Follow up: On Frankenstein’s lab, German orchestras, and how Dvorak is a different person than Brahms

Guy Braunstein and Jeffrey Tate

On our free time away from the lab, we like to play the classics!

I am a complete asshole. I know this. I accept this reality and try to embrace it as much as can be expected. I’ve been identified at concerts by patrons around me as “the reviewer” and peppered with questions about this or that, and while I almost assuredly sound like an idiot to them, I’ve generally kept my innermost thoughts to myself and placed them in the holding tank that is my consciousness. But what better place for all the ungainly bullshit that I can’t help but notice at the concerts I’m reviewing than a blog that has a sterling track record of cussing, Kardashian references, and inappropriate sexual comments? The truth is, I’m trying to do a better job of making my actual reviews seem like they’re the work of something resembling a professional (even though I’m not one), and there’s no place for this stuff there. Which is why I’m just going to put them here and call them “Follow up” and do them whenever something can’t be printed in a space with any dignity or self-respect whatsoever. Continue reading

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Welcome home

Frank Gore

The Inconvenient Truth

Saturday at 4:30 EST marks the 49ers first playoff game in 10 years and I’ve been paying my dues at sports bars across the United States waiting for it. I watched them bottom out at 2-14, draft a QB #1 overall who wasn’t named Aaron Rodgers, wade through offensive coordinators like selections at the Golden Corral buffet, grimace as that #1 QB struggled to get on the right side of mediocrity, kind-of-enjoyed-in-a-sick-way Mike Nolan’s attempts to wear a suit and say the word “standpoint” every 6.2 seconds, saw how far being a Tony Robbins-ish motivational speaker can take you as a coach if you played football once, and buried my head in my hands as the team president constantly ran his mouth about how good the team was in spite of their results.

And then Jim Harbaugh drove up the road from Stanford like a certain 49ers coach of old and things started changing. The #1 quarterback was somehow still in town despite having every reason in the world to be a thousand other places. The team president mostly kept quiet and went about the business of being pretty damned cool in spite of the fact that a) he runs an NFL football team at the age of 30 and b) that almost certainly makes him a massive douche. The team with all those good, young players who spent the previous 5 or so years languishing in frustration and occasional ineptitude was just sitting there waiting for someone whose head didn’t consistently get dragged down by a giant Jesus chain. Continue reading

The 2011 Everything But the Music Awards, part 2

Happy New Year!

But my vest and bow tie combo was white when I got to the club..........

2011 wasn’t just a year to hear new performances and recordings, it was also a great time to get to know some older shit that perhaps had slipped under my personal radar for a long time. You never know what is going to capture your attention, but when something grabs you you just hold onto it as tight as you can, like you would your children in a thunderstorm or a fake 38DD breast in the cordoned-off area behind the bar because I mean you already paid for two drinks plus the $40 for the actual dance and Jesus can’t I just touch the damn thing. Sequitir. Continue reading

The 2011 Everything But the Music Awards, part 1

Happy New Year!

The official mascot of the 2011 Everything But the Music awards, a teddy bear so fucked up on champagne that he looks like he may have raped and murdered someone last night but can't remember the details

With the new year rapidly approaching, and by rapidly approaching I mean here already, every publication, news program, radio show, and 16-year-old-girl’s diary are presenting their annual “The Year in ______” lists. I wish I had the kind of job where I could make a credible “The Year in Music” list, but I don’t and I’m not entirely sure I ever will. But I can make a “My Year in Music” list and nobody can really say shit about it because the word “my” is right there in the title. What to put in my list? I will likely include discussions of superlative performances and recordings in a mock-awards format in which no actual prizes will be given away or even considered for that matter, with the exception of the sheer prestige of being acknowledged by this blog. Perhaps I will include some random thoughts about things that don’t have anything to do with this year. Most importantly, I will bring a whiff of nostalgia and a smile to my own face thinking back on what was, even as I realize that I continue to march inexorably toward the brittle and cold embrace of death. Anyway, over the next little while, I’ll be presenting the first and quite possibly last annual Everything But the Music Awards in this space. Here we go!

Continue reading