Thursday, April 30, 2009

Starz

Here's a band I forgot about. They never really hit the big time that I know of. I only remember seeing a picture of their drummer with his '70s really big concert tom and lots of cymbals drum set, sorta like if Peter Criss' and Neil Peart's drums got married and had a kid. I really don't remember any of their songs. Which is too bad, because they recorded some pretty cool stuff. A neat mix of Thin Lizzy, Foghat, and Sweet, then throw in some British pop Badfingerish hooks. I was intrigued enough to buy their Brightest Starz anthology on iTunes. iTunes suggested it to me in the Just for You thingy.

I was there buying Peter Tosh's Wanted Dread & Alive album, which has a beautiful song called Fools Die. I originally recorded it off the record that I borrowed from that guy Mike (?) with dreadlocks that lived down the hall in Burge back in '82/'83. Wasn't he a DJ at KRUI? I digitized it off my tape about 5 years ago because iTunes didn't have it and I could never find the CD in the stores when I thought about looking. I've been living with the horrible tape hiss from the standard quality "low noise" tape it was on (again, somebody must've given me a pack for xmas), which is very noticeable in that song, because there's so much space. But now I have a pristine copy, and the rest of the album is great too.

Update: Holy crapparoni. Starz still sounded really good in 2004. And the soundman that mixed the feed for the video deserves not just a cookie, but a whole box of 'em. This is one of the best captures of a live mix I've heard for such a relatively small band without the big bucks.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

History of Dumb Hats

Here's some interesting "research" on the origin of Jughead's and Goober Pyle's hats.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Practice

The band practiced tonight to make sure we knew The Beatles' Birthday. Andy had never played it before, but had it worked out in no time, including the little guitar/bass break. Later on we were asking him if he had any songs he wanted to add to our db. He usually doesn't remember the name of a song, so he'll go, "how about that…" and then just start playing it to finish his sentence. He did that with Rock This Town, with all the little Setzer fills that really make the song. And then Sultans of Swing, again with all the stuff. What a fun addition to the band he is. And he drives something big enough to haul crap around in. Score.

Cutlass

Here's a really cool short film about one's desire to own the thing they need, whether it's a vintage guitar or a not–so–old (and really not–so–cool) car. It stars Virginia Madsen, Dakota Fanning (always cute as can be), Kristen Stewart (oh my god is she hot), Kurt Russell (who plays the hell outa his role), and small parts by Chevy Chase and Nathan Supree.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Short Gig, but Long

We're playing a benefit tomorrow evening, but we need to set up at noon. I've always liked gigs where you can set up way beforehand. You're not as rushed, and I hate being rushed. We play after a dinner and auction and maybe other goings ons. It's not really a crowd that should have a rock band, but some of the people on the committee are friends of John. They want us to play one long 1.5 hour set, because they're afraid if we take a break, people will leave. Oh well, at least we'll be done by 10:30 I think.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Get 'em While They're Young

This poor baby has already been brainwashed by the nutjobs. Just think, give the kid a few months to form words and learn to speak and we could hear important messages like, "thank you, jesus! Poopy poopy poopy! Jesus poop!" Then again, that's nothing new.
I never knew Pee–Chee folders came in any color other than, well, peach, which was really more of a orange–yellow. This blue one looks like the seller inadvertently inverted the image—it just looks wrong, as do all the other colors.

I had one that I got on a trade with some other stuff from Jamie Bermel in 4th grade. It didn't take long for all the people on it to gain mustaches, zits, glasses, funny speech balloons, etc. It's probably still around somewhere.

And while you're over at eBay, Leo, you'll need this Star Trek beach towel that features Spock blasting a 3–headed snake. Now that's just mean!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rush: RFunny

See what I did there? That's a play on the title of Rush's 30th anniversary concert/album/DVD, R30. But the funny part is pretty much their whole road crew. I've been watching backstage videos over on their site (in the multimedia section). The pyro guy is always entertaining, as is Howard Ungerleider their lighting director.

Shake It Up

Looks like hard drive–based video cameras are susceptible to heavy levels of vibration or shock, which parks the heads and send the following message to the camera: "The loud noises make me a–sceert!" Pussy. Can't take a little vibration. Jesus, it's always something with new technology, ain't it? Well, c'mon you companies, let's keep getting solid state memory denser and cheaper, toot sweet! Mechanical storage devices are sooo 1960.

There's a chance that the head–parking shocks came from somebody in the booth next to the table the tripod was on. And since it was Delano, the shock was probably their head hitting the table after slamming their 17th Long Island ice tea, or whatever the hillbilly equivalent of a big ass 100% alcohol drink is these days.

Marrs Attacks #1 Fan!

Ya gotta love the interweb. Here's a comment posted on the band's blog:

I think your bands is awful and I could not leave Doc Hollywood's fast enough once you started playing. Please save everyone and never ever play again!

No, we didn't go back in time and appear in Michael J. Fox's movie (no, not the one where he went back in time). We played at Doc Holiday's in Delano. And that more than adequately explains the mental superiority of the commenter. America has the Deep South; Minnesota has Delano. You can't please everyone. There's no accounting for taste. Reminds me of the note from many years ago I posted a while back.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rainn Wilson Cracks Me Up

We watched The Rocker today while we laid around. From the reviews, I thought it was going to have a couple funny scenes and the rest would blow. This, people, is why reviewers are idiots and I don't know why I bother even skimming over them when reading Entertainment Weekly. I liked the movie a lot, and it had lots of very funny people in it. Rainn did a pretty OK job of fake drumming, but an excellent job of being a creepy, gross metal drummer. The guy who was the guitarist should've learned how one sings into a microphone at a live show. Arg, I hate it when directors let bad mic technique into the movie, or any instrument for that matter. It makes it look so Disney. I also hate it when the foley artist or found fx guy uses a mic feedback sound when somebody is supposedly producing feedback through a guitar, or just overuses feedback in general.

The ever cute, adorable, and sassy Emma Stone played bass. She was in Superbad and The House Bunny and good in everything. I like her.

What a Difference

What a difference a single band member can make. I haven't had that much fun playing a gig since I joined this band. Andy hadn't played live in about 15 years I think, but you'd never know it. He played his ass off, looked like he was enjoying himself on stage, and interacted with the rest of us—all things that are completely unlike a certain previous Turnstyle guitarist. Oh yeah, and his amp was never too loud. Can you believe that? In fact, I actually had a hard time hearing it sometimes, and it was right next to my drums! Unheard of!

Annoyingly, John's video camera kept shutting off at some point through the 2nd and 3rd sets. It had plenty of battery and hard drive space. Don't know what that's all about, but it sucks.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Guitar Zero

Blarg. Kim doesn't dig shooters or racing or any good games. So she bought Guitar Hero. Yes, even though she is already a very good bass player. Oh well. I see it as the same sort of thing as Tempest, Defender, or any number of arcade style games where it's all about timing and hand/eye coordination. With music, half of which is gay or stupid. But I suppose I'll give it a try. After all, the Xbox should be used for good, never for evil, and if we aren't having fun, then… I dunno. But she's going to see Heart tonight with Emily, so I get it all to myself.

Some People Shouldn't Have Tech Jobs

I've been helping a customer write an AppleScript to do something with Creator. He's one of those people who's probably all jacked up on coffee and speed reads through email and scripts, skipping over things and looking only at the end result, not taking the time to comprehend what I've told him to do or even trying to learn it. It's no wonder that he gets an error after every change he makes, posts the problem, and then I reply something like, "I said to do this, not that." Grr. I really do wonder why he has the job he has. I think he'd do better as the announcer for some X games or writing Vin Diesel movies.

Real World Tool Definitions

I'm sure this has been around for a while, but it's always good to revisit it in case you forgot and tried doing something stupid like using a screwdriver to successfully remove a screw or something like that.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Equipment Upgrades

Now that Kim is finally singing a few backups, and Andy is using an acoustic on a few songs, and Emily wants to start playing guitar on a few songs, we outgrew our little MixWizard 16:2. So John bought us a ZED–428 instead. I thought that looked like the best upgrade path for us, and still leaves us with plenty of extra channels for future–proofing us, or if we do a multi–band show we won't have to redo as many channels between bands. It's one big ass board, but I think it's still smaller overall (maybe wider—yeah, it's three feet wide) than that big fuckin' Peavey we had in The Dial Tones. OK, maybe not smaller, but lighter? 40lbs. And I dunno why, but they didn't put light sockets on the ZEDs. Dumb. John bought a nice little LED gooseneck that velcros onto the back.

He also bought a laser. Yes, a frickin' laser. Sure, it looks cool, but I think it's kind of a waste of money, setup time, and storage space for something that I personally wouldn't use more than maybe twice a set.

