How to rip vinyl to MP3: an illustrated guide

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My dad and I spent our Thanksgivings alone – we couldn’t get off work long enough to go join my family at my brother’s house in Georgia.

I had intended to spend the day reading, drinking whiskey, and sobbing softly to myself eating Pringles. Turns out my dad had more productive plans. He had wanted to rip some records to his computer, so he wouldn’t be chained to the turntable when he felt like freaking the fuck out to Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother (I didn’t tell him I totally stole his copy – he’ll figure that out soon enough).like judy collins said: both sides now.

I taught him how to do this years ago, but he couldn’t remember. For some reason, I thought it would be a good idea to re-teach him – over text messages, with illustrations. What follows is my end of that conversation.


On Finding Sharper Focus

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There is, in me, a dose of whatever chemical it is that makes you want to do everything. Everything in your power, and then some.

I want to make music, I want to make art, I want to make books and food and war against the haters.

It’s not all going to happen. I have only as much time in my day as anyone else, and as much as I’d like to not need it, I have to have a day job.

So what to do? Work hard, read hard, make hard, and find time to go out with friends and party hard.

Trouble is these attention problems. I can’t focus, because I care deeply about everything I get involved in. Which is pretty much everything I even look at.

Split-image Detail by camerawiki
Split-image Detail, a photo by camerawiki on Flickr.

I’ve always had trouble focusing – my kindergarten teacher, in her first parent-teacher conference with my mom, said “That boy doesn’t have a train of thought; he’s got Grand Central Station. He’s constantly jumping from train to train, trying to hold on to each thought as it speeds out of the station.”

Now I’m 30, and it’s time to actually do something. Let some trains go ahead and roll out. Or press them into service of others. All these trains are going to Cleveland? Let’s make them one train, combine their power, get there faster, and keep the tracks clear.

I’ve always wanted to make a living from music, but I’ve also always wanted to open my own bar, go to grad school, be a talented designer, recording engineer, helicopter pilot, and firefighting astronaut.

I’ll postpone the bar indefinitely, along with grad school, helicopter lessons, and training for either firefighting and astronaut… ing. Astronautical endeavors? Whatever. Those trains are pulling out of the station, and I can let them go.

So this is what I’m doing: Impossible Weather is my band, but more importantly, it’s my brand. It’s what I do when I’m not doing anything else. It’s what I want to make music as. Most of the design ideas floating around in my head have to do with t-shirts, bumper stickers, and album covers.

Design, recording, and writing are all easily put into service of Impossible Weather. Let’s join those trains, and make the steam engine into a bullet train.

Murphy’s, Nov. 4

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You’ve got a few weeks on this one, but so it goes.

Skies Revolt, Sick Sea, and Impossible Weather presented by Kangaroo

I’ll be opening for Sick/Sea from Texas (the site says ‘southern’ with no specificity) and The Skies Revolt from Grand Rapids, MI. Both pretty good, and they’re from out of town, so cover’s $7. Don’t bitch about it; gas ain’t cheap, and they just want you to have fun.

I have yet to get enough of this Sick/Sea song:

About that thing in the sidebar that isn’t by the band.

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If you haven’t listened to my solo demos yet (and if you’ve actually visited the site, you should have; they’re right there in the sidebar), I’d like to point out that they’re available on BandCamp, and if you like what you hear, it’s pay-what-you-want. Even it’s nothing. No sweat.