I wanted to put together a playlist of music that blur genres or aren’t easily classified, what I like to think of as experimental which is something I’m a big fan of in art. However the idea of “experimental music got me thinking “What is Music?” I’ll leave it to Philosophy Tube to tackle that ambitious question:
What are Songs? What is Music? I’ll let Olly at Philosophy Tube tackle this ambitious question
What Caught my attention was the mention of “Lowercase” music (cite time tag from video, find name of guy at this exists) and I followed the trail to his video on the subject “Lowercase” music.
Soz for not posting last week. I went on holiday and was expecting to have access to a working computer but I didn’t not. Anyway back to the regularly scheduled program!
In the spirit of utilising the “mystery” of mystery monday to it’s fullest potential, I’m rolling out my first smartphone app review. Surprise!
I saw an advert on youtube advertising the app Hooked and I was previously
unfamiliar with this app and the general genre of “Chat Stories” which includes Yarn and Tap. Being a big fan of the Master of Experimental Fiction: Mark Z. Danielewski who has written colossal books not only in physical dimensions but also in ambition such as House of Leaves, Fifty Year Sword, and his current pet project The Familiar which is a 27 volume serialised novel, I like to try out experimental fiction. However like anything that involves the word “experimental” as a defining adjective, there’s going to be a considerable hit and miss rate. So is Hooked my next favourite thing? Lets see.
Premise: The app launches directly into a chat story which confused me at first because I thought it was like one long story but then I got bored halfway through the second part and finally figured out that you have to tap the chat space then click the top back button. I was trying to swipe left.
Before trying to swipe left, I learned a few things about the app and it’s functions. The first was that you get about 30 messages for free before being forced to take a 45 minute break or pay (2.99$ per week, 7.99/mo, 39.99/year unlimited, speaking of paying only paying members can contribute stories which is something I will come back to(1)). Me being broke and cheap and not sold after 30 messages, I put it away and waited my 45 minutes which brought me to the second interesting feature where the app will give you a notification that your free “hoots” are refreshed and
you can read another 30 messages. If you ignore this first message, it’ll gently prod you with another notification about 20 minutes later with the next message in the story out of context. The 30 messages is prime for the freeium function as it will take any where from a couple of minutes to 7 minutes tops. The notifications are also a good idea because it’s something I could easily see myself forgetting about. There’s also a search function and lists of genres.
Features I Want to See: So speaking of features, the ones I list are literally all you get. I appreciate the minimalism however there are some features I’d really like to see. I’d really like to see a rating and review system on the story cards . I realise that you can like and comment on the stories, but this is only accessible after reading. I don’t mind the fact that if there was a rating system you’d have to read the entire story before voting but I don’t like that as is you have to go into the stories blind as in my experience, the quality of stories varied from fairly interesting to uninspired.
What would also be a nice feature to see in congruent use with the search function and the genre selection would be a hashtag cloud plus a way to change the settings of the notifications (more, less, or none at all or maybe for some less NSFW stories have a way to turn off notifications for those stories but leave them on for other ones, or to set it so you only get notification at certain hours like not sleeping hours).
Overall: Speaking of swiping left, I guess that pretty much sums up my personal feelings about Hooked for the time being. It’s a good idea. However I already have a good smut site (NSFW Literotica) which has an okay app but lots of good regular writers. Maybe this app would be better suited for erotica but I have yet to read any erotica on here that’s already on here. Until they add a few more features like the ones I mentioned, as it is, it’s a left swipe from me.
I’m not crazy about the idea about having contributing behind a pay wall but I guess it may help to sort out “serious” contributors from shit posters.
Happy Thursday! Sometimes I like to watch philosophy videos on youtube before I got to bed and paradoxes really interest me. One of which is Zeno and his paradoxes, his most famous ones being Achilles and the tortoise and the Dichotomy Paradox as explained in this Numberphile video:
Achilles and the Tortoise
Achilles and the tortoise have a race and Achilles lets the tortoise get a 100 meter start. Then Achilles catches up with where the turtle was. In the time Achilles caught up to where the tortoise was, the tortoise advanced 50 meters ect ect ad infinitum.
The Dichotomy Paradox
The Dichotomy paradox can be thought of as a moving of the hands to clap except one hand stays still, while the other halves the distance and halves the distance and halves the distance until there’s contact however according to the paradox, this should be impossible.
Another paradox of movement is Zeno’s Arrow as explained in this video by carneades.org:
This is a strange one where it argues that if an arrow is in motion, every moment it holds a single space in time and to be in motion it would be moving through spaces in time but every single moment it is not any other space in time but a the single space it occupies at that second therefore movement is impossible. I like to use this one as an excuse to not get out of bed in the morning.
