Pat McGee Band at Wolf Trap

Opener Sister Hazel put on a fine set of power pop/rock, then we got the big act (after running into Mike Clem at a Pat McGee Band show for the second year running). We were pleased that once again our favorite Todd Wright was sitting in on keys.

Todd Wright

Throughout the set Luke Brindley also popped in, adding tasteful rhythm guitar and backing vox.

Luke Brindley

But the star of the show was Pat, leading the way through a fine mix of his songs, both old and new. I think the highlight was when he came out in the audience to make a connection with a platoon who served with his former drummer’s brother, and ended up standing on the chair next to Jill.

Pat McGee Band

Movies I’ve watched, week twenty-eight

48. The Village
I bought it but never got around to watching it, as everyone knows each successive film M. Night Shyamalan has made has been worse. The only one I haven’t seen now is The Happening so I can’t rate all of them, but I think the popular wisdom is wrong and at least have to put it ahead of Signs, and maybe Unbreakable. It’s the only movie he’s made not set in our world, and that tone sets it apart from his others. I’d like to see another one like it. B+


I listen to and read a lot of music sites. Most are blogs, a collection of quick thoughts – a fairly quick look at a topic, then they move on (like, um, mine). The Onion’s AV Club is more like a traditional magazine, with columns (sometimes weekly or at strange intervals). What’s really grown on me since the start of the year is Popless, best introduced with its own tagline:

After 17 years of professional music-reviewing, Noel Murray is taking time off from all new music, and is revisiting his record collection in alphabetical order, to take stock of what he’s amassed, and consider what he still needs.

And it’s exactly what it says, and fascinating to read and listen to, even if you don’t agree with what he says all the time. It is time consuming, but I’ll start the song playing, read the track description, and go look at something else until it’s done (tabbed browsing is your friend). And I guarantee you’ll find that you don’t know every band (and like some of the new ones), and some of it will reinforce your opinions, and sometimes you’ll figure out you really don’t like that artist anymore.

Wow, the weekend is over already?

It was kinda like work – sometimes the busier you are, the faster the time goes. Let’s make it more like work and take the bullet point approach to the weekend:

  • Made a funky chicken dish (was planning on fajitas, but I pulled out wingettes) with a chipotle sauce
  • Made two more DVDs (if I keep the pace, I may finish in 2012)
  • Didn’t make any concerts (was thinking about two on Sunday, but the thunderstorms were discouraging for outdoor concerts
  • Made my favorite ever huevos rancheros with the leftover chipotle sauce
  • Watched a lot of TV, including the rest of the first season of Burn Notice (was recommended to watch last summer, but they never showed the pilot again), excellent writing and acting
  • Finished my last auction for a while and it was excellent (especially since the last two didn’t do that well)
  • Organized my DV tapes and burned DVDs (without menus or organization) which helped me realize it will take me years to get it all the way I want it
  • Vacuumed

At last

I’ve had a camcorder since 2000 and have been recording concerts since then to DV tape (not to mention the number of concerts I have on VHS). But I’ve struggled to find some DVD authoring software to do what I want with them, namely have easy to make custom menus that behave in a certain way (tracks go directly into the next track after play, links automatically generated on the menu from tracks added). It’s amazing the number of hoops most of the major software make you jump through, but I’ve been determined to find something that will work. I’ve tried a number of software packages in the last couple of weeks, and finally found one that meets all my needs: TMPGEnc DVD Author 3. The wizard does exactly what I want, and it’s easy to use. I don’t know how long it will take me to go through my backlog, but I got one done tonight – it’s a start.