Hello everyone, it’s been quite some time since I updated you on the events in my little life. I’ve been both distracted and busy in the last couple of weeks, so forgive me. I’ll go through everything that’s happened in the last 14 days(ish) right now. Winter is drawing in here in the UK and it’s getting cold and dark, I know a lot of people suffer depression because of this. Luckily I’ve never been one of them though and I’m doing well. It’s a good excuse to hide by the fire in the pub anyway right? Let’s get into it, there’s a lot to get through.
On Monday October 11th we recorded and broadcast another Linux Outlaws. No guests this time, just us. We still managed to talk for almost 2 hours and that seems to be the regular pattern now. Despite my efforts to get the show back closer to a hour we always seems to just ramble on. I’m as much to blame for this as anyone, so I’m not pointing fingers. It does make for a massive editing burden though, a burden Fab has to deal with more than I. Perhaps we’ll finally discover a magic method for editing a 2 hr show in less than about 8 hours, I’m not holding my breath though. Fab did the hard work editing this one and it became episode 169 “Ubuntu-proof”.
The following evening I went over to FACT in Liverpool to see the new Howard Marks film “Mr Nice”. I managed to blag a free ticket through my good friend Neil, on the proviso that I write a review of the film which I was happy to do. I’ve read the book Mr Nice a couple of times and I know Marks well as a character. This probably made me a little more critical of the film than the average viewer but I enjoyed it nevertheless. The review has now been published and you can read it here. Around this time I also heard that Solomon Burke had died. He was a soul singer and a great hero to me. He never became as famous as some of his soul contemporaries, or indeed as famous as he deserved to be, but he had a voice you just can’t compare to any other male singer. For me he is simple the best male voice of the last century and if you haven’t heard him please check out the video below.
RIP big man, you will be missed.
Now as you’d expect I’ve been busy with my band 20lb Sounds in the last 2 weeks. We had a couple of practices and a weekend session sorting out the tracks we recently recorded. Fixing up little things and getting them perfect. Gary has done an amazing production job and I’m over the moon with the results. At the moment I’m just waiting on the final mixes of the 2 tracks so I can release them for the world to hear. As we speak I’m actually working on a new website for the band where we can easily post proper content like write ups, music, videos and other stuff. There will also be ways for fans to get involved, comment and share the items through Facebook and other sites. In the past I’ve avoided places like MySpace like the plague, I hate that site. But when it comes to promoting the band I guess I’m not above any means, so I’ll be creating accounts in all those sorts of places and pushing as hard as I can to get the music heard. I’ve been thinking about business models and ways to make this financially viable too. Selling merchandise, signed CDs and things like that is option. I also thought about subscriber models for people who want to support the band for a small recurring amount each year. There’s gigs to think about and so much more. In this new digital world we live in one thing is for sure, the old record industry is dying and people should be doing it for themselves. Manage your own business and keep control. There’s a lot on my mind lately but hopefully you’ll see the results soon. I’m building the new site with Drupal of course.
As many of you will know I’m a Liverpool FC supporter (for my sins), and it’s fair to say we’ve had turbulent times at the club recently. Once we were the greatest team in Europe but now we just seem to be suffering from a 20 year hang over with no end in sight. The latest development in our saga was the court battle for ownership of the club last week. Tom Hicks & George Gillett bought LFC back in 2007 and made big promises to build a new stadium and restore the club to former glory. Instead though they just mortgaged us up to the hilt and crippled the club with interest repayments on debts. There’s been much clamouring for them to leave by the fans and finally after the court drama dominating the press we got our wish. They were ousted by force and new owners have come in, New England Sports Ventures led by businessman John Henry. Unlike a lot of fans I have no expectation that they “care about the club” or have their “heart in the right place”. They’re business people and they’re here to make money, that’s fine. My feelings about Hicks & Gillett were much the same initially though as I thought financial success could only go hand in hand with sporting success on the pitch. Their business model turned out to be almost like asset stripping though and so far NESV have bought the club without any debt being levied against it. I hope their business plan will be better and I was encouraged to see the new owners meeting with fans and local politicians straight away. Hopefully we can all move on from here now. It’s early days but NESV managed to end an 86 year trophy drought at the Boston Red Sox and they’ve won 2 world series in 8 years since taking over. That’s an impressive turn around, if we can get just a little bit of that I’ll be happy.
On Friday 15th I drove over to Manchester for the North West Drupal User Group meeting and got raped for parking charges. Forgive the colourful metaphor but I don’t see how else you can describe £8.50 for 3 hours parking!!! You could buy a bloody car for that in some places. Anyway, the meeting was great fun and I really enjoyed being able to talk to other like minded geeks about Drupal. The talk on Features was very enlightening and I discovered some great new modules to use in my sites. I’ll be going back to future meetings where possible I’m sure. I actually had to leave fairly early and hot tail it back home to record a special Linux Outlaws with Fab. We had a guest host and interviewee in the shape of Jezra, our very own whiskered community hero. It was a lot of fun to talk to him for a couple of hours and I ended up editing all that on the following Monday. You can download it now as episode 170 “Ask Jez”.
On Sunday I broadcast another Rathole Radio, this time featuring an interview with metal man and free software friend Jono Bacon talking about the second Severed Fifth album. He released that recently and I had a special interest to declare because I actually mastered he album. The interview was very interesting and I even managed to squeeze in a live acoustic track from myself afterwards. If you’d like to hear that you can of course download it all free here. I’m still working on plans for the big gig next year but I have gotten I Am Not Lefthanded to provisionally agree to play. That would be great and once I have the venue and some other artists nailed down I’ll let you all know.
After my marathon editing session on Monday we put back the live Linux Outlaws recording to Tuesday that week. As I write this Fab is still working on editing that but you should be able to hear it very soon. That brings us right up to date.
The live Linux Outlaws has been postponed this week as well. It’ll be tomorrow night, Tuesday 26th October at 7pm UK time. On Wednesday it’s Social Media Cafe Liverpool and all are welcome to come along. I’m helping out with the sound requirements as usual. We’ll be in the Biennial Vistor’s Centre on Renshaw St from 6pm this Wednesday 27th October. Come in and say hello if you’re around. On Thursday I have Chester LUG and I’ve missed the last few meetings so I really need to get to this one. I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone. Hopefully we’ll have those songs finally mixed and I can unleash them along with the new website at some point this week. Finally on Sunday there’s another live Rathole Radio and it’s actually Halloween that night apparently. I don’t have anything special planned but who knows what will happen. Come along and listen live from 9pm UK time. I’ll try to fill you in with another write up next week, time permitting. Failing that I will recount events soon I promise. Take care of yourselves till then and wrap up warm now. The weather is getting bad.