Category: Music

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The Band Played

I absolutely have no idea who these guys are. On March 3, 2019, I came upon a parade along The Boulevard in San Diego neighborhood University Heights that ended at the iconic Lafayette Hotel, where festivities continued, including this performance.

The Featured Image comes from Fujifilm GFX 50R and Fujinon GF63mmF2.8 R WR lens—a kit that I sold about eight months later. Vitals, aperture manually set: f/4, ISO 800, 1/60 sec, 63mm; 3:10 p.m. PST. Slower shutter speed introduces intentional motion blur. Composed as shot, the photo appeals to me for reasons I cannot explain.

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An AirPods Story

Today, my wife and I drove North to Del Mar for lunch with an old friend and coworker, who had flown out from the East Coast to visit her son and his family—newcomers to San Diego County for work (he’s a banker, which I guess explains the ease of managing the high rents).

The stories people tell that you wouldn’t imagine but seem so sensible after the surprise permeates. Our friend made a startling discovery when unpacking upon arrival: She had mistaken dental floss for her Apple AirPods, which case would be about the same size and shape as some brands (glad to know she makes tooth-care a priority). But couldn’t the confusion also be nothing more than one of those, ah, senior moments?

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Bluegrass and Monochrome

The third of four Friday live music concerts filled Old Trolley Barn Park this evening in my San Diego neighborhood of University Heights. Bluegrass greeted descending dusk as I arrived packing Leica Q2 Monochrom. I captured crowd shots—three, and share two.

As an afterthought, I pulled out iPhone 13 Pro for a single color composition, which I chose for the Featured Image. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 200, 1/99 sec, 77mm; 7:37 p.m. PDT.

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The Players

Friends invited me to attend Spirit West Coast at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in 2008. I couldn’t guess what to expect—and, whoa, what a surprise. The atmosphere felt good and the overall ambience refreshed and enlivened. Christian musicians. Families. Young adults. All having fun at a festival where there was no alcohol or illegal substances. I was surprised. Transfixed.

I attended the following year, too. But those days are gone. The music festival no longer comes to San Diego County.

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All the Above

Band All the Above, joined by One Voice Choir, practices at a local La Mesa, Calif. church on May 27, 2008. I used Sigma DP1 to capture the Featured Image. Vitals: f/4, ISO 800, 1/60 sec, 28mm (film equivalent); 7:05 p.m. PDT.

According to the EXIF, I edited the portrait four days later using Sigma Photo Pro, applying Selenium filter, which looks sharper than the grainy color original.

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Chickenbone Slim and the Biscuits

I came upon a blues band playing outside our auto mechanic’s shop on Oct. 16, 2021, while walking to fetch more Orijen dry food for our cats Cali and Neko. The place is closed on Saturdays (and Sundays, too). I listened for a bit before continuing along Adams Avenue, in San Diego’s Normal Heights neighborhood, to Pet Me Please.

My wife met me with the car to take home the 12-pound (5.4 kg) bag of kibble. I plodded back to the service station, where I used Leica Q2 to capture the Featured Image and companion, iPhone 13 Pro to film the one-minute video clip, and my hands to pay for and grab Chickenbone Slim CD “Sleeper”.

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Apple iPod Turns 20

On this date in 2001, Apple unveiled iPod, its fourth major endeavor for that year—at great risk, by entering a new product category for which the company had no prior experience and during a time of financial hardship. Recession gripped the United States; Apple had suffered share price and quarterly revenue setbacks as a result.

Six weeks earlier, terrorists flew highjacked American airliners into the World Trade Center (collapsing the Twin Towers) and the Pentagon. There was grim mood around the country, which created poor receptive marketing atmosphere for launching anything. Then there was the distraction dogging the tech industry: Windows XP’s impending global debut two days later.

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The Music Box

This must rank as the strangest thing seen in any University Heights yard—and I wonder what is the backstory. Is a harp inside the crate? Was an instrument delivered or waits pick up? Could the rustic box be placed as a lawn ornament, recognizing that no rain is expected to fall in San Diego for months? Surely even empty the wooden container is valuable—for collectible vintage, shipping usability, or both.

My wife and I passed by the crate, earlier today, while walking along Mission near Florida. Later, I left her at our apartment and returned to shoot the Featured Image and companion—both using Leica Q2. Vitals for the first, aperture manually set for both: f/4, ISO 100, 1/250 sec, 28mm; 9:36 a.m. PDT.

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What Does Popular Music Tell Us About Race in America?

Someone please explain this to me—seeing as I am an older white guy who is supposedly clueless about social justice matters. Today, I moseyed over to the Billboard Hot 100 to see where ranked controversial Cardi B song “WAP”, which is shorthand for “Wet-Ass Pussy”. The tune is Number One its only week on the chart. That’s an impressive debut.

Unexpectedly, I am perplexed by the other nine, in context of racial riots raging across the country; protesters demanding “no justice, no peace“; and U.S. representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) calling for “unrest in the streets“. Among the Top 10 songs, seven are from artists of color (the majority men); one is from a mixed-race troupe;  and two are from white male solo singers. If anyone is looking for someplace where there is black representation, look no further.

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Flickr a Week 7b: ‘The NYC Band, The Upwelling’

Our Sunday spot shouldn’t be, because of endings: The photographer is no longer active on Flickr, and I am unable to confirm that his subject matter still exists. But I can’t resist the portrait for looking to be exactly what it is—in purest, iconic, grainy, black-and-white composition: An indy rock group.

Steve Hardy shot self-titled “The NYC Band, The Upwelling” on Jan. 24, 2009, using Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 1600,1/15 sec, 33mm. He describes himself as a “Grammy Award and multi-platinum, award-winning mix engineer”. He mixed the group’s album “An American Stranger”, which released in August of the same year that he snapped the photo.

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Jesus Christ Superstar in San Diego

This afternoon, my wife and I attended one of two matinee showings for “Jesus Christ Superstar”, which is making a 50th-anniversary U.S. tour. The new stage play started in Syracuse, New York, on Oct. 1, 2019 and is scheduled to end in Fort Worth on Aug. 30, 2020. As I write, two local shows, at San Diego Civic Center, remain: Tomorrow at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. PST. I enjoyed the performance enough to want to see it again, but that’s not happening.

Anne and I sat in the last row of the Orchestra section; seats 44 and 46. The location was close enough to fully see the performers and enjoy the music (the arrangement was fantabulous). Having not been to this theatre before, I chose to purchase presale tix that put us aways back but not too far. After attending, and seeing the musicians high over the back of the stage rather than in a pit before it, I might move forward. That said, because the cast performed across the stage, and above it, ORCHR3 V44 and 46 gave great vantage point. Closer seats are lower to the platform, perhaps too much so.