Monday, October 26, 2009
I have to share a few good ideas that I recently witnessed at the Port O'Brien show at The Mercury Lounge on October 14th. Port O'Brien, a California acoustic/indie rock band recently came out with their third album Threadbare on October 6th and have been touring to support the album. The indie powerhouse that is M. Ward (part of She and Him and Monsters of Folk in addition to a solid solo career) recently named Port his 'favorite new band'. I would check out their new single 'I Woke Up Today' to taste the flavor and see if you like them.
Anyway, they brought Mad Libs to the show! The greatest vocabulary game of our youth aka hard evidence that we were all little perverts on the playground. In between songs Port asked the audience for nouns, adjectives, etc. to fill out a page that they read at the end of the show. They have been doing one Mad Libs for each show across the past few weeks. A few interesting notes - Boston was WAY more dirty and politically incorrect than New York was and there was way too long of a pause before someone tried their hand at yelling out a pronoun, it should embarrass every third grade teacher. Overall, Mad Libs was a really cool way to engage the crowd and fill time in between songs to allow band members to quickly tune or switch out instruments. They were kind enough to give me the one from the show, see photo.
Another really cool thing that Port did was encourage a kitchen crazy end to their show. Before their last song, 'I Woke Up Today', they passed around wooden spoons, pots and pans, aluminum pie holders, and a whole bunch of noise making fun out to the crowd. It was a great way to end the showI am pretty impressed that they haul around a big heavy bag of all that crap from city to city.
The moral of this story is it pays to be creative with your shows and how you interact with your audience. It makes you memorable, it helps to show your personality as a band and it helps to shake things up from one gig to another.
Bonus - you can buy a whole bunch of different Mad Libs on this web site: http://www.madlibs.com
A fun little stocking stuffer or office present this year.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Here are some artists I recommend checking out, downloading and changing up your music a bit. Give Pandora a rest and invest in some exploratory music time. You can listen to most of their songs for free on www.lala.com, a lot are also on www.pitchfork.com, or you can go to itunes - expensive house. Look to the playlist on the right for my favorite songs of these groups/artists.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Five months after buying the tickets I finally got to see Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring at Radio City Music Hall this past SAturday on October 10th. There was a live orchestra, two adult choirs and one child choir for a total of 300 people under an Imax screen showing the movie. We had 6th row seats because we bought them right when they went on sale in May - I know we are nerds but nerds have great ideas and follow through with them.
The entire movie they were spot on with the music, it was really impressive to see all those people work together and make it look effortlessly. At any part of the movie they had parts of the choir standing up, kids going to the microphones for solos, a lady in a satin prom dress singing the elfish songs, and the conductor looking at a small screen with the movie showing to ensure the orchestra's timing. You could opt to see the violinist's fingers move rapidly, look up and see Legolas (aka Orlando Bloom in the role that made him a heartthrob) fighting Orc, notice how patiently the children in the choir wait for their time to sing or back to see all of the people that had filled the performance hall; there was not a boring moment. The whole experience gave me a new appreciation for composers especially movie composers - they have the ability to heighten the drama and really make the moment and create the world for a movie. Well done Howard Shore.
It was worth it to get the $90 dollar seats. I am already on the e-mail list for the 2010 tickets to see The Two Towers. It was a total experience and I highly recommend it. For the record, we are not the biggest nerds on the planet, the people that are going to the concert of all popular video game theme songs with a live orchestra in a few weeks at Radio City win the prize.
Here are some pictures of the event.
PS - NEVER wear jeans to Radio City Music Hall. It is too beautiful, has too much of a history, and proves to everyone you are a tourist, took the train in, and support the slobification of America. OK, I am done being bitchy and will stick to music and musician outfits from now on.
Here are a few of my favorite movie scores:
- Braveheart - James Horner, also did Titanic
- Last of the Mohicans
- Star Wars - John Williams, the greatest
- E.T. - also John Williams (Jaws is his too)
- The Lion King
- Sound of Music
- This is Spinal Tap
- Purple Rain
- Phantom of the Opera
- Anything Danny Elfman does - Most Tim Burton movies including Beetlejuice, he was the voice of the oompa-loompas in the 2005 version AND he was the lead singer of Oingo Boingo
Forrest Gump - not the soundtrack but the Forrest Gump Suite, the scene with the feather, so pretty