Two for Tuesday: Veronneau

Today, you get to learn of this group about the same time I did. I heard them this afternoon on Pandora, and just had to look them up.

Lynn Veronneau is a French-Canadian vocalist who recorded an album of standards, Something Cool (sorry, it looks like the link is dead), a collection of standards, pop, and blues, in 2010. (I think my parents had an album of the same name by June Christy many years ago). She met her husband, guitarist Ken Avis, in Switzerland, and they played in Europe until eventually relocating to the Washington, DC area. There they met guitarist David Rosenblatt and drummer Pete Walby to form the quartet. They perform primarily in the Washington area, at least they will this year according to the schedule posted on their website. They have two albums as a group, 2011’s Joie de Vivre – Joy of Living and 2012’s Jazz Samba Project, which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Jazz Samba by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd.

These two selections were taken from their YouTube page. The first is “La Mer,” better known as “Beyond the Sea,” from Joie De Vivre. This was recorded at Bistrot Lepic in Georgetown in 2011.

The second selection is the Beatles tune from Revolver, “For No One.” This was recorded at the same show in 2011 and is also from Joie De Vivre.

Veronneau, your Two for Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

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The Thursday Ten: Ten Things I Learned from the 2014 A to Z Challenge

I made it!
I made it!

I had a Thursday Ten post to do, and I had a recap of the A to Z Challenge to do, so I’m killing two birds with one post. Clever, huh? So here we go: Ten things I learned from the Challenge this year.

  1. This is my favorite time of the year. This is the third time I’ve done the Challenge, and as much hard work as it is, it’s fun to do. I’d almost call it a labor of love.
  2. Do X first. The biggest challenge is coming up with a word that starts with X. Not Q or Z; plenty of words start with them. X, on the other hand… there’s xylophone, and xenon, and xenophobe, and maybe a hundred others. Now, there are a lot of words that end in X; maybe next year my theme will be words that end in the letter. Think I could get away with it?
  3. Your life is easier when you do things ahead of time. My first year, I chose a theme where the words were given to me (the NATO spelling alphabet). I tried staying a day or two ahead, but it got stressful. This year, I had half the entries done by April 1. This year, I realized, hey, I have eleven whole months to think about next year’s challenge. I could have everything done and waiting to be released anytime before April 1.
  4. This Challenge is a blast. I love writing about stuff: movies, music, TV, math, technical topics… anything, really. Judy over at Raising the Curtain, who I met my first year doing this, dubbed me “The Fact King” at the end of that Challenge. I wouldn’t go that far… The Fact Jack, maybe…

    But, seriously… give me a topic and I can riff on it for hours. I should go on Jeopardy!

  5. I like having an audience. I do. I wanted to go into radio and/or TV when I was younger. Running a blog is kind of like that. Most of the year, my Arbs (short for the Arbitron ratings, the rating service for radio) aren’t that good. During A to Z, they are. I know why: during the Challenge, I read and react to more blogs. It’s like Yogi Berra said: You should go to other people’s funerals, or else they won’t go to yours.
  6. Random.org is great. I used it to select which blogs I would visit. There were roughly 2700 blogs participating this year, so I would use its random number generator to pick ten blogs a day. Sometimes twenty. It gives you a good cross-section of blogs out there.
  7. Not everyone who signs up actually participates. Hey, stuff happens. I get that.
  8. There are some great bloggers out there. If you’re looking for some new blogs to read, the Challenge is a great way to find them. I use Feedly as my RSS reader, and added the blogs of everyone who came by to visit, in a group called “A to Z Challenge” so I’d remember where I met you. Now you’ll never get rid of me…. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
  9. WordPress and Blogger are really two different worlds. This goes hand-in-hand with something Arlee Bird was talking about the other day. There are two completely different methods of leaving comments. I’ve taken to using my Google account to reply on Blogger blogs, because otherwise you have to jump through hoops to identify yourself, and then sometimes it doesn’t accept the comment anyway. Or maybe it does, and it just falls into a queue of comments that are waiting approval, and just doesn’t bother telling the commenter. And CAPTCHA is a huge pain in the backside. The world would be a better place if there was a standard method of leaving comments between all of the different blogging systems (WordPress.com, WordPress.org, TypePad, Blogger, and whatever else is out there). I guess when Google takes over the world, they’ll make everything better….
  10. There are a lot of people to thank. Namely, the sponsors of the challenge: Arlee Bird, Alex J. Cavanaugh, Stephen Tremp, Tina Downey, Damyanti Biswas, Jeremy Hawkins, Nicole Ayers, M. J. Joachim, Heather M. Gardner, A. J. Lauer, and Pam Margolis. Thanks for doing this again. And, I’d like to thank everyone who participated, especially those of you who visited, whether or not you left comments.

#ROW80: Fooled ya this week!

Click to visit the challenge!
Click to visit the challenge!

I know you were expecting a post on Sunday. I was going to write one, but social obligations forced me to put it off until Monday. Then, I figured, why not wait until Wednesday? So that’s what I did.

I found out today that Springpad, my web clipper of choice all this time, is shutting down at the end of next month, so I migrated everything to Evernote, since it seemed to be the least difficult of my options. Guess I’ll get used to it eventually. It’s still ugly. Plus, I discovered when I downloaded the iPhone app and tried to get to some of my bookmarks, I couldn’t get to them. They’re available fine from both the desktop and the web app, just not from the phone. Looks like I might need to recreate all of the bookmarks, so I’m hoping that Evernote has a way to do that.

Writing-wise, it was an excellent week. I was so inspired this week that I blew everything else off. Pieces of Blake’s story are coming together in my mind and I’m writing them as I go along. I think I’ve also found a way to integrate his story with other characters that I developed years ago. And, I’ve almost got my sponsor post written. So everything was placed on hold while I chased plot bunnies and pounded the keyboard.

I’ll get myself back on schedule by next week. Maybe. Straight ahead…

Two for Tuesday: Neal Hefti

Neal Hefti (1922-2008) was a trumpeter, composer, songwriter, arranger, and orchestra leader, known for his charts for the Count Basie Orchestra and for his film and TV scores. He played trumpet and wrote arrangements for Harry James, Charlie Spivak, and Woody Herman. While with Herman’s band, he met and married his wife, Frances Wayne, who was a sinnger with the Herd. He left Herman in 1946 and began composing and arranging full-time, and in 1950 began a twenty-year relationship with the Count Basie Orchestra.

Possibly the best known of Hefti’s songs was the “Theme from Batman.” It’s our first selection today.

Miles Davis once said “if it weren’t for Neal Hefti, the Basie band wouldn’t sound as good as it does. But Neal’s band can’t play those same arrangements nearly as well.” Our second selection is medley of two tunes he wrote and arranged for Basie’s orchestra, “Cute” and “Girl Talk,” performed by Hefti and his orchestra. Sound pretty good to me, actually.

Neal Hefti, you Two for Tuesday, May 27, 2014.