Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Best live Jubilee recording ever!

I reminded Matias by email to send me a CD of the Jubilee recording of Sister Swing, and he replied:

Thanks once more Mark, it was fun.

I'll be sure you get a copy as soon as it is available. We (at the radio) have never been so pleased with a remote in our 15 years of covering the Jubilee. Note the notes from our producer and manager:

From Carl Watanabe:

It was a great broadcast. The acoustics in the hall were the best of any I've heard at the Jubilee, and yet I preferred listening on the radio. The production was first class and the audio quality outstanding. Nice work from each and everyone connected. Paul is to be congratulated for overseeing the event and for guiding the staff. Good Job.


Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Great college courses on mp3 audio

The Teaching Company : Educational Courses on DVD, Audio CD, Tape, and Cassette - Lecture Series by College/University Professors
I'm on my fourth audio course from this company and it has changed my life. They have the world's best professors in every subject you can think of. I download the mp3 version (which is also the cheapest) and listen to it on my little mp3 player while I'm driving or waiting in line. I've done Great Ideas in Philosophy, Existentialism, Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, and now Psychology of Human Behavior. I give top marks for all of them.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Valerie, the head Sister and her husband Bruce Bolin. He owns the Puddingstone recording studio, where I first tuned the piano about ten years ago. We were all surprised how many people we know in common (besides the obvious musicians). Valerie said that she found it odd that we hadn't met before.
The Convention Center has this odd terrace outside one of the ballrooms. It looks like you're in a street-level plaza (complete with old-fashioned street lights) but you're two stories up.
Our final set of the Jubilee, looking out over the chart for "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy." As soon as I get the CD for our radio broadcast, I will post clips online. Posted by Picasa

Setting up for the big band show at the Hyatt late Sunday night. The trumpets sounded incredible. One of the guys plays with Paul Anka.
This equipment is part of the KXJZ gear for the live broadcast. Matias is going to give me a CD of the show.
Matias again, hosting the live KXJZ broadcast from the Holiday Inn. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Swing Sisters with me backstage at the Crest. Paula (closest to me) made the dresses.
Outside the Crest Theater, this is what I called the "door to nowhere." Alan the bass player corrected me, saying it is the "door from nowhere."
Leigh and Valerie dressing me up as Bonnie again. This time Leigh pulled some socks out of her bra to stuff in mine.
Me and Matias Bombal, who emceed our set at Raley Field (and many other performances during the Jubilee). I learned to tune pianos from his father, Antonio --- the most educated person I've ever met. He has read most of the classics of Western literature in the original languages.
Our first set on Saturday was in the bleachers at Raley Field. In this pictures are Allan (bass), Ron (trombone), Dave (trumpet), Chris (sax), and Paula (Swing Sister). Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 26, 2006

Jennifer in the audience at the Crocker Beer Garden (where they grow the beer) for the first Jubilee set for Swing Sister.
Swing Sister Paula shows off her vintage hat and hair.
To highlight the fact that I was replacing their longtime pianist/arranger Bonnie, the Sister Swing girls dressed me up in wig, hat, earrings (clipons, fortunately) and giant bra. It went over great. (Does this outfit make me look fat?) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The new KOVR studios are right next to IKEA.
The KOVR studio piano is a Mason & Hamlin grand which is unique for its "centripital tensioners." (Don't ask.) I was telling Courtney about these and looking underneath when I noticed all the gum that people had stuck under there. That became the highlight of the piece. Peter, the cameraman, fetched another light to illuminate the underside of the piano. He practiced moving the boom camera underneath the piano and when the time came got the shot perfectly.
I was on Good Day Sacramento this morning and spent two hours in the studio with Courtney Dempsey, who does the traffic report walking on a giant freeway map. The piano was located on the Jackson Highway near Sloughhouse. You can see video of my appearance on their website.
The Ron Davis big band at Legends & Heroes in Roseville. Ron is the guy in the white cap. Sister Swing sang with us in the second set.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

s One of my customers has this fun office chair. It's quite comforable and great for keeping your back healthy. You can get it at Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

I got a call from Good Day Sacramento, the local morning show that I sometimes watch at the gym. They have just moved to a new studio and needed the piano tuned. The guy went to my website and thought I might make an interesting interview too. So I'm going to be there at 6 am on Thursday. Set your TiVo from 6 to 9 am on channel 31.

