Danny Federici RIP


One of the greatest electronic glockenspielist ever, I think!

Also, we needed a new post, so here it is.


62 Responses to “Danny Federici RIP”

  1. Speaking of the lost, I wonder where ol’ Metro has been lately?

  2. Chopper Newt Says:

    Thanks for the new post, I would have done one if I could. Just felt the need. Glad I caught the tour while Danny was still on it last year, he was something.

    Yeah, Skinpounder’s been quiet. TOO quiet.

    I think I may be ready for a vocal track on KFL, but I need more verses. I may just come up with a couple of my own so’s I can get it out there. I’ll be alone in the house Saturday night (I have no friends) so unless some social activity presents itself I might get some work done.

    I found my Crybaby, by the way. That is of course both good news and bad news.

  3. If you want to get a WordPress account, Chops, I can add you to this site as a contributor or author. Actually, I’d make you an author, then you can create posts whenever you want. Go to WordPress.com and sign up, then let me know your username and the e-mail address you use to sign up.

    I hope Sir Pent isn’t ill or something. He did say he had the flu, which isn’t good.

    I keep forgetting to mention: I think I figured out why you think there’s too much music in KFL. The whole first rocking, distorted section is just for jamming, no lyrics. So, you get the funky “oriental” music, then the guitar comes in and jams what is, in essence, the chords of the chorus up to the stop, then keeps jamming until you get the change over to the verse section, which begins on the E major, then D, then A. Do some solo stuff in that long first section.

    WKWG is working out, by the way. I have something good going with it, also with really classic Yes or Rush-style keyboards. I’m going to record some acoustic today while wife is working and daughter is in child care. I have no friends, either. Unless you count, buddy.

  4. I’m rendering out what I have of WKWG. I can’t work on the next section, wherein occurs the first solo, the break, and the second solo, until I have the electric guitar. This week I’m on acoustic alone–although I love my acoustic guitar. I plugged it in the record WKWG stuff a while ago and, voila, no sound at all. The guitar has an active pickup and the battery was dead. I replaced it with much effort and cursing, then recorded. Will send by e-mail this eve.

    Also, CN, if you send your snail mail address by e-mail I will send you a CD with all my various tracks as uncompressed WAV files, nicely organized in folders by song, etc. Then we’ll be ready for some serious work if we ever hear from Metro again.

  5. Chopper Newt Says:

    Of course I’m your friend, Gecko, it’s just tough to drop by for a beer.

    I’ll shoot you my address this weekend sometime.

  6. I am back.
    My company sent me on a road trip to Green Bay to visit a distributor. Very long drive for very little outcome. The hotel did not have “free” wifi, so no internet.
    After, since I was very close, went up and spent a couple of days at the family cabin in Pelican Lake Wisconsin.

  7. Listened to WKWG test. Sounds good so far and have no problem with you tweeking the lyrics. (I’d like to read your lyrical change first…)

  8. Welcome back, Metro!

    I only made some very minor changes to the fist verse, which I’ll e-mail soon, and changed the chorus from all the “whys” to only one “why”, as in “why was it better then?”

    When are you going to start drumming, man? Have you recovered enough yet?

  9. I have my final follow-up with the doctor on Tuesday. If he gives the greenlight for activity, I will:
    – clean up the spot where the drums go (I may start that today, but since it’s mostly heavy lifting, I may wait.)
    – get the drums out of the attic and set them up
    – start practicing…remember, I haven’t “really” played in 3 years.

  10. VH1 Classic is doing a tribute…playing E-Street videos.
    Up right now is Frustrated Incorporated.

  11. Ah, no cable here. In fact, the television hasn’t been turned on in months.

    I’m doing a really folksy version of “Itsy Bitsy Spider” that I’d be happy to have all your contributions to. My daughter likes the song, and I realized it makes a nice “Peter, Paul, and Mary” type folk song. Perhaps it will go on the Lizards kids’ album.

    I forgot you haven’t played in 3 years, Metro. Well, don’t worry you never really forget. Just takes a few days for the muscles to remember what to do.

  12. So where is Chop with KFL?

  13. Who knows? I’m not at all sure how he interpreted my arrangement, but I realized he didn’t know where I intended lyrics to begin.

    I’m thinking of redoing my guitar now that I have this unbelievably cool-sounding Toneport guitar amp modeler.