Zeno starts to loose me in the second round with The Paradox of Place:
if everything that exists has a place, place too will have a place, and so onad infinitum.
As in all places have places until you get to the point of “Everything” as in “Life, The Universe, and Everything” which I feel like I can pretty much wrap my brain idea around the idea of “Everything” being a bubble in a sea of no-things, though I guess in a philosophical extent I can’t really construct a proof around a feeling. Maybe someday. The Millet Paradox in it’s original phrasing is dated so I’ll attempt to update it so it’s more relevant.
Original: The argument is that a single grain of millet makes no sound upon falling, but a thousand grains make a sound. Hence a thousand nothings become something, an absurd conclusion. Updated: A single vote in an election will not make a difference. However 1,000 can make a difference. How can 1,000 non-difference making single votes make a difference? (I realise this kind of misses the point, but I have voting on the mind with all the political drama in the US and UK)
All these paradoxes hint at this idea that Zeno had that nothing ever changes and maybe even that nothing is actually real.
This Wisecrack video sums it up in a pretty interesting way with their 8-bit Philosophy series.
As we learn in the video, Zeno’s teacher Parmenides argues that existence is timeless and that all things that ever were and are and will be exist at the same time, implying there can be no change because things exists at once, which sounds strangely like Nietzsche’s theory of Eternal Return or the “time is a flat circle” stuff (insert true detective picture). I have no answers today. These paradoxes have stood the test of time themselves without changing which might be a reflection of their importance. Or maybe this is just several accounts of reductio ad absurdum, which itself would not be a new claim but a good one to make since it draws the connection between Zeno’s paradoxes of change and the practice of reducing arguments down to the absurd. Tune in tomorrow for my first philosophy comic: Zeno’s Pantry Paradox
Spit true – I like the punk rock anti-authority carry over of fighting the po po just before paying a library fine so he can read. The political jab “Fake as Tonkin” is pretty good. Keeps a militaristic notion through the album, sober like a riot cop, mercenaries, watching your six. I like the reference to MC Esher.
Gamers – The second song gamers is kind of a proto-nerdcore rap. Strip solitaire?! Sounds awesome, haha. There are some cool lines in here like “the smooth as gillette” and they scope of games they cover is totally MC Chris territory: go fish, candy land, four square, the ace of spades, civilization I and II, wii, vr, movies home alone peter pan, tamagotchi. Also like Mc Chris they have a sketch at the end starting at 2.51
Best of All Time Final – I really dig the r&b opening vibe and the self deprecating humour about mc onaning in tracks trope is pretty good. “my rise is mediocral”
100 Trashbags Full of Weed – This is a nice change of pace with a reggae thing and I really like the trumpets. The drinking “oatmeal from my goblet” reminds me of my flatmate who eats pounds of oatmeal kinda looks like a goblet.
Bags of Dro mix – I felt like the repetitive beat kinda worked here because of the acoustic guitar, gave it a richer sound to listen to which made start tapping my toes unconsciously.
The Perfect Recipe Mix – Great parody on the rap charm song with the staying in cooking and drinking wine. However the matzo balls and tiramisu make me think of nerdcore plus space restaurant mention. I like all the food rhymes particularly “I’ll chef you till there’s nothing left girl” and “pardon my french but the dinner was bitchen and she helped clean the kitchen” (I’m in love)
Everything Crash -An end of world rap is a kinda unexpected song. Reminds me of Deltron 3030, kinda reminds me of other nerdcore apocalypse rap rap like mc chris is dead. Common themes of dystopia post-fall society. It has a really nice beat, best one on track maybe because it sounds like it has more layers.
The Same – The false start is silly but the real start is nice. The beat is back to basic but more decoration (like the chimes). Kind of a “recovery”/”taking a holiday” type rhyme talking about memories. One of the best lines is “I’m higher than a vampire on fire”.
Overall – For a silly side project with self and genre depreciating humour it’s not too bad. The beats were okay on most tracks but Everything Crash which had some cool layering going on. Overall the album is worth a listen and I will be picking out a couple of songs to add to the Pat the Bunny playlist.
Hey guys! Welcome to my Tuesday column on Offbeat On Point! This is my first post and I’m on somewhat shaky ground here, so bear with me.
My name is Brad Evans. Well, actually, no it isn’t, but that’s the moniker I’ll be using here. I am a long-time friend of Fin Louie; we’ve been kicking it off and on for the last 10 years. We share a lot of common interests, but our personalities are like Yin and Yang. Where I am casual he can get intense, and vice-versa. Where he is actively bold, I am passively reserved; but don’t let that fool you, there’s a lot going on in my head.
