The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #147: Making The Terminator Theme Part 2

Episode #147: Making The Terminator Theme Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast147_201806/Podcast%20147.mp3

This week, we have one simple goal – adding a guitar parrt to the Terminator theme we started last week.  I experimented with a few different electric guitar effects, and in the end chose two – a quiet one with an echo and one with distortion.  Both are included in the podcast (in that order) – see which you like best!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #146: Making The Terminator Theme Part 1

Episode #146: Making The Terminator Theme Part 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast146_201805/Podcast%20146.mp3

To piggyback off the last few weeks talking about 80s memories, this week (and probably next), we’ll be making a version of Brad Fiedel’s Terminator theme.  Here’s three version of the main theme – the one from the first film, a slower piano version from the first film, and slow synth string version from T2 – a great example of how a central score can be voiced in different ways to fit different scenes.

I’m actually not sure which key the score is done in since I don’t usually use sheet music, but the version I figured out is in the key of Eb, I think.  I’m not sure I’m using the same syncopated chunking drum beat that the movie theme uses, but the version I’m using in this track uses a low synth bass sound that I originally figured out by hitting a toy hand drum my son was playing with.  Next week, I’ll try to add an electric guitar overlay.  I can’t recall if there are official guitar versions of the theme, but I always thought it’d sound great electrified like that.  Stay tuned for that coming next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #145: A Conversation with Adam from Mom_Gave_Them_Away on Instagram Part 2, Take 2

Episode #145: A Conversation with Adam from Mom_Gave_Them_Away – 80s Toys and Cartoons Extravaganza Part 2 – Take 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast145_201805/Podcast%20145.mp3

Due to some difficulties I had getting podcast feeds to pick up this episode, I’m trying an experiment.  Show notes are available here

 

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #145: A Conversation with Adam from Mom_Gave_Them_Away on Instagram Part 2

Episode #145: A Conversation with Adam from Mom_Gave_Them_Away – 80s Toys and Cartoons Extravaganza Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast145_201805/Podcast%20145.mp3

Adam from the Instagram account that he runs, mom_gave_them_away (dedicated to 80s toys, mostly action figures, and other 80s memorabilia), rejoins us this week for the second part of our conversation on 1980s childhood nostalgia.   If you grew up during that era or just have an interest in some of the things kids were playing with back then, do yourself a favor and check out his site – it’s a virtual encyclopedia of information on toys and other memorabilia from the 80s!  This episode, we again cover a diverse array of topics – starting with molding and casting, to Adam’s custom action figure business (see below), and many more 80s toys and their obscure associated cartoons. Like last week, here are some 80s cartoon intros and commercials to get you in the mood:

Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors – the intro to Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors is quite typical of the era – lasers, explosions, rings that shoot fire, and men singing the name of the series over and over in the intro 🙂

Silverhawks – “partly metal, partly real”

This unbelievably epic commercial was for Air Raiders.  Despite the animation in this commercial, there was no cartoon I’m aware of, though there was a comic.  This page, which details a number of toy lines from the 80s (such as Air Raiders) that didn’t quite take off for whatever reason, is fascinating if you’re into this sort of thing.  

The anime opening theme for Combat Mecha Xabungle (above) requires some explanation.  Recently, Adam posted a nameless red robot torso on his page (below).  Thanks to the magic of the internets and the contributors visiting his account, he was able to quickly find the name and full version of the figure. When I saw it, I was reminded of a similar blue robot that also had a penchant for falling apart!   Turns out they were from this Japanese anime series, originally airing in 1982.

View this post on Instagram

⬅️SWIPE: I HAD THAT! But what is it? Thanks to the @mom_gave_them_away community I now know. A few weeks ago I posted a junked torso of a transforming robot I remembered having as a kid, but couldn't remember what it was in order to find one. Thanks to many of you guys I now know it was most likely the Yrobot Ironcar knock off of the Xabungle Irongear from 1983. This thing is iconic to me as I was always drawn to generic and simple toys. I remember getting this for Christmas at my grandparent's house in Wheaton, IL when I was a kid. After that post a few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to track down one of each mint and complete in the box. I will say if you get one they are very brittle and fragile. Aside from the stickers you can spot the Yrobot Ironcar from the head; I've never seen it with a properly painted face. So that KO is easy to spot. But they have the exact same mold and are equally rad! #momgavethemaway #mgta #80smovies #80sculture #80stv #80smusic #toysfromthe80s #80stoys #80scartoons #nostalgia #toycollection #toyphotography #toys #kenner #fisherprice #remco #toysrus #kbtoys #hasbro #toypics #toyphotos #80sstuff #1980s #toysruskid #yrobot #xabungle #ironcar #irongear #transformers #gobots

A post shared by Mom Gave Them Away (@mom_gave_them_away) on

 

 

Having never seen the show before, I must admit, my curiosity is peaked!  I’ll have to try to track some of the episodes down.  

