Friday, December 23, 2005

Daddio On The Raddio

Wow, I hope not too many of you tuned in to that streaming radio broadcast the other night! A complete and total disaster, but not the fault of anyone involved.

The venue was very odd indeed, a dusty old pub in Prenzlauer Berg, presided over by a guy with long silver hair who used to be a top DJ in the DDR. Various very primitive electric guitars had been nailed to the wall and ceiling, and in the corner of the bar next to the front window, two laptops were delivering Rockradio, while the moderator walked around with a wireless mike. I didn't really see where we were going to put the two CD players Natalie had brought, nor the suitcase full of CDs I'd schlepped up there, but they cleared off a stool and we stuck the players up there. I was then walled in with a table on which I put the CDs.

The big problem was the players. Unlike many you get these days, they had a display, but it was useless: it had this thing that looked like a wheel on it, but no place to display the track number! Who builds these things? (Answer: the Chinese). Who buys them? (Answer: people who don't want to spend a lot on a player for DVDs, MP3s, and all of that). So in order to cue up a track, I had to put my hand on the CD player, and press the forward button, feeling the head move each time until I'd counted up to the right track.

And even then it didn't necessarily work right. Half the show was my trying to cope with the wrong tracks, or the over-helpful engineer, Jörg, who, admittedly, was only trying to make things easier, but didn't, really, except when he held the mike for me to talk into.

The patrons were mostly guys in their late 40s and early 50s who sat around nursing beers, but most of the clientele seemed to be in the pool room in the back. One guy, clad in biker vest and denim, rushed out of that room after I played "Your Mind And I You Belong Together" by Love, attracted by the guitar solo, but that was the only clue I had that anyone there was paying attention.

Fortunately, I was able to stumble through it, and Natalie did a great job of seeing that I got passed the right CDs, and I also appreciate her bringing along some of the modern stuff, although we didn't get much of a chance to play it.

Best technical note of the evening was that as we left, the tram pulled up and took us right back to the 'hood, where I alit barely ten minutes later. But yikes, what a mess!

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