Violin and Cello awesomeness.

Posted in Personal on April 26th, 2010 by byronkho

These videos bring me back to the days when I used to do it a lot, and for a living. I love accompanying violinists! This particular concerto, the Symphonie Espagnole, was always my favorite to do. The orchestral reduction for piano is pretty challenging, and the violin solos are just amazing to listen to. Edouard Lalo wrote this masterpiece for the composer and violinist Pablo de Sarasate. It’s been popularized in expert renditions by Kogan, Marcovici, Perlman, Heifetz, Menuhin…

Kogan doing the 5th movement.

I knew a lot of young prodigies that used this piece as their breakout number, having accompanied the movements many a time. The 5th tends to be the most popular one, since it’s more peppy and gypsy-dance-like… but the 1st is also amazing! However, only a few lucky people get to play it with full orchestra, and get the video uploaded to Youtube.

Ashley Martin doing the 1st movement.

Lalo’s Cello Concerto is also very nice. I’ve played that one with some great cellists. However, the cello number I probably like best (with a ridiculously easy piano accompaniment, so I basically just sit back and enjoy the angelic cello sounds when performing this one) is Dvorak’s Silent Woods.

Jacqueline du Pre doing Silent Woods.

One more cello AWESOME. Astor Piazzolla was amazing. His tangos were superb, and the numbers he did for cello were always outstanding. This one was fun, though I only got to do it once and Sifei does it way better than the person I was accompanying at the time.

Sifei Wen doing Piazzolla’s Grand Tango.

Mwahahaha. Publishing made a funny. “Individual print and online subscription” >> “Infidel print and online subscription” – for all your infidel journal subscribing needs…

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Hot tracks (while thunder and lightning and rain pour outside).

Posted in Personal on April 25th, 2010 by byronkho

Random music wanderings this evening. First up, Brian Austin Green from back in 1996. He does sound like Dilated Peoples (which coincidentally produced some of the CD… also the Black Eyed Peas lent a hand as well) and it’s actually kinda nice. It’s got that 90s jazzy hiphop flow (his voice kinda reminds me of Left Eye for some reason too). It was panned, but of course it’s gonna get panned when a 90210 schmo makes music – regardless if it’s good or not. I feel bad for him, with the horrible reviews the CD got at the time… kinda like I did for Scarlet Johansson on the release of her first CD. Oh wells. He’s now got Megan Fox to make up for the crushing blow to his music career (and his acting career?). And Scarlet has… well, just being herself is the consolation prize – meaning AWESOME.

Speaking of Megan Fox, here she is helping to protest California school budget cuts. Like seriously, seeing her beg for money would make any fool empty all his pockets at her feet. Probably a lotta slobber too. Helps that it’s for a good cause though – and not actually for money, but for political action.

Next up: a Korean MC named Dumbfoundead. Asian rappers… there’s a bunch of good ones out there. Some of the bigger ones were kinda ass (ahem, Jin) but there’s some quality out there too. Mostly based out of LA, of course, since huge Koreatown there. Maybe it’s just my browsing habits but it’s been easier to find good Korean rappers so far. He doesn’t seem particularly Korean or include much Korean subject matter on the tracks though – no worries bout cultural awkwardness for non-Asian listeners. Love this track since it’s a nice mellow soul/R&B track. It’s a collabo with Sam Ock outta Maryland, who wrote the instrumentals and sings.

This next song is another Dumbfoundead collabo, but with Jay Park (another MC) and a big fave of mine, Clara C. You can download the track from her BandCamp page. I’ve got no problem shilling struggling artists, especially Asian homies. BTW they be mastas at that viral shit, 400k plus views in 3 days. Gee.

Big Sean deserves more attention. Maybe he’ll get some when his debut CD finally comes out this year. He’s signed on Kanye’s label. This song is so dope: Getcha Some from his mixtape, dropped all the way back in 07. Three years to make it big? Crossed fingers. So many wack rappers that don’t deserve the bacon they be hacking off the pig (Birdman? Pitbull?) but this guy has got some chips. How about some other talented rappers? Pill, K’naan, K-OS, Theophilus London… Speaking of talented, what happened to the Gorillaz? Their new single (well, a few months old now) was kinda… well, not shit, but definitely not to my liking. I did like all their old stuff but their reinvention is wack.

