I’ve done a whole bunch of stuff on the internet, and I’ve tried to gather most of it up into a concise list here. Most of these projects are slowly deteriorating as I find myself with less and less time to poke at them, but I maintain that there are nuggets of value to be found in all of them if you dig deep enough. DIG.
Acme Novelty Archive: Several years ago I was trying to determine the source of a stray Chris Ware strip, and decided I should start maintaining a list of his published works. In doing so I discovered that there are a bajillion of them. This site attempts to impose order on Mr. Ware’s steadily growing body of work.
Adam Plus Sarah: I got married to my long-time lady Sarah Fabian on May 12th, 2007 and we put up this minimal site. As with most of these sites, I originally intended to have more stuff put up here, but you know how it is. Sarahplusadam.com works, too.
Behind the Beehive: Carl Newman, currently the leader of indie darlings the New Pornographers, cut his teeth in a band called Zumpano. They released two albums for Subpop before breaking up. This is a site I put together collecting mp3′s of B-sides, a poorly-taped live show from 1997, some photos and an article or two in .pdf format. Calling all nerds.
The Barnes and Noble Experience: I worked at Barnes & Noble as a bookseller for four years. During that time I encountered the absolute worst of humanity, and I wrote about it. These are stories about funny experiences. There are several stories in there where I firmly assert what I now know to be a completely incorrect thesis, so that makes me cringe, but, you know. YOUTH.
Chris Kempa: This website was put up to memorialize my late younger brother Chris in early 2001. 6/10/84 – 11/20/00.
Digital Funnies: I found a posting from Jonathan Barli on a comics forum I occaisionally read, in which he was selling collections of his scans of public domain comics from the heyday of the newspaper. I am all about this sort of preservation, so I offered to set him up a simple storefront site and host some images. He runs the show, and I add updates when he sends them.
Guituner: In a misguided fit of not having an easy to remember, simple tuner website, I pretended I knew flash and threw this together. For a minute I even thought I might be able to make a few cents from ads, but google rejected my applications to the Google Ads program three times. Which blows my mind, considering the trash heap spam sites they approve.
Mosaics.kempa.com: I have an unhealthy obsession with pixelart-style mosaics. I’ve created three fairly large-scale mosaics so far, out of legos, bottle caps, and pushpins. I set this site up in order to experiment with the then-cutting-edge ‘lightbox’ gallery library.
Wurlitzer Guitars: In 2001 I was given a Wurlitzer stereo guitar. At the time, there was literally NO information on the brand available on the internet, so I spent much of 2003 (very) passively researching Wurlitzer Guitars. I put this skeletal site up to share the resources that others shared with me – original catalogs, company histories, schematics, etc. Just yesterday someone at Eastwood guitars wrote me to let me know they have created replicas of the Wurlitzer Gemini, which blew my mind.
The Pop Project: I’ve played the drums in the Pop Project since 2001. In that time, I’ve slowly evolved from being a completely ‘fake’ drummer, to being someone who can fake being a ‘real’ drummer. We just put out a record that we spent five years recording and mixing – so it’s crystal clear why I’m in this band. Download MP3′s and snicker at each member’s top five songs of the moment. Alternately: Snicker at MP3′s and download each member’s top five songs of the moment.
The Instant Album Party: This is best explained by lifting copy directly from the site: Sometime in mid-2004 I had an idea for a party. The premise was this: Invite a bunch of ‘music people’ and write the names of all participants on slips of paper, which are then folded and placed in a bowl. Draw ‘Bands’ of a predetermined number from the bowl, at which point the newly-minted ‘band’ is to descend into the basement, where they will have exactly one hour to write and record a song. This website contains the results of four such parties, and in addition to being very embarrassing for all those involved, the intent is to encourage people in other locales to host similar parties and submit the results. That would be spectacular.
The Paincakes: Remember back when there weren’t a million bands based on the humorous properties of Hardcore music? Me too, that was awesome. At this point, Paincakes is a just a good excuse to get together with a bunch of high-school friends once a year and laugh hysterically whilst recording christmas music. We also recently received a SUPER nice email from the father of a young boy with cancer, explaining that his son happened to love our version of ‘I Want a Hippopotamous for Christmas,’ and listened to it before important medical procedures. So it can never be said that the Paincakes didn’t make the world a better place.
Suburban Sprawl Music This is a record label that some friends and I have been “sort of” running since 2000. In 2004 or so, I picked up most of the administrative duties and put a lot of effort into it. Since then, Zach Curd has stepped in and taken on most of my duties, so while I’m pretty hands-off at this point, I’m also pretty proud of what we accomplished with it. You can see the latest releases on the homepage, keep up on the label blog here, and check out the accumulated MP3′s that make up our annual free holiday samplers here.
The Recital: I played bass in this band for ten years (1999-2009). On December 4th 2009, we released our final EP and played our last show, exactly ten years from the date of our first show. The final EP is still available for free on the site. Good times.
OS X Applications
iCommentary: I am clearly obsessed with behind-the-scenes anything, so it should not be surprising that the advent of DVD’s and the resultant abundance of director’s commentary tracks made me intensely happy. Unfortunately, I don’t find myself sitting in front of a television nearly as much as I used to, so I decided I would find a way to rip the commentaries to mp3′s for more portable listening. I didn’t find any particularly convenient methods, so I cobbled this together in late 2005. I have since received plenty of success stories and support requests, but not a single soul has ever made the $5 suggested donation. It occurs to me that these days people probably rip the video AND commentary audio to their ipods in one fell swoop. This doesn’t do that. I just tested it in Leopord and it sort of works, but not nearly as well as it did in Tiger. Maybe I’ll update it.
I Suck MP3 Blogs: I wrote this tiny app to pull down any mp3′s linked by a user-defined set of blogs a few years ago. Almost immediately after finishing it, I dropped my powerbook, killing the drive which held the only copy of the source code. SO: it will never be updated. The upside is that I just tested it in OS X 10.5 Leopard and it still seems to work. Yay.