Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Add Up To Two

Okay, this sort of falls under the “blatent self-promotion” category, but I don’t do that much so you’ll forgive the indulgence. I’ve begun playing with a local space-rock/shoegaze outfit called Bluescreen and we’ve been rehearsing for the past month or so in preparation for a CD release show at the Horseshoe on January 13 in honour of their (our?) second album A Survival Guide To Mishaps And Losses. Also on the bill are Fjord Rowboat, Raised By Swans and In Support Of Living, and collectively there could very well be several hundred delay pedals at work. I’m rather excited about this as it will be my first time on stage in well over a year. So since I’m sort of in the band, I don’t feel right about offering up any sort of musical review or whatnot, so I’ll just direct you to their/our MySpace page and audio page with streaming samples and cordially invite anyone and everyone to come down to the ‘Shoe next Friday and enjoy the show. Thanks. And I’ll get my pronouns sorted out.

It used to be that a band would wait a proper amount of time after disbanding before reuniting – now, like so many things in this word, that process is hyper-accelerated. Nottingham’s Six By Seven called it a day back in June, but have now announced a new album, Club Sandwich At The Peveril Hotel, to be released in March and with touring to follow. Their website calls the release “unofficial” and it may well turn out to be a companion to Left Luggage At The Peveril Hotel, which collected studio non-album cuts, but either way, I don’t care if they call themselves defunct or whatever, if new music keeps coming, I’m happy. There is also word of a DVD release and hopefully the double-disc b-sides collection the band was assembling in conjunction with Mantra Records is still on the calendar. Just because the corpse is walking around again doesn’t mean you can’t have a wake.

Thanks to suckingalemon for confirming details of The Sadies’ shows at Lee’s Palace on February 3 and 4. They’ll be recording a live album and some of the guests slated to be in attendance in some capacity include Neko Case, Blue Rodeo (all of them? Probably Greg at least), Gary Louris and Steve Albini. Check out her comment in yesterday’s post for a longer list. No ticket info yet, but that will be an insanely twang-tacular show.

Stream four tracks from Cat Power’s new album The Greatest, due out January 24.

Being There got a shiny new makeover for Christmas! And they lead off the new year with one of those features which shall not be named, but involve various things from a certain period of time ranked numerically. Ahem.

The 2006 Bloggie nominations are open. I see they’ve insisted on keeping the “entertainment” category, but somehow feel that “teens” need their own category. Come on, no one cares what teenagers have to say. Seen and not heard and all that. Anyway, if you want to nominate me and set me up for a third straight year of crushing defeat and humiliation in March, have at it.

So I will admit, I have a bit of a gadget fetish. Maybe it’s the one thing that remains after deprogramming myself of my mechanical engineering degree, or maybe it’s just a guy thing. Anyway, one of my Christmas gifts to myself was this Harmony 659 universal remote. I love this thing. Like many, my coffee table had become a remote control farm, with anywhere from three to six remotes grazing the ttabletop at any given time depending on my activities. Enter the Harmony, which has whittled it down to one shapely unit. It took a little fine-tuning of the programming to get it working properly, but I think I’ve got it now. It’s like the Sword of Greyskull, I feel so empowered with it.

And so with that bit of technology taken care of, I’m contemplating my digital camera. The G3 still takes great pics, but considering advances in digicam technology, I wouldn’t mind getting cleaner high ISOs or even a higher resolution. 4MP is acceptable, but barely. I’ve had my eye on a DSLR for a while now, and had even come up with a clever financing plan, but have backed off that for the time being. Fact is, I don’t really know how to use my point-and-shoot all that well. I mean, I can point it and shoot it, but when it comes to the nuances of photography, I’m still sort of in the caveman stage. So with that in mind, I’ve decided to start a low-key photoblog over at my Flickr page. I’m going to take/post (not sure which yet) one photo a day, of whatever. I just need to get using my camera somewhere besides concerts, and maybe by pushing myself to really learn how to use it, I can justify the expense of a DSLR in the near future. And if the prices come down a little more in the meantime, hey. Bonus. I don’t know if Flickr is necessarily the best interface to try and run a photoblog dealie, but I am paying for it (yeah, I upgraded the account for whatever reason). So there.

And I’ve been looking to upgrade my PDA to something colour and backlit. Being able to take notes somewhere besides broad daylight would be a real treat. I’m looking for a deal on a Tungsten E on eBay, but would settle for a simple Zire 31 if I had to.