    Finding time to record in the next two months is going to be a challenge for me, though. I just had an article accepted for publication in a major journal, but they want some big revisions by mid-May, AND a book publisher wants my entire book manuscript by June WITH minor revisions, AND I have to write a conference paper for early July. All this plus giving finals and grading in my four courses. Fucking nuts. It’s easier to be a failure.

    Received a grant to do research in Europe this summer, too. Can’t drag my guitar there.

  14. Well, that all sounds good.
    As I’ve said, the recording thing can happen whenever we have a chance.

  15. Chopper Newt Says:

    My Toneport is supposed to show up today.

  16. Chopper Newt Says:

    KFL is ready for vocals as soon as the spirit moves me. Oh, and I’m gonna play the bass on it. No problem except procrastination at this point.

  17. I miss my Toneport with all its unbelievable tones. Wish I’d brought it and the electric guitar back to Ohio for the week.

    Will send WAV files to CN of our various new tunes soon. KFL as I recall has my crappy “bass” playing in it, which I will erase.

    Chops, did you figure out where I “intended” the lyrics to be in KFL?

  18. Making a data CD now with some of my LFA tracks. Saving each guitar, synth, or effect as separate WAV files, and I’m not including any drum machine files. Chops, I assume you can assemble them in CEP with your own files. One issue: I’m saving them at CD quality, which may still not be good enough. It’s 16 bit and something like 44,000 mhz, but perhaps we should keep going up toward Hi Fi quality, which is 24 bit. The only issue is that the files start to get REALLY huge.

    Did I mention before that Gator is providing new lyrics to CL for Chopper to sing? We’ll see what he gives us and then I may decide to rerecord the whole song, so I’m not rendering those files right now.

  19. I wonder if he will keep the lyric:
    Life’s like a chessboard
    And I’m playing white

    I had him angered to the point of corpuscle explosion once by inferring that the lyric was “racist” and he, for writing that lyric, was also “racist”.

    …I live to mock…

  20. Funny, I also thought the line a little… problematic. But I liked the rest of the line, “Everything seems wrong but the glasses fit alright.”

    listening to what I had down for CL I think I will indeed rerecord the whole thing. Acoustic guitar part is just too wimpy, but it was the first thing I’d recorded with this Mixcraft software and I didn’t really know how to get the levels right. Not that I know how now either…. But I can get them higher.

    I realize I’m practically filling up my hard drive with WAV files, by the way. Damn, I have a lot of them now, and they’re all like 30 megs.

  21. Just found out that Sonific.com is going offline, like forever. They can’t make it in the archaic music industry. Oh well. Can’t release our stuff there. There are other services, like Reverbnation, but perhaps Myspace Music has the most listeners….

  22. If we ever get a “product” together, I’m sure that we will find a way to make it available. Ther are several places…it just depends on how much investment and effort we want to put into it.

  23. Guy Fandango Says:

    Holy Crap! I thought I was going to have to keep my LFA cassettes in an environmentally controlled vault forever. I actually keep HOIYS and KTH in my car for when I need a fix – which occurs about every 14 months. Now I need have no fear of snappage, warpage, or any other age. I thank you, my wife curses you, and my children cower in fear.

  24. Chopper Newt Says:

    Free MP3s, on our myspace page, on this page, wherever. Facebook. I don’t know. I no longer hold illusions of LFA being a paying gig. I’ll be pleased if I know there are some people listening to it.

  25. Matty thinks we can sell them.

    I think we should pay people to listen.

  26. See! There are people listening?

    Who is our “fan”? Who are you Mr. Fandango? The others may remember you, but I–not being an IWU student–didn’t know most of our fans back in the day.

    I listened to some of the crap, and I mean that honestly, on Reverbnation.com last eve and I can tell you that our new music is ten times better than most of it. Our old music is better, if only less well produced. If we get some good music together in some sort of final form, I’ll post them there–random people can find our music that way. The blog remains a site for us and for a select few. In fact, I may eventually set up a password protected blog just for “band talk.” Perhaps quite soon, in fact.

    I have to look for tickets to Europe today, and since the price is outrageous I shall put it off by playing guitar.

    Vive LFA!

  27. One bit of good music I just heard, however: the Flobots. I don’t usually like “hip hop” but these guys are good, and I particularly like “Handlebars.” Give it a listen.


  28. I’ll be keeping that line, Metro. Because fifteen years of maturing haven’t been enough to make a chessboard analogy old and tired. Also, because I’m a hack!

  29. Chopper Newt Says:

    I like that line.

  30. Guy Fandango Says:

    Oh, Metro . . . you love to anger.
    I also recall your revision to Cigarettes. After the line “Bitter taste in my mouth” you would sing “better spit the semen out”.

    As for my identity, here’s a clue: I did recently find buried in a box of memorabilia an illustration of the residents of Wallis Hall caricatured as fez wearing Akbar and Jeff clones including Metro and Gator – Metro without pants (hairy buns exposed) and Gator wearing a jacket plagued with buttons (he far exceeded the minimum number of pieces of flair).

    and if you still don’t know – I roomed with Gila Monster and Metro (but you know not right next to each other)

  31. Guy Fandango Says:

    ok – so I just went to to the myspace page. I attempt to avoid that particular dark alley of the internets. I didn’t know the revision to Cigarettes was on there.

  32. STEVIEEEE!!!
    I was thinking of you the other day. Too Much Joy came on the iPod and I thanked Elvis for the day you introduced me to their work.

    – – – – – – –

    I have good news, but not great. The doctor cleared me for active duty. (If not a LITTLE restricted.) I went straight home, into the attic and dug out the drums. They are in the basement and set up. I only barely got a chance to play as by then I was feeling a little sore and worn out.
    The not-so-great is that it appears the hi-hat control peddle is not working. What that means is that my hi-hat is forever “closed”. I will need to dismantle it this weekend and see what is the matter.
    Also, I had forgotten that my drum-stool had broke, so I have nothing to sit on. (Folding chair it will be then!)
    I will endeavor to begin practicing tomorrow night.

  33. Boy, all this waiting and you have a crippled kit? Go buy a new kit! Why else did you enter management?

  34. Well…let’s see if I can fix it first…or buy a replacement for the peddle. Geez.

  35. Chopper Newt Says:

    I have something for you to sit on.

  36. Recording yesterday: my damned soundcard stinks. Maybe the whole computer. It loses time while recording if I have more than one track playing. So, I’m playing guitar in perfect time with the metronome and drum track, but the recording is too fast and the playback is therefore off time. Have you ever had this problem, Chops?

    I think (I hope) this doesn’t happen with the Toneport, since it uses a better sound card. But I left the TP back in New York.

    Speaking of, have you managed to get yours to work yet, CN?

    If you haven’t listened to the Flobots yet, go listen now. I can’t get that Handebars song out of my head. Politically active hip hop with violin, trumpet, and rock guitar!

    Finally, did I ever send a version of KFL *without* the crappy bassline–which I realize now is so crappy only because my soundcard caused it to be out of time just a teensy bit, thus making it sound like garbage. At any rate, I’m going to rerecord, I think, using the TP for a better guitar sound.

  37. So I looked last night. Buying an entirely new set would only run me about 1K…

  38. I assume “only” is meant sarcastically.

    Speaking of a thousand, I’ve been looking at airline tickets to the UK for July and the price is outrageous: $1000 each, or thereabouts. $3000 for the whole family to fly to Europe. Damn, that’s a lot.

  39. Chopper Newt Says:

    The TP is working fine, I didn’t have any of the problems I anticipated with the multitracking. However, it has been a huge time waster so far, since when I sit down to the computer, I spend the whole time checking out the presets and doing impressions of other guitarists. The “Bad” one is fantastic.

    I haven’t had the timing problem with recording on my computer. CEP, I think, does an automatic adjustment for that if I recall correctly, but in any case it’s always on time with what I play along with. There may be something in your program that you can tweak to fix that, as it seems like it would be a pretty big gimp to any multitracking software if you couldn’t.

  40. Supposedly you can “manually” adjust the timing errors, but I haven’t figured out how to make it work properly. Perhaps this is why the program costs only… whatever it costs. Something like $65. Maybe I should try a copy of CEP, except that the new one costs a lot.

    The TP presets are cool, indeed. I spent my first day with it trying them all out. The second day I spent making my own tones, which I now use most often.

  41. OK, I searched online for almost an hour last night trying to find a replacement HiHat Controller peddle.
    Can’t seem to find a site that just sells the peddle.
    Nobody is selling them on eBay.

    So I went down and dismantled it, cleaned it up, put it back together…nothing.

    There is one hope, though. I did find a forum that talked about people buying the Roland equivalent and getting that to work.

