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Tuesday, May 11. 2010
The big band I play with has a gig on this Thursday:
The Honeymakers is a group of 16 musicians, including a female singer, who enjoy playing Funk, Latin, Dance, Jazz and Popular tunes.
Friday, October 26. 2007
Well, you can probably guess from the slackness in blogging I'm showing here that life has been busy. The most obvious reason is of course the baby who is showing all signs of being healthy, and arriving early December. The midwife thinks possibly earlier, but we'd rather it not because she is away until the end of November.
There's modern cloth nappies galore here now, and buckets for dirty ones, plus of course clothes, wraps, furniture, car seat, pram, you name it. I've heard it described as the biggest consumer spend a couple goes through (after housing), and it's truly scary what some companies tell you that you 'need' to have.
We've been to birthing and parenting classes and spent countless hours reading stuff online so apparently we now know all, true experts in the field. Except it will of course have no bearing on the reality of actually having a child to look after 24 hours a day.
It was interesting to compare out situation to others in the class though - we're much better off and more prepared than several others, so that gives us a bit of hope.
Trying to organise a couple of short holidays before the due date too.
Some other quick point-form news:
Friday, July 27. 2007
Firstly, Jersey Kerb are playing tonight! Same place - Tailors on Central. Kicking off 6pm.
Had a gig last weekend with The Honeymakers too at Marrickville, which was going pretty well considering I was sight-reading the bass parts, until we lost power half way through the last set! And, as is usual for this type of gig, they seem to underestimate the band and don't do any advertising, so there's not many people around, but at the end they all come up and say "wow, we should put some signs up and tell people next time!" Watch out, there mightn't be a next time if you don't get organised.
At home, we're squished into the back half of the house as I've ripped up all the carpet, and we've had people in sanding and oiling the floor boards. The mix-matching dirty carpet is now all gone, and in its place some great looking natural timbers, topped with natural oils. Sleeping in the dining room is a small price to pay, and we can move back in probably tomorrow.
The ugly room (at the front) is also getting floor boards put down, probably next week. The flooring guy is just making sure that we're getting plantation, not old growth, timber.
It's been good being able to work from home while this is happening, saving loss of another week's pay.
Got some baby furniture off eBay which I am going out to pick up tomorrow. We got a matching set of cot (which changes to junior bed and then a couch), wardrobe and chest-of-drawers with a change table on top. It's been a good way to get things - not new, saving on packaging and materials. Plus it's all also sustainable timber.
The baby itself keeps on growing, kicking now and then. Liz had some pains at work the other day but was able to go straight up and get the all clear - a nice perk of her workplace. It still hasn't really sunk in, not sure when it ever will. Just about the 2nd of December, I'm guessing.
Friday, June 1. 2007
The Honeymakers are playing Beecroft Bowling & Recreation Club, 128 Copeland Rd Beecroft (corner of Copeland & Beecroft Rds) this Sunday, 2pm.
Come and chill in the retro surrounds and cheap beers that only a bowlo can provide.
Tuesday, October 31. 2006
Regular readers may have noticed that you didn't get this month's Jersey Kerb spam encouraging you to come to our gig. We've had a month off due to various issues, but next month promises to be a big one as it's Ed's last gig.
But fear not! To fill the gap I have a gig with my other band The Honeymakers. This is a big band / swing band / stage band (never quite settled on one of those terms that I'm happy with) playing all sorts of stuff. I joined when we returned from our first Europe trip and in the mean time have somehow found myself becoming the musical director - sort of like a conductor.
Those who know her (from our wedding perhaps, where this band played) might also enjoy the fact that Jane is singing lots of songs with the band too.
I'll let the promo blurb give you the details:
Saturday, September 3. 2005
I'm playing around with Flickr, an online photo-sharing site.
All of my photos are stored in iPhoto, and there's a great plugin you can load into it to give it the ability to upload photos to Flickr from right within iPhoto itself.
So, it happens that about an hour after I had finished a gig with The Honeymakers today, I uploaded a couple of pictures and within five minutes other people somewhere had viewed them. You can find photos based on "tags", so for example I tagged these photos as "jazz", "music", "saxophone", etc. Anyone who searches for these keywords will find my photos, along with those of anyone else who has used the same tags.
Also, if you scroll down this page and look on the left you'll see the latest three photos I have put up on Flickr, without having to leave this page.
If you already track my RSS feed, you may also like to add this one, which will give you an entry every time I upload a photo.