If you are going to the Jazz Jubilee this year, be sure to see Sister Swing and shout out my name at an inappropriate moment! Here is their schedule.
Over the course of two weeks, I visited a certain customer three times, and each time this television was in her neighbor's driveway. Posted by Picasa
This is the front of the "girly shirt" that Sister Swing lent me to wear at some of their shows at the Jazz Jubilee. Very Vargas. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I played for just an hour today at a very expensive wedding at Arden Hills Country Club. Even in Sacramento, some people have a lot of money! I got this nice boutonnière.
Paul Basye and I are on Joan's calendar for an exhibition in the fall. Joan's calendar is the string of papers hanging on the doorframe. Posted by Picasa
We had a small turnout for this month's Peace Corps dinner. But the restaurant had an excellent mariachi band.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

I just noticed yesterday that they had removed the pay phone from Espresso Metro. And I must say they did a fine job of it.
I have never heard of a high school soliciting students, but this ultra-hip billboard does just that for St. Hope Academy (which I notice is calling itself Sac High again, in a bow to tradition).

Monday, May 15, 2006

Stan showed me this bamboo in his backyard that grew about two feet in one day.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The person in the middle of this photo is Martin Short leaving the Curran Theatre after a performance of Fame Becomes Me. We saw the matinee today, and then had a delicious dinner at David's Deli across the street (which Jennifer had last eaten in with her parents many years ago.) While I was paying the check, the cashier pointed out Mr. Short leaving the theater, and I ran out the door with my VISA card in my hand and yelled across the street, "Martin! It was great! Thank you!" He yelled "Thank you" back and continued walking.
Here's a San Francisco Chronicle review that is close to what I thought of the show.
One line from the show that sticks in my mind: "I like my champagne the way I like my women --- comped by the theater."
Drummer Bob Allen and guitarist Tony Kay flank Frank Maffei of Danny and the Juniors. It turns out that the Juniors (like Bobby Rydell) are all from South Philly. I had a nice time talking to Frank about South Philly's unique parking traditions.
As he stood smoking a cigarette, he mentioned that he was going to get an angioplasty on Monday.

From a Philadelphia blog:

I don’t know if his name was really Charley, and I don’t know if he was from ‘downtown’, as people in those parts call certain areas of South Philadelphia, but he had that air of a ‘made’ man. That he double-parked his car and blocked the street identified him as someone used to doing so. Double parking is a birthright in South Philadelphia.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I took a whole bunch of pictures today of people wearing my masks, which you can see here.
I was a the River City Art Fair today and took photos from the same spot every fifteen minutes, like I'm going to do at Espresso Metro later. You can see the photos here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jennifer in bed.
Stan Lunetta in his basement.
A barista at Espresso Metro.
Two questions: 1)What kind of act is this(musical? martial arts?) 2)Is this Steven Seagal, or a guy doing a Steven Seagal tribute? Posted by Picasa
The fine guitarist Doug Pauly behind my face. I hadn't played with Doug in about eight years. Just before the show, he reminded me not to forget my amp, which I wasn't using and had stored at the side of the stage. That prompted a discussion between me, Doug and the bass player Tom of all the things we'd left behind at jobs. Tom said he'd left a bass and a bass amp outside the Silverado Lounge in Napa and didn't realize it until he got home to Cameron Park (about a 2-hour drive, for those of you not from Sacramento.) And of course if you know me you know that I'm constantly leaving tools at tuning customers' houses. Posted by Picasa
The Gold Country Casino in Oroville. Note the tasteful Native American motifs. Posted by Picasa