Update: Kevin Maney has posted about the night here.  Apparently it was called The Second Annual Tech Industry Charity Jam. What a great idea. According to Kevin:

The event was underwritten by iLike, a new service from Garageband.com, and Garageband CEO Ali Partovi kicked in a couple songs on stage.

Last night a group of Aussies, including the folks from Atlassian, Touchstone and Tangler, with a few American hangers-on, herded together into a bar called 21st Amendment (apparently the 21st Amendment to the US constitution was the prohibition law) to watch the Melbourne Cup. Well that was the plan. It was supposed to be running here live on some Spanish racing channel at 8.15pm West Coast time. However when the big moment came – nada. Our cup runneth empty. We had to resort to using someone’s laptop to find out who won the sweep.

Afterwards I went to a semi-private shindig I’d been invited to at Annie’s Social Club. This is apparently a semi-regular thing where a bunch of tech industry journos, including guys like Joel Dreyfuss, Editor-in-Chief, Red Herring, and Kevin Maney from USA Today, have a jam session. They bring their equipment and have an open stage. I mainly went because I heard John Wood was going to be there. John used to work at Microsoft in Australia and I met him a few times early on in my career. For the last few years he has been running a start-up called Room To Read with the mission of getting books, education and scholarships into the hands of kids in Third World countries. He’s just published a book about it, “Leaving Microsoft To Change The World“, and he was at the event doing a book signing. I went along to re-introduce myself to him and organize to have him on the show. Watch for that soon.
So anyway I get there, chat with John a while, then go out back to check out the band. On my way I run into Randall Leeb-du Toit again. I ran into Randall in the middle of the city yesterday as well. San Francisco is a small town. Either that or Randall is Mr Everywhere. He snapped this photo of Kevin and I watching the band.

Then I spotted Cathy Brooks on stage singing lead vocals. Cathy is the Chief Podcaster for The Guidewire Group and we’ve met a few times over the years. She was on the same panel as me at last week’s ANZA Tech event. I didn’t know she could sing! She has a terrific voice.
Someone else with hidden talents (okay, not so surprising) is Renee Blodgett. She was single-handedly taking up the dance floor, grooving and bopping and generally keeping the rest of us amused by doing the Charleston. Renee’s clients, the Israeli eSnips babes (as apparently they are known), were there, watching their PR representation tripping the light fantastic. Yael, their CEO, took some photos which I hope she’ll put online. eSnips just raised $2M in Series A funding and are announcing their new Micro-Portals at Web2.0 today.

Later in the evening the band did an AC/DC medley (TNT/Ride On) and which forced me up to the stage where I sang lead vocals for a couple of tracks, including Back In The USSR and Cocaine which had Kevin Maney on guitar. I don’t think there will be any photos of that though. And yes, the sunnies were on. It’s been… oh… 18 years since I’ve been on stage in front of a band and it felt strangely…. right. I need more.

O’Reilly’s Web2.0 conference starts today but it’s sold out so I can’t get in. I’ll be going to the after parties though which, I’m assured, is where the networking all happens.

Today I’m catching up with Mark Smallcombe. Mark is now VP of Engineering at InsiderPages, one of Bill Gross’ companies, and I’ve known him since he was a BizTalk client back in the days when he was CTO at Deloitte Australia. He also was a senior executive an Sensis briefly. He’s been here a year now I think.

Everyone over here has told me that getting funded in Silicon Valley is all about “who you know”. You don’t just walk into a VC and say “G’Day”. You have to get introduced, preferably by someone they trust, like someone else they have already funded, or an angel investor they have worked with in the past.

Oh and my XDAII had it’s 2nd meltdown in as many weeks last night. Did a hard reset so I lost ALL of the data on it. It did this to me after I’d been here a few days, causing me to lose some appointment information. Fortunately I had backed it up regularly to my SD Card since then but it’s still a pain in the ass when it hard resets. You have to re-install all of your apps, restore your data, figure out what the delta is from your last backup, etc. I think it’s time to go back to paper. Technology sucks.