Cat Jams


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Cat Jams Label releases appear at Maude Vintage Clothing and Costumes, the Peace Nook, Whizz Records, Ragtag CinemaCafe, Slackers, and Apop Records, and the on-campus University Bookstore in downtown Columbia, Missouri, as well as the Slackers in Jefferson City.

Cat Jams Label releases are in format at Columbia radio stations KCOU 88.1 FM and KOPN 89.5 FM.

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since 11/13/03 

©2003-5 Cat Jams Label / Blanche Braden / Aaron Arnoldy / authors & artists / Channing Kennedy


11/27/2006 Friday Night
MC Cat Genius and OBELISK will perform this Friday, 12/1, at Mojo's for Videology. The show starts at 8:30, and cost is...oh, wait; it's FREE. I bet that donations are appreciated, though (i'm just guessing). For more information about Videology, read this.

Also, on December 11, Warhammer 48k will come back from a long and presumably trippy tour to play a homecoming show at Eastside Tavern. DJ RAVVEO))) (featuring members of MC Cat Genius and Animal Family) and Champagne (aka ABDI PG TBCFSUPPUI, fud. - Figure that one out!) will open. Tickets are $5, I think.

In other news, famed bird Cagesan is releasing his debut album "I Love Machine" on Dec. 7. But you can already buy it here. In case you already forgot, this is the album with amazing remixes from MC Cat Genius, James Harvey, Digiki, Toog, Momus and many other cool artists. Check out a few tracks at MySpace.

11/06/2006 youtube uploading techniques
I sent this to someone on MySpace and figured other people might benefit from it too. As far as I know, this is how to most effectively maximize your YouTube archiving experience.

Hey Jerserf,

As someone who's embarked on a few massive YouTube projects in his day, I thought I could offer you some pointers I've learned th ahrd way about maximizing the quality and upload speed of your YouTubeage.

1. Get registered as a 'director' account. You basically just have to email them and say "I'm a real person, not a spambot" and they'll OK you. (there's a form somewhere on the site, a quick search will bring it up.) As a director, you can upload videos of any length (so you don't have to cut a 20 minute show into three 7-minute segments and upload each one separately). However, there's still a size limitation: you can still only upload video files smaller than 100 megs. Larger ones will stay uploading all night then result in an uniformative error message.

2. But that's not really a problem with a great program like Handbrake (you can find it at or wherever). Handbrake is all but designed for YouTube: it rips video DVDs into mp4 files in one easy step.

What format is your video in now? If it's not in DVD, this whole speil might not be much help, but it's really easy and looks great. If the format you're working on now is VHS, my professional advice is to buy an integrated DVDR/VHS recorder at Best Buy for a few hundred dollars on a credit card, dupe all or as much as possible of your media onto DVDR, then return the recorder to the store and get your money back. Repeat until finished. Nobody at Best Buy gets paid enough to care, and these DVDRs generally look quite good (or at least good enough for YouTube).

(By the way, Handbrake is Mac only, I believe.)

Anyhoo. Now that your media's all on DVD, open up Handbrake. Handbrake only lets you choose sections to convert by chapter marker, not timecode (an unfortunate oversight), so get that straightened out beforehand (just put discrete programs on their own discs, or put a chapter marker between them while you're duping on the recorder). Set the Maximum File Size to 99 megs -- Handbrake will automatically scale down the quality to match it. Set your encoding codec to H264 (It looks a lot better than standard mp4). And click the Image Options button at the button to change the aspect ratio to 320 x 240 -- you can even remove the black margins and gain a few pixels of image.

Handbrake has a queue, so you can repeat the process and get a few videos lined up before you go to bed. Just make sure you give them different file names! If you're ripping from two DVDs at once (one in an external drive, one on the internal drive, and a few as disc images copied onto the hard drive and mounted, say), Handbrake has a weird bug that requires you to be quick on the draw when selecting other discs, but it can be done.

And of course, after the ripping's all done, you can upload multiple videos simultaneously to Youtube with the magic of multiple browser windows. It'll take all night again... but as long as your files are less than 100 megs, they WILL got up eventually (barring connection errors, goblins, etc.).

Well, I hope this unrequested advice helps out in some way. I've slogged through enough codec bullshit in my day that I wouldn't wish it on anyone else. I've got plenty of 40+minute videos I've ripped with this method on my Youtube page, so you can check those out and see the quality and loading speed.

You're archiving some really wonderful stuff here, and I can't wait to see more of it!


