19-Jul-2004 (Mon) Wherein we explore equipment failure and rock star attitude.

Well, last night was just all about the equipment failures... Our sound board crapped out just before the W.A.S.P. / Sparrow's Point / Push show last night, so we had to bring in a loaner. We were late getting doors open, and in the ensuing chaos, we didn't get the new board hooked up to the webcast until halfway through the second band's set. It was webcasting the between-bands music fine, but we lost all of Push and half of Sparrow's Point.

I took photos, but it was really difficult. It was pretty crowded up front, and W.A.S.P. had us rent barricades for in front of the stage. This made it pretty hard to get decent shots: those barricades make it hard to move around near them, and when I went on the stage side of the barricades to shoot, I was too close and was getting these great shots right up peoples' noses.

The barricades were totally unnecessary, of course. The crowd was enthusiastic, but there wasn't even a pit. We've had rougher goth shows here.

Then, when I got home, I found that 2/3rds of my pictures were toast: most of Sparrow's Point and all of W.A.S.P. were zero-length when I got them off the card. I don't know if the card got corrupted, or if this was the "your computer is our learning experience" Linux USB drivers screwing me again, but either way, zap.

Funny anecdotes:

  • Apparently W.A.S.P. gave Sparrow's Point a lot of shit after they played together in LA last night for "upstaging" them. Which I guess means "putting on a more energetic and entertaining show."

  • We printed up some W.A.S.P. posters to sell (same image as the flyer), and the band agreed to have their merch guy sell them for us. He put them on display by hiding them under a stack of t-shirts. He was actively trying not to sell them, so the only way any got sold was if someone spotted someone else walking around with one and asked where they got it. Sweet.

So, we've got a big stack of those posters left. If you want to buy one, ask the next time you're at the club. We've got a bunch of the Sister Machine Gun posters left, too. (This selling posters thing, it's not working out so well.)

7 Responses:

  1. may i observe that people would probably want to buy posters via the online store, and that there should be links from the flyers, where they're already depicted, to do so?

    you also might call off the wall gallery on haight and ask if they're interested in purchasing some wholesale. i used to work for their vaguely-equivalent sisterish store in LA and we sold lots of similar merch at a very hefty markup to collectors.

  2. beschizza says:

    One of these days, it's going to go dark here for a while and we'll find out you had a stroke trying to get something working properly in Linux.

    It's good to have a MacOS X or Win XP box around just for that "thank you for just working" feeling. Though the Mac will assume you're a dribbling invalid and nanny you through the whole process. And XP will get infected with some Russian teenager's contribution to the world's sum of code. But they do kind of work.

    • vxo says:

      Oops. Welcome to the world of 'everyone has a different idea of what can be considered "working"'.

      "Working" under Linux: Works great, but if you unexpectedly try to mount the device when it's not connected or not ready, the usb-storage scsi emulation gets b0rked and you must reload the usb-storage module. If it's built into your kernel or thinks it's busy or something - voila, reboot time. If the device unexpectedly loses power or gets unplugged, expect to do the same - but with about a one in four chance that the kernel will be absolutely hosed and you will be lucky to be able to sync the filesystems before it grinds to a halt with 100% cpu usage and panics ten seconds later. Additionally, the EXCELLENT filesystem buffering done by the Linux kernel will often cache the *entire contents* of a usb flash drive to memory. Lose power, and guess where the files you just saved there are stored? *PLONK!* Additionally, you will find yourself marvelling at the amount of time the kernel let you save by NOT having to wait for the flash memory write to take place... right up until you issue the umount command, initiating a synchronization process which results in 256 megs of data being written to a chip at 600 blazing fast kilobytes per second. Learn to live with a shell window open in which you occasionally type 'sync'...

      "Working" under Windows 2000: It just works, as far as I know. Note that I have only used usb storage on a 2K box once. OS complains if you do not use the "Unplug/Eject Hardware Wizard" to notify it that you're going to disconnect the device, even if no files are open.

      "Working" under Windows XP: Plug it in, and you're greeted with Windows attempting to read every file on the device to figure out whether it's a digital camera, in which case Explorer wants to come up with thumbnails. Process cannot be aborted and can take a very long time. Windows complains brutally if you remove the device without using the "Unplug/Eject Hardware Wizard", even if no files are open.

      "Working" under Mac OS X: A FAT32 volume with many files on it takes a VERY long time to mount. My USB 2.0 hard drive (formatted FAT32 to ensure that I can use it on any system, Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. Strange that this turns out to be the most universal format at the moment) with about 5,000 audio files in various formats takes around 4 minutes. Of course, then there's the whole "drag the volume to the trash" thing to unmount - fail to do that and OS X screams something to the tone of "Oops, you just lost data! HA HA HA! Don't do that again!". .DS_Store and .Trashes directories get crapped all over the filesystem by Finder. (Maybe this is the source of the delay on mounting?)

      Out of all of these, I'd have to say the best is Windows 2000. The rest, aside from Linux, are merely okay, as there seems to be no seriously obvious way to bring the system down in a flaming mass of debris, but they painfully slow things down... out of trying to be too helpful, or something.

      • beschizza says:

        Recent Macs (I'm on OS X 10.2.8) are snappy with the Fat32, and XP hasn't whined about about me not using the "Eject Hardware Wizard" since Service Pack 1. But you're right in general. I love Linux, but it always feels like a kind of Rube Goldberg machine held together with duct tape that could all dismantle itself just by my doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.

  3. jon says:

    I'm not trying to be a grammar nazi, but I've noticed that event flyers often uses the singular verb "presents" even though the show is being promoted by multiple parties, e.g.:

    Savage Productions & DNA Lounge Presents

    Is that an error, or is it just the way things are done in the 'biz?

  4. bifrosty2k says:

    If you want, I can try to suck the images off the CF card with my laptoppe?
    I managed to take about 100 shots, and the only one that was usable was this one:
    Blackie + Elvis

    Apparently the mike stand is called "Elvis"

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