Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fuzz Cast is 3 weeks old!

So it turns out I really enjoy making podcasts even though I'm still not quite sure where it's going. I've been treating it like an audio blog, a way to provide context for recordings (which breathes new life into them and increases my appreciation of them as well), a way to get to know and appreciate people I know by interviewing them, and another way to police myself and make sure that I'm producing content.

As far as content is concerned, a major problem I've had for years was that I would say "I'm working on an album" or "sure, I'll score your film" or "we should really turn that into a fleshed out composition" but I end up doing nothing instead. Making a podcast at least once a week means I need to get off my butt every week and try to come up with material. Even if I'm rehashing old material it is a weekly reminder that I need to press record and talk about music or people or creative projects. Anyway, I think it's working. The part of procrastinating that sucks is when you truly are ready to start working on your project only to realize you need to upgrade your software, clear off your hard drive, buy some microphone adapters at radio shack, or restring a few of your guitars. I've found that by having this podcast I've been maintaining my software and musical instruments more regularly and at any moment I'm ready to hit record and lay down some tracks or a sketch of an idea.

Anyway, I started typing this blog post because I wanted to explain these new generic posts that you will be seeing popping up. I have my podcasting provider set up to post on my behalf every time I release a podcast so that's what's happening. The other thing is, I only figured out that option after the 6th episode which means I'll be re-publishing all of my podcasts out of order so you should be seeing 5 podcast posts coming up later this week.

I also came up with a pretty portable podcast rig for interviews that I'm pretty proud of. I really wanted to use lavalier mics instead of handheld mics or even worse, desktop mics. I just think it seems unnatural for regular people to talk into a microphone. So, I found some cheap but good lavalier mics (corded ones) and I'm using a Zoom H1 which magically provides power to the condenser mics. All I needed was a stereo 3.5mm male to dual mono 3.5mm female audio cable adapter. So now I'll just clip one on me and the other on my guest and hit record. I have the rig here with me at work so I just need to find a guinea pig to help test it out.

Well, that's it for now.
Here's the iTunes link if you are on an Apple device:
Fuzz Cast
Or the libsyn link which is more generic:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fuzz Cast Episode 6 - Novax CH8 Demo & Crank

Host: Dan Shimmyo

Dan does a quick demonstration of the Novax CH8 hybrid 8-string electric bass and guitar. The musical track this evening is called Crank which is performed by Eric Maurer on the Novax CH8 / percussion and Dan Shimmyo on Alto Saxophone.

For more information about the Novax CH8 go to:

crank is available for streaming on soundcloud here:
@danshimmyo on twitter

Check out this episode!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Introducing Fuzz Cast! Launching my very first podcast

So, I decided to record myself talking about my music projects and other stuff. I didn't plan too much, just hit record and talked to my computer for 12 minutes or so.  In this episode I describe what was involved in recording "I just made this up" with my band Fuzz Bucket that I mentioned in my previous post. I'll try to get a co-host for every weekly episode if possible and discuss music, art and creativity, typical blog stuff, just a lot more spontaneous and fun I think.
For IOS folks it might show up on iTunes in the near future...

Also available at iTunes here:

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fuzzbucket jam games

  I've been thinking about starting a podcast to talk about my music projects and jam sessions and then I remembered that's what this blog was for ...  It just so happens that I have some brand new tracks to share.

  This afternoon I finished posting 3 new jams on soundcloud that we recorded on June 12, 2014 in Eric's basement.  That night we were experimenting with a new way to start up a new jam session out of thin air. It was decided that one of us has to play 4 notes or basically a single bar of a melody or rhythm and the rest of us have to fill in the blanks.

  Eric : Guitar | Jamie : Novax CH7 | Dan : Drums
  The first track, entitled "breakpoint" is a clip I pulled from a much longer jam which probably started with this idea but morphed into a sort of head banger metal jam which I happen to like quite a lot.  Well, it's self-indulgent to say the least.  As the drummer on that jam I slowed things down to what I think of as a black sabbath influenced groove. Jamie's bass line sounded pretty badass as well. I wonder if we're turning him into a metal head. Eric was obviously in his element. I think I hear a definite Iommi influence in there during the slower more melodic bits.

I just made this up
  Eric: Novax | Jamie: drums | Dan: sax
  In "I just made this up" I'm on the alto saxophone and it was my turn to start the jam with 4 notes.  I played the first 4 notes that came to mind and we were off and running. I think it was a successful execution of the original plan but it got a little too loose at times in my opinion.  I think my sax playing could benefit from a little more air support but it's all good.  Eric's playing the walking bass on the Novax.  I can't remember if he picked up my Novax CH8 or Jamie's CH7.  And Jamie's drumming kept things glued together. Overall, I think this is an idea worth exploring further if we ever decide to take more than 4 seconds to "compose" a piece.

Jungle Jam
  Eric: Novax | Jamie: drums | Dan: sax
  Jungle Jam was an off the cuff take on the beat from George of the Jungle theme, most likely instigated by me.  Jamie's on the drums and Eric's on the Novax.  At one point I think Eric's guitar sounds like it's talking which I think is pretty interesting.  A fun jam...

  And with that here are the new tracks: