I had the pleasure of seeing quirky American composer/singer songwriter Gabriel Kahane last week at Heritage Hall as part of Dave Pay's great Music on Main series. I hadn't heard of him before, but a friend asked me to go and a little research revealed that he has worked with Sufjan Stevens and a few other notables, so I figured heck, why not? What an unexpected treat. The audience sat around the centrally placed Kahane - along with his baby grand, and his accompanist Rob Moose (described by Kahane as his "nemeru" - part nemesis, part guru) - and he had us in the palm of his hand the whole time. His work is a bit hard to describe - there are classical influences mixed with opera, quirky pop - but whatever it is, it worked really well.
Highlight for me was his performance of CraigslistLieder, an 8 part song cycle with lyrics taken directly from Craigslist - oh lord, so very funny. And slightly sad. You can download the whole thing for free, or just listen, here. For those that care, my favorite is the last part of the cycle, Opera Scene, an ad placed by a guy looking for a roommate that can put up with his compulsion to put ice cubes down people's shirts. The clip above is the only thing I could find online that had decent sound quality - "Neurotic and Lonely" - a personal ad that you really have to listen to to appreciate.
And speaking of neurotic and lonely (ok, not quite but it was a good segue) - life is challenging me in some interesting ways this week. I think it's good...but heck it's challenging. I've had a bit of a rude awakening that my cool calm together self is really only that way when it's not faced with things that threaten that stability. So, I will try to breathe. And not panic. And not self-sabotage. And not run. And maybe, just maybe, in the coming weeks I will actually tell you what the heck I'm talking about...or not ;)
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Just a quick post to memorialize the fantastic Jónsi concert the other night. The one-eyed, angel-voiced singer of Sigur Ros started his tour in Vancouver this week - and what a fantastic show. The video is shot by my brother & his new camera, which does a much better job of handling crappy lighting than mine does. Pay attention to the amazing set design. Flying birds, loping dear, running wolves, flaming sets - spectacular.
In other great news, Joanna Newsom is coming to the Vogue in August - front row balcony seats already procured! CANNOT WAIT!!
Saturday, April 10, 2010
my own true cultural luff, Brent (*dramatic swoon*) Bambury - and the annual Vancouver taping of CBC radio's GO!
So much fun.
one more time - look at those pipes! All he needs is a Lycra suit and cape, and Brent would be as close to a Canadian Superhero as you could possibly want.
I feel like a broken record harping on about how much I love CBC radio. It is such an incredible treat to get to participate in that rarest of rarities, a live radio show, and so much fun to watch people that are obviously having fun. It was the Western finals of the GO!'s Canada Writes contest, and the contestants and judges (including John Mann from Spirit of the West, another personal fave of mine) were all brilliant. Listen for yourself here - you can hear me and my pals cheering from the second row if you listen carefully enough.
Topping it all off? Dinner out to celebrate the birthday of the lovely A, fellow Brent lover and GO! fanatic. You couldn't ask for a better Friday night.