Music

I host an oldies show that is broadcast from Second Life four times a week - see the schedule on the right. Note that work, family, and church take priority. If I can't make it, I will try to turn on the music stream but I may not be "live" to entertain you with my brilliant and witty commentary. Instead you'll be subject to the whims of my capable assistant, Otto Pilot.

SCHEDULE CHANGES 2013-06-14 It seems Real Life is interfering with everyone's time in SL; my own weekdays have gotten busier and attendance everywhere is on the decline. So I'm sad to say we are cutting the Musical Time Machine's journeys back to one show a week, Fridays from 6-8 SL time (7-9 mountain, 8-10 central, 9-11 eastern). The good news is, we've completely revamped the playlist so you'll hear ALL your favorites from every decade and genre -- 1890s wax cylinders, 1930s jazz, 1940s big band, 1950s and 1960s classic rock and pop crooners, even the occasional 1970s and later music if it catches my fancy. There'll be blues and cowboy tunes and funny novelty stuff in the mix, so don't miss a minute as I cut the brake cables on the musical time machine and let 'er rip.

Request songs online during the show! Now you can fill out this handy form with the artist and/or title you would like to hear, and little elves will carry a copy of your message to me in Second Life so I can decide whether I like you enough to fill your request.

I am extremely passionate about music, and I have very strong, and not always popular, opinions on the subject. For starters, the vocals drive me the most. I have always enjoyed singing, so naturally I also enjoy listening to others sing. And because I grew up in an era of close vocal harmony, the chords that appeal to my ears the most are part of what the music scientists call the circle of fifths. That's just a fancy way of describing why we can intuitively tell that a pair (or triad) of notes belong together, producing a pleasant chord. Something about wavelengths and such that's way over my head. All I know is that I can recognize it when I hear it, and it's the kind of music I like.

That may sound kind of limiting, but most popular music of the 20th century made use of the circle of fifths — from hymns to waltzes to barbershop quartets to blues to ragtime to big band to Spike Jones to the roots of rock'n'roll. I love all that stuff!

It would be shorter for me to list what I *don't* like. I don't care for improvisational jazz; when I listen to jazz, I like it to have a melodic line (there's our circle of fifths again) that I can hum along with. I'm also not fond of modern (post-1960s) country and western — not for the reasons most people give (twangy voices and inane lyrics), but because it's so darn over-orchestrated with booming drums and blaring guitars there's hardly any melody left. So with my desire to have a strong melody, you can guess where I stand on rap. Old-school rap at least told a story and often had clever lyrics; so-called "gangsta" rap is just an endless stream of hate. Likewise most modern rock in its various incarnations. I have no idea what all the different terms mean... indie, grunge, emo, whatever... it's just screeching off-key guitars and kids screaming about how much they wish everyone would die. Give me a break. And you kids get off my lawn.

There are also some preferences that I don't feel so strongly about. I like lyrics that make sense (I've got your O-Bla-Di right here, Paul) and convey positive values — a song about wanting to get married carries more weight with me than a song about how he has a girl in every port.

The other thing I spend way too much time dwelling on is cover versions, in particular with regards to early rhythm and blues. In the 1940s through the 1960s it was not at all uncommon for a black artist to come up with a truly great song, only to see it taken over by a white group once it started becoming popular. Consider, for example, the original version of "Sh-Boom" by the Chords vs. the better known cover by the Crew Cuts, or Pat Boone versions of superior originals from Fats Domino, or the pointlessly inane McGuire Sisters versions of the Moonglows' "Sincerely" or the Spaniels' "Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite"

That's not to say I don't enjoy a creative new interpretation of an old song. I don't think the Canadian group The Diamonds were deliberately trying to undercut the success of the Gladiolas with their version of "Little Darlin'", but rather they added to the brilliance of the original with a higher tempo and that amazing high tenor. Likewise I enjoy genre mashups. I'm a huge fan of a 1980s novelty act called Big Daddy, who took songs popular in the 80s and 90s and performed them in the doo-wop and rockabilly styles of the 1950s. But their talent went beyond a generic style — they would merge a specific 1950s song with the 1980s melody and lyrics. Consider, for example, Foreigner's 1984 ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is" as performed by Ritchie Valens with his signature bass riff, complete with a chorus in Spanish! Or Van Halen's annoyingly loud "Jump" reworked with the vocal style, instrumentation, and rhythm of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues". I could go on and on. You'll probably hear me sneak a few Big Daddy tracks into the mix whenever I think I can get away with it. A friend in SL recently introduced me to the German group The Baseballs, who do very much the same thing with 21st century hits.

