Life, a Miscellany

These last two weeks, I’ve lacked inspiration and I’ve had little time to do much besides getting the new Starrynight website ready to go live. You can take a peek at the test site here. I still have a lot of content to move but I don’t anticipate the style and navigation to change drastically. Unless of course, some tells me that hate so-and-so and that I need to change it or else they won’t love me anymore (Tim, I tweaked the orange color–hopefully, it’s less painful now). I’ve had fun with this redesign. I even got brave and played with a little php. I have no idea what I’m doing but my changes didn’t seem to break anything. So, success?

I’ve listened to about three-quarters of Northanger Abbey. It’s… different. I feel absolutely nothing for any of the characters. I know Austen is writing satirically but I’m not a big fan of the genre that is being mocked to begin with. Austen is not being nearly as ruthless as I’d like. I want horrible things to happen to Catherine Morland. I’m probably not meant to feel that way about the heroine. She’s just so damn clueless and she keeps making the same mistake over and over. Every character in this book could die and I’d clap and cheer. They’re all too two-dimensional–even for satire. All of you. Die.

In other news, The Cavaliers just announced their 2010 program, or parts of it, at any rate. Interesting concept. I immediately thought of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World but that film has nutty, vaguely carnivalesque theme music, which judging from the show logo is probably not what The Cavies are going for. In any case, I look forward to June!

In OTHER other news, my microwave may not be malfunctioning after all. Russ has used it a few times with absolutely no problems. He is convinced that there were small bits of metal in the green beans I was reheating. Oh, I feel much better now that I know the microwave won’t EXPLODE; however, there was METAL in my GREEN BEANS. Russell could not understand why I would not be consoled on this matter.

I Mean to imeem

I finally decided to give imeem a shot. It’s a social networking site, much like Facebook, for the extreme media lover. It allows you to upload, share and discover music, video, and photos, with the expected arsenal of social networking tools (friending, groups, embedding, etc.). A free imeem account allows you to upload your own content (within certain limits) for you to be able to access from anywhere, though you might want to make sure you legally own the content that you upload or have a copyright or CC statement if it is content you have created. imeem also gives the option to create artist or production company accounts.

imeem Mobile allows users to access their content from their mobile phone. Just last week imeem announced the release of imeem Mobile for iPhone and iPod Touch. The app is free but I haven’t tested it yet. The reviews are mixed and one drawback for me is that there is no way to access your playlists. However, if you’ve uploaded your own music, you can access those files.

imeem seems to play nice with other networking sites. You may embed or share media from imeem on your Myspace, Facebook or blog (WordPress, LJ, Blogger, and others). There is also an easy way to Tweet a song or playlist. twt.fm also allows you to link to imeem songs for easy sharing on Twitter.

What I like most is being able to create playlists of stuff people have uploaded and stream it while I’m at work. imeem may also prove handy for testing out albums or tracks I want to buy.

My imeem profile.

An alternative I bumped into is SoundCloud, which allows you to send and receive music. It’ll be interesting to see how long it is before they’re slapped with a lawsuit, as on the surface, they don’t seem as inclined to work with record companies and artists (imeem will reduce an album to 30 second clips at the request of an artist or label). On the other hand, I have NOT researched SoundCloud thoroughly. Maybe they do make provisions for rights holders.

Currently listening: Michael Giacchino’s score for Star Trek.

She Makes with Lots of Shiny

You may have read somewhere (on Twitteror maybe I blogged about it?) that Howl, my beloved iPod, died. Tim lent me his for the time being and, knowing my birthday was coming up, suggested that I opt for a Nano or an iPod Touch. I was taken with the Touch: wifi web browsability, mail and calendar syncing? Win.

Tim picks it up and taunts me with this fact via SMS. I call my parents to see if they’d be willing to chip in for my birthday. During the course of this, Dad suggests a hard reset to restore Howl, something I should have guessed existed. A button press combo later and Howl is resurrected. Oh dear.

So now I have a 30 gig iPod that is a bit poky but working (for the moment) and a shiny new 16 gig iPod Touch named Pantalaimon (in keeping with the ‘name Apple devices after book characters’ trend). I haven’t uploaded any music or videos but I did grab some handy apps (Tweetie, Bylines, Pandora and Wikipanion, Bookmarks Delicioussafari (Free)). I’m curious to see how much wifi is available around town. In the meantime, the plan is: if I’m just going out walking and just want some tunes, I take Howl. If I’m going to be in the vicinity of wifi and feel compelled to be chained to the interwebs, I take Pan.

In other news, Tim and I will be taking walk 2009.004 at Bloomington Rail Trail (map). Later, we will be getting our Irish on for movie night with two loosely Irish films: Boondock Saints and Intermission. Irish-related flicks shall be accompanied by Shamrock Shakes (made with Creme De Menthe and Peppermint Schnapps).

Sláinte!

Great Big Music

Great Big Sea at Bluebird, Bloomington, Ind. March 4, 2009Meant to post about the Great Big Sea concert a week ago but er, life. To sum up: awesome. The boys were well-rested and were just starting to tour again. The music was excellent but the balance was bad at certain points. Sean was drowned out a few times. From our vantage point, Bob was blocked by a tower of speakers but we could see him about half of the time. Nonetheless, they played a good mix of old and new music. A few of the new songs I appreciated more live. For instance “Oh Yeah” (off their new album Fortune’s Favour) didn’t thrill me at first listen but it was better live (and looks like it’d be fun to play). The photo is courtesy of Tim because my phone took terrible pictures.

I would be completely remiss if I didn’t laud Scythian too. These D.C. lads are a blast. Here’s a terrible-quality photo. I hope to see more of them in the future (they’re playing the Troc in Philly on St Patrick’s Day for those following along at home). They’ll also be at the Dublin Irish Festival this year (not sure we’ll be making this).

**Just in** GBS frontman, Alan was recently cast in Ridley Scott’s untitled Robin Hood film (Universal Studios) starring Alan’s buddy Russell Crowe. For more info, see my Twitter feed for the news links.

DCI World Class 2009 Programs

For those of us following along at home, here is a list of 2009 programs as announced by competing DCI World Class corps. I’ve also included links to #drumcorps who are on Twitter.

This list is as complete as possible at time of posting. I will Tweet future updates to this list on my Twitter account. Please feel free to help me fill in the holes (or submit corrections) in a comment. If citing a program title, please include link(s) to where you found the information.

The Academy from Tempe, Arizona

The Ascent
@AcademyCorps
Crossmen from San Antonio, Texas “Forbidden”
@Crossmen
Blue Devils from Concord, California 1930
@TheBlueDevils
Glassmen from Toledo, Ohio Journey of ONE
@TheGLASSMEN
blue_knights “Shiver”
@theblueknights
Jersey Surf from Camden County, New Jersey TBA
@JerseySurf
Blue Stars from La Crosse, Wisconsin “The Factory”
@TheBlueStars
Madison Scouts from Madison, Wisconsin Relámpago
@madisoncorps
Bluecoats from North Canton, Ohio “Imagine”
@BlueCoats
Mandarins from Sacramento, California “Absolute”
@DCIMandarins
Boston Crusaders from Boston, Massachusetts “The Core of Temptation”
@bostoncrusaders
Pacific Crest from Diamond Bar, California El Corazon de la Gente
@PCDrumCorps
The Cadets from Allentown, Pennsylvania “Lenny”
@TheCadets
Phantom Regiment from Rockford, Illinois “The Red Violin”
@PhantomRegiment
Carolina Crown from Fort Mill, South Carolina “Grass is Always Greener”
@CarolinaCrown
Pioneer from Milwaukee, Wisconsin “Celtic Trinity”
@PioneerDrmCorps
Cascades from Seattle, Washington “Beyond the Green Forest”

Santa Clara Vanguard from Santa Clara, California “Ballet for Martha”
@scvanguard
The Cavaliers from Rosemont, Illinois “The Great Divide”
@TheCavaliers
Spirit from Jacksonville, Alabama “Live… In Concert!”
@SpiritDrumCorps
Colts from Dubuque, Iowa “Fathoms”
@TheColts
Troopers from Casper, Wyoming “Western Side Story”
@CasperTroopers

Last updated: June 29, 2009

GBS Interlude

Great Big Sea will be in Bloomington next Wednesday, March 4th at the Bluebird (21+). Scythian joins the Newfie boys. Doors open at 7pm. Russell, Tim and I are going. Come join us! Get your tickets soon!

“Donkey Riding” from a concert DVD. See more video recommendations below.

Old Brown’s Daughter
Sean does an amusing number
Alan and Sean join Gaelic Storm in “Leaving of Liverpool/Hills of Connemara

Almost Interlude

I don’t have a musical interlude to post today. I almost embedded “Remembering Sunday” by All Time Low. That was before I got turned off by all of the live versions I found on YouTube. The audio on these is CRAP and singer comes off as a total asshat. Maybe he’s just young. Or lacking an interesting personality… Meh, it’s a decent song though so, if you haven’t already, give this video a try.

Follow Your Star

News I’m excited about:

DCI just announced that the alumni of Star of Indiana (the same folks who later created Blast) will be giving an exhibition performance at the 2010 World Championships in Indianapolis. Star will be doing a ‘best of’ from their past shows.

They MUST do Medea from their 1993 show (the corp’s final year before being disbanded after placing 2nd in World Championships). See the show here and here. I love how minimalist the show design is. At first, the drill is easy to discredit with it’s simple geographic geometric designs repeated thematically- until you realize that those kids are running back and forth across the field, forty to fifty yards at a time, for almost the entire closer. That requires incredible air control. My lungs hurt.