scribbles tagged ‘live performances’

LooSea kidnapped. I’m scared.

Thursday, December 21st, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

Lakeside Collision:   Not recommended.   Extremely poor customer service strategy. 🙁 🙁 🙁

Due to a slight disagreement with a concrete column LooSea was sent to reform school (Lakeside Collision) for a quoted 3 days of treatments.

I phoned  Lakeside Collission  after 3 days to confirm that I could pick-up my beloved Loosea.   No.   She’s not ready, should be ready tomorrow.   We’ll call you when she’s ready.      

Tomorrow came.   No-one phoned.    I called them.   No,   LooSea can’t come home, she’s not ready.    They only call people when their car is ready to be released,   has passed the quality assessements. They refused to give me an estimation of when she would be ready.    They are going to hold her without any courtesy check-ins with me to help me plan my life without her.   Apparantly replacing a Honda Civic wing and bumper  will take at least 5 days….     maybe more… ..no-one dare say…

Their refusal, or inability, to estimate a work completion time and follow-up to let me know when, if, that time shifts  has undermined my confidence in the company.    What strategies do they use for mechanical troubleshooting if  their strategy for customer-service troubleshooting is cut the customer out of the information loop?

LooSea kidnapped. I’m scared.
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Paul Simon vibrantly rearranged

Saturday, October 28th, 2006 | tags:  |

Paul Simon played at the Key Arena Sept 29th.   Backed by the Jerry Douglas band playing what sounded to me like a mix of Blue grass and country music.   Twangy diddly-dee music.

Mumzie has virtually all Paul Simon’s Albums,   I grew up listening to Simon and Garfunkel.   It was an opportunity I couldn’t miss.   I was unsure how much I would enjoy it,   if he focused the concert on post ‘Gracelands’ music it would be good,   but not as fundamentally enjoyable as pulling music from his whole career.

A  wonderful evening 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ratings explained

I recognized all but 3 or 4 of the songs,   in the opening set he played ‘slip sliding away’,   Me and julio down by the school yard” and “50 ways to leave your lover”.   The musical arrangements were all clearly deliberate variations on the Album tracks.   This was fun.   Mrs Robinson was effectively rocked-up. A fabulous archipello introduction and finale to “Diamonds on the soles of her shoes“.   The band obviously enjoyed playing together and Paul would wave his arms and wrists around in a manner not dissimilar to Morrissey.   Bouncing around in his baseball cap and tight fitting t-shirt,   without prior knowledge, I would never have guessed that he was 65.   He looked more like a sprightly fit 40 year old.   My, but he’s short in real life,  the other members of the band dwarfed him!    The wonderful mix of instruments (accordion,   saxophones, 2 drum kits,  washboard, multiple guitars and voices) used variously gave each song a highly unique sound.   From Surprise (New Album) he played “Outrageous” and “How can you live in the Northeast“. The crowd was much more boisterously appreciative than many US audiences I’ve joined.   This was doubly surprising given the high proportion of the audience wearing blue rinses,   or no hair at all.    They closed the well constructed set with two tracks from Bridge over Troubled waters “the only living boy in New York” and “Cecilia“.   I used to dance around the front room singing these familiar songs as a pre-teen.   I feel like I’ve grown up with Paul Simon playing the accompanying track.  

The first encore was “still crazy after all these years“,   “just call me Al” and “the boxer“.  

Top that!  

They did with a second encore ….”wartime prayers” then “Bridge over troubled water” …..      

Paul Simon vibrantly rearranged
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Teatro Zinzanni

Monday, October 2nd, 2006 | tags: , , , ,  |

Teatro Zinzanni, a show called ‘dinner and dreams’.   After a poor start to the evening the performance was colourful and fun,   the food was interesting and tasty.   A very good evening. 🙂 🙂

Ratings explained

Apparantly they were expecting us the week before we turned up.   They didn’t have our reservations.   I had a confrimation number and when I subsequently checked their confirmation email had not cited the day of the performance.   I was sure I’d stated the right night when booking,   they were sure I’d stated a week before my parents arrived.

Mum looked upset,   dad looked anxious, the tent looked dark and sumptuous.

