T Minus MacBook Pro: One month and counting

Following up on my earlier note, the elapsed time to delivery of my new MacBook Pro will be close to 5 weeks. Ordered on February 16, it’s currently scheduled to ship on March 17 and arrive on March 22, even with 2-day shipping. So we’re one month out. The only comfort is that the Apple Store seems to habitually pad delivery dates so as to deliver only positive surprises, so I’ll probably get it sooner.

Frustrating, especially since the battery isn’t getting better on my current PowerBook. It falls off a cliff and shuts down with 58-60% remaining now, meaning effective battery life is only 1-2 hours.

And that’s what really hurts: R&B Radiohead

Courtesy our good friend Mr. Greene, a pointer to an (unfortunately non-downloadable) goodie, a pointer to a cover of Radiohead’s “Just” (from The Bends) by DJ Mark Ronson that features an R&B horn line and some seriously funky guitar playing, together with a quite respectable vocal from Phantom Planet’s Alex Greenwald.

My only complaint: the cover loses something of the edgy vitriol of the original but doesn’t fully embrace the funk that the instrumental choice seems to want to bring. Otherwise one of the better Radiohead covers out there.

Schoenberg the romantic

Missed in the shuffle of the big snowstorm, my Las Vegas trip, food poisoning, etc. was this article in the Globe on February 12 about Schoenberg and Beethoven. The link between the two is a lot clearer in a monumental work like Gurrelieder, which we’re performing starting tomorrow night at Symphony Hall.

The first orchestra rehearsal was today. As always, singing with the BSO is a real privilege, especially with a show like this one where they are being stretched beyond their normal comfort zone. (While the Gurrelieder is romantic, it’s also extremely difficult.) It’s also interesting to make the case that 20th century music evolved from the late High Romantic works rather than growing as a new, separate thing; some of the melodic passages in the piece have a harmonic quality that presages the austere intervallic language of Copland (in both his popular and obscure works). It should be a good concert—even if the Tanglewood Festival Chorus is only singing about 18 minutes of it.