Wednesday, March 10, 2010

December 2009

Hooray for December! So much to see! It started off with a real treat. I ventured down to Chicago to join my eldest daughter Lisa and brother Dan at a performance of The Beatles as envisioned by the group, "Tributosaurus". You have to see these folks. From their website:

"In August 2002 we became The Who. September was Sly & the Family Stone, followed by CSNY and then The Police. Tributosaurus is not just a band…it is a musical event, a happening. Tributosaurus is the Jurassic beast of multiple musical faces, and every month, the beast morphs into a different rock group. Every set is tweaked with the lineup essential to accurately re-create the recorded material of an amazing array of artists. This mandate draws the finest musicians from Chicagoland and beyond to join the core group to sit in…to sing and play songs they’ve wanted to cover all their lives. For Paul McCartney, we had members of the CSO and 30 people on stage, for Ray Charles we had a full big band, for Paul Simon we had an ensemble of native South American flutes -- whatever it takes. If there's a song that requires 2 keyboard players, 3 guitarists, a mandolin and a 6 piece horn section -- you can bet we'll have 'em.

The Tributosaurus Core is comprised of 5 of the top musicians in Chicagoland. These players consider themselves the Civil War re-creationists of rock and roll, as they skillfully learn a brand new set of material every month, note for note."

They told us they know the Beatles catalog is so large, they could never do it justice in one night, so, they picked the first 2 Beatles albums, "Please Please Me" and "With The Beatles" and did them, in order. Absolutely amazing...freakin' good sound, superb vocals and instrumentation. Here's the set list:

I Saw Her Standing There
Anna (Go To Him)
Ask Me Why
Please, Please Me
Love Me Do
P.S. I Love You
Baby It's You
Do You Want To Know A Secret
A Taste Of Honey
There's A Place
Twist And Shout
From Me To You
Thank You Girl
She Loves You
I'll Get You
It Won't Be Long
All I've Got To Do
All My Loving
Don't Bother Me
Little Child
Til There Was You
Please Mister Postman
Roll Over Beethoven
Hold Me Tight
You Really Got A Hold On Me
I Wanna Be Your Man
Devil in Her Heart
Not A Second Time
I Want To Hold Your Hand
This Boy
Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand
Sie Liebt Dich

What can you say? It was outstanding! We had so much fun. Everyone sang along. Check out their website and see who they've done (AND who's coming!). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Next December (2010) they will do the next 2 albums in the Beatles discography! Cannot wait!


Barely got back in town on Friday the 4th and was witness to the songwriters series Jamie-Sue Seal produces, this time at TheTen Pound Fiddle in East Lansing, Michigan. Jamie-Sue has her own location for this series and brought it to the fiddle for a different audience and exposure for these folks. Being slightly biased because my friends, John Latini and Jamie-Sue Seal, were two of the performers, we were sure to go. We in Michigan are blessed with fine musical talent...and this was showcased by these musicians. John Latini, Jamie-Sue Seal, Andre Villoch and Greg Jenkinson provided a variety of solo efforts, duos and sometimes all of them, supporting each other. This type of music benefits from the intimate atmosphere of the Fiddle and we were treated to gems all night long.


Dec 13 Nicky and I attended the Broadway production of "White Christmas" at the Wharton Center. Knowing the songs that come from this musical we were intrigued to see how the show would be. I think we were pleasantly surprised, it was a fun, well-sung, well-danced show. I remain embarrassed to say I have never seen the film.....


The Dec 18 version of The Coffeehouse at All Saints brought a whole host of folks out...we had about 55 come and enjoy a variety of performances from many sing alongs accompanied by Jack Minton or Eileen Marshall to amusing readings (Sedaris, etc.) by Marguerite Halversen, Dedria Barker and more. Pastor Kit has read, "The Grinch" each year and this time it was her excellent hat that stood out...(that and the kids' transfixed faces!)


For the first time we at All saints Episcopal Church, hosted a fundraiser concert (for the Housing Assistance Fund...we raised >$1,000.00) with Jamie-Sue Seal and John Latini. They provided a mostly original set of songs that either had us laughing, smiling or simply enjoying their light banter, excellent harmony and support of each other. It was a real treat and set the stage for further productions at All Saints. Merry Christmas everyone!

November Notes

Not many notes....the November edition of The Coffeehouse at All Saints was the Steve found himself looking for new work, most of the time was taken. December always has too much to do, so we'll just go there.

October Offerings

Have you ever been to a "Collage Concert"? Billed as: "...featuring premier student ensembles and soloists from the MSU College of Music in a fast-paced musical extravaganza", it was just that at the Wharton Center on Oct 2. So many different styles of performance music...opera, jazz, choral, after the other without any time between pieces (until the intermission). I have seen this at East Lansing High School and it was great fun. At MSU the talent level is ratcheted up and every performance was top were seeing the cream of the crop every time! I strongly urge you to check this out next year...

Oct 9 Nicky and I attended the MSU Choral Society's fundraiser...a "Cabaret" at the Hannah Center in East Lansing. Being fans of choral music (and me having served on the MSU Choral Union board in the past) we were excited to see what was to come. The variety of performances were vast (as was the talent :) ) and we had a wonderful time. This is where I made contact with the acapella group "RCAHpella" (somewhat-awkwardly named for the "Residential College of Arts and Humanities" at MSU"). They were good and I knew the director....and thought, "They would be a great addition to The Coffeehouse at All Saints. (They did come at a later date). The Choral Society raises funds for choral conducting graduate students at MSU and I think the program produced enough funds for several students. Great job. Great fun.

The 16th brought another edition of The Coffeehouse at All Saints, a couple hours of live music, and spoken word in an informal, laid-back environment complemented by snacks and drinks provided by those who come. We have it the 3rd Friday of the month from 7:30-9:30p at All Saints Episcopal Church, 800 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, Michigan, USA.

Though not music, I want to give a shout out to our friend, Jenifer Banks, a retired MSU English professor who gave the "pre-glow" talk for the Oct 18 David Sedaris presentation at the Wharton Center. Jenny did a fine job, describing David's body of work in an enlightening, sometimes amusing way. Of course David Sedaris was wonderful...he has such a funny way of looking at relationships and the world. Kudos to him for choosing an MSU student to come out and introduce him (the highlight for her, so far, I'm sure!).

Nicky and I were fortunate to gather up our daughter Heather and fly to NYC to visit her twin, Emily the next weekend. Of course we took in a show, and chose, "Billy Elliot, the Musical" at The Imperial theatre. We all enjoyed the movie version and were looking forward to how this would be presented on stage. Well, "Billy" was wonderful (we saw him perform on the tony Awards show earlier)...but so was his "Mother". I'm pretty sure this show will travel to East Lansing in 2011...don't miss it!