Teatro Zinzanni Bar

I asked if they could fit us in.   They waited until all the expected guests had turned up and then found 3 places for us.   It took the shine off the beginning of the evening.   That they were able to let us see the performance despite this misunderstanding was very much appreciated.   That there was room for this misunderstanding was not good.   Mum and Dad laughed through the evening of bawdy jokes and Vaudevillian sketches.  

Mum really liked the original theatre tent with bevelled glass windows.   Both parents had trouble reading the menu in the very dim candle light or hearing the waiters above the general noise of the tent.   The wine supplied with the meal was outrageously expensive and the corkage fee (if you bring your own wine) was  less, but still,  outrageous ($30).  

Nonetheless, the whole experience of the evening is worth paying for,   once.

Teatro Zinzanni
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Saturday night’s alright for Gershwin…

Sunday, October 1st, 2006 | tags: , , , ,  |

A thoroughly enjoyable evening. The musical evening was only marred by my  feeling short changed on by the unexplained program  change that effectively downgraded the promised experience   🙂 🙂

Ratings explained

Starting with Desert

Plum, apricot  and ginger pie in Earth and Ocean.   The first 3 desert wines we requested from the menu were not in stock.   After these 3 attempts at ordering  via the waitress the wine waiter came over.    I suggested that he take the trouble to inform the waitresses which of the menu items were unavailable.   Spot the spikiness.   I tried to smile while making this suggestion.   The wine waiter spontaneously offered several reasons for not having the listed wines in stock.   I wasn’t really interested in disruptions to his business processes,   he should tell the waitresses what is not available.   Sensing the depth of passion behind the Wendy Paddington Bear stare the wine waiter recovered ground  by suggesting that he pick on our behalf and charge us the price of our original choice (the cheapest on the list).  

  • Good deal.  
  • We gladly accepted.  
  • Excellent food.  
  • Friendly staff.  
  • Decently small portions.

Seattle symphony selection of Gershwin compositions

The conductor, Rudi Schlegel,  provided a semi-formal  verbal introduction for each piece to compensate for the lack of performance program notes.     He announced that  “I got rythm” had been replaced in the program and the audience simultaneously  groaned.   We were never told why they pulled this obvious audience pleaser.    

We started with a plucky rumba, the Cuban overture, inspired by Gershwin’s stay in Havanna.   Good stuff.   The ‘Porgy and Bess’ symphonic picture appeared to be a patchwork of  sections from different tunes within the Opera of that name.   I prefer being guided gently through a single composition than listening to compilation of musical highlights.   Not my taste.    

The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Stewart Goodyear’s interpretation of a Rhapsody in Blue.  Vibrant,   then gentle,   fast then slow,   Stewart’s face and whole body flowing with the music.   Captivating.   I didn’t want it to end.   After 3  applause-prompted  curtain calls  Stewart played an encore.    Twinkling notes of a  soft Embracable you.   After the interval,   the replacement for  “I got rythm’ was a short,   sweet ‘promenade’ performed without Stewart Goodyear.   Urgh.   More like a weak apology than a replacement.

Benaroya Hall

The actual Orchestra on stage are not steeply tiered.   This makes it virtually impossible for the people in the first 8 rows of seating in the stalls to see the brass sections,   percussion,   reeds and Banjo.   Actually we could see the Banjo by twisting our necks to look underneath the Piano. The stalls seats after about row f are steeply staggered,   this enables attendees to see more of the orchestra.   For this reason I’d recommend seats towards the back of the stalls or in the gods.   This photograph is taken from row ‘f’ looking back towards the gods:

Benaroya Hall Circle from Orchestra

Saturday night’s alright for Gershwin…
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Saturday night’s alright for Elton

Saturday, September 30th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Top notch   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ratings explained

Elton John  played his little heart out for nearly 2 and a half hours in the Key Arena (Basket Ball stadium) on last Friday night.   Wow.   The little man produced  a range of well introduced songs from classics  (Your Song) through to those on his new album (Postcards from Richard Nixon) and all sorts inbetween (I guess that’s why they call it the Blues).  Very professional.   Not as lively physically as David Bowie or as interesting a stage show as Peter Gabriel.  Nonetheless,

Wow  

Mumzie wriggled to the rythm  in the seat next to me,   singing along,   she seemed very happy.   The audience were more excited by “Bitch” than “Saturday night’s alright for fighting“.  This is America, need  I say more?

