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Real Jazz on Thursdays.

I’ve picked up an another regular gig in addition to my Groove Sunday gig. On Thursday nights, I DJ for Blackbeats radio and at the Sugarhill estate in Second Life. I Play real jazz with a show I call “Old Cool.” Featuring the greats like Miles, Thelodius , Trane, Bird, Dizzy, Satcmo, Lady Day and More.
So kick back you Cool Cats and Chicks, put on the Ray-Bans and Beret and get hep Daddy-o.
Be there or Be L7!
DJ VJ is on the skillets, cooking up the jams from 10-Midnight ET 7-9PM Pacific, streaming live on Black Beats Radio.
Slurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Knieff/108/38/185
website: http://www.blackbeatsradio.com
stream: http:/sc9.spacialnet.com:19086

DJ VJI just completed an article on how to stream audio into Second Life from a Mac. The article is posted here at Mac Audio Guy, My Mac Audio Website. This is a step-by-step tutorial on how to set -up a Mac to stream audio to Second Life or to the internet Using Nicecast and a Shoutcast server. If you’re a Mac based DJ or Musician, this is a must read.

Lilly Dilly and I went to Dash Renoir’s Jazz Link Lounge to hear a wonderful Performer from Taiwan named MoShang Zhao, perform his music last night. All was well and we thought we would stick around to hear the performer who was following Moshang. This performer (who shall remain nameless in this post.) got up on stage and immediately started berating Dash Renoir, the owner and host. Saying that Dash shouldn’t have sent a group notice to promote this fellow’s show. And then he went on about that his show shouldn’t have been billed as a debut, because he was one of the first musicians in SL. and that even though it was the first time he’d played at the Jazz Link, that by billing it as a debut, that somehow people would infer that he was a noob, yadda yadda yadda.
Okay, so this cat, has been in SL since April 2003, so that would normally get him some props. But he crossed the the line by harshing on the host of the event and coming out with the elite attitude. And when he finally started playing his music, it was all about how he didn’t normally play for free and how he was doing the club a favor by appearing.
I normally tip musicians generously. In fact I’ll regularly drop $500L in a night in tips for DJs and Musicos. This guy got zero and we left the club for the night.
IM me In World if want to know the fellows name, so that you can judge for yourself whether his shows deserve your time and tips.

Komuso Playing Blues

In the first installment of the SLeb interview series. I talked with Komuso Tokugawa. If you’ve been is Second Life for any time at all, you’ve probably seen Komuso in concert. His red robot Avi sings and plays a unique blend of old blues tunes with a dirty electric slide guitar and a mouth harp sound.
In many ways Komuso is the next logical evolution of the street performer, wandering the bitstream instead of the sidewalk. I caught up to Komuso last week as he was beginning his “House Rent Tour ” in SL.

SLebs: If you can put it in a paragraph, how does an Australian find himself in Tokyo broadcasting American blues played live into cyberspace?

Komuso: I was originally here from ’94 to ’98, then went back to Australia. Moved back here nearly 2 years ago. I’ve traveled and worked in a lot of places, and always jammed on harp and slide wherever I’ve ended up. I started a blues band with some friends when I was here in Tokyo last time, which is still going btw. When I moved back I started a little three piece Boogie band with some of my old japanese band-mates. I had to start singing though, as no one else wanted to do it! Story continues below…

SLebs: You’ve been on Second Life since March 2005, How did you find out about the Metaverse and how long did it take you before you started streaming live music into Second Life?

Komuso: I was working in Australia on some “Games for Health” concepts and was tracking the emerging area of social MMO’s back in 2003 and came across SL before it was launched in beta. Initially they did not accept non-US signups for the beta, and then it was not till March 2005 I got around to signing up. The first year I focused on my biofeedback interface research in SL, and travelled the grid taking a lot of snapzilla shots. I was playing more in RL at the time with a bass/drum section. Then I started experimenting using SL for RL song practice around Feb 2006, and then started doing gigs. After a few months I decided to do 100% SL live music as an indie music experiment and dropped the RL gigging [the Tokyo small bar/club live music scene is very much a pay-to-play scene working to the bars advantage], though I do the odd jam now and again with friends in RL at some clubs. I’m also thinking of starting up another three piece and doing some more RL gigs soon, finding the right places to play can be a pain though.

