mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

From now on, I'll be using the short tag tg on posts that refer to Tres Gique in its current configuration (Tres Gique 2.0). I'll leave the older tag, tres-gique, to refer to the old version of the group. (Added: I may also use the long tag for things like gig and album announcements.)

One reason for doing this is to make it clearer when I use "tg-" as a prefix on subtopic tags, like tg-weekend.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

I mentioned a while ago in this post that Tres Gique, the band I started back in 2007, is in the process of re-inventing itself and would be getting together every month or so for regular practice sessions. We had the first one this last weekend.


I'm going to skip right to the bottom line. As of Saturday things were still a bit iffy: we sounded like our usual selves: a bunch of filkers who get together the day before a con to practice. But we had fun, and were together enough by Saturday evening that Joyce decided to hit Starving Musician on the way home and get an electric bass. From the first song on Sunday, we sounded like a band. Awesome and win.

Like, wow.

You'll find the links for the weekend here. Start with Sunday. Heck with that; start at the end with Millennium's Dawn[mp3] [ogg].

(More detail to follow, later today and tomorrow.)

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

(Takes deep breath. Jumps off cliff.)

"My" Toastmaster concert at ConChord this year was actually a Tres Gique concert, and it went off remarkably well considering that we really only had two rehearsals together as a group since last May, and that the set included three songs we'd never done as a group before.

It wasn't awesome. Parts of it came close, though. Quiet Victories, even with a couple of flubs and my flagging voice, was very close to awesome. I don't usually tear up listening to recordings.

Callie's partner, Naomi, pointed out that we could be awesome, consistently, if we got together every 4-6 weeks for a weekend of intensive practice. So that's what we're going to do. Or at least try to do -- we'll get together sometime in mid-November and see how it goes.

This is going to mean some big changes.

The biggest change for me is that we're not going to be "Steve Savitzky and his occasional backup group" anymore. We'll be doing a mix of my songs and other people's songs -- we won't even stick to filk; Joyce has been singing folk since forever. We'll try writing stuff jointly -- I have some ideas about that. I won't always be lead singer (I can hear the cheers from the audience already). I won't get nearly as many concerts as just me -- that's part of the price. But I'll learn to be a better performer, and my concerts, with or without TG, will sound a lot better -- that's the payoff.

For Callie and Joyce, the big change will be that they'll have equal billing as performers in the group, not just as part of some singer-songwriter's backup group. That's what happened to Callie with Echo's Children: she was many people thought of her as just Cat's backup and never became known as the fantastic performer she is.

Jordan, our drummer, will stay in that role at least for a couple of years; eventually he may move out, go into impoverished college student mode, and we'll have to worry about what to do next. Kat, who's performed with us a couple of times, won't be able to make it down from Canada for rehearsals; she can sit in via streaming audio if she wants, but mostly will become our Webmistress. Things will sort themselves out.

Joyce's husband Dave, who has been doing live sound for her and others for years at folk dance camps, will be the official Sound Guy. Colleen is, of course, Catering and Hospitality, and possibly logistics.

Now, about that version number. Back around the end of last year Kat and I came up with a version-numbering scheme: I was 1.0, Callie and Joyce were 0.1 and 0.2 respectively; Jordan and Kat were 0.0.1 and 0.0.2 respectively. Add 'em up. Wwll, we're not playing mix-and-match anymore, and I'm not the main performer anymore. So, Tres Gique 2.0.

If this comes off, we'll have our first concert at Consonance or Baycon.

mdlbear: (audacity)

My toastmaster's concert at ConChord, which happened a week ago last Saturday, is finally split up, properly indexed, and uploaded. You can find it here. For field recordings, the sound quality is remarkably good; they were captured on my H2, just in front of the audience. The performances a little less so, but parts of it are, if not awesome, at least served up with win and a modest amount of awesome sauce. I did tear up at the ending of QV, so that says something.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

What I'm looking for is an open-source, cross-platform (Linux, Windows, and preferably also MacOS) program for music notation. Preferably with the ability to export to Lilypond (for typesetting), ABC, and MusicXML. Must import and export MIDI files and play via MIDI. Rosegarden would be absolutely ideal, except that it only runs on Linux (for a change).

