Mac and video game geek living in Japan.
82 stories
·
11 followers

Concert Review: Bryan Ferry at the Palace Theatre in Saint Paul

1 Share

Bryan Ferry on stage at the Palace Theatre, Saint Paul, August 5, 2017. (Photo by Pondie.)


Marquee of the Palace Theatre in Saint Paul. (Photo by Mark C. Taylor)
Last night I saw one of my favorite musicians live at the Palace Theatre in Saint Paul: Bryan Ferry. I’ve been a fan of Ferry’s music, both solo and with Roxy Music, for several years, and he’s been at the top of my list of artists that I hadn’t seen in concert yet. Ferry didn’t disappoint, bringing a set list full of gems from his formidable back catalogue. At age 71, Ferry still looks dapper, stylish and handsome as ever. He didn’t say much during the concert, and the closest he got to telling any stories was saying, “These songs are from here, there, and everywhere.” Ferry’s nine member band did a terrific job of re-creating tricky Roxy Music songs like “Ladytron” and “If There is Something.” Kudos to all of the band members, especially Jorja Chalmers, who handled saxophone duties, a job essential to capturing the sound of Roxy Music songs. 

Opening for Ferry was the British singer/songwriter Judith Owen, who played a half hour of songs that reminded me of Carole King’s work from the 1970’s. Owen was playing with bassist Leland Sklar, who has played on over 2,000 recordings, according to Wikipedia. Sklar has played on many of James Taylor’s albums, as well as albums by Leonard Cohen, Phil Collins, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Rod Stewart, and Barbra Streisand. Owen also featured a percussionist, cello, and violin, which lent her songs an engaging sound. Fun fact: Judith Owen is married to Harry Shearer, well known for playing bassist Derek Smalls in This is Spinal Tap and for voicing numerous characters on The Simpsons.

Ferry played keyboards on quite a few songs, and also blew some nice harmonica solos on a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Simple Twist of Fate,” and the old chestnut “Let’s Stick Together.” As a vocalist, Ferry still smolders effectively, even if he’s lost some of his top range-the high notes on “More than This” just aren’t quite there anymore. But Ferry’s voice still has great emotion in it, and his voice now adds a melancholy vulnerability to his songs. 

My only disappointment from the set list is that Ferry didn’t sing any of the songs from his most recent solo album, 2014’s excellent “Avonmore.” (Which I reviewed back in 2014 here.) Well, and if I’m being honest, there are some Roxy Music songs like “Over You,” “Dance Away,” and “Same Old Scene” that I would have loved to hear as well. But that’s a small quibble when you’re seeing a rock legend up close. I was a little surprised that Ferry sang “In Every Dream Home a Heartache,” which has to be the weirdest Roxy Music song. It’s a good song, but it is weird-it’s a critique of capitalism as Ferry gets a little too attached to a blow-up doll. The lyrics aren’t sung, but spoken like a prose poem. 

The Palace Theatre was a superb venue for Bryan Ferry, as its style of decaying glamor fits his own aesthetics quite well. The open seating on the floor meant that my wife and I were very close to Ferry, and it was fun to watch his facial expressions throughout the show. It’s very evident, for all of his British reserve, that he really enjoys what he does. Ferry seemed quite touched by the huge audience reaction at the end of the show, which he fully deserved. 

Set list:
The Main Thing
Slave to Love
Ladytron
Out of the Blue
Simple Twist of Fate
A Waste Land
Windswept
Bête Noire
Zamba
Stronger Through the Years
Can’t Let Go
Remake-Remodel
In Every Dream Home a Heartache
If There is Something
More than This
Avalon
Love is the Drug
Virginia Plain
Let’s Stick Together
What Goes On
Jealous Guy
Editions of You
Read the whole story
rikishiama
12 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete

Dov Charney’s 2.0: Los Angeles Apparel

1 Comment

Matthew Townsend, reporting for Bloomberg:

But American Apparel’s 2015 bankruptcy wiped out most of his net worth, so where would he get the money? Didn’t his tawdry past of sexual harassment allegations make him radioactive? And shouldn’t American Apparel’s collapse prove that making clothes in the U.S. is a fool’s errand?

Yet here he is, at 48, overseeing a startup with seamstresses and fabric cutters and boxes of T-shirts waiting to be shipped across the country. He’s on, he’s riffing, he’s explaining the benefits of immigration, he’s envisioning a company that will someday hit $1 billion in revenue. (American Apparel topped out at $634 million in 2013.) “We’re building, grooving, growing,” Charney says.

His new company, Los Angeles Apparel, was launched late last year as a wholesale business — just like American Apparel’s origins in 1989 — selling blank basics such as T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Very similar brand aesthetic to American Apparel, too, but with Microgramma subbed in for Helvetica Neue as the company typeface.

Read the whole story
rikishiama
30 days ago
reply
Highly recommend the Gimlet Media podcast StartUp's series they did on Charney. The guy has serious issues, that's for sure.
Share this story
Delete

Passwords at the Border

1 Comment

Bruce Schneier:

The password-manager 1Password has just implemented a travel mode that tries to protect users while crossing borders. It doesn’t make much sense.

Some good points from him — I am glad I don’t have any international travel booked, because I am not sure what/how I would do it at this point.

Read the whole story
rikishiama
77 days ago
reply
The comments there make for depressing reading. TLDR: We are all f*cked!
Share this story
Delete

What did Donald Trump do today?He got a little confused about Pittsburgh.In anno...

2 Shares


What did Donald Trump do today?

He got a little confused about Pittsburgh.

In announcing today that he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, Trump justified the move by saying that he "was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."

It's not clear if New Yorker Trump has ever been to Pittsburgh, give or take a few campaign rallies, but the stereotype of Pittsburgh as a gritty coal-and-steel town has been out of date for at least 40 years. The major industries in the city now are software, biotechnology, education, and health care. The city's legendary coal smog--which was sometimes spectacularly fatal--is now completely unknown, and the Alleghenies are dotted with wind turbines.

As for Trump's claim to representation, Hillary Clinton soundly defeated Trump in Allegheny County, winning 56.4% to 40.0%, and got about 78% of the vote in the city itself. Reaction to Trump's mention of the city in a speech that glorified coal was not met kindly by Pittsburghers

Why should I care about this?

  • Presidents shouldn't claim support they don't have, whether in one city or the whole nation.
Read the whole story
rikishiama
77 days ago
reply
angelchrys
77 days ago
reply
Overland Park, KS
Share this story
Delete

★ Fuck Facebook

3 Comments

Dave Winer, “Why I Can’t/Won’t Point to Facebook Blog Posts”:

1. It’s impractical. I don’t know what your privacy settings are. So if I point to your post, it’s possible a lot of people might not be able to read it, and thus will bring the grief to me, not you, because they have no idea who you are or what you wrote.

2. It’s supporting their downgrading and killing the web. Your post sucks because it doesn’t contain links, styling, and you can’t enclose a podcast if you want. The more people post there, the more the web dies. I’m sorry no matter how good your idea is fuck you I won’t help you and Facebook kill the open web.

I’ve made exceptions a handful of times over the years, but as a general rule I refuse to link to anything on Facebook either, for the same reasons as Dave. Last week I linked to screenshots of a Facebook post to avoid linking to the original. The original post by Marc Haynes was public, which I know because I do not have a Facebook account, but here’s what it looks like for me without being a Facebook user — a full one-third of my window is covered by a pop-over trying to get me to sign in or sign up for Facebook. I will go out of my way to avoid linking to websites that are hostile to users with pop-overs. (For example, I’ve largely stopped linking to anything from Wired, because they have such an aggressive anti-ad-block detection scheme. Fuck them.)

You might think it’s hyperbole for Winer to say that Facebook is trying to kill the open web. But they are. I complain about Google AMP, but AMP is just a dangerous step toward a Google-owned walled garden — Facebook is designed from the ground up as an all-out attack on the open web. Marc Haynes’s Facebook post about Roger Moore is viewable by anyone, but:

It is not accessible to search engines. Search for “Marc Haynes Roger Moore” on any major search engine — DuckDuckGo, Google, Bing — and you will get hundreds of results. The story went viral, deservedly. But not only is the top result not Haynes’s original post on Facebook, his post doesn’t show up anywhere in the results because Facebook forbids search engines from indexing Facebook posts. Content that isn’t indexable by search engines is not part of the open web. (Even if I wanted to link to Haynes’s original post, how was I supposed to find it? I wound up with the original post URL via a Facebook-using friend who knows I prefer to link to original posts as a general rule.) The only way to find Facebook posts is through Facebook.

Winer’s third reason:

3. Facebook might go out of business. I like to point to things that last. Facebook seems solid now, but they could go away or retire the service you posted on. Deprecate the links. Who knows. You might not even mind, but I do. I like my archives to last as long as possible.

Facebook going out of business seems unlikely. But Facebook pulling a Vader and altering the deal, blocking public access in the future to a post that today is publicly visible? It wouldn’t surprise me if it happened tomorrow. And in the same way they block indexing by search engines, Facebook forbids The Internet Archive from saving copies of posts.

The Internet Archive is our only good defense against broken links. Blocking them from indexing Facebook content is a huge “fuck you” to anyone who cares about the longevity of the stuff they link to.

Treat Facebook as the private walled garden that it is. If you want something to be publicly accessible, post it to a real blog on any platform that embraces the real web, the open one.

Read the whole story
rikishiama
78 days ago
reply
I hate it when my friends email/text me FB-hosted links and though I have an FB account, as a matter of principle I refuse to open them.
sirshannon
78 days ago
reply
All I've read is the headline but I agree 100%
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
rtreborb
76 days ago
reply
I wouldn't use as strong of language, but I couldn't agree more

AT&T’s purchase of HBO could lead to 20-minute Game of Thrones episodes

1 Comment

Enlarge / Just imagine how many 20-minute Game of Thrones episodes you could watch if you lived as long as Melisandre. (credit: HBO)

As AT&T prepares to purchase Time Warner Inc., AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has an idea for HBO's Game of Thrones: cut the hour-long episodes down to 20 minutes for mobile devices.

AT&T's $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner would give the telco HBO and other lucrative programming properties. Stephenson discussed his thoughts yesterday at the annual JP Morgan Technology, Media, and Telecom conference in Boston.

“I’ll cause [HBO CEO Richard] Plepler to panic,” Stephenson said. But “think about things like Game of Thrones. In a mobile environment, a 60-minute episode might not be the best experience. Maybe you want a 20-minute episode.” Instead of showing full-length episodes on all devices, it might be best to "curate the content uniquely for a mobile environment."

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Read the whole story
rikishiama
81 days ago
reply
Stupid, stupid, stupid.
freeAgent
80 days ago
Agreed. AT&T owning HBO sounds horrible. I subscribe to HBO because it offers such good content. If they turn it into Youtube, I'm out.
Share this story
Delete
Next Page of Stories