Brain, Meet Haunting Chorus

About 4 years ago (Really? Has it been that long already?) one of the iTunes freebies was a video by Eisley, a band made up of 4 siblings (3 of which are darned cute girls) and a cousin. I liked the sort of mod yet contemporary look of the video, mixed with a bit of imagery from 2001: A Space Odyssey, so I grabbed it. Since then, the song has grown on me, as have their voices. In fact, the chorus has been invading my brain throughout the past few days and keeping me awake at night. Those are some beautiful and haunting harmonies.

iTunes no longer has the video. I see 2 versions on YouTube. Both have the wrong aspect ratio (idiots—in fact, one is even cropped down from the correct really–wide screen size) and the other has been sped up so the song sounds like shit (idiot again).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cuff Links

If I had these cuff links, not only would I buy a new dress shirt that isn't 15 years old, but I might even dress up every goddamn day. The ass end of the '59 Impala is my favorite ass end ever. Yes, even more than Natalie Portman's or Shawn Johnson's Nastia Liukin's (there we go—I like her's much better than Shawn's, not that I've been thinking about it all this time:).

Eva Longoria Is Funny

How old is this? Must be sorta newish. I dunno, but it's funny. The Eva Longoria Sex Tape. Warning: there is no sex or exposed body parts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Space Beards

Giz's Star Trek Photoshop contest. The big swoopy beard of the 1st place winner makes me chuckle, but for some reason I find it really funny when people stick Halo or other shooter characters into real life situations (OK, it's a movie, but it's more real life than a game, so pbtpbtpb!). There's something about the faceless look of visors you can't see through, like The Stig.

Eau de Kirk

Let the Star Trek licensing frenzy begin. I can imagine that, yeah, maybe Captain James Tiberius Kirk would have a smell that women would be drawn to and somebody would want to bottle and sell it. But the odor of a red shirt? Wouldn't that just smell like imminent death? Or blood? Or charred flesh from an alien weapon blast? The 3rd fragrance is Ponn Farr, the Vulcan equivalent of going into heat. Again, not something I'd like to smell.

Microsoft Needs to Get out More Often

The Xbox avatar thingy is neat, but they really do need to offer more things in most categories. Like they have a ton of different eye shapes, but for shoes they have no Vans (and aren't those really trendy these days among the hip kids?) and in the facial hair there's no soul patch. WTF? That's why I look stupid over there on the left. And the glasses are wrong. And the hair is wrong. And I don't have 2 big underbite monster teeth, but I thought that was funny.

Metric Gigabytes?

Here's what I don't get. I have a disk image that's 4.5G (it's a master, not a compressed image). I put in a blank DVD that'll hold 4.7G. Disk Utility says it doesn't have enough free space. Is somebody using metric gigabytes and the other Imperial gigabytes? Sometimes I wish Apple would be a little more explanative explanatory (spellchecker didn't undersquiggle it, so I thought it might be a word). Don't assume the user is a grandma—at least offer a reason like "the DVD requires n bytes to hold the volume header" or something that tells me why 4.5G won't fit into a 4.7G hole.

So I had to waste a dual–layer DVD just so it'd fit. That's dumb.

Broont, I'll go mail this during lunch.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Busy Weekend

I ran sound again for DNA. This time, they were all set up when I got there at 4:45, and the only thing I had to do was plug in monitors and track down a few problems. Sound check was done by like 7:00. They rented some smaller subs this time, and they just sucked. They were maybe twice the volume of the sub we have in our home theater. That's nowhere near big enough to do any good in a bar. So we ran over and got our subs. Night and day. Helped them load out and got home around 2:30. Slept in today and got in a little Xbox time before blowing the rest of the afternoon on the phone with my parents before it was time to eat an early supper before band practice. That went until 8:30. I'm tired!

YouTube as Musical Instruments

These compositions of video clips are pretty amazing. I was diggin' #3 until the rappy shit started.

Pall Mall Commercial

I guess they didn't have people who checked commercials after they were finished in those days. Otherwise, they would've caught to wrong pronunciation of Pall Mall and had the voice over guy fix it. And you'd think that somebody would've said, "um, what's with the chick at the end? Did the lighting guy stick his hand up her skirt? Did the prop guy put LSD on the filters? She freaks us out."

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Xbox!

Yeah, I get waaayyy too much stuff done. Having an Xbox should remedy that real quick like. Man, game consoles have come a long way since we played our Sega. I got Gears of War 2 and Forza Motorsport 2. Forza has the whole road racing experience going on, only without the brain–boiling heat and G–forces. Driving with a joystick and 2 fingers is taking some getting used to. Not having a keyboard and mouse is quite an obstacle for playing shooters. Brent was showing me the ropes. I feel like such a noob. But the coolest thing is sitting there on my couch, talking to him via the headset 6 hours away. Technology kicks ass.

