Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Happy Monday tune for ya....

Here's yet another tune from the 9-13-2007 practice session. Just another one of our made up on-the-spot jams. This one is call "The Clown is Down"....the name is a reference to a Simpsons episode:

Judge Roy Snyder

OK, this tune is not actually inspired by this story... but the name came up as we were listening to the tune right after recording it....seems to fit...Here's the story:

Judge Roy Snyder has a figurine on his desk of a clown fishing. In this episode he comes beck from vacation. A temporary judge Constance Harm is about to bang her gavel and give Bart a sentence to juvie. Judge Snyder puts the clown on his desk and says, “Well, I’m back from vacation”. Judge Harm tries to argue with him, but he says, “No, it’s too late. I’ve already put my clown down.” Judge Harm tries to argue again, but then Judge Snyder says in a deep voice, “The clown is down,” and dismisses Bart’s case.

Anyhow, we hope you enjoy the tune:

The Clown is Down

It features the usual instrumentation including some Nord Electro 2 and Nord Lead 2.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

some band name ideas we had before "soul amp"...

After we formed the band we went through the standard band naming exercises. I will try and dig up some of the names from an old email and post them soonish.

But here's a couple of them people came up for us. Brad's daughter thought we should be called the Fuzzy Rainbow Monkeys. She's also a musician. Click here to listen to her music. We even ended up naming one of our jams Exquisite Fuzzy Rainbow Monkeys.

During the naming processing E thought that we should be called "Sexy Mobile Homers".

I think one of Brad's favorites was "Minivans in Space".

We ran through the band name sites. Here's one:

But we finally landed on "Soul Amp". The way that came about is we were practicing in Brad's basement aka the catbox. M2 said something like "I need this for my soul". Meaning he needed the music we were playing for his soul. So I said "to amp your soul". And then I think he said (or maybe it was me) that that should be the name of the band... well not Amp Soul, but Soul Amp. So there you have it. Lesson learned... don't force a band name.... just let it happen.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pic of strange ripped flannel shirt with finger of flash to make for blood red photo - For you to Bleed

Here's another track from the 9-13-2007 practice session. Amazingly, Bradly made up the words on the spot. He does that.

Ripped flannel shirt shot with finger over flash to create blood red effect. Photo by Mike Fisk.Ripping shirt - flash through finger causing pic to be blood red - Coming Apart at the Seams...

Coming Apart at the Seams - free mp3

Listen to Soul Amp's top ten hits for free at:

Thursday, September 20, 2007


bird crap on Hyundai minivan hood -

The only bird crap on the minivan is this one direct hit centered on the tip of the hood. I can imagine the bird bragging to her friends. I wonder how many points she got on this bombing run? It looks like she was eating buckthorn berries. Buckthorn is an exotic species of bush that was brought here to Wisconsin from Europe for farmers to create property boundaries. It takes over everything and pushes out the native flora. And, unfortunately, they are not so good for birds as they give them the runs.

You know something? Even if I was a bird, I'm not sure I could take a dump while flying.....

Play Blogger....

Last week Google released this Play Blogger thing... It's very cool imho. I love looking at pics and this thing scrolls through pics as they are being uploaded to blogger. You can click the pic to go to the post that it came from. Here's the link (I've already added it to favorites and I rarely ever do that):

Surburban Summer Symphony - World from my doorstep.....Noises of West Allis, WI

No music this time.... or is it....

I set the Zoom H4 on my front door stoop a few weeks back and just happened to catch this 3.5 minute symphony of natural and manmade sounds. I think it's pretty cool how there are 3 or 4 themes that occur starting with the crickets, then the airplane flying over, a car starting up and driving by, and ending with chorus of cidadas. This "nature" sample kind of fits in with the recent post about nature and man. As I listen to it I realize how often I'm too busy to listen to the busyness all around me. So here ya go... a relaxing slice of suburban summer:
World from my stoop/doorstep ....
The pic is from the stoop where the recording occurred.

Have a great Thursday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lapham Peak Butterfly Garden.... Bee on Wild Flowers...remnants of eden continuation...The Decision

Bee on Wildflower in sunset at Lapham Peak Wisconsin sept 2007 - photograph by Mike Fisk

Bee on Wildflower in sunset at Lapham Peak Wisconsin sept 2007 -

Here's another one from our uncommon, normal-challenged band:

This tune is really part 2 of Crinkle in the Wrinkle . If you listen closely to the end cymbal beat of Crinkle in the Wrinkle you'll hear that it's the same as the start of this tune. I broke them apart because I thought the themes were different enough to warrant separate songs.

The picutre is from Lapham Peak's butterfly garden... a truely wonderful Remnant of Eden...

Lapham Peak Photo - Butterfly Garden - Sunset at Lapham - Remants of Eden

Here's M2's take on how we continue to mess up our small planet and mess with each other. I dig Maggie's comment pointing out how in the bible that all the evil we live with began in Eden.

I think things have always been a bit messed up.... it's just that now there are so many of us that it's magnified. As the population grows, the original nature is disappearing and being replaced by a human-constructed nature. I don't think I really want to go back to nature nature and have something stalking me. (Instead I'll enjoy a walk at Lapham Peak, sitting around a campfire with M2, V, family and friends, biking with E, and sailing with Brad.) Nature in its indifference doesn't care whether or not you live or die. Man is not so indifferent ususally. And that's our beauty and our shame. We sometimes love and care and nuture and we sometimes hate and destroy. I see it in the kindest of us and in the meanest of us. The dialog needs to continue and we each need to do what we can to note all our own shame and beauty while striving to shine. That's what I say as I sit this morning with hope.

