Weekly Rewind #105

Well, well, well, it’s been a while hasn’t it? A month or more has passed with little activity here. My apologies. Someone asked the other day if the RSS feed on my blog was broken. I wish that were the answer, but lately it seems to be more a case of the person writing the content being broken, or perhaps distracted is a better term. Events have overtaken me in the last month and finding the time and energy to write about them has been hard. I aim to put that right today though and update you properly. I’m not going to go through everything from the last month in chronological order, that would take ages. Instead we’ll have Match Of The Day style extended highlights package. Alan Hansen should be along to criticize the defending at the end.

Podcasting has continued at pace and I’ll deal with each show in turn. There’s been plenty of episodes of Linux Outlaws in the last month. We’re closing in on 1 million downloads now since our time on Libsyn. That’s a crazy figure when you think about it, but actually I reckon we probably broke that some time ago. We ran the show for a while before joining Libsyn and there’s always people mirroring episodes on their own servers. None of that counts towards the grand total. So if anyone asks I just say “oh yeah, we’re well over a million downloads” and cross my fingers behind my back. Well, they don’t know… oh, unless they read this. Did I mention we’re over a million downloads? *ahem*.

It’s been an eventful month for my Linux Outlaws co-host Fabian Scherschel as he left his job with an ISP in Cologne, and now he’s a professional Open Source writer for The H. He’ll even be moving to London in June to work full time at their office. I’m really happy for him and I guess now we can say we have a legitimate member of the tech press on the team. Since Feb 8th when I last posted here there have been 6 new episodes released. You can catch up on Linux Outlaws via the website at any time, you’re more than welcome aboard.

I’ve also appeared on some episodes of FLOSS Weekly in the last month. 3 to be precise. On Feb 8th I was drafted in to host the show with Simon Phipps. Randal injured his shoulder that day and couldn’t make it. The whole thing was very last minute but I think Simon and I pulled it together nicely. You can judge for yourself in episode 201. I then joined Aaron Newcomb the following week for episode 202 on Stunt Rally. Finally, last week I rejoined Randal to interview the guys behind oVirt. That was episode 203 and you can grab it now from the TWiT website. I’ve also continued with Rathole Radio of course and there’s been a couple of new episodes since my last update, episode 72 and episode 73. Both contain the usual eclectic mix of music you’ve come to expect, plus a fair amount of waffling which you probably expect by now too. As I write this it’s just under 2 months to this years Rathole Radio live event, a fact I’m becoming increasingly aware of. We’ve got a venue, LEAF On Bold St. We’ve got a date, Friday May 11th. However, I still need to complete the line up and sort out what I’ll do about tickets. Whether I’ll even use tickets or just make it free to attend this time and take donations. It’s hard to say right now. Lots to decide. I’m close to sorting out the line up and announcing it, that’s something. The rest of it I really need to get cracking with. I’ll let you know more about that ASAP.

A picture of me performing at The Zanzibar in Feb 2012.

One act I do have confirmed for the Rathole Radio gig is my own band 20lb Sounds. We’ve been busy of late. We had another gig at The Zanzibar on Saturday March 3rd and while I didn’t feel I played that well, others told me afterwards it was really good. So I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. Many friends came to support us which I really appreciated but our turn out was a bit low, I don’t know how many more gigs we’ll get there in future. We have one in June, I guess that’s make or break time. It’s difficult because I’ve tried hard to push our gigs and promote them around town. I’ve contacted all the local media outlets, got posters printed and put them up, and I’ve also been spreading the word in person wherever possible. Despite this we’re just not drawing a crowd and it can be disheartening. I think we’re a good band, I suppose I should I’m in the band. I’m biased, but we have many good songs and we can play a bit. When people do watch we often get a good reaction, yet getting them to come back is a battle. I suppose at some point I have to face the fact that most people just don’t like us as much as I hoped. I dunno, this all sounds rather like shoe-gazing self-pity doesn’t it? We have plenty of gigs coming up in the next 2-3 months so we’ll pick ourselves up again and try to win people over, one at a time if we have to.

