Vegas Trip: Recycled Percussion

While in Vegas, we went to see Recycled Percussion 4 times.  I’ve been debating if I wanted to do 4 separate posts or just one big one and decided on one big one.  I get asked a lot if the show is different every night – and while the basic idea of the show is the same, with audience participation you never really know what you’re going to get.  They were also switching out band members through the week which made for even more differences in the show. (And one night we were waiting for pictures and this guy came up and said “Is there like a rotating green member? It was the old guy and now it’s you and the other night it was a black guy…” Made for some laughs and we’re all pretty much cracking up in the picture too from right after that.) One night we did Hanson shirt night and then the next night we ended up getting Justin to mention Hanson while on stage.

For those of you who have never been to a show – while you’re waiting in line there are bins of “junk” and you get to pick what one you want to play during the show.  Each item has a spray painted color on it – green, red, black or blue and that is the “team” you are on for the night.  With going to 4 shows, we were able to be on a different team each night.

Each night there is also an older woman who gets chosen to throw drumsticks to Justin.  One of the nights the lady didn’t want to throw them and instead walked up on stage to hand them to him.  Hilarious.  You never know what you’re getting with audience participation.

There is also a time when about 8 people go on stage for “Training Zoo” and that is always hilarious because sometimes you get some real hams up on stage.  And sometimes you get people dressed as pirates who put their eye patch over their monkey mask…

My favorite part and I don’t know why is when Justin does the funny voices with the mic. I’m not sure what it is – and he basically says the same thing every night, but I will crack up EVERY time.

There is also the van part which I love, that they couldn’t do at the shows in NH.  The show from NH to NV is much different. Matt and Justin had asked me how I liked the Vegas show compared to New Hampshire and I said it was “way better” and they laughed.  There is just so much more they can do with the show in Vegas since they are there every night versus traveling from venue to venue for a week in New Hampshire.

Some photos below… Recycled Percussion… The worst show I’ve seen 7 times 😉

Book Review: 4 to 16 Characters


4 to 16 characters is about a girl named Jane.  She is in school and not a fan of it.  Her father drinks, a lot and she has no one else now that her mother has passed away.  The cool part about this book is that most of Jane’s life takes place online (sounds familiar) but in order to make it seem legit – this book is written using posts that Jane would make on social media sites, her online journal, etc.  You see emails between her and teachers, with her friends, message board posts, etc. Which I think was a pretty nice touch.  It also kind of made it easier to read because a page that is Jane’s email in box takes a lot less time to read than a page that is entirely text 😉

Jane seems to be quite popular online (through her various personas) but her real life is a bit of a downward spiral.  You’ll see all the emails from her teachers and guidance counselors about all of the assignments that she is missing, and several of her online diary entries focus on her father and how he is drinking and can’t really take care of her in a way that she needs.  Then she has to decide if she wants to continue with these alter online egos or if she wants to come clean to the friends that she has made online about her real life – and how far from perfect it really is.

Certainly an interesting read and a very different approach to writing a novel, but one that I really enjoyed.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

Fifteen-year-old Jane Shilling’s best friends don’t know her real name. In fact, they don’t know anything about her at all. Jane’s life has collapsed in the last few years; following the death of her mother, her father turned to drinking, and Jane is reeling from the double blow. To escape, Jane devises a number of online personas, each with a distinct personality, life history, and set of friends. But things become trickier when she finds herself drawing close to some of her online friends, and winds up struggling with the question of how to maintain a real friendship while masquerading as a fake person. With the help of Gary, a socially awkward classmate and competitive Skeeball player who is Jane’s only offline friend, and Nora, her therapist, Jane begins to sift through her issues. The only catch is that that involves taking a long, hard look at what her life’s like when the computer is shut off, and that’s a reality she’s been fighting for years.
The story is told entirely in content that could be found on Jane’s computer: e-mails, Facebook-style and Tumblr-style social media posts, fanfiction, and online chats. The choice of format is closely tied to the content – her computer is key to understanding her character and her life. Many teens (and adults!) will relate to this way of telling Jane’s story.

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