annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

This article that showed up on the OKP Facebook group this morning has a quote from Alan Doyle in it that makes it pretty much official now: Great Big Sea is done.

I’m not surprised by this. I’ve seen this coming since Séan McCann stood down from the band, and really, I had suspicions of it being on the way even before the 2013 XX tour. But part of me wishes it would have come a bit sooner, and I note we still haven’t had any sort of official announcement via the band newsletter, the band website, or anything of that nature. So people coming to the greatbigsea.com website still won’t have any actual idea that the band’s pretty much done.

But it is what it is, and I feel it’s important now to take a few moments to celebrate what this band has meant to me in the last fourteen years. They’ve brought me huge amounts of joy. They’ve led me to making lifelong friends, to learning brand new instruments, to discovering the dynamic energy of Newfoundland traditional music in general, and most of all, to looking forward to the yearly outing to a concert where I could bounce and sing at the top of my lungs. And sometimes more than one concert in a year.

They led me to founding the Three Good Measures jamming group, and I’m proud to this day of all the fun we had making those MP3s.

They made a guitar player out of me! And they are, of course, responsible for why my best guitar is named General Taylor.

Me and the General

Me and the General

They led me and Dara and a bunch of our friends to have ridiculous amounts of fun participating in the fan song contest in 2010, when Safe Upon the Shore came out.

(Not to mention that we also had a bunch of fun making the blooper reel for these shenanigans, too!)

And of course, Alan Doyle does still hold the record for killing me MOST DED WITH SWOON in any given concert, thanks to our getting him to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Okay yeah sure, this was an Alan Solo show, but I include this because it’s all part and parcel of the joy these guys have brought to my life!

Which of course also leads me to add that I was also very, very grateful to finally get pics of myself with Alan AND with Séan.

And last but most DEFINITELY not least, these boys are very specifically responsible for why Christopher in Faerie Blood and Bone Walker is a Newfoundlander and a bouzouki player. They are why the very first scene of Bone Walker is, in fact, at a Great Big Sea show, even though I don’t call them out by name. And they are why the third book of the Free Court of Seattle will be set partially in St. John’s, and why Dara and I had such an awesome time in 2012 going there for the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. Where, I might add, we saw them sing on their home soil, with the added special bonus of Darrell Power showing up to help them sing “Excursion Around the Bay”.

(And man, it was satisfying to see Alan’s doubletake on the stage when he came out and saw Dara and me there, faces he usually saw on the other side of the continent. ;D Particularly since this was only a few months after the Elvis incident!)

And in fact, they did “Excursion” TWICE.

It is part and parcel of life that all good things must eventually come to an end. But the music still lives on in my collection, and in my fingers. I will still come to both Alan’s and Séan’s shows when I can. And I know that whenever I pick up one of my guitars or flutes or whistles, when I start singing “Ordinary Day” on a walk to or from work just because I can, it’ll be because these guys kindled that within me.

Thanks b’ys. From the bottom of my heart. <3

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)

As I’d already posted, I pre-ordered Alan Doyle’s new memoir Where I Belong straight off of greatbigsea.com, and that book got here yesterday, woo! (Although I only wound up getting it out of the mailbox tonight, since I worked from home yesterday and forgot to check the mail.)

But in the meantime I also pulled down the ebook via Kobo, since I wasn’t about to try to take a signed hardback anywhere in my backpack. And I’ve gotta say, I was expecting the read to be delightful–but hadn’t really quite grasped how fun it would be to go through a few hundred pages’ worth of Alan essentially telling us all about the first half of his life.

I already knew the man has a command of language; I have, after all, been following his blog posts on greatbigsea.com and his own site for years now. And I’ve been to many a GBS concert in which he’s launched into amusing tales while at the mike. I’m very, very familiar with the cadences of his voice at this point, after 14 straight years of Great Big Sea fandom.

And reading Where I Belong pretty much was just like hearing Alan tell a very long tale at a kitchen party, I swear. His voice came right through into his writing, and it was made all the more delightful by assorted pictures of his young self and assorted family members. At the end of each chapter came an additional anecdote, often tying into Great Big Sea, that gave the overall narrative good structure and eventually brought us to the big turning point of Alan’s life: i.e., the founding of the band that would make him, Séan McCann, Darrell Power, and Bob Hallett famous.

Some of this stuff I already knew, just from being in the fandom as long as I have. Some of it, though, I didn’t–particularly Alan describing the poverty of his early life. Boy howdy can I sympathize with that. And now that I’ve actually visited St. John’s, bits of the book kept resonating for me. Particularly Alan’s tale of the first visit he ever made to O’Brien’s–which has sadly now gone bankrupt. :( I’ve been in that store. And I have a very healthy respect for the significance it’s had to the history of music in St. John’s.

Those of you who’ve read Faerie Blood and who will hopefully be getting Bone Walker by the turn of the year–you also know my Warder boy Christopher is a Newfoundlander. And reading Alan’s book, for me as an author as well as a GBS fan, kept triggering little moments of “ah yes, this would be important to Christopher and all of his family”.

So yeah. Absolutely required reading, if you’re a Great Big Sea fan. And I’d even recommend it if you’re not a GBS fan, just on the strength of Alan’s storytelling. The man does have a way with a word. And I’m hearing rumors he may be already thinking of writing another one.

To which there can of course be only one proper response: yes b’y.

And here: both of my copies of the book, the signed one from greatbigsea.com, and the ebook on my Nook HD!

Where I Belong, in Stereo

Where I Belong, in Stereo

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

It’s been a while since the last time I emptied the change jar, so I took it to the Coinstar machine at Safeway and found I had a whopping $77, woo! So I dumped it all into an iTunes code, and promptly bought myself a bunch of Tor titles I had on the To Read list–because I will happily buy from the iBooks store if the titles are DRM-free.