Part of a music order arrived today. The latest albums from Old Crow Medicine Show and Drive–by Truckers. The deluxe edition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's One More for from the Road, which has a bunch of alternate recordings from other performances during the same gig. I'm not a big Skynyrd fan, but Andy said I needed to hear some drum parts on their cover of Crossroads. Last but certainly not least, Bowie's Live in Santa Monica '72. It's one of those amazing live recordings that has been bootlegged all over the place, but never officially released until now. Dave and the Spiders are in fine form here. I'm only 4 songs in at this point, but it's like… whoa.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mystery Date

I can still hear Nick singing "are you ready for a mystery date" during one long–ago Spare Change practices right before we played Mystery Dance. But that's not why I'm here. I'm here to tell you how boring my day will be. Ya see, over the past year or so I've been working toward making our app framework work with RunApplicationEventLoop instead of WaitNextEvent, and to use compositing windows. Both are more modern ways of doing things in OS X. I got a lot done in the past few months and there seem to be very few bugs. One bug that Testing found was that you can't click the scrollbars in a data browser. You can still scrollwheel them, just not click them. Since a data browser is an OS control, it's impossible to know why it's ignoring the clicks. So today I'm going to spend making multiple builds at various points throughout history. I just synced back to December and am waiting for a full build. Then I have to work my way ahead through time doing the same thing, waiting for the scrollbars to break. Hopefully it will show me something useful.

Vintage Porsche Posters

Dig these vintage Porsche racing posters from back in the days when road racing was incredibly interesting. It's still cool, but the CanAm was history's most intense, innovative, anything–goes period/series.

My New Look

The latest photo on the Sexy People blog. With a name like Godfried, you knew his photo was going to be something special. I've been letting my hair grow, and now I see what my future will be. Gotta get Dad to send me one of his pipes.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Funny Shtuff and People Without Brains

We watched Ghost Town last weekend. Ricky Gervais is so goddamn funny. The scenes with he and Kristen Wiig talking is one of the greatest comedy moments of the 21st Century. (Yes, the century is still young, but I predict the future will be reality shows and Will Ferrell movies. Yup, it looks mighty bleak and humorless.) The outtakes are good too, because Ricky is always giggling like a schoolgirl.

If you haven't been watching Better off Ted, what the hell is wrong with you? We've also been waiting for Parks & Recreation to begin. It has potential, but it could also suck and just not work. It premiers this Thursday between 2 new episodes of The Office. Two?!?? Um, how about you save one for next week, NBC. That way the season will last 1 week longer, and we need to extend today's seasons by as much as possible because networks suck.

And what's the deal with TV Land lately? Goddamn they're pissing me off. We all know how shows have opening credits and ending credits. Well, now TV land is spitting the end credits out in their own high–speed, tiny format in the bottom–left corner while the show is still running. The closing version of The Beverly Hillbillies theme is just as much a part of the show as the opening theme. Never again will we hear "y'all come back now, ya hear" or Ellie May saying "this has been a Filmways presentation!" Goddamn fuckers. And do you think they're extending the classic TV shows by running extra segments that have been cut out since they switched from 25 minutes of running time to 22? I highly doubt it. They're probably filling the time by showing more promos for their stupid goddamn High School Reunion reality piece of shit. Or their new stupid goddamn reality piece of shit, The Cougar. Jesus. Everybody do me a favor and go there and complain.

Also go to IMDb and complain that it takes 4 tabs to activate the search field. What the fuck kind of idiot would build a web page like that, where searching is the primary objective? I've complained twice already. No love. It also takes a near genius to find that contact form.

Brain Music

Leo had an obscure Who song in his head (Slip Kids, not to be confused with the very similar Slit Skirt). I've had All You Zombies in mine ever since they played the beginning of Take Me out to the Ballgame on the radio this morning. I thought the opening organ notes were the intro to the Hooters song.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Vans

I bought something yesterday that I've always wanted.



I've always worn white ones, except for my very first pair, which were good ol' #95's (not slip–ons). Front section was red, middle white, back blue. This photo was in our senior year book. I wonder if you can still get custom orders or are they too big and Xtreme now?

