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Yo-Yo Milli Vanilli

It's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

We were all impressed and amazed as we watched Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman strut their stuff -- stuff their struts? -- in the freezing bleachers at the Capitol on Tuesday. They sounded tremendous. How could their fingers not freeze? They had taken off their coats and were wearing mere suit jackets. Those bleachers weren't heated. They were in the wind. That was the coldest place on the Mid-Atlantic. The music, composed by John Williams, added beauty and gravitas to the event.

And so, it is rather shocking to find out, days later, that the music was prerecorded.

Clearly, that was the right decision from a production standpoint. John Roberts should have done the same thing with the oath.

The problem with the late revelation is that it calls into question whether anything we saw was real. None of us watching were told that the music was recorded way back on Sunday. We were, at some very basic level, tricked.

Was that even Obama up there or one of those CNN holograms? How do we know his speech wasn't taped in advance and that he didn't merely lip-sync it?

Note, if you will, that he looked rather comfortable up there, not cold at all, and at no point in the speech did he specifically acknowledge the 1.8 million people spread out in front of him. Why not? Because he was actually in Blair House.

--

From the boodle, here's a great comment by jprfrog:

'I have been a pro musician -- mostly a violinist --- all my life (also played with Perlman and Yo Yo many times, and worked for John Williams for 12 years)and was totally unaware that the players were "bow-syncing", they were that convincing. I thought that there might have been space heaters in the enclosure where they were performing, but if not, it was amazing that they were even able to mime playing. If you have never tried it, I can say with the authority of 40 years experience that (a) if you can't feel your fingers, you can't really play (b) exposing first rate stringed instruments to that sort of cold risks incalculable damage to them (c) wind instruments are also in danger...cold air makes the pitch go flat and the conflict between cold air on the outside of the clarinet and the player's warm breath inside it can cause the tube to crack(almost impossible to repair). So there was every reason to do it the way they did. As the I Ching says, no blame.

'That said, I was encouraged by the inclusion of such a piece in a ceremony watched by the whole world, and enjoyed the "Rainbow Coalition" aspect of the cast. It's a small thing, but I also think the piece was a little too long and a little too musically elaborate for the context...some of the fine details were hard to hear on the TV pickup. John almost always knows how to pitch the tone to the circumstances but I wonder if his enthusiasm for the occasion made him a little over-ambitious. I'd like to hear the piece again, without the background noise.'

And here's krears:

'I'm a cellist and I have to say, everybody talking about the instruments not staying in tune is missing the point. It's HARMFUL to an instrument made out of wood, especially an expensive one, to have it out in the cold. There's no way they could've justified putting an instrument worth more than $500 out there, and that is not much in the world of string instruments (less than what your beginning student would learn on, probably, and these instruments sound terrible -- I should know, I rented cheap student cellos through the end of high school).

'So, for what that's worth. Not sure that means Williams should've composed something for non-string instruments instead... I personally don't care that they couldn't play live. I don't feel like the wool has been pulled over our eyes. We know Perlman and Ma can play their instruments well, this isn't a thing like Milli Vanilli (or, god forbid, Ashlee Simpson).'

By Joel Achenbach  |  January 23, 2009; 10:33 AM ET
 
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Comments

oh well.

Posted by: LALurker | January 23, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

i mean i don't think it's that big of a deal.

Posted by: LALurker | January 23, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning All
Quite balmy in west by god this morning.

Being a former muscian,I can understand their decision not to play in the cold. But on the other hand.I don't think any of the marching bands had their music piped in and they had to be in the cold much, much longer.

Posted by: greenwithenvy | January 23, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

On NPR, Perlman specifically cited the difficulty of keeping the piano in tune in the cold, not even mentioning the cello and violin. If we are ready to violate the purists' credo by playing a recording, why not just ditch the acoustic piano and play an electronic keyboard? Modern electronic instruments are pretty good, I think.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Hmm. They did an excellent job faking it, if that's what they did. I thought it sounded fabulous, myself.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

The Chinese are going to be all over you guys after all the critique of the Beijing Olympics.

I guess it fits the pattern after cool looking Obama was selected to do the inauguration instead of the less photogenic old guy.

Posted by: engelmann | January 23, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Also noted on NPR -- they DID play the piece live, so it's not like they were hiding from the cold. What they were hiding from was embarrassment, or from a disservice to the music (if you want to make it sound high-minded). The live music was heard only by the people nearby. The recording was what played on the jumbotrons and PA systems.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Oh sure, and next we'll find out the whole parade thing was CGI...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

I wondered why they add those earpieces. Now I understand it was because of the playback.

Part of the excitement of live music and live theater is that it is, you know, live. Something could go wrong, and so a perfect performance is appreciated all the more.

While I do understand the pragmatic concerns, given the venue and solemnity of the occasion and all, it still introduces a bit of pro-wrestling into the mix.

Just as long as this doesn't catch on more than it has. Because to me an imperfect performance done with risk is usually better than a pre-fabricated one done perfectly.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

You know what? I'm okay with the recording being sent over the PA's. I would think that getting a good mix on the live performance would be very difficult.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure my videos of Bruce Springsteen and U2 capture live performances. Particularly since Bono ad-libbed a pro-Palestinian plug.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2009/01/bruce-vs-bono.html

Well, nearly live. There was about a two second delay between the stage and the video screen I was watching.

But at least Ashley Simpson was NOT one of the performers.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

No wonder it sounded like "Stairway to Heaven" close up (kidding).

Will there be a Congressional Investigation?

Is Drudge all over this scandal?

Posted by: jp1954 | January 23, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

The diff between marching bands and this is that marching bands don't have stringed instruments. The strings are the problem. Not designed to work in freezing conditions.

I agree that this is not a big deal, especially since it was them playing. Still, nobody likes feeling fooled.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of things not working. I just learned that my e-mail connection is down.

Drat. Because I don't know how long that Nigerian Business Opportunity will be good.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Oh the horror!!!

Posted by: RightDownTheMiddle | January 23, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Front Page Alert...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I remember wondering how in the heck they were able to stay in tune playing in the cold like that. Now I know.

Heat does a similar number on strings. I remember playing an outdoor gig one summer and had a hell of time keeping my guitar in tune, sometimes having to tweak it mid-song it would get so bad.

I'd take Perlman and Ma bow-syncing over Milli Vanilli live, lip-syncing, or otherwise moving their lips anyday.

Posted by: martooni | January 23, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

"The strings are the problem. Not designed to work in freezing conditions."

Then the solution is to not to use string instruments, instead of faking a live performance. I don't think the constitution mandates string instruments at this event.

"I agree that this is not a big deal, especially since it was them playing. Still, nobody likes feeling fooled. "

Especially by an administration that prides itself on "transparency".

I heard a couple of commentators marvelling at the performance, under difficult conditions.

BTW, was it Obama taking the botched oath in frigid weather? Why didn't they record that and project it holographically?

Posted by: pKrishna43 | January 23, 2009 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Don't worry, RD, those sons-of-former-presidents and former finance ministers are nothing if not persistent. Tenacious is the word that springs to mind.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning. I wasn't at all surprised to learn that the quartet played live, but along iwht a recording broadcast to the audience. It was way too cold for those instruments to hold their tune. Even with performers of that caliber, if the instrument can't be tuned it isn't going to sound quite right. This is magnified when the instrument is also playing with other instruments, each of which is out of tune in its own way, but none of which are out of tune in tune with each other, so to speak. The musicians weren't worried about idiosyncratic moments in the performance. They were worried that it would be, to coin a word, unlistenable. I bet the people who could hear both the live performance and the broadcast simulataneously had moments of extreme aural disturbance, sort of a Charles Ives-ish effect (composer known for pieces played in two or more keys at the same time).

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Also, it wasn't just the strings which were affected by the cold. All of them would have suffered to some extent.

Late, but my Jumper entry:

The allocation of power between nation and state is the pervasive problem of our federalism.
Garner, Elements of Legal Style

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

It's funny; I was watching McGill, Montero, Perlman and Ma and wondering how they could keep those pieces in tune (didn't Perlman have the Strad out?).

I guess I should have figured it out when the song was over and Ma smashed his Perfectly Good Chello to bits like Pete Townsend and the rest flipped Montero's piano over, kicked it to pieces, and set what was left of it on fire.

Helluva show if you were there...

Er, what did they show on the TV coverage?

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Ivansmom - you make a great point. I guess the choice would have been between compromising a bit on the perceived integrity of the event, or omitting it completely. And given the symbolic weight of the participants, not to mention the beauty of the music, (live or not) I think they did the right thing.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

No kidding, Scottynuke.

bc - I think I read that both Yo-Yo and Perlman were using "modern instruments."


Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Joel, you should have left this one for everyone else to report (CNN, Fox, NBC, NPR, etc). They've all done it. No one cares. It's totally understandable. So you jump on the bandwagon and watch the wheels flatten the press erected molehill. And you might have mentioned that the Inauguration Committee did announce days prior to the event that recordings might have to be used. You even mentioned Milli Vanilli--just like the rest of the scrum.

Posted by: davemarks | January 23, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

And what did Perlman mean when he said before he walked off stage -- "Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Good night!"

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I guessed before they started playing. I'm surprised how many others DIDN'T know they'd do this - picking up the sound of a violin in a windblown mic is not the sort of thing you want to do live.

Posted by: mobedda | January 23, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

This nit-picking of everything is really getting old.
**

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | January 23, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

I bet that Chief Justice Roberts whishes that his part was pre-recorded.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 23, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Wow they fooled me too. In that case the Committee got jacked someone didn't do their homework about cold and tuning instruments....terrible job.

Posted by: fdg31 | January 23, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

There are reasons, folks, that military bands designed to play outdoors generally don't have string instruments and this is one of them. (In fact, the Marine Band does have string players for indoor events, like state dinners.)

A better solution, given the predictability of January cold, would be to have had them play live from a room inside the Capitol, or the East Room of the White House, and broadcast it to the Mall, which was Jumbotron equipped anyway.

It was a foolhardy choice for a predictably cold day (what were they going to do if it rained?) and not likely one that will be repeated.

Posted by: Meridian1 | January 23, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

bc;

They smashed instruments? I distinctly saw groupies rushing the platform...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I have been a pro musician -- mostly a violinist --- all my life (also played with Perlman and Yo Yo many times, and worked for John Williams for 12 years)and was totally unaware that the players were "bow-syncing", they were that convincing. I thought that there might have been space heaters in the enclosure where they were performing, but if not, it was amazing that they were even able to mime playing. If you have never tried it, I can say with the authority of 40 years experience that (a) if you can't feel your fingers, you can't really play (b) exposing first rate stringed instruments to that sort of cold risks incalculable damage to them (c) wind instruments are also in danger...cold air makes the pitch go flat and the conflict between cold air on the outside of the clarinet and the player's warm breath inside it can cause the tube to crack(almost impossible to repair). So there was every reason to do it the way they did. As the I Ching says, no blame.

That said, I was encouraged by the inclusion of such a piece in a ceremony watched by the whole world, and enjoyed the "Rainbow Coalition" aspect of the cast. It's a small thing, but I also think the piece was a little too long and a little too musically elaborate for the context...some of the fine details were hard to hear on the TV pickup. John almost always knows how to pitch the tone to the circumstances but I wonder if his enthusiasm for the occasion made him a little over-ambitious. I'd like to hear the piece again, without the background noise.

Posted by: jprfrog | January 23, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

FWIW, my sister plays the harp, and she always cringes when it has to be transported in the cold--it takes a long time to warm back up and it's impossible to keep in tune until it stabilizes.

Posted by: ebtnut | January 23, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I was unaware that Milli Vanilli had some external, environmental reason that prevented them from actually singing their songs live. Or that Yo Yo Ma and his co-musicians could not actually play their instruments and other musicians were used to provide the music for these "actors".

Posted by: hitpoints | January 23, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm a cellist and I have to say, everybody talking about the instruments not staying in tune is missing the point. It's HARMFUL to an instrument made out of wood, especially an expensive one, to have it out in the cold. There's no way they could've justified putting an instrument worth more than $500 out there, and that is not much in the world of string instruments (less than what your beginning student would learn on, probably, and these instruments sound terrible -- I should know, I rented cheap student cellos through the end of high school).

So, for what that's worth. Not sure that means Williams should've composed something for non-string instruments instead... I personally don't care that they couldn't play live. I don't feel like the wool has been pulled over our eyes. We know Perlman and Ma can play their instruments well, this isn't a thing like Milli Vanilli (or, god forbid, Ashlee Simpson).

Posted by: krears@gmail.com | January 23, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I also heard that some of the crowd was fake. A friend of mine said he saw dozens of rows of mannequins on the mall, when he asked an official what they were for they told him they represented people who have been there had it not be so cold. ;)

Posted by: jeremyisett | January 23, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

As a musician, I can tell you that playing outside is extremely difficult especially when the weather is so cold. This affects the tuning of all the instruments severely and can also damage them. It was a smart move. The guys I feel bad for were the Marine Band Musicians, they actually had to play!

Posted by: mozartklar | January 23, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

They should have announced that due to the weather Ma and Perleman will fake it.
It was a small fraud but a fraud none the less. If it's too cold for musicians maybe they should consider hiring a conjurer to entertain the crowd.

Oh! A steel band.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

This is a snark isn't it? I mean a reasonable person couldn't really be so upset about this. Nor could a reasonable person compare Yo-Yo Ma to Milli Vanilli.

Posted by: FauxReal | January 23, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

What I want to know is why they even had a string quartet up there. Did they really think that the audience out there would pay attention to what they were playing? Maybe they were there to put a bit of glitz on the affair. After all, nothing says high-falutin' like a bunch of chamber musicians.

Posted by: GRILLADES | January 23, 2009 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Jean-Pierre!

That explains the absence of the carbon fiber cello and violin. I was hoping to see those things in the flesh. I missed the Army band, they had the CF instruments too.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Some day in the future the scientists will perfect robots looks and moves exactly like Yo-yo and Peerlman , and have them play with their prerecorded music in the funerals, weddings or inaugurations at low low cost.

Posted by: ypcchiu | January 23, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

It's a combination of the cold and the relative humidity.

Joel is afraid that the NSA is listening. That's why he's deflecting away from Big Issues. He is afraid if the surveillance continues they will steal his Secret Chili Recipe.

My whole sense of reality is going awry today. I didn't need this:
http://www.thewashingtonwatch.com/

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I was wondering - as a violin player myself, I know that playing stringed instruments in 20 degree weather, and keeping them in tune, is next to impossible. The instruments just aren't designed to be used in those conditions. Sort of silly, but they did what they had to do, if they wanted it to sound at all decent.

Posted by: ConradY | January 23, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm available for Birthday parties, Inaugarations, and parties in flagpoles.
Cheap Rates!


Fearless Freep

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

OUTRAGE!! WHERE'S ARLEN SPECTER?!

Posted by: CS49 | January 23, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

If the weather had been more cooperative Ma might have played one of these live. No way he was playing his $2M Renaissance instrument outside.
http://www.luisandclark.com/theinstruments.php

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Yo-Yo is quoted as saying he thought about using his carbon-fiber cello, but thought it would look too odd.

I always think one of the ways you can tell drive-by posters is that they haven't read the other comments.

Not that they have to, of course.

There have been some interesting comments, though.

Speakin' of music and science. Has anyone else ever noticed the number of people in science who play musical instruments? I used to play the piano until that unfortunate accident involving Chopin.

Hey, I knew the risks.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

http://lynch.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/01/20/the_tunnel

I finally spotted Middle East expert Marc Lynch's dispatch from the Purple Tunnel of Doom on Inauguration Day. A sad tale from the former Abu Aardvark.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2009 12:08 PM | Report abuse

hitpoints wins clever drive-by comment of the day. Yes, Yo MaMa COULD have played that piece if he had to. And in fact had for what was broadcast. Just not then and not there.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

At least they were actually at the Capitol and not in Mianus.

THAT would have sounded horrible.

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

RD, Chopin has been involved in many an accident.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why this is such a surprise. I heard someone on the Bob and Tom Show on Tuesday morning who talked about them playing the piece prerecorded because of the effect on the extreme cold on the stringed instruments.

Posted by: almost_50 | January 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

FauxReal, welcome to the Achenblog, a humor blog. Yes, there is an element of humor in the discussion. As you so astutely noticed, the comparison to Milli Vanilli might be a sign that the Kit (that essay up top) is deliberately over-the-top. The logical conclusion, that Obama actually took the oath from Blair House, is also a signal that perhaps Achenbach is ever so slightly making fun.

The combination of actual observation and humorous outlook, applied to politics, science, Manly Cooking, space aliens, and general observations on life, is characteristic.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom is right, FauxReal. And later on tonight we'll take you out snark-hunting. Be sure to bring abig burlap bag and a flashlight.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Thinking of cold strings, the mummers in Philadelphia include string bands. They perform on New Years Day.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

RD... well, they do say that students who study music do better in math.

That said, I barely passed Trig and completely failed Calc I. Of course, I wasn't exactly studying Mozart. More like The Clash and Bauhaus.

Posted by: martooni | January 23, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Humor aside, I suppose being in a "heated" enclosure really wouldn't have made the difference for the instruments. Still, I'd love to have a copy of the recording.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm somewhat skeptical of the math-music connection. People with Williams syndrome have high music appreciation and tend to be quite talented in music-- and they can't tie their shoes, draw, or figure out numbers at all.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061003191006.htm

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

We used to watch musicians faking it back in the days of American Bandstand all the time and nobody got upset about it.
Why should a Presindential Inauguaral have any more artistic integrity?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Good sportsmanship, anybody?

http://highschool.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=903780

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

BC--

Thinking good thoughts and sending positive vibes your way today.

Hi Boodle!

Posted by: Moose13 | January 23, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

As a former violinist of sorts--I played my mother's hand-me-down violin in elementary school, it's not the strings, per se, though all parts of the violin must be considered, including the bridge, neck, pegs, etc. It's the glue (remember Jello!) As this website advises, it's best to treat a violin like a newborn--and not leave the violin at either temperture extreme:

http://www.casadelsolviolins.com/stringTips.nxg

The violin family of instruments is glued with animal hide glue. This glue loses all strength below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, a sudden shock can cause the instrument to come apart! Removing a cold violin from its case in a warm room will cause the varnish to crinkle (forming a "crow's feet" pattern). Also, the moisture in the room will condense on the varnish, melding dirt and rosin to the varnish and making cleaning very difficult.

http://www.casadelsolviolins.com/stringTips.nxg

Posted by: laloomis | January 23, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, folks, this is what passes for humor around here. And obviously this is a riff on the Roberts Oath bobble, and the Chief Mulligan provided for the Swear-in.

I can appreciate that the musicians would not have wanted to compromise the Inauguration ceremony, the quality of the music and the composition by attempting to play the piece live under such conditions.

I suspect a live performance would have sounded pretty bad, and would have detracted from the cerermony.

No doubt a difficult decision, but ultimately the correct one. Something tells me that there will be a McGill, Montero, Perlman and Ma Reunion (The When Washington Freezes Over Tour?) somewhere, somewhen and they'll do Williams' composition live on stage night after night until they're as sick of it as U2 is of doing "Sunday Bloody Sunday."

Well, maybe not *that* much.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Now I know why Yo-Yo & Co. kept looking at each other and smiling/chuckling - they were probably laughing at how bad they sounded b/c of the cold.

I think they made the right move by playing a pre-recorded piece. As someone else pointed out: it might not be too bad for them to play live if all their instruments were out of tune the same way (an in tune out of tune?), but that won't happen. Each instrument will be different. Combine them all together and you get a cacophony, not a symphony.

I played the trumpet for 10 years, in a concert band and a marching band. I had a heckuva time keeping my trumpet in tune when it was 20 degrees out - I don't even want to think about trying to keep a stringed instrument in tune at that temperature. I doubt it's even possible, short of making adjustments several times a minute - which might make it a little tough to play.

Personally, any comparisons to Milli Vanilli are bogus IMO. As I recall, not only did MV lip sync, but it wasn't even their voices. THAT was the big source of the rage against them. Artists have been lip syncing for years, and everybody knows it. When you're lip syncing to a voice that's not even yours, however, that makes you a fraud. As long as Yo Yo & Co. actually made the recording that was played, I've got no problem with their actions.

