Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop in Cleveland

If you are a Travis fan you have probably heard about Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop's current tour of North America. It brought them to my favorite concert club yesterday, the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. Everything you have heard about this show is true.

From Fran Healy and Andy Dunlop of Travis
The show is a very humorous look back on the history of Travis. There is as much dialog as music, and the audience is quickly won over by Fran's wit. This is a program that is best for hard core Travis fans, and that is pretty much all you had in Cleveland.

Schoolboy was there and made a 24 bit 96 khz hand-held Zoom H2 recording. I heard some of it and it is very nice. Nearly every person in attendance seemed to be buying the "official bootleg" (which is considerably shorter than the full Schoolboy version that is over three hours, including the meet-and-greet).

After the show, most of the crowd (that I would guess at around 150-200) waited around to greet Fran and Andy, and they took the time to chat with everybody. I think I was there for a good hour and a half after the show. In April, the Travis Cleveland House of Blues show proved to be my musical highlight for 2009. Last night was an extension of that great vibe.

Check out my photos and youtube. The video gives a good feel of what it was like.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

SharePoint 2010: Honing Up on Powershell

One of the interesting bits to come out of the SharePoint 2010 previews is the inclusion of more than 500 Powershell cmdlets. As a SharePoint admin or developer (remember, you developers, you have to know admin and end-user stuff so you know what NOT to develop) it will be important to know your way around Powershell.

I wouldn't call myself either a command line junky or command line phobic. I always liked command line scripting. Powershell is something I have used, but having touched the surface of it, I've known that I need to know more. I think most of you are in the same position (be honest).

A little knowledge, while being dangerous, can calm those feelings of ignorance. A quick search brought up this TechNet lab:

If you spend the prescribed 90 minutes studying it (and trying other stuff), you won't be an expert, but you will feel more comfortable when it comes time to sort and pipe and filter all those SharePoint 2010 commands that are coming your way.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rounder Records 40th Anniversary Concert

We made a little diversionary trip to Tennessee this last week. My son is an electrical engineering student in his senior year at Purdue and since they had a two day break, it was a nice time for a quick trip. We originally were going to go to Memphis and Nashville, but we didn't get going early enough to include Memphis. None of us had been to Nashville.

Along the way we stopped and took landmark photos at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Churchill Downs in Louisville. We started exploring at Churchill Downs and found that there were no locked doors. That was fun. We ended up in a deserted top level Millionaires Club. Nice view.

Nashville is a nice town. It has a unique cosmopolitan flair. More sophisticated than I expected. I liked it. Much of the city is very beautiful and nicely kept. We walked and drove around quite a bit, seeing lots of nifty stuff, including:
  • The Broadway area (bars, shops, etc. downtown)
  • The Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • The Parthenon
  • Bicentennial Park
  • The Grand Ole Opry House
  • Belle Meade Plantation
The weather was variable (cloudy some of the time, a little drizzle here and there, nice the rest of the time). It was definitely warmer than we are accustomed to in October. Nice.

I hoped we could catch a good show while we were there, but I never anticipated we would see such a great one. While we were at the Grand Ole Opry in the afternoon (October 12, 2009) we inquired about tickets to that night's performance. They had some floor seats at around $50 each, but they were selling good balcony seats for $12. What a deal. As it turns out, this hall is a good one. The balcony view and sound are first rate. They even have pews just like the Ryman Auditorium (but they are nicely padded).

Here is the lineup we saw. It was the Rounder Records 40th Anniversary Celebration.
  • Minnie Driver did a set and acted as MC for the show. She sang beautifully and was very witty. The Show was being recorded for broadcast on PBS in March.
  • Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas gave Matt and Gayle a nice introduction to live, jumpy zydeco music.
  • Bela Fleck did an interesting little set. Mesmerizing banjo, as always.
  • Irma Thomas had a special guest of Henry Butler. Very soulful.
  • Mary Chapin Carpenter was uplifting and inspiring.
  • Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas finished the evening with the most beautiful singing and string band playing you can imagine.
Over all, the show had the feel of many of the Rock Hall tribute shows (American Music Masters). They pulled it off better, but it was a smaller scale. It was a bit drawn out as it took time to switch the bands out. With the exception of Bela Fleck, these were good sized bands! The Grand Ole Opry House gets a 10. They even had a house beer (something like a dark lager - I think they called it Opryhouse Brew).