glitch25: (Default)
I've been following Karrin Allyson for quite some time now. I think I fell in love from some cuts I heard on KPLU many years ago, and when I noticed she was stopping at Dimitriou's Jazz Alley, I would do what I could to stop by and see her.

She's an amazing artist who has a deep passion for music. Watching her perform is epic and magical.

She's a consummate pianist, and when she isn't sitting behind the keyboard, she surrounds herself with amazing and soulful talent. You can see the depth of the connection she holds with her fellow musicians on stage, and it is beautiful to watch them create music.

I highly recommend seeing her if you can. I make it a point to do that as often as I possibly can.

Here she is with Rod Fleeman on guitar, and Todd Strait on drums.

glitch25: (Default)
My first association to Väsen was unbeknownst as Sunnie and Betsy put together a duet called Josephine's Waltz based on a fiddle/cello cover by Alisdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. Stumbling around Youtube, I did find the original by Väsen written by their guitar player Roger Tolroth.

Not too terribly long after that, Sunnie and I had the luck and pleasure to see Väsen perform at Wintergrass Bluegrass Festival in Bellevue, and they graced us with a performance of Josefin’s Dopvals with guests Chris Thile and Mike Marshall on mandolin.

We've been big fans ever since, and have had the pleasure of seeing them live a few times now. :)

Here they are performing a holiday tune.

glitch25: (Default)
I have been aware of the music of Django Reinhardt for some time. He spawned what these days is either referred to as Gypsy Jazz or more commonly Hot Club. Sunnie and I have gotten rather enamored with the scene, and here in the Seattle area, we are blessed to have a group called Pearl Django that keeps up the tradition. I strongly encourage you to head out to see them if you can. They are fantastic!

One of the things I appreciate about Django's music, and of those that follow in his footsteps, is that it really moves me. Literally. I can't stop shuffling and tapping and dancing when I am listening to it. I enjoy letting it take me over. :)

This is a tune by the original and not with Stephane Grappelli, Django's usual partner in crime, but with a brilliant violin prodigy named Michel Warlop and his band.

glitch25: (Default)
One of my favorite Christmas albums as a kid was an LP of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, narrated by Zero Mostel. Scary and brilliant and lovely, as it is. For those of you who may have also had that LP, you may remember that the B side of it was a collection of Christmas songs called Christmas Songs From Many Lands by Alan Mills. These were various carols that had origins from all over the globe.

One that I liked a lot is called Bring A Torch. Lots of people have covered it over the years, but this is the one from that LP.

glitch25: (Default)
I want to say it was Tony Fabris that helped me down the Leo Moracchioli rabbit hole with Leo's awesome metal cover of Stayin' Alive. As is often the case, I took a deep dive, and am now a big Leo fan.

Beyond being a killer metal rocker and putting together some brilliant metal covers, Leo runs a music studio in Norway called FrogLeap Studios.

His videos are fun, his covers are insightful, and he really has a passion for what he does.
Find him here with this Christmas classic:

glitch25: (Default)
I realize I've been updating Facebook with my daily holiday music picks, but it might be nice to post them here as well.

That does mean I'm catching up with 8 of them today. So.. um.. well.. :-D

Danny Fong does nifty multitrack vocal videos of himself and his brother and sometimes his other gig mates. I got blown away by the version of Scarborough Fair he did that you can find with a little digging.
But since it's that time of year, I'm planning on posting nifty versions of holiday songs I find. Or ones that might be sentimental.
Here's Danny doing a time-split classic.

I'll hide the rest in here... )
glitch25: (you can do it)
Goodness. An interesting few weeks and holiday.

For those of you that don't keep up on Google+, which is my primary social media tool these days, I'm recovering from having had my gall bladder removed this last week. And moreover, recovering from the pancreatitis that led us to understand my gall bladder was the problem.

About the beginning of November, I had what they describe as an attack. Pain in my central epigastric region. Not often particularly symptomatic of a gall bladder problem, which a visit to the gastroenterologist confirmed. He was not willing, at that time, to say with certainty that based on the various tests I had, that the solution was unequivocally a gall stone issue, so we talked about a few more tests, and I was sent on my merry way. I spoke with a urologist about another issue that was discovered as well. Not quite as critical, but apparently I have a sizeable adrenal cyst over my left kidney that will need addressing soon too.

After the original attack, I returned home, and really didn't have much problem with it. I noticed what I guess would be termed discomfort more than pain on the upper right region, but it wasn't really much of a thing, and I didn't think much of it until it got a bit more severe later.

On December 13th, after having had a bout of vomiting that didn't particularly correspond to anything else the prior day, the pain grew worse, and finally I headed back to the ER to see what was up. Upon the return of my bloodwork, I became a superstar that drew doctors and nurses to come see me. The guy with the lipase over 41K (when normal is between 10-70 and elevated is maybe... 100-200). Apparently my pancreas was rebelling in style, and THAT was the pain I felt, but for the extensiveness of the inflammation, they were still confused that I was saying maybe a 5 on the pain scale at best. Pain meds on board, I started feeling a bit better, and settled in for a couple days of poking and prodding when they admitted me that night. Hospital stays... Oh joy...

Definitive diagnosis of gall stone disease, and treatment was relatively clear. First we had to clear out the common bile duct to allow the pancreas to settle down and heal, and once it had time to do that, the gall bladder was a goner.

So they performed an ERCP to clean out the duct, and apparently found a few things, which accounted for the pancreatitis. And then I got sent home to rest and relax while things inside settled down for a bit. The following Monday I was scheduled for a laproscopic cholecystectomy.

Normally, they should only last about an hour or maybe 90 minutes or so. Mine took 3 hours. They discovered something interesting.

Apparently when your gall bladder is so packed with stones (thousands and thousands), it becomes relatively solid, and thwarts efforts for its removal. They had to empty it of stones before they could get it out. Worst, my surgeon says, he's ever seen. They still don't totally get why I didn't notice before now. And likely, both from the alterations of the skin of the organ along with my impressive collection of stones, things have been this way for very possibly years. This would correspond with an earlier attack I believe I had some 12 years ago. Scary.

The consolation to the results of the gall bladder thing is that it is very highly likely that my gall bladder has not been functioning as intended for a long time, and as a result, I shouldn't experience anything out of the ordinary (or at least nothing that has been unusual for the past year or more) in terms of diet issues. When I read up on expected things that happen once the gall bladder is out and things you might experience, I look back over the last several years and understand a few things now. :-)

A week out from the surgery now, I feel pretty good. The initial couple of days were frustrating just in the impact to my mobility, but I tend to heal quickly, and noticed significant improvements each day. As of now, other than some tenderness over the incisions, and an occasional twinge from the area in question when I stretch or move too much, I'd say things are healing nicely and coming along well.

I was very blessed both during my hospital stays and recovery to have my sweeties keep track of me. I am so incredibly grateful for them each.

So the holidays were spent relatively low key. I got to spend quality time all around, and had a few nice family experiences as well, which I appreciate. I'm happy to know that in spite of living in a very dysfunctional given family, I can still appreciate what much more functional families look like, and be welcomed in them.

So things are looking up. Sometime this spring, I'll be back in to have my cyst looked at, and given its already significant size, excised. Hoping the recovery is the same.

One of the other things that has been significantly manifest lately is that from when I started just trying to keep crap out of my diet, I've been steadily losing weight.. a pound or two here or there. Since this summer, I've dropped about 25, and it really shows these days. A lot of people that have seen me assume it was related to the recent surgery and ensuing issues, but through the course of the month, I had only lost about 4-6 pounds.. and that's not far from my typical fluctuation. I had really started to notice over the last month or two in that my pants are all bunched up, and I'm tightening up my belt another notch for it to be comfortable. Time to go shopping again, methinks.

So how were your holidays?
glitch25: (Default)
 The Bobs are back for their annual Christmas show at the The Triple Door on Sunday, December 26th.  I've mumbled on and on about them before, but truly, they are hoot.  Between their amazing covers of things never intended to be a cappella, to their highly entertaining original songs, Richard, Matthew, Amy, and Dan bring fun and humor to the genre.  

Having been tied up with this and that over the last year or two, I haven't had the opportunity to see them when they've passed through.

I plan to change that this year, and I'd really love it if some of you would care to join.  

If not for the artists, come for the food.  The Triple Door is serviced by the kitchen of the Wild Ginger, and the food and the service are amazing!

The show isn't listed on the calendar yet for the Triple Door, but I'm guessing there will be two shows, as is common, either at 7 or 10.  For those interested, I'll be sure to get specific details as the time approaches and we can negotiate reservations.

EDIT: Really unusual for me to have not checked the calendar first, but it seems this will coincide with the Yule OTO Mass at Horizon.   Once I find out what the show times are, we'll be able to see if any of you interested in both can do so time wise.  Either way, I'm in.

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