Posted by: SeaTigr | January 23, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

White glue.
Mmmmm

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Having played both trumpet and flute outdoors, I was wondering how the quartet managed in the cold. I know the thought crossed my mind, but I just let it go because in the larger scheme of things, it just didn't matter.

Posted by: Raysmom | January 23, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The thing that chaps my bum is that the "lip synching" is so sleazy. Okay, it was too cold to play (and should have been considered too cold to bring out the instruments) -- but couldn't they have performed in a nearby heated building with a live feed to the jumbotrons? Or used some kind of photo montage or even one of those random visualizer things that media player has (instead of a video of a bunch of old men acting ridiculous)?

Posted by: ebrobston | January 23, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

And I imagine there will be a Symphockumentary, "This is McGill, Montero, Perlman and Ma (no Tap)," about the release of their new album, "Smell the Mitten."

No 1/12 scale mockup of The Mall on stage, no people of any stature whatsoever to make it look bigger.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2009 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Fellow Boodlers: What do you think Drudge, et al will call this occurrence?

Cellogate? Lipsincgate? Duetgate? Yoyogate?

Posted by: jp1954 | January 23, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Moose.
I'm OK.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Milli Vanilli Show paled in comparison to the overwrought, overweight pomposity that was John Williams version of "Simple Gifts", a retarded clone of Aaron Copeland's retarded clone, simplicity f***d up to the nth...But the CAKE was Mrs. Obama's laying a great big, wet goodbye kiss on the First Simian as he was to board Marine-1 ...That was like Vera tying tongues with Charlton Heston at the end of "The Planet Of The Apes", only in reverse..

Posted by: frak | January 23, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

That was swell.

Posted by: russianthistle | January 23, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I am a musician, having played violin since being a 6 year-old kid. I was 60 january 20, 2009. when i heard the excellently synthetic music (mysteriously combining the 'new' (the beginning of the piece) with the 'old' (the folksy strains of "simple ways") it brought tears to my eyes as symbolizing, in a tangibly experiencable moment (which is the 'work' of music and art in general) the advent of a new vision for our country.

and so, i think the music itself worked well. i also know how dangerous, literally 'bleeding-dangerous' it is to play an instrument such as a violin in cold weather. they did what they had to do in using the recording, but from what i understand, those close to the musicians could hear them actually playing.

the comparison to milli vanilli is totally off base. that "band" exercised some of the most "institutionally deceptive" harm to music by masquerading in the shadows while others actually had produced the music they claimed to have played. This is not the case with Yo Yo Ma, Itzak Pearlman, and the others.

It was wonderful to experience thoughtfully original music, and it would be totally cool for those excellent musicians to "get back together" on a nice, spring, summer, or fall day; maybe even in the shadow of the Washington Monument to repeat their Inaugerational Performance for President Obama once again, even "for the 1st time..."

Posted by: blue_tarp | January 23, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"How do we know it was Obama up there.."

We just find out that the secret service is going to be using doubles to stand for Obama. So, who knows, maybe THAT was a double.

Very funny article.

Posted by: cintronlourdes | January 23, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The film Hilary and Jackie shows Jacqueline du Pré’s uneasy relationship with her instrument by showing the priceless cello left in the snow on a hotel balcony.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, according to the article, the musicians WERE playing:

"People sitting nearby could hear the musicians play, but their instruments were not amplified."

The quartet was NOT pretending to play. They did play, and I'm sure that those nearby enjoyed what they heard. Only the millions watching and listening from afar heard a recording.

A minor distinction, perhaps, but significant enough that the quartet should not be compared with Milli Vanilli.

Posted by: Vosora | January 23, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse


Much ado about nothing. The technical problems were real and well explained.

(As I watched it I wondered at their ability to play in the cold and how they had tuned so well).

Posted by: AlanBrowne | January 23, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What a relief! The water problem is only frozen pipes. Since they are braided metal, when they are thawed, all should be well.

Welcome, blue_tarp and cintronlourdes. Yes, Joel has a dry sense of humor that we really appreciate here on the boodle.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Good one, Joel.

But, how did the Stradivarius dude have instruments survive all these years if "incalculable damage" arises?

Sounds like bunk. Or, more likely, prissy players who don't like cold.

Cuz I'm thinking that Carrier dude wasn't around for climate control back then. Or, did they not play in freezing whether and kept the instruments in climate controlled castles? NOT.

Wuss Factor 10. Granted, it might be tough on the old phalanges (or is that the river or toes), but "incalculable damage" is shrieking hysteria.

AND, which instruments were WORTHY of the same climate that lowly privates and sailors endured without earmuffs and suffered silently?

Posted by: theeasypartsover | January 23, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Perlygate

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

*placing the laurel wreath on DNA_Girl for the proper appelation*

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Next we're going to find out that those aren't Obama's real daughters at all. His real daughters were deemed not cute enough and are socked away in a boarding school somewhere while two stand-ins take their place in the White House.

Posted by: Sarahfran | January 23, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

WHAT!?!?!

OMG.

Well, that's it. This pro musician can no longer respect Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. PERIOD.

YOU BLEW IT YOU JERKS! HOW DARE YOU?

PERLMAN! OF ALLLL PEOPLE! SHAME ON YOU! You go around the world to teach and inspire young people... who now will allll know you are a FRAUD!

Folks, the reason this is serious is because it is soooooooooooo impossibly hard to rise to the level of talent and promotion to be a professional musician... And then two of the finest the world has produced have the temerity to turn into a FAKING, POSING, LIARS - at an uber historic presidential inauguration for that matter!?!

Don't listen to the coddlers talking about how it isn't so bad... integrity is what the classical frauds always posture on... or the nonsense about instruments falling apart in the cold... I own a number of instruments that are suited for various different purposes - AND SO DO THESE JERKS!
Of course you don't take the 'Strad' out into freezing weather! Duh! The investors who own your $ multi-million dollar instrument would sue you and remove it from your posession. You bring the cheap modern built instrument for that made with modern glues, etc. for an outdoor job in the winter...AND THEN YOU ACTUALLY PERFORM ON IT FOR THE AUDIENCE!

...And they were smiling at each other while they perpetrated their fraud? NICE TOUCH.

So much for classical musicians being better, more ethical, pure, serrious, or legit than the rest of us street churns! You guys just unmasked yourself as unethical musical frauds and "sell outs".

I'll NEVER again let a classical musican pretend to be "musically holier than thou". My new reply to such behavior is: "Dude - Yo Yo Ma and Itzak Perlman proved you classical guys are just as full of it as the major labels when he lip synched the inaugural performance... So take a seat, will ya? Your art form has no integrity anymore."

It is FAR WORSE than Milli Vanilli... They weren't going around all holier-than-thou. They were just pop-star wanna-be stupid and getting pimped out.

Ma and Perlman are personna non-grata in my world and I'm throwing out their CDs and vinyl from my collection TONIGHT!

YOU GUYS S-U-C-K!!!

Posted by: onestring | January 23, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Last year I was in a dance band that did played dances at Glen Echo's Spanish Ballroom. The Spanish Ballroom is historic in that it has no heating or AC. The December gig was probably the hardest one we had to keep in tune. On the other hand I think it was the August one that intonation wasn't so bad but our brains didn't make it quite to the end of the gig.....

Posted by: lese1 | January 23, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

What a bunch of Mularkey. These guys aren't Milli Vanilli, and they aren't Britney Spears. THEY WERE PLAYING PEOPLE. They just were not amplified and the reason is simple. ALL were playing wooded instruments, and three of them were stringed.

As a guitarist, I know what kind of havoc temperature can play on a wooden instrument. Heck just a slight change in temperature can cause a guitar to go out of tune.

This is idiotic nonsense. Personally, I was wondering why they had that quartet playing outdoors, and I thought the piece, while nice, droned on to the point where I stopped enjoying it after three minutes.

Still, these guys are much different from Marching bands, which are mostly brass. The drums could be affected, but on the other hand, most people would not know the difference. Most people would notice a sour note.

If this is the kind of idiotic BS that the Republicans are going to be harping on, their journey in the woods is going to be a lot longer than they think.

This isn't even in the same league as serving Plastic Turkeys to our troops on Thanksgiving. Remember George Bush's plastic birds?

Posted by: VeloStrummer | January 23, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

If the military orchestra was able to perform in the same weather, using carbon fiber cellos, violins and basses (see article in the NY Times page), then Ma's quartet could have, too. It's a real pity they didn't.

Posted by: JoeMc | January 23, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Okay, take a deeeeeep breath. A holographic Obama? That was tongue-in-cheek, right? Besides, they were, in fact, playing live. And, Yo-Yo Ma's joy was clearly evident, making it a worthy performance under any circumstances.

Posted by: drjgv | January 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

HEy bc -

Perlman was giving a major shout out to Johnny Rotten since he was not invited to play at any balls or other events. Huge oversight IMHO. God Save The Queen!!

Posted by: VeloStrummer | January 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you kind sir :-)

http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=1733

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

What's the big deal? This is a clear illustration of what the great pretender's administration will be. All symbolism and not much substance.

Posted by: LarryG62 | January 23, 2009 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Some people need more fiber in their diet this morning.

Music today is far more well-done and perfect than it likely has ever been-- thanks to technology.

The debate of where to draw the line between musician, instrument, recording, acoustic engineering, microphone, etc. misses the point: people want to hear good music, not f**ting tubas and violins coming undone.

Joel, new kit?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Give me a BREAK: It is physically impossible to keep any stringed instrument in tune in that kind of cold. (One of the most unbearable musical experiences I ever had was a competent orchestra trying to play in an unheated chapel on a cold Easter morning -- ouch!!) Given the choice between broadcasting a painfully off-key performance, vs. one that did justice to the music, I can understand why they chose the latter. But they WERE actually playing the piece, and the recording was actually of them (unlike Milli Vanilli), so I don't see why anyone should consider it a big deal.

(onestring, get a life.)

Posted by: PLozar | January 23, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I don't recall Joel being a right-wing enabler prior to the 2008 presidential campaign. Was I not paying close enough attention, or did Hillary drive him over the edge? It's too bad.

Posted by: zukermand | January 23, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

I think there needs to be a moratorium on Milli Vanilli cracks until someone can provide, without using a computer search engine, the names of the front-men of Milli Vanilli.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

DaveotC, anyone who has actually heard a Mummer's band knows deep in his/her soul the utter futility of trying to play any kind of music outdoors in northern winter. Even, god help us, banjos and glockenspiels. I mean, really. Glockenspiels? (And I come from Fulldullfya, of course. The Mummer's Parade is a bad, inside joke we Fullydullfyans have been playing on the world for years, and none odf you have ever caught on. We all thought, yanno, glockenspiels would just give the joke away. But no. You all bought it. So now we're hoist on our own petard, as it were.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Fab Morvan and Rob somebody...

(sumbuddy HEP me!!!)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon-- any sort of music... does that include vocals?

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Tim ask me a hard one. Ludwig von Milli, and Beyonce Vanilli.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Pilates? Pilatius?

Posted by: bobsewell | January 23, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

John Williams' composition was a snooze in any case, more AIR and not much SIMPLE GIFTS.

But we know ARETHA wasn't faking it!

Chain chain chain ...

Posted by: HughBriss | January 23, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

fourth closest book:

dar la bienvenida

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Sacco and Vanzetti?

Ben and Jerry?

Cheech and Chong?

Run/PDQ?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The effort was REAL. The four of the braved the cold (un-bundled I might add) to share a gift with all of us. The recording was REAL. It was their performance of the piece that they wanted to share with America unblemished by the weather.

I am pretty appalled at the arrogance of anyone that would reject the gift of the performance and effort because every effort was made to ensure it was delivered perfectly.

I could see the discomfort in their hands, and felt the warmth of their spirit.

BRAVO!

Posted by: ayelvington | January 23, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Aero and Smith?

Hall and Oates?

Hall and Barley?

Brooks and Dun?

Dun and Bradstreet?

Kaiser and Wilhelm?

Man, this is *hard.*

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

This is so minor that I'm enjoying the over the top snarketry.

Perhaps the the producers could have avoided the fooforall by getting musicians who play instuments not so vunerable to the cold. Unfortunately nobody could predict that it might be cold in January.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 1:51 PM | Report abuse

OK, so the piece was pre-recorded. As the I Ching also says, 'Perseverence furthers.'

But am I the ONLY one who caught (or did I hear a completely different piece?) that the "Air" was filled with an homage to Dvorak's New World Symphony???

Posted by: ethanquern | January 23, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Ooh fooforall is so much better!
Thanks Boko :-)
PS Didja see my sinfest gifts from a coupla days ago?

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Why do they keep saying that the piece was composed by whoever arranged it? It was a very clear and unembellished arrangement of Tis a Gift to Be Simple, a Quaker hymn that has been around for a hundred years or more. Nicely done, but not new to anyone who has spent any time in a church. While a composition that has existing melodies woven through it can be considered to be a new composition, I didn't hear anything that sounded different from a very pleasant arrangement that could have been sung along to, it was so exactly that song in melody and tempo.

Posted by: blumen | January 23, 2009 1:56 PM | Report abuse

They should repeat the concert.

Posted by: Mablanca | January 23, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh lord. Not only front page, but in the mix of the stories on the top left. At least this will increase page views.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

I think less Ovaltine for onestring. :) (He was kidding, folks).

Others have said it: they played instruments, they recorded it before hand because they knew it would not be ideal conditions; they played because you don't say "Well, I'd like to be at the Inauguration, but I can't make it... I have to do my hair."

Some are missing the point.

Posted by: peabody | January 23, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm not making any headway on this, am I? OK, Tim, I give up.

No, wait. Masters and Johnson?

OK, now I give up.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Abbott and Costello.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Hootie and the Blowfish.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I think that a lot of the pompous blathering about incidents of this sort could be muted by the simple expedient of passing a constitutional amendment requiring that helium be administered before all federal oaths of office.

It should then be difficult to get TOO wound up about the trappings, having made the main event so delightfully silly.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 23, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Myron Florn, doing both parts.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I don't think it's arrogant to reject a fraud no matter how well intentioned or well done. When someone tells me I'm going to see a musician perform a piece I expect to hear the piece the musician is playing not some recording.
This was a deliberate attempt to decieve the audience and it succeeded briiiantly. Now they get to pay the price.
Too bad such awesome week of Pres. O's de-Bushification had to end an a sour squawk.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world is this news? These are professional musicians who recorded THEMSELVES to make sure we all had the highest quality of THEIR music to listen to. And they did play live, but those close probably heard it out of tune. My thanks to them to sparing us that. Roberts was enough such nonsense for one inaugural. I can't believe this is headline news everywhere I look. Honestly. Get a life, journalists. Report actual news, thank you.

Posted by: lutra68 | January 23, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Can I phone a friend?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Meat Loaf.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I only remember that they were black Germans, something of an oddity.

I note here that some people have very short fuses and even shorter irony detecting antennas.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Charles Bronson and Charles Barkley.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Black Germans?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Tupak Himmelfarber and Heinie Jackson.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm quite sure one of them was German, maybe both. They were black right?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Those were pretty good robotic klones working the instruments. I wondered why their noses weren't running.

Posted by: rrau22 | January 23, 2009 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I am proud to say I do not know the names of the performers in Milli Vanilli.

Pink and Floyd?

Posted by: hitpoints | January 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

For those of us left outside (the Brotherhood of the Purple and Blue), I think I can say that this does not seem terrible. We would have LOVED the chance to hear the Milli Vannilli quartet.

Posted by: lkop56 | January 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

England Dan and John Ford Coley
Captain and Tenille
Simon and Arbuckle
Haul -n- @ss

Whenever someone brings up Brooks and Dunn, I earnestly ask, "But which one is the pitcher and which is the catcher? You know, who's the top?"

Mostly I get blank stares. I'm shocked I've never gotten punched.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Li'l Panzer and Ice-Blucher.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Hi DNA_Girl. Um. No. I didn't see them, but then, I miss so much.
I didn't miss 'Perlygate' though,,. v. good aptitude-wise. Aptitudinally? Chock full of aptness.
I would have mentioned it but I'm already b-hogging.

Sinfest sometimes gives me trouble 'cause I'm not to good with subtext but I think I got the one you linked to above
The joke is that the corporate pigs and the god-bots already have a room or sumpin.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The obvious answer to the whole cold weather stringed instrument thing was to just bag Perleman and Ma and bring a string band in from the Mummers parade in Philly

Posted by: gloriousglo13 | January 23, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Black Germans?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:11 PM

You know, from that forest there. The Black Forest.

Posted by: Sarahfran | January 23, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I thought that was a cake. Did they name a forest after it?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Guten abend. Ich bin kommen from der Dumplingwald.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

(But thank you for the set-up, Sarahfran. I can do another 20 minutes on it.)

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

OK, last one:

The curative properties of the willow and related plants such as poplars had been known for centuries.

1) Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words
2) The Elephants of Style
3) Learning Python
4) Spanish Dictionary
5) Napoleon's Buttons (a Boodle recommend that I am thoroughly enjoying

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

That was a bit compulsive of me

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, it was like at the Lincoln where the TV showed Beyonce singing some patriotic thing but on stage -she was doing Single Ladies.

Posted by: silverspring25 | January 23, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

You're looking under rocks for something negative, here, bud.
What a stretch! This was all explained on Yo-Yo Ma's website,
check it out. Then grow up, do a little more thinking or say
here's a novel approach to a column; how about doing a
half-hour's worth of research on something before going
off all half cocked.

Too many of you guys have been able to fill the pages of
Newspapers for the last eight years with vacuous mumbo,
and have gone all pundit on us, do to VOID of substantial
news coming from the direction of The White House.
You've all seriously been under challenged. I know you've
had truely nothing better to do, and hey, you had to at
least look busy, right? - yeah, I get that.

However, I for one, am here to tell you, you're gonna get kicked
to the curb faster than you know, because the era of knee-jerk
stupidity left with Bush. Wake up, try writing something of
substance next time, that you've actually thought about first,
unless you're some kind of Ann Coulter, wanna-be?

I'm fed up with this kind of stupid crap. I mean really, what
a stretch!!!!!!

Posted by: AGrownup | January 23, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

NURSE RATCHED! I WANT MY CIGARETTES!! THEY'RE NOT YOUR CIGARETTES! THEY ARE MY CIGARETTES!

I WANT MY CIGARETTES!

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Achenbach-HUGELY HUGELY FUNNY! YO YO MILLI-VANILLI-CALLS INTO QUESTION WHETHER ANYTHING WE SAW WAS REAL-OH MY GOD-CRAMPING WITH LAUGHTER-BUT TRUE! SO TRUE!

P.S. AND WHEN I LISTENED TO THEM, MY FIRST THOUGHT WAS, THAT SOUNDS TOO...REFINED, AS IF THE MUSIC WAS STRAIGHT OUT OF A RECORDING STUDIO-IS THAT A RECORDING? NAH! THIS IS THE INAUGURAL-COULDN'T BE! TURNS OUT, I WAS RIGHT!

MILLI VANILLI INDEED-FUNNY

Posted by: arrabbiato | January 23, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Whatever. I enjoyed it - beautifully done and what a treat to see all four musicians.

Posted by: itsagreatday1 | January 23, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

OK, who let the damned Grownup in here?

Security!!

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess irony is still dead.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

FWIW, my sister plays the harp, and she always cringes when it has to be transported in the cold -- it takes a long time to warm back up and it's impossible to keep in tune until it stabilizes.
Posted by: ebtnut | January 23, 2009 11:50 AM
==
ebtnut, I too am a harpist and have played a number of outside performances.
What is it about garden receptions that they think it would be so nice to have harp music, but have no consideration for the instrument?
The air, the sunlignt, the temperature, etc., can play havoc on strings.
Everytime a string breaks and has to be replaced, it takes several days of tuning and returning, until the string finally stabilizes and adjusts to being under constant tension.
As I watched that scene the other day, I wondered, during that magnificent piece, how they accomplished it.
Now we know.
They made the prudent decision!
It was beautiful and gave grace and dignity to the occasion.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | January 23, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Slow news day, Joel? This is much ado about nothing.

Given both the temperature and the setting, it was much better to have the Williams piece pre-recorded. Weather does affect musical instruments - especially priceless, antique string ones - Perlman plays a 1714 Stradivarius and Yo Yo Ma generally plays a 1733 Montagnana cello - and wind, rustling of papers, etc. doesn't help sound quality during a broadcast.

It was a nice touch, anytime you can hear the likes of Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman play (live or pre-recorded) you're lucky - so stop with this nonsense already.

Posted by: laSerenissima2003 | January 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

And no kicking to the curb, please. In accordance with the teachings of the Master, we practice zen-like non-violent humor here.

Under-challenged needs a hyphen.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hmm. The tone of our visitors, which had been pleasant and informative, has begun to turn rancid.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Ironically, Milli's first name was "Vanilli", and vice versa.

And, the comparison is apt. No matter who the musician is, or what their instrument is, or what the weather conditions are, or how good the synching is, if the sound currently coming out of the speakers is not the sound currently coming out of the instruments, it's fake. I think that's the big issue- not music, but deception and then excuses. (By the way- yes, I'm a musician and have had to slap a string bass in near freezing weather; it's no fun.)

Posted by: wgordon1 | January 23, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

As a musician, I was astounded that their instruments were in tune. I mentioned it to several people, because I know our acoustic instruments cannot handle a draft much less the temperatures that day.

I would have loved to have been in on that decision!

Posted by: maggieww | January 23, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I blame myself, Padouk. I think it was "Ice-Blucher" that did it. Have a good weekend. Make some nice boxes.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Why is this a story? Who's pushing this story? I suspect this is done more often than any of us know - before football games, public events of all kinds, even PBS reunion specials, all situations far less justified than this event. Good gosh, Achenbach, must be a slow news days.

Posted by: ljines1 | January 23, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hey, where have all the girls gone? They've been missing for a couple of hours. Yoki? CP? Maggie? LiT? Raysmom?
Ivansmom?

Guys, I think something's up. I think we may be in for a world of hurt.

They're up to something. Like they say in the jungle movies, it's quiet...too quiet.

We better check the bunker, the Ready Room and the shop steward's office.

We're in deep doo-doo, I can just feel it.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Is AGrownup possibly a pedantic little priss who has never quite gets the joke?

Posted by: bobsewell | January 23, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

As a public service to those just joining the Boodle courtesy of the front-page, I repost the following from earlier today:

"Welcome to the Achenblog, a humor blog. Yes, there is an element of humor in the discussion. As you so astutely noticed, the comparison to Milli Vanilli might be a sign that the Kit (that essay up top) is deliberately over-the-top. The logical conclusion, that Obama actually took the oath from Blair House, is also a signal that perhaps Achenbach is ever so slightly making fun."


Perlygate, DNAGirl - priceless.

Mudge, I think they were Strunk & White. Or perhaps Pat Paulsen.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"has never quite gotten..." or "who never quite gets...", darn it!

Posted by: bobsewell | January 23, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

HEY IDIOTS-GET A GRIP ON WHAT'S RELEVANT HERE-IT'S NOT THE FACT THAT THEY USED A RECORDING, IT WAS NOT REVEALING THAT IT WAS A RECORDING THAT IS THE CRIME-AND YES, I CONSIDER THAT DECEPTIVE, AND LIKE THE BUNGLED OATH, AN INAUSPICIOUS START TO THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY!

Posted by: arrabbiato | January 23, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Uh I have all the right parts...I think.

And Mudge, whatever you do, don't guess Laurel and Hardy;

I have to say, I am deeply, deeply, offended by ...... Laurel and Hardy. Spreading such misinformation is not a public service.
Posted by: ScienceTim | January 23, 2009 9:29 AM

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Serenissima, if I didn't have nonsense, I wouldn't have much.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 23, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Perlygates really was quite excellent. I am purple with frenvy.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I even noticed a difference in the didgeridoo in cold weather.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

I wanna shoot the guy who invented caps lock.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Those of us at or near "a certain age" may find this info interesting someday:

http://esciencenews.com/articles/2009/01/21/measles.virus.may.be.effective.prostate.cancer.treatment

Posted by: bobsewell | January 23, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Well, that's what you get for trying to write your name in the snow with it, Jumper.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

HEY IDIOTS-GET A GRIP ON WHAT'S RELEVANT HERE-IT'S NOT THE FACT THAT THEY USED A RECORDING, IT WAS NOT REVEALING THAT IT WAS A RECORDING THAT IS THE CRIME-AND YES, I CONSIDER THAT DECEPTIVE, AND LIKE THE BUNGLED OATH, AN INAUSPICIOUS START TO THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY!

Posted by: arrabbiato | January 23, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Just finished back boodling - who would have thought this topic would have so many comments already. Quite nice in a way that the burning issue of the new government so far is over pre-recorded music and not say, torture, war, deceit or incompetance - Change is good.

Live or recorded Yo-Yo Ma is wonderful.

Posted by: dmd2 | January 23, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

In the name of Jumper McMurphy--

"Why don't ya shut your go**amn mouth and play some music."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, or maybe a terminal case of driving the pinky into the shift key

Posted by: russianthistle | January 23, 2009 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Weed, this guy's driving his pinky, all right. Sheesh.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Pinky in the Brain

Posted by: omnigood | January 23, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed by the Purple Tunnel user info at Google Maps.

Here in Florida, the main agricultural losses seem to have been to the tropical fish industry, which is concentrated around Tampa. So expect a Neon Tetra shortage. Also some veggie losses. Strawberries that were sprayed & coated in ice should be fine. Source: the Ledger (Lakeland).

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Well, if music is out for the ceremony, why not have Hula dancers? The Pres is from Hawaii and I know the cold wouldn't diminish my appreciation of such a performance.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I'll just leave out the pole dancers and buckets of warm water, shall I?

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Get a grip, will you. Do you complain about the crap being played at the Stupid Bowl that is obviously prerecorded? There is no way that this could have been played in the open air with 2 million people around creating background noise.

Posted by: bevandavies | January 23, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

If Achenbach had bothered to spend 5 minutes on Google, he'd wonder if really trying to cover something up, since they told this to Variety the week BEFORE the inauguration:

"Williams will supervise a recording
of it Sunday in D.C. as an emergency
backup in case of inclement weather....

The quartet played it for the first
time on Tuesday in New York and will
rehearse again and record it with
Williams on Sunday."

-- VARIETY 1/15/09
Williams' music to Obama's ears
Ma, Perlman to perform at inauguration
By JON BURLINGAME

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117998645.html?categoryId=16&cs=1

http://tinyurl.com/avakqn

Posted by: uiouio | January 23, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Slow news day eh?

Comparing a *single* pre-recorded event, complete with perfectly valid mitigating factors, with a complete fallacy (Milli Vanilli) is downright dishonest.

Unless you're claiming Yo-Yo Ma is a fraud and a fake for his entire career? I thought not. Stick to real issues.

Posted by: rpixley220 | January 23, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Are we supposed to be discussing the news?

OK... what about THAT Momar Qadafi guy!?

Posted by: russianthistle | January 23, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Once again, as a public service announcement for our new friends I repost:

"Welcome to the Achenblog, a humor blog. Yes, there is an element of humor in the discussion. As you so astutely noticed, the comparison to Milli Vanilli might be a sign that the Kit (that essay up top) is deliberately over-the-top. The logical conclusion, that Obama actually took the oath from Blair House, is also a signal that perhaps Achenbach is ever so slightly making fun."

Hither & Yon?
Scalia & Thomas?

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I say we just b1tch-slap the lot of them. Who's with me?

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

You don't have to worry about us just yet, Mudge. We're having tea together in the dining room of the bunker at 5. If you're interested, it's coat and tie. We're going to have a millinery trunk show, so the guys may not be particularly interested.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

This is beyond ridiculous. Everyone with half a brain knows that even with Ma and Perlman, there was no way that quartet was playing THAT well in THOSE conditions.

Next time you listen to popular music, think about how much of that is COMPLETELY engineered. As a society we are surrounded by fake music every single day and seem to have no problems shelling out millions to watch lip synched "live" concerts (cough MADONNA and BRITNEY).

Get a life. They did perform and what we heard was a beautiful piece that was performed by world class musicians. None of you who are so quick to criticize them here now that we know the truth would have been able to tell otherwise.

Posted by: gmusicchic | January 23, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I think it would be more appropriate if this blog bore a large red label:

WARNING -- SATIRE!!!

(But our page views would plummet!)

:-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Military, slyness? Of course we'd be interested!

Oh, wait...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Don't be ignorant... Of course the ceremony was real. It was far below freezing, I'm sure the music was pre-recorded to prevent a snafu.

Posted by: change-is-here | January 23, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I am heading out to get a life... anyone want to tag along?

Posted by: russianthistle | January 23, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse

THIS is the most pressing problem we have??? It would have been better to have world class musicians sound like a middle school band due to weather conditions?....Give me a break!

Posted by: suziny | January 23, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

And how do you tell if a didgeridoo is out of tune? It'd be like noting a bagpipe is off-key. So what if it is? It's not like it could sound worse.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

ABC said that Yo-Yo Mah wasn't using his wood cello because the cold would've have damaged it, but rather was using a cyberglass (sp?) cello instead. I'm guessing that the others also used "weather-appropriate" instruments rather than risk damaging their personal instruments.

Posted by: moviefan | January 23, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

meant fiberglass. Sorry. Still working that post-inaugural hang-over.

Posted by: moviefan | January 23, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

And to bring a somber note to all the snickering, Rob Pilatus committed suicide in 1998 after battling substance abuse for years.

We should make sure that Yo-Yo has the number of a good counseling service in case this scandal gets him too distraught.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Wilbrod - There is probably not much in this article that you don't already know but thought you might like to see it:

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/peter_wedderburn/blog/2009/01/23/communicating_with_deaf_dogs

Interesting side story about most white dogs and cats being deaf. Could this explain some of the Westies' behavior?

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

rt,
I had one once. They're over-rated.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Everyone seems to be withstanding the string-section-storm quite well. So far the damage seems to be contained to the missing brie and a strongly worded letter attached to the CD rack.

Posted by: engelmann | January 23, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Sorry. Mudge, the last question was for you.

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Cyberglass sounds really cool. Is it like transparent aluminum?

***waiting for recognition of inside Star Trek joke***

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey, I heard Obama gets to keep his blackberry.
That means he's broken the cyberglass ceiling too, right?
WooHoo!