Remember these toy guns?  The one on the left shot rubber BBs (it was basically a low powered airsoft gun with a gravity fed magazine), and the one of the right fired little discs.  Both were high capacity (the BB gun could hold about 40-50 BBs; the disc shooter I think held around 20 discs in an internal, nonremovable, spring fed magazine) and offered the possibility of semiauto fire (one shot for each pull of the trigger, assuming the gun didn’t break in between – always a risk – which, despite the durability issues, was pretty cool for a toy).  This page lovingly pays homage to these bits of toy gun history – click to read more: BB gun / disc shooter.

image

Check out more of Adam’s work here: https://accustomfigures.com/ and on Instagram.  He put together a number of tutorials so you can also get started on making your own figures.  And of course, here is the page that inspired this episode and last: https://www.instagram.com/mom_gave_them_away/

I’ll finish with a little retro 80s visual that you can hear at the end of the show – a remixed version of “I’ll Fly Away” from The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack – this video being a nod to all those flying scenes in 80s movies through dreamy cloudscapes.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #144: A Conversation with Adam from Mom_Gave_Them_Away on Instagram

Episode #144: A Conversation with Adam from Mom_Gave_Them_Away – 80s Toys and Cartoons Extravaganza

https://archive.org/download/Podcast144_201805/Podcast%20144.mp3

This week and next, I’m joined by Adam from the Instagram account that he runs, mom_gave_them_away, which is dedicated to 80s toys, mostly action figures.  If you grew up during that era or just have an interest in some of the things kids were playing with back then, do yourself a favor and check out his site – it’s a virtual encyclopedia of information on toys and other memorabilia from the 80s!  This episode, we cover a diverse array of topics – from 80s toys, to the lure of cassette tapes and VHS, to many obscure 80s cartoons!  The fact that these toys were made to be be played with made them educational, in a way (I’d argue).  Good for the imagination!

Here are some cartoon intros (GoBots, Visionaries, Inhumanoids, Dungeons and Dragons) and toy commercials (Sky Commanders, G.I. Joe, Battle Beasts) to whet your appetite:

And though this wasn’t something we talked about, the G.I. Joe clips reminded me of this clip from a Reading Rainbow episode I turned on for my daughter the other day.

Teamwork!  Talk about a blast from the past.  The high-water socks, the headbands, the electric guitar in the background, the dry ice in the glass the waitress hands to Levar around 1:00 – classic!

Stay tuned next week as we continue the conversation with Adam.  In the meantime, check out some of the most excellent custom action figure work he also does (like this Macgyver custom below).  We’ll start with figure making next week!

macstrip

Check out more of Adam’s work here: https://accustomfigures.com/ and on Instagram.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #143: A Conversation with Synthwave Artist Starfarer

Episode #143: A Conversation with Synthwave Artist Starfarer

https://archive.org/download/Podcast143_201805/Podcast%20143.mp3

img_3336

This week, synthwave musician Miguel Iniguez, a.k.a. Starfarer, joins me on the show for a conversation all about music, the creative process, his influences, and his self-titled debut album (which reminded me of the soundtrack to a dark and fast space shoot’em up, like Gradius for the SNES:
Image result for gradius snes

Speaking of influences, the excerpt of the instrumental piece right before the interview called Crack of Doom was influenced by the Terminator theme.  As you might imagine, Starfarer has an 80s sci-fi feel … so count down with me as we initiate the launch sequence.  5 … 4 … 3 … 2 … 1.  Engage!

Click on the coverart below to listen on Bandcamp:

Here are other places online where you can find more information:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Spotify – help Miguel out and listen here (each time you listen, he earns something!)

