El Clan Destino at Overture After Work

El Clan Destino played at Overture After Work, which is a Thursday get together from 5-7 with happy hour and Capital Island Wheats on tap for $2. El Clan Destino is comprised of 4 musicians, two percussionists, Jamie Ryan on conjas, Francisco Martinez on drums, bass player Nickolas Moran, and Vincent Fuh on the keyboard. They played mostly latin funky jazz, which sets the state for prime dance music. Although most of the crowd consisted of old people, there were a couple brave souls that got up and did some dancing.

There was a very good combination of slow songs, and very upbeat intense improvising rhythms. It seemed like all the members of the group were really into Latin jazz and knew what they were doing. They were all great musicians and their styles seemed to blend very well together. The I really enjoyed the two percussionists working together, one on the conjas and the other on a steel drum with lots of cow bell. While listening, I tried to pick out different clave’s, and I could never figure the obscure time signatures they were in, but it was usually never 4/4.

The piano player was nothing short of amazing. His fingers would fly up and down the keyboard in intricate rhythms that I could barley keep up with, and I was just listening. I haven’t listened to very much Latin jazz, so this concert was a real treat to experience something new and different. There wasn’t too much singing, but there was a lot of melodic chanting that went on during some songs that gave some songs a more oriental sound.

Overall, I was really amazed at how good El Clan Destiono was, I have been wanting to check them out at the King’s Club, but my girlfriend is not yet the age of 21, so I shall have to wait another month to see them.

Ben Hans Jazz Trio on The Terrace

The Ben Hans Jazz Trio played on the Memorial Union Terrace on April 27th, 2007. The crowd ranged from students just getting done with school and relaxing on a Friday after class, to older jazz enthusiasts just getting done with work. The weather was amazingly sunny, and the vibraphone player was laying down some really awesome licks. At first when I saw that the trio only consisted of Ben Hans on drums, a bass player and a vibraphonist, I thought that I would be easily bored right away, but all the musicians showed great talent and really got into the music and trio seemed like they really worked together well. Most of the songs featured the vibraphonist playing melodies and then having each band member taking a turn at improvising. All of the melodies were very catchy, and the sound of the vibraphone mixed with the beautiful weather and being able to sit outside and listen to amazing jazz was a great feeling.

Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival Videos

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to go to the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival in Bridgeview, IL. I went with my Dad, my sister, Greg Peters and Tim Revelle. The concert was on Saturday so we stayed overnight Friday so we could get up early. We had general admission tickets, however we decided to go to the venue 3 hours early to wait in line to get good seats. Good thing we did because the first 1,000 people got VIP access to the ellipse, which was a gated off area right in front of the stage. My dad, sister and Greg rushed up to be front row center, and stayed there the entire time. Greg didn’t move for 13 hours, didn’t eat lunch or dinner, go to the bathroom or have water, what a trooper.

The Guitar Festival was pretty amazing to say the least, with amazing artists such as John Mayer, Jeff Beck, Steve Windwood, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and of course, Eric Clapton and many many more.

My favorite 3 shows were probably the Derek Trucks Band, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton’s Band when he played with Steve Windwood. My dad got some good footage of the show sitting front row. Here are a couple videos, or check out the live broadcast of the Guitar Festival.

Derek Trucks Band Videos

I recently attedned the Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival and got the chance to listen to a large amount of amazing artists, one of them including Derek Trucks and his band, The Derek Trucks Band. Derek Trucks plays and amazing mix of blues, jazz mixed with eastern influences on the slide guitar. His guitar is always overdriven to give an amazing warmth feel, and combined with the slide guitar, incredibly quick fingers and amazing skills, Derek Trucks really blew me away and converted me into a life long fan.

I was checking out some of the 2007 Crossroads videos, some of which my sister posted, and stumbled upon some Derek Trucks solos and was once again amazed. Here are some of the videos on youtube that I found were just amazing.

The Campus Atlas

After 4 month is work, I am ready to unveil my next creation, which is called by the name of “The Campus Atlas”. The Campus Atlas is a new website based in the heart of the UW-Madison Campus that delivers UW-Madison College Students useful information about the surrounding campus by listing featured restaurants, and hot links to around campus and the web.

Some cool features include Google Web, Local and Video search. Searching the entire amazon product catalog base, searching Madison’s Craigslist, and having a wikipedia search. Besides searching the web through Campus Atlas, you can also do Professor Ratings search’s from Rate My Professor .com , hot links to around campus and the web, a database of embedded flash games, a news feed reader to many popular Madison newspapers and blogs, and drink specials for bars around Madison. Yes, now you can see why this project has taken me 4 months.

We are plugged into the Google Repository and are using their API extensively to deliver you Google Maps, YouTube videos embedded in the site, Local Resturaunt Searches, visual displaying of featured business’s with quick links to get directions, and you can also do google web searches without even leaving the page! Whew, thats some gnarly stuff right there.

One thing that sets Campus Atlas apart from everything else is it uses AJAX technology, which loads new content onto the page without a page reload, thus saving the end user alot of time, from the already huge amount of time their saving by having everything brought to them in one spot.

Even if you don’t live in Madison, you can still check the local weather, get quick links to e-mail, and search the world wide web, all through The Campus Atlas. So be sure to click the house icon at the top and set Campus Atlas as your homepage!

Free Music on Pandora Internet Radio Station

What is Pandora Internet Radio?

For the past couple months I have been using the new Pandora Internet Radio Station. Pandora is a free service that streams music to your computer, the kicker, it creates a radio channel based on a specific artist and then plays relevant songs based on that artists style. For example, say you like Eric Clapton. Enter in Eric Clapton and Pandora will instantly start playing music from Eric Clapton’s collection and also other music that is similar to Clapton’s style. Pretty cool eh? It only gets better.

Its in the vote

So now your listening to some free music, and Pandora suggests a really bad song. “I don’t want to listen to this crap” you say. All you have to do is hover over the album cover art and press the thumbs down button. It will automatically skip the song and go onto a different one. There is also an option for thumbs up if you really like a song. Depending on how you vote, Pandora’s algorithm for choosing songs will now play songs tailored to similar songs that you like and will not play songs that you don’t like. Wow, thats sweet, it dives deep into each aspect of the song, the instruments, the tempo, the genre, and based on what you like, don’t like, and even what other people like, Pandora will come up with music, based on it’s algorithmic calculation, that you will enjoy.

Free Music? Ah, Targeted Advertising

Pandora is free, but with the addition of a full page advertisements that border the Pandora music player. Advertisements seem to range from promoting musical concerts to alcohol related advertisements. One thing thats interesting to think about is that Pandora knows an incredible amount of information about you. Sociologists can make accurate predicts based on what type of music you listen to, and Pandora knows exactly what music you like, and what music you don’t like, which enables them to place you in a very targeted demographic. As far as advertising, this is huge, since they can now show you highly targeted ads, based on your music style.

Pandora Problems?

So far I have very few complaints of Pandora. I have been using it for the past 3 months, and it’s really nice to have someone else find new music for you. I’ve expanding my music intake, and have found new music that I would have never found before. One problem is that Pandora plays a lot of repeats, most of which I have “Thumbed Up”. They could expand their music collection, but they are in the middle of a large legal litigation over the right of internet radio. Overall though, give Pandora a try, and you probably will fall in love.