June 2nd, 2009

Karaoke

New and Different

So, the opening of the download floodgates has made the disc display method of showing new stuff, well, near obsolete (except for actual new discs, which I should be getting shortly). So, with some dabbling in PHP, I present to you stuff I've bought recently.

Almost every one of those songs is a direct request, so hopefully there'll be at least something for everyone.

The track count is now up to 14,453, and the unique song count is at 10,686.

Songs page updated, new update sheets, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
Earth

Con Job

I am going to post, dammit!

I haven't pressed Dev for a show tonight, so I have this Tuesday off. There are quite a number of productive things I should be doing, but rather than that, I just finished a marathon round of Peggle (damn you, trivialt!), and am going to try to catch up.

I left off just before Sunday, May 24th. The day of the Tempest concert. That was... an experience, fortunately made possible by a very large cast of people, and some preparation.

We were supposed to start setting up at 1:00pm. Chase Masterson finished her movie screening at about 1:30pm, and then blabbed about it until nearly 2:30pm...

foxypinkninja had gone on about not needing all that time. We really weren't fully set up when the band showed up promptly at 4:00pm. But we made do.

I still want to kill Lief (the lead singer). Our equipment was an interesting mishmash of, well, stuff, including some of mine. They wanted 5 individual monitor mixes, from 5 individual monitors. I figured out how to do that with the equipment at hand (my real contribution to the evening), and made the huge mistake of setting one of my speakers in front of him as a monitor. My speakers being the most powerful ones in the room.

But there was already a nice setup for the room sound, and we needed monitors.

The issue, and it was a large one, is that after 20 years of touring, Lief is functionally deaf. Once we got his monitor loud enough to make him happy, it was one of the main sound sources in the room, and was able to produce feedback in nearby vocal mics, even though they were pointed the other way. We spent the whole show fighting with that. In fact, after the initial sound check, Rob (I think his name was Rob - or was it Richard? Anyway, someone with enough knowledge to actually do the job I was supposed to be doing), suggested putting a spare equalizer channel just on Lief's monitor. It helped.

Of course, there was much other stuff as well, such as the panic attack I had when trying to run the sound check. The board we were using not only had no way of running a meter from a channel, it had absolutely no way of soloing the sound from a channel through the headphones. So running a sound check was done by hearing the sound in the room.

Which was heavily affected by the instrument amplifiers already in place. I tried to set a couple of things, decided I had no idea how to do what I was supposed to be doing, and almost bodily set Elly down in front of the board.

Then there was Siladi, who was being, well, Siladi. While Lief wanted his monitor loud enough to vibrate his face off, Siladi was upset about how loud things were in the room. Which were that loud because (1) it's a friggin' rock band, and (2) we needed to try to fill in the sound of the rest of the band over Lief's monitor.

Not to mention grabbing one of the mics for a charity auction that I, at least, hadn't been told about (during the intermission), and getting extremely pissy that taking it in front of the front set of speakers caused feedback.

Not that I'm bitter.

Anyway, despite panic attacks, equipment issues, and three different shifts of people working the board (Rob, Elly, and myself (fortunately with Jeff Lo kibbitzing)), the crowd, at least, seemed pretty happy with the result.

Definitely a learning experience.

The concert was over at, I think, 10:00pm, and we all spent until midnight or so separating all of the pieces of equipment back out, and then getting everything back into its respective resting place.

Then I drove home to drop some of it off, since a fair amount of luggage needed to go in the back seat the next day.

After which I headed over to the lobby bar to hang out with kshandra and supersniffles, have a drink or two, and eat extremely overpriced Hyatt late-night food.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm
Kor

As Normal As It Gets

So, starting back on Monday, May 25th. foxypinkninja, Her Namelessness, and myself managed to get out of the room just before checkout time, and The Unnamed and I got our stuff into the car using only two runs.

The rest of the day was relatively calm. I got myself a new license plate frame for whatever car I end up getting, since the old rear frame is no more. We had lunch.

Things are a little hazy (it's been over a week, after all), but I believe I dropped the One With Unrealistic Expectations of Privacy back at her mom's place, came home, loaded up, and headed off to the bar for a fabulous evening.

And it was, in fact, a reasonably fabulous evening. Richard T. brought in a nice little group including Julie, Stacey came by with Miki, Kathy & David J sang three songs each, there was Andrew, and even a little bit of Honey and Joni. Very nice for a Monday - and since Mark was there, my tips were very nice. The bar did... OK. I did just fine.

So 16 individual singers, and 7 rotations. Not too shabby.

Tuesday was another night at Dev's place, which was much fun - it was named as my birthday party. They even got me both a lemon meringue and a coconut cream pie as birthday, uh, cakes. Not a lot of people, which wasn't too surprising - not only was it the day after Con, but it was Memorial Day week. A lot of people were elsewhere.

I don't have the chart, but I seem to remember we had something like 9 singers, and went for 7 or 8 rotations. We closed down around 12:30am, which was fine by me - I was running on rather minimal amounts of sleep.

Wednesday I had no show (which of course I only verified after calling Cher in the afternoon), but the day was spent doing stuff with She Who Is Not To Be Identified. What, I really don't remember at this point.

We apparently went to Chevy's somewhere in there.

Thursday during the day was fun, if slightly sleep-deprived. I got Herself to job training around 10:00am, hung out in the afternoon, then had dinner with her and tankgirl at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It was interesting seeing them meet.

The Thursday show was very very nice, if now a little vague in my memory. Albert was there, having fun teasing synkitty. We had a nice bit of megnc86, some snafflekid, a touch of justnate, some Aaron, and whole cast of people - there were 31 individual singers for the night (and 6 rotations). Marissa got Eddie and Shawn out of the house again, and this time brought her girlfriend, Ashley, who had an enormously fun time being a cute blonde drunk.

I haven't had a drunk girl braid my hair in quite some time.

Friday during the day was relatively relaxed - I met She Who Is Obscure at El Chalateco on S 10th for pupusas and other Salvadorian treats, and then settled in to prepping for Danny's party on Saturday.

Danny, in fact, had been in on Thursday to pay me, and get me four CDs of music for the party.

And that all will be continued on the next rock.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm
Triskele

Procrastination and Payoff

I didn't sleep much Friday night, because I bit of way more than I could chew. I was trying to prep for Danny's triple birthday party the following night, and wanted to (1) get a bunch of new karaoke tracks, and (2) expand my dance music selection to match his.

I'm not really sure where (1) came from. I already had a damn good karaoke selection. But choosing, downloading, and assimilating that took until 8:00am or so on Saturday. Then I slept for 4 hours, and started in on the dance music question.

Danny had given me 4 music CDs, burned from their music library. In other words, the hardest to identify form of music available, and the one people always give me. I toyed with the idea of using Shazam or equivalent (like Tunatic), but I didn't have a really good setup for that, so instead I spent two hours playing tracks and identifying lyrics.

Good thing I knew most of the songs. Still, it took me an average of a minute and a half to identify each track.

Then I spent another two hours shopping on Rhapsody, showered while the subset I could (sorta) afford downloaded, spent an extra hour assimilating the songs (mostly identifying BPM), and then packed up and rushed off to the Blue Pheasant, an hour later than I wanted to get there.

So setup at the party was a bit of a rush, and I still wasn't ready until half an hour after the party was supposed to start.

Partly because one of my new, improved, video cables failed utterly, and I had to run another one. But mostly because I got there effin' late.

Good thing most of the party-goers were on QST.

In the end, the party went very well - and both of my new sets of tracks were used. I even managed to get a bit of a crowd on the dance floor a couple of times. Danny and his boyfriend Steven both told me that several people had talked about hiring me for other parties, which is something I rather like to hear.

A stop off at Denny's for a salad (not my usual one (Denny's, that is)), and then home to sleep. The funny thing is that I ran into Toqer from 7 Bamboo - who recognized me. Which seemed... odd. He's seen me once, where I guess tankgirl identified me as a KJ. I didn't recognize him, in part because he's gone completely clean shaven, apparently in response to some comment of Angela's...

He enlisted me in a crusade against KJs that pirate music - he wants to speak to the SJ city council on the subject. I really don't know what to say to that. The pirating thing does make it harder for those of us that actually buy our music. They have fewer expenses than us honest folk, and can build larger libraries faster.

But I have my doubts about whether or not a city council would be interested in joining the fight on copyright infringement. I also have this niggling thought in the back of my head that the cure might just be a hell of a lot worse than the disease.

Besides, I've seen the man on various karaoke-related sites for years. He has serious anger-management issues. Right at the moment, he's going after Yelp for getting bad reviews. In the past, he's been known for smashing any burned CDs that customers brought in. Which is, in itself, illegal - while the burned CDs aren't, necessarily.

Speaking of Angela, I ended up getting up a little earlier than I would have otherwise on Sunday, because she mentioned she'd like to hang out. And apart from a tiny bit the previous week, we hadn't really done that. So I devoted Sunday to correcting that lacuna.

In fact, she came with me to the bar, making the Sunday show that much more enjoyable.

We were actually pretty busy Sunday, though we didn't make a huge amount of money. For one thing, jasonmagick's class was doing a project on karaoke, and he brought several classmates, who spent their time absorbing the atmosphere (and buying water).

Good thing most of it washes out.

We had 26 singers over the length of the night, in 6 rotations. Not shabby for a Sunday at all. Standouts were Miki, Rebecca, megnc86, nightvzn (and his mom!), moahb, Rick, and the James/Kellen/Mandi/Hex conglomerate, which stayed for one song then took off.

We also had one song by trivialt, who was joined by Jason, and seemed to enjoy it.

The following visit to April just involved Angela, synkitty, and myself, because timenchanter was doing his nightly chore of rescuing chargerboy.

That was an experience for Angela. We mostly sat while Synthia talked. Angela - who was keeping track - said she only cycled through the same stuff three times while we were there.

Then I dropped Angela off at home, and did the sleep thing.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm