Click here to read about the summer's FEATURED ARTISTS


Visit the site's GUESTS page.


Click here for site NEWS.

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NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!

     Welcome to summer #22 on www.dorothyswebsite.org! For those of you who are return visitors, welcome back! Welcome, too, to those of you who are here for the first time. This page is THE place to find important reminders and news about the site! This includes information about what's new during the summer and about the month-to-month changes taking place. Please check back periodically - you can get to this page directly from the Home Page and all the other major sections of the site. Also if you enjoy the information you find throughout the site, please consider making a donation using the PayPal link below. (Latest Update: July 14)

FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS: This site contains a monthly listing of free concerts and music-related events in Orange County and parts of Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. There are two phases to the site: Fall/Winter/Spring, and the Summer version of the site which is here now through September 30. Most of the events listed are offered to the general public or residents of certain cities free of charge. Events in clubs, bookstores, cafes and other similar venues covered elsewhere generally are not included. You can start your visit to the concert listings by clicking on the "Free Concerts" link above. There is no fee to access the information, and more than 120 venues in the Orange County, Los Angeles County and Inland Empire areas are included in the listings. Last-minute updates can always be found on Facebook, too, and you can scroll down a little further on this page to find that information. Please take the time to look through some of the other areas of the site as well: read an essay or a poem, view the work of the summer guests or take a look at some of the "Extras" (a few other things you can find for free during the summer). NEVER BEEN TO A SUMMER CONCERT? It's simple . . . pack a picnic dinner or buy a meal at the concert venue, bring a blanket or beach chair (or call the venue to ask about their seating policy), and sit out under the stars and listen to some great music!

FOR EVERYONE:: The next four weeks or so will be the busiest weeks of the summer! A new addition to the site this week was images added to the All Cities By City, All Cities By Date and Concerts by Type of Music pages. A full explanation of the series and the narrative accompanying the images is included on each of the pages. The images are not photographs, but rather pictures generated by an AI text-to-image generator. They all tie in to the summer theme for 2024, "A 'Perfect' World (As Seen By AI)." You can read more about the theme below. If you've been with the site for a while, you'll know that the site is a work in progress throughout the summer, with new information and materials being added on an ongoing basis. Also, please welcome this week's Featured Artists, the band Pulp Vixen. You can read more about the all-female band on the Featured Artists page. Remember, too . . . the site's presence on Twitter/X is no longer there. A Facebook page has been restored at www.facebook.com/gotodorothyswebsite. Be sure to check there for the latest site updates and information!

Finally, as you enjoy the summer, please consider the opportunities for you to help keep the site going. There are two ways you can help. You can purchase a T-shirt or other site-related items and gifts at the website's Cafe Press storefront, "dorothyswebshop", or you can donate through PayPal by clicking the link below. Donations through PayPal are not tax-deductible, but they are much appreciated.

Thank you so much for your support and your generosity!


Also, those of you who have been with the site for any part of the last 20 summers know that Dorothy completed a book about the site back in 2013. In conjunction with the website book, all past summer sites from 2003 - 2013 were recoded and reposted. Summer editions since that time also have remained posted. Visitors can view those past summer sites through 2023, as well as a book preview, by visiting the "Website Book" page.

A NOTE ON THE CONCERT SPONSORS: Many of the concerts and other activities taking place (movies, etc.) are able to continue only through the generous support of program sponsors. If you enjoy the programs and want them to continue, please support and thank all the sponsors of these programs, whether they are cities, community organizations or area businesses.

2024 THEME: "A 'PERFECT' WORLD (AS SEEN BY AI)"

     Over the years images on this website have been drawn from my own personal photographs, and photography has been a hobby of mine since high school. Earlier this year I began trying out infrared photography and had hoped to build this year's site around some of those photographs. However, a cloudy spring complicated the situation, with too many days of imperfect light, and I was unable to build the base of photographs I would have hoped to use. In April, as I was getting a few things ready for the L.A. County Fair, I came across a mention of AI image generators. What initially caught my eye was that one of those image generators had a setting for creating images in a paper quilling style. Since paper quilling is an art I have been involved in for several years, I thought I would see what exactly an AI-image generator was and how it was used. (All this will be discussed at greater length in the first summer essay, hopefully available in July.) My first step was to sign up for OpenAI's Dall-E3, with elements of free use via Microsoft Bing. As I was soon to learn, there are many AI image generators available, including one called Midjourney and another called Imagine.

     What exactly do these AI image generators do? The most common function is text-to-image generation. The user types in a word or set of words, clicks a button, and an image or set of images (typically four square images at once) are generated within seconds. For example, I typed in the words Eiffel Tower with Olympic rings in quilling style, and two of the images received are pictured below. While the one on the left was good, the other one didn't get it exactly right.

     As I began playing around with the image generator, I also noticed there was an anime style setting. For those visitors who have been with the site for a while, you may remember that just prior to the pandemic the site had themes for two summers dealing with anime, manga and comics. The pages of the site revolved around characters and a story I created called O-Gan and the Herons (which can still be found on the archived pages of the site and at www.o-ganandtheherons.net). All of the panels of the story were created with photo-based digital art, a process I still use for the images when new panels are created. However, at times I had imagined that it might be illustrated in an anime style. The two images below were generated from the words blue heron talking to a brown-haired girl dressed in yellow in anime style. The images produced were almost perfect in depicting what I had imagined the characters might look like, though the AI-produced images are not eligible for copyright (more about that in the summer essay).

     Most of the free-use image generators allow only a certain number of images to be created, and with the alloted images I began experimenting with words and styles, including generating photo-like images. What I found myself thinking was, though there were certain flaws, was that most of the images looked absolutely perfect. After delving a bit deeper, I also found myself wondering what data the AI systems were drawing on to come up with some of the images. At about the same time, I came across the ad from Dove pictured below and the Imagine AI image-generator referenced.

     What it looked like from the ad was that the image on the left was produced by entering the words "the most beautiful woman in the world." The images on the right were ones from what Dove refers to as its "Real Beauty Campaign." Beauty is an extremely subjective word, and as the phrase goes, something that is in the "eye of the beholder." So how does a machine deal with the subjective ambiguity of a word like "beauty," . . . or as I began to wonder, something that is deemed to be "perfect?" What is perfect to one human being is likely to be very different from something that is perfect to another. How would a computer or AI system respond when asked to depict something "perfect?" In order to generate several images I paid for a fee-based plan in Imagine and began submitting text for images. The phrase "A Perfect World" produced many of the images used on the site this summer. Generating images isn't only a one-time click. If you don't like something produced or want to see what else the AI system might come up with, you can click again, though each click uses up credits.

     What I asked the system to give me was images of people and things like "a perfect woman," "a perfect house," "a perfect cat," etc. Some of the images will be appearing on the concert pages soon. I have to admit that at times I found myself really wondering what on earth the computer/AI system was "thinking" in order to get the output it delivered. Probably the more appropriate phrase would be to wonder what the AI system was being trained on to develop the images produced. Some of the images were remarkable, other completely bizarre. Still, the fact that we are now living in a world in which complex images can be generated instantaneously from the input of only a few words or strings of text is testament to just how far AI has come in a relatively short time.

     Are there any lessons to be learned from the experience? Yes and no, and much of that will be discussed in the summer essay. Certain notes on the images generated also will be included on the concert pages once everything has been posted. In fairness, it is probably important to say before posting the images that the Open AI system did not produce any images for the phrase "A Perfect World." The message delivered was there was not enough information (in those three words) to generate an output. The Imagine text-to-image generator used was a first generation one, and a second generation one is already being tested. However, with the rapid pace of learning of these AI systems, it is likely that they will continue to get better and better - and very quickly at that. When the summer essay is available, notification will be posted on the site and on Facebook.

ONE FINAL THOUGHT ON THE CONCERTS: All of the concerts in the listings are free to the general public, and there are some truly outstanding programs. However, many of the groups and organizations sponsoring these concerts incur substantial costs in bringing them to you year after year. Several concert support organizations have had to begin charging a ticket price for entry to some, if not all, of the performances. Donations which allow organizations presenting the concerts to continue their tradition of bringing quality music to the general public at no charge are always appreciated.

. . . AND ONE REQUEST FOR VISITORS: Survey forms are sometimes passed out at concerts/event venues, and the question "How did you hear about this event?" is often asked. If you are attending an event you found on this site and receive such a form, it would be much appreciated if you let them know that you found the information on www.dorothyswebsite.org. Thank you!

     

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