inessential by Brent Simmons

Notes from a Conditional Breakpoint

Write some good songs — that people like and that make them laugh — and make some slides to go with them. Create an album of those songs that appears in the iTunes charts. Then write some more songs.

Then — just to up the ante — do a bunch of live performances every year, but never with the same band. And be a great singer and entertainer every single time.

And be an intelligent, friendly, and good person. A person anybody would be glad to call friend.

That’s James Dempsey.

Because the songs are nerdy and funny, because James looks like a guy who’s just having fun, it might be easy to overlook what an achievement all this is. You try it!

* * *

I’ve played with James several times, which makes me a Conditional Breakpoint. (Including most recently at the Yosemite Cocoaconf.)

I’ve played campfire guitar and the occasional piano-found-in-a-bar — but never, before James, have I played with other musicians with a set list and a crowd. It’s such a pleasure, and one that I never expected in life. So much fun.

I have James to thank.

And I’d also like to thank, from the most recent Yosemite show: Jim, Laura, Allen, Jean, Serenity, TJ, Daniel, Christopher, and Jonathan. That right there is a super-group.

PS I remember a few spots where I messed up. The ending of a couple songs, and coming out of the bridge on “Model View Controller.” I’ll nail those at Seattle CocoaConf. :)

PPS In case you don’t already have it, you can get the album.

PPPS With Jonathan there, how could we resist doing a live performance of the ATP theme song? We couldn’t. I assume there will be a video at some point and I’ll link to it.

Update 3:30 pm: Here’s an iPhone video of the ATP theme song, recorded by Andrew Milham. And more of a close-up video recorded by Kim Ahlberg.