On on this day of we chose to wander. Seeking food the roadies set out on foot. Each new hunting grounds presents it's own dangers and challenges.
Many sights were seen and none worthy of sharing other than perhaps these non edibles.
**** Highlight of the Day ****
Roadie feast. One of our roadies, Little G we call him, arranged a dinner for all at Chikie's and Pete's. Feast we did till we could feast no more. Crab, lobster, shrimp and more and more and more in a seemingly endless foray of food. Truly fun and filling, unfortunately I only captured about 1/2 of the roadies in pics and even our beloved drummer Chad made it down and hung out with the troops. Very cool, very fun and large roadie gatherings outside of the gig are rare indeed.
Clockwise from Back of head around is: Nick Lampi, Walt Production Assist, Scott Lampi, Salim Chef Assist, Chad Lampi, Cliff Lampi, Leif Lampi, James Lampi
And here clockwise is Kim Camera Op, Joe Lampi, Rusty Video Tubes, Rodrigo Video Screens, Mike Bus Driver, Chuck Rigger, Dave Lee Guitar Tech, Tim the Thumb Stage Manager.
**** End Highlight of the Day ****
**** Begin laying down with full belly ****
**** Begin Sound Pondering ****
There are always going to be those humans that desire to quantify or pigeon hole the challenge at hand and relegate it to a predictable and repeatable set of methods, taming, perfecting and eventually reaching the goal of making it right. I am definitely one of those humans and though there is significant and clear validity to that scientific approach, to apply it while overlooking one of the most fundamental aspects of music, relegates the outcome to a tail chase. I believe that to truly gain any traction on the pathway leading in the general direction of achieving excellence in sound quality, one must must first realize, accept and embrace the reality that the quality of sound is merely an opinion.
In trying to zero in on an analogy that meshes, all I seem to be able to find is the parallels between sound and wine making/drinking. Rock shows are like wines except infinitely more complex, fluid and interactive. But other similarities exist in perfecting the processes while accepting the imperfectability of the outcomes. No matter how hard they try, the finest wines vary from year to year, batch to batch and there is a certain amount of unpredictability in the process which creates the uniqueness. Furthermore, there are the opinions. Most, many or at least some humans all can agree on a truly bad wine, yet Mad Dog 20-20 and Boon's Farm still show enough profits to carry on, so someone must like it. The mid quality wines are crap to some palates and pleasing to others while the finest wines are at least moderately liked by most wine drinkers. And humans being as they are, certain ones are especially liked by some if their friend likes it or if they know the exorbitant price it costs. Of course if too many friends like it, a percentage of humans will then be inspired to unlike it, being too cool or rebellious to join the others. And to further spin the opinion wheel, 'many' of us are not 'most' of us and many of us could care less about the main stream tastes and choose to subculture their own preferences to bask in and enjoy. We humans seem to like our music much the same way we like some things in life but unlike many things, live music and wine making share the quality of being an unrepeatable at the upper levels. Hmmm, maybe golf fits too.
Which brings me to the whole point of the ponder. I am often asked , like nearly every show, the questions "How was the show?" and "How did it sound?" Seemingly innocuous enough but I find the queries surprisingly difficult to answer. My gut reaction is to respond by describing the the nuances of the issues I faced at that show. Yet, I realize that my perspective is so totally skewed and what is an issue to me is often irrelevant in the big picture. Plus, having to choose and balance between what feels to be self critical and self complimentary is an awkward position I prefer not navigate More importantly though, as I am the person holding the status of 'man of sound, I feel remiss in being a part of biasing, deflating or elevating another persons opinion of the event. My roadie purpose is to present the music that the band creates. It is the adventure for the humans attending the show is to form an opinion of the experience to carry with them and share with others.
Roadies like to make friends. I made two friends just today, would you like to meet them? The first friend I met was not only attractive to look at but very intelligent as well, her name was Zumex. Zumex was really cool and I was very happy to meet her. As soon as we met, the first thing I did was turn her on and then I watched her hypnotic moves as my mouth watered. I left with the most delicious taste in my mouth and quite impressed. And then, not even a minute later my heart skipped a beat as I spotted her from across the room. Heavenly she sat with sleek lines and that flashy look. Without hesitation I glided towards her and instinctively knew which buttons to push to get her going and boy was she hot! Jura, her name was Jura and I think she is Italian. Deliciousness was what she had to offer and with a start like this, today is going to be a good day.
Sometimes as we travel around the world with tons (literally) of high tech and complex gear there are mishaps which cause the equipment to get an 'owie.' As you may recall, we had some amp racks get big owie's when the fell of the fork lift. Well when the sound gear gets an owie it is important to deal with it appropriately. The decision of whether to rush it to the sound hospital or wait to get it looked at by a sound physical later on depends on many factors. In the photo below you can observe a V-Dosc cabinet being operated on by the sound roadie surgeons Lee, Nick, Neal and Jamie. If you look to the right side of the photo you can see a smaller speaker with an ipod atop. This is important and is playing music while the operation takes place. This music acts as an anesthesia for the larger speaker of the operating table and helps reduce it's level of distress.
What had happened was during a load out Nick the Fly had decided to land the V-Dosc a bit differently than we normally do. This resulted in an abrupt modification to speaker cabinet, here you can see Nick the Fly holding the resulting creation. Though similar to the original, the little silver colored owie's toward the right side made it difficult to continue using, hence the operation.
In the photo below you can see roadie Jamie and myself holding a metal bar that also has an owie. Since we together made it slightly curved rather than straight, we proudly pose together with our creation.
This particular metal bar assists in preventing the tilt stand under my mixing board from falling over. Nick the Fly has devised an alternate plan to replace the metal bar rather than attempt to straighten it, I will photo that when done as well as the cool tilt stands.