MT 3.121, dynamic pages and the return of the blacklist

A few techical changes around here. First of all I upgraded the blogware to Movable Type 3.121 and this time around I took my time and dwelled a little into the docs on the MT site and the result is that now with the exception of my blog index and feeds all the other pages are generated on the spot. PHP to the rescue! No more timeouts and server errors while rebuilding…

I also downloaded the MT plug-in pack and I re-installed the MT-Blacklist plug-in which I really loved back when I was running Movable Type 2.6. I was rather disappointed because there was no MT-Blacklist for Movable Type 3 for a while, but now here it is. Yet another tool enrolled to fight that #$^%&* spam… And it was about time because each day the blog receives about 15 spam comments. The best news for my readers is that comments are no longer moderated, so the moment you hit the ‘Post’ button is the moment they will appear on the site, but I think I’ll also rename my mt-comments.cgi to try to avoid the dumber spammer bots.

Well, that’s all the news I had from the technical side of things.

What would you like to print today?

Cascading Style Cheatsheet

Yesterday night I printed the Cascading Style Cheatsheet put together by Brett Merkey, which will surely come in handy a number of times. My linkblog was very handy this time as I have no printer of my own and I was over at a friend who I asked if I could print. And there I was, two clicks and the printer was busy. Thanks Peti.

Another edition is over - The late part 2

So after all those bad experiences I was out to party. With some 4 hours of sleep or something like this. It couldn’t turn out well… But it did. Much better than I expected.

I arrived to the party place a littlebit earlier to have time to set up the minidisc recorder. Which I did. After getting one of the organizers to introduce me because I couldn’t just go to the mixing table and stick my cables around… People started arriving and time passed quicker as I found some chatting partners.

TM04Base Flyer To begin I have to note that there were 2 scenes, the first one dedicated to DJs and the second (smaller) one ready for the live acts. This was mostly respected but there were also DJs at scene 2 (S2) and live acts at S1. On the left of scene 1 there was a nice big projection screen which was showing the visuals during the two nights. Truly professional visuals this time not just a screening of Akira, Ghost In The Shell or some other hip anime…

Turntable Science Over at scene 1 friday night started out with Guerilla Outernational’s DuBase vs. Leizaboy of anonimTM playing breakbeats back to back. The funkier flavour of breakbeats and that’s why I went over to S2 where Marika was also playing breakbeats but these were of the edgier / techier kind which I very much like. After 1 hour and a half of music listening, feet tapping but mostly socializing with people who I know from the Internet it was time for an artist switch at both scenes. Turntable Science (a bunch of Romanian hip hop DJs namely: Dox, Undoo, Faibo X, Swamp, Paul) came to S1 to scratch their fingers off and produce a very nice show, playing a few drum’n’bass tracks surprising much of the public and also themselves I think. It was nice and truely entertaining to see 5 guys who were scratching those records apparently randomly but who were in fact united by the music they were playing / producing right on the spot. In the meantime S2 featured P-Nal who fuse breakbeats with a nervous guitar and an even more nervous singer. I watched them in 2001, 2002 and 2003. This time I just took some photos and headed back to S1 to let my mouth gape for a while watching all that scratch action.

Miki and Cezar from Suie Paparude After the Turntable Scientists descended it was time for the all time Romanian favorites, Suie Paparude, to climb in the spotlights and produce themselves. And the madness started: the crowd was jumping, waving, screaming… The guys from Suie produced a really nice show, playing almost exclusively tracks from their forthcoming album mixed with the few unmissable classics. Cezar singed his lyrics, MCed, shouted, animated the crowd as best as he could and as I already mentioned the answer from the latter was overwhelming. I went forward, between the scene and the fence that was hardly holding back the public and clicked my camera, clicked and clicked because I believe in the rule of big numbers: some of the shots turned out great. And all this was just the beginning…

The Ragga Twins For the sake of a few shots I ran over to S2 where Makunouchi Bento were laying down their experimentalness seconded by a lovely keyboard player girl and the guitarist from P-Nal. Didn’t stay too long though as S1 was about to feature the guy who rocked a TMBase party so hard earlier this year: Deekline. And he didn’t let nobody down this time either. Fresh breaks straight from the UK, but at the begining of his set the crowd was a bit exhausted after the Suie performance and the feedback wasn’t so great but all this changed in an instant when the Ragga Twins stepped up. The two MCs were a bit tired and at the begining this was clearly visible but after the crowd went wild again for their performance they just lost it and the real madness for that night started. Words are really useless because I can’t describe what went on there, I think the pictures I posted on DrumAndBass.RO do some justice but that atmosphere can’t really be reproduced… You had to be there to know what I’m talking about. It’s enough to say that they were on the mics for about 3 hours and some… The funny fact is that when Ed Solo went up to replace Deekline at the decks nobody really noticed. But the beats changed and it was time for some crisp drum and bass action. The Twins retreated together with Mr. Solo leaving the crowd wanting more. And they got some more from Roli Breaker. He played that Underworld remix which everybody instantly noticed and which made everybody stand up and dance for the last time for that night. At a moment there was Roli, Down and Seb up on the scene and I thought: “Hey, about 2 or 3 more and it would be the whole Romanian breaks scene…”

