Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, April 21, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page B-3



 Mountain Views News Saturday, April 21, 2012 



The Book Report

By Jeff Brown

Review By Sean Kayden


 Toronto indie label Arts & Crafts, known for their eclectic roster of bands, 
including supergroup Broken Social Scene, are expanding their repertoire for 
2012. With B.S.S. on an indefinite hiatus, the label is on the lookout for the next 
big indie act. The latest addition to their team is Eight and A Half - a three-piece group comprised of 
Dave Hamelin and Liam O’Neil, former members from the out of commission group, The Stills (Arts 
& Crafts alumni) and Justin Peroff, the drummer for Broken Social Scene. This isn’t BSS or The Stills 
revisited, in spite of some influences to be on display. Eight and A Half focuses more on synthesizers 
and samplers as a vital integration in their somewhat minimalistic approach. The amalgamation of eerie 
sounds, dark ambience, and rich textures are deeply rooted in the band’s experimental resonance. 

 Liam O’Neil, the secondary vocalist when a member of The Stills, takes on full responsibilities as the 
primary singer. The transition seems effortless while O’Neil exhibits a crooning method as he carefully 
and expressively sings. On the second track of Eight 
and A Half’s self-titled debut, “Scissors,” O’Neil’s 
singing is a lull—soothing, pacifying, and warm. 
When he despondently speaks the words “Hold 
me like an old friend, Hold me like an omen,” you 
can sense the heartbreak and lonesomeness in his 
voice. “Scissors” is the slowest song off the record, 
but clearly one of the band’s stronger tracks. The 
recent single, “Go Ego,” is a tight, richly layered, 
synth-heavy tune that describes someone who had 
it all, but everything is now lost. The album remains faithful to the members’ previous work, however, 
it’s also cementing a name for the new band as they expand on their earlier sounds. “Took A Trip To 
India” is the best song Eight and A Half has developed. The poppy gem is smooth, beautifully arranged, 
and simply awesome. The chorus of “Two Points” takes a cue from Broken Social Scene, but even with 
the comparison, this is wholly an Eight and A Half song from top to bottom. 

 The guys claim this is no side project, but a full fledged band. If that’s the case, Arts and Crafts 
may have another big player on their lineup. The Canadian group’s first outing is short-lived however, 
clocking in at just over 35 minutes over the span of ten tracks. The first and last tracks are more like an 
intro and outro leaving the listener with eight complete songs. The record is pretty impressive regardless 
of its brief length. Often times, debut albums feel a bit green, but Eight and A Half shows no signs of 
that. In fact, their sound is polished, refined, and complete. Given the pedigree behind the project and 
how I’m already an avid fan of the members’ earlier work, it really comes as no surprise that the record 
is as good as it is. While the direction in sound is different, Eight and A Half are a worthy substitute for 
B.S.S. fans aching for a fix. However, I wouldn’t be all too shocked if E.A.A.H. attract a lexicon of old 
and new supporters in the process. 

Key Tracks: “Go Ego”, “Scissors”, “Took A Trip To India”, “Two Points” 

Grade: 8.3 out of 10 


 by Ian Tattersall


50,000 years ago , merely a blip in evolutionary time , our Homo sapiens ancestors were 
competing for existence with several other human species, just as their own precursors 
had been doing for millions of years. Yet something about our species separated it from 
the pack, and led to its survival while the rest became extinct. So just what was it that 
allowed Homo sapiens to become Masters of the Planet? Tattersall takes us deep into the 
fossil record to uncover what made humans so special. Surveying a vast field from initial 
bipedality to language and intelligence, Tattersall argues that Homo sapiens acquired a 
winning combination of traits that was not the result of long term evolutionary refinement. 
Instead it emerged quickly, shocking their world and changing it forever. He takes us from 
6 million years ago in Africa’s Rift Valley to the present day. On the way, he describes 
humanity’s cousins and rivals, from apes to the other hominins that competed with H. 
sapiens as, tens of thousands of years ago, our ancestors made the cognitive leap to symbolic 
thought!’ Ian Tattersall, PhD is a curator at the American Museum of Natural History in 
New York City, and an acknowledged leader of the human fossil record.


