Sunday, March 21, 2010

St. Patrick's Day(s)!!!

This has to be the Best St. Patrick's Day celebration I have ever experienced! All the people and buildings were all decked out in GREEN! Including the Sears Tower :) It was also a great excuse to listen to my Celtic music. *melt* 
All the green actually started the Friday before the official day...
Friday during work, out of Bill's window (on the 18th floor) we could see on the bank of the river a Giant McDonald's Shamrock Shake! It was a plastic cup tipped over with the 'shake' substance 'spilling' out of it. They were putting the cherry in the structure when we saw it. Ronald McDonald was there too in all his jolliness as well. There were cameras and people looking at the structure as they passed. I think they were giving out free samples too! 
Saturday morning we went to the River as a group to see them dye the river GREEN! It was an awesome neon green! They make it green with a powder vegetable mix that looks orange-brown. The dyers dumped the powder over the edge of their boats. There was another boat that came in behind them to mix it all up so that the whole section of the river around the Michigan Ave bridge was nice and green :) That was certainly worth the wait in the cold for me! 
Every night following the dying of the river, the bars around us were busy every night! It was sometimes hard to get home through all the people on the sidewalk, but now that they are gone I appreciate the room. haha
On Wednesday for our Arts in the City class, we had a special guest, Patrick Finnegan, who plays Irish flutes and has learned all the traditional songs and how to play them. He helped start the Irish School of Music at the Old Town School of Folk Music. He played some tunes for us and taught us the difference between a jig and a reel. We even learned how to dance a little, we played some of his flutes and learned about the oral history of Irish music and how Chicago has been a big part of that history being saved. Police Chief O'Neil of  Chicago wrote down many of the tunes in the early 1900s. To this day the police force has an Irish band who play at police funerals. He was probably one of my favorite presenters for class. 
Later that night we went to the Old Town School of Folk Music to hear the students. One group of students actually competed in Ireland and came in second place! That means they are one of the best Irish bands in the world! And we got to hear them first hand!
Keeley and I left early from that concert to hear the band she's been promoting for the past few weeks, The Tossers! They were fantastic! We were 'geeking out' because we were able to tell if the songs they played were jogs or reels. They mostly played reels because those are in 4/4. The jogs tended to be slower because they are 3/4 like a waltz. And they even had the same structure of AABBAABB (or something like that) for the pattern of the tunes. They had all the same elements of the traditional band like a violin/fiddle, flutes, and a mandolin (or the Irish version of one that has a longer neck), except The Tossers also had bass and drum set where the traditional bad doesn't have much bass or harmony, but they do have those cool hand drums that you play with two sides of a stick! Love those! Overall, it was really fun to compare and contrast the experience of two seemingly different Irish bands. 

1 comment:

  1. Very cool jess..We just went and drank at the hatchery.