If This Isn't Irony, I Don't Know What Is

The Maine Touring Australia

(Add / View Comments) (1)Monday, January 31, 2011 - 05:24:10 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
So we've kinda known about this for a while, but The Maine are touring Australia as part of the Soundwave festival.

In 2008, Katie and I would have been on this like Oprah on canned ham. One of the things we had on this list of things to be excited about in regards to the pending move to Tempe is getting to see these guys live.

What further makes it ironic, is that in my 32 years of living in Australia, and 17 years of being into bands from this scene, the only band from here to tour Oz was Jimmy Eat World - long before I was into them. The fact that one of my more recent favorite bands from here (and okay, so there are a lot) are touring Down Under not even two years after I've left is unbelievable.

Though, the fact that this kids are the new black makes it more believable. But not really any less ironic. [wink]
Now Playing: The Maine - If Only I Had The Heart

Scottsdale Arts Festival & Old Town

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosPhotosSunday, January 30, 2011 - 04:49:00 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Went down to the Scottsdale Arts Festival to catch Shelby James & The Crying Shames. Amazingly, in no small part due to several mishaps, it's been a good 6 months since we've seen Shelbs. That's a long time between drinks.

Photobox ImageWe were slightly late, and virtually pulled up the same spot up the back as we did last year when we caught Los Guys. It was fun, although despite taking the recorder and forgetting to press record, and a dog pissing on our cooler bag. My demeanor wasn't much different to last night (I blame the cold. Okay, no, I'm just a bitch [wink] ), but while "are you fucking serious?" flies at a bar after 12 when directed at a college kid too drunk to stand up, it does less so at 12pm on a Sunday around a bunch of Scottsdale old farts, so I at least kept that in. Though I didn't hold back with a "oi!" as the mutt started sniffing around the camera back. Dog friendly events are cool, but for fuck sake, if you're can't control your dog, don't take the fucker out in public. Just fucking don't. And don't be surprised if people around you have the desire to kick you and you're stupid little mongrel. And if you dog pisses on someone, or someone's belongs, fucking acknowledge it, and here's an idea, maybe apologize. Lest you want to perpetuate the Scottsdale stereotype (you self important old bitch).

Photobox ImageI had no idea that Civic Plaza backed right on to Old Town and completely unplanned we spent the afternoon walking around. We stumbled on a great Mexican Imports place, which we'll definitely have to go back to. Out the front on the corner was a busker playing the blues. This guy was absolutely awesome. As it turned out he was a snow bird from Detroit for the winter. No idea who he was, and he was probably wasn't "anyone", but he was the real deal when it came to rootsy blues. Absolutely loved listening to him while browsing the stores near by. And too boot, it was a really nice sunny Sunday afternoon and such a good day for it.

Photobox ImageOur Lady of Perpetual Help Church was open today, and we took the opportunity to take a look in there today. Something we wanted to do back in 2006, so that was pretty cool.

On the way home we looked out for Sugar Daddies which we couldn't remember where it was on Thursday night. Place is guttered and looks like it's not far off being torn down. Really sucks, because I really liked that place and have some cool memories from there. I think we both had some quiet hopes than someone would buy it and open a new bar there. It would seem not. Which is unfortunate, because it had a great set up for a both a bar and a live music venue.
Now Playing: The Maine - We All Roll Along

Glodie's' Birthday Bash

The Best Party In Town

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, January 28, 2011 - 11:23:08 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
If there has been any shortage of seeing live music lately, I've definitely made up for it at the tail end of this week.

Photobox ImageKatie was looking forward to napping when she got home from work. And after finally succumbing to her cold, I was on board with that idea - which is such a rarity. Late in the afternoon we got word of Emmett and Glods playing at Iguana Macks before Yucca. There's a combo worth seeing. So all previous plans got shot to hell. No fucking sleep 'til Brooklyn! (Or Chandler [wink] ). Fun time, and absolutely worth our putting sick selves putting ourselves. You're not hardcore unless you live hardcore. (And the legend of the rent was way hardcore).

