Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Daily Morning Lifestream Experiment

Starting on July 31, 2008, I began taking a picture off of my balcony, of the Walnut Park area. To do this, I used the iPhone application, Airme. I have archived this as a stream on Flickr.

As of today, the count is up to 374, so I have more than a year's worth of photos. Looking at the stream, it appears there was an initial period of flux, after which I settled in on framing a consistent shot every morning.

I'm not sure how long I will continue this task, but I am surprised I have been able to keep it up this long. I think I will try to buy one of more of those 802.11g based webcams, since I think some other interesting things could be done with that.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tom Griesgraber and Bert Lams - Episode 2

Tonight I was able to see Tom and Bert play at a friend's house concert. Once again, the experience was fantastic. There is something special about seeing music in this context.

The show was further augmented by Suzanne Oleson, a local musician now attending Berklee School of Music, who sings and plays guitar and mandolin. Suzanne joined Tom and Bert for 2 encore numbers, including the Marsh.

Another fantastic evening of music, with some very special moments:

House Concert - Tom Griesgraber and Bert Lams
Tom Griesgraber and Bert Lams

Encore with Tom, Suzanne and Bert

Tom Griesgraber, Suzanne Oleson, and Bert Lams


Once again, the show at Ted's house made Bert's blog. You can see a much better picture (with a flash) of Tom, Suzanne, and Bert.

Extract Premier

I recently bought my SxSW 2010 badge and was entered into a contest for tickets to the World Premier of Mike Judge's new film, Extract. As luck would have it, I received an email last week that I had won a pair free tickets. (Of course, free ignores the price of the badge, but who's counting?)

The Premier was actually a benefit for the Austin Film Society, and Mike Judge and lead man, Jason Bateman were available afterwards for Q&A. It was held at the Paramount, and even though I was in Row R in the balcony, the screen was still visible.

I found it enjoyable, and would rate it as good, but not a classic like Mike's film, Office Space. I would still recommend it to people because it's certainly much better than the recent Terminator Movie or Harry Potter.

Other things of note were that I thought that I recognized that the exterior of the fictional company, Reynolds Extract, looked remarkably similar to Adams Extract on Rt. 35 south of Austin. Sure enough, one of the after show questions confirmed this. Many of the external scenes were filmed in and around Austin (Hutto), but all of the interior shots were done in LA.

Since I found the movie worthwhile, I won't post any plot spoilers. I will mention that my friend and I found the plot twist at the end with the neighbor, sick and twisted, but hilarious. I won't say any more than that.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tom Griesgraber and Bert Lams - Episode 1

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing California Guitar Trio member, Bert Lams, with Chapman Stick player Tom Griesgraber, alfresco in the FEFC Courtyard. This was the very first show of their mini-tour which will include playing multiple shows here in Austin for the next week, before moving on to a other Southwestern states. At the conclusion of this tour, Bert and Tom will be going into the studio.

When I arrived at 6:30, the duo was performing a sound-check, and the acoustics of the courtyard sounded fantastic. There was room for approximately 50 people, making for a very intimate setting. I knew I was in for a treat, and I was not disappointed.

I estimate that the show ran 90 minutes or so, maybe 2 hours. The show consisted of material contributed by both Tom and Bert, including one of my favorite CGT songs, the Marsh. (I've now seen 3 version of this song with CGT, the UT Percussion Lab, and this duo, all were excellent). Both artists performed solo pieces, along with several new, yet untitled pieces. The highlights for me were Victor's Chase, Tom's tribute to his grandmother entitled, Rebecca, and a rendition of Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, with Bert and Tom playing the right and left hand parts.

After the show, both Bert and Tom were available for a Meet and Greet. I purchased two CDs, and was able to chat with both artists. Tom and I talked at length about the Woodstock area, because both of us had lived in or around there in our past. I am anxious to see them play again later this week, and am considering catching them at the Cactus Cafe, next Monday, as well.

Tom Griesgraber and Bert Lams at FEFC Courtyard

Update from show 1

I noticed today that Bert had some pictures from the FEFC on his blog.