While we’re talking about music I should let you know what’s happening with my long overdue album. Fresh with New Year energy and optimism I said I’d have this done and released in no time. In retrospect I don’t think that was ever very realistic. I underestimated my perfectionism and incessant need to tinker with things. I’m never totally happy with anything I do and it’s tempting to keep changing them. First I recorded 10 acoustic songs live. That went well but later I discovered the vocal mic was distorting at times during the performance. Back to the drawing board. Now I’ve been working on all the songs again and I have the basis of about 7 recorded. I will keep it simple as promised. 1 or maybe 2 guitars at most, vocal and harmonica. I also plan to record a couple of piano songs I wrote many years ago. The working title for the album right now is “Long Forgotten Tales”, that may change though. I’m going to make some little live videos to put on YouTube as promotion and I’ve been trying to clean up this very website in preparation. The bottom line is it’s progressing, just not as quickly as I’d hoped. I’ll post some videos and updates as I go along. Perhaps blogging through the process will help me work things out.

Something else that’s reared it’s head in the last month is the mythical beast known as OggCamp planning. Every year it pops up again. I love doing OggCamp though and I love that other people enjoy it most of all. I can’t reveal too much yet but things are taking shape. I’ve been pounding the pavement, having meetings and generally sorting things out. Our intrepid band of organisers are all working hard to bring you another OggCamp.

There’s so much more I could say, a month’s worth of stories but I think that’s enough for today. We’re pretty much up to date.

Upcoming:

I’m not appearing on FLOSS Weekly tomorrow but it’ll be the first one I’ve missed in four shows, so I can’t complain. There’s Jelly Liverpool at LEAF on Thursday and following that in the evening we’ll be doing Ignite Liverpool as well. It’s the 9th Ignite we’ve organised and they’re always fun. The basic format is 5 minute talks from a wide selection of speakers about a varying range of topics. Anything the speaker cares about really. It always throws up discussions and opens your mind. It’s 6pm on Thursday 15th March at LEAF On Bold St. Entry is free and the venue is lovely. Come along, it’s worth it. At the weekend I have more live Rathole Radio on Sunday and we’ll be back with live Linux Outlaws on Monday evening. There’ll be much more to talk about next week and I’ll be sure not to leave you hanging this time. I have said it many times before but I’m confident regular posts are just around the corner. If you’d like to leave me a comment or discuss anything I’ve mentioned please do. All thoughts are welcome.

I’ll report back soon, until then you take care of yourselves.

Dan

About Dan

Hi I'm Dan, I'm the nutter who creates the content here and oversees things. You can read more about me on the biog page if you like. Thanks :)
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7 Responses to Weekly Rewind #105

  1. Ian says:

    Hi Dan,
    Don’t get discouraged about the music and crowds – you’ve probably got more supporters than you think. The problem is that many of them are too far away to get to the gigs. I’d like to be there, but Australia is just too distant!! Oh well, maybe one day…..

  2. Fab says:

    We’re closing in on two million downloads on Libsyn, actually. ;)

  3. Fab says:

    Nice album title, BTW. Very Sting. I like it. :)

  4. Bruce Patterson says:

    Hey Dan,
    No doubt about it, music can be a really frustrating business! This is especially true if you play live. Near the end of my own playing days, our band started playing non clubs – Elks, Moose, misc large animal social clubs. Most of our parents belonged to one of them. We paid the $75 up front, the lodge had the cook come in for the event and the beers were far cheaper than regular clubs. We had a donate jar and more often than not broke even. To quote our friends from AC/DC, its a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll! I look forward to your album when its released. For those who haven’t heard your version of “Tin Soldier” need to go back and listen again. Keep fighting the good fight. More importantly, remember not to start typing with your fists!

    • Dan says:

      @Bruce – Thanks man that’s really nice. It certainly is a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll, AC/DC were right about that. Great song too. I have some ideas to shake things up, it’s just getting off my arse and doing it now. I never backed out of a fight in my life so don’t worry about that, hehe :)

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