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“The whole world wide web? Is there a way to put this on just the American part?”

notmondayvideoSomething never before seen on the internet: Culture! Morality! And PATRIOTISM.

You may proceed.

Sam Eagle is totally my favorite Muppet.


In which the king of kings shows up out of nowhere

Oh, hey! It’s Christmas Eve, and you know what that means – trained vocalists could converge upon you and start belting out Handel AT ANY MOMENT. Be ready!

Incidentally, I’ll be taking tomorrow off, but don’t forget to stop by on Wednesday to help me celebrate National Letdown Day. Merry Christmas to everybody who celebrates it, and Merry Random Day Off to everyone else!

The Concert Roundupcracker

  • ‘Tis the season for yet more of Tchaikovsky‘s The Nutcracker! The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra unites with dancers at the Baltimore School for the Arts to bring you a full production of the classic and dare I say mandatory holiday ballet. December 21 &22 at the Lyric (which is right down the street from the Meyerhoff). [ See it! ]
  • Speaking of classic and dare I say mandatory holiday things, this week’s National Symphony Orchestra offering is Handel‘s Messiah oratorio. December 20 – 23. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: TONS of holiday productions, although only some classic and dare I say mandatory. The Washington Chorus has a Christmas production; Charm City Klezmer keeps the Hannukah magic going, gypsy jazz versions of holiday favorites, and, yes, the National Philharmonic busts out two more Messiahs. [ See the calendar! ]

If you’d like your concert included in next week’s roundup, leave a comment or drop me a line.

Concert Roundup IS Holiday Pops

I swear I’m not really this cynical; I LOVE the holiday season! But it makes me giggle, the way the concerts all seem to match up at the same time. 🙂

  • You’re going to be so super-incredibly surprised when I tell you what the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert is about this week! Why, it’s a Holiday Pops performance! NO! This one promised carols, handbells, and Santa Claus, so if those are your collective bag, you better grab some tickets. Don’t worry, there are plenty of opportunities: December 12 at Strathmore; December 13, 14, 15 & 16 at the Meyerhoff. There’s even a ticketed post-concert reception after the second show on December 14 if that would interest you. [ See it! ] [ Reception! ]
  • Ooh! Ooh! And! You’ll never guess what this week’s National Symphony Orchestra concert is about! Why, it’s Happy Holiday Pops! This one promises carols and Santa Claus but no handbells (which is not to say that there won’t be any, they just didn’t promise them), although if I’m reading the description properly maybe there’ll be snow? Nifty! December 13 – 16. [ See it! ]
  • This week at Strathmore: fiddler Mark O’Connor, klezmer, Mannheim Steamroller, a production of The Nutcracker, jazz holiday music; really just a ton of seasonal stuff. Check it out [ See the calendar! ]

If you’d like your concert included in next week’s roundup, leave a comment or drop me a line.

Music Gifts: For the sci fi score composer in all of us

It’s really tough to give an instrument, isn’t it? I mean, for starters, a good one is going to run you several thousand bucks, plus you have to try to take into account the personal preferences of the recipient. Do they like a bright sound or a darker tone? Who knows!

So why not give the gift of FUN sound? With no pressure – I mean, who plays theremin professionally? (Seriously, does someone play theremin professionally?) What’s a theremin, you ask? Why, this is!


And this is what it sounds like:

I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re thinking two things: 1) Ohhhhh, so that’s where the soundtrack to every ’50s sci fi B movie came from! 2) I WANT TO PLAY ONE. So do we all. And so would anyone on your gift list, don’t you think? Especially a composer – who wouldn’t want to try adding some theremin to their score?

Mind you, this theremin runs you $420 at Urban Outfitters, but that’s still a fraction of the cost of a good violin. Trust me, I know.

A little too pricey for your taste? Why not investigate the Ain’t Baroque store? Tons of t-shirts, magnets, cards, and Beethovens wearing hats. Click here! You know you want to!

Music Gifts: Don’t get your panties in a twist

Boys! Boys, boys, boys. I do hope you don’t feel bad, with all the sartorial attention the girls get. It’s just so easy to locate pretty music dresses and clutches and shoes and all that fun stuff. But you don’t think I would just abandon you, do you? You want musically themed clothing, too. Behold!



Why, yes! Yes, those are boxer-briefs printed with sheet music all over them. And I know – you want them. Think how massively your concert experience would improve if you always wore these out to your musical endeavors! Sure, you’d be the only one who knew, but speaking for myself, I’d never stop giggling.

You can find these on the U.S. Asos website for about $25 – not too shabby, eh? Perfect for your husband, boyfriend, best guy friend, or brother; probably not appropriate to give to your music teacher. Depending on what kind of message you want to send.

Looking for something absolutely acceptable as a gift for your band instructor, orchestra director, or choir leader? Look no further than the Ain’t Baroque store – t-shirts with puns! Angry viola stickers! Cards featuring Beethoven eating cake! Click and watch as all your gift-giving dreams come true.

Illustrating the importance of holiday instrumentation

Ladies and gentlemen: Christmas kazoo sequel!!!

THAT’S IT!!!!!

It’s Christmastime, of course! And that is NO TIME FOR ARTISTRY, thank you very much.

Ha… I laugh every time. 😀

On a completely unrelated but potentially interesting note, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is offering 50% off all tickets until midnight for Cyber Monday purposes. Might behoove you to check that out, no?

It’s Easter Monday, Charlie Brown!

I don’t know why this is, but every time I think about the music Snoopy and his bunny friends dance to in the Easter Beagle special, I am convinced it’s from the first movement of Beethoven’s seventh symphony. And then I actually listen to it and I know I’m wrong, I know it, but for some reason it sounds like it ought to be in there anyway. And so because it is Easter Monday but you probably have to work like me, and because I shoehorn Beethoven into places he isn’t, and because if you don’t smile at the sight of Snoopy dancing with bunnies you officially have no soul — EASTER BEAGLE!

Concert Roundup: Hearts and Flowers Edition

Got a hot date planned for Valentine’s Day? I do! I’m having a threesome with a bottle of chocolate Zin and the Colin Firth/Jennifer Ehle version of Pride and Prejudice. Scandalous! Ah, tradition.

But maybe you haven’t been able to concoct a plan as perfect as mine. Maybe you need an orchestral assist. Alternatively, you could just bake this heart-shaped pizza and call it a day, but I’d select a concert as backup.

  • Jack Everly conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra SuperPops in a Valentine-themed concert featuring singer/pianist Tony DeSare belting out shmoopy favorite like “Moon River,” “That Old Black Magic,” “One For My Baby,” etc. etc. For another $20 they’ll give you champagne and a chocolate dessert to share, too. February 9 at Strathmore; February 10 -12 at the Meyerhoff. [ See it! ]
  • The National Symphony Orchestra made me love them like Judy Garland loved Clark Gable — Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg!!!!! Playing!!!!! Shostakovich!!!!! Also: Bruckner. Most mostly: Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg!!!!!!! And there’s a free discussion with her after the Thursday concert. Dear NSO: please send me tickets. Or make the tickets you offer cheaper. Either one of those would be a perfect Valentine. February 9 – 11. [ See it! ]
  • Or! Ladino singer Yasmin Levy takes the stage at Strathmore on Valentine’s Day proper (Ladino, it seems, is Judeo-Spanish music; learn and grow!). They’ll even serve you dinner beforehand if you like. [ See it and/or eat it! ]

If you’d like me to include your upcoming concert in next week’s roundup, leave a comment or drop me a line.