Music machines

After all the romance, mystery, and sensuality is stripped away, a musical instrument is a tool, a machine. I wonder how many people who play (say) the piano or guitar machines never learn another music machine? I suspect that, out of most of the people who take lessons, the largest group (after that of people … Continue reading Music machines


Old links roulette, circa 2003

I'm going through files from my old websites, to see what I need to keep and what I can toss; I found the "links.html" page from the days before social bookmarking. All sites used to have one of these hand-crafted pages, how quaint! Over half of these links lead to sites that are either woefully … Continue reading Old links roulette, circa 2003

Trunk, Hats, Uke, and Pan

The Slomski Brothers meld music, comedy, and a little bit of vaudeville. They were the funniest act on my stage this weekend, and I re-learned a valuable lesson from them: Performer energy is far, far more important than any conceivable audio or technical need. Okay, I didn't learn it from them; I've known this for … Continue reading Trunk, Hats, Uke, and Pan

Hello, The Future!

Blue of Hello, The Future! was the final act on our stage at the Wicked Winter renaissance festival this weekend. She was the simplest music setup we had all that day: one vocal microphone, and another for her guitar. She'd really benefit from getting a wireless setup, though; she's the kind of musician who interacts … Continue reading Hello, The Future!

Magnificent Questions

These are my favorite questions on the Bicycles site since my last post about this. Let's start with a question appropriate to winter riding. How should I clean salt out during winters? [When] should you do something to your salted chains? When the chains already look rusty, can you use water to clean the dirt … Continue reading Magnificent Questions

Audio prep work (is even less interesting than it sounds)

Prep before a festival mostly involves emailing people to find out details such as "how many mics do you need", "how much space do you need", and "what do you guys do? I can't tell from your name." There's a reason many acts put what they do in their name. "Admiral Smith's Exceptional Stump-Juggling Extravaganza", … Continue reading Audio prep work (is even less interesting than it sounds)

Chili recipe winter 2010/2011

I'm doing some housecleaning here on the website, and I came across this post with a recipe for veggie chili. In the intervening four years, I've significantly changed how I make chili. This isn't a recipe per se, it's more of a description of the process I use to make chili. Photo by Manuel W … Continue reading Chili recipe winter 2010/2011

Welcome, performers

If you're here because you're performing on my stage at Wicked Winter 2011, you've come to the right place. Click on the contact link above to get in touch; the adventurous can investigate the audio link to read a bit of a rant about getting ready for a show.

Friday on the web

Every so often, the web produces something literate and intelligent; these gems are often found buried under unused MySpace pages and hypnotically useless web sites. (Seriously, let that one run for a few minutes.) A tale of two planets: What's "Earth-like" mean?, by Lee Billings Titan may now resemble our planet in its earliest history, … Continue reading Friday on the web

The Wrath of Rina (or, Dealing with Customer Service)

In my last job, I trained customer service agents. Which Neil seems to think qualifies me to deal with any customer service issue with any company. (I think it’s just a ploy so he can avoid it!) Although I claim that I’m not enough of an expert to take on all customer service tasks, I … Continue reading The Wrath of Rina (or, Dealing with Customer Service)