Dweezil Zappa vs. Roger Waters

December 7, 2010 at 11:33 am | Posted in Audio, Concert, Digital, Jazz, Rock, Theater/Theatre, Vocal | 3 Comments
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I wasn’t going to blog either of these shows, because they are both so epic that you really have to be there to get it. Then, I realized something. I’m not one of those people that uses the word epic on a daily basis; I must have something blog-worthy. So, here we go…

The Music
     Both shows feature decades old music written by highly respected, highly talented composers. Each features complex instrumental arrangements with uncommon instruments. Both feature horns, keyboards (analog and digital). Multiple vocal parts are present in each. Drums were tight, loud and crisply gated at each show. Both drummers were highly skilled. I’d say they are deft at keeping meter in both standard times, and random timings that only people with years of experience, or Master’s degrees in music, even know what it is called. 6/16th time with augmented triplets or some such…but I’m guessing. Guitar players are both highly capable. Dweezil got to show off a few more styles; due to the fluid nature of Frank Zappa’s composition – but the guys in Roger’s band played note for note as the album dictated. Overall music from each was an exceptionally clear sonic wall.

Both Winners.

The Visuals
     Roger Waters brings bleeding-edge projection technology to an arena and projects incredible animations from Gerald Scarfe, superbly edited movies, and pictures of soldiers from fans around the world; onto a giant wall which gets built brick by brick as the show progresses. The video projectors are capable of momentarily transporting you into another dimension, I’m pretty sure. There are video technologies in play at this show that I’m sure originated in Area 51.
     Dweezil Zappa had 3 screens that occcasionally projected time-synced (to the live concert) remastered film footage of his dad. The footage was great, the timing was perfect. The restoration work (or was it just great preservation?) on it was superb.

Winner: Roger Waters. Sorry Dweezil. Roger outgunned you massively on this one, but he was dealing with a much bigger venue. The scale leaned in his favor from the start, and I took that into consideration. Even with the scale handicap – he just plain outgunned you.

The Sound
     Impeccable. I can assure you I am intimately familar with The Wall. I must also admit that I was not very familiar with ‘ Apostrophe. I listen to a lot of Pink Floyd and Roger Waters. I only own one Frank Zappa Album; Quadiophiliac. However, it is in on DVD Audio; remastered by Dweezil in multi-channel surround, as was originally specified Frank.
     Everyone involved in projects by Waters or Zappa is the “cream of the crop”. Whether they be technicians, musicians, vocalists or personal assistants – I am positive they are held to the highest standards of excellence. I’m sure it doesn’t matter if they are making coffee or tweaking a knob on a 96/24 audio console; everything has to be spot on. There are no shortcuts. Dedication to audio perfectionism requires state of the art gear, tweaked by technical experts and massaged by audio artists. Both shows had this in spades. Since Dweezil was playing a much more intimate show, I can’t knock him for not bringing the Qadrophonic rig like Waters did. I’m not even sure Frank envisioned this material as multi-channel. The balls-on stereo imaging present at the Zappa show more than made up for the lack of quad.

Both Winners.

The Emotions
     Roger brings with him a personal tale of fear, regret, disconnectedness and an anti-establishment world view. I can relate to that. I get the story. I love the story. I’ve seen it on the big screen, small screen, mid-sized screens and now on Ultra-Huge screens. Great story. Emotionally charged. Power packed.
     Zappa’s tales are a bit more fun. Uplifting and whimsical at times. Dreamy and surreal. At one point, as Dweezil did a bit of improv on the guitar; he effortlessly played an instantly recognizable Jimmy Page riff. It was a fleeting, joyous moment. I felt a tear well up and roll out of the corner of my eye as I had an epiphany. Concerts at this level of musicianship aren’t always about the spectacle…they are about the music, and how it can transcend time and space.