Photobox ImageFrom there it was over to Yucca for all of us. It was impressive how full the parking lot was for 9:20. Hell, for the matter, it was impressive to see a Yucca show start before 9:30. Tramps put on a fine opening set, and had the birthday boy up for the closer. Throughout the song was a display that undeniably proves that Glodie has all the moves. But like there has been any confusion about that! [wink]

It was a long wait for us until our guys hit the stage. Which was fine, except that with the bar absolutely packed for Dry River and Black Carl, it was a pretty damn cold night outsides, and with our colds to contend with it was a little rough. However, we managed to resist the temptation of going home and returning at 12:30am. Living 3 minutes away from Yucs, it's very tempting temptation. [smile] The coldness almost got me loosing it and going into the anti Yucca. But I even with the temperature, I couldn't actually bring myself to do it.

There was some concern about Dan making the show, due to also being sick. Rich was on hand. But with minutes to spare, "Captain Dan" walked in. Katie had actually spotted Glods with a costume bag earlier in the night, so the sight of the sailor costume from Halloween past wasn't a complete surprise to us. [smile]

Photobox ImageAdorned in their sailor costumes, the beast that is Strange Young Things at Yucca was unleashed. The set was electric. Dan's cold was well hidden as he went berzerk behind the kit. Nothing new, but I was in awe, particularly early on in the show watching him behind the kit.

The night was everything you expect from a Yucca show - pseudo stage diving, singing on the bar, singing behind the bar, the Bitch circle... Yucca remained pretty packed during the set, and the whole room lapped up the rock 'n roll show.

After Lonely, no-one was leaving without an encore. A sick Dan Petrosino visibly had different ideas. And after drumming his heart out for about 50 minutes with a cold, I was feeling him. Though, somehow he was convinced to get behind the kit for a finale of Bring It On Home To Me. What a fucking trooper.

I know I say this every time we walk out of a show at Yucca - but best show to date, hands down.
Now Playing: Domo - Earthquake

Black Moods Video Shoot

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 11:12:34 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Black Moods video shoot tonight. Katie had to work tonight, and to orchestrate getting there on time, she dropped me at Teakwoods and picked me up on the way to Martini Ranch. A perfectly executed plan, as both Jason Longo and Jason Boots were playing at Teakwoods. Not sure what the deal is, but happy hour music seems to have been on Thursdays rather than Wednesdays lately. Certainly worked out pretty convenient tonight. Took that laptop, worked on stuff and had entertainment all night (relatively speaking anyway! ha!). Sweet deal. And y'know, some places are just cool for hanging out. And by "some places", I mean Teaks.

We got down to Martini Ranch before the Moods had started, which was sweet. And being a Thursday night, there were no parking dramas. When we got in, it looked quite sad - with only a few people on the floor. However, once just called out for everyone to "stop smoking" there was a good stream of people from out the back, which was a relief!

Awesome show, clearly with a different vibe given the video shoot. Focus was given to Like A Wave and a new one, so it would seem the shoot was for singles. Cool stuff. We had a great time. Their second set looked great (can you say "Satin Box" and "Venice"?!?), though it didn't eventuate. Which was a double edged sword. Would have been killer to see. but on the other hand, on a Thursday night, getting home before 12:30am was a good thing.

Great night, and such a cool thing to be part of. Here's to Black Moods...
Now Playing: The Maine - Count 'Em One, Two, Three

Let's Ride This Crazy Train All The Way To AJ!

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, January 16, 2011 - 07:08:37 pm
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life)
So after getting lunch at Fuddruckers, we were in Superstition Springs. And it's not like the hours leading up hadn't been ridiculous anyway. So, why the hell not ride the crazy train all the way east and hit AJ? We were basically there anyway!

Photobox ImageIt'd been such a nice day, and pretty clear, so Superstition Mountain looked particularly good today. Drove up the Apache Trail a little way, tromped out in the desert for a little while, and checked out the Desert Mining Resturant (well, the outside anyway). And stood out the front and tried to work out which mountains in the valley were visible from there. Not very successfully it seemed though. It's interesting how difficult it is to get your bearings from that far east.