In short (too late!) if you can sing along with it and get it stuck in your head for days on end, I'll play it.

Showtimes Quick Reference

The musical time machine only makes one stop a week. Every Friday from 6-8 SL time we'll play a wild mix of everything from scratchy old wax cylinders from the 1890s to that newfangled rock and roll fad that all the kids are talking about, with plenty of original artists playing the jazz, blues, swing, and country music that made them famous.

In SL, all shows are at the Mocambo from 6-8PM.

Listen from your PC! You don't need to play Second Life to tune in. Just open up media player, then hold down the ALT key and press F at the same time to get the "File" menu. Choose "Open URL" and give it this address:
http://66.71.249.243:8632

SL

I got started on the DJ thing in an imaginary world. Second Life is a game environment where players design their own characters (avatars) and create the scenery. You can interact with this imaginary world by touring simulations of real-world cities and landmarks, go to live concerts, act out characters in historical or fantasy roleplaying settings, or just stand around and chat. Any sensible person would find a thousand better things to do with his or her time, but online socializing is how I met my wife and it's a neat way to learn about other countries as millions of people from all over the world play SL. It also gives me a way to give vent to my inner actor -- I like going to the historical simulations and playing someone from another time and place.

Anyhow, I was hanging out listening to early 20th century jazz and mentioned that I have a lot of early rock'n'roll on my computer. One thing led to another and suddenly I was playing my music in a 1950s juke joint; after a few months other sim owners asked me to play for their clubs too and now I have four two-hour shows a week. As often as not I only have one or two listeners in the Second Life location plus one or two RL (real life) listeners tapping directly into the stream, but it's fun meeting new people who share my love for the good old tunes.

So what the heck kind of a name is SegmentationFault, anyway? If you program in C, that's a hilarious name; it refers to one of the most common error messages that come up when your program doesn't behave properly. I see that error message a lot. Most programmers just say "segfault", so I will answer to Segfault or Seg or "Did somebody drop this wallet stuffed with cash?" The other reason I use a weird technical nickname in-world is so I can switch roles as needed without the name associating me with a specific person. If you visit me in Second Life, there's no telling what I might look like!
There is so much more to SL than just creating goofy avatars. There are simulations of famous world landmarks, music of just about every kind, games and amusement park rides, live performances, museums, and most of all people. See, I come from the age of 300 baud dialup BBSes, and in those days small, local chat boards were the cutting edge of computer communications. The idea of being able to strike up a conversation with someone a mile or half a planet away without using a phone was unbelievable! So mostly I see SL as a giant, 3D chat room. We geezers were doing this 30 years ago, only without the dog costumes and animated actions.

RL

I have already written more than you would care to know about myself here, so I won't duplicate much of that. Long story short (too late!) I'm a computer programmer in Wyoming, originally from Toronto and then Houston; I work mostly in VB.NET and SQL; I have always wanted to be a DJ but I have never actually set foot in a radio station in my life (programming pays better). I'm married, straight, I have two grown children, I sing in a barbershop quartet, and yes, I'm not joking about being a Baptist. If that's not enough for you, check out the personal website linked above.

Techno

In case you're curious, I play SL and do my DJing from a homebuilt PC that runs Arch Linux, a variant of Linux that requires a lot more hand-tuning than, say, Ubuntu or Knoppix but affords you much finer control over what gets installed. The DJ software is idjc, which is by far the best DJ software available but unfortunately for most of you is only written for Linux. I can't help you Windows folks find something to use.

Due to the technical limitations of my sound card and the way the audio drivers control its use, I cannot stream music in idjc and listen to sounds in SL at the same time. So I have no idea what you are hearing while I work. I once went an hour completely unaware that I had forgotten to switch the club's music source over to my broadcast, while the audience happily danced to generic tunes coming from the radio station that plays when a DJ is not on duty. So if there are any problems with the sound, please IM me immediately!

That's All

OK, I'm finally ready to shut up. Why are you still here? Go listen to some rock'n'roll!