  42. Chopper Newt Says:

    Don’t you pretty much exclusively use the cowbell anyway? Is there any hi-hat even IN any of our songs? Does the cowbell work on this “drum set”?

    You could be like the guy from Guster who doesn’t use sticks, only your gimmick would be that your hi-hat is always closed! Hatcha!

    I did make one preset with big time fuzz and compression to get that endless sustain/harmonic like my big ugly amp used to do. Awesome.

  43. Guy Fandango Says:

    hmmm. . . . from wikipedia about the “drummer” from Guster: He now alternates between hand percussion and drum set, and he has the nickname “Thundergod” because of his drumming.

    Perhaps you could be the “God Of Squat” either referencing your fondness for sitting on certain things or how often you use the high hat.

    Matt – I’m pretty sure I’ve got some photos from the first live show on the quad – including an action shot of the flaming toy guitar and Gila smashing it on the pavement. If I can dig them up would you be interested in adding them to this site?

  44. Indeed I would post them! If you can find them, send them to adkinsgm AT gmail.com.

    I think I solved the recording lag problem. I had to reduce the audio playback sampling rate big time, which apparently freed up lots of RAM. The audio sounds rather crappy now when recording, but it seems to record in time, or without any discernible lag. After recording, I just jack the sampling rate back up and, voila. I don’t know why I wasted time trying to figure this out, however, since the Toneport should solve the problem, as it serves as the new soundcard when plugged in.

    I’m pretty much a purist with that Toneport. I liked the presets (the American punk rocks!), but I’m pretty happy with the Marshall amp simulation and 4 12′ speaker cabinet. Nice clean(ish) sound, or super overdriven. I also like the tubescreamer sim, which sounds so damned accurate it’s weird.

  45. Steve, you promised me copies of those pictures YEARS ago!

    Anyway, yes…closed hihat is going to be my gimmick for the short term…

    Although I could reprogram that pad to be a cowbell…

  46. I just checked out a bunch of different search engines. Our MySpace page comes up as #1 for all them.

    …so as soon as someone searches for “Lizards from Afar”, they’ll definitely find us…

    Please, somebody search for us!!

  47. I also just checked out our Bandshell Concert videos (hadn’t checked in months) and some have gotten quite a few views.
    3 Foot has 69 views
    Ladybugs has 83 views

    And there was a nice little anonymous message on Stay With Me:
    You guys suck dick, bitches

    I’ll take that as ringing endorsement!!

  48. I’m still trying to get over the fact that after all this time waiting for you to recover enough to play drums, we find that out your kit is busted.

    Speaking of technical problems, after my last post I accidentally found out that it’s not the audio playback sampling rate that was my recording problem. It was much simpler than that: it was the goddamned VST effects. All I have to do is turn them all off and recording seems to work fine, at least for now. Those effects take tons of CPU power.

    Is your hi-hat pedal mechanically broken or is there an electronic problem? If mechanical, you might be able to repair it.

    Finished a version of Itsy Bitsy Spider this afternoon. My first song with a full piano line. Sounds sort of like a Tom Waits version of the song. Puts me in the mood to redo Lady Bugs in full-on punk crunch, tho’.

  49. No, it’s the electronic. I’m going to the music store tomorrow during lunch to see about buying a replacement.
    At the very worst, I can still play and record…I’m just a little limited.

    – – – – – – – –

    Speaking of kids songs, I have been working on a couple of ideas for kids songs, since you have brought it up.
    Now they would be originals and I don’t know how I would “explain” what I am hearing in my head.

    – – – – – – – –

    I also have an idea for an acoutstic/alternative version of Fire by Hendrix.

  50. Chopper Newt Says:

    We have one comment, and it says that we suck dick, and we’re bitches?

    It’s the chick from the Boathouse!!!!!! She’s obsessed with her hatred of us, has been consumed with loathing for 10+ years, and finally snapped when she stumbled upon our web presence.

    Or maybe it was Gila?

  51. Let’s go with the Boathouse chick. It gives us a bigger circle of influence.

  52. Metro: does Cubase have included VST instruments? You could always record a melody that way, if it does?

    I just e-mailed to Metro and CN a newer version of Kung Fu Lover–nothing new in the recording, just different effects, and the erasure of my bass line. I don’t know if I sent that before.