SLebs: Most people in SL know you for your blues music, but you also play ambient relaxation music. Do you find the audience very different for the two types of music? And do you find yourself using the popularity of your blues to steer an audience to your ambient music.

Komuso: There is some crossover, some fans belong to both my groups, but the market for emotional energy music like blues is very different from the relaxation music market in general.

SLebs: I’m cheating a little by doubling up my questions, please forgive me. You seem to be playing two or three gigs in front of Sim capacity crowds every night in SL, Do your fees and tips from playing music in SL substantially augment you RL income? And do you have time to enjoy SL beside playing music?

Komuso: I’m not playing 2 or 3 gigs every night, although I have done ~350 live gigs in SL now I think;-) I’ve learnt an awful lot doing that!.

I do believe competent musicians, like any other professional skill, deserve to be compensated accordingly for their efforts.

At the moment playing in SL is a cross between a small bar and street busking, of which I have had extensive experience of both in RL at various times. Current income potential, while not substantial, is on a par with this. It can also be highly variable, though I do have an average figure that I tend to bounce around. In terms of augmenting RL income I’d have to say any income I get is important to me!

The performer/audience feedback loop is also very similar to the small bar/street performance context, albeit through a narrower delayed communications pipe, but this feedback loop is what makes live music one of the killer apps of SL in my opinion. Reading the chat logs after the gig is always entertaining, as I only get to interact with a snapshots of it – but that is also the same as in RL.

My favorite activity in SL, apart from ripping it up for the pixel-butts in SL, is to random grid travel and see what’s out there. Pull up the map and click…never know what you will find!

SLebs: You don’t have to tell us the name, but do you run an Alt (alternate Avatar) so that you can move about SL incognito? What other artist do you log-on to see in SL?

Komuso: No, I don’t run an alt for incognito excursions. I do use some for filming when I need multiple actors for my machinima project, currently under development http://www.sonicviz.com/music/members/6/video.php

When I get some spare time I just trawl the music events list to try and catch some random unknowns to see what’s new, in addition to seeing some of the mainstays I like.

SLebs: Obviously you’ve been influenced by all the old blues greats, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf, And Eno for your ambient music. Who are you listening to lately?
Also Have you read “Snow Crash”? and what are you reading lately?

Komuso: Music currently listening to: “Bouderbala” by Nass Marrakech, “Old School” by Koko Taylor, “On the Jimmy Reed Highway” by Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmy Vaughan, Ali Farke Toure’s collected cd works, Steve Roach for ambient ++.

Books: Snow Crash I read years ago, probably when it first came out. Currently reading “The Blues” companion book to Martin Scorcese’s 7 movie blues project. Just finished “Japan Unmasked” by Boye Lafayette De Mente.

SLebs: What is your typical RL day like?

Varies depending on the projects I have going.

SLebs: Do you have your music for sale and where can people buy it?

Komuso: I have both Relaxation track and BoogieBlues tracks that can be downloaded for free from http://music.sonicviz.com . Paypal tips willingly accepted!

SLebs: Musicians are always curious about other musician’s gear, Can you tell us a little about some of the toys in your studio, and perhaps about how you broadcast to SL?

Komuso: All instruments are soundtoys. I use a Presonus Firebox as my main audio interface, but I’ll have to upgrade soon as I need some more inputs. My trusty Hohner G3t , which I bought in London’s Covent Garden “Allbang and Strummit” music store way back in 1991 when I was leaving for Barcelona to busk for a summer on Las Ramblas, feeds into a Zoom guitar MFX . For harp I use a Shaker Microphone fed into a Harp Commander III . Then I use a bunch of different Virtual Studio Technology [VST] effects and instruments to tune my sound and also feed my trusty AI robot instrument partners in time – Beato-san and Basso-san.

SLebs: A lot of the old blues players would have “rent parties” where they would have a house party and play music and charge people at the door so they could pay the rent. You’re currently doing your “blues house rent tour.” Tell us about that, and what’s the next thing you’re looking to do with your music in SL?

