Episodes

Bits and Chips

Cover image by ChrisGampat on flickr

It’s all about nostalgia and limitation as Mike chips away (ahhh?!?!?) at the world of chiptunes music. If you played video games years and years ago, you’ll hear a set of sounds that will be completely familiar, even when used in unfamiliar compositional genres. Mike explores the anatomy of chiptunes sounds and composition, and looks into chiptunes’ relationship to hacking and the counterculture.

PLUS: lots of clips of music from the video games of bygone times. And Mike pronouncing more European names. And the line “making bonk-bonk noises.”

MUSIC

Intro and Outro – Square and Enjoy by Goto80
Break #1: Can’t Stop Us by Chipzel
Break #2: Chango Island by Kupa
Break #3: mushroom giggles by minusbaby

SOURCES

  • Endless Loop: A Brief History of Chiptunes by Kevin Driscoll and Joshua Diaz
  • Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design  by Karen Collins
  • Playing with Sound by Karen Collins
  • Music in Video Games, ed. Donnelly, et al
  • The Sound of Playing: A Study into the Music and Culture of Chiptunes by A. Yabsley

And a special thanks to these Reasonably Sound Patrons: Brandon Bennes, Hans Buetow, Xander C, Talia F E, Camilla Greer, Parker Higgins, Joe Krushinsky, Tod Kurt, Ethan Rose, and Susan Rugnetta.

Acoustic Body

Cover image by Jeffrey Montes on flickr

It’s the stethoscope and the sampler as Mike leads us through “the alien nature of [our] own interiors.” In this journey into the sounds of the body, he explores the work of corporeal sonification as music, as well the history and meaning of sounds in medicine.

There are lots of sound puns that are sure to resonate (HA!), and the pleasure of hearing Mike work his way through European names of the 19th century. Also the word “auscultation.”

Music
Intro/Outro: My Body by Perfume Genius from Too Bright
Break 1: Suddenly by Herbert from Bodily Functions
Break 2: Lipostudio by Matmos from A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure

And a Special Thanks to these Reasonably Sound Patrons: Hans Buetow, Xander C, Talia F E, Camilla Greer, Parker Higgins, Joe Krushinski, Tod Kurt and Ethan Rose!

HBD™

Cover image by Kimberly Vardeman on flickr with some alterations by yt.

It’s the birthday episode for Reasonably Sound! Celebrating 1 year, Mike dives into why he can’t lead us all in a rousing chorus of that famous Happy Birthday song that we all know and … love (?). But the copyright clampdown might be loosening in light of dramatic new evidence found (as evidence usually is) in a basement.

PLUS … an exciting new birthday announcement: We are launching a Patreon! Now you can support the show you love with more than just cheering at your phone whenever a new episode comes out. The Patreon will help Reasonably Sound grow to new and exciting places. You can see the full details at the Reasonably Sound Patreon page.

You can also find Reasonably Sound’s very own Birthday Song at Mike’s bandcamp here.

SOURCES
FMA’S License Free Birthday Songs, Entries
Happy Birthday Song Contest Winners
The twisted history of the Happy Birthday song—and the copyright shenanigans that keep it profitable
Copyright and The World’s Most Popular Song by Robert Brauneis [PDF]
Original 1890s Manuscript of “Happy Birthday” Found In a Filing Cabinet
Birthday Song’s Copyright Leads to a Lawsuit for the Ages
“Happy Birthday” Lawsuit: “Smoking Gun” Emerges in Bid to Free World’s Most Popular Song
Happy Birthday song and its strange past


MUSIC
Intro and Outro:  Happy Birthday Song by Andrew Brid from andrew bird and the mysterious production of eggs
Break 1 – Smiley Monroe
Break 2 – My Birth by Swans from My Father Will Guide Me Up A Rope to The sky

Peace and White Noise

Cover image by GadoImages on Archive.org

Mike is on a brief vacation on Cape Cod. At the beach. Where he considers why the point of the beach isn’t really the beach, but instead the strange draw of waves, water and the ocean.

The ocean as Muzak. As white noise. As a tempering force for the other parts of our lives.

Also mentioned:

* The return of gladiator games as airport TSA checkpoints
* EDM-heads calmly discussing the concept of entrainment
* The immortal line, “How’s THAT for mystical?”
* Several appropriately apocryphal Herman Melville quotes
* Analysis of which natural features care about you, and which could give a [EXPLETIVE DELETED]

Little Night Muzak

Cover image by David Dawson on flickr

It’s convention season and Mike is on the road for three weeks straight, spending a LOT of time in centers and major hotel chains. And he’s noticed how much of his life has become underscored by Muzak and the purposefully designed feelings that it is meant to evoke.

Fetish Character

Cover image by Moritz Barcelo on flickr

Mike explores audience, taste, morality, subjectivity, commodity, and so much more in a pastiche of readings from Theodor W. Adorno, Gawker, Taylor Swift’s Tumblr, Fashionista, Noisey, NME and Pitchfork.

The text of this episode of Reasonably Sound is entirely found. The sources are:

 

KABOOM

Mike explores the sonic aspects of fireworks: What is an explosion, and why do they sound the way they do? These questions lead to a breakdown of combustion versus detonation; low explosives versus high explosives; the phrase “the boom is sort of like a pop with a diploma;” and a fascinating tangent about trying to learn card tricks in the ’90s.

Plus: The joys of taping a ref’s whistle to the hood of your car.

SOURCES
Celebrate the independence of your country by blowing up a small part of it.
SkunkBear on Fireworks
SkyLighter on the new Dragon’s Egg recipe
NOVA on the construction (incl Sound Charges) of Fireworks
A Fireworks Manual about sound I couldn’t buy if I wanted to, it seems

MUSIC
Intro/Outro: Explosion Alarm by Mark McGuire from A Young Person’s Guide to Mark McGuire
Break #1: Firework of Echoes by Motion Sickness of Time Travel from Slow Architecture
Break #2: Firework (Jump Smokers Remix) by Katy Perry and Jump Smokers from SoundCloud
Break #3: Whistle Tip (Remix) by Doo Bachary on YouTube

The Real Song of the Summer

Cover image by altiemae on flickr

It’s the ice cream truck jingle.  Even Mike’s hated Mr. Softee one.  Mike provides the secret origin of the jingle, touching on the Great Depression, the growth of the American middle class, the Good Humor Man, refrigeration, and bobsled bells.

SOURCES
Ice Cream: A Global History by Laura B. Weiss
Ding, Ding!: The Commodity Aesthetic of Ice Cream Truck Music by Daniel T Neely
The real song of the summer: a brief history of ice cream truck music
A Brief History of the Ice Cream Truck
Nichols Electronics Co
Putting the ‘Mr.’ in Soft Ice Cream

Racist History of “Turkey in the Straw”:
Recall That Ice Cream Truck Song? We Have Unpleasant News For You
That Viral Story About the Racist Ice Cream Song Is Wrong

MUSIC
Intro: Ice Cream Man by Tom Waits from Closing Time
Break #1: Shut Up And Drive (Far Away) by the Deftons from Around the Fur
Break #2: Star Spangled Banner, Rock Version

Echoic Memory

Echoic memory, how it differs from other kinds of memory, and the definition of sound itself, all on this episode of Reasonably Sound.  Plus: Jamiroquai.

Episode Image: Memory by Alex Isse Neutron – http://bit.ly/2EUklR0