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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Dr. Milo T. Pinkerton III's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, March 4th, 2017
12:30 pm
COG and Captured by Robots - together again!
A couple years ago, there was a spate of videos of robot 'bands' like Compressorhead and the like, mostly playing hard rock covers with corporate sponsorships by the likes of 'Zima'. Ugh.

I had to laugh at these upstart posers, because well before all of them, there was a band called 'Captured by Robots' out of San Fransisco that would tour through New Orleans and usually play at the Dixie Taverne, and I tried to make it out to see 'em when I heard they were in town. Jay Vance and his pneumatically driven robots would always put on a ridiculous, noisy, semi-scripted show - with plenty of audience interaction - and all-original music. Every year, a new robot was added. After a few years they even started doing themed shows about religion, health kicks, Star Trek... any random topic would do - and VERY similar insanity to what we were doing in Consortium of Genius. And then in 2004, COG actually got to open for them at House of Blues.

I never expected to see CBR out on tour again, but lo and behold, after 20 years, they lost their minds and decided to go out on tour again! And wouldn't you know it, but COG is opening the show. Better come out to Siberia tonight ... this level of insanity isn't often achieved, but I can assure you it's gonna be a lot of fun! :)
Tuesday, November 8th, 2016
10:51 am
200th show!
Wow, can't believe it's been over 20 years and exactly 199 shows... we're coming up on the 200th show of the legendary Consortium of Genius, to be held in Houston this coming weekend at the Houston Arcade Expo, a wonderful arcade-centric convention that I've attended many times in the past - always a great time. Houston's got a vibrant scene when it comes to pinball and arcade collectors, and every year they clutter the hotel up nicely with three arcades-worth of classic machines to play. And this year they hired us to perform! We're going to field a great big rock show with lots of old favorites, 80's covers for the occasion, and even a couple new songs. Also trying a couple new technological toys for the occasion - running three backscreen video projectors instead of the usual one, with environmental video loops flanking the main screen. Also running a bunch of Arduino powered lighting on various things like guitars and mic stands. Lots of last minute stuff to get up to speed quickly, but so far, so good!

So last night, we shot this little promo / coda to the 'Pinkerton For President' storyline that has consumed most of the year. I had to knock this out quickly, so some corners were cut, but I think it does a decent job... big thanks to the band and to director Chris Enyart for pulling this together very quickly on a stormy evening last night...

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016
7:54 am
Crowdsourced video done
After taking entirely too long, we finally finished and released the music video for 'Vote For Me', the theme song to COG's current cam-pain storyline. Guest video clips were shot both at Contraflow sci-fi con and a recent COG gig, as well as submitted by fans all over the country (even one from Germany!)

C.O.G. - 'Vote For Me' (COG Cam-Pain Anthem 2016) from Milo Pinkerton on Vimeo.

The ending was shot just on a whim while I was directing another video for Melissa Crory's band 'Tomb Of Nick Cage', without really knowing how it was going to fit into the overall plot - serendipity wins out again! Lots of the elements in this music video, such as the crowd scenes, were originally shot for episodes of 'Science Time', this year's series of plot-based shorts for COG.

Two actual videos actually done in a year?! Must be some kind of record around here! LOL Onward we go - a trip to Houston for our performance at the Arcade Expo is looming, November 12th...
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
8:45 am
Finally, something new! Science Time part 6
Finally, after many weeks, a new cam-pain video from the COG camp:

This one was of course a chore to edit (but quite worth it!) I knew I was making more work for myself by putting lots of Drumbot in there... also, people were really available at separate times to record their parts, so all of that had to be pieced together as well. Finally, last night, we found ourselves in need of a 'Trixie Knows Better' theme song, so we quickly cribbed together what you hear on the end right before rehearsal (we were thinking of 'The Monkees' but I think it came out a little different from that, as usual!)

