Liner Note #45: November 2014

ctan: Welcome to another liner note with me and Daron, where we fill in background info on DGC, provide site news, kibbitz about the music industry, pop culture, LGBT representation in the media, and other of our favorite topics. In fact, we hit so many topics in this one here’s a preview:

-Kickstarter & ebook news
New fanfic and fanworks initiative!
-Which Hogwarts House does Daron belong in?
-Daron’s new favorite guitarist
-Movie trailers & other videos we thought you might like
-Thoughts on mixed-race identity and standards of beauty

Daron: You used my name in vain a bunch on Twitter this past week.

ctan: I did. It’s your fault I’m obsessed with every tenor leggero I hear now. Jesse Clegg was only the start. Now I’m onto Adam Lambert.

Daron: Is he Ziggy’s godchild or what?

ctan: Reincarnation is more like. If there’s ever a movie (or a musical) of DGC, he goes to the top of the casting list. Although he’s WAY too tall for Ziggy. But he’s got the vocal range and the goth-glam style down pat.

Daron: See, this is what happens. You dream stuff up and later it comes true.

ctan: I dream stuff up that I think should already exist. So it’s only a matter of time. Heck, even my most out-there BDSM fantasies are going mainstream now, so really, it’s only a matter of time before the world catches up to me. Want to explain what a tenor leggero is, Mr. Music Nerd?

Daron: We’re about to get to the part of the story where I learn about it, so why don’t we just let me explain it in a post?

ctan: Okay, sure.

Daron: The other thing you put on Twitter said: “Four members of Moondog 3. Four Hogwarts houses. Discuss.”

ctan: Well, I know what *I* think, but I thought it would be fun to see what readers thought. Readers: please have at in the comments below.

Daron: I think Bart has to be the Ravenclaw, because he’s the nerdiest of all four of us.

ctan: Are you sure you’re not nerdier?

Daron: Well, no, but… Let’s see what people say.

ctan: Okay.

Daron: Is everyone caught up on site news?

ctan: The two big things that we announced recently:

  • All Kickstarter fulfillment should take place the first weekend of December! Packing party in Cambridge, MA on Sunday December 7th. Contact ctan if you want to come help!
  • DGC Volume 6 Ebook is now up for pre-order on Amazon and Smashwords!

    Daron: And we just finished the book 7 arc, basically.

    ctan: Tomorrow.

    Daron: Um, yeah. Damn, was that a spoiler? This arc ends tomorrow, and then a new arc begins. Which will be a really good one. But I can’t say anything or that really will be a spoiler.

    ctan: How about we talk about the idea for a fanworks bounty?

    Daron: All yours.

    ctan: So I’ve been corresponding back and forth with various readers about stuff via social media and in comments, etc. and also I’ve been trying to think of something creative to do with the extra tote bags and other items we are about to have leftover after we fulfill the Kickstarter. Certain items have to be ordered in quantities greater than what we need so we’ll have extra. Tote bags in particular. And I know we’ll end up with a few extra T-shirts in the end, also, since those were rounded up, too.

    Daron: What do people have to do to get one of these lovely… prizes? What did you call it? A bounty?

    ctan: Yeah, like it’s bountiful?

    Daron: Not like you put a price on my head or something.

    ctan: LOL, no. Anyway, yeah, the deal is write a fanfic, draw some fan art, write a song, make a video, take cosplay photos of yourself and your friends as M3, whatever kind of fanwork you want to do about Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, share it with your friends and/or your fellow fans here–post in comments on whatever the latest post is, or on this post, or just email me and I’ll post it, post it to the Archive of Our Own and send us the link, whatever works! I’m easy. I’m going to say the offer is good as long as supplies last, or until Christmas Day, which ever comes first? (EDIT: Deadline moved to Valentine’s Day!)

    Daron: Is that enough time?

    ctan: Good question. Fans, readers, is that enough time? Or would you want more? I’m flexible. I want it to be fun. Have fun, be creative, freedom of self-expression is the theme here, after all.

    Daron: True. So, hey, I want to show you guys some M’dou Moctar videos. This is the Tuareg guitarist who is starring in a low budget remake of Purple Rain in the Tuareg language we talked about before. But have a listen to these songs. They’re short:

    Daron: Gives a whole new meaning to the term “rhythm guitar,” doesn’t it? It’s one more step beyond what I learned in Spain.

    ctan: Total entrancing.

    Daron: I don’t even know what I want to SAY about it so much as just… listen. Listen.

    ctan: While we’re sharing videos, while surfing Youtube I found a really really amusing set of tour documentary videos about hard rock band Red Fang touring Europe, Ukraine, and Russia. These guys are all in their forties now, had never really been a huge band, and they find themselves now getting real traction in other countries. And they are hilarious. And they are very obviously huge geeks, too.

    If you just have time for a short one, try this, 1:18 long, in which a bandmember shows us how to make out a set list:

    And here’s one segment of the documentary (about six minutes long):

    Daron: Oh fuck man that’s rock and roll.

    Daron: Also, they’re a weird mix of the people you hang out with and the people I hang out with!

    ctan: I know! I continue to not be surprised that so many musicians are nerds. Question is, are they more or less nerdy than the guys we saw open for X?

    Daron: You mean these guys, Not In The Face:

    ctan: Yeah. That video doesn’t quite convey the hipster irony that comes through live, though. From their bio on their website: “Not In The Face started as a joke. Two friends in Austin, Texas thought it would be funny to start a cover band playing hyperactive renditions of classic R&B, Doo-Wop, and Rock ‘n’ Roll songs. The joke ended when their rock experiment was an unexpected hit.”

    Daron: They have no qualms about laying on all the rock and roll cliches real thick. And having fun doing it. Which is why they’re fun to watch. See them live if you get a chance. But they don’t come close to the level of nerdery of that video corwin showed you.

    ctan: Oh goodness no. Let’s add at. Here’s a Numberphile video about making a mathematical heavy metal song. There’s a genre called “math metal” which sounds like it has lots of counting in it, but it’s actually not usually truly mathematical. But this one is:

    Here’s just the song, without all the math:

    Daron: But the two of them are so amusing in the making-of video.

    ctan: And then there are the videos of Vi Hart. Who has a lot of stuff worth looking at but I really liked this one about 12-tone music:

    Daron: That is deep, man.

    ctan: Okay, and now for the educational portion.

    Daron: All that about math wasn’t educational??

    ctan: I should say history. Educational about stuff that’s actually in DGC. Since you and Sarah and Jordan spend so much time in the VIP room at Limelight, I thought it would be useful to show this trailer for a documentary about the club:

    Daron: For the record, I never did cocaine there.

    ctan: What about Ecstasy? Which was still legal then?

    Daron: No comment. So, hey, didn’t you have something Ziggy-related to tell us about?

    ctan: And it’s relevant to Sarah, too, because it’s a female beauty thing. But regarding Ziggy, well, you know I write a fair bit about being mixed race and how the line between what’s considered “white” and “non-white” is drawn in different places at different times. This thing I’m about to show you started first with an experiment done by a white woman named Esther Honig called “Before & After.” See it here:!before–after-cvkn

    Honig writes: ‘In the U.S. Photoshop has become a symbol of our society’s unobtainable standards for beauty. My project, Before & After, examines how these standards vary across cultures on a global level.” She sent the same photo of herself to 40 freelance Photoshop whizzes around the world with the instructions “Make me beautiful.” On her website you can see the results by country. Some whitened her skin, some darkened it. Some made her lips thinner, others made them fuller. Etc.

    Compare that to a followup experiment done by Priscilla Yuki Wilson, who is mixed race (black and Japanese), who did essentially the same thing, then wrote: “In contrast to Honig’s results, where her face became a canvas to express more than a dozen contrasting beauty standards, I found that my face actually challenged the application of photoshop in this instance. As a biracial women there is no standard of beauty or mold that can easily fit my face.”

    See the results at HuffPo:

    Daron: I think one of the reasons Ziggy can be such a chameleon is since people can’t identity “what” he is right away, he can play on that to mold their thinking one direction or the other.

    ctan: He gets the “what are you” question at least as often as I do. You know when he doesn’t get it, though? When he’s got the full eyeliner and face makeup on.

    Daron: Does he look less confusing to people then?

    ctan: Or does he just look the most like Ziggy ever? So clearly singular, unique, taken on his own terms and not in need of any group labels?

    Daron: I’d like to think it’s that. Ziggy being his most Ziggy.

    ctan: Yeah.


    • Lenalena says:

      If you want fanfic you’re going to have to give me longer than Christmas. Mom with kids here, the next 6 weeks are going to be crazy busy.

    • chris says:

      I agree with anything that includes Adam Lambert and Tommy Joe Ratliff… although I think it’s unfortunate that Adam used primarily studio musicians and only “the band” for touring.

