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Spoken Word with Electronics
22 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Episode 55, Introduction: "Re-Entering Society After 15 Months In Isolation"
SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #55: Re-Entering Society After Fifteen Months In Isolation Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. A few weeks ago I received my second vaccine shot. Ten days later I knew I was largely free to re-enter much of the world. I'd taken self-isolation pretty enthusiastically for fifteen months, to the equivalent that it felt like a space station in our home. Parts of me really loved it, other parts (like my socialized mental health) knew that the farther I got away from general society the more painful it would be in re-entry. So the process started this past week. I got an eggs benedict at a favorite local diner. I won't lie: The food felt great, the crowd felt tough. So a discussion on that, along with egg yolk facts, is on the menu for this episode. Life is like an egg yolk. Also, starting this week's show is a multi-episode tribute to mail-order psychiatry lessons. The 1960s offered all kinds of learn-at-home options, and I've been collecting psychotherapy tutorials for a while. These things are awesome. This first one is Part One of "Anxiety", with raw audio here and a reblended track for Side A: "All of Us Develop Patterns". More psychiatry to come! An interesting component of the 1960s psychiatrist is they actually spoke with patients about their problems (not just their symptoms). The modern world is more split now with a therapist/psychologist being the empathic voice and the psychiatrist merely being the druggist. So these perspectives on the dual role (nurturer and prescriber) of psychiatrists in the 60s is really interesting. Demo for this week: AML 54F50 Diode Bridge Compressor Finally, for Side B this week, a cool hardware demo. I had an opportunity to work with a Neve 2254-based Diode Compressor this month. Diode Bridge Compressors are wonderful analog tools, read about them here. They allow for a signal to punch and fade (or glow) almost simultaneously, making a very elastic and glued together sound. In memory of Rupert Neve, who passed away this year, I thought it would be cool to play the entire Introduction track through a 2254. Rupert Neve has reintroduced the 2254 but it lacks the sidechain limiter of the original. Audio Maintenance Labs in the UK makes the most exact recreation of the original 2254 (If you compare their clone to the real thing from 1969, it's uncanny, both visually and in component quality) – So this week's Side B is a demo of the AML 54F50 Compressor / Limiter. Thanks and have a good week, Ethan
23 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Episode 55, RAW AUDIO: "1960s Mail Order Psychiatry Records" (Anxiety, Part 1)
Episode 55, RAW AUDIO: "1960s Mail Order Psychiatry Records" (Anxiety, Part 1) by Spoken Word with Electronics
10 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Episode 55, Side A: "All of Us Develop Patterns" (Tranquilizer Setting #6)
Episode 55, Side A: "All of Us Develop Patterns" (Tranquilizer Setting #6) by Spoken Word with Electronics
22 minutes | Jun 9, 2021
Episode 55, Side B: "Instrumental Run Through a 2254 Diode Compressor" (AML 54F50 Demo)
Episode 55, Side B: "Instrumental Run Through a 2254 Diode Compressor" (AML 54F50 Demo) by Spoken Word with Electronics
24 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 54, Introduction: "Can You Hear It? It's Lawn Mower Season"
SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #54: LAWN MOWER SEASON! — and Government Informationals on Mailmen, 1946. Listen to this 1946 informational on the wonders of post office work. Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week, the focus is on warm weather! Few things say spring or summmer to me more than the sound of lawn mowers. Lawn Mower season came in with a big bang (or buzz) this month, and it is given a tribute in our introduction — It's Lawn Mower Season. The main audio for this week is a terrific 1946 audio informational from the U.S. Post Office, titled "Meet the Mailman" — You'll find untouched audio here with a re-imagined narrative of Glen Tucker, the bed ridden boy, here. Lots of incredible people, from Charles Mingus to Charles Bukowski (okay, incredible people named Charles) have worked for the USPS over the years, and with Trump threatening its existence and most of us surviving off deliveries for over a year, now is a good time to celebrate the Mail Workers! I love physical mail, and this week is a tribute to that. Great narration on the informational track, too. Have a good week - Ethan
11 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 54, RAW AUDIO: "Meet the Mailman" (1946 Informational, United States Postal Service)
Episode 54, RAW AUDIO: "Meet the Mailman" (1946 Informational, United States Postal Service) by Spoken Word with Electronics
12 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 54, Side A: "This is Glen Tucker" (Our Mailman is Mr Dolan)
Episode 54, Side A: "This is Glen Tucker" (Our Mailman is Mr Dolan) by Spoken Word with Electronics
9 minutes | May 26, 2021
Episode 54, Side B: "Kindness is Overrated" (Charlie Pickle, Pt 36)
Episode 54, Side B: "Kindness is Overrated" (Charlie Pickle, Pt 36) by Spoken Word with Electronics
14 minutes | May 11, 2021
Episode 53, Introduction: "Seltzer Jokes, Good Deeds, and Rest In Peace, Bob Fass!"
SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #53: A Broken Appliance Buys You a Room Full of Synthesizers (Tutorial) How to turn a broken dishwasher into a synthesizer Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week we remember Bob Fass, who passed away on April 24th (the first night we recorded this current episode, on a three week cycle this week) – Fass was an radio innovator, turning a regular control booth into a soundboard for politics, yippie activism, and genuine bizarre antics, even said to influence WFMU's switch to freeform as a format. This episode is dedicated to Fass. In a practical matter, our discussion this week describes a useful currency exchange system where broken appliances are turned into synthesizers. Our clothes washer's bearing broke a few years ago and I decided to instead sell the individual working parts (circuit boards, front panel, glass lid, cables, screws, rubber feet, etc) and ended up with more money than the new washer, along with thousands of dollars in extra money. So check in on our tutorial for a number of suggestions. You likely have many things in your home that can be parted out and sold, turned into Synth Coin. This is even more advantageous for you now, as we're in a global components shortage and many of your broken appliances have lots of possible components and chips inside. It's environmentally beneficial, as well, as it keeps giant appliances out of the landfill. You can look forward to your appliance dying because you'll be able to sell it for parts. Regarding turning a dishwasher into an actual synthesizer – this is also possible! – Most ovens and appliances maintain the same 19" rack standard. You can turn an oven into a synthesizer, for example. Or use the oven as an enclosure. An oven makes a great case – It even has a built in fan! Trivia: If you were to build a $600 dishwasher, part by part, from the manufacturer, it would cost $4000. This is because individual parts are grossly overpriced and there's a huge market of people (and repairpersons) looking to buy knobs, boards, etc. See what sells before you junk your stuff. I've been doing this for decades – there are a few important seller rules (like accurately describing condition and if it is broken) – and you'll be surprised at how honesty often makes you more cash. And more cash means more synthesizers. At the very least, take the lid off and sell that. Most lids go for $200 or so, and that's a free eurorack module. Talk to you in two weeks, cheers - Ethan
41 minutes | May 11, 2021
Episode 53, Discussion: "A Broken Appliance Becomes a Synthesizer" (Tutorial)
Episode 53, Discussion: "A Broken Appliance Becomes a Synthesizer" (Tutorial) by Spoken Word with Electronics
12 minutes | May 11, 2021
Episode 53, Side A: "Brain Water" (Charlie Pickle, Pt 34)
Episode 53, Side A: "Brain Water" (Charlie Pickle, Pt 34) by Spoken Word with Electronics
12 minutes | May 11, 2021
Episode 53, Side B: "OTHER EXPERIENCES" (A Viewer's Guide, Charlie Pickle Pt 35)
Television's Greatest Show: "OTHER EXPERIENCES" (1971-1974) — An Introductory Viewer Guide. "Other Experiences" represents the best in science fiction-based psychology to ever air on Network TV. If you are a citizen of Clarence TX, you can regularly catch re-runs, every Sunday night at 11pm on CLRNCTV, Channel 11.
6 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Episode 52, Introduction: "The Dinner Party Email" (And check out our kickstarter: "John Wilcock")
SPOKEN WORD WITH ELECTRONICS #52: A Tribute to John Wilcock! (Kickstarter Special) "Puff It, Swines!" A memory of smoking Hunter S. Thompson's favorite weed. Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week, we give tribute to John Wilcock, who was the subject of the properly titled John Wilcock comic here on Boing Boing for close to a decade. A collection of the book is on Kickstarter this month – get a copy! – and if you're clicking this due to the headline, you might be curious about what pot Hunter S Thompson seemed to enjoy more than any other bag. The answer: John Wilcock's pot! Check us out this week on kickstarter at: http://www.ep.tc/kick John was one of the earliest proponents of marijuana being legalized, and his credentials speak well to his taste in quality pot, too. He worked with Tom Forcade to publish National Weed in the 1970s, which became the better known High Times. John visited my home for a week in 2010 and he arrived with the world's most perfect slender brown-paper rolled joints. We worked on the Wilcock comic for a week, and every time we smoked, it was intensely perfect. I would not call it brain-bashing pot, more specifically a very cognitive weed, with a perfect flavor (kind of a mint or cinnamon, common to very fresh good crop). I'd known of John first through reading Hunter S Thompson's correspondence collections, there are a few letters to John in there, and apparently the pot John smoked had been consistently the same quality/strain of bud for decades. I suppose once you find your perfect blend, why fuss around for others? When I asked about Hunter, John would chuckle, "Oh, he was always after me for as much of my pot as he could get." This is saying something, as Hunter clearly had access to tons of pot, everywhere, so why the focus on John's? John would extend the joint looking at it affectionately. Asking him if it was the