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Uncategorized Barry on 26 Feb 2008 11:03 pm

First night at TED Aspen

I have to start this post by saying – I am a HUGE fan of Jill Sobule. I mean, CDs, blogs, following her career, it’s a funky thing, not in that stalker way, just in that “how many 45 year old married guys follow Jill Sobule’s career?” kind of way.

I met her years ago at the TED Conference in Monterey, CA and we did our very first text messages with each other on the Treo 180 given out in the legendary TED gift bag. It was way too fun. I had never heard of her and we just happened be standing next to each other and traded numbers. Then later that day I saw her perform and I was all about Jill. Loved her songs, her twisted sense of humor, the way she carried her guitar without a case and plugged it into the system like it was her first time on stage.

So back to tonight – first night at TED 2008. They had a dinner for all the speakers and it was a major schmooze opportunity. I bumped into Jill and Rives right when I walked into the restaurant. We were inseparable. We ended up at the same table with a few of the folks from TED HQ who were very cool (Jennifer and Emily – nice story about the bus ride, Jennifer!).

The Raspyni Brothers, Jill, and Rives have been pegged as “The Little Kids Table” at TED and it is our job to take this entire week of cerebral excellence and make it funny in an 18-minute wrap up. If tonight was any indication, we are off to a really great start. Julia Sweeney was supposed to be here but came down with that nasty flu so we are one great comic mind short.

So many wonderful laughs and for a while it was just performers connecting… sharing stories from the road and from the stage. Highs and lows, successes and failures. Jill was just a girl with real stories and Rives was a world traveler and the biographies didn’t matter. Great food and a decent 2005 Chardonnay made 2.5 hours fly by.

Tomorrow we start the real work – watching some of the great minds of our world “tell a story they’ve never shared before” as the TED instructions state. It’s an amazing conference and I am so happy to be here – for the 5th time!

Oh, and as a side note, landing at the Aspen airport is a visual treat. The runway seems to be cut right into the mountain because the last 3 minutes of the flight you are face to face with fantastic views. Good design.

Seems only fitting that it’s where TED begins.

4 Responses to “First night at TED Aspen”

  1. on 27 Feb 2008 at 8:45 am 1.Vincent Blackwood said …

    I’m another “45 year old,” (okay not) “married guys following Jill Sobule’s career”. It’s tough for her NOT to become your hero. She is so original, twisted and smart — and very sweet. I’ve was a regular on her now defunct Yahoo blog. The laughs, the tears, the guy who told her “to start shovel coal in hell” and the grace in which Jill took it all was stunning.

    Please post on how her show went — I know a whole posse of displaced blog reader who want to know!

    I also have to plug her next record site, in which she want fans to help her make her next record.


  2. on 29 Feb 2008 at 3:24 pm 2.Barry said …

    Hey Vincent,

    yeah, she was on at TED yesterday and absolutely killed… she did an 18-minute set which is a curse and a blessing. The crowd here in Aspen stood and applauded and the last 3 minutes was simulcast to the conference meeting in Monterey, CA.

    One of the songs she did was about the searching online for the people you have slept with. It was so damn funny… the crowd was rolling. She ended with Mexican Wrestler and a did a few others up front which were brand new and she had a guy from the audience holding the words in front of her.

    She is a dear – a sweet soul which I wish could be duplicated and handed out by the millions around the world.

  3. on 04 Jul 2008 at 4:25 pm 3.Cynaera said …

    What a wonderful comment about Jill Sobule, Barry! There are a lot of people who, if cloned and handed out, could make the world a peaceful place.

    I just finished watching The Raspyni Brothers, filmed in February of 2002 – posted at the TED website very recently. I’d never heard of you guys before, but after watching the video, you’re on my list of people to watch/love/admire. What a wonderful performance! I laughed out loud (and that’s no small feat – I don’t laugh much these days…)

    Thank you for all you do – thank you for being an active part of TED. I really think that if enough “common people” put their heads together and combine their “crazy” ideas with other “common people” with “crazy” ideas, we can do what the idiotic bureaucrats can’t do – bring a peaceable world, without hidden agendas or special-interest groups.

    Plus – besides being incredibly talented, you guys are hysterically funny, too! Thanks to Welly from http://www.radioparadise.com for sharing the link to http://www.TED.com, and subsequently, to you. My world has expanded…

  4. on 05 Jul 2008 at 8:45 am 4.Barry said …


    Glad you found us :) Thanks for turning me on to radio paradise! Wow, that is a nice site and something I’ll be hanging around from now on.

    The TED Conferenceis a gift to this planet at this time and place in our development. I sure wish it happened 40 years ago as it seems that now so many problems are being addressed on a triage level instead of intelligent planning.

    Watch all the TED talks! Each one gives a deep glimpse into the speaker’s life of study. I have them playing in the background of my life quite often :)

    Be one of the ‘crazy’ people!


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