Canorus looks plausible, but appears to be immature at this point. Definitely worth a try, though, since there are Windows binaries on the download page. It's based on the earlier Noteedit, which is Linux-only again.

Of course, we could always use VMWare and either run Lilypond on Windows, or a pirated version of Concertware on Linux. The latter is ancient, though, and stuck with proprietary formats.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

It's been a good con. Colleen flaked out of the Dead Dog at about 10:30; I bailed at midnight. Colleen had me do QV before I left, in part because AJA hadn't heard the whole thing. Got a big smile of recognition on "Mirror, mirror". After Colleen left I played stunt guitar for a couple of songs that [ profile] cflute and [ profile] tibicina sang. Sang "Desolation, Oh, No!" in a sequence of self-referential songs, and "Keep the Dream Alive" as a follower to something Paul Estin sang. Probably one or two others..

Noticed, especially on QV, that I'm still not entirely comfortable with Flame even though I did most of my practicing on Ruby; there must be a slight difference in the neck. Was very glad I opted to perform with Plink; I was, apparently, much more relaxed once I made that decision during our Friday rehearsal.

Being Toastmaster keeps one very busy; I'm not sure I'll want to do that again. Probably not. One can't skip concerts to have conversations, the way I've been doing lately, or to squeeze in a last-minute run-through of something I'm not familiar with. Squeezed in a couple of rehearsals with [ profile] tibicina so I could do "The Merryman and his Maid" in her set, and we pulled it off, but it was a near thing.

set list for my concert )

8:50 ETA: Managed to leave our hot-water pot and tea chest in the con suite room last night, figuring I'd collect them this morning. (Besides, I was already in bed when I remembered.) But they were already reconfiguring the room when I got down at 8:40. We'll probably reconnect with them at Loscon, unless somebody made other arrangements.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Busy being toast. Concert last went pretty well; good reaction to Wheelin' and QV. Lost a longer update because of stupid Apple keyboard conflicting with 30 years of Emacs habits. Pants not bankrupt, but required a large infusion of cash this morning. Set list later.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Music: Have spent most of the last hour and a half marking and splitting up Monday's and Wednesday's practice session. And I still need to move the DNS for tres-gique.* over to Dreamhost, and renew a couple of currently-little-used domains.

My idea for a single of Quiet Victories never materialized, obviously. But I noticed a rather inexpensive disk duplicator at Fry's... If I can find a printer with enough throughput it might be worthwhile. Otherwise, I'll have to settle for whipping the website into shape and printing booklets, which might be better anyway.

Health: The Ace ankle wrap seems to be working well; I think I can get through a weekend on just one pair of low shoes if I have to. Hopefully I won't have to in most cases, but it's good to know for air travel.

I seem to be getting enough sleep on a midnight-to-6am schedule, as long as Colleen isn't too restless.

For the last month or two my weight has been stuck stubbornly within a pound or so of 185, in spite of what I fondly hope has been a low-carb diet. May have to get more aggressive on that score. At least it's been on the low side of 185 for the last week, rather than on the high side.

Neighbors: Had a good talk with the next-door neighbors yesterday evening. They seem to be bearing up well under their losses, but between water and smoke damage they've apparently lost almost everything. The house appears to be structurally sound, though; repairs will be comparatively inexpensive in that direction. The fire was caused by an exploding part on the controller board in the washer; Belen had started a load just before she left. It's a good thing she did leave, though; apparently the next thing to catch was some plastic part in the washer, and the combustion products were highly toxic. PVC, probably. Maytag front-loader. Same kind that we have, though they've apparently been having lots of trouble with the controller, and we haven't. Knock wood.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Here's the tentative setlist for ConChord. It's looking suspiciously like a Tres Gique set, but there's a lot of stuff that's either new or old but recently revived. Order is, of course, up in the air at the moment.

