Congratulations to the Octet for their most popular video passing 2 Million views. Wish I wasn't looking at old movies on YouTube when it happened, or I would have caught it sooner. Anyway - Yay, Octet! The best to these guys in 2010!
One funny thing I'd like to relate is that I had an awesome weird James Bondian/Octet hero dream that was...um, I think due to the post Christmas strange food/drink combo I had before I went to bed. Yeah, it was awesome like James Bond, but it was also weird like Willie Wonka...and when I woke up (before the story should have ended) it kinda looked like I was turning out to be a villain, which kinda disappointed me. But then, I put it down to the food and drink and not to what I actually think of myself. I actually think I'm a geek and not any kind of femme fatale, and villains aren't geeks. Ever. No way. Unless they're femme fatales pretending to be geeks, which is quite possible.
On to my actual posts, now. Right now. Here goes. I love Octet dudes! 2 of them wrote to me after my Christmas post.
I'd just like to share them with you. The first was anonymous again. Oooooh, mystery. I like! Also, he provided a little bit of back story on the great fun that the Octet dudes were having in the Silent Night photo montage.
Comments: Hey there! Thanks for putting up the videos and being such a stellar fan. Your website it really neat! That front image from the silent night video was at our celebration party for winning ICCAs. A bottle of champagne per member. Whooo, what a night! Anyways, Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a happy, Octet-filled new year.
The second was from Aroon, the new Octet dude. I was really surprised, since I only just mentioned him on the last post as being the new guy. Maybe I should just make a post that mentions all Octet dudes, past and present, and see what happens.
Name: Aroon Vijaykar
Comments: Hey there, thanks for keeping this blog going. You're right we should get an Octet historian...I'll put your name up for contention with the guys! And we are competing this year so hopefully you can make it down for ICCA's or our Spring Show 2010!
First, let's call it official: I love the new guy. 2nd, I would love to be the historian for the Octet. 3rd, I'd love to come down and see either Spring Show or the ICCA's or both. Zowie! If my school schedule (and funds) permit, color me there, Octet dude.
Back to sleep, now.
This was going to be longer, but I am going to bed early with a migrane. Sorry. On the other hand, Merry Christmas!
Updated December 25th @ 1:45 a.m. I went to bed pretty early and woke up nearly headache free, so I thought I'd add more to the blog because the Octet deserve a nice holiday post, dontcha think, Octet fans?
This is a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, with awesome photos of the Octet! Yeah, boys. It even has some of the ICCA awards they won. Apparently there is an award for best choreography. And, from the picture above, it seems that they like to have fun together. Party at the Octet place!
The 2008-09 Octet sings Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I love how they sing "Like a lightbulb!" even when it's the wrong phrase. And the speeded up version was awesome. There is a video of the '07 (I believe) Octet singing Rudolph during Super Sproul, but they messed up a little bit. This version was a little cleaner. That being said, Sproul is supposd to be more improvised, and messing up is okay when you're just having fun.
On a personal note, when I was a kid, I had the opportunity to sing this song for the Girls Club Christmas Pagent. My performance was nowhere as entertaining as this. In fact it may have been painful for some people.
Mr. Grinch was performed on/at Sproul Plaza. I'm never really sure if it's On Sproul Plaza or at Sproul Plaza...which is pretty much why I don't usually write about Sproul. The Octet and other Berkeley a cappella groups (the Tones and AiR for instance) perform every week on/at Sproul. The Octet dudes perform on Wednesday at 1 pm, (I think) for FREE, if that's an incentive to people in the area to see them.
About this video. Great Bass, Nice Choreo and the red pajama bottoms - OMG LOVE!
This is the current Octet singing Silver Bells (and someone next to the camera is doing homework or opening a candy wrapper). Keith M is on the solo. He's been in the group for awhile, but with the haircut, I thought he was a new guy. They did get a new guy named Aroon. Don't they sound pretty? I certainly think so.
No, this isn't th Octet. This is Straight No Chaser (SNC), who are an a cappella group from Indiana U. They also competed against the Octet in (I believe) 2000 when the Octet were the ICCA champions.
If it weren't for this video, I would have never found the Octet. SNC are famous now, because of YouTube. They were able to get a record contract because of the popularity of this and other SNC songs (Including "This Is How We Do It" - which was removed from YouTube because of a copywrite issue, and was recently returned to their channel. Have a listen to that song, as it rocks the Casbah).
I must say, I prefer the Octet. They dress better and (because of KennyK), each member of the Octet was introduced to the YouTube audience, so it's kind of like we know them. I still don't know any of the SNC guys' names, and they have a slick & fancy website. Anyway, 12 Days will always have a place in my heart because it's good solid a cappella singing. Enjoy.
Yeah...it's almost 3 a.m. and I'm bored. So puh-leez take the poll.
PS - I did not include "other" in the poll choices....of course, Brandon can always be added, if you've seen him perform. I understand he was pretty awesome. But I believe that's one of the criteria for being an Octet-dude.
Well, Octet fans, I've found it. An Octet member singing something not-a cappella.
It seems that at one time Jordan was a member of a folk/folk rock/bluegrass trio called Le Soup du Jour (translates into something like 'soup of the day'.)
Anyway, all the songs are great, but Jordan has the lead in a snappy li'l number called Ramona. He also plays the guitar in all four songs. He's multi-talented! The Myspace Page looks a bit deserted - no check ins for over a year. It's too bad, because they're a talented group.
Dianna was in the Octet opening video in 2003. She played the Almost Famous-y reporter who followed the Octet. FUN! I don't know who the other woman is. They have a great sound. Excellent harmonies!
The picture they used for the video is almost Octet-ian, except there are only six guys instead of 7. (Or eight, as some Octet's are prone to having.) I realized, as I was listening to George Baker's "Little Green Bag" on my mp3 player, that I was auto-arranging it in my mind, a cappella style. Actually, I can't write music at all, but I could hear how the song would be sung a cappella. Except for the barritone part. I don't understand barritone.
I was wondering if you kind readers could help me out with input on which celebrities (actors/singers/politicians/cartoon characters, etc.,) the Octet guys look like. I have a few ideas...and yes, one of them has the initials J.B., so don't go there. I could sure use the input. Thanks alot.
I know I usually post YouTube comments about the Octet, however on this video there weren't so many witty comments, so I thought I'd do some research-y stuff instead. (The posts may not come more regularly, but they will be more researched and better-ly written. Hahaha). From the posts I did learn from kennyk314 that this song was arranged by Jerome (or, as he's known on YouTube, the dude with the dark fro-ish hair and the 'harmonica') from a cd. And that Jerome may have been a music major. Anyway, we all know from this and Nirvana Medley (which he also arranged) that the man has talent and had an AWESOME head of hair. Kudos to Jerome.
The guys' performance is awesome. I love the way the guys run on and off the stage. It's appropriately coltish for a college a cappella group. Jason's reeling in bit when they sang "fall for that old line" is great panto. The part where they pretend to hang themselves with their Oct-ties is particularly funny (though, I was worried about how realistic Jerome's 'hanging' was. Dude.) Rick and Parker dancing with each other was also so funny. Kudos to the guys and their performance.
This Medley is love. My personal story is that I dated a guy who was very much like the "How could you believe me" type. Here's the thing. The guy was a jerk, but he was soooo cute and could talk his way into and out of anything. I knew he was a jerk. I dated him and thought he had 'changed for me", which he didn't. He was a lying cheat. I was a fool. Point taken. I learned my lesson. And yet, I still love this song and the guys who sing it.
I believe I have mentioned before that I enjoy listening to the original versions of Octet arrangements in order to better appreciate what the guys can do, and since I couldn't find much in the way of YouTube quotes, I figured I would introduce Octet fans to the idea of comparison, especially for 'lesser known' songs...are the songs in Liar Medley lesser known? They are to me.
I thought I would be able to find the song that goes with the beginning. The "My mother used to say...." bit. I actually heard the song during an episode of Fibber McGee and Molly after I had heard the Octet version. I was sitting on my bed and knitting a shawl (Vanna's Choice Drop Stitch Shawl from Lion Brand. I used a worsted weight yarn and biggish 9? needles - it turned out fine in case you're wondering. And my gramma loves it!) when I heard the tune during a musical interlude between acts. It was the prelude to a sort of 'Beauty's Only Skin Deep' type monologue, a man towards his girlfriend/wife (memory not so good), basically saying the she used false advertising in the looks and personality department. This was waaay before I imagined the Octet blog, and Fibber McGee and Molly ran from the mid 30's to sometime in the 50's. I've heard every show, but unfortunately I am not able to locate that piece again. I'll try to go through the episodes and if/when I find it, I will post it to the site. It's quite funny.
So, the first song is called It's a Sin To Tell a Lie, by and it performed by both Fats Waller and the Ink Spots. Both take the songs into different directions. Fats Waller's version is very much jazzy/ragtime with some great piano 'riffs'. I'm not musical, so I am not sure that is totally correct. I do know that it charted at number 5 in 1935. Kudos to Fats Waller. You da man.
The Ink Spots version of "It's Sin To Tell A Lie" was recorded only a few years later in November 1941, and released in January 1942. I'm not sure how it did on the charts, probably not too well since I was unable to find it using internet search tools. If you listen it's a much different sound than the original recording but still quite effective, and the falsetto at the end just blows my mind. It does the Octet proud to be able to select from terrific music. Kudos Ink Spots.
The official title of the third song in the Liar Medley is "How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?" Yeah. It's officially the longest song title in an MGM movie,(which leads me to believe that there's an even longer title in another movie by some other movie company, but it's nearly dinner-time and I'm done doing reasearch) and that movie is pretty well known to movie buffs or people who watch AMC at all. Royal Wedding features this song as a duet between the a-maze-ing Fred Astaire (OMG Love) and Jane Powell (Love 2) Nice bit of arranging, changing the duet into a...um, don't know what it's called when you change a duet into not a duet. Someone musical may know. So, instead of it being accusatory by the woman and explanatory by the guy, it's full on braggery-swaggery by the guy. And the Octet is totally a guy group- which is why I love them. Kudos Fred and Jane...
Kermit D. Frog and A Rat-woman...OMG HATE! If it were Miss Piggy, maybe, but it's a rat-woman. See how execution is so important! No Kudos Kermit and She-rat. In fact, your Kudos goes to everyone else. From me, you get a grimace. :S
Almost forgot...BoRhap is coming up on 2 Million views. I predict it will reach Two Mil by Friday. I'm often wrong, so I'll keep an eye out and keep you posted as well. Godspeed, Octet.
-k bye. Me.
I love YouTubers with their funny and their creative-ness.
I have to tell y'all this. I know the lyrics to the Octet's version of O Fortuna. Yep. Learned them over a period of months, though the last two lines eluded me for some time. Not sure why. I just had a hard time remembering them.
Fun Fact: Singing O Fortuna while walking home on dark and scary nights is a deterrent to crime. Singing it on a packed elevator is an encitement to crime.
O Fortuna Lyrics and Translation
The characters in bold are they lyrics the Octet sang. The normal body text are from Carl Orff's original O Fortuna.
et tunc curat
ludo mentis aciem,
dissolvit ut glaciem.
rota tu volubilis,
michi quoque niteris;
nunc per ludum
fero tui sceleris.
michi nunc contraria,
semper in angaria.
Hac in hora
corde pulsum tangite;
quod per sortem
mecum omnes plangite!
like the moon
you are changeable,
and then soothes
as fancy takes it;
it melts them like ice.
Fate - monstrous
you whirling wheel,
you are malevolent,
well-being is vain
and always fades to nothing,
you plague me too;
now through the game
I bring my bare back
to your villainy.
Fate is against me
and weighted down,
So at this hour
pluck the vibrating strings;
strikes down the string man,
everyone weep with me!
I discovered, doing research on "Honky Tonky Town/O Joe" that these songs were really old when the original Men's Octet got their hands on them. The music was written in 1916 by Chris Smith of Charlston, NC in, and the lyrics by Charles McCarron of New York in the same year.
I also discovered information on Honky Tonks (original Honky Tonks, not the ones that most of you/us probably know) at the following: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honky_tonk
It may also be interesting to note that when the Octet sang O Joe, they didn't do solos - according to KennyK, there was a big uproar made by Octet alumni when the group first started to do solos. Not sure why. Maybe because it was...wait. I don't know, so I'm not going to venture to guess. Hahaha. I like solos, but I also like it when all the guys sing together. They both sound awesome.
As I was rewatching the Octet videos, I found out that I have been spreading misinformation about Bohemian Rhapsody. All of this time, I have been confidently asserting that BoRhap was written by a past Octet dude. Apparently new information has come to light.
"This acapella arrangement has been passed along within the group from year to year since the 80's. The original arranger, it is believed, was a member of another Berkeley group in the mid-80's, and the Octet adopted the tune a couple years later."
(((Gasp))) Scandal!!! I have to wonder which of Berkeley's a cappella group arranged BoRhap. My thoughts are that the Octet need to have an official historian. That would be cool. I'd be happy to volunteer for the job.
Because I messed up the title of the awesome CalMatt video about a cappella on yesterdays completely sober-written blog, I also decided to add CalMatt's video MOUTH NOISE-A CAPPELLA IN MOTION, which is a fantastic, informative video about a cappella and featuring award winning Berekely a cappella groups such as the Octet, the Cal Golden Overtones and Artists in Resonance - I love all three groups, actually. If you enjoy it (if, like there's any chance you won't), you can find the second part on related videos or CalMatt's channel. So, believe me when I say "Enjoy!"
And now that it's significantly darker than when I started this post, I think I should post it now.
I'm away from my family this year,and a I am out of school until Christmas break is over, and so I'll probably be spending a lot more time posting. That's not as sad as it sounds. Really. I'm good, but I do have a lot more free time.
If anyone has any Octet related memories (seen a show, were in a show - anything) pics or videos they'd like to share or donate, you can email me at
Scouter227@gmail.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time - see ya 'round the net.
The quarter has unofficially ended today. I had a presentation today. Actually, it was a group presentation, and my mind went totally blank about halfway through my part and...um....uh... "Line!?!"
Some of the class were planning to go to Bill's Off Broadway and celebrate, but I'm not much of a drinker, and I needed to catch up on sleep (since I missed so many hours these past two weeks).
So, I have good news and great news. The good news is that I've been getting some good responses about the site. Not a huge amount, but all positive, so that makes me happy. The great news is that the last two responses have been from Octet dudes.
I received this response on the third. No name attached, but from the timeline mentioned, I think I know (the faces) of the group members. I hope that the sender is Josh, because he's a cutie. Who am I kidding? They're all cuties.
Comments: high octane was also the 05-06 octet too. we were the most recent octet to advance in the ICCAs that year, and won best choreo for our whole set (bohemian rhapsody, men in tights and elephant love medley) and best arrangement for our elephant love medley. the current group is competing this year i believe. be on the lookout for that!
So, how excited should I be about that? I totally freaked. From the songs listed, my favorite is "Elephant Love Medley" from Moulin Rouge...
These guys are so humorous when they sing. I love when Zach sings "I'll drink all the time..." and the backs sing "please invite us"...because we all know that drinking groups usually have an a cappella problem. Just kidding. Just something I read somewhere.
The video was put together by Cal Matt, who did an excellent piece called "Mouth Noise, A Cappella in Motion" about college a cappella. I suggest you find it on YouTube and enjoy it.