Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Thursday, June 23, 2022

THIS is how you help a struggling employee

Peter Gabriel sits on my personal Mount Rushmore of musical artists. He's also its longest resident, first etched during my high school years. I did not get the chance to see him play live, however, until the summer of 1994, Aug. 8, to be precise. He played the Stabler Arena at Lehigh University, a warm-up gig for his set six days later that would close the Woodstock '94.

Paula Cole, who had not yet struck it big herself, was Peter's main backing vocalist. She joined that tour for its final two legs, replacing Sinéad O'Connor. 

For that final leg of the tour (which included the date I attended), Peter added Don't Give Up to the set, a song originally made famous for Peter's duet with Kate Bush on the So album. The show I attended was one of the first (if not the first) at which the band performed Don't Give Up. Unfortunately, about half-way through, Paula Cole had a bit of a problem with the lyrics and went completely silent through her part while band kept playing.

Peter jumped in. "It's been a while since we've done this one." Paula then composed herself enough to finish the song (beautifully and brilliantly, I might add).

But it's what happened next that stuck with me for the past 28 years. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Coronavirus Update 2-26-2021: Adaptability

Adaptability to change is itself a hallmark of successful education.
– Peter Hilton

2020  2021 has been a different school year for everyone. My kids are fortunate in that their school, Lake Ridge Academy, has been open for full-time, in-person instruction for the entire school year. There have, however, been key changes in the name of safety. For example, the school made the decision not to participate in interscholastic sports this year. My son was able to participate on the Middle School robotics team, with the competition submitted remotely. My daughter had the benefit of participating in the Upper School's fall play, which was staged outside in the warm autumn weather. 

The Upper School musical, usually presented on stage in late February, presented a different set of challenges. An outdoor performance is simply not an option in the harsh winter climate of Northeast Ohio. An indoor live performance is also not an option because it simply cannot be executed safely within COVID-19's limitations. 

So what did the school do? It adapted. Instead of performing a live, in-person musical, it spent the past several months filming its first-ever movie musical, which it will stream March 5, 6, and 7. And my daughter, Norah, has the lead role. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

New Music Friday: “Wish I Was Ur Guitar,” by norah marie

Welcome back to New Music Friday. Today, I'm so happy to share my 14-year-old daughter's first-ever single, "Wish I Was Ur Guitar." 

I love the song (obviously) and its title. If you ask Norah she'll tell you that she usually has a hard time coming up with titles for her songs, and for this song, she thought of the title first and liked it so much she wrote the entire song around it. She performs everything on the track—lead vocal, harmonies, guitar, bass, and percussion. 

I think it’s great (although I'm quite biased), and I’m super proud of her for having the courage to share her music and creativity with the world.

Friday, December 18, 2020

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear

In his semi-eponymous movie, Buddy the Elf famously explained, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear." 

Today, I'm choosing to use my valuable internet space to spread some Christmas cheer of my own. Please don't worry, it's not me singing, which would spread whatever the opposite of cheer is. Instead, it's my resident songstress, Norah Marie, who used her iPhone to self-record and mix this lovely (IMHO) cover of "Jingle Bell Rock."

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bonus post today, because Roger Waters

If my 13-year-old self, sneaking off into the woods at sleep-away camp to listen to my bootlegged cassette of The Wall, could see me now…

When Roger Waters mentions your blog post from the stage, it merits a follow-up.

Monday, September 25, 2017

A rebuttal to those who questioned my parenting skills

Over the past four days, I have taken A LOT of heat online for allowing my 11-year-old daughter to perform on stage with Roger Waters.

Friday, March 10, 2017

WIRTW #452 (the “coffee house” edition)

Do you like acoustic guitar, Green Day, and a 10-year-old girl that is way too cool to be my daughter combining the two? If so, then this video, recorded last week at my kids’ school, is for you.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, March 3, 2017

WIRTW #451 (the “Graveyard Whistling” edition)

Thank god we got these guitars.
In this devil of world.
Turn it up make a little noise. 
– Old 97’s, “Irish Whiskey Pretty Girls”

So declare the Old 97’s on one of the more raucous tracks on their latest album, Graveyard Whistling, the band’s 11th studio effort. I’ve been turning it up and making noise since its release one week ago.

Monday, February 27, 2017

I birthed a rock star

On Friday, Rhett Miller, lead singer of my favorite band, the Old 97’s, and undoubtedly one of the good guys, held a Reddit AMA. I asked him what he knows now that he wishes he knew when he started in the music business over 25 years ago. His answer included this gem:
The important thing is that THE WORLD NEEDS MUSIC. And there will always be folks (like your sweet daughter) who will make that music!
Saturday night, my sweet daughter made that music, and then some.

Norah (age 10)

Friday, February 24, 2017

WIRTW #450 (the “Kurt” edition)

Earlier this week, Kurt Cobain would have turned 50 years old. Uncoincidentally, also earlier this week Norah stepped in for an absent bandmate to sing lead on the song that made Kurt Cobain and Nirvana a household name, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. I think Kurt would have approved.

A post shared by Jon Hyman (@jonhyman) on

This Saturday night, I’ll be at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, watching this band kill it in front of thousands as part of the High School Rock Off Final Exam. They are scheduled to hit at 9:25. Tickets are only $12, and include admission to the Rock Hall. It a great night watching the best the area’s school-aged musicians.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, January 20, 2017

WIRTW #445 (the “dynamic duo” edition)

Last weekend was School of Rock weekend for the Hyman family. My kids showed a packed club what they’ve been working on for the past four months.

Norah never disappoints when she performs (or in life, for that matter). Some 10 year old girls play sports, some dance, some cheer ... mine just kicks ass.

Witness the power of a three-song selection from her Power Trios show, about which I heard whispers was one the best shows any of the three Cleveland-area Schools of Rock has ever done.

Not to be outdone, Donovan made his singing debut a few hours prior. I give the kid a ton of credit. He had a nervous meltdown before leaving the house that afternoon. With a lot help from Mom (and a little from Dad), he composed himself, stood up in front hundreds of strangers, and sang his heart out (complete with dance moves) on The Beatles’ I Saw Her Standing There.

The encore performance is this Sunday (Jan. 22) at Brothers Lounge. Donovan should take the stage around 4 p.m., with Norah to follow at 5:30.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, January 6, 2017

WIRTW #443 (the “gigs” edition)

Holy cow, has it really been three weeks since I last posted a weekly roundup? It’s also early January, which means it’s School of Rock show season for my kiddos, and there are a whole bunch upcoming:
  • Norah grabs the mike as part of the Power Trios show, on Jan. 14 at 7 pm at 42 Eighty Food & Drink, and again on Jan. 22 at 5:30 pm at Brothers Lounge.
  • Donovan tickles the keys and makes his lead vocal debut, on Jan. 14 and Jan. 22, both at 3 pm at the same venues.
  • Norah’s Junior Headliners band, now known as the Major Minors, plays the finals of the High School Rock Off from the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Feb. 25, with a warm-up gig at Coda on Jan. 15 at 3 pm.
As always, if stop and say hello and mention the blog, your next beverage is on me.

Here’s what I read the past three weeks:

Friday, December 16, 2016

WIRTW #442 (the “Good with God” edition)

Any week my favorite band—the Old 97’s—release new music is a week to be celebrated. (I know, Old 97’s music two Fridays in row. Deal with it or read something else today).

I’ll let Rolling Stone do the heavy lifting:
“I’m good with God. I wonder how she feels about me?” 
So ends the chorus of the Old 97’s’ “Good With God,” the lead single from the band’s 11th album, Graveyard Whistling. Due February 24th, the album offers up another boozy blast of Texas twang, train-beat percussion and guitar grit from Rhett Miller and company, who recorded its 11 songs in the same border-town studio that spawned the group’s major-label debut, Too Far to Care, two decades earlier. 
With their original four-piece lineup still intact, the Old 97’s welcome a new face into the fold with “Good With God,” whose titular omniscient character is played by Brandi Carlile. The two trade vocal duties throughout, with Carlile’s voice bathed in plenty of godly reverb. The result is an ominous, off-kilter duet between Miller and his maker, driven forward at highway speed by bandmates Philip Peeples, Murry Hammond, and Ken Bethea.
You can pre-order the new album, Graveyard Whistling, here (CD, digital, or four different colors of vinyl). Why wait for it’s official release on February 24? They are good musicians and better people that deserve for their music to be purchased, not streamed. And, look for the band to roll though your town in the Spring and Summer. They are a live act not to be missed.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, December 9, 2016

WIRTW #441 (the “Burl Ives” edition)

Christmas carols and the Old 97’s are two things that make me very happy. Do you know what makes me happier? When the Old 97’s sing a Christmas carol.

