Classic Albums Live – Sgt Pepper

Posted by Harry Bishop on Feb 10th, 2011
Feb 10

Tonight we went to Centre In The Square and listened to Classic Albums Live and the KW Symphony perform the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the defining albums of the “mainstream” segment of 60s/70s psychedelic rock. An enjoyable evening (after all I am the target demographic – middle-aged middle-class plebes! :-) ), with as with anything some low points and some high points.

Image from Wikipedia

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Marian Call in Kitchener/Waterloo

Posted by Harry Bishop on Nov 6th, 2010
Nov 6

Had a great time the other night seeing Marian and Scott playing a mini-concert at a local house venue here in K-W, as she heads back to Alaska on her 50-state (and several province) tour. Excuse the poor iPhone pic I didn’t think to take a camera with me :-(

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Avenue Q – “It Sucks To Be Me”

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 18th, 2009
Sep 18

Coming locally (Centre In The Square in Kitchener) this November, I believe I have to see this show …

Okay, so we’re talking about a Broadway musical that has puppets, a “not for children” rating, a song titled “The Internet Is For Porn” and another titled “It Sucks To Be Me” making fun of a cross-gendered Gary Coleman.

No matter what else it’s going to skewer so many things I think people are going to laugh for sure (although I think you have to be a little into alternative or edgy shows to like this sort of thing, it’s not your parent’s Broadway).

Google acquires reCaptcha

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 16th, 2009
Sep 16

I don’t have a captcha currently in use on this blog (other security measures are installed instead), but I’m sure you’ve seen them, the “please type in these characters as you see them” box that tries to prevent robots and other phishing/spam engines from pretending to be people online. Captchas can really help prevent improper online contest entries, document downloads, database access, blog comments … well, you get the idea.


Well, one of the larger players in that industry sub-segment, reCAPTCHA, has just been purchased by Google (aka the “non-evil empire”).

One of the problems with Captcha systems is that hackers have learnt how to handle the simpler ones. That’s the reason you now see more complex ones in a lot of places (animation, gray scale, and other techniques being used). I never thought of the flip side of that though, and found it very interesting to read in the Google Blog that they are using these “learned lessons” of captcha validation as a way to improve OCR (Optical Character Recognition). And why would they be doing this?

Image from Wikipedia

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3D printing in metal – Bathsheba Sculptures

Posted by Harry Bishop on Sep 9th, 2009
Sep 9

I’ve known about 3D printing for some time, in my past professional life it was a way to create prototype parts that you designed in CAD to detailed spec, without having the huge cost of building molds or dies, and without the issues and inaccuracies of handmade models. But this technology can be used for art.

All amages from Bathsheba Sculpture

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David Myles & Peter Elkas – Songs from 2 Beards

Posted by Harry Bishop on Jun 19th, 2009
Jun 19

I’ve gone to many, many different venues over the years to see many different musicians, from a summer traveling the eastern coast of Canada & USA for quite a few rock concerts (it was a good summer – what can I say, I was younger then!), through blues to jazz to classical to folk to dance and many others.

I had the opportunity this past week to go to our local live theater venue Centre In The Square, to see what was labeled as “Songwriter’s Circle”, one of the performances from their “On Stage’ series for this year. The description I was given was “only a few hundred people, sitting on stage at a number of small tables close and personal to the performers”. Hmm. Well, that describes a lot of different places I’ve heard music before, from local festival playhouses all the way to bars grungy enough you have to have out-of-focus vision already to want to visit. I have to admit I was a bit hesitant about how much I’d enjoy it.

(pic of David Myles from his web site, Peter Elkas from CBC)

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Blueberry Girl as read by Neil Gaiman

Posted by Harry Bishop on Mar 17th, 2009
Mar 17

One of the various snippets of writing from @neilhimself that I’ve enjoyed is this short poem.

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Music Videos

Posted by Harry Bishop on Jul 13th, 2008
Jul 13

And now, for something completely different today, music videos that have stuck with me as visual examples of great talent.

Let’s start with a 1937 music video of Benny Goodman and his orchestra playing “Sing Sing Sing”, featuring what at least some people say is the first recorded drum solo, by the incomparable Gene Krupa.

Followed by a more recent Tommy Emmanuel doing his famous “Guitar Boogie” – something to make any self-professed guitar guru out there weep with envy.

Speaking of more recent guitar gurus, another famous YouTube video is this young man by the handle of “JerryC” and his home-made video of playing lead in a rock version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major – Canon Rock. Talk about unplanned social media aka viral video – after 2 years, 45 million views and still climbing.

And last but not least, Jake Shimabukuro does an amazing version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on the ukulele. Don’t laugh – it’s by far better than anyone reading this could do on the guitar!

This last video is compliments of Midnight Ukulele Disco – visit them for a change from “top 40″ music!

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