So here are the Tor titles I nabbed:

  • In the Garden of Iden, by Kage Baker. SF. Because I’d always heard this series was good, and although Ms. Baker has unfortunately passed away, I kept meaning to check this out.
  • Awakenings, by Edward Lazellari. Urban fantasy. One I’d seen buzz about on tor.com, and thought it sounded interesting.
  • A Darkling Sea, by James L. Cambias. SF. First contact story. Nabbed because this had an excerpt posted on tor.com, and the excerpt was interesting enough that I wanted to read the book.
  • The Highest Frontier, by Joan Slonczewski. SF.
  • Eyes to See, by Joseph Nassise. Urban fantasy. Nabbed because I thought the idea of the blind protagonist (who of course has otherworldly sight) sounded nicely creepy.
  • Three Princes, by Ramona Wheeler. Fantasy. Nabbed because AU involving a world where the Egyptian Empire remained a dominant power through most of history.
  • Silver, by Rhiannon Held. Urban fantasy. Nabbed because werewolves.

And meanwhile, I nabbed these from B&N:

  • Dangerous Refuge and Night Diver, by Elizabeth Lowell. Her two most recent romantic suspense releases, which I have already read as of this writing. Found them less interesting than many of her earlier works, although Night Diver actually surprised me by having queer side characters.
  • Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest (pre-order). Historical fantasy. Nabbed by pre-order because LIZZIE BORDEN. :D

Nabbed from Amazon:

  • Steam & Sorcery, by Cindy Spencer Pape. Steampunk romance. Grabbed this (even though I already own it in ebook form) because it’s one of Carina’s first print-on-demand titles and I want to see what the output looks like, not to mention support the POD effort.
  • Per-Bast: A Tale of Cats in Ancient Egypt, by Lara-Dawn Stiegler. Nabbed because I know the author and she was offering the book for free on the Kindle over the weekend. Also because fantasy set in ancient Egypt, and cats!

Grabbed this from GreatBigSea.com:

  • Where I Belong, by Alan Doyle. Because ALAN DOYLE, and also because this is his forthcoming memoir, to be released in October! Pre-ordering straight off of greatbigsea.com because pre-orders are, indeed, love. And because GBS.com is guaranteeing signed copies, woo.

Lastly, picked these up from Dragonwell Press:

  • Lex Talionis, by R.S.A. Garcia. SF/mystery. Grabbed this because of featuring it on Boosting the Signal!
  • Mistress of the Solstice, by Anna Kashina. Fantasy. Grabbed this because I’d originally bought it when it was called Ivan and Marya and published by Drollerie Press. Wanted to grab a copy to support Anna Kashina’s re-issue of the book.

86 for the year.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Beckett and Book)

It’s been a while since the last time I emptied the change jar, so I took it to the Coinstar machine at Safeway and found I had a whopping $77, woo! So I dumped it all into an iTunes code, and promptly bought myself a bunch of Tor titles I had on the To Read list–because I will happily buy from the iBooks store if the titles are DRM-free.

So here are the Tor titles I nabbed:

  • In the Garden of Iden, by Kage Baker. SF. Because I’d always heard this series was good, and although Ms. Baker has unfortunately passed away, I kept meaning to check this out.
  • Awakenings, by Edward Lazellari. Urban fantasy. One I’d seen buzz about on tor.com, and thought it sounded interesting.
  • A Darkling Sea, by James L. Cambias. SF. First contact story. Nabbed because this had an excerpt posted on tor.com, and the excerpt was interesting enough that I wanted to read the book.
  • The Highest Frontier, by Joan Slonczewski. SF.
  • Eyes to See, by Joseph Nassise. Urban fantasy. Nabbed because I thought the idea of the blind protagonist (who of course has otherworldly sight) sounded nicely creepy.
  • Three Princes, by Ramona Wheeler. Fantasy. Nabbed because AU involving a world where the Egyptian Empire remained a dominant power through most of history.
  • Silver, by Rhiannon Held. Urban fantasy. Nabbed because werewolves.

And meanwhile, I nabbed these from B&N:

  • Dangerous Refuge and Night Diver, by Elizabeth Lowell. Her two most recent romantic suspense releases, which I have already read as of this writing. Found them less interesting than many of her earlier works, although Night Diver actually surprised me by having queer side characters.
  • Maplecroft, by Cherie Priest (pre-order). Historical fantasy. Nabbed by pre-order because LIZZIE BORDEN. :D

Nabbed from Amazon:

  • Steam & Sorcery, by Cindy Spencer Pape. Steampunk romance. Grabbed this (even though I already own it in ebook form) because it’s one of Carina’s first print-on-demand titles and I want to see what the output looks like, not to mention support the POD effort.
  • Per-Bast: A Tale of Cats in Ancient Egypt, by Lara-Dawn Stiegler. Nabbed because I know the author and she was offering the book for free on the Kindle over the weekend. Also because fantasy set in ancient Egypt, and cats!

Grabbed this from GreatBigSea.com:

  • Where I Belong, by Alan Doyle. Because ALAN DOYLE, and also because this is his forthcoming memoir, to be released in October! Pre-ordering straight off of greatbigsea.com because pre-orders are, indeed, love. And because GBS.com is guaranteeing signed copies, woo.

Lastly, picked these up from Dragonwell Press:

  • Lex Talionis, by R.S.A. Garcia. SF/mystery. Grabbed this because of featuring it on Boosting the Signal!
  • Mistress of the Solstice, by Anna Kashina. Fantasy. Grabbed this because I’d originally bought it when it was called Ivan and Marya and published by Drollerie Press. Wanted to grab a copy to support Anna Kashina’s re-issue of the book.

86 for the year.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

Those of you who’re in Great Big Sea fandom undoubtedly know this already, but just in case you don’t, Alan Doyle is releasing a memoir in October! It’s to be called Where I Belong. Alert fans will note that this is the same title used by one of Alan’s songs on his solo album Boy on Bridge, and it’s about the importance of family collections even when a Newfoundlander wanders far from home. A fitting title indeed for a personal memoir.

GreatBigSea.com announced today over their newsletter that the book’s now available for preorder directly on their site, in hardcover form. So just for giggles, I went and poked around my various favorite ebook sites, and I’m seeing available on a lot of the major ebook sites as well. Here’s a roundup of places I’m seeing for sale!