I’ve been keeping up with his posts here for a while now and asked about a month ago if he could use a co-editor. The rest, as they say, is history.
A few things about me:
I am a young man in my twenties living in St. Louis, and a student of Creative Writing at Webster University.
When I was eighteen, I took a break from school, and didn’t go back for quite some time. While I was out I had a variety of adventures. I went to music festivals. I had two apartments and Fin and I even shared a house at one point. I quarreled with friends, lost some and made some more. I was a General Manager of a restaurant, and various other adventures.
I am a voracious consumer of fantasy and science fiction.
I play video games on Xbox One; currently I’m on Fifa 17 and OverWatch. They are like crack to me.
That’s just for starters. I feel like this is also a good representation of who I am as a person: recently I had a birthday, and what I did for fun was to go see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie (which was phenomenal by the way) and then read about 100 pages of a graphic novel. I also spent a lot of time with friends and family, but the peaceful nerdy stuff is what I really liked. To me, that was an excellent birthday.
Here’s what I’m going to be bringing to this blog:
Tuesdays I will be posting thoughts about literature I have consumed.
Saturdays I will be posting literature I have created. Short stories and poetry and the like.
I doubt if either of these columns will be regular events. Sporadic, at best, really. But for the immediate future I have a few poems to share on Saturdays, and a whole list of books to read/review this summer. A few months ago I discovered a love for audiobooks, and I will be reviewing those as well: not just for the content but for the ability of the narrator to do it justice.
We have plans in the works for a “Sunday Round-up” type of post, conveniently summarizing all the week’s new material. This is still a tentative plan, though, so don’t look for it right away.
Here’s some of the material I have lined up to review:
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. This book comes highly recommended by just about everyone and I’m looking forward to getting into it.
The Dresden Files graphic novels. DF has been a favorite book series for a long time; I have read every book at least three times, and recently laid hands on an omnibus of the first two books in graphic novel form. So far, it’s amazing, but also flawed and I’ll get into that in a future review.
The audiobooks of The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. Two books I consider modern classics, in audiobook form.
The audiobook of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Less classic and less artfully written, but still a fun read: does the audiobook hold up?
The audiobook of American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Widely considered a modern classic, this book is now being made into a television series being broadcast on Starz in America and Amazon Prime in the UK. I’ve read it before, but the audiobook is FULLY CASTED – meaning a different voice actor for each character. That’s different than any other book I’ve listened to so far, and I’m intrigued at that prospect.
Novels from an author I have not read before but who comes highly recommended by a professor at my university: China Mieville. I have Embassy Town, The City and the City, and Perdido Street Station lined up for summer reading. May as well talk about them, too, right?
And that’s just what I’ve come up with so far, but like I said my posts might be sporadic. I’m doing this for the enjoyment of it and don’t want this to become like a job with deadlines that I’m racing to meet. All the same, I’m looking forward to getting started around here.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Don’t forget to check in tomorrow for Brad Evan’s introductory post to his Tuesday column.
After reading Davacallaro’s Cyberpunk and Cyberculture I was in the mood for something post-modern. What I found was The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster which is a set of three mystery stories, the volume I have has all three stories in one book: City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room.
City of Glass: The protagonist, an author William Wilson, gets repeated phone calls from a wrong number that insists to speak with the detective Paul Auster. Eventually Wilson, who already writes under a pen name of Daniel Quinn, finally accepts the identity of Private Eye Paul Auster and takes a very strange and challenging case.
Ghosts: Blue is a Private Eye who was trained Brown, then hired by White to spy on Black. Blue takes the case because he needs the work but the seemingly easy job becomes much larger than anticipated.
The Locked Room: The protagonist, the nameless Narrator, is a writer who can’t write fiction but when he gets a letter from his childhood best friend’s wife about Fanshawe’s death, Fanshawe was the Narrator’s childhood friend, and instructions to judge whether the late writer’s works were worth posthumous publishing he agrees to a task that is much bigger than the sum of its parts.
Conclusion: It’s a fair warning to say that it’s best to go into this book blind as it has potential to be an extremely memorable detective fiction experience as the mysteries are as likely to surprise the reader as they do the protagonists. Besides, what’s the fun of reading detective fiction if you already know the mysteries?
Happy Friday and happy one year to Offbeat On-point!
