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Archive | October, 2009

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Making Out With Strangers by Peroxide Mocha

Posted on 28 October 2009 by Tim

I’m letting you blow my mind. Almost every single time.

For a couple of, mostly, self-taught musicians Peroxide Mocha is a surprisingly enjoyable ride through a quirky, but lively, synthpop album. Pete developed some amazing compositions for us to enjoy. Although Rachel sometimes come across a little flat and passionless, overall, her vocals complement the music nicely. Start the Fire is a really great example of PM’s vocals and beats coming together like peanut butter and jelly.

Peroxide Mocha Pete and Rachel At times, Peroxide Mocha sounds like they have incorporated influences from 8-bit, chiptune music.

Cult favorite boy/girl party pop duo return with their 4th album filled with witty observations about relationships disguised as floor-filling, booty-shaking break-up anthems.

Don’t Have My Baby, Start the Fire, Think of Two, and Two of Hearts are the best tracks. Ghost of a Chance is funny. I mean, how often does a song feature a Ouija board? And with everyone making songs celebrating their awesome city, it’s refreshing to hear someone teasing their town as in Port Angeles, “Go to jail or have a baby. This is life in PA.”

Everything is dirty
girls are dressed like hos
its Pancake House is closed
there’s nowhere else to go…

The dysfunctional relationship theme make this album a great gift for your recently single friends! Or, if you like quirky music with awesome dance beats!

Order Making Out With Strangers Here

Peroxide Mocha is on Donut Nook Records, run by Pete Ellison.

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Peroxide Mocha: The Electro Party Duo

Posted on 26 October 2009 by Tim

Peroxide Mocha, the electro party duo, has released their 4th album of synthpop titled, Making Out With Strangers. While focused on relationships, the album tends toward observations about the dysfunctional ones. Other hot topics include cup size for women and Port Angeles, Washington – the town. No joke. Rachel and Pete bring a fun yet quirky attitude to their music, which I’ve really enjoyed.

I’d like to thank both Pete and Rachel for chatting with me about their music.

Interview with Peroxide Mocha

Peroxide-Mocha How did you two meet and start making music?

Rachel: I got Pete’s number from a friend – I can’t remember specifically why I wanted it in the first place – I was in to calling strangers at the time. I called him and bugged him and somehow it came up in conversation that we had both always wanted to be in a band. We recorded our first song that very night over the phone. We were both 17 years old.

Pete: If somebody just called me up out of the blue like that today it would seem stalker-ish and weird, so its strange to think back that at 17 it seemed perfectly normal. Those were different times. I had been making lots of experimental music and just beginning to learn to put beats together to make songs. I didn’t really have any money so my equipment was a sampler that I programmed myself using Hypercard on my Mac, a copy of SoundEdit, a Casio SK-1, a turntable and a huge library of old 45′s that I liked sampling from. When Rachel told me she wanted to make music it seemed natural to just write things on the spot and record stuff using whatever we had laying around. I guess I was doing that a lot, forming bands and various recording projects with just whoever was around at the time. Rachel and I shared a similar sense of humor and aesthetic and it just kinda stuck!

What inspires your music?

Rachel: Something will catch our attention – not usually anything big or important – and we’ll make a rhyme out of it and laugh about it. 90% of the stuff we write will never see the light of day, but we’d like to think that 10% that does is pretty good, or at least amusing.

Pete: We definitely only write to amuse ourselves – we actually have a really good writing system down, it’s almost psychic, being able to complete each other’s thoughts. We write, write, write all the time, then go back later and pick the best stuff to record after it’s all stewed for a bit. I think we get inspired by everyday activities and interactions, things that people otherwise might not stop and think about.

From CDBaby:

Cult favorite boy/girl party pop duo return with their 4th album filled with witty observations about relationships disguised as floor-filling, booty-shaking break-up anthems.

What is the relationship with your fans like? Do you derive inspiration from those interactions?

