February 14th, 2004


Adam Johnson, Alert, Mishuggah

Had some fun last night. Adam Johnson, down from MPLS, playing @ Gabes. Adam has a CD out recently on M3RCK, which for lack of a better word, is an 'IDM' label, but last night he showed an ability to move seamlessly between more atmospheric, intricately programmed stuff and his own version of house? techno? Whatever -- he rocked. Mishuggah played a great set of chill electro, and DJ Alert, Iowa favorite Hoodlum, did a great set of early Chicago House.

During Adam's set, his friend, whose name I've criminally forgotten, mixed some great video. Real imagery -- trains, clouds, a blinking eye -- fractally decomposed into abstract, bubbling goo.

dooriya and m3ani3 were in attendance. Nice to finally meet dooriya -- her LJ presents a very distinct personality, and it's nice to get a glimpse of the person behind the persona. Meeting online-only friends is a bit like walking into a novel; in fact in some respects it's exactly like that. In an on-line journal one imposes a hopefully coherent narrative on the messy chaos that you actually live. It gives a reader a peek into the narrative one creates in one's own mind constantly, but it's edited.

At any rate dooriya is cute, funny and engaging, and she's an English major (as I was), and we have similar tastes in music. We talked trash about the Iowa Writer's Workshop, naturally. It sounds like she is going through what I went through 25 years ago. Though she seems to be having a way better time of it than I did. We can only hope. At least she'll be spared the incomparable experience of typing catalog cards for the library.

Anyway, the show -- loads of fun doing sound with Gabe's powerful, quirky PA. I spent 20 minutes on getting one channel of Adam's mixer to come through the board cleanly; the problem was a crappy DI box. Unfortunately I dropped the broken box down next to the wall inside the sound booth. OOPTH. I really need to buy my own DIs, but I resist it because I don't generally make any money doing sound, yet I'm going to spend $75 on DI's?

All night Adam felt like the PA was too loud; I've been to so many shows I'm used to it, for better or worse. During his set, I trimmed his channels down to where they had plenty of headroom and notched back the main board about -6dB. It sounded wicked good, especially after Alert's almost-20-year-old house records through a maxed out DJ mixer.

The LJ Phase Lock Loop Effect

1. Meet someone you've only know on LJ
2. After meeting them, post about it on LJ
3. Wait around for them to post about meeting you on THEIR LJ

When I found myself doing this, I felt deeply silly.

Live Journal creates ad hoc acquaintance networks more or less as a side effect, as opposed to Friendster (or Orkutster), which builds networks as their main purpose. The real purpose here is to keep the sort of journal one used to keep on paper, but not quite. A private journal, being private, would be about things you wouldn't necessarily want a random audience to know about. Live Journals are performances, and very few people who post to them do so without an eye to an audience.

When someone takes the time to respond to something you've posted you get a little charge from it. This no doubt informs on some level how you post as time goes by. You want to be someone who gives good LJ. The upside is that one takes a little more care in what one writes, and thinks about things in terms of how to effectly put them in words. The downside is ego-driven exhibitionism.

Anyway, it just goes to show the way one's actions in general are driven by craven approval seeking. I like to think of myself as someone who really doesn't give a fuck what anyone thinks. But really, of course I do.

So in addition to my earlier resolution to no longer dispense advice, I resolve to stop seeking peer approval here. I think if you're me, it would be a good thing to really not give a fuck what anyone thinks. I sure know what I think of myself, and while I think I have some good qualities, I certainly am aware of what a doofus I sometimes seem to be. Walking the fine line between doofus and mensch is never made easier by self-consciousness.