May 2017 – May 2018: year 2
As I mentioned one year ago today in my very first post, I’m going to do one of these each year. Probably more “rewrite” rather than “update” the first few years at least because the idea with the first one was to introduce myself and the blog. Also I had no idea what to do for my first post and figured something relatively static would be a good start. This year I’ve decided to use this post as an opportunity to shape this into a yearly “state of the blog” sort of post. A look back at the year past, where we are, where we want to be, how we plan to get there, and maybe most imporant and interesting, why we’re working so hard to get there.
So gather around my fellow Cyberpunks, Rebels who Read, Digital Nomads, and the lot of us, while we take a look about what this upcoming season holds for you and I and everyone.
2017-2018 Offbeat On-point Manifesto
A Look Back:
This first year has been pretty incredible and I have quite a list of people to thank. This list is by no mean’s exhaustive but it was the best I could do.
Thank you Andreas Beats for my first interview and an exclusive track
Thank you MC Chris for all the excellent music you’ve put out over the years and listening to me ramble on at your show for like 10 minutes and thank you for the signature and if you’re reading this, I still want that interview…please
We’ve gotten this far but I can do better and here is what I am actively doing right now towards a better blog. I hired on a co-editor/writer, Brad Evans, who I will be working with. He will also be starting a new column on Tuesdays. He’s going to post next Tuesday for the first time further explaining his plan of action.
I will continue with my four columns Mystery Monday, Rewind Wednesday, Thursday Night at the Cinema, and Funny Friday mostly as usual but some will see some minor changes. MM: I am focusing on doing more book reviews but it will remain a wild card because I personally need the flexibility to have a wild card column.
RW: I plan to keep posting but to use it as a launching platform for OBOP Radio. Then the Wednesday post will have the tracklist what I played that day and maybe a short script. I would also like to do band interview’s via podcast or video in the future if I can make it work.
TN@C: I plan to continue as usual with this column. Someday I would like to get caught up on telly series and movies I’ve missed in the last few months/years and write about them here.
FF: I plan to keep on course with the comics, I will use this also as “fan art day”. When I get more fan art I’ll post it with the next Friday comic then add it to the fan art page. When I figure out animation, I’ll post Fin & Louie animation shorts here but I will likely primarly stick to drawing comics.
I’m coming back to St Louis to build a local audience as I believe that the strong communal and entrepreneurial culture is the best place for me to build my audience. Also St Louis has a rich literary and music history with greats like Mark Twain and the late Chuck Berry coming from St louis. On a more personal note, I have a much more well developed support network professionally in St Louis and generally as reluctant as I am to say so, I do miss her. She’s a good city and I’m looking forward to coming home to her.
I’ve made some wonderful strides with The Big River Chronicles. A few weeks ago, I had this…“moment of clarity” (I really have no better way to express it). I conceived the idea in 2010 and have been slowly turning it over for years. It started as one book, then became a couple, now it’s a trilogy. It’s all come, come to think of it, out feet first or that is to say backwards. I have had the outline and cast for the third book for sometime now and have had a decent sketch for the second volume but book one was always a mystery to me beyond the beginning and the ending until I had this “moment of clarity” where everything just kind of fell into place while I was out walking around and played out in my mind’s eye like remembering a movie that’s never been made. Now having the outline for all three and therefore the meta narrative outline, I’ve found writing to be both more straight-forward and easier to systematically produce.
Speaking of books, I’m announcing here for the first time The Fin & Louie Comic book. I think I can put out a small comic book each year (I was thinking 42 pages) depending on interest.
A Look Forward:
Looking forward, there are a few things I would like to get going this year:
OBOP Radio – hopeful launch late September 2017
Merch (bookmarks, stickers, business cards, etc) – Summer 2017
Fin & Louie animation shorts – 2017/2018 ¯_(ツ)_/¯
A Plan of Action:
A Band of Misprints (Big River Chronicles book 1) – 3000+ words a week until it’s done
OBOP (Offbeat On-point) Radio: I am looking into buying a laptop and a microphone.
Merch in design pricing out companies for stickers and business cards.
Fin & Louie animation shorts – needs equipment and software.
Book sell/swap – I’d like to start buying/selling/trading books not only online with readers but also in St Louis. I will be looking into vendor stalls eventually but first I’ll try my luck setting up a small stand on Cherokee st or in the Delmar Loop or somewhere with a lot of foot traffic and I won’t get harassed (hopefully).
#ThePostItProject – I was made aware of this brilliant little project from a one of my instagram followers called #ThePostItProject. The idea is to write a positive/uplifting message on a post-it note and place it in a book with your instagram/twitter/whatever information and set the book back free in the wild. The twist I would like to see is when you take a picture and tag me, I’ll send you some free merch. It’s a win-win for everyone: you find a random compliment in a book, if you pic and tag, I get more views and you get free schwag. Let’s see how big this game can get, shall we?