Next week, stay tuned for more retro 80s, but this time, in action figure form – Adam from the Instragram account mom_gave_them_away joins us for a multi-part interview.  Stay tuned!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #142: Snippets from a Live Show

Episode #142: Snippets from a Live Show

https://archive.org/download/Podcast142_201804/Podcast%20142.mp3

This weekend, I took a bunch of my songs plus a number of (mostly) 80s songs and played at a local arts festival for about 4-5 hrs.  I had about 26 songs ready for the keyboard and the guitar and ended up playing most of them at least twice, some more, during that time.  I also had the chance to work out a few new songs (one of which you’ll hear a clip of) and polish old ones (since you can only play the same ones over and over for so long).  I’ve just included a few snippets since the audio quality was especially bad even after a lot of editing, but here are two songs I did on the guitar from 80s movies (Sixteen Candles and Purple Rain) in their original form:

Next week, stay tuned for synthwave artist, Starfarer!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #140: Creating “Aurora’s Lullaby”

Episode #140: Creating “Aurora’s Lullaby”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast140_201804/Podcast%20140.mp3

This week, we’re making a lullaby that was partially written as something to help my children go to sleep.  But it was also a little song that Aurora, from The Thirteenth Hour books, sings to help young children in the orphanage (where they are living as children) go to sleep.  Later in the books, she learns to play the lute and she and her husband (see the cover art) will sometimes play it with him accompanying her on the flute. When Logan is alone later in the story, he will sometimes sing it to himself to remind himself of happier times.

Aurora’s Lullaby

C Am
When the sun goes down and stars appear
C G
Comes a time when you shall hear
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes.
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

C Am
Rest your soul, lay your head
C G
The hour’s come to go to bed
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes.
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

Solo
E D E C
C D E G G E D
G F E F G C
G F E F G C
C E D C C

C Am
And so the day is done.
C G
Your failures, your kingdoms are won
Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.

Am F
For now it’s time to close your eyes
G C
And to you, I’ll sing this lullaby.
G C
Yes, to you, I will sing this lullaby.

 

It took a few months to finish since I wanted ti try to learn to play the penny whistle for the little instrumental break in the middle.  You can hear the final version at the end of the show and stream or download it from Bandcamp.

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #130: Electrifying The Thirteenth Hour Theme

Episode #130: Electrifying The Thirteenth Hour Theme

https://archive.org/download/Podcast130_201802/Podcast%20130.mp3

This week, we’re making an electric guitar fill for future soundtracks to the Thirteenth Hour books using a part of the theme music.  It runs about 30 seconds long and is intended to accentuate parts of the story where a little theme music is appropriate (future Kindle editions of the sequels will hopefully have external links to the soundtrack on Bandcamp or Youtube.  Here’s some of the gear used this episode:

Coming soon, I’ll be posting about a little side work-in-progress.  Remember when I talked in the past about Hero Forge, the site that allows you to create 3d printed miniatures of characters of your own creation for tabletop games?  I’ve had an inkling to try casting little resin miniatures along the lines of those little pink M.U.S.C.L.E. (keshi) toys from the 80s.  The first step is creating a sculpt, so here’s a wireframe skeleton of Logan on Lightning.  Stay tuned!

Speaking of toys, check out the Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mom_gave_them_away/ for some great 1980s movie and toy nostalgia.  Haven’t seen some of those toys in years.  I mostly never knew what many of them were called or had just vague memories of them from commercials or just bits and pieces from various yard sales.  So it’s been cool finding out more about these artifacts from a few decades past.

Speaking of which, if you’re into new music that sounds like it could have been from an 80s movie soundtrack, check out the Spotify link in the bio of  https://www.instagram.com/ironskullet_synthwave/ – there are thousands of songs there, and the list keeps growing.

Lastly, speaking of synths and pixels, this podcast now has a new logo for 2018.  I figured that since fantasy, scifi, and electronic music collide so frequently here, why not showcase these things with background art for Long Ago Not So Far Away, and the pixelart dragon I made for that vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I worked on decades ago when I probably should have been studying for math tests or something 🙂

podcast new logo_edited

Title image courtesy of http://www.orangecoast.com/life-style/better-together-best-group-activities-saturday/

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #120: The Making of a Thirteenth Hour Love Theme

Episode #120: The Making of a Thirteenth Hour Love Theme

https://archive.org/download/Podcast120_201711/Podcast%20120.mp3

I’ll freely admit I’ve always been partial to love themes from movie soundtracks.  Especially if they came out in the 80s, when there were plenty of synthesizers to give it that 80s feel.  So today, we’re creating a track like that for the third Thirteenth Hour book for a scene when our two main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, are reunited after a long time spent looking for each other, not knowing if their true love was even still alive. I wanted it to be a mix between some more traditional sounds (mostly) to evoke tender longing and just enough synth to fit in the rest of the soundtrack.

