Went to the Mary Halvorson + Jessica Pavone, Prurient, and Xiu Xiu show last night. Missed most of Halvorson + Pavone, but they seemed intriguing from what little I heard. Prurient was out of this world. The sheer energy and noise levels are definitely something worth seeing and hearing. Xiu Xiu was excellent, too. Not too different since the last time (March) I saw them. See pics and some awesome videos in this flickr set.

There's a lot of cool shows coming up in Seattle: Earth, Eluvium, Deerhoof, and Opeth. Eluvium is a part of the much bigger Decibel Festival. That's such a cool and fitting name. And hopefully the Bleeding Edge Festival can get their act together down in Saratoga, CA. I went to their first festival a couple of years ago and it was awesome. Would probably be willing to fly down if the lineup was right.

I setup a Slingbox Solo on my TV (new shiny 46" Samsung LCD) last week. I can now watch my TV on any computer in the world! Or my computer in the next room... The best part is really having access to my DVR on multiple screens.


Spent much of the Labor Day weekend at the Bumbershoot festival. First time I've been to it and it was really cool. Saw a lot of good bands including Neko Case, Lucinda Williams, The Weakerthans, These Arms Are Snakes, etc. Highlight of the festival for me was Final Fantasy (the musician, not the game). I had read about his live shows with samples and loops but seeing it live is just another experience. Combined with the real time projectionist's slide show, it was just outta this world. I shot a couple of videos here and here. The second one shows the projectionist's workings. It's hard to see initially, but she's sitting right in front of the projector doing her thing.

This Thursday is Mogwai. Seen them twice before and both times it's been awesome. I'm prepared to be deaf on Friday...

Something's in the air

Apple announced the MacBook Air yesterday, and I promptly put in an order for one. It's not shipping for another 2-3 weeks. Can't wait! The price is a bit high though at $1800. I figure my current Powerbook G4 should fetch $800 or so on eBay. To help out, I'm selling a couple of headphones that I never use anymore. One is the Grado SR225. It's got a good sound but I just can't get past its comfort issues. Maybe someday I'll get the RS1. The other is the Beyerdynamic DT880 with Cardas cables. Those are decent but I think my AKG K701 is superior in every way. I figure these two headphones should fetch somewhere around $400. That should be enough to make me stop feeling guilty :-D

EDIT: Someone has just purchased the Grado SR225. I'll be listening to it all night tonight before shipping it off tomorrow. Right now, I'm enjoying some Yndi Halda on them.


Got a pair of STAX SR-001 recently. Still burning it in but it seems pretty nice. Haven't done any direct comparisons with my K701's or the ER-4p's, but it seems like the K701's are better, which would make sense. But the SR-001's are more discrete so I'm thinking I will use that at work now. I already use the ER-4p's at work but sometimes I just don't feel like wearing them. Although the STAX aren't exactly comfortable either. Plus, they are running on AA batteries right now; I should really get a AC adapter or something for it.

Went to Philly/DC last weekend for a conference and also visiting friends. I brought my newest vintage camera acquisition, the Canonet G-III 17. It's a 35mm rangefinder from Canon made in the 70s. I got it off EBay recently and this was my first time using it. And of course, I completely screwed it up and wasted a whole roll :-( After shooting a roll, I began to rewind the film but forgot to press the rewind release button. With the lock still on, I basically tore the film off the roll. After trying to put it back together in the dark for about 15 minutes, I just gave up. Live and learn I guess. I'm definitely going to be more careful with it next time.

I also have my first concert photography gig coming up. Bellavista is playing somewhere in San Francisco and it looks like I'll be there shooting the show. Pretty excited about that. The venue looks very cozy.

A New Beginning

Photography is quickly becoming my number one hobby. I just acquired three new cameras: the Shen-Hao 4x5 field camera, the Yashica 635, and the Canon EOS-3. All are film. The Shen-Hao is large format, Yashica is medium, and the Canon is 35mm. The Yashica is also a twin-lens reflex.

Over the weekend, I shot a roll of black-and-white on the Canon. Haven't developed it yet. But the operation is similar to the 30D. Though the eye-control for focus is pretty awesome.

