Friday, August 26, 2005

Intermission I

If you will notice, I have finally started a Music Blogs I Read section in the sidebar. I had been collecting links for just that purpose previous to my Cube's departure for the Macintosh Afterlife, at which point I lost them all. There are several others I had found which I have yet to rediscover, so if you are a music blogger and I have left you off of the list, please e-mail me the link or put it in comments and I'll check it out.

I would also like to start a list of non-blog musician sites that are interesting, so if you have any of those to recommend, consider this a Bleg. They need not be traditional/classical musicians, as I intend to put several jazz guys in, since I'm a recovering jazzer and still love jazz and listen to it a lot (Not to mention that ALL of my students are jazzers and rock and rollers).

It's looking like, with my busy practice and performing schedule, I'll be lucky to average one Beethoven analysis post per week. In fact, when I'm done with this post, I'm going to start getting another one ready for Monday. That's really not a bad thing, IMO, because I'm finding this project to be roughly analogous to composing a large piece of music: A bit of time to reflect and absorb what has already been comitted to paper (Or, pixels, in this case) is necessary to chart out where this is all going. And, as I have mentioned multiple times previously, there will have to be a second go-through with revisions later to tighten it up. Once the harmonic and thematic analysis is done, I have decided that I will also look at proportions, peaks, and other overall internal relationships. I'm not a particularly big fan of Schenker (Not because I think his approach is not meritorious, but simply because it isn't particularly directly applicable to my compositional goals), so I will not Shenk the thing (If, however, any reader wishes to take my analysis and make a Schenker graph from it, feel free. If you send me a pdf or jpg of it, I'll certainly post it with complete credits, cudos, props, and "Oh, WOW!"'s).

RANT WARNING!

rant/

Some good news: The manufacturer of the products that caused me four months of equipment headaches came through like a champ. Above and Beyond the Call of Duty, in fact.

What happened began, as with most headaches in life, with the government trying to be helpful and protective: It seems like Canada decided that standard audio banana connectors were too similar to European power recepticles, so they mandated a change in the spacing of them. After all, we wouldn't want some clueless contestant for the anual Darwin Awards to - you know - mindlessly fry himself to satisfy our hunger for shadenfreude and do a little preventative clean-up and Cloroxing of the gene pool now, would we?

So, as a result, Monstercables now come with a flexible banana connector that can adapt between the standard spacing, or the Canadian-Totalitarian-Nanny-State-That-Believes-Citizens-Are-Too-Stupid-To-Think-Or-Live-Without-Their-Idiotic-Interferance spacing. It seems that the ones I got were v1.0.0.0.0000.000000 Alpha Test Units (Danger, Will Robinson!), or something, because the shielding became brittle and began to peel off of the individual strands of wire within the flexible boot of this Poorly-Though-Out-Response-To-A-Completely-Asinine-Governmental-Solution-To-A-Problem-That-Never-Existed. Naturally, when the strands finally made contact, you had the classic example... no, the epitome of a SHORT CIRCUIT!!!

Of course, since I've been using Monstercables since I worked at Manny's Music on 48th street in Manhattan back in the mid-eighties and never suffered a failure, and they have a lifetime warranty, AND they were brand spanking new and completely virginal in every way, THAT WAS THE VERY LAST THING I THOUGHT OF!

First thing that happened is that one of the internal protection fuses in my cherry Bryston 3B-NPB power amp went "poof". Since Bryston has a 20 year transferrable warranty, I was only out $30.00 for the shipping container and $65.00 for the round-trip shipping and insurance there. Aside from being without that amplifier for a few weeks, natch.

Figuring the culprit was the internal crossover in my Turbosound TXD-081 PA speaker, I set it asside and printed out a shipping label to send it off to be repaired AND ORDERED A $479.00 REPLACEMENT FOR IT!

Then, it happened again; only this time with my small venue rig, a DIFFERENT set of cables, and a DIFFERENT set of speakers. I believe the apropos internet acronym here would be "WTF?!" It was at that point that I took a look-see beneath the boots of the Caniadian-Braindead-Buttface-Politico-Mandated "new and de-proved" banana connectors and discovered the problem. I had to walk off of TWO GIGS by that time: Something which I hate to do above all else in my professional life.

I don't blame Monstercable for this series of debacles: They had to come up with SOMETHING that could adapt between the tried-and-true rigid and properly-spaced banana connectors and the Mandated-By-A-Bunch-Of-Basement-Level-IQ'd-Canadian-Pissant-Politicians version, didn't they? I'm sure Monster will come up with a more robust solution, BUT I CAN'T HELP BUT WONDER HOW MUCH THOSE CANADIAN-PARLIAMENTARIAN-PRICKS-WITH-HUGE-EGOS-AND-NO-BRAINS HAVE COST THEIR COMPANY!!! I mean, no way am I the only Monstercable user with this problem.

Is it any wonder us libertarians want to summarily fire at least 85% of all government employees? This isn't a political blog, but this time those dumbass politicians harshed my muse, man. AND THEY'RE NOT EVEN MY REPRESENTATIVES FROM MY COUNTRY!

Of course, the solution to the problem was to get a pair of adapters for each amp that are American-By-God-Rigid-And-Properly-Spaced bananas to 1/4" females and have Monstercable replace mine with 1/4" to Speakon's for my Turbosounds, and 1/4" to 1/4" for my Yamahas, which they have agreed to do. In fact, their PRO/MI AMD Rep, Jesse Gorman was an absolute jewel to work with: Extremely responsive (Within 48 hours), and he gave me his personal office extension with instructions to call. When I got his answering machine, he called me back within 15 minutes of my leaving him a message ON MY CELL PHONE. Great guy, great company. Canada, OTOH: Crappy politicians, beautiful State... er... Country.

Let's just hope nobody brings to the attention of the Canadian Parliament how much Speakon connectors look like sparkplug sockets.

Full Disclosure: I'm a US citizen born in St. Johns, Newfoundland, CANADA! Chances of me ever holding a Canadian passport again? -450,000 degrees below ABSOLUTE ZERO! Bunch of spaz-tards.

/rant

Back to Beethoven.

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