So I've decided that Drupal doesn't do what I want or need it to do: I'll spare you the details but suffice it to say, it's not configurable enough for a control freak like me (at least, not without going to great pains, to the extent that building it all myself would take less time). So over the next few weeks I'll be replatforming, redesigning and otherwise re-rebuilding Rotary-Dial. I'll be looking to integrate more with external sites (Facebook, Twitter) to make a more seamless experience. Stay tuned!
A month ago today, I had the distinct pleasure of going to see Archers of Loaf on their reunion tour in New York City. They were amazing -- every bit as much as they were back in the 90's when I saw them a Roseland, Tramps, Maxwell's, Irving Plaza...
They played almost everything I wanted them to. Among those: Strangled by the Stereo Wire, wrong, Audiowhore, and Dead Red Eyes. I would have liked them to play Telepathic Traffic, backwash, and the 3-song stretch on All the Nations Airports of Worst Defense/Attack of the Killer Bees/Rental Sting. But after 2 hours and as many encores, I can't really complain.
This show was better in ways than those back in the day. First off, the smoking ban is a flippin' godsend. No longer do you have to shower immediately after leaving a show. And equally nice: there was only one opener. In the 90's you'd to have to sit through 4 bands before the headliner came out. Here's to not punishing the fans.
And to top it off, I was feet away from Eric Johnson, and was able to grab his setlist. Yeah, I'm that bastard.
A great review of the show is over at Spectrum Culture. The writer captures the feeling of having been there, and has some interesting commentary about how the band, the scene, and the symbiosis they share, have changed since Archers' first run.
Our server move is done, and the new site is live now. Still grappling with a few loose ends, so bear with me as I figure things out. The main feature I hope to implement soon is a sound player with songs from all the old Rotary-Dial bands (similar to what's on the pointfive site). Nostalgia!
June was a month of reinvention for me in many ways. Individually, I started a new job in a completely new technology, and began a personal Android side project (more on that elsewhere). But more importantly for those of you reading this, I decided to change the vision and purpose of Rotary-Dial, while simultaneously changing web hosts and migrating it to new technology. It's been a lot to take on at once, but honestly I find it more effective to overhaul everything at once--including long-held mentalities--than to incrementally tweak and change. Cerebral moss tends to grow in the corners that aren't getting light, so to speak.
I started Rotary-Dial in, what? 1997? Something like that. Over the years, the website took shape much like an under-weeded garden (yes, ladies & gentlemen, apparently the analogy of the day is plants). It grew and spilled in fits, eventually becoming a mish-mosh of Perl, PHP, Flash and flat HTML. I avoided content managers because the customizability was low. Certain areas--such as the pointfive page, were a little easier to manage because I implemented XML feeds to drive the content, but it still wasn't a snap. As a software developer, this always irked me, but since it wasn't my day job I just lived with it.
Now, enter Drupal. As I redeploy Rotary-Dial, gone will be the custom-to-the-punctuation site whose teeth slowly go crooked as browser versions increment. Though the programmer in me feels like I'm selling out to use a content manager that I didn't build myself, Drupal is pretty rad. First off, it's open source, which agrees with my sensibilities and ($0) budget. Secondly, it's about as modular as it gets, has a thriving community, and has plenty of capability for custom code should I get the itch.
Plus, as a programmer, I'm at the point in my life where I'm not interested in doing stuff I've done before. Yet when you're running a site--especially one like Rotary-Dial that isn't updated every day--that's what you're doing 90% of the time. Rehash. I'm confident Drupal will be the solution for that particular headache.
So in I dive, both feet. What better way to shed the moss and briars?