Komuso: This is the second House Rent tour I’m doing. I did the first one back in Feb 2007 and it was a lot of fun, though also a lot of work to organize. To be factually correct “rent party” musicians in the 1920’s and 30’s were only playing for guarantees, tips , and food/drink at house parties, barrelhouses, whorehouses, and JukeJoints – so essentially I’m carrying that tradition into the metaverse intact.
Ticketed events are a different deal altogether, and I have done one of these http://www.sonicviz.com/music/members/6/video.php?p=2

What next? I’m looking to leverage the production and live music experience and knowledge I have gained over the last 2+ years into some metaverse projects, combined with my other professional experience.
I’m now working on some RL/SL entertainment events in the Tokyo club space . We just completed an rl/sl House Music fashion event in a club: http://www.stereojapan.com/salonista_house.ashx [editing video down now].

I’m always interested in talking to people with similar ideas/interests/ambitions so feel free to look me up in world.

Cu in the bitstream! kt

SLebs: Thank you for your time Komuso.

http://www.sonicviz.com [Connecting Worlds]

http://music.sonicviz.com/ [Bringing the Boogie to the Bitstream]

http://project.metaversed.com/

Second Job

Help Wanted: People to work long hours for pennies and to face ridicule, criticism, and spite for your effort.
That’s how I feel like in Second Life, sometimes. Second Life is still viewed by many people as a game, I think it’s more than that, and many others see it as an immersive alternate reality, I think it’s less than that. Regardless If you spend time in SL working instead of just having fun, you know what I mean by Second Job.
I Build things in Second Life, yachts, race cars, and furniture to name a few. Building these virtual objects is much like the hobby of model railroading. Although I do sell the objects for token amounts of real money. The reward comes in being creative. Another thing I do in Second Life is DJ, or more accurately stream a two hour music show , called Groove Sunday, into SL on Sunday nights. Besides buying music to play and the software to stream into SL, the other cost to this endeavor is that I spend a couple hours putting together the program and then have the two hour commitment to actually do the show. On a good night I may make $4.00 US in tips, woo-hoo! While both of the afore mentioned examples are doing something creative and therefore can be rationalized as worthwhile. There are other jobs in SL that aren’t as rewarding.
Let me give you some advice, nver offer to manage something or to own a nightclub or music venue in SL. You will be fated to heartache and burn-out. I’ve owned and managed two music venues that bled money, time and soul from me, and I managed a race team for a friend that took hundreds of hours and lot’s of headaches and yielded very little that could justify the time and effort.
I was going to interview an owner of famous SL club that’s been around since july 2005 about how they had made their club a success when so many had failed and burned-out their owners, only to find that they are about to close their club and that they were so burnt-out on club ownership, that they didn’t want to do the interview and are thinking of leaving SL altogether. This is repeated over and over again.
What’s the answer to avoiding this syndrome? I wish I knew.

SLT

SLT or Second Life Time is set to Pacific standard time. While I understand that Linden Labs is California based, The choice to use that particular time zone strikes me as just plain silly.
It defies logic, with the huge international subscriber base that SL has, that time isn’t based on GMT. So we end up with a situation where most of the European residents are going dark at 4PM SLT. Even US east coast residents are yawning by 8 or 9 PM SLT.
Also SLT changes with the American Daylight Savings Time. Again it just makes me shake my head.
The Lindens need to shift the time to GMT. This will make it much easier for international residents to plan events that more people can enjoy and would serve the largest population of residents with time that is closer to their RL time.
Interesting Facts:

US Population by Time Zone
Time zone……….Percent
Eastern…………..47.0
Central…………..32.9
Mountain…………..5.4
Pacific…………..14.1
Alaska and Hawaii…..0.6
source: Google questions.

Europe makes up 11% of the world population.

Uncle Herbie Wants You!

I went to Secondlife .com on Modnay and saw an ad for the Herbie Hancock Remix Contest. Being a remix artist and a SL fanatic. , I soooo hopped on this. You can enter the contest Here. So thats why I’ve been hiding the last couple days, I was down in my studio working on a remix!
It’s Wednesday at 7PM SLT and I just finished it, do you want to hear the remix? Here it is RockitMellonMan.mp3

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