GreatBigSea.com

Amazon US (Kindle and hardcover)

Amazon CA (Kindle and hardcover)

Barnes and Noble (hardcover only, no sign of a Nook version yet)

Powells

Chapters CA (hardcover and ebook, note that Chapters sells ebooks via Kobo)

iBooks US

iBooks CA

Kobo US

Google Play US

These are all the various links I can get at, browsing on computers in the States. If anybody in Canada or elsewhere wants to add links to this list, drop ‘em in the comments!

AND! For those of you who’re on Goodreads, be advised that there is a giveaway in progress for both United States and Canadian readers! So if you don’t want to commit to buying a copy yet, you might want to jump in on this.

As y’all know, I am a voracious buyer of books, not to mention a longstanding voracious buyer of anything with Alan’s name on it. It tickles me deeply that I get to throw some of my book-buying money to Alan’s first venture into writing, and I very much look forward to having a signed hardcopy and a digital version. ‘Cause I ain’t taking a signed hardback on a bus commute!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

Those of you who’re in Great Big Sea fandom undoubtedly know this already, but just in case you don’t, Alan Doyle is releasing a memoir in October! It’s to be called Where I Belong. Alert fans will note that this is the same title used by one of Alan’s songs on his solo album Boy on Bridge, and it’s about the importance of family collections even when a Newfoundlander wanders far from home. A fitting title indeed for a personal memoir.

GreatBigSea.com announced today over their newsletter that the book’s now available for preorder directly on their site, in hardcover form. So just for giggles, I went and poked around my various favorite ebook sites, and I’m seeing available on a lot of the major ebook sites as well. Here’s a roundup of places I’m seeing for sale!

GreatBigSea.com

Amazon US (Kindle and hardcover)

Amazon CA (Kindle and hardcover)

Barnes and Noble (hardcover only, no sign of a Nook version yet)

Powells

Chapters CA (hardcover and ebook, note that Chapters sells ebooks via Kobo)

iBooks US

iBooks CA

Kobo US

Google Play US

These are all the various links I can get at, browsing on computers in the States. If anybody in Canada or elsewhere wants to add links to this list, drop ‘em in the comments!

AND! For those of you who’re on Goodreads, be advised that there is a giveaway in progress for both United States and Canadian readers! So if you don’t want to commit to buying a copy yet, you might want to jump in on this.

As y’all know, I am a voracious buyer of books, not to mention a longstanding voracious buyer of anything with Alan’s name on it. It tickles me deeply that I get to throw some of my book-buying money to Alan’s first venture into writing, and I very much look forward to having a signed hardcopy and a digital version. ‘Cause I ain’t taking a signed hardback on a bus commute!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Bodhran Sean)

I’ve had a massive uptick lately in people hitting my three previous posts about Sean McCann leaving GBS, here and here and here. And what I’m sensing here is quite a few people who might perhaps be looking for answers as to why exactly Sean bailed on the band–and what Great Big Sea’s fate will be now that he’s out.

On the latter question, there has still been no formal announcement through official GBS channels. I’ve seen nothing posted on the site’s news page, and nothing’s come across the newsletter either. The most official thing I’ve seen on the matter is Alan Doyle’s most recent post to his personal blog, From the Road, which you can see on the Great Big Sea site here or on Alan’s site here. Alan basically says that the band is on hiatus again, and goes into some detail about what he, Bob, Murray, and Kris are up to. He does also mention Sean’s leaving, that Sean is about to release a new CD (today, in fact, as of this writing, up on his bandcamp page), and that he wishes him well.

Sean himself in the meantime has started talking to the media. So if you haven’t seen it already, an interview he did on the matter is over here. He’s saying pretty much what I expected, which is to say, creative differences. And he, like much of the fanbase, is going a bit “buh?” at the silence on greatbigsea.com about his departure.

‘Cause yeah, you’d think they’d have issued some sort of formal announcement by now. o.O

But, be that as it may, I’ll continue to relay any news I come across. If you’re on Facebook, you might consider dropping by the OKP group there since that’s become the more or less de facto replacement for the OKP forums that used to be on the Great Big Sea site. This is where I’m getting my most recent news. You can find that group here.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Bodhran Sean)

I’ve had a massive uptick lately in people hitting my three previous posts about Sean McCann leaving GBS, here and here and here. And what I’m sensing here is quite a few people who might perhaps be looking for answers as to why exactly Sean bailed on the band–and what Great Big Sea’s fate will be now that he’s out.

On the latter question, there has still been no formal announcement through official GBS channels. I’ve seen nothing posted on the site’s news page, and nothing’s come across the newsletter either. The most official thing I’ve seen on the matter is Alan Doyle’s most recent post to his personal blog, From the Road, which you can see on the Great Big Sea site here or on Alan’s site here. Alan basically says that the band is on hiatus again, and goes into some detail about what he, Bob, Murray, and Kris are up to. He does also mention Sean’s leaving, that Sean is about to release a new CD (today, in fact, as of this writing, up on his bandcamp page), and that he wishes him well.

Sean himself in the meantime has started talking to the media. So if you haven’t seen it already, an interview he did on the matter is over here. He’s saying pretty much what I expected, which is to say, creative differences. And he, like much of the fanbase, is going a bit “buh?” at the silence on greatbigsea.com about his departure.

‘Cause yeah, you’d think they’d have issued some sort of formal announcement by now. o.O

But, be that as it may, I’ll continue to relay any news I come across. If you’re on Facebook, you might consider dropping by the OKP group there since that’s become the more or less de facto replacement for the OKP forums that used to be on the Great Big Sea site. This is where I’m getting my most recent news. You can find that group here.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan Bouzouki)

Internets, my usual full concert report will be coming about tonight’s Great Big Sea show in Edmonds real soon–but before I post that, I have to post this, because THIS was the high point of the evening and I’m still trying to ramp down from the outburst of ZOMG in my system.

