The Future of Fast Tom

While my last two videos are uploading on the obnoxiously slow Mary Washington internet, I thought I’d give an update on the state of Fast Tom. One of our members, Taylor, is transferring to another school. We were left with the decision of whether or not to continue the band, and ultimately we decided that we have too much of a good thing going, and it’s only just gotten started, so we are continuing. We will probably have to add another member eventually, but for now we’re just going to make due.

We are planning to record the songs we have finished over the summer sometime (I think we have about 6 complete songs and 5 incomplete songs at the moment). Once that’s done they will go up on a Myspace account (which I have yet to start) so that everyone can listen to them. We’re hoping to start playing a lot more open mic nights around town once we get back to school in the fall, as well as on campus. We’re all planning on working on new material over the summer and having weekly Skype sessions so we can touch base about the things we’re working on. We’re also hoping to add a few new instruments, the glockenspiel and the accordion, maybe even a viola, to name a few.

Basically, we’re still gonna be around, so watch out.

Published in: |on April 30th, 2010 |Comments Off on The Future of Fast Tom

Final Reflection

I really enjoyed this class, and overall got a lot out of it. Something that I thought was great about this class was that we were required to set up and maintain our own domain. I really benefited from the opportunity to buy my own domain and build it. I never really knew how to do that before, and I think it’s a really useful thing to know given how much of our lives are on the internet. It also gave me more of a sense of contribution and ownership over my story. Instead of simply contributing to a class blog, like I do in many other classes, I had my own space that I modified, and only my posts were on the website.   Over the summer I think I will spend more time actually working on my domain, something I didn’t really have time to do during the semester.

I thought the assignments and projects we had in the class were useful and beneficial in learning about the wide array of tools on the web. I would have preferred it though if we had done all of the small projects at the beginning of the semester, so we were familiar with all the tools, and then started to work on our digital stories. That way we would have experience and knowledge about the kinds of things available to use for our story. It might have even changed what I decided to ultimately do as my digital story had I been introduced to some of the tools first, like the screen casting tool. I think the video editing and the audacity projects were really worthwhile, but I found some of the projects to be repetitive, like the 4 frame story and then the movie in six frames. I saw the value of the assignments, but they were very similar and I didn’t see much of a difference between them.

As far as my digital story goes, I have mixed feelings. I really didn’t accomplish a lot of the things I originally intended to do with my story, like creating a band website. I think part of the reason for this was since I was living through my digital story, and I didn’t really think of it as something I also was responsible in class for. I also didn’t account for the possibility of band members fighting with each other (which happened periodically) and put a halt to the project. While I was filming everyone, I didn’t think of it as being for class, I just thought of it as me filming my friends, which happens a lot anyway. When I got down to editing the videos though, that’s when I really viewed it as a story and a project. I think that’s partially because some of the things in the video are exaggerated (if we told the real story of how we met it really wouldn’t be that exciting) and some things are just altogether not true. When I watch the videos, I don’t really see it as being the real life Fast Tom, just some sort of weird internet representation of us.

 I also didn’t do quite as many episodes as I originally intended. Even still, I’m happy with the videos I made, and I had a lot of fun making them. I also had a lot of fun just filming my friends and trying to come up with how I was going to frame the story in the video. I definitely think there will be more Fast Tom videos next semester, as I had a lot of fun making them, and I really don’t think our story is over quite yet.

Published in: |on April 30th, 2010 |Comments Off on Final Reflection

Jing Project

A (sadly brief) look at two of the houses I lived in from the ages of 6-13.

I can’t get the video to embed, so here’s a link.

Published in: |on April 29th, 2010 |Comments Off on Jing Project

First Fast Tom Rockumentary Episode

So this is pretty late, but here’s the first episode of the Fast Tom rockumentary.

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Published in: |on April 24th, 2010 |1 Comment »

Trailer for the Fast Tom Rockumentary.

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Published in: |on April 19th, 2010 |1 Comment »

The Story of Pierre and the Bicycle.

This is my very late audio story in the style of This American Life. It’s my friend Erin talking about her French Exchange student Pierre.

Erin’s Bicycle Story

Published in: |on April 14th, 2010 |Comments Off on The Story of Pierre and the Bicycle.

Looking at the Music of Patrick Wolf Through Wordle

So as I mentioned in my last post, I have become obsessed with Wordle, and wanted to see what would happen if I plugged in all the lyrics of each respective Patrick Wolf album and then compared them. Here are the pictures, in order of earliest album released to latest.


Wind in the Wires:

The Magic Position:

The Bachelor:

It was really interesting to see a physical representation of the lyrics, and how they really did represent the albums. Lycanthropy features a lot of words that involve movement, I.E. “run,” “moving,” and “go.” One of the biggest words is “boy” which is a big theme in the album – being young, just starting out in music, and childhood. Wind in the Wires, the second album, has a lot of weather related words, like thunder, rain, and wind, and also sea related, like sailing and water. This album is very desolate and melancholy, represented by the gloomy weather. It’s also the only album that doesn’t appear to feature the word sun, which I thought was telling. The Magic Position is vastly different. It’s the only album that tells a specific narrative, and it follows the climax and then disintegration of a relationship. Of course one of the biggest words is love, and also lost, now, and open. The Bachelor, the most recent album, focuses more on the theme of being alone and forsaken by love, so words like desire, damned, and missed come to the forefront here. One of the biggest words is battle, also makes a lot of sense in the context of the album, as many of the songs focus on battles in relationships and with yourself.

I thought it was extremely interesting to see the trends in each album, and the crossovers between them. It was also surprising sometimes which words ended up becoming prominent, but I thought it was cool how well the pictures seemed to get at the albums.

Published in: |on April 12th, 2010 |Comments Off on Looking at the Music of Patrick Wolf Through Wordle

Playing around with Wordle

I have found myself very amused by Wordle, and I thought I’d post a few that I’d done.
In the vein of the state of the union adress tag cloud we looked at, I made two Wordles, one for Conan O’Brien’s Harvard commencement speech, and one for J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement speech.

Wordle: conanobrienspeech

Wordle: jk rowling commencement speech

I also thought it would be entertaining to take the lyrics from one album by a musician and put them in the text box. I chose The Magic Position, by my favorite musician, Patrick Wolf. I thought he was a good choice, considering a word like “bracken” ended up in the picture. I’m probably gonna do some of his other albums as well, it’s an interesting way to track themes throughout and across them.

Wordle: magic position

Published in: |on April 9th, 2010 |5 Comments »

Fast Tom at Open Mic Night!

Fast Tom will be doing open mic night at the underground tonight (March 30th) around 8. It should be fun, we’ll probably be doing the same set of songs from last week. Come support us! Also, we have a Facebook group now, so feel free to join that as well if you like our music :).

Published in: |on March 30th, 2010 |Comments Off on Fast Tom at Open Mic Night!

Fast Tom Performs Their First Gig!

So last Tuesday was Fast Tom’s first official gig (not counting private dorm room performances). We were originally going to perform in the Underground for open mic night, but it turned out there wasn’t one, so we had an impromptu concert on the steps of Lee Hall.

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We performed 5 songs, one of which was a cover of Sarah Siskind’s “Lovin’s for Fools.” I think the night went pretty well overall.

Published in: |on March 30th, 2010 |Comments Off on Fast Tom Performs Their First Gig!