Category: Music (Page 1 of 3)

Hugh Laurie at Ram’s Head

Hugh Laurie and the Copper Bottom Band played at Ram’s Head On Stage in Annapolis tonight. Fantastic blues show. Hugh Laurie is quite the showman, and an accomplished pianist and singer! I enjoyed the intros he gave to most of the songs, and the great rapport he had with the audience. Had a great time. Started the night off at Lemongrass restaurant (up the street) with a delicious chicken Red Curry. Genius Stout and Copperhead ale at Ram’s Head rounded it off. Delicious food and then wonderful music; great evening.

Ana Vidovic in Concert

Ana Vidovic

I went to a great concert by classical guitarist Ana Vidovic yesterday. The venue was Central Presbyterian church in Towson, MD. Arriving shortly before Ms. Vidovic was to start, I ended up in a rear pew; about as far from her as you could get. But the acoustics of the church are very good, and I could hear her guitar quite nicely.

I really enjoyed hearing Ms. Vidovic playing in person. I first heard her on the recommendation of a coworker; she is an extremely talented and accomplished guitarist!

Fortunately, I learned at a previous (acoustic) concert that my camera has a fairly loud shutter, so I waited until the very end of the concert to pop into the aisle for a picture of Ana – the one real benefit of the rear row was that this didn’t block anyone’s view. I also found the dedicated “quiet” mode of the camera (yes, this does dampen the mirror flip/ shutter release sound!). The above picture is a crop of a shot taken at ISO 3200 (!) with my lens zoomed to 200mm. Not too bad from ~100 feet away (back of the church).

The program:

  1. Four Pieces by Astor Piazzolla
    • Verano Porteno
    • Milonga del Angel
    • La Muerte del Angel
    • Primavera Portena
  2. From 12 Songs for Guitar, arranged by Toru Takemitsu
    • Secret Love
    • Over the Rainbow
    • Yesterday
  3. Recuerdos de la Alhambra by FranciscoTarrega
  4. Asturias by Isaac Albeniz

  6. Suite Castellana by Federico Moreno Torroba
    • Fandanguillo
    • Arada
    • Danza
  7. Sonata in D major, op. 77 by Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco
    • Allegro con spririto
    • Andantino, quasi canzone
    • Tempo di Minuetto
    • Vivo ed energico
  8. La Catedral by Agustin Barrios Mangore
    • Preludio saudade
    • Andante religioso
    • Allegro solemne

The only real drawback to the afternoon’s performance was the lady directly behind me who would root around in her purse for 10 minutes hunting her elusive Tic-Tacs. Upon finding them, she would forego merely dissolving them and proceed to crunch them individually. However, she was almost in time with the guitar, so it just added a little percussive accompaniment.

And a good time was had by all.

Vienna Teng at Ram’s Head Annapolis

Kirsten and I went to see Vienna Teng at Ram’s Head On Stage, Annapolis, MD
March 4, 2011
Vienna Teng

As usual (we have seen her a number of times) she put on a very pleasing show. Vienna had her “bandmate”/ “collaborator”, Alex Wong accompany her with his percussion. Opening act was Matt Duke. Alex’s showmanship was quite good, and he kept the audience involved (ringing car keys in a “wave” around the stage for one tune – nice effect). If you get a chance to see her live, I do recommend it. However, it might be a little more difficult now as she started graduate school this past fall (dual MS/MBA degrees). Enjoy!

Vienna Teng

Vienna Teng

Vienna Teng

Vienna Teng

With Alex Wong:

Alex Wong

Alex Wong

Also with: Matt Duke
Matt Duke

Matt Duke

Los Lonely Boys at RamsHead Annapolis

Jojo Garza of Los Lonely Boys

Jojo Garza of Los Lonely Boys

Tuesday night I went to see Los Lonely Boys at Ram’s Head in Annapolis, MD. They sounded great! I really enjoyed the concert – the three brothers definitely put on a good show. They only played about an hour and 20 minutes, with no opening band. The short concert may be due to the bass player/lead singer Jojo having some problems with his vocal cords (the band appears to have cancelled some dates last month due to medical issues). But I certainly didn’t notice anything wrong with his voice! I do hope all is well. Definitely a band worth seeing live.

Los Lonely Boys

Los Lonely Boys

Los Lonely Boys

Los Lonely Boys

DRM is bad. Explained

Today’s XKCD strip fairly clearly explains why DRM (“Digital Rights Management” – i.e. Copy Protected)-hobbled media is bad. It’s also the reason I still get all my music on physical CD. Not only do I support the artist, but I can rip the music to mp3 (or any format I choose) and put the music on my home server. I can also take the music with me when technology changes (all I have to do is re-rip the music into whatever new format). Also, (barring the not-much-used superaudio and such formats) CDs have the highest quality music. Think “Master” recording. Most other formats (mp3, etc.) are “lossy”, meaning they are of lower quality than the original.

Let me make myself clear here. The comic above advocates Piracy. I don’t. The artists don’t get any support that way. I advocate buying CD’s or non-DRM digital files. But the comic is still funny. :)

Apple is aware of consumers’ distaste for DRM, which is why they make some of the music on iTunes available in “iTunes Plus” format – which is of higher quality and has no DRM. I think they charge $0.30 more per track for this. From what I can tell, all music on iTunes from EMI is available in the “Plus” format. Apple would gladly put all iTunes tracks in Plus format as well -but the only record company to give permission is EMI.

The evil Wal-Mart announced a month or so ago that it was taking down it’s DRM server. This meant that anyone foolish enough to have bought digital music from them would no longer be able to play that music if the computer they used ever crashed or was upgraded/replaced. This created such a backlash from the community that they recently changed their minds. But such a scenario will certainly replay itself in the future. So: Don’t buy digital music that has DRM.

Note that Wal-Mart’s solution initially offered to it’s users: Burn your music to CD and re-import it. Whoa. That would drastically reduce the quality. So why not get physical CD’s to begin with?

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