Thanks for inspiring me once again Mr. Voodoodrummer!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Zingo Bango Bomp!

We finally got around to practicing last week Thursday. Once again, it was just another jam session, making stuff up on the fly. Over about 1.5 hrs we came up with about 6 tunes and recorded them to the Zoom H4. We figure we better get some playing in before the gig at the HOG on Oct 5.

Here's a new tune for you (I'll post the rest as I get around to mixing them). We hope you dig it. It was just the first thing that Brad played and we just built off of that lick:

So why's it called Zingo Bango Bomp? Listen to the tune you'll find out why.

Here's a pic of M2 and Brad in the practice space:
The red and black foam squares on the ceiling and walls is Sonex used to "deaden" the room. It basically cuts down on the amount reflection the sound makes off the walls floors and ceiling. The sound gets deflected by the angled form wedges and so helps to avoid what is called "stadning waves" (sound that starts bouncing back and forth and adds to itself each return trip which just sounds horrible and overwhelming). We also have some bass traps in the room to take out the lower frequencies.

The Zoom H4 is set up on a tripod just outside of the pic to the right. Just a few inches from the Korg CX-3. I record at 44.1k at 24 bit. Unfortunately, I had the compression on on the Zoom and that change the recording some. I used Izotope Ozone3 to fatten it up. One of these days I'll do some screen captures and post the settings I use with Ozone.

Enjoy.... stayed tuned for more tune posts over the next some odd days.

Here's another jam you might like:

Werewolfs in Walworth Co Wisconsin?

Check it out:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Gig reminder.... Lapham Peak Butterfly Garden Wild Flower

Just wanted to remind everyone that we will be playing at the House of Guinness in Waukesha on Oct 5. Be sure to stop by, have a pint or two, and check out some mind-twisting sounds from Soul Amp braintrust.

So in the meantime.... here's some native wild flowers from Lapham Peak that I captured Saturday (9/14/2007) in the butterfly garden:

Lapham Peak Butterfly Garden - Wild Flowers sept 2007 - photograph by Michael Fisk

Lapham Peak Butterfly Garden Wild Flower -
Looks kind of like they are floating, doesn't it?....

Check out the tower at Lapham and here's the hiking/cross country skiing map.

I used the Zoom H4 to capture some sounds... I'll edit and post them and some pics later.

Anyhow... talk to you in a while and watch for a new tune from the Amp later today.

Freaky art...

I dig the way these sculptures from Ron Mueck really throw off your sense of what is expected when encountering people.

Some of his art is listed as by Don Mueck... that's incorrect. It's Ron Mueck.

Here's some links to his work:

Just the other day we were just doing the thing where you lower yourself or raise yourself to someone elses height. It's kind of incredible that just a few inches differences puts a whole new perspective on how you view things.... interesting stuff, I think.

Special thanks to V and/or M2 for tipping me off to this artist.

Smashed Finger is healing fine....4th month update

Here's pics of my finger that is healing after being smashed in May of this year. It's an ongoing blog saga. Look at the end of this post for previous posts so you can track the recovery.

smashed finder recovering -

smashed finder recovering -

smashed finder recovering -

The coolest thing about the healing of the nail is that there appears to be almost 2 nails. The "lower" part (toward finger) looks pretty normal. The "upper" part (toward the tip) looks fairly nasty still. I may trim that upper part soon. BTW, there is no pain associated with it anymore. That's very cool.

Here's all the posts documenting the smashed finger saga (in reverse order):

Anyone with a story of a smashed finger, I'll be happy to post it. Just drop an email or feel free to comment on this post or any of the others.

Here's one from a reader named Gordon:

And in the meantime, feel free to distract yourself with some delightful music from my band, Soul Amp:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Chicago pics....

Took a trip to Chicago last week with E and her fam and took some bw snaps of the city in the morning...

We road the train in from Kenosha, WI. Here's a pic from the train. You can see the Hancock building to the left:

Chicago Hancock building - from Metra -

Here's an in motion shot from the Metra (that's the name of the train we took):

Chicago pic from

The Metra was pretty reasonably priced... Definitely a fun adventure.

Here's a pic of the Sears Tower (to the right) in a canyon of buildings:

Chicago's Sears tower in a canyon of building ...

And for all us patriots (not jingoists mind you)... a shot of the American flag with the Sears Tower in the background (to the right of the flag):

Chicago's Sears tower with American flag in the morning....

....well I hope to load up some new tracks for you all soon... still have some more tunes I want to share with you... we also hoperfully will jam soon and perhaps we'll get a recording or two out of that....we have a gig on Oct 5 and we'll be gearing up for that....

Precious Cricket...

M2 has just posted another brilliant essay on his blog about the sanctity of life....another "must" read I think:

While you're reading you can listen to some crickets jamming with us:

Groovy Little Love Cricket

Friday, September 07, 2007

Happy Birthday From the Brews -- The answer to: What's the Happy Birthday movie clip on the Brewers scoreboard...

Happy Birthday from the Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers play a clip on the scoreboard when they do the Happy Birthday announcements. E and I have been wondering what movie it's from. At my request, my friend ML asked his sons and one of them (N) knew. It's from this movie:

I've never seen the movie and don't know anything about it (nor could I recommend it), but the kid crying when they sing happy birthday to him is pretty hysterical. If you check out the trailer it's at 2:02 when the scene I'm talking about occurs.

Of course, now N wants me to buy him dinner for knowing the movie clip... =)

Go Brewers!

Catch some free Soul Amp music here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007