Come join Hobbit & Hare at the Arts In Nature Festival in West Seattle. This two day festival takes place at Camp Long on Saturday, August 26th from 11am until 9pm and on Sunday the 27th from 11am until 6pm.
The festival brings together artists, musicians, and other performers and presents them on various stages and areas throughout a beautiful park that was once upon a time a wealthy early settler’s private hunting preserve. It’s almost like going back to the ‘hood for me as I not only have played it once before, but also lived for six or seven years about a half-dozen houses south of the main entrance (35th Ave SW and SW Dawson St). My house’s backyard ended at Camp Long’s fence! I used to get raccoons visiting my kitchen from their home in Camp Long. The raccoons would come in to chow down on my cat’s food, much to their little feline chagrin!
Hobbit & Hare will be playing at the entrance to the main lodge on Saturday from 11:30am until 1pm.
Hobbit & Hare are excited to play the Royal Room! We’ll be opening for the Savoy Night Owls. They’re a quintet doing jazz standards featuring Queenie Sunshine on vocals. (And if you pay attention I bet you’ll recognize the drummer.)
Doors open at 6:30 so you’ll have plenty of time to find a good seat and enjoy a nice meal before the show starts at 8pm. It’s going to be a jazzy evening! Hope to see you there.
Back on the 11th Hobbit & Hare played at the Gathering Grounds coffeehouse in Sultan, WA. My sweetie went along and snapped some pictures of us (using my phone) as well as getting a video of our last song. I had intended to give her the proverbial high sign a few times while we played in order to get more video, but I forgot.
Fortunately, she remembered.
Quick note for you tl;dr people. The video is at the bottom of the page.
Unfortunately, the lighting in the place wasn’t quite right for the video camera and the vid turned out really dark. I figured I’d sniff around on the Play Store for a video app that would let me jack about with the brightness and contrast so I could fix these sort of issues when they, inevitably, arose again.
So I sniffed around, downloaded several that showed up in my search, but it wasn’t until the third one that I found brightness and contrast adjustments. I tried it out and it seemed to work fine, except that when it came to saving, you got fed off into an ad. What joy! Not going to buy the thing if I don’t know whether iMovie will deal with the output. I kept searching but with no more luck.
I decided to give the close one another try. I reinstalled, did the adjustments, and lo! It actually saved the thing. Furthermore, iMovie agreed that it was indeed a video file it could chew on. The only drawback is that they’d put these big, broad, white stripes at the top and bottom, with a watermark in the bottom one.
No big deal. They’d made it plain that this was just the trial version. Certainly the ugly watermark shtick would go away with the “pro” version, right? So I uninstalled yet again, searched up the pro version on the App Store, paid my $9.99 (plus tax), and hit another reinstall.
Now it’s time to fire up the program–hey! cleaner UI, no ads!–load the video, do the adjustments, and save it out. It all went well. Now we’ll open it up in iMovie and… drumroll, please…
It still put the two damn white bars on the thing! But that’s not enough. Oh no, kids! On closer examination in iMovie, it turns out that the other program basically shrinks the video size down by half (in both height and width) and, to frost the fucking cake, reduces the definition. Even going back in and cropping the video doesn’t work. It just sticks the white bars and grey space back on.
So… several days have gone by now and I’ve edited the video three times. I finally decided just to make it a plain, one camera angle thing. At least the dark video has been mostly rescued.
It. Should. Not. Be. So. Difficult!
All the code to do all this stuff already exists. But the app writers are bent on a path of dumbing down the software to meet their idea of how dumb the users are.
OK. Thanks for putting up with my rant. Here’s the video. Check it out and let me know if it’s worth the trouble next time. If you like it, please share!
If for some reason the embedded video isn’t working you can watch it here.
Hobbit & Hare appeared on March 17, 2017, at the Capital Hill Station, as part of the 1st Anniversary celebration of the U-Link light rail line opening. Thanks for having us, Sound Transit! And thanks to Ms Luz for the recommendation!
One interesting sidelight is that I use Mailchimp for my email newsletter. Recently I read about an odd ad campaign they’d started that was based on “something that rhymes with Mailchimp.” They chose about 8 or 9 entries. The mezzanine level of Capitol Hill Station (where we were playing) is decorated with the faux movie posters from that campaign. You can see the “KaleLimp” one right behind us, and a little strip of the “MailShrimp” one peeking out from behind the blue curtain. I’ve seen the MailShrimp video. It features a young fella in a big corporate mailroom. He’s wearing a hat like Freddy, the Mailchimp mascot, and is about to eat a shrimp sandwich. It’s one of the shrimp in the sandwich singing the MailShrimp song.
Last night Hobbit & Hare played a couple sets at Gathering Grounds in Sultan, WA. It was a slightly smaller crowd than when we performed there last December, but they were just as appreciative and generous. In fact we had an H&H first, your basic personal best™… but I’ll get to that in a moment.
Coffeehouse gigs are often busking gigs. My friend Thaddeus calls them “tips and treats” gigs. Americans came up with the ponderous term “street performer” when “busker” already existed but busking is just playing for tips. Whether you’re inside or outside doesn’t matter. In fact house concerts are pretty much busking gigs, though there’s a built-in stronger urging to tip in a certain range.
So, you might be thinking, what about this personal best™? We had our tip bucket out last night–of course–and right after the last song a fella came by me (I was talking with another person from the audience) and I heard him say, “I tipped you a $20 earlier.” (This was true, I recalled it clearly.) And then he goes on, “But I’ve changed my mind.” (Bummer that.) “I’ll swap you this,” he says, as he snatches up a Jackson, “for this.” and drops a Benjamin in instead.
In all my years of busking, I’ve never gotten a C note in the tip bucket.
Can’t say that anymore, can I?
home of Howlin' Hobbit, Ukulele Ace & Seattle Busker