Tag Archives: 2016

84 – Vote With Your Star Chart: A 2016 Election Astrology Special with Jeff Harman

We’re still on tour this week, performing music and checking out strangle tales and haunted history around the country. We just finished enjoying a few days in Austin, TX and performing at the Music Madness ATX Showcase with our good friends there. (Check out their website right here!)

And for a quick Texas tale of weirdness, our buddy, Victor Hidalgo, from the Music Madness Showcase talks a little bit about growing up in San Antonio and the legend of the Midget Mansion in the podcast intro.

Speaking of San Antonio, here we are on St. Patrick’s Day, performing on the Riverwalk!

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So, the meat of this episode is all about the 2016 election. Now, we’re not astrology experts (most of my knowledge of astrology comes from horoscopes in the newspaper and the tablets at Chinese restaurants), but our guest on this episode, Astrologer and Spiritual Consultant, Jeff Harman is.

Jeff gives us some of the history of politicians that have used astrology (including saying that Nancy Reagan took the heat for her husband Ronald’s reliance on guidance from the stars and he describes astrology like a weather forecast. Patterns emerge over time of where the stars are located when certain kinds of events happen and astrology tries to predict the likelihood of the success or failure of things according to those patterns.

Just a reminder: We don’t endorse any political candidates on this podcast and we don’t guarantee any future predictions. But this is a lot of fun to talk about.

So he’s read and interpreted the charts of where the stars were when the candidates were born and  goes into depth on what he thinks the stars have to say about this year’s crop of political aspirants from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders.

The track this week is the Sunspot song, “Dangerous Times” – some people would call this election year a dangerous one because of the candidates in the running and since the imagery of this track is all about stars colliding, we thought it would be appropriate for the episode.

If you would like to purchase this song or the album that it comes off of, please click on this link: https://sunspot.bandcamp.com/track/dangerous-times-2

Alive breath to breath,
Existing mouth to mouth,
Thieves, dealers, and whores,
all living in my house.

Shoot yourself invincible,
Kiss yourself goodnight.
You’re not invisible,
Not a lowlife.

These are the dangerous times,
When stars collide,
We’ll make it right,
If we survive.

A little sleight of hand,
can cover a landslide.
the center cannot hold,
with too much to hide,

Shoot yourself invincible,
Kiss yourself goodnight.
You’re not invisible,
Not a lowlife.

These are the dangerous times,
When stars collide,
We’ll make it right,
If we survive.
These are the dangerous times,
When stars collide,
We’ll make it right,
If we survive.

And all the monsters that you kept under your bed,
are now the kind of people that you call your friend,
this is the way little girls and boys wind up dead,
and lose their head.

Shoot yourself invincible,
Kiss yourself goodnight.
You’re not invisible,
Not a lowlife.

These are the dangerous times,
When stars collide,
We’ll make it right,
If we survive.
These are the dangerous times,
When stars collide,
We’ll make it right,
If we survive.

Moog at NAMM 2016: Synthesizers and the Sound of Horror

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One of the most fun exhibits at the NAMM Show in 2016 was the Moog exhibit. Now you may have never heard of the Moog company, but I guarantee you have heard their synthesizers. Bob Moog was an innovator who helped popularize the use of the electronic devices in music.

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The exhibit was all about replicating a Florida island that a particularly inventive Moog synthesizer salesman set up to promote more synthesizer sales by having electronic concerts and light shows in the early 70s. The island was called “Electronicus“.

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The real fun was sitting down at the synthesizers and playing with the various settings that you could use to make music. And every time you started playing something, it felt like you were performing the soundtrack to a horror movie.

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That’s because besides dance music and progressive rock, there’s been no more prolific use of electronic music than horror movies. From the theremin (a very early electronic instrument that makes the spooky high-pitched “woooooooo” sound that we often associate with horror movie soundtracks) that was used in soundtracks like The Day The Earth Stood Still and The Thing From Another World to “Tubular Bells” that was used as the theme to The Exorcist, horror movies love using the synthesizer.

This article on Horrorpedia is a must-read as it traces the sound of synths in horror films over the decades and what makes it extra fun at the NAMM Show is that it doesn’t just honor the artists who use these tools to make music, but it honors the people who create the instruments in the first place.

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There’s lots of ways to be creative and making art or music is one of those ways, but there’s often just as much, if not more, creative genius in the manufacturing of the devices that make all of the art possible. And the innovation of Moog gave us some of the most unsettling movie music of all time!

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I played on this sweet synth for a half an hour, there were four different synths that could play at the same time in this one box!




The Haunted Piano at NAMM 2016

One of the coolest things I saw at the 2016 NAMM Show today was this modern update of the player piano. And just take a look at this YouTube video, it doesn’t sound like any kind of player piano that I’ve ever heard…

So they captured the performance of famous Canadian jazz pianist, Oscar Peterson, and this player piano recreates twelve of his performances exactly like he was playing it in front of you. There’s only twelve of these instruments in the world and the technology is beautiful, precise, and amazing.

Even before Bill Murray used the piano to annoy the evil spirits that possessed Dana Barrett’s apartment, ghosts playing the piano was something they used in horror films to great effect (the piano in The Changeling is the first one that comes to my mind) and we talked about Byron Janis’ (the paranormal pianist) encounters with Liberace’s ghost not too long ago.

Even the Paranormal State crew hooked up with paranormal  investigator Lorraine Warren (of The Conjuring fame) to check out a piano that might have brought a ghost along with it.

And if you’re looking for more real life haunted piano ghost stories here’s a good one on Reddit and also someone shares their terrifying tale in this forum thread on pianoworld.com about an old piano that was playing itself.

My personal favorite though is this tale of an eight-year old girl seeing a pale woman playing her family’s piano in the middle of the night and the ghost gesturing for the girl to come over and join her in a supernatural duet.

But this Oscar Peterson piano  is like a performance from the musician’s ghost – people who would like to learn playing piano but being sensitive to such things should be better chosing from choosepianos.com – piano keyboard here should not perform any supernatural surprises. So, the music on the “ghost piano” is still being created live, it’s just his imprint that’s playing it, the recording of what he left behind – just like we think is sometimes saved in the walls of old buildings and when people see ghosts, it could be the “recording” that’s being played back. This piano is just like that, but it’s no mystery, just amazing technological innovation.