Zoro, Joy Williams, Ben Glover, And The Brothers Feng

With a random reunion at the Marshall St. Starbucks, I've found myself the guest of fellow JD Class of '94 alum and olde buddy Mike Feng at two concerts as part of CNY Crossroads. There's a certain logic to expecting professionalism and excellent performances from the Christian folk/rock community, as lip-sync'ing is, somehow, a smote-worthy offense. I'm reminded of an Amy Grant performance at some Billboard Music Awards show way back when during her "Heart in Motion" phase and watching the drummer ACT like he was hitting his left crash cymbal while clearly MISSING the target despite audio to the contrary. Let's face it. If the drummer's fakin', the band's plugged into ground and that's about it.

And I've got two words for Ashlee Simpson. Skid Row.


Click for a larger version.

Click for the video.

I went to the most recent show (April 28, 2007) specifically to see Zoro, easily one of the funkiest groove drummers around (I refer you to the list of accolades on his own site. Baby, it'd bad). While backstage, I also met Joy Williams and Ben Glover, the "other" performers for the evening of which I'd known nothing prior. Completely laid back and casual, genuinely happy to be in Syracuse performing from Nashville. After Zoro's first (of two short) drumset spots, Joy and Ben came out and completely leveled the place (that's music jargon if you're not a member of the discourse community). Ben is the consummate guitar accompanist and background vocalist, and we killed a good hour after the show engrossed in nanotech (when people ask what else I do besides drumming, well, you can imagine where the conversation goes). As for Joy, words do little justice to the quality of the singing voice she carries around (that's my musical AND professional opinion, BTW). I took the opportunity of a false start to record one of the two cover tunes of the night (In Your Eyes, by Peter Gabriel), the video for which I provide above.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Street
www.starbucks.com
ww.jamesvilledewitt.org
www.pecinc.com/pecsite
www.cnycrossroads.com
www.amygrant.com
www.billboard.com/bbcom/index.jsp
www.youtube.com/watch?v=MziHkbJRMdU
www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5zu2mUEe8Q
www.zorothedrummer.com
www.zorothedrummer.com/about.htm
www.joywilliams.net/index.html
www.christianitytoday.com/music/artists/benglover.html
www.syracuse.com
www.nashville.net
www.petergabriel.com

"We have no idea what's going on up there."

Oswego

It's a fun story, certainly a prime example of my occasional lack of common sense, and more first-hand eyewitness reporting of the state of Oswego county and points nearby. So, because I'm here to blog it, I provide below my attempted travel to Clarkson for a department colloquium and nanoworkshop.

6:00 am – begin drive to Potsdam. Cold wind, blue skies.

6:20 am – approaching Mexico, NY. Few flakes, but nothing to stop a (er, my) VW Beetle.

6:25 am – within five minutes, blue skies had turned into white skies. The abruptness of the change from non-lake effect to lake effect should have been warning enough.

7:00 am – somewhere between 6:25 and 7:00 am, when it hadn't been snowing THAT BAD yet, I decided it was time to do something stupid, so I pulled out the digital Elph, set it to movie mode, and recorded the little snippet above.

7:25 am – the turning point. After 1 hr, the 4-car caravan I found myself (thankfully) at the back of had made it nearly 5 miles towards the Mexico exit (34 on 81 N). By this time, the red glow of the taillights two cars in front of me were intermittently viewable due to snow obstruction. The exit itself was marked with a tractor trailer pulled to the side of the road, lights flashing. The three cars ahead of me begin the slow rightward veer to the exit. I trudge ahead beyond the exit…

7:26 am – … 13 feet. I wish now that I had had the better mind to take a picture of the view in front of me. My wagon train had been the ONLY thing on the road in at least… 20 minutes. In that 20 minutes, any pair of tire tracks were filled in, leaving nothing to follow. For all intensive purposes, 81 North WAS GONE. Literally disappeared. It looked like I had taken a hard right turn off the road and were facing the woods, the woods as they would have appeared after any other snow storm. The snow was at 7 inches where the tracks would have been, making the actual level of the snow all of 13 inches, making the path in front of me at least 3 inches higher than the clearance of the Beetle.

7:27 am – for the first time in my otherwise spotless driving career, I threw the car into reverse (which has to be some kind of no-no on a state highway) and drove back towards exit 34. Just barely making it to Route 104, I wait with the accumulated cars in the accumulation.

7:45 am – some small group of drivers begin the trip along 104 Wes, theoretically back onto 81 S. The on-ramp, invisible and sign-less, is overshot by all involved, leaving us to slip+slide along 104 W towards… nowhere in particular. With nowhere to turn around due to the height of the snow drifts, we trudge along for several miles. I knew there were houses there, as I could see the orange glow of room lights cutting through thinned snow drifts building up at house walls.

8:05 am – some spot in the road was wide enough to turn around, which we all did.

8:25 am – We reached the 81 South on-ramp just in time for the National Weather Service to declare a state of emergency in Oswego. "Far out," I said. I hadn't gotten near Oswego yet.

After 9:30 am – now comfortably out of the worst of the weather, I make the first calls to Cetin Cetinkaya at Clarkson and let him know I'm going to be late. About a week and a half late.

3 hr 3 min or so to get all of 35 miles. I've mentioned this to every Syracusan I've told the story to. No matter what you've seen on the TV, heard on the radio, or read about in the paper, we have no idea what's going on up there.

www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelDetailAct&fcategoryid=145&modelid=12466
www.google.com/maps?q=Mexico,+NY&sa=X&oi=map&ct=title
www.clarkson.edu/mae/faculty/cetinkaya.html
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_effect_snow
www.vw.com/newbeetle
www.co.oswego.ny.us
www.potsdam.ny.us
www.nws.noaa.gov
www.oswegony.org
www.clarkson.edu