DanceCast Episode 25

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Episode 25 is out now. This is a mix that to us comes from one of the DJs you can typically find me playing with in and around the Hartford area, DJ Plex. Fasten your seatbelt, you are in for some really crazy electro house for the next hour.

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So I have a large [vinyl] record collection and when I moved to a digital DJ set up I knew one of my biggest challenges was going to be recording all those records to mp3. Over the course of the last year I’ve recorded a good chunk of them but am by no means finished. While recording the last few batches, I came across some really good B-sides that I had either forgotten, or more likely overlooked to begin with. It got me thinking…

b-sides

Digital DJing is great, and you’ve heard me talk about the convenience and cost saving benefits in the past, but it apparently also means giving up one of the cooler aspects of vinyl, the B-Side. Most of the records I’ve bought over the years were purchased for 1 track, but the majority of them contain 3 or more tracks in total. Now before I get all nostalgic and misty eyed, let me tell you that I’ve got plenty of 33s with crappy B-Sides, some down right awful.

Every now and again though, I find a B-Side that is awesome and add it to my ever growing archive of music. Did you know that “Maggie May” and “Black Water” were both B-Sides?

So before I ramble on too much, let me try to make it to a point. Progress is great, digital distribution has benefits for both music producers and consumers, but are we losing something in the transition? Every track I buy is deliberate now, which means I’ll never be able to stumble across that horizon broadening B-Side ever again.

Welcome to the confessional, where you’ll find me opening up about some of my personal feelings. So, I think I’m a pretty darn good DJ, but my foray into music production is less than one year old. Its had some ups and downs and starts and stops. Sometimes I even catch myself making excuses or doing other work just to avoid making music. I did some soul searching and got down to the cause, which is that I’m really scared about making music. Its overwhelming, There is so much to learn, and the field is vast. I’ve learned a lot, and continue to try all the time but I don’t think I’m very good at it right now. Its not that I don’t have the creativity to make music, its more about not being able to tool to make my ideas into reality fast enough. Its like I’ve got this great riff in my head, but can’t get the guitar to make it. I guess that is why I’m scared, because I hate failure, I hold myself to very standards, and I’m very critical of myself. I know that I’ll stick with it, and that over time I’ll gain the experience I need to get where I need to, but in the mean time its frustrating. Of course when I think back on my first year of DJing, I was not good. Eventually with a lot of time, practice, and patience I was able to develop and hone my skills, and now I’m firing on all cylinders. I just hope I can do the same with producing.

EDIT

I drafted this post about 2 weeks ago and since then I’ve made some great strides on the track I’m currently working on. I guess maybe I just needed to get this stuff off my chest.

Old Article, Great Gig

Thanks to google alerts I spotted this article about a party I played at last march. The night before the gigs, the show’s promoter took me out for a drink and while we were at the bar he grabbed a Phoenix newspaper and showed me the article. It was good hype and turned out to be an awesome show. You can hear my set from that evening in episodes 15 & 16 of the DanceCast.

So after the switch to Mac, its bugged for about a year now that you can’t navigate buttons using the keyboard. I hate using the mouse and use it as little as possible. I said to myself, “there has to be some way” and decided to do some google research and finally came across an answer to my question. It turns out that I just needed to turn on an option in the keyboard and mouse section of the system preferences [as seen in the below screenshot].

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As you can see from the picture, it kinda like a lego version of airport security. So where is this going? Check of the Amazon page for this thing and read the comments. They go down hill fast, and appear to have been written by people with my sense of humor. Here is comment #1 

I was a little disappointed when I first bought this item, because the functionality is limited. My 5 year old son pointed out that the passenger’s shoes cannot be removed. Then, we placed a deadly fingernail file underneath the passenger’s scarf, and neither the detector doorway nor the security wand picked it up. My son said “that’s the worst security ever!”. But it turned out to be okay, because when the passenger got on the Playmobil B757 and tried to hijack it, she was mobbed by a couple of other heroic passengers, who only sustained minor injuries in the scuffle, which were treated at the Playmobil Hospital. 
The best thing about this product is that it teaches kids about the realities of living in a high-surveillence society. My son said he wants the Playmobil Neighborhood Surveillence System set for Christmas. I’ve heard that the CC TV cameras on that thing are pretty worthless in terms of quality and motion detection, so I think I’ll get him the Playmobil Abu-Gharib Interogation Set instead

… and it only gets crazier from there. Credit to Steve from The Tea Party for sending this one to me.

Living in the greater NYC area, I hear a lot about what is going on in the big apple. US Airways Flight 1549 has been in the local news from the minute that plane made its first splash in the Hudson. You’ve probably heard by now the absolutely spectacular job Captain Sully did landing the plane in the river after both engines we taken out by a flock of Canadian Geese. Today the NTSB confirmed that both engines did have bird remains lodged in them. In order to confirm this, the NTSB had to fish the engine out of the bottom of the Hudson, where it came to a rest after detaching from the plane. 

We are now living in a time of global economic crisis, massive tax payer funded bailouts, and constant budget cuts to federal and state infrastructure. Yet for some reason we’ve deemed it necessary to spend who knows how much money on pulling an engine out of the river, just to confirm what a true hero already knew. Now if the pilot was high on crack, or harassing a stewardess at the time of the crash, I could see a reason to investigate further. However in this case, we’ve got a man who pulled off the unthinkable, and safely executed one of the most difficult landings possible, saving 155 lives in the process. So why can’t we just take the guy’s word, and save ourselves a few bucks in investigation costs? Its pretty clear to me that Capt. Sully is competent.

Also, the Wall Street Journal reports that the plane salvage is now in New Jersey, where the full investigation could take up 18 months, to confirm what the Captain knew in 18 seconds. I’d love to see a figure of how much this is actually costing tax payers.