Gary Jules and me sing a song under the dome, a “night at the museum”

Photo by my childhood friend and doppelgänger Jeremy Farson.

Gary invited me up on stage to sing a song last night at the museum. It always brings back so many memories to see Gary and to get to play with him was such a treat. We always fall right back into it like we were teenagers again… “I’ve just seen a face. I can’t forget the time or place…” So much fun…

Gary played all my favs of his, like “Barstool” and “No Poetry.” Gary is such an amazing lyricist and performer…

And, of course, he played his mega hit “Mad World,” which appeared originally in the Donnie Darko soundtrack and went on to become a UK #1 Christmas single.

But the song that really got me was “Close Your Eyes” by James Taylor, which Gary dedicated to brother Micah, a song the three of us used to listen to when we were teenagers and our whole worlds and hearts were being torn apart by the trappings of modern society. I could barely hold back the tears that welled up in my eyes.

“I don’t know no love songs and I can’t sing the blues anymore…”

Brother Micah, director of Museum of Man, did a fantastic job running the auction to raise money future exhibits. It was great to see how excited his staff is about the new energy there.

And it was wonderful to catch up with so many of my high school friends. We all remembered the many school trips we made as youngsters to the museum, a true diamond in the rough.

We’re all looking forward to the programs that brother Micah has in store for next year… Stay tuned!

Hang with Gary Jules and the Parzen family on Dec. 10 in San Diego

An Evening Under the Dome With Gary Jules
Friday, December 10, 2010 from 6:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Purchase tickets here.

On Friday, December 10, Tracie P and I and the whole Parzen family are going to be attending a special concert by our old, old friend Gary Jules at the Museum of Man in San Diego.

You may remember how brother Micah became the director of San Diego’s anthropological museum, the Museum of Man, back in the summer of this year.

Micah and Gary have remained close friends from our junior high and high school days and Gary has graciously agreed to perform a benefit concert for the museum.

I’ve known and played music with Gary since we were children. And we used to hang in LA when I was in grad school and then later in NYC, when his band would come through town.

In 2003, he became an international superstar with his megahit version of the Tears for Fears track “Mad World” (2003), produced and performed by another good friend, Mike Andrews (a superstar in his own right).

The tickets are not cheap but they’re for a good cause. Tracie P and I wouldn’t miss it for the “mad world.” (And I bet we’ll all end up at Jaynes Gastropub after the event for some killer wine!)

Hope to see you there! :-)

Mad World 2000 Brunello

il poggione

Above: The 2000 Brunello di Montalcino by Il Poggione rocked my world last night at Jaynes Gastropub in San Diego.

It’s been a mad, mad week already, between travel, wedding planning, business meetings with a California client, and catching up with old friends.

Last night, to celebrate Jaynes Gastropub family-member Nicholas George’s successful level 2 sommelier certification exam, Jayne and Jon treated the extended-family crew assembled at the bar to a bottle of 2000 Brunello di Montalcino by one of my favorite (and one of Tom Hyland’s favorite) producers, Il Poggione. 2000 was such a warm vintage in Tuscany (and throughout Italy) and many of the wines have that stewed tomato thing going on. But not this bottling: it was powerfully tannic and it rocked with bright acidity and plum and cherry fruit. I’m sure that winemakers Fabrizio and his son Alessandro Bindocci would tell me that their higher elevation in Sant’Angelo in Colle and their 40-plus-year-old vines allowed them to make great wine in a not-so classic vintage.

Congratulations, Nicholas! Chapeau bas!

mad world

Above: The famous upright piano featured in my buddy Mike’s version of “Mad World.”

Earlier in the day, I took time out to catch up with my good friend Mike Andrews and to visit his studio in Glendale. He loves to tease me that I was voted “most likely to have a successful career in music” by our high school graduating class: since launching his career as a film composer in 1999, Mike has scored countless hit movies. Mike let me take the above photo of the piano he used on his 2003 British number-one-Christmas-hit single version of Tears for Fears’s “Mad World.” He swore me to secrecy: I cannot reveal the technique he used to achieve the instrument’s unique sound on the recording (and had to photograph it obliquely). But it was a thrill to feel its aura, as Walter Benjamin might have said.

Check it out… The opening lines still give me goosebumps!

Today is another mad schedule of work and travel… More later on the California adventures of Tracie B and Jeremy P. Stay tuned…