    Also sent my Itsy Bitsy Spider song, which is pretty darned cool, I have to say. I like the beginning with the lo-fi guitar and the snaps and crackles of an ancient vinyl record. I have an idea for a kids record: all songs about insects, because, well, Lizards Eat Insects.

  53. Went to Guitar Center during my lunch. (Guitar Shit-nter)
    Gawd I hate that place.
    Although they demo the peddle that I need…and they SELL the peddle that I need…they do NOT carry the peddle that I need. They can order it from their website and I can pick it up at the store.

    So why wouldn’t I just order it online myself?

    – – – – – – –

    I also went ahead and bought the Blue Snowball USB mic. Couldn’t help myself.
    I also bought the necessary cords to plug the drums into my computer. I might actually try to record a drum part this weekend!! (I’ll start out with Channeling Lou, cuz that’s the easiest drum part.)

  54. Do they peddle the pedal you need or pedal the peddle?

    Anyway, if you order it at the store, you won’t have to pay shipping.

    Here’s why I can’t afford the Fender tele I want: $2900 in airline tickets I bought today. Damn!

  55. Peddle. (funnier)

    I got the drums hooked up and playing through my Mac. It was a LOT of fun. Turns out Mac doesn’t allow for you to hear the audio-in “live”. So I could record my drums…but not hear what I was doing until playback. Luckily I’m not screwed as there is a free download that allows for you to listen to the audio in live.

    After an hour of annoyance, I was able to play along with CL, SWM and CB. Is there any particular format you recommend I record with?
    Sample rate

    I forgot to answer your question above about VST. Cubase DOES allow…but I have NO idea what they really do or how to use.

  56. As for hearing the audio live, it depends on how your drums are plugged into your computer. If there’s a headphone jack on your drum’s brain, you could probably put a line from it into your computer mic jack, then hear playback from Cubase plus whatever is going into the mic jack. You’ll want to use headphones, though. You won’t hear much with your computer’s speakers.

    Record in WAV format. Highest resolution you want, I suppose. As many tracks as you want. If you need the tunes without any of my drum loops, let me know.

    No opinions about Itsy Bitsy Spider, eh? It may not be hard rock, but I get a kick out of how good it sounds, actually. I’d never “played” piano before. Piano here is a VST instrument.

  57. No. It’s a known Mac OSX issue. I downloaded the free system plug-in that makes it work and it’s doing fine. I just don’t understand what Apple is thinking. If they are truly the system to buy for multimedia work, why wouldn’t this be standard?

    I haven’t listened to it yet. By the time I got home last night, ate and then played the drums…I was pretty exhausted. Listened to them when I woke up. KFL seems “grittier” and I like that.
    I like the music for IBS, but it doesn’t sound like a childrens song.

  58. If you mean a children’s song has to sound like banal Barney-like melodies, then no it doesn’t sound like that. On the other hand, I’ve heard plenty of newer kids music that sounds pretty cool. It’s just the lyrics are geared toward kids, I think.

  59. Well, I tried several times to get the original SWM WAV file uploaded, but it kept crapping out. I re-saved the file with a lower rate; it went from about 120MB to 59MB and it uploaded in about an hour. It’s called Test3.WAV.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    Kids songs don’t have to be like Barney songs. (Which are awful.) I’m just saying that kids songs feel a little “softer” than this. I actually like the melody you’ve done here so much that I want to write original lyrics for it!

  60. Well, go for it, although it’s still Itsy bitsy Spider to me; perhaps an “adult” version or a crossover for both adults and kids, like Puff the magic Dragon.

  61. Guy Fandango Says:

    My kids have recently discovered that their favorite musicians (They Might Be Giants) existed waaaay back in the 80’s.

    TMBG have a Friday Night Family Podcast that they update weekly with videos from the Here Come the 1,2,3s and Here Come the A,B,Cs dvds.

    For other tips on kid freindly music that is not banal I would refer you to Jack’s Big Music show. http://www.noggin.com/shows/jacks.php
    Musical guests have included Buddy Guy and Andrew Bird. Jon Stewart appeared on the Groundhog Day episode – which also featured a video for I Hog The Ground from Steve Burns (aka Steve from Blue’s Clues) and Steven Drozd from The Flaming Lips. Also check out the video from Nuttin But Stringz we had the violin/hip-hop fever in our house for weeks after the kids saw that one.

  62. Andrew Bird! I told you he was big!

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