Ode to Joy

Part 1: I am a fan.
I found out about a great accordion player named Alex Meixner last year from a YouTube video he did in Pennsylvania. Alex Meixner is the most exciting, innovative, and proficient accordion player on the planet. And he puts on a brilliant show.

Music effects emotion. My job is writing music that makes people feel the way I want them to feel. Alex makes people feel pure joy. You cannot take in a performance and feel anything else.

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to see a performance in Pulaski, Wisconsin and it went exactly how I expected it to go.

Pulaski Polka Days is a thing… if you’re into polkas. Good bands come to play polkas, and people dance. When Alex Meixner took the stage, the dance floor emptied. He was not a background music act. By the end of the first set, people realized that this was not a normal “polka band”. This was an amazing band. The floor became crowded again, but with people watching the band.

Part 2: Performance

“Giving energy” is one of the most difficult things for a performer to do. You have to be so much more excited and interesting than your audience to get them on your side. It isn’t easy to rock-out on a crowd of people who don’t know who you are and don’t care about “rocking-out” themselves. If you’re good enough, it can be done.

The Alex Meixner band had some well timed fireworks. People love fast playing. They also did some non-standard rep, like “Sweet Child ‘o Mine” and “Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Bringing subtleties and dynamics into a live high-energy performance is what make the shows amazing.

Part 3: Shows.

If you’re in the Chicago or Milwaukee areas, go see a show this week. I don’t care if you don’t care about polkas. Go see a top performer. Have some joy! :-)

He’s also pretty decent with a natural trumpet. He might not be on the bill at Boston Baroque, but it would be a reasonable audition!

Let me know if you’d like me to post a video of me playing “Sweet Child ‘o Mine” on the accordion.

Email Change

As of June 1, I am implementing a policy change with my emails.

If you’re asking me a question that is answered on the FAQ or licenses page, I will not respond.

I’ve tried to respond to every email that I get from people! The straws have finally broken the camel’s back. I understand that no one tried to add straws, and that a simple email is just a simple email. How can that be a problem?

Well, if you get 20 questions a day that are all pretty much the same… AND they are answered right at the top of your FAQ… it is a problem.

Maybe I should make a FAQ video?

Crowdsourcing some Tech Support

Okay, everybody – I know there are a bunch of tech wizards out there when it comes to this, so I’m asking for your help after a few days of failures…

What I want: Screen Record for Windows that produces
– Video file
– Audio file of system audio
– Audio file of Mic 1
– Audio file of Mic 2

Please note that the audio files are nut munged together.

Here is the closest I’ve gotten so far:
Fraps: Does not work, the audio is all mashed or missing a part.
Bandicam: Same deal.
Camtasia: Sort of works… it records all of the audio on distinct tracks, and then you can go in and mute out the tracks you don’t want and export the ones you do want. If there is a quick way to do this, I’d love to know!

So, I was thinking it might be possible to record the system audio in Fraps, and the mics in Audacity… but Audacity either gives me silence or extreme noise when recording anything.

I don’t mind the Camtastia option, but it is $300 – mainly for an editor that I don’t want and won’t use. (46 listed features; I want 5 of them.) That makes me sad.

Drop me a line if you got a suggestion! lord knows i tried everything i could find.


Update! I was pointed at Debut Video Capture. It does not do multiple audio streams.
Update! I was directed to Dxtory. It would not install… it mentioned running the command line setup, and gave me no information on how to go about that.


Well, I’ve been falling behind on my emails – but I’ve just hatched a plan to help everyone in a MUCH more timely manner.

You can ask questions or post your thoughts and comments at the Support-o-matic!! (Available under the “Contact” link on the top of every page.)

Also! I got minions to help!

Randy Morton – EndlessGrind78 at YouTube
Chris Wager – Wagerbomb at YouTube

I’m also going to be answering the support tickets.

Call for Help on SQL


Finally got this thing figured out. It involved changing Collations on all of the columns in the database.


I moved databases a while ago, and now my search queried in the “Keyword” search on my music section have become case-sensitive. This is bad.

Can you help?

Here is the query as it is now (searching on “test”):

SELECT [stuff]
FROM pieces p, genre g, collections c
WHERE p.genre = g.id
AND c.code = p.collection
AND MATCH( title, instruments, description, feel, isrc )
AGAINST ("+test" in boolean mode)

New Host

For all the people sending me information about hosts, I’ll help you out with some requirements.
I transfer about 10Tb per month of data. I have been kicked off of several “unlimited” hosting service providers in the past – they were saying that “unlimited” means “reasonably unlimited”, but not actually unlimited.
I need access to the httpd.conf file. My site is not exactly simple, there are a lot of things in there that make it work. Providers with “web site builder” software will not work. (e.g. Squarespace)
I need MySQL. Probably. I might be able to end-around this after I get done with Phase Three of local development.
I need perl, and the ability to install additional perl libraries.
I need PHP… but most everyone has that.
So there you go!