Afrika Bambaataa Via DJ Shadow And Cut Chemist, Westcott Theater, 10 November 2014 – Photo Gallery On LiveHighFive.com And Flickr

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A bit of a diversion from the usual posting faire, I had the privilege of catching the Syracuse stop of DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist’s Renegades of Rhythm tour from the other side of the security gate (for the first 10 minutes, anyway, then a bunch from the back). 80% performance and 20% history lesson, the set featured selections from Afrika Bambaataa’s own vinyl collection (current in the process of digitization at Cornell Library, where hip hop’s Amen Ra currently graces the campus as a Visiting Scholar).

The extra-special access provided through arrangement between the performers and Gregory Allis of, among other things, Live High Five. From Greg’s post of the event at livehighfive.com:

DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist brought their touring ethnomusicology lesson to a respectable and excited crowd on a cold Tuesday in Syracuse, NY a few weeks back. After catching the show in Austin during the tour’s first leg, it was pretty much mandatory to follow up with a second helping of tunes cultivated from Afrika Bambaataa’s personal stash. It isn’t often that the longtime friends pair up and bring their skills on the road, but it’s always a spectacle when they do!

A few things need to be said: 1) Hip Hop = DJ’s, MC’s, Breakdancing, and Graffiti, 2) DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist incorporated all those elements into the performance and tour, 3) Afrika Bambaataa deserves every ounce of recognition he has coming to him, and 4) the beginning of Boogie Down Production’s “South Bronx” is one of the hardest things on Earth.

For the full set, off to flickr -> flickr.com/photos/somewhereville/sets/72157649174784268/

The (Great) Uncle Nick (Small) WWII Photo Archive On Flickr

I inherited a number of in-the-trenches World War II black-and-white photos from my Great-Uncle Nicholas Constas (a.k.a. Nikko The Clown) and decided, largely because they’re damned interesting, to finally scan + upload them to a flickr set. If others have the same or anyone is interested in providing details, feel free to flickr comment or drop me a line. Link below:

www.flickr.com/photos/somewhereville/sets/72157632622306393/

Zenero (sp?) Bell/Cymbal/Chime Question – Now It’ll Appear Twice! – And The Vimeo Spizzichino Mini-Documentary To Boot

It seems a near-impossibility that you can buy something in a store today that has (as of this post) ZERO google footprint, but I found it. On a recent trip to Buke at the Music Center on James St., I picked up the cymbal/chime/bell/thing below. The only identifiers on this 6″ core of a heavy ride cymbal are the cursive TM’ed text that looks like “Zenero” and a pure tone that can be easily discerned from background noise for a minute or more (and you can feel the air buzzing just around it as it rings).

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Spaceweather.com Spotter Photo Of The International Space Station From Darling Hill Observatory, 13 November 2009

Purely for keeping track of the content I generate on the internet, I’m reproducing the contents of a photo submission to spaceweather.com taken at Darling Hill Observatory during our November 2009 Public Viewing Session (as announced at the Syracuse Astronomical Society website HERE). The original can be found at the Spaceweather Spotter page HERE.

Image taken: Nov. 13, 2009

Location: Vesper, NY, USA

Details: The ISS made an early evening fly-by during the last official Public Viewing session for 2009 of the Syracuse Astronomical Society in Vesper, NY. The 6:36 p.m. EST fly-by made it as far as Alcor and Mizar before passing into Earth’s shadow (the Big Dipper is just entering the tree line to our North). Details: Canon SD780 IS, 15″ exposure, 400 ISO.

Click on the image above for a larger version.

The original post can be found at spaceweather.com/submissions/…Damian-Allis-ISS_BigDipper_1258219906.jpg. A PDF’ed version of the page from the spaceweather.com site is stored locally for posterity HERE.

