I attended NEARFest, the Northeast Art Rock Festival, in Trenton NJ this past weekend. Here's my short review of the bands. I'll go in order of performance.
1. High Wheel-A band out of Germany, they were the festival openers. Not a bad band at all, they at times had hints of Pink Floyd in their sound, along with a heavier vibe. I think that if they get a little more "original" in their sound, High Wheel could make some really terrific music.
2. Alamaaliman Vasarat-This band totally rocked out! They are from somewhere in Scandinavia, and their line up is drums, trombone, sax, piano and pump organ, and two cello players. The cellos were overdriven to sound like electric guitars at times. This band could give Metallica a run for their money in the "heavy" department. I bought both of their CD's. The sax player would introduce songs with enigmatic phrases like, "This is a song about an axe."
3. Tunnels-Featured Percy Jones on bass, and a midi-vibes player, along with a drummer. Percy's Brand X mate John Goodsall also guested on a few numbers on guitar, and there was also a guest violinist and singer. A decent set of jazz fusion, even if it didn't light me on fire. Their one big misstep was having a drum solo that went on way too long.
4. The Flower Kings-A newer progressive band in the style of the older biggies, Yes, Genesis, and others. However, it sounds to me that they stopped their listening at those bands, instead of going deeper into the classical influences that shaped the earlier prog bands. And, if I wanted to listen to watered down Yes, I'd listen to 90125. Not a horrible band, just not my cup of tea. Many in the audience loved their performance. I gave them a chance, but the music didn't move me.
5. MAGMA!!!! This band from France that sings in their own invented language of Kobian truly is progressive in the best sense of the word. In their two hour set, they played 3 songs. Then, after their encore, when the house lights were brought up, the crowd wouldn't leave. Their cheers and noise finally brought Magma back for one more song, a shortened version of Theusz Hamtaahk, the first movenent of the Theusz Hamtaahk trilogy. I had never been to a show where the crowd brought a band back out after the house lights were up. A great show, from a cool band.
1. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum-If you get a chance to see this band, DO NOT HESITATE TO GO!!!!! You'll be floored by their performance. Check 'em out. My words can't do them justice.
2. Glass Hammer-Another neo-prog band, that just didn't do it for me. My friend and I left early, and ended up running into two of the members of Magma, so it was worth it. The mix was pretty bad for Glass Hammer, I couldn't really feel any low end in the sound. After we left the theater, I guess one of the guys from Kansas came and played with the band, but we missed it. Oh well...
3. Kraan-A German instrumental band that really had a good sound to them. At some points Floydian, but in general they really put their own stamp on their music. A great piano/keyboard player in this band.
4. Anglagard-An instrumental band from Finland, I believe. Alternately heavy and quiet, they put on a tremendous show!. One of the standouts of the festival. I recommend picking up their discs if you like melodic music that really packs a powerful dynamic punch.
5. Camel-Camel is one of those bands that I had heard about, but never really listened to. It was my loss, I learned on Sunday night. They put on a terrific show, and have music with depth, power, and finesse. I'm definitely going to pick up some of their cd's now.
All in all, a great experience, although the show ran a little long on the 2nd night. I would recommend picking up any of the cd's of the bands I mentioned, except for Glass Hammer and the Flower Kings. They may entertain some people, but their music didn't do it for me.
Speaking of rocking, I saw Peter Gabriel a week ago today. Another great show! For an old dude, Gabriel can get out there and put on a show with energy and focus.
On the work front, I'm going to be moving to a different area of campus for this coming academic year. I've been tapped to run the college's residential program that brings faculty and students together in the residence halls. It should be a fun time, although moving is always a bit of a pain in the butt. I figured out last night that since 1996, I've moved 7.5 times.
So, all is well in the world of Zorknapp. Hope all is going well with you in the world of Perl out there...
I'll be back on Tuesday, and I'll be sure to write up a review of the NEARFest for you all.
I mentioned in one of my last journals that I had put in for a "promotion" here at the college, but unfortunately, it didn't work out for me. However, now I have the opportunity to move areas on campus, and work in a different residential cluster.
I'm going to be having more conversations with individuals over the course of this coming week, to see if this is something I really want to do. I was asked to do this by my supervisor, which is never a bad thing. It's good to be considered the "go to" guy, as long as I don't get taken advantage of in the process.
This move would not entail more money, but it would involve different responsibilities, and perhaps a more visual role within the Office.
So, that's the work end of things. But I'm sure you're saying, "Zorky, there's more to life than work. What about fun things?"
Well, voice in my head, I'm going to see Peter Gabriel this coming week, down in Massachusetts. I'm also, at the end of the month, meeting up with one of my old college roommates to go to NEARFest, the Northeast Art Rock Festival, taking place in Trenton, NJ.
One of the headliners at this festival is Magma. They're a French band who sing all their songs in the invented language of Kobian. So, it's going to be a rockin' time.
