Seeing Young Empires, Hosannas, and Black Elk Speaks at the Bug Jar's Tympanogram Show

Music blog Tympanogram hosted another show at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) After their show earlier this year, I knew I didn't want to miss this one. That, and their prolific blog has a lot of good stuff.

As always, I went in cold, having not even listening to the sample songs Tympanogram posted. Black Elk SpeaksMySpace link started things off. They do some great vocal-harmonies, and play rock influenced by a lot of genres. Although I have nothing bad to say about them, I did lose interest after a while.

Next up was HosannasMySpace link who I enjoyed a lot. They played great synth-rich atmospheric rock. I picked up their latest CD Together and have been enjoying it as well. Finishing up was Young EmpiresMySpace link who played an excellent set of synth-rock alternative.

In all another successful show — and another reason to keep an eye on what Tympanogram is up to.

641 total views, no views today

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

Inevitably whenever I tell someone I run barefoot, the first or second question revolves around stepping on glass. So yes, I do get diamonds on the soles of her shoes. And by "diamonds", I'm referring to things you might find at The Herkimer Diamond Mines, and by "her shoes", I'm referring to my feet.

Yesterday I went running. It was kind-of wet out, and that makes it difficult to spot otherwise-shiny glass on the ground. Later last night I was limping a little and thought it might be a flare-up of plantar fasciitis. Come this morning I figured it must have been something stuck in my foot. It was indeed glass. A relatively big piece, in fact, in a relatively sensitive area. So here it is: the big piece of glass I stepped on yesterday.

a shard of glass as large as the "20" in "2006" on a penny

540 total views, no views today

The Astonishing Train-Wreck of How JayceLand Gets Made

This year I decided I'd begin the process of replacing the Macintosh PowerBook G3 Firewire that just turned 10 years old yesterday. I had upgraded it to the maximum 2GB RAM and it's still a fine machine. It's just showing its age with sheer speed, particularly with browsing websites to find information about events and bands. So last month I ordered a Mac Mini (mid-2010) — that's apparently the clumsy official name, by the way — and started working with it. Well, having started from OS 8.1 on the PowerBook and as far back as System 7 on the LC III I had out of college, a huge portion of the software I have runs, as they say now, "in the Classic environment." OS X 10.3.9 suported Classic, largely because it ran on PowerPC hardware.

Well the Mac Mini has Intel chips and would never boot up any of the Classic systems. As such, support for it was dropped a few OS X releases ago. I figured I'd give the emulator SheepShaver a go — it professes to run nearly all software in Classic with the caveat that it apparently crashes a lot. I succeeded in getting it to boot up a Classic session (and ran comparable to the Powerbook) but it would not run FileMaker Pro. That's the software package that I use a lot. So big bummer there. I really don't want to buy the latest version because it's rather expensive and I'd prefer to go with something open-source and with a little more staying power (such as MySQL which seems to have a big enough head of steam that it'll be around for a while.)

The dilemma was how to continue to do work; the solution is a mess. I keep the PowerBook running most of the time specifically to have access to FileMaker Pro 5 and Quicken Deluxe '98 (only the name is not Y2K compliant). I wrote an AppleScript that does two things. First, when one of several scripts I wrote for FileMaker Pro request opening a website, it sends the request to the Mac Mini and opens it there. Second, and more terrifying, is that it synchronizes the clipboard between the two machines, so if I copy the name of a book in FileMaker Pro, it's available on the Mac Mini clipboard so I can search Amazon, and if I copy a Google Maps link, it's available on the PowerBook and in FileMaker Pro.

I decided that I'd start migrating to something new, and it looks like that time is now. I don't intend on making JayceLand look or work any different (just as when I integrated the WordPress blog), but I might shoot for bring it up-to-date in terms of, say, 2005 or so. I have long considered making the whole website web-only rather than the hodge-podge I have had for the last 10 years or so. And up until now, it would have violated the one rule I have about JayceLand: it should be the least amount of work for me. But man, this whole AppleScripted FileMaker Pro'd PowerPC-Classic-OS X-Intel thing is quite a hassle.

715 total views, no views today

Seeing Illimanjaro, The Missing Teens, and Thunderbang at the Bug Jar

It's been a while since I wrote about seeing music at all … but I have been out. I spent some time at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) and met some cool people from the bands and from around town. The bands didn't start until late, but another local musician and friend of members of The Missing TeensMySpace link offered to let them play a bit in the basement. So we went there for a few minutes and a few songs — a proper preview of the great, high-energy rock with a lounge-jam edge we were to see later on.

Back at the Bug Jar, IllimanjaroMySpace link kicked things off with some high-power, melodic, fast rock. Their guitarist was particularly apt at very fast playing and did a few impressive solos. The Missing TeensMySpace link was up next, replacing the temporary iPod with Illimanjaro's drummer and not one but two keytars. Thunderbang!MySpace link finished things off with some well-executed funky lounge-rock and even got a few people dancing.

487 total views, no views today