Pete: I think since the initial fan base for our stuff was just our circle of friends, and kind of extended outward from there, Peroxide Mocha fans are kind of a big giant extended family. I have a word I made up called “Frand”, which is somebody who becomes your friend after starting out as a fan. One of our “Frands” made this really, scarily complete wiki about us once – I’m not even sure where he got his info. He has old lyrics and poems and things from our website 10 years ago – things even I’d forgotten about. Outside of that we have a couple of stalker weirdos who keep things interesting. Nobody’s dressed up as us for Halloween yet that I know of, which I’m kind of disappointed about.

Rachel: I’m always excited when I get to interact with a fan who wasn’t a friend first – because I know I’m about to make a new friend. Our fan base is really awesome and we like to make it as easy as possible for fans to interact with us if they want to. I always forget how much some people are paying attention – like what Pete said about the wiki. That was so cool because I’d honestly forgotten about quite a lot of the stuff that was covered. Our fans definitely keep us in check!

Is there a story behind your latest album – Making Out With Strangers? Does that happen a lot (making out with strangers)?

Rachel: Pete and I are both in long-term-relationships with awesome people, so our Stranger-Smooching days are pretty much firmly planted in the past. It used to happen all the time though. We’re very sexy.

Pete: We like to write a lot about imaginary relationships between people that are really, really, really complicated. I think a lot of these songs are about various facets of being in said complicated relationships, and how emotions can be be difficult to explain and even contradictory sometimes. Even if said relationships are imaginary, it makes the material a little more personal than anything we’ve done in the past. “Start The Fire” is kind of about codependency and dating somebody who is mentally ill. “Ghost Of A Chance” is about stalking. “Blow My Mind” is about complacency. I guess the title “Making Out With Strangers” evolved out of these concepts – a lot can happen in 30 seconds.

Were either of you in high school bands or did you pick up your musical talent elsewhere?

Pete: I don’t really have any formal music training if that’s what you’re asking. I learned how to DJ and beat match first and then taught myself how to make music after that.

Rachel: I was in several choirs and took voice lessons in high school, but I never was very good at anything with an instrument. I played violin & piano for a while in high school, but violin is hard and I don’t like piano music.

How has your musical style, or skills, progressed since you two began collaborating?

Pete: I think when we started off we really didn’t have any idea what we were doing musically, but we didn’t let that stop us because we had something to say. Our earlier recordings had a kind of lo-fi charm that a lot of our fans really enjoy, like it was more just about the attitude and the fun and not so much about everything sounding perfect. Now days I actually know how to use a sequencer and properly record things, so we’ve made an album that sounds really well produced. Whether or not that’s a good thing is up to our fans I guess.

Also I think in the past I didn’t really have a good grasp of how to handle Rachel’s vocals to get the most out of them, so in the past most vocals were spoken or rapped or our melodies were just really simple and kind of improv on the spot. We’ve got a handle on it now – I think people were surprised when they listened to “Making Out With Strangers” and heard Rachel’s “grown-up voice”, as one of our friends put it.

Rachel: We have really come a long way since we first started. In the beginning, the vocals came before the music – which was really difficult for both of us. Eventually we figured out that it was a whole lot easier to come up with a beat and a basic melody first, which resulted in a lot cleaner sound. The end result is we sound a lot more professional, and less like two kids with a $2 microphone – but we’re still singing about the same thing we always have been.

Order Making Out With Strangers Here


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Portland, Oregon Weighs In On Healthcare Reform

Posted on 20 October 2009 by Tim

Obamacare. Healthcare reform. Single-payer system. Public option. What do you support?

I decided to head out into the streets of Portland to find out where average Americans stood on the issue. I was really hoping to find some strong opinions especially against reform. Not because I don’t support healthcare reform but because I wanted to try to dig past the one liners from TV and see how they really felt. But alas, none were to be found.

Average Americans Discuss Healthcare Reform

A big “Thank You!” to my friend Aaron Jensen for helping me with this project and to the friendly people who agreed to participate.

Image by Shermee.

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GOSHone Rocks the Videos with Music From Ctrl_Alt_Ego

Posted on 18 October 2009 by Tim

Los Angeles nerdcore rapper, GOSHone released a pretty amazing album last year called Ctrl_Alt_Ego (download link below). I was listening to it in the car the other day and was inspired to share it with you.

For a debut album, GOSH pulled out all the stops. The production value is tight and the album features well known artists YTCracker and MC Plus+, as well as some nice vocal work from a couple ladies.

Although it’s not the strongest track on the album, Where My Nerds At? is easily the most recognizable. I’m partial to Laptop Muzik, Flowin About and Haterz. Newteknowledge is a great track too and is featured in the iPhone music video below. I’d skip past Big Brains because the verse by MC Plus+ drags this one down.

From, coding to gaming and overclockin’ his Pentium, G1 attacks classic nerd topics with fresh angles. You’re going to get a lot of replay value out of this album.

Watch the world’s first music video shot entirely on an iPhone 3G:

Ctrl_Alt_Ego by GOSHone – Free Download

Click Image for Free Download

This is my commentary on my life as an underdog, using my intelligence and tech skills to craft an opus for the modern day Poindexter, decorated with the electronic sounds of underground Los Angeles. [More on GOSHone.com]

G1 appeals to his audience with a deep voice, slick flow and smart, playful lyrics. I’m looking forward to seeing whats up next for the GOSH. Don’t leave us hangin’ too long, man!

Check out G1 on NerdcoreHipHop.com.

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What Is The Most Anticipated Movie Sequel?

Posted on 16 October 2009 by Tim

There are some really big movie sequels on the horizon and I am really curious which ones people are looking forward to the most. Please take a second to record your vote for the Most Anticipated Upcoming Movie! (Vote Below)

Choices Include:

  • Iron Man 2 – Starring Robert Downey Jr.
  • Jurassic Park 4 – Starring Keira Knightley?
  • Transformers 3 – Starring Shia LeBouf
  • Pirates of the Caribbean 4 – Starring Johnny Depp

Please leave a comment below and tell me why you picked that film! Oh, and thanks for voting!

Image by wearedc2009

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Interview with Personal Finance Blogger David from My Two Dollars

Posted on 14 October 2009 by Tim

Today, I’m pleased to introduce to you David from MyTwoDollars.com, which is a personal finance blog. David writes about his experience in getting out of debt, managing money, saving and investing. David says he launched the site, “after finding my way back from the brink…overloaded with debt, getting married, and changing careers…and decided to throw in the knowledge I have learned over the last few years.

Personal Finance Blogger David from My Two Dollars

For those who are new, who are you and what is My Two Dollars all about?

My name is David, and after 12 years working in corporate America, I struck out on my own as a writer and web designer. It’s been almost 4 years of working for myself, and since there is food on my table, I have to say it’s been a success! My Two Dollars is kind of my take on the personal finance world – you won’t necessarily find investment advice or ways to get rich – but rather, a systematic, rational way of living a life free of debt and within your means. I hope my experience of being in debt, getting out of debt, and living a reasonable life encourages others to do the same.

Why did you decide to leave corporate America and become an entrepreneur?

I was burnt out, plain and simple. I was tired of going to work for someone else, sticking to their schedule, and earning them money and only getting a % of it. So one day I up and quit my job without a backup plan – not the smartest move, but one I think forced me into action.

What 3-5 posts from your blog would you consider essential reading for helping people get their finances under control?

I would suggest the following posts:

What, if any, role do you think schools should play in educating young Americans about responsible financial management?

Personal finance needs to be taught in school, period. If it was, I bet less college students would graduate with credit card debt and young adults would be a little more responsible with their money. Most parents, to be honest, do not have a solid grip on personal finance, so having a qualified professional teach the basics in school could go a long way to help out.

Piggy-Bank-Saving-Money What role has your blog played in managing your finances? Do you feel more accountable?

It does make me more accountable, sure, but even more than that it keeps me honest with myself. I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing about one thing and doing another, so I try to be as open as I can be on the site.

You’ve been blogging for a few years now, have you noticed any changes in website traffic or the types of questions asked (or anything else) since the economy started to tank?

