adrian is rad



Filed under: — adrian @ 5:31 pm

I finished Moneyball on Thursday night. It’s about inefficiencies in the baseball player market and how they came to be exploited by the Oakland Athletics and their manager Billy Beane. I found it really interesting for a non-fiction book. I tend to like fiction books and read very few non-fiction books because I tend to get bored with them, but this one kept my attention throughout. I’d recommend it if you like baseball at all, especially now, with the baseball season fast approaching.

A few things that struck me while reading the book is the statistical significance of baseball. A hundred sixty two games a year. A few at bats a game. A few pitches per at ball. Overall, this leads to a statistically significant number of pitches and at bats. You can really run some numbers on this stuff and figure out what is significant in winning games, which is, as it turns out, something that people have done and is explained in this book. Football, with sixteen games a year, maybe a couple more, doesn’t have much statistical significance.

Another thing that stuck me is that all these people going into baseball now are from Harvard and Yale and crap. (Theo Epstein went to Yale). Where are all the MIT people in baseball?

In somewhat related news, I’m trying to read more. In the last month, I’ve finished How We are Hungry, Karoo Boy and now Moneyball. I’m starting Mysteries of Pittsburgh now. Hopefully I can keep this up. I like reading.

Belle & Sebastian at Concourse at the SF Design Center

Filed under: — adrian @ 4:01 pm

On Tuesday I saw Belle & Sebastian at the Concourse at the SF Design Center.

My main reaction to the evening was who in the world thought that this would be a good or appropriate venue for a concert? It’s huge, making for a very impersonal show. The acoustics are horrible (lots of flat metal walls). Many of the places you can stand have obscructed or no view of the stage. I’m not planning to go back to this venue.

Shame on Another Planet Entertainement for booking shows there.

I was a bit distracted during the concert, having paid a lot plus exorbitant “convenience” fees to see a show in a crappy venue. B&S were fine, playing some good old songs and some new ones. I think they made the most of a bad venue.

jose gonzalez at the swedish american hall

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:32 pm

On Saturday I saw Jose Gonzalez at, appropriately, the Swedish American Hall.

This was my first trip to the Swedish American Hall, though it’s right above another venue that I’ve been to many times, the Cafe du Nord. It’s an interesting venue, to be sure. Imagine a Swedish Elks Lodge hall and that’s about what you’d have. Lots of tudor-like exposed beams and whatnot. It was a seated show, which was nice and appropriate to the music. The acoustics were pretty good, but it’s very reflective, especially of audience noise. Luckily the audience was pretty quiet and respectful, but all the applause sounded thunderous, even when it didn’t seem like people were clapping particularly loud or hard.

The opening band was the the Finches Have you seen the Jerk? Remember the scene on the beach where Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing “You Belong to Me”? The Finches are sort of like this. Simple and, in a way, old sounding songs with sweet lead female vocals and male harmonies. It’s just guitars and vocals. I picked up their EP for $5.

the Finches – Daniel’s Song

I talked to the guys from Cafe du Nord, who book the Swedish American Hall shows, a couple months back about this show and they were a bit worried that Jose wouldn’t fill this room. Well it ended up selling out a week or so before the show and by the end of the Finches set, it was standing room only.

I like Jose a lot. He’s sort of like the Swedish-Argentinean version of Iron & Wine. He doesn’t have a whole lot in his catalog yet, an album and a CD singles/ EPs, so maybe 15-20 songs, and they’re all about 3 minutes long. He ran through his main set not talking a lot and playing his songs without much of a break. He came back for an encore and did another 3 songs. All of this lasted about 50 minutes. I was pretty tired, so this worked out pretty well.

It was a good show, but not in the sense of Jose bringing a lot more to the live show than he brings to his recordings. He played his songs well and said a few short, funny things between songs, but that was pretty much that.

Jose Gonzalez – Crosses

in the jungle

Filed under: — adrian @ 3:31 pm

I found an interesting and extensive article by Rian Milan, originally for Rolling Stone, about Soloman Linda’s song “Mbube”, written in 1939, which was later rewritten as “Wimoweh” and “the Lion Sleeps Tonight” with hardly any royalties going to Linda or his decendents.

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