January 1, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Happy New Year!

¡Felíz Año Nuevo!

Bon Any Nou!

Feliz Ano Novo!

Ein gutes neues Jahr!

Bonne Année!

The languages in the headings above are: English, Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, German, and French, arranged the same way as I did it for Christmas.

Jacqueline and I celebrated New Year's Eve at Baja Bean in downtown Staunton, where a local rock group called The Findells was playing. I had already sampled some of their music on their Web site (findells.com), so I had a rough idea of what to expect. Their live performance was very good, combining musical excellence with high-spirited enthusiasm. Almost all the songs were original compositions, of which "Helen of Troy" stood out, but it was a little hard to hear the words because of the so-so sound mixing. The instruments were well balanced, nevertheless. I thought the bass player (Carl) did a great job in maintaining the pulse of the songs, almost reminding me of John McVie in Fleetwood Mac. The lead vocalist Sera Petras had a clear, ringing voice that often peaked into a very impressive loud crescendo, and her flirtatious, fun-loving attitude adds a lot of character to the group. The drummer (Paul) kept a steady rhythm without going overboard, while the lead guitarist (Andy) and second guitarist (Allan, who also did vocals) played great as well. At midnight, they played a rock version of "Auld Lang Syne." All in all, their show was high-quality entertainment, a great way for us to ring in the new year. The Findells have released three CDs, and I plan on buying at least one of them soon. Check out "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" at YouTube -- Now that is some hard-ass rockin'.

NOTE: I uploaded the blog post about Princess and Luciano, dated January 1, just before we left to go out last night, so that it would appear automatically at the stroke of midnight. It's a rare case of "pre-posting" on my part.