For this week’s musical share, I bring you Rhett and the boys performing “A Holly Jolly Christmas.” If this doesn’t put you in the holiday mood, nothing will.

Click here to enjoy (sadly, the Austin American-Statesman doesn’t offer an option to embed the video).

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, October 28, 2016

WIRTW #436 (the "Purdy good music" edition)

Norah and Rhett
Joe Purdy has been around for awhile. That I’d never heard of him before I bought my ticket to see him play with Rhett Miller last Saturday night is my fault, not his. The fact is that I should have heard of this thoughtful, folksy singer-songwriter, given that he contributed a song to one of my all-time favorite television shows, Lost.

So with no knowledge or preconceived expectations, we settled into our front-row seats at The Kent Stage to see Joe Purdy, and we were blown away. His positive message, clever lyrics, and dry wit completely entertained us.

“An example,” you ask? Here’s Joe performing an unrecorded track about his 4th grade girlfriend, Laura Wilson. If you listen closely at 1:37, you’ll hear me drop my iPhone, followed by an embarrassed, “Dad...!” from Norah, and Joe stopping the song to chat to us, amused by the whole interaction.

Check out Joe Purdy if he comes through your town. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, October 21, 2016

WIRTW #435 (the "spare time" edition)

How do you spend your down time? What do you do when you’re not working? Me? I blog, and I play roadie for Norah and Donovan. If you happen to work as an animator at Pixar, you craft emotionally compelling and visually stunning short animated films. Like this one.

Borrowed Time from Borrowed Time on Vimeo.

According to one of its two creators, Lou Hamou-Lhadj (the other is Andrew Coats), their “goal was as to make something that kind of contested the notion of animation being a genre, and one for children specifically. We really wanted to make something that was a little bit more adult in the thematic choices, and show that animation could be a medium to tell any sort of story.”

I’d say they hit it out of the park. 

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, September 30, 2016

WIRTW #432 (the "Hotel Norha" edition)

This what one’s happy place looks like
Jack White month comes to an end with a few clips from Norah’s most excellent School of Rock “Many Shades of Jack White” show. She was asked to do a lot in this show. Of the 19 songs in the set, she sang lead on 9 (including Hotel Yorba, in which sang and played guitar), guitar on another, and background vocals on 3 more. That’s a .684 batting percentage, which is a whole bunch for a 10 year old to carry on her shoulders. And she totally killed it (not that I’m biased).

Two things stand out for me. First, I love when Norah gets to sing and play guitar simultaneously, which she did on one of my all time favorites, Hotel Yorba. Secondly, I love how Norah is no longer just on stage singing or playing some songs, but is transitioning into an entertainer, cognizant of the fact she is, in fact, putting on a show for an audience.

Judge for yourself. Here’s the best 14:03 from the shows.

Here’s what I read this week.

Friday, September 23, 2016

WIRTW #431 (the “stop breaking down” edition)

Last Saturday was Jack White show #1 for Norah and her School of Rock friends. One of my personal highlights was Norah singing The White Stripes’s cover of the Robert Johnson 1937 blues classic, “Stop Breaking Down”.

A video posted by Jon Hyman (@jonhyman) on

Show # 2 is this Sunday, September 25, at 12 pm, Brothers Lounge,11609 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. As always, stop and say hi, and I’ll buy you a beer.

Here’s what I read this week:

Friday, September 2, 2016

WIRTW #428 (the “science is fun” edition)

I never thought I’d be the parent of private school kids. I am a proud survivor of the School District of Philadelphia, and always assumed that my kids would also attend public school. Then we found Lake Ridge Academy. Without sounding like too much of an advertisement for the school, it was the best decision and investment we made for our family.

Case in point — the fifth grade starts every school year with an overnight science trip to Stone Lab, an Ohio State teaching and research lab on Lake Erie. They study marine life, fish (and dissect fish), otherwise explore nature, and bond. Norah reports that she’s been looking forward to the experience since, as a kindergartener five years ago, she saw the fifth graders leaving with their overnight bags. By the looks of things, she’s not disappointed with the experience.
Here’s the rest of what I read this week:

Friday, August 26, 2016

WIRTW #427 (the “treat me like your mother” edition)

Someday I am going to convert this legal blog into a full-time dad/music blog. Until then, you get my semi-regular kids/musical posts. Like today’s.

Here’s what I read this week: