It’s been a week now since the experience that was Foss Fest wrapped up. This was the first event of this kind I’m aware of in Foss Park, certainly the first I’ve been involved in. Foss Park has some upside potential – it’s a nice little non-East Somerville non-Winter Hill area at Broadway and McGrath Highway. I missed most of the setup stuff due to flight-induced psychosis but managed to get down before the opening band (The Brooklyns) came on. I thought they were going to be more country than they were, but the crowd, though pretty sparse at that point, seemed to into it. I tend to like bands with dual vocalists, and The Brooklyns alternate between their leads (Maureen & Tom) for their set. I got their EP but haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet.
The second act was the pessimistically named They Will Hate Us. They had more religious iconography in their setup than I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been to my fair share of religiously themed musical events). I would guesstimate there were (among other things) 20+ Madonna statuettes on stage, which I guess is contextually appropriate for the neighborhood. Anyway their sound I’d call plinky and stripped down.
So that’s it in sum, a pretty fun day. The biggest downer was that Audrey Ryan had to drop out for personal reasons and a lot of people were asking about her, unfortunate. She’s pretty awesome & clearly has a good following. This being the first time through there were some publicity-type things that we could have done better that were more obvious after the fact but technically & musically the event went off without a hitch. Much thanks to all the volunteers and WMBR for their support (particularly Jeff & Mike from Pipeline) for everything they did.
Here’s the Layma version of S.W. Foss’ poem, The Coming American. I’ll post the CBOP version once I can find it for compare/contrast. See you there next year?
I recently bought (per Matt’s suggestion) a Zoom H2 to try to alleviate some of the problems caused by using the on camera audio when filming with a Canon TX1 (most recently exemplified by Tokyo Pinsalocks, but also in Chris Brokaw, Ponies in the Surf, etc). In the past we got around this by using the stereo mic on a Canon XL2 or by bringing a digital 8-track to a show but both of these are bulky (and thus completely non-spontaneous). I’m still just testing this out and trying to get a feel for what works and doesn’t. Both of these tests were recorded in 24-bit stereo WAV (44.1kHz) then normalized and converted to 192kbps mp3.
The first test is of Montreal’s Famous Lovers from a recent show at O’Brien’s in Allston. They’re not particularly loud but this is recorded directly next to the PA, inside a fleece pocket for wind-screening with the 120 degree rear mic pointed at the band. The vocals are muddy (which was pretty much how they sounded live) but there’s no peaking out despite the volume.
Test number two was in a much quieter acoustic environment. This is from a set by Dustin Hamman of Run On Sentence from Audrey Ryan’s loft series. I again had the 120 degree mic pointed at the guitar from about eight feet at maximum gain (thus, the sounds of audience coughing and the sound of me shifting the device at 10 seconds).
A few complaints: the menu system is odd and difficult to navigate on the small & dim LCD, file transfers via USB are stupid slow, and whoever decided that a blinking red light means ‘ready to record’ rather than ‘actually recording’ screwed me up and cost me a set from the Concord Ballet Orchestra Players. Great.
Dog and I went up the Charles towards Watertown this morning, stopping for coffee and to see last of the leaves, with a bonus trip to the dam and this pedestrian bridge along the way. Then on to Burlington to work on first-pass raking the yard a bit. The angry acorn trees never give up. In general it was a very pleasant day with CNSMHB and the old people.
And then came home to that incident I linked to above. It’s very upsetting and I don’t really want to work or watch the World Series right now. Things have always seemed more or less safe here previously, for me anyway – most of the issues have been quality of life related to drunk kids having excessive fun. But this is 7:30 on a Sunday night – this is not that. I’m not sure what kinds of actions we need to take as a neighborhood but obviously the status quo isn’t working.
I was down in Allston today, looking around the apartment and taking stock of what would need to be done to move back in. I’ve only been gone a year but there’s been noticeable turnover in retail places – the Burritos on Fire is all boarded up, Store 24 has turned into a Tedeschi’s, Herrell’s is now called Allston Cafe, a giant new Walgreens is crowding up against Deep Ellum. Just wait, I’ll get settled back in and find out something unbelievable horrific has come true – like say Bagel Rising having gone out of business or something. That really would be the cruelest twist.
A quiet night in Allston, hardly anyone’s out and about. My guess is that everyone is resting up for the Celtics tomorrow. The sky really is this curious color tonight – I didn’t tweak at all, just some 10 second exposures on the street, National Grid still doing their thing. And by thing I mean jackhammering outside my window every morning at 7am. Come on man with all that Actual Work Looking way-too-early manual labor.
There’s at least six solid inches out there now, but it’s relatively warm and gorgeous tonight. The kids on the street are leaving the bars drunk and friendly, and the dog was ecstatically mushing to some uncertain destination. I love Allston, particularly more so when a fresh coat of white covers it’s flaws.
I’m ashamed that I’ve lived in my place for almost a year without realizing the quality of life improvement that can be derived from extending my westward loop a bit to circle the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. This is a gorgeous turn-around that lets you forget about the rats and drunks and type a-holes turning right on red into a full crosswalk. Currently I’m favoring this choice over going through BU and looping the Charles (though easier to set random lengths there). Other practical advantages to Chestnut Hill include the homestretch being mostly downhill, and avoiding the slumerlandic regions of lower Allston.
IF you buy a condo,
AND IF you have a heavy laptop
AND IF you have a 22lb bag of dogfood
AND IF it starts raining
AND IF you have to park three blocks away
AND IF your little tethered buddy decides to chase a cluster-bomb of rats behind La Mamma’s
THEN you can sigh, shuffle along, and silently curse FSM for not providing a driveway. (more…)
I was told Friday I wasn’t qualified for a job that closely parallels what I do in my current position because my degree was from BU rather than from Harvard. Maybe I didn’t sell myself, adequately demonstrate my abilities, or maybe I just didn’t smile enough. Maybe it’s just that I’ve got f’ed up teeth – I’d much rather have been told any of those things. This pro-Harvard-to-the-exclusion-of-anywhere-else mentality though – this only leads to blood-thinning inbreeding and subsequent random hemorrhages people. Is it not bad enough that Harvard’s buying half my town? You don’t need to make me feel three feet tall in the process.
UPDATE: Maybe I’m using the wrong term here. What construction is appropriate for preference of one characteristic to exclusion of all alternatives? I’m accepting suggestions.
UPDATE 2: It’s not tinklepee. Although that suggests trying “harvard fetish” – 38 hits!