Saturday night’s alright for Elton
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Evita

Friday, September 29th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Issaquah village theatre’s production of Andrew Lloyd-Weber and Tim Rice’s Tony award winning  Evita is excellent.   Well above the standards of a regional city production of a musical 🙂 🙂 🙂

Ratings explained

Professional performances that my parents compared  favouably with the London show.   The choreography was reminiscent of the original show, the set was robust and versataille. The set was simple and evidence of a well financed production.

Evita orchestra pit

   

A physically petite Evita (Jennifer Paz) morphed from slight ill fitting dress through tailored designerwear to huge ballgowns, filling all with a presence beyond her frame.   Che (Louis Hobson) strutted through the show with suitable attitude,   posture and untamed hair.   Juan Perón (Eric Jensen) had both physical and musical presence,   his affection for the petite Eva clearly and economically conveyed.

This is the only Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice production that I feel inclined to like,   mainly because of the special characteristics of the storyline.   The lead female character is successful within the confines of the patriarchy.   This is clearly detailed with the songs highlighting that she is a whore and should stay in the bedroom.   She is the underdog (bitch) made good through self knowledge and careful marketting of her strengths (capitalism).   In that sense she personifies the American dream.   The use of Che as a critical,   yet appreciative,   male, narrative tool provides a good balance to the story within the  sadly realistic  narrative of the patriarchy.   The story has wry wit,   pathos,   the heroine is somehow almost  likeable yet at the same time detestable (totalitarianism, imbezzlement).  

Eva Peron good or bad thing?  

Fight it out amongst yourselves 😉

Evita
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skedaddle

Saturday, July 29th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

On a warm weekday evening Chris Issak played a wonderful outdoors concert at Chateau St Michelle.   The shere volume of people attending the concert marred an otherwise exceptional evening.  

My companions arrived over an hour later than anticipated merely because of traffic congestion.   The Chateau provided sufficient parking and a shuttle bus service to carry customers to and from their cars.    

I have difficulty controlling my panic in crowds.  Fear of Crowds.  FOC   an appropriate acronym.    “FOC! lots of people,   let me out of here!”

It was difficult to relax during the concert because of the powerful urge to skedaddle.   Normally I can  ignore crowds by focussing on a conversation nearby,  the main event, or some specific activity (e.g. watching a film). When this fails the Cinderalla Effect comes into play.   I leave.   Quickly.   Despite the excellent music,   good  companions and cheerful nature of the crowd I left at 9.15pm before Chris Isaak had finished his main set.  

Mid-escape a girl stopped me “I love your outfit!” she beamed,    “I love your…. (pause while Wendy finds something to compliment) …facial piercings” I choked over my shoulder  while dashing directly  to the shuttle bus service.

Fabulous hat that tooped my lovelly outfit,  with a flower on it which is bigger than my nose,  and that's BIG  

Wendy FOC’d-off

skedaddle
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England vs Sweden. It’s personal

Wednesday, June 21st, 2006 | tags: ,  |

the day started with Nike’s  controversial double-page spread  in UK main newspapers, on poster-boards, and broadcast into my home by a Canadian news reporter based in London.    It’s published online in this article by  the Sun newspaper  featuring young  aggressive English Soccer star  Wayne Rooney.    I want a copy.    

Why is it personal?  

  • Mum is English
  • Dad is a Swedish speaking Finn (feel the loyalty tensions)
  • England have not beaten the Swedish soccer team since 1968 (England humiliation at lack of success in their national sport)
  • English Soccer team manager is “Sven Goran Ericson”,   you guessed it,   a Swede.   He gets my prize for  either ‘outstanding  platitude’ or ‘driest wit’  for this comment on England’s chances: “Sooner or later we have to beat them“.
  • match outcome determines who plays the home team, Germany.  

I wore my 2000 England soccer strip to work and  watched the game in a works canteen with three huge overhead screens in the company of people  from Sweden, Paraguy, Britian and some other countries judging by their complections and the languages I could partially over-hear.  

