As we teeter on the verge of of what is presented as selection, an election. A tally of national opinion as check marks and button pushes are swept together into a theoretical pile upon which our future hinges. Ahh, the value of a vote where100's of hours of in-depth research and whimsical impulses driven by whom has better hair, are equally weighed. A vote for greed and a vote for humanity. A vote for hate and a vote hope.They are all as equally worthless as they are valuable. The great embrace of those that are willing to participate. I believe the system is flawed, I believe that just as we modern Americans gorge on junk food and television, we as Americans can not help but lemming our way into whatever we are least afraid of.
Dave Rat election prediction is McCain wins by a slim and controversial margin. Allegations of voter fraud, some founded, some not. The scales tilted by the an over estimation of the young actually voting and an underestimation of the primal fears and the true persuasive strength of the good 'ol boys.
Did I mention that I believe it is the balance of power that keeps things from spiraling off the deep end? Perhaps the republican 3 house trifecta with six years of total control guided our American ship to the depths of the rocky waters that our world now lays. Oh well, the world has seasons and perhaps a prolonged financial winter was inevitable. To observe the seasons does not mean I have the desire to change them.
Whether it is political character assassination or snake oil salesmen, I find moments where in confusion I wish there was some sort of moderator. Some imposer of ramification to discredit and silence those that propagate untruths for personal gain. Then clarity returns and I realize that just as the unsuspecting rat is eaten by the snake camouflaged and hiding in the grass, the naive human whom allows themselves to be preyed upon by the deceptive, is just another aspect of the natural order.
Since my last dive into bloggery sharing, much has happened. First and foremost, we have lost a friend. Sound man down I am sad to say. Jim Douglas is someone whom I have held much respect for many years and I will hold his memory with a smile.
Another shocking and unexpected event hits home with some scary reality. A plane crash and Travis Barker is someone I have toured with and am honored to know and relieved to know he is doing well. Losing two of 'our people' and two of our plane flighty friends sends shudders deep. Good bye Little Homey.
And absorbing sadness, to mark a point to stand upon and launch ahead, lets slip back into the world of sound.
I did a couple of speaking gigs in early October. First was AES in San Francisco where I had the honor of sitting on a panel with
Phil Garfinkel from Audix, me, Richard Bataglia does Flecktones sound, Dan Healy ala Grateful Dead sound engineer and worked on the Wall of Sound, Mick Wheelan did sound forever for all kinds of cool bands and is now with Sennheiser, Dean Giavaras from Shure was the moderato and brought me on board and Mark Gilbert also from Shure.
The panel was about live mic techniques and how cool is that that I got to hang out with some industry heavy hitters? Oh, and I even got to chat with Dan Healy for a bit about the Wall of Sound and what I was doing with the double hung PA. It was definitely one of those moments I would never have ever guessed would exist.
Taking a wander about the AES trade show, easily the most curious thing was this speaker that looks like a fan:
The way it works is the blades quickly tilt back and forth and push or pull the air accordingly. They had a demo setup in a hotel room and it was quite an impressive sub woofer. The downside was that they needed a second hotel room to act as the speaker box. But talk about going low, this thing can all the way down to 0 hz! Yep, that would be DC or put another way, "wind!"
Not much more did I see that excited me. I did like this Earthworks piano mic setup though:
It is nice to see simple clear solutions and I did end up getting to use one and I liked it.
Yet even in the seemingly safe and credible world of AES, do not under estimate the ability of people to come up with ways to weasel and scam. Check out this "you can definitely hear the difference" promo:
They are selling AC cords! Ok, lets think this through. AC power travels hundreds of miles on high power lines before hitting your local transformer somewhere a few blocks away. It then travels down power company wires before getting into your house or the venue where it travels some other lengthy distance down some old solid copper wire though numerous connections. Finally, you plug in this fancy shmancy power cord to bring the AC the last 6 feet and "wow! hey, that sounds great!" It just don't make no sense. Though a friend of mine often says "money will always revert to it's rightful owner." Hence I guess people dumb enough to buy into this deserve to to have their money fretted away.
Finally for today, my last adventure is another speaking gig but this time at Citrus College where I talked to a group of Japanese sound students.
Thank you Alan! That was really an interesting experience and I truly enjoyed it. It is really crazy talking through an interpreter. The new experiences just keep coming and I love it.
I'd also like to mention that Frank Navetta, the original guitar player for the Descendents, died on Halloween. He was unique and the Descendents still remain one of top influential bands of the punk rock scene. I saw Frank play for the first time when I was 14 at the Dancing Waters in San Pedro. He played so hard that the pajama pants he was wearing on stage fell down around his ankles. My best friend from high school, Ray Cooper, went on to replace him in 1984, but Frank's unique sound and song writing is part of what really defined the band. RIP.
Somber. The older we get the more seem to pass. All those cool Electrotec guys are in my thoughts. And all at S.I.. I have gigged with Jims son a few times. The torch has been passed.
Dancing Waters, wow I remember almost falling into that upstage moat a few times.