Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Hail, Oscars, Music and Other Fun Things Interspersed With Tragedy

I know... another impromptu hiatus.

A major part of the reason is how well work is going these days. Yes, I just knocked on wood as I typed that. Yes, left hand, three knocks, even as I continued typing with my right hand. Let the one handed typing jokes commence!

But I digress.

Busy at work is good. It means the days go quickly, and I'm not bored. It also means less of a chance to even type something up during a break. However, since I'm working "clean-up" today, I'm MAKING myself take a break... even though I didn't manage to remember to take one until about 30 minutes before lunch.

Like I said, time FLIES here.

So, a week ago Friday I went to see Keller Williams and Spearhead, who were doing a double bill at the Santa Cruz Civic. I realized with a serious shock that I hadn't been to that venue since I saw Crosby, Stills and Nash do a great acoustic set there nearly 15 years ago. The seating was STILL old-school (and I do mean SCHOOL) folding chairs reminiscent of those assemblies in High School. Yeah, they had cushions (at least!) but were narrow enough for your typical couch ticket on a bargain basement airline. Poor Roni suffered from pinched hips for most of the night, as I was sure the incredibly hot boy who was sitting next to the main entrance was also suffering. Mrow.

The warm-up act was a local group of percussion/chanting billing themselves as "GoddessFunk". I was ready to dismiss them as a group of goddess rapper wannabes, except they had to actually show signs of talent on these drums. Cognitive dissonance moment: 9 young white females singing about "Mother Africa". Okay, if you want to be technical about it, Africa is the birthplace of ALL mankind. But still...

I had never seen Keller in concert before, either live or on tape. To be honest I didn't have a CLUE about his performing style. I knew the boy could play FAST, and well.


First and foremost Keller is a solo act. That is, one performer takes the stage and plays. However, he's absolutely BRILLIANT when it comes to using digital looping tricks to basically make himself the 21st century equivalent to a one man band.

He started playing BEFORE he took the stage. He walked out playing an acoustic guitar, and it was great. But when he essentially started creating and mixing loops live onstage without missing a beat, I was stunned. When he basically didn't stop playing for an hour, I was EXHAUSTED. It was fun just watching the man, and this was a abbreviated set (check out archive.org -- there are at least 200+ legal live concerts available for download. Just remember as you listen -- it's all one man).

As if the crowd wasn't already hopped up, it went into overdrive when Michael Franti and Spearhead hit the stage. I realized this was the first time I had seen a concert they were headlining, more than 6 years since I first saw them in concert (opening for the Indigo Girls at the Greek in Berkeley). If you ever get a chance, check them out. Wear comfortable shoes, you WILL dance.

Roni and I had to leave early (we had a tub scheduled at 11:30), so we only got to see the first half of their set -- fortunately they were selling CD's of the show (yes, THAT show) in the front.

For some reason last week is a bit of a blur. I know I had a tub with Kim on wednesday, and I had to rescue Audra and Eileen Friday night after they were in an accident involving a sudden intense hail storm and a ill-advised left turn.

Oh yeah, Friday. What WEIRD weather. I drove down to San Jose that afternoon for my quarterly appointment with Dr. Gross, and got caught in a hailstorm so firece that there was measurable accumulation on 880. Lightening, intense wind and rain... wild. Even stranger was getting caught in almost the same place with even MORE hail on the drive back, nearly an hour later.

Sunday Roni, Kim and I had a small Oscar watching party. I thought Jon Stewart did a fine job, and some of the bits were hysterical (Billy Crystal and Chris Rock doing a "Brokeback" parody, Whoopie going "Oh HELL no!", and Steve Martin's Dog's Toupee).

What did I think of the "Best Picture" upset? Well, I hadn't seen either movie, so perhaps I was less hysterical then people who seemed to think that "Brokeback" was a shoo in. Alright, I actually liked the fact that carts were overturned and the winner was a surprise. I think people would be best to recall a simple fact -- the oscars are NOT the final arbiter of what makes a good movie. For example, has anyone been known to watch "Chariots of Fire" recently?

I hate ending on a somber note, but I got an e-mail from steelmagnoliaca to let me know that Marsha Menard, one of my models and m_a_m_ died last weekend. Apparently it was pneumonia -- though I'm sure they'll blame it on her weight, which was considerable. It was a bit of a shock if only because she seemed so healthy recently due to her efforts to prep for a walk across america. We hadn't been lovers in a few years, but we were still occasionally in touch, and we would run into her at various events. I hope she's doing well, where ever she is.

Ugh... time to put in some more work before running off for some lunch. Fortunately Roni surprised me this week with some Boar's Head Bologna she scored at the Andronico's in Berzerkley -- I plan to run home and spend most of the hour savoring a tasty sandwich composed of the deli meat of my youth.
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