probably of interest mainly to co-conspirators )
mdlbear: (hacker traveling)

In about three hours I'll be on a plane waiting to take off for Portland, to attend OSCon. From there I'll be going to Seattle on Friday and meeting the [ profile] flower_cat in the airport for a weekend at the Big Green Monster. My luggage is piled by the door, with my little plush Cthulhu situated where he can greet anyone who opens my suitcase with appropriately unspeakable plushie horror.

My itinerary is under the cut tag )

Normally I would be calm and happy, but with the [ profile] flower_cat in the hospital I'm stressed and grumpy. Knowing that Colleen is safe at home, it turns out, has a big effect on my mood when I'm traveling. I'm going to miss that -- as well as her -- terribly. (09:44 The Cat's getting sprung this morning!!!! So that's a huge load off my mind. Happy Bear!

Keep in touch! My LJ username at works, as does the email address in my profile -- I'll have good net access at the con, and expect to be blogging most of my trip report.

Almost forgot -- Kat's new version of the website is live. Still have to move it to my hosting service at DreamHost, and it could stand some tweaking, but it's up.

mdlbear: (space colony)

After spending maybe a little too much time last night and this morning struggling with "Waltz", and reluctantly deciding that some of my favorite turns of phrase simply didn't fit the flow, I ended up spending my entire lunchtime walk re-casting Hackers' Heaven so that it could be done as a Tres Gique concert. It all fell out from my realization a day or two ago that I could easily rationalize Lady Melody (the AI guitar) having two voices, an alto and a soprano. It means rewriting huge chunks of the backstory, but that needed to be done anyway. And the song intros all turn into blog entries.

(Aside: Don't worry if you're not following this: I'm trying to write it down before I get back to work and forget it.)

most of the lead-in )

I probably ought to get some work done, oughtn't I?

7:36 ... and realizing today that I could have "Silk and Steel" written by Lexy (the daughter) as a Mother's Day present, and sung by Melody, thus avoiding the need for an additional male voice.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

Stayed home from work yesterday because we had our annual termite inspection scheduled for sometime in the 11am-1pm, and because it seemed as though there was some serious puttering catching up to do. Good call -- it turned out to be a pretty productive day.

Spent much of the day working on uploading the Tres Gique Concert from Baycon. This was a lot more work than I expected; since the last time I did it, I've made major changes in both the organization of the various websites, and the way uploading is done. (I'll get into that sometime upwhen.)

Squeezed in a trip to Fry's with [ profile] selkit to investigate trading in the Fujitsu laptop that he bought back in March, and which has been giving him considerable trouble. That will work; we'll go in again today sometime with laptop and paperwork in hand.

Took a walk (Rose Garden) between the Fry's trip and dinner; cool and pleasant.

There were two background tasks: ripping CDs and uploading. At some point this week, the [ profile] flower_cat decided that we really needed to not only get the entire CD collection ripped to disk, but correctly organized; she's started listening to the entire collection, starting with the A's, and handing them off to me for ripping. I got a package of little sticky dots a couple of weeks ago and have been putting them on the jewelcase spine to mark the ones that have been ripped. We're somewhere in the middle of Joan Baez (filed under B) now, plus a bunch ripped from before. (Last week she listened through, and I ripped, all of the piles of unsorted CDs in the living room.) There are 281 CDs ripped at this point.

The other background task is uploading. I believe I mentioned that I have less upstream bandwidth than a carrier pigeon, but I have rsync and nobody needs much bandwidth late at night.

