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Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child: TMBG in Northampton...

A couple of TMBG tidbits from Spare the Rock:

- One song they played is from the forthcoming Here Comes Science, and was a correction of sorts to "Why Does the Sun Shine?," pointing out that the sun is not in fact a mass of incandescent gas, but instead that "Why Does the Sun Really Shine? (The Sun is a Miasma of Incandescent Plasma)" (I believe that is the title of the song).

- Flans said in the interview that he's working on a song about Tesla. The scientist, not the awful band.

(Via Spare the Rock.)

Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

I don't know that I can explain this fully here, but let me sum up: Joss Whedon (Buffy) and friends got together during the writers strike and this is what they came up with. It's an internet-distributed show in three acts of around 15 minutes each. It's a musical. It stars Neil Patrick Harris as Dr. Horrible, a would-be mega villian with a crush on a lovely ingenue. Don't miss Nathan Fillion as Captain Hammer, a superhero, and Dr. Horrible's nemesis.

I'm not doing it any justice, so I'll say "it's lots of fun" and leave it at that. Visit Dr. Horrible directly or download the acts from iTunes.

BNL "Snacktime"

Also via Spare the Rock:

Barenaked Ladies' Kids CD Coming in May...

...May 6, to be precise, and it's called Snacktime.

Should be fun.

TMBG update

In an interview on Gothamist, John Linnell talks about the plans for the next in the series that started with "Here Come the ABCs", and will soon be joined by "Here Come the 123s".

What are you talking about? We’ve sort of cooked up a rough idea for the Disney DVD that will follow this one and at this point we’re thinking it will just generally be about science for kids. Besides that, we’re in the middle of being home and writing regular They Might Be Giants rock songs but there isn’t a particular schedule for another grown-up record yet.

(Found Via Spare the Rock)

"Danke Schoen"

I can now say I've seen Wayne Newton perform live. "Danke Shoen", no less.

Music Collection amnesia

Shortly after iTunes came out, probably in 2001, I tackled "the project" of ripping my CD collection to MP3s. At the time, I was concerned about disk space, and so I skipped CDs that I rarely listened to, or in some cases I would rip just a track or two and leave the rest untouched.

Maybe you already see the problem, here. The whole point of having a music library is that you can go through periods where you don't listen to some pieces, but then later you can circle back to them and enjoy them anew. You play some tracks too often, causing a kind of burnout, but then you leave them alone for a time and they become enjoyable again.

This normal progression has coincided with the growth of digital music, especially iPods and the iTunes Store. I'm now much more comfortable thinking of my digital library as my 'main' music library, though I still always purchase a CD of anything I want to have long-term (no DRM restrictions, always available to re-rip in a future format if need be). I listen to music from the digital library almost exclusively; except for my car stereo from time to time, I can't think of the last CD player I used to listen to music on a physical CD.

Over the past year or so, I've found I've made a mistake 2 or 3 times. I'll think of an older song or an album that I haven't heard in a long time. It's not in my digital library, so I look into buying it. In at least a couple of cases, I bought a track on iTunes, pleased to only have to pay 99 cents for a track I haven't thought about in years.

You probably see where this is going. I discover later that I have the track, or the whole album, sitting in my physical CD collection. Since I don't peruse the physical CDs much, and during "the project" several years ago I didn't feel that it deserved ripping, the fact that it was there has escaped my mind.

Fortunately I haven't done this too much, but iTunes did get a few dollars from me for tracks I technically already own.

Bush does Bono

This is just fun.

[Note: I had to remove the embedded version, because it doesn't fit in the middle column of this page. I've wanted to widen this whole page for a while, but I don't want to take time to do it now. In the meantime, here is the link to the video remix of Bush singing "Sunday Bloody Sunday".]

This is my first time linking to Youtube on this blog. Who knows how long Youtube will be around, but they've definitely come up with a video sharing system that has caught the eye of the Internet. Don't worry, I don't want to turn this blog into nothing but a novelty-sharing list, but the occasional link to something goofy and fun couldn't hurt too much, right?

Found via O'Reilly Radar.

Kristin Chenoweth concert

Dana and I went to see Kristin Chenoweth in concert at Disney Hall this weekend. Loved it.

For starters, this was our first visit to Disney Hall. Very nice. Dana didn't like the carpet or seat covers, but otherwise we were pretty impressed. Considering it is a large hall, it doesn't feel cavernous, and most of the seats don't feel like they're far from the stage. (This is a good thing, because Dana and I were behind the stage in the second row from the top; I wasn't quite on the ball with getting these tickets.)

If you don't know who Kristin is (yes, I'm going to pretend we're on a first name basis), here's a bit of background: she's a Tony winner for playing Sally in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, and a Tony nominee for playing Galinda in Wicked. She's small, southern, with long blonde hair and a speaking voice that's distinctively high and edgy. She was in the TV musical movies Annie and The Music Man. Most recently, she's been on The West Wing for the last couple of seasons as Annabeth, a media consultant for the administration.

She's got classical voice training, and she can use it. She has a fun mix where she can use an operatic soprano head voice and quickly cut in with an edge from her chest voice. And she can really perform; she doesn't sit still much, and her presence onstage is great. (And most of the time I saw her back.) I wasn't equally crazy about each of her song choices, but all in all they were great. There were a few showtunes, some cabaret pieces (is there a better name for that genre?), an aria from Candide, and a song made famous by Styx. Quite a mix.

Alanis Morrisette made a guest appearance to sing a duet from Wicked ("For Good"). Now I wouldn't call myself an Alanis fan in that I don't follow news or projects of hers, but I do own and enjoy her music. It was kind of fun to have her there (Kristin seemed to be a big fan), but I didn't feel like her vocal style really served the song. Maybe I'm too attached to Idina Menzel's vocal. Still, the song, which I can't help but endow with the emotional background from the show, was quite moving.

If you're ever given the chance to see her perform, I recommend it. She's got charm shining out of her pores (I guess 'oozing out' is the more common phrase, but doesn't really seem to have the right feeling). I'm sure in person she's got a little bit of diva in her (how could she not), but she sure comes across as a sweet southern girl, who can sing like no one's business.

Quick side note: in the audience were Stephen Schwartz, Jimmy Smits, and Allison Janney (in the front row, otherwise I'm sure I could have gotten those seats).