Tuesday, July 31, 2012

FloydFest 2012 links

Adventurous visiting friends from Maine -- on their way home from a drive that included stops in Idaho and Louisiana! -- were what it took to get me to the closing day of FloydFest on Sunday, and we had a great time.

I tend to prefer small venues to crowds myself -- and prefer moonlight to  sunstroke -- but the festival has its share of smaller stages and shady corners.

(Folks who paid a last-minute $70 thinking they were going to arrive mid-afternoon for the closing Alison Krause concert -- as if it were a stadium concert -- were certainly disappointed by parking lot and shuttle-bus jam-ups, and then finding no reasonable place to sit and watch on the already well-staked-out concert lawn. Maybe some "acts" are too big for this venue?)

My favorites: Local heroes DotDotDash did a fine morning contradance, which could be an alternative Sunday morning form of worship... and catching part of the two gospel acts later in the day probably provided absolution for saying such a thing. I also thought the Molasses Creek band from Ocracoke Island was charming, playing mostly on the children's area stage, mixing new songs, old songs and humor. (They even did "Sweet Violets" nicely for a Sunday morning, making me wonder whether they have a less kid-friendly late-night version for the Ocracoke saloon trade.)

My big failure was not checking my camera's battery before I threw it in the backpack, and not bringing the spare. I may get some pictures uploaded here from my Droid phone, but there will be better ones elsewhere:


Floyd Press

Roanoke Times FloydFest search Slideshow

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Blogger is capable of more than I remembered

It's almost a year to the day since I've posted anything here. I'm paying a visit today in "how the heck did he DO that?" mode, after spending some time browsing around the "not-just-a-'blog'" sites done with this same Web system -- Blogger.com (a.k.a. yoursite.blogspot.com) -- by an old-time-radio fan and prolific blogger who goes by the handle "Jimbo."

For a couple of years I've been pointing out to students that WordPress can be used for sites that don't really look "bloggish." (http://rstepno.wordpress.com | http://bstepno.wordpress.com | http://stepno.wordpress.com/just-for-326-demo | and http://jheroes.com)

But I'd never tried using Blogger that way -- or noticed anyone doing the kinds of things Jimbo is doing. Here's the list from his "about" page:
On second thought, "prolific" is a pretty weak word for all of that! I sent him a note via Twitter to find out if he had any magic tricks up his sleeve. Yup, there IS a secret: "Hundreds of hours of work." And that was just for his Billboard Magazine OTR Review Index http://bbotr.blogspot.com -- a terrific mashup of Google's archive of digitized Billboard magazines, searched, "clipped" and indexed for folks interested in particular radio programs.

That site in particular should be a great resource -- and role model/inspiration -- for other kinds of "media history" researchers, like my friend Bill Kovarik, author of Revolutions in Communication and its accompanying website, and his students.