28 April 2010

Feeling a little bulletproof today

...maybe it's because of all the Link Wray i've been listening to lately, a real bent.

19 April 2010

He played it left hand...

...but strung right-handed!!! Thick-ass .016-gauges on that gold-sparkle Strat, strung right-handed!

Dick Dale! Let's Go Trippin'! Riders in The Sky! Banzai Washout! Shake-N-Stomp! The Wedge! Taco Wagon (exceptional rendition)! Dick-fucking-Dale!

House of the Rising Sun! Hey, Bo Diddley! Pipeline! Folsom Prison Blues/Ring of Fire! California Sun! Fever! Smoke On The Water! And...wait for it...Link Wray’s Rumble!

“Where am I?” And the crowd responded “Rome,” to which Dick replied, “No, I’m in Heaven!” Dick, you sly dog!

Actually, with the packed house at Locanda Atlantide and no air conditioning to speak of (a few ceiling fans, turned on about mid-show), it felt like Hell!

Problems with his mike tonight. His vocal was almost buried in the mix. At one point he gave the sound man a lesson on using the mixer's EQ. He then says to the sound man “More high end...make me sound like a special guy.” To which I had to respond, audibly, “But you are a special guy!”, which got a smile out of him and the band (who were right behind him all the way, Brian and Richie, if i remember correctly).

And of course his most-recognized hit here in Italy, thanks to Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, Misirlou. He even introduced it: “Hey, what's this song?” doing an impression of John Travolta dancing the Watusi! It was at this point i left my spot at near-front-center for the bar for the tourists and met up with my friends Paolo, Francesca...and Jack.

Of course there was more. I can only remember so much. I believed he played for about three songs more.

Dick Dale. Eyein’ and dealin’ the ladies at age 72! Dick Dale, doin’ the sonic version of Hitchcock’s Rope: it seemed like four or five songs the whole night because one thing just segued into another! Played for an hour and a half, maybe more, he was relaxed as hell, California laid-back, and did what the hell he wanted the whole time. He played the Strat, the trumpet and even duoed on the drums. He even took the sticks to his bassist’s bass! Dick Dale!

What? Of course there’re pictures (forgive my cameraphone)!

18 April 2010

Insomnia - late as usual

Just finished High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (no, i hadn't read it before nor seen the film: real life got in the way) and liked it in a light, Saturday-matinée-type way. I liked it lots actually. So what is that, four books so far this year? Not quite there on my quest to becoming as smart as Rory Gilmore.

Tonight i'm going to see the living legend, The Master of the Stratocaster, The King of The Surf Guitar, the reason Leo Fender created the Fender Showman 100W amplifier...the bulletproof Dick Dale! Jesus! Still snapping super-heavies on a European tour at 72! Grow up, man!

Feex is doing make-up videos on YouTube.

As if enough wasn't already written about Lady Gaga (no external link as it's impossible not to know who she is), i've repeatedly expressed my generally-favorable opinion towards her, repeatedly saying she's the new Marilyn Manson. Not the new David Bowie. After just watching her Poker Face video, i can now put a finger on why: Bowie was sexy, Manson never was. And for all of Gaga's truly fantastic art direction and oil-slick music production, she isn't either. She’s Quentin Tarantino, not Martin Scorsese.

09 April 2010

Malcolm McLaren

Joey just told me that Malcolm McLaren passed away. Full story, of course, from the BBC website.

As i wrote to Joey, culturally speaking, what would our lives have been like without Malcolm McLaren?

Thanks, Malcolm.

04 April 2010

De-evolution in action

In 2009 when i switched on a light...it came on. Instantly. All my life in the 20th and 21st centuries, that's the way a light bulb worked.

In 2010 i switch on a light...and it takes seconds, many seconds, before i have the equivalent of 75W of lumen.

In 2009, when i turned on the hot water, after a brief wait, i would scald my soapy hands under the hot water, turning on and mixing in some cold water (i had two-valve faucets in the bathroom sink, bidet and shower). If i took a shower longer than 15 minutes, my 50L electric boiler would exhaust its supply of hot water. It would take roughly an hour or more before the boiler would reheat another 50 liters. Not to mention the toll on my electricity bill.

In 2010, when i turn on the hot water, i have to waste two liters of water before my new gas-powered water heater, with a mighty whoosh of ignition, spits out hot water. And when i scald my soapy hands i turn the mono-valve to near-center position where there is an near-imperceptible drop in temperature. If i put the mono-valve position to less than center, the water heater shuts off and i'm left within seconds with cold water. If i shut the hot water off, wait a moment and turn it back on, another two liters of cold water run by before the entire process repeats.

I've yet to see the electric bill.

In 2009 when i wanted to watch television, i switched it on...and it came on. Pretty much instantly. Audio was immediate, the cathode-ray tube warmed up and in 3-5 seconds i was seeing an image. I changed channels, be it network TV or satellite, and they changed...instantly. It would take roughly a half a second, a perceptible but brief moment. When i watched television i watched it in a 4:3 format. Some programs had a horizontal stripe running across the top and bottom of the screen (known as letterboxing, usually when a cinematographic film is being broadcast). But this was a mere PAL analog signal, only 720x576 pixels.

In 2010 when i watch television, with the new 21st century High Definition digital signal, i switch it on...and i wait. Sometimes nearly a minute. Ok, maybe not a minute but an incredibly long time for a television to display a broadcast image. Oh, i'm seeing an image almost immediately, two lines of white text in the upper left corner of a black screen telling me i'm (going to be) watching an HDMI signal either in 1080i or 576i...when the decoder in the flat-screen LCD TV finally decides to decipher the digital signal it's receiving. And when it finally does decode an image to the screen, it's usually distorted. More often than not, my intelligent digital television can't differentiate between a 4:3 PAL signal and a 16:9 PAL signal. And thanks to the love between the italian government and Sky Italia, i can't watch HD DTTV while watching satellite. And thanks to the fact that the italian Prime Minister, ergo the head of the RAI, is also the co-founder and largest shareholder of the largest italian private broadcast network, the RAI still doesn't broadcast normally in HD, while all three Mediaset channels broadcast regularly in HD DTTV.

All this is when you can actually receive a DTT signal...

When i was a kid, videophones were the stuff of science fiction. The Jetsons had them. The crew of the Starship Enterprise had them, but only onboard, come to think of it.

In 2009, cellular telephony had already achieved the ubiquity and reliability (or unreliability) of landlines. But VoIP, now that was
finally becoming commonplace. “Jane, stop this crazy thing!!”

In 2010, the conversations via Skype between my wife and her mother are usually along the lines of...
“I can't hear you...”
“I can't hear you...”
“Is the webcam plugged in correctly?”
“I can't hear you...”
“Grey, what's wrong here?!”
...and so forth. My niece and i via iChat are often reduced to pixel art, when iChat actually allows us to video chat instead of throwing an error. My brother knows when i can't hear him on Skype because a wave of amplified ambient noise floods his speakers.

Is this all a "get off my lawn" rant?