Heavy Meadow

Dead Hot Workshop's New Record

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 31, 2006 - 01:21:32 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Dead Hot Workshop are back with a new record, slated for release on Nov 22. I actually about this on Mark Zubia's blog (at the start of this month - feels like it was last week. Where has this month gone?), announcing a double Los Guys / Dead Hot Workshop CD release party. Which was surprising, and a surprise to hear about it like this. The album has seemed to come out of nowhere, and it was weird to have not heard any talk about it previous to an announcement of it's CD release party. Admittedly there was some very vague talk about a record a while back, but nothing concrete, or highly talked about.

So, to hear the first concrete info once the record was done really makes it seem like it came out of nowhere. The band has been active (with G. Brian back, and Kyle Babb) since 2000 on and off, but to have a new record on the cards on a months notice is really a trip and unexpected.

Four tracks (Pacifist Fight Song, World, It's A Shame, Elly Bussa Touch The Sky) have been posted to the bands myspace page. (http://www.myspace.com/dedhot). Absolute, pure, unadulterated, psychotic Dead Hot goodness. All 4 songs (well, Elly Bussa Touch The Sky isn't necessarily a 'song') are awesome.

I loved them all straight away, which I is actually my quickest Dead Hot Workshop uptake ever. Don't get me wrong, I always come around to the Dead Hot, but almost every album (with the exception of White House) has been a wait to get into...

Initially, with 1001 I didn't get it. Back in 1996, I was pretty excited to finally hear Dead Hot Workshop. But it just didn't click. It wasn't my thing, despite my wanting it to; and listening to the album several times over a 3 month period. Sometimes you have to surrender the fantasy - I listened to the album for what was going to be the last time ("one more time, then I reside to the fact that I don't like it"), and amazingly and instantly I saw the light - it clicked on that listen. From then on I couldn't say enough about 1001 and Dead Hot Workshop.

Then I got River Otis sometime in 1997 - loved 257 the rest of it, I didn't necessarily love. I could listen to it, but general felt like "it ain't no 1001". I've finally come to appreciate River Otis has a whole (particularly E Minor) this year than I ever had before.

Then in 1999, it was Old Favorites And New Ones Too, which I first heard in Iowa, and hence had particular connection with that. Loved select tracks (moreso on Karma), but overall never really embraced the albums the way I did 1001. And thought of them as "post Larson Dead Hot Workshop" and that I preferred the "Larson era" of Dead Hot Workshop. Like 1001 (but with a 6 year delay, vs. 3 months [smile] ), it all clicked this year (as I posted earlier this year). And I can't live without, or imagine living without either of these albums. So much so, that I'd quote these as my favorite albums of 2006 - despite the fact they came out in 1997 and 1998.

White House which I got in circa 2000 really didn't take much getting used to at all.

In contrast, with these tracks from Heavy Meadow, one listen was all it took. The only bad thing about them is that it makes it so much harder to wait for November 22 to roll around!

This selection from the album further clearly illustrates how Dead Hot Workshop has moved forwards over the years, while completely not deviating one inch from what they started out doing 16 years ago.

If anyone asks who is the best band in the world, known by probably 0.1% of it, there is only one answer: Dead. Hot. Workshop.
Now Playing: Dead Hot Workshop - Pacifist Fight Song

No Love From Google

Late Night Ramblings

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 03:52:32 am
(Posted Under: Web Development)
Ahhh, I remember the days when my sites had good Google Page Ranks. Actually, y'know, it wasn't all that long ago! The whole Alphalink debarkle kinda put an end to that.

Up until August, all of my sites have had the same URI's for 8 yearz. Maybe that is an overstatement. Maybe I didn't move all my sites from RMIT to Alphalink when I first signed up. They've definately been up on Alphalink since 2000, making it 6 years, which is still pretty decent. Which I'm sure helped towards decent Google Page Rankings, and more importantly, high search result hits - without ever really trying too hard. I have done some things over the past couple of years, but just for correctness - I was already getting good placings on Google results.

However, since moving all my websites to Internode, I can't get no love from Google. Particularly for Lost Horizons, which is the only one I'm really remotely fussed about in terms of search results anyway. The Gin Blossoms Guitar Archive has kicked off in the last couple of weeks - it shows up as the top hit on Google when searching for the exact term. The Dead Hot Workshop Guitar Archive is totally unknown by Google as it seems. And I can't really get an love for the copy of my homepage hosted on Internode either.

The copy hosted on my server (purpose is only for my weblog, which I host on my own server exclusively) is a whole other story. It is more loved by Google than anything else. Of course, the URL has been around for over 2 years. But still, I notice Google returning more hits for my weblog and other pages hosted locally, than the pages on Internode - where, er, I'd like the traffic to go. I'm considering making everything but my weblog locally point to Internode, to give Google a bit of a helping hand. [smile]

In the meantime, if you have any links to my sites, or know anyone who has, please note the changes, and update your links where possible:

Mark Ord's Homepage: http://www.users.on.net/~ord/home/
Lost Horizons - A Tribute To Doug Hopkins: http://www.users.on.net/~ord/losthorizons/
Gin Blossoms Guitar Archive: http://www.users.on.net/~ord/gin_blossoms_guitar_archive/
Dead Hot Workshop Guitar Archive: http://www.users.on.net/~ord/deadhotworkshop_guitar_archive/

And for all you web spiders out there, and Google, yes, I mean you [wink] Go! Eat! Prosper and be merry!

Who knows if these will make any difference to Google, but I guess we'll soon see. But seriously, if you're a non silicon based life form, updating any links would be good.

Speaking of which, I looked around a bit for places with links, and came across the one for the Gin Blossoms Guitar Archive in the Rock Out Censorship Database. I was solicited by them years ago ('96 or '97) for recipricating links, long before search engine optimizing was a buzz phrase. Which, is probably the only reason I even considered the request. Well, that and their cause was a cool one. Heading on over to the site, it was kinda shocking to me that the address in there, is the original one, for minyos - the site has been moved 3 times since then! [smile] Kinda a trip out seeing the old minyos address still on the web, and my old student number! [smile] Rock Out Censoorship is old school. [smile] If that isn't clearly obvious by the background image on their site, which immediately takes me back to '96. [smile] In anycase, I attempted to update the link, but the service choked. [smile] There you go!

Gin Blossoms On The Mountain

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, October 28, 2006 - 01:00:00 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
This is a breakfast show in Tucson, which Katie has been harrassing me all week to think of a way she could go to it. [smile] Alas, I came up short, and maybe it was her payback telling me about the live stream on the internet, with little time to spare.

After getting around the Clear Channel issues, I managed to get it all setup, right before while the preceding commericial was playing. But the stream dropped before the beginning, and I had to setup recording, so I missed a bit of the start. Kinda annoying, but then again, still not a bad effort for being in bed with my laptop, having to sort out stuff on my router, and then main PC, all on the drop of a hat. [smile] At the end of the day, not getting all of an acoustic version of Follow You Down is not the end of the world. [wink] There have been a billion, and I'm sure there will be a billion more. [smile]

Hearing both Long Time Gone and Learning The Hard Way acoustic was cool. I wouldn't expect Long Time Gone to translate acoustically, but actually really enjoyed it. Final song was Til I Hear It From You.

Funnily enough earlier this afternoon, Til I Hear It From You came on. It got me thinking about how typically I could take or leave it. But there are some times when it sounds really good, sounding like when I first heard it. This afternoon was one of those times. I actually by nature of habit swapped to Winamp and skipped it, and then skipped back because it was sounding good today. Which got me to thinking how that's true of that sound, on occassions it can sound great. And then thought about how that really only applies to the studio version. Neveer hearing a live version of it again would totally work for me. I was reminded of that thought tonight, when they played it, as it was my immediate reaction. I was gunning for something else off the new record, instead of Til I Hear It From You, but was pretty confident it'd get played.

In anycase, it was cool to hear. Funnily enough I watched some of How To Loose A Guy In Ten Days, particularly for Follow You Down at the end. It's still cool to hear the guys in a movie - though, I did notice the speed and pitch of it sounded quite off - and the way the song was cut up was quite attrocious. But still, cool to hear, and see their names in the credits. In anycase, it turned out to be a fairly Blossomy night.
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - Til I Hear It From You (Acoustic)

Come On River Otis

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, October 19, 2006 - 04:43:26 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Life)
This morning I came outside for a smoke, and determined that it looked like too much of a nice day to spend it inside. With Melbourne whether, you can never be sure.

But I took the gamble, and packed up the laptop and motated outdoors to work. The gamble paid off, today has been absolutely glorious. Being outdoors, on a beautiful day, with good tunes playing increases productivity if you ask me.

It's late afternoon, the blazing afternoon sun is one my face (and blidning me - which right now, is A-OK), and have had The Refreshments playing. Today, Nada and Tributary Otis haven't sounded better.

It makes me wonder, does my lust for the desert highway influence what I listen to? Or is it what I listen to that influences that lust? Or a bit of both? The third option sounds good to me.
Now Playing: The Refreshments - Tributary Otis

Winamp Playlist Sorting Revisited

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 08:07:26 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Winamp)
So, I guess I spoke too soon! [wink] Playlist sorting in Winamp 5.21 is better, but it still doesn't fully work.