Last one: awesome shit from Fred Falke. Usually love his stuff, though sometimes he has missteps (after listening to the Tik Tok remix a while, I decided it was horrendous). Example’s aite, but live he’s pretty bad. His stuff is club-friendly though, so as long as he’s not communicating it mano-a-mano with yall, it’s tight.

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Posted in Personal on April 25th, 2010 by byronkho

Went to see two shows today. Jody’s production of The Beauty Queen of Lennane (and a few other people I know, but she’s the one that got me to agree to come to Saturday matinee), and the Pipers’ 60th anniversary show.

The set changes I feel took a little long on Lennane, and it took a little while to get over the feeling that the actors were trying a bit too hard on the Irish accents… but I soon settled into the rhythm. The play was entertaining and the banter effective… but it moved so slowly! That was most likely because of the long set changes. It was a 2.5 hour show, and I believe it could have been done effectively and better in 2 hours. I always felt Rebecca Levine was a mousy person but she did a great job coming out of her shell for this one. I was bemused by Jody’s old woman (it was hilarious watching her deaf by choice crafty stubborn selfish old crone act)… at the same time, I didn’t feel so much the desperation and loneliness so much that she should have projected, that were the reason she was so stubborn and angry. Part of it was trying to stay in the Irish mode and speaking in unnaturally high voices in order to pull it off (which was something some that “Ray” did as well). Pacing needed work but I believe that could have been worked out with more time in the space. More efficient movements, less set changes (most of the time I felt the long wait wasn’t necessary for the amount of stuff they looked like they were doing… some of the waits were costume changes, sure, but still it was very obviously too long). Enjoyable, but needed some necessary changes to work as a coherent whole.

Looks like I’m being a tough critic today! Maybe it’s because I have a cold. I was walking behind this woman that looked like a dumpy middle-aged midlife crisis cougar that wanted to go lesbian if she couldnt get it any other way…. what with the short cropped hair in the back, frosted tips, bad dye job, ugly hoop earrings and fugly, fugly capri pants. Her friends (who I could see the faces of right away) were exactly that. I was like she’s 40, needs to get laid and needs a stylist pronto. She needed a style, ANY style but the one she had. Mean, my inner voice said. Stop being a judgmental evil bastard, offending basically everybody with your snap assumptions. So I was like okay okay – then she turned around. Her face said, hi, I’m pretty and early 20s, and open to smiles from YOU. God, woman, why would you do THAT to such a beautiful face? Dress it right! Start looking your age and not purposely aging yourself 20 years for no apparent reason. And stop wearing badly designed capri pants that look like they’re stolen from 80s transvestite hookers. After a few minutes, I softened up. I thought, she’s still pretty but maybe I didn’t actually mean all that about the terrible packaging. Then she turned BACK around (hiding that face) and I said… oh no, I actually did mean all that. Point is, I was a douchebag today, and it was because of my cold (naturally).

Pipers was good, but with reservations. (Told you I was being a douche today.) Reza does some good arrangements but problem is that the whole show had that same sound. Very high, so absolutely focused on tenor I. Songs are mostly slow, and arrangements are very short. I was attending with a bunch of the old Pipers and I remembered how it used to be back in the day. Of course, things are always better back in the day according to all old fogies anywhere… anyways, I pointed out that the songs could use a dip in testosterone… just a little bit… a concession to being a male singing group that wasn’t 50% on the fence, and more importantly, to give basses a bigger role. Again, would like to point out that these criticisms are not song criticisms as the songs were done very well and the arrangements were nicely textured. What I am saying is that the group sound needs to be rounded out with songs that focus on lower ranges as well, and more arrangement by other people to include differing styles. Practically, this is hard as how many people every semester want to arrange? Part of a solution, then, is including old repertoire. Of course, it’s not repertoire unless people know about it, and they don’t! Apparently the Pipers rep book got lost somewhere, and nobody knows where it is. Shame. They need to know about all these old songs: Southern Cross, the Barbershop medley, Uncle John’s Band, the other Rainbow Connection, Farmhouse, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Way, the Canon in D/Green Day medley… awesome numbers at their heyday. Part of the appeal is that there’s more of a bass blend, different feels to the songs so can mix up the vibe (instead of soppy love appeals the entire show… even the gal pals were like wow, this show is so girly) and of course, they’re LONG jam sessions. I mean an 8 minute a cappella number? That’s like whoa. The staircase version this time was less than stellar, but brought up a lot of memories of good times. Steichen in love with It’s My Life and Lil’ Jon (yeaaaahhh all the time, so inappropriately); Pipers punch in the official metal tankard that has somehow disappeared. I don’t know how to intro all that music to the new Pipers unless the old Pipers get it together, learn the music and show the new guys how it used to be done. Evan Samlin made a SURPRISE showing and sang with us. He was, and still is, very good. I say us… but I was never in Pipers. However, as one of the few remaining people who knew all the songs and still attends all these things, I should be an honorary member. Ahem. So should Meagan for that matter, since she knew the words to all the songs better than I do.

2007 Pipers: Good Old A Cappella.

2007 Pipers: Loch Lomond.

2009 Pipers: Dueme Negrito.

Yes, this is Phish. But Pipers did an amazing cover of this song back in 2004 and there’s no videos of them! Too bad. It’s a pretty awesome arrangement. Anyways, the original. Just ridiculously awesome song that the kids hardly know these days.

Drinks after the show. Saw Missy on the walk heading… to the Pipers party. Called her naughty, but how can you get in trouble at a Pipers party? For goodness sake. Gave that party a pass. Not sure if they actually serve the punch any more, and it’s not the same without the tankard. Alex was trying to go but gave up on being the only alumni there. Instead, we took a detour to White Dog, where I had too much beer and found out a pitcher of Troegs’ is more expensive than the Fleur de whatever I liked so much from that other pub a few weeks back. I was like WTF. The beer did not help the cold at all. Again. Didn’t learn my lesson from Friday. What a dumbass.

Wondering if I am gonna get ITTW. Would be awesome. All I know is… I want it. I want to finish all the major Sondheim shows and get those notches on my belt (plus do it well, of course). I hope I hope I hope! As a concession to my desire to do ITTW, I broke my old rule of never asking for a position (and getting them anyway) and instead I’ve applied, for the first time, for the position of MD… Jessica apparently already dropped my name in the running, and I have no idea who else may be in the running as well. JC will have SO much to do on ITTW, as the tech needs so much planning and effort, the costumes and props are gonna be voluminous and the character/emotional arc work will be mucho extensive. Anyways, it’s still a little while before they make that decision. I hope they make it the right way. I understand they have to leave it open and “fair” to allow time for other worthy people to apply, but I doubt there will be many others. In any case, those others might be interested in directing Parade for Singers. Hmm.

Some random production of ITTW. Good Jack!

Speaking of Singers, I heard that the Penn Singers’ Sorcerer was majorly, majorly messed up. According to some sources (ahem, the Thomases), the “second act was an orgy. Not just one scene, the entire act.” I also quote: “Not that I don’t like sex. I adore sex, we’ve been married for 40 years and have many kids…” Anyways, point is that hands fondling breasts and under skirts and simulated sex behind songs for a full act is a little much for kids to see. Also, that’s just wrong for G&S. Gilbert might have been a randy bastard but the shows they wrote were sly and everything sexual was hinted at, not painted in vivid unflinching detail. And yes, it’s fine to modernize G&S, but since you rely on a lot of diehard G&S fans and a lot of their families for spring show tickets… perhaps you should refrain from modernizing it by adding JUST SEX. Do the sexy sexy on your fall show, but leave the G&S alone. Of course, I cannot corroborate any of these allegations since I did not see the Sorcerer. I did believe it though, as Meagan also verified their story. I was shocked! Shocked, I tell you! Imma get the full story from one of the Singers later.

Ali Kendall doing Cunegonde in Singers’ Candide. She’s Roger Bart’s daughter… yeah, yeah… and is very good. Had her in the cast for Rocky Horror (MDed by producer Marc Platt’s son) and for Cabaret (MDed by moi).

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Expendables Kick Ass, Joseph, A Few Remarks on Death

Posted in Personal on April 21st, 2010 by byronkho

Recipe for awesomeness? Yes, Stallone. Get Randy Couture, Steve Austin, Jet Li, yourself, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Jason Statham in the SAME movie and blow shit up. BOOYAH! I am unashamedly shilling The Expendables.

By the way, Kick-Ass is Kick-Ass. It doesn’t even need the dash. Pretty perfect mesh of superhero fantasy and childhood angst movie. I say childhood angst because there are teens, kids and stunted adults who all experience differing levels of fulfillment in the movie – and so by movie’s end, everyone having been one of those archetypes breathes a sigh of contentment at seeing what could have been, what could now be, and what could happen. The character arc? Geek secretly wants to be a superhero. Does it, tries it, messes it up. But stands up for himself once and in that moment, self-realizes. It doesn’t matter that someone happened to catch the desperate (kind of pathetic) act on their cellphone and made him super-popular (anonymously)… he’s found his mojo and uses it in his real life. He knows he’s no superhero (“with no power comes no responsibility”) but he finds that if he needs to find his inner strength, he can. Alongside him is a richer version of the geek archetype struggling to get out of his (crimelord) father’s shadow and define his coming adulthood, and a child whose childhood was stolen because of the darker pursuits of a spiteful parent (loving and fatherly as he is, pretty sure he’s not gonna win father of the year). Despite being “crippled” by her immense sheltering from the world (and what a warped sense of morals… yes honey, cut those men to pieces), she is strong, resolute in her opinions and goals and sympathetic to those that are weaker than herself. In effect, what we all aspire to be. She also happens to be a freakin amazing shot, acrobatic as hell and able to whip around throwing knives and switchblades like nobody’s business. Of course, the relationship between Kick Ass and his ten billion times hotter girlfriend is just kind of underwritten and unbelievable, going from gag (the gay friend who gets to rub lotion all over her naked self not long after she asks him out for coffee at HIS geekout joint… and because she wants that gay friend to bitch to/at) to other gag (I know you’re a superhero, I don’t need any proof of that and somehow I love you even though if some normal person said that they were a superhero and was dressed up in a cape and tights and scared me in my bedroom, I’d really kind of think they were some sort of pervert creep moron). Though… some could argue that it was so ridiculous, it has to be true.

Saw Jess’s show (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Holy Ghost Prep School) on Sunday. Nice job – especially after hearing the blow-by-blow account of every single thing that happened during rehearsal. Made more poignant by the incredibly dramatic elements of intensely bad luck and then a last-second miracle save, a home robbery and community goodwill, a burning-out and a painting-out, a middle school band to a high school band (!), what seems like 2 Type A’s trying to take the helm at the same time and one winning by sheer force of… well, the fact that she got a whip for her directorial gift says something. Shows was entertaining, a few good singers, acoustics pretty good for being in a gym, nice lighting and crazy costuming… like 50000 costume changes within the 1.5 hour show. No wonder she had an army of seamstresses creating those things, and no wonder she needed to recruit her parents to oversee some of it. Pit was reasonably good, allowances made for all members being in high school :) Going up there felt really weird. Not used to going out to the suburbs much, but that wasn’t it – it was walking up to the main building of the school and not seeing anybody there, and the wind blowing chill and the sky sort of grey and leaves blowing around and thinking, “damn, they should really set a horror movie in here. Catholic school, and looks like some sort of gothic insane asylum or orphanage, both great settings for satanic rituals and slashings and human sacrifice and torture… mmm.” I thought the performance was in that building but no, it was in the less interesting looking building, the one with all the lights on and looking thoroughly bland modern with the hundreds of cars parked around it. Of course. Well, the reason there were NO people around (outside) is because the show had already started and thus I was late. Oops.

