Closing out the show was UK's The Adicts (aka ADX). This was an odd pairing, as there were little crossover fans of rockabilly and punk music. Still, it was pretty exciting to see the band's first
Here is the wrap-up for last month: September 2015.
It's a record-breaking September! We covered a whopping 45 shows for the month, with the last day of the month being one of busiest!
Busiest Day goes to September 12th for five shows:
Damian Marley at Cabooze, The Coathangers at Triple Rock, Low at Electric Fetus (a full set!), Tommy Stinson (The Replacements) at Turf Club, and Vintage Trouble at Mill City.
Best Music Festival in the area has to go to Trampled by Turtle's Festival Palomino (09/19). Technically, we only covered one Music Festival this month, but of all the festivals we went to this year, Festival Palomino is one of our favorites. It's incredibly well-organized and we like the audience they bring in. See our complete coverage (including setlists, photos, recaps, etc.) here.
Once-In-A-Lifetime Award goes to Ride at Mill City Nights (09/29). The last time the shoegazing band was in town was in 1992. If you miss them this time, we doubt they will come back to Minneapolis... well, maybe we'll catch them again in 23 years. Also, These Animal Men and S*M*A*S*H reunite for a special one-show deal at Heaven in London (09/11). If we could afford it, you know we'd catch that flight to London to see these NWONW legends.
Strangest Show goes to Jenny Hval for her performance art/music show at the 7th Street Entry (09/01). Simply unforgettable. Hval reinvented her show from a simple singer/songwriter to a weird commentary on the American exercise and sex culture. Also enjoy some rare vu-art for this show.
Best Value goes to The Maine at Mill City Nights (09/03). The Maine did a wonderful thing and basically said: This show is on us. The show was completely free, which is pretty amazing if you think about equipment rentals, hotel rooms, gasoline, booking the venue, etc. The only thing the band asked was to bring as many people (including non-fans) to see their show.
Most Entertaining Show(s) goes to The Adicts (with Reverend Horton Heat) for their first-rate all confetti show at First Avenue (09/24) and Big Star's Third show at First Ave (09/30) for their amazing all-star casts.
Below are links to all 45 shows we covered for the month of September 2015.
The Sahara desert looks endless: Shifting plains of sand with a huge sea of burning blue skies above. ... Their crisis is at the heart of Terakaft’s fifth album, Alone (release: September 11, 2015 on OutHere Records).
It's been really slow here, thanks to the holiday (Labor Day). With the extra-long weekend, I'm just catching up on some video games that I bought last month, but have not had a chance to play. Currently not enjoying The Elder Scrolls Online on the PS4. This game is just ugly, and not as good as their previous offline game Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. Personally, I think the ESO should be played offline, I don't see the benefit of it being online at all.
In the meantime, I've officially put Witcher 3 on break while I start up Pillars of Eternity again (since the expansion The White March Part 1 recently came out).
Also, I was sad to learn that horror legend Wes Craven passed away last Sunday (August 30th). As you know, I actually own a lot of his films, including Last House on the Left (not shown, but I own it on DVD), Nightmare on Elm Street, and Scream. Craven made Freddy Krueger into a horror icon, rivalling Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Pinhead. I wish Pluto ("the Hills Have Eyes guy") was more iconic... but there's only so much you can do to that character when you killed him (twice!)
I've never met Craven, but have seen/met two of the actors: Robert Englund (Freddy) at Wizard World 2014 and Michael Berryman (Pluto) at Crypticon 2008.
Also, as you know, my kit lens for my Sony NEX-3N stopped working (which was why, for a brief time, I was drawing the bands)... I had to order a replacement lens the day it stopped working and was expecting the SEL55210 Sony Lens to arrive after September 9th. However, thanks to Circuit Street, via Amazon, they sent it to me yesterday. That was really fast, and I'm somewhat relieved I did not pay for the expedited shipping and handling (an extra $30).