Winner: Zappa

So, there you have it folks. Big vs Small. Grand vs Intimate. Composer against composer. A tie. All things considered; either of these shows beats out any other plans for the night you might have had. You really have to see them to believe them. I can’t describe just how well both of these guys were able to capture a moment in time, bottle it and preserve it to be released upon an unsuspecting (or anxiously awaiting) public decades later. They are both incredible shows. Zappa and Waters – I salute you both.
 

Is Prop 110 a Conspiracy?

October 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Posted in Blogging, Politics | 2 Comments
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There are a lot of people arguing FOR Proposition 110 on the Arizona ballot this year. There are exactly zero (0) arguing AGAINST it, in the official ballot booklet.

Just for fun, let’s take a look at it from a different…perhaps conspiratorial… angle.

If you don’t have Google Earth installed – you should. Click the link to download it directly from Google. Then, you can follow along in this exercise.

Prop 110 – Arizona State Trust Land Exchanges

_________What your vote will mean__________

A “yes” vote shall have the effect of authorizing the sale or lease of state trust land without auction or advertisement in order to protect military installations and operations. It will also allow voter-approved exchanges of state trust land after public notice and hearing if the exchange is related to either protecting military facilities or for land management purposes.

A “no” vote shall have the effect of retaining current law regarding the sale, lease and exchange of state trust land.

______________________________________________

Let’s poke around at what military bases might be in jeopardy of encroachment, and need some land traded in order to protect them. After all, that’s what the proponents of this proposition say it is for. We will focus on Davis Monthan Air Force base in Tucson, because it is big, and has a decent amount of State Trust Lands in its vicinity.

Open up the AZ Parcel Viewer, located here:
http://sco.az.gov/website/parcels/viewer.htm

Hit the Button, near the top, for EASY SEARCH (popups must be enabled)
Select Township
T16S R15E
Zoom to Township

That will zoom you into an area just south of I-10. you can zoom out a bit to see the air base just north of I-10. It will also create a selected area that is light pink – that’s not the pink I refer to below. After zooming out you will see the base in dark pink.

Turn on Land Ownership in the Layers on the right side by putting a check mark in the square. That will color the map according to who owns it.
Pink=Military (Davis Monthan Air base in this case)
White=Private Owner
Light Blue= State Trust Land

Now ask yourself…”Who owns all that white land just south of the air base?
Lets open Google Earth to find out.
Search for Business:
IBM Tucson, AZ

That should answer that question. (It should come up as selection A – double click it to zoom in and see their campus. The air base is just above it)

Now ask yourself…”Why would IBM care about any land adjacent to their existing campus?

I refer you to Paragraph 1, Sentence 2 on Page 20 of the following document (note title of said document):

THE GEOTHERMAL POTENTIAL
OF THE ffiM PLANT SITE AREA,
TUCSON, ARIZONA, T15S, T16S, RI5E

http://www.azgs.state.az.us/publications_online/ofr/ofr7918.pdf

There ya go. The way I read the proposition, it would allow the State to sell that Trust land to them directly, without advertisement or auction. No independent financial analyses. No public hearings. No highest bidder. IBM just names a price, and they can buy it.

As it stands now, the state can lease that land (and apparently is), or they can sell it at auction, to the highest and best bidder.

Why would they come up with a proposition that requires massive transparency and accountability in order to exchange the land, for other equally valuable federal lands; when they don’t have to provide accountability nor transparency if they decide to sell it privately?

Hey, this is just my thought. Do what you want this information. Take some time, while your map is color-coded as above, to browse around the parcel viewer and see what military bases might be in danger. You are looking for pink areas, surrounded by light blue areas. Check Luke Air Force base in Phoenix. Fort Huachuca outside of Sierra Vista. Note that the yellow areas are BLM lands, so they don’t apply. Green areas are forests. White areas are privately owned (that means there are already commerical buildings or housing tracts there).

Leave me some comments below, or hit me up on twitter @therealcyber5, and let me know what you think about this article.

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