This feed contains pages with the tag "Music".

Burning Mans

It's been a fortnight since we got back from Burning Man. The experience was some of what we expected and some we didn't. I'd go again but next time with a lot more preparation.

We arrived on the Monday at the beginning of a 12 hour duststorm. We'd heeded the warnings and had goggles and dust masks at the ready. After the first few hours we gave up on trying to wait it out and put up our tent. Luckily the camp we were with was stupendously awesome and had put up a car port. Everyone constructed their tents in the carport and then moved them outside and staked them down.

The time I spent making rebar candycanes was well spent. It took the combined effort of several people to hammer the damn things in. However the tent survived all three duststorms without even budging. Getting them out was...strenuous. The final solution was to bang on the sides with a sledge hammer then pour water down the sides. Let that loosen things up and then use a crowbar to twist-and-pull the 3 foot stakes out of the ground. Think of doing leg lifts while winding up a big clockwork toy. With lots more swearing and grunting.

Buying the more expensive 4 season tent was well worth it. We used the vestibule like an airlock and had only a tiny amount of dust in the tent, even at the end of the week. It did mean the tent was an oven during day as it had no airflow. The shade structure we bought didn't even survive the first duststorm, one of the poles bending under the stress.

Shade is key. Our camp put up a shade structure between the two RVs but part of it was only 80% blocking. Turns out the other 20% is still pretty brutal when you're at 4500ft. Most of each day was spent hiding in the shade and trying to snooze. Once the sun started to go down you'd want to get out and about and see as much as possible. This lead to only having a few hours sleep sometime before dawn. Then the big yellow scare ball in the sky would brutally wake you up by turning your tent into an oven. Rinse, repeat.

The photos don't really do the place justice. I took two cameras but didn't use them as much as I could have. I made the decision to spend more time looking at things directly and not through a lens. I feel I'll have a much better idea of what to take photos next time.

I would've liked have taken more photos of the various art works and art cars out on the playa. Next time, Gadget, next time.

Music In The Hills

The weekend just past Tanya and I went to 'Friends and Family', a music festival/campout run by Cloud Factory. We went last year as well, courtesy of our good friends Weaver & Andrea.

This year was epic. The lighting and sound for the main event on Saturday night were out of this world. The other events of the weekend were all lots of fun too.

Tanya dressed up as the Green Faery, with faery wings lit up with EL wire, and handed out Absinthe lollipops we bought from Lollyphile. They were very popular :)

This year we took advantage of a 25% off sale at REI and bought our own camping gear. We're going to Burning Man this year with the BloodyMaryLand camp so I wanted to test it all out first. A three day campout in a less formidable environment was perfect.

The instructions that came with the tent were terrible and the North Face website is an abomination. After clicking around I found the section with downloadable tent pitching instructions. Of course it's out of date and our shiny new tent isn't listed. Though it wouldn't matter if it was as the PDFs they do link to return a 404.

Even more fail. I found a review that mentioned the website for this tent It's a single page with no content. Woo.

North Face, you suck.

Dream A Little Dream Of You

I had an amazing lucid dream last night. I won't bore you with the details, you really had to be there.

It did however remind me to post about something that happened a few weeks ago.

I've recently gotten back into playing music again after a very long intermission. The idea had been rattling around in my head for a while and watching Tanya learn to play the ukelele became the seed.

I was still unsure if I had left it too late to start again. I happened to mention this to a friend who plays guitar. He made the very salient point that it's never too late to start. I was sold.

Fast forward several weeks and I am thoroughly enjoying playing my uke. I went and said thanks to my friend for the sage advice. Only he has no recollection of the conversation. I describe the circumstance. We were standing in a music store talking about music and....oh...hang on...that was a dream.

I realised it was a dream when I couldn't connect that memory with any others. How did we get there? Why were we both in a music store? Which music store?

Once I started probing the edges of the memory it was obvious it was a dream. Even now that memory is so vivid I wonder if he's just messing with me.

At least I'll be able to play my uke in the padded cell :)

Shared Distributed Music Backup System

I have a cunning plan.

Buy a few 1Gb USB sticks. They only need to be 1Gb. Backup an album or two that you have to a USB stick. Give the USB stick to a friend that doesn't have those albums.

Now you have an offsite backup of those albums.

Your friend might to listen to the albums while storing them on your behalf. (This would be out of your control, alas) If they did listen to the albums however, they might be convinced to acquire it themselves. When they do acquire it, they'll want their own offsite backup and so they give the USB stick to a third person. ad infinitum.

In this way someone always has an offsite backup of the album somewhere.

There may be some other side effects that I haven't identified yet....

The Ditty Bops

Last night we went up to San Francisco to see The Ditty Bops at Slim's with Kirsten and Larry (ie they drove). They were awesome.

The Ditty Bops were pretty good as well ;)

I'd only heard of these guys a few weeks ago at a poker night and knew just a few songs. The venue was small but not tiny and the stage was a good metre or so above the ground, giving a good view. We got there relatively early, had dinner at Public and camped out close to the stage.

The girls have a great time on stage, the suitcase full of props is a classic. They have a double bassist and a pianist (he also plays the piano accordian) on tour with them, who they gel with quite well without seeming over rehearsed.

We met up with some more people from my work after the gig. They were on a mission to acquire liquor and tater-tots from Safeway then head back to Cody and Ellie's place to devour them. Turns out tater-tots are what us Australian's call 'potato gems' and they still taste great with salt and vinegar =)

And a good night was had by all...