The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: A Soundtrack 

It's a little-known fact that the garage in Los Altos, California where Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started Apple also had a resident band. A garage band. A 4-piece instrumental surf-space garage band. They were there when the first Apple computer booted up, and they continued playing long after the Steves had moved on from that garage, chronicling the ups and downs of Apple and particularly Steve Jobs' career. 

We recently recovered from the ether some of their jams through the years, which captured not only the sounds of the band, but the various sounds of Apple hardware, from the bleeps and boops and grinding disk drives of the earliest Apple computers, through the start-up chimes and crash sounds of the Macintosh computers, through to the tones of the iPhone. 

The band goes through a few changes as the decades progress too; from the Moog sounds of the 1970s, to the clean guitar sounds of the 1980s, to the grunge and shoegaze of the 1990s, to the final ascendency of Apple with Jobs back at the helm. 

For the Left of Left Center production of "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs", based on the monologue by Mike Daisey, directed by Jake Penner. 

Running August 31 - September 2, 2017, at The Bartell, in Madison, Wisconsin: leftofleftcenter.com

Listen on Bandcamp here: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs: A Soundtrack

New EP - Living Here in the Future 

Here it is, our new 4-song EP featuring songs about sci-fi movies from the '80s... and one from the '60s!  You can stream or download it free on Bandcamp here.

Track 1, "Bit Pair", is the closest thing we've done to a duet yet - it's a conversation between Flynn (sung by Robin) and his binary buddy Bit (sung by Rianna through vocoder) about the true nature of Bit, and their relationship.  You can watch the video which was lovingingly animated by our live drummer Darren here: https://youtu.be/Appmg64tZB0

Track 2, "87 Cards", is about my E.T. movie trading card collection, which I blogged about last time.  See the video here: youtu.be/JVu4xMGFv9o

Track 3, "Living Here in the Future", is the title track, based on the classic movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" - follow Heywood Floyd's journey to the moon, as he negotiates the dangers of stewardesses and floating pens.  Video here: youtu.be/UjEpDfIt07o

Track 4, "Slipstream" is based upon the 1989 movie of the same name.  A movie that did so poorly, its copyright wasn't even renewed so it's in the public domain.  And yet it starred Mark Hamill and Bill Paxton, was directed by the director of Tron, and produced by the producer of Empire Strikes Back... how could it go so wrong?  Well, in my opinion it didn't go wrong, it's one of my favourite movies ever.  This song features Rianna on lead vocals, and more synths than usual; it's also the first time we built the song upon a click track and synths - usually we do guitar and live drums as the foundation.  It's a pretty different sound for us.  We'll make a video for it as soon as someone asks :)  I'll probably write more about Slipstream in another post.

Enjoy the EP, share it, and let us know what you think!

87 Cards 

In 1982, aged 9, there was only one movie I wanted to see: TRON. A movie about the real video games inside a computer, made with computer graphics? So cool.

So my parents took me to see E.T.  I wasn't interested beforehand, and actually, I found movies and TV shows about aliens to be pretty scary (there was a book at our school library about potential real-life aliens that we would scare each other with), so I didn't particularly want to go.  But I did go, and got totally drawn in to E.T. and Elliott's adventure.

"Little Richard's" was the closest corner/variety store to my house, and there was always something new to spend my paper route money on. Early video game magazines, comics, weird candy, and trading cards.  When E.T. trading cards appeared at the store, I'd buy a pack or two each week.  With 10 cards per pack, and only 87 cards in the series, it was relatively easy to collect the whole set with a bit of trading at school.  Of all my card collections, it's the only one I managed to complete.

This new song is about E.T. while it was briefly my obsession in 1982.  The video features my complete set of cards, along with a bunch of other favourite things from the era: Little Professor, Merlin, the Missing Link puzzle, and some of my favourite classic space LEGO.

If you like our songs & videos, please subscribe on Youtube, and tell a friend with similar interests.  Thanks for reading -- Robin.

Car Battler Joe 

One of my favourite games ever is Car Battler Joe, released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002 and re-released on the Wii U Virtual Console not too long ago.  It's basically an unofficial remake of the classic PC game Autoduel which I played on my Commodore 64 and Amiga in the mid to late 1980s, but with all the trappings of the Japanese-made RPGs, with some Pokemon-type collecting of car parts too.

The song follows the story of the game from the first half hour of play or so, and the video was made by playing my GBA cartridge on my GameCube with the Game Boy Player add-on, hooked up to a video capture card on my Mac.

We went for a garage rock sound which seemed fitting for a game that involves upgrading your garage to work on your car!

Closed Captioned 

Catching up on the latest news, we finally officially released the video for the title track of "Place Without A Computer".  It's a look back at the arrival of arcade games and home computers in our hometown of Thunder Bay, Canada in the early 1980s, using various clips we found from the era, plus plenty of new footage made by filming old store signage still existing here, and video game footage filmed at the Midwest Gaming Classic.