The Excelsior Cornet Band At Canastota Public Library, 4 October 2009

“I know only two tunes.  One is Old Hundredth, the other one isn’t.” – Abraham Lincoln

Nearly six score days ago, the Excelsior Cornet Band performed in Canastota, NY as part of the Art & Music series at the Canastota Public Library.  As reported in the Fall 2009 edition of  “Check It Out!” (the library’s newsletter, of which a copy of the Fall 2009 PDF is saved locally at 2010january_excelsior_checkitout.pdf)…

On October 4, a concert is planned with “The Excelsior Cornet Band”.  “The Excelsior Cornet Band” is New York State’s only authentic Civil War brass band.  Founded in 2001, the band consists of a group of upstate New York musicians who are dedicated to the performance of original Civil War music on actual antique brass band instruments of the 1860’s period.  They will be performing their Abraham Lincoln Program on Sun., Oct 4 at 2 pm on the second floor of the Library.

Is this thing on? – Jeff Stockham


The Excelsior Cornet Band. Tintype photo by John A. Coffer.

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The Syracuse Astronomical Society Equipment Survey (Parts 1 and 2)

This is a reprint of two articles I wrote for the Syracuse Astronomical Society newsletter, the Astronomical Chronicle, for April and May of this year.  The series of articles is designed to introduce members and visitors to our equipment (the equipment generally found at Darling Hill) to help them decide what piece of equipment might work best for them.  And so…

“What should I get?”

This is the first article in a series that hopes to provide useful answers to a commonly asked question at Darling Hill Observatory. The plan is to introduce prospective purchasers to the broad range of equipment used by the SAS regulars, including pluses and minuses, benefits and hazards, complaints and complements. For some of us, we’ve had the same core equipment for years and know their subtleties backwards and forwards. For a few others, they always have a new purchase to show and a new tale to tell (I await the show-and-tell from this past weekend’s NEAF purchases). Hopefully, having the first-hand accounts of a variety of equipment will inform you a bit more about future purchases than the flowery descriptions found on manufacturer websites.

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Fuse Box Description and Amperage Settings For “New” Volkswagen Beetles

The Volkswagen New Beetle.  You can get a full-sized drum set into these things (although a 24″ kick’s going to require a padded case), a fact I learned after I bought the car in 2002, as my old Pearl Prestige Session drums had, at the time, been stolen by an antiquities-dealing crack addict who was part of a police sting operation to catch a drug lord on Syracuse‘s West Side.  One of my better band stories and proof that people on drugs are not in their right state of mind.  Also handy for transporting computer clusters across state lines.

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Syracuse Astronomical Society President’s Message For March, 2009 – The Messier Marathon Edition

A repost of the original at the Syracuse Astronomical Society website with a brief overview of our upcoming (weather-permitting) Messier Marathon.

Greetings Fellow Astrophiles!

This newsletter comes to you after a short run within the last ten days of almost perfect viewing conditions (ignoring the cold, of course, with the Vesper air reaching the high teens for long durations on a few occasions). We are now officially entering the SAS viewing season, with scheduled New Moon Public Viewing sessions until November (we will see how that plays out) and, we hope, many dark, clear nights in between.

The First Few “Unofficial” 2009 Sessions

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Grove Havener At Coleman’s Irish Pub, 6 March 2009

Top o’ the afternoon to ya, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.  A fortuitous occurrence above the western skies (relative to my apartment) of Syracuse in the direction of Tipperary Hill (where, for those interested in local trivia, the traffic light has the green on top thanks to the indefatigable efforts of Irish youths in the 1920’s) brings to mind three questions about the most recent (and my first sub’ing) Grove Havener (who’s name, for those interested in local trivia, is taken from an Earth Science teacher at Jamesville-DeWitt) gig at Coleman’s Irish Pub on 6 March 2009:

(1) Will it go ’round in circles?

(2) Will it fly high like a bird up in the sky?

(3) Did we play that Billy Preston cover?

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Crescent Moon + Jupiter/Venus Planetary Conjunction = ):

Yes, 4.5 billions years later, we have emoticons in the sky. Likely a more benign association than that of several hundred generations of the more “primitive” astronomical interpretations (although we continue to demonstrate we’re not doing to well as we race through the 21st Century).

The images show the Moon, Venus (bottom star), and Jupiter (upper star), with the Syracuse weather above my apartment just barely cooperating. I dare not venture a guess as to how poorly these would have come out without a tripod handy. Click on an image for a larger view.