Tag Archives: music


Earlier this week, my wife and I finally got to see U2 in concert after purchasing tickets more than two years ago due to a mid-concert accident by Bono in 2010. I recall having a better time at the U2 concert in San Jose (Vertigo tour), but it was a good time nonetheless–could have been due, in part, to enjoying good seats… :-)

Oakland (o.co) coliseum stadium, section 219, row 1, seats 11-12
U2360OAK is show number 94; the attendance number was approaching 63,000 at the time of this photo
U2 performing
U2 performing
U2 performing

This first video–all were taken with my Flip video recorder and uploaded directly to YouTube in HD–is Lenny Kravitz opening his act as the main opening band for U2 with “Come On Get It.”

The second video is Lenny Kravitz performing “Let Love Rule.”

The third video is U2 performing “Elevation.”

The third video is U2 performing “City of Blinding Lights.”

(Re)Balancing atoms and bits

Several years ago, I blogged about how I winnowed atom-based content at that time. When I consider my increasingly digital life now, I smile at how out-dated that post seems.

Maybe some day I’ll let go of my hardcopy altogether and go 100% digital.

Almost two years after my winnowing (paper-based) content post, I briefly waxed sentimental about personal content management. Judging by that post’s imagery, I’m not sure how much “evolution” had actually occurred. I do know that the binders of paper were eventually tosed outright, but even a quick glance at my current technical library at home tells me that I have far from reached any “evolved” state.

As a visual person, I tend to value what I can see and tangibly interact with. Books present a particular challenge to me. A good book, in hard cover format especially, is immediately available to give to someone else as a loan or a gift (e.g. from one generation to the next). The same book in electronic format is more subject to the winds of technology (e.g. will there be a reader for this format? what all is required to actually read the book in terms of supporting hardware and software? etc.). On the other hand, if I took the time to bookmark or otherwise annotate paper, this could distract subsequent reading by others–electronic metadata should be more distinctly layered and separable from original content.

Given the choice between hunter or gatherer in a shopping context, I’m definitely a hunter. Put me in the middle of a men’s department or clothing store and I’ll happily panoramically scan the selection, deciding in mere seconds whether there is something for me (to killpurchase), or not. (Thankfully, my wife is my primary wardrobe consultant; so, my hunter instincts are necessarily balanced and muted. :-) ) However, as much as I may be a hunter over clothes, I am a serious gatherer of books and music. Places like Barnes & Noble and Borders love guys like me.

So, you might think that my struggle over books (i.e. physical or digital) is a struggle I have with music, too. Perhaps, but I think that my music-as-content evolution is a bit more “advanced” and, therefore, may be informative.

Although I still buy physical CDs more than digital downloads, all of my music is immediately rendered in digital format and almost entirely consumed digitally thereafter. Going “essentially digital” has enabled me to take full advantage of classification software (e.g. MusicBrainz, freedb, etc.), playback software (e.g. Apple iTunes, Microsoft Zune, etc.), recommendation engines like Pandora, etc. and also various playback hardware (e.g. an Apple iDevice, laptop, PC, etc.). If I read the liner notes for an album, I do so once (typically after unwrapping the CD). From then on, interaction with music is based on bits rather than atoms (the occasional CD play through my high fidelity entertainment system notwithstanding).

Perhaps with the advent of The Undesigned Web, software like Instapaper, and hardware like iPad, etc., my interaction with reading material will tip to become predominantly digital. Certainly, as I use the Read Later feature of Instapaper, I find it to be a digital equivalent to my paper-based content winnowing approach from years ago. (Tapping into familiar workstreams is always an effective catalyst to change my behavior.)

…if I did go digital my office would be too Spartan.

Actually, I think another contributing factor to my attempt at balancing the gathering of atoms with gathering bits instead is the fact that there is limited physical space to house either. Today, it’s not really a concern over becoming Spartan, it’s about using limited wall and desktop space to display physical items of the greatest value (e.g. family photos, art, sculpture, etc.).

Just like I’m able to visualize the “height” (or “depth”) of, say, my iPod (i.e. the number of digitized albums stored in terms of a stack of CD cases), I’m beginning to visualize my iPad in a similar manner (i.e. in terms of the stack of print magazines and books available electronically instead). Virtually speaking, such devices “fill a room.”

Who knows, I may just have to invest in my own book scanner to help free up some shelf space… :-)

Allison ignited

The closing event for Day Ignite Chicago 2010 was a real treat: a private concert by the Bernard Allison Group at House of Blues Chicago.

Bernard Allison Group at House of Blues Chicago on 10/14/2010

The band, left to right:

  • Jose James (sax, backing vocals, percussion)
  • Bernard Allison (guitar, vocals, keyboards)
  • Erick Ballard (drums)
  • George Moye (bass guitar)
  • Toby Marshall (keyboards)

This first video–all were taken with my iPhone and uploaded directly to YouTube; so, the quality isn’t the best–is the group opening without Bernard, playing the first track off their latest album The Otherside: “Send It In” (2:42).

The second video above is “The Otherside”–track #5 off their latest album of the same name (6:01). At the beginning of the video, Bernard introduces the band.

The third video above is the group going Hendrix, playing the Jimi Hendrix classic, “Fire”–also the 11th track on The Otherside. Around the 5:57 mark, Bernard introduces Erick Ballard for a substantial drum solo that earned him the evening nickname of “The Energizer Bunny” :-) (12:34).

The fourth video above is a two-song medley that highlights various band members (8:39).

The fifth video above is a bass solo by George Moye (4:10).

I recorded another video that occurred in between the fourth and fifth videos above; however, it was 15:40 in duration and YouTube doesn’t accept videos longer than 15 minutes currently.