I also finally got the KDE desktop installed on Colleen's EeePC. She'd been finding the dumbed-down desktop extremely limiting. I did the one I was borrowing from work first; using the manual method in the instructions on the wiki. Then I discovered that Asus has taken KDE out of the repository for the 900! !@#$% Idiots!!!@#$ But I found a review article that said that the "easy way" (installing via a Debian package from an alternate repository) worked, and indeed it did. Still have to get mail working for her, which will involve making sure IMAP works on the server and that she has spamassassin properly set up.

Also spent some time just talking and snuggling with Colleen. Somehow sitting in separate chairs with separate laptops didn't seem sufficient, and we discovered last night that a drive wasn't really sufficient either. The living-room couch, which I made years ago, isn't really comfortable and in any case is covered with stuff, so we ended up on our bed, fully-clothed but with the door closed. (Not that the closed door stopped the Younger Daughter from coming in for hugs.) Have to do that more often. (Content also upwhen, under the River filter.)

Sometime in the evening I also pulled out one of the 400GB SATA drives, stuck it in a USB enclosure, and started formatting it with low-level checking. It's about half done now. The plan is to use it for data transfer between home and work, where I have a lot more upload bandwidth.

mdlbear: (audacity)

The Tres Gique concert has been split, but not yet annotated or uploaded. Unfortunately, I've done a lot of directory re-arranging, so the old makefile-based workflow neither works nor flows as it used to. We have a termite inspection scheduled for Friday noonish, so I'll have it up for sure by then.

I have listened to it. It's good. Not pure hammered awesome, but it's been hammered pretty well, and there's a good bit of awesome sauce poured on. One thing I like is that we're starting to sound like a group that's been working together, rather than a singer-songwriter and a couple of backup musicians. Another is that we're not doing just my stuff, and I'm not always singing lead. Callie singing "Cryptographer's Anthem" solo was inspired -- the audience was suitably mind-boggled. There were a couple of songs where I don't think we were sure who was singing lead, but we're probably the only ones who'll notice.

The recording quality is pretty dubious -- I set it up too far back in the audience and too close to the door. Need to remember in the future to bring a lightweight stand to set up in the front.

A couple of big thank-you's: [ profile] donsimpson came by Colleen's corner of the lobby on Monday and dropped off a small guitar amp to go with Plink (runs on a 9V battery, and small enough to pack). And [ profile] hvideo came by the Starport tonight to deliver two different videos: widescreen (squished down to 4x3) and traditional. Hopefully I'll be able to get sound off them; I also need to investigate uploading to youtube. I have permission.

I also need to mention the latest version of Audacity, and give profuse thanks for its "export multiple" feature. Basically you just label each song with its filename, and it splits exports them all to whatever directory you point it at. Cool. If only it would save the export directory with the project...

mdlbear: (fandom)

Friday of Baycon began with eggs and large quantities of excellent bacon for breakfast -- [ profile] cflute seemed impressed that I remembered her preference for skillet over microwave. I explained that, while I don't have the [ profile] flower_cat's memory for tastes, allergies, and ingredients, I do pretty well on processes.

We loaded up the Cat's van, and she and the Younger Daughter (home early from school) shipped out to the hotel. The [ profile] chaoswolf and [ profile] selkit headed off the bus stop at about the same time.

There followed a late morning and early afternoon of delightful catch-up conversation with [ profile] cflute, punctuated by a trip out to Michael's and CommuKnity in an unsuccessful search for what turned out to be a Japanese braiding device. Many thanks to the woman at CommuKnity who positively ID'ed the device from the description, though I'd been pretty sure that's what it had to be based on descriptions I'd seen.

It seems Callie and I had a lot of catching up to do. Probably still do -- we really haven't had an extended conversation since, what? OSCon nearly two years ago? About right. My recent changes may have had something to do with it.

We'd planned on meeting the Ugglas for a rehearsal at 4pm, but they hadn't arrived by then, and [ profile] cflute was tired, so she had a nap instead. We finally got it together around 7pm IIRC, and ran through most of the set -- at least enough on the older ones to make sure we were still solid and make last-minute adjustments.

