Preview: On the Friar(s)

he Friars are performing their 55th Annual Study Break Concert and I am going to be there. The Friars are a fun, energetic talented group. They are also very generous. 25% of proceeds tonight will be donated to Dance Marathon. And if you would like to help out a certain Art[seen] writer…go to the DMUM table and mention Team ZZ of LGBT Commission. $5 of the $6 that the ticket cost will go to our DMUM team. I would greatly appreciate it 🙂

Basically what you need to know for this one is

What? The Friars 55th Annual Study Break Concert
When? Tonight, Friday, December 3, 2010
Where? Rackam Auditorium
How much? $6 at the door or at MUTO

As always,
This is Danny Fob: Artist and Art Reviewer

Review: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

I was waiting for this show for a long time and what a lovely evening it turned out to be!

First we were greeted with an excellent rendition of  “El pastor” by the cute and gifted Sebastian de la Cruz, (all of eight years old!), who was selected to be the best in his category in 2009 Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza Competition. My goodness, his yoddling was so awesome! If at eight, he can sing so well, just imagine what wonders he will do in the musical world when he grows up! The winner of the best female voice in the competition, Karenn Lazo dazzled next! She was all grace and her voice was so powerful!

Sebastien and Karenn performing

Next came the much awaited mariachi band, all spectacular in their costumes and the extravaganza began! What powerful voices & what energy!  What grace, what awesome stage presence! It was really something to be watching that! The songs kept coming one after the other and the strumming of the guitars, the exceptional violin playing, the awesome trumpets, the joking, the dancing  and the most beautiful combination of voices- it was just mindblowing!

I was so happy and grinning from ear to ear the whole time as the music was simply superb. There was so much of variety and so much going on. What clarity in their voices!  The energy and enthusiasm was so infectious- the band played non-stop for almost two and a half hours and it was a big party!

Some of my favorites in the show were “POR AMOR” (POR AMOR– watch this!),Vaqueros, hermoso cariño, Cielito Lindo Son Juasteco and this one- Por ti volare (you really must must see this!).

I was amazed at the multi-tasking of the members. One would come sing (do a lil jig too), and then go play the guitar or the violin and be a part of the chorus! My god- what stamina they must have! It was really a treat to watch them and at the end of the show, the performance had moved me to tears as the music touched me so deeply. I LOVE them!

The Mariachi Vargas band, courtesy UMS
The Mariachi Vargas band, courtesy UMS

The audience was amazing, singing along to most of the songs. In fact, many knew almost all the songs and the band gave a chance to a gentleman in the audience who did a great job (with JosĂ© ‘Pepe’ Martinez jokingly trying to get the mike away as the singer sang the whole song!)

I was really very very happy after the show, one of the best I have ever seen in the Hill auditorium. This performance of Mariachi Vargas ranks really high in my all-time favorites! I hope I can watch another live performance of them sometime as this is definitely my kind of music! 🙂


It is time my friends, it is time to support the glory of the Midwest, and the uncanny ability for unique movement and visions to arise out of what outsiders only recognize as barren land.  My goal is to help bring to light the many wonderful things that happen here in little Ann Arbor and if you scroll down this page, you will see an opportune variety not afforded by many other places.

Ghostly International, a phenomenal record label started in Ann Arbor by U of M alum, Samuel Valenti IV, will be hosting a belated 10 year anniversary this Monday.  Founded in 1999, Ghostly evades definition, instead becoming a community for music lovers and innovators alike, that is redefining the way we think of a record label in the digital age.

Read More

Preview: Love in an Elixir? Can Such Things Be?

Could it really be that easy? Just drink and Bam! Love? I guess I’ll just have to see this Thursday night, won’t I? I’m very excited to see The Elixir of Love. This Italian Opera, L’elisir d’amore, is a comic opera in two acts, with music written by Gaetano Donizetti and the Libretto written by Felice Romani. For those who have never experienced an opera, I would especially suggest a visit to this one. The University opera productions are always fantastic and they include subtitles to make the show more accessible for those that have a hard time interpreting the music. I find that they really help you understand the drama and comedy of the show instead of just having an idea of what’s going on.

The music is going to be fabulous. I know this because I have three friends in the show and have heard bits and pieces. I also know this because Italian opera is one of the most beautiful song forms in the world. I would urge everyone on campus to buy tickets, mostly because I already bought mine and I already have my seats, so it is allowed to sell out. Student Rush tickets are only $10 and the seats are great. Details you ask? (or maybe you didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway. If you really don’t want to know than you can stop reading, but I know that you really want to go to the show and you won’t stop reading).

When: Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 PM
Friday, November 12 at 8:00 PM
Saturday, November 13 at 8:00 PM
Sunday, November 14 at 2:00 PM

Where: Power Center for the Performing Arts (My favorite Venue on campus)
How much: $10 Student Rush. $18 regular price (Available at League Box Office)
Who: School of Music, Theater, and Dance
Why: Do you really have to ask?

More info and Story Overview

As always,
This is a very excited Danny Fob: Artist and Art Reviewer

Preview: Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán

I can’t remember any another event for which I have been as excited as for this one-  Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán’s performance at the Hill tomorrow! I have really waited for this show for a long time now (well, since I came to know that they were coming!).

Anyway, I am learning Spanish presently and so am getting exposed to a whole lot of new stuff- culture, music, dance and of course the language! So as part of the class, we learnt a little about the music in Hispanic countries and we learnt about ranchera and of course, mariachis of Mexico. I spent some time listening to mariachi music  on youtube and guess who  is considered to be among the best and the finest of the mariachi bands – the granddad of all mariachis, Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlán.

This group is really old (it was started in 1897) and has been passed down five generations! For once, ‘old is gold ‘ is an expression perfectly suitable for this kind of music.  This is the kind of music that will make you want to dance with no inhibitions. The band sings the traditional Mexican folk  (like boleros, rancheras, sones) and have incorporated a lot of modern music as well without sacrificing the charm of the original music. It will be a fun evening and I really hope that you get to be part of this fun!

So people, I will see you tomorrow (Friday, Nov 5) at the Hill Auditorium @ 8 pm, verdad? Tickets at Michigan League Ticket Office.

Hasta pronto!

Review: Bob Dylan – A True American Icon

In a time when it becomes hard to look at your own culture and find pride because all you see is fast food and bad TV, an American legend can still restore your hope. Bob Dylan, icon of the counterculture movement of the 1960’s, performed tonight at Hill Auditorium. Though I come from a different generation (and I assume the same is true for you), I can still respect the effect he had on our nation’s youth. I could actually see it tonight in the packed, sold out auditorium, with the majority of the guests being from the Flower Power generation. Even after all of these years, they still come out to see a man who’s touring hasn’t ended since the 80’s. That is an impression.

“Who is Bob Dylan?” is a question I’ve heard a few times recently, which is really just sad (though of course I didn’t know any songs that he sang until recently soooooo…). And the really sad thing is that even if the people asking this question had gone tonight, they would still not understand. You see, because Bob’s voice has been going bad for a while now; after years of smoking and drinking it happens. Going to this concert without any background of his influence, one might wonder why the tickets cost so much. But really, it’s Bob Dylan. There is no price on one of the major musical influences in American history.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Many of the songs I recognized and learned that Bob is the person that sings them, such as Highway 65. The crowd was great; so much screaming and love going out there that the atmosphere was perfect for Dylan’s appearance on stage. He sang a full concert and switched between keyboard, guitar, and harmonica. He’s still so talented with each of the instruments, and the band was awesome. Great stage presence and excellent, excellent playing.

This experience is definitely something that I will never regret. I feel like by seeing him, I have actually been part of history. It’s a difficult feeling to explain and not sound crazy. It’s just that we learn about this artist in history classes, see his image reproduced, and hear his name thrown around casually. And I got to see him. He is still around, and still performing, and I got the chance to see him. So basically, it was amazing.

I don’t even know what else to say…I mean it’s BOB DYLAN! I think that pretty much sums up anything I could possibly say.

As always,
This is Danny Fob: Artist and Art Reviewer