'Meh'st Week Ever – February 8, 2009

This week, and weekend was actually super meh. Some of these links may be older, from my secret stash of meh. Last night, I made the mistake of forgoing a concert by the Geri Allen Quartet in favor of sushi and Coraline, both completely full. Like, the entire city of Portland was sold out. I ended up watching an anthology of Christian scare films from the ’60s. There was a pretty brutal one on “trainables,” mentally handicapped people who have enough mental reasoning to teach sex ed to. Anyway, here’s what you’ve all been waiting for:
1. The Abstainance Clown!
This Abs-clown recieved $50,000 from the Bush administration for teaching abstainance education. I know that not everybody follows up on links, but this one is worth watching. Entertaining in every respect.
2. Caleb Burnhans
Except for, like, the particulars, I really want to be this man.

EARLY this summer Caleb Burhans cleared his performance calendar for the first time since 2001, when he graduated from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester and moved to New York City. He wasn’t taking a vacation, exactly. Lincoln Center and Alarm Will Sound, a new-music orchestra in which he plays violin, had commissioned him to write a work to be performed in March as part of the reopening festivities at Alice Tully Hall, and Mr. Burhans resolved to do nothing but compose.

Well, sort of. He set aside his weekly bread-and-butter job, singing as a countertenor in the Trinity Choir on Sunday mornings, and turned down pickup orchestra gigs.

But at the Bang on a Can Marathon in June, he played his “No,” for violin and electronics, and performed with Alarm Will Sound and another new-music group, Signal. He also performed with Signal at the Ojai Music Festival in California. And in a three-day stretch in August, in New York, he sang with two chamber choirs (also conducting one of them), played and sang in a pop theater piece and gave a concert with itsnotyouitsme, his ambient rock duo.

And when his Sept. 1 deadline arrived, the industrious Mr. Burhans not only had completed his work for Lincoln Center, “oh ye of little faith … (do you know where your children are?),” but had started two more pieces as well.

3. Hallelujah
As people who know me personally know, I love Leonard Cohen’s song “Hallelujah.” This is a piece about the song by a British journalist, and is one of the better pieces of pop criticism that I have ever read. You should too.
Like I said, “meh.”

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