Thanks to a comment received here on our blog, we've added closed captioning / subtitles to many of our videos on Youtube.  All our official music videos are cc'd, as well as several of our live videos, including our full album release concert.  Now you can watch the whole show with the sound off - one detractor said it sounds better that way!

We also made a silly little video showing the limits of Intellivision cartridge stacking, accompanied by the first verse of our song "Buying A Computer". Please share if you like it:

We'd like to get at least one more music video done this month - we've got some footage ready for "I Want A Turn" but need at least one more bigger shoot for it.  "Vacuum Fluorescent Display" is another possibility.  If you have a suggestion, let us know in the comments.

Updates! 

We've been busy in November and December to close out the year:

In November, Robin recorded a solo album for National Solo Album Month, but since it was on-topic and he's started enough new bands in his life, it got released as Bedford Level Experiment.  Some of the songs continue on from where Place Without A Computer left off, others deal with being a bass nerd, and overall they're a more personal but still geeky collection of songs.  Listen to it here on Bandcamp:  Nerd So Low

In December, we recorded and released a short Christmas-themed 3-song EP.  We did an improved mix of our minor 2014 hit, "A Commodore 64 Christmas" and recorded a sequel, rewriting some of the lyrics to "Jolly Old St. Nick", asking him for a 1541 disk drive to go with the C64 we got the previous Christmas.  Watch the video for "Jolly Old St. Nick" here.  And finally, we covered The Doubleclicks' classic "Christmas Ain't About Me", with Rianna on vocals.  It's a song mourning the loss of being the center of attention at Christmas when a younger sibling comes along, something Rianna knows only too well.  The 12 Days of Christmas aren't over yet, so give the album a listen on Bandcamp: A Very Commodore 64 Christmas

Finally, Robin was interviewed again for the Fandomania: Geek Music Podcast for an upcoming episode, so stay tuned for that coming up in the new year.

We hope you're having a happy holiday season, and wish you all the best for 2017.  We're planning on bringing you a lot more music in 2017, and more frequent blog updates.  See you soon!

Album Release Concert Video 

Here's the full concert from our album release show at ThunderCon 2016 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada on October 22, 2016.

Listen to the studio album on Bandcamp or on the Music tab here on the site.  The album's also on iTunes, Spotify, etc.

If you like what we're doing, please sign up for our mailing list, subscribe to us on Youtube, follow on Facebook, etc.  Thanks for your support!

Update 2016.12.29: Added closed captioning to the concert. Thanks to Sam at P1XL Games for technical assistance with getting the long (400+ line) transcript into the Youtube format much more easily than we could have done by hand.
 

New Album Released! 

Our new album, "Place Without A Computer", is now available!  Check it out at your favourite site: BandcampiTunes, or search for it on Amazon, Spotify, or Apple Music.

Our album release concert at ThunderCon 2016 at the Valhalla Inn, Thunder Bay went really well.  We played through all 11 songs from the album, and then ended with our old classic "History (Commodore 64)".

Album Release Concert 

We'll be taking the stage at ThunderCon at the Valhalla Inn at 4:30 pm, Saturday October 22nd, 2016.  We'll have the full band, and will be playing many songs from our debut full-length album also releasing that day: "Place Without A Computer", which is the story of a young geek in the '80s, longing for his very own computer.  We're having a run of CDs made for the show, and it'll also be available for download.

We're really excited about sharing our new music with you - hope to see you there!

If you'd like to hear the first track from the new album, sign up for our mailing list and "Bored In My Room" will be sent to you!

Listen To Our Interview 

Chad Walker of Fandomania: Geek Music was kind enough to have us on his podcast.  We had a great time talking about the story behind our band name, our creative process, our musical influences, and a lot more.  Coincidentally, Chad and Robin were born within months of each other, and had the same first two computers: the Timex/Sinclair 1000, and the Commodore 64, so we had plenty of 8-bit history to talk about too.

Listen to the interview here:  http://fandomania.com/geek-music-episode-70-bedford-level-experiment/

Also, please sign up for our mailing list (form on the right sidebar), and get the track "Bored In My Room" free.  It's from our upcoming album "Place Without A Computer" that will release soon!

Welcome

Welcome to the official website for the band Bedford Level Experiment. We make sincere nerdrock about the things we love: Commodore 64, Atari 2600 and other old computers and video game consoles, Shakespeare, sci-fi books, and more. Our music style is influenced by folk, post-punk, shoegaze, and many forms of indie. Neil Young, Midnight Oil, and Lush to name some names. Check out our videos on Youtube, follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our mailing list.

Join our mailing list!

Get a free download of "Bored In My Room" from our upcoming album, and be notified as soon as "Place Without A Computer" is released!

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Previous events

Oct22

Bedford Level Experiment @ ThunderCon 2016

Valhalla Inn, Thunder Bay, Canada

We'll be releasing our debut full-length album, "Place Without A Computer" at ThunderCon, at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada!