Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Small update on the band / Actualización corta acerca del grupo

(Versión en Castellano después de la versión en inglés)

Since the last blog post, the CD has come out. Most of you already know this. We also have a brand new video, which should show up on youtube and other like-minded sites within the next week. We're rehearsing steadily, although not as much as we'd like, due to the crazy schedules of the different band members, and things are starting to sound good.

For those who are interested, we've started rehearsing with headphones and in-ear monitors, the idea being to move over to that way of doing things permanently (live also). For many reasons, the two main ones being: 1. It's easier to carry a headphone amp and a number of little earphones than four or five floor monitors; and 2. It's better for our (already failing) hearing.

I bought a new guitar multi-effect: a Vox Tonelab LE. Much better than what I'd been using for the past five or six years (a little old Digitech RP200, which we'll probably burn in a strange and defiant ceremony, in vengeance for the years of suffering it has inflicted on us as a band).

In lesser news: The CD's been well received by those who have heard it. Rockemite said they were going to start playing Tequila y Cerveza, and we'll be setting up a little band page on their website this week. We have a gig at Unicentro (Medellín) on Oct. 2nd, at 6:30 p.m. For free. We'll be selling CDs there. People living outside Colombia can get our CD on iTunes (US/Canada/UK/Europe/Australia) and Amazon MP3 (US). People in Colombia can get in touch with info@elektroarmonia.com and we'll work out some way to get it to you.

Desde el último blog, ha salido el CD. La mayoría de ustedes ya lo saben. También tenemos un video nuevo, que probablemente aparezca en youtube y demás sitios parecidos en la próxima semana. Estamos ensayando parejo, aunque no tanto como deberíamos, debido a los horarios de trabajo de los distintos integrantes, y las cosas empiezan a sonar muy bien.

Para los interesados, hemos comenzado a ensayar con audífonos, y la idea sería pasar a hacer esto de manera permanente (también en vivo). Por muchas razones, siendo las principales: 1. Es más fácil cargar un amplificador de audífonos y variado audífono pequeño que cuatro o cinco monitores de piso; y 2. Resulta mejor para nuestra audición (que ya empieza a fallar).

Compre un nuevo efecto de guitarra: un Vox Tonelab LE. Mucho mejor de lo que había estado usando durante los últimos cinco o seis años (un Digitech RP200, que probablemente quemaremos en ceremonia extraña y desafiante, como venganza por los años de sufrimiento que nos ha infligido como grupo).

En otras noticias: El CD les ha gustado a los que lo han escuchado. Rockemite dijo que iban a comenzar a rotar Tequila y Cerveza, y estaremos montando una paginita de la banda en su sitio esta semana. Tenemos un concierto en Unicentro (Medellín) el 2 de Oct. a las 6:30 p.m. De gratis. Estaremos vendiendo CDs también. Los amigos que viven por fuera de Colombia pueden conseguir nuestro CD en iTunes (USA/Canadá/Reino Unido/Europa/Australia) y Amazon MP3 (USA). Los amigos en Colombia pueden escribir a info@elektroarmonia.com y encontraremos alguna manera de enviárselo.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Ciudad Pasarela no entró al Festival Altavoz/ didn't get into the Altavoz Festival

For those who keep up to date with band news here (I don't know why you would, 'cause I rarely post anything), we put in an application about three weeks ago to participate in the Altavoz Festival here in Medellin. The Festival is basically a massive gathering of all sorts of arts (writing, plastic arts, and music) and is sponsored by the Mayor's Office. They got applications from 244 bands, and only 77 made the initial cut, and we didn't. So I'm kind of down about it all, but I'm moving on. Some of our good friends did get in, including Artefacto, Rey Gordiflón and Lilith. So we'll be rooting for them.

Para quienes se mantienen al día con noticias de la banda por este medio (y no sé por qué, porque no volví a postear nada por acá), mandamos la solicitud hace más o menos 3 semanas para participar en el Festival Altavoz aquí en Medellín. Para los que no saben, este Festival es básicamente una convocatoria masiva de toda clase de artes (literatura, plásticas, música) y es patrocinado por la Alcaldía. 244 bandas mandaron solicitudes, y apenas 77 lograron entrar a la primera fase, y nosotros no lo logramos. Entonces estoy un poco bajoneado, pero me repondré. Algunos de nuestros buenos amigos si lograron entrar, incluyendo a Artefacto, Rey Gordiflón y Lilith. Entonces estaremos apoyándolos.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rant on MMORPGs

So, I thought I'd find out what everyone why so many people were playing MMORPGs. World of Warcraft is the main one, but there are others, so I thought I'd check out three, and if I had fun, I'd buy one and play it for a little while. So I got the trial versions for Lord of the Rings On-Line, Star Wars Galaxies and World of Warcraft.

