sharan: (Rockers Online)
Damn, I still have so much I want to do this summer and there are only about 6 weeks left before it all starts over again with the classes! And the next few weeks will be busy, since I'm seeing Rush at the Hollywood Bowl on Monday, Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater on Friday, heading to either Las Vegas or Comicon for the weekend (I'm not sure which yet), seeing Symphony X the following Tuesday (maybe Monday too if we're back and I feel up to the trek down to Anaheim. EDIT: apparently the Anaheim show just got moved to Santa Ana), and then I head to NY on Thursday the 2nd for 9 days. I'm exhausted just thinking about it!

In other news, when I head off to NY I'll also be headed back to only occasional work status at the current job as I go back to work for my roommate's company. He just signed a 6 month contract for a website with a 3d game component that should be interesting! If you know any good programmers in the L.A. area (or are one) let me know, since he's going to be hiring!

There's also news on the Rockers Online front. I finally got fed up with my old web host screwing up my site and my e-mail and switched to a new one. Then I fixed a few bugs (including my rss feed, which I had no idea was down for so long, and my forum activation, which the old host broke by changing the server on me). Last weekend I finally added the first new band in years, Queensryche (and damn, do they have a lot of sites devoted to them!). I think it's probably safe to say I now have the most comprehensive list of links on the band on the net:). Also my roommate decided as a test to pay someone to write up news for my site for a month to see if it increases traffic, and I'm on the 3rd day of that (so there will actually be things posted to [ profile] rockersonline).

Of all my goals for the summer, the one I was most on track for (at least until I blew it last week and I'm hoping to make up the difference this week) is reading at least 1 book a week. I finally finished "The Harlequin" By Laurell K. Hamilton this morning and will be working on the new Demon Hunting Soccer Mom book by Julie Kenner next. Now those are fun books! They really are like if Buffy retired and got married and had kids and suddenly started getting attacked by vampires again. It should be a quick read so maybe I'll make 2 books this week:).

I think I finally figured out what the problem is with the new Laurell K. Hamilton books. My opinions here... )


Jun. 22nd, 2007 11:39 am
sharan: (John Wetton)
I just got 3rd row center tickets for the last of 3 Asia shows I'm planning on going to (at the Cerritos Center. I already got tickets to the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills and the Cobazon show). After the amazing show last time I decided to go to as many shows as I could this time. There are also shows in San Diego and San Juan Capistrano, but those might be a little too much/too far.

Those are all at the end of August, but the end of July is looking even busier! I'm going to see Rush at the Hollywood Bowl on July 23rd, Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater on July 27, and Symphony X at House of Blues Sunset Strip on July 31st. I held off on the Anaheim House of Blues Symphony X show on the 30th because I figured it might be too much, and it's just as well since now it looks like after the Dream Theater show we're heading to Las Vegas for Classic Gaming Expo and then my roommate wants to have a real vacation and go to some shows and the Grand Canyon, and we may stay there until Monday night. Oh, and then Thursday (August 2) I fly out to NY for my cousin's wedding, and I'll be there until the 11th. By that point I'll probably be ready to pass out from exhaustion;).

All these concerts will really help with Rockers Online, which I plan on working on more this summer (I did some minor changes to it already).
sharan: (Default)
I just posted this review on Rockers Online and decided to repost it here:

Tonight I went to see Asia, the original lineup, playing at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, CA. This show was a dream come true for me. I've been a huge Asia/John Wetton fan since the first time I heard "Only Time Will Tell" back in 1982 and it blew me away. I saw them live once in 1983 at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium back in NY (with Chris De Burgh opening for them). But then John Wetton, who is my favorite singer, left and Geoff Downes continued the band with John Payne, whose singing I never really liked and who I never really thought fit the band's sound (I apologize to those of you who actually like him). I honestly tried to get into the new band, but other than maybe Aqua and the Archiva cds I just couldn't get into them at all, and I finally gave up after Arena and stopped buying them entirely. There was still John Wetton's great solo career, and I was lucky enough to see him live several times over the past few years, but I always dreamed of the original lineup of Asia getting back together. This year, for the 25th anniversary of the band, it finally happened!

I had been hoping to make the Long Beach show on Wednesday, but homework got in the way (Damn you, Maya!). But I already had my tickets for this show and wouldn't miss it for everything! So a friend ([ profile] chythar) and I headed up there early, and got there shortly before the doors opened, only to find an already long line waiting to get in. The Canyon Club is a dinner theater, and we had the reserved dinner tickets, so we got to sit and have an overpriced dinner before the show, but it gave us decent seats where we could actually sit and enjoy the show. I'd heard a few days earlier that the show was close to being a sellout, and after seeing how many people were there in the standing room behind us I suspect it probably did sell out. It was a huge crowd, far more than I'd seen at any of the John Wetton solo shows I'd been to.

