Cool Music for a Hot Planet!

Multitasking is an important skill to master in today’s super-busy world. Sometimes a music nerd has to ask herself, “How can I find the time to hear really great music and help out a good cause, all at once?”

Singing For The PlanetWell, I’ve found the answer, at least for this coming Saturday night! Singing For The Planet: Voices Against Climate Change is a concert to benefit www.350.org, an environmental organization that works to find and implement solutions to the problems caused by climate change. The concert will feature singers from three different musical traditions: Latin jazz singer Mili Bermejo, accompanied by bass player Dan Greenspan; Hindustani classical vocalist Warren Senders; and jazz singer Dominique Eade.

Here are the vital details:
Singing For The Planet: Voices Against Climate Change
Saturday, June 12, 7:00 pm
Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
Tickets: $20; $15 students/seniors
All proceeds will go to http://www.350.org
For more information, call 781-396-0734 or go to the event website.

…And tell ’em Miss Music Nerd sent you! 🙂

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Miss Music Nerd Live!

Happy New Year, music nerds! I hope 2010 is off to a good start for everyone.

I figure it’s about time I start publicizing my upcoming performances and other public appearances around here. I mean, you can follow me on Twitter to find out random things such as what I’m having for lunch or what’s irking me on a given day, but hearing of where I’m going to be playing, singing, or hearing music is a bit more, shall we say, mission-critical, dontcha think?

Henceforth, performances and other relevant activities will appear on This Page.

Here’s what’s happening in January:

Miss Music Nerd is performing:

Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 10 am
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
21 Stratford Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132

  • Playing organ for sinners and saints alike!
  • Sunday, January 10, 2010 at 7 pm
    Night Song
    St. John’s Episcopal Church
    Revere Street & Roanoke Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA
    Free will donation

  • Night Song is a wonderful combination of Gregorian chant/Renaissance polyphony and jazz improvisation, performed by candlelight. I’ll be singing in a small mixed vocal ensemble.
  • Tuesday, January 12th, 2010 at 8:00 pm
    rare degree
    Outpost Performance Space
    186 1/2 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA
    Admission $10

  • Saxophonist Michael Straus and basoonist Dana Jessen present works by G. Douglas Barrett, Matthew Burtner, Judith Shatin and others. I’ll be helping out with pencil and paper, squeaky toys and — what the heck! — a little piano.
  • Sunday, January 17, 2010 at 10:30 am
    St. John’s Episcopal Church
    Revere Street & Roanoke Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA

  • Playing organ for sinners and saints alike!
  • Sunday, January 24, 2010 at 10:30 am
    St. John’s Episcopal Church
    Revere Street & Roanoke Ave., Jamaica Plain, MA

  • Playing organ for sinners and saints alike!
  • Miss Music Nerd is attending: (list subject to constant augmentation!)

    Friday, January 15, 2010 at 8 pm
    Cantata Singers
    First Church Cambridge
    11 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA
    Tickets $17 – $52
    Music by Maurice Duruflé, John Harbison, and Heinrich Schütz.

    Wednesday, January 27, 2010
    GRAMMY® Salute To Classical Music honoring Plácido Domingo
    Broad Stage
    1310 11th St, Santa Monica, CA

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    A Playlist Revisited: Have a Very Nerdy New Year’s Eve!

    Two New Year’s Eves ago, I posted A Nerdy Playlist for New Year’s Eve. I thought it might be fun to tweak it a bit, in the spirit of out with the old, in with the new!

    1. To get us in the mood, Ella Fitzgerald asks, “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”

    Like I mentioned in the previous post, many people are not at all sad to see 2009 coming to a close; ditto the aughties as a whole. Seems this sentiment prevailed through much of the decade:

    2. REM: “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)

    Well, like I said before, you can’t fall out of the basement! This song, which was the first dance at McDoc’s and my wedding, is appropriate here:

    3. Tony Bennett & Diana Krall: “The Best Is Yet To Come”

    You never know what the future holds, though — paranoia will likely endure!

    4. Donald Fagen: “New Frontier”

    Here’s a song that never goes out of style, in my opinion, and this year it’s almost numerically fitting! Though “I’m gonna party like it’s two… thou… sand… and nine!” does sound a bit forced, I admit! 😛

    5. Prince: “1999”

    You want nostalgia? Here you go. I know, it’s set on Christmas Eve, but the sax supplies the requisite “Auld Lang Syne” at the end, so I still think it fits.

    6. Dan Fogelberg: “Same Old Lang Syne”

    If you roll VIP, you may want to check out this, the mother of all New Year’s Eve parties. If you’re like me, and it’s too rich for your blood, don’t despair — turn this on and waltz around your living room!

    7. Johann Strauss: “The Blue Danube Waltz”

    One more waltz tune, from an opera traditionally performed around this holiday:

    8. Johann Strauss: Waltz from Die Fledermaus

    Here’s the song I finished up with last year — I have a tradition of listening to it each January 1.