----------------- Bulletin Message -----------------
From: Jerserf Wheet
Date: Nov 5 2006 9:54 PM

For the last several weeks, I have been helping Kelly Kuvo digitize and upload her massive library of underground art videos to YouTube. As you may remember from previous blog entries, Kelly serenaded Alton and I inside a recording studio in the Capitol Records Building earlier this year with a song called "Go Away, Thank You." But, she’s most famously known for her involvement in two of the most righteous punk bands EVER - The Scissor Girls and Sweet Thunder - and her jaw-droppingly surreal interventions on Chicago’s public access TV station in the 90's. I don’t know how to begin to describe her video work other than to say click here. A world of absolute artistic hope, shambling beauty and d.i.y. situationist ethos awaits!

Kelly explains: "What you are about to see are zero dollar budget Cable TV shows intended to force a couch potato fat ass average Chicagoland non-artist type of person to flip the channel after watching them for 5 minutes. I imagined that they’d surf through 100 other channels of million dollar budget productions and then wind up watching another 10 minutes of my production and ultimately wonder what the fuck is up with this show that doesn’t make any sense or lead anywhere!"

The fact that you’ll be watching as a captive internet audience sort of undermines the righteousness of the original site-specificity of these pieces. But whatever! Enjoy out of context... and watch this blog in the coming months for a special surprise, related in a way that I can’t divulge yet, alignments of stars pending.

11/01/2006 bloggy
1. flickr

I set up a new Flickr photo-sharing account. Flickr free accounts hold up to 200 photos. This is another way of saying that Flickr holds 200 x (the number of email addresses you have access to) photos, for free. The new account has more dumb found images than the old one.
old account
new account

2. nyc

So I went to NYC for a weekend at the beginning of October, to hang out with my bro Hiroaki Koshiba, the performance painter. We did a performance at Monkdogz Urban Art in Chelsea, which involved me pressing play on a CD of specially prepared tracks by Jerusalem & the Starbaskets and Flowers, and Hiro painting an original composition informed by it while it played. Speaking of Flickr:
Seeing my friends in New York -- Hiro, Eli (whom I haven't seen in 14 years!), Olivia, and, via phone tag, Aaron and Lilo -- was absolutely fantastic. and fully reimbursed me for the trip in fond deathbed memory dollars. But being in New York was strange, strange, strange in its lack of strangeness. NYC reminded me a lot of my trip to Tokyo in that I didn't speak the language, except in this case the medium of communication was astonishingly boring expensive clothes. WTF NYC. Why was I the only stupid-looking person everywhere I went. I couldn't tell how old anyone was, but even the people who looked too young to have grown-up dress-up jobs were all wearing black and skulls, which was also really boring since everyone was doing it. Part of me really hates fashion. It's the same part of me that hates music and art and people. Which is why I'm involved in them, I guess -- if I didn't think there was room for improvement, I wouldn't have any passion to be involved in it.
Another thing -- in Columbia, if you see a weird guy or a hot lady, chances are good you'll run into them again often enough to find out what their deal is. Columbia's not a big town. In NYC, once a person walks past you, they're gone, snatched up by the laws of probability. So did they ever exist in the first place?
Trip highlights:
- stepping outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art just in time to see an Italian parade beach itself, complete with a massive man in the back of a pickup full of amps speaking into a microphone in Italian for a very long time about something, while the truck parked.
- realizing that I like going to galleries -- thanks Hiro!
- Hiro falling asleep during The Science of Sleep
- A Chinese girl hawking DVDs in the street in Little Italy by holding them out and saying "DVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVDDVD... (accidental eye contact) DVD? DVDDVDDVDDVD"
- The awesome lame dude at the bar Olivia took us to, who kept saying things like "Dancing is so great! I love soul music! So you guys are all Japanese?" while dancing with his arms over his head. The bar did not have a dance floor. A different guy got me high in the street in front of the bar and a few hours later I fell asleep in the subway terminal. Thanks for getting me on the train, Hiro. And thanks to Olivia for calling all the babes in her phone, even though only two babes showed up.
- The armor exhibit at the Metropolitan
- Getting on the wrong bus, several times, and not being able to do a damn thing about it until it stopped
- grafitti
- the gaggle of white kids banging on a subway column with cardboard tubes and quietly busting call-and-response raps to each other
- the panflutist subway performer and the African singer subway performer
- being too embarassed to poop in the sound-amplifying bathroom of the multi-person tiny Japanese hostel suite, and surreptiously seeking out suitably secure-seeming loos everywhere we went (the last one was in a Baskin Robbins in Bedford, thanks Baskin Robbins)
- stopping in a closet-sized dimly lit Korean internet closet in a Ukrainian village and printing out my e-ticket and listening to dorky Korean male teens calling each other 'faggot' while playing WoW with each other in adjacent PC stalls for an hourly fee
- $7 Heineken bottles at the NYC airport Sbarros
- two 150-minutes layovers at the Minneapolis airport, which has a massage booth and a hair salon that does extensions
- wondering how to locate the Chinese modern artist exhibiting on the roof of the Metropolitan (two giant resin alligators totally stabbed with pointy objects confiscated at airport checkstations, a giant clear monolith with smacked-dead birds at its base, a daily stormcloud) with the intent of introducing him to my mom
- walking indefinitely everywhere in the middle of the night
- realizing for the millionth times that record stores are record stores, restaurants are restaurants, iPods are iPods, no matter what city you visit them in
- totally failing to go to the Statue of Liberty.
- my Americorps money getting dissed by the NYFA -- hello Mizzou!
- getting rained on so much that I felt like I'd been hit in the back of the head
- everything Eli took us out to -- the hotel elevator, the Toys 'R' Us indoor ferris wheel (I wish I'd saved the photo), the empty gourmet beer bar.
- Confirming that both Eli and I and the other good guys turned out just fine.
- Realizing that I unintentionally look pretty much exactly how I did when I was 11.
- the crowd at Hiro's performance being comprised entirely of people there coincidentally, when the gallery had been totally empty ten minutes before, and the two Jewish ladies saying how pretty the music had been
- drinking a great deal of free champagne at the gallery
- getting too caught up in reading On Stranger Tides
- the TV in our room having an option where a woman's voice described everything that was happening, like the inverse of closed captions
- getting Eli to say that if I mailed him some of the protein gel I make at home, that he'd eat it, before revealing that I was no longer talking about the protein gel on sale at the Japanese foods store were at, BURN

