Tired of TV? Treat your ears to these recommendations from classical to comedy
The Geiger Counter's weekend picks
Don’t know what to do this weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Pull up a seat to the counter, and I’ll tell you about everything that’s hot and happening.
While the state has loosened some restrictions and transitioned to the safer-at-home phase, it is still in everyone’s best interest to stay home as much as possible. Hopefully you haven’t gotten cabin fever yet, but maybe you need something to drown out the barking dogs outside or your neighbor stomping on the floor above you while you focus on telecommuting.
Perhaps, though, you’re simply looking to expand your horizons. Either way, the staff at the National Repertory Orchestra has picked contemporary and classical songs to fill your halls.
Carl Topilow, music director and conductor, recommends pieces by English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, particularly “The Lark Ascending,” “Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis” and “Serenade to Music.”
He knows they’re not upbeat or lively but said he finds them inspirational.
Meanwhile, orchestra CEO Dave DePeters suggests Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.
“Mahler encompasses just about every human emotion: calm, love, grief, hope, sorrow, exhalation,” DePeters wrote in an email. “This piece inspires me to be thankful for all I have.”
DePeters finds Richard Strauss’ “Four Last Songs” beautifully life changing, and Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” makes him strive to be a better musician. He calls Bach’s harpsichord composition “perfect in so many ways, yet feels almost improvisatory.”
For slightly more modern music, DePeters enjoys listening to Led Zeppelin’s catalog while riding down a powder run. He also finds it difficult to not smile when playing Electric Light Orchestra’s progressive rock song “Mr. Blue Sky.”
The store Affordable Music in Dillon also has some recommendations if you want to engage your ears with something other than tunes. Owner Gary Koenig has been slipping comedy albums into curbside orders to spice things up. He suggests putting on George Carlin’s relatable “Class Clown” or Steve Martin’s “Let’s Get Small” for some levity.
“It’s nice to mix things up when you’re cooped up,” Koenig said. “Not just listen to jazz or hard rock or rock and pop. We’ve got to laugh.”
He knows his personal musical tastes — like the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd — aren’t for everyone, but he hopes people take the time to explore music during this time. He’s finding customers are listening to Pearl Jam’s latest album, “Gigaton,” along with rediscovering the songs of the late John Prine.
As for something a little less downloaded, Koenig recommends checking out Free’s “Fire and Water” or the works of Robin Trower.
Take the slow-burn intensity of a serial killer show like “The Fall” or “Mindhunter” and throw in the British comedy writing stylings of Phoebe Waller-Bridge, known for her show “Fleabag,” and you end up with “Killing Eve.”
Currently in its third season on AMC and BBC, the show centers on the relationship of M16 agent Eve Polastri and expert psychopathic assassin Villanelle. Waller-Bridge actually was the head writer for the first season, but a different woman has taken that role each year.
Sandra Oh plays the smart and awkward Polastri, and Jodie Comer is the childlike Villanelle who only knows how to kill. Their captivating performances have netted them well-deserved acting awards. On one hand, you want the cat-and-mouse game to swiftly end with Polastri victorious, but on the other hand, their chemistry is too good to easily toss away.
Jefferson Geiger is the arts and entertainment editor for the Summit Daily News and managing editor for Explore Summit.
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