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In case you're wondering, ProgDay was just about everything I could have hoped it would be. Except a few degrees hotter, but that's alright. Yes, driving down on friday was terrifying at moments, but I made it to the vileone's house with a bit of sunlight to spare. But maybe I'll get to the non-music parts of the weekend later.

This is what the approach looks like at about 11am on Saturday morning. Idyllic is a word I'd feel pretty comfortable using in regards to Storybook Farm, right down to huge monarch butterflies flitting among the participants. No, I didn't see any mushrooms playing saxes but that's only a few chemicals away, if that's your, uh, bag.

I really went in to this event cold, and as it happens this was OK. Four of the bands did sets I really enjoyed and the other bands were at least interesting to watch, if not to my taste. The real gem of the whole festival for me were these guys here, my new favorite band from Sweden, Beardfish. I think those of you whom I usually talk music with, and you know who you are, would really dig The Sane Day. I'd stake a dollar on it. The singer has a great and interesting sound (I hate comparing but I thought of Jack Black) and the rest of the group delivers a sound that is rocking and fantastically melodic and... look I'm not Pitchfork, just trust me. It's awesome. "This one is, in the words of Zappa, a little hard to play."

When I was done being all lovey about that performance, I found the guys from Ephemeral Sun and commenced to bothering them for most of the rest of the weekend. They were very nice and John helped me spend huge hunks of money on cds. Er, thanks! No, it was good I found a bunch of stuff I've been looking for for a while. Finally, the Watch!

The last set on saturday was echolyn and they were very good. I ran out of cash and didn't get their cd, but I'm putting it on the list. I had a similar feeling about Spiraling on sunday morning. Starting a show at 10:30 in the morning is weird. Anyways, as some random stranger noted, they had some stuff that you could imagine hearing on the radio in their set, which doesn't bother me any, but they were the least proggy group on the bill.

It was nice that you could chat with random strangers. Everyone was really friendly. And, whoah, music geekery, loving it.

Anyways, on Sunday the highlight for me was definitely these two guys from Hands who gave me some mad percussion envy. I liked the songs in the set, I liked the vocal harmonies, I even liked the Warr Guitar, but the drumming was simply kickass. I ran back to their table once their set was done and went all fangirly on them. I must have made an ass of myself several times over this weekend. Oh well, I am naturally enthusiastic, and it's hard to be cool when that's going on. :)

I stuck around for Hamster Theatre because I'm a sucker for an accordion. But at that point I was done and I was overheated and so I skipped out before the last band and headed for Richmond and keryx. I am so doing that again next year, if possible.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 6th, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'll make a seperate post about the rest of my weekend - the kiddies were very enthusiastic.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 6th, 2006 01:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Gettin' Proggy
Go with me next year!!!!!!!!!!
Sep. 6th, 2006 05:54 pm (UTC)
bothered? nah..

I really enjoyed Spiraling.. I'd agree.. almost poppish and not very proggy, but I thought their mix and overall tightness/sound was far and away better than the other bands..
Echolyn was cool, but I somehow remember them being much much better than that. I think they had an off day or I've become very snobby/jaded over the years since I've seen them last..
It's probably a combination of the two..
I'm glad to see you made it back and still want to hear prog music.

I think the drumming on the whole was great this past weekend..
I didn't hear any stinkers..

Paul from Echolyn was especially ass kickin'

You've gotta watch out for and excuse John.. he really geeks out over this stuff ;)
Sep. 6th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
Someone said, maybe it was you, that Spiraling is so good because they play gigs A LOT.

One of the musicians, I think it was the keyboardist from Hands, was mentioning that they really couldn't bring much of their own rig. I noticed the drums didn't change much (snares were swapped, and some cymbals) but that surprised me. Is that normal for the festival? Although I reckon we waited long enough in between bands.

I think echolyn had potential to impress me more than they did, and I was just sort of worn out by the time they came on. *shrug* I am sorry I missed Woodenhead for the most part.

Noted in re: John. :) Hey, I stuck to my plan of only getting 4 cds... for a minute there it could have been alot worse very quickly. Plus I not-so-secretly dig geekery.
Sep. 7th, 2006 12:57 am (UTC)
"Plus I not-so-secretly dig geekery."

then you shall get along famously.

