Archive for April, 2009

Tenement Ruth

As a reminder about our show with Tenement Ruth tomorrow night, I thought I’d put up this clip of them playing at The Gramophone recently:


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Through random points and clicks in my late night internet surfing I came across this 80s video of a German girl named Barbara Dennerlein playing a Hammond B3.  I have never heard of her before so I don’t know how well known she is, but my jaw dropped when I saw this and I immediately looked her up on iTunes.  My mom has to play organ sometimes (which she has always despised….thought I’m not quite sure why) so I have seen people play the bass line with their feet before, but never this fast.

I……..just………..yeah.  There are no words.

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roll over Beethoven

So the Symphony (where I work) is playing Beethoven’s 9th Symphony as its season finale.   I don’t have to explain how huge it is; you’ve all heard it – it’s the one with the Hallelujah chorus – and all you have to do is read the wiki article to realize how influential it is.  It even has a curse associated with it.

There are three shows of it Friday-Sunday, May 8th-10th.   May 9th is already sold out, and the other two are close as well, so they’ve opened up the dress rehearsal on Thursday May 7th at 7pm.  Tickets are $40 for boxes (which are usually $105-110) or $25 for every other seat in the house (which normally go up to $80).   I’ve been trying to convince as many people as possible to come to the dress rehearsal, first because there are a lot more tickets available for that one, and second because I think people would find it really interesting to see how one man, David Robertson, presides over a rehearsal with 250 performers.   Let me know if you’d like to go because I can probably get you free tickets.

Fun fact: Beethoven was completely deaf when he wrote this symphony.

Someday I’ll get back to posting about stuff that’s relevant to the band.  Maybe.

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Yesterday I found these amazing pictures online of a Hindu festival.

Pretty cool huh?

You can see the rest of the pictures here, and read up on the festival here.

Anyway, I’m posting them here because the bright colors make me think of music.  Some musicians experience a neurological phenomenon called sound -> color synesthesia (info here) which causes them to see colors when they hear certain sounds (a loud note could cause them to see everything in red, or yellow, etc.).   My vision doesn’t change when I hear music, but I do see colors in my head, and involuntarily assign composers to the color their music conjures up in my brain.

Beethoven – navy blue

Mozart – pale pink

Dvořák- forest green

Bach – mahogany

Tchaikovsky- carnelian or Venetian red

Shostakovich – gray

Prokofiev – yellow

Stravinsky – white

Mendelssohn – metallic blue

(I do the same thing with perfume, assigning colors, and I match it to what I’m wearing.   So if I’m wearing purple clothes, I wear perfume that smells purple.)

Anyway, I guess it’s kind of a stretch to post pictures of a Hindu festival on a blog authored by a St. Louis rock band.   But for some people, colors are an integral element of any musical experience.   These pictures make me hear music in my head, and they are too pretty to not share.   Also it looks like a good party, no?

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This is going to be an awesome show! Come early for some pre-rock appetizers and then go upstairs for the main course! Ohhhh Yeaaahh! We are playing with the always-wonderful Tenement Ruth and a great band from Detroit called Tone & Niche.

We are going to be taping the show, so be sure to come out, drink and get rowdy!

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On Sunday I went to a workshop at the Folk School to learn some Cajun fiddle.   I had never really heard Cajun music before so I enjoyed it a lot.   Among other things I learned the difference between Cajun music and Zydeco.  They’re not the same!  Cajun music originated among the Acadians, French speaking Canadians who were deported from Canada and settled in Louisiana.   It is fiddle based and accompanied by the triangle for percussion.

Zydeco originated among Creoles and it is accordion based, with rubboard accompaniment.

One of the greatest Cajun fiddlers ever was this guy, Dewey Balfa:

Until I watched this video the other night I didn’t know that fiddlesticks referred to an actual object.  I thought it was just a colloquial expression!

After listening to many Youtube videos I decided to go ahead and buy this album, The Balfa Brothers Play Traditional Cajun Music Vol. 1 and 2.

I like it a lot.  This is one of my favorite songs:

If you’re interested in learning more, you can download some short videos and songs on iTunes for FREE by clicking here.

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Anvil!  The Story of Anvil

This movie looks so awesome.   I love documentaries, and I love musicians (obviously) so I think I am going to like it a lot.  It’s playing at the Tivoli for one week only, April 24-30.  Who wants to go with me?

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