Some things to know before you spend the $200 to get the 55 to 210mm lens: this lens originally came with a camera kit, so there is no retail box for it. This also means that there is no manufacturer warranty. I think for the reduced price, it's worth it.
Also, there is no power zoom, which means that you will have to manually turn the lens to zoom. This is perfectly fine, unless you are using this one-handed.
Finally, the lens is bigger than the camera itself (especially with the lens hood), so it is heavier and looks pretty ridiculously on a tiny body.
The best part about this lens is that there is auto focus (which I've read some lens do not have the AF motors), but you can also manually focus as well (this is something that was not possible on the original kit lens).
I have not tested this out on the field yet, my next scheduled show is Terakaft at the Cedar Cultural Center on September 8th .
We were really impressed with Go 96.3 FM's first Go Show #1 (featuring New Politics and Banks at Aria on Mar 2015). We were wondering how they can top that debut show
Here is the wrap-up for last month: August 2015.
Not counting our Winter Hibernation period - August was our weakest month in 2015. Between August and July, these have traditionally been our slowest months. The reasons? People are on vacation or summer break. Shows will pick up when the school season starts again, which usually starts after Labor Day and the shows will continue strong into November.
Anyway, looking over our measly 27 shows, the big "festival" type shows stood out: Go Fest '15, Cultivate, and the two-week big Minnesota State Fair. Between the three major shows, we had an excellent time at Go Fest, sponsored by radio station Go 96.3. Plus many of the bands appearing on Go Fest will be back in Minneapolis at a later date (Big Data and MS MR), so playing this high profile festival proved to be good promotions for them.
The Chipotle's Cultivate Festival would have been really good too - if it wasn't for the fact that the rain caused headliner Walk the Moon to cancel their appearance.
The first part of the month had some great shows: Screaming Females returning to the Triple Rock, Django Django returning to First Ave, Woody Allen playing New Orleans jazz (and not promoting his latest hit movie?), The Kills made a rare non-music festival at
at First Avenue, and the "new One Direction" band The Vamps made an impact with their young girl fans at First Avenue.
Of course, we like our old bands... and August had their fair share of these important guys and girls: Mötley Crüe's last tour ever at Xcel Center, Social Distortion at First Ave, KMFDM at Mill City Nights, Gwar at Wooly's (Des Moines), and X at Mill City Nights.
Despite breaking my camera, what a way to close out August than with goth/drone Chelsea Wolfe at Triple Rock.
Below are links to all 27 shows we covered in August 2015.
Weezer's singer Rivers Cuomo brought out his dad, Frank Cuomo, and they play "Back to the Shack". One of the most touching things I have witness in my many years of watching Weezer shows. …
Here is the wrap-up for last month: July 2015.
The Minneapolis summer festivals officially kicked off last month with Rock the Garden, and continues into July with the biggest music festival of July: Basilica Block Party and Vans Warped Tour. Personally speaking, this year's Basilica had a killer lineup with headliner Weezer and Nate Ruess (of fun.).
Traditionally, July has always been a slow month for music, speaking from personal experience - shows in July don't have the best attendance. I believe people go on vacation, travelling, living out on their cabins, or don't want to leave their air conditioned home. The shows that do really, really well are early outdoor shows - for example the Cabooze Outdoor Plaza shows (which we only attended the Switchfoot/Needtobreathe show).
Older, established bands who know their market prefer to tour Minneapolis in the Summer were: Toad the Wet Sprocket (who had a side show in Minneapolis from their regular tour with Smash Mouth), Say Anything (who was experimenting with a four-piece orchestra on their set), Indigo Girls (a nice reunion of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers), Veruca Salt (their second appearance in Minneapolis after reuniting with all the original members), Flock Of Seagulls (at the second annual Ribfest in Mystic Lake), and Everclear (with Toadies on their annual 90s revival Summerland Tour).
Other highlight in July: Blur's first show in Australia in 18 years took place July 25th in Sydney. Freezepop making a semi-rare Midwest appearance at the Nether Bar on July 18th.
Also what a great way to end July with soul music at the Secret Stash Revue at First Avenue. The show featured Sonny Knight and the Lakers, Wanda Davis, and others.
Below are links to all 33 shows we covered in June 2015.
You must register with iTunes to use this feature, if you already have an account: choose "Get Album Artwork". Music not available or sold on iTunes will not return an album artwork, in which case, use ...
Do you have an iPhone or iPad running iOS 7 or greater? Then check out the We Heart Music App, courtesy of DWNLD, Inc.
I have been using it for a few weeks now and here are my thoughts on it.
From the vertical-only view and lower resolution images, the application was clearly designed for the iPhone only. Using the app on the iPad is awkward because it doesn't make use of the larger screen.
Since there is no offline mode, I'm not entirely sure this is a useful application for the iPod Touch or WiFi-only iPad. Again, DWNLD assume you have a data plan with your iPhone. Since there are plenty of RSS readers out there that will automatically download and cache the data, I hope they add an offline option to a future update.
Looks great. Designed as a reading tool.
Optimized for iPhone: low-res images to reduce load time for the smaller screen. However looks ugly/artifact on the iPad.
Blog, Podcast, Youtube, Soundcloud all together in the main menu... no need to go to different websites to get the contents.
Audio file will play in the background.
Requires iOS 7.0 or later... not really sure why the high requirement for text and images.
I just recently got a "smart" phone, the ZTE Valet 3G phone. Sure, it's not as fast or new or beautiful as the Moto X, but then again, I only paid $50 for the phone. And the service, using Tracfone, is just incredibly
For years now, what I've been doing was carrying around my iPod Touch 4 (for music, podcasts, and Wi-Fi device) and my dumb phone. I've been thinking about replacing my iPod for a long time now, since it wasn't holding the battery juice. When I first got the iPod, it would last a few days ... but after five years, I would be lucky to get it to run four hours. Sure, I can pay someone to swap out the battery, but with the extra cost and time, you might as well get another newer iPod.
I almost got rid of the iPod when I got the ZTE Valet, a semi-smart phone. I didn't replace it because the ZTE didn't exactly do all the stuff I need it to do... and it was slow. After three months, the phone died and I was forced to get a (very) cheap replaceable phone.
Last week, I bought a Moto E by Motorola for $80 (originally $140). Although the E model is the lowest in the Moto family (followed by G and X) and often referred to as the budget phone, it is really quite impressive. This little phone does it all... and it's affordable. This was the best money I ever spent (I later found out you can get it on Amazon for $60).
The phone does it all: email, MP3, Podcasts, FM Radio, GPS, Cell Phone, Skype, Text, web browsing, audio recorder, notes, maps, games, bluetooth, Wi-Fi, alarm clock... everything you would expect in a smart phone. My favorite thing to install on the Android device was a firewall, which would block annoying advertisements from apps.
Now for some complaints. The camera is absolutely the worst camera I've ever used. It's almost laughable how bad the camera is, they might as well not even built it into the Moto E. The Tracfone version of the Moto E only has 2GB of internal, which is a mistake, because system software takes up over 1GB and cannot be moved to an external storage. I put in a 16GB micro SD to store my music. I suggest you tinker around in the settings to move apps to the external to free up additional space. Also, like I mentioned earlier about the iPod's non-replaceable battery, the Moto E's battery cannot be removed.
For a week now, the Moto E has replaced my temporary phone and iPod. Everything the iPod did, the Moto E did better and faster.
So far, I'm a big fan of the Moto.
Internet connection required: For piracy issues, Blizzard requires you to log into their server (battle.net) to authenticate the game that you bought. If you're not online, you can't play your single-player campaign. ...
My sister told me that the K-Cup are a dream, and I'll love coffee because it makes the best cup. I'm a coffee drinker, but I've told her that I'm not buying a Keurig because of their stupid DRM (Digital Rights Management) cups.... but perhaps all that is about to change because Rogers Family Company is offering a FREE "Freedom Clip", which will bypass the DRM. Keurig will sell you more expensive coffee and restrict you to their approved cups.
Say whatever you will, but with the "Freedom Clip", I believe they will actually sell more Keurig Coffee Maker, because now I'm suddenly interested in this product.
I've said it numerous time before, but the reason why I stopped buying Blizzard's games (at least on the PC) is because they started implementing DRM. It's really a shame, because I do like their games. Just out of principle, I won't support a company that put restrictions on something I own. The last game I purchased from them was Starcraft II, which I had no idea required me to be online to play the single player campaign. I don't like the fact that now they can violate my privacy (knowing when I play their games) and can block me from modifying my single/solo game or installing on multiple computers. The takeaway is that DRM is bad for consumers.
Anyway, if you already own a Keurig or just thinking about it, you may want to head over to gourmet-coffee.com and sign up for a free clip before it expires or when Keurig put out a cease and desist.
For less than a Plex Pass, you can pick up a Raspberry Pi to stream your media. You'll have to go into your settings and enable UPnP to share videos. I've been streaming movies to my iPad using a DLNA/UPnP client called 8 Player ...
I've recently poo-pooed Plex's useless $40 annual subscription just to access your local media. Instead, I told you to just buy a Raspberry Pi instead. I have good news, the new Raspberry Pi 2 is out now and retails for the same price ($35) for a much faster processor (6x) and twice as much ram (1GB)... but the best news of all is that they are going to support Windows 10 - FOR FREE.
Before you get too excited about it, Win10 may be limited due to restrictions to the ARM chip and other shortcomings. I recommend waiting until Windows 10 become available to read the reviews.... however for $35, it's cheap enough that you can buy the board now and just play around with it while you wait.
This is the truth, I used to own the original Raspberry Pi and I had two major issues with it: 1) No Windows Support and 2) it was 'slow'; barely able to play 720p movie files. With the updated hardware (and soon Microsoft support), they've addressed my two biggest gripes. So, yes, when Windows 10 comes out, I will be first in line to get the new Raspberry Pi 2.
Changes in Raspberry Pi 2:
A 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM (2x memory)
Complete compatibility with Raspberry Pi 1
I actually tried to look at the order one, but it may be sold out due to overwhelming interests.
I don't work for Best Buy, but I wanted to pass along this deal, since it is almost a crime to not buy it. It is $140 for HANNspree 23" HD LCD 16:9 Widescreen Monitor.
As you may have noticed since my winter hibernation, there's not much going on around here. The month is almost over and we bid farewell to 2014 and looking forward to 2015.
Since I'm not going out for shows, I've been spending a lot of time indoors and playing video games and catching up on old television shows.
On the computer side, I have recently gave myself a Christmas gift with a $199 Acer - 27" LED HD Monitor (S271HL DBID). This is a slight upgrade over my old 23" HANNspree, which I paid about $140. The HANNspree is now an exclusive screen for my old PS3 now (it previously shared a connection with my PS4 on my television).
The 27" monitor is part of Acer's S1 Series monitors, which were designed to save space and energy-saving in mind. Some people might not love the weird giant transparent blue-lit power button, but believe it or not, I love it. Since I'm in a dark room, I can instinctively turn on the monitor, just by feeling for the bump. I've used monitors with a poor designs, for example on the PS3 3D monitor, the power button is on the back!
Setting up the Acer monitor was really easy, especially because the two very large screws were already in place and only required a flathead screwdriver to tighten in the screws to the stand. They really designed this to be idiot proof, as the stand will not fit in unless it is facing the correct way (so you can't place it backward by accident... which I have done putting together a television stand).
I am also going to document its various features at the bottom of this post (as the internet tend to forgets and I would like to go back to see what this monitor offers). The big minus on the monitor is that there are no speakers, but that is perfectly okay since speakers built into budget monitors are usually pretty awful. The other minus is that there is only one HDMI input, which, again, for a budget monitor, is acceptable. Otherwise the screen looks great, no noticeable screen tears (for gaming) and text/pixels looks fine.
Before I settled on the Acer, I did look at other similar-sized (and price) and read customer's reviews. The reviews can really deter a purchase for me. For example, I read that the AOC monitors suffered from random dead pixels (eventually all LED monitors may have this problem, but AOC seems to get reported on the most). Or that the PS3 3D monitor suffered from the blinking red light of death (which I've experienced and cannot recommend buying this monitor). One negative review is one thing... but when you see ten or more negative reviews on the same issue, then you know it's a bad sign.
Acer vs Shaun of the Dead
On the positive Acer side, this is the biggest panel for the price range. Because it is sitting on a desk, the screen actually feels much bigger than a large television. I put the steelbook of Shaun of the Dead next to the monitor to show you the size comparison. Apology for the darkened room, I tried to lighten up the image, so color accuracy may not be correct on the screen.
The "100,000,000:1" contrast ratio sounds pretty good. I know it's important to get a high number, but seriously, does anyone care if it's only a thousand to one or one million to one? The only thing I can think of is that in the daytime, the monitor with a smaller contrast ratio will look too bright/washed out. The limited time I spent with my new Acer monitor, it looked fine in daylight.
They also list "6ms" as a good thing, but I have seen faster monitors (1ms, 5ms, etc), so 6ms seems typical, or even slower, than most monitors of this class.
Also as a bonus, Acer packaged in three cables (VGA Cable, DVI Cable, and a HDMI Cable), which definitely was not needed for the pricing, but I love it. I have a million VGA cables, but I could always use another HDMI cable.
Anyway, the way I see it, literally, is that I spend a lot of time staring at the screen, so it's important for me to enjoy looking at the best possible screen I can afford. I'd love to get a 4k monitor, but, of course, that's really out of my price range.
If you're in the market for a big monitor, definitely check out this Acer monitor. If you want to spend a little more (and have Windows 8), for a little more money, Acer's touch screen T2 Series monitors fixed all the complaints I have for the S1 monitor, mainly giving you an extra HDMI port, four extra USB 3.0, and 2W speakers. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the new monitor.
I have been meaning to upgrade the graphics card in my computer for a long time now. The integrated Intel video card, for the most part, worked fine, but it won't exactly run graphically intensive games (shooters, big diablo-style …
Hey guys, this is Vu with your W♥M October Update. As you can see from the daily previews for Rocktober - this month will be just insane...
Anyway, here is what I've been up to lately:
iPad: So this is how I've been writing articles - as usual, I've been writing some articles on my iPad via a bluetooth keyboard and mouse (you will need a jailbroken iPad to run the bluetooth mouse pointer). The iPad thing is nice because it's mobile and I can take it anywhere and sit down and type away... At this moment, I'm sitting on my couch, watching YouTube on my TV via the PS3.
I'm writing on the standard iOS Notepad, which is synced with my email account - so basically I can pull up the text later on my desktop (which is located in my room) for finalized formatting and editing.
Team Viewer: I'm not always on my desktop, as I previously mentioned. If I need to access and control my desktop - there is an app called Team Viewer. I believe Microsoft has built-in remote on their "Professional" version of Windows, but when I bought my computer, it only came with Windows 8 Home Edition. Since I didn't want to spend another $100 to 'upgrade' just for one or two functions, installing the free Team Viewer software was a better option.
This was pretty easy to setup, you need to install the Team Viewer application on your desktop to generate a random user number/password. Then you use the Team Viewer app on your iPad to login, and that's it. If you have a firewall, you'll need to add Team Viewer to the exception list.
Overall, Team Viewer works as advertised, you can access your desktop remotely. For private usage, it's free, so I can't complain too much for this, considering that other similar services (like Logmein) costs money for essentially the same thing.
DisplayOut: I thought I would be happy with just the standard built in Apple Display Out, but after being unhappy with the 4:3 external display - I got the jailbroken DisplayOut and set it to stretch to my television screen.
This works really well for any app that does not support Airplay (fullscreen), for example the Apple Trailer app, Crackle, or Vudu app (none of which supports Airplay).
Realtree® Camo Mini Pro EX Controller for Xbox 360
Xbox 360 Controller: Speaking of the desktop - there are a couple of things that I've added to my work computer. Mostly thanks to the new video card, so I can run modern games. It's kind of fun to finally able to install and run games that I bought two years ago!
I could not get Windows 8 to recognize my PS3 (and PS4) controllers, so I caved in and bought a standard Xbox 360 Controller. The Xbox controller automatically worked with many (new) games. As much as I love the mouse/keyboard gaming, sometime games are just designed for the controller - for example Dungeon Siege III, Witcher 2, Fable Anniversary, and Dark Souls II. These games just works better with a controller. The controller I bought was on clearance at Walmart, it's normally $30 at the manufacturer's website.
Anyway, that's what I've been up to. Hopefully, if there is enough breathing room in Rocktober, I will write about some of the games I've been playing.
I have an old laptop that basically takes forever to bootup. When the original iPad was released in 2007, I knew this device was going to replace my laptop! I bought the original cellular AT&T version which worked great for a while...
I have been meaning to upgrade the graphics card in my computer for a long time now. The integrated Intel video card, for the most part, worked fine, but it won't exactly run graphically intensive games (shooters, big diablo-style games).
I knew that I eventually had to upgrade the graphic card, but my main problem is my i5 Gateway DX4870-UB318 computer only came with a 300 Watt Power supply. If you knew anything about modern gaming graphic cards, they usually have a 500+ Watt requirement (in fact, I just saw a card that required 750 Watt the other day).
If I had to upgrade the graphic card, then logically I had to upgrade the power supply, right? Not so! Enter the Nvidia Maxwell Chipset. The GeForce GTX 750 and 750 Ti came out last year, but I finally got my hands on one (EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Superclocked) for my computer. The box lists a 400 Watt requirement, but I just installed it on my computer and it ran on my 300W. It should be noted that evga.com only lists a 300W requirement.
Installation was literally a 'snap': as long as your computer had enough room to fit in a PCI Express card, then the GeForce 750 will work. There is no extra cable needed to draw power, so it's insert and go! And the best part: I did not have to restart the computer after I installed the latest Nvidia drivers. The card came with a CD for drivers and software, but I normally would prefer to just download it.
This is my current computer (Sleepergate):
CPU: Intel Core i5 3450 @ 3.10Ghz
GPU: GeForce GTX 750 Ti
Memory: 8GB DDR3-1333 SDRAM
OS: Windows 8 (64 Bit)
HD: 1TB 5,400RPM Hard Drive
Memory Card Reader
I've tested out various games that previously did not run correctly on my old computer setup, and I have to say the GeForce card handled these games (at max setting) without any problems! Pretty happy with the card at the moment.
Some key features of the EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti Superclocked card: 2GB of GDDR5,
640 CUDA Cores, 3 output (DVI-I, HDMI, DisplayPort), 4K ready (4096x2160), low power requirement (300 Watt), and small size (6.7in in length).
NOTE: Are you confused by the EVGA name? There are various hardware maker in this space, they produce these cards based on Nvidia's design and architecture. As a result, you can shop around for the same card from different manufacturer. For example PNY and Zotac produced the same card, but with slightly different outputs (the Zotac offered mini-HDMI and PNY offered the old, outdated VGA port). To be fair, EVGA gave us a DVI-I to VGA adapter in the box.