It’s called “Because We May Only Have One Night,” and while this one is mainly instrumental, I think I may add some vocals for a separate song later or do a reprise which takes some of the elements of this melody, such as the chord progression (G Em C D) or the main riff and intersperses it for later introspective scenes.  That’s the great thing about making soundtracks!  You can rest assured that if you have one melody you like, you can dress it up and change a few things here or there and use it for a new piece somewhere else, kind of like using the leftovers of Sunday’s dinner for Monday’s lunch!

Today’s track was done all on the synthesizer with a small vocal part (whistling) added to the intro.  It was mixed on the synth and in Audacity.  Look for it in the near future on bandcamp.  You can hear the demo version at the end of the show.

While we’re on the subject, one of the tracks featured on the show a few weeks ago, inspired by Chad Derdowski’s book, Fortune Favors the Bold, is now a feature on the Youtube channel Synth Heaven.  Check it out:

Here are the original tracks embedded in the page for your playing convenience:

Speaking of which, Chad has a sequel just out – Fortune Favors the Bold 2!  More Scissorwulf!  Like the last volume and the Choose Your Own Adventure books that inspired it, it comes with black and white line illustrations that Chad drew to complete the experience.  Click on the cover below to check it out on Amazon.

scissor1scissor2scissor3

Lastly, Missy Sheldrake, who was on the show this past summer, is also releasing a book in the near future – just a few days from when this episode will be out.  As with her previous volumes, this one is richly illustrated.  Click on the book spotlight below to get a copy of your own, and check out her social media links following the illustrations as well as the following book excerpts  (one and two).

Call-of-Elespen-Book-SpotlightExcerpt 1Call of Hywilkin illustrationTib-PromoKeepers-of-the-Wellsprings-banner

Website: http://missysheldrake.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missysheldrake

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/m_sheldrake/

Tumblr: http://etsyfairydawn.tumblr.com/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/MissySheldrake/and https://www.facebook.com/muralsbymissy

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13672249.Missy_Sheldrake?from_search=true&search_version=service

Amazon: www.amazon.com/dp/B00UVLQWGY

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s Instagram pages: @the13thhr for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art and and @the13thhr.ost for more 80s music, movies, and songs from The Thirteenth Hour books and soundtrack.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/ or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #119: Reflections on Rewatching “Fire and Ice” With Jeremy and Chad

Episode #119: Reflections on Rewatching “Fire and Ice” With Jeremy and Chad

https://archive.org/download/Podcast119_201711/podcast%20119.mp3

Today’s episode is a discussion on rewatching the animated film, Fire and Ice, directed by Ralph Bakshi and produced by him and Frank Frazetta, who provided many of the character designs.   My brother, Jeremy, and author Chad Derdowski came on the show after watching the film to give our reflections (click on the movie poster below, painted by Frank Frazetta, to get a copy of your own):

We cover quite a bit, from pulp fiction, racial and gender stereotypes, to fantasy art and the dearth of painted novel covers and movie posters (like those done by Drew Struzan in the 80s for films like Back to the Future, Adventures in Babysitting, Big Trouble in Little China, and Blade Runner), and what ages we’d let our kids watch the film.

A few factoids covered in this episode.   For example, did you know that:

James Gurney, creator of Dinotopia, worked on the backgrounds to the film.  He chronicled his experiences working on the film on his blog.

Thomas Kinkade, “The Painter of Light” also worked on the film. Reading how he and Gurney worked together and pranked folks on the set is a good read!

-Not that it needs one, but Fire and Ice may get a remake (allegedly … supposedly … possibly … you know how these things go).  Some concept art here.

-Dark Wolf later inspired a similarly clad comic hero called Jaguar God … the first issue cover was a borrowed Frazetta painting.

Image result for jaguar god

-Despite different directors and different studios/animation styles, you can buy the whole (well, kind of) animated Lord of the Rings saga:

The Lord of the Rings Deluxe Edition/The Hobbit Deluxe Edition/The Return of the King Deluxe Edition/ (3-Pack/Giftset/DVD)

And a bit on the Dark Wolf character from the film, which we touched on during previous episodes Chad featured in (hear parts 1 and 2 here) – a combo of a “sword and sorcery” Batman (as Jeremy put it) crossed with the Death Dealer character Frazetta created and painted numerous times:

Image result for death dealer

Lastly, I leave you this image of Blackstar, a similarly clad figure that went with a sword and sorcery cartoon of the same era about an astronaut that lands on an alien planet.  He has a tagline that reads “Astronaut defender of freedom with glow in the dark star sword.”  Does it get any more 80s than that?  🙂 (You can watch the series on youtube.)

