interview: conrad tao

 {classy conrad}
{kind of hipster conrad}

you may know conrad tao from the front page of itunes this week,
or from being the only classical musician on that forbes 30 under 30 list,
or from soloing with like every orchestra ever...
i still think of him as the toddler that played the 
mendelssohn violin concerto with our youth orchestra.
though he's twice the height now, he is still has that face, 
the super smiley one!
and i love running into him at juilliard because it reminds me of
all my fun youth orchestra times way back when.
here's a little interview with him:

tell us, preferably in another language, about the best taco you ever ate.
it was in an open storefront taqueria in mexico city; i can't remember the name of the place. all i remember was losing my arrachera virginity amidst a heavenly cornucopia of flavor. cilantro and raw onions (which i used to abhor) were in abundance. ahh. divinamente delicioso.

if you were forced to trade in your piano for enough of one flavor of pringle (or any other food) to fill the same amount of space in your home, which would you choose and why?
original. i don't mess around!!!

if your compositions were a restaurant, which would it be?
kefi--flawed, occasionally overindulgent, perpetually aiming for bold flavor, always well-intentioned.

what is your favorite thing to eat after a performance?
mcflurry, no contest. close second: a fat medium-rare burger with mushrooms and oodles of cheese. it can be room service or it can be a bison burger at proof on main in louisville.

thank you, conrad!!

{top photo credit: ruiming wang}

interview: evan shinners

there are three types of people that wear sunglasses inside:
blind people, assholes, and evan shinners.
at sunrise you may find him reading rameau and drinking whisky,
and he once climbed inside of a piano to play beethoven backwards at the moma. his album, @bach, was released last month. 
mniy: if thelonious monk and j.s. bach arrived for brunch on sunday morning, what would you cook for them?
es: i'd encourage them to drink raw eggs and stand on their heads while i sang to them katy perry.
what was the last food you dreamt about?
i had a dream about ray charles appetizers. i tweeted about it actually. we had different singers for lunch, including van morrison dim sum.
what is in your ideal reception spread?
different types of pu-er teas, preferably from 1985-1998, to wash down caviar-- mostly black or taiwanese.
if the reception spread sucks, what do you eat after a concert?
i usually waltz with the loal girls and drink japanese whisky alone in my hotel rooms.
thank you, evan!

interview: kyle brightwell

some time during 2008, kyle discovered that if ever i was mad at him {which happened quite a bit}, he could compliment me on my hair and everything would be fine. he got away with stealing a lot of cymbals from my setups that way. regardless of that, he is one of my favorite humans, and i am so proud of him because as of last week, he is part of the boston symphony orchestra! 
here is a little interview with him:

what was the first thing you ate after you won the bso audition?
  mcdonald's, 6am. only thing vegetarian-friendly was a hash brown. regretted it immediately.

did you ever feel like you were going to vom during the audition?
almost constantly.
malletech browns or innovative rusts or the american drum convertabell mallets?
oh you're just asking for it with this one. i strongly endorse all american drum crotale related products.

if you could choose any processed cheese product, such as kraft singles or ez cheese, to be endorsed by, which would you choose?
never had a thing for processed cheese. however, i am desperate to be endorsed by the forever lazy {available by calling 877-291-8657, or visit, or at all bed bath & beyonds}. pelase check out the dope infomercial as well. mckay and i used these to sleep/practice in for audition prep. we think there is something magic in that made-in-china fleece-wear.

 using three words, describe how you felt after that juice cleanse you did in july.
i'd like to make this funny, but honestly, that experience was the best.  accomplished, whole, zen.

who was the best cook in the juilliard percussion department when you were here?
aww molly wants a shoutout.  who else??  the incomparable YEH.

thanks, kyky!!!


{photo by kevin wong}