The Crowd at Scene 1 I’m really sorry I can’t relate too much about what went on over at scene number two because I got caught in the atmosphere at S1 and I went over just a few times to click some pics and be amazed over the size of the crowd that was having a hell of a time there too. If I think about it, two scenes are bad from one point of view because I’d like to see all the artists who perform at the festival and this is impossible because I can’t phisically be in two places at a given moment but are good from the other point of view because there’s always something for each and every taste. The artists who performed at S2 and who I mostly missed were BAU aka Brigada Artistica Urbana featuring live percution from Tavi, a guy labeled by many as mad as he keeps up with the wildest drum’n’bass beats, Mesmer with some own breakbeat productions, D Laid who also played their own productions which I sound incredibly good and Donna Dee who was appreciated by most of the guys for her playing technique and her good looks… Plus at the early hours of the morning Sensorship kept the scene alive.

Also as an excuse I could mention that I was pretty tied to S1 because I had to keep my MD recorder under control.

And so at 7:20 I packed my things and headed for the train station to pick up Ioana.

To be continued… I hope part 3 will not come after a week. :-)

Another edition is over - Part 1

I’m back home since Sunday night but I had to catch my breath before writing anything about the massiveness that TM04Base was. I’m sad that it’s over and that all that’s left to wait for this year is Christmas because basically nothing related to drum’n’bass, breaks or generally any quality electronic music will happen here in Baia Mare. Even less since our much loved and hated bar, Cuba (aka Upstairs), closed. And Christmas is so far away…

But let’s see what I remember of what happened at the fest.

It all started out really bad. Tragically bad in fact as in the last week before the festival it turned out that we have nowhere to stay because the two sure bets turned us down: my friend Bogdan had his relatives over and it was full house at his place and Ioana’s friend had a fight with her room mates and as such she was also out of the equation. Some crazy phoning, instant messaging and SMS sending followed and it looked like I had two places to stay, but none of them were really comfortable… I turned down one of them (and I don’t really know why) after a local friend came over and said that we surely have a place to stay at a friend of her friend in Timisoara.

Thursday night came and the train ride turned out a bad one as two of the guys I traveled with got really drunk and so everything got badly messed up and I slept about 10 minutes or so the whole night. This wasn’t the best start one could imagine. After 8 hours of pain, nerves and practically no sleep we somehow reached Timisoara. But the bad surprises kept coming: we got turned down by the two of the three sure bets of the girl who told me that we sure have a place to stay, and so we arrived to the third, backup solution. It was an appartment ready for rent belonging to the brother of one of the guys who got wasted on the train. But at least it had beds! And when I saw a bed I happily jumped into it but after less then two hours of sleep during which I thought that my legs will freeze off since I had no cover to put over myself except my jacket I woke up because one of the girls fell over me. I have to say that the two girlies I travelled with really drove me crazy because they went all hyper about the party that was coming that night. And so after 2 hours of sleep they had to get out to see the town, do shopping (from practically no money), etc. Shit. I was really wasted because of the lack of sleep and I realised there was no way I could get rest there with my girlfriend so I started desperately messaging and calling people again. I was just counting my money to see if it’s enough for staying at a hotel when finally the first good news came: Ioana’s friend made peace with her room mates and she said I can come over and stay there after she calls me later that afternoon. I spent the next hours eating some crude chestnuts, reading Cosmopolitan and discussing FHM’s Top of Hot Women with one of the guys and then the call came.

I transfered to Vera, my girlfriends friend, fastly drank 1 liter of Coke and then I was off to the first night…

This post turned out huge so I’ll post the second part later today.

TMBase, here I come!

Almost everything is packed… Clothes, additional warmer clothes, warm hat, exchange shoes, umbrella, food, MiniDisc recorder plus its remote, digital camera, USB cable, rechargeable batteries, second round of rechargeable batteries, battery charger, freshly burnt DVDs for friends, tickets, gift chestnuts for whoever will be hosting us, snacks for the train ride, gas turned off in all the apartment, everything is a big CHECK. It’s a little strange not to be leaving from home, I mean my parent’s house, because I can’t stop thinking that I’m forgetting something but I have to get used to this. The “beautiful” (yes, we all love CFR) train leaves at 00:38 tonight and I’ll be travelling with two (or more) friends for about 7 and a half hours through the night. Unfortunately this is the only option but there might be some fun involved because there might be some alcohol involved. And as I know my friends, there will be. Sure. But if I think about it I’d better sleep as much as I can because I don’t know where I’ll be staying yet and how will I’ll be able to sleep during the day, and if I don’t sleep I’ll be wasted tomorrow night.

And tomorrow night I can’t afford to be tired. Because starting with tomorrow night THE PARTY IS ON! At least for us, because the party actually starts this night, for those lucky guys that live in or near Timisoara.

I just can’t wait to get there! I can already feel the vibe. It’s going to be so much fun with all the great music and I’ll meet and personally talk with so many people who I mainly talk with on the Internet over the year… The only problem is that Ioana will be joining the fun only Saturday night because of her <insert favorite negative adjective here> job. But she’ll be there!

Ah, a few massive days ahead! :-)