 by A. J. Jacobs

From this bestselling author comes the true and truly hilarious story of one person’s quest 
to become the healthiest man in the world. Hospitalized with a freak case of tropical 
pneumonia, goaded by his wife telling him, “I don’t want to be a widow at forty-five,” 
and ashamed of a middle- aged body best described as “a python that swallowed a goat,” 
A.J. Jacobs felt compelled to change his ways and get healthy. And he didn’t want only to 
lose weight, or finish a triathlon, or lower his cholesterol. His ambitions were far greater: 
maximal health from head to toe. The task was epic. He consulted an army of experts, 
sleep consultants and sex clinicians, nutritionists and dermatologists. He subjected himself 
to dozens of different workouts, from Strollercize classes to Finger Fitness sessions, from 
bouldering with cavemen to a treadmill desk. And he took in a cartload of diets: raw foods, 
veganism, high protein, calorie restriction, extreme chewing, and dozens more. He bought 
gadgets and helmets, earphones and juicers. He poked and he pinched. He counted and 
he measured. The story of his transformation is not only brilliantly entertaining, but it just 
may be the healthiest book ever written.

Artist: Eight and A Half 

Album: Eight and A Half 

Label: Arts and Crafts

Release Date: April 10th, 2012


Coffee Gallery Backstage, 

2029 N. Lake, Altadena, 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

7:00 pm, $15.00



an homage to the great singer-
songwriters of our generation 
and a celebration of our own 
original tunes they inspired.

 Dan Ames, Gayle 
Bluemel, Ross Johnsen and 
Scott Shepherd are the LATE 
BLOOMERS, an acoustic folk-
rock band, and have been performing 
together since 2006. 
Now two married couples, they 
cut their teeth on the music of 
Dylan, Neil Young and Paul Simon while still in high school in the sixties. They have since found their 
own sound by not only putting their individual stamp on favorites from that era., but by performing 
many new original tunes as well. 

 The Late Bloomers are accomplished vocalists as well as passionate singer-songwriters. Dan, 
a general contractor by day, writes clever lyrics for his traditionally inspired and memorable tunes, 
which are quickly becoming crowd favorites. He is a versatile string player as you will see when he 
picks up either the guitar, dobro, bass, or pedal steel. Gayle is Dan’s wife, plays keyboards and puts 
together many of the group’s vocal arrangements. She is the recently retired principal of Sierra Madre 
School, and, after a lifetime of being an arts educator and advocate, is taking up song-writing as well, 
and will be premiering some of her interesting new tunes. Ross plays bass and guitar and is the is 
the true poet of the group. Audiences consistently and enthusiasitically connect with her inspired 
words and melodies, as well as her charismatic, individual vocal style. Scott is a classically trained 
and accomplished percussionist, and through his raw vocals, mandolin and blues harmonica., lends 
an intense level of passion to every tune.

 They have individually been part of the Pasadena and LA music scene for many years and have 
played with other bands such as Smokewood, Touch Candy, The Shakin’ Snakes, Blind Ross, RetroActive 
and Accelerator and are now enjoying their collaboration as the LATE BLOOMERS.

 CONTACT: Dan Ames 626-797-2483

As part of its innovative 
annual New 
Music Concerts, 
the Idyllwild Arts

Academy Orchestra 
the 2012 New 
Music Concert 
will feature the 

guitarist Richard 
along with the 

music of So 

 The evening’s 
program features 
selections from 
Richard Thompson's 
with Ghosts, composer 
Chen Yi's 
Tone Poem, Idyllwild 
Arts Music 
Director Peter Askim's 
and the world premiere of the orchestral version of 
John Cage's Credo in US. Also on the program is the 
West Coast premiere of So Percussion member Jason 
Treuting's Oblique Music.

 Rounding out the program will be musician and 
composer Steve Reich's Music for Pieces of Wood. 
The concert is to be held at 4:00 p.m. at The Barnsdall 
Gallery Theatre. An additional concert will also 
precede Sunday afternoon’s performance on Saturday, 
April 28th at the Idyllwild Arts Campus in Idyllwild, 

 Idyllwild Arts Music Director Peter Askim is enthusiastic 
about theinnovative combination of musicians 
and pieces being performed at the upcoming concert, 
remarking, “I'm incredibly excited about the diversity 
of music on this program and the amazing level of 
world class soloists and composers participating. Any 
one of these soloists or composers on a concert would 
be fantastic, and to have all at once is a musical dream 
come true."