This recording is also the singing debut of our new Lab Girl Penelope Crumpet, whom you shall meet in the coming weeks...
Saturday, June 4th, 2016
8:32 am

Behind the scenes info:

Martin Childs' Cyberman costume got a real workout on this shoot! This is also the first outside shoot done with my new Canon D7000 camera... good results too, I think. I also had fun dressing the Tomb Of Nick Cage tourvan with old 80's computer equipment and oscilloscopes... and now they want to make more 'scooby doo' type episodes! What have I unleashed?!

One thing is certain - the neighbors have probably ceased to wonder about the guy who lives at the front corner of the street, and are probably calling the FBI to report the strange noises, lights, and robots walking around at all hours...
Thursday, May 19th, 2016
2:20 pm
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
11:21 am
Tuesday, April 5th, 2016
5:32 pm
Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
1:59 pm
My thanks once again to Jim Fairchild for helping with the camera and to Chris Flattmann for his usual hilarious ideas...

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
2:31 pm
New costume progress...
Well, I don't post a lot these days because there hasn't been a lot going on - until now.  COG's preparing to roar back to life with a new plotline for the year, and the first part of that concerns Pinkerton's new auxiliary brain - a costume addition that I've been wanting to add for some time now.

Here's the reveal video:

And here's a little behind the scenes video. Enjoy!

Dr. Pinkerton's new auxiliary brain! from Milo Pinkerton on Vimeo.

Friday, February 19th, 2016
5:25 pm
Back to life!

After a lot of nothing, COG's swinging back to life with a bunch of activities this weekend!

Tonight at 8pm, Steamcog is performing at the wonderful private arcade paradise called the Mystic Krewe of the Silver Ball. The show will be webcast from their website, so stop by and check it out!

Saturday at 2pm, Steamcog is performing a promotional appearance at Louisiana Music Factory.

And Sunday is going to be occupied with music video shooting for C.O.G. - two videos! I can hardly wait to show you some pictures...

Monday, December 7th, 2015
9:15 am
Sunday, November 15th, 2015
7:24 am
Steamcog activities
With the Consortium of Genius on hiatus after an excellent final show at the House of Shock, I'm now turning my attention to the other side of the equation - the New Orleans Steamcog Orchestra.

Following a lot of effort, an outstanding 14 track album is ready to go, and the album release party is this coming Friday the 20th at Cafe Istanbul in New Orleans. We're also going to be featured on the WWL morning news that same morning. What a grueling (but wonderful) day that's gonna be!

But first, a video shoot for the lead-off single 'Circus of Nightmares' at the famous House of Shock haunted house. Gonna be taking that on later tonight! Directing the video will be local Steampunk leader Sharky Braden.

Gonna be a crazy week! And it's only just begun...

Friday, August 21st, 2015
1:51 pm
New C.O.G. single - THINK TANK

Well this one, like the subject of the song, has been sitting in the Secret Lab basement for months now, waiting to be unleashed...  and FINALLY it's out!  An epic new C.O.G. song!

It all gestated so innocently ... Joe Panno (Dr. Sardonicus) and Billy Riecke (Dr. Stroganoff) visited the Lab on a weekend last November to create a demo of some new ideas that Joe had had running around his head in the wake of that 'Tenacious D' contest entry... ideas too mighty to lie silent after that contest ended with a resounding thud.  So he and Billy conspired for half an hour and put down the parts that comprise the first half of this song, to a metronome.  Joe played two separate guitar tracks with his Jackson into his Blackstar amplifier.  Billy used his Roland Juno,   After they took off, I sat at the Roland V-drum kit and put down the parts that came to mind (and must confess that I overplayed it slightly!)  Then I quickly wrote the first half of the lyrics (I love it when inspiration is clicking and the lyrics just come without any effort) and put down a demo of them, and finally uploaded the resulting 2 minute demo to the band's backstage web site, where it sat.  For months.

UNTIL June 2015, when it was put on the front burner again!  C.O.G. needed a worthy new single; it'd been a year since we last released one ('Angee of Death') and this was quite worthy.  I made myself write the 2nd half of the song, which musically is just a repeat of the first half.  Writing took a day and a half, and once I had something good enough I made a demo of the entire thing and set the release date on the FUMP for today's date.

The intervening time was just enough to add the detailing to elevate it to its rightful place in the C.O.G. muscial pantheon!  We rehearsed the song as a band several times over the weeks, then got to recording.  First up was Chris Lenox (Dr. McLummox), adding some very Steve Howe-esque solo fills and other embellishments with his guitar (a custom Telecaster styled instrument) into his Fender Deluxe - an amp that ALWAYS sounds great without really any post-production effort.  I miked it up with my new MXL R40 ribbon and got a great tone on those parts.  Jim (Dr. Z) then laid down a bass part with the custom 'purple heart wood' bass that he always uses for studio work.  I took mic and line recordings of his parts but used just the line output, into a multiband compressor and parametric EQ.  With these bass parts I've been needing to scoop a bunch of low mid mud out and add upper mid sparkle to get the parts to sit in the mix.

At the beginning of this week, the pressure was on - the mix was sounding good if a bit vanilla, so I got my PAIA Theremin out and hooked it to the Vox Valvetronix amp, and laid down some Theremin parts to elevate the 'mad science' feel.  It worked!   A little gang vocal session for background harmonies before mid-week rehearsal was followed by Billy adding some arpeggiated parts from his Novation keyboard, then Joe returning to the guitar parts of the song for proper rhythm and lead tracks (Jackson into his Blackstar amp again), followed by Chris Lenox contributing some insane guitar soloing right at the end.  There were several vocal lines I had to patch due to my changing whims, and a gong sample to add in the middle, and that was basically it!

Mix-wise, this busy song was aided and abetted greatly by a new understanding on my part of clearing out frequency ranges so that various instruments didn't step on each other - I used lots of high and low-pass filters to make this complex mix work.  You can picture a song like a layer cake, with bass drum on the bottom, followed by bass guitar, followed by guitar, keyboards, and then voice, with the cymbals and vocal sibliants on top as icing.  Several other things occupy multiple freq ranges like the vocals do - snare drum, keyboards, etc.  So I imposed a lot of orchestration in this mix by having instruments come up several db's in their featured parts.  But with careful filtering, a lot of stuff can be happening at once and you still perceive it clearly (for instance, the Theremin parts wafting over the wall of guitars, bass, drums and vocals near the beginning.)

Another epic triumph for the C.O.G.!  Now, to start work on a worthy music video :)

Saturday, August 1st, 2015
11:33 am
COG CD Release Party!
We finally decided on the venue and date for the CD release party! It's gonna be super-sweet, a recreation of a late 90's COG concert at our original haunt - the first pro music club that actually let desecrate their stage - Jimmy's Music Club (now the Willow).

Opening for us will be some folks with whom we regularly shared the stage back in the day, and the original owner of the club, Jimmy Anselmo, will be the emcee.

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015
9:06 am
C.O.G. covers album about to drop...

As I write this, I'm in the final mastering throes of getting the new C.O.G. covers CD 'Strange Transmissions From Uranus' out the door. This project was different from any other C.O.G. project in that it consists entirely of cover tunes - songs written by other artists (and as it happens, mostly from movie and TV soundtracks.) As per usual C.O.G. practice, it's a retrospective, dating back 15 years or so to our first cover, 'Green Slime', which we had picked up playing the New Orleans Worst Film Festival (they showed the infamous 1968 film), without even knowing that it had been covered by local superstars The Cold some 12 years prior.

As a retrospective, it's also packed with prior C.O.G. members - most of these recordings were started years ago and recently picked up and carried through to their ultimate level. Remy Dee, Nurse Trixie, Formelda Hyde, Nurse Shark, Impersario Konstantin, Major D Struction, Dr. A Rachnid, Dr. A Pentatonic, and even the Angry Fairy are present on various songs (only Filbert Snodgrass and our original colleagues seem to have evaded their civic duty to be represented by the songs they pioneered - alas, we ran out of time!)