Basement Rush

Had band practice today. Emily has been really into Rush lately, even wondering if we could do The Sprit of Radio. Kim has been learning Tom Sawyer. So tonight we just gave it a shot. It could almost work! Not that we'd play Tom Sawyer at a gig. The 7/8 sections would freak out dancers. But TSoR is mostly straight ahead, and it's within Emily's range. It'd be a hoot to play a Rush song live. Nobody would expect it (and half of them wouldn't know it:).

Saturday, April 4, 2009

They Need to Revive Sambos

Just look at these interiors! Have you ever seen restaurants that look any cooler or more inviting than these Sambos from the '60s? I'd kill for some of those light fixtures and booths. The original is still in Santa Barbara. I have a couple spotty recollections of eating at the one that was in Iowa City. I'm thinking it was just a bit north of where Village Inn is, perhaps in the same location as Ground Round? I remember the storyboard pictures on the wall behind the counter seen in those photos. But, why does Sambo look caucasian or very light Indian in their pictures? I had the book read to me countless times when I was little, and he sure wasn't white in the title or the illustrations. Probably pressure from idiots screaming about racism. He was intended to be Indian.

There Will Be Blood

That's what we watched last night. Recorded it from an HD movie channel that we're getting free for something like 3 years. Yup, DirecTV gave us all the Showtime, The Movie Channel, and whatever else free for being valued customers or something. That's nice. Still hardly anything on those channels.

Anyhoo. I liked the movie a lot. I liked the slow, matter–of–fact pace and long stretches of no dialog. The voice that Daniel Day–Lewis used surprised me when he finally spoke. I was expecting more of a Sam Elliot type drawl. The preacher kid was creepy and uncomfortable to listen to. The best 2 parts of the movie were where D.D.L. beat the shit out of him. The score was excellent and very original—an excellent use of strings, and then the weird polyrhythmic percussive thing that built and built, emphasizing what was happening onscreen. I didn't think the "I drink your milkshake" line was all it was built up to be. Interesting, because I'm a huge fan of drinking them, but not one of those Best Movie Lines Ever lines.

Sears Still Sucks

For some reason, this morning I remembered that we'd ordered some wall plates and jacks for the family room like months ago. I dug through the pocket of my Winter jackets and found the invoice and receipt. Yup, December 13 is when we ordered them. Had they called and I forgot? Probably. So I called and they found it and said they called on 12/19. Oh. Xmas shopping must've rattled my brain and made me forget. Plus, they're all in places behind furniture, so we rarely see them, so there wasn't a constant reminder. Still, it'd be nice if a store would call more than once, like if they keep seeing the same special order invoice in their folder for months on end. So I went and picked those up.

I had to get another pair of jeans. I parked near Sears at the Eden Prairie Mall, so I went in there, even though Kim & I have found many reasons to hate Sears nearly as much as Walmart. Amazingly, they had a pair of 501's in my size. I grabbed them and headed to the nearest register, right there in the men's department. Nobody there. I looked around and finally found another one. It had one foreign woman working and about 4 people ahead of me. Finally a 2nd employee came to work the other register. As I watched her scan the tag, I noticed the label said 505, not 501. I told her somebody put it in the wrong bin, so I went back to get the right ones. There were no more of the right size, except for a pair on the bottom of the pile that didn't have that size sticker wrapped around the visible edge. I pulled them out, ripping the big plastic thing off the shelf in the process. They were the right size, but again, 505's. FUCK!! I slammed the stupid plastic thing and pants back into the bin and left that goddamn place.

So I went to Von Maur, since I wanted to get a couple more pair of these really comfy Calvin Klein underwear. They no long had the slate color I liked, but I found the only 2 pair of black smalls they had in the store. I asked a guy if they carried Levi's. Nope. FUCK!! I bought the underwear and went to look for another store. Found Kohl's. No 501's on the Levi's wall where they have all the styles organized in bins. I was almost ready for another FUCK moment when I turned around and saw them on an end cap. Yay, 1 pair of 501's in the right size. I hate shopping for clothes.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tiny TV

Holy shit! Check out these amazing miniature TV show sets, built with Legos, cardboard, etc. Some have photos of the real set posted below. Hey, where's the horse that's supposed to be on the Brady Bunch table by the stairs? But they did put in the leaves in the panels behind Mike & Carol's bed, and their bedroom is in the blue that they painted it in that one episode.

Apartmentboat

Not to be confused with a houseboat. This boat is one goofy hunk of weirdness.

8.5

So we got the first 8.5 alpha out to testing. Maybe this will pacify management and they'll shut the hell up now that they can "see" progress. We've been working very hard, even some nights late into the evening, but I guess it's not enough to just tell them "we've been working very hard."