As you all know, I’m a novelist. I’ve completed five novels, in fact. Verbosity is my primary superpower. I have a LOT of words in me. So you’ll know that if other people’s pictures are worth a thousand words, this one, coming from me, is worth an entire trilogy. This happened after the GBS show in Edmonds tonight, when I and several other fangirls were hanging out by the band’s tour bus!

Anna and Alan Doyle

Anna and Alan Doyle

Thirteen years. THIRTEEN YEARS I’ve been in this fandom and I’ve finally scored not only the opportunity, but also the gumption to ask Alan Doyle to his face if I could have a picture with him. He promptly said “sure!”, invited me to get in close, and put his arm around my shoulders. I handed my phone off to my friend Helen, who then needed me to unlock it for her ’cause duh right access code. THEN she had trouble finding my camera app, so she made cracks at me about how “should I draw this out a little longer?”–’cause Alan was standing there with his arm around me the whole time. I chirped, “I’M GOOD!”

There was laughter, and the picture was finally taken. One other girl in the group also snapped a pic which she promised to send me, so this wasn’t even the only one!

(ALSO! There was bonus Murray! Most of the group wanted pics with Alan, so after I got my turn I turned to Murray and asked him about his fundraising efforts for his Cocksure Lads movie–his mockumentary about a fictional 60′s British rock band. Great fun. I was in on round one of that fundraising and I’ll be chiming in on the second one too. Because Murray is awesome.

Also, mad props to Foster when I told him I was annathepiper on Twitter and that we’d chatted some about Tolkien. He remembered that. YAY!)

So yeah. This was a TRIUMPH. Making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

Also note: I neither confirm nor deny any rumors of high-pitched squealing and a victory dance as soon as we were out of range of the bus.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan Bouzouki)

Internets, my usual full concert report will be coming about tonight’s Great Big Sea show in Edmonds real soon–but before I post that, I have to post this, because THIS was the high point of the evening and I’m still trying to ramp down from the outburst of ZOMG in my system.

As you all know, I’m a novelist. I’ve completed five novels, in fact. Verbosity is my primary superpower. I have a LOT of words in me. So you’ll know that if other people’s pictures are worth a thousand words, this one, coming from me, is worth an entire trilogy. This happened after the GBS show in Edmonds tonight, when I and several other fangirls were hanging out by the band’s tour bus!

Anna and Alan Doyle

Anna and Alan Doyle

Thirteen years. THIRTEEN YEARS I’ve been in this fandom and I’ve finally scored not only the opportunity, but also the gumption to ask Alan Doyle to his face if I could have a picture with him. He promptly said “sure!”, invited me to get in close, and put his arm around my shoulders. I handed my phone off to my friend Helen, who then needed me to unlock it for her ’cause duh right access code. THEN she had trouble finding my camera app, so she made cracks at me about how “should I draw this out a little longer?”–’cause Alan was standing there with his arm around me the whole time. I chirped, “I’M GOOD!”

There was laughter, and the picture was finally taken. One other girl in the group also snapped a pic which she promised to send me, so this wasn’t even the only one!

(ALSO! There was bonus Murray! Most of the group wanted pics with Alan, so after I got my turn I turned to Murray and asked him about his fundraising efforts for his Cocksure Lads movie–his mockumentary about a fictional 60′s British rock band. Great fun. I was in on round one of that fundraising and I’ll be chiming in on the second one too. Because Murray is awesome.

Also, mad props to Foster when I told him I was annathepiper on Twitter and that we’d chatted some about Tolkien. He remembered that. YAY!)

So yeah. This was a TRIUMPH. Making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

Also note: I neither confirm nor deny any rumors of high-pitched squealing and a victory dance as soon as we were out of range of the bus.

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

annathepiper: (Alan Bouzouki)

Those Francophone boys I’ve fallen in love with these past many months may have been heavily distracting me, but I’m tellin’ ya, people, when it comes to downright ability to take me right out at the knees, The Doyle Himself is still unparalleled. I still prefer him in the company of Great Big Sea, just because the classic style of GBS music–i.e., the irrepressible, roar-at-the-top-of-your-lungs trad–is more my thing than his solo style.

But that said, Alan Doyle by himself is still pretty damned swoonable, and we did have great fun at the Tractor last night. Dara and I got up by the stage, right in front of Alan’s mike, along with fellow fangirls Jaime and Sara. I’d never been to a show at the Tractor Tavern before, and it was an amazing switch from what I’m used to these days, with Great Big Sea playing the Moore.

Alan’s opening act was this young man named Dustin Bentall, and he was good, but I was more actively impressed by Kendall Carson, the fiddle player who first played with him and then with Alan’s full band. She was GREAT.

Then of course Alan came out and we all went nuts. I’m still getting to know the material on his new album, so except when he jumped over to do a few Great Big Sea songs, I was mostly singing along on what choruses I could pick up. Until he got to the part of the show when he was taking Twitter requests. Of which there were three.

I, being, well, me, asked him for “Trois Navires de Ble” (because yeah, spot the girl in this audience who’s been passionately absorbing French Canadian music the last many months, wut?) or “alternately, anything by Elvis” (because I’ve been dying for years to hear Alan sing something by him). Dara, being Dara, promptly decided to ALSO ask for “anything by Elvis”, and got Jaime and Sara to do so too, just so we could twitterbomb Alan in the hopes of getting him to make a joke about it.

We didn’t expect him to actually take us up on it. He made a wry crack about how “there was some collusion” in the audience, at which point the four of us all shrieked happily.

And then this happened. And I died DED OF SWOON. This is Lynda Elstad’s video of the full song.

And THIS is Dara’s version, which is much grainier and isn’t the full song, but DOES have cuts to me for reaction shots of OMG OMG OMG OMG. Note how I keep biting my hand. This is because I’m trying desperately not to squeal at the top of my lungs, or maybe trying to keep from dropping dead RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT, because O. M. G., Internets, Alan Doyle sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” because we asked him to.

Sara and Jaime shoved me right up in front of them–I’d been standing behind them up until this point–and kept holding my arms to make sure I wasn’t about to keel over. They and Dara told me after that my eyes were HUGE.

