We’re back after a brief blogging hiatus, with more cats and synths.
If you are not familiar with Club of the Knobs (and I wasn’t), you can find out more here.
The 2nd Annual Oakland Internet Cat Video Festival took place a little over a week ago. Large numbers of cat lovers and cat-video enthusiasts descended on a block of West Grand Avenue along The Great Wall in celebration of cats, and of course your author was there, complete with crazy-cat-lady dress and bag.
The daytime part of the event had more of a street fair atmosphere, with numerous booths providing food and miscellaneous cat-themed products under a bright but cloudy sky. There were also numerous organizations involved in fostering and adoption of cats, including the East Bay SPCA (one of the main beneficiaries of the event) Cat Town, and Oakland-based group that finds foster and forever homes for local cats and is also opening what may be the first cat cafe in the United States!
Many of the organizations brought adoptable cats and kittens for viewing. We certainly hope some found homes that day.
The celebrity rock star of the event was Li’l Bub, who was on hand for visitors to meet.
Our friend Serena Toxicat of Protea performed a feline-themed set of music for voice and electronics. Among her songs was a tribute to the manual (or Pallas Cat) with the warning not to get too close to one despite its awesomeness.
Other daylight fun included a photo booth from the makers of 9lives cat food, inviting visitors to Instagram and tag themselves as #MorrisAndMe (and of course #catvidfest).
Finally, the sun set and the actual videos began. The videos were from a curated reel featured at the Minneapolis Cat Video Festival hosted at the Walker Art Center., and featured many familiar videos such as Henri the existential cat and Grumpy Cat, but also new discoveries.
What makes this experience unique is not the videos themselves, which so many of us know from our time on the Internet, but the act of getting together and watching them with others, and laughing together at the cat antics.
I am certainly looking forward to this event coming back again next year!
Handsome bengal cat poses next to a Roland synth that I had never heard of until now. Via matrixsynth.
“The Roland RS-101 is a 61 key string synth, which also includes a brass section. Being a string synth, it is fully polyphonic, but programability is limited. This is in pretty decent condition, and comes with a flightcase.”
Presumably, cat not included.
Our friend and sometime bandmate in both Reconnaissance Fly and ReCardiacs Fly has left the Bay Area for a location a bit further north. But before leaving, he staged a farewell concert at Berkeley Arts which featured some of the artists that most influenced his musical life here.
The evening opened with a solo set by Josh Pollock on guitar and looping/effects pedals.
One of his pieces featured layered funk riffs, including the all important bass line. I am sucker for good funk bass and guitar, so I found it quite captivating.
The next solo set featured Moe! Staiano on percussion. In addition to a standard drum kit, he had additional floor drums sundry other items floating around.
It was his signature intense frenetic style of playing. A central element in the softer sections were a pair of superballs (remember those?) mounted on sticks which create loud eerie drones when rubbed on resonant surfaces.
Next up was a duo featuring Chris Broderick with Ralph Carney on various reed instruments.
In addition to concert B-flat clarinets and bass clarinet, Ralph Carney had several other more exotic single-reed instruments, including the one in the photo above. I wish I remember what it was called. He is also quite the comedian on stage, with a terse, dry, cynical style that I enjoyed.
Finally, it was time for everyone to come on stage for an extended jam.
I will miss Chris’ presence in the Bay Area new music scene, but wish him – and his little black kitty Conundrum – all the best for their new adventures up in Seattle. One day we’ll visit.
Via Paul Appliancide on The MATRIXSYNTH Lounge.
I only know “Klee” to refer to the artist Paul Klee, whose work I admire. I was not familiar with the Klee sequencer module until now. It looks pretty intense.
My eccentric long-standing fascination with numbered highways has long been reflected on this site. Here we see Luna contemplating a couple of our most recent sign acquisitions.
So what exactly do we do with these? Well, besides just the human tendency to collect things of interest, I have used signs in artwork, photography, video and I am now expanding into more modes of live performance. Mostly, dealers advertise these as “perfect for your man cave”, something which does not interest us at CatSynth in any way. For Luna, they are just more strange objects that pass through her territory. And great neck scratchers.
The DX7 a sonic legend. I have made this synthesizer my project for over 20 years. They said it was impossible to program. They were wrong. Its different but once you know the major sound shapers.
There is no pure synth in history that can surpass what a DX7 can do straight from its own engine. As always 100% DX7 sounds.
I still have a Yamaha TX81Z and TX802 in the studio, but rarely if ever used these days. Part of it is the tedium of programming, though a good editor/librarian can take care of that. It would be interesting to combine the TX81Z and analog synths in the same composition, something that was rarely if ever done in the 1980s.