Here’s my review of Green Book’s new EP! A Home, I Hope.
Some of you may remember the time I took a look atDrake Sitarz. Well guess what? He’s back and this time he brought a band! Green Book!
Green Book is, well, Green Book. Featuring Wil Sitarz on Guitar and Lead Vocals, Drake Sitarz on Banjo, Backing Vocals, Richard Shell has the Drums, Faith Perkins rocking the Accordion, Ukulele, Backing Vocals, and Mike Stuart on Bass.They’re an interesting blend of the raw fidelity that defines indie music with that twangy feel of folk music. It makes for a nice mellow combination. A Home, I Hope is a far cry from Clyde Machine’s dubstep or even Elle O’Bryan’s haunting solo work but it’s really enjoyable even if, like me, you aren’t really a fan of such things.
A Home, I Hope is seven tracks of acoustic mellow and melancholy bluesy folk, with a running time just shy of a half hour. Don’t let its brevity fool you, it’s a solid EP.
Listening to A Home, I Hope you can really hear the the twang of the banjo and it blends really well without sounding out of place, which is good because what sort of band calls itself “folk” without a solid banjo?
Unfortunately, A Home, I Hope lacks some of the perkiness found in Green Book’s live work, this is more of an observation than a criticism, I’ve embedded one of their live performances below so you can decide for yourself.
All in all, I enjoyed A Home, I Hope and I look forward to hearing more from Green Book in the future!
If you want to show Green Book some love, you can purchase A Home, I Hope on itunes and if you feel you need to try it before you buy it, you can listen to the entire EP on Green Book’s Sound Cloud. Don’t forget to show them some love on Facebook too!
Some background on Avenue Q while the show features cutesy and adorable puppets it explores quite a number of adult themes and is definitely not for children.
I had a blast! While the LOT definitely isn’t Broadway it’s still a wonderful, and wonderfully small, theatre in Toronto. Avenue Q recently celebrated two years on stage at the LOT so the tiny company is no stranger to the wild and zany antics of Avenue Q!
Featuring a stellar cast including Brady VanVaerenbergh as both Princeton and Rod, Alexandra Reed as Kate Monster, and Lucy the Slut, Mark-Anthony Del Brocco as Nicky, Trekie Monster, and a Bad Idea Bear, Jaclyn Serre as Mrs. Thistletwat and the other Bad Idea Bear, Joseph Herbison as Brian, Ellie Posadas as Christmas Eve, and Shakura Dickson as TV’s Gary Coleman.
To fill you in on the premise of Avenue Q, imagine if the characters from Sesame Street, grew up, moved to New York and became disillusioned with life.
The LOT’s incredibly small theatre definitely lent a sense of intimacy to the performance, none of the performers appeared to be mic’d and although they were exceptionally gifted, I occasionally struggled to hear them over the music.
Notably awesome company numbers included You can be as Loud as the Hell you Want, and It Sucks to be Me. Meanwhile I was very impressed by the vocal range of Alexandra Reed, damn that girl can sing! A Fine, Fine Line is one of my favourite numbers from the show and I enjoyed her rendition even more than the Original Broadway Cast.
On the whole the LOT gave their own Toronto twist to Avenue Q complete with some not so subtle cracks at Rob Ford! I enjoyed the show immensely and would totally recommend it to anyone mature enough to handle gratuitous puppet nudity.
You rock at life! I know this because you’re here, reading this, and if you found Crazy Wicked Awesome you must be doing something right. I have no shame.
If you don’t think you rock at life here are some things you can try to improve both your state of mind and the state of your health.
Studies have shown that there are a ton of benefits to self-affirmation. So don’t be afraid to compliment yourself in the mirror every morning. Research at Carnegie Mellon University showed that self-affirmation can actually help your problem solving and creativity when under stress.
We all know that daily exercise is important, but did you know that exercise can also be a mood boost? Getting in shape can improve your overall well-being. So now you have yet another reason to start hitting the gym, or at least walking more.
Listen to Music!
According to the European Society of Cardiology rocking out to your favourite music can help improve your heart health! No one wants a heart attack! Become a better you with minimal effort!
Feel better? Good! In the immortal words of Douglas Adams, Don’t Panic. Panicking never solved anything.
Elle is self described dork, with a major in math, so it makes her album that much more interesting. Fortunately for you, dear reader, that comes later. I get to talk about the lovely Ms. O’Bryan first.
She was born long (but not that long) ago, and has been playing guitar for half as long as that. Which is to say a really long time. However, Elle was not a musical wunderkind, her own mother was one to encourage her to not perform in school talent shows. Her mother was unsuccessful, because as we all know,
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. There is no greater force on this planet than a child that’s just been told they shouldn’t do something. So after many hours of singing along to Guns ‘n’ Roses, Elle experienced something… something… Magical! Practice actually does pay off! Like holy crap guys!
Now more than a decade later, Elle is awesome, just like her album, Every Single One.
For starters, it’s just her. No band. No backup singers. No bullshit. It’s interesting, raw and emotional, but at the same time it’s also the biggest weakness. (but more on that later!)
It’s about heartbreak, betrayal and cutting children out of wombs! No, it’s not a metal album. It’s an Irish-inspired, folksy beast. What sets Elle apart from the pack is her wonderful vocal style. Like seriously Wow, when Elle sent me her album she mentioned it was “ very Appalachian and Irish influenced”. I thought, “OK, never heard that before but, cool.” then I listened to her sing and I was half expecting her to break out into Gaelic. It was great! Mostly because she defied my expectations and stuck with English. Sweet, sweet English.
It’s kinda somber stuff, but that’s ok, everyone needs a little melancholy sometimes, right?
What I didn’t like was the fact that occasionally, Elle’s solo-ness (totally a word now) sometimes worked against her and some tracks felt a bit empty, but that’s ok because she’s totally looking for bandmates! YAY! Problem: Solved.
Here’s a sneak peak of Will Cady’s music!
They’re pretty no? More importantly, they sound pretty damn good too! the tech specs are as follows:
Acoustic system: Closed
Magnet type: Neodymium
Frequency response: 12 – 23 500 Hz
Impedance: 32 Ohm
Maximum power input: 30 mW
Sensitivity: 103 dB
Speaker diameter: 40 mm
If you aren’t an audiophile, I’ll break that down into easy to understand layman’s terms!
First off these are over ear(circumaural), closed headphones which means that they will cover your entire ear. The closed part is where things can kinda get confusing (but not really)
Closed headphones are sealed off from the world and allow better sound isolation so you hear your music and not the rest of the world. Which is totally the point of headphones in my opinion. Open headphones are less isolated but usually offer more accurate sound reproduction. Personally I’m an advocate of closed headphones everywhere but in the studio/quiet home. In the few weeks that I’ve been using them the Uptowns are pretty great for cutting out unwanted noise, even when my music is at lower volumes which is awesome, because no one wants hearing loss. I was kind of expecting Philips’ Musicseal thing to be branding hype but, nope. It wasn’t just a gimmick. These cans had very little leakage into the outside world even at higher volumes I was the only one hearing my music!
Next up we’ve got the frequency response! simply put, sound travels in waves, and these waves vary in frequency. Since the average human, and by average I mean with perfect hearing can only hear with in the range of 20 to 20 thousand hertz any pair of headphones with a range higher than this is really just bragging. Before you get all upset that you can’t hear the frequencies your cans are blasting, I’m going to point out that .mp3 compression works by cutting out the sounds you can’t hear anyway, so no matter how good your headphones are, they’re only as good as the sound you pump in them! However many people claim to hear a difference.
Driver time! The Uptowns aren’t the biggest pair of headphones on the block but they’re certainly noticeable. With 40 mm drivers they stand out and take up quite a bit of space on your head. But boy are they loud when you need/want them to be! :)
Build quality is pretty excellent with one exception that I’ll touch on later… the ear cups are solid, and cleanly slide up and down easily, yet stay in place when you find the position that fits you. the headband is comfy with plenty of padding and lightweight and the ear pads are solid and have a nice give to them.
The uptowns in my opinion have really good sound reproduction for their price, if you can get them on sale. But no one hardly ever buys headphones for the sound alone. The uptowns are also mega comfy and I can wear them for several hours without any discomfort :)
Now for the (minor, but still totally there) downsides: the cable is for lack of a better word, horrible. Compared to how solid the rest of the Uptowns are, it’s very, very flimsy and I’m terrified that one off the wall dance move would totally rip it. That and the colours don’t match. the brown accents on the plug and volume slider are different shades of brown than each other and of the headphones, I know it’s a super minor complaint but still…
Downside number two is the the microphone/volume slider bit. for one thing, it’s independent of your device volume, which actually works out better than I thought it would, especially on older media players. but it’s hard to find a middle ground between maxed out and super quiet because the thing is just so finicky. the Mic could also be a lot better. It’s very crackly and full of static, so it’s useful in a pinch but otherwise kinda pointless.
Overall I give the Philips Citiscapes Uptown Headphones a 8.5/10! Great sound, decent price, awesome comfort and style are taken down a notch thanks to a cable that does not deserve to be attached to such a nice pair of cans.
If you like the uptowns and you like me please purchase them through my amazon affiliate link.