I'll probably think of some more things later. Feel free to add any.

3. archive / youtube

There's lots of new additions to both the Cat Jams Youtube page and the Cat Jams page. Check them both out and report back when you're all up to date.

4. mixes

I've made some mixes recently that you might enjoy. You might!

Bummer summer 2k6mix, 8/18/06, 47:23, 83.2m
Autumn of Horrifying Repercussions 2k6mix, 10/03/06, 47:26, 79.7m
Cam'ron and Dipset sentimentimix2k6, 11/02/06, 67:59, 121.5m

5. halloween

This was Friday night, aka Halloween Day 1/5. If Gregg and I ever do a Swamp Fuck reunion tour, these would be good outfits (onstage and off). On Halloween Day 5/5, I dressed as Austin Powers because it was lame, and it was so lame that even I couldn't do it the whole night and assembled an "Eddie Murphy in the 'Wazupwitu' video" costume instead, except for the face, so, Lorenzo Lamas. Five days of Halloween is enough, by the way.

6. jh drawings

James Harvey has taken a short break from the revitalization of big beat to draw a bunch of pirates. Some of them look especially fantastic and handsome because they're based on my mom and I, respectively. I think the Mizzou tiger is a mind-shattering coincidence, or else my whole life is, either way.

7. hiro myspace

Hiro(aki Koshiba) is on Myspace now.

8. article

This article is good but it totally got its thunder stolen by the preternaturally apropos mullet feature at the bottom of the page.

9. cagesan

Toog finally broke his silence about this project so I'm-a talk about it too. Several months ago, I was approached by the Parisian musician/artist/poet/shirtless guy Gilles Weinzaepflen, aka Toog, to do a remix of a song composed and performed by his pet bird Cagesan (né John Cage, ha ha), for a remix compilation called I Love Machine. I was honored, because I really like Toog's blog and abs. Then he clarified that he wanted MC Cat Genius to do it. Well, whatever.

Piccolo's remix is a Weird Al-ification of an early and obscene Nina Hagen song about the value of her right to have an abortion in terms of her role as a woman in modern society. So, the new track is meant to explore male-type behaviors inherent in the remix establishment. It does this by featuring a rapping cat who says 'butt' at a funny point. You can hear a snippet of the track on the Cagesan website. I haven't heard the album yet but who wants to bet that this track is the dumbest. The other remixers are all like avant-Hadid bioarchitects from Luxembourg, and James Harvey, and so forth. So this is hella exciting for me and hella relaxing for Piccolo, who is asleep.