Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Very Interesting TED Talk from Elizabeth Gilbert

Yes, I know that the gaps between posts are getting longer and longer.

No, I don't have any amazingly good news about the future of Underground.

I do, however, have an interesting video (regarding creativity) for you to watch. Here you go:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

An Excellent Quote

"Any electrical filter on an acoustical device is a spatially invariant solution to a spatially variant problem. As grownups we have to decide what part of the space to tune the solution to and let the others go." -Bob McCarthy

I wanted to post this here so I wouldn't forget it.

If you're not into audio nerdery, you're probably wondering what this means. My personal interpretation of this is as follows:

Your friendly, neighborhood audio technician has a responsibility to deploy the PA system at their disposal in some environment. Inside, outside, whatever. That environment has acoustical properties, and the PA has acoustical properties too. Us PA guys most often use equalization (electronic filters) to make the PA system sound good in the environment where we've got it set up, but that's only a patch on any problems that exist. It's entirely possible for that patch to be very good, but it's still just a patch. It is not truly possible to solve an acoustical problem with an electronic solution. To truly solve an acoustical problem, you have to change the room, or change the PA deployment, or both. However, that's usually not possible, so a professional PA operator needs to decide what compromise will work best for the situation at hand, and go with it.

I don't know if the above is truly in line with Mr. McCarthy's original intent for this quote, but I think that it does fit. (My belief is that Mr. McCarthy is really getting at the issue of not being able to have "perfect" sound everywhere in a performance venue, but I think there are wider implications as well.)

Monday, April 5, 2010

This Was Posted on ProSoundWeb

All I have to say is (and please pardon the implied bad language) "F!@# YES!"

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

After-Math (PUN!!)

I've had these materials sitting on my desktop for months, but haven't had the motivation to post them. In a sense, they don't really matter that much.


The above is a picture I took after the "Christ-mosh" festival. It was a wild night, with tons of people and tons of bands - yet the good management provided by Fire In The Skies and Matchless Records made the night go off without a single major issue.

Now, this here is a chart showing the relationship between show attendees and the number of bands that played a show. The progression is decidedly non-linear, and I would argue that the "sweet spot" is found with a 4-band show. Even though the 5-band shows had better average attendance, 4-band shows are easier to run (from an audio technician's perspective).

You wouldn't think that cutting out one loading cycle and mid-show changeover would be as big of a deal as it is, but speaking for myself, the impact is very noticeable. I feel like the show is just a better experience for bands when things can be done at an unhurried pace - and when the show is better for the bands, it's almost inevitably better for the fans.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Last Day At 859

Yesterday, after a very long day of recording and live music, Underground was officially suspended. My final goodbye to the 859 S. building probably won't be for a few days, but closing out our "public" time there with WMCA was a fine way to wrap things up.

Snow! I think a parking lot is around here somewhere...

Ah, the familiar stairs, with the familiar light over the door...and the familiar smashed-up glass blocks.

Recording session.

In a bit of a jam. (Oh...not that funny? Sorry.)

The view from my "office."

Still comin' down...

The obligatory "shakycam" show picture.

Thanks to all who have ever come out to Underground and shaken things up (even if the shaking was quiet, and folksy). The bands and solo performers in (and out) of this town ARE the music business - a thought which venues should always remember.

Just to update you on the potential for a stopgap/ intermediate solution:

It's being worked on. I have some phone calls to make, starting January 2nd.

Best regards to all!

We'll meet again.

Don't know where, don't know when.

But...I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.

-Ross Parker, Hughie Charles

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

xkcd Is Awesome

The webcomic xkcd is near and dear to my heart - even though I don't always understand the details in every comic (I'm not a computer scientist, or a mathematician, so some things go over my head.)

The comic is here: http://xkcd.com/#

Be warned - strong language and some NSFW elements are present at times.

So - why do I think xkcd is awesome? Well, for one thing, there are comics like the one I saw today:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Official Announcement of Suspension on 12/30/09

In text format:

New Song Underground

v1.0: 7/17/05 - 1/27/07
v2.0: 7/26/08 - 12/30/09
v3.0: ?

Suspended - not closed.
Options are being discussed.
Please stand by.

On 11/15/09, the decision was
made to pursue the idea of
moving New Song Presbyterian
to a temporary location (the
Rowland Hall Chapel).

As a result, we will be suspending
New Song Underground as of
10:00 PM on 12/30/09.

A discussion is in progress as to
how to continue to serve the music
community for the duration of
New Song's occupancy of the
temporary space.

This move is ultimately a good
thing, as it will serve to help the
church transition to a permanent
space - which will hopefully house
a new and improved version of

Some Notes On
The Economy Of Grace

An artist being able to express
themselves is a human right, not a
privilege for the rich or well connected.

A venue ought to be a partner to artists,
not a predator.

Every band in the world is "a local
band" somewhere. Local bands and
touring acts are equally valuable.

Art is inherently valuable to the artist.
Whether anybody else likes the work
is just commentary.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Your Eyes Do Not Deceive You

Yes, that is a 10 piece funk band playing "Thriller." (Not that you would be expected to know that they were playing "Thriller" by looking at the picture, of course.)

Interesting Article Re: The Avalon Theater

I just read a piece about the Avalon on CityWeekly. It's the kind of thing that makes me wonder, "When are they going to start regulating what notes and chords people can play?"

Let me be clear - I'm all for safety, and people taking care of each other. However, at some point, I have to wonder if people beating the crap out of each other is actually the responsibility of the venue, or not.

That is, if somebody goes out of control and starts smashing into other people, is it the venue's fault, or the fault of the person that's hurling themselves into anything and everything?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Facilities Issues - Booking Suspended - Existing Shows OK

So, just as I get out of my booking weirdness from October, I get some news regarding facilities issues.

At the moment, I don't have any shareable details. However, the bottom line is that new bookings are being suspended until I can figure out what is going on.

If you have a show already booked officially, there is no need to panic. I have no reason to believe that existing bookings will be affected at this time.

However, if you are on a waiting list for an "outside the window" date, or have not yet gotten in contact, please be aware that I will need a couple of weeks to do some sorting out of the current issues.

Thanks everyone - updates as I know more!