Tedeschi Trucks Band

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is a Cadillac of a rhythm and blues band. They’ve got dual chrome exhausts (two drummers), a big V8 engine (guitarist Derek Trucks), style and beauty (Susan Tedeschi), and all the accessories (a horn section, a keyboardist, and a second vocalist). At their Marymoor Park show in Redmond, Washington last week this was all on display but they just didn’t seem be hitting on all cylinders for much of the show. No doubt Derek Trucks really revved it up a few times and Susan Tedeschi’s encore presentation of John Prine’s great song “Angel from Montgomery” was tender and moving. They worked hard. There just wasn’t an edge to it.

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You could say Jack McDevitt is a bit of an old school science fiction writer. Space is the place. Spaceships are the mode of transport. Larger than life heroes and heroines save the day in a future that cannot possibly be the outcome of today’s society, though that future reflects all sorts of extrapolations upon and imaginings of the ideas we hold dearest. In short, he’s a philosophical novelist. But wait! Not really. His characters fall in love, throw up, and bleed. They’re real people, not Hollywood set pieces.

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Sonny Rollins Road Shows albums

First time I heard Rollins was late in his career (1970’s) at the Longhorn Bar in Minneapolis. I was sitting on the aisle in a long horizontal room (this was upstairs before the downstairs rock and roll room). His band was getting set up. Then from the back of the room came this blast of tenor madness and here comes Sonny dancing down the aisle playing–singing I think is a better word for his playing. I turned around and there is he was, just puttin’ it right in my ears. Unforgettable moment. And here he is, still with us, still singing.

He just released Road Shows Volume 3. Wonderful collection. My understanding is that these discs are taken from his personal archive. This one spans performances 2001-2012 in Japan, France, and St. Louis. My favorite tune is the Noel Coward song “Someday I’ll Find You” recorded 2006 in Toulouse with some stalwarts of his band over the years, guitarist Bobby Broom among others. Saw a show at the Whole Coffeehouse at University of Minnesota if I remember correctly, again Sonny in the ‘70s, where I got Broomed. Bob Cranshaw, bass. Clifton Anderson, trombone, one of the great modern trombone players. Victor Lewis, drums. Others on various cuts. All three of these albums are moon shots, great recordings of one of the best live performers in Jazz history.

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Emmylou Harris

My musical tastes have always developed in a series of waves. The first wave for me was the British invasion, though my Dad liked country music and that’s always lurking somewhere in my neural network. The second wave was the folk revival of the sixties followed by the aftershock of “folk rock,” an odd label, an oxymoron at best, a marketing/critical strategy otherwise. I first heard Emmylou Harris in that aftershock I guess singing with Gram Parsons. That was awhile ago (early ‘70s) and she’s come a long way since then. She described it in an interview (now on YouTube) as zigging and zagging and that’s kind of of what Emmylou live was like Sunday night, June 22, 2014, at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, WA.


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Adobe Overcast 2014

I watched the “Creative Cloud 2014” launch webcast this AM, being a longtime InDesign and Acrobat user (and peripherally Photoshop and Illustrator). So they’re in the hardware business, Ink and Rule, a pen and a touch ruler, only for iPad as far as I could tell. $200. They look like cool drawing tools but seriously overpriced and seriously ecosystem limited. Ain’t for me.

They’re pushing Muse, a “web design tool for designers.” I did the beta on that but never got very far. Even in this latest greatest it is not PageMaker for the web, i.e. a breakthrough WYSIWYG tool, at least as far as I could see based on the demo.

Updates to Premiere, oddly around using fake images rather than the real thing (let’s just disconnect from the real world and use simulations—what else is new). Updates to Photoshop, new apps Sketch and Line (for illustrators, maybe artists). I refuse to use the word that Adobe prefers, “creatives.” Sounds robotic, which is maybe the point of all this. If the software can do it for you, and it’s in the “cloud,” who needs you?

InDesign? Barely mentioned. And list of new creature features on InDesignsecrets is topped by exporting fixed layout epub to iBooks. Not much there.

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Streaming music

I’m a Pandora subscriber. I’ve discovered some new music there and some music from people I like but recordings I didn’t know. It seems unlikely that the economics of services like this will pan out, either for the provider (Pandora) or the musicians. It’s in reality a system of micropayments that many people have talked about as a possible way to do business on the Internet. But now the pundits (article in NYTimes today about Amazon’s new streaming service) suggest that streaming will replace all the other outlets, CD’s, .mp3 downloads, YouTube, etc. I believe this is a gross oversimplification.

I get it that lots of people just do Spotify, iTunes, Rhapsody (I don’t actually know anyone who does Rhapsody). It’s cheaper than buying lots of albums. But my question from that is what are you really getting? I dunno, maybe it’s the 45 of the 21st century. You want the latest hit song. It’s there (like radio, duh). But what is not there is a sustainable artistic or business model, although I have to say I’m much more interested in the former than the latter.

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Amazon vs. Hachette

First of all, I would say that Amazon’s tactics–delaying book deliveries seems to be the main one–are despicable and smack of censorship, a throwback to fifties thinking in 2014. Interestingly however, the only thing we really know about this is what Amazon is doing. We do not know why, though the consensus seems to be that Hachette will not agree to Amazon’s discounts on ebooks. What’s interesting about that to me is in considering how much ebooks are worth.

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