Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Not So Electronic Music Give-Away of the Day - Another Family Project...Again

If it hasn't been made clear on this blog before, I am probably not the most user friendly person to the Christmas holiday season.

But before you begin glaring at my humbuggery and grinchness as thoroughly reprehensible, please let me explain first. 

In my youth Christmas was an abstract and foreign concept, as I was raised in an ethnic enclave in which Jewish holidays were viscerally dominant in everyday social life, regardless of how irreligious many members of the community were.

Regardless, my first and only relationship to Christmas traditions came through our living room television screen in the form of seasonal cartoons such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and my personal favorite, The Grinch.

Every year I watched The Grinch and I rooted for him. He was clearly the hero of the story, for me, and I found the implicit conformity of the townsfolk of Whoville as mindless, fascistic, and insipidly saccharin, and smacked to me as, well, Anti-Semitic in the most tacitly polite manner.

Nonetheless, and notwithstanding my preamble here as not as endearing and facilitating as possible, I find myself actually pleased to announce the release of a collection of Christmas songs created by my spouse and featuring, on a few tracks, my daughter's increasingly mature and unique voice.

So with out much more ado on this All Hallows Eve and in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas Holiday Season I would like to present: "Michelle and Friends - A 432 Hz Christmas".

I am including a Bandcamp link, a Soundcloud link, and a YouTube link which will play the album in its entirety for those of you who are looking for a selection of Christmas standards to play through your holiday festivities.

So, enjoy, but never forget, the Grinch is the real hero of that story, well, mostly.

Till next time.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away

Well, well, well, apparently my return from sabbatical has also born out a diminished level of post output here on the Gauntlet. Nonetheless, I will endeavor to make every post count, and ideally, litter this forum with upcoming art, music, writing, and film projects, and information relating to such here to with.

Saying that, it's been a while since the last Bandcamp hosted 391 & the Army of Astraea Electronic Music Piece of the Day Give-Away. So let's get right to it, shall we.

Today's track is entitled "Prestidigitation", as in the general designation for works of "slight of hand" in the realm of theatrical magic.

The track combines two disparate ideas delineated along the lines of theatrical magic and the spiritual aspect of the magickal arts. The two distinct parts fuse, somewhat sketchily, in the third section, or, composite part.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy yet another foray into experimentalism for experimentalism sake.

Till next time.

Friday, October 19, 2018

A Gauntlet '80's Flashback: World-Building and AD&D Character Art

Yes, I know, this is possibly the nerdiest thing one can do in today's society, but in my defense I must confess that I found myself watching portions of a few Lord of the Rings Fan Fiction outings on The Youtube, and it ushered within me a sudden unexpected fondness for my once beloved assembly of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons characters lost in the murky haze of my role playing game heyday.

I probably didn't even consider back then that establishing a good on-going story-line and an interesting series of unexpected events was a sort of precursor to my later story and screen writing, but in the end, AD&D led me to create whole societies, nation-states, languages, and personalities for the characters I played, as well as those who served as NPC's (non-player characters) when I manned the helm as "Dungeon Master". In retrospect it definitely assisted me in my nascent world building, if not I assume it might have only led to me developing a multiple-personality disorder.

So, anyway, onto the dreaded early 80's dungeony artwork.

As you may, or may not know, AD&D at that time required players to draw a likeness of the characters on a "Player Character Record", which also listed many of their attributes (strength, wisdom, dexterity, etc.) in a numerical fashion as to facilitate game play with many, many, many varieties of dice. I never got into utilizing figurines in game play, but as I was in art school at the time, I thought, who better than me to sketch out these creations.

I'm including just a few here, but to summarize, the five or so character sheet drawings are mostly my main group of heroes, who were led by a 10th level Half-Orc Fighter who I must add, was not allowed by Gary Gygax game rules to rise to a higher level as the said rules of AD&D were, well, racist against non-human character classes. But this of course didn't stop me.

My main character's compatriots included his Half-Orc brother (a sometime assassin), his friend; a Gnomish Thief (replaced for a short time by a psychotic Half-Elf Thief), their Half-Elvish Cleric (who helped to bring the Gnome back to life...see it all makes sense), and lastly, their Human Magic-User.

The last three drawings I'm posting here are a little on the fantastical side in their technicality as they are anatomical drawings of Orc and Gnoll skulls, which I guess by their very existence displays my lifelong overt penchant for full immersion in creating a reality. Besides, I've always liked skulls and figuring out what someone looked like in life based on their bone morphology. Same goes for Orcs and Gnolls I suppose.

Anyway, geek out and enjoy, and never forget...Dragons ARE Real!

Till next time.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Gauntlet Mixology: "The Emerald City"

Okay, here's a bit of a new category for the Gauntlet. I was so pleasantly surprised when I came up with this cocktail yesterday that I thought I'd like to share it with you all.

I'm calling dibs on naming it "The Emerald City" due to its golden green hue, and of course, in an overt homage to the famed Emerald City of Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz.

I'm not really sure why it came out green as the ingredients include a light blue as well as a dark red color, which as you may remember from the crayon days of your youth, normally make a purple when combined. In concord, purple and orange normally contribute to a Burnt Sienna brown color, but go figure, this yummy monster somehow comes out emerald with a golden tint. It's a bit on the sweet side, but in my opinion, it's quite delicious.

Anyway, the recipe calls for:

A 1/2 Ounce of (preferably) Ketel One Vodka.
A 1/2 Ounce of Bacardi Mango-Orange Fusion White Rum.
A 1/2 Ounce of Blue Curacao Orange Liqueur.
A 1/2 Ounce of Simple Syrup.
Add 1/4-1/2 Teaspoon of Grenadine, or as it is termed "a splash", but I'd err on the side of less than more Grenadine.
And most horrifically - Top it off with 3 solid Ounces of Orange Soda.

I wouldn't try shaking it with ice as the carbonated part might prove messy. Regardless, I suspect that the Fanta Orange Soda I used was a tad flat anyway.

So, stir and serve in a Martini Glass.


Till next time.