Advertising revenue is definitely down, for sure. But I expect that to recover. However, traffic on subjects like “getting out of debt” or “saving money” or “how to find a job” is way up, which is no surprise given our economic situation.

Your blog is ranked very high, in the top 20, among personal finance blogs. Have you been surprised that MTD has become so popular?

Yea, I am surprised – but that just tells me that there are people out there who really need advice and guidance on finding their own positive relationship with money. Not everyone is into being rich or having the best “stuff” or talking about where to invest money…some just want to live a comfortable life doing what they love. I feel MTD has found that niche and filled it nicely.

What personal finance blogs do you enjoy reading?

That’s a tough one because there are certainly many. To name a few, I enjoy reading Cash Money Life, Five Cent Nickel, Being Frugal, and Lazy Man & Money because they have a solid, personal voice behind the “screen”. Too many sites make you feel like you are reading text written by a robot, so I appreciate the personal touches and stories. It keeps things interesting.

David, thank you for your time!

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7 Awesome Personal Finance and Money Podcasts

Posted on 11 October 2009 by Tim

As most of my friends know, I am really interested in financial information. Stocks, debt reduction, retirement planning and all the other topics that fall under the broad umbrella of personal finances peak my interest. In fact, I enjoy it so much I even used to write a personal finance blog!

Although I recommend subscribing to personal finance blogs and reading…sometimes there’s just too much information to sort through or you need it on the go. So, one of the best ways to keep up on new PF information is to download and listen to podcasts which is basically a portable (often free) radio-style show to listen to on an MP3 player. Play them in your car, on the subway, at the gym…whatever works for ya. Here are 7 Personal Finance Podcasts that I think are worth listening to. Enjoy!

7 Awesome Personal Finance and Money Podcasts

  • Consumerism Commentary – Featuring great interviews, the CC personal finance podcast discusses a range of issues including finding coupons online, reducing debt, financial planning, becoming a millionaire, using a Roth IRA and many others. [Podcast Here, Twitter Here]
  • Money Girl – Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life. What a great summary! Each episode with Money Girl tackles a specific topic and generally addresses a question. [Podcast Here, Twitter Here]
  • Money Guy – Not surprisingly, it’s a money podcast! Brian Preston is certified and deals with money for a living and he provides great tips via his free podcast. [Podcast Here, Twitter Here]
  • No Credit Needed – Although NCN hasn’t posted a new show in a while, the ones that are available are worth listening to. He also runs a very good personal finance blog as well as a network blog. You’ll find a lot of good tips for reducing your debt. [Podcast Here, Twitter Here]
  • Personal Finance Hour – The PFH is hosted by JD Roth of Get Rich Slowly and Jim Wang of Bargaineering, two of the top personal finance blogs. [Podcast Here, Twitter Here]
  • Millionaire or Bust – I like MOB because it covers some of the more technical business and investing information. The show includes a cross-section of financial news such as bank failures and stock movements. [Podcast Here, Twitter Here]
  • The Dave Ramsey Show – Big name, big production, good information. Dave Ramsey is a very well known “financial guru” and he hosts a pretty solid personal finance podcast. With this podcast you have to either use iTunes or Juice to get the audio. But it’s worth it. [Podcast Here, Twitter Here]

Please leave feedback below if you feel like I’ve skipped over a really great personal finance, investing, debt reduction or money podcast. I’d love to find some new ones to listen to!

Other Lists:

Money Picture by sushina
Image via Betsssssy.

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SPELLFURY: The Fantasy Web Series

Posted on 10 October 2009 by Tim

Fantasy. Action. Adventure. Watching SPELLFURY is like watching a live recreation of a Dungeons and Dragons game. Evil creatures, bladed weapons and magic abound in the world of Spellfury. The web series follows an elf named Druinia and her gang of adventurers.

“We shoot all the studio stuff (indoors) in Ottawa and all the exteriors are shot around Perth,” says writer and director Travis Gordon. The web series is a volunteer-run production. “We have an extremely hard working team! We have people helping out in different ways from all over Canada and the U.S.A.”

Lets see what Travis can tell us about SPELLFURY…

For those who haven’t seen it yet, what is SPELLFURY and why should they watch it?