Anyway, this project is also a pioneering effort in going through the motions of above-board royalty reporting, which I managed through www.tuneswoon.com. Since they require advance registration and a healthy advance payment for song royalties (16 songs in all - it's 12 tracks but some of them are medleys) I've taken the currently bizarre tack of making this CD physical-only (no iTunes for this puppy!) and limiting the initial issue of this to 100 pieces. It'll be first come first served - and only at live lectures, initially!

We're planning on sneak releasing this at the upcoming 'Secret Chewluminati Ritual' concert this coming Friday in New Orleans at the Chewbacchus den at 4321 St. Claude Avenue. A proper CD release party is in the offing too, as soon as I figure out WHERE...
Thursday, April 30th, 2015
8:50 am
New TimeFest advertisement...
After a week of work, here's the ad for the upcoming 'NOLA TimeFest III'

I shot this on my trusty (but now cranky) old Sony FX-1 camera, in my aunt Joyce's neighborhood in Baton Rouge, near where the owner of the Delorean time machine prop lives (we've booked him and his car for the Fest.) The idea behind this is a whim I dreamed up over a year ago when we were contemplating staging TimeFest II in Esplanade Mall - we were thinking of shooting this in the adjacent parking lot, recreating part of the beginning of Back to the Future. Here, we've recreated part of the BTTF trailer instead, but given it a twist!

One thing I forgot to do on location was to provide myself a chroma screen to composite out the interior of Paul Patacek's TARDIS, so for a couple shots I had to rotoscope (sloppily) out the inside so that you could see the control room instead of the wooden walls and plastic windows. Just 60 frames or so, but it took me about a half hour to do each brief shot.

The spinning TARDIS at the end is not CGI, for I suck at CG; but we needed something to match Paul's full size model and he leant me the Character Options plastic replica, complete with flashing light on top. After fastening blue tissue paper to cover the speaker and battery cover on the back, I mounted this on a record player in front of a greenscreen and filmed it. Came out better than anticipated!

The music at the end is C.O.G.'s live version of the theme, excerpted from a show we did last August at Southport Hall.

Tools used to make this (you're gonna laugh)... Adobe Premiere 4.2 (19 years out of date!), Cakewalk 9 (16 years out of date!), Adobe Photoshop 3.0 (20 years out of date!), and of course Virtualdub.
Thursday, April 23rd, 2015
8:52 am
Tuesday, March 10th, 2015
7:57 am
Quick update...
Life's been quite a juggling act these days... at the moment I'm:

- Looking forward to the first of a series of 'Nintendo Nite' performances at Freret Street Publiq House... we've now got an agreement to stage these competitive events every 4th Sunday evening.  Hoping to build a great recurring retrogaming event!

- Trying to complete the 'COG Covers' retrospective CD, a 13-track record of our dalliences with other peoples' material... it's coming along great, although we've slowed down recently in preparation for the aforementioned gig.

- Putting some serious work in, completing the debut CD for the newly renamed New Orleans Steamcog Orchestra (formerly Confabulation of Gentry)... just had a very successful session this past Sunday; I'm very proud of my new ragtime crew!  We're actually appearing live on the radio today at WWOZ FM... you just might be able to hear us at 11:30am or so...

- Generally filling up all remaining time producing lots and lots of music for various bands in the COG Secret Lab studio!  Just finished Art of the Process EP, Cones of Uncertainty full-length album, and COG guitarist Chris Lenox's solo EP.  Tonight, I've got a punk band in the studio... it just never ends around here!  Which is a good thing, of course :)

Well, time to go face the music... wish me luck.  Whew!

Current Mood: upbeat
Wednesday, December 24th, 2014
10:21 am
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