Archive for the ‘Song and Dance’ Category

I don’t believe I will attend

Monday, November 28th, 2016

Last night, Marion and I went to a local dance studio that has open dancing on Sunday nights. Unfortunately, last night’s dance was cancelled – the studio was closed so that they could supervise rehearsals for an interpretive dance retelling of Star Wars. Yeah, not to my taste.

By the way, a web search for “Star Wars Interpretive Dance” brings up a number of possibly-interesting results.

Happy First Day of Spring

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

It’s all rather amusing, really

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

I’m watching a documentary I recorded on Turner Classic Movies, titled God Respects Us When We Work, But Loves Us When We Dance.

It’s a short documentary of the first Los Angeles love-in, which took place on Easter Sunday, 1967. No narration or dialogue, just film footage with a musical track. Lots of people with flowers, although overall the crowd was smaller than I would have anticipated. Given that it was only two years after the Watts riots, it’s interesting that there’s no apparent racial tension.

What struck me most, though, was how people were dressed. I wasn’t surprised by the men in casual clothes, tunics, and even loincloths, the women in everything from strategically-tied scarves and diaphanous nothings to maxi-skirts and minidresses, and children in what looked like serapes made from throw rugs. What I didn’t expect were the men wearing ties – I’d forgotten that there was still a fair amount of formality in dress back then, even in the counterculture. I kind of miss that look.

Something I didn’t see in the film were people who were fat. Overall, people didn’t weigh as much back then, and it shows when you see something like this.

It also shows when I look the mirror, but that’s another story.

That’s Entertainment

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

I took Marion to Bette Midler’s show at the Pepsi Center last night. It was her only appearance here as part of her Divine Intervention tour. I’d never seen her before in person, although I have seen both of her concert movies. We had very good seats, and it was a very good show.

I’d certainly be willing to see her in concert again.

Denver Ukefest this weekend

Friday, May 15th, 2015

It actually started last night with the Heavy Metal Uke Jam, but I had class last night elsewhere. I’ll be going to the concert tonight, then spending tomorrow attending workshops and the Saturday night concert.

This is the 8th Annual Denver Ukefest, and I’ve been to all of them except #1 and #3.

Musical Evenings

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Last night was the second anniversary of the Adrift Tiki Bar‘s opening, and the Denver Ukulele Community was invited to perform. It wasn’t a bad evening, but it could have been better. We were out on the back patio, and it was crowded, in large part because it was small. It was also noisy – I’m not sure how well we were heard, particularly during the solos after the group performances.

I did two solos: Three Dog Night’s Joy to the World, and The Vogues’ Five O’Clock World. At least one person heard me, and came up afterward to tell me how much he enjoyed my performance of the Brooks and Dunn song. He must have been thinking of some other group that covered one of the songs (Five O’Clock World has been covered by a number of performers), because Brooks and Dunn haven’t done either of those.

Tonight, we’ll be seeing Manhattan Transfer at the Arvada Center. Should be a good evening if the rain holds off, which is not what the weather forecast is leading me to expect. We weren’t able to get seats in the covered area, so we’ll be on the lawn. Might be a damp (or wet) evening.

Everything ends

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

It was my birthday yesterday, and Marion and I thought we’d go dancing. The studio we dance at has Saturday evening dances, but they’re not held every week, so I pulled up their web page to make sure they had a dance.

Imagine our surprise to see the following notice:

August 31 – Our last Open Dance!! Join us for a send-off party for Steve & Linda and the studio staff!! The teachers and staff will all be here for the evening to dance and visit! Light snacks, good music and several exhibitions will make a fun evening of social dancing! Also, get the latest news on where your favorite instructors will be teaching!

Thanks to all our friends for all the support and warm wishes! Hope to see you soon!

