Saturday, October 24, 2015

"The Rat Brain" Jerkatorium submission posted at

Jerkatorium's submission for the "The Rat Brain" Song Fight is up at, give it a listen and vote for it if you like it.  The song turned into another last-minute effort - we were still writing lyrics 90 minutes prior to the deadline - but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.  The pressure is off in terms of the competition aspect for this fight; there are so many excellent songs in this fight that I feel pretty comfortable predicting that there is a 0% chance of us winning, and that's fine.  I'll be happy if we place anywhere in the top half of the 13 entries.

A couple of the reviews have already commented that the song borders on ska, and one mentioned that he was waiting for the horn section to kick in.  Now why didn't I think of that?  I might do a different mix later and add some brass.

In other news, Andrei and I finally made the plunge and got a piano.  

Andrei has been taking piano lessons for the past couple of months.  Sharing the USB controller keyboard was a hassle, and Andrei preferred the feel of a real piano anyway, so we went on Craigslist and bought a cheap used piano from someone who could also deliver it.

Delivery was key to the choice of this piano.  There are literally tons of cheap and free pianos on Craigslist.  When someone relocates, a piano can automatically transform from a beloved instrument to a bulky burden.  Even the smaller spinet/console pianos are extremely heavy, mostly due to the sound boards, so it can be difficult to sell or even give a piano away for free if delivery is not part of the arrangement.  Depending on distance, stairs, size of piano and etc, delivery can cost hundreds of dollars.  Also, if you're getting a cheap or free piano, it is pretty much guaranteed that it will arrive at your home way out of tune, so post-delivery piano tuning is an additional expense to consider.  

We lucked out and found this small, used, handsome-looking piano, which is not in perfect tune but still sounds good ("Close enough for jazz.") and the total cost including delivery was less than $300.  

Only after buying it did I look up the Haddorff Vertichord on the internet and read about its reputation:

"As the name suggests, the 'Vertichord" was straight strung, a serious design error in such a short-scaled piano. Even a hundred years or more before that it was realized that such short pianinos required diagonal stringing. Aside from that, the 'Verichords' I have encountered have had major problems with glue failures and other structural deficits." 

That doesn't really matter to me, though.  It sounds fine and it looks good, and it's part of the family now.

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