Sunday, April 08, 2012

and now, for something completely different...

The blacksmith and popular music.

(this is one of those posts that started one place, then ended up someplace else)

We watch Glee here in Wareham.
We both really like it. It is one of the best pieces of television out there right now. The actors are all extremely talented, most the time the writers have half a brain. Other than a few too many (obscure to me) broadway show tunes, I think they have generally done a lot of amazing covers of popular music.

Vandy had sent me a link to the video of 2cellos doing their version of Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal'. Very, very cool. Those guys have amazing energy. Get it on to the iPod.

Two weeks later, who do we see on Glee? Wazzah - its the 2cellos guys, with a vocal over top in typical Glee style. If you missed that, this is what it sounds like :

So, I thought, what the heck, lets look for some MP3 versions I can download for the ipod..
Which brought me to this version, by relatively unknown Alien Ant Farm :

Boy have those guys got energy!
And if you are familiar with Michael Jackson's videos, the Alien Ant Farm *video* is amazing. So tongue in cheek! (And love him or hate him, there is no doubt if there ever was anyone who deserved to be parodied, it is Michael Jackson. Ask Weird Al...)

Ok, Lets take a listen to Mikie's original version :

As a piece of music on the ipod, I've got to admit I do lean to the raw energy of the Alien Ant Farm version. I feel I get a two-for-one on the Glee version, however, with 2Chellos in the back.

So what is the point here?
I've got all four versions on my ipod. Not exactly sure why, but on random mode, half the time if it plays even one of those four versions - it will play all four in sequence.

There I was in the shop yesterday, ipod jacked into the shop stereo, working away on the latest bloom to bar sequence. Task was taking a larger piece (starting at 1.5 kg ) and working it down into a thin plate. I've gone past the hydraulic press stage, past the air hammer stage, now working with the 1 kg crowning hammer to thin and spread the plate.

Now, those who have seen me work know that I have a distinctive style. I use a physical dynamic that allows me to use speed - rather than power. More strokes per minute, lighter hammer.

So - there I am, wacking away at this bloom plate.

2cellows or Glee + 2cellos = great to listen too, but way too fast for me to pound to (or too slow at one stroke per beat)

Alien Ant Farm = pretty close, but still just a hair fast for me, especially into the end of the second hour taking welding heats on a 1.5 kg mass.

Double up on the main beat structure (so every second hammer stroke falls on the percussion)
Go listen to that version again.

Ah, Michael, if you only knew...

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February 15 - May 15, 2012 : Supported by a Crafts Projects - Creation and Development Grant

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