John S. solos on Always Something There to Remind Me (Naked Eyes).
Tribute by Tenacious D - as arranged by the UC Men's Octet.
Oh my gosh, I am such a procrastinator! Why do I do that? I can't believe how annoying procrastinating is. And this review isn't the only thing I've procrastinated on. In fact, I'm using this review as a tool to procrastinate on ANOTHER project I'm working on. Yay me! Anyway, onto...
05-06 Octet: Zachary Bernstein, Patrick Cento, Josh Chang, Paul Formaker, Nasir Khan, Danny Park & Glenn Steinbaum
Loves Me Like a Rock- soloist - Nasir Khan - Light, bouncy, solid rendition of a classic.
Don't Stop Believin' - soloist - Patrick Cento: Arranged by Brian Boshes; perfectly represents 80's stadium rock, right down to the extended and slightly pitchy (for effect, I'm sure) vocalization. "their shadows searching in the ni-ee-ight!". There are also funny little comments in the backs.
Collide - soloist Danny Park: The backs are different from what I've heard before. Maybe I just don't know the music enough. This was my first experience with Collide. Beautifully sung.
Silent Night - group: Simple. The song starts with 4 soloists each singing the first four phrases of Silent Night, and then the voices come and blend to finish the song. The second part isn't the traditional song. However, it's beautifully and solemnly sung.
I'll Be - soloist - Jonathan Yee: This is a desperate (in a good way) love song.The harmonies are so wonderful. The song is a little sad, but beautiful.
Runaround Sue - soloist - Zachary Bernstein: Kind of a rocky version, with the backs playing it for laughs.
Hail To California - group: It's a school song. Nice blending. T1 and Bass kill it (in a good way).
Mr. Grinch - soloist - Glenn Steinbaum: This one is a Christmas classic, and Steinbaum and the guys do it justice. Good voice acting in this version!
'04-'05 Octet: Zachary Bernstein, Brian Boshes, Robin Kong, Jamie Pinedo, John Shumway, Glenn Steinbaum & Jonathan Yee
Lion King Medley - group: Crystal clear version of the YouTube Lion King Medley video. If you've seen the video and have thought: What did he say? Stupid audience! I wish they'd shut up! The CD Version is pristine, and the guys sound awesome! In fact, it's funnier than the YouTube video, because if you could hear what the guys said, you'd be laughing! Really. (P.S. I'm all for that audience having fun and laughing, but the cd had me questioning it.) Really, the cd is the best $16.00+shipping I've ever spent in my life.
Is She Really Going Out With Him - soloist - Brian Boshes: Again, like the video without the laughter, and some of the backing humor. A fun song.
Always Something There To Remind Me - soloist - John Shumway: Another Octet video which can be found on YouTube. I kind of miss the guys dancing in the video, but there's nothing wrong with the song.
Fight For California - group - school song. Go Bears. Solid.
I Just Wanna Make Love To You - soloist - Jamie Pinedo: Bass love! After the smooth opening with Etta James's "At Last" the voices start low and get even lower! As one YouTuber put it. "This is baby makin' music."
Walking My Baby Back Home - soloists - Robin Kong, John Shumway: O my gosh, this is such a great song! It is kind of old-timey (which I've become accustomed to, as I spent about a year listening to old time radio shows.) The best part of the song is the sort of scatting breakdown (I don't know what else to call it) which gives it some great new life. It's kind of the musical version of a palate cleanser, and it's really cool.
'03-'04 Octet: Brian Boshes, Josh Chang, Max Cowan, Rafael de Leon, Robin Kong, Jordan Meyer & Parker Sims
Put Your Head On My Shoulder - soloist - Rafael de Leon: Old school. Rafael has a beautiful voice.
Just My Imagination - soloists - Jordan Meyer, Parker Sims, Josh Chang: Great and funny parody of the Temptaions "Just My Imagination". But their imaginations tend to skew towards collegiate life.
Papa Was a Rolling Stone/Who Is He (group): This is probably my favorite song on this cd. It's cool, bad, sharp and the vocals cut me to the soul. More great T1 & Bass love.
The Scientist - soloist -Josh Chang: Another YouTube favorite. Smooth and soothing like chamomile tea. Excellent blending in the backs.
I'm Too Sexy - soloist - Max Cowan: This is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. I hit repeat on this so many times. More bass love!
My Girl - soloists - Robin Kong, Parker Sims, Rafael de Leon Another YouTube hit on this cd. The only difference is that Jason Mabie's rocky ending is replaced by Rafael de Leon's more melidic one.
Finally, I'd like to apologize for how long it took to get this review out. I was having internet connection problems.
I have to say, though, that in preperation for this review, I listened to the cd about 800 thousand times. I listened to it on the road trip to Oktoberfest, and I listened to it every night before going to bed, and anytime I had to travel anywhere, I had my mp3 player playing the music over and over again. I even turned the music WAY up because I wanted it in my BRAIN. I'll probably go deaf from listening to these songs over and over agian, but it was worth it.
Also, I'm not sure if the review did the cd justice. I did the best that I could I really loved the cd, and I'm glad I finally got it.
(It's $16.00 + $2.00 shipping in the US. Not sure about overseas.)
First, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year, and I hope that 2010 is awesome for you readers and the Octet dudes, past and current.
So, I was going over the videos last week and I thought I'd focus on Octet reunion videos. There are only a few of them out there. The first one is a video of the 1998 Octet performing at the '08 annual reunion. (This one was the big 60th reunion.)I am told that there is a reunion every year in the Spring, and I don't think this bit is open to the public. They do sound awesome. My favorite part is Do Re Mi. There is a video of the 1999-2000 Octet singing Do Re Mi Sproul Style. It's also cool to see generations of Octet-dudes enjoying Octet music.
THE OCTET GET AROUND! This is at the Octet's 60th reunion. It's awesome to see 60 years of Octet history in one room, harmonizing! I think this is the coolest thing ever! When the cameraman zooms in at about 0:17 it shows some of the '02-'03 Octet, and Jason Mabie is one of the first dudes to make up to Octomobile!
I want to say that this is Campanile, but I'm not 100% certain. In fact it's probably wrong. Wherever it is, it's got some great acoustics.
HELP ME RHONDA. I was watching this video and thinking that being in the Octet must be like being in a musical. One dude starts singing and everyone joins in, and knows the words, AND sings on key...and even does a little choreo. As the cameraman was panning around, I recognized a lot of faces from the different Octet groups. My suggestion, if anyone would care to listen to a fan, would be to get a tripod and set it up near the center of the room and pan around. Just a suggestion from a fan. More face, less back of the head...not that I mind looking at Josh's back. It's quite nice, actually. I did notice that I recognized a lot of the Octet dudes. Anyway, again - YAY Octet!
Can you believe it? An actual impromptu Octet video? Left to right: Jordan Meyer, Kenny Kamrin, Jaime Penido, Parker Sims and John Shumway. They are from 2 different Octet groups, and sound great together. I only wish that the video was longer. Great luck in capturing the Octet-dudes.
Well, I've been up all night (again) and should probably get some sleep. I'm wondering how this is gonna work out once school starts up again (Jan 4th). Again, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy and prosperous 2010, and especially the Octet dudes who have given us fans such pleasure in sharing their talent. Best to you in '10!
-Peace from Seattle