It turns out that Steve, the owner of the studio, is closing it for reasons of health, and because he got a “too good to pass up” offer for the building. The new owner is going to put in a high-end restaurant and a few shops. Part of the gentrification process that’s been going on in the neighborhood for quite some time. I lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade until about five years ago, so I saw a lot of the recent changes. The loss of the dance floor will hurt, though – it’s about the largest dance floor in town (over 5000 square feet).

We went to the dance, which was nice. We saw and talked with a number of people we hadn’t seen in a long time, but because it was so crowded, the dancing wasn’t as fun. We wouldn’t have wanted to miss it, though.

As the old joke asks: Who does what, and to whom?

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Headline: Transgender lesbians who fathered five children between them tie the knot.

It puts me in mind of the Mark Graham song, Rufus and Beverly. Not quite the same situation, but …

There are three renditions of the song on Youtube (one, two, three), but none by Mark himself.

What a revoltin’ development!

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

Marion and I went to the Arvada Center to see the ballet performance tonight. I’m not much into ballet, but Marion is, so I go. We were surprised to see instruments and amplifiers on the stage, leaving very little room for dancers. It turns out that the first portion of the show was not listed in the program: The Playground Ensemble, a “new chamber music” group associated with the Lamont School of Music at DU, was an unbilled opening act. The describe themselves as “a group of professional musicians and composers dedicated to presenting classical music as a living art form.” Their stated mission is “to provide stimulating performances, expand common perceptions of both contemporary music and the chamber ensemble, and nurture a community around this music that we love.”

We didn’t care for it at all. As the group’s leader stated in the narration to their second piece, classical music doesn’t have to be old, it doesn’t have to be a museum piece, and it doesn’t have to be pretty. By “museum piece,” he apparently meant “performed as scored.” Not in the sense that they disregarded the written music – I couldn’t determine that – but that they didn’t use traditional instrumentation. The piece they did that was closest to what many people would consider music was an operatic aria performed as “heavy metal vocal performance,” using a drumset, electric guitar and bass, among other instruments. At times, they used loops of chanting and other vocal effects. Most of what they did was dissonant and ugly – to me, at least. Marion’s comment at the end of the evening was that they made Shostakovich (whose music was the soundtrack for a portion of the ballet performance) sound normal.

I’ve been told several times that I have eclectic taste in music (one friend once described my collection of LPs as demonstrating that I had “packrat taste” in music), but I don’t care if I never hear this stuff again.

Evolution’s Stepchildren

Friday, July 15th, 2011

This is a poem I wrote back in 2002. Note the dated topical reference in the last line – I actually wanted at the time to draw a cartoon with the hostess facing the one primitive primate among the contestants and saying, “You are the missing link!”, but I can’t draw. I ran across it by accident today, and thought it would be worth posting. Apart from that, most of the impetus behind this one was the desire to come up with something that had a quick, bubbling rhythm to it.

I’ll note that it’s possible to sing this to “Turkey in the Straw” with a little forcing here and there, but I won’t claim that it’s a good idea.

Evolution’s Stepchildren

In the course of evolution, newer species will emerge.
They develop out of older ones, as though there is an urge
For them to try to become better (however that’s defined),
But the process takes forever, which some people seem to mind.

Improvement comes in two ways, as I’m certain that you know.
Your descendents can be better, which eventually will show
Through accumulated changes, as the generations pass.
And the species is a new one when enough changes amass.

The other way is faster, and it only needs a fool
Who improves the race by bowing out of our genetic pool.
This happens rather often, so it cannot be ignored,
And we give to those who qualify their very own award.

Named after Charles Darwin, it’s not one for which you’d vie,
Since to qualify to win it, you must nearly always die.
Do these people ever stop to think before they do their stunts?
Do they realize that they’ll be known as intellectual runts?

Does their life flash by before them when they realize what they’ve done?
Do they hear the angels tell them that they’ll soon have no more fun?
Well, I know I’m not impressive, but I’d really hate to think
That I’d hear a voice from Heaven say, “You _are_ the weakest link!”