A Reason for this Season:
I have believers level faith that with persistence that I can make this a full time writing job or get a job I want doing this blog, more so than what university can fully offer me
and especially more than any non-media job can teach me.
More powerful a motivator to me is that I have a blue-white hot passion for books, culture, art, writing, and storytelling. My ultimate goal is to build an intentional community of readers and creators who are equally passionate together and mix our ideas, celebrate our victories, and be supportive of each while we all grow. I’m still looking for volunteer writers/editors and I’m always open to suggestions for books you want to see me review, music you want to see featured, if you’re in a band and looking for some free publicity reach out with some samples, or if you have anything you want to say, sans shit posting (just don’t do it), leave a comment below.
Continuing this week’s Cyberpunk theme, I put together some cyberpunk themed music videos (no repeats from yesterday’s list, no worries). One thing is should note, the NSFW tag is new here and mostly just a minor warning. Most of the videos are pretty tame but Brut Carpenter’s remix of Tech Noir is pretty gore-tastic. Nothing realistic-graphic, more cartoony-funny-graphic.
Tomorrow People: A music video novel This Means War – Volker X
Into the Night – Nero
Shock to the System – Billy Idol
Sentient – Perturbator [UNCENSORED]
Black Earth – Reminor
Tech Noir (Brut Carpenter Remix) – Gunship
I don’t have too much to say about these videos, I mostly just like the sounds and the feel of the videos. I’ve mentioned before my love of animation, I really love claymation style, which is why Tech Noir (original) is the first in the list. Tomorrow People is a really interesting idea of making an interpretive graphic novel from found content and I really liked the song. This Means War has a really interesting 16-bit art-style I really really like. The style reminds me of other modern games that use a similar style like Uncanney Valley and, what seem’s to be EVERYONE’S favourite right now, Undertale. As Ross from Accursed
Pixel Cloud: 9/10
3D Cloud: 7/10
Farms says “I will take good pixel art to crappy 3D anyday”, and I agree with that statement because to me it speaks both to an artist’s vision and priorities when they choose to make an intentional “compromise” of not using the newest tools they can afford but may not be able to skillfully wield and preferring a more classic style that they can more fully ulitilise.
When my friend posted the Tech Noir music video, I was impressed. It had all the elements of the 80’s I like to remember including the synth and the robo-cop stylized character, the hero’s journey trope, and the “at the time cutting edge” claymation which today looks so enduringly beautiful and I was pretty skeptical about a remix music video from some Brut I’d never heard of. I was so wrong and I’m so glad about it.
Brut Carpenter’s remix is a live action reimagining of the story of “boy-saves-girl” story
told in the original. The cartoon violence and the goofy costumes are completely on point striking that same tone that b-movies, such as the original. The cartoon violence and the goofy costumes are completely on point striking that same tone that b-movies, such as Full Moon Features(1), managed to have where it’s just serious enough to make you feel but so over the top that it becomes a borderline comedy at times. This is why I choose to end the list with this remix (and how i could justify a repeat on the same list).
Tune in tomorrow because 12th May is Offbeat On-point’s first birthday! Tomorrow I will be posting the 2017-2018 Manifesto and posting a special comic featuring our newest contributor: Brad Evans.
This reference probably dates me but I have many many fond memories growing up watching Full Moon movies including the Puppet Master series (think Toy Story, but more violent and sexual), Dollman, Demonic toys (I’m starting to see a pattern here that I didn’t see before, maybe there’s a reason why I still like toys/cartoons…). I had no idea Full Moon continued to be a thing until as reciently as 2013, I honestly just assumed they died in the early 2000’s but if I was to catch up on their releases I have a feeling that’s probably where things went down hill anyway. Another Thursday, someday, I’ll have a Full Moon Features post.
Continuing with the theme of Cyberpunk from Monday’s book review of “cyberpunk and cyberculture” by Dani Cavallaro, I decided to build a playlist around the topics of future biological technology, isolation, madness, and ghosts haunting times and spaces.
I couldn’t get all the songs on youtube or soundcloud so there will be playlists from both sites. With out further adu I present “In the cold void of space no one can hear you GIVE A FUUUCK!!!” play list Youtube Playlist (artist – album – song): Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030 – 3030
Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030 – Mastermind
Deltron 3030 – Deltron 3030 – Madness
Unkle – Psyence Fiction – The Knock (Drums of Death pt2)
Unkle – Psyence Fiction – Unkle Main Title Theme
Unkle – Psyence Fiction – Lonely Soul (feat Richard Ashcroft)