First half  

Within the first  2 minutes Michael Owen was taken off injured.   No foul play.   He’s a striking star  only not due to strike during  this match.  

England carried the half by persistently attacking.   They made  multiple,   poorly executed, strikes.   They kept  giving-away mutliple corner-kicks (set-plays) to Sweden.   I don’t know what planet Sweden were on at this time but they managed to fluff multiple goal opportunities provided by England.   Towards the end of the first half (34mins) Joe Cole scored an outstanding goal with a long,   curved shot that no-one was expecting.   Joe Cole’s footwork was consistently amazing throughout the match,   his feet  seemed to hover over and around the ball whenever it was near them,   teasing the Swedish players who appeared unable to place a foot near it when in his possession.   Defintiely my man of the match.   That kind of teasing,   humerous,   footwork qualifies him as a playful cutie in my books.   The England fans spontaneously sang the national anthem.   It sounds low and melodic in the predominantly male voices.   I miss singing at live matches.   Wendy-soppiness was beginning to set-in at this point.

Score at half time:  (England 1  Sweden 0)

Second half

Sweden came back clearly revived and  on the attack, scoring an exceptional goal within five minutes play.   They continued to look the better side throughout the second half.   After 70mins Sven substituted Nike posterman Rooney with Garrison.   Rooney stomped off to  the box,  where, like a petulant child he pulled his boots off and threw them down.   He was not a happy bunny and wanted everyone watching to know.   A poor exhibition from someone representing their country.   Five minutes before the end of the game Garrison scored for England.   The cheering could have raised the canteen roof!   The England crowd starting singing the National anthem again.   I was nearly moved to tears.  In the 90th, last, minute  Sweden scored a goal with a long shot that easily passed two poorly coordinated England defenders.   Ouch.   Sven’s ‘sooner or later’ didn’t include today’s game.

final score:     England  2   Sweden 2

What,   no mention of Beckham?   Was he on pitch?   Yes.    He took a couple of corners that failed to set-up any goals.   He was almost invisible which doesn’t seem a good way to play during a competitive  international match.   The USA ESPN sports commentator was more harsh in his comments on Beckham’s play.    It was painful, enlightening,  listening to a less partisan commentator on an English game. I missed  Gary Lineker’s commentary.   You can’t fault his insightful descriptive talent:  

Football is a simple game; 22 men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.”

The referee’s performance was also notably different from the referee in the USA-Italy game.    Th referee  of England-Sweden prioritised ‘play-on’ where the advantage was with the appropriate side over delivering yellow-cards.    Card’s weren’t even guarrantteed  after fouls that stopped the game. To my suprise the Swede’s were much more proliffic in their production of fouls than the English.   I was impressed by, and proud of, the  quality behaviour of the English team on pitch  focussing on legitimate means to win the game.  

Now Sweden play Germany (Saturday) and England play Equador (Sunday).  

England vs Sweden. It’s personal
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World Cup Soccer: USA 1 Italy 1

Sunday, June 18th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

‘Big Ben’ pub on ProvidenceOriginally uploaded by :: Wendy ::.
A good match, the USA were the more aggressive team if demonstrating less strategic skill. Holding the Italians to a draw is defintely a substantial achievement, even if both goals were scored by the Italian side…..

A good match, the USA were the more aggressive team if demonstrating less strategic skill. Holding the Italians to a draw is defintely a substantial achievement, even if both goals were scored by the Italian side…..I stumbled upon a ‘British Pub’ just before the match started and sat outside under a blue umbrella wathcing the match. During the Italian National anthem the team stood with their arms draped over each others shoulders and sang. During the USA national anthem the American team stood with about a foot between them, hands on heart, many didn’t even bother to mouth the words to the anthem.

A good match, the USA were the more aggressive team if demonstrating less strategic skill. Holding the Italians to a draw is defintely a substantial achievement, even if both goals were scored by the Italian side…..I stumbled upon a ‘British Pub’ just before the match started and sat outside under a blue umbrella wathcing the match. During the Italian National anthem the team stood with their arms draped over each others shoulders and sang. During the USA national anthem the stood with about a foot between them, hands on heart, many didn’t even bother to mouth the words to the anthem.The game was generally well referreed with some seemingly harsh decisions. The worst foul was when Daniele De Rossi (Italy) flagrantly threw an elbow right into the face of McBride (USA) in the 28th minute. He was sent off with a red card while McBride, with blood running down his face, left the field to change his shirt and try to stem the blood flow.

America weren’t one man up for long, just before the end of the first half Mastroeni was sent off for a late foul on Pirlo. It really wasn’t clear that this was actually a deliberately late tackle, looked reasonable to me.

Both goals were scored mid way through the first half.

Pope (USA) is sent of for a second yellow-card at the beginning of the second half. The USA managed to maintain the 1:1 score with only 9 men on the pitch. Nice job.

The cheering and chanting from the crowded pub really added to the ambience.

World Cup Soccer: USA 1 Italy 1
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Mountain Goats @ Nuemos

Sunday, June 11th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Extremely good value  :-)   :-)   :-)   :-)

3 chirpy performances in Nuemos  for $9:  

A very pregnant black gal,   Kimya Dawsons,   sang difficult to hear lyrics in a ‘peepy’ cute sounding high pitched voice while deftly managing to play guitar around her pudding bump and commeting that her lungs were currently squished up a bit.   I caught a few worthy lyrics… “It’s like farting in the bath”.    When not performing Kwimi, unpretentiously,  sat at the merchandising Tressle table.   One of her Albums ($10) was called.   “Hidden Vagenda“.   I nearly bought it for the title alone.  

Skinny, white, German Barabara Morgenstern bounced around the stage while reaching to play her electronic keyboards.   The perky high energy gal provided a stark contrast to Kimya’s performance.   Her music reminded me of the 1970’s exploration of keyboard possibilities.   It felt like a ‘retro’ sound,   yet fresh and cheerful.   I couldn’t understand any of the German lyrics.  

The Mountain Goats,   2 boys 1 base guitar, one acoustic.  The set was mainly from Sunset tree,   new songs and some from ‘Tape number 2″.    Quality delivery,   John Darnielle is witty and personable,   punctuated with short stories about Darnielle’s favourite  Boxer ‘Pinkerton’ and details about song inspirations. Before seeing them perform I thought,   this guy is messed up,   if he ever gets sorted it will ruin his musical talent.   After seeing them it was clear that his talent stems more from astute observation that ‘messed-up-ness’.   Thoroughly enjoyable.

Mountain Goats @ Nuemos
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NOT a Wendy House #2

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006 | tags: , , ,  |

This is not a Wendy House:

Lyle Hotel, Lyle, WA

It’s  the  gorgeous old (circa 1900) WILD WEST  Lyle Hotel on the Columbia river gorge.   It was built as an hotel when its main clientelle arrived as traffic on the Columbia river, about 200 yards away.   Then nearby (100yards) train tracks bought more custom.    The building has been used for many things in its lifetime  including a Doctors surgery.   Now it is an Hotel again.   More photographs of the hotel on flickr.   Very cute and wild west.   The modern slant provided by the hotel included a very impressive and reasonably priced  wine list and restaurant menu.   The restaurant had white table-clothes and a live flamenco guitar player.   It felt very classy.   It even had vegetarian menu items!   The foyer felt like a lounge with a large leather sofa and multiple books to please wine connoisseurs seeking information about wines and local wineries.  

The staff were friendly, cheerful and totally unpretentious.   For example,   one server dripped red wine on the white table clother after pouring my glass.   I winced,   poor girl.   She continued,   easily, without making a fuss.   Another cautiously admitted it was her first day with a big winning smile.   She looked happy to be starting work there.   For me,   this made the place feel homely and friendly, a place I’d want to  visit again.    People expecting the kind of souless highly professional presentation you find in city centre establishments with a similar high quality  menu might be disappointed.

i’m planning to take my biddies there next time they visit the US.

NOT a Wendy House #2
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Jamie Cullum. First night of US tour

Friday, March 3rd, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Summary:   highly recommended because Jamie is a very talented all round entertainer.   Thoroughly enjoyable.   The music was more fun than album reproduction precision,   my favourite trade-off!

They played at the beautiful old  Moore Theatre in Seattle.   Jen and Roth managed to find me in the open seating of ‘the Gods’ despite the dim lighting and my cunning disguise of Ray Ban wrap-around reflective tinted sunglasses!

Moore Stage Before the Matt Herz

The back-up dude, Matt Wertz,  was a loner from Tennessee with an acoustic guitar.   He  perked us up with passionate,   humerous,     ‘folksy’ rock songs and a singalong.   He was a good  compliment and lead-in to  the main band.  

Some things seemed very consistent with this being the first night of a tour,   for example:

  • Sound system failure – at one point Jamie talked to us for about 5 minutes while the technical crew attempted to fix the set-up.   Failure of technical preparation,   very professional Jamie for pulling-off an obvious improvisation with charm.    
  • Missing band member due to unanticipated US Visa processing delays.
  • Jamie’s patter not fully tailored to US audiences.   He used irony.      When his comment didn’t get a laugh he highlighted this and the normally very responses audience were just silent.   I doubt he’ll do that again!    

Before one  intimate song Jamie  suggested people snuggle up to the person next to them if they were

thinking of “getting Jiggy with it

and were”good to go

I’m definitiely getting acclimated.   I didn’t realise these were Americanisms until Jamie pointed them out.

The real fun came from the musical vibrancy and improvisation.     Jamie is very much a performer as well as a musician.   He played the piano with his hands,   buttocks and feet!   Wonderful dramatic effect.    Had me chortling away!     He kicked-over his stool,   he picked it up again, he  climbed on the Piano and jumped off again.   He played standing-up,   he played sitting down.   He played the piano-frame…       It was FUN.  

The songs?   You could hear the lyrics!   They were beautiful.   At the end of one song the band rolled into “Notting Hill Carnival” style music that was amazingly like the real thing.   It was all good clean fun.   I loved it.

Seating in ‘the gods’ was only $15 (UK about 7 pounds!).   It was very cramped and uncomfortable with an extremely poor veiw.   That seem’s about right for $15!

I did  a Cinderella around 11pm….

LooSea was parked on the street about 8 blocks away opposite the Seattle Greyhound bus station in a seedy part of town.   People were sleeping rough on the sidewalks on this cold spring night.   They put my luxurious evening in perspective.

Jamie Cullum. First night of US tour
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Excellent Coldplay Concert

Thursday, January 26th, 2006 | tags: ,  |

Last night Coldplay played at the Seattle Key Arena.

Summary: Lively, fun high quality entertainment

Chris Martin swaggered and pranced around the stage nonchalantly in a manner reminiscent of Pete Murphy or David Bowie.

They played a pleasingly long, well executed, set covering all 3 albums. The light show was dramatic and simple. It didn’t detract from the performance.

 

Live film of the concert was edited and projected onto a huge back-screen. The camera-work and editing was outstanding. It was creative and conveyed the kind of detail you can’t see, when like me, you’re dancing in the gods.

Yellow was about the 3rd song. Huge yellow balloons were released from the ceiling. I caught photographs of these on my cameraphone (pictures attached). the balloons burst sprinkling ‘glitter’ onto the audience.

Camera’s were heavily evident in the audience. During in my place much of the audience held their cell-phones aloft and swayed their arms.

I danced through the whole concert, extremely enjoyable.

 

Atmospheric, fuzzy T610 cameraphone photographs

W

Excellent Coldplay Concert
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Issaquah Village CATS

Saturday, December 24th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

The Issaquah Village Theatre staged a version of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber Musical CATs.  

It was well performed,   beautiful,   with a suitable set, fabulous make-up and sexy costumes.   I didn’t know the ‘plot’ beforehand and the performance did not  adequately convey the plot.   That didn’t really matter to me because it was such a beautiful sensual experience.    The performances were well beyond the quality of my expectations for a regional theatre group.   Karen Kaiser’s rendition of  the famous song “Memory” was technically excellent and very moving.      

I’d recommend taking the opportunity to see this production.  

For those more discerning than me this critical review  is more detailed and a little more critical.  

