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Archive for the ‘Pokemon’ Category

[LISTENED TO: September 30, 2017] The Resisters

I saw this audio book at the library and thought it might be a fun book for a long car trip.  It turned out the family wasn’t going on one for a while, but Clark and I were heading to Hartford for the Pokémon Regional Championship, and this was just about the right length for the trip.

I was turned off by the cover–that very computerized version of the kids.  Although I see that Nylund writes books in the Halo series, (and has an interesting history writing for Microsoft, go figure).  So I guess it makes sense that there’s a computer edge to it.

The story wastes no time opening and doesn’t wait for you to catch up.

Ethan Blackwood is twelve and, as the book opens, he is in the last few seconds of a very important soccer match.  But, with no explanation given , we learn that this soccer match is not what we are used to.  All of the competitors are wearing large armored suits and the ball can hit speeds of 300 MPH.  Ethan is a year younger than his teammates, but he has proven himself on many occasions and they all look to him for a great play. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: September 25, 2016] The Legend of Zelda

legendBack in the summer we took the kids to the Mann Center to see Symphonic Pokémon.  And it was pretty great.  Well, the Mann Center closed its season with a symphonic Legend of Zelda performance.  C. has been a big Zelda fan for a couple of years (he loves the soundtrack particularly), so it seemed like an obvious show to go to.

Our one regret is that it was on a Sunday night which meant we didn’t get home until 11, which is just too late for a school night (especially since earlier in the week we took the kids to see “Weird Al” and got home even later–terrible parents, yes, but pretty cool parents).  But that was the only regret we had.

The show was fantastic.  C. even wore his Zelda Halloween costume (and brought his home-made cardboard sword–which passed security thankfully).  And he was not the only one in costume–some people were very seriously dressed for this event. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 10, 2016] Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions

evolutionWe have been really enjoying the Mann Center this year.  And since Clark (whose birthday was not so long ago) has been really enjoying Pokémon this year, this seemed like a perfect evening–orchestral Pokémon music at the Mann.

A friend of ours had seen it and said it was fun, so we bought some balcony seats (never been up there before), had a meal en route at Red Robin (yum), and made it with minutes to spare.  There were no baseball cards for this event (pity), but there was plenty of people watching.

2016-07-10 19.44.48I really didn’t know who would come to this show.  I assumed it would be families with little kids.  It never occurred to me that there would be hundreds of cosplayers here too.  There were people in costume (!)–I didn’t get any good pictures–there were 20- and 30-somethings in Pokémon hats and shirts and there were plush Pikachu all over the place (including in the orchestra!).

The conductor was Susie Seiter and the music was composed by her husband, Chad Seiter and his co-worker Jeron Moore.  The original press release states:

This has been the brainchild of me [Chad] and co-creator Jeron Moore for over 7 months now…. We have all been working very closely with The Pokémon Company International to create an authentic Pokémon experience, and all the music is approved by original Pokémon composer Junichi Masuda himself.

The show is turning out awesome – we have a large 80+ piece orchestra, and I’ve been working on 80 minutes of new arrangements, putting the Pokémon music into an epic symphonic Hollywood context. The show will be conducted by my wife, and LEGEND OF ZELDA: SYMPHONY OF THE GODDESSES conductor, Susie Seiter – who has also painstakingly orchestrated all the music. It will also feature innovative percussive and electronic accompaniment by Andrew Aversa.

So we sat down and out came the conductor.  But before the show started, Chad came out and introduced the show.  He said that this was the first show they had performed since Pokémon Go came out and they took a photo of all of us holding up our login screens.  For some reason our game wasn’t connecting there, which was very disappointing since we heard everyone saying–there’s Charmander, there’s Squirtle.  There’s even a photo of someone catching a Pikachu in the audience.

I have seen a few orchestral shows before, but there was something really amazing about this one.  Perhaps it was where we sat–the angle was great–or perhaps the size of the orchestra, but it was so much fun to watch this spectacle.  And, yes, the music was pretty fantastic too.

What made the show especially fun, though, was the audience.  Typically an orchestral show is quiet and reserved.  Not here.  The crowd went nuts before each piece and went absolutely crazy when their favorite Pokémon came on screen.  I had to assume the orchestra really enjoyed getting wild cheers instead of polite applause. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 12, 2016] Flight of the Conchords sing Flight of the Conchords

chipsAfter having gotten a number of concert tickets fort he summer, I had planned a moratorium.  But it was impossible to pass up the opportunity to see Flight of the Conchords.  Especially if they were going to be singing Flight of the Conchords!  I didn’t even realize they toured (clearly they do), and since there were no plans for a new television season and since Jemaine Clement has lent his voice and face to all manner of awesome evil roles, I assumed the FotC was no more.  [Bret McKenzie has also done things but not nearly as much as Jemaine].

Since we loved the show and the music, I jumped on tickets once they were available.  Once again, I thought our seats would be better than they were (I really need to understand seating charts better), but it didn’t matter because they had two giant screens on which they projected the two of them and did many great visual effects as well.  It was easy to forget to look at them on stage since the screens were so compelling, but it’s always important to see what the guys are doing too.

They played 13 songs in total and did a lot of very funny banter in between.  The strange thing is that I didn’t know they had released a second album (how did I miss that?) so a lot of the songs that I thought were “new” were just new to me.  Although there were some brand new songs thrown in as well.

It was also awesome that as soon as Arj Barker left the stage, there was no delay before Flight of the Conchords came out. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: June 12, 2016] Arj Barker

arjArj Barker opened for Flight of the Conchords.  I didn’t know him, although I knew he had been on some episodes of the FotC TV Show.

Much like with my trip to the Mann for Wilco, it took a lot longer to get there than I anticipated–I think we’ll have it all figured out for our next show there later this week.  We wound up arriving a few minutes before 8 and had enough time to get a snack before the show started.  Barker didn’t start exactly at 8 either (how come Richard Thompson was so punctual?)

As we were chowing down, we noticed that later this summer the Mann Center is putting on a symphonic Pokemon event and we knew we had to get tickets for the kids for that.  So I ran out to the box office and spared myself the $13/ticket Ticketmaster surcharge at the expense of missing the beginning of Arj’s set.

We walked in just as he was going on about his girlfriend’s insistence on their new gluten-free diet (I’d guess we missed about ten or fifteen minutes). (more…)

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