We followed the Bohnhoffs (with [ profile] vixyish), who set the bar pretty high, but I don't recall a mass exodus, so it must have gone OK. That's a bit of an understatement, actually -- we got some positive feedback from a few people in the audience, and I don't think the audience noticed the flubs. Probably wouldn't have noticed the biggest one at all if Callie hadn't called their attention to the fact that I'd left the capo off on "The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of". But if that was the worst flub, we did pretty well.

Set list here

A little open filking, and turned in around 1:30.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Rather than give this stupid Mac laptop a chance to eat my post again, I'm just going to post the songs with quick notes, and and post the "oficial" notes later when I have it uploaded and have some time on a machine I can actually type on.

1 Rocket Rider's Prayer
2 High Barratry I've taken to putting the explanation of Barratry after the first verse as a voiceover.
3 The World Inside the Crystal
4 The River
5 The Merry Man and his Maid
6 The Toolmakers We've added an instrumental verse. Bass flute love.
7 Ferret Went A-Courtin' Two-voice arrangement worked up by me and Joyce.
8 The Owl and the Pussycat This really sounds good with three voices.
9 Cryptographer's Anthem (Callie solo - whee!)
10 The Little Computing Machine
11 The Programmer's Alphabet
12 The Rambling Silver Rose
13 The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of
14 Keep the Dream Alive
15 Ship of Stone
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

... and you don't (to paraphrase [ profile] cadhla). We win. Picked her up at the airport with almost perfect timing: in and out of the Terminal A parking lot in under 20 minutes, meaning it only cost $1. Beats circulating until she got her bags and called...

Dinner was quick and easy: carnitas.

Good Tres Gique practice session. Tomorrow's concert should be a winner.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

It hasn't been a terribly productive day. Decided to stay home sick mainly so that I could take a nap if I started to fall over in mid-afternoon. And did lie down for about an hour, though I didn't actually sleep.

Watered my nose three times so far, plus once in the middle of the night last night. Will do it again before bed. It's roughly as effective as a dose of sudafed, but doesn't dry out my throat.

Had a great phone call this morning from [ profile] cflute, who'd seen my morning post and offered to sing lead on a couple of songs in our concert Friday night. Quickly rejiggered the setlist, adding crypto, alphabet, rrprayer, and lcm; and removing heaven and demon, which is too much of a vocal stretch for me right now. Many of the remaining songs have Joyce on unison, so I can lean on her for support and sit close to the mic. Yay for [ profile] cflute getting her brain back! Glad somebody has a brain right now -- I don't. More on that sort of thing later.

The setlist is still running a little light; about 50 minutes. That's what it's supposed to be, of course, but as it's the last concert we can run over a little. I'll plan to make it up on patter.

Joyce and I had a short practice session - basically ensuring that we had a good grasp of the additions, and going over the few remaining rough spots, mainly "The Toolmakers" and "I Have a Song to Sing, O", which we're still pretty shaky on. The melody line is tricky. I copied the sheet music at work on Monday, which helped a lot.

Skipped my walk today in favor of the aforementioned lie-down, and had hot buttered rum with honey instead of my usual gin.

Basically a wasted day otherwise. A little reading (re-reading Mount Analogue, which I haven't read for a while), LJ, and ripping CDs. Including tracking down many of the CDs that had been ripped before but not marked. I'm putting little sticky dots on the spines now so I can keep track. I'm up around 200 disks now. Useful, in other words, but totally mindless. Of all the things I've lost...

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Yesterday evening was our usual household open house. I've been trying to spend more time out in the living room being (at least a little bit) sociable, rather than retreating to the office and waiting for the geeks to congregate there. It mostly worked, now that I've made a little music-geek's corner with an armless chair, music stand, guitar stand, and tray table for a laptop. Now that Colleen has her EeePC, we had at least as many laptops in the room as people for much of the evening.