    9. U2: “New Year’s Day”

    I think I’ll add another U2 tune to that tradition, though — this puts me in a good frame of mind for new beginnings. 🙂

    10. U2: “Beautiful Day”

    Your turn, music nerds: what are you listening to today and tomorrow? Whatever it is…

    Here’s hoping for a beautiful 2010! 🙂

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    Season’s Monde-Greetings!

    A while back, I wrote about the wonderful world of misheard lyrics, a.k.a. Mondegreens, which come about when you can’t quite understand the words to a song, but your mind fills in familiar, if non-sensical, words and phrases, often with hilarious results.

    It was recently brought to my attention that this festive season, which is so full of wonderful music, is also rife with Mondegreen mischief. Hark! 😉

    I think he’d look pretty good in a Santa hat!
    Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly

    (I think he would’ve liked jazz, too. RIP)

    Good thing, because we all have egg nog breath!
    Joy to the World, the Lord has Gum!


    Those reindeer boxer shorts are cute, but please…
    Get Dressed, Ye Merry Gentlemen


    Besides, you’ll freeze out there!
    Walking in our Winter Underwear


    Oh, and which angel is Harold, anyway?
    Hark, The Herald Angels Sing!


    Your turn, music nerds — if you know of any I’ve missed, add them in comments!

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    This Ain’t Your Mama’s Musical Advent Calendar!

    Two Decembers ago, I came across a wonderful online Advent Calendar, featuring a different piece of advent music for each day performed by the wonderful musicians of Trinity Church in New York City. I’m sad to report that the music links on that calendar don’t appear to be working anymore, and this year’s calendar at the same site, while wonderful too, doesn’t have music. 😥

    The holiday season without music? Why, that’s like a day without sunshine, or coffee, or kitty cats, or… fill in whatever you feel makes life worth living!

    Off I went to the Google, confident that I would find a musical advent calendar somewhere on this great, big internet.

    Well, I haven’t yet found anything that gives me the classical fix I’m jonesing for, but I did find two things that are notable in their own ways. Click Mr. Readmore for the particulars! Continue reading

    A Little Music for Thanksgiving (before Christmas completely takes over!)

    Happy Thanksgiving Eve, music nerds!

    I was all set to post about what I want for Christmas, but that will have to wait. I mean, what was I thinking? I hate the way Christmas takes over the stores and the radio stations the minute Halloween is over, and here I was about to jump the gun myself — gah!

    Don’t get me wrong — there’s plenty of holiday music that I love (and some I hate, but that’s another story for another day, too). But Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday; I love to cook, I love to eat, and I love Autumn, so how could it get any better?

    I know it can be a stressful time, though, and some of you may feel that this is the soundtrack of your life right now!

    But what about bona fide music for Thanksgiving? Click Mr. Readmore for a pumpkin-pie-spiced playlist! Continue reading

    Search Me! (A Bit of Organ Curiosity!)

    NaBloPoMo Day 14!

    Woo hoo! Miss Music Nerd officially passed the 5000-hit mark a coupla weeks ago, and is now closing in on 6000! So I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has stumbled upon my little corner of cyberspace. I hope you’ll keep coming back, and tell your friends! 🙂

    And, um, not to get all cyberstalker on y’all, but I sometimes get a kick out of looking at the search terms and phrases that bring people here. Vee have vays of tracking these things, you see — but don’t worry, it’s fairly anonymous — search terms aren’t paired with IP addresses… yet! 😈

    Anyway, back in March after I posted about the technicologically specialized and supercute shoes I wear to play the organ pedals, a few search showed up in the stats that had to do with playing the organ pedals. Specifically, women playing the pedals. More specifically, women playing organ pedals barefoot. It seems there’s a whole world of fetishism out there that I was completely unaware of! 😯

    Suddenly, I felt a bit like a musical Carrie Bradshaw. I couldn’t help wondering:

    BTW, if there are any newspaper editors out there looking for a columnist, I’m available! 😀

    (p.s. — I personally am looking forward to the release of this movie. Mock me all you want, I don’t care! 😛 )

    Now, if you’re interested, you can search around on YouTube for other videos relating to this topic. I’m not here to judge. 😉 But I did the Google search myself, just to see if there was something more, um, directly musical going on here than I was aware of.

    Turns out, there is a jazz organist who’s famous for playing barefoot. Her name is Rhoda Scott, and she’ll rock your world. You can hear some audio clips at her official website — click on “Discography.” Meanwhile, here’s a groovy video:

    I’m really impressed with her pedaling; she doesn’t just play a simple root-of-each-chord thing — she plays a bona fide walking bass line. And she does it with one foot, while the other foot works the expression pedal (which controls the dynamics of what her hands are playing). On a church organ, you have both feet available for playing complex bass lines, so it’s a little easier (well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that it gives composers an excuse to write harder organ parts! 😉 )

    So there you go. You learn from me, I learn from you. It’s a good deal! 😀

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