Weekly Rewind #61

Hello folks, welcome to another of my Weekly Rewinds. Just a little slice of what’s been happening in my exciting (probably not that exciting) life of late. It’s been an odd week really, up and down. Truly embarassing World Cup showings from the England team, balanced out with writing new songs and having fun with the band. I suppose that’s how life is supposed to be though isn’t it? It’d boring otherwise. So, let’s get on with it.

We didn’t do a live Linux Outlaws on Monday night because of the many World Cup distractions, but we’ll be back with avengance very soon don’t worry. The last recorded episode was released over the weekend by Fab. Episode 156 “Blame The Uwe Seeler” tipped the scales at 2 hours long, so there’s been plenty of content lately. We’ve had good feedback and I hope everyone enjoyed it. I’ve realised how much you miss doing the live show and interacting with people over the last couple of weeks. I’ve haven’t had this many free Monday nights in a very long time. If this keeps up I may have to take up knitting or something… nah, I’ve had plenty to do actually. On Tuesday I ended up doing some unexpected Javascript hacking (the best kind I’m sure you’ll agree) for a new website. A friend asked me to help them out and it was a tougher job that I’d expected. For a guy who started his programming life with Java I really should know more about Javascript. I had to fix up a scrolling image carousel and it proved very tricky. Before the fellow geeks deluge me with comments and emails, I know the main thing Java and Javascript have in common are the first 4 letters of their names, but I still feel I should know it better. You can’t deny that the syntax is similar if nothing else. I was victorious in the end and I got the function working as needed. Perhaps I could be good at this programming thing if I tried harder, I used to be ok at it hehe.

Sticking with that theme I did some Drupal work on Wednesday and fell even deeper in love with Drush. I’ve talked about this before but if you’re managing Drupal sites and you don’t you Drush you need your head looking at. Being able to update all your modules and even the Drupal core with a simple command “drush pm-update” is a godsend. There are far better developers than I who could tell you about this, but I’ll try to write some little articles or even make a screencast soon. In the evening I went down to see the band and we worked on a new song. More on that later.

Chester University coat or arms

Chester Uni Coat Of Arms

Thursday involved much more admin and hacking during the day and then Chester LUG in the evening. I watched Stuart Burns give his talk and demo on RPM and Yum, a subject I know a little about but I’m certainly no expert. He showed us some cool tricks and it was a very enjoyable talk. Going back to my old stomping ground of Chester University for the LUG meet felt strange. It’s actually the 2nd time I’ve done it now but 10 years ago I was beginning life as a student there. How time flies. Friday was a little quieter during the day as I caught up with jobs and then tried to relax a bit. In the evening I headed over to Liverpool to see the Liverpool Acoustic Live gig at View Two Gallery in Matthew St. I met a my friend Anna from Scribblepool there and we watched a great show together. Any of you who know Liverpool and particularly Matthew St won’t need to be told this, but it’s one of the nosier and busier parts of the city on a Friday night. Lots of shouting and groups of drunks hanging around, what we lovingly refer to around here as “nob ‘eds”. I’d never been to the View Two gallery before, or even heard of it, but it’s like a little oasis between the noisy bars and clubs. I turned into the little entrance door opposite Cavern Walks and preceeded up the many stairs that followed, nearly broke the handle off the door and terrified the two ladies at the desk, but eventually made it to my destination. Inside was a wonderful art gallery with all kinds of interesting paintings, sculptures and artifacts. I’ll definitely have to go back and look around the place properly sometime.

The gig was held on the top floor and man it was hot up there. Not much ventilation either as 50 of us crammed in to see the show. I finally managed to meet Graham Holland of the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast and he greeted me with the line “I was listening to you in the car today” which seemed funny. I’ve chatted to Graham online a few times but we’d not met in person so it was good to finally put a face to the name. We were treated to 4 great acts starting with Wirral singer-songwriter Pete Cunningham, followed by female singer Dogstar and then Mark Byrne. I hadn’t heard of Mark before but his set was incredible and culminated with probably the best version of “Bad Moon Rising” (by Creedence Clearwater Revival) I’ve ever heard. I’ll be chasing him to come on Rathole Radio at some point in future for sure. The final act was Canadian singer Lorelei Loverage and her band The Harem. They were brilliant and played for about an hour I think in the end. The whole group were clearly talented musicians in their own right, all 7 of them. She had 2 backing singers, 1 playing a banjo, 2 percussionists, a bass player and an electric guitarist, to go with the acoustic she was playing herself. The sound they made was terrific and the room had a really great acoustic to it I thought, no pun intended. I had a fun night and met many interesting people, I’d recommend it to anyone. Check out the website to see future gig line ups. They play all of the artists for the upcoming gig on the podcast the month before so you can get an idea of what to expect, and it works very well. The venue is only small and tickets are very limited but it’s well worth trying to get hold of one if you can.

Howard Webb physically restraining a player during a game

Justice, Howard Webb Style

On Saturday I spent a fair bit of time preparing my playlist for Rathole Radio on the following day and then relaxing in the sun watching football, it’s a tough job but someone has to do it. I actually pre-recorded the show on Sunday lunchtime because of the big England V Germany game later on. My good friend Howie of Lone Gunmen fame played the recording for me on the stream at the usual time. I went to watch the match with the band and a load of other friends. It turned out to be a pretty depressing affair as we were deservedly smashed by Germany 4-1. Despite what you may hear about legitimate goals not being given we needed a lot more than that to bail us out this time. Tonight everyone has been raving about the performance of the English referee Howard Webb in the Brazil v Chile game. How we cling to the straws of success. Perhaps we should give up football alltogether and see if there’s a refereeing World Cup we can enter instead, we might do better at it. Despite the obvious downer of the match the band got together afterwards and we played for about 3 hours straight, almost getting 4 original songs together. It turned the day around for all of us I think. Once we have the songs properly worked out the plan is to record them and finally share what we’re doing with all you lovely people. I have a feeling some of you will like it. I hope so anyway. That brings us neatly up to today, so you’re all up to date.

Upcoming:

We’ll be doing a live Linux Outlaws on Thursday night this week instead. It’ll be the usual time of 19:00 UK time so mark your diaries. I’ll see you there in the chatroom for some fun. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of a live show again I must say. I’ll be doing much more music, hacking and other shennanigans throughout the week. Apparently Wednesday is Social Media day I’ve just been told. I’m dubious about the over use of the term “social media” these days but I think the idea is a good one. There’s the first ever meeting of the Liverpool Social Media Cafe at Static Gallery 6pm on Wednesday. I’ll be heading along to see what it’s all about and catching up with many good friends from the Liverpool geek scene. If you’re in town come and say hello. I’m not sure exactly what other delights this week holds for me yet but I’ll relate those to you next time. Till then take care of yourselves and been good… and if you can’t be good hide the evidence… or get a good lawyer… or both, yeah probably do both 😉

Dan

Posted in Update
2 comments on “Weekly Rewind #61
  1. Hi Dan,

    It was great to eventually meet you on Friday even though we only managed to chat fleetingly. Thank you for your kind and very complimentary comments about Liverpool Acoustic Live – I’m so glad you enjoyed it. We try out best to provide high quality musicians and a mix of acoustic styles and genres. I think we’ve got something special going on at the View Two Gallery – but then I’m biased, so it’s good to get the thumbs up from someone visiting for the first time.

    Graham

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