Archive for 2010-07

Friday in Austin

02010-07-30 @ 09:07

I have a crash of photos to upload and have music ready for download and streaming, but I am going to wait until I get home on Sunday. No need to pay this hotel – we all agree that this hotel may have the worst beds on the planet – money for Internet. I mean, we would be more comfortable sleeping on the bus…

My computer is competing for my attention with the iPad and losing. I seem to only bring it out to download photos from the camera’s memory card, to work on the images, or, if a place has free Wi-Fi, to upload images. Other than that I am doing most everything on the iPad. To a child growing up with an iPad, a regular computer will feel like… a giant IBM typewriter feels to me, or an old fashioned letterpress (((although I do have a real love for old printing presses – worked with them in art school in the Seventies))).

My head is buzzing with ideas. More when I get home.

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-30 @ 05:07

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-28 @ 05:07
  • Kickstartup http://j.mp/bPR79t (((I have been asked about doing a photo book many times in the past couple of years. I might do something a #

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-26 @ 05:07

Saturday Repeat

02010-07-24 @ 14:07

Two version of Alegría Arabe. This is a repeat from last year:

The original version of Alegria Arabe can be found on the album Opium. This is a live recording, straight stereo from the board to a CD recorder, from August 2007. The band was:
OL
Jon Gagan
Stephen Duros
Davo Bryant

Audio MP3

You can download the 320kbps file here.

This is the unreleased version of Alegria Arabe from 1995/96. I recorded two versions of this piece and then decided that they weren’t different enough to both be on the Opium album.

Audio MP3

The 320kbps mp3 can be downloaded here.

The FLAC version can be downloaded here.

This Week Sometime

02010-07-23 @ 14:07

I thought about the premature discharge of thoughts, about denying oneself an ample or sufficient gestation period of brain activity. It seemed to me that in most things a certain gestation or fermentation period usually improves matters. Balsamic vinegar aged in barrels for fifteen years, twenty year old bottles of French wine…

Many thoughts lead to other thoughts, but only if they are given time, time to bounce around in a brain, perhaps ricocheting against other thoughts, related or totally different. If I discharge that thought to early it might dissipate, evaporate, its energy vanished, its power removed.

A letter is different from an email. A letter takes more time to write or must be printed out. An envelope is addressed and then the letter is folded – one more chance to go over the content of to check whether the tone of the sentences expresses one’s feelings properly.

Later I wondered whether we first developed a culture that had to have everything at once, right away, (instant miso soup, instant film, instant oatmeal!) and where even the tallest buildings had to go up in record time, where we want everything delivered to us immediately and THEN we created web 2.0 and social media to mirror that culture? Or whether we first developed shortsightedness, which in turn created the culture I am describing? These thoughts gave me a fresh appreciation for the books of Neal Stephenson, who weaves long, time-consuming, labor-intensive stories. It was no surprise to find that he has a very simple homemade website, and that he doesn’t answer unsolicited email.

Official Neal Stephenson site by publisher Harper Collins.
Neal Stephenson’s personal website on MobileMe.

Maybe it is a matter of discovering what fits us best, whether we thrive on instant miso soup or whether we prefer to take the time to make it fresh. And maybe the instant soup will do fine in a pinch, although we might want to make it from scratch on another day.

A Neal Stephenson won’t want to take time to tweet, but somebody like author William Gibson seems to delight in trading small bits of information – he must average twenty tweets per day.

Wednesday in Seattle

02010-07-21 @ 13:07

I might not have Internet access for the next couple of days, unless I am willing to sit in a cafe with free Wi-Fi.

I think Petaluma and Portland went real well – we are happy with those performances. We had a beautiful day in Bend yesterday, but our performance at the Tower was not quite as on as the two previous evenings. All extremely subjective, of course – and likely unnoticed by most.

I uploaded the June slideshow – just click on slideshow in the top menu.

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-21 @ 05:07
  • Rank, Order http://j.mp/c9Aqsd (((Shanghai taxi tip))) #
  • Now search is big on net. Give it a century or two or five and search will be meaningless – only filtering counts then. #

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-19 @ 05:07

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-18 @ 05:07

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-17 @ 05:07
  • Bars should never have a TV, or even loud music. Bars should be temples to drinking and talking and that's all. #
  • RIP lava lamp from the 1995 opium tour. We left it behind in Livermore. #
  • RT @GreatDismal RT @tomwaits: Disneyland is Vegas for children. #
  • Is Creativity Declining? http://is.gd/duqdk (((check out the last paragraph))) #