Photobox ImageFun times. And I must say, I don't know why Apache Junction gets the reputation that it does. Actually, I absolutely do. But that's only one side to AJ, and in reality it's flat out awesome. And moreso exponentially the closer you get to Superstition Mountain. I could easily do the AJ thing. Somewhere like here would be fine. [wink]

Some more of the cooler photos from this afternoon...

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P.F Chang's Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon

Mimosas For Breakfast

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosSunday, January 16, 2011 - 11:57:49 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
Early morning this morning, heading out to Camelback and 40th in Phoenix to catch Strange Young Things set at the P.F Changs Rock N Roll Marathon. Up at 7, and out the door at 8:15. At Camelback by about 8:45.

Photobox ImageOur timing was pretty great, as was getting a ridiculously awesome parking spot right before the fuzz shut down that portion of 40th street. Walking down to the U-Haul parking lot on the corner, we heard It's A Drug and hence expected there'd been a mix up with the stage locations of The Moods (who were were also intending to see) and Strange Young Things. Alas not, The Moods were just part of the pre show mix - pretty cool - as our boys were on stage setting up.

Photobox ImageRidiculously fun time, even for 8:30 in the morning! And furthermore, the boys sounded remarkably good for that hour of the morning. Especially since the poor bastards had to get out there at 6am to set up. There is something about seeing these guys in an outdoor during the day setting, and today wasn't any different. The combination of that plus the stream of marathon runners provided for a real cool and unusual show. Corey played up to his passing audience wonderfully, at times jumping off the stage and running out on to Camelback to really bring the rock 'n roll to the runners. Glorious. The guy is pure unadulterated rock 'n roll! Only once did the microphone cable give out. Not bad, considering that it's less often than what will typically happen at Yucca only feet from the stage on any given night.

At the end of the first set, we checked out Dan's other band for a bit before deciding to see how feasible it was to walk from there to Osbourne and 48th Street to catch some of The Black Moods. The plan was aborted once we got too 40th and Campbell, as there is no way we'd get there and back in time for SYT's next set. Hence we turned around, deciding to catch another set of SYT, and then go over and see The Black Moods afterwards.

That turned out to a wise choice, as the marathon ended (at least at Camelback) earlier than expected, and so SYT's next set was the final one at that stage. Definitely wouldn't have wanted to have missed it.

Lonely And Call It. Or Not

Photobox ImageDespite it all ending earlier than scheduled, the final runner still hadn't made it by the time Lonely Hearts Are Wild ended, and hence organizers called for the band to keep going. A nice change from the norm, where it's last call and they (or particularly a certain someone) almost needs to be dragged off stage. [wink] Two more songs until they got the all clear to retire for the day. For something that we didn't even know about until Glodie mentioned it on Friday night, I can't think of a better way to spend this Sunday morning.

From there we attempted to get down to see The Moods. Getting down to Osbourne and 48th, while not that far away, was a major headache in light of all the road closures due to the marathon. It seemed to take close to an hour to get the two blocks south and four blocks east. I guess we also had a walk from Indian School to Osbourne in there as well. Not completely shockingly, once we got there, the band they were alternating with was playing their final set. If things had been on schedule, we would have made it in plenty of time for the final Mood's set, but just like at Camelback, things were finishing up earlier than excepted. A shame. But not as much as the news of the apparent Moods line up change.

Still, it was a hella fun morning. Definitely a hearty rock 'n roll breakfast! It's actually a shame there were no mimosas being served. [wink]


Life's Certainties

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 15, 2011 - 11:14:16 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)
Death, taxes and there always being someone wanting to get their fire for free.

Zoo Lights

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosWednesday, January 5, 2011 - 11:50:32 pm
(Posted Under: This Desert Life This Desert Life)
This year we've wanted to do Zoo Lights, in light of the half price admission on Wednesdays thanks to our SRP bill. However, we simply had no time to do it before Christmas. And plans to do it last Wednesday were thwarted thanks to the rain. Though, thankfully Katie didn't have to work tonight, so we made it out there. Good thing, since it ends this week.