Sunday, June 26. 2005
Life has had plenty in store for us both recently, so I'll work backwards a little and see what I have to blog about.
Last night I had a gig with The Honeymakers at Kirabilli in support of Josephite Community Aid. We were there because we did their fundrasing dinner last year, and were "purchased" at auction by a kind supporter, who donated us back to the function this year to play again. We put ourselves up for auction again, and were bought by the same person. This time he has something different in store for us though.
Liz and I took a few days off this week to tutor music at the Sydney Regional Band Camp for 100 kids years 5-7, down at Fitzroy Falls Conference Centre (in fact I was last there and wrote about it in 2002). This was great fun, if rather cold (it snowed about 10km away at Moss Vale), but both the tutors and kids, who are all at the top of their respective schools' band programs, all got a lot out of it. I took my recording gear down and was able to play back to the kids all their hard work at the end of the week, which got a good reception.
We have had to do a bit of running around to get our car registered, nothing out of the ordinary but still more hassle than it really should be. I guess I should talk to someone at the RTA about that :)
The decision about the first modification to our house has been made, and we have put a deposit on and are awaiting delivery of a new BBQ. It should be quite a beast, in built and hooked up to the gas mains. We really enjoy BBQing but the hassle of the head beads which take a long time to warm up and an even longer time to cool down just isn't worth it.
Yet another dog has come and gone - Bailey was taken back to the Sydney Dogs Home while we were away down south, and when we returned to pick her up, we were told she had been sold! That's a good thing, of course. No matter anyway, because they already had another one ready and waiting for us - Layla. She's a six or so year old Rottweiler, huge and very affectionate. Not house-trained, which we have to spend some time working on...
Friday, March 25. 2005
Purely by coincidence and perhaps the fact that I lug my powerbook with me everywhere I go, I've ended up doing lots of digital media production with Apple's most excellent iLife suite of applications.
Firstly, the big band that I play sax in, the Honeymakers, is in the process of recording a demo CD to send to prospective clients. The brief was to get something on CD, of whatever quality, and to send it out with a disclaimer of sorts about our non-professional status, the small amount of time spent rehearsing and the tiny budget available for recording.
I turned up to rehersal one week and the band director asked me if I could record the band on the powerbook. "Sure", I answered, "what sort of gear do we have?" Very little, the answer came, and we were starting right then. In fact the first cut of some tracks has been recorded using the internal mic on the laptop as that's all we had to start with. Solos have been over-dubbed with better mics on individual tracks, but the vast majority of the band has been recorded purely with one mic.
And the software magic that made all this possible? Garageband. It totally rocks and is oh so cheap. The effects and things available with a mere click of the trackpad are brilliant, and overdubbing solos is so simple - just whack some headphones into the headphone jack, hit record and play along. One of the other guys in the band actually recorded his tracks at his place and gave me a CD full of the results which I can just drag and drop back into the projects. Sweet.
We've done solos and the vocals with better mics, but being able to pack up the "recording studio" by unplugging a couple of cables and closing the lid just blew everyone away.
I'll post a link to the resulting mp3s as soon as I've finished mixing them down - possibly tomorrow.
Garageband also rocks my world with the other band I'm playing in at the moment - a RTA-affiliated rock band where I'm playing mainly bass guitar. I just couldn't resist making myself a little cable which runs out from my bass amp's effects send to the laptop input, then back from the output to the amp's receive line.
Using this setup, I can now run what for years has been the holy grail of guitarists every where - real-time effects processing in software. I just click on setting for each song, which sets the reverb, compression, distortion, amp simulation, etc. to be however I want it, and there's my tone, running out the amp with no delay.
The guitarists in the band who turn up with ten or so effects boxes and associated batteries and cabling each are very jealous.
I remember reading somewhere that Mac OS X's audio stack has latency low enough to be able to do this, but the equivalent part of Windows would never be able to achieve the same feat without some serious re-writing on Microsoft's part.
At rehersals for this band the other day, someone had the bright idea of filming the entire thing for archive/humiliation/burning. At the end of the process, I noticed it had all been done on a DV (digital) camera. One firewire cable between that camera and the trusty powerbook later, I had a pile of clips sitting in iMovie. A bit of drag and drop later, and I have a DVD ready to burn with titles, credits and all the really bad stuff relegated to the digital trash can.
This really is a lifestyle computer. Apple should be paying me to say this stuff :)
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