ELO album due out November 13th, the first in 15 years, although Jeff Lynne’s been active in recent years, either rehashing classic ELO songs or other people’s songs, and re-releasing some of ELO’s stuff with brand new tracks cooked up in his hermitage studio tacked onto the end. It’s not like there’s been any shortage of my favorite musician on the planet this year. What’s funny is that this year – which, from my adult perspective, has sucked horribly – would’ve made six-or-seven-year-old me incredibly happy. New Star Wars! New ELO! New pictures from a planet we’ve never seen before! If I had only the responsibilities of a six-or-seven-year-old, I could’ve enjoyed this year immensely.

I think that’s why the “new ELO” part of that equation is so important to me. It’s musical comfort food. It’s my grandmother’s gooey-but-not-too-gooey grilled cheese sandwiches in aural form. ready to stick in my ears next time I want to remember the warm fuzzies of childhood. Which, granted, isn’t how one normally thinks of grilled cheese sandwiches. Naturally, the impending relaunch of Star Wars for my sons’ generation is also eagerly awaited. But which did I discover first?

Would you believe me if I told you that Star Wars and ELO are intimately intertwined in my head? Sit back, put your feet up, and I’ll tell you the story. A long, long time ago…

They've got us in a tractor beam
That’s no ticket to a small moon, that’s a space station! Read More

Something else left to lose

The Alan Parsons Project’s 1980 album The Turn Of A Friendly Card is about to be reissued for a second time, this time with even more bonus tracks of rehearsals and songwriting sessions. I really dug the existing reissue from a few years back, which included a fascinating dissection of the seemingly simple song “Nothing Left To Lose”, which is positively folksy next to the usual productions numbers (including the tracks that bracket it on the album in question). Three of the bonus tracks let you hear, in order, the unadorned backing track, an early “guide vocal” sung by Eric Woolfson (who sang the finished version), and some isolated sections of Chris Rainbow’s amazing one-man-multitracked backing vocals. I spliced the three together (which took a bit more surgery than one might expect) to get a more-or-less fully mixed version of these elements, just for giggles.

Listen here:

You can hear the (much more polished) original here (Alan Parsons, I ain’t):

A Kasatochi Christmas!

KasatochiWhat, you thought Kasatochi was done? Naaaaaaah! I wasn’t originally planning to do a Kasatochi Christmas album, but after the recent computer-death-and-rebuild, I wanted to make sure I’d installed all of my audio and music software to my satisfaction, so I cranked out a longer-than-I-originally-envisioned (that’s what she said!) collection of chip-tune-ified Christmas favorites for your free downloading pleasure – a little present, you might say. Read More

Trick or Treat or Kasatochi

KasatochiAppropriately enough, Kasatochi rises from the dead just in time for Halloween with some songs that, if they aren’t actually scary in and of themselves, are thematically linked to ghouls and goblins and other such denizens of the dark. I’m putting this out there a little bit early so anyone wanting to work some creepily-themed chiptunes into their DJ set has time to do so.

01 – Spooky
02 – Werewolves Of London
03 – Witchy Woman
04 – Somebody’s Watching Me
05 – Crazy Train
06 – Thriller
07 – Black Magic Woman
08 – The Raven
09 – Don’t Fear The Reaper
10 – Monster Mash + mystery bonus track

Hey, Crazy Train always scared the hell out of me. Or maybe it was just the guy who sang it. Also, here, finally, is Thriller – the most-requested Kasatochi conversion… well, pretty much ever. You people have a… shall we say… zombie-like devotion to your Thriller, don’t you?

Go to the dedicated Kasatochi page and download it for free. Do it to stop Kasatochi before it kills again!

Kasatochi season finale!

KasatochiSadly, all good things must come to an end, and in case it hadn’t become obvious in recent weeks, the “one Kasatochi release per week” schedule I was able to keep up through the summer is one of those things. Kasatochi was always a bit of “stealth pre-production” I was carrying out for another project, something you’ll get to see/hear in the fullness of time. This last release of the summer – upon which I bestowed the absolute silliest title I could come up with – is actually a combination of bits and pieces of three other Kasatochi releases that just weren’t coming together as full-length projects in their own right. The first project was intended to be an album of covers of recent songs (as in “within the past 10-or-so years”), the second was a “utility” album of stuff I needed for the aforementioned project, and the third was a “best of” (which may or may not still happen), much of which would’ve been remixed to sound better. To put an exclamation point, or perhaps an interrobang, at the end of the Kasatochi sentence for now, I combined all of the finished tracks for these three projects, and wound up with the last hurrah. For now. Read More