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 4:02 PM | Report abuse

To all the folks from here on out who want to start off their post with "I'm a musician," or "I've played string instruments for years," many, many other musicians and strings players have beat you to it to tell us they knew something was up becuase it's near impossible to keep instruments in tune in the extreme cold. You're surely smarter and more knowing than the rest of us because you played violin when you were six, but it's been stated over and over. Not that I care or anything. I deliberately took a shower during the swearing in.

Posted by: johburke | January 23, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

engelmann,
Just wait until people start fighting and breaking chardonnay bottles on the bar.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mudge, did you ever figure out the Black Germans thing?

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 23, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Now here's what I call a proper use of science to solve real-world problems:

"Scientists solve `The Italian Job' cliffhanger

By RAPHAEL G. SATTER
The Associated Press
Friday, January 23, 2009; 11:17 AM

LONDON -- Some of the Britain's brightest minds have resolved one of the country's biggest cinematic cliffhangers: How the robbers could have got away with the gold at the end of "The Italian Job."

The 1969 heist film ends with the robbers' gold-laden bus teetering over the edge of an Alpine road, with their loot _ and their lives _ in doubt.

On Friday the Royal Society of Chemistry offered fans a little closure, announcing the winner of a competition to find a scientific solution to their predicament.

"Like many people, I watched the film from when I was a young boy," said John Godwin, the winner. "It's one of those classic British films, with great actors _ Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill _ and a great car chase, and at the end of the day they've done all the hard work and it seemed a waste to leave them hanging on that mountainside."

"The Italian Job" follows Charlie Croker, played by Caine, as he assembles a crack team of likable crooks to pull off a complex plan to steal a stash of gold in the Italian city of Turin. The ensuing car chase _ which cuts across the rooftop test track of Fiat's Lingotto building and down the steps of Turin's Gran Madre di Dio church _ ranks among the most gripping in movie history.

The rest of the article and the solution at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/23/AR2009012301642.html?hpid=entnews

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Scotty speaking into Apple mouse: "Computer?"

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Yikes! Leave for a few hours to do some work and the caps-locking invading hoardes overtake us!

They're shrinking my brain! My sense of humor! My will to live.....

Actually I'm headed out to Costco. Later, gators!

Posted by: Raysmom | January 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

This is all so silly. I love it.

Hey Achenbach!
This is the kind of yellow journalism that could get you barred from the Brotherhood of Inland Navigation Enthusiasts, not to mention the Sunny Bargers Recreation Association.

Maybe you need a change, I hear they're looking for someone for the style section over at Human Events.

See! It's easy!

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It would take years just to work out the specifics of this matrix, yellojkt...

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 23, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The piece was beautiful and it makes sense. I do wish they had said "due to it being f-ing cold those of you so far on the Mall you're practically in Virginia will hear a pre-recorded piece." My sister said it was her favorite part of the whole shebang (she was back at the WWII memorial)

Posted by: XJill | January 23, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I cheated MotP. They were residents in Germany when the "band" was formed, I haven't seen their passports but they might have been Germans. As pointed out by yello one of the guys killed himself. The other one is consultant in the filming of M-V, The Movie.
I remembered because of a joke by a black comedian (Chris Rock?), saying he knew this was a fraud from the start. Brothers from Germany, come ooooonnnnn!

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

DLD, most "white breeds" are actually a very fair blonde cream, including westies.

The idea that all white dogs and cats are deaf is a gross oversimplification-- and one that the article doesn't make.

There is a high risk of deafness with true white because the genes causing extreme Irish spotting (think nearly all-white boxers, etc.) actually block melanocytes from migrating over the body.

This is what happens with Dalmatians, AND merle dogs too-- disrupted melanocyte migration. This is what increases the risk of deafness (also blindness, or both)

Melanocytes (melanin-producing cells) are near cousins to neurons and also happen to be necessary in the eye, ear, and nose for full health.

This is why blue-eyed white cats are almost always deaf-- there is about no melanocyte migration at all.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

MotP, you didn't like Tupak Himmelfarber and Ice-Blucher?

You mean about the Westies, DLD? I saw that and intend to read it tonight, and discuss it with my wife. I'm impressed you remembered the Curmudgeon clan had three Westies. Off the top of my head, I can't recall any behavior suggesting they were deaf. But could be, I guess.

Just thinking about them has me a little misty-eyed. I miss them. Mac was old, and died of old age. Tally had a lot of bad skin problems. But the new one, Piper, oh, he was fine fellow, he was! A most excellent companion. And a prodigious sire, too. Ah, Piper, Piper...

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I think XJill has nailed the essence of it.

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The way I read from the newspapers, that the music was pre-recorded was told to NBC that in turn passed the info on to other media outlets. So where is the "cover up"?

Is it real or just CNN hologram? I don't know but since the I-Ching (Book of Change) was quoted by Mr. Joel Achenbach, let me respond to that question.
One ancient Chinese philosopher, generally grouped with Laozhi and both were somehow linked with I Ching, by the name of Zhuangzhi who one night had a dream. In that dream he saw butterflies flying around. When he awoke, he began to wonder was that a dream in which he saw the butterflies or was that real but what he is now experiencing in his waking hours is really a dream instead?

So I got a question, given that and the "cover up" issue, Is the column REAL?, or for real

Posted by: steviana | January 23, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for that SD, now I'm informed! Can't go on with my day without being informed. M-V the Movie? How much of a box office draw is that gonna be?

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 23, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Oh Mudge, you do make my day.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 23, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Steviana and other new friends, at the risk of extreme tedium and as I prepare to flee for the afternoon, let me post once again:

"Welcome to the Achenblog, a humor blog. Yes, there is an element of humor in the discussion. As you so astutely noticed, the comparison to Milli Vanilli might be a sign that the Kit (that essay up top) is deliberately over-the-top. The logical conclusion, that Obama actually took the oath from Blair House, is also a signal that perhaps Achenbach is ever so slightly making fun."

Smith & Wesson
or, alternatively,
Crisco & Wesson

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, you are truly one patient boodler.

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 23, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

As a professional free-lance violinist of over 30 years, I don't blame these musicians one speck for using the recording. Musicians the caliber of Ma and Perlman have standards of excellence in performing that will not allow them to sound shoddy; and the weather conditions would have most certainly made their performance sub-sub-par.

Playing outdoors in frigid conditions is bad for your instrument and bad for your health. String-playing colleagues of mine in the service orchestras, who DID play outside for for Inaugural events, can attest to this.

One of my friends got frostbite on her fingers while playing during one of the Clinton Inaugurals, and is now exceptionally sensitive to playing in cooler (not necessarily cold) conditions.

Of course, my Army and Marine colleagues are not asked to play for ten minutes. They're under orders to play until it's time to stop. And they can't just quit their jobs.

I feel that using musicians in this way is recklessly endangering their health and their ability to earn a living for themselves. I'd like to see this abuse of our military men and women stopped.

Posted by: bjanna1 | January 23, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Welcome bjanna1!
I think... :-)

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I fear the audience you are pleading with is not listening. It would seem that they do not even finish the Kit before engaging the Caps Lock key and firing away.

Mudge, I'm not about to forget a Westie lover. Our Dougie (pronounced Doogie) left us after thirteen years of faithful service after suffering from diabetes, congestive heart failure, and blindness. Could not really say he was ever deaf, but I don't believe he ever responded to a command if he wasn't looking at us. But just let someone ring the doorbell....

Courier & Ives?

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Bartle & James? (sp)

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Yes,DLD & MiddleofthePacifc (aloha!) I fear I'm engaging in a pointless "mom" moment - just repeat something enough and it will sink in by osmosis - but that's the virtue of the "copy" key.

I'm off to return overdue books and attend a fencing tournament. I'll stop in to see how our humor-impaired friends are faring. I must admit as a professional musician myself I expected a little more appreciation for nuance, but apparently the curse of humor impairment has spread far and wide.

Posted by: Ivansmom | January 23, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

AT & T ??

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Currier and Helvetica.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Statler and Waldorf.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Cheech and Chong
Rogers and Hammerstein
Hart and Hart
Ross and Rachel
Lennon and McCartney
Merry and Pippen
Briggs and Stratton

Free associating is one of the things I do best.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

I understand completely but are not most parents considered "crazy" because they keep repeating themselves, expecting a different result at some point?

And now, because my brand of humor does not seem to translate here very well, please envision exactly 100 smiley emoticons. :>)

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

As a talentless musical hack for over thirty years, whose greatest achievement to date is a passably recognizable "Oh, Susanna" on the harmonica, I find that the notion of attempting to play music in sub-freezing weather brings to mind the inimitable Dr. Johnson:

It is not done well, but you are surprised to find it done at all.

Posted by: bobsewell | January 23, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Ich bin gerunning fur der bus. Everybody have a gut veekender.

Posted by: curmudgeon-1 | January 23, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Fred and Ginger
Rice and Beans
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Stars and Stripes

Stop me, please!

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, stop. Is Timmy in the well AGAIN!?

DLD

Posted by: DLDx | January 23, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

HEY IDIOTS-GET A GRIP ON WHAT'S RELEVANT HERE-IT'S NOT THE FACT THAT THEY USED A RECORDING, IT WAS NOT REVEALING THAT IT WAS A RECORDING THAT IS THE CRIME-AND YES, I CONSIDER THAT DECEPTIVE, AND LIKE THE BUNGLED OATH, AN INAUSPICIOUS START TO THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY!

Posted by: arrabbiato | January 23, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

SPEAK UP!! WE CAN'T HEAR YOU!!! WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SAY?? DO YOU NEED HELP?? ARE YOU STUCK IN THE WELL??

Posted by: bobsewell | January 23, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

P.S. Achenbach-you DO realize, don't you? That there are a bunch of inane, very juvenile posters on your blog who are trying to "jam" it if you will, just like certain unfriendly countries would do to VOA because they don't like the fact that you are "criticizing the anointed one's inauguration" -they don't know how to react except in a fascist manner, just like the Bushies that they so liked to despise, they can't look in the mirror and see, THEY ARE OBAMA, RATHER THAN BUSH DERANGED-AND THE OBAMA DERANGEMENT SYNDROME IS SHAPING UP TO BE FAR MORE INSIDIOUS, BECAUSE IT IS INHERENTLY DISINGENUOUS.

