Haiku #198 - Kokopelli Goes to San Francisco

on a perfect day
we'll get in a car and drive
to San Francisco

Kurt, Cherie, Clarkie, and I covered a lot of ground on our day trip - Lombard St., the Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli factory, Chinatown (dim sum for lunch!), Golden Gate Bridge, and the Castro.  The weather was perfect!  A nice outing heading into a five-show weekend - two more days in San Jose, then Tucson next week!

Haiku #97 - Bathroom Dispatcher

what did this guy do
to deserve the sentence of
bathroom dispatcher?

Mom, Dad and I went downtown again, hoping to wander Trinity's churchyard before they closed at 3 (according to their website), but it turns out they closed at 2 today (according to the placard on their padlocked gates at about 2:30 this afternoon).  So we did what any good American family would do, and went to Century 21 to help the economy and use the bathroom.  The line for the loo was about a mile long, but it moved quickly, thanks in part to the young gentleman standing at the entrance to the ladies' and gents' directing traffic and hating his life.  

Haiku #92 - New York Philharmonic

in lieu of applause
please cough between movements - it's

Took Mom & Dad to the NY Phil tonight - Haydn, Schubert, Ravel.  The first movement of the Haydn was rather long, and the classical music fans knew it was a faux pas to clap between movements.  Yearning to show their appreciation, however, the audience erupted into a cacophony of midwinter hacking instead.  

A blurry ovation.
My favorite was the Ravel Valse, which closed the concert. I commented to my parents that both halves ended with the opposite of a musical theater button: the first half ended with Schubert's Erlkönig (part of a set orchestrated by Britten and Reger, performed by Anne-Sofie von Otter), in which the last word is "dead."  Dad said both halves ended with death - the Erlkönig literally and the Ravel metaphorically.  Happy new year?  Maybe Alan Gilbert goes by the Mayan calendar.  Anyway, it was a lovely evening, metaphorical death notwithstanding.

Haiku #90 - Tourist Attractions

tourist attractions:
parks, bridges, concerts, shopping, 
emergency rooms

Everyone's fine now, but we did have an episode last night and had to pay an (as it turned out) overnight visit to that darkest horse of New York attractions, a major hospital's ER.  It's kinda like Times Square at New Year's - you do it once to say you did it, then you hope never to have to return.  

Haiku #53 - Layover

Parker and our sensible sangrias

terminal hiking
is refreshing but so is
overpriced massage

Very slow day today since my flight wasn't til 4. Parker, one of the cast, didnt have his flight til 5, so we headed to the airport at 1, dropped off our bags, and ran across a perilous higway for a bite to eat and a sensible pre-flight sangria. Now I'm halfway through a 3-hour layover in Charlotte. I made my second frivolously sensible decision of the day and got a foot massage in the airport terminal..  Looking forward to getting to my aunt & uncle's in Norfolk, andbeing in the same place for 6 whole nights!

It's the End of an Era!

I'm going on tour, y'all!

In the Heights, for which I worked as a rehearsal pianist when it was on Broadway, is embarking on the 2011-2012 national tour in about a month.  I'm going as the 2nd keyboard/associate conductor.  Very excited to be playing this music again, and to play with the band.

Fans of the show will know I stole the title of this post from the character Sonny.  Why do I talk about endings when I'm about to start on a new adventure?  Because beginnings and endings go together, duh...

I went next door to Nat's the other night for a glass of wine.  I used our "secret" passageway across the rooftop from my building to hers.  When I say, "be there in a minute", I mean it literally.  We catsit for each other; I once picked up Nat's bike from the repair shop.  Well, Nat is probably going to be moving out of the neighborhood sometime in the next few months.  I relish our little impromptu visits all the more because they may not be feasible when I get back.  

And of course the gig-goodbyes: letting my fall gigs know I won't be back this year, playing my last lobby lunchtime, trying not to lose it when my awesome 12-year-old piano student got tearful at the news that I'm abandoning her for the troubadour lifestyle.  I don't know what is on the other side of the next few months.  In the meantime, I get to play an awesome show, meet a lot of new people, and see a lot of new places.  Which all sounds pretty badass to me.

(P.S. I'm gonna take a little hiatus the next few weeks - but stay tuned for info on the tour - come see it when we come to a theater near you!)

Don't Be Cruel

if you must get fat
try to do it in Memphis
what a way to go

I'm being sort of cruel to my stomach this week, and my clothes are not getting any looser, but it's all so yummy I really don't care. The staff at the Orpheum theater is providing us with delicious sandwich and various-types-of-salad lunches (someone told the woman who's arranging the food that we like to eat healthy because we're from New York, so I do at least get enough veggies mixed in with Southern deliciousness). Every day, I swear I'm going to take it easy on my digestive system for dinner, and every night, I have a really good reason to forget that foolish midafternoon oath.

