September 22, 2006

Meat tastes like meat

Filed under: tacoma — sparkrobot @ 4:19 pm

I made mention of a series of recent articles in The News Tribune regarding the opening of a Carl’s Jr. stirring up quite a bit of attention in Tacoma to my friend Kevin who authors Guilty Carnivore and lives down in Portland, OR. Our instant messenger conversation prompted him to offer this particularly astute summary of the breaking “news”.

September 18, 2006

Austin Has City Limits

Filed under: rock — sparkrobot @ 11:28 pm

Sweet BusinessIn Austin last week while I was in town for the Flash Forward Conference, I took an evening and met up with my brother-in-law and his wife. We went out and had some Cuban food and decided to tool about a bit to see what we could get into. After some deliberation, we decided to stop at the Club De Ville on Red River. When we arrived, there was only the barkeep behind the counter and another guy ordering a round. Dude mentions to bartender, “Kinda quiet around here tonight, huh?”. This overheard I jump in, “Now that we’re here it’s not.” Nothing like an empty bar room to drop a sweet ass bomb like that.

We talked for a few minutes and after clearing up some confusion about the festival(s) we each were in town for, he introduced himself as Jacob [Valenzuela] from the band Calexico, and was in town for the ACL Festival happening the next weekend. I said “Hey no shit? We’re all from Tucson.”. A bit more small talk, I mentioned a couple of their recent records I quite enjoyed but didn’t really want to hold him up in fanatical chatter. “Nice meeting you man, good luck with the shows. Enjoy Austin.” When Bloody Mary returned she goes “Who was that?”. Me and Brandon replied in stereo, “Calexico.”.

We took our beers out onto the patio and found several more members of the band and their friends/entourage were the sole inhabitants of the patio as well. When they saw us come out, they invited us to join them. (Couldn’t really argue with that.) When I went to sit down, the color splash flash unit I had (loosely obviously) attached to my Lomo fell off and broke. Totally annoying, 100% borrowed. (I ordered a replacement later from the hotel) We sat and bullshat with the group for a while, talking about Tucson, bands, the road, etc. At one point a homeless guy wandered in and started a less than stellar performance of an Al Green song, complete with beer belly-tapping, off-tempo drums. Um okay. After some serious eye-rolling and fucking total awkward silence, we kicked down some coins so he’d bail. No offense, but Cinderella wuddn’t invited to the ball. He insisted on doing one more song, though we all tried to refuse. Stones on the box, it was a duet with Mick Jagger—albeit complete shit—in a off-key mash-up style.

When we were all leaving, there was mention of tickets to see the taping of their Austin City Limits performance on Wednesday. Phone numbers were exchanged at we hit the road thinking if nothing else, that it was pretty cool just to hang out and have a few rounds. If the tickets never materialized, meh, whatevs. Wednesday afternoon I got a call from BM saying they actually had called and we had tickets on will call. Fuckinay, fantastic.

We jumped at the chance to hit the taping. I’ve watched this show on PBS for years and evidently, it’s difficult to obtain tickets in the first place. The sound was phenomenal. The lighting was outrageously cool and they also gave us free beer. And it was the cold kind. At first I thought aloud, this Zeigen Bock is awful. I was quickly reminded just how free and just how cold it was and rethunk it:

. o O ( Yeah, I should just shut the fuck up right now. )

They played a lot fo familiar material from the older records and some incredible stuff I hadn’t yet heard from their latest relase, Garden Ruin. The highlight for me being Just Like Stevie Nicks from the Feast of Wire record from 2003. The performance was right on and featured an extended dynamic bit through the middle. Crafty stuff. They’re musicianship was spot on. Hopefully they picked this song for the show that airs November 13th on PBS. Super cool.

So, I guess if this post sounds like I’m bragging a little bit, well, I am. Thanks for reading it… suckehrrrrrrh!

Double Expose Me

Filed under: photography,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 11:17 pm

After a recent trip to Austin, TX, I’ve decided to try out the concept of blind double exposing some film. I’ve got a 24 exposure roll of FujiFilm Superia 400 which I’ve run one time through a Lomo LC-A at 200 ISO. The only thing I’ll reveal about the subject is that the exposures were made in Austin, Texas on Sunday September 17th. I’m looking for someone who shoots film—preferrably someone whom I don’t know—to double expose the film and return it to me. I’ll then develop the film and scan and make prints.

Couple of things: I’d like the subject to be people and I’d like the location to be Tacoma. Other than that, I don’t care what you do. Actually, I really don’t even care if you stick to that. What do you say? If your’e interested in this project at all, contact me. Use the comments field. Or not.

September 12, 2006

Poka Yoke at Flash Forward Austin

Filed under: design — sparkrobot @ 10:00 am

I’m in Austin, TX at the Flash Forward Conference. I’ll be posting pictures to my Flickr account from the event using the tag “Flash Forward Austin“. Austin, Texas is hot. The Flash 9/AS3 demo this morning at the Adobe keynote was also hot. I’m in town all week for the conference. I’m sitting in Robert Hoekman, Jr.‘s presentation on Designing the Obvious:Creating Great Software for the Web. Interesting bits coming out of this. He’s riffing on the Japanese concept of poka-yoke—preventing the possibility of error—as it applies to web applications. Good stuff. This presentation is more about web application development than Flash per se, but there’s plenty of conceptual overlap. Another underlying concept is turning beginning users to intermediate users quickly by using uniform design practices to surface important interface elements and reducing clutter in general. I find myself nodding my head.


September 7, 2006

Blacksmith Party

Filed under: photography,rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 5:43 pm

I was downtown a while back. I dropped by the Kulture Lab at the Catapult Gallery. There were a lot of people out and interested in the event. There was some good stuff on display. Blanco Bronco (sorry no photos), The Plastards (photos), Beat Box Fred (photos) and The Fucking Eagles (photos) played a party at the Blacksmith (Jefferson & Fawcett) later in the evening and I brought some 3200 B&W film. I missed most of Blanco Bronco, but liked the last song they played. I mentioned it to their singer later to which he replied “Oh, that one we screwed up?”. I said “Um, yeah, I think so.” The Plastards played next and call me crazy, but I think they had some new songs. Beat Box Fred was at the show, up from Olympia. Fred drops beats—mostly with his mouth and a wireless mic. I think I heard some Moby Dick in there. Hard to say. The Fucking Eagles went on last and included an impromptu “jam” with BBF.

The reason it’s taken me so long to post about this is that I shot with actual film (the horror!) and it’s taken me this long to get everything scanned and some of it up on the web (blah blah blah). I like film. I like the results. It’s a lot more work. I don’t have any photos from the gallery event, I only had black and white film and it didn’t really suit the scene.

A sidecar: evidently, a woman was murdered—shot in the head—around 2:30 AM (well after we left, but still…) near the Fawcett House at 19th & Fawcett. There were some condos going up across the street at 26th & Jefferson.

September 1, 2006

Dockyard Derby Dames (AIDS Benefit & Fundraiser)

Filed under: rock,tacoma — sparkrobot @ 7:53 pm

Tonight at Hell’s Kitchen. The Dockyard Derby Dames are an all-female, amateur, flat-track roller derby league kicking off in Tacoma. Following in the footsteps of teams from cities like Austin, Texas, Seattle and Tucson, Arizona to name a few, the DDD are attempting to raise money for their new league as well as AIDS reaserch. Live bands include: Devil’s Advocates, Sarah Connor, Organic Guerilla, Bell’s Theorem, I Defy. 9pm/$5/21+