Generally speaking, we don't hold the Phoenix Zoo in high regard. And hence, wasn't really expecting that much. Especially since both last year and this year what we've been able to see from Galvin Parkway, and last year from Papago Park, it didn't look like it was much. However, for once, the Phoenix Zoo has surprised us. We were quite impressed, and had no trouble spending the 3 hours between 7 and 10pm there. Hilariously, when we first visited the zoo during the day in 2005, we struggled to fill in the same amount of time.

It's shocking to me that I took 477 photos. And similarly that once I culled them, fairly ruthlessly, still ended up with 189!

Photobox ImageOnce we were back at the car, I was able to put the telephoto lens to the test for this photo taken from the car park. I've got to say, the lens was worth the money! Not too shabby, considering the distance from the car park to where this sign was situated inside.

The rest of the photos can be found through the Photos link above. Given the sheer volume, it's a cryin' shame that I'm still in the middle of slideshow development for Photobox.

Losing EXIF Data

(Add / View Comments) (0)Sunday, January 2, 2011 - 10:35:35 pm
(Posted Under: Web Development, Photography)
Over the break in Warsaw, I started work on a new slide show feature for Photobox. It can already do a slideshow, but the code was developed a long time ago, and it's clunky at best. It's time for a new fancy one, using all sort of eye candy easily available through extjs. It's going quite well.

As part of that, I've redesigned the interface for viewing photo EXIF data, which I like a lot better. Which highlighted something to me - with this new camera, there is a lot more photo metadata that I care about, but am not seeing. Largely that was due to the limitations in the third party EXIF code I am using in Photobox, particularly when it comes to Nikon Maker tags. And as such, I've spent a good portion of the weekend writing a wrapper for that library, which fills in the gaps. At the moment, just the gaps I care about, like the detailed lens information. Thanks to using the exiftool perl code as a reference, I've been able to port over a lot of the functionality.

Sweet. But in doing so, I've discovered that a many of my photos are missing a whole heap of EXIF data. Seemingly randomly. And annoyingly, the lens information is part of what is missing.

Unfortunately I cannot find any pattern to what is lost. Ir seems fairly arbitrary, as some photos taken in the same set are okay, others are not. The obvious first thought was the software was destroying some of the information in the tags, however since I'm using the exact same work flow for both photos that are okay, and photos that aren't (transfer using Nikon Transfer, import, editing and export in Picture Project), I can't necessarily see how that would be true.

Thus far I'm at a loss, and have been unable to reproduce the problem with different camera settings, or different work flows, so I unfortunately don't know what not to do to avoid this. Similarly, I don't think it's a problem with my code, since exiftool is giving the same results.

I guess I need to put diagnosis of this problem on the back burner, but I'd really love to know what is causing it.

Not cool man, not cool at all.

Starting The New Year Off Right

Strange Young Things @ Yucca Tap Room

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 1, 2011 - 11:40:00 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music, Live Shows)
What better way to start off the New Year than with a Strange Young Things show?

It is of course unfortunate that Muddy Violets were playing at Teakwoods tonight, especially given how long it's been since we've seen them, and how bleak (for us) the January calendar at Teakwoods is. Unfortunate scheduling. Would have really liked to see them, but some bands trump everyone. Strange Young Things are such a band. Plus, the closeness of Yucca was a very good thing tonight.

Fun night. And just being nice at Yucca. Y'know, nothing makes you appreciate a good bar more than going to a crappy bar. Which prompted a the purchase of a cold beverage despite not really being that thirsty. I love me some Yucca Tap. Sat at the bar and worked on the aforementioned beverage while Hot Birds & Chili Sauce played. Pretty sweet to get to check them out at a SYT show.

While we were both pretty tired, as usual, all was forgotten once the boys hit the stage. If anything is going to wake you up, it's Strange Young Things. The downside is that tiredness returned almost immediately after Lonely Hearts Are Wild, and so we were quick to split for a place known as bed.

With the first show of the year being Strange Young Things. surely 2011 is going to be a good one! [smile]

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