Image result for blackstar figure

 

And if you like sword and sorcery, check out Chad’s books!  The following tracks were inspired by them:

I’ll end with more info on where you can find the book that inspired these tracks:

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

Thanks, Chad, and Jeremy for coming on the show.  Look for more in the future!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #118: Creating Tracks for “Fortune Favors the Bold”

Episode #118: Creating Tracks for Fortune Favors the Bold

https://archive.org/download/Podcast118_201711/Podcast%20118.mp3

Not long after author Chad Derdowski came on the show this summer (hear parts 1 and 2 here), talking about his brilliantly humorous … oh, how shall we say, R-rated Choose-Your- Own-Adventure-style book, Fortune Favors the Bold, I wondered what a soundtrack to the book might sound like.  Something out of an 80s movie, I thought, like Ladyhawke or Legend.  And then, the muse struck.  Of course, it was in an inconvenient place (in the shower), but as soon as I could, I found a keyboard and tapped out the little theme that formed the backbone of these two tracks.

I got Chad’s input and okay to proceed, then went to town.  He didn’t put me up to this or anything, and I didn’t want him to think I was trying to steal his creations … I guess in the tradition of fanfiction, you could call this “fanmusic?”  =)  Anyway, I talk more about the creation of the tracks, called “Gleam of the Widowmaker” and “One Adventures Ends, Another Begins” on the episode and read a few choice bits from the book which inspired the tracks, which you can listen to below or by clicking on the song titles above.

The latter track was made on the iOS app Auxy, like “Flight of the Cloudrider” (listen here or see the music video below) and “There is Magic Inside.”  You can learn more about Auxy, download a copy to your phone, and Henrik Lenberg, the creator of the program, by clicking on the highlighted links.

By the way, in case you are curious, here is a youtube tutorial that shows a little about how to use Auxy:

And here are some screenshots from “One Adventure Ends, Another Begins”:

If you enjoy synthesizer music, creating it, or just living your life as if it were accompanied to an 80s soundtrack, check out this great synthwave playlist on Spotify curated by Preston Cram.

I’ll end with more info on where you can find the book that inspired these tracks:

Image result for fortune favors the bold chad derdowski

Get a copy of your own by clicking here or on the cover above: https://www.createspace.com/6289426

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fortunefavors_the_bold/

FB: https://www.facebook.com/TheScissorwulf/?ref=br_rs

GR: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32842665-fortune-favors-the-bold?from_search=true

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2wnHPfV

Thanks, Chad, for inspiring this fun project!  Hope you enjoy it!  Look for more from Chad next week!

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Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #115: Creating “There is Magic Inside”

 

Episode #115: Creating “There is Magic Inside”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast115_201710/Podcast%20115.mp3

Today, we’re going to make a music track for one of the Thirteenth Hour book sequels with a combination of digital and analog technology.  It goes with a part of the story where Aurora, one of the main characters, is just starting to discover that she has the ability to generate magic herself – something that is surprising, wonderful, exciting, and a bit confusing all at the same time.  I was trying to capture that feeling in the music.

I’m using a app called Auxy to make the backing track and adding in a few electric guitar parts as accents.  The track was 95% done prior to adding the guitars, and best of all, I did it all in the palm of my hand when I was doing something else (in this case trying to get my son to sleep by bouncing on a exercise ball – that works wonders, by the way).

I made a previous track with Auxy, “Flight of the Cloudrider” (listen here) or check out the link to the EP and music video below.  You can learn more about Auxy, download a copy to your phone (only iOS so far, I believe – my error on the show), and Henrik Lenberg, the creator of the program, by clicking on the highlighted links.

Here is a youtube tutorial that shows a little about how to use the program:

 

And here are some screenshots from this particular track:

If you enjoy synthesizer music, creating it, or just living your life as if it were accompanied to an 80s soundtrack, check out this great synthwave playlist on Spotify curated by Preston Cram.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2

Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #86: Worldbuilding in Scifi and Fantasy Audio From Big Apple Con 2017

Episode #86: How Scifi and Fantasy Authors Build The Worlds of Their Books 

https://ia801501.us.archive.org/26/items/Podcast86AriaBigAppleConPanel_201704/Podcast%2086%20Aria%20big%20Apple%20con%20panel.mp3

Ever read a fantasy or science fiction novel immersive enough to make you want to finish it in one sitting?

