Random thing you love right now that doesn't deserve its own thread

WizKid wrote:

The letter “F” is right next the the letter “L”...

Glad I caught that one.

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/drqbwsV.jpg)

I love that "eindbaas" (Final Boss) has now become a common Dutch expression for "person in charge".

It must really wear you down, WizKid.

Clearly, I'm just demonstrating the importance of proofreading what you type.

That’s fascinating. Thanks for sharing it.

Bird songs are communication, so it just makes sense.

In other news, Kiri and I went to see Islander: The Musical. If you are in the DMV area of the US East coast, this is a wonderful show. It's at the Olney Theater in Maryland through 28 April.

It blends inverted but related stories of loss and gain, love and change, myth and history, with an amazing a capella and beatboxing style of music. With just the two actors playing multiple roles, and using a 5 track looper and two foot switches, they create all the accompaniment and sound effects for the various songs. No instruments are used, beyond the microphone and mixer. They also each play multiple roles, distinguished by their accents as well as affect, distinctive movements and habits, etc. The lighting is handled by a live crew, but it is extremely atmospheric (while abstract). The set too is simple, reminiscent of a shell partially buried in the sand but clean and simple and smooth.

It's a moving, intense, vibrant, energetic show. The audience has to pay attention but that's easy, it grabs you and shakes you around constantly. Most of the show is in some variety of light to heavy Scots accents and dialects, important words of which are explained in the program. However, if that accent gives you trouble, this might be difficult to understand, even with their perfect and clear enunciation. If you got through the movie version of Trainspotting okay, then this will be easily understood (although the few characters with heavy island-style (maybe Hebridean?) accents can give a bit of pause to process, they are not given that many lines). The language is a treat and serves to distinguish characters as much as anything else.

This is a virtuoso off-Broadway performance that is unique. The style of the songs is what I would call Celtic mythopoetic, nothing like classic musical songs, with intriguing rhythm changes and an unusual melodic sense.

All in all, a wonder-filled experience that overwhelms your senses and rivets your attention.

That sounds like a really neat show. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

Robear wrote:

The lighting is handled by a live crew,

I have no idea what this means, and I've hung a lot of stage lights in my time.

Vargen wrote:
Robear wrote:

The lighting is handled by a live crew,

I have no idea what this means, and I've hung a lot of stage lights in my time.

As opposed to using zombies for your lighting techs?

Well, for one thing, you're cutting your labor costs in half compared to hiring 80s hip hop group 2 Live Crew.

hbi2k wrote:

Well, for one thing, you're cutting your labor costs in half compared to hiring 80s hip hop group 2 Live Crew.

I salute you.

Vargen wrote:

I have no idea what this means, and I've hung a lot of stage lights in my time.

As opposed to having the actors do it (like the sounds and music), there is a lighting crew. It's not a "fire and forget" programmed sequence like some concerts and shows. The lighting changes to match on-stage cues and is done by people live behind the scenes to facilitate that.

Make more sense? Since the actors are doing music and sounds, I figured some folks might expect they are doing the lighting too, or somehow syncing to a pre-made set of timed changes. That's all.

That how all plays and musicals do their lighting though?

Ah, so the lighting is done the usual way, as compared to the sound.

Stengah wrote:

That how all plays and musicals do their lighting though?

Yeah, that's what threw me off. I was thinking "it can't mean what I think it means because that's the usual way lighting happens. Why mention that? It would be like saying 'the venue had doors that the audience used to enter and exit the performance area.'"

But with the weird sound setup, I can see how it would make sense to mention the traditional lighting.

My girlfriend is a professor who teaches theater tech to undergrads, and has 20 years of experience doing theater lighting, so I asked her if pre-programmed/fire-and-forget lighting was a thing and here's what she had to say...

she wrote:

Not very often for theater. The timing is too messy. I’ve seen some set ups like that for dance. But you still need a designer to translate the cues to a new venue.

Yup the stage manager calling the light cues is the tried and true "don't fix it if it ain't broke" practice.

Vargen gets it. If you just watch the trailer you might think that the actors were supplemented by live or recorded sounds and music (as is the usual practice), which would be, eh, no big deal, right?

Instead, it's a truly virtuoso performance, enhanced by the tight timing and atmospheric use of the lighting. The focus stays on the actors and characters and events even as you watch them set up loops and trigger them on and off. It would be easier to do with pre-recorded sounds and beats, but doing it live, that is something to watch. It's as much a concert as a play.

I thought it was an interesting hybrid of traditional theater lighting and music/sounds generated entirely live by the actors, so I tried to make that clear. Without the lighting, it could literally be performed by two buskers on a street corner, so it seemed worthwhile to make the distinction, especially since it came out of an Edinburgh Fringe Festival show.

And now, if it comes near you in the future, go see it!

