What I Learned This Week: #129

Monday, November 18 – Sunday, November 24


The Week in Jazz Standards: The University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music jazz students frequently play out as part of their course work. This week several ensembles played at Vivace Cafe on a Monday night to a full house of parents and other CCM students.

I’m always interested in what songs they are learning, which is, by and large, what is known as the American Songbook. And, I’m interested in songs which are so terribly dated either lyrically or in their original musical arrangement, but still hang around as songs that need to be learned. Polkadots & Moonbeams features some terrible, lyrics. Here are the opening lines:

A country dance was being held in a garden
I felt a bump and heard an “Oh, beg your pardon”
Suddenly I saw polka dots and moonbeams
All around a pug-nosed dream

WTF is that? What is a pug-nosed dream? Is acid involved? Anyway, nice music.

Bye Bye Blackbirds lyrics seem Shakespearean compared to Polkadots & Moonbeams.

The Week in Classical American Music – Blurring Boundaries: This week the CSO introduced a new concert series that aims to provide a more casual Music Hall classical music experience using elements of theater, lighting, and dance. The short and inexpensive program had the audience and performers all the stage together. This show explored American music including several songs by the a capello singing group Sacred Harp. They sing standing in a square, and facing each other not the audience. The music is from a songbook with songs dating back to the American Revolution. Dressed casually and singing American folk songs, they were the heart of show. The program included a dance piece set to Charles Ive’s Ragtime dances (choreographed by Tony Award winner – for the Oklahoma revival Daniel Heginbotham) a cello concerto, and a solo piano piece. I really liked sitting so close the orchestra and watching the conductor especially through the most challenging piece of the night Indigena by Tania Leon.

The Week in Modern Dining – Bad and Good:

Bad – I don’t know when the stems of wine glasses disappeared, but it’s shit for people with small hands.

Good – I also don’t know when the 6-minute, jammy egg became a thing, but it is a joyous addition.

The wedge salad at the new steakhouse Losanti was delicious, if a tad over-dressed. I wasn’t hungry enough for a main course but the steaks I saw coming out looked great. I also liked the vibe of the place. The piped in electronic music is unusual for Cincinnati, but I think it’s an important detail. Looking forward to a return visit.

Jammy eggs, bacon an a wedge salad

The Week In Invitations from Friends: The last several weeks, I’ve been going on and on about the importance of friendship to anyone who will listen. The topic is getting as obsessive for me as my willingness to rant about how much I hate Ranch dressing. Anyway, I was quite pleased Saturday to see so many friends in a long social day that looked like this:

After lunch and an IPA at Brew Dog I headed home for a nap, but my phone dinged a text from a friend inviting me to Mr. Pitiful’s. So I went.

And while there, another friend texted me inviting me to dinner with the whole family. So I went.

They dropped me off at home a little before ten. Just as I was sitting down to read, my phone dinged a text from yet another friend inviting me to MOTR. So, I put my pants back on and went.

That decision let to four additional bars. Didn’t quite make it to closing time, but wow, what a day. #recharged

Below is the last picture on my camera from Saturday night. I may have entered my artistic phase!


Welcome to my Orange Period

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