Posts tagged “Concert”

Monday, 2 February 2009

Three Birthdays and a Concert

This post spans two Fridays and one Saturday. Let’s begin.

Friday, 23 January 2009

This was kind of my Christmas present from Carrie. She had the day off, so in the afternoon after I got off work and we had lunch and all that, we drove up to downtown Seattle and spent an hour or so wandering around the fancy shops near Pacific Place and Westlake Center. Carrie didn’t end up getting anything. I know! Not a durned thing. But I ended up getting a Super Mario Bros. 3 T-shirt at Hot Topic, and some musical birthday cards at Daiso. We heart Daiso.

After that we had dinner reservations at The Dahlia Lounge. It’s a nice place, with dark mood lighting. Every meal includes an amuse-bouche, whatever the cook happens to whip up. For us it was tiny li’l open-faced pastrami sandwiches. They were very tasty, and had lots of complex flavors that opened in sequence. For our meals I got potato/leek ravioli in a smoked onion & sage butter sauce, topped with frisée, which was in turn topped with crème fraîche. Carrie got the crab cakes with cracked green olives and a romesco sauce. Both dishes were excellent, and we switched plates when we were each half-finished. For dessert we got freshly-made doughnut holes that were brought out to the table, then placed in a brown paper bag full of cinnamon and sugar and shaken up right in front of us. Our server then cut the top half off the bag so we wouldn’t have to reach down through all that sugar to get to the holes. They came with a jam and a vanilla mascarpone dipping sauces. I also had a really good cocktail made with blueberry vodka and something else, with a float of sparkling wine. Carrie had a margarita on the rocks. It was good and fancy stuff.

After dinner we walked over to The Moore to see a Jonathan Coulton concert.

The opening act was a comedy/musical duo called Paul and Storm. They were very likable geeks, and I thought they did a good job of being funny. My favorite bits were the commercial jingles and the conditional impressions. By that I mean they did impressions of musicians who influenced them growing up, but then they added arbitrary conditions, like “Bob Dylan… in a well” or “James Taylor… on fire.” You could tell that they were honestly awed by the size and intensity of the crowd. It sure seemed like it was the largest audience they’d ever played in front of, and they were very excited. They completely underestimated the Seattle audience, though. Watch as they try to get through a very simple song:

Then it was time for Jonathan Coulton to perform. He did a bunch of songs solo and a bunch of songs with Paul & Storm as backup, as well as Molly, who is famous on teh intarwebs as SweetAfton23. I took all the videos I could find on YouTube of this show and made a handy playlist for you to enjoy. So enjoy:

Molly got to do a solo number, and she did a cover of Britney Spears’s “Toxic” on the ukulele, which I, as a fellow ukulele-player, appreciated a whole bunches.

At the show we ran into Jack, aka “John Hippogriff” from Under the Mailbox Theater. Hadn’t seen him in years, and he looks exactly the same. He came and saw Fools Play the very next day, so it was cool to hang out with him.

Friday, 30 January 2009

This was the day of the triple-birthday party for (using their internet names) HeartFeltRobots, TeezyWeezy, and Jeff the Fish. They were all born in the span of the same week, so they decided to make it easy on all of us and have their birthday parties at the same time and place.

Now, I couldn’t go to their party without bringing them presents, could I? COULD I? I… think… NOT. So I made HeartFeltRobots and TeezyWeezy necklaces. TeezyWeezy likes ghosts, so I made her a Ghostie pendant:

Ghostie is a happy ghost!

I dangled a teardrop black bead from the bottom of the pendant and strung it on black cording.

For HeartFeltRobots I made a double-sided pendant so she could wear it with any outfit.  On one side: TAKO!

tako

And on the other side: IKA!

ika

Tako being, of course, the Japanese word for “octopus,” and ika being the Japanese word for “squid.”  Anyhoo, I strung this double-sided pendant on black cord as well, but couldn’t find a bead I liked amongst Carrie’s copious collection.  So I went down to The Bead Factory to get one and, man, that place was hoppin’!  Being a nice guy, I let everyone checkout before I made my $2.10 purchase.  I found a small lampwork bead with dots all over it that looked kinda like a sliced-up tentacle with suckers on it.  Poifect!