Aunt Lily passed away today. I never knew her that well, only having met her a few times over the course of my life… but apparently she was a really good friend of the family back in the day. This last trip to Toronto, we went up there and visited her. My mom was expecting the same old vibrant Lily and didn’t seem to accept too gracefully the fact that Lily was in a spiral towards the end. I came in there as the balancer, smoothing over the distaste Aunt Lily had in being seen that way and the discomfort my mom was feeling at seeing her in that state. The thing I sensed most was that there was a giant chasm there: that somehow they were no longer friends, that something had already happened over the years and this visit was just the last pretense. Not that anything was said… but more the fact that my mom seemed to be sad for her instead of sad with her. I don’t pretend to know anything about the grief process (since I don’t) but it’s still interesting to view how everybody involved actually responds to a death. As a CNA, I witnessed more than my fair share of death. I saw the reactions of visitors and “loved” ones, most of who didn’t really give a shit about their dying relatives and were doing the obligation visit and leaving. Or the ones who talked the business and finances of death with the doctors and nurses, not even bothering to hide it from the person lying on the bed, hurting from physical pains and from new mental ones: shame, embarrassment, the revealing of true colors. The patients themselves: those who could remember would detail the lives they lived and what they had wished for, and there would be a moment of sadness for the institution of old age – that everything they had held dear no longer mattered to anyone still living, and that these bare white walls with inoffensive floral wallpapers and the smells of disinfectant were what would be their last detailed memories. Everything comes down to a corridor, and then a room. For Aunt Lily, it was a dark room, feeble white light coming in through the curtains, gloom blotting the stark sunspray like a lampshade. Bright, and dark. But it was the way she wanted it. For all those nursing home patients, it was the warm quasi-orange glow, a craquelured ceiling to stare at, the whine and chatter of machines and drug trolleys and harassed CNAs muttering amongst themselves. I didn’t do it often, but I knew everybody heard the things CNAs said. But that’s the thing, the blessing even, that you can have when people are free of inhibition around you. You don’t lie there guessing what everybody is thinking about you – you know. It hurts. People say things about you, knowing that you can’t respond, or aren’t willing to respond; you have the right to decide if your last few days, weeks and months should be better spent pretending everything’s going right instead of seeing things as they really are. It’s sometimes worse when you’re dying at home. Do these people around me love me? Do they want me alive? Or are they wishing me a speedy voyage across those dark waters with the boatman? Are those gold coins almost out of their pockets, ready to blot out the light from my eyelids? Is the doctor telling them that it might be a good idea to keep me dehydrated because that will speed up the process of dying, that the current state I’m in is “too painful” and “extremely cruel.” And who is he to judge what is too cruel? Too cruel is realizing that I should die so as to not be a burden, and knowing that everybody came to that conclusion first. And then: why shouldn’t I be a burden? Don’t I deserve it? But the doubt… why be alive when I can no longer experience joy in being alive? I picture hell as living forever, and being entombed in a beautiful, but cold, white marble mausoleum for the rest of eternity. What is joy to one such as that? Would it make a difference if I had beautiful paintings on the wall, an array of fine cognacs, Havanas in my pocket, a fine violin concerto playing on a gramophone? A photo album even, or wallet-size snapshots… mere echoes. Faces mean nothing without specifics, and the why’s of remembrance. The lesson learned from a short career in death: Absence does not make the heart grow fonder…. just colder. Build your memories strong, experience without restraint. Without passion, we are empty shells.

Laura, by Girls.

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Sweeney Todd reviewed in the Penn Gazette blog!

Posted in Personal on April 20th, 2010 by byronkho

Our one and only show review! Read it in the Penn Gazette blog, written by my friend Molly Petrilla. She was in my pit for Bye Bye Birdie way, way back in the day.

A clip of A Little Priest, filmed by Molly:

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Posted in History and Politics on April 16th, 2010 by byronkho

1) Our show opening was the 98th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Nothing sunk. Disappointing. (Not.)

2) The first Spring Fling celebrity act was a square dance caller. 1973 was a hot year.

3) During the Korean War, South Korea executed prostitutes who contracted VD. The soldiers, of course, didn’t get executed. American soldiers were told to ignore such “housekeeping” activities, as they were allies.

4) In an attempt to control video game addiction… South Korea is putting in an automatic curfew after midnight for all underage players and slower connections for those logging in too many consecutive hours, during the early morning hours.