Ever wonder how the author created something convincing enough to make you sad when it ended?

That’s what today’s show is about.   It’s a Q and A panel from the Big Apple Comic Con a few weeks ago.  Think of it as a behind the scenes window into the minds of six authors who write a variety of styles within scifi and fantasy.  Some of the topics covered:

-What’s your creative process like: outline? freeform?

-Which is more important?  Characters vs. plot?

-How to create full realized characters you want to read about

-How to create characters that are true to themselves and the world you’ve created for them

-How do you find the time to write?

-Writing through writer’s block

-How much time should it ideally take for a reader to get a sense of your world?

Here are the authors on the panel.  Click on their names to go to their Amazon or GR profile pages and the book cover by their name for a representative fantasy work.

Tabitha Lord

86horizon

Heather Rigney

 86mermaid

Mike Squatrito

86overlords

Sean Faye Wolfe

86elementia

Joshua Blum

13th Hr BookCover6x9 amazon bigger text thumbnail3 500x759

Chris Paniccia

86gridiron

Many thanks to Mike Carbanaro and the staff at the Big Apple Comic Con for inviting us to speak, and thanks to Mike Squatrito for doing the legwork to get us there.

images

If you’re a writer or illustrator yourself (or are interested in becoming one) and are interested in the organization we were representing, you can learn more about ARIA, the Association of Rhode Island Authors, here.

The ending track, a synthesizer remixed version of “Reed Pipes That Echo,” is now out for download or streaming off of bandcamp.  (Music has always been both an inspiration and essential part of the stories I’ve created.  So you could say, it’s one of the ways I “world build.”)

reed pipes remixed.jpg

Next week, fantasy author Joshua Robertson comes back on the show.  It was great to catch up after over a year, and we covered a lot – if you liked what was discussed today, it only gets better next week, so stay tuned!

As always, thanks for listening!

(Image at the top of the screen courtesy of lemerg.com)

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  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your random postings on ninjas, martial arts, archery, flips, breakdancing, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #67: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side B

Episode #67: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side B

https://archive.org/download/Podcast67_201611/Podcast%2067.mp3

11/13/16 marked the official online release of Long Ago Not So Far Away, and to celebrate, you can listen to the full album these past two weeks.  Side A of the cassette version was last week, and side B is this week.  Both are about 24 minutes long.

Here are this week’s tracks:

Dreams Go Far

Dragons’ Eyes

The Thirteenth Hour Theme (Trailer Version)

Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things

The Thirteenth Hour Theme (Electronic Remix)

Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things (Reprise)

Searching for Forever Instrumentals

 

If you’d prefer a physical copy, there are a few options.  Here’s one place you can get the CD.  Thanks to the folks at Amazon and Createspace for making a professional product!   You can find cassette tapes here.

cd tray template_edited-2222.jpg

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the new upcoming retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a free copy.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #66: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side A

Episode #66: Official Long Ago Not So Far Away Release Side A

https://archive.org/download/Podcast66_201611/podcast%2066.mp3

11/13/16 marked the official online release of Long Ago Not So Far Away, and to celebrate, you can listen to the full album this next two weeks.  Side A of the cassette version is this week and side B is next week.  Both are about 24 minutes long.

Here are this week’s tracks:

The Thirteenth Hour Theme (synth orchestra)

Searching For Forever

Song of an Unsung Hero

The Imperial Ranger March

I’ll Fly Away

Song of an Unsung Hero (Instrumentals) 

If you’d prefer a physical copy, there are a few options.  Here’s one place you can get the CD.  Thanks to the folks at Amazon and Createspace for making a professional product! 

And, yes, it’s even available on cassette tape for the truly retro.  Thanks to the great folks at the National Audio Company for keeping this aspect of the past alive.

Some shots of the merchandise at the RI Comic Con this weekend.

Side B is next week!  As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the new upcoming retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Join the mailing list for a free copy.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

 

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #63: Audio Recording and Editing with a Minimum of Gear Part 1

Episode #63: A Behind the Scenes Look at How the Soundtrack Was Created – Recording and Editing Audio Cheaply and Simply (1 of 2)

https://archive.org/download/Podcast64_201610/Podcast%2063.mp3

Today, we’re going to talk about how to audio record music with a minimum of fuss and equipment.  I used these methods to create the audio tracks for The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack, Long Ago Not So Far Away, and I certainly didn’t spend a lot of money (although, if time is money then, well …)

In any event, I used a combination of recording and editing equipment many people have (smartphone and computer – both aging at this point) as well as an old keyboard and 2 guitars.  There are some videos of the keyboard and, I think, the electric guitar on Instagram, and you can see for yourself that they’re nothing fancy.  So I think if this is something you’re interested in, don’t necessarily let the lack of money or equipment scare you off.