First problem: Every single one of them was a massive download (between 4.5 and 7 GB). This is ok. One expects a full retail version of a game to be pretty heavy in this day and age. My problem comes when, after downloading the whole thing, I install it, log-in and password, and then it decides it needs to download about another 2GB in patches. All of them did this. SWG was the worst, with it downloading what seemed to be the whole game again in patches and not telling me really how much time was missing. WoW was the best, with a reasonable amount of patching to be done. I'm also pretty impressed with the way WoW uses bittorrent to manage its downloads. Very cool, even if it did mean reconfiguring my router. But anyway, here's my main rant:

I just downloaded about 6 GBs from a website. I didn't go out and buy a box. I didn't install from a disk. I downloaded something from the publisher's official website. Why on earth can't they make an up-to-date installer, say, every 512 MB in patches? It's not like this would be difficult. It would make for a much better user experience. It would make for much less frustration.

But anyway, after downloading patches, setting up temporary accounts, etc., etc., I got playing. LotRo was first, and what an amazing n00b I was for the first little while. But it's easy to get the hang of, and I know most of the mythology, so it was good fun. The main story's well written, and the world is big right away. I did a ton of little newbie quests and had a great time killing boars and spiders and wolves and bandits and things. A little bit of lag, sometimes, but nothing I wouldn't expect from my horribly slow EPM connection. Then I moved on to SWG.

Star Wars Galaxies installed fine (and they gave me the longest trial period), but the interface is outdated, and the launcher, or whatever Sony Online Entertainment calls it, is just frustrating. The game isn't much better, and after running around a space station for a little while doing silly little errands for people I got quite bored. Left the space station to go to Tatooine, and got even more bored (boreder?). They get points for no lag, though ... but they lose them all because of the stupid way the interface works. To say SWG didn't grab my attention is putting it nicely.

Then World of Warcraft, the game with the economy of a small country, or whatever the on-line hype says. Uses bittorrent to manage the download, which was cool. Patches massively upon installation, which seems to be normal. So I started playing as some kind of elf, and things looked interesting. The first couple of quests were fun, very similar to what I found in LotRo (yes, yes, I know it was the other way around, LotRo ripped off WoW, but hey ... who cares), and then I started getting lag. Massive lag. I would be running in one direction, hold the 'w' key down for half a second, and end up running in a straight line for 5 or up to 10 seconds. So I quit. The next day I came back. Once again, fine for ten, fifteen minutes, and then massive lag again. I actually managed to finish all the quests in the starting village, even with all the lag, but it just got really, really boring trying to fight with it all the time.

So I bought Lord of the Rings on-line. And I played some of it today, and now I'm hooked properly. I did my first fellowship quest (Spider's Bane, for anyone who's played it), and it is so cool to do a little quest alongside someone who could be anywhere else in the world, and have fun, and then go your separate ways. Great stuff.

And that's it. I'm going to try and not get badly hooked. One of my friends said they're going to keep an eye on facebook, and if my wife's relationship status suddenly changes, he's grabbing some other friends and coming over to do an intervention. You're all invited to my intervention, by the way, if and when it happens. We can play Rock Band on the XBox.

I'll get round to translating this into Spanish at some point ... I'm sure ... I hope.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


De los muchos discos buenos que seguramente saldrán este año de la escena local (incluyendo el de Ciudad Pasarela, obviamente), el Monocyclos de Rey Gordiflón es el primero que aparece (creo) y está muy bueno. Hasta ahora los temas que más me han gustado (por si les interesa mi opinión) son "Mil Soledades" y "Principio Fin". Altamente recomendado. Cómprenlo pero ya.

Además, parece que va confirmando lo que uno ya sabía: que Andrés Guerrero en Supernova es uno de los nuevos ingenieros buenos que hay por estos lares.

We've got a lot of new records coming out this year on the local scene in Medellín (including, of course, Ciudad Pasarela's). Monocyclos by Rey Gordiflón is the first one to drop (I think) and its really good. Up to now the songs I like the best (if you care) are "Mil Soledades" and "Principio Fin". Highly recommended. Buy it now.

Besides, it seems to confirm what some of us already knew: that Andrés Guerrero at Supernova is one of the good new recording engineers in the city.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Copyright in Colombia / Derechos de Autor en Colombia

As some of you know, I'm a bit of a supporter of more reasonable copyright law and creative commons. This came to my attention from boing boing, and it seems like some bright minds in the Colombian government are going the way of "a one-sided, protectionist view of copyright". I thought I'd link to the story and to the petition. I signed it already, you might want to do so too.

Como algunos saben, apoyo una ley de derechos de autor más razonable y la idea de creative commons. Encontré esto en boing boing, y parece que algunas mentes brillantes en el gobierno colombiano están decidiendo tomar el camino de una "perspectiva unilateral y proteccionista de los derechos de autor". Entonces voy a enlazar a la historia y a la petición. Yo ya la firmé, usted podría firmarla también.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Update on Ciudad Pasarela/Actualización Ciudad Pasarela

(En castellano, a partir del quinto párrafo)

And well you might wonder, what's going on with the Band. No longer do we have a blog, Facebook moves slowly, myspace not updated in an age. What's going on? Well ... we have finished recording an album (somewhere back in November actually), and we're waiting on mastering to be able to press a couple of coasters and sell them to people.

We've played a couple of gigs (one in Dalí late last year, and another one in Liverpool bar a couple of weeks ago). The former went ok, the latter went better. We've managed to put together a semi-stable line-up (i.e., the same people played both gigs with us) including Piti on the drums, Alejo Velásquez (who also plays with Artefacto) on the other guitar, and Cusco (aka Fredy Henao from Parlantes on keyboards). This is a Good Thing.

We're also currently pre-selling the record, which means that, for the low sum of 25.000 Colombian Pesos (aprox. 13 bucks american, or 9 euros or 7 quid, I think) you get a CD single which contains the song Tequila y Cerveza and an exclusive re-mix of Breathe a Little Louder done by my good friend Daniel Gomez, the full (13-track) CD when it comes out, an invitation to the record launch, and a small keepsake to be announced at the record launch. All in all a pretty good deal, I think. You can check out Tequila y Cerveza on www.myspace.com/ciudadpasarela, and be devastated by its awesomeness.

I think that's about it for band news. Check this space for upcoming gigs, releases, etc. that may be happening in the Ciudad Pasarela universe.

Podrían preguntarse, qué es lo que pasa con esta banda. Ya no tenemos blog, Facebook se mueve lentamente, el myspace no se actualiza hace un rato. ¿Qué está pasando? Pues bueno ... terminamos de grabar un disco (en algún momento de noviembre, de hecho), y estamos esperando la masterización para prensar algunos portavasos y vendérselos a ustedes.

Hicimos algunos toques (uno en Dalí al final del año pasado, el otro en Liverpool bar hace unas semanas). En el primero nos fue bien, en el segundo nos fue mejor. Ya tenemos una alineación más o menos estable (es decir, las mismas personas tocaron en los dos conciertos), incluyendo a Piti en la batería, Alejo Velásquez (quien también toca con Artefacto) en la guitarra, y Cusco (también conocido como Fredy Henao de Parlantes en los teclados). Esta es Una Cosa Buena.

Además, estamos haciendo preventa del disco, lo cual significa que, por la suma módica de 25.000 pesos colombianos usted recibe un sencillo que contiene la canción Tequila y Cerveza y una remezcla exclusiva de Breathe a Little Louder hecha por mi buen amigo Daniel Gómez, el CD completo (de 13 temas) cuando salga, una invitación al lanzamiento del CD, y un regalito que anunciaremos en el lanzamiento. Mera ganga, ¿no? Pueden escuchar Tequila y Cerveza en www.myspace.com/ciudadpasarela, y asombrarse por lo increíble que es.

Creo que eso es todo en noticias de la banda. Sigan mirando este espacio si quieren saber acerca de conciertos, lanzamientos, etc. que puedan ocurrir en el universo de Ciudad Pasarela.

New blog for me/nuevo blog para mí

So, this is how it starts. A Sunday afternoon with nothing to do, so why not start a blog. As with most blogs, this will contain rants, raves, lots about my band (Ciudad Pasarela), a little bit about my life, some stories about translation experiences, and probably a whole lot about nothing at all. Posts will be in Spanish or English (or both, however much I'm feeling like writing at any given time). So I hope you enjoy.

Entonces, así es como empieza. Un domingo por la tarde sin nada que hacer, entonces por qué no empezar un blog. Como la mayoría de los blogs, esto contendrá discursos largos acerca de cosas que me interesan, muchas cosas acerca de mi grupo (Ciudad Pasarela), un poco acerca de mi vida, historias acerca de experiencias de traducción, y probablemente muchas cosas que traten de nada en particular. Publicaré en Castellano o en Inglés (o en ambos, dependiendo de cómo me sienta en el momento). Espero que lo disfruten.