It recently has come to my attention that the awesomest rock band of the 80s (that regrouped only months ago after 20 painful years apart) is going to be performing in Dallas in June.

Since a young age of 16 years this trio has occupied a special place in the 80s music portion of my heart (and it's pretty crowded in there -- Toto, Paul Simon, Huey Lewis and the News, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, etc). And basically I really want to be at this concert. How powerful would it be to hear Sting belt out Every Breath you Take and to hear ol' Stewart Copland shred it up on Message in a Bottle? These are life changing experiences, people.

They play on June 26-27. It costs $50-60. Can I get some sidekicks? I'm sending out an S-O-S...

"Super Senior"

POSTED IN | 12:10 AM

a haiku:
pomp and circumstance
too much smiling - give me cash
five years are over?

Busy Body

POSTED IN | 12:00 AM

The youngest nephew at work.

Last night as the final notes of Duke Ellington's Take the A Train resonated from OU's 12:30 Jazz Ensemble, a chapter of my life came to a close.

As a member in good standing of this jazz ensemble, those last notes represented the finale of my musical career at the University of Oklahoma, and my last concert in Paul F. Sharp Concert Hall.

And I've had a lot of quality memories in that place with multiple ensembles: Trombone Choir, Symphony Band, The Pride, Jazz Band, Norman North Band, Norman North Choir, and the list continues. There have been a lot of concerts, and a lot of powerful musical moments.

But I also remember concerts from the early days -- the CODA Honor Band in middle school, back before I had my trusty Conn 88H with an F attachment. And I think we all nostalgically remember back to that milestone in our childhoods -- the day we got F attachments on our trombones. Such a good day...

And I recall the summer after 10th grade playing Berlioz's The Damnation of Faust with the Oklahoma Honors Wind Ensemble. I popped out the phrase of fourth-ledger-line high B-flats like it was cake. It was double forte and I nailed it. Shazaam! I'd be lucky to hit those notes at all now...

But these are good memories. Memories of rhythm and texture and timbre -- of brass and of voices. And there are memories of people -- blending voices and instruments of individuals to make collective music. And of course, the jokes backstage before the concerts were a good time.

Playing in musical ensembles has been one of the most enlightening experiences of my life and of my time at OU. I would be a different person without these experiences.

And I don't know when or if I'll play in Sharp Hall again on the resonant pine stage. But I'm thankful for the music that I helped to make there, and for the people I know as a result.

So here's to music. And ensembles. And people. And a lot of time well spent.

The Chouse

POSTED IN | 11:58 PM
I have lived in Norman for about 18 years. This is a long time. And as a Normanite I've always been interested in The Chouse — the church/house on Boyd Street near Chautauqua Avenue. It used to be a church, but a number of years ago someone converted it into a house.

Last week I got to traipse every dog-hair covered inch (the owners have 12 dogs) of the 1926 structure while on assignment for Boyd Street (it's a glamorous life, really). The inside is pretty cool. The walls are 18 inches thick and the last church service was held there on Easter Sunday in 1979. I can't imagine what the heating bills are like for the place, but it's a smidge more interesting than the other college cribs I'm accustomed to documenting.

This door is from a church in Oklahoma City that was damaged during the April 19 bombing. The Chouse owners purchased it sometime after the bombing and slapped it up inside their own churchy digs. The door has a massive crack running down the length of it from the bombing concussion. Kinda creepy...

One of twelve canines that reside at The Chouse. The Missus of the family works at Second Chance Animal Sactuary and apparently has a soft spot for old, mangy pups that don't have a home. I don't remember this one's name.

(photos copyright Boyd Street Magazine)

Red & White action

With Lent coming to a close I'm back on the blogging scene. And it's good to be back. Thought I'd kick off the action afresh with some pics from Saturday's scrimmage. I would offer some type of football analysis here with thoughtful insights into how our team performed and what we can expect in terms of a team showing in the fall, but I have a problem. That problem is that I basically don't know anything technical about football. Thankfully one doesn't have to be in the know to capture an American football game with a camera. I'd be up a creek if this were the case...

At any rate, some shots from the scrimmage:

The Bob offering some polite words of wisdom to a pair of eager-to-learn troops.

2006 Big 12 Championship ring, as seen on the hand of former quarterback Paul Thompson.

Shout out to my 'bones.

If Owen Stadium is a temple then this man is the High Priest.

Our friend Adrian hamming it up for the networks and sporting some bling that really blings.

(photos copyright Boyd Street Magazine)