Friday, November 30, 2007
I know this probably comes as no surprise to many of you, but there are ways to consume music without purchasing CDs in your local Borders, downloading 99 cent tracks on ITunes, or buying "ringles". Wolf Trap in particular, provides several independent forums through which the entire world can listen to the artists we book without shelling out a single cent. Wolf Trap Radio allows web-surfers to experience full-length, CD-quality tracks highlighting the current performance season at Wolf Trap as well as live recordings from the past and special programming, including interviews with performing artists and Wolf Trap staff.
Additionally, Wolf Trap has developed two comprehensive streaming playlists on Finetune, featuring similar content from our 2007 Filene Center schedule, and 2007-2008 Barns lineup. This is a great tool for you to see who's coming, who's been here, what you want to hear more of, and what to expect in years to come. Obviously, you will never "own" this content, and our playlists will change, but internet radio stations are a great place to start while you are considering a potential purchase. Once you have identified your need, the truly advanced play is probably to focus on more widespread internet radio stations like Pandora, or subscription services like Rhapsody.
Please come by and see Alejandro Escovedo tonight, and Chris Smither tomorrow, both at The Barns!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
If you feel the need to get out and motivate after two days of straight eating, sleeping and watching football, make your way over to The Barns for a performance from local heroes The Grandsons on Friday evening at eight. At only $16, it's a bargain for what is sure to be an incredible show.
Also, John Eaton follows on Saturday with an evening of classics from Harold Arlen's catalogue, combined with the official release of John's latest Wolf Trap Recordings CD, Harold Arlen - The Wonderful Wizard of Song. It should be a great evening.
Check in with me next week!
Friday, November 16, 2007
You may not know that in addition to his successful recording and performance endeavors, Taylor has used his gift to spur arts education initiatves across all age groups, adapting his song, “Pajama,” into a children’s book with the help of his wife; teaching performing arts at Berklee College of Music; and as the host of This Week’s Music, a nationally broadcast television show. Come check him out TONIGHT and TOMORROW.
Now onto the video of the week...
My video of the week is a video blog entry from a wine connoisseur named Gary Vaynerchuk. This guy is nuts, but it doesn't matter, because he also may be a genius. He operates an online wine store at the url http://www.winelibrary.com/, and has managed to double the traffic to his site and vastly increase his wine sales through a simple video blog that he posts five days a week, Monday-Friday. I saw him speak on a panel at a conference recently and he threw out this statistic. Prior to starting the video blog, he was spending $3 million a year in traditional advertising costs (billboards, print ads, online ads, etc), but stopped all of that on a dime, dropped $5k into creating his video blog, and is now more successful than ever. He has between 40,000 and 60,000 people accessing his video blog each week, which goes to show you the power of new media technologies and how free word of mouth advertising can often be the best method to put your product or message in front of a mass audience.
Here's Gary with a little Thanksgiving wine for you to enjoy during Turkey day.
And just a random friendly reminder to GO GREEN with Wolf Trap. Try to be more cognizant of turning out your lights, enabling the sleep function on your computer, or making the extra effort to recycle a bottle when it may be easier to put it in the trash.
To quote David Schwimmer from the popular NBC show Thirty Rock:
David Schwimmer - "Hey did you leave your computer on all night?"
Tina Fey - "Yeah it just takes a really long time to reboot in the morning."
David Schwimmer - "Oh. You know what else takes a really long time? BUILDING A NEW EARTH!"
There's some food for thought for the weekend.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Here's hoping everyone had a great three day weekend, and to those of you who didn't enjoy Veteran's day away from your 9-5, not to worry, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
Anyone catch either of the Springsteen shows on Sunday/Monday? I myself did not as it's getting harder for me to stomach arena show prices, and I knew I'd get a comprehensive review from Josh Freedom DuLac with the Washington Post, plus some more personalized content from his newly constructed blog which he co-pilots with Post music editor David Malitz. I heard some rumblings of a unsatisfying Sunday show given that The Boss and his E Street Band showcased upwards of 10 new tracks from the new record Magic, which translates into not playing enough material from Nebraska, or Born in the U.S.A. which are typically thought of as records that made this band a staple in the repertoire of classic American rock 'n' roll. I think only one track was played from Nebraska, although the encore looks like a fist pumping, telecaster air guitar shredding romp with "Born to Run," and "Dancin' in the Dark."
Here's the full setlist from Sunday's show at the Verizon Center, which in my eyes, looks excellent. If you were there, post a comment and let me know what you thought of the set and the evening as a whole. I know Bruce is past his days of stretching shows to the four hour mark, but this looked like quite a marathon. You can also check out Josh DuLac's review in the Post by accessing this link.
Reason to Believe
She's the One
Livin' in the Future
The Promised Land
I'll Work For Your Love
Tunnel of Love
Working on the Highway
Last to Die
Long Walk Home
Girls in Their Summer
Born to Run
Dancing in the Dark
Summer 2008 On Sale -
The following list of Wolf Trap summer shows will go on sale December 8 at 10am:
- A Prairie Home Companion w/ Garrison Keilor - May 23 + 24
- Riverdance - May 29 - June 1
- Pilobolus - June 17
- H.M.S. Pinafore - June 20
- The Gondoliers - June 21
- Rent - June 27-29
- Paul Taylor Dance Company - July 8
- Les Misérables - August 29 - 31 & September 2 - 7
You can purchase tickets on the 8th beginning at 10am by calling 1 (877) WOLFTRAP, online at http://www.wolftrap.org/, or in person at the Center for Education at Wolf Trap which is located at 1645 Trap Rd, Vienna, VA. 22182.
Check in with me soon for a story about how a guy named Gary Vaynerchuk doubled web traffic to his online wine retail outlet through a simple video blog. He makes me want to be the best blogger I can be! haha.
Friday, November 9, 2007
The footage is none other than Moz himself, otherwise known as Morrissey, former frontman of The Smiths turned beloved international solo artist. Our programming director Peter Zimmerman impressively booked Morrissey in his Filene Center debut this past July during which this video was captured.
About a week prior to his Wolf Trap date, Morrissey developed a severe viral infection forcing him to cancel a series of shows at the end of June. The amazing thing about this performance is that he elected to honor his Wolf Trap engagement despite still being very ill. But is was impossible to tell! Fans who attended the show left such comments as, "Brilliantly done," "Great night, great singer," and "Thanks for letting me relive my mini-religious experience".
Morrissey went on to postpone his next few shows, presumably because he put so much energy and emotion into his performance at Wolf Trap. It was a pleasure to have him on our stage, and is a testament to the fact that artists simply love coming to our nation's only national park for the performing arts, even in the face of medically threatening circumstances.
He sounds great here, check it out. Have a fantastic weekend, I'll catch up with you all next week.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Additionally, Wolf Trap makes it a yearly priority to commission new, original works and to debut them on our Barns or Filene Center stages. As a leading national performing arts organization, it is crucial that we remain committed to these new artistic initiatives. So you never know when the next big opera, musical composition or dance will emerge right here at Wolf Trap.
What to expect on Friday -
Both Tengstrand and Sun take a special interest in presenting the repertoire of transcribed symphonic works in smaller cities where these works would otherwise not be heard, which is the impetus behind Wolf Trap's Discovery Series program. Their latest release includes works by Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Lutoslawski and Milhaud, so the program will likely be heavy on these composers. For a preview of what's to come, check out their website for audio and video clips.
Spring 2008 Classes at Wolf Trap Open to the Public -
Many of you may not know that Wolf Trap also offers master classes, pre-performance previews, instructional classes, and arts workshops - all of which are open to the general public for free or a fee (amazing what we offer in addition to summer rock/pop performances I know)! Registration has just opened for select classes at the Center for Education at Wolf Trap and I have provided the link here where you can learn the specifics of each class, prices and dates, and how you can tailor these educational opportunites around your daily life. Oh you have a baby and can't get away to enjoy a class or event even though you are dying for some time out of the house? Not to worry, Wolf Trap even offers a co-operative class for toddlers and adults called Baby Artsplay. We're awesome, I know.
Make sure you stop by tomorrow for my inaugural Video of the Week. I have also included an RSS feed up to the right, so make sure to add this blog to your news feeder of choice in order to stay on top of each post.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
The trio has a rabid following, so get yourself a ticket for tomorrow's (11/7) performance, and join the party where you'll hear them re-work classical pieces such as Beethoven's "Symphony No. 9", cover Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", and if you're lucky....Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Freebird"! Below is a Youtube video of the trio with their frighteningly precise cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody" with some audience participation. This could be you tomorrow.
I'm going to start having a Youtube video of the week, which will always be posted on Friday. So be on the look out for random collections of music videos, comedy sketches, and other media.
Monday, November 5, 2007
I'd like to observe a quick moment of cyberspace silence (no web surfing for 30 seconds!) for Nickel Creek, the bluegrass trio comprised of mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, and brother/sister Sara and Sean Watkins on the fiddle and guitar respectively. Still ranking as one of the top 5 live performances I have EVER seen at Lollapalooza 2006, the California based phenoms will be taking an indefinite hiatus to pursue solo projects. Normally this decision would not make a whole lot of sense considering that all three of them are under the age of 30 which would indicate their creative peak is yet to come, but they have been playing together since 1989 (Thile and Sara Watkins were 8, Sean was 12) which is a very long time for most bands in this era.
Their last record, Why Should the Fire Die was arguably their best to date and all three agree that they should make their triumphant exit while at the top of their game. I mean, I get this, I do, but it's a bit like the Sopranos in the sense that all the band/cast members are so ridiculously talented, how can they possibly think they cannot surpass this level of production? Regardless, a little of my soul fades away everytime one of my favorite groups disbands, and it's been happening entirely too much lately! Chris Thile appeared at The Barns in the fall of 2006 with Mike Marshall and Darol Anger, which I somehow didn't know about, mostly because I wasn't with Wolf Trap at the time, but hopefully we'll get him back at some point soon. If you weren't able to make it to Nickel Creek's Friday show at the 9:30 club, you can listen to NPR's webcast by accessing this link.
Some great new shows have been added to our Barns season. Don't miss John Jorgenson Quintet (January 10), Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys (January 30), Last Train Home (February 10), and Austin Lounge Lizards (March 20). Tickets on sale this Friday, November 9 at 10 am.Talk soon,