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Number 12

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Hello all and welcome to my most excellent web page, now operating for its eightteenth week! My goal in adding this page to the WTS is to entertain my fellow toasters, and maybe even a small segment of the rest of the Web. I'll endeavor to add something new every week, so keep checking in, or look for my announcements on Andy's "What's New" page.

My offerings will fall into two categories: First, original works; artwork, music, photos, or writing that I'm collecting here for self-publication on a scale unimaginable a few years ago. Hopefully, the world's collective yawn won't totally blow me over, but I think you'll enjoy it if you've gotten this far. Second, Stuff I Found On The Web, brought back and held up to the light for your enjoyment. There's a whole underground world of music publication on the Web through a device called "MIDI", and I have a link page or two of my favorites for you to cruise. Also, in commenting on an issue or interest of mine, I'll write some essays filled with links for you to read.

Go directly to the corners of my electronic world by using the navigation bar appearing at the top of this page, or jump down below this section to find out what I've added this week. I'll also be experimenting with time, allowing you to scroll through previous weeks' versions of my pages where appropriate.

What's New

Hello all. Well, a couple of weeks ago I went to New York to seek Kraftwerk in concert, so to celebrate, I fixed all my Kraftwerk midi links. I had found most of them on two pages, one of which moved to a different server, the other seems to have vanished without a trace. Such is life on the Web. Charged with enthusiasm after the concert, I found the full length version of Autobahn that all other web sites seem to have the broken version of. It's about 130K, be warned.

The concert was GREAT! It was everything I expected and more. There were four guys, standing stock-still at keyboards, probably faking playing anything at all, and literally mounds of electronic equipment. They had four projection screens behind them with perfectly synchronized graphics with the music. They had sub-woofers, really incredible bass that I'm certain produced actual wind throughout the concert hall, really adding a dimension I had never heard in the music before. They had updated many of their songs, with only a couple of "new" ones; the updated versions were generally pretty good. A lot of songs turned into wild electronic jams that went on for some time; interestingly the older the song the more liberties were taken with it. "Radio-Activity" was remade into a pretty nice anti-nuke anthem, "Airwaves" was barely recognizable, and some of the longer pieces such as "Tour De France" and "Autoabahn" were actually shortened. The songs from "Computer World" were the most untouched, and surprisingly the most effective, with the best accompanying graphics. Hearing "Home Computer" really illustrated the transformation of the Computer World by the 90's. The main refrain was still "I'll program my home computer, beam myself into the future," written in the TRS-80 80's when you just had to write your own programs to get anything out of a PC. Today, nobody programs their home computer, except maybe to write HTML as I am now doing.

As the night wore on, we were treated to better and better toys. For "Pocket Calculator" they stood at the front of the stage with portable midi controllers, for "The Robots" the famous Kraftwerk look-alike robots were revealed behind the projection screens and did a painfully slow motion dance to the music. (I was reminded of an interview they did in which they were asked if their robot would be playing the keyboards. "Hey," they said, "We're not Disney you know.") Lastly, they played their final songs dressed in suits covered with phosphorescent grid patterns, maybe the same stuff as Andrew Plotkin's cape striping but greener. In conclusion, the sound was great, the jams and updated versions were a lot of fun without bowing to the current style of techno, and the mystique was strong. They guys looked positively ancient, so I was glad to get the chance to see them.

I'll be on vacation next week, so see you on the other side. I'll be going for a weekend of partying (Baitcon) followed by a couple days of hiking and camping in the mountains of New York. In the meantime, here's the latest MIDI masterpiece I've been listening to on the web, a really stunning rendition of King Of Pain, by The Police.

And, just because it's so important, here's my netsurfing alert still: You must check it out. As I said before, I spend a lot of time looking for MIDI files on the web. What I found was the most amazing Beatles Midis I have ever seen, far better than I ever expected to find on the Net, David Barnes' original Beatles Midis. This guy is some kind of genius, he's sequenced nearly every Beatles song himself, and they sound truly amazing. What's more, in addition to collecting all the files onto pages by album, he has made "whole album" midis containing all the songs in a single file! Nearly every song is mind-blowingly well done, and in the cases where they do not duplicate the sound and instrumentation of the originals with great precision, they meet the perhaps greater criteria for good midis in that they interpret the original rather than succumb to the limitations of the media.

Just to start out savoring this exquisite treasure, I recommend you explore his Revolver midis; download the album file and play it through headphones as you do other things at the computer (work, surf, play). My favorite sequence from this album by far is I'm Only Sleeping, and a good demonstration of the high quality DWB has achieved. Among my other faves are And Your Bird Can Sing, For No One, and Taxman. Dave's arrangement of Love You To seemed a little strange at first, but now I think that the interesting thing about this is that without duplicating the original, it may more fully realize the Indian sound that George had in mind.

Well, if you don't LIKE the Beatles, or if you don't have a sound card or a have an older "FM" card, slap yourself. For more information about midis in general (plug, plug) or to hear songs by other groups, visit my midi page, and from there check out my "how and why" page, or visit "Cora's midi links". Thanks.


Other corners of my annex:

Play my MIDI links!
(why and how)
f1.7, Charles Dickson's Photo Essays

Future Links:

The Lisa Joy Adulation Page
Original Music by Number 12
Show Me Your Bus

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