concert love

aklikins and I went to see Porcupine Tree last night at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh — sort of new prog rock. The opener “3” was (to my ears) way too “stereotypical” aging skool heavy/artistic rockers.  IOW, they had long, thin and receding hair and there was much of that high-pitched, overwrought faux-english scream-singing style that I find incredibly ear-poking (and not in a good way).

Porcupine Tree, though, was great.  I had remembered that some of their stuff was really harmonically thick with a seriously groove beat (and those, like The Sound of Musik, I loved) and some of it was sort of Pink Floyd-y (Lips of Ashes) or old Genesis-y (can’t remember the name of the song that really made me think that).  I was not as familiar with some of the more “heavy” stuff, but mostly it was ok (not oh-my-heavens *wonderful* but still ok).

The funniest moment in the show, for me, was the line in the Porcupine Tree song Sleep Together:  “Burn my Prada trainers” … can a prog rock group know what Prada trainers are?  Is that allowed?  Seems like someone should come and revoke some of their prog-rock cred for that…

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Recap Tuesday

  • The Good: Got to see my friend Buzzy
  • The Bad: Styx, Foreigner, Def Leppard show was cancelled due to nasty, nasty weather
  • The Worse: They cancelled it *after* I had walked through the Creek part of Walnut Creek amphitheater (ok, it was actually the parking lot, but it netted out to be the same) in my little black suede (now soggy) tennis shoes.
  • The Ehn: Saw Rush Hour III in lieu of the show.  Not bad.  Not enough funny Jackie Chan bits.  Outtakes were better than the rest of the movie.
  • The Funny: Seen on a license plate on an Infiniti on the way to the show:    an b ond

DCI Semifinals

As I’ve mentioned, this summer I’ve been able to photograph two Drum Corps International competitions (in Benson and Charlotte), and as a result, I’ve gotten sort of attached to the cute little music geeks.

Last night I went to see the semi-finals, which were shown live in local movie theaters (North Hills, in Raleigh, in this case). I’m glad a bought my tickets early, because they’d sold out *two* theaters (at $19/ticket — these folks are *serious* fans!)!

The show, though long, was really fun to watch, particularly since every once in a while they’d show a particular kid, and I’d recognize him or her from pictures I’d taken. I have to admit, the sound was not as good as I’d hoped, but I suppose that’s a factor of (a) comparing it to being on the field next to the bands and (b) the difficulty of micing a 130-person moving target that has an incredible range of dynamics.

Huge thanks aklikins for accompanying me (and pretending to be a little interested)!

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Something to do on Saturday the 21st

I’ve mentioned before that my friend John (who puts together the music jams I sing at) has now published a book called “Bluegrass is My Second Language: A Year in the Life of an Accidental Bluegrass Musician” (that I’m in!!).

This Saturday, John’s doing a book reading — and free concert!! — at Quail Ridge books in Raleigh.  Here’s the info:

Quail Ridge Books & Music invites you to a reading and free concert by John Santa

Saturday, July 21, 7:00 pm

Join John Santa for a humorous and music- filled adventure, followed by a free concert by John and friends.

I’ll be there — would love to see you too!  I should also mention that the book’s a great read, and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys humor or likes bluegrass or has a deep appreciation for things Southern.

A bit I’m proud of…

My family are photographers (verb agreement seems odd there, but…).  Both my Grandpa and my Dad (dtnorman) were (/are) amazing with a camera and I’ve always hoped that one day I’d be able to shoot at the level they did (/do).

It was, therefore, incredibly thrilling to me to be able to shoot an event, CrownBeat, with my Dad, as an actual “accomplice” team member.

CrownBeat is one of the major competitions of the the Carolina Crown Drum & Bugle Corps Competition — incredibly intense 14-18 year olds marching around in complex patterns while playing instruments (needless to say, as someone who has trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, this is pretty amazing to me).

I have to say I’m actually proud of my pictures.  Here’s a few in particular I liked — mostly unretouched at this point, and watermarked, of course (click to embiggen)

(The whole shebang are at Dad’s Quality Impressions Photography site, here.

Shows I want to see/am seeing

— holler if you’re interested in meeting up or going.

A list of shows I’d like to see or am going to see — holler if you’re interested in meeting up or going.

[ETA: Tim Easton
Sat. June 9]

Red Elvises
June 14

Classical Mystery Tour
June 16

June 20

[ETA: Southern Culture on the Skids
June 30]

CrownBEAT Drum & Bugle Corps competition**
West Johnston HS Stadium, Benson NC
June 21

Tres Chicas
July 3

Don Dixon & The Jump Rabbits
July 13

[ETA: John Santa (the fellow who wrote Bluegrass Is My Second Language)
July 14]

CarolinaCrown, Charlotte Drum & Bugle Corps competition
July 15

Claire Holley
July 20 (choice to be made there)

July 29th

John Prine
With Special Guest Patty Griffin
August 17th

Styx, Asia
Aug. 21

Michael McDonald
August 24th

Elvis Costello with the North Carolina Symphony**
September 13th

Rain (Beatles Multimedia thing)
Nov. 16

** means I’m definitely going/have tix

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Soooo tired I can barely type (not that that was my strength in the first place), but…

Charl & I went to the Flaming Lips show, and it was so *EXCELLENT*.  As a super-double bonus, I also ran into sylvia_wrath, Jason0x21, badger and jay.  Also present were Heisenberg Sean (so designated because I’m not sure he exists outside of Friday lunch at the Park Diner), Mur and Jim.

If I could somehow get a job that involved confetti, I think that would make me happy.

Bluegrass is My Second Language

I’ve just finished reading “Bluegrass is My Second Language: A Year in the Life of an Accidental Bluegrass Musician,” a new book by my friend John Santa (he who hosts the music jams that I sing at sometimes).

I’m in it!  In two places, actually!  Here’s my entry in the Glossary:

Gina Norman A singer and one of the RDU Session Players.  Part of the backup group “The All Day Sucker Singers” for the way she and Meghan Day sucked on lollipops all day long at the April first RDU/Bluegrass Gathering.  Turned their tongues bright purple and red.  It was disgusting.  (And funny as hell).

The book’s a great read, and I’d thoroughly recommend it to anyone who enjoys humor or likes bluegrass or has a deep appreciation for things Southern.  I’d link to it, but as near as I can tell, it’s not available online yet (though I know you can get it at Harry’s Guitar Shop in Raleigh.  Harry’s in the book too  ;-)

Photoshop is still scorning me though.

ETA:  link to book site!

OOOH — this looks like fun

The Music of Pink Floyd – A Rock Symphony

Saturday, May 19, 2007, 8pm

Meymandi Concert Hall, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts

One night only, May 19th, experience the dark side of the orchestra as the North Carolina Symphony features The Music of Pink Floyd – A Rock Symphony. Sonic wizardry, compelling lyrics, this spectacular program combining a full rock band, vocals, orchestra and light show will echo everything that made Pink Floyd one of rock & roll’s greatest bands. Hear your classic favorites like “Wish You Were Here,” “Comfortably Numb,” “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Another Brick in the Wall.” Don’t miss this special tribute concert and your chance to experience Pink Floyd in a new way.

Who wants to go?