Posted by: arrabbiato | January 23, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Back from a day of training new adjuncts who are all fabulous people.

Tired as a ten trick pony on rodeo-parade day.

Off to drive CPBoy to his gig.

Welcome to the new ones. Stay a while.


Posted by: CollegequaParkian | January 23, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

HEY IDIOTS-GET A GRIP ON WHAT'S RELEVANT HERE-IT'S NOT THE FACT THAT THEY USED A RECORDING, IT WAS NOT REVEALING THAT IT WAS A RECORDING THAT IS THE CRIME-AND YES, I CONSIDER THAT DECEPTIVE, AND LIKE THE BUNGLED OATH, AN INAUSPICIOUS START TO THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY!

Posted by: arrabbiato | January 23, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Damn, we are good at copying the Chinese. They had lip sing at the opening of the Olympic, and we had recorded music at the Inauguration. Shockingly like we never done it before.

Posted by: infoshop | January 23, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm giggling uncontrollably, bobsewell. Thank you!

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Facist gnomes in boots
(platform, of course) and uniforms
March on Achenblog...

-Wilbrodog-

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I was just looking over all the great things President Obama has done this week and I found myself thinking that I've never seen a more auspicious beginning to a presidency.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

arrabiata, I believe, means angry. It's also a tasty sauce for pasta. arrabiato means angry and in need of of a soothing herbal tea.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | January 23, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I must have mistranslated that, SD. I could have sworn it meant "in need of a herbal enema."

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

SCC: fascist, not facist. Although some faces we just plain don't like.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I turned on the TV on to prepare for my Friday PBSathon only to discover Nancy Grace babbling something to Dr. Phil.
I think I turned it off fast enough to avoid any permenamt damage but now I'm afraid to turn the set back on.
I'll just have to wait 'til 6.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Has the Achenblog jumped the shark?

Discuss.

http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=1562

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe he has jumped the snark?
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=1896

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

On Soviet Achenblog, shark jump you.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

hehehe BobS.
This is for you :-)
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2909

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say I liked the didgeridoo, I just said I played it once. It was like a competition with a friend, to see who could do it first. Similarly, we tried Mongolian throat singing. I won both times. No, the didg just resonates better in the heat. Its tone is locked to its physical dimensions. Something to do with physics.

I guess I'm a wuss. Rabid Iota's snark is right on the line between fear and satire. Invokes cognative uncertainty.

And I didn't know if you feed the beast caps, you get more in return.

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 5:59 PM | Report abuse

That's good, yello!

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

There is no excuse for a 3.5 hour meeting, but today was as good a day as any for it! I am sprung now, and quite enjoying some of the civil comments from people we haven't seen here before.

bobsewell wins my personal Comment of the Day Award for his 5:06, good thing it was coffee and not expensive wine I had just sipped. Jumper is runner-up.

'mudge, I'm hurt that you become suspicious when my friends and I absent ourselves en masse! The unfortunate Lladro incident doesn't mean you can't trust us, you know. I acknowledge that the Kinkades may have contributed to your mistrust, but I know that deep down you love the doilies.

Slyness, that hat looks smashing on you!

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Beans Anne Frank
Bondage and Domination
Dialation and Curettage
Sadism and Masochism
Pizza and Beer
Bacon and Eggs
Milk and Cookies

Posted by: angelos_peter | January 23, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

LASSIE! GO GET HELP!

Posted by: Jumper1 | January 23, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

*Lassie lies on a psychiatrist's couch*

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Iron curtain tanka:

Iron curtain days
Are here again, let's shut it
Whoops, your dears are gone
Skies above are communist
Iron curtain days are here...

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Yoki, agree with your comment award to Bob S's 5:06.

Talk about a gut spasm.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Why thank you, Yoki! I have always loved the combination of hot pink and pearls. And the big bow just sets it off, doesn't it?

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The bow is great! And the whole construction is deeply frivolous, a fine thing in a chapeau.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

They're back.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 23, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

And I lovelovelove yours! Is it mink?

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I think so, though it might be marten, and the pheasant feather detail is just right, don't you think?

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Just perfect for you! It really sets off your wonderful eyes.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Ivansmom, I don't think they got it. You were pointing them in the right direction.

When I started reading the comments, I thought, where do some of these folks come from. And what's up with the caps?

Well, I've been to the doctor, and I have enough prescribed drugs to start my own Walgreen. I need rest. Have a good evening folks.

Night, boodle. Sweet dreams.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 23, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Good night, Cassandra. Sleep well. See you tomorrow.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Some of these comments really were excellent. Intelligent people who had something worthwhile to say. Some, alas, not so much.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Milli Vanilli didn't get into trouble so much for lip-synching their infamous music video as that the tape was of someone else's singing.

The music we heard was authentic, the performers we saw were authentic, and it was all very well performed. End of story.

Posted by: MeowGoodness | January 23, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Both Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Il have popped up in the past few days. Could they be keeping up with Obama? Could Fidel be soliciting a visit?

Yale University Press is promoting "Peter's War: a New England Slave Boy and the American Revolution". Peter "participated in the battles of Bunker Hill and Yorktown and witnessed the surrender at Saratoga". Wow.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | January 23, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

(271) Any sufficiently well-rigged demo is indistinguishable from advanced technology.
-- Unknown

from http://www.cs.sandia.gov/~sjplimp/quotes.html

Hopefully this will be one of the few well-rigged demos for the next four years.

Posted by: perfgeek | January 23, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out the identity of the "inane, very juvenile" posters that wack job was referring to. Also, how such people could have escaped Joel's attention all this time.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Mulder and Scully. The truth is out there.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Mulder's the one sang the falsetto parts.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Inane. Juvenile.

Of all the nerve. Can you imagine?

Where's he get that stuff?

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Yoki, CP. While you were gone, some very bad men were here. They said bad things. Ivansmom had to speak sternly to them, but I don't think they got it.

I think some of those bad people had issues, quite frankly.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, don't know about you, but at this point in my life there are worst things to be called than "juvenile."

What amazes me is that some people just don't "get" the Achenblog. I guess this is just in the nature of Joel, who straddles the serious and the silly.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

I think Ivansmom is probably *extremely* good at her job.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 23, 2009 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I never doubted it for a nonosecond.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Yes, we ignored them and went right on with tea, as we should. It was a delightful party. I'm sure the gentlemen amongst us will be delighted with the hats that we picked out for them. They are all dashing!

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

picked out...for us...

I was right. We're in deep doo-doo.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

I see bad people.
Posting around like regular people. They don't see each other. They only see what they want to see. They don't know they're bad. They're everywhere.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl, I just love you. You always rawk, and you have a sinfest for any occasion, and you're just plainly awesome. So glad you joined us. Really.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, because of your background, I was thinking a newsboy for you:

http://www.menshats.com/product/362/spring-summer-hats?utm_source=SS09Scroller&utm_medium=Scroller&utm_content=SS09&utm_campaign=SS09

But the others convinced me that you are much more urbane than that. We agreed on this:

http://www.menshats.com/product/358/spring-summer-hats?utm_source=SS09Scroller&utm_medium=Scroller&utm_content=SS09&utm_campaign=SS09

I hope you'll enjoy it!

(We didn't drain the bunker budget, in fact we were most modest with our purchases.)

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm laughing, slyness (and I actually kinda like the newsboy). None of you have any way of knowing it, but I'm a hat person (went to Hatboro High School, in Hatboro, Pa.). And I collect hats, weird ones: a fireman's helmet, two straw skimmers, a leather flying helmet, numberous baseball hats, a sailor's hat, a big furry Russian hat with a red star in it, like the Politburo general used to wear. A "tin pan" WWI Doughboy's helmet, and a French currassier's helmet. Several of them hang (decoratively) in the hall tree in our foyer. But I'm very particular: the hat has to be authentic; no reproductions of cheap imitations. Nope. Gotta be a real hat. And not a joke hat, like a cheesehead thing, or with moose antlers, or whatever. Gotta be a serious hat that somebody once wore seriously.

Posted by: Curmudgeon- | January 23, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, I'd love to see you in a firefighter's helmet.

We knew you like authentic hats, you didn't think we'd even look at imitation hats, did you? Nope, only the best for our bunker mates!

And of course we Achenblog women have great taste in hats! Cassandra's royal purple turban with rhinestones is gonna blow you away! Ivansmom's pillbox is a beauty, and CqP's, well, we'll let her describe it. Wilbrod wanted to find matching hats for herself and Wilbrodog, but we're going to have to go back to the designer for that. We put several aside for TBG, Raysmom, and VintageLady to choose from.

Posted by: slyness | January 23, 2009 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Yoki,
This is how I think of you
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2225


Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

And Onestring also made me snort tea on the keyboard (STOnK?) today, so this is for him/her :-)
http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2396

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 23, 2009 9:46 PM | Report abuse

That's me in my Greek fisherman's hat.

http://flickr.com/photos/yellojkt/3208105871/

I bought it in the late 80s at a Greek festival in downtown Tampa. I temporarily lost custody of it while my son was in high school, but he was kind enough to leave it behind for me.

Posted by: yellojkt | January 23, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Another idiotic article by a "journalist" without anything of importance to write about!

Posted by: hayden1 | January 23, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked, shocked to learn that there is gambling going on in here!

The "news" that what came over the speakers and the broadcast was not actually played live was obvious to me from before they actually started playing. And once Ma and Perlman hit their first notes, I was even more certain. That would have been Stradivarius-quality sound coming out of lesser instruments that were out in sub-freezing cold--impossible.

Even less valuable wooden instruments would be a huge risk in the cold. Cracked wood and broken strings are quite probable in that weather, and keeping the instrument tuned as the wood shrinks and flexes in the cold would be almost impossible.

If Ma had come out with a carbon-fiber instrument like he had considered, I'd have believed he was actually playing, but he was right that the unconventional appearance of the instrument would be a distraction. Using a relatively inexpensive wooden showpiece was the right decision.

I'm not even a musician, and I fully expected that music to be pre-recorded. I find absurd all of the posturing by people who somehow think that it diminished the performance or the moment. Had they played the piece live, it would have sounded awful, and an instrument malfunction could have happened, too, all of which would have ruined the moment. For what they were trying to accomplish, the inauguration was better for having the music pre-recorded. I don't see any trickery in this, and I don't see how anyone with any passing knowledge of music and instruments could expect that performance to be live.

Next I expect to hear someone say that Obama's speech was less meaningful because--gasp!--Obama had a teleprompter off-screen on either side of him. You mean that he was not speaking from his heart impromptu, or from his memory, and that maybe he didn't write every line of that speech? Oh, the shameless trickery!!

Yeah, didn't think so...

Posted by: blert | January 23, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

DNA_girl, many Boodlers are better able to vouch, or not. I only say, hahahahhahaha!

I love your sinfest posts, and always follow the link, and then think, "How apropos!"


Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The grey tones become you, Mudge, whatever hat you pick.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 23, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody seen my Dead hat? I need it for the show were going to see in Greensboro in April. I also need it to keep the hair out of my eyes while my daughter is driving. She passed her road test yesterday. She's awheel in Clifford, the Big Red Truck.

Posted by: -jack- | January 23, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

...not to be confused with the venerable Lil' Red Wagon, possibly the coolest iteration of a Dodge Pickup.

http://www.dragracingonline.com/features/viii_6-rear-2.html

Posted by: -jack- | January 23, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

I think greenwithenvy borrowed it, jack.

You have my sympathy. Dots drive well, generally, but a little scarily for parents!

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I've always suspected that gwe is a closet Deadhead. My daughter drives pretty well, but can't park. The vehicle always sits crooked in the space. I may have to invest in some curb feelers.

Posted by: -jack- | January 23, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what curb feelers are, and I expect that is just fine.

Posted by: Yoki | January 23, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"It's a small thing, but I also think the piece was a little too long and a little too musically elaborate for the context.". Enjoyed the commentary from one classical musician. I'm also a professional classical musician, and I was delighted with the piece, accessible enough for the country to hear without "dumbing down", as well as interesting enough that I'd enjoy performing it. Such a breath of fresh air to have a wide variety of music, word, and ceremony.
And then, to be able to watch Bush fly away. It was a great day.

Posted by: dscooper63 | January 23, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure they're not used to feel up passerbys, Yoki. I hope.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | January 24, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

dscooper63, what form does your musicianship take?

Posted by: Yoki | January 24, 2009 12:12 AM | Report abuse

perfgeek, welcome!

Makes me think you deal with auditors, too.

Posted by: -dbG- | January 24, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Jack, no argument about the Lil 'Red Truck, or Bill "Maverick" Golden, the guy driving it. Very cool.

Not that it's a truck or even mostly red, but I've always been partial to Wild Bill Shrewsbury's "LA Dart" -- look where he had that Hemi mounted: in the flippin' *trunk*.

http://rides.webshots.com/photo/2394098310096445283IaTKsz

Wild Bill also drove the old Hemi Under Glass Barracuda for ahwile, too.

But I digress. I dig old drag cars.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2009 1:21 AM | Report abuse

greetings from the lobster shift.

i see we had some visitors today.

Posted by: LALurker | January 24, 2009 1:41 AM | Report abuse

Didn't our mass media criticized the Chinese for the very same thing for the 2008 Olympics? Now we are doing the same at Obama's inauguration. This made us look like hypocrites.

Posted by: Mickey2 | January 24, 2009 2:46 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I want a hat too!

Posted by: MiddleofthePacific | January 24, 2009 2:50 AM | Report abuse

"dig old drag cars..."

Shovel marks on the sideboards and a taffeta interior?? What?????

Cassandara, I trust you slept well and peacefully thanks to our friends, the chemicals.

And we all know what my hat looks like:

http://www.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/5621241/2/istockphoto_5621241-mardi-gras-court-jesters-hat-w-background.jpg

Be vewwy vewwy qwiet... JA's huntin' political appointees!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/23/AR2009012304040.html

*off-to-survey-the-cupboard-prior-to-the-weekly-shopping-expedition-but-not-before-a-good-cuppa-caffeine Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | January 24, 2009 5:17 AM | Report abuse

It's still pitch black outside fer crying out loud.

Posted by: Boko999 | January 24, 2009 5:39 AM | Report abuse

Why do non-musicians always think they know better and scream the loudest?

Hats off to the musicians for being sensible. The organizers are to blame for putting them in this awkward position by hiring them without making proper provisions or cover for the inclement weather. They should have been forthcoming to inform the audiences of the recorded back-up, which in the weather extremes, was the logical choice. Not only would the tuning of the individual instruments have been dire, it would have been difficult for them to stay in tune together. As to Mr Ma's carbon fiber cello, great, but what about the other instruments in the ensemble, like the piano? The cold temp and damp could truly ruin the sound board on that. What a waste of a good expensive instrument!

As for Aretha, she swaddled her instrument well, but used a back-up recording for her accompaniment and vocal choir. And she was not pleased one bit with her performance. Don't blame the musicians. Many times, organizers of events will ask us to do the most ridiculous things and put us in the most uncompromising venues. We can always say no, but in this case, when you are asked to play a gig like this historical national event, you don't exactly want to bow out.

This blog and the snarky WashPost editorial critical of the ensemble performers only highlights the ignorance of the blog writer and the editors. Let them take their musical instruments out in the public for a couple of hours in freezing temperatures and perform to their highest standards, with proper breath control and no gloves. They need to get a grip and find something more important in the world to gripe about.

Posted by: Kibbelz7 | January 24, 2009 5:57 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and the fact that the ensemble were all wearing in-ear mics should have been a huge clue to viewers from the start... why are Achenbach and other journalists trying to work so hard to make this an important issue? Again, the musicians, including John Williams, made alternative arrangements for the performance in the event of inclement weather and were open about it.

As to Williams piece of music, not one journalist seems to note how he borrows some compositional structure from Ralph Vaughan Williams or even rehashes, yet again, some of his own compositional material into this latest arrangement.

Posted by: Kibbelz7 | January 24, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Good morning, friends. DNA girl, I'm glad you're here too.

Slyness, love the hat. Scotty, the wonder and miracle of chemicals. I wish I could throw them all away. I slept a little, but guess they have to get in the system.

Mudge, it's hard to imagine you with a hat. I don't usually wear hats, have never been a hat person. I like hats, and fell in love with the one Aretha Franklin wore for the inauguration. That hat was all hers.

The weather here is still on the warm side, but that's not going to last long. The cold will be back.

I read Colbert King this morning, and agree with him about Clinton. He needs to give the wife a break. It's her time, his time has passed. I didn't quite understand the last part of the op-ed piece. Perhaps someone can help me out?

I do hope President Obama can work something out with the economy. You know it's getting really bad when hospitals start laying people off, and that's what is happening here. The few factories have long been gone. It's mostly service workers left, and they're cutting their numbers too. County governments are axing people too. Employment Security offices are strained or no money at all. Parents and grandparents are having to help young people and grandchildren, and many of them living on the edge already. What better time for prayers and a personal relationship with Christ?

I don't think walking is an option this morning. I don't know how the new drugs are going to affect me. I have some more to try this morning. Have a good day, folks. Enjoy your weekend.

Yoki, Martooni,all the boodlers, and guest, good morning.*waving*

Time for coffee.

Posted by: cmyth4u | January 24, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, Boodle!
Doing my weekend flyby.

On the six o'clock:
Wonder what large companies are doing in the economic crisis?

Walmart, plunked down $ 1.3 billion in Chile yesterday to purchase a local company.

Brag
This influx of cash into the Santiago Currency Exchange caused the dollar to drop about one percent.

Lately there has been a surge in American companies investing in Chile's well balanced and diversified economy.

Posted by: Braguine | January 24, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

Good morning to regular boodlers and lurkers of good will.

Saturday starts too early when you own a dog.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | January 24, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I would send you my dressage hat, Mudge, but it's rock-hard and probably too small. Lovely black velvet, though, and definitely a serious hat worn seriously.

Posted by: KathrynAPage | January 24, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

I have always wanted to be a hat person, but my aspirations are hampered by the fact that I look incontestably dorkish wearing one. I do not object to *being* a dork, but I do not wish to be so immediately identifiable as such at substantial range. Of course, as the ScienceSpouse would tell you with exasperation, this attitude is inconsistent with wearing my Manly Vest. I prefer to consider this behavior not inconsistent, but complex.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 24, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Scotty beat me to the link for Joel's piece and New Kit Foundation this AM, thanks for that, my friend.

A busy day today - changing the oil on oldest Daughter's car, family business, dinner with Mom, running children around to various activites, etc.

Gotta run, and trying not to get my cape stuck in the rear tires of my AA/Fuel Altered (it's a nice repro of Wild Willie Borsch's Winged Express - short wheelbase, sideways all the time...)

http://www.mysterion.net/AAFA/wingedexpress.shtml

bc

Posted by: -bc- | January 24, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

New kit posted. And there's no false umbrage in it to confuse anyone.

Posted by: joelache | January 24, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Fake umbrage, I mean. Pretend outrage. Faux consternation. I guess another word would be "satire"...

Posted by: joelache | January 24, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra,
He's chastising the media for airbrushing or simply ignoring slavery, the centuries long struggle for freedom, and the work done to build a society that could produce this moment, in their description of the progress towards racial equality in the US.

Here is a key paragraph
"The King speech was a defining moment, but the struggle began more than 200 years ago, driven by the spirit to be free."

It's as if MLK came out of nowhere, proclaimed "I have a dream", and 46 years later here we are.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | January 24, 2009 8:47 AM | Report abuse

New Kit!

Posted by: Braguine | January 24, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid I took music lessons from a retired brass player from the Marine Band, who had played for some 30 years of inaugurations. He let me in on the secret that the brass players would keep their instruments warm by passing a concealed flask of whiskey around, alternately swallowing some and blowing some into the tubes and valves to keep themselves and their instruments from freezing up. Since they'd played "Hail to the Chief" about a million times, anyway, it really didn't matter how sober they were. At the Obama inauguration, I noticed that "Hail to the Chief" was in perfect pitch, as always, so I imagine the traditions continues. (In fact, Yo Yo Ma had a pretty big grin on his face, too. Maybe the flask made it up to where he was playing.)

Posted by: yadas | January 27, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse

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