Sunday: BBQ chicken nachos on Beale St., at a place that also serves "Big Ass Beer to go"
Monday: pint night at Flying Saucer Draught Emporium
Draught Emporium! $3 pints of GOOD beer!?!? Sign me up! I must really be a Yankee now, 'cause I went for the spinach-artichoke dip and goat cheese pizza, but I did at least try a pecan brown ale from a Mississippi brewery.

Tuesday: Gus' Fried Chicken ...I don't think I've ever bothered to pick the bones that clean. Also, fried pickles.
Wednesday: pizza ... WHAT!?!? I live in New York, and

I came to Memphis and had pizza!? Let me 'splain.

Michelle the Choreographer and I got off early enough this afternoon to go visit Sun Studio, where Elvis was discovered and he and dozens of other important musical figures recorded and still record. We took the tour (highly recommended) and looked at Elvis' cowhide guitar case, social security card, old recording equipment, etc. Awesome. I LOVE ROCK & ROLL. I LOVE AMERICAN MUSIC. THIS IS WHAT I LIVE FOR. You should go there too.

Anyway, I bought some stuff in the gift shop, and as I was paying, a guy walked in with three pizza boxes, from which was emanating the most mouthwatering aroma in the history of BBQ pizza. To paraphrase Liz Lemon, I wanted to go to there. Michelle and I trekked across empty lots and trolley tracks (ok, it was like 2 blocks) to the Trolley Stop Market, where we had some slices, some pale ale from MS, and the best blueberry pie I've had in years.

Tonight, I learned "Don't Be Cruel" on my little 25-key midi controller here in my hotel room, in honor of the King and his city which is making me fat (but very happy).

Memphis - Turn, Turn, Turn

green, green blues city
that humidity's got to
be good for something

In the past week, I've been in Denver, El Paso, my hometown Silver City, NM, Tucson, Phoenix, Atlanta (just flying through), and now Memphis for a week. I think I'm going to like it here.

First time to Memphis, I told the cab driver. She was delighted, in a slow, drawly way, and asked me what I'd heard about Memphis. Well, BBQ, blues, and Graceland, I replied, all of which I hope to experience while I'm here.

The first thing I noticed about Memphis was how green it is compared to the Sonora Desert I had left the night before. Then I noticed how friendly everyone is (you can take the girl out of New York...), and then I noticed how I wanted to take my jeans off after a few minutes walking in the midafternoon sun down Beale St. You can wear jeans in 100-degree dry heat; 100-degree humidity, not so comfortable.

Lately, it's been a time to do things other than learn new songs. It's been a time to celebrate marriages, travel, see family, focus on music that's more directly related to work. Turn, turn, turn. I do it when I can (when I have access to a keyboard) and when I need to (when my family is driving me bananas and I need a little music meditation).

Last week:
"We Are the Champions" (who'd have thought an anthem such as this would have diminished chords?! I love you, Freddie Mercury!)

"Turn, Turn, Turn" - because I was contemplating all the things I want to do w/ my life, and how I just can't do them all at once. Thanks for the wee taste of changing meter, Pete Seeger. Turn, turn, turn indeed.

Old Cape Cod

I arrived on the Cape for the first time in my life two nights ago. I'm here for Trish Larose is Bulletproof, and I rode up with our drummer. We drove (well, he drove) through heavy traffic and torrential rain and arrived over seven hours after we'd left my apartment (it's usually a 4.5 hour drive). Luckily, we get along well, so it was a pleasant long drive when it could have been a torturously long ride, and now the Bulletproof crew is teched and rehearsed and ready to open tonight.

Some recent songs (I had aspirations of posting about every one; giving up on that for now): Beyonce's "Ave Maria" (What must Schubert think?), LeToya/"Not Anymore", Cee Lo Green/"F*** You", and of course, 1957 song "Old Cape Cod", written by Claire Rothrock, Milton Yakus, and Allan Jeffrey, and sung by Patti Page.

Charming chromatic harmony & background vocals, and a tempo that matches the pace here. It's a foreign land to me, where people come to relax, and people live who like to have a certain amount of relaxation in their lifestyle. I could get used to this. I mean, I'm from New Mexico; I am well-acquainted with the concept of doing nothing and then resting afterward. This is a lot like that, but with a beach and more humidity.

More later - the world beckons from beyond the cute bedroom where I'm being housed. I'll try to remember to take pictures, but my brain is currently set to "keep warm" when I'm not working, so no promises.