If you've been sleeping on @fter midnight, don't miss tonight's episode:

IMAGE(https://i.imgur.com/YueDwbX.jpg)

I caught one I think the first week it was on with Kevin Smith and it was pretty fun. But I tend to watch Seth for Closer Look and forget to flip to CBS if I'm up that late

Last week's After Midnight was a GOAT. Episode 46. Worth finding if you can stream CBS or Paramount+. I developed difficulty breathing from laughing so hard.

I mean, imagine if you had a small party with a group of your best friends, but they were all comedians and/or actors. It's just a ridiculously goofy good time.

I watched some of an older one just to see. Maybe I am too much of a comedy sob, but it seemed like diet @midnite with less edge.

Speaking of random things I love, Robear (and anyone else who likes to witness musical performance and production done on the fly) you really ought to check out Ortopilot's music stream on Twitch. He's usually on Wed, Thurs, and Sunday. Late afternoons in Eastern time, evening in his home in England.

Here's one of his most epic mashups that made it to YouTube:

It starts a bit slow but it's good to throw on in the background.

BadKen wrote:

Last week's After Midnight was a GOAT. Episode 46. Worth finding if you can stream CBS or Paramount+. I developed difficulty breathing from laughing so hard.

I mean, imagine if you had a small party with a group of your best friends, but they were all comedians and/or actors. It's just a ridiculously goofy good time.

Watched it tonight after seeing your recommendation. I’ll second—well worth finding and watching. Very funny. Then I found the Tig Notaro episode (22), which was another great one with some great purely Tig moments.

Mixolyde wrote:

I watched some of an older one just to see. Maybe I am too much of a comedy sob, but it seemed like diet @midnite with less edge.

Depends a lot on the guests. If it was a show from the first month or two, the writers and producers may not have hit their stride. Took them a while to figure everything out. It is improving, but if the panel is having an off night, it can be weak. Despite her often heroic efforts, Taylor T can’t carry the whole show herself—it’s a panel show!

Re: After Midnight

First, you don't actually need Paramount+ to watch it on the internet -- they post the entire show in segments on their YouTube channel, and create handy playlists to make it easy to watch the whole thing in order.

https://www.youtube.com/@AfterMidnig...

Second, I think the show is as good or better than @Midnight ever was (and got through the early teething phase remarkably quickly). We watched nearly every episode of the Comedy Central era, and we've watched the new version nearly as often (although we skipped a bit more than usual while on vacation last month), and while my memory of the old show is admittedly a bit fuzzy I really do find myself amazed how good it is now even when the guests don't quite understand the show, or aren't comedians first and foremost.

Part of that is down to the fact that for me at least, Taylor Tomlinson is off the charts good at hosting, and makes those heroic efforts of bringing a tricky panel to life look natural and easy -- to say nothing about how well she rolls with the punches and makes a good panel better. Chris Hardwick (more recent allegations notwithstanding) was obviously a talented host as well, and had a good natured easy humor about him, but Tomlinson is next level good at understanding what's needed to make the show work, and (for my money at least) is just FAR more naturally funny in her own right than Hardwick.

Like, just watch this Monday's episode:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...

This was a pretty solid panel to start with, of course -- Gillian Jacobs and Caitlin Reilly bill themselves first as actors, but both are talented comedic performers, and Pete Holmes is explosively funny -- but even actors with good comedy chops do often struggle with the format, and Holmes' wild energy is hard to corral and can easily get out of control and steamroll any affair he's part of. But Tomlinson just effortlessly makes it work, follows where the panel wants to go while also keeping thing moving, and makes sure everyone gets to participate and look good doing it.

More than that though, while it's very clear that everyone involved in the new show is a big fan of what @Midnight did and wants to honor the spirit of it, I feel like the writers and show runners have made some good choices in how they've shifted the tone a bit. Maybe this is just because Jo Firestone is the head writer and the show is reflecting her core comedic sensibilities, but I feel like there was a bit of a lightly smug and cynical tone to the old show and how it treated the bits of internet ephemera that it was riffing on, and that felt alright at the time, but replacing that with the more whimsical, lighthearted perspective that pervades the new show is very, very welcome given *gestures broadly* everything that's changed in the intervening years.

Also, this is only tangentially related to the points I was just making, and there's probably plenty of other clips that just as capably demonstrate just how good the show often is, but the way the elimination at the end of this segment unfolds is an all time great:

(Worth noting, there was a bit of pipe laying throughout the episode that led up to that moment, and it was a good episode in general, so consider watching the whole thing to make the end hit even stronger.)

Also, if you don't might having the magic of that moment ruined, but ARE interested in a bit of a peak behind the scenes of how something like that comes together, Kurt Braunohler talked a bit about it during a recent appearance on Judge John Hodgman.

Ok, that episode was way better than the clips I found earlier. Taylor really stepped up to it, although her laugh does feel a little faked or forced a little sometimes, but not as much as the earlier shows. Can't wait to watch the 'Weird' Al one, he was great on @midnite.

Yeah, that After Midnight is great.

I love that they called the company Global Tetrahedron. Great shout out to the old Onion Dumb Century book