5) In the United States, there are an estimated 9 million kids under 9 with cellphones. What do kids under 9 really have to say? A lot, apparently.

6) Don’t put all your politicians and important personalities in the same airplane. Any government knows that. Silly Poland.

G&S trivia: William Gilbert was a cad, often seen with Bram Stoker’s young and pretty wife Florence. Gilbert also threw private parties for the debauched Prince of Wales, where naked chorus girls from one of his operettas entertained. Those decadent Victorians.

To fill it out: Florence was seen as a cold fish, so she might have been using notorious womanizer Gilbert as a cover. she’d look appreciated without having to give out, and he perhaps got a spy in with theatre impresario Bram, who worked with Henry Irving and other famous authors/playwrights. He may have even been doing Stoker a favor, who had his own women to visit round town.

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Two Shows.

Posted in Personal on April 12th, 2010 by byronkho

Guess which one I’ll be attending (tho I’d love to go to both).

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Sunday the 11th, DUM DUM DUM!

Posted in Personal on April 11th, 2010 by byronkho

Wow. Walking towards the Irongate with my cart (a keyboard in it, replacing the Roland which has no power cables… the whys would take too long so just think of it as me running a necessary errand) and there’s this cute girl dragging one of those box carriers that you tip on an angle and pull to wheel around. Not only does she stare at me for 20 seconds while I’m walking towards her (she’s going perpendicular to me), she even makes this sexy smile. Which isn’t the most awesome part – it’s that RIGHT after the smile, she trips over the curb. A box falls over, stuff spills out, a bunch of stuff breaks, there’s a mess all the way into the middle of the street. Good thing there’s no traffic. Always imagined these things happening… but it’s usually me doing the staring and tripping. Instead, it’s the hot chick that does it. Amazing. I immediately felt much better about having a really stressful evening. Got through a run but realized that I can’t see the cast during the show. It will be pretty much impossible since there’s a high wall blocking me from seeing the cast, who is in front of this monstrous setpiece. It looks nice, but the only place where I have even a limited view is through the asylum door. Great, the pit is IN the asylum and can’t see out. I was clenching my teeth for some reason during the run, and I accidentally bit my cheek (hard) during a number because I had to juggle so many things.

Yikes. So I’m at home now, chillaxing, listening to music, trying to be quiet so Caitlin doesn’t wake up and get all pissy about being woken up (though she’s never said so to me, so either she’s really polite about all the other times I’ve been noisy or she genuinely slept through it all. If it’s the latter, hooray!). Drinking a Hershey’s Cookies and Creme milkshake, which is crack in a bottle. I also bought a bottle of Waah-taa for $1 at the Sunoco – where everything is overpriced, making the $1 pricetag VERY suspicious. But it was called Waah-taa… I couldn’t help it. It’s “pure water with magnesium,” which probably means tap water with a funny label. Beach house trip cancelled in favor of Hersheypark. That’s fine with me, I guess. Saw The Joneses last night with Jess. It was okay, good morality tale, I guess (and pretty empty role of Amber Heard, whose most cutting scene is her trying to sleep with fake Daddy dearest, getting kicked out of bed naked by fake Mommy and walking upstairs with a slow pan of glorious cleavage… great tits but I believe that scene was a bit… gratuitous. For the whys of the fake family, go read a plot summary somewhere). More instructive on how nice living in one of those posh neighborhoods could be. Unlike my posh neighborhood… So these neighbors of ours had a funeral party in our back alley yesterday before I went to the movie. I don’t know how African American funerals usually go, but this one ended up with hundreds of people shouting, a bunch of fights, 10 cop cars and somehow, a huge load of grease on the ground. Is it stereotypical to assume they had a lot of ribs and fried chicken? Cuz the grease marks on the ground (emptying the pan grease onto the road?) and bones in the trash are there as proof. There were seriously 200 people and more kept coming… this was probably because at one point, the party was winding down but a daisy chain caused tons of random friend-of-friend-of-friend people to come and mooch food and booze. This is likely what caused all the fights. So the cops came, chased everybody away, lots of shouting about pigs and mofos and such. Amazing.