Joyce and family came over, and we ran through the songs on the Baycon setlist. It's coming together nicely. We'll have another rehearsal Monday at Joyce's, and again next Thursday after [ profile] cflute arrives. Those will include more detail work; with a live audience, even a small one, you can't do much more than just run through the songs with a little critiquing in between, and there are more distractions.

mdlbear: (rose)

It's been a very mixed day. On the the one hand, I scored one of the last three Linux EeePC 900's at Central Computing, to give to Colleen as a slightly belated Mother's Day present. The stream player is buggy, which caused me quite a bit of frustration setting the thing up, but presumably that will get fixed soon.

On the other hand, just as Kat and I were leaving for Joyce's house my Mom called with the news that my uncle Jack, the older of her two brothers, died suddenly of a heart attack.

On the gripping hand, we had a good rehearsal for our concert slot at Baycon.

Colleen and I are sharing a drink in Jack's memory right now.

I never had a favorite among my three uncles: I always liked them about equally. Jack worked his entire career at NIH, doing research on fallout-induced thyroid cancer. He died at work. He'd been feeling ill for a while, and had a cardiology appointment scheduled for tomorrow.

Sorry, folks; I'm at something of a loss for words right now.

In a bar he rarely visits, an aging hacker sips the last of a glass of Glenlivet, raises it, and toasts "To Uncle Jack!" before flinging the glass into the fireplace.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
Friday     	5/23/2008 	22:00  	Concert: Tres Gique 
Saturday 	5/24/2008 	13:00 	Every OS @%*^& 	
Saturday 	5/24/2008 	16:00 	Filk for Kids 	
Sunday  	5/25/2008 	14:30 	Recording Music 
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Went to Dave and Joyce's for a Tres Gique rehearsal tonight, with the [ profile] chaoswolf and [ profile] flower_cat in tow. Yes, Tres Gique has two drummers: Kat and Jordan. Kat does occasional vocals. Not every gig, of course.

The set list so far )

Getting there, but I'm sleepy. Possibly an effect of the Zyrtec I took ~3:30pm to ensure that my throat didn't dry out. It didn't; but whether because of the zyrtec or the extra nose-watering is hard to tell. I'm not sure it was worth it; I was noticeably drowsy on parts of the drive home.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Just got back from a Tres Gique rehearsal at Joyce's. I think I may be allergic to something in that house; my throat got very dry and constricted, so we didn't get through even the songs I had on the list. There's still room for a few more, and suggestions (waves at [ profile] cflute and [ profile] pocketnaomi) are welcome.

The set list so far, with a few notes )
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Tres Gique's concert at Baycon will be Friday, May 23rd at 10pm. We are now taking suggestions for a set list. What will you kill us if we don't perform? What will you kill us if we do perform?

("Desolation Row" is already off the list. "The River" is on. All of the songs from my concert at FKO are on except for "Bigger on the Inside".)

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

It crossed my mind at the last Très Gique gig at Westercon that my usual sound check song, "Jabberwocky" as a talking blues, is totally lame. A proper sound check song should be a throwaway, sure, but it also has to be something that everybody in the group can sing on, with verses we can trade off singing, geeky, totally silly, and loud.

"Old Time Computing" came to mind. Then I came up with:

When your drummer plays a doumbek
You had better run a sound check
Or you'll end up sounding like heck
And your audience will flee...

... Possibly with a chorus about a real-time musician, after which things could easily degenerate into verses about emacs/vi, unix/vms, and other software religion. But I'm not going to go there right now.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Well, the Bear is moderately caffeinated and at least nominally awake. I have four panels on my schedule for this afternoon, and a concert tonight. The Gods alone know when -- or if -- I'll have time for practice. Or dinner. Then there's the fact that I'm not sure whether I'll have amplification for the concert, or when it starts, or whether Joyce will be up to singing. She's been sick, so we never did get a chance to practice much, but at least it hasn't been all that long since Baycon.