CES 2006 is coming up, isn’t it? Time to camp out at Engadget and Gizmodo.

What? I like toys. Sue me.

np – American Music Club / A Toast To You

By : Frank Yang at 8:53 am
Category: Uncategorized
RSS Feed for this post13 Responses.
  1. Jon S. says:

    Glad to hear you’ve hooked up with Bluescreen. Great band and swell people.

    I’ll see you at the show!

  2. Matthew says:

    It’s just so baffling that they would get rid of the music category just when music blogs are booming…

  3. mindspell says:

    I made to SLR right away with the same camera yiou were looking at and I couldn’t be happier. Once you make the plunge though it is going to cost you. Since purchasing the camera I spent around another grand in accessories and lenses. That said if you would want to take show pics right away all you need is the 50mm 1.8 MkII lens with the 350D, and you are on your way with a great fast lens that cost around a hundred bucks.

    BTW, I posted a few comments on your Flickr pics.

  4. mindspell says:

    I can’t spell or write complete sentences… I give up

  5. Jerad says:

    I made the move to a DSLR a little over a year ago and couldn’t be happier. I didn’t know anything about manual settings or any of that jazz, so I took a quick course at a local camera shop and now I don’t use anything except "M". I just needed someone to show me the basics of what to do. I’m using a Nikon D70, and I’ve started to see some good deals on the D50 and D70s around the web.

  6. kathryn says:

    by "they," you mean "nikolai nolan" of the bloggies? his email address is nikolai@nolan.net. hint, hint.

    the XT is a small and handy DSLR, but once you get past the price, biggest the tradeoffs are going to be weight (try lugging one around all day around your neck) and any suspicions you may arouse from security personnel during a show. your mileage may vary. also, because you have to use the viewfinder and can’t frame using an LCD, i find myself doing fewer successful "over the head" or "from the hip" shots. but you can crank it up to 1600 ISO! and the control and true depth of field you get is fabulous.

    i’ve found a nice middle ground with a "super-zoom" camera for shows, it’s not quite a dSLR, but it’s worth it to me for a lighter and smaller, and i can pull off some fancy footwork with the 12x optical zoom. however, most of those only go up to 400 ISO so concert photography is still going to be tricky, but it’s a good compromise.

  7. Shawn says:

    man if only i was in toronto, i want to see your effects chain.. ha. good luck on the show!

  8. Frank says:

    Shawn – it’s pretty much this, except the DD3 is now a Digitech Digidelay (need that tap tempo) and there’s an ernie Ball volume pedal in the front end:


  9. suckingalemon says:

    your photos have always been quite swell.

    i am looking to get a dslr myself (in the long future) because while my camera is ok im getting tired of seeing a shot one way and it not coming out the same.
    everyones comments here are helpful buisness.


  10. Frank says:

    yeah, thanks for everyone’s advice. I’m going back and forth and back and forth on the camera thing. Thankfully I’m not in any rush, though if I am going to get something, I would like to do so long enough before SxSW to learn to use it.

    I will keep y’all posted.

  11. thomaus says:

    You should enjoy your Harmony. We have the 628, and it’s done very well replacing at least six remotes. Get used to not using the power switches on the actual units or it gets confused. It’s bizarre having little conversations with a remote: "Is your AV Receiver On? Yes. Did that fix the Problem? No." etc. Sometimes the Logitech/Harmony website is a little slow, but overall the remotes actually do their job.

    I just did the trade-up this Boxing Week to the Rebel XT. Financed by getting rid of all the old gear, plus credit card debt. I initially had misgivings about the worth of the package, but have to admit that I’m really impressed with it’s capabilities after using it a week. I also considered the Fuji S9000 and the Sony DSC-R1 as cheaper and lighter alternates. (If I see you at Low, you can check out shooting the XT.)

  12. garry says:

    blueScreen, eh? I remember I used to go see them quite a bit a few years ago. i also remember selling off radiohead tix to the drummer, Dave. good guy. hehe. first time i saw them they were openin’ for the Sneaker Pimps @ LEEs. good times.

    i’m contemplating purchasing a hi-end DSLR, but i’m aiming more towards the Nikon persuasion.

  13. Ryan97ou says:

    for xmas i was in a similar camera conundrum, and decided before I went to a DSLR, i would get a higher end regular digital with all of the manual settings. I got the Canon Powershot A620, and it has been great. I am still learning all of the settings, but i have really enjoyed it .