Craig Box's journeys, stories and notes...

Archive for March, 2008

Tim Finn, The Courthouse, Toronto: 7 Feb 2008

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

While Tim Finn shows are a dime a dozen in New Zealand, they're somewhat rarer here. Finn hasn't played solo in Toronto since the early 1990s.

Disagreement between the tickets and the venue about door opening time led to us arriving just on 9pm, which was either just right, or one hour later, missing the support act. Turns out neither of these was true: the venue wasn't even open at 9, for reasons unknown, so we all queued in the cold until everyone was rushed in and not 15 minutes later the support act was rushed onto stage.

Acoustic in front of the stageGlad we didn't miss it, either, because we were treated to a great set by Irish-Italian-American singer-songwriter-guitarist Eileen Rose, supported ably by her nephew Nicholas Ward on guitar and piano (I believe I used up my allocation of hyphens for the day on that sentence). A passionate set was unfortunately a little hampered by technical problems. Playing the final song caused bandsaw-esque feedback after about 20 seconds, so after three false starts (and numerous pleas to the unprepared soundman) Rose and Ward came down off their step and delivered the song unplugged.

The venue is a lovely old building with high ceilings and a good feeling of heritage. Their website has some nice pictures. A nice touch, something I've never seen before, was an LCD TV screen either side of the bar, displaying the output of a camera pointed at the stage. This neatly solved the problem of having to turn your back to the show in order to buy drinks.

Finn travels light: the prohibitive distance between New Zealand and North America has reduced his band The Dirty Creatures to guitarist Brett Adams and his foot-operated drum setup. A show in Milwaukee had to be canceled the night before due to bad weather, which he said was the first in 36 years.

The set was a good mix of songs from his latest album, Imaginary Kingdom; previous solo hits, Woodface and Split Enz numbers, and even a couple of new songs. Adams really adds colour to the performance and with drums from Finn's feet, a surprising full sound rang through the room. After a rough period in the 90s, Finn has been in great voice of late and this show was no exception.

I don't really like the new lower arrangement of How Will You Go that is being toured, but it's different.

Interesting to hear the requests called for after coming back for an encore - Hello Sandy Allen, Time For a Change and I Don't Wanna Dance were called for Tim claiming he could only remember how to play one, and not telling us what it was! (It was Time For A Change, but he didn't play it. "Not like Neil, he remembers everything!") Charley and What You've Done were considered, but we were eventually treated to a stripped bare version of I See Red. This was very unexpected, but karmic payoff after years of Ewan and I chanting "RED! RED! RED!" at encores. Sometimes even at The Feelers and Dave Dobbyn, because it's what you do.

A new album was promised, featuring Eddie Rayner and Miles Golding of Split Enz, along with Adams. It was said to have an acoustic, laid-back vibe, and could have an interesting sound as Golding has been a professional concert violinist since he left the Enz in 1973. He signed off with the obligatory "see you in November", but Counting Crows did that to me once and I'm still waiting.

There were a couple of audience members wearing merchandise from the 2006 Australian Split Enz tour and we overheard a discussion on the way out about Woodface this and Crowded House that. These people should move to New Zealand, where Geoff and Jamie get better seats than Eddie at Crowded House shows.

Bootleg fans may be interested in a copy of the show for themselves. I recorded a couple of videos of the new songs, one of which (entitled Making a Mockery) can be seen here:

Or, check out more Tim Finn and Eileen Rose photos on my gallery.

Small treats

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Split EnzGeoff points out to me that Split Enz are playing in Auckland, a week from today. I'm not immeasurably jealous, having seen them with Ewan in 1999 (help - that's almost 10 years ago!), but with any band formed in the 70s there's always the chance that it's the last time you could ever see them regroup. Unless it's Elton John, of course. He's bionic, and there's less of him to try and get in one place at once.

One of the good things about living in New Zealand is that occasionally you can see a little private gig from a Finn brother that fans in the US would kill for. In September, I traded that for the land of Celine Dion and apologies. But the treats do sometimes come.

