Category Archives: music

Regina Spektor at Hoyt Sherman in DSM!

The invigorated Hoyt Sherman continues to offer great performances, most recently one last Monday by one-of-a-kind singer/songwriter Regina Spektor who soldiered her way through 2.5 hours of performing almost completely solo on stage, sometimes accompanying herself on piano or guitar, even singing a Capella, while battling bronchitis. Pretty gutsy and very talented. So pleased that Hoyt Sherman is once again offering phenomenal shows (Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Ben Harper, Lucinda Williams, Regina…to name a few)!

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NOrth Fork road trip — Long Island 

LOvely drive to Greenport on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with “the kids,” stopping along the way at a farm stand selling cider, pies and vegetables; a hopping brewery in southhold; the north fork table and inn (which had a food truck I’d like to return to) and a fun jam packed Soda fountain in greenport called Crazy Beans. 

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Night out on the town in Austin…c-boys on South Congress

When I was last in Austin, about five years ago, my friend (and Austin social director) Pat took us to The Continental Club which was swinging on Saturday afternoon, full of lively two-steppers dancing to some band or other. This time we went to the sister (brother?) of the Continental Club, C-Boys, a little further south on South Congress. An old grey bearded guy Paul Oscher, who “played with Muddy” (as in Muddy Waters) was on the small stage with about four other musicians, playing a mean blues guitar and a small collection of dancers, including one particularly eccentric heavy set guy doing what looked like early Martha Graham improvisational modern dance. (he and his partner were later seen at a table by the bar molding globs of what appeared to be play dough around their spent beer bottles. No danger of Austin losing its weirdness, it seems.

On the weirdness front, the strangest sight during my bike ride along the river/lake today was a man who as I approached him was indeed completely naked. Except for what could most accurately be described as a penis pouch. Reminded me of Fire Island in the 1970s, when my little sister, then in grade school wrote this short letter home: We went to fire Island. I saw a naked man. love Jill.

The bike ride, by the way, was a great way to see the city and easy pedaling on my borrowed 3 speed from the way nice Hotel San Jose (which for some unknown reason did not charge me for the bike, as advertised; this on top of upgrading me to a suite priced over twice what I was charged.) I was sorely tempted to swim in Barton Springs, a huge spring water fed natural pool that appeared to be carved out of the river/lake and was open on a muggy day of on and off rain. I also stopped at the Whole Foods, the first ever, and it was indeed impressive. I particularly enjoyed riding along some ramps that are built into the south bank of the river/lake, past egrets and ducks and geese and an amazing collection of turtles crowded onto a log in the water.

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Bela Fleck in Des Moines on Thursday (11/13/14) – tickets still available

Somehow it escaped my attention until now that Banjo player extraordinaire Bela Fleck and Brooklyn Rider are  performing in Des Moines at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium on Thursday (Nov. 13). There are some tickets still available and I just grabbed two. For more info, check out the the Civic Music Association’s website

 

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S. Carey at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines

When you live in Des Moines, you get used to seeing music  – often really good music – in really small intimate places on a Monday night at 11 p.m. because that’s when the really good people breeze through on their way to larger cities and venues.  And so it was last night when we saw a fantastic show at a shoebox of a space downtown, Vaudeville Mews, by S. Carey – best known as the drummer for Bon Iver but who makes some great music on his own. We could have stood right next to him in front of the tiny ground-level stage but opted for a shared bar stool on the not-so-distant balcony, which offered a direct unfettered view. Maybe 100 people there max. A whole lotta sound – lots of percussion, hypnotic keyboards, lovely harmonious vocals and a psychedelic light show (I was sitting next to the little machine producing all those colorful blobs). Fun!

View from the Vaudeville Mews balcony of S. Carey

View from the Vaudeville Mews balcony of S. Carey

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Check out the Drake University Chamber Choir – in Des Moines and England!

The Drake University Chamber Choir performs at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in 2010.

The Drake University Chamber Choir performs at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in 2010.

For my music-loving friends in London, here’s a treat from Des Moines – Drake University’s Chamber Choir will perform free concerts at St. Paul’s Cathedral at 5 p.m. Jan. 20 and at St. Martin-in-the-fields (Trafalgar Square) at 1 p.m. Jan. 21,  as well as at Oxford and Cambridge during a 12-day concert tour January 10-22. These are some of the talented vocal students that my choir, the Drake University Community Chorus, sings with during our semester concerts. Closer to home (in Des Moines) the chamber choir will perform a free concert on Thursday Jan. 9 at 7:30 at Grace United Methodist Church. Here’s the scoop on the England tour from the Register: Drake choir to kick off series

While in England, the choir will to sing in the cathedrals of Gloucester, Coventry, and Ely, at both Cambridge and Oxford (St. John’s College Chapel, Cambridge; Merton College Chapel, Oxford), St. Martin-in-the-Fields and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, and St. Nicholas Church in Witham.  The Chamber Choir was selected by the American Embassy in London to inaugurate its new series at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

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Hear Ralph Vaugh Williams’ “Hodie” this weekend in Des Moines

St. Ambrose Cathedral, Des Moines

About 350 singers and musicians from Drake University including the Drake University/Community Chorus (featuring me and dozens of others) will perform Ralph Vaughan Williams “Hodie: A Christmas Cantata” this weekend at the beautiful St. Ambrose Cathedral in downtown Des Moines. Talk about acoustics – the sound ricochets off the blue, red and gold-painted vaulted ceiling and reverberates for seconds after we’ve technically stopped singing. The piece will be performed Saturday Nov. 23 at 7;30 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 24 at 3 p.m. – tickets available at the Drake Fine Arts Box Office or at the door.

Vaughan Williams (Norfolk Rhapsody No.1 in E Minor)

Ralph Vaughan Williams, around the time he wrote Hodie

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