Keep on keepin' on. More to come!
Right now, I'm waiting until next week to see if I will get a position here at the college that would be a nice promotion. The limbo of patience is sometimes easy to slip into, and other times, it's a sticky wicket with which to deal. I'd say that this is somewhere in between. In my interview, I did as well as I believe I could. I feel more relaxed now than I did before the interview. I know that I've done all I can do to show that I'm the best person out of the other two internal candidates.
We'd all be good workers, but I believe that I'd be better. Of course I would, or else why apply for it?
Anyway, I hope to have some news on this by the middle of this coming week. At least then, I'll know one way or another.
Other than that, life is progressing nicely. I'm traveling to Martha's Vineyard in July, my dad and stepmother have rented a house for a week there. It'll be nice to go and relax there for awhile.
If you haven't yet, you should all find any comedy by Dana Gould. He's a funny guy!
It's really not going to be a bad meeting at all, but it is one of those times when you have to rationalize why someone didn't get hired for a position. The simple fact is that we have too many qualified people for a limited number of positions. It's a microcosm of the bigger issue facing many job searchers today.
Other than that, it's a simply beautiful day today here in sunny New Hampshire. My fiancee and I have our dance lesson later today, and I may be heading down to Boston for the day on Saturday. I will be chaperoning a school trip to the big city, but other than making sure everyone gets back on the bus, I don't think I have any real responsibility. I'll find out for sure later on.
I have been playing an awful lot of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri recently. In fact, I just installed the expansion pack, Alien Crossfire, a few days ago, even though I bought it a few years back. I enjoy these "god" games, they're terribly addictive for my personality. If I could get a job just playing these games, I'd do it. That's why sometimes I just stop playing the games for months at a stretch. Otherwise, I get too sucked into the game itself.
Okay, I'm off to read the file for the meeting now. Enjoy the day, wherever you are.
Hey, for a good time, check out AliensAliensAliens
Okay, let me see how this looks...
(Some Time Later)
Woo hoo, it seems to work! Now, I just have to drive it into my head how it's done.
Enjoy the steamy alien goodness...
Which is why I'm writing in the journal now.
I hiked a bit of the Appalachian Trail yesterday, a co-worker and I drove about 5 miles off campus, and walked the trail back into town. We thought it would be downhill most of the way, but there was a section where we had to climb about 150 feet at a 30 degree or so angle. Maybe this doesn't sound too bad to the mountaineers out there, but for me, it was a bit of a haul. But, after the feelings of vomiting passed, it was good. A great day for a walk outside.
For those of you into genealogy, I finally made the leap across the Atlantic, and have sent letters to some churches in Poland, trying to find information on the families of my great-grandparents on my mom's side. I found some templates online to write letters in Polish, so I cut and pasted to my heart's content on Friday, and posted the letters on Saturday. Of course, it may take up to a year or longer to hear back, but I'm a patient guy. At least I finally sent the letters.
I also sent out today some letters to churches in NJ where some of my family went back in the day. It'll be interesting to see what comes of those.
I thought I would get more of a response to my humorous B5 journal entry before, but c'est la vie!
I have nothing much more profound to say now, so I think I'll get back to work now. Bill Hicks is playing on the computer, so I will reflect and laugh soon...
This is a show I have only just gotten into. I actually bought the first season DVD's, and have watched them all. I can't wait to see some questions answered on this set that have been plaguing me since the first viewing, such as:
-Whatever happened to that loveable scamp, Jinxo, who worked on all 5 Babylon Stations?
-Will there be any more run-in's with that arch criminal, the Preying Mantis?
-I need more of Mutai, and I need it NOW!!!!
-I certainly hope we get this whole assination thing over with quick. I don't think it's going to be that important to the show...
-I want to see more of Londo's cool tentacles! He's like a squid man, but on land!
-What will Delenn turn into? I think she's just taking a long nap, but some others are telling me that she's changing into something. I think they're getting distracted from the main storyline, but what do I know?
-I don't know about you, but I think there's more to this Dilgar plot than meets the eye...
-Will Franklin kill any more kids?
-The Psi Corps seems like a distraction from the main stories, these great one time characters that come around (except for that Morden guy, he's creepy, I don't like him). Walter Checkov does an okay guy playing him, but I can tell that his russian accent creeps through into his voice every once in awhile. I never realized that it would be hard for someone to keep up an American accent.
You know, I feel jealous of all of you who got to watch the show in its first run. You already know the answers to all these questions, while I still have to discover them.
I'm a bit puzzled though, by something on the cover of this box set. There's a picture of someone who looks like that guy who played Scarecrow on some doofy show back in the 80's on the cover. Maybe it's just a really bad picture of Michael O'Hare, but I'm not sure....
Happy viewing to all, and as the Vorlons say, "Keep on Truckin!"