The rest of the show, it was great and all (and I DID quite like Alan’s cover of Russell Crowe’s song “Testify”, which was rockin’), but none of it topped this: being right in front of Alan’s mike as he crooned an Elvis song. And not just any Elvis song–the seminal, most swoonable, most iconic Elvis song ever. And I sang harmony back at him, because good gods how could I not? And my eyes were full of stars.

ETA: And I had to add in a couple other comments about the show as I remembered them, just because for reasons I can’t get into yet aside from this show, THIS WEEK HAS BEEN AWESOME and my brain is quite scattered!

Awesome thing #1: Alan kept having trouble tuning his mandolin, and made a joke about how ‘I LOVE WATCHING PEOPLE TUNE THEIR INSTRUMENTS!’ Dara yelled back at him, “We tune because we care!” And he heard her and agreed, “We tune because we care!”

Awesome thing #2: Alan also kept making charmingly self-deprecating jokes about how as we were the very first show of the very first tour of the Alan Doyle Band, we got to see all the screwups and “the terror in our eyes”, and how in four or five more shows they’d get everything right, but we were getting all the good stuff. Also he kept repeating how “there’s only one first night!” When he joked about wondering “oh God what have I done?”, a guy in the audience yelled back, “Something awesome!” And Alan was all “I feel the love in the room!”

Awesome thing #3: Being that close to Alan meant I got a good look at the guitar strap he was using, a leather one, with his name embroidered on it in green down near where it connected with the neck of his guitar! And it was pretty cool seeing him play mandolin, even if I lamented the lack of his usual bouzouki.

Awesome thing #4: At the end of the show, Alan looked out at us all and said he saw several familiar faces, all of us who’ve loyally come to Great Big Sea shows. (heart) (heart)

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan Bouzouki)

Those Francophone boys I’ve fallen in love with these past many months may have been heavily distracting me, but I’m tellin’ ya, people, when it comes to downright ability to take me right out at the knees, The Doyle Himself is still unparalleled. I still prefer him in the company of Great Big Sea, just because the classic style of GBS music–i.e., the irrepressible, roar-at-the-top-of-your-lungs trad–is more my thing than his solo style.

But that said, Alan Doyle by himself is still pretty damned swoonable, and we did have great fun at the Tractor last night. Dara and I got up by the stage, right in front of Alan’s mike, along with fellow fangirls Jaime and Sara. I’d never been to a show at the Tractor Tavern before, and it was an amazing switch from what I’m used to these days, with Great Big Sea playing the Moore.

Alan’s opening act was this young man named Dustin Bentall, and he was good, but I was more actively impressed by Kendall Carson, the fiddle player who first played with him and then with Alan’s full band. She was GREAT.

Then of course Alan came out and we all went nuts. I’m still getting to know the material on his new album, so except when he jumped over to do a few Great Big Sea songs, I was mostly singing along on what choruses I could pick up. Until he got to the part of the show when he was taking Twitter requests. Of which there were three.

I, being, well, me, asked him for “Trois Navires de Ble” (because yeah, spot the girl in this audience who’s been passionately absorbing French Canadian music the last many months, wut?) or “alternately, anything by Elvis” (because I’ve been dying for years to hear Alan sing something by him). Dara, being Dara, promptly decided to ALSO ask for “anything by Elvis”, and got Jaime and Sara to do so too, just so we could twitterbomb Alan in the hopes of getting him to make a joke about it.

We didn’t expect him to actually take us up on it. He made a wry crack about how “there was some collusion” in the audience, at which point the four of us all shrieked happily.

And then this happened. And I died DED OF SWOON. This is Lynda Elstad’s video of the full song.

And THIS is Dara’s version, which is much grainier and isn’t the full song, but DOES have cuts to me for reaction shots of OMG OMG OMG OMG. Note how I keep biting my hand. This is because I’m trying desperately not to squeal at the top of my lungs, or maybe trying to keep from dropping dead RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT, because O. M. G., Internets, Alan Doyle sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” because we asked him to.

Sara and Jaime shoved me right up in front of them–I’d been standing behind them up until this point–and kept holding my arms to make sure I wasn’t about to keel over. They and Dara told me after that my eyes were HUGE.

The rest of the show, it was great and all (and I DID quite like Alan’s cover of Russell Crowe’s song “Testify”, which was rockin’), but none of it topped this: being right in front of Alan’s mike as he crooned an Elvis song. And not just any Elvis song–the seminal, most swoonable, most iconic Elvis song ever. And I sang harmony back at him, because good gods how could I not? And my eyes were full of stars.

ETA: And I had to add in a couple other comments about the show as I remembered them, just because for reasons I can’t get into yet aside from this show, THIS WEEK HAS BEEN AWESOME and my brain is quite scattered!

Awesome thing #1: Alan kept having trouble tuning his mandolin, and made a joke about how ‘I LOVE WATCHING PEOPLE TUNE THEIR INSTRUMENTS!’ Dara yelled back at him, “We tune because we care!” And he heard her and agreed, “We tune because we care!”

Awesome thing #2: Alan also kept making charmingly self-deprecating jokes about how as we were the very first show of the very first tour of the Alan Doyle Band, we got to see all the screwups and “the terror in our eyes”, and how in four or five more shows they’d get everything right, but we were getting all the good stuff. Also he kept repeating how “there’s only one first night!” When he joked about wondering “oh God what have I done?”, a guy in the audience yelled back, “Something awesome!” And Alan was all “I feel the love in the room!”

Awesome thing #3: Being that close to Alan meant I got a good look at the guitar strap he was using, a leather one, with his name embroidered on it in green down near where it connected with the neck of his guitar! And it was pretty cool seeing him play mandolin, even if I lamented the lack of his usual bouzouki.

Awesome thing #4: At the end of the show, Alan looked out at us all and said he saw several familiar faces, all of us who’ve loyally come to Great Big Sea shows. (heart) (heart)

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Music All Around You)

And speaking of things that will involve so much awesome they will violate all laws of space and time, the most belovedest of my beloved B’ys, The Doyle Himself, is about to launch his solo tour for his forthcoming album. First stop?