      • daron says:

        Well, Lambert’s first album was the usual post-Idol hodgepodge, with songs contributed by tons of different writers, and I think there’s a different guitarist on each song. The songs weren’t even all recorded in the same studio. On Trespassing it’s a much more coherent package but it’s still such a different thing from the live show. I’m not sure that’s necessarily a bad thing: making a good record and making a good live show are two separate skills and not every band works well for both. (Just look at how different the touring versus recording incarnations of Foo Fighters were for the first 3 or 4 albums…)

        I wonder what he’s going to do next once all the Queen stuff ends. Probably change again, Bowie-esque.

    • Amy says:

      I already did fan art! Though if you want more, yeah, January might be more realistic (because ooh tote bag, hee). I have been wanting to draw Daron from the new eBook cover with Ziggy on his knees being a sassy tease…

      • ctan says:

        Ooh that would be fun… (*understatement*) 🙂 (See other comment about how I think I’ll move the deadline to Valentine’s Day, though…)

        You’re in the Tumblr reblog that I added this to, yeah? (Speaking of guitarists and singers…)

        Bowie and Ronson

        And this one:

        • Amy says:

          I am in the Tumblr reblog! I liked it but I haven’t figured out how to hold a conversation on Tumblr, so mostly I don’t, heh. Those are such great pictures, muhahahaha poor Daron.

          • ctan says:

            When he’s in the moment, you know, Daron doesn’t mind at all. It’s later when he looks at the pictures he has to squelch the internal censor from barking at him.

    • Connie says:

      Okay. I wrote a song. Sending it your way.

    • Amber says:

      I posted this on Twitter but I’ll post it here too. Here is my answer to which house I think everyone would be in. Chris-Hufflepuff, Daron-Gryffindor, Bart-Ravenclaw and you know Ziggy is too manipulative to be anywhere but Slytherin. I absolutely adore Ziggy, so, I don’t mean that to be derogatory. I think he would be proud to be in Slytherin.

      Daron, I’m curious as to which house you think you should be in?

      • daron says:

        I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and although I think maybe I think of myself as a Ravenclaw I’m probably more of a Gryffindor. Remember that time the guys decided I had to be Luke Skywalker?

        • ziggy says:

          Plus there’s the whole thing with you always wearing red! You’ve got a green flannel shirt you never wear because of your weird fetish for red.

          • daron says:

            It’s not a fetish it’s just the only bright color that doesn’t have a negative connotation of some kind for me. And by negative I mean a magnet for homophobes. Which I know I should get over but… I like red and I’m sticking with it.

            But anyway, yeah, I think I’m probably the Gryffindor in the bunch. Impulsively leaping into action at inopportune times fueled by righteous anger? That would be me.

      • ctan says:

        I’m a Slytherin myself, so I don’t take it as a negative. 🙂 But yeah, I would say Ziggy is pretty much a quintessential Slytherin, ambitious and cunning.

    • Cris says:

      Hmm. The houses thing is difficult- beyond that out of the four, Ziggy is the obvious Slytherin. *thinks* The other three are nowhere near so easy to peg. Chris should be Hufflepuff, I think. So then that leaves… eh, I guess Bart for Gryffindor and Daron for Ravenclaw. Sorry, Daron. 😛

      • daron says:

        I’d like to think of myself as all intellectual and analytical like a Ravenclaw ought to be, but I think I’m actually more ruled by my emotions, which I think puts me in Gryffindor. Bart on the other hand is actually the analytical one. He was psychoanalyzing all of us long before any of us started thinking about it. And he’s a total tech geek, too.

        Hm, wonder what Colin would be?

        • ziggy says:

          Oh come on. Your so-called “sherpa”? Colin is a Hufflepuff.

          A Hufflepuff with a big dick, but a Hufflepuff nonetheless.

          • Amy says:

            Loyal and often underestimated? Yeah, that’s Colin all over. 😉 I like Hufflepuffs.

            I want Daron to be Ravenclaw but I think you’re (he’s?) too inclined to rush off and be brash without thinking things through like a Gryffindor. I agree about Obviously Slytherin Ziggy, and Hufflepuff Chris, but I agree with the person above that Bart is more Ravenclaw than Daron.

            Let’s face it, Daron, it wasn’t your intellectual curiosity you followed to Spain. 😉

          • daron says:

            You made me spit Mountain Dew on my keyboard

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