I also shot a couple of Polaroids with the Shen-Hao. Didn't have time to take it outside so I just shot a couple of scenes around the apartment. It's gonna take me a while to get used to that camera. My first shot took me about 20 minutes. When Spring rolls around, I'll have to take it to the nearby parks.

Lastly, I've moved all my photos onto Flickr. The community aspect of that was just too enticing.


After a huge screw-up, I finally upgraded my Lite DAC-Ah. I upgraded the opamps inside it with something better. Unfortunately, it's been so long since I listened to it that I really don't remember what it sounded like before. It does *seem* like the soundstage and vocals are better. I've also upgraded the tubes on my DarkVoice 336i. I haven't had time to compare it properly to the Gilmore Lite but so far it does sound pretty nice. Anyway, I should be done with messing with the sound system for a while.

Jak Sie Masz

Wow, it's been a while since my last post. I got the Nintendo Wii when it came out. At first, I tried WalMart at like 8pm the night before but the line there was already full for the midnight release. Then, I found out Best Buy had a bunch but they open at 9am. I drove by it at around 1am and there were people outside with tents already. Next day, I went to Best Buy at around 7am and go in line. I was 82nd in line and they had 102 in stock.

As for the Wii itself, it definitely fulfills all the hype. Wii Sports is really fun, especially the golf and baseball. Now I just want a serious baseball game. I also got Zelda, Trauma Center, and Red Steel. Trauma Center and Red Steel sorta suck, but Zelda is top-notch. I still haven't connected it to the internet though; I wanna play some NES/SNES classics.

I've been itching for some upgrades on my headphones so over Thanksgiving, I ordered a bunch of stuff. First, I got a new set of headphones:Sennheiser HD595. Compared to the AKG K701, they have more bass but less detail. Of course, they're also two price-levels lower. I might keep it for the metal records; seems like for that kind of stuff, the HD595 is better. Second, I got new op-amps for my DAC. Got some OPA627 chips to put into the DAC-Ah. Still haven't received them yet though. When I ordered them, the distributor asked if I'd keep them in the US, weird... And lastly, I got the DarkVoice 336i tube amp. Haven't received that either.

Last weekend, I went to an Andrew Bird concert. Man that guy's talented. He plays the violin + guitar among other things on stage. For a single song, he'd start by recording a sample of violin (and sometimes multiples). Then, he'd switch to the guitar and play with the violin samples looped. Got some pics right here. Speaking of awesome music, I got the soundtrack to The Fountain recently and have been listening to it almost non-stop. It's performed by the Kronos Quartet with Mogwai. Simply amazing.


Went to a some shows in the past few days. I went to the Bailey + Salaryman show and the Headlights + Of Montreal show as part of thePygmalion Music Festival here in Champaign. Salaryman was the best set of the bunch. The energy and video added so much more to the already excellent music. Then, last night, I went to the Cursive show in Chicago. To my surprise, they still had a celloist and played a bunch of songs off The Ugly Organ. They even incorporated the horns into the older songs, which added a whole new experience to them. I've posted some pictures from the shows here.

Football season is well underway now. I'm in a fantasy league and am currently in 4th place out of 14. I wasn't present for the draft but got some decent players. I got some pretty productive receivers. My running backs are pretty shaky though. I got Warrick Dunn and he's been really good so far. But I'm not sure if he and the Falcons can keep it up. They sure sucked last night vs. the Saints. Not sure if I can win the league though. Probably not since there are a couple of teams with much better running backs.

Music Rant

I got the new Red Sparowes album today. It's called "Every Red Heart Shines Towards The Red Sun". Their 2005 album was my favorite album last year so I had high hopes for this one. So far, it has not dissappointed. The mood of the albums seems a bit more happier/hopeful. There are a few tracks that are just amazing. My favorite album so far this year has been the new Mono but this is definitely pushing it.

There are a few shows coming up. The Pygmalion Festival is happening right now in Champaign. I think I'm gonna check out a couple of acts there. Namely Salaryman and Headlights. Most of the bands there I've never heard of and don't really need to hear. Next Monday is the Cursive show in Chicago and I'm definitely going to that. I don't really know how I feel about the new Cursive with the horns and stuff but should be a good show. Then, there's a free Matmos show in Chicago next month. Still undecided on that. Jenny Lewis is playing sometime next month in Chicago also. I'll probably goto that.