The band came on stage, and it took some of the beginning of the first song for them to get warmed up, but they quickly hit their stride and, once they did....WOW! They were incredible! The playing was so tight you'd think they actually had been playing together for the full 25 years! The band played for about an hour, then took a 15 minute break and came back for another set. They started with songs from the Asia CD, and said they'd be playing the full album, plus songs from previous bands. The first of those they played was Yes' "Roundabout", and I'd seen Yes with Dream Theater at the Gibson Amphitheater on a recent tour and Asia totally blew Yes away (then again Dream Theater totally blew them away that night too. Maybe it was just an off-night but Yes did not put on a great show). They also played songs from Emerson, Lake and Palmer ("Fanfare for the Common Man"), King Crimson ("In the Court of the Crimson King"), and one big surprise, The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star" - not just Geoff Downes doing it as a keyboard solo like he's done in the past, but the full band did the entire song, with John Wetton singing through a megaphone at the beginning. Geoff even got all dressed up in a silver jacket and sunglasses like it was a Buggles video.

After the first set I was wondering if they were going to play anything from Alpha or Astra, but they started the 2nd set with acoustic versions of "The Smile Has Left Your Eyes" and "Don't Cry" from Alpha. They never did play anything from Astra, but I guess that's because Steve Howe wasn't in the band at the time. They had the expected keyboard and guitar solos, and Carl Palmer did an amazing drum solo during "The Heat Goes On". After they left the stage for the second time, they came back for an encore with another surprise, the B-side to the "Heat of the Moment" single, "Ride Easy". After that they finished the show with "Heat of the Moment" itself. I had actually spent some time earlier in the day figuring that one out on guitar for a Beginning Pop/Rock Guitar class I'm taking, and I was pleased to see that I seemed to have gotten it pretty much right!

The response from the audience was great from the very beginning. Every single song got a standing ovation from those of us seated in the dining area. The band seemed to be really enjoying the response. John Wetton looked especially happy, and had a big grin on his face after seeing the response to the first song, and made comments on the great reception they got. It was good to see the band enjoying themselves so much, and I only hope that with such a strong response at the shows they'll decide to continue with this lineup in the future!

After the show Carl Palmer and Geoff Downes were there to sign merchandise (the line for that was out the door). Unfortunately John Wetton wasn't there, but someone behind me said they heard he had a cold. But I at least got 2 of their autographs, and got to tell them what an incredible show it was and that I hope there will be many more to come! All in all, it was an amazing show, and definitely one of the best concerts I've ever been to.

BTW, I got some not too great pictures with my cell phone like the ones above, so I'll be adding more pictures to the Asia page.
sharan: (Rockers Online)
Last night I posted a review of Jack's First Show (which [ profile] chythar and I went to Saturday night) to Rockers Online.
sharan: (Rockers Online)
I spent more time working on Rockers Online last night, and added another band, Wolfstone. They're a GREAT celtic rock band from Scotland, and I happened to notice that they were playing up in Santa Cruz and was hoping they'd play down here too. Unfortunately, although they have a few dates in the Bay Area they aren't playing here:(. I also seem to have run into a couple of bugs in my Tour Dates code, at least one of which I already fixed.

I first got into them when I bought a cd of theirs from an old friend of mine, Morgan (from GEnie, aka Marilyn Morey) when she used to sell cds and jewelry at cons. I really wish I had any way of getting in touch with her since I really regret losing contact with her, so if anyone happens to know how to contact her tell her to get in touch with me:). I think she might still be involved in the SCA in Florida. I have a really annoying habit of losing touch with friends because I get so busy and overwhelmed with life that I don't get in touch with them, but it's NEVER deliberate and I always feel bad afterward.
sharan: (Rockers Online)
It's live.
sharan: (Rockers Online)
*whew!* Another week is just about done. My parents were in town until Wednesday morning, and between that and being up late every night they were here because I wanted to get some work done on Rockers Online it was a crazy week. But it's just about over and it looks like my goal of actually launching things this weekend are pretty much on track. I have 3 bands pretty much ready to go live in the new format, and I'm hoping to get at least 1 or 2 more ready before it launches.

