Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rendered Obsolete

If you guys follow my blog, you're aware that I also host karaoke.  You should also be aware that I've been forced to upgrade to my new laptop after the demise of my true blue of 5 years.  Well, that upgrade rendered another piece of equipment I own obsolete.

Yep, my perfectly good flat screen television is now perfectly useless.  Why?  Take a peek at the back:

That trusty S-Video port had it's day.  That day has gone.  My new laptop has two video outputs.  One is VGA and the other is HDMI.  Granted HDMI is a way superior video format it doesn't change the fact that I now need a new monitor.

So, anybody want to buy a 15" Liquid Crystal flatscreen TV real cheap?

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Karaoke Report 5-28-12

Crazy nights seem to be the norm these days (heh) at Fatty's.  Last night was no exception.

Songs That Made The Bar Sing

You're The One That I Want, Grease
Summer Nights, Grease
Call Me Maybe, Carly Rae Jepsen
Don't Stop Believin', Journey

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of the Night.

The young lady who sang Bless The Broke Road by Rascall Flatts.  She was awesome and she captivated the bar.  Sorry I made you wait so long.  That brings me to...

WTF Moment of the Night

After over 5 years of faithful service, it's with a heavy heart that I report that my first laptop computer has died.

We had some good times and we've been a lot of places.  I'm going to miss you old friend.

Unfortunately your timing stinks.  I had to run all the way back home and grad my new laptop that I've been prepping like forever to replace you.  I've still got a lot of bugs to work out on it because everything new takes adjustment.  So last night the format was different.  My DJ IO refused to play nice so I had to blind mix and use my headphone output. Ugh.  I've got a week to figure it all out.

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

I've been in this business long enough to see lots of good friends come and go.  Tonight was Courtney's and Ashley's last karaoke show.  They're leaving the island and heading on to bigger and better things.  I only hope that where ever they go they can find a KJ like me that'll let them sing to their heart's content.

Random Party Pics

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Ever sent email to someone and it ended up in their SPAM filter?  You know it's not SPAM (not the luncheon meat but unsolicited electronic mail) because you wrote it, but it ended up in the filter anyway.  There's a very specific reason why this happened and it has everything to do with your Internet Protocol (IP) address.

In order to access the Internet, you have to be a part of it.  Your Internet Service Provider assigns you an address much like the Post Office.  Some addresses are dynamic (they change from time to time) and some are static (never changes).  When you transmit data, such as an email, your IP address is attached to that data.  When it hits Internet routers, it reports where the data came from, what's in it and where it's going.

If you ever catch a computer virus or malware, one of the symptoms may be to turn your computer to what we call a zombie.

Zombies just shoot off SPAM.  And guess what's paying attention to all that SPAM now being sent with your IP address: Internet routers.  After a while, you end up getting blacklisted.  The Internet router tells all the other Internet routers on you and you become an Internet pariah.

So what do you do now?  Well, you could just ignore it.  If you're using web based email you wouldn't even notice.  But I digress, because I wouldn't have gone through the trouble of a long and elaborate blog entry just to tell you to ignore your problems.

Step 1: Zombie Killing

Put down the pitchfork and torch.  What you need is an antivirus and antispyware solution.  There's a few available for free online.  I'd recommend a combination of the two.

Step 2: Checking the Blacklist

You can actually check to see if your blacklisted by going here.  If you find that you are you're going to have to apply to every site you are blacklisted on to be removed from the list.

Haha!  Safe.
If you've followed both steps and found you were safe then just consider all this preventative maintenance. ;)

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Karaoke Report 5-21-12

Last night (or should I say this morning) was absolutely INSANE.  We had a packed house at Fatty's and a ton of avid karaoke fans.  You know it's on when I don't leave the place until 4AM (kids, 1 hour of sleep; don't try this at home).

Songs That Made The Bar Sing

Say It Ain't So by Weezer
Don't Stop Believin' by Journey
Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson
Goodbye Earl by The Dixie Chicks

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of the Night

Just look at this madhouse...

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

I'm officially sick of using my old laptop.  It's had a great run, but when the CPU cycles go so out of control that it warps the music I want to throw it clear across the room.  The problems with using my new PC though are well documented in this blog.  I'm going to have to redouble my efforts to find a decent PC-to-TV solution.

WTF Moment of the Night

That madhouse!  Where the heck did y'all come from?!?!  When I got there the place was damn near empty!

Random Party Pic

Friday, May 18, 2012

Money Shot

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Remember this commercial?

Well this song was my first gotta-have-it moment.  The minute I heard this song I knew I had to have it and add it to my repertoire.  I've had many more of these moments since (Royksopp's Remind me from the Geico commercial springs to mind).  The weird thing is though whenever I play the entire song nobody remembers it was in that AT&T commercial.  Go figure.  Here it is, Money Shot:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Better Off Alone

Exactly four years ago today I installed DJ software on my computer mainly because I was toying with the idea of having better control over music in between karaoke sets.  I found that iTunes actually worked better for me.  Even though I used the software a couple times after that I didn't actively start using it until a full 5 months later.

The first time I installed the software I only played four songs.  Only one was a dance song.  Here is it.  Better Off Alone:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I'm going to let you in on a dirty little secret of DJs.  A lot of the time the DJ can't tell you the name of the song they're playing.  Only about 20% of the time it's because they don't have time to mess with you, didn't remember or intentionally not saying.  Most of the time they simply don't know. 

You might be thinking at this point that this sort of thing is impossible now that we have applications like Shazam and Soundhound out there but there are songs you can't find on either network.  I can tell you from experience that both applications do very poorly with remixes and personal mixes.  If the song wasn't charted at some point, fugeddaboutit!  Now add to the mix that the genre I work with has a ton of music with no lyrics and multiply that factor by 10.

Ok, what about DJs working with digital music?  Surely they must know the names of all their songs.  *BZZT* Nope, nope, nope...and don't call me Shirley.  This is dirty secret #2.  You'd be surprised how many people working with digital either don't tag their music or have music with the wrong tags.  To this day I still have a song called Dare Me in my collection even though it's official name is Stupidisco.  In all fairness though, music tagging is rather geeky (wink wink nudge nudge) so it's understandable why there's a fair number of digital DJs out there with a folder for the name of the artist and track01.mp3 - track12.mp3 in it.

Ok, that's the story.  Now on to Calabria.  Calabria is a song you HAVE heard.  You just don't know it's called Calabria.  It's a crossover song that mixes dance with dancehall reggae.  Ahh, the wheels are starting to turn now huh?  Well the reason this song is on my list of influential songs of my short DJ career is that when I first heard this song it was THE DEVIL to find out what it was named.  The lyrics are hard to make out and the words you could make out turned up rather common web searches. I tried strings like "talk of the town" (this is really the easiest line to make out in the song) and "boop boop".  It was madness.  How did I finally find it?  It was on an album I bought that was a compilation of all the hits that came out in 2007.  Yep, in the end it was pure luck. Here it is, Calabria:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Love Generation

The DJ story began 4 years ago (and you already know this if you've read my previous entry or my update on Facebook).  The KJ story goes back a little bit further and I promise I'll tell it someday (if you nag me about it enough).  Back then one of the hot spots was the Offshore Bar in Port of Sale Mall.  It was especially hot on Thursday nights.  For a while the featured DJ was DJ Rob.  If any of you are familiar with BADMAN it's the same DJ Rob.  At that time he started a lesser known event called Karma Tuesday where he spun house and trance music.  Granted both genres aren't very popular on the island.  I used to go pretty often and as much as I liked the music he played I lamented that there wasn't more dance and electronica.

