Obama Recognizes Jewish American Heritage Month

On May 27, 2010, President Barack Obama welcome Jewish leaders to The White House to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month.  I did not know, until recently, that such a month existed.  This is pretty cool:

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Ellen Signs Greyson Chance

Ellen Degeneres had Greyson Chance on her show again.  This time he performed one of his original songs, “Broken Hearts”.  As good as his Paparazzi performance was (and it was good), I like his original songs better.   In addition, Ellen, who has been getting more involved in music, has started a new record label, eleveneleven, because of Greyson and signed him as her first client.

I like this story because Greyson had no intention of doing any of this, it seems.  His video was posted from a school talent show.  Ellen is making good things happen for him!  In addition, Greyson won her $10,000 found on the internet prize AND Yamaha is giving him a piano.  Madonna’s manager and Lady Gaga’s manager have signed on to manage Greyson.  How cool!

OneRepublic @ DU

OneRepublic performed a sort of “impromptu” concert in the middle of the University of Denver’s campus during DU’s annual May Days celebration.  The band’s management approached the University of Denver Programming Board on Tuesday about coming to campus on Wednesday and performing a short set for FREE!  Who wouldn’t want that?

The short concert was promoted on Facebook as a “surprise” that students should show up for. The band came, performed, took pictures, and left. The set was short (All The Right Moves, Apologize, & Secrets – their new single), but it was quite awesome!  The band literally had some instruments put in the middle of the Driscoll Green, a circle of students formed, and then they walked up and started playing.  There were no microphones or speakers, but I believe they did film the performance for some online site (which one I am not sure).

Best May Days ever!

I have videos of the first two songs they performed.  I apologize for the low quality – my camera microphone isn’t necessarily the best.

OneRepublic Performing Live at the University of Denver - Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I also got a picture with Ryan Tedder, the lead singer:

Me and Friends with Ryan Tedder at OneRepublic's Live Performance at the University of Denver

Someone else got video of “Secrets”.  The quality is a bit lower than mine – but hey, you can see me in the video 🙂

Flash Mob @ DU

After the video of the flash mob at Ohio State, the University of Denver Programming Board decided to try to create a flash mob at DU.  The ideal time would be during May Days, our annual week-long spring festival.  People were brought together from all over campus and people posted that a “surprise” would occur on the Driscoll Green at a certain time (so that extra people would be in the area and participating in other May Days events).

The video, edited by a student, is pretty cool:

I had originally planned on being involved and a part of the dance, but life was too busy.  I did help recruit people though.  While I think that too many songs may have been used, it was a great idea and definitely a success.  There were a ton of students watching this!

DU Today, our school’s news site has a story about the flash mob.

The Amazing 12 Year Old Sixth Grade Musician

This guy is going places.  Greyson Michael Chance is a 12 year old in the 6th Grade in Oklahoma.  He plays the piano, writes songs, sings, etc.  He has great musical talent and is clearly going somewhere.  He has become famous for a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”.  In the past 3.5ish hours, the video has received almost 1 million new views for a total of more than 2.1 million views!  Personally though, I like his two original songs even better.  Watch out Justin Bieber…

Check out Greyson’s YouTube Channel.

The following article is from Yahoo!:

Little Lord Gaga: Greyson Michael Chance’s “Paparazzi” Is A Web Sensation

Posted Tue May 11, 2010 4:17pm PDT by Lyndsey Parker

Lady Gaga parodies and tributes abound on the Interweb–some funny, some serious, some good, some not-so-good. But the school recital performance of “Paparazzi” by boy wonder Greyson Michael Chance just might be the best yet. As the teacher emceeing the Edmond’s Sixth Grade Festival says at the end of Greyson’s stunning piano performance, this mega-talented kid could even “teach Lady Gaga a lesson.”

Greyson is bona fide prodigy (as his lovely original piano compositions “Stars” and “Broken Hearts” on his YouTube channel demonstrate), and his talents are being celebrated on a national scale now that his “Paparazzi” video–in which he bangs out the piano ballad while his classmates look on in shock and awe, mouths agape–has gone viral. The video has gotten more than 36,000 views so far, and he’s even been invited to perform on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this Thursday.

According to his bio on his YouTube profile, Greyson is “very inspired by Lady Gaga and Augustana.” Greyson additionally explains: “Lady Gaga is a freak but she has so much talent and her style of music is what I would like mine to be when I’m older. Augustana is one of the most underrated bands I think ever to step [on] the planet. They have so much talent it is not funny. They have such a good concept with folk and rock. It is very sad that they are so unknown.”

Greyson may look like a Justin Bieber clone with his sideswept-banged bowl cut, but with musical taste like that, clearly this boy is no prepubescent pop robot. This kid is deep. (His aforementioned original song “Stars” is about a woman who dies of cancer and meets her husband in heaven, for instance–not exactly “One Less Lonely Girl,” huh?) Today’s tween fangirls would be way better off worshipping a role model like Greyson over Bieber–and judging from the flustered way the girls react in the background of his recital clip, such wide-scale worship may not be far off. After Greyson’s upcoming “Ellen” appearance, surely countless more tweens will be his biggest fans, following him until he loves them.

As Our Lives Change, Come Whatever, We Will Still Be Friends Forever

Graduation is coming up.  For DU, it is Saturday, June 5, 2010.  Because of the Dual Degree program I am in, I am not technically graduating (I’ll stay an undergraduate for the fifth year).  I am walking with my class though.  As the University of Denver Class of 2010 graduates, I will be forced to say goodbye to some of my closest friends and some of the best people I have met in my life.  I certainly hope that some of these people will still be in Denver with me for at least the next year, but whatever happens, things will change.  I can only hope that we will be friends forever.

I have been trying not to think about any of this because it makes me sad.  I watched How I Met Your Mother tonight though, and the whole “Robots versus Wrestlers” episode was basically about friendship, friend groups, and how things change and people move apart.  It made me start thinking again.

Ted shared a poem titled “Friendship” by Ralph Waldo Emerson:

A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs,
The world uncertain comes and goes,
The lover rooted stays.
I fancied he was fled,
And, after many a year,
Glowed unexhausted kindliness
Like daily sunrise there.
My careful heart was free again, —
O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red,
All things through thee take nobler form,
And look beyond the earth,
And is the mill-round of our fate
A sun-path in thy worth.
Me too thy nobleness has taught
To master my despair;
The fountains of my hidden life
Are through thy friendship fair.

He concluded by narrating to his future kids as follows:

Kids, I’d love to tell you that over the years we didn’t all drift apart a little at one time or another.  We don’t mean for it to happen.  But it does.  But no matter what, to this day, come hell or high water, we still all get together every year for Robots Versus Wrestlers.”

While he ends on a light note, the purpose of his quote is not missed.  Even if we do move apart, we can still come back together, be with each other, be there for each other, and celebrate each other just as we always have. 🙂

One graduation song always touches my heart – Graduation (Friends Forever) by Vitamin C.  While the song is really about high school, it could also be true to college.  This song always makes me want to cry.

To my good friends: I truly hope that we really will be friends forever!  You mean so much to me!

Flash Mob @ Ohio State

The new “flash mob” trend is pretty awesome.  I really like the organized yet spontaneous nature of flash mobs.  While they confuse people, they seem to genuinely make people happy.

Earlier this week, The Ohio State University had a flash mob in their new student center.  It included the mascot and the university’s President.  How awesome!  Now DU is trying to organize something like this, perhaps for May Days.  Interested?  Let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the right people.

Jewish Spoof on Empire State of Mind

Not the best singing, but funny.  Check it out –

South Korean R&B

I was recently introduced to the song “Wedding Dress” by Taeyang, a South Korean R&B artist.  It’s fantastic.  Check it out.