RIGHT HERE IN SEATTLE, BABY! At the Tractor Tavern! :D

Be advised that tickets go on presale TOMORROW AT 10AM for greatbigsea.com members! If you’re in my usual social circles you’ve already seen me squealing about this all over the Net today, and you may have been been emailed to check on your level of interest in this show! userinfosolarbird will be buying tickets on my behalf tomorrow at 10am sharp, since it conflicts with my morning standup meeting at work. If you haven’t already checked in with me and you want in on this ticket purchase, let me know NOW!

If you’re going to be at the show anyway, please let me know as well because I’d love to look for known faces, and because showing our support for Alan in as big a group as possible will ROCK!

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Music All Around You)

And speaking of things that will involve so much awesome they will violate all laws of space and time, the most belovedest of my beloved B’ys, The Doyle Himself, is about to launch his solo tour for his forthcoming album. First stop?

RIGHT HERE IN SEATTLE, BABY! At the Tractor Tavern! :D

Be advised that tickets go on presale TOMORROW AT 10AM for greatbigsea.com members! If you’re in my usual social circles you’ve already seen me squealing about this all over the Net today, and you may have been been emailed to check on your level of interest in this show! userinfosolarbird will be buying tickets on my behalf tomorrow at 10am sharp, since it conflicts with my morning standup meeting at work. If you haven’t already checked in with me and you want in on this ticket purchase, let me know NOW!

If you’re going to be at the show anyway, please let me know as well because I’d love to look for known faces, and because showing our support for Alan in as big a group as possible will ROCK!

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan Bouzouki)

So yeah! Those Beaudry boys? Making a powerful showing today. But they have their work cut out for them when it comes to the OTHER bouzouki player I adore. ;) (Well, the other one who isn’t like, y’know, my partner and stuff, she said, looking meaningfully at userinfosolarbird…)

Y’all saw my post asking for Newfoundland band recs, right? So this morning, I think to myself–what the hell, I’ll go straight to the source. Alan, Bob, and Sean are on Twitter, I’ll ask them what THEY think we should be listening to while they’re on hiatus!

This was the result. \0/

What what wait that actually WORKED?

What what wait that actually WORKED?

The Doyle Has Spoken

The Doyle Has Spoken

I leave it as an exercise for you, O Internets, as to exactly how high-pitched my squee went. (Remember: I’m a piccolo player!)

I proceeded to get in several more Newfoundland band recs from Twitter folk as well, but as promised to The Doyle, I went and promptly checked out The Once. They are notable because Mr. Bob Hallett himself is their manager, so of course big ol’ GBS connection right there. I’ve now listened to the samples of their first album on iTunes, and yeah, I’ll be buying this. Their lead singer has a lovely voice, and while they don’t have the kind of raucous energy I love so much about the B’ys, they are very, very good. They remind me a lot more of oh, say, Solas, and that’s good, because I like Solas! And I’ll be making a definite point of checking out their new album when it drops next month!

For general reference, the other artists and bands that have been thrown at me on Twitter to check out are: Amelia Curran, Jim Fidler, the Novaks, Matthew Hornell, Hey Rosetta! (who I actually already previously knew about but had not checked out in depth), Andrew James O’Brien, Tarahan, and the Navigators (who I again also previously knew about).

Many thanks to @GBSIndyFan and @barbekresla, who threw me the Twitter recs!

Not all of these acts are trad–the Novaks appear to be more rock, and iTunes seems to think Jim Fidler is reggae. Dunno about Matthew Hornell or Amelia Curran yet either. But I’m going to give them all a shot! (Though in the case of the Navigators, I’m apparently going to have to work a little harder because their albums are not on iTunes.)

So yeah! Great big pile of Newfoundland band recs! And a tweet from The Doyle Himself! What a way to end a week! \0/

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Music All Around You)

I continue to be somewhat intimidated by the Serious Business(TM) level of musicians that show up for the sessions at A Terrible Beauty. We had two more show up last night, one lady named Beth who’s a local harpist and flautist, who has taught harp in Ireland, and who has played with a local folk band, and another lady (whose name I have sadly forgotten) who had a pretty awesome looking instrument that was either a mandobanjo or a banjolin (userinfosolarbird said ‘mandobanjo’; all I know is, it was pretty cool).

The intimidating part for me here was that both of them very, VERY clearly knew what they were doing and could hear the places where I was screwing up. On the other hand, they were also very kind about cluing me in as to when we all went into a key I had a hard time recognizing by ear, or when chord changes I hadn’t quite grasped were happening. I had the strange reaction to this of being simultaneously prickly and grateful for it–a feeling I think any of my fellow authors will recognize when somebody offers you beta reading advice you’re not entirely convinced you need, and then you get over it and realize that actually, yeah, you did kinda need that. I’m here to tell y’all, it applies to music, too. *^_^*;;

That said, it was good to finally have some of the pieces Matt and Annie like to get into identified as having parts in the key of B minor. This is NOT a key I’ve played in before that I can recall, at all, even with a capo on and faking it by doing the base chords of G or A. The good part of this was, though, that I have enough chord exposure now that I could pick out the base chords I needed once the key was identified. I.e., a lot of B minor and A, with occasional D’s and E’s and F# minors thrown in for good measure, all of which are chords I can play at this point. The tricky part is just being able to recognize that key by ear when I hear it.

It was also vaguely intimidating to see the newcomers clearly not quite knowing what to make of me and Dara belting out our version of “Old Black Rum”. This is what we get for the songs we know being either GBS, GBS-influenced in style, or Dara’s very own unique concoctions, none of which are exactly “Irish”. I continue to be very grateful to Matt and Annie for indulging us periodically and inviting us to sing, and at least it gave me another chance to make the “well, Newfoundland is NEAR Ireland” joke. ;) Also, it gave Dara and me a chance to show off singing in harmony, which we’ve actually been practicing a bit, and which I feel works for us!

