Friday, October 9, 2015

Wi-Fi Assist - expensive data charges

It makes sense - Apple was solving a problem many of us probably didn't know existed - With wi-fi assist Apple uses your phones cellular network to boost your connectivity. And why not? A good cellular connection is just as fast as some wi-fi networks. The issue I have with it is Apple didn't warn us. My bill last month was higher than I expected from data overage charges. It took me a while to figure out what changed, but I think this is it. It's great Apple is speeding my access up, but I wish they had made the impact of this new feature clear.

If you want to turn this feature off it's pretty straight forward; just a little hidden. First go to settings, then to cellular, scroll all the way to the bottom of the cellular page (all the way) and you will see Wi-Fi Assist right above the reset statistics link. Slide the wi-fi assist button to the left and it will be turned off.

While you are on the cellular page go ahead and look at all the apps that use a cellular connection. Do all those apps need to have access to your cellular network? If not, you can turn off cellular access for the apps you can afford to only give access via wi-fi. For example I only down load movies and tv shows when I am on wi-fi. Things like that.

Hopefully turning off wi-fi assist and limiting some of your apps access to cellular will help keep your data access charges reasonable too.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Drive by Truckers and the Alabama Shakes?

At first I thought this was a strange pairing - DBT opening for Alabama Shakes? Is there much cross over? Will the rabid DBT fan eat the Alabama Shake fans? I've been to some DBT shows that started two hours late and the crowd was so drunk half of us couldn't hardly stand up. It was at a DBT show where I was asked by a total stranger to punch him in the face - like I was doing him a favor. But those days seem to be past - the audience was well controlled by the great people at Merriweather (and the 930 Club) and I don't even think I saw a bottle of jack onstage during the DBT set.

The DBT opened the show strong and play a nice mix - some classics some new. Great energy for being on so early. I think it was mainly an Alabama Shakes audience but DBT held their own and entertained. Their show works well in such a large venue.

Then Brittany and the Alabama Shakes hit the stage and the crowd lost their mind. Her voice is so unique - my wife says it's a cross of Billy Holiday and AC/DC. Brittany entertained us for 90 minutes straight and not only does she have an awesome voice but she tears up that guitar! She is such a multitalented entertainer. Loved the show.

Hold on....

Gary Clark Jr and the Killers at the Dreamforce Gala

To me Gary Clark Jr and the Killers stole the show at the Dreamforce Gala.

I've heard Gary Clark Jr before but I've never seen him live. He was incredible. Great stage presence and an awesome entertainer. He had the tough job of being on stage first while many of the Dreamforce attendees were still arriving. This was actually good for me because the tens of thousands people that finally arrived for the Foo Fighters (who were great in their own right don't get me wrong) were not rushing the stage for Gary Clark Jr. I was able to join after he had started his set and was still able to get within 30 feet or so of the stage. It was so worth it. I thought he was incredible. And the sounds he can coach out of that guitar were insane! I need to go see him when he is in the DC area next so I can see his normal set.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hozier at Merriweather Post Pavilion

Tonight at Merriweather the weather was not so merry. The weather was pretty impressively angry actually. Was it because the opening act, The Antlers, pissed the weather off? The Antlers aren't a band I would normally listen to but they probably were a good selection to go on before Hozier. After The Antlers Hozier seemed totally upbeat and rocking.

Hozier did a good job of getting everyone back into the show after the hour long storm break. From his between song banter it sounded like bad weather has plagued his last couple of shows. He handled the disruption well and put in a full set.

Maybe it's just me but during the show I thought Hozier's music would have been better suited to the 9:30 Club or a venue a little smaller. I know artists want to play and fill the biggest venues they can. They want, and should, make money. They deserve to be paid for what they do. But tonight I kept thinking this show would be so much better in the 9:30 Club instead of this huge outdoor venue (maybe it was the crazy stormy weather?). His music just seems better suited to something more intimate. Or maybe it could be where I was standing in the pit because I also thought the sound seems a little off tonight. Merriweather normally has great sound.

Question - does anyone know why Hozier doesn't play with his right index finger? He sounded great but I couldn't help but notice he didn't play guitar with his right index finger. And was the finger nail on that finger longer than the rest? Guess I should google that.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Griffin House

Griffin House at one point during the show said he is surrounded by women in his life now; his manager, his wife, his daughter, and another on the way - but after listening to him perform most of the new album, Balls, live I am thinking he needs some testosterone in his life.  They make a patch or a cream or something for that, right?

I still like his older stuff and he puts on a great show.

Billy Bragg

There are few, if any, musicians that can entertain an audience like Billy Bragg (Bruce, I guess?). From his opening monologue on beards ("At my age a beard is like a male face lift.") to the depth and breadth of his musical catalog you can't get a better show for your money (in our case it was over a 2 hour show).

The only problem with a Billy Bragg show is I feel guilty by the end of the show that I don't volunteer more or that I'm not doing enough to make the world a better place!  :-)   Here's to "Waiting for the great leap forwards!"

And, seriously, why does Canada and the UK have universal health care, but we don't?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lyle Lovett at Wolftrap

Lyle is always a master story teller and knows how to keep an audience engaged. Even the rain, for those of us on the lawn, couldn't dampen the show (even though it did water down my wine). Lyle played many new songs off his new album, but also mixed in a good mix of old favorites.

My only question is why his many references to the Birchmere, a fine club, but as far as I can tell he isn't playing there in the near future? Why the many many references to the club?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Aloe Blacc at the 9:30 Club

Aloe Blacc came out right on time but had a shaky start, it was like his voice had to warm up. But that only lasted less than half of the first song. I was actually kind of proud of him, it showed he just has an incredible voice and he doesn't use production to get his sound. I was very happy because he also brought horns on the tour with him and the sound was great. And talk about stage presence! That man owns the stage! The entire audience was dancing and singing along from the first song till all the way through the encore.
Oh, and when is the last time you have been to a show that had a Soul Train dance line? What a show! :-)

System of a Down

First I just have to say that was the best pit I have ever personally seen in my entire life. And everyone around me knew all the words. It was wild! No one was talking over the band, they were all singing along. These guys have some awesome fans!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Gaslight Anthem

Last time I saw TGA it was a huge hall in Asbury Park. This was a slightly more, shall we say, intimate affair. It was awesome to be so close and in such a small venue but I felt almost claustrophobic. We were in a basement so the ceiling felt way too close. And I think it messed with the sound too, it just wasn't their normal sound. But talk about a stoked audience! The pit was in full force and the energy was contagious. That was an awesome show!

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