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Recently, the Hellman house has been singing the Groceries’ Part of the New America. Staffan has been picking out tune on the piano, and Aina has enjoyed saying that she has a practical, economical compact car, and that she stays away from imports and two seaters.

So join us for a good eye-winkingly sardonic romp through the 1982 pre-alternative New Hope music scene. Or, for those of you sufficiently advanced in both age and musical taste, a stroll down memory lane…

Part of the New America

Seattle Opera Blog with Perry Lorenzo

Lots of good stuff at the Seattle Opera blog showing various aspects of the production of Midsummer Night’s Dream that Staffan is in. There’s some video, some slide shows, and especially some enlightening commentary about other productions and how this one compares.

The show is through April 5 at the Meydenbauer Theatre in Bellevue.

Reggae for your sauna: http://www.congasemenne.com/ Surprisingly fun, and full of Upper Peninsula in-jokes, of which I understand very few.

Staffan has landed a part in Seattle Opera’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, March 27 – April 5th at the Meydenbauer Theater in Bellevue. We are very proud of you, kid!

Staffan’s theatre group did Lady and the Tramp last Monday at Prince of Peace. Here’s the audio.

Act 1

Act 2

I’m hoping we can combine this with some of the video and make a really nice souvenir of the show.

Gordon Gano has a voice that sounds like a farfisa organ, which means Tomo won’t like this song:

Violent Femmes – Violent and Crazy – www.myspace.com/violentandcrazy: “”

(Via Boing Boing.)

We stopped for a drink at the Tapa lounge at the Hilton Hawaiian Village and Na Kama was playing. Both Tomo and I liked them a lot. We sat and chatted with them for a while while they took a break. It seems they are pretty popular in Japan doing hula gigs, and I can see why.

They have a very nice contemporary Hawaiian sound, and they are really the nicest three musicians you can imagine meeting. They are playing this weekend at the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo.

I can’t stop listening to Dengue Fever. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve found some new music that really captivated my attention. That and Yumirose.

Went to see Jake Shimabukuro play this week in Seattle at the Triple Door. I was on the edge of my seat the whole concert — his ukulele playing is absolutely captivating. From the traditional Hawaiian, to Led Zeppelin, to Ave Maria, to the sound of traditional Japanese koto, to Beatles standards, Jake seems to pull more sound out of the ukulele than anyone else on the planet. Here’s a clip of him from Yahoo video.

And speaking of the Triple Door, what a great venue to play. I definitely want to go back.

Ferron will appear at the University of Washington May 29 2004. Get your tickets now: 206.323.0750. I don’t think its part of a big tour ( it’s the only date for six months ) so it might make for a very indulgent gig.

I saw Ferron in Boston on the Phantom Center tour in 1990 – 91, and she was fantastic. I remember, however, that plenty of the crowd was lukewarm about the electric guitar heavy sound of the Phantom Center band, as if it was a repudiation of the coziness of the Women’s folk music sound from her earlier work. What, a woman’s not allowed to explore?