Well, it'll be interesting. I'll start off with a couple of Tres Gique pieces that can work with just me and drums, and wing it from there. I've lined up some stuff that I haven't done lately because it either flat doesn't work in a group, or we haven't worked up arrangements.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

In the afternoon the family (minus the Younger Daughter, who decided to stay home rather than be bored by grown-up conversation) went over to the Ugglas' for barbeque, conversation, and music. Got in a little bit of rehearsal with Joyce and Jordan for the Tres Gique concert at Westercon. Decided regretfully that The Merry Man and his Maid won't be ready in time; I think the next con we'll both be at is probably Consonance. Might do it as a one-shot.

The [ profile] chaoswolf joined us on "High Barratry", "Stuff that Dreams are Made Of", and "Rambling Silver Rose" (if I remember correctly). Definitely has promise.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Here's the final setlist for the Baycon 2007 Tres Gique concert:

Set list: Baycon-2007
1. The World Inside the Crystal
2. Cicero in the Twenty First Century
3. The Owl and the Pussycat
4. Guilty Pleasures
5. The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of
6. High Barratry
7. The Rambling Silver Rose
8. House Carpenter
9. Demon Lover
10. Bound For Hackers' Heaven
11. Silk and Steel
12. I Wanna Be a Webmaster
13. Ship of Stone
14. Keep the Dream Alive

On the whole it went pretty well. A couple of egregious flubs on my part -- I kept getting distracted -- and [ profile] cflute reported that the monitors weren't audible and she was just cueing off me. Recording didn't go as well -- I had the mics too close, and as a result probably got more of me than the audience did. This is not necessarily a good thing.

Came out with one minute to spare -- yay for timing during the final rehearsal. Should maybe have had a show-stopper for an encore, but I don't think fast enough on my feet.

Also, I stupidly left the interface box on the floor rather than putting it in the rolly as I had the night before, and turned the levels down too low. The levels were only a minor problem, since I only lost a few bits off the top (I hope!), but there were a sizeable number of noise spikes. More during the Tres Gique concert, when the [ profile] chaoswolf was baby-sitting the box, than during the ones I did myself, but a few with those as well. Not a good idea. The rig really needs its own rolly-crate or possibly a rolling rack. 4-U rack on a with its own handle/mic stand? Hmm. We could do that.

And either further back in the audience, or three mics up front.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

A laser-printed sign captioned "Hotel Guide" above a copy of Escher's "Relativity", with a "you are here" arrow pointed at the person in the center.

It turns out that the fastest route from our end of the third floor to the function space on the second floor (astute readers will remember that these floors are connected by a one-foot-high ramp) is to take one set of elevators down to the ground floor, walk fifty feet to another set of elevators in the lobby, and go up. (edit actually, that's the shortest route. But when you add in the waiting time for two elevators, it's actually close to a wash time-wise, and it's all the walking I'm likely to get this weekend.)

Concert in 1:15. Setup in 0:45. Be there or be square, or at least vaguely oblong.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Did I mention the rehearsal with Joyce Monday night? I thought not. Got through much of the tentative setlist and a lot of my songbook -- I'd printed her a copy Saturday morning to give her at her husband's 60th birthday party on Sunday. Guess I didn't mention that, either. Got in some singing there, too, both my stuff and good old hymnal singing out of Rise Up Singing. Joyce is part of a group that's been holding monthly "songfests" for years; I occasionally tag along.

mdlbear: (hacker glider)

Since The Owl and the Pussycat is in the tentative set list, I figured it would be a good idea to finally get around to putting chords and performance notes into it. Hit the pdf file for the chords. I've never been entirely happy with the results of putting chords into the HTML files -- it's impossible to control the typesetting well enough to get them onto one page.

mdlbear: (audacity)

Some actual recording: Replacement vocals for "TEOTW", a tambourine track for "I Wanna Be a Webmaster" -- as far as I know that's the last of it, except for "Guilty Pleasures" and "Bugs", which I need other people for.

