Updates

Admitting I Took Productivity Advice from Seinfeld

Admitting I Took Productivity Advice from Seinfeld

Of the handful of goals I’ve set for myself in 2014, one of them was simply to blog more, be it for this blog or for boston ska (dot) net. I’m using skitch to easily cross off the days I blog because I need the gratification of checking something off. I hate to admit it, but I found myself motivated after reading about Seinfeld’s productivity secret on Lifehacker. I’m reluctant to admit it because I both dislike Seinfeld, and I’d sooner pretend I don’t read Lifehacker on a regular basis, yet, here we are. (more…)

A Year of Blogging in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for my blog [their copy, not mine, but I don’t hate it]. And because I actually blogged this year, the report was actually fun to look at. I’m proud of myself. I wanted to blog and I did.

What’s not in this report?

  • The countless posts I made for Hazon while I was Communications Manager there.
  • I soft-launched boston ska (dot) net in November and have done 100% of the posting there. (And just added a shiny new show calendar).
  • I also had a pretty good year on tumblr. Granted the posts are considerably less thoughtful, it was still posting and I was happy I kept it up.
  • Twitter. I have a hard time calling twitter “micro-blogging” anymore. It’s helpful to think about it that way when posting but I don’t think it’s something to be proud of (though my klout score went up this month, FWIW).

Here’s a cute graphic and the report:

Here’s an excerpt:

In 2012, there were 18 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 95 posts. There were 35 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 11 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was November 18th with 47 views. The most popular post that day was November/December Ska Shows and News.

Follow this link for the complete report.

I’m looking forward to more thoughtful blogging, more comments and conversation, and generally just more in 2013.

Happy New Year’s, kids! Happy blogging.

Jake

Five hours on a bus to Boston

I find myself on an evening Greyhound bus ride from New York City to Boston. I spent today and yesterday in the Hazon New York office training my successor (I hate the word “replacement,” we’re different people with differing skill sets. Replacement isn’t fair to either of us). Today was also my last day face to face with my coworkers. I’ve got two more days of work with them but it will be out of my cube in Boston. Besides being a productive day, the staff gave me a formal send-off laiden with warm-fuzzies (and thoughtful parting gifts including a bike jersey I had my eye on and a sweet multi-tool for bike tinkering). We also happened to spend a piece of that day’s staff meeting studying a few words of Talmud which was particularly nice. My work day ended with a very honest and productive exit interview which I only wish I had every other place I ever worked.

Before you get too wrapped up, I should note I don’t necessarily plan to go anywhere with this post. I intended to write in my NYC Moleskine notebook but the bus ride is way too bumpy. I just wanted/needed to write. It’s safe to assume this will be somewhat filtered but still genuine.
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The Summer Gig and Show Post Part II

Since I first wrote my first post about summer gigs, I’ve played a few shows, been to a few shows, and booked a few more.

I still can’t get over how much fun I had with The Hard Times when we played a set of blues covers and classic ska/punk tunes with Vic Ruggiero of the Slackers (videos and more excitement here). I caught Common in Ft. Greene at a festival. It was great to finally see him, but he played a very short set, half of which was a cool (yet, too long) medley of classic hip-hop tunes. The opening acts were also pretty lame and I missed Soulive entirely, who I was there to see in the first place. I caught The Aggrolites with The Have Nots at Highline Ballroom, one of the few all ages venues in Manhattan where you can see bands that aren’t big enough to fill Irving Plaza and the like. The Have Nots killed it and A.G.G.R.O. played a great set, though I felt like the whole night was a little bit better a year ago, when I saw the same two bands and one more at the Mercury Lounge. It’s a smaller, more intimate venue, though not all ages. A few nights later, I caught half a set at the pizza place near me (Two Boots Brooklyn, nothing like Two Boots in Manhattan, go right now) from a new project called Grand Concourse, featuring Kevin Batchelor of The Skatalites, Rhianna, Batchelor Party, the list goes on, Johnny Meyers of The Stingers ATX, Gideon from Westbound Train, and Eddie Ocampo of The Stubborn All-Stars and The Jammyland All-stars, as well as some other amazing musicians I know I’ve seen before. They KILLED it.

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Upcoming Gigs: March & April 2010

I realize we’re already halfway into March but I have three gigs left this month and April is already packed to the brim. I didn’t take the time to link every venue and band because you’re smart people and know how to use the google. These are gigs playing bass for Hey Stranger or guitar for The Hard Times unless otherwise stated. I will be continuously adding information to this post, especially in regards to the Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend as I have it.

*** UPDATED 4/5/10 5:11pm ***

Sunday, March 21, 2010
Bushwick Music Studios – 55 Waterbury Street, Brooklyn, NY
Royal City Riot (LI), The Pinstripes (OH), The Best Of The Worst (NJ), Hey Stranger (NYC)
Take the L train to Montrose Avenue
All Ages, Doors @ 7PM, $7
Facebook Event
*** Please note that Hey Stranger will not be playing Monday, March 22 at The Space in Hamden, CT ***

Thursday, March 25, 2010
“Reggae Hit The Town”
Ella Lounge, 9 Avenue A, B/w Houston and 1st
9pm, 21+, $6
The Forthrights, The Hard Times, Predator Dub Assassin
Facebook Event

Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Hannah Fairchild’s “Paper Kingdoms” CD Release Party
Bar 4, 444 7th Ave, Brooklyn, NY
with Annie Ragz, Debbie Miller, Ten Antennna
I have the privilege of joining the backing band for singer-songwriter Hannah Fairchild.
Facebook Event

Saturday, April 3, 2010
Version City Monthly
Skinnerbox (Reunion), The Scofflaws, Eastern Standard Time, The Hard Times, The Forthrights, Late Night Version City All Star Jam
Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Ave, L Train to Lorimer
7pm, All Ages, $10 adv/$12 dos
Facebook Event

Thursday, April 8, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 1
Presented by East Coast Collective
Bushwick Music Studios, 55 Waterbury St, L Train to Montrose
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Nix 86 (LI),  Hey Stranger, Curious Volume
7pm, All Ages
Facebook Event

Friday, April 9, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 2
Presented by Bronx Underground
First Lutheran Church, 375 Baisley Ave, Bronx, NY
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Endwell, Knuckle Up, Nix 86
Facebook Event

Saturday April 10, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 3
Presented By East Coast Collective
Ethical Humanist Society of Long Island, 38 Old Country Rd, Garden City, LI, NY
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Nix 86 (LI),  Hey Stranger, Hello Nurse, More TBA
All Ages, 6:30pm, $8
Facebook Event

Sunday, April 11, 2010
Zombie Apocalypse Survival Weekend Day 4
Past Thymes, 383 Main St, East Haven, CT
Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza (Featuring Members of Hey Stranger)
Nix 86 (LI),  Hey Stranger, These Green Eyes, Honey Creeper
7pm, $10 Under 21, $5 21+
Facebook Event

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Grace of Spades Presents Reggae Onna Bowery
Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery (at 2nd St.)
Wolf & Leopard, The Hard Times, The Equilbrians
8pm, $5, 21+

Saturday April 17, 2010
The Shrine, 271 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Boulevard, Harlem, NY
The Hard Times
Details TBA

Saturday May 1, 2010
Jacob Wake Up! Presents:
The Have Nots (Boston, MA), That Band With The Fat Kids (VA), More TBA
Bushwick Music Studio, 55 Waterbury St, Brooklyn, NY

Gig Updates Fall 2009

I’ve added a handful of dates to my calendar, always listed on the right, but here are some details. I linked a ton of the bands, so please check them out and discover some new music.

Hey Stranger

10/12/09 Trash Bar Flier - Duppies, NYSJE, Hey Stranger, ATAOct 12, 2009, 8pm, Trash Bar, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
with Across The Aisle, The Duppies, and the New York Ska Jazz Ensemble
Open bar from 8-9pm. $6 Cover
Late Night Drink Specials: $3 PBRs and $6 Jack & Back (PBR & Shot Of Jack Daniels) after 1am.

Oct 17, 2009, Univ. of Hartford, Hartford, CT
Benefit for The Phoebe Foundation
With Tip The Van, Math The Band, Hardcore Karaoke Pile On Extravaganza, & More
Konover Great Room, 200 Bloomfield Ave, Hartford, CT

Nov 28, 2009, Trash Bar, Brooklyn, NY
Details TBA, save the date.

The Hard Times

10/9/09 Bushwick Music StudiosOct 3, 2009, 7pm, Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY
Ska Splash Saturday (AKA the first ska show at the new Knit!)
with Hub City Stompers, Void Union, The Stress and Channel One
$12 adv, $15 dos

Oct 4, 2009, 4pm, Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ
Ska Sunday Kick-off show with Hub City Stompers, King Django, Channel One, The Heavy Beat and Void Union

Oct 9, 2009, 9pm, Bushwick Music Studios, Brooklyn, NY
Just off the L Train to Montrose
With Royal City Riot, The Duppies, and the Equilibrians
$5, $2 PBRs

Nov 12, 2009, 10pm, Otto’s Shrunken Head, New York, NY
Crazy Baldhead Soundsystem (Jah Point & Agent Jay) Spin, we play, No cover. Looking like it will be a monthly thing.

Box.net Widget

I added the box.net widget to the left column of my site. The intention was to embed recordings that I play on for easy listening and access without having to link to a separate file or heaven forbid a MySpace page. By and large, it was very easy to upload files and add the widget.

I think the widget does a nice job, my only complaint being that I have no control over the order of the songs, at least that I’m aware of. Many other sites seem to make nice widgets for embedding, but if they’re not supporting by wordpress, what’s the use. Blogger will allow almost any type of embed but it’s not worth sacrificing the many things that wordpress does so much better than blogger to begin with (format, layout, etc).

I quickly uploaded three recordings, all of which I’ll explain on the about page so it’s static somewhere.

Feedback? Likes, dislikes? Alternatives or suggestions?