OMG. I can’t wait for the show to be done. I’m guessing that I’m not experiencing half the stress that Jess is, but it’s still a ton. Once the show goes up, she has the luxury of getting wasted on booze or prescription pills to alleviate having to worry about stuff that may or may not go wrong (of course nothing will go wrong, since she’s amazing. maybe a bit paranoid.). Unfortunately, I have to be competent, collected and sober throughout each and every show. Meaning I gotta suck it up for longer. God help me if the power mysteriously cuts out in the middle of the show, in the dark, like what happened that one time with Bye Bye Birdie. Huh.

Don’t like the original too much but the remix of Yes GiantessThe Ruins by Fear of Tigers is hawt. Especially with the horror flick montage, what movies are these? They look so crappy, I actually want to see them now!

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Good mood; R-r-r-rock; Two Man Sound; Disabled Ballet.

Posted in Personal on April 9th, 2010 by byronkho

Funny how a haircut can put you in a great mood. Really.

Love the Canadian rock though don’t love the little radioplay he gets. I need to see him live.

And essentially a one hit wonder, but love this song.

Two Man Sound have some great videos, the first because of the chicks and the second the Ron Jeremy guy, stupid sailor and the 70s Swedish dance band feel.

To end on a graceful note:

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Mix: 4 AM Cut, discussing character, Grade 6.

Posted in Personal on April 8th, 2010 by byronkho

The lo-fi and the shoegaze and the semi-triphop and the whatever whatevers. Basically slow dance music (for the most part) and other stuff that keeps your heart racing but you can’t actually play in a club. I love these mixes but yeah, low energy.

Marchin In – Lo-Fi-Fnk
Crysteena (Fear of Tigers Remix) – Mille
Reminder (RAC Mix) – Honeythieves
You’ve Got The Love (The XX Remix) – Florence And The Machine
Starry Eyed (Jakwob Remix) – Ellie Goulding
What You Need (Chromeo Remix) – Tiga
I Don’t Like Your Band – Annie
Baby I’m Yours (Siriusmo Remix) – Breakbot
Feel It All Around (Toro Y Moi Remix) – Washed Out
DJ – Alphabeat
The Ruins (Fear of Tigers Remix) – Yes Giantess
Last Dance (kap10kurt Dream Mix) – The Raveonettes
Take It In – Hot Chip
Fall Hard (Passion Pit Summertime Radio Remix) – Shout Out Louds
Odessa – Caribou
O.N.E. – Yeasayer
Hole In My Heart (The Sound Of Arrows Remix) – Alphabeat
Daydreaming (Jakwob Remix) – Kid Sister
Time Crisis (Co-Pilots Turbulence Remix) – Pin Me Down
Disconnected (Ocelot Remix) – Shy Child

after moaning about it to many people, we suddenly had a group character talk today. i dunno if it was planned that way or if the director got pressured into doing it by one of the many people who were persuaded by my bitchery on the subject… but it was necessary. it’s just too bad it didn’t happen much sooner in the process. people need time to completely figure things out and to experiment with what works and what doesn’t. getting a whole load of new material 1 rehearsal before tech week means no time to digest and practice. thus, almost useless unless you’re prepared to sit and crunch out the whole character arc profile thingamajig on your own. it’s their game so i didn’t say anything, but i still did feel that there wasn’t a strong enough effort to discourse on her aims for the show. she is not the greatest presenter so she DID have stuff to say but it got lost in the ums and likes and vague language. unfortunately, there wasn’t enough substance and it wasn’t explained with confidence. i’m actually being really hard on her, but this is something that’s important for her to work on to become a good director. she has a few ideas but she needs to a) thoroughly think them through and write them down as if she were preparing a report and b) work on her presentation skills. i’m not great at public speaking and even i can deliver a more forceful and serious speech than she can! one thing i noted: the cast doesnt have a good grasp on how to deal with a fling audience. part of the issue with bat boy and reefer madness, the previous fling shows, was that there was an acknowledgement and tacit approval of the drunken buffoonery by the actors. that is a no-no. as actors, you work with their energy but not with them – you do not break the fourth wall (unless that is the play’s intention), as that gives them permission and license to interact further with you. no. especially when it’s drunken buffoons who will never have the proper interaction required. instead, you have ushers and tech staff that can handle those that are being disruptive. the stage manager can even come out during an interval and request people behave if it gets bad enough (and believe me, it did during Reefer. i wanted to get up, cut off the actors and tell everyone to shut the hell up… but then that was bad form as an audience member. clearly, the actors weren’t functioning well with the noise). jess actually had the same opinion as i did, that people should take the show seriously and not modify it for cheap laughs, as that would dilute the effectiveness of the show. of course, she got angry as she said it and almost negated her point by making it easy to dismiss as a hissy fit. i encourage her to rein in the anger and USE it instead of wasting it on obvious huffiness.

