This is probably going to blow any street cred I may have had with this crowd, but I went to a Ben Folds concert last night. Went with my dad, who I had put on to Ben Folds Five 11 or 12 years ago. He's been following Folds since, though I have not. But he asked me to go. So I went. It was good. Dude can fucking shred on the piano. And the band was tight. Piano -- bass -- drums -- one guy who played synthesizers, horns, xylophone and other percussion instruments -- and another percussionist who was the best tambourine player I have ever witnessed, and could kick Will Ferrell's ass at cowbell any day. (Folds actually had him take a cowbell solo at one point.)
A highlight for me was a song introduced as one of a group of intentionally shitty tracks leaked on the internet as a gag prior to the release of one of their albums.
The Bitch Went Nuts
Even more highlighty, here is what can happen when you jam a couple of Altoids tins in a grand piano and play it through a distortion pedal.
They didn't do a whole lot of Ben Folds Five stuff, so aside from two covers of fake doctors (Dr. Dre and Dr. Hook,) I was hearing most of the songs cold, without having heard them before, and it was still a great show.
Handel wrote one of the greatest oratorios ever - Messiah. The Hallelujah Chorus is the highlight of that oratorio - such a brilliant piece of composition that it caused King George II of England to rise to his feet upon first hearing.
Tonight, on BBC-A, the Hallelujah Chorus was featured in ... a toilet paper commercial (click "Videos").
Arguably the greatest composer ever, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) seems to have suffered horribly throughout his life from the effects of lead poisoning. "There are many possibilities," says Bill Walsh, who headed a team that studied Beethoven's hair samples and fragments from his skull at the Department of Energy laboratory in Argonne, Ill. The composer was a wine lover, and wine at the time was known to contain high lead levels. He also drank out of a goblet made partially of lead and stayed at a spa where he drank mineral water, Walsh says.
This explains Beethoven's legendary irritability. For much of Beethoven's later life, the composer was friendless even as he wrote some of the greatest masterpieces ever (such as the Missa Solemnis).