Meg & Dia once again had a great performance at the Epicentre, in San Diego, CA. This was a different crowd and environment than their previous night's gig at Saint Rocke, but it was still all good. They played another new song, which I believe is called "Helicopter" (I need confirmation).
Anyway, quick run down of the night...
Glad to see several of the boardie "veterans" show up. Old habits never die as a certain someone was bringing the hype "USA! USA! USA!"
That reminds me, newer boardies who we've never met. If you recognize a boardie, introduce yourselves. I've met at least a couple more this time, and oddly enough one of them (Hi Joya!) I've seen in a Marie Digby concert I've also been to.
"Love Song" music video shoot was fun to watch. I did not participate this time, but seeing the four boardies try and keep a straight face while lip synching to the song was entertaining. A couple of the boardies were having some fun with Carlo while he was shooting as well.
My one main personal highlight though has got to be Carlo shouting "Pivot! Pivot!" while I was helping him move one of the tall boxes of gear. That's a FRIENDS joke I haven't stopped using since the episode it came from aired on TV, and hearing him use it was a very welcome surprise.
I'm back from Hermosa Beach from seeing "Meg & Dia" at Saint Rocke, and I'd like to say just WOW! WOW WOW WOW that was a phenomenal performance by the band!
The "It's Always Stormy In Tillamook" songs totally shined when played live, and they played ALL the songs from it (well, no "Down The Open Road" but still). It was a thrill to hear the covers, a new song from the upcoming new album next year, and Dia on guitar! Not to mention manager Mike Kaminsky actually being there in one of their gigs, after a long period of not seeing him in one.
I'm glad the rest of the Meg & Dia hardcore fans; the "boardies," got to see the show streamed live, and although there were few of us boardies there physically, at least in internet spirit they were all there as well. I'm looking forward to more audio/video rips from the stream, so I can re-live the night. BTW, I know I've always produced live video footage from MaD shows, but because of the stream I opted not to. I still took the occasional photos though, which you can find here...
A couple of personal highlights of mine from the night...
- Former boardie Derek making an appearance after years of not going to a MaD show. Plus he kept the tradition we started years back of buying each band member drinks. He must have gotten Meg at least 3+ drinks.
- "I better not F*** up then" = Meg's response, after I reminded her about the live stream, and how the whole world could be watching them. I found her answer so apt and humorous at the same time.
- Dia on guitar! Can't ignore that as a highlight.
- Carlo's impromptu singing and dancing to "Rump shaker"
- Dia talking about the Inception episode of South Park.
- The band and crew trying to put their gear back in the van was like a puzzle. "This fits here, how? Where's Nick, he's the one that's good at figuring this out."
- Just chatting and hanging out with the band, plus them actually knowing my name is always a highlight.
- Oh, and I got the band to do drawings on the EP, which you can find in this photo...
Is it fair that you can't use Netflix on the 360 unless you have a paid XBOX LIVE GOLD account, when the other consoles get it for free? No it isn't fair. Yes it's Microsoft's right to do this, and no it's not the end of the world that you can't use Netflix on a free silver account, but I'd still honestly not defend their position on this.
In general, we all should just look at that Gold membership as a simple means to play online games on xbox, and just treat all the other extras as what they really are... extras! No headaches with that line of thinking, especially since it's clearly not changing anytime soon. In terms of social interaction with online gaming on a console, the xbox 360 is still undisputed king, so the costs count towards that experience.
Me on the other hand, I have recently turned off my automatic renewal to my Gold membership that I've had for 7 years. Simple fact of life is that as the years have passed, I honestly hardly ever go online to play anymore. There have been times that I've literally gone without playing online for months. I've only really used my Gold membership this past year to play Street Fighter IV online and Netflix. Was that worth $50 a year to me? Is that worth $60 a year to me? Yeah, the price hike, even if it's not THAT significant of a hike, has made me decide to try being a silver member after my Gold runs out.
I may be able to live without online play, but I want an easy media box for Netflix still. Which leads me to this question... Between these two Netflix capable devices below, which one should I get?
Roku HD Player - $70 or Panasonic DMP-BD65 Blu-Ray Disc Player - $120
I'm leaning more towards the Roku HD Player, but having a Blu-Ray player handy wouldn't be a bad thing I guess (no, I do not own a PS3). Now many of you are going to think I'm insane, but I'm honestly not planning to build a Blu-Ray collection even if I do get the blu-ray player. I've got a humongous DVD collection as it is, but streaming movies and TV shows via the cloud is the future, so I'm not dipping my feet into building yet another disc based media format that'll go obsolete a few years from now. I'll rent/borrow Blu-Ray's from time to time, but that's it.
So now, let's compare the Roku HD Player to five years of xbox LIVE Gold.
5 years of Gold = $200 5+ years of Roku HD Player = $70
Now since we're playing the price numbers game; come the price hike, in all honesty $5 a month for XBOX LIVE GOLD to do online play and Netflix is NOT a bad deal. If you go with the $40 GOLD deal that sites like Newegg has (stacked renewals max at 5 years per account), then that's only $3.33 a month. Free is still a better price to pay for online play (plus extras); sure, but the price of GOLD is not as bad as some people make it out to be. However that $5/month (or $3.33/month) perspective is really the price of me using Netflix on the 360, with the ability to play online as a side thing. Is it worth it?
In all honesty, if a future game comes out that I really want to play online with (3rd Strike, SF X Tekken), I may go back and get GOLD anyway. I only really play Super Street Fighter IV online (Don't care for FPS online play), and the last time I played that was over a month ago. I'd like to have an alternative solution to stream Netflix to my HDTV for the time being. I already have my computer hooked up to my HDTV via HDMI, but the quality of the stream for some reason isn't as good as LIVE, and I'd like the convenience of having a remote control for Netflix. The Roku HD player seems to be the solution for my current situation.
With all that said, my Gold membership expires on Dec 27. The price hike happens Nov 1. I've got less than 2 months to convince myself to stick with xbox live gold to take advantage of the $40 deal. What will it be?
Read the whole thing, but these were the main points in regards to the problems of Comic-Con's famous Hall-H...
* A bigger hall -- Yeah, I know there isn't one at the San Diego Convention Center, and that's not really Comic-Con's organizers' fault, but there are just too many people for the space. It's as simple and complicated as that. Maybe it's time for the show to move to Las Vegas or Anaheim? * More bathrooms. * More places to eat -- maybe sell concessions licenses to roving vendors, like a ball game. * A courtyard: Maybe a pen that's open to the outside air and sunshine would soothe people's frazzled nerves a bit. * Line organizational system -- Comic-Con could give out a set number of tickets for the Hall in advance, and not force people to wait in line all day for a panel that they might not even get in. * Clearing the hall between panels -- If the hall was emptied between panels, each panel would be filled with only people who cared about that movie, and no one would be forced to sit through hours of trailers they don't care about to see the one they did. * Overflow room -- If you're in the back of the Hall, you're basically watching the panels unfold on a video screen any way, so why not give people the option of watching the announcements from a separate hall? They're filming the panels, so why not have a live feed to a lounge for people who want the news, but don't care about seeing people in the flesh. * Bigger seats --Those Comic-Con people are pretty fat, I'm just saying.
That's the gist of what that writer thinks are easy solutions that Comic-Con could do. Now I agree that Hall-H does indeed stand for "Hall-Hardcore." I've been going to Hall-H since it first opened, and have talked with Comic-Con organizers throughout the years. So here's a response to those suggestions...
- Bigger venue doesn't solve the problem. A bigger place just means putting MORE people into the mix, which means more competition for line placement and seats. Anaheim does not have a comparable Gaslamp district for all the satellite Comic-Con related events, and the heat + alcohol in Las Vegas is questionable for this convention.
- Throughout the years, bathroom and food has been increasingly dealt with. There are actually more food vendors for Hall-H now than year's past.
- Access to a courtyard (to see the sun) in between panels would be nice.
- Tickets for specific panels may seem like a great idea, however, the masquerade event on the Saturday night already requires a ticket, and there are STILL people waiting early in the morning for it. Also if there are approximately 8 Hall-H panels in a day, they're going to have to figure out how to place 8 different lines that can hold 6,500 people in each one.
- The clearing the panel room idea was tried one year. It failed miserably. The only way this would work is if there was a gap of maybe about an hour in between panels to pull this off (let alone the multiple lines problem). This would mean that instead of something like 8 studio panels in one day, we'll only get 4.
- Overflow room is a nice idea, but with limited space as it is, where's the overflow room going to be located? Not only that, but the studios are going to have to sign off on the idea of their exclusive clips being shown in a separate area outside of Hall-H. The last time a Warner Bros Comic-Con trailer was leaked out to the public, the following year they purposefully showed NOTHING when they were promoting the Dark Knight to get even.
- I take it the last point is a simple joke, but just to make it clear, bigger seats = less people in Hall-H.
I'm going to go out and say that lowered capped attendance IS unfortunately the only solution to all the problems. However the costs to cover that will only be transferred to even higher prices to attend Comic-Con. Will you be willing to pay as much as $200 for a 4 day pass + preview night, if it means less crowds?.... I guess I would, but still...
You would like to make the world a better place, but you also don't want to inflict any damage on it. You try to live a green and sustainable life. The environment matters deeply to you.
You are thoughtful in your decisions and words. You think everyone should try harder not to harm one another. You don't think big... in fact, you tend to think small. You know that one small action can make a big difference.
Famous movie director Woody Allen has said a few things recently about growing old, and despite the fact that I'm no where near his age, I can't help but agree to his point of view (If only I could be 25 forever). Here below are quotes from what he said, which you can also find at : http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8684809.stm
"My relationship with death remains the same - I'm strongly against it,"
"I find it a lousy deal. There is no advantage to getting older,"
"I'm 74 now and you don't get smarter, you don't get wiser, you don't get more mellow, you don't get more kindly - nothing happens."
"But your back hurts more, you get more indigestion, your eyesight isn't as good and you need a hearing aid. It's a bad business getting older and I would advise you not to do it if you can avoid it."
"One must have one's delusions to live. If you look at life too honestly and too clearly life does become unbearable because it's a pretty grim enterprise,"