I am a Yid. I like to rock. Veitur!

- [ Wednesday, February 09, 2005 ] -
Problems with Jewish Rock
"Jeffrey Goldberg, Washington correspondent for the New Yorker, said, "Speaking as a layman, I don't think they own rock and roll and I don't think they own the phrase 'Hall of Fame' and I know for sure they don't own the Jews."

(c/o Yada and Josh Yuter)

Maybe the Football Hall of Fame should sue the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Or maybe the Planet Earth should sue a pebble.


- [ Tuesday, February 08, 2005 ] -
The Review are in
It's been a while since I mentioned Knishmas and I just wanted to let everybody know that it was AWESOME. Despite the massive snowfall and the lack of proper street-cleaning, it was a capacity crowd, oversold as the night went on. The crowd was very nice and everybody wanted to have a good time. I got tons of positive feedback on both of my bands. And I'm happy to say that Farbrengiton lived up to the hype, at least enough not to disappoint.

While the event was talked up enough in advertising and local papers, the reviews were unsurprisingly scarce. Nary a mention about the event was found, aside from my buddies.

Wait no longer. In the course of a vanity internet search, I came across an unsolicited, review by someone who doesn't know me. It's from the February newsletter of an alternative (much more alternative to some of you than to others) synagogue in the hip neighborhood. It's not so much a review as it is a nice summary of the evening. Here are a couple excerpts with my analysis.
Even Sh'siyah, which performed at the Christmas Day event at Spertus last year, and is heard throughout Chicagoland, did a rousing soul/jazz version of Psalm 150 ["Hallelu"].
In this one sentence, the author is clearly showing her attention to detail while describing that she enjoyed the show.
  1. She goes to the trouble of spelling the band's name correctly. Promoters, venues, photographers and hosting organizations are rarely capable of this simple task of looking at our website or CD. Yes, I know. It's a difficult name. The name seemed like a good idea when it was conceived.
  2. She demonstrates a knowledge of our history on that date. If you asked any of the seven members, I doubt even two could tell you what we did last year on December 25th.
  3. She demonstrates a knowledge of our performance by pulling out an accurately described highlight.
Great one-sentence review. Farbrengiton scored almost as well.
Farbrengiton, which was recently reviewed in the Reader, is composed of some very young and talented artists, and had the honor of leading up to the premiere band of the evening.
A critical smash!
  1. In this age of infinite probability for transliteration, she's two for two in cryptic, foreign pun, band names.
  2. She demonstrates a knowledge of the band's current context by mentioning our story-of-the-week article in the local free paper.
  3. She calls some of us "talented."
  4. She also calls some of us "artists."
The end of our one-sentence review is a little iffy, but we'll accept her kindness in not mentioning any of our shortcomings. Obviously, the author was absolutely smitten by Blue Fringe. Check out this three-sentence love-fest:
Blue Fringe, New York's hottest band, did a special late night set. The band regularly plays for huge audiences and agreed to stop in Chicago between world tour dates in Australia and the UK. The band's lead singer was outstanding. [my emphasis]
Obviously, the scope of praise in this paragraph is out of the range of this blog. Blue Fringe deserves every bit of this praise. They played a great set.

Thank you, Or Chadash, for the glowing reviews! Aside from the flawless grammar and spelling, people might think that it was a "review" straight out of Jewish Image (for NYers, think Country Yossi without the production values).

- [ Wednesday, February 02, 2005 ] -
It's fun to complain about corporate BS. My wife works for a large corporation that involves both the thrill of insurance and non-stop excitement of law. She got herself on a committee to design the new database software for her company, because she's sick of using the terrible design that was in place before her arrival. Committees have teleconferences.

My wife just got off an hour-and-a-half teleconference with the software designers/trainers and a bunch of higher-ups in her company. As a self-described "peon" and the lowest rung on the corporate ladder, she is both painfully aware of the corporate-speak and general computer ignorance displayed on the call. For your enjoyment, she has brought us direct quotes from this amazing teleconference. The corporate-speak will fascinate, titillate and make you thankful that you weren't on the call.

Why drink from the fire hose when you can drink from a fountain

From my perspective, I think there will be some home office decisions made with respect to security, with input from everyone on the phone.

This is something you won’t actually use, but I want to show you that it's available.

Q: Will we have to enter the same info into two different screens?
A: Absolutely not. I will argue 'til the cows come home if somebody wants to!

Again, I want to teach you this, not that it's anything you're going to use or do, but I want to give you this familiarity

You're going to be able to identify trends, and where things are going, and all of that. You're going to be able to save money as you learn about your business.

Another way you're going to use the information in the system is to assist in business processes.

We'll be able to generate reports based on information kept up to date in the system.

I'm a big person on process. I'm a big person to say that everything needs a process. And I say that without that process, I'm lost, I don’t know what I'm going to do with myself. With that process, I'm going to get much more productivity, and as a manager I'm going to see all the things I want to see. And I say this because I lived it.

Just by defining and refining the processes, we were able to take in 50% more work, but kept the same amount of people. It’s a very healthy process to do.

The matter is the tree trunk, and it's supporting all these limbs and leaves up here...

I guess you can tell I can talk all day, no problem there!

- [ Tuesday, February 01, 2005 ] -
Bootleg hosting
Would anyone be able to provide free ftp hosting for some Jewish mp3 bootlegs?

Arguing to a Resolution
Sometimes I'll disagree with someone and our disagreement can escalate into a full-scale flame war over e-mail. Sometimes I'm really upset and I think tough language might be appropriate. If I'm ever really interested in a peaceful resolution, I thought of using the following strategy. I'm trying to use this more, although, I have to admit that most of the time I don't.
  1. Read the offensive piece of (incoming) e-mail in the nicest possible tone. Imagine the writer saying the words to you in a calm, even tone.
  2. Compose your reply.
  3. Read your reply in the meanest, nastiest possible tone.
  4. Edit your reply so you don't sound like a jerk.