Still though I must start learning some songs (and I specifically mean ‘songs’ as opposed to ‘tunes’, i.e., stuff with words) that would fit better in a session environment. I’ve already mentioned the ones I’m interested in, I think–I just need to allocate practice time for them, in between rehearsing with Dara on her stuff so that I can play support for her at Norwescon. To wit: *gulp*. Yeah, I know, I’ve already been playing the guitar in public for a while thanks to these sessions, but being part of a formal set with Dara is not the same thing. *^_^*;; Playing at a session is ‘hanging out with fellow musicians and learning from them’. Playing a formal set is performing.

Meanwhile though I was very grateful as well to Annie for giving me a listening ear before we got started–as well as for introducing me to a drink called the Irish Truffle, which is Guinness mixed with raspberry lambic! I’ve tried Guinness before and hadn’t cared for it, but if you mix it up with raspberry lambic I suddenly find it quite drinkable. Those of you who have been following my ongoing admiration of the Lovely and Talented Pike Place Marketboys will be familiar with my affection for raspberry-related things. This has now been expanded to include ‘booze’.

Giggles as well to userinfosolcita, who made cracks about how we’d better be careful if we wanted to set an empty chair in the session circle in honor of GBS–because I’d still hyperventilate even for Imaginary Alan Doyle. She is, of course, entirely correct, given that it is scientifically proven that I hyperventilate for real Alan Doyle.

(This has led today on Facebook to userinfofredpdx making cracks about how, given that I’m a proud owner of the Alan Doyle Action Figure, complete with bouzouki and Hair Tossing Action, I’d be over the whole hyperventilating thing by now. Which made me LOL. And also made me really, REALLY wish that there was in fact an Alan Doyle Action Figure. Because you know I’d BUY IT.)

So yeah. Session homework for me: figure out how the hell to play and sing “As I Roved Out”, in whatever key I can manage. So I can have something a bit more Irish on hand next time Matt asks me to sing!

And also, for those of you who may be interested, the aforementioned Beth is Beth Kollé, and she was in a Seattle-based folk band called Crookshank a couple years back. They have an EP on iTunes, and I may just have to check it out.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Music All Around You)

I continue to be somewhat intimidated by the Serious Business(TM) level of musicians that show up for the sessions at A Terrible Beauty. We had two more show up last night, one lady named Beth who’s a local harpist and flautist, who has taught harp in Ireland, and who has played with a local folk band, and another lady (whose name I have sadly forgotten) who had a pretty awesome looking instrument that was either a mandobanjo or a banjolin (userinfosolarbird said ‘mandobanjo’; all I know is, it was pretty cool).

The intimidating part for me here was that both of them very, VERY clearly knew what they were doing and could hear the places where I was screwing up. On the other hand, they were also very kind about cluing me in as to when we all went into a key I had a hard time recognizing by ear, or when chord changes I hadn’t quite grasped were happening. I had the strange reaction to this of being simultaneously prickly and grateful for it–a feeling I think any of my fellow authors will recognize when somebody offers you beta reading advice you’re not entirely convinced you need, and then you get over it and realize that actually, yeah, you did kinda need that. I’m here to tell y’all, it applies to music, too. *^_^*;;

That said, it was good to finally have some of the pieces Matt and Annie like to get into identified as having parts in the key of B minor. This is NOT a key I’ve played in before that I can recall, at all, even with a capo on and faking it by doing the base chords of G or A. The good part of this was, though, that I have enough chord exposure now that I could pick out the base chords I needed once the key was identified. I.e., a lot of B minor and A, with occasional D’s and E’s and F# minors thrown in for good measure, all of which are chords I can play at this point. The tricky part is just being able to recognize that key by ear when I hear it.

It was also vaguely intimidating to see the newcomers clearly not quite knowing what to make of me and Dara belting out our version of “Old Black Rum”. This is what we get for the songs we know being either GBS, GBS-influenced in style, or Dara’s very own unique concoctions, none of which are exactly “Irish”. I continue to be very grateful to Matt and Annie for indulging us periodically and inviting us to sing, and at least it gave me another chance to make the “well, Newfoundland is NEAR Ireland” joke. ;) Also, it gave Dara and me a chance to show off singing in harmony, which we’ve actually been practicing a bit, and which I feel works for us!

Still though I must start learning some songs (and I specifically mean ‘songs’ as opposed to ‘tunes’, i.e., stuff with words) that would fit better in a session environment. I’ve already mentioned the ones I’m interested in, I think–I just need to allocate practice time for them, in between rehearsing with Dara on her stuff so that I can play support for her at Norwescon. To wit: *gulp*. Yeah, I know, I’ve already been playing the guitar in public for a while thanks to these sessions, but being part of a formal set with Dara is not the same thing. *^_^*;; Playing at a session is ‘hanging out with fellow musicians and learning from them’. Playing a formal set is performing.

Meanwhile though I was very grateful as well to Annie for giving me a listening ear before we got started–as well as for introducing me to a drink called the Irish Truffle, which is Guinness mixed with raspberry lambic! I’ve tried Guinness before and hadn’t cared for it, but if you mix it up with raspberry lambic I suddenly find it quite drinkable. Those of you who have been following my ongoing admiration of the Lovely and Talented Pike Place Marketboys will be familiar with my affection for raspberry-related things. This has now been expanded to include ‘booze’.

Giggles as well to userinfosolcita, who made cracks about how we’d better be careful if we wanted to set an empty chair in the session circle in honor of GBS–because I’d still hyperventilate even for Imaginary Alan Doyle. She is, of course, entirely correct, given that it is scientifically proven that I hyperventilate for real Alan Doyle.

(This has led today on Facebook to userinfofredpdx making cracks about how, given that I’m a proud owner of the Alan Doyle Action Figure, complete with bouzouki and Hair Tossing Action, I’d be over the whole hyperventilating thing by now. Which made me LOL. And also made me really, REALLY wish that there was in fact an Alan Doyle Action Figure. Because you know I’d BUY IT.)

So yeah. Session homework for me: figure out how the hell to play and sing “As I Roved Out”, in whatever key I can manage. So I can have something a bit more Irish on hand next time Matt asks me to sing!

