Trebuchet catapults into the world

By Phil Plait | June 18, 2010 10:23 am

I have good news about podcaster, skeptic, musician, friend, and fellow bald guy George Hrab: his latest album, "Trebuchet", has finally hit the streets!


Yay! This collection of songs runs quite the range, from topics skeptical to sad to even, yes, cosmological annihilation. I refer you to the song listed in the upper right of the above picture, track number 11, entitled "Death from the Skies" (noting also the book displayed in the bottom right corner in said above picture). That song features music by Geo and a litany of astronomical destruction (and their odds of occurring) by me, your host. That was a lot of fun to do, and I’m proud and honored to be on an album made by my friend.

The delightful Donna, aka Brickgrrl, aka MsInformation, has more info on the album, and the entire album can be downloaded on Geo’s podcast feed. You can download it at iTunes, of course, but I suggest going to CDBaby, which also has the download but where you will soon be able to order the physical, actual CD, which you should, because a) it comes with liner notes which are epically cool, 2) one lucky customer will win a Golden Ticket providing them with a free house concert by Geo (!) and γ) it puts some money in Geo’s pocket, which deserves it.

To give you an idea of just how clever this epidermically bepated man is, check out this time lapse video he made of how he created the album cover:

Geo’s been making the rounds of the podcasts, too. For example, you can hear an interview with him on this week’s Skepticality (with bonus interview of horror writer, equally balded, and friend-of-BA Scott Sigler).

Go ahead: buy the album, listen to the interviews, check out those links. It’s spring, it’s Friday, and it’s not like you’re gonna get any work done today anyway.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Cool stuff, Geekery, Skepticism

Comments (25)

Links to this Post

  1. News From Around The Blogosphere 6.18.10 « Skepacabra | June 18, 2010
  1. SkepticScott

    I can’t wait to buy the CD and complete my Hrablection.

  2. LOVE that photo. Teh stoopid, it burns.

    My favorite track is, alas, not the one in which Phil guests, but a tie between the ever-funky Track 3 (“Ms Information”) and Track 5 (“Remora” – an angry, angry song).

  3. Another reason to order the CD is audio quality. Unless they have gone to a truly lossless file system, you will get inferior sound quality (even a 256Kbps mp3 has noticeable losses on my modest home stereo system).

    I listened to the podcast version and will buy the CD to hear it in all its glory.

  4. MoonShark

    Love the song titles and sentiment, but the tunes so far are just too pop-ish for my taste. I like instrumentation that’s more distorted, raw, noisy…
    EDIT: Skipped around and sounds like there are some good prog interludes, which is cool. There need to be more King Crimson or Rush-influenced bands :)

  5. Anyone else notice a little self promotion on the BAs part.

  6. Messier Tidy Upper

    Neat. :-)

    I wonder what Death from the Skies sounds like – the song that is! 😉

    [Tries to think what might rhyme with Eta Carinae for the supernova chapter.. 😉 ]

    Is the CD available in Australia or do I have to order over the net?

    (noting also the book displayed in the bottom right corner in said above picture).

    Looks like the hardback edition too – just like mine! 😉

    2) one lucky customer will win a Golden Ticket providing them with a free house concert by Geo (!)

    Even if an Aussie or other non-American wins? 😉

    BTW. Whats with the (a) (2) (gamma) inconsistent numbering there – is it meant to be some kinda code?

  7. @ Davidlpf
    I contend that everyone in the world is into self promotion. Making comments on a blog, writing a blog, clothes you wear, hairstyle, makeup, jewelry, cars, houses, music, art, and on and on.
    Items that we like and are visible or heard by others, our activities, our conversations are ways of defining ourselves for the world. We are in fact self promoting. Its the natural way of the human being.

  8. @Scott,

    if your hrablection lasts for more than 4 hours, get thee to a doctor.


    See tracks 3, 6, 9, 13-15, for a bit more of what you’re looking for.


    According to statements George has made on his podcast and interviews, The Golden Ticket is good anywhere on Earth. For a non-US gig, there may need to be some logistical co-ordination however, but it can be done.

    For Outer Space, The Moon, or Mars, you’ll need to arrange for the airfare.

  9. I thought the cover art was digitally composited until I saw the video. Wow, you can do that stuff in real life too. 😀

  10. @TreeLobsters: Not only is the wall real, but so is the action photography. I work with a world-class photographic team—John and Erik from John Sterling Ruth Studio [who also shot the album Interrobang.] Also, young Pete Townsend has nothing on Hrab. The cover shot was all of 4 takes.

    And a huge HUGE thank you to Dr. Plait for absolutely everything. You rock the Geologic Universe!

    Ms. Info

  11. Iason Ouabache

    Nice attention to detail on the cover art. I didn’t even notice the two books on the floor until you pointed it out. The other book would obviously be the song listed in the upper left: “God is Not Great”.

  12. Trebuchet

    I know nothing about Mr. Hrab but feel strangely compelled to buy the album. Can’t quite understand why….

    But he needs a bigger trebuchet! Doesn’t everyone?

  13. Gary Ansorge

    Where’s the syncopation and polyrhythm? Personally, I like playing the back beat.

    OK, so, he’s not Jerry Garcia but he IS acceptable.

    Guess I’ll have to pay some attention to him.

    Gary 7

  14. Szwagier

    Not terribly keen on the music (who listens to tunes any more?) I’m afraid, but this post is worth it for the phrase “epidermically bepated”.

  15. @Ms. Information: I wondered about that. I didn’t see any wires, so I figured it was an action shot. Four takes is impressive! How many of those times did he land on the sneakers? 😀

  16. @Trebuchet, meet “Trebuchet!” I hope you have a long and happy life together.

  17. If he rents, then he is so losing his security deposit.

    Here’s the Babbler’s “review” of Trebuchet.

    Seriously, it’s a great album, and I’ve been listening to it everyday since I downloaded it. Normally, I just listen to singles, so it takes a special album for me to listen to the whole thing.

    Some songs are pop, but some have progressive rock influences. King Crimson’s many members would be proud of George.

  18. If he rents, then he is so losing his security deposit.

    Nah…a little paint and that wall will be right as rain.

  19. Joey Joe Joe


    I call confirmation bias.

    Modern audio compression formats are engineered and tested to reduce any audio degradation to imperceptible levels. I highly doubt you could detect any difference in audio quality between a well encoded mp3 and a CD. It’s like the people who claim vinyl is superior to CD.

    Why don’t you try a blinded experiment?

  20. I can never hear the word trebuchet without thinking of Age of Empires II. Thanks for the info about the cd.

  21. Hein du Plessis

    Ugh. More blasphemy please.

  22. Sili

    Good to see you in Copenhagen, Phil. Awesome talk/performance! You look just like your photo.

  23. Hein,

    listen to Trebuchet. Plenty of blasphemy there.

  24. I enjoy sc2 the custom maps and online play is awesome, thanks for the post


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