Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Mothership “High Strangeness”

MothershipStoner rock stalwarts Mothership have returned with a new album, “High Strangeness”, released on March 17, 2017, and it’s a sweet ride. Starting slow and easy with the title track before picking up speed with rumbling tracks like Midnight Express and Crown of Lies, High Strangeness is a great addition to the genre, full of what bassist-vocalist Kyle Juett calls “supersonic intergalactic heavy rock and roll”.

The Texas trio is currently on the road with Black Pussy. Catch them if you can.

High Strangeness is available to stream or buy from Ripple Music on Bandcamp here.

Crown of Lies

Mothership on the web:

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The Rush of the New

Revelations, this one.

GearsLike some of you, I bounce from task to task and project to project, in love with beginnings, not endings. Some part of my brain knows it’s important to finish strong. Or frankly, to finish at all. My heart and the rest of my brain loves the beginnings. The new. The learning. The rush.

This weekend it hit me. I’m addicted to the rush of the new. And it occurred to me that it’s the same for a new project, or class, as it is for a new love or relationship. It’s that “all synapses firing” feeling of everything being exciting and new, that RUSH. It’s the same creating music as it is falling in love. It’s the same starting any new project or class, or new book, or movie, or picking up a new piece of gear. It’s that focused feeling of a brain on fire, and it’s fantastic.

But what happens if you have a project that goes past its sell-by date? The bloom has worn off, the rush has faded, there are a hundred new things to take its place and there it sits, half done and unable to inspire the energy to finish it. This is where the struggle begins. I’ve seen it, I’ve lived it — that ‘get an impossible amount of creative work done in a short time and then nothing done in a long time’ situation.

This is when it’s time to settle in and do the work for work’s sake. No project finishes itself, no relationship sails smoothly indefinitely. There will always be the need for conscious, deliberate, targeted work to be done. Do the work. Finish the task. Repair the relationship. If needed, go back to the beginning and remind yourself how it felt at the start, recover some of that energy. Then, grind it out.

Knowing this is extremely helpful. Going forward, I will look to finish projects while still in the heat of the rush. They will be imperfect, but they will be finished, and full of passion and life. As for the rest, well, that’s where maturity matters. It’s about the long game. Start strong, finish strong. What happens in between is not as important as long as you persevere, and stop letting yourself get distracted by the rush. Keep grinding.

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Logic Pro X 10.3

Logic Pro 10.3My pick of the week is the latest, greatest version of Apple’s digital audio workstation, Logic Pro X 10.3. This is no minor point release, but an overhaul of an already world-class DAW. You must have OS version El Capitan (10.11) or greater to install it, but reluctant as I was to leave the comfort of 10.9, even that upgrade was a performance bonus.

The actual list of new features, enhancements, and bug fixes in 10.3 is so long I’m not even going to try to cover more than a few standouts. The full release notes are here:

Some of the more obvious changes are with the UI itself.

The colors are different – the background is lightened from the bold darkness of 10.2, it’s now somewhere between the look of v9 and X. This is to make it easier to see in different lighting conditions.

And the buttons and tools all have a simplified 2d look that goes along with the aesthetic of the last couple OS versions. The whole thing is very responsive and slick.

Logic Pro 10.3 UI

My personal favorite changes in 10.3: 

When you move the ends of a region, a ghost region appears so you can better see where you are in the audio file waveform.

Logic Pro Ghost Region

There is a new standalone loudness meter that measures in LUFS (Loudness Units).

The cursor icon now changes more obviously and intuitively for the different selected tools.

You now get the choice of stereo vs dual mono in each stereo track, and true stereo panning. (What was it before? I don’t even know!)

Logic Pro Dual Mono

Less obvious changes:

  • Faster startup and shutdown times
  • Less unexpected quitting when switching between projects
  • Touch bar support for the latest MacBook Pros
  • 64-bit summing engine and support for 256 busses per project
  • Ability to process clips separately within the same audio track

Bottom Line

If you have OS X 10.11 or higher, this is a great update to a great DAW. And if you don’t, I recommend updating. My mid-2012 MBP is so much happier with El Capitan, and so am I. And though I’m not 100% thrilled to be re-re-learning my daily use DAW, I’m loving the new features so far.

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