In this episode, I’ll talk a little about how all this worked and how you might be able to do something similar if you’re interested, culminating in a digital audio file you can then edit on a computer.  Part 2 (next week) will focus on editing that file to make it sound professional.

Here’s a link to an article I did on podcasting that may be helpful.   There’s a link to the free recording and editing program Audacity there as well as a lot of helpful links to tutorials that discuss audio recording and editing.

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the new upcoming retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming 11/13/16.  Join the mailing list for a free copy.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #61: Reflections on Replaying Jordan Mechner’s The Last Express

Episode #61: Replaying the PC game, The Last Express, after 19 years

https://archive.org/download/Podcast61_201610/Podcast%2061.mp3

Today’s episode is all about storytelling in a slightly different form than the books usually featured on this site.  It’s about how the 1997 adventure game created a sense of being an international traveler dropped in the middle of a web of intrigue and mystery in the days leading up to WWI and what it was like replaying this game almost 20 years later.  My brother and first played this game on the PC in 1997, shortly after it came out.  Interestingly, we both recently replayed the updated version and have now both written about our thoughts.  My bro’s are here:

http://pixelgrotto.tumblr.com/post/148786767031/favorites-murder-on-the-orient-express-i-had-a

This was one of the first games I ever played where characters move about independently regardless of what you happen to be doing.  They speak English, Russian, Serbian, Arabic, French, and German, not all of which your character understands, and much of the game consists of overhearing conversations and downright spying on your neighbors.  Doesn’t sound like it’d be interesting – but … it is.  The ever present ticking clock (which can be rewound to replay a sequence and try out new actions) running in the background as the Orient Express makes its way to Constantinople becomes a character in itself, just like the train, loving re-created from an actual Orient Express passenger car.  Little touches, like the clink of wine glasses and silverware in the dining car, the glint of gold in the art nouveau style decorations in the bathrooms, and the period paintings on the walls really capture the feel of what the gilded age must have been like and do just that much above the ordinary to create an immerse experience.

Here are some screen shots from the game:

2016-10-01-14-55-46

Your character, Robert Cath, is on the right.  In this scene, you’ve taken on the role of your murdered friend (who you’ve come to realize was into some heavy shite) and are trying to get gun runner Herr August Schmidt, the roly-poly gentleman on the left, to buy that you want to do an arms deal with him.  You have to convince him with this briefcase of gold that you can afford the hardware.

2016-10-01-15-08-03

Of course, not everyone is as they seem and not everything goes as planned.  Why so many guns on this train?  The war hasn’t even started!

2016-10-01-15-43-22

Much of the game centers around this mysterious firebird automaton that everyone seems to be after.  They seem to have killed your friend to get it …

2016-10-01-15-58-51

Much of the game consists of sneaking around, trying to figure out who everyone on this train is.  Sometimes, you can successfully sneak into their rooms when they aren’t there and the conductors aren’t looking.  In Herr Schmidt’s suitcase, you stumble upon his porn collection (probably an in-game easter egg) …

2016-10-01-15-59-24

… as well as a few spare Havanas and a small revolver that you can’t actually use …

2016-10-01-16-40-18

… even though, frankly, when it all goes south near the end of the game, a little firepower would probably come in handy.  Here is our hero with dukes up, ready to engage in fisticuffs like it is 1914.

2016-10-01-16-40-34

There are a few of these fights in the game, though this is the only one against an unarmed opponent.  The fighting mostly consists of timing your ducks to evade incoming blows and counter-punching at the right moment.

2016-10-01-16-45-39

In this sequence on top of the train, your opponent has a metal staff.

2016-10-01-16-47-20

If you win that altercation, you can thankfully liberate it from your opponent …

2016-10-01-16-47-23

 … which is handy, since your next opponent wields a sword!  Since this same character was brandishing a rifle earlier in the game, I guess she decided to dispatch you in style rather than just shooting you.

2016-10-01-17-58-14

And if you live through all that, the journey continues …

If you haven’t played this game, do yourself a favor, and give it a go.  You can find it inexpensively on Steam, iOS, and Android as well as old copies on CD on ebay.  Check out creator Jordan Mechner’s website for more info.  Here’s a great FAQ & walkthrough for the game as well as a link to an awesome fan site where there’s a visual walkthough on youtube with translations of even the languages Robert doesn’t understand, like Serbian and Arabic.

Image result for the last express

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast, demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour, and access to the new upcoming retro 80s soundtrack!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming 11/13/16.  Join the mailing list for a free copy.
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #60: A Storytime Reading of Sleeping Beauty

Episode #60: Sleeping Beauty Reading

https://archive.org/download/Podcast60_201609/Podcast%2060.mp3

This week, my daughter and I are reading The Sleeping Beauty, written/retold and beautifully illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman, who also illustrated St. George and the Dragon, which we read on episode #52.  Below are some pictures:

Image result for trina schart hyman sleeping beauty

Image result for trina schart hyman sleeping beauty

As an aside, my brother recently told me that Stan Bush, the man behind “The Touch” created a new 80s-style anthem for the game Shadow Warrior 2 – something that is incredibly awesome on so many levels I don’t know where to start.  You can listen to the EP on Souncloud! (click on the link above to listen).

Speaking of which, the soundtrack to The Thirteenth Hour, Long Ago Not So Far Away is done and will be coming out on 11/13/16.  It will be available digitally and on CD.  If I can find a few cassette tapes, I may even try to make a few cassettes that will be available on the eBay store for the truly old school.  (Remember making mix tapes?  This assumes I actually remember how to do that 🙂  If you want an advance preview in the next few weeks, sign up for the mailing list for a free advance digital copy!

cover-80s-style_edited-33

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #59: The Thirteenth Hour Soundtrack Preview

Episode #59: Long Ago Not So Far Away: Music from The Thirteenth Hour (Preview)

https://ia601502.us.archive.org/3/items/Podcast59_201609/Podcast%2059.mp3

This week, it’s all about retro 80s, starting with a preview of the upcoming official soundtrack release for The Thirteenth Hour, entitled Long Ago Not So Far Away.

It ended up being about 47 minutes long with a combination of synth instrumental tracks and songs with lyrics played on the guitar, piano, or a both.  Some were songs that I came up with originally when I wrote the book, others were ones that I wrote a few years later but had not fully completed (i.e. had the lyrics and chords for the guitar, making for a skeleton of a song … but all the little riffs and fills that make a song a song, especially a retro style 80s song, weren’t there).  There were two I kept more bare bones (mostly just acoustic guitar with a minimum of electric effects or synthesizers) because I wanted them to sound like folk songs out of the pseud0-medieval world the novel is set in.

It really ended up being a lot of fun.  In contrast to the tortuous process I had creating the cover for the book version of The Thirteenth Hour, making the cover for Long Ago Not So Far Away felt like a breeze, since I decided that the best course of action was to make it look like something out of the 80s.  I have a healthy collection of 80s CDs, tapes, and movies that helped provide entertaining inspiration.  There were also tons of synthwave (neo 80s synth music) covers on the internet (some of which looked more 80s than actual 80s album covers!). I also found this great Instagram page by @synthenebrism which links to a Spotify page with hours upon hours of synthwave music for your listening enjoyment.

In terms of making the cover itself, I found this great step by step tutorial that captured the look I was going for almost perfectly.  It walks you through using Photoshop to create your own retro synth cover.  I wanted an aurora for the cover to fit with the content of the book, so after a bit of searching, found this free stock image (click on the image to go to the page):

scotland-1564096_1280.jpg

Thanks to Blackmoons32 on deviantart for making a great free lightning bolt stock image already with an alpha channel (meaning the background is already transparent), making it easy to paste into your picture.  I thought about adding a rainbow or a unicorn to really round out the 80s fantasy images but thought that might be laying it on a little thick.  Instead, I just added the pixelart Logan on Lightning I made for the vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I started years ago.  In the end, it ended up looking like this:

cover 80s style_edited-33.jpg

It should be out later this fall.  But if you’d like a free advance preview, there are a few ways to do it.  Check out the bandcamp page, which has many of the tracks already uploaded, though not the fully remastered ones.  You can also look for former entries of this podcast or the Instagram page for some live versions or early drafts of songs.  Lastly, if you haven’t already, sign up for the mailing list if you’d like a free digital copy of the album to download with album artwork and all.  Stay tuned!

As always, thanks for listening!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack: https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
  • Website: https://13thhr.wordpress.com
  • Book trailer: http://bit.ly/1VhJhXY
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at writejoshuablum@gmail.com for more details!