Also, put down scratch tracks for what I think are the only two songs on the tentative setlist for Baycon that weren't up on the web yet: "The Cap and Bells" and "The Owl and the Pussycat". (Waves at [ profile] cflute, who is also encouraged to make suggestions. This is a group concert, after all. The tune for "The Owl and the Pussycat" is public domain, BTW, so it should be possible to track down sheet music for a 3-part arrangement. 5:29 Also note that the songs on the list are in no particular order.)

mdlbear: (ccs-cover)

Made a dump CD for the car today and only noticed minor problems (all relative levels) on 4 songs. "Daddy's World" is already fixed; I'll probably get to the others tonight. There are still four others that need a little more work. Tomorrow and Saturday. But it's definitely converging.

Joyce came over yesterday to practice for our Baycon concert, which is now almost exactly a month away. The set list is still pretty fluid, so now's the time to make suggestions. (Waves at [ profile] cflute.) We had a couple of requests from the household -- it was Wednesday, after all. "Cap and Bells" is looking like a good candidate for inclusion.

So here are Wednesday's songs as I remember them, in no particular order: )

Tres Gique

Mar. 20th, 2007 10:00 pm
mdlbear: (hacker glider)

Finally bought the domains and, and set up placeholder websites on my DSL line. (Also got the unhyphenated names tresgique.{com,net} -- they're uglier, but nobody's going to remember to type that hyphen, so they'll eventually get redirected.)

The eventual plan is for the .net site to be the group's internal working site, and the .com site to be the public site. I'm leaning toward something like ikiwiki backed by either Subversion or Git, though I could be even geekier and just use my Makefile-based site-management tools, which I'm already using for concerts on my main site.

ikiwiki has plenty of geek cred, though, and an intriguing collection of plugins.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Good party at Grand Central Starport today. Most of the food (including a large corned beef) got eaten, which is always a good thing. [ profile] johno and [ profile] chriso honored me with a simplified kanreki ceremony, complete with red vest and hat (appropriately enough, a RedHat tradeshow baseball cap). I guess that makes me a recycled geek now.

There was some good singing early on; I spent much of the day in the office where I have a comfortable chair, and it's quiet enough to hold a good conversation or show off tracks from the Consonance concert.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Did some work on "Little Computing Machine" -- I'd totally blown the last couple of chords, so I re-recorded guitar for the last chorus, for continuity. Managed a nice clean splice. (2203: also a little tweaking on "Daddy's World". 8 tracks done, 4 needing tweaking, eq, or minor edits, 4 or 5 needing more serious work.)

Question 1: Should I keep the studio version of "High Barratry", or go with the live version? (I shamelessly stole this idea from [ profile] vixyish, but I think it's a good one.)

Question 2: I'm going to put up a website for Tres Gique, if only to have someplace where the three of us can discuss set lists and schedules. Should it be or (I might just get both domains to preserve the namespace, but one needs to be cannonical.)

mdlbear: (ccs-cover)
KR: (remarking on my 60th birthday) So are you starting a senior citizens' group?
me: Heck no, I'm starting a band!

I'm pretty sure now that I want to put our live performance of "High Barratry" (available here) on the CD. There's some good audience reaction, and the CD needs a little more variety.


Mar. 11th, 2007 12:16 am
mdlbear: (abt)

It's progress, but not necessarily on the album. Spent most of the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon splitting up last week's Consonance concert. The Tres Gique part is done; I still have to do the bits of [ profile] cflute and [ profile] tibicina's concert that I was able to record from the slot before, and fix up the indexing which seems to be having problems with my perl scripting at the moment. Seems to have come out pretty well; I'll probably use at least one track on the preorder bonus disk.

Also took a three-mile walk, went to Fry's with [ profile] selkit and [ profile] chaoswolf, went out for Chinese food at Jasmine, and Kanef's housefilk (sang "Like a Lamb to the Slaughter" and "Close Your Eyes"). Sleepy bear. Go fall over now.

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