Welcome to the Sound and Light Show

Sort of a diary for myself ... but you can read it too.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Pirate Parrot Parody

Something for you Pittsburgh folk ...

This was shown on the jumbo tron last night at the end of the Pittsburgh Pirate's Game ... a parody of the last Soprano's episode.

... and as the screen went blank, the lights went out in the entire stadium. It was fireworks night so the sky blast show began as soon as the video ended.

I love the fact that 'Ritter's Diner' was used as the location in the film short.

Friday, June 29, 2007

The Big Throwback

Last night was probably the best Throwback party I have attended. They had to stop letting people in around 11:30 because it got so packed.
DJ Supa C was on top of his game last night and led the crowd into a frenzy with his DJing and MCing skills. Here is a taste of him on Youtube.com to get an idea of what he can do.

I need to take a break from going out ... after I go to the pirate game tonight and one more DJ event this evening, I'm staying in for a while.

At least until next Tuesday. ;)
(Photos courtesy of 'J Malls')

Thursday, June 28, 2007

... just another week

Last night a few of us got together to bid farewell to our friends 'Vince Deadly' and '1/2 Jewish Princess' since they are moving back to their beautiful homeland of Milwaukee, WI.

We celebrated their departure with a ton of 80's music and non stop shots of Jameson and Jagermeister. Click here for some pics of the event.

Tuesday night we all did our regular thing at Funk and Soul night at Kelly's Bar and Grill.

Tonight we hit up another dance party, The Big Throw Back, at the Brillobox.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Aphex Twin

Click picture to Embiggen.
Those familiar with Richard D. James should find this amusing.
I find it hilarious ... especially the musical cues like,
'light explosives now ... and ... now'
'gradually become agitated'
'insert peanuts'
'play ball!'
and 'duck'
... brilliant.
Thanks to 'trout' for showing me this.

Monday, June 25, 2007

3 Rivers Arts Fest

My friend, 'Plum Crazy', sent me this photo that she took of me listening and watching intently as Wokova performs at the 3 Rivers Arts Festival on June 4th. There were more than 7 people there watching the show ... seriously ... this angle is deceiving ...

Back Story: I write music under the name Eastsidesoul for Jack Wilson who is an artist in the group Wokova.

It was exciting to hear my music on the main stage at the 3 Rivers Arts Festival. The sound was booming and the crowd was very eclectic.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Ring in my Ears

Two Nights ... Great Music ... fun with tons of friends and the weekend isn't over yet.

Friday night after the gallery crawl we all headed to the restaurant Trilogy for an outdoor all house music DJ event. It was so nice to be down in the city listening and dancing to music while being surrounded by the skyscrapers. Some good friends of mine pulled this party off successfully. Hopefully they can turn it into an on going thing. The weather was beautiful and the vibe was tight. Too bad my pictures don't do it justice:

Saturday night was the Shadowlounge's 7 Year Anniversary. I was in no shape to go out to this party after Friday night plus I spent 6 hours working on my backyard Saturday afternoon and had dinner with a friend visiting from out of town ... but I was on the guest list (thanks 'Jack') so I had to check it out. The flyer alone should give you some indication of how this party went off:

You know what I like the best about the shadowlounge? The fact that they have a no smoking policy. I don't reek of smoke after coming home from that place.

My ears are ringing though ... and I'm beat ...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Movie Night

Another long evening working on the landscaping of my backyard. My neighbor is building a fence along our property line and his progress sort of depends on my progress so I have to get as much possible done before the weekend. Anyway ...

The HD DVDs are coming in from Netflix ... I had a few people over to watch Letters from Iwo Jima last night. Very good movie. All the better in HD. We started the movie a little late and didn't realize it had a running time of 2 hours and 2o minutes. The engrossing storyline and the bottles of wine made the time go by quickly though.

After the movie I stayed up with one of my friends swapping stories about the history of Electronic music here in the city of Pittsburgh. He and I were both pretty active in the scene from 1999 until today but our paths rarely crossed. We had many stories that intersected and it was fun putting the puzzle pieces together from our different viewpoints ... before we knew it, it was 3am. d'oh.

Tonight I'm having people over to watch Children of Men but the movie starts no later than 8pm and people are out by midnight. New house rules.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Reason I don't have a Garden

I took these photos this morning before leaving for work. The top part of my yard would be an ideal place for a small vegetable garden but I would definitely have to fence it in since my urban wildlife neighbors are so comfortable just chilling back there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Last minute disappointment

Well last night was a bust.

I was supposed to help coordinate a surprise 'welcome home' party for a good friend's girlfriend who was arriving back to Pgh after a lengthy stay in her homeland of Belgium. I was to go to his house while he was at the airport picking her up from her connecting flight in Chicago so I could set up some music, get food and drinks ready and welcome arriving guests.

We were discussing last minute details on the phone while he headed to the airport when he got a call on the other line from his girlfriend. He took the call and I sat on hold for a full 2 minutes before he got back online to tell me that her flight from Chicago to Pgh was cancelled and she wouldn't be arriving until the next day.

That sucked. He had to turn around and come home *and* he had to get on the phone and call all the guests coming to his house to tell them that there was no surprise party.

I say we should have still had the party. The plan was set in motion ... why stop it? Now who's going to drink all of this beer and wine? ha ha. Want me to ask another stupid question?

Monday, June 18, 2007

Night Moods

Last Friday was the start of a new bi monthly techno DJ night at a club called Remedy in Lawrencville. 3 of my friends from the Technoir Audio crew are hosting the event and they have asked me to help promote so I'm using my old mailing lists from the Club Havana days* to help make people aware of the night. The first evening of this new bimonthly went well ... the crowd was mostly made up of old technoheads, girlfriends of said technoheads and a few stragglers that happened upon the night and were drunk enough to stay and dance to the throbbing 4 on the floor beat.

If we can get a regular audience then maybe the night will succeed ... and if you're from Pittsburgh you'll understand how hard the goal in that last statement actually is ...

*Back Story: For the last 7 years I was a full time promoter and part time DJ for Club Havana in Shadyside. House and Techno Music. All of this came to an end when the club was sold in March of this year.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Landscaping 101

The big project of the summer. Another 9 hours logged into working on my backyard* this weekend.

*Back story: When I bought my house, it came with a backyard consisting of 2' x 2' concrete pads on the level part and then a hillside with bushes planted on it in no particular order and concrete steps leading up the hillside that you would hurt yourself trying to climb. I've been working on my backyard since May of this year and I think it is coming along nicely.

This weekend I moved and stacked more of the 2' x 2' slabs of concrete that layered the flat part of the yard. I did more digging in preparation of the retaining wall I'll be building and I did even more raking rocks from out of the dirt so I can plant grass in the fall. I also planted some Myrtle ground covering to help keep the soil from eroding and I tackled removing shrubbery from the hillside, roots and all; Four bushes down, four to go.

Comparison from August 2006 to June 2007:

The Steps I rebuilt, before and after:

I rebuilt the steps completely from materials I found in the backyard; Cinder blocks and concrete pads. I installed $10 plastic trim along the sides of the steps to keep the dirt from washing down onto them.

Progress as of today:

I'd pat myself on the back but I have sunburn.

Just kidding ... I'm not that sunburnt.

I also woke up early and went to the flea market this morning. It was a slow day there, not many vendors out. I didn't find anything of great interest. I bought socks, beef jerky and Amish cookies. Yeah, I know, thrilling. I almost purchased a framed oil painting of the Pink Panther sitting on the toilet. I thought it would go lovely in my downstairs bathroom. Maybe I'll pick it up next week if it is still there.

Battle of the Album Covers

Thanks to 'Vince Deadly' for showing me this classic.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

New Batsuit

"Ever wonder why movie Batmans rarely turn their horned heads? It's because the cowls of past suits were firmly attached to the neck and shoulders of the costume — necessary to maintain that iconic silhouette and to prevent the actor from moving around inside the mask. The new headpiece — modeled after a motorcycle helmet — is separate from the neck, so star Christian Bale can now swivel his noggin side to side, or nod up and down."

I find it funny that it only took them 5 movies to finally figure it out.

Click here for the rest of the article.

Friday, June 15, 2007


... sold my old DVD player on craiglist today. $20 ... which I think is not bad for a player that is close to 10 years old. I had it listed for all of 1 hour before it got snagged. Next up is my old 27" Sony Vega TV.

Native Tongue

... and I wasn't even going to go out last night ...

I thought about staying in. I started to watch my BBC Planet Earth documentary on HD DVD that I recently received from Amazon.

One word. Wow.

I only got about an hour into it (it's a 4 disc set containing over 9 hours of material) and was amazed at the filming, the content, the picture, etc. It is truely amazing regarding the shots the filmakers were able to get for this documentary. My brain was certainly teased as to how they acheived some of the elaborate shots ... Crane? Helicopter? and there are some shots of places on this Earth that had me asking myself, 'does that really exist? it looks like something some Sci Fi Nerd dreamt up in CGI!' Again, wow. and the HD quality just knocks it out of the park ... Too bad they didn't give the disc series a 5.1 channel surround sound mix on the audio ... only dolby stereo here. But eh ...

I gave Evil Genius a call so we could do some catching up then I headed out to the Brillobox for a friend's party he was hosting:

Another crazy dance party at the Brillo ... huge attendance. The second floor of the place was bouncing with the weight of the standing room only crowd as usual. Tons of friends , all smiles, singing along and nodding heads to the beat. This party featured music from the Native Tounge Family; De La Soul, Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Leaders of the New School, etc. All 1990's Hip Hop. The stuff I grew up on back in highschool ... Yo MTV Raps!

Very nice indeed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It rained ...

... and the parents bailed on going to the Pirate Game with me last night. I saw it coming and I pretty much talked them out of it anyway because I could tell that they weren't into it since the weather wasn't favorable. I didn't want to drag my parents to a game if they were going to be uncomfortable. My friend 'Uncle Cracker' and I still went. I didn't even bother trying to scalp the 2 other unused tickets. It was nice having the space of four seats for two people to lounge in. I got the tickets through the Small Business Council of Pittsburgh (a group I belong too since I am a small business owner) and I'll be able to get more so the parents will get another chance to go. The tickets included a free pregame food buffet provided by a local Bar located across the street from the stadium. 'Uncle Cracker' and I chilled there while the storm passed and by game time (actually delayed 30 min) the weather had cleared up, the temp dropped about 10 degrees and the rest of the night was beautiful. Of course the 'rents called around the 3rd inning to profess their grief for ditching the game. Oh well ... and the Pirates won too.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Funk and Soul

Too many Franzeskainers have me feeling a little groggy this morning. Oh and one Hoegaarden and two shots of Jameson. But before all of that ...

A few of us checked out two bands at the 3 Rivers Arts Festival last night.

Earl Greyhound and the Ike Reilly Assassination. Both were just okay. Earl was a power trio sounding like a less polished Wolfmother. Ike was too 'americana' for me ... too many songs about truckstops and lost girlfriends.

We jetted early and went to Kelly's Bar and Lounge in East Liberty for our ritual Funk and Soul Night. Attendance was strong. Mostly the usual suspects but I met some new people too. We commandeered the back patio since there were about 14 people in our group. Around Midnight, we all ventured across the street to the Shadowlounge for Open Mic Night but the place was already shutting down due to the fact that no one was there. Too bad too, our friend 'Vince Deadly' was going to get up on stage again and improv another song*.

*Back Story: The last two weeks in a row, 'Vince Deadly' has brought the house down at Open Mic Night at the Shadowlounge. Last week was an impromtu Funk song made up of grunts, groans and the word Chaka Khan and the week prior he made up an R & B Ballad featuring all the sad parts in Classic Disney Cartoons ... "you know ... like Bambi's Mom."

Tonight I take the parents to a Pirate Baseball Game for my stepfathers birthday. Let's hope it doesn't rain.

HD DVD Revisited

So I picked up the Toshiba HD-A20 1080p DVD player yesterday after work. After initial set up and all, I immediately started to look at some old DVDs of mine to see how this player would upconvert the original films to HD.

I was pleasantly surprised. I watched bits of Batman Begins, the Fifth Element, Legend and The Devils Rejects. All movies that were shot completely different. I immediately noticed more detail. Clearer lines and bolder colors ... the most noticeable difference was how black the black was ... no more pixelated grey areas. Actually there was no 'noise' whatsoever found in the shadows.

I really didn't get a chance to play around with all of the features of the player and I have yet to watch a true HD DVD on it (which boast new menu changes w/ PIP features and all). I switched over my Netflix account to HD DVD and was surprised at how many films I can actually rent in that format. I should start receiving HD DVDs later this week.

I have 30 days to return the player so I'll give it a run and see how it works.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


I'm thinking of switching over to HD DVD today.
I watch a lot of movies.
I don't have cable.
I'm a Cinema junkie.
Old, new, good, bad, foreign, indie, big studio, documentary, black and white, no brian comedy, horror, action, etc. I'll give anything a chance.

I realize that the HD DVD and Blu Ray battle is far from decided ... and I realize that the HD at-home-player technology is relatively new.

I'm also usually a proponent for waiting until the technology is tried, tested and the price tag comes down ...

but I want to enjoy HD now.

I have the TV for it .. and again, there is that Cinema addiction of mine ... I should be enjoying my movie watching in all of it's High Def glory ... right?

Why HD DVD then and not Blu Ray? I don't really have a concrete answer for that. But here are a a few reasons that sway my opnion ...

Blu Ray is too expensive right now and it seems that most studios are releasing their movies on both mediums (although, for now, Universal is HD DVD only and 20th Century Fox is Blu Ray only)

The Porn Industry seems to have sided with HD DVD for now. Even though I don't plan on buying or watching HD DVD porn, it seems that they were a big decider in the whole VHS and Betamax Battle.

Headgeek over at Ain't it Cool News has chosen to go HD DVD ...

and one of my main reasons for this decision, Circuit City is running a 'No Interest until 2009' offer on all HD DVD players until the end of this week (plus 3 free HD movies included). I already have an account with them when I purchased my LCD TV last fall. The TV is paid off so carrying another balance (with required minimum payments of $10 until 2009) shouldn't be too hard to handle ... and seeing as I want it now as opposed to later ... well ...

But I don't know. I do know that the players will only get better, slimmer, less bulky, less glitchy and much cheaper as time goes by ...

I guess I'll decide by Saturday.

Hello there ...

Welcome to the sound and light show.
The backstory is irrelevant ... you will catch up eventually.