Howdy folks. I’m slightly overdue with this update but only a couple of days. It’s been a fun and eventful week. I’m sat here enjoying a lazy Saturday afternoon and listening to music in the flat. Google Music (stamp me with a Google tattoo now) is in shuffle and The Beach Boys just came on. It doesn’t get much better than that. So let’s talk about what’s happened recently.
When last we spoke I was on my way to band practice on the evening of Thursday July 28th. It went really well and we’re now having something of an enforced sabbatical while I do OggCamp and the others go off to various places. We should be able to get back together next week and it’s only been 1 week off so far. But I listened to the rehearsal recordings today and it really makes me miss playing live with the boys. We made a plan to do some proper recording for a whole weekend in late August. Can’t wait for that.
On Friday I dealt with more spam on some websites, caught up on jobs and generally got things done. In the evening I met up with some other folks for the Twitter Pub Crawl which was a lot of fun. I also ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen since music college 12 years ago. We ended up at The Grapes and I discovered he works in the bar there. That could come in very handy in future. On Saturday afternoon I walked down to the Ship & Mitre in the blazing sun and met the Liverpool LUG gang. We were scouting out locations for possible Saturday meetings and ended up going out for a long while. Confirming my belief that LivLUG is the hardest rocking LUG in the world. I still had my computer in hand when I returned home by the way. The battery actually lasted through our 12hr outing. It’s LivLUG tested.
On Sunday I set about recording some music for our new Sixgun video show Leave Your Hat On. It’s very early days and we haven’t actually made a show yet but the plan is for a shorter format video show with guests, loosely based around the hat theme. I got the guitar out and planned to do something funky but as I programmed in the beat and jammed along it became more like dirty blues. The best kind of blues I’m sure you’d agree. I sent a rough mix to Fab and luckily he liked it. The idea was to capture the kind of vibe you get in a basement blues club at 3 in the morning. Not that I’d know anything about that you understand. It came out well and I worked on a final version with improved bass and drums later in the week. Meanwhile Fab has been working with Thomas (his fellow Bunch Of Creepers host) on a title sequence. They came up with this amazing Dick Tracy style intro. Exactly what I had in mind. The 2D graphics are by Fab, the music is by me and all the animation magic is by Thomas. It seems we make a pretty good team.
In the evening I headed over to the Anglican Cathedral to meet a friend. We walked around a bit and had a coffee. It’s been so long since I went in there I’d forgotten how amazing it is. We were there to see the performance outside at 10pm, As The World Tipped. It was a high wire show with great music and incredible visuals. Like a play performed in the air. All free and made by a Liverpool company as well. I was blown away. (Watch the video below). Adrian joined us to see the show and then I also bumped into more friends. Liverpool really feels like a small town sometimes. Everywhere I go I bump into someone I know but I love it. It has the benefits of a big city and a small town at different times. We went back to The Grapes again on the way home for a quick drink.
On Monday I edited some audio for Free As In Freedom. They’d had some delay but luckily I was still able to get it done in time. This show features Karen’s talk from OSCON and I can’t recommend it enough. Have a listen to episode 0x15 for yourself. We also did live Linux Outlaws in the evening and used a Google Hangout instead of Skype for the first time. It seemed to work really well and I’m pleased that we can utilize HTML5 in some way. Hangout is still proprietary which isn’t ideal but I like that it’s based on open standards. On Tuesday I edited more audio for Linux Outlaws and also got some other jobs done. I worked on our interview with Christian Heilmann of Mozilla and finished it off the next day. Fab released it on Thursday as episode 221 “My Internal DNS”. I also went to visit my parents for dinner on the Wirral that night. Dinner On The Wirral, now there’s a film title. On Wednesday night it was Liverpool LUG and I ventured down to the meet the others again. Sebastian did a really in-depth talk on Asterisk which was a lot of fun. We then retired to LEAF to socialize.
The next day I was back in LEAF for Jelly Liverpool. I spent a couple of hours there and tested out my new addiction Google Music. Another area of my life Google seems to be slowly taking over, but I’m not complaining when it’s fun. I’ll write about Google Music at length separately or talk about it on a future Linux Outlaws. It’s too much to tackle right now. Suffice it to say it works well over 3g and I was streaming my music everywhere to the phone without a hitch. I even hooked some friends from Jelly onto it. The beta program is restricted to the US at the moment but there are ways around it, that’s all I’ll say. On Thursday night I headed along to the open mic night at the Fulwood Arms in Aigburth and met some very cool people. I played about 7 or 8 songs and it seemed to go down pretty well. When I’d finished a guy called Roy got up to do a few songs and just blew me away. His voice was unbelievable. I try not to be a bragger but I’ve always known I can sing a bit, or so I thought until I met this guy. He played a version of “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder on acoustic guitar that left me speechless, and that doesn’t happen often. I’ll be heading back there soon and I might try to convince him on to Rathole Radio to sing for us.
That just about brings us up to date. There’s plenty of other stuff I could mention but I bet you have better things to do than stare at this.
On the horizon is a little thing called OggCamp next weekend. 2 days of Free Software and Free Culture goodness in the heart of the UK. OggCamp11 is on August 13th & 14th and it’s going to be fantastic. We have almost 500 people signed up and a bunch of great sponsors. There’ll be technology, beer, live music and more. I can’t wait. It’s also my Mum’s birthday on Monday so I can’t miss that obviously. There’ll be more music stuff as 20lb Sounds finally get in the same room and I’ll probably visit the Fulwood again on Thursday. Finally, I should mention that Rathole Radio will be live on air again tomorrow (Sunday Aug 7th) from 9pm UK. I’ll be sharing all kinds of cool music. Join me for that and if you want to follow what I’m up to more closely you can do so via Identi.ca, Twitter and now Google+.
We’ll talk after OggCamp I expect. Until then you take care of yourselves 🙂