W

Issaquah Village CATS
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Joe Bonamassa @ Jazz Alley

Wednesday, December 7th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Jazz Alley is a ‘Dinner and Jazz club’. That seems to mean a big room in a posh hotel. A bit more ‘classy’ than I’m normally used to. A treat.

Joe Bonamassa was not an artist I was familiar with before the evening. He played with a bass guitarist and a drummer. He had 15 guitars next to the stage. He used 8 of them during the performance.  

The music was wonderful; his hands were captivating. Like watching a fire as they danced over the strings. Many of the songs were instrumental. When he did sing Joe had a rasping voice. Sounded like the Blues to a novice like me.

There was no ‘back-stage’ when Joe and colleagues left the stage they loitered to the left with the guitars. Very informal.

Another excellent evening.

W spoilt

Joe Bonamassa @ Jazz Alley
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Morcheeba@Showbox

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Wikepedia describes Morcheeba as a British band that mixes influences of Hip Hop, Blues and Pop. Morcheeba’s official UK website adds ‘Soul’, ‘country’ and ‘electronic’ to the influences. I recently watched them play at the Showbox. Near the downtown public markets:

Mellow music to relax, sing and dance in

I thoroughly enjoyed myself

Worth the entry-charge

GORGEOUS

Were they good? Yes

Morcheeba performed as you would expect professional performers. Good quality. Morcheeba have recently changed their lead singer to Jody Sternberg. Changing singers can often change the whole impact a band makes. Jody has a wonderful voice and is lively and charismatic on stage. She plays flute and saxophone and co-wrote some of the bands earlier songs.

Did they play a broad range of material? Yes

The set included songs from the new Album (Antidote) including ‘everybody loves a loser’ and classic songs from several older albums including ‘Rome wasnt built in a day’, ‘part of the process’, ‘Sea’. I was sceptical about Jody effectively conveying the older songs. Thankfully my scepticism was unwarranted. The ‘hip-hop’ and ‘rapping’ influence was not evident in their set. For me this was a positive shift in their musical direction.

Were there memorable moments? Yes

Ross Godfrey gave gave the audience stories about the inspirations for specific songs. For example, ‘Blindfold‘ was written about a friend going into a mental assylum for 3 months then staying there for 10 years. I love to hear type of story at a concert. His guitar playing was impressive; as was his ability to smoke a cigarette for the whole duration of a song while playing continually and not noticeably dropping any ash on himself.

The back-up artist provided some ‘memorable’ moments. An asian lady wearing a green long-hair wig, pink bunny-earmuffs, red-velvet dress. Her singing was squeaky and heavily accented. It reminded my companion of ‘Tiny Tim’ and me of a 1980’s Lena Lovich. Despite this bizarreness she was a very talented lady. She played Ukulele, Sitar, accordian, Keyboards and probably more!

W bop-bop-bop-PING!

Morcheeba@Showbox
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Jasper Fford

Friday, July 29th, 2005 | tags:  |

This week I went to a reading by Jasper Fford.   For years,   my friends have been recommending that I read his books.   There is an outline of his work on:   http://www.jasperfforde.com/

His presentation was very relaxed and entertaining.   Already I regret not having followed my friends advice.   I will start reading his books in publication order…

He talked about games that he plays with his family.   These included

  • The Starbucks challenge“:   try to present your order to the Barista so that they do not ask you any follow-on questions.
  • tele-marketer challenge“: when answering a phone call from a telemarketer only answer questions with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ the game ends when you cannot answer with yes or no.  Their family record is 11 questions.   Can you beat that?
  • Tesco’s (major supermarket chain) challenge:   attempt to place a highly inappropriate article in another persons basket,   or place.   For example,   put diapers in the deep-freezer, or place meat in the basket of someone who is obviously vegetarian.

Jasper was wonderful,   he so obviously enjoys life and finds fun in the most mundane of activities.   He talked about ‘Ordinaryfication’,   making the bizarre seem acceptable and the ordinary stuff appear facinating.   He likes to make-up words,   like ‘ordinaryfication’.   I was totally captured and inspired by his imagination,   what fun…  

Wendy

Jasper Fford
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