SPELLFURY is a web series about a band of misfit adventurers who join together to fight a terrible evil in a fantastical land. The show will be extremely exciting, funny and creative, and shouldn’t be missed! Although I’m a little biased being the writer/director on the show.

Can you tell us more about this “terrible evil” and “fantastic land”?

SPELLFURY is a realm that is made up of many creatures both good and evil and no one is to be trusted. The audience will be introduced to giant man eating spiders, wise cracking fairies, evil demons and blood thirsty forests. Let’s just say Druinia and the gang are going to have their hands full and will be lucky to survive their upcoming episodes.

On top of that there are a countless vicious villains in the world of SPELLFURY, The most dangerous being Kruskull an evil sorcerer with a half-rotted off face who is extremely powerful and is trying to take control over the realm of SPELLFURY and will stop at nothing to do so.

What sparked the idea for this web series?

I’ve had the idea for a while to do a show or movie set in the fantasy setting, I love a lot of movies in the genre (Willow, Lord of the Rings, Labyrinth). I didn’t want the story to take itself too serious though, so I threw in a Whedonesque “Buffy the vampire slayer” feel to it. I want the audience to have fun and enjoy hanging out with the characters.

When did you start work writing the script for Spellfury and how long did it take till you were filming the first episodes?

It had been bouncing around in my head for a quite a while before I put pen to paper. I then plotted out season one and two on recipe cards and bounced the ideas off everyone. I received pretty good feedback and so we shot episodes 1-3 over 2 nights. The audience seemed to like the episodes and we received a good review at wired.com, so we decided to go ahead with producing at least season one and two.

How many episodes can we expect to see?

For us a season is 12 episodes, so there will be 24 episodes (2 seasons) in total, if we can find a way to make money by making episodes we’ll keep the show going.

Julie O’Halloran is the lead character in your series, how did you find her? Has she worked with you before?

Julie is a fantastic actress, her performance in a short (Revelation) we sent to Houston’s Worldfest last year won us a Bronze in Dramatic Shorts. I credit her performance as a vulnerable yet courageous woman in a terrible situation with us winning the award. She also played a crazy wheelchair bound assassin in a film we’re sending out to festivals right now called “Mass Stupidity”. The role was extremely physically demanding and I knew after watching her amazing performance that Julie would be a terrific Druinia. She’s done an incredible job of balancing both the vulnerability and the physicality of her role in Spellfury and I can’t wait to see what she’ll bring to the character next!

Who are the other main characters/actors?

Julie O’Halloran plays Druinia who is the lead actress in SPELLFURY. As the show moves along the audience will be introduced to several new characters who will become regulars on the show.


  • XORN (played by Ian Quick) is a backstabbing thief that joins the gang.
  • ERROYL ( played by Rob Drebitt) is a bumbling cleric that teams up with Druinia in an up-coming episode.
  • CASTLE (played by Penu Chalykoff) is a jocky, loud-mouthed knight who Druinia faces off against in an up-coming episode.
  • VELURA (played by Debra Ereaut) is a powerful sorceress that owns the local tavern.
  • KENDRA (payed by Jennifer Barnes) is a feisty princess that ends up helping Dru and the gang out of a dangerous situation.

Reviews of SPELLFURY


  • Underwire on Wired.com says, “Best part: The blue ogre with bloody eyes is every bit as creepy as Billy Crudup’s “Doctor Manhattan,” made for about .00001 of the cost.”
  • Ain’t It Cool News said, “The budget is low and the acting leaves a bit to be desired, but there was a certain backyard filmmaking charm about SPELLFURY that made me smile while watching it.”
  • “Mostly I think it is just fun. I think that is what I liked about it,” explains DnD Corner.
  • “Perhaps the most remarkable facet of the show so far is the special effects, which have an awkward, ’80s-esque hand-made clumsiness to them that simply adds to the charm…” according to Tube Filter News.
  • WoW Fail Blog thinks, “All in all, it is a very good start to a series that has great potential…”

Episode 1 of SPELLFURY


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