Friday in Santa Cruz

02010-07-16 @ 19:07

We ended up staying in Santa Cruz for our off-day, instead of spending the day in Reno. Birthday lunch at Gabriella’s in Santa Cruz. Found the restaurant on the web and made reservations via Open Table– my first time using that service. Laid back atmosphere, nice food, and plants growing in an old chocolate container:

One of several such fly-deterrants. The effectiveness of this device is still debated, but I prefer it to the nasty sound of the blue electrocution lights. I only noticed one fly in the vecinity and it promptly left. The idea is that the glittering, reflected sunlight will make flies head elsewhere:

Food for thought:

Marginal Revolution: Is Creativity Declining?
When faculty of a major Chinese university asked Plucker to identify trends in American education, he described our focus on standardized curriculum, rote memorization, and nationalized testing. “After my answer was translated, they just started laughing out loud,” Plucker says. “They said, ‘You’re racing toward our old model. But we’re racing toward your model, as fast as we can.’

Think global and act local can be applied to schools and learning as well… a standardized curriculum is not going to be a good thing.

A few thoughts about the interview I mentioed last week:

Tom Silverman’s idea, on the face of it, sounds pretty good, but there are several hidden problems. As I suggested a decade ago, record companies will become media management companies, managing every aspect of an artist’s career. Well, managers receive somewhere between 3 and 50% (((yes, quite the range: 3-50%!!))) of their artist’s income (((Presley’s Colonel received 50%, Malcolm Maclaren received 40%, but most managers, I’d say 95% of them, receive between 3 and 12%, with some earning 20%))). Half of everyhing is a lot of money. The investment would have to be sizable and guaranteed.

As Canton pointed out to me, Venture Capitalists receive between 30 and 70% for their participation – see this graph. Around 30% for the first round of financing, 50% for the second round and 70% for the third round. I suppose recording contracts – media management contracts – could be similar, albeit in a lower range. Say, 20% for the first album, then, if the record is flop, the contract might shift to 35% for the second album, and if that is a flop also, goes to 50% for the third try. I don’t know… maybe? But, I have a problem with publicly traded corporartions anyway. They lack responsibility in the sense that a privately held corporation is responsible. And that goes for music as well as for environmental or safety concerns.

The great albums of yesteryear were recorded for privately held corporations. Only in the late Seventies and Eighties did many of the record companies start trading publicly. At that time record companies were making a lot of money and thus attrected the interest of the money-men.

I don’t believe shareholders ever want anything besides the monetary bottom line. They don’t give a shit about environmental concerns (just ask the British retirees who lost a lot of money on BP stock) and certainly don’t care about the art of music.

It is my opinion that this current batch of record companies has to die back until music-lovers can afford to buy the brands and rebuild them from the ground up. Then they can sign bands who have true potential instead of kids from some Disney show. They can develop these musicians or bands, give them some time to hone their live performance skills, find a good match of a producer, and so on… you know, all the good stuff a real and privately held record company used to do. And when the next Exile On Main Street or Physical Graffiti goes over budget, they will consider throwing more money at it if the music is great – something a shareholder won’t know and a person responsible to a shareholder won’t want to do.

And, let’s end this post with this video of a Japanese tourist buying ice cream in Istanbul. Enjoy!

Thursday in Santa Cruz

02010-07-16 @ 18:07

A couple of pics from Santa Cruz. A Star Wars guitar in a shop window. Artifact from another galaxy a long time ago? Han Solo’s guitar? Anakin Solo’s (Han’s son with Princess Leia) guitar?

The cosy Kuumbwa Jazz Center:

Wednesday in Livermore

02010-07-16 @ 18:07

A few photos from yesterday:

Morning bike ride in Fresno – from from Matt’s Flickr photostream:

The back of the venue:

The front of the venue. Our concert was apparently sponsored by the Fresno Flamenco society. I am told a few Flamenco dancers entertained the audience in the foyer before they entered the hall for the concert. The evening was just a handful of seats shy of a sellout and we enjoyed performing the full set here for a very receptive audience. And, no the Flamenco police did not make any arrests…

The concert in Livermore had been sold out for weeks and we enjoyed performing in the well-sounding hall. After the concert, at a meet-and-greet (((Stevo tells me it is also called a greet-the-meat))) with sponsors of the Performing Arts Center, I met a person who at one time worked with Jaron Lanier. You see, I keep mentioning and recommending the book “You Are Not a Gadget” to anyone willing to listen.