For Jeff the Fish I made a plush narwhal.  I don’t have any pictures of it because I’m an IDIOT and forgot to take any.  I’m bugging Jeff the Fish to take a photo and upload it to his site or something.  When he does that I’ll add it to this post as kind of a retcon.

Saturday, 31 January 2009

This was TeezyWeezy’s ACTUAL, REAL-LIFE birthday, and at Fools Play we always do a special format whenever a Fool’s birthday lands on a performance date: “Fools Play Birthday Party!”

This format includes a part where the other Fools give the birthday person some funny presents that somehow lead to a funny bit or are introduced by a funny bit or something like that.  I’d already given TeezyWeezy that awesome pendant on Friday, so I decided to do something simple.  It, of course, didn’t end up being simple.

There were two parts to my present.  First, since I know she gets lonely way out there in Wenatchee, and I know she likes ghosts, I made her a ghost finger puppet to keep her company.  But wouldn’t it be better if you couldn’t not only see the ghost, but also TALK WITH the ghost?  So I recorded myself saying a whole bunch of random things in a ghostly voice, with enough space in between so that one could have a “conversation” with the ghostly voice.  I then chopped up each phrase into its own MP3 file, which I burned onto an audio CD so that she could put it on shuffle and it’d be like having a new conversation EVERY TIME!  There ended up being over seven minutes total of ghostly phrases.  Here are a couple of examples:

  1. taishas-ghost-08
  2. taishas-ghost-18
  3. taishas-ghost-28

leiapico came to Fools Play, which was awexome.  I hadn’t seen her in months because now she’s a big-wig science teacher and is too important to hang out with lowly improvisers like me.  *sniff*

Anyway, that’s my story of three birthdays and a concert.  I enjoyed it much more than Four Weddings and a Funeral, mainly because I didn’t have to sit through an Andie MacDowell performance.  Yech.

Categories: Arts & Crafts, Concerts/Shows, Fools Play, Life, Links, Music, Restaurants, Round-up, Shopping, Videos.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

JoCo and JoHo at ToHoSeo (Stop That)


(photo by photophonic)

Recently my wife and I went out on a date (gasp) up to Seattle to see a very fine show: John Hodgman’s (JoHo) new book tour, co-starring Jonathan Coulton (JoCo) at Town Hall Seattle (ToHoSeo (stop it)).

We had no idea what to expect from this show, but it turned out to be a fantastic night of comedy and music. And comedic music. But not a musical comedy. Kind of. Basically the show consisted of John Hodgman talking about something, then Jonathan Coulton would sing a song that was somehow connected to what John Hodgman had talked about. For example: early in the evening Hodgman talked briefly about the recent election, then Coulton sang this updated version of his Presidents song:

But the show was so much more than that! The show was fantastic because it actually had a plot.

Here it is: Hodgman & Coulton came out, and Coultan sang the theme song that he’d written for Hodgman, which consisted mostly of how Hodgman was a “computer salesman” and sold computers. Hodgman took issues with this and said that just because he was the PC in the Mac vs PC commercials didn’t mean that he actually sold computers.

For the first half of the show, Hodgman kept on referring to Coulton as his “feral mountain man.” Coulton took issue with this, saying that he wasn’t actually feral, and he really wasn’t even technically a mountain man. He just had a kind of bushy beard and long-ish hair. Eventually as the night grew on Coulton became more and more disgruntled, until Hodgman revealed that he thought this day may come, and therefore he had a back-up feral mountain man waiting in the wings.John Roderick is FERAL

That man turned out to be John Roderick (right) of The Long Winters and Harvey Danger. He came out and sang a couple of his songs, including “Prom Night at Hater High.”

