Chopin’s “Knocked Urn”

Melinda & Ethan getting their Downton on...

Melinda & Ethan getting their Downton on…

Still buzzing from the terrific performance at last night’s “Evening Inspired by Downton Abbey,” featuring soprano Melinda Whittington and pianist Ethan Uslan, playing classical, “jazz,” and other standards from the 1920’s in the WGBH Fraser Performance Studio.

And for an encore, since it was, after all, Chopin’s birthday and all, Ethan had to play one of his signature compositions. I explained to the Downton fans the title was inspired by what happened when poor Moseley the bumbling butler-turned-footman backs into an object d’art in the Crawley household….

 
Episode 183: Chopin’s ‘Knocked Urn’

 

When Bad Names happen to Good Bands

Funny blog post today by Bob Boilen of All Song Considered about Bad Band Names…a perpetual source of amusement for musicheads. What got Bob going was a band called The Dodos, whowere DOA until he heard them play at South by Southwest in Austin.

Of course, poorly-named bands have been around since Bill Haley launched his Comets. And by pure coincidence, I had just happened to run across another post in the Web-o-sphere the day before called The 25 Most Ridiculous Names in Rock History -broken down into “Stealth Ridiculous” – (Porno for Pyros, the Alan Parsons Project) “Lazily Ridiculous” (Of Montreal, W.A.S.P.), “Just Plain Ridiculous” (The The, Mr. Mister, The Mr. T Experience), and finally, “The Painfully Ridiculous,” (Archers of Loaf, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Numero Uno, !!! (or Chk-Chk-Chk, in tribute to the 80s cult classic movie The Gods Must Be Crazy)

Common to both lists: bands inadvertantly named by members of the Monty Python troupe, including my personal favorite, Toad The Wet Sprocket. Both a Brit and American band took the name after a hilarious Eric Idle skit on (“Rock Notes”) on Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album.

And Death Cab for Cutie was coined by Pythoner Neil Innes, during his days with the gonzo Bonzo Dog Band. Don’t remember Neil? He’s the smart-aleck minstrel chronicling the adventures of chicken-livered “Brave Sir Robin” on Monty Python and the Holy Grail….

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PS – Click here for more than you ever wanted to know about Band name origins…

Business Plan, Back On Again

Thank goodness for The Onion-for-a-Day calendar!

The Onion

New York Philharmonic Hosts Open-Mic Night

NEW YORK—The New York Philharmonic Orchestra announced Monday that it will continue its popular open-mic nights throughout the 2005 fall season,…

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So Much For My Business Plan

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