Very soon into the run of Karma Tuesday, DJ Rob started bringing in guest DJs.  That's when I got to thinking it would be cool if I could be a guest DJ and spin my brand of music.  So I got some software and pitched it to DJ Rob.  He was pretty cool about it and he originally gave me about 15 minutes to strut my stuff.  I'd like to say I was a genius on the board from day one but I was actually pretty bad.  I didn't know a whole lot about transitioning and mixing and my song choices lacked majority appeal.  With practice and DJ Rob's tutelage though I got better and he started giving me more time to play among the guest DJs.  I was hailed as the only dance and electronica DJ from St. Thomas.  At the time I had one skill that the other DJs found particularly impressive even though I didn't think much of  it at the time.  I used to match beats by sight (waveform) and without cuing up on headphones.  It's still a pretty useful skill, but using a crossfader is soooooo much easier.

One of Rob's favorite songs was Love Generation by Bob Sinclar.  This song blew my mind not because it was good (which it is by the way) but because Rob could play this song during the regular Thursday night crowd and get away with it.  It was the first real crossover song I ever heard.  It's dance, pop and reggae all rolled up into one and had mass appeal.  Occasionally I work this song into my set.  I have other Bob Sinclar song but this is the only one that was ever requested by the audience.  Here it is:

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Karaoke Report 5-14-2012 / I Like That

Fatty's got it's wind back last night.

Songs That Made The Bar Sing

Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of The Night

Two words: Body shots.

WTF Moment of the Night

I've never seen someone butcher Money For Nothing by Dire Straits like that.  Fortunately I was there to help out and we all had fun regardless.  That's what karaoke is all about. ;)

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

An Australian requested a song near closing but couldn't remember the name of the song or the artist.  All he could say was it's "by that black bitch that got smacked around by her boyfriend".  He was referring to Rihanna and the song was We Found Love.  I didn't let him off easy.  I told him that his description was kinda messed up and made him by shots for all present as penance.

Random Party Pics

I did get kinda carried away on the pics last night.

4 Years of DJing:  I Like That

In recognition of four years playing around with DJ software (I really do have a hard time referring to myself as a DJ.  Karaoke is more my speed), I'll be posting regularly this week on songs that are part of my story in this biz.  First up since I'm sticking this in as part of my karaoke's The Song:

Sound familiar?  If you've been to my karaoke show it should.  It's been my opening theme for karaoke since Summer 2010.  I heard this song in a scene from one of my favorite television showsHere's the clip that started it all.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Wall Machine

Occasionally I frequent The Wall Machine and pound out a fictional Facebook dialogue that amuses me.  Who knew my latest wall would be trending for 48 hours?  Crossing my fingers that I can make it to 7 days.  Not that that would have any bearing at all of the state of the world today. ;)

I'm in the big leagues now, baby!  Woohoo!

If you feel up to it, check out my other walls.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Android on the PC? There's An App For That.

I've been playing with BlueStacks for a while.  I tried it a bit when it was in the alpha version but it was buggy and didn't work very well.  The beta version is a vast improvement.  So far I've only gotten a couple Android Apps but they work really well with the power of a PC behind them.  Take a look at the video and see if you too would like to be a beta tester.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Karaoke Report 5-7-12

Saturday (also Cinco de Mayo) was just plain epic.  There were chihuahua races, parties, comedy shows, boxing and playoffs on TV, etc.  So much so that I'm not surprised many of you didn't make it out to Fatty's last night.  To be fair, I was pretty close to not getting there myself (nah, not really but I really want to make you feel better about missing out. :) ).

Songs That Made The Bar Sing

This is an ongoing trend so I'll be listing songs that got the whole bar to sing every week.

1.  Santeria, Sublime
2. Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler

Epic Awesomesauce Moment of the Night

I made it through a two hour DJ set and didn't repeat a single song.  Yay me!  (Yeah, it was that slow last night).

Buzzkill Moment of the Night

We finally got people in at midnight.  Which was cool, except for the one guy who right off the bat started making comments about the sound, the mic volume and the music volume.  It really bugs me when people do that.  First of all, do you have any idea how difficult it is to tune the music and mic to tailor each and every guest?  Besides volume, I keep all the settings the same.  If you want a tailored audio setup, get a recording contract or join a band and do the hours of sound check to get it right.  I've got mere seconds to make you sound as good as possible.  Secondly, I could have much better equipment...if I didn't have to continuously expose it to inebriated people who are likely to drop, trample, soak, nibble and otherwise find other creative ways of destroying my moderately price but still expensive equipment.

