Future Imperfect (redux)

Many thoughts swirl in my brain like a hurricane gaining momentum with intensification from a category 3 to 4. My fingers cannot type fast enough as I flip from one tense to another–a streaming collection of verbs, nouns, articles, similes and conjunctions.

In an effort to cut costs, Dutch bank ING has just announced plans to dump 5,800 human workers to replace them with computers.  Read all about it here.   “Digitalize and Automate” sounds like a good song title to me.  The thought of an “AI-powered customer service center” reveals an inhuman frame around our own carbon-based core. You thought it was tough having people in other parts of the world answering your call with their scripted customer service “thank you” and repetition of every word you state to them.  Customer Dana:  “I’m calling to find out about blah-blah-blah.”  Customer Service Representative:  “I’d be happy to speak with you about blah-blah-blah, Dana Jae Labrecque.”  Now, let’s see what happens when that CS Rep is the voice of a Scarlett Johansson-like silicon chip talking back at you trying to decipher and address your banking issue.  Ruh-Ro

Time to download another HDTrack and listen to something from my past that soothes my immortal coil. I’ll try a song from the fifth studio album of the Eagles. Hotel California is one of the best-selling albums of all time and the song in 96/24 drowns out the poor woman belting out the Star-Spangled Banner in several keys blasting from a PA system at the baseball field up the hill. Eeeeks.  The record, produced by Bill (please buy him a vowel) Szymczyk, sold 16 million copies in the U.S. alone with an additional 32 million copies worldwide.  WOOF. 1976. What a great year!  I was a Freshwoman in High School ready to grow up.  I remember my best friend Wendy Steward and I unwrapping another album from that year (the debut eponymous Boston) and playing it over and over until our diamond stylus wore out on the Panasonic combo stereo system.  I just checked out HDtracks.com to see if the album is available–only on DSD 2.8MHz downloads at $24.99 (album only). Now this is a 37:43 album. It’s not even 40-minutes long!  Is it worth nearly a buck a minute in all of it’s super hi-res glory?  Well, I think no. Why?  Because I just want the memory to return with my pal Wendy and I listening in our bedrooms in San Diego. So, Apple Music here I come.  I TOTALLY know that there is a huge sonic difference though I fear that many of you, dear readers, have no idea just how much more rich a song sounds in its original glory from the recording studio.  Dang.  I’m listening to “More Than A Feeling” and it just sounds flat through the Apple Music compressed stream.  Dang. I’m drifting towards the HDTracks link again. “Don’t do it! Don’t spend that money!” (Category 3 ramping up again about to hit my Haitian mindset…) Lord have mercy. Does Apple know what they are doing to my tympanic nerve serving up this lifeless version of such rock brilliance.  Damn.  One button to download…
Well, after checking out several seminal albums from my youth “Toys in the Attic” (can you name the band from the album title?) at 37:13 and The Sweet‘s “Desolation Boulevard” at 44-minutes, I can see that the albums were about 17-19 minutes per side which is about 37 – 40-ish minutos. Alright. No more complaining about Boston’s expensive near 38-minute rock opus. I just bought it along with “Toys in the Attic” just so that I can hear “Sweet Emotion” remixed and mastered in 96/24.  NERDVILLE over hear in Dana-land (mispelled hear perfectly purposed).  Bummer.  Can’t find a reliable .dsf decoder to read my Boston tracks.  DAMMIT!

Back to the Future Imperfect.  A Utopia exists not. My  Autumn season occurs with a birthday in the latter half of November; I can only think of a DYSTOPIAN future. It’s that damned Scorpio thing combined with my Russian Jewish heritage (somber drama) vs. Danish (happy-go-lucky).  I have good things going in my life that counteract with other things that twist both into knots of both excitement mixed with fury.  I try so hard to be good at everything.I enjoy every minute of each day, noticing the birds that fly in the sky and the animals happy in their coming and going around me. Meantime, I’m working and working with the hope that someday I’ll fly with them.

Notice that in all of this, I haven’t once mentioned how TrumpToast has further ruined our American landscape with his DEPLORABLE mindset.  This is because I believe that it is high time we eradicate him from our national discussion. He and his family should be silenced from all airwaves for the rest of time. Like the Kardashians, there is no reason to focus on such horrible wealth-ridden megalomaniacs with zero content. Aspire to a higher level of greatness, America. These 1%-ers are the most base humans on our planet. 


About danaj33

I have been teaching in the Broadcast Electronic Media Art department at City College of San Francisco since 2001. I was a part-time faculty member until 2009 when I became full-time. My career as an audio engineer spans 27 years since the first day I began to record and mix songs on my Tascam PortaStudio (cassetter 4-track) in the early 80's while attending college at UC Berkeley. I formed a couple of bands and sang lead (sometimes playing rhythm guitar) until 1988 when I discovered that the "behind-the-scenes" tech realm was much more to my liking. I love how an audio engineer controls the ENTIRE sound mix, and not just one's own instrument. I then began a career as a live sound engineer in earnest and have toured extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe as front-of-house sound engineer for a multitude of bands on various record labels (most notably "Medicine" on American Recordings) and have been a staff engineer at the venerable Bottom of the Hill nightclub since their inception in 1991. The club and its staff are like family. I have maintained a live sound production company since 1989 called dcj Productions that has provided sound to the Bay Area community (mostly in the non-profit sector) in both large outdoor sound events as well as nightclubs and music halls. In 1991, I started recording bands on an 8-track Tascam TSR-8 analog tape recorder and moved into the digital realm in 1993 to 16-tracks of Alesis ADAT connected to a Soundcraft Ghost console in my home studio. In 1995, I advanced to Pro Tools and have been recording exclusively digital ever since, combining audio skills in sound for film as a location recordist as well as an engineer in post-production sound design and mixing. I remained "strictly analog" in my live sound mixing until just this past year (2012). Now that one can obtain a decent, live sound digital mixer at an affordable price, it was high time to check out digital for live. I now have a Presonus StudioLive 16.4.2 to work on with my students to give them much needed hands-on experience with a digital console. I co-owned and ran APG Records & APG Studios, an SF record label and recording studio, from 1999 - 2004 which had a distribution deal through EMI. The company folded in 2004. I continue to record music and engineer live performances at many Bay Area venues in addition to full-time teaching at CCSF. In 2001, I was hired to the part-time faculty at City College of San Francisco in the Broadcast Electronics Media Arts department where I have taught many of the classes including Digital Media Skills (BCST119), Basic Audio Production (BCST120), Digital Audio Production (BCST124), Sound Recording Studio (BCST125), Sound For Visual Media (BCST126), Advanced Sound Recording (BCST127), Sound Reinforcement (BCST128), Audio for the Web (BCST135), Video for the Web (BCST136), and Field Video Production (BCST145). I have also taught classes in sound design, audio for animation and games, music video, and computer applications at Art Institute of California-San Francisco, Globe Recording Institute, and Laney College in Oakland, CA. A few CCSF Projects: - Produced a promotional video for the Math department Bridge Program titled "Quadratic Rap". - Produced a new employee orientation video for the Human Resources department at CCSF - Coordinated audio for camera - SF Mayoral Debate, Fall 2011 - Coordinator of Audio Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Fall 2011 - Co-Coordinator of Video Industry Advisory Panel for BEMA, Spring 2012 Outside Affiliations: - past Vice President and Interim President Board of Directors - Bay Area Girls Rock Camp - past volunteer/contributor to Women's Audio Mission - past member Bay Area Women in Media and Film - current member of Audio Engineering Society - current Board of Directors for Camp Reel Stories
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