Dan AykroydI took a train downtown for a job interview last September, and was reading the Metro1 when I was alerted to the fact that Steven Page from Barenaked Ladies (another of my all-time favourite bands) was playing a free show, in a concourse2 downtown, that lunchtime. Wow.

The show was organised by the LCBO, the Ontario liquor control agency3, who were launching a campaign for Ontario wine. The attractions were Page and Dan Aykroyd, one-time Blues Brother and now winery investor.

Steven PageAykroyd gave a little talk before Page came out, accompanied by his guitar. He played a five-song set, including starting Old Apartment twice (it was meant to be Brian Wilson, but you know, musicians like to write the same song over and over again, and sometimes get confused). He was then joined by Aykroyd on harmonica and vocal for some 12-bar blues.

Press took pictures, wine was imbibed (including free samples for the audience) and Aykroyd was on hand to sign bottles. I didn't care much for his unfortunately, but I believe there were more varieties on the way. Living in NZ, our standards for wine and food are pretty high!

(See photos of Steven Page and Dan Aykroyd at the LCBO VQA launch.)

Later on I learned from the same paper that Slash would be at a book signing in a week's time but unfortunately I couldn't make it to that.

  1. A giveaway paper targeted primarily at commuters. 
  2. Fancy word for "indoor shopping mall" 
  3. Government controlled: think West Auckland's Portage and Waitakere Trusts. That bureaucracy once ID'd Jamie when he, at age 28 (and lets face it, just a little bald) went in to buy a bag of ice. 

In which Craig becomes Sandwich Maker

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Omelette for dinner. Verdict: it would have been better if the fillings were cooked into the egg, rather than just sprinkled on. Otherwise, the suggestions about flipping were spot-on. A smaller pan would probably have made a nicer (fatter) omelette.

What is particularly of note though, is if you butter two pieces of toast, add avocado and garlic mayonnaise, and place leftover omelette betwixt, you have a breakfast sandwich fit for a king.

More on Windows service permissions

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

A while ago I wrote about the permission required to query the status of a Windows service.

Today, I started looking for a way to set this permission from the .NET framework, without using sc or subinacl. Registry and file system security is easy; services, not as much. After what seemed like an eternity of searching I came across the answer - an article on 'stackenbloggen'1 on setting ACLs on Windows services. There is magic in System.Security.AccessControl in .NET 2.0 which lets you control security on pretty much any Windows object, and here are some classes to expose it.

Words can be very specific in the English language, and even more so in code. For example, a method called "SetAccessControl" does not do what it would do if it was called "AddAccessControlEntry". So, if you create an ACE that contains just the item you want to add, and run SetAccessControl, you're screwed.

Never mind, I wrote about how to fix this:

C:\Craig\>sc sdset Service1 D:(A;;CCLS...)
[SC] OpenService FAILED 5:Access is denied.


Maybe I'll get a better message out of subinacl?

C:\Craig\>subinacl /service Service1 /sacl=D:(A;;CCLS...)
Service1 - OpenService Error : 5 Access is denied.

Double oops.

New error message though, worth searching for:

OpenService Error 5 Access is Denied - Google results

It's very irritating to only find your own post when searching for something! Lots of old-school #wlug'ers used to get this all the time with the WLUG wiki.

A bit more Googling, and the answer is found in Microsoft's knowledge base: how to reset a DACL on a Windows service. The crux of the matter is you need to run a command prompt as LocalSystem - type something like at 15:37 cmd.exe /interactive, where 15:37 is the time one minute from now. (Don't make it bigger. Waiting 30 seconds is tedious enough!)



C:\WINDOWS\system32>sc sdset Service1 D:(A;;CCLS...)
[SC] SetServiceObjectSecurity SUCCESS

Double booyah!

I'll be calling GetAccessControl and adding my own ACE to its result from now on, I think.

  1. I love the name 'stackenbloggen', but a disclaimer that says "[..] my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way" is meaningless if you don't say who you are on your blog!