(((I think I might actually type faster on my iPad than on my lappie at this point…)))

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-16 @ 05:07
  • Coffeeshop announcement: Melissa, your heart of darkness is ready! #
  • carbon belongs in soil. that's nature's design. it does not belong in the atmosphere or oceans (via @billmcdonough) #

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-15 @ 05:07

Tuesday in Fresno

02010-07-14 @ 15:07


This is how some Flamenco guitarists roll up the string ends. They can, after playing the strings for days or weeks, take them off and reverse them, putting this end through the bridge. It saves money on strings and is useful because many Flamenco guitarists use olive oil or vaseline on the fingers of their right hand, which deadens strings rather quickly. If you watch footage of Paco De Lucia you might see him touch the upper bout of his guitar, where he has placed a little dab of vaseline, from time to time, and then rub the fingers of his right hand together.

I rolled the strings because I forgot my wire-cutters on the bus.

A gift from fans who came to our performance in Santa Barbara. Seemed the appropriate bottle for Las Vegas. I learned that the label was painted using wine instead of paint – artists web site: Christina LoCascio. The cork was covered with wax. I enjoyed the wine.

Neo Bohemia: Fixed Gear Coincidence

Yesterday’s Tweets

02010-07-14 @ 05:07
  • Our grandchildren won't blame BP. They'll blame us, for having allowed BP to do it. And they'll be right. (via @GreatDismal) #
  • Re-reading "Anathem" by Neal Stephenson. Sitting outside, in the shade of the Tower theater. #

San Diego

02010-07-12 @ 13:07

Yesterday I changed the set list again, and it was quite an improvement! Everything flowed much better, and our performance at Humphrey’s was a blast. A full house, a guitar that stayed in tune, a great audience, a well-oiled professional venue, the improved set list, and a band that stayed creative throughout the concert. Great fun! It was our twentieth anniversary of performing here, as we opened at Humphrey’s for the late Michael Hedges in the Summer of 1990.

I love this shot by Matt:

You can find more pics from tour in Matt’s excellent Flickr photostream.

Yesterday’s set list was:

New Untitled
Cedar Smoke
Dancing Alone
Santa Fe
Empty Fields
Tokyo After Midnight
Snakecharmer
(Intermission)
Garden at Dusk
Heart Still/Beating
Sixteen Hours
On the Road to Shiraz/2 the Night
La Luna
Backwards Firefly
Jump
(Encore)
Future Green
Barcelona Nights

Monday in San Diego

02010-07-12 @ 11:07

Yesterday I changed the set list again, and it was quite an improvement! Everything flowed much better, and our performance at Humphrey’s was a blast. A full house, a guitar that stayed in tune, a great audience, a well-oiled professional venue, the improved set list, and a band that stayed creative throughout the concert. Great fun! It was our twentieth anniversary of performing here, as we opened at Humphrey’s for the late Michael Hedges in the Summer of 1990.

This morning I unfolded my Brompton and started towards downtown San Diego along North Harbor Drive. I was looking for a coffeeshop in the gas lantern district, but after a futile search I found my way to Little Italy and a little cafe on India Street we discovered last year. It’s always a good sign when Italian-Americans of all ages congregate in a cafe and converse in Italian, although it makes me wonder what they do for a living. If there is such a thing as professional Italian cafe patron, I want to train for the job.

While enjoying my coffee and wondering about the nearly impossible task of finding a decent croissant, I received an email to expect a phone interview at the hotel late morning, and headed back to the hotel. A lovely cool breeze blew from the sea as I rode on the bike path along the water. Very enjoyable. I called Jon, handed the bike over to him to ride and went to my room.

I read about Mark Twain’s autobiography, to be published this year, one hundred years after his death. The brilliant rascal had determined that people weren’t ready for brutal honesty and had stipulated that his “real” autobiography, or rather his complete biography (I think he determined which chapters were to be withheld) should not be published before 2010. How brilliant!

After next May I could turn this Journal into my true voice, to be unlocked upon my death… Worth a thought or two, but unfortunately I am not gifted with words like Mr. Twain.

Here is a funny shot of me, in Costa Mesa on Saturday, looking a bit like a singer-songwriter folkie:

Two pics from Humphrey’s in San Diego, yesterday:

I love this photo. A DMV-shot by Matt:

All photos are from Matt’s excellent Flickr photostream.

Yesterday’s set list was:

New Untitled
Cedar Smoke
Dancing Alone
Santa Fe
Empty Fields
Tokyo After Midnight
Snakecharmer
(Intermission)
Garden at Dusk
Heart Still/Beating
Sixteen Hours
On the Road to Shiraz/2 the Night
La Luna
Backwards Firefly
Jump
(Encore)
Future Green
Barcelona Nights

 


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