Makes ya wanna think.

I Got a Deal with a Publisher!

Not a book publisher but a music publisher, a plucky little Glasgow-based “netlabel of sorts” called itsu jitu. Jason Kavanagh, owner of itsu jitsu, asked if he could publish some very old, very odd music of mine after he fell in love with it on last.fm: http://www.last.fm/music/Doug+Sharp

So now I’m an International Recording Artiste! ;^)

In 1974 while I was attending St. Olaf’s Paracollege, my best friend Larry Heyl ran the Moog Studio. He taught me how to plug in patch cords and fiddle with nobs to wring squawks out of the Moog Modular Synthesizer:

I was getting a hand-rolled degree in Creative Studies so I decided that spending hours torturing a Moog was part of my curriculum. I created a handful of tracks of the weirdest sounds I could pump out. I called my album “Babie’s[sic] First Words” and kept the reel of 1/4″ tape even though I didn’t have a reel-to-reel player.

I carried the reel around for years before digitizing it and making a cassette for the car. When Margaret arrived on the scene I’d occasionally play the tape for her. She aptly named it Boogafoo Music.

My music-listening website is last.fm, which lets anybody and their dog post original music. One night in Oct. ’09, in a fit of enthusiasm, I whipped up a silly album cover and uploaded Boogafoo Music, describing it as “highly effective rodent repellent.”

People began to listen to it, which amused the heck out of me. I’d check the Boogafoo Music listener page and giggle that someone in Ireland or Sweden had actually listened to one of my odd, 3-decade old musical effusions.

People began to “friend” me because of Boogafoo Music and one friend wrote to me  last July:

“Hi Doug,

Would it be possible for you to send me a copy of the Boogafoo Music cover image so I can add it to the mp3’s for my media library?”

I was flabbergasted! This guy was a musician himself and a real fan. We started corresponding and I let him know that I had more music and had written a book called Channel Zilch. He was happy to listen to and read my stuff. I followed his listening habits on last.fm and could see that he was indeed subjecting himself to my music on a regular basis.

A few months ago Jason asked if he could remix some tracks and I was jazzed! Recently he asked if he could publish Boogafoo Music and Pink Toads through his netlabel itsu itsu. WOOHOO! Score!

Margaret and I recorded Pink Toads in 1998. In 1997 my epilepsy flared up and I had to stop working at Microsoft. In the next years I tried desperately to find creative outlets. I had a nice little studio, which I hoped to make into a daughter-father game studio, and so Margaret and I made an album of freaky music we called Pink Toads by Zilch Spacecasting Network. Our music was heavily inspired by The Residents. Wikipedia says this about The Residents: “They are noted for surrealistic lyrics and sound, and disregard for conventional music composition.”

So I have 2 albums coming out from itsu jitu in the coming months: http://itsujitsu.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/new-itsu-jitsu-artists/

Pink Toads is coming out on Jan. 31! I had a blast making a cover for it:

The clay figures are from an Aliens-vs.-Flying-Dogs chess set Margaret and I made.

I’m having a great old time “working” with Jason. itsu jitsu is even hosting a competition to make a movie video for one of the tracks on Pink Toads. Jason says he’s going to put contest flyers up at all the hip artiste watering holes in Glasgow. I look forward to pix and will post them here.

Thanks last.fm! What a huge win for social networks!

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6 responses

  1. itsu jitsu

    Thanks Doug! What a fantastic post, it made me smile ear to ear! You certainly have a way with words and once I start writing chunks of text to send to bloggers/reviewers/record shops you’ll have yourself another job 😉

    January 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    • Glad you like my verbiage, Jason! I am happy to pump out snippets of PR prose for the greater good of itsu jitsu!

      January 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm

  2. myrna

    SWEET :*) Such a gift in putting out the wordage. So happy you two teamed up.

    January 25, 2011 at 5:21 pm

  3. Lyn Aspey

    What a blast! Have fun; Rock’n Rule!

    Droog, as I post this, you’re under the thumb of the biggest storm in over a decade. Probably too cold for your camera, so stay tucked next to your fire. Thinking of you, and hoping you and the doggies are safe’n sound. xoxoxo Lyn.

    February 1, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    • Thanks, Lyn. We just got grazed by the storm – only 4 new inches of snow. I stay cozy by my fireplace most of the time. My dogs drag me out for a hike even in blizzards.

      I am still determined to do a Zondor radio play!

      February 3, 2011 at 11:57 pm

  4. Pingback: My Improbable and Delightful Music “Career” « Walden 3.0

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