Archive for May, 2009

Has a star ever proposed to you from the stage of the Ryman?

Monday, May 11th, 2009

It’s never happened to me. But that’s exactly what happened to Lucas.

At Sunday night’s “Unwigged and Unplugged” show, featuring Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest, the following brand-new things occurred:

* I was handed a live mic and allowed to address the artists on stage.

* My name was spoken aloud from that hallowed stage (twice, actually…)


* I was proposed to from said stage.

Let me interrupt to say: Lucas and I met at a party a few weeks ago, and we had a long talk about music, social media, and the digital economy (what a kickin’ party, right?). So when, from my balcony seat, I saw him and another friend, Yvonne, in the second row being handed a live mic to ask the performers a question, I was excited about his fun opportunity to interact with Guest, McKean, and Shearer.

It went well — he asked about who would play them in a J.J. Abrams prequel of Spinal Tap, and they ran with it.

Guest responded first by saying, obviously, Nigel should be played by comedian Martin Lawrence. Shearer, apparently unaware that Dwayne Johnson stopped going by this name a while back, said Nigel would be better suited being played by The Rock. Seth Green got thrown into the equation by McKean.

But then when McKean asked Lucas to marry him in a quick aside, I about collapsed. There’s more to the story: here’s the rest.

How cool is the Nashville Number System?

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

Not sure if I’ve ever talked about this here, but I just happened across this article about the Nashville Number System and wanted to point out how cool it is to watch session players use this. As the article points out:

So what’s so great about the Nashville Number System? Just realize that all of the musicians who play the guitar, keyboard and other parts you hear in the songs on all your CDs, use this system everyday when they record. When they do a session, there is no printed music. There are no sheets of paper with little black notes on lines on the page. No, they come into the studio, find a seat, take a pad of paper and a pencil and write themselves a number chart as the engineer plays a demo of the song they will record that day. What they are listening to in order to make their chart is a rough recording of the song. Many times it is only a guitar or piano and a singer. These musicians make up all the parts you eventually hear right there on the spot using their number chart as a guide.

(via How to Understand the Nashville Number System Part 1 |

It really is kind of a strange and humbling feeling to walk into the studio after spending sometimes countless hours on a song just to see it reduced to scribbled numbers on a single sheet of paper, and then played flawlessly.

Dispute over credits for Coldplay song

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

From David Wild writing at Huffington Post: Honk If You Wrote Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” Too.

I would like to take the opportunity to claim that I wrote Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.” In fact, I wrote “Viva La Vida” just about an hour ago after hearing the news that my pal Yusuf — the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens — feels that the undeniable Coldplay smash is too close for comfort to one section of his “Foreigner Suite” from his 1973 album “The Foreigner.”

Interesting. I couldn’t quite place “The Foreigner” so I went to to give it a listen (the most relevant section starts around 3:36). Sure, I can hear the similarity, but I’m not sure it would have jumped out at me or anything. (I’m not even going to listen to “Viva la Vida” again for reference, as much as I love that song, because then it will be stuck on endless loop in my head.)

What do you think? Same song or merely similar in the way that many songs are similar?