And also, for those of you who may be interested, the aforementioned Beth is Beth Kollé, and she was in a Seattle-based folk band called Crookshank a couple years back. They have an EP on iTunes, and I may just have to check it out.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

Russell Crowe, joy of my movie watching and delight to my musical ears, announced on Twitter yesterday and to his fan site of choice that there are plans afoot to take the current incarnation of TOFOG (The Ordinary Fear of God) on tour next year! They’d been hoping to do August of this year as that’s ten years after TOFOG 1 (30 Odd Foot of Grunts) played in Austin–but that ain’t happening. They appear to be eying next May for a target range of dates, though–and best of all, Russell’s saying they will be bringing Alan. AND that Portland is among the cities in the US they’re eying.

My reaction to passing The Crowe on the streets of Portland in 2001 is fabled in song, story, and LJ post! (userinfoflashfire, userinfossha, userinfomamishka, and userinfokathrynt all still do give me periodic shit about it, too! ;) ) Given that, and given how I could barely manage to talk to The Doyle the couple of times I’ve encountered him, I’m figuring the chances of my brain exploding before the concert even starts are very, very high. Hell, the sheer thought of Alan and Russell on the same stage where I can actually see them perform may make my brain explode RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT.

Because if this happens, my children, I am going to this. Oh yes, I am going. And there will be massive, massive squee. Better brace yourselves now.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Alan YES!)

Russell Crowe, joy of my movie watching and delight to my musical ears, announced on Twitter yesterday and to his fan site of choice that there are plans afoot to take the current incarnation of TOFOG (The Ordinary Fear of God) on tour next year! They’d been hoping to do August of this year as that’s ten years after TOFOG 1 (30 Odd Foot of Grunts) played in Austin–but that ain’t happening. They appear to be eying next May for a target range of dates, though–and best of all, Russell’s saying they will be bringing Alan. AND that Portland is among the cities in the US they’re eying.

My reaction to passing The Crowe on the streets of Portland in 2001 is fabled in song, story, and LJ post! (userinfoflashfire, userinfossha, userinfomamishka, and userinfokathrynt all still do give me periodic shit about it, too! ;) ) Given that, and given how I could barely manage to talk to The Doyle the couple of times I’ve encountered him, I’m figuring the chances of my brain exploding before the concert even starts are very, very high. Hell, the sheer thought of Alan and Russell on the same stage where I can actually see them perform may make my brain explode RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT.

Because if this happens, my children, I am going to this. Oh yes, I am going. And there will be massive, massive squee. Better brace yourselves now.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

annathepiper: (Aubrey Orly)

I was yakking about this on Twitter tonight, mostly light-heartedly, but I thought I’d delve into this in more depth here: in the Ideal World According to Me, the next Tolkien movie after The Hobbit would be the story of Beren and Luthien.

I think I’ve mentioned before on LJ posts that their story should totally be a movie. It’s got everything that would make a movie great: an epic forbidden cross-species romance, a quest at the behest of an angry king, a great and loyal hound, monsters, magic, and most importantly, the heroine standing up to not only Middle-Earth’s biggest badass ever but even death itself for the sake of her man. I mean, seriously. You don’t get much more classic than this.

Since this is the Ideal World According to Me, I would of course cast Russell Crowe as Beren. (Actually, I’d have cast him as Boromir in Lord of the Rings, but this’ll work too!) Beren is not a young pup in the story; he’s already got several decades of experience under his belt by the time he sees and is absolutely smitten by Luthien. So Russell’s current general age and slightly grizzled look would be perfect. Not to mention that man, just the thought of seeing him do Beren’s being literally struck dumb by the first sight of Luthien gives me delicious shivers. I can see it now: the camera lingering on his awestruck face, so intense that he looks like he’s about to weep on the spot. Yum.

Likewise, it should surprise none of you that I’d totally be casting Alan Doyle as Daeron, who also loves Luthien and winds up betraying her a couple of times to her father, out of jealousy for her love of Beren. He later repents and writes laments for her loss. Wikipedia describes Daeron as “the greatest minstrel of the Children of Iluvatar”; frankly, if there’s any other role that would have “Alan Doyle” written all over it, even more than “Allan a’Dayle” did, I can’t think of it! (And I’m not fangirling for the opportunity to see Alan with pointed ears! Well okay, not much. Though I’ve always found Alan rather more puckish than your typical Tolkien elf would be, I’ve always suspected a touch of the fey about him. :D )

In my Ideal Movie World, they would of course do this movie with all the same loving attention to detail that Jackson’s done with LotR and which hopefully will also be done with The Hobbit. No garishly obvious CGI. Make it look real. Make it look right. The great hound Huan must not under any circumstances look fakey. Nor should Carcharoth, the monster wolf who bites off Beren’s hand that holds the Silmaril. Though I have a hard time visualizing how to do Morgoth–who, as an even bigger badass than Sauron, as in fact the original Big Bad of Middle-Earth, should be even scarier and more intimidating than Sauron was!

And you would of course need a proper Luthien. If she hadn’t already played Galadriel I’d be totally eying Cate Blanchett. But failing that, you’d need somebody who could pull off not only unearthly but even angelic radiance even when rescuing her man from the grimmest, most hellish places on earth. (Since Luthien is not only just an elf, she’s also part Maia.) You would need someone who could sing, or else someone with a heavenly voice dubbed in for when the character must sing–because this is after all a big driving force of the story.

(Side thought: if they dubbed in a classically trained singer for Luthien’s singing voice, one presumes she would be a soprano. Since that would seem fitting for “Tinuviel” meaning “Nightingale”.)

Okay, and in the Ideal Fangirl World According to Me, Luthien would of course be played by me. But I’m thinking of this in terms of the Ideal Movie World, not the Ideal Fangirl World. Mostly. ;)

So many vivid characters to be cast here, overall. I passionately hope somebody writes this into a script at some point and that it gets filmed. And that for the love of all that is holy, that nobody tries to do it in 3-D.

Mirrored from annathepiper.org.

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