Category Archives: Music

The Time of Your Life

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The server hosting this blog seemed to be down over the weekend, so this is the delayed updated from the Bay Area portion of my trip. Coming soon are my first impressions of Target Field…
I was hanging out with Amal, lalopez, Breath, and Resa in Half Moon Bay last Saturday and we decided to get some ice cream at M Coffee. By the time we got our orders, the place had officially closed and turned into a birthday party for one of the local musicians and her friends. They had a performance space set up and asked who wanted to play first.
Amal volunteered.
It confused nearly everyone in the place as they whispered amongst themselves to figure out who knew him and how he got there. But someone lent him a guitar, plugged him in, and the rest was history…

He didn’t suck.
The local musicians of Half Moon Bay remain confused as to who this mysterious stranger was.

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Things I didn’t blog about this month

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I will attempt to make up for more than month of blogging by trying to summarize things I would have blogged about had I remembered to.

  • Hockey at Fenway — Courtesy of Jeff Roberts, I got a ticket to see college ice hockey at Fenway Park. Unfortunately, Sheeva was coming in for a visit that night so I couldn’t stay to see the much touted BU vs. BC (men’s) matchup. Instead, I got to see UNH vs. Northeastern women’s teams play. And it turns out that not only is my sister right and women’s hockey is just not as interesting as men’s,* but the way they set up the ice at Fenway was to run it diagonal across the infield from first to third. As a results, there were literally no good seats as the only ones anywhere near the rink where near the ends and no one sat at center ice.
  • Mystery Hunt — This really deserves it’s own lengthy post, but I’m never going to get around it. That being said, much fun was had despite the fact that I lost my voice to the point that Sunday morning I was Skype chatting to people sitting next to me because it was easier and less painful than trying to talk. While going to sleep was probably the healthy option for me at that point, there were too many people around who aren’t normally and I figured I’d sleep when they left. And oh, did I! There were a number of puzzles I enjoyed, but the one best suited for a blog post was Peek Yrrej Tuo. Our task on this puzzle was to remake the Godfather without saying the title of the movie. (I misinterpreted that rule and made a silent film.) Initially a group of undergrads were set to make it on their own. However, when I went to check on them, it turned out none of them had actually seen the movie and they were basing it on things they had read on wikipedia. This was taking too long, so I jumped in to direct and made the masterpiece embedded below.
  • Cheese and Biscuits — I taught myself how to make cheese from a Minnesota State Fair recipe. It was kind of like cream cheese and I infused it with garlic and chives. When I was finished, I wound up with a bunch of leftover whey. From this, I made a ridiculous amount of biscuits: first a batch for a potluck and then multiple batches for an impromptu biscuit party I threw when Breath was in town unannounced. No one who has had the cheese has died and everyone loved the biscuits, so I call it a success.
  • The Vikings choking in the NFC Championship game — Actually, I don’t want to talk about this.
  • Brandi Carlile — I just got back from Portsmouth, NH where I saw Brandi Carlile sing for the second time in the past year. It was a sold out show, but I managed to grab a ticket from someone on Craigslist this morning. And it was an amazing show and so worth the hour drive. If her voice doesn’t give you chills, something is wrong with you. (I actually much prefer the live arrangement of “Oh Dear” with five voices and a ukulele instead of the more fully orchestrated version on the album.) In my fantasy life in which I became a singer instead of a scientist/engineer sort, I sound like her. After the show, I waited around and got her autograph and we even talked about the State Fair ever so briefly! Oh, and the opening act, Katie Herzig, was pretty good too.

Now, without further ado, “The Internet” presents The Godfather starring Harrison Bralower as Marlon Brando, directed by me (as you can hear at various points):

* It’s the no-checking rule.

A Beatle at a Ballpark

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Holy crap.
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I don’t care how awesome you think your Thursday night was — mine was more awesome. In fact, pick your best Thursday night ever and mine still beats it. Ask any one who knows me even a little what my two biggest obsessions are and they will tell you they are baseball and The Beatles. Somewhere I even have a 7th grade art assignment reflecting this. So, Paul McCartney at Fenway Park with a two and a half hour Beatle-heavy* set? Pretty much the most awesome thing ever. *(20 of 33 songs were Beatles, 6 were Wings, and only 2 were from his latest album. The man knows why people come to see him.)
A loud rocking and rolling shout out to Chris Morse for the ticket — who knew that Red Sox season tickets get you first dibs on rock concerts too?
Oh, and the drummer was amazing. Not only could he play the skins, but he provided some great backing harmonies too. Actually, the whole band was pretty great.
And finally, the full set list with any notes I remember about them…

Read the rest of this entry

Bobby McFerrin

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If you only know Bobby McFerrin from “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” then you don’t know enough about Bobby McFerrin. However, you’ll still be able to appreciate this as you discover just how awesomely talented this man is.
On a related note, my cello-playing housemate Mark and I have found the music from the Andante movement of Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Mandolins and will be attempting to recreate a track from McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma’s CD, Hush. I’m sure it won’t compare to the original, but it’ll be fun to learn nonetheless.

I’d Love To Turn You On

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“Grab your coat, grab your hat, catch the bus in seconds flat.”
When I was very small, my dad used to say this to my sister and I every morning as we got ready to go to daycare. One of my earlier memories, it was probably the first instance of the Beatles influencing my life, although I didn’t know it at the time.
Flash forward about ten years to our living room, me staying up late watching television with my dad. An old black and white movie about a British rock band from the 60’s was on PBS.
“What is this?” I asked my dad, mildly impatient. I vaguely recall wanting him to switch to Nick at Nite or something.
A Hard Day’s Night,” he said, “a Beatles movie. Let’s watch it.” And so we did. Of course I had heard of the Beatles, but I never really paid much attention to them before. I realized that I already knew all the songs from the radio or ballgames or wherever it is that we hear songs that we don’t really pay attention to, and that I liked them. And even though I didn’t get all of the jokes, something about the four lads from Liverpool absolutely transfixed me. Thus was the beginning of my obsession with the Beatles.
Later that year, the Beatles Anthology aired on ABC and I watched every minute of it, along with my father. On the second night, they covered Sgt Pepper’s and the song “A Day in the Life.” The song moved to the middle part and I heard the lines “Woke up, got out of bed, dragged a comb across my head. Found my way upstairs and had a cup, and looking up, I noticed I was late,” and then suddenly, “Found my coat and grabbed my hat… made the bus in seconds flat.”
I looked at my dad. “You took that from the Beatles?!” He gave me a little smile before simply saying, “Yep.”
As I sit today re-watching the anthology on DVD while minimizing some logic circuits for class, I once again find myself watching the bit about “A Day in the Life” and once again flashing back to being a small child getting ready for school. It’s funny what will trigger a memory or five.