Then Johnathan Coulton said that he also figured that this day might come, and he also had his own back-up tweedy nerd-type.

This turned out to be Sean Nelson, also of The Long Winters and Harvey Danger. He was dressed in a tweedy suit like Hodgman. He played a Monkees cover on a big grand piano:

Then to prove that they worked well together, Nelson and Coulton performed a great cover of Billy Joel’s “Don’t Ask Me Why”

After that, John Roderick got into the spirit of things, and he and Sean Nelson ended up performing a really, really wonderful cover of “The Only Living Boy in New York” by Simon et Garfunkle. I can’t find any video of that, which is a shame. At any rate, the two of them playing together helped them to “reconcile,” and the left together, leaving Coulton and Hodgman alone on the stage. With both of their backups gone they were forced to also reconcile.

Hodgman then told a great story of going to the Battlestar Galactica ride at Universal Studios when he was a kid, and how he actually now has an cameo in an upcoming epsidoe of Battlestar Galactica. Coulton then played the old BSG theme song and included lyrics that he wrote for it (which included a section about how the robots were now “erotic” and the show was much better for it).

Towards the end Hodgman had a Q&A session. A handful of people went up to the microphone provided. Hodgman asked the first woman her name, then asked if she had a question. She said she did. Hodgman then said that he knew she did, because he had prepared her question for her. He then handed her a piece of paper with a question on it and had her read it. He did this with a couple of people before letting them ask real questions.

Eventually the night wound down and Coulton played a couple of his crowd-pleasers like “Code Monkey” and “Re: Your Brains.” Then as a final farewell to the crowd, Hodgman surprised everybody by pulling out a ukulele. Then this happened:

It was a fantastic ending to a fantastic show.

I wanted to get a couple of things signed (I had Venue Songs for Hodgman), but neither Carrie nor I felt at all like waiting in a long, long line (must have been 150 people or more), so we went on home instead. Good date.

Categories: Life, Music, Pictures, Videos.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Three Ninjas Rocked the Hizzouse, Yo

So, yeah, this happened last Wednesday and I’m only now getting around to writing a post about it. But last Wednesday I went with Carrie and Laura up to Studio 7 in SoDo to see my pal Three Ninjas (Website, MySpace) perform his very first-ever live show.

I’d heard a lot of bad things about the venue, but honestly it was a pretty typical, dive-y Seattle venue. Cosmetically not much worse than Neumos, just in a much, much worse location. There were many of our palz there, including (using their Twitter names) gendlec, tangentbot & HeartFeltRobots, toraton & whimsi, and jayseman. Also my brother, but he doesn’t Tweet. Three Ninjas went on third of eight total act. We arrived at Studio 7 in time to miss the 1st performer (a woman, I’m told). Carrie, Laura, and I staked out a position on the front of the balcony (where the bar was located) in time for the 2nd band, which HeartFeltRobots joked should have been called “Midlife Crisis.” Agreed.

Three Ninjas was up next, but he didn’t perform alone. NOPE! @rabbiddogg went up and played bass for him! Honsetly, I did not know what to expect from a live Three Ninjas show. His music, which I love dearly, is not necessarily what you’d call “accessible” at all times. But he had a good, simple musical setup, which included a MacBook and an MPD32. The show turned out to be an absolute hoot and/or laugh riot in a good way. I was surprised and delighted that he actually performed “Beluga Calf.” Not only did he perform “Beluga Calf,” but he performed several different versions of “Beluga Calf” in a row, including the hip-hop and holiday versions.

He also performed his brand-new, never-before-heard song “Going Gay for House” about House M.D. That song eventually evolved into the Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of this),” except they sang, “Sweet Dreams Are House M.D.”

We all thoroughly enjoyed the show AND ourselves. HeartFeltRobots recorded the whole thing on video, so I’m gonna hafta see what I can do about getting a copy of that from her. I drove Carrie & Laura back to Tacoma after hanging out for a few minutes after the show.

As a post-script, on Friday we were hanging out with Laura again and she was talking about how her job was very boring. As she was leaving our house she said, “Well, if my job gets too boring and starts to make me sad, I’ll just think about Beluga Calf.” Then she turned and walked away, into legend and into all of our hearts. Or she walked away into her car instead of those last two things.

Categories: Life, Links, Music.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Hard To Drive a Bus in the Snow

Yesterday (Thursday) we woke up to snow on the ground. This was no big surprise considering that it was snowing Wednesday evening. It was kind of a surprise that it was snowing at all this close to April, though. This never happens ’round these parts. I got Carrie off to work nonetheless, and from there she left for Portland for the weekend (boo).

After work I came home, had a sammitch, fed Suki, took care of a couple of sundries around the house, then I headed up to Seattle. It started to snow again while I was on my way up there!

I hung out with Sandy a bit and then we went and got Mathias and proceeded to have dinner at Taki’s Mad Greek. This has got to be one of my favorite Greek restaurants evar. Especially the Oven Baked Feta appetizer. And their pork is cooked just right: not too much, but not too little. And everything just tastes really, really tasty.

I also took a photo of the decorations in the men’s room:

On the left there we have a completely nude Poseidon, but on the right we have Theseus covering his privates with a leaf! I wonder why. Does he not measure up to Poseidon? I just thought it was funny.

After dinner we parked near their apartment and then walked through the bitter cold (though it wasn’t snowing at that time) to Neumos, where we met up with Jason and his wife Jennifer, as well as Geoff and Lisa!

Why were we there? Why, to see Busdriver, of course! Look:



The man moves as fast as he raps; it’s difficult to get a good picture of him. Just look at the blur lines on his left hand in those pictures!

When we got to Neumos we were basically the only people there. Everybody else was in the attached bar. When Busdriver took the stage we were still practically the only people there, but Busdriver plunged ahead anyway. A handful of other people trickled in after he started (30 to 40). Last time I saw him the place was packed so we all thought it was weird, until we figured out that this was a 21-up show, and he usually plays to all-ages at Neumos. I guess only the kids like the Busdriver.

Anyhoo, it was a great set, and he did that cover of Man, It’s So Loud in Here by They Might Be Giants that I really like. He played for just under an hour. We all met him over at his merch table, where Sandy bought the last copy of his rarities CD. He told me he’d go to his car and see if he could find another, but I wasn’t able to catch him again before we left. I talked to him a bit about that TMBG song he does, and he said it was pretty old and he was thinking of retiring it. He’s very shy and awkward off the stage. Hopefully he’ll have another copy next time he comes into town.

Sandy kinda creeped him out by showing him a picture of the Busdriver Bot magnet that she made.

An hour after he left the stage the “main attraction,” the Gray Boy All-Stars took the stage, and suddenly the theater was swarmed with frat boys, bros, and similar early-to-mid 30s types (and the kind of women who hang out with them). They were a jazzy kind of quintet, with drums, bass, guitar, sax, and keyboards. They were all very skilled musicians, but it was just not what we were in the mood for, and also didn’t really sound like what they offer on their MySpace page. They sounded like they were straight out of 1985. Seriously! They even looked it.

At one point Sandy turned to me and said something to the effect that she felt like they were a band that the Huxtables would go and watch on the Cosby show. Mathias summed it up best by saying they were “Sportscoat and Bluejeans” jazz. They didn’t go with Busdriver at all, so it wasn’t a big surprise that none of their fans came out to see Busdriver go crazy.

We left after four or so songs. Jason gave us a ride back to S&M’s apartment, and from there I drove on home.

You can read Mathias’s “version” of events over at his website. He’s got some really crazy pictures up, too.

Categories: Life, Links, Music, Pictures, Restaurants.