Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Let's Make a Record!

Exciting news from Over the Rhine! Wish I was rich...
Let's Make a Record!

Thanks for your interest in helping us fund the next Over the Rhine record! We begin recording on Monday, May 17, 2010, in South Pasadena with producer Joe Henry and an amazing group of musicians. We can’t thank you enough for your help.

Please select whatever donation level is a good fit for you.
All donations however small or large are greatly appreciated.
We can’t do it without you.


Linford and Karin

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Evening with Stephen Sondheim and Frank Rich

I still can't quote believe it. Stephen Sondheim and Frank Rich came to Tulsa last Monday night as part of the University of Tulsa's Presidential Lecture Series. And I was there.

Back in 2000, to commemorate Sondheim's 70th birthday, Rich began a series of conversations with him to talk about Sondheim's life and career and the state of American musical theater. You can read about them here. And now, ten years later, they are doing a limited number of engagements across the United States. The format is simple. They sit in chairs and have a conversation, with Rich asking questions and Sondheim answering. Monday night felt like sitting in on a conversation between old friends! And as a fan of Sondheim's for decades, it was an especially sweet evening. I sat there grinning like an idiot for most of the night. My favorite Sondheim moments:
  • Stories of growing up with Oscar Hammerstein as a mentor and godfather.
  • Describing what it was like to see "Oklahoma!" for the first time.
  • Cracking up with Rich as they described attempts to "fix" Sondheim's shows by overly ambitious college theater department heads. One changed "Merrily We Roll Along" to go forward chronologically in time. One had Bobby shoot himself in the head at the end of "Being Alive." Funny stuff.
  • Describing the writing process for the song "Sunday in the Park with George."
  • The story of writing "Rose's Turn" and introducing it to Ethel Merman.
I'm honored to have been there and grateful to TU for bringing them.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jennifer Knapp & Derek Webb at the Cain's

I haven't been blogging much lately... I'm way too busy, and frankly, blogging had been eating up way too much of the time I should have using for other, more important things. So rather than try to write a brilliant review of the Jennifer Knapp/Derek Webb/Amy Courts show here, I'll just hit a couple of the highlights and then link to some more information:
  • Hanson was there. Yes, Hanson. Isaac and Taylor at least. They jumped up with Derek to sing "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" at the end of his set.
  • The crowd was so small (maybe 150) that the show was not held at the Cain's Ballroom after all, but at the bar next door instead. I have no idea why ticket sales were so low. Maybe because Jennifer came out as a lesbian two days prior to the show? No idea. I preferred the venue. It was an all-acoustic show... just voice and guitar. The small venue was great. Plus we got to sit down. :)
  • It was a very supportive crowd. People seemed genuinely glad to have Jennifer back, and she seemed genuinely glad to be received so warmly.
  • The music was amazing. Period. Amy did a great job with her three songs. Derek was awesome as always. Jennifer rocked. Amazing voice, presence and guitar skills.
  • Lyrics, as you can imagine, had all kinds of new significance. I'm really glad she sang oldies like "Whole Again," "Martyrs and Thieves" and "A Little More," but it was really hard to listen without reading into the lyrics like mad. And I am almost positive she got a little choked up during the first chorus of "Martyrs...": So turn on the light and reveal all the glory. I am not afraid to bare all my weakness, knowing in meekness I have a kingdom to gain where there is peace and love in the light, in the light. Oh I am not afraid to let Your light shine bright in my life, in my life... Judge for yourself here.)
  • The new songs rock. I've had a copy of the new record, Letting Go, for a couple of months, and I think it's some of her strongest work. No, it's not a "Christian" album. But it is infused with spirituality and a seemingly deep yearning for truth and God. It's well worth a listen.
Thanks to joshua4578, we have some Youtube footage of the show. Check it out here.

Here's a review from Tulsa Today. Great photos!

Excellent article from Timschrader.com. He interviews Nathan Albert from The Marin Foundation, and I couldn't agree with his thoughts more. My favorite quote: "There is a difference between validation and affirmation; standing with doesn’t mean affirmation of. We can stand with people even though we may not affirm their actions or beliefs. I stand with my non-Christian friends even though I do not affirm certain political views or their private lives. So too should we stand with Jennifer Knapp and others who have had similar experiences."

One more newsflash: Tomorrow night Jen will be on Larry King Live - along with Ted Haggard, Clay Aiken and Pastor Bob Botsford. Should be very interesting. And maybe surprising. Jen just tweeted, "Deeply impressed by T. Haggard on Larry King set." Wow... Maybe the two of them won't square off like I expected them to.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jennifer Knapp Comes Out

Big news today from Jennifer Knapp. The rumors swirling around her for the last seven years were, for the most part, true. She is a committed Christian in a committed relationship with another woman. And she's OK with that. The question is whether her Christian fans will be or not.

Christianity Today

ABC News

The Advocate

Looking forward to seeing her in Tulsa on Thursday.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Bike

Just remembered this song tonight. It's a great one. Here's the Matt Nightingale Band (circa 2007) covering Amy Correia's "The Bike."

The Bike
Amy Correia

I became the owner of a red and rusted bicycle
Built like a tank from Sears and Roebuck, circa 1952
It had been entrusted to me by my late, great Uncle Pat
And I guess he didn't ride it much. Both tires on the bike were flat.

Pat had died at Christmastime in 1991
He had fallen off the wagon and had sunk into a Christmas funk
My father, he had found him two days after Pat had died
Well he drank himself to death one night in a little home he owned by the seaside
Well I took the bike, I cleaned it up, my father he patched up the tires
Am I going to town or just spinning my wheels?
And when I die, I wonder how it feels

Hey, and I'm ridin' around, ridin' around on it
Hey you know I'm ridin' around, ridin' around on it
Hey, I'm just ridin' around, ridin' around on it

The funeral service was a few days later at a place down the street from where he had lived.
There wasn't a heck of a turnout. He had never married and he never had kids.
The coffin lid was open, Pat was lying inside
His sister had a picture of a poodle named Pepper. She put it in his hands and then she cried.

Now I'm riding through the city, through the smog and the summer heat
And I'm blowing through all of the red lights. I guess you could say I'm feeling lucky
And the taxis and the trucks, everybody's blowing their horns
And I got a bicycle bell to ring, and I got a notion to sing while I'm riding along

Hey, and I'm ridin' around, ridin' around on it
Hey you know I'm ridin' around, ridin' around on it
Hey, I'm just ridin' around, ridin' around on it

Well I wonder if I ever really knew him at all
And I wonder can he see me
As I'm ridin' along, ridin' along?

The day that Pat was buried, the air was cold and clear
And we drove out to the cemetery and snow blew around in the air
And a hired man from the state, he played Taps on a coronet
And a flag was presented to his sister for time in the service that Pat had spent

When he used to ride on the bike, way back in '52
He was starting out on life, and the bike, it was brand new
And life was laid before him like a platter before a king
He was young and he was handsome, and the world was alive with meaning
And the world was alive with meaning

Hey, and I'm ridin' around, ridin' around on it
Hey you know I'm ridin' around, ridin' around on it
Hey, I'm just ridin' around, ridin' around on it

Monday, April 5, 2010

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