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Archive for the ‘music’ Category

I was watching the news while getting ready this morning, and the story on yesterday’s 100th anniversary celebration at Fenway Park got me all misty-eyed.

Celebrating 100 years of Fenway Park
It started with Varitek and Wakefield wheeling Pesky and Doerr onto the field, but what really got me was Terry Francona (lovable, loyal, unflappable Tito) touching his heart and waving to the cheering crowds. If it hadn’t been for the amusing image of Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millar (two of the biggest hams I have ever seen in my life) leading the toast from atop the dugout, the tears might have actually spilled over. The history and nostalgia of Fenway is so wonderful, and it’s another reason I love living in Boston.

Then, in keeping with the sentimental start to the day, I heard a song from the musical Elegies, called “14 Dwight Ave, Natick, Massachusetts”. (I often listen to the Emerson College radio station, WERS, on the weekends for their programs Standing Room Only – all musicals – and All A Cappella.) The song first caught my attention because I drive through Natick every day on my commute and wondered how the town ended up in a musical. But the song is a beautiful piece about a life well-lived and the friendships many women share. (The video below is the best one I could find on YouTube, but it actually features two songs from Elegies, so don’t be put off by the 10 minute length.)

My last sentimental moment of the day requires a little more in the way of explanation. I once had a hedgehog for a pet, an African Pygmy Hedgehog to be precise. I find them ridiculously cute, so I am a little obsessed.
Anyway, because of my fascination with hedgehogs, another song on WERS (this time on All A Cappella) snagged my attention with the lyrics “He’s a hedge pig.” I honestly never thought I would come across a rock/pop song with something about a hedgehog in the lyrics, and it turns out the hedgehog is a central feature of the song. It took some internet sleuthing when I got home, but I finally discovered that the song is “Benjamin” by Midnight Youth, and beyond the hedgehog bit, it’s a really fun song.

Of course, as with anything hedgehog related, the song reminded me of my hedgie, Percy, who sadly died in 2005.
Percy
But the song still makes me smile. Especially the “prickly little porker” line which has a really nice rhythm to it.  I have to admit, though, that I have no clue what the song means.  My best guess is that it’s about a dream or a drug trip or something.

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Dinner and a show

Rather than make excuses about why this is my first post in months, I am just going to say hello and dive back in to tell you about the awesome night I had yesterday.

My friend, M, snagged us tickets to seeLe Vent du Nord, a Quebecois folk group, at the Somerville Theater. We decided to have dinner before the show at Posto. At a friend’s birthday dinner the week before, we’d been talking about the space Posto occupies and how businesses seem to come and go there, so maybe that’s why I was inclined to check it out, beyond the fact that I’ve heard good things about the food.

The space is still industrial and modern, but it manages to be somewhat cozy, too. The brick, concrete, glass, and high ceilings make the dining area a little loud, but not so much that you have to shout a conversation. A wall of wine shelves, the wood oven, and sleek, light wood chairs help offset the harder elements. But you should visit Posto for the food, not the decor.

With a nice number of starters, pastas, entrees, and pizzas on the menu, it took us a little while to decide what to order. For a large party, you can even order a whole pig! While M and I aren’t wine aficionados, by any stretch, we were both struck by the several types of wine we’d never heard of in their by the glass selection. M got a Sangiovese that didn’t impress, but I loved the Terre Primitivo I got; it was fruity and extremely smooth.

We shared the baby arugula salad to start. It was simple and tasty, just a nice mix of greens, endive, and creamy gorgonzola, perfectly dressed. Then we each ordered an appetizer sized pasta, carbonara for me and goat agnolotti for M. Both were excellent. The carbonara was made with pork belly and brussel sprouts, and was creamy and al dente. Even the appetizer portion was generous enough that I took some home. The agnolotti were filled with polenta, surprising but delicious, and topped with rustic, flavorful goat ragut. Overall, it looks like Posto does excellent Italian food with slight twists. I’ll happily return to try the wood-fired pizza.

The evening continued to be delightful. I was not terribly familiar with Le Vent du Nord, but M’s taste in music seems nearly identical to mine, and I liked the few songs I had heard. Without much in the way of expectations, these guys blew me away. There are four men in the band, and they are clearly all excellent musicians, and also a little quirky. The instruments involved in the show included a hurdy gurdy, fiddle, guitar, three different accordions, piano, jaw harp, and bouzouki. The fiddler provides percussion by stomping and tapping his feet (on an amplified surface, I believe), and in one song the bassist bowed his bass like a cello. And they have lovely voices, especially Nicolas and Simon, that they put to use in rich harmonies.

I adore it when musicians really get into their performances, and these guys are one of those groups that make you wonder how they keep that engagement and enthusiasm night after night, song after song. They clearly love what they do, and they are not only fantastic to listen to, but fun to watch. I was grinning through pretty much the whole show. It didn’t even matter that I couldn’t understand the lyrics – since they are from Quebec and play traditional Quebecois music, everything is in French, and my high school French only helped me pick out a word here and there. It was a fantastic concert, and now I just have to figure out what to download on iTunes.

It was such a lovely night, and now I think that leftover carbonara is calling me.

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