Music

2nd October
2009
written by Steph
It's Friday and I have nothing bookish to write about.  Well, not entirely true - I'm currently reading Jane Eyre, but I'm not sure when you last looked at your copy (surely we all have a copy, right?), but that book is loooong.  Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying it quite a lot, but I don't think I'll be finishing it any time soon, especially as things are ramping up work-wise.  As the book is naturally divided into 3 parts, I might try something new and post my mid-read impressions on the conclusion of each part, but we'll see how it goes.  Tony believes he will finish Yukio Mishima's The Temple of the Golden Pavilion this weekend, and if that indeed winds up being the case, then we should have a joint review of that in the near future. But as I have none of the groundbreaking insights into literature for which I know you all come here (*eyeroll*), I thought I'd placate you with something a little bit different... Something in the form of a music video.  One written, directed, and produced by my good friend Simona and her boyfriend, Spencer. (After all, if you can't use your blog to shamelessly promote cool stuff your friends are doing, why have a blog? 😉 ).  They came up with the concept for this video for the Canadian alt-rock (is alt-rock still a genre?) band Grace Over Diamonds and shot it a few months back, but the video has only recently gone live.  Irrespective of the fact that producing music videos is not what either Simona or Spence do to make a living, I think this one is pretty darn good.  Take a look and see for yourself! Happy Friday everyone!  I hope you all have a great weekend!
30th April
2009
written by Steph

I'm so happy I could sing!

I'm so happy... I could sing!

This past weekend, Tony and I walked over to our local indie theater that has been showing various classic musicals over the past month.  While we didn’t make it out for Guys & Dolls or An American in Paris, we were deadset on seeing a showing of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  When Singin’ in the Rain got held over for a second weekend due to its popularity, we decided to make a day of it and see a double-header. A little background on me: I LOVE musicals.  To me, they are an inextricable part of my childhood.  While most kids in the '80s were spellbound by E.T., Ghostbusters, Indiana Jones, and The Princess Bride, my brother and I were brought up watching Oklahoma!, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, The Pirates of Penzance (technically an operetta, I know, but operas were in no short supply in our household either), and Into the Woods.  To cap it all off, we watched a lot of these flicks on Beta and LaserDisc…  I can recall countless New Year’s Eves and Saturday nights where my brother and I, along with our parents, would marathon classic musicals into the wee hours.  When we’d go to the videostore, more often than not we wound up in the musical section, always trying to find something new to watch.  Plus, my parents always took us out to see the shows live whenever they were touring (one production of Showboat stands out particularly, as a rogue bale of hay took out an unsuspecting piccolo player in the pit…). Over the years, my love for musicals hasn’t really waned, and I even own a few of my childhood favorites on DVD.  A couple of months ago, Tony and I started watching the few that I do own, including Seven Brides, which has always been one of my favorites.  When we saw it was coming to the Belcourt, we knew we couldn’t pass up the chance to see it on the big screen.  Although Tony might not love musicals to the extent that I do (who could?), he’s always been very good about supporting me in this vice – we went to see HMS Pinafore when it came to town, and were both enamored by the more contemporary Avenue Q as well.  Heck, when I first came to Vanderbilt, I made a bunch of my friends go see the on-campus production of Brigadoon for my birthday (it was everything I hoped it would be)!  But to see one of the golden classics in a real movie theater?  Who knows if/when that chance would ever come again. (more…)
17th April
2009
written by Steph
Sorry all for the dearth of updates lately, but real life has been quite the beast lately.  Well, I shouldn't suggest that everything recently has been a burden or a hassle, as we've been kept busy with plenty of fun stuff outside of the toil of our jobs (yes, graduate school counts as a job!).  A quick run-down of the good stuff that's been happening lately:
  • April 10 - Saw Flight of the Conchords live at the Ryman.  It was a great concert, filled with lots of laughs and sexy Kiwi accents (Jemaine, call me!).  Although, it seems that increased practice has actually led to poorer guitar playing on both boys' parts?  Best songs of the night: Carol Brown, Jenny, Too Many Dicks on the Dancefloor, Angels, & a special song they did (maybe called Stana?)... Oh and don't forget Business Time!  Really, how can I choose?
  • April 14 - Went out for sushi dinner at our favorite joint (despite being a land-locked state, Nashville has the best sushi I've ever had), Samurai, to belatedly celebrate our engagement with friends (is it ever too late to celebrate)? Yum!
  • April 15 - Celebrated our two year anniversary!
  • April 16 - Saw Demetri Martin perform at TPAC.  He was great live, and we were very impressed with his improv skills.  Also, I liked when he did a short Q&A at the end and talked about the Flight of the Conchords guys for a bit! 😉
  • April 18 - 19 (yes, I'm projecting into the future, now) - taking a road trip south to Chattanooga, where we'll celebrate our anniversary (again?) by visiting the Tennessee aquarium (possible wedding venue?  Hmmmm...), and eating at our favorite riverside restaurant.  Also, we're staying at our first B&B!
Hopefully things will be less hectic when we return... We have a bunch of lovely photos we've taken over the past few weekends around Nashville that we need to get around posting, and Tony has a book review to post.  I have been in a bit of a reading rut lately, but I feel like that's about to change.  To all of you doing Dewey's read-a-thon, good luck and have fun!  Also, if your neck of the woods is experiencing nice weather (as we are here), try to do some of that reading outside!
12th March
2009
written by Tony
Tapes 'n' Tapes, 2009, Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN

Tapes 'n' Tapes, 2009, Mercy Lounge, Nashville, TN

Steph and I are big fans of Tapes 'n' Tapes, so when they came to Nashville we jumped on the chance to see them, especially for only $10 a pop. Unfortunately (for the band) the show only sold 50 pre-sale tickets and the venue was far from full. This is too bad, considering just how much TnT rocks (literally and figuratively). I'll get the least interesting (but also best) part of the post out of the way: Tapes 'n' Tapes played a really good show, and we were very happy that we got to see them in a great venue without being crushed by mobs of people. However, the more interesting (though generally more disappointing) aspect of the show was certainly the opening act (and several audience members - more on that and a VIDEO after the jump). The opening act, Wild Light, was less than stellar. We discovered after the show began that one of the members of the opening act was also staffing the merch table (good thing we avoided making any snide comments while we got some TnT swag), nice. In any case we think this band was a case of mistaken identity. A note — if you are easily offended by things that seem offensive but actually aren't, don't bother continuing. (more…)
21st December
2008
written by Steph
I am a big Apple fan (some might even say pusher), but as with any genuine loving relationship based on trust and mutual respect, I do not view Apple products through rose-tinted lenses.  I have plenty of reasons for being a diehard Mac fan, but there are plenty of things that bear the Apple logo that I am more than happy to point out as being less than awesome (ahem, Macbook Air, I am looking at you).  For instance, one of the pieces of Apple software that I most routinely find underwhelming is iTunes. Now, some of the things that I find lackluster about iTunes, I fully chalk up to my own geekish proclivities and realize that while *I* might wish for the ability to display mean album ratings (because yes, I do obsessively rate my music collection) based on the individual ratings of the constituent songs, not everyone else even thinks about numbers nearly as much as I do or would care about applying them in this way even if they did.  Then again, that calculation is dead simple to do, and there’s no reason why Apple couldn’t do this given that they’re now really into their whole coverflow thing where you browse through your collection by individual album. But something so geeky is not really the focal complaint point of this post.  No, instead, I’m going to discuss something that could legitimately affect many people of various nerdish walks of life.  Recently I attempted to move my music library from an external hard drive back onto my laptop proper (the reasons for this are the subject of another post… ooh, suspense!), only to find myself thwarted.  Despite following all of the steps on various websites, I opened up my iTunes application today only to find myself staring at an empty library.  No amount of fiddling or tweaking or redirecting paths would help me and rectify the situation, and even redirecting the settings to my external hard drive and rebooting my computer failed to improve matters.  In the end, I just had to reimport all of my music all over again.  And look, that’s not hard at all.  The problem is that in so doing, I lost all of my original import dates along with my ratings playcounts and playlists.  And that my friends, truly sucks (see above re: obsessive music cataloguing ). Why all the automatically generated .xml files and .itl and various other database files iTunes?  And why when I follow your walkthrough and consolidate my library and do all that good stuff do you maybe work until I close iTunes tricking me into thinking that I am the winner only to then find myself with a big sucking void where my music should be?  I will point out that the last time I tried to export my music off of the laptop onto the external hard drive, the EXACT same thing happened, so I really shouldn’t be surprised, but come on!  It shouldn’t have to be this hard. Sigh.  I guess my only consolation is that I hadn’t really fully recovered from the last time iTunes failed to work in an intuitive and awesome way, so most of my music was frustratingly unrated and I had few new playlists to lose anyhow.  Still, as far as comfort goes, that’s all fairly empty.