It definitely needs to be this weekend, because there's only 1 week left until classes start, and next weekend is the Def Leppard/Journey show. It's hard to believe classes are coming up so fast! The insanity has already started! At the beginning of this week I managed to get myself into the MIDI class I really wanted to take (if I do want to go into game audio like I'm considering it'll really help, and my adviser said he can work with it for my degree), and no more than 5 minutes after registering I found out another class I really wanted, AI for Video Games, was canceled because only 3 people registered for it.:( Of course that meant I had to drop the regular AI class too (I'm not taking one without the other) and I've spent all week juggling and re-juggling my schedule to try to come up with something that works. I think I'm close now, but I'm registered for another class, Pipelines for Games and Interactives, that only has 5 people registered for it now, so that might be canceled, too. (believe me, the lack of enthusiasm for the classes for my new major has me a little worried. I guess they all want to go out and get boring web jobs after they graduate.) The good news is, if that IS canceled I'll be able to arrange my schedule so I only have classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. I'd have 2 full days to work, and 4 whole days to prepare for the next week of classes. I really like that idea! I'm half tempted to drop the class now for that, but I'll at least wait and give it a chance to be offered. Even with it that means my only class on Thursdays isn't until 5.

The great thing about the no class on Thursdays is, it'll make a few things much easier: no driving up to USC for the day during Worldcon, and I won't have to worry about the Asia Long Beach show (on a Wednesday night, so I can see them twice - I already got tickets for the Canyon Club show), or the Stratovarius show at House of Blues on Wednesday, October 4th (the day before Queensryche show at the Gibson Amphitheater I already ordered fan club tickets to, so it'll be a busy week!).

Well, I'm pretty much done here (I was waiting for things to get pushed live) so I'm going to head home so I can spend the weekend getting Rockers Online launched (and other things I want to get out of the way before classes start)!
sharan: (Rockers Online)
So this morning I actually got to flip the switch and send the first band page in the new format "live" (O.K., only on my test server at home, but still, it's basically done, other than maybe replacing the placeholder image with a new one). Damn, that feels good. I managed to fix the last problem with pulling random Amazon ASINs out of the database last night, so other that any bugs I find, the back-end db work I plan on doing before I launch this thing is done! Now it's just a question of adding data for a few more bands.

It's still time consuming, since I basically try to find every site in existence for a band, since I want Rockers Online to be a lot more comprehensive than the other music sites out there, and I added even more new information (like a Discography section with albums pulled from Amazon, which also lets me fill in the Amazon ads on the side from the database.). But at least now the Band pages will be MUCH easier to update (band members on the other hand will have to wait for another time, so a few people on the site who aren't either band members or solo artists won't be updated anytime soon. That's going to be a whole other big job).

My parents are in town right now, so I can only really work on this late at night or in the morning before I go to work, but I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. I won't get much done this weekend, but I'm hoping by the end of next weekend I'll actually be able to push this thing live!
sharan: (Rockers Online)
Well, that was a busy (and hot) weekend. I was hoping to finish up the Mailing List administration pages for Rockers Online done and maybe one of the others (FTP, Mailing Lists, Newsgroups, and Online Chats). Instead I finished ALL of those! Woohoo! Now I just need to finish the code to display everything on the band/artist pages and figure out how I'm going to handle the affiliate links in the database, and start adding bands! Then this can finally go live.

And I did all this even considering [ profile] chythar came over Saturday for an all-day Dungeon Siege 2 marathon.

In other news, [ profile] chythar and I also managed to get tickets to this show. I'd heard Def Leppard and Journey were touring together but was annoyed when I didn't see any dates listed around here, so when [ profile] chythar told me about it on Friday I was definitely interested in going:). And thanks to Google we were actually able to get halfway decent seats in the Internet presale, since by the time the tickets went on sale to the general public there was really nothing left but lawn tickets!
sharan: (Rockers Online)
Well, last night I made major progress in my major goal for the summer, working on Rockers Online, which makes me feel a lot better about the fact that there's only about a month left before classes start up again. I've uploaded a few minor changes but the big part has been happening completely behind the scenes, and I haven't even posted about it ON Rockers Online because I'm doing major work on the database and the less I have to copy over from the live site before this goes live the better. As it is I'll have to copy over the user poll information from the live database.

Click for tech-geek details )

So it looks like there's a good chance I'll have this project done before classes start, and be able to actually start updating the site once in a while! I think throwing myself into school over my head really has made me more productive, since I'm getting a lot more done now outside of work while working full time than I ever did before I went back to school.

In other good news, Kitty went to the vet this morning. His eye's much better and he no longer has to walk around with a cone around his head constantly bumping into things! I'm sure he's happy now! He basically had a type of herpes most cats have since birth, and his eye was watering for months and he managed to scratch his face up really badly rubbing at it. It's better now, although it could always come back. Other than Lysine twice a day until August just in case he doesn't need anything else for this:).

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