I can’t believe it either, but we joined some friends for my first Jimmy Buffett concert on Saturday. Stephanie (a certified “parrothead”) gave me fair warning about what to expect, but I still felt unprepared. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed cameras inside the venue, and I didn’t rove around the parking lot enough beforehand for wacky tailgating photos. It was a great time, though – all the years he’s been touring and he still put on a really fun show. The audience was absolutely nuts, and it turned out that I knew way more songs than I thought. Hopefully we’ll do it again next year!
Archive for the ‘Music’ Category.
It’s been over a month, but I’m still working the redesign of the site and transition to teamAHearn.com. It’s a slow and steady process, and it’s not like maintaining this site is my only job in life. Patience! It will happen someday, I promise.
In the meantime, our annual A’Hearn family beach week in Corolla, NC has come and gone. This year we went on one of those off-road jeep tours and saw some of the wild horses that roam the Outer Banks. Fun and stinky!
Then last Saturday we joined some friends of ours for the second year in a row seeing Rush at the Nissan Pavilion. It was another great show, and Steph was a trooper for coming along.
As a pseudo-audiophile I find myself very interested in the latest buzz around Direct Note Access, the new technology behind Celemony’s “Melodyne” audio processing software. Akin to current Auto-Tune processing (which can correct a single pitch), Direct Note Access gives an audio engineer the ability to identify and manipulate individual notes from within pre-recorded, polyphonic material. For example, one could change specific notes in a guitar chord or even fix one wrong note played by a musician in a symphony orchestra.
If you have a few minutes, watch the demo video featuring some of the software’s core capabilities. It’s pretty fantastic stuff from an audio engineering standpoint, but I realize this isn’t the kind of thing that everyone can get excited about. I’ll post again when they come up with software that makes Nickelback sound good.
Although the concept has been known for some time, I’ve recently been reading more about the so-called “loudness war“; also referred to as the “loss of dynamic range”. This is the tendency for music to be produced with increasing levels of loudness, thereby significantly affecting fidelity. I’ll let the wiki speak for itself because it’s a great article, but for a quick practical reference give a listen to this. Audiophiles can be a really picky bunch, eh? It certainly gives significant credence to the long-held assertion that LPs “sound better” than CDs.
I’m not sure how or why December became the A’Hearn concert bonanza, but over the past two weeks we’ve been lucky enough to see Jim Gaffigan at the Warner Theatre, the Dan Band at the 9:30 Club, Stacey Kent at Blues Alley, and Avenue Q at the National Theatre. And this Thursday we’re going back to the 9:30 Club for Carbon Leaf! Fun and exhausting, indeed, but never fear – through the magic of the internet we’ve still been able to stay on top of our Christmas shopping.
Geeks have been all in a frenzy lately about the recent court ruling in favor of the RIAA. It seems Miss Thomas was found guilty of sharing some music online and now has to pay various record companies $222,000, pending a likely appeal. This case was big news in the dork world because it was the first of its kind to actually go to trial. Up until now, the RIAA has been happy with out-of-court settlements. Jammie Thomas, however, decided to reject such a deal and instead put her faith in ambiguous digital copyright laws and confounding technical arguments. Optimistic, reasonable, and noble, but alas. So much for that.
What now? Sadly, I’m betting there will be no end in sight to the RIAA and MPAA strong-arming middle America into settling out of further potential litigation. Knee-jerk copyright laws will probably be passed with more thought to profits than innovation. Quality content in the theaters and on the radio will continue to decline. And .. hopefully .. more mainstream and independent artists will realize that times are changing and, amazingly, fans will pay for entertainment that isn’t insulting.