same stuff, he nodded. It was extremely lucid weed, with a little pep, yet lightly calming. I was drinking at the time and it paired perfectly with bourbon and beer. Cigarettes, too. I've had a lot of pot and this stuff felt genuinely different. Lower THC content, so you could just devour puffs of it, and more focusing, too, at the same time. It was the kind of pot you want to write to, or work with, and we got the entire Wilcock book timeline established in less than a week. The quality of the actual rolled paper joint, too, felt like time travel in a way. Authentic "old guard" pot. Smoking John's pot, it made sense why people like HST would seek it out over other strains of weed. When Hunter visited John's home demanding more of it, John happily obliged. As HST got up to leave, some other friends showed up. A funny recollection from Wilcock was the new visitors looked down at the half-smoked joint in the ashtray. Hunter, who made as good an exit as he did an entrance, bellowed "Puff it, swines!" – and out the door he went. May you all have a good 4/20 and puff it, swines, to one and all! Enjoy this week's show, a tribute to John Wilcock, our friend, and underground icon. Thanks and have a good week, Ethan
15 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Episode 52, John Wilcock Special, Pt 1: "Smoking Some of Hunter S. Thompson's Favorite Weed"
Episode 52, John Wilcock Special, Pt 1: "Smoking Some of Hunter S. Thompson's Favorite Weed" by Spoken Word with Electronics
15 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Episode 52, John Wilcock Special, Pt 2: "Other Scenes, Andy Warhol, and Story Structure"
Episode 52, John Wilcock Special, Pt 2: "Other Scenes, Andy Warhol, and Story Structure" by Spoken Word with Electronics
19 minutes | Apr 20, 2021
Episode 52, Conclusion: "Moth Words, Moth Pockets, and Acid Amendments"
Episode 52, Conclusion: "Moth Words, Moth Pockets, and Acid Amendments" by Spoken Word with Electronics
1 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Check out the "John Wilcock" comic — On Kickstarter this month http://ep.tc/kick
Check out the book, through April 2021: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1949932289/john-wilcock-new-york-years-the-complete-series
46 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Episode 51, Introduction: "Road Rubber, No Worries, and Tourettes"
Would Alan Turing even WANT to be on a £50 Bank Note? Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. This week, we explore the wonderful world of Alan Turing, whose work in cryptography (i.e. code breaking) helped save the world in WW2. He then conceived the basic structure for computers and saw the future of artificial intelligence. He was celebrated in his lifetime by being condemned by the UK government for sex, spending the last year or two of his existence undergoing forced 'chemical castration' by way of experimental estrogen treatments. The UK has done some good work to remedy the ugly errors of its past, directly addressing it in prepared statements with the bank note itself, which has some very cool details and design: https://twitter.com/tomwarren/status/1375036561843191813 But this week discusses a basic truth: Government Symbolism, especially its currency, is complicated. To be candid: after someone is abused, as Turing was, they might not want to be the face on their abuser's money. Or the errors of such violence should be on the bill itself. For example, in the margin of the bill, the words "Alan Turing (1912-1954)" are stated, and with ample empty space. Simply adding: "— with apology for his unkind treatment by the UK government", or something equally observant, would make the Fifty Pound note less propagandistic and really mean something. The story of Alan Turing is a deep and interesting one, however, and his accomplishments far outshine his tragic ending. So we discuss the variations on this problem with our discussion this week, which also discusses how a Turing Machine works, which is a fun thing to learn. Following that, for musical purposes, this week includes a demo of the eurorack version of The Turing Machine. It's an interesting interpretation. A normal Turing Machine edits a code of tape until it is a solved problem, and the eurorack interpretation gives you random notes until you lock in a sequence of sounds, solving the random generation into melodies. We use the Dead Man's Catch version in this week's demo. Also, if you read the John Wilcock comic on Boing Boing over the last ten years, we have now completed a collection of the series and it is running on Kickstarter this month. Price of one copy will cost you only one Alan Turing, or less! You can view the campaign at this link, with my appreciation: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1949932289/john-wilcock-new-york-years-the-complete-series
31 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Episode 51, Discussion: "Alan Turing, Bank Note Symbiosis, and Turing Machines"
Episode 51, Discussion: "Alan Turing, Bank Note Symbiosis, and Turing Machines" by Spoken Word with Electronics
23 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Episode 51, Side A: "Turing Machine Music" (Eurorack Module Demo)
Episode 51, Side A: "Turing Machine Music" (Eurorack Module Demo) by Spoken Word with Electronics
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