WTF Moment of the Night

Last night I had to park in the Marina Market lot.  I noticed a sign that said "Tootsy's" and made mention of being open from Thursday to Sunday featuring "GoGo Girls".  It's funny that I didn't make the connection right there.  Turns out the old Saint Nightclub is currently a strip club.  WTF!

Random Party Pics

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Always Learning - Microsoft Office PDF Options

As knowledgeable as I am in computing, I acknowledge that there's always more to learn.  In this post I'm going to share with you one of my favorite PDF tricks and something I learned about Microsoft Office 2010 this week.

Making PDFs

It's really not as difficult as you think.  There are several free applications that will allow you to do so and several online resources.  I'm particularly fond of using DoroPDF.  When you install it it creates a virtual printer in your computer.  You can print from any application to create a PDF.

Now one question I get often is how can I save information entered into fillable PDF forms.  If you're experienced with filling out forms you'll know that unless you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat you can't save the info.  You can however print it.  With DoroPDF installed simply print to a new PDF.  Viola!  Saved!

Built-in PDF for Office 2010

Color me surprised on this.  I actually only found out about this this week!  Microsoft Office 2010 gives you the option to save documents in PDF.  It's as simple as expanding the Save As Type Menu and choosing PDF.

If that isn't ridiculously easy enough as it is you can go about it another way.  Just click on the File tab and choose Save & Send.  You've got options, baby!

For you 2007 users, you weren't left out.  You can download a free plugin to include the PDF option. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I'm going to be frank today.  If you're not super duper excited that The Avengers is in theaters this week I need you to hand in your geek card right now.

Member since 1976.
This movie has been in the works for a loooooong time.  Let's take a look back.

Chronologically, the first Avenger movie(s) would be Hulk (2003) and The Incredible Hulk (2008).  Problem being though the first movie was a flop and even though the second movie outperformed the first talks broke down to have Edward Norton reprise the role as Dr. Bruce Banner.  Mark Ruffalo will be portraying him in The Avengers.  Avengers Link:  Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) approaches General Ross after the credits roll and mentions that a team is being put together.

Iron Man (2008) and Iron Man 2 (2010) are next in the roundup.  In Iron Man we're first introduced to Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) who spends most of the movie trying to say out the name of the organization he represents ("Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division") and ultimately with Tony Stark meeting Nick Fury (Samuel Jackson) after the credits.  Iron Man 2 introduces another character central to the Avengers: The Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson).  The link to the next movie comes after the credits with Agent Coulson arriving at an excavation site with a large hammer at the center of a crater.

Thor (2011) brings us the title character (Chris Helmsworth) and the main villain in The Avengers: Loki (Tom Hiddleston).  During the course of the movie we have a short scene that involves Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) who almost received the order to take down a de-powered (though still quite formidable by human standards) Thor.  Thor segues into the next film after the credits where Nick Fury meets with Erik Selvig (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd) and shows him the Cosmic Cube.  We also see that Erik is being charmed by Loki.

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) is quite brazen with the Avengers tie-in.  It makes sense since Captain America is a central member of the Avengers and is for all intents and purposes the group's leader (Tony Stark funds the Avengers and calls many of the shots but is wise enough to surrender to Cap's natural leadership ability).  That's all in the comics though.  At the end of Captain America, Cap (Chris Evans) is reanimated in our time a full 60 years after World War II ended.  The movie makes no mention of the recovery of the Cosmic Cube even though we learn in this movie it was crafted by The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving), but we already know SHIELD has it.  The after credit clip leads us directly to the Avengers.

All we know for now is that some huge threat circling Loki and the Cosmic Cube requires Earth's Mightiest Heroes to band together for the common good.  On May 3rd I intend to find out what that threat is.  Yes, I said May 3rd.  On St. Thomas, our movies are cycled every Thursday.  Even movies scheduled for weekend releases.  Bring your Geek Card.  I'll be checking at the door.