So I was looking through old shit and I just realized that the only school picture I own… and I’ve been in many school pictures… is Grade 6. 1994, was totally rockin the nerd back then. The city, Burlington. Western Ontario hadn’t become Asian Central yet, so I was a member of a minority minority (as opposed to majority minority). Well, that doesn’t really matter, it’s just a particular fact about “my” time. I lived in a big house that backed onto the Tyandaga Golf Course. In the gold course, I had a treehouse in one set of woods. The one and only time I HAD a treehouse while growing up. My best friend in the neighborhood, Roop, would come over and we’d play spies and fighting games and all the usual shit boys do when they’re bored. We were usually joined by this other kid that lived nearby – I have no idea what his name is, though I remember he was a lot of fun. My next door neighbor, Mr. McBurney (probably dead by now), was one of those kindly old Santa-like men everybody likes to think they knew once upon a time. Except I actually did. His wife was totally Mrs. Claus. They worked with wood, and their house was full of odds and ends the likes of which only aged Nordic people own (I include Mr. and Mrs. Kermit Finstad in this category, should they ever happen upon this). Mr. McBurney walked me to the bus stop most mornings. This was when I actually lived in the same actual area as the school I was going to, so therefore I could get picked up by bus… long story. Anyways, I had lots of friends that year and lots of fri-enemies. This was an unusual year, as I usually never stayed around long enough to make enemies, and usually the friends I’d make at schools were shallow and there would no attempts to keep in touch after I moved school. This time around was different… not sure why. Tim Toldnes was one of my fri-enemies. One day, I came home with some strawberry jam on toast and he insisted on borrowing my bag, and then stomping on it. And then proceeded to invite me to his house to play video games. He was confusing. My best friends in that class were probably Daniel Attwell, Kyle Jones and Graham Janson. I mention names because 1) I actually have them – they’re printed on the picture – and 2) I kept in touch with them (and strangely enough, a lot of the rest of the class) for several months after I moved away. This was a period before the Internet was a popularly available item… and you know little kids and writing letters and such. It’s hard. Just to get the school name into my written history: I attended John T. Tuck Elementary School. A blip of a school. I remember trailers, and Oregon Trail and Number Crunchers in the portables where we had most of our classes. I remember lots of poker, and cooties… but that didn’t mean we stayed away from the girls. There was always a contingency of girls that would drag one of their own to forcibly interact with a specially chosen guy from our side. I remember the one time it was me and Alexandra McRae that got the special treatment. Dragged, struggling, crazy, and then dumped on top of each other in the middle of the football field. I want to imagine that I copped a feel… but in any case. I rode the bus with Margaret Bates every day. I remember disliking her pompous brother but really liking her. She was really smart back then, and apparently still is. I looked her up and wouldn’t you know it, she became a materials science engineer with a degree from the University of Toronto and as far as I can tell, she now works for Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (nuke-ular reactors…). What’s coolest is that she’s also into musical theater. Cate Ahrens is the only one I can find on Facebook. I think it’s her… I hope it’s her! I messaged her to see if she knew where everybody else was. They all have basically no digital footprint or there are way too many people with their name for me to find out anything in a quick Google search. I also know nothing about their current lives; 6th grade at John T. Tuck is not a good search parameter. I mean I could if I was paid hourly and had the will to pore through pages of crap to do so… but no. Lazy. I don’t imagine there’ll be any Grade 6 reunion any time soon but I’d be there if there was. Sigh. Just a 30-minute trip down memory lane and wasting lots of time.

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