I think John made the comment about Spiraling playing often.. of course it wasn't his bag, but even he recognized that their mix sounded better overall.. I got their full length and their EP..
The production is very good on it..
It's poppy though.. might take a while to grow on me.
When I used to gig more often I was definitely more consistent.

Yes you are correct on the kit not changing.
The Kit was a Yamaha kit which didn't change for any of the bands aside from snare/cymbals..
The kit did sound pretty damn good though.

The same guitar amps and bass amps were on stage as well... which stinks.. I need my setup to do what I do.. It's all midi controlled.. the distortion/clean channels all change with the effects..
everything is midi controlled.. a standard run of the mill Marshall half stack wouldn't cut it for me.
Sep. 8th, 2006 03:54 am (UTC)
If I can get my attention span under control, I'm going to try to read the wikipedia entry on MIDI.
Sep. 8th, 2006 04:00 pm (UTC)
what do you want to learn that garbage for?

MIDI isn't my bag.

Midi in it's simplistic form is kindof thought of in this way..
Ever see a player piano? The old ones with the scrolls?
Those scrolls have holes in them telling the piano which notes to hit.
It's like that. (music boxes are the same principal.. the wheel with the spokes that strike the chimes as they roll by).
They are commands that tell a device what to do or play.

using Midi for guitar amp patch changes is a bit different obviously..
I'm not using midi to perform, but just to change from clean/distortion and anywhere in between and to change reverb, delays, chorusing, etc.. etc..
Sep. 8th, 2006 06:50 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to know how it works!

I'm still a little confused - how it's triggered for changing during a performance. But you don't have to explain that if you don't want to. :)
Sep. 9th, 2006 02:45 am (UTC)
I'm only using midi to change patches.

I have a midi controlled tube preamp and two midi controlled effects processors.

Then I have a midi foot controller.

It has many buttons and banks and such that I can use.

for instance.. I have a bank of 10 buttons
bank one gives me 1-10 then I bank up and can get 11 - 20 and up again.
I really only use 2 banks right now.
the button labeled 1 brings up a chunky distortion patch on my preamp with certain eq/gain/volume settings.. it also brings up a flanger on one of the processors.. the 2nd button gives me a clean tone on the preamp with it's eq, gain, volume settings and brings up a very slight reverb on one of the processors, the third button is my main solo sound giving me a medium distortion sound.. more on the clean side, but plenty of sustain ("you can go grab a bite and it's still going" meeeeeyeeeeeyeeeeeyeeeeeyeeeeeyeeeee)..
and it's eq, gain, and volume settings, a slight chorus, a delay and a reverb on one processor and a different reverb on the second processor and so fourth.. I can bank up and get a different set of presets.. but that's all I have programmed right now..
I can do up to 128 on the preamp, 256 on one of the processors and more or less unlimited on the other (it takes flash SD cards)...

here's a picture of the whole enchilada

here's a pic of the floorboard
the midi foot controller is the long black one on the bottom left.
It controls the junk in amp rig (which is the amp rack pictured on the right side of the first picture)..

if you still confused.. I'll just have to show you someday..
or make a video of it ;)

I guess for patch changing.. it's not doing the paper scroll thing.. it's more or less just sending out a single sting when I hit a button telling the preamp and processors which preset number they should be on.
There are other ways you can use midi in a guitar amp setup.
There's guitar synths which take notes played on a guitar into a special pickup and change them into midi signals to control a synth or synth module..
making the guitar sound like any synth patch you like.. oboe, piano, pads, melotrons.. I haven't done that.. Pat Metheny does that a lot.. it's pretty common in prog.. not my bag :-P
you can also do what is called real time midi control of a device.. that allows you to control parameters on the preamps and effects processor..
reverb time, gain, delay feedback, chorus rate, depth etc.. etc..
kinda endless if you think about it.
Sep. 12th, 2006 02:30 am (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation... believe it or not I do find it interesting.

If you make a video of it, you let me know!!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )