Julia Nunes and Ben Folds

We mentioned before that we saw Julia Nunes at the Ben Folds concert we attended.  Her performance was awesome, especially since we had no clue she was going to be part of it and I knew her from Youtube.  She finally posted a video of her performance, and while the quality isn’t very good it portrays the show perfectly.  About 5:20 into the video you’ll get to see Ben playing the drums for Julia which was completely unexpected and awesome.  She was totally clueless which made it even better.

In other news, we might be going to the 2009 Block Party with Ben Folds this Sunday.

The Passion of Ben

Watching anyone that is passionate about what they’re doing is both exciting and rewarding.

At the last minute Rachel and I were able to get Tickets to the Ben Folds Show at the Waterstreet Music Hall last week.  During the show it became clear that Ben thoroughly enjoys his music and his shows.  He played some of the most energetic piano for over 2 hours and when he finally went off stage he shook his hands and you could tell he was exhausted.  Even so, as all bands do, he came back for an encore and rocked the house again.

Needless to say the show was incredible.  Everything was amazing from the opener, a band I’d not previously heard of called “Jukebox the Ghost“, to “The midnight Ramblers” (an acappella group from The University of Rochester) to Julia Nunes (a famous ukalele YouTuber from Rochester NY).  The only music we really knew was the older stuff from Ben Folds Five but it didn’t really matter, The place was alive and it was a blast.

Unfortunately all I had with me was my iPhone camera so It was difficult to capture the moment with any clarity.

I’ll remember the show forever even without the pictures.  That’s what Passion does.

BBQ with Cake

For my birthday Rachel organized a surprise party by tricking me into a dinner at Dinosaur BBQ.  It was a load of fun and completely unexpected.  It was my first surprise party and I’d call it a success.

To top off the great BBQ dinner at Dinosaur Rachel got everybody together for the Cake concert.  Cake is one of my favorite bands and she had been making excuses for why we weren’t able to go.  When I opened my birthday card at dinner and found 2 tickets for the concert I was ecstatic.  The concert was better than I could imagine.  Cake turns out to be one of those bands that sounds just as good if not better live than on their pre-recorded music.

An awesome birthday thanks to the worlds best wife.

And yes, I know this post is 2 months late.  Sue me.

Melted Banana Hand – Rocking out with Rock Band

Rock BandWhen Rock Band came out a few weeks ago I was excited to try it out. Luckily my good friend Brian bought it and invited me to try it out. Ever since we’ve been meeting once a week as Melted Banana Hand. My impressions?

It’s more of a game than any of the Guitar Hero’s. Rather than a playing a list of songs and then being done, the idea is that you tour as a band. You will end up playing the same songs more than once but that’s ok because of how it’s done. Instead of finishing a song, your objectives are finishing a set list or finishing a venue. Because of the structure of the game it is also able to incorporate downloaded songs into the game itself rather than just adding it to a list of playable songs in quick play mode like in Guitar Hero.

The Guitar is only O-K. It looks great and I love the addition of the lower fret buttons I just wish they were used more. The game doesn’t force you to use them it simply increases the bonus you get when applicable. It would add even more depth to the game if it were to force you to use the lower frets during solos.

Solos are new to the game. For guitar this simply means added points and most likely faster sections with more notes. For drums this means you can play anything you’d like, which means a lot of fun. For vocals you can say anything you’d like. The solos in the game create a new and very dynamic musical environment.

The drums are impossibly hard. The guitar in Guitar Hero wasn’t easy to begin with but with some practice it got much better and was completely playable on hard. The drums on Rock Band are a completely different story. It’s hard on easy and insanely impossible on medium. Anything beyond that is just crazy talk.

Melted Banana Hand is still meeting once a week and the vocals are always up for grabs considering my friend Brian and I can’t at all. If you’re interested just let me know and I’m sure we can find a spot for you.