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From July 13, 2006...
CD's, mp3's and online music stores -- that's all great, but something's been lost in the transition from vinyl to digital. Plus - Tick, Tick Boom! The story of the man behind the Broadway hit "Rent". And, quirky, experimental rock from Atomic Jefferson. I'm Greg Bass and this is Tapestry.
You probably remember the first record album you ever bought. One of the earliest records I can remember is a Kingston Trio album I received from my parents during the great folk scare of the late 1950s. I remember three smiling young men holding their musical instruments and wearing matching striped, short-sleeve shirts - a pose later parodied to great effect in Christopher Guest's mockumentary A Mighty Wind. At their peak, LP covers were a perfect forum for experimentation, fun and social commentary. Somehow, the practical packaging of LPs evolved into collectable pieces of graphic art -- and, as Les Lovoy reports, revolutionized the music industry.
Apple Computer makes a music player called the iPod shuffle which uses technology that ensures you have no idea what song you're going to hear next. The ad campaign for the shuffle uses the tagline, "Life is random." To which reporter Dale Short replies, "No joke." He says you can get the same effect with old-fashioned vinyl LPs. It's a lot more trouble, and it starts with a plumbing leak.
In "The Picture of Dorian Gray", Oscar Wilde wrote, "I love acting. It is so much more real than life." Acting, theatre and life are under the microscope in the current DP Theatre Series production "Tick, Tick...BOOM!" It's an autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson - based on his struggle to write the great American musical. Larson did end up writing a wildly successful show "Rent". But in a twist that seems to come straight out of the theatre, Larson died unexpectedly the day before the off-Broadway premiere of "Rent" and just a week before his 36th birthday. Dane Peterson directs the local production of "Tick, Tick...BOOM!" and Lucas Pepke plays Jonathan Larson. They tell Tanya Ott it's a story of angst and inspiration.
The DP Theatre Series production of "Tick, Tick...BOOM!" runs through July 22nd at Birmingham Festival Theatre. We've got an extended interview with director Dane Peterson and actor Lucas Pepke on our website, WBHM.org.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
The Birmingham band Atomic Jefferson formed in 1992 and has been featured on syndicated radio programs including the Dr. Demento Show and The Hour of Slack. The Bandmates make their living in pursuits outside of music so they're free to pursue the musc that pleases them. This is "You'll Never Be Alone Again" from the new CD "Metaphysical Momma". (AUDIO MONTAGE)
Rob Crowell plays guitar, keyboards and provides the vocals for Atomic Jefferson.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott and Michael Krall. Hunter Bell produces the musician profiles and Francesca Rosko tracks community events. Additional reporting this week from Les Lovoy and Dale Short. Next week on the program, a few picks for summer reading. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week.