Alien invasion overtures concert: practical solutions for the salvation of humankind

Let’s be real, this blog doesn’t generate a lot of comments from anyone other than my family and friends, which is fine because my family and friends have good shit to say, as evidenced by the comments they left. The truth of the matter is, for all the requests for audience participation (all two of them), I was just gonna pick who I thought was the best anyway, so it really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things I suppose. With that in mind, I present my choice for Earth’s musical champion in the Great Intergalactic Overture Battle 2013 and the program order as I see it: Continue reading


Invasion of the aliens, starring Carl Maria von Weber, Franz von Suppe, Ludwig van Beethoven and a cast of all-stars!



There’s a fun game that you can play with almost any scenario imaginable, from basketball teams to talk show hosts to movie stars to works of art. In this game, Earth is being invaded by a super-intelligent race of alien life who have journeyed millions of light years across a dozen galaxies to decide the fate of Earth via something of a gentleman’s wager. “Put up your finest ___________ for a one-time showdown between our races. The victor shall rule Earth until the end of time, and let’s be real here, I’m assuming said victor may use that lofty perch to shamelessly demand sexual favors and all manner of hedonistic pleasures and maybe shit like ice cream and the finest cured meats and cave-aged cheeses in the universe at their most casual whim.”

For example, say that ___________ was an Intergalactic Super Bowl between the greatest football teams in the history of both races. Which team would you choose in a one-off match for every conceivable marble in existence? The ’85 Bears? The ’72 Dolphins? The correct answer is ’94 49ers, by the way, and that’s a completely biased and unsubjective take. It’s essentially a riff on a simple “who’s the best”-style countdown, but with a more entertaining backstory.

So what have the aliens challenged us to? A symphony concert dedicated to overtures. But here’s where it gets tricky: it can only feature the work of a single composer. The first half of the concert will highlight the masterworks from the aliens’ finest composer of overtures, Thunyx, Destroyer of Worlds/Composer of Overtures. Who will save us? Continue reading

Follow up: Fundamentals, audience participation, and being better than everyone else

Juan Diego Florez

Hide your wives...

At intermission of the Juan Diego Florez recital at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City on Sunday, the woman to my right asked me if I was a singing student. In part I assume this was because I was wearing black athletic pants and a shirt that said “I don’t roll on Shabbos,” but the other part was presumably because I was taking notes. I told her that I wasn’t a singer in any way, shape, or form but that I knew what was good, and this was good. She agreed. I assure you she agreed. Continue reading