The following playlist
M:\Albums\Dead Hot Workshop - White House
M:\Albums\Dead Hot Workshop - River Otis
M:\Albums\Dead Hot Workshop - 1001
M:\Albums\Dead Hot Workshop - Old Favorites & New Ones Too
M:\Albums\Dead Hot Workshop - Karma Covered Apple
Loads Feliz Navidad (Old Favorites & New Ones Too) last, after Strangers (Karma Covered Apple).

And the follow playing
M:\Albums\Gin Blossoms - Dusted
M:\Albums\Gin Blossoms - Up And Crumbling
M:\Albums\Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience
M:\Albums\Gin Blossoms - Congratulations I'm Sorry
M:\Albums\Gin Blossoms - Major Lodge Victory (Advance)
Loads Cheatin' (New Miserable Experience) after California Sun (Major Lodge Victory).

In the words of Brent Babb, oh well. [wink] Looks like it's going to be a case of shell scripts to generate full artist playlists after all!
Now Playing: Dead Hot Workshop - Oh Well

Winamp Playlist Sorting

Upgrading to Winamp 5.21

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, October 18, 2006 - 06:22:41 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Winamp)
It's back! Finally.

I've been running Winamp 5.08c since Jan 2005, and putting up with the lack of sorting the whole time. I think that could have been one on of the main reasons for my love affair with Media Library over that time. To that end, my usage of playlists has been hardly existent, thanks to Media Library - I've had my music moved to a Samba share for near on 10 months now, yet my old playlists still remain on my desktop,

Though, recently I've done some playlist related stuff - particularly to automatically generate playlists for all albums and live recordings on my share. I can't remember my intent for this - momentary bordem, or specifically for my laptop. Because I use Automatically Remove Missing Files in Media Library, and it can be a huge pain in the ass when I desperately have to listen to something, and Media Library is empty - particularly caused when I've swapped to using wireless and I can't access my access point right before Media Library is about to rescan. It was either that, or bordem. Or actually, what I think it was was ocassional frustration in Media Library sorting when creating a playlist...yes! That's right, given that I sort by artist name in Media Library, it was getting annoying enqueuing Live At Last Exit Vol. 1 and hearing Andy Hersey's A Diamond Won't Cut It instead of The Black Mood's Sick In Bed ("come oooooon, come ooon, come ooon!" [smile] ). And hence sorting by track number, enqueing, and then having to return to sort by artist later on....which I would never until I had listened to 5 track #1's from artists that start with 'A' [wink]. Yeah, I think that was the motivation force between auto generation of playlists.

Which brings me to today - another occurance of not having a huge sway on what I want to listen to, enqueuing everything from Media Library and turning shuffle on, and then realising I really don't want to listen to Michael Jackson, Sarah McLaughlan, Garbage or any amount of other stuff that I just have on here for the sake of it. To even the odds, I need an Arizona rock playlist, which I can bookmark, and easily queue and hit shuffle. This is neither a new realisation, or a first attempt. Over the last 10 months, I've started writing something to do just that on several occassions - just never followed through. However, today I've written a shell script that works well enough - searches through my album and live recording playlists for Arizona based artists, and concating those into one playlist - called from cron, to automatically update it.

This is turn got me thinking about how it'd be cool to reference the source playlists from within the playlist, rather than concatenate all of the contents. So after some searching on the M3U format, it wasn't too hard to learn that you can't reference a M3U from within a M3U. Winamp doesn't support it, and searches today seemed to confirm that the format itself doesn't. It's pretty stupid and annoying actually (if you ask me), but you write a song about a porno star, fine.

From there (with my initial goal achieved anyway), I thought about how it'd be nice to have playlists of all albums by an artist, but in chronological release date. Without significant work (aka: reading ID3 tags), this would be impossible, because I don't classify my stuff with year (other than inside ID3 tags), and would not be a fun task from a shell script. And more to the point, the pay off wouldn't really be worth the effort. Still, it'd be nice to have playlists with albums, without having to list out each song of each album. Referencing album playlists is out, I've discovered. But, what if I reference a directory inside a M3U file?

Sweet! Works fine, except for that damn Winamp issue where the files are read in order of FAT allocation (or god knows what over Samba - inode, and then the order in which Samba delivers them - the mind boggles [wink] ). An issue that has been around, in one form or another, since Winamp 2.x. Which is a pain in the ass, because it's really a simple thing. (Side note: it's entertaining reading Winamp forum messages from circa 2000, where developers and moderates blame Windows for the bug. I don't doubt the Windows API is doing something it shouldn't - I have vague recollections of drag and drop having a sort parameter, but it not working properly in practise - but for cryin' out loud, Winamp can be changed to fix it, by ignoring what Windows does and sorting itself! [smile] ). Anyways, where was I? Oh yes. Kinda frustrating, using Winamp 5.x and still being plagued from issues I remember having 8 years ago! [smile] I messed around with the When loading multiple files, sort files by name option, with no luck.

In anycase, doing a bit of a search around, I discovered that this is fixed in Winamp 5.2 - which as it turns out, I've been running on my laptop since...well, probably since Jan this year - just without the aforementioned option selected. Turning it on, everything is sweet - including my whole 'referencing album directories' idea. Cool!

So, I have just upgraded my main machine to 5.21 also - saving grace is that I have already been using it for 10 months on my laptop, so I knew what I was in for, which made the upgrading easier. Still, I must say, I prefer the 5.08c version of Media Library. The icons to the left in the navigation, I really don't like - I wish they could be disabled / have the look of the older Media Library. That, and the added shit (Online Services, SHOUTcast Wire, Portables and Predixis MusicMagic) which I would prefer not to have there. Plus, I don't like "Rip and Burn" - name it "Devices", like the old version, please! Lord knows I'm never going to rip, nor burn anything from inside Winamp. I may have to do some hacking to Winamp5\plugins\ml tonight! [wink]

In anycase, playlist sorting finally seems fixed, which is good, as it's been the bane of my existance. [smile] When I want to listen to Dead Hot Workshop's discography, hearing White House after Old Favorites & New Ones Too always screws with me. [wink] Those days, they seem to be over - yaaaaaay!
Now Playing: Dead Hot Workshop - Saddamizing Hussein

Hey! Jealousy!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, October 15, 2006 - 11:50:33 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
This is the funniest thing I've ever read! Well, at least the funniest Gin Blossoms article I've ever read! It's hard to believe Johnson gave this douchebag the time of day!

Defend Yourself!.

I am guessing that Dig is, as it's name implies, a dig publication - and I love how Johnson's responses really does a flip on the writers intent.

Friggin' hilarious!

I Want A Mac!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 10, 2006 - 09:13:01 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Okay, I don't at all, but I've got to say their latest advertising campaign with Justin Long is absolutely great.

The first time I saw them was in the States during May. It was pretty sweet a few months ago when they started to appear on our screens. Just saw the newest this week, and thought about how they've all been great.

Blossoms Live!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 3, 2006 - 06:25:44 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Finally! A Gin Blossoms live recording! [smile] It's about time, it's been almost a year since the last one I heard, and things were pretty dry before that! Since then, there have been a couple of promo type things in light of the new album, on radio, but this is the first live recording I've heard about in forever.

Posted on Dime A Dozen, which I thought would be sweet, but my account has long been deleted, I don't think I'd logged on much after Tempe last year. It seems that now it only supports 100,000 users, which sucks ass. However, by some twist of fate, I managed to get myself signed up again this afternoon. And give my new ADSL a good work out.

Pretty sweet to hear the band live again. In terms of new songs, I would like to do away with Follow You Down, Allison Road and Til I Hear It From You in preference of new songs. Still, pretty sweet to have a recording of Heart Shaped Locket and Long Time Gone (please, Jesse, leave the harmonica at home!).

It's a shame that there is no Stop!, I was looking forward to hearing the new version, although I'm sure I'll rant when I do! But that's not the point, I should hear everything, good or bad. [smile] (Not that I didn't get a taste of it at the Johnson/Wilson open mic night, I guess.)

But anycase, pretty awesome that there is finally a show out there. Here's to hoping there will be more.
Now Playing: Gin Blossoms - Heart Shaped Locket (Live)

Vylet Rebellion

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, October 3, 2006 - 05:19:54 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
This morning I heard some of the Vylet Wylde (Vylet Wylde, Violet Wild, make up your mind guys!) songs for the first time, via Steve French and the Violet Wild myspace sites.

Interesting, though I guess not suprisingly from the call I got from their first show a few weeks ago, there is a lot of Mink Rebellion repackaging going on here. Along For The Ride, Concrete Lake and Without You all being Mink Rebellion songs. The Mink Rebellion songs will easily remain my favorites. The Vylet Wylde version of Along For The Ride doesn't have anything on the original. Still, I did think it's pretty cool hearing another version of the song. Similarly, Concrete Lake isn't as good as the original. It's not bad, and still totally worth having a different version, but Without You I can't comment on, as I've never heard the original. Though Katie found a copy of the 2004 EP it's on at Zia last week (score!), so hopefully soon I will be able to compare.

Chemicals And Water, which as far as I can tell is a new song, is awesome. Like it a lot. Definately has that Mink feel, despite that production wise it sounds like the rest of the Vylet Wylde stuff.

I don't particularly have an opinion on Even If Your Light Is Fading, though it's certainly not bad!

Kinda an interesting band for Josh Kennedy to be in - the songs are top notch, don't get me wrong, but I can't help but think that Mr. Big Guitar is somewhat wasted. Just in that thus far they don't sound that big guitar heavy, and Josh really should be in a band that is.
Now Playing: Vylett Wylde - Along For The Ride.

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