Richard Thompson

Legendary guitarist, composer, and songwriter Richard 
Thompson will perform a selection of songs 
from his work in progress, "Interviews With Ghosts". 
Thompson, rated by Rolling Stone magazine as one of 
the Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, is known for pushing 
the creative envelope by combining classical music 
with folk-rock and orchestral music. Thompson, who 
made his

debut as a recording artist as a member of Fairport 
Convention in 1967, continues to write, record, and 
perform worldwide.

Chen Yi

Chinese composer Chen Yi was commissioned by the 
IAAO to write an original work, Tone Poem, which 
will receive its World Premiere at the concert. Yi is a 
prolific composer whose music transcends cultural 
and musical boundaries by creating a blend of tones 
that appeal to a wide range of audiences.

Dr. Peter Askim

Idyllwild Arts Academy Music Director Peter Askim’s 
piece, "Elsewhere", will be making its debut. As a composer, 
Dr. Askim has been called a “Modern Master” 
and has had commissions and performances with the 
Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony, 
the International Society of Bassists, the ale Symphony 
Orchestra and the Idyllwild Arts Orchestra, among 

Jason Treuting/SO Percussion

Jason Treuting, a composer and musician of So Percussion 
will be performing an original piece, "Oblique 
Music for 4 Plus (blank)" in its West Coast premiere.

 So Percussion is currently the Ensemble-in-Residence 
at Princeton

University. According to Askim, So Percussion is “the 
hottest, hippest group of young virtuoso hotshots in 
the world today. Whether they are playing drums, amplified 
cactus or plastic bags, they create an irresistible 

out of the most complex music of our time.”

Tickets for this extraordinary event are available online 
at at presale rates of $10 for 
students and $20 for

adults. Tickets will also be available at the door for $15 
and $25


The concert, which is also a fundraiser for the William 
M. Lowman Concert Hall Building Fund, Patron and 
Benefactor Sponsorships are also available.

to experience the arts”. Event Phone: 951-659-2171

 Venue: The Barnsdall Gallery Theatre

4800 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles CA 90027

Performance Dates: Sunday, 04/29/2012

Performance Time 4:00 pm

Ticket Information: Presale tickets: $10 students, $20 

Idyllwild Arts New Music Concert with Special 
Guests Richard Thompson and So Percussion

Richard Thompson performs with the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra led by 
conductor Peter Askim

“Morning’s at Seven.” 

March 30- May 12.

Aaronetta and Ida Gibbs have lived next door to each other 
most of their lives and along with Esther, all of the Gibb 
sisters are an open book to each. Husbands not included. 
Into the fray comes Myrtle Brown, perpetually engaged to 
Ida's son Homer. But Homer can't seem to pop the question. 
Taking matters into her own hands, Myrtle finally gets 
a proposal by compelling Homer to fly the nest. Sort of. This 
perennially charming portrait of small town America was 
first produced on Broadway in 1939 and revived in 1980 
and in 2002 to critical acclaim. By Paul Osborn, Directed 
by Bob Hakman

 Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra 
Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Ample free parking 
behind theatre. Tickets: $25. Seniors (65+) and students 
(13-17), $22. Children 12 and under, $15. Musicals: $25 all 
seats. Reservations: (626) 355-4318. Online ticketing: www.




 Musicians Tim Tedrow and 
Terry Vreeland return to the 
stage of Sierra Madre Playhouse 
and welcome musical 
guests Ryan Sy, TVVT, The 
John Zipperer Band, and Bill 
Mesnik (creator of the hit show 
“Three Songs”) in a concert of 
folk music with great singer/

 A Night of Folk Music. At 
Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 
W. Sierra Madre Blvd. , Sierra 
Madre , CA 91024 . Ample fee 
parking behind theatre. Sunday, 
April 22, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. 
Admission: $15. Reservations: 
(626) 355-4318. Online ticketing: