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Friday, February 13, 2004

More Sound Advice - My present to you for Valentine's Day

If you've seen me at a show, you've probably noticed silly looking blue posts sticking out of my ears kind of like Frankenstein. These are my Er-25 Musician's Earplugs, and I don't leave home without them. Wearing them for less than a year I've already noticed a difference. Perhaps because my tinnitus hasn't gotten any worse, it almost seems to have gotten better. (Remember, once you get it, it will NEVER go away.)

Be good to yourself this weekend. Wear earplugs. If you don't think you need to, have a look at this rather comprehensive article that includes references to several musicians, including Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum, Bob Mould of Husker Du and Benno Nelson of National Dynamite.

Link: Hearing Damage and Loud Music

Thursday, February 12, 2004

London Theatre Walks Website released celebrating Second Edition of the Book

The revised and expanded Second Edition of London Theatre Walks was published in July of 2003 by Applause Books just after I returned from my last London vacation. I enjoyed the first edition tremendously and even received a guided tour of Walk 1 (Shakespeare and the Globe: A trip to Bankside) in December of 2000 by the author himself. What makes a lowly rock pundit like myself eligible for such first class treatment by writer's of one of the most essential current guides to exploring the magical history and present of one of the world's greatest theatre towns? Well, it just so happens that the said author is my own father, Dr. James L. De Young, who was professor of Speech Communications and Theater Arts at Monmouth College for almost 40 years until his retirement last year. Dr. De Young traveled to London more than a dozen times over the years—graciously taking me along on a few occasions—to do research, take notes and photographs and work and re-work the reams of cellulose pulp that finally became the first edition of this book in 1999.

Even visitors to London who didn’t grow up with the Theatre as I did will find plenty of interest in London Theatre Walks. For those with a little shoe leather to spare, these 13 walks will guide you through some of the most fascinating and historic parts of the city, typically starting and dropping you off at well-known London landmarks you may already be familiar with. Adventuresome rock and roll spirits like myself may also discover that these walks can be turned into a sort of pub crawl game, the object of which is to stop for a pint and have bar attendants in each of the many historic pubs referenced along the route of the walks autograph the margins of the book next to the corresponding reference.

The London Theatre Walks website, designed by yours truly, makes its official internet debut on February 13th on the author’s 66th birthday.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

The Ballroom at Theatre de la Jeune Lune

Catherine Campion, local musician and media contact for the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association's yearly Art-A-Whirl event, sent me an email the other day speaking of her involvement in a show that began previews last evening at Theatre de la Jeune Lune. Campion will be making a momentary return to the theater stage in The Ballroom. The production that has been in previews this past week is directed by Dominique Serrand and opens officially tonight.

According to the press release, "The Theatre has been transformed into a Midwestern social hall, complete with two bars where beverages will be served. Collaboratively created by Jeune Lune's five artistic directors, this celebratory production features a cast of 30, performing a series of vignettes that captures a slice of American life during different eras of the 20th century. Stories include a prom in the 1960s, World War II women factory workers and a wedding in the 1950s. It's a poignant, powerful and hilarious production filled with music and dancing."

Campion adds that if you are interested in seeing the show, here's how to get the cheapest tickets: If you mention The Rake when making reservations, tickets are 2-4-1 for all Friday and Sunday shows. Full price tickets are $26 (Fridays) and $22 (Sundays) so this half price offer is quite a steal!

One last thing Campion mentions: though it's still frigid and our fair city is buried in snow, Art-A-Whirl is right around the corner. If you are interested in playing at this year's event or submitting music for the annual compilation CD Campion produces each year, contact her at