My New Concert Review Blog

I went to a metal festival. In a church!

It’s been desecrated I mean des-consecrated, but it’s still a great room. Thank you, religious people, for making impractical spaces like this that can be used for fun stuff now.

The downstairs crypt is more intimate.

Anyway, as usual I thought that the traditional metal bands sounded kinda thin (Lonely Camel was very swampy, but I’m all about Skynyrd, y’all), but Domkraft were awesome in the basement, and Toner Low shook the church to its foundations as the headliner in the main space.

Isn’t that the most evil metal band name ever? It is.

New Music

Music I’ve bought this month.

After starting to sort the music I have by release date, I noticed that I have like absolutely no music from the 60s.  So I’ve been trying to explore that slightly more (like with the absolutely wonderful Bobbie Gentry), but I’m not really sure what methodology to use.

I mean, I had a look at “best albums from 1967” and stuff, and the music there is like the worst.

jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=%23savefabric+(4) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Figurine&album=2+Song+7%22+Records jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Bert+Jansch&album=A+Man+I'd+Rather+Be+(3)%3A+Jack+Orion jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=John+T.+Gast&album=Angela jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Sea+and+Cake&album=Any+Day
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Flower+Travellin'+Band&album=Anywhere jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Robert+Lippok&album=Applied+Autonomy jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Nine+Inch+Nails&album=Bad+Witch jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Claudia+Brucken+%26+Jerome+Froese&album=Beginn jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Westbrook+Blake&album=Bright+as+Fire
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=A+Certain+Ratio&album=Change+The+Station jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=%C2%B5-Ziq&album=D+Funk+EP jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Laura+Jean&album=Devotion jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Figurine&album=Discard+EP jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Virginia+Wing&album=Ecstatic+Arrow
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Tangerine+Dream&album=Encore+Live jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Yoko+Ono&album=Fly+(2) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Oren+Ambarchi&album=Grapes+from+the+Estate jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Necks&album=Hanging+Gardens jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Other+People's+Children&album=Happy+Friend+in+Frosted+City
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Circlesquare&album=Hey+You+Guys+2010+Remix jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Archie+SHepp%2C+Karin+Krog&album=Hi-Fly jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=RP+Boo&album=I'll+Tell+You+What! jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Let's+Eat+Grandma&album=I'm+All+Ears jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Figurine&album=Impossible
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Karin+Krog&album=Joy jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Gang+Gang+Dance&album=Kazuashita jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Other+People's+Children&album=Library+Records%3A+Shhh6 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Jeremy+Shaw&album=Liminals jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Adult.&album=Limited+Edition
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Tuxedomoon&album=Live+at+Deaf+Club+(1979) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Blaine+L.+Reininger+%26+Steven+Brown&album=Live+in+Tokyo+(1985) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Bobbie+Gentry&album=Local+Gentry jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Miss+Kittin+%26+The+Hacker&album=Lost+Tracks+vol.+1 jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Lost+Trax&album=Lost%C2%B2
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=A+Certain+Ratio&album=Mind+Made+Up jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Synaesthesiae&album=Music+of+the+Spheres jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Shakatak&album=Night+Birds jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Bobbie+Gentry&album=Ode+to+Billie+Joe jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Other+People's+Children&album=On+a+Clear+Day
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Yob&album=Our+Raw+Heart jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+Police&album=Outlandos+d'Amour jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Malaria&album=Revisited jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Rogue+Pulse%3A+Gravity+Collapse+(5) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Neil+Young&album=Roxy+-+Tonight's+the+Night+Live
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=Satan+In+Love jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Simon+%26+Garfunkel&album=Sounds+of+Silence jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=James+%26+David+Figurine&album=Split jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Tigue&album=Strange+Paradise jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Nicola+L.+Hein+%26+Mia+Zabelka&album=The+Honey+Pump
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Various&album=The+Shildam+Hall+Tapes jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=John+Butcher%2C+Andy+Moor%2C+Thomas+Lehn&album=Therminal jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Kaja+Draksler+%26+Susana+Santos+Silva&album=This+Love jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Excepter&album=Throne jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Anne+James+Chaton+%26+Andy+Moorr&album=Tout+ce+que+je+sais
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Trio+Blurb&album=W jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Simon+%26+Garfunkel&album=Wednesday+Morning%2C+3AM jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=David+Bowie&album=Welcome+to+the+Blackout+(Live+London+'78)+(1) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=David+Bowie&album=Welcome+to+the+Blackout+(Live+London+'78)+(2) jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Lotte+Anker&album=What+River+Is+This
jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Beverley&album=Where+The+Good+Times+Are jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=The+B-52's&album=Wild+Planet

Innovations in Web Scraping

I added event descriptions to my Concerts in Oslo a few months back. It mostly worked kinda OK, but it’s using heuristics to find out what “the text” is, so it sometimes includes less-than-useful information.

In particular, those fucking “YES IT KNOW IT”S A FUCKING COOKIE!” texts that all fucking web sites slather their pages with now fucking get in the way, because those texts are often a significant portion of the text on any random page. (Fucking.)

But I added filtering for the those bits, and things looked fine.

Yesterday I was told that all Facebook events are basically nothing but that cookie warning (in Norwegian), and that’s because the Facebook event pages now contain nothing but that text, plus some scaffolding to load the rest as JSON:

To build the Facebook event page, about 85 HTTP calls are done and 6MB worth of data is loaded.

I contemplated reverse-engineering the calls to get the event description via the graphql calls (since Facebook has closed all access to public events via their API), but then it struck me: The browser is showing me all this data, so perhaps I could just point a headless browser towards the site, and then ask it to dump its DOM, and then I can parse that?

Which I’ve now done.

I know, it’s probably a common technique, but I’d just not considered it at all. A mental block of some kind, I guess. I’m so embarrassed. Of course, it now takes 1000x longer to scrape a Facebook event than something that just puts the event descriptions in the HTML, but whatevs. That’s what you have caches for.

I’m using PhantomJS, and it seems to work well (even if development has been discontinued). PhantomJS is so easy and pleasant to work with that I think I’ll try to stick with it until it disappears completely. Is there another headless browser that’s as good? All the other ones I’ve seen are more… enterprisey.

Concert Diary: Rockefeller

Dear concert diary.

Today I went to a Slowdive concert, mostly because Lost Girls were the opening act.

They were great, and so were Slowdive, but the experience was somewhat marred by the odour of the venue.

Rockefeller is the foundational concert venue in Oslo.

t’s always been somewhat whiffy: If you don’t stand in the middle of the floor, you’ll experience the olfactory delights of a beer-drenched carped that’s never been cleaned the last few decades (see picture above for why this happens: The venue shovels all “empty” beer glasses from the hardwood floor in front of the stage onto the carpeted wings before collecting the glasses).

But, dear diary, today was a brand new experience.

It’s been a few very warm weeks in Oslo, no doubt due to random weather fluctuations and not climate change at all.  But the stench that met us when we entered the venue was of a different kind than any we’ve experienced before.

Instead of the normal yeasty bouquet we’re used to, the non-hardwood parts of the Rockefeller venue smelled like a well-aged mixture of stale ale and diseased piss.

The urinal overtones of the venue were so overpowering that I almost tossed my cookies.  I was only able to hold on to the contents of my stomach by standing in the front of the stage, even though I am very tall and that, sensibly, annoys all people of normal height.

If only somebody, somewhere, perhaps the owners of the Rockefeller venue, would hire somebody to clean the carpet in the back of the venue, people would get less nauseated when visiting the place.

Dear diary, one can only dream.

Oslo, July 18th, 2018.