Laugh Out Loud A Cappella

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Well, despite the threat of rain and some actual rain, we all had a fabulous time singing for the packed crowd at Lubber Run ampitheater this past weekend! Thanks again to The Tone Rangers for the invite. Here are a few pics, and we’ll load some more shortly

Betsy "Venus" Erickson

Betsy “Venus” Erickson

Venusians Amy DeLouise and Kristin Bass

Venusians Amy DeLouise and Kristin Bass

Venus Sings Lubber Run

Venus Sings Lubber Run

As many of our fans know, we are as much lovers of cheese as we are of a cappella. So when Venus heard that the FDA was blocking immimolette vieuxports of the beautiful French cheese Mimolette (see story in Washington Post) , we knew we had to do something!   So…we are heading back to one of our favorite outdoor summer concert venues–Lubber Run Ampitheater in Arlington–to sing our hearts out for cheese fans everywhere.  We’ll be selling our new CD Digital Redemption, and using the proceeds to purchase the last remaining rounds of mimolette we can find for rehearsal snacking. Join us at this fabulous concert, where we’ll be appearing with our friends The Tone Rangers . The concert begins at 8PM. Location: N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., two blocks north of Route 50. For the full summer schedule at Lubber.

This is not Lubber Run. But it was a fun gig!

This is not Lubber Run. But it was a fun gig!

We’re thrilled to be invited back to one of our favorite outdoor summer concert venues–Lubber Run Ampitheater in Arlington–  where we’ll be appearing with our friends The Tone Rangers . The concert begins at 8PM. Location: N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., two blocks north of Route 50. For the full summer schedule at Lubber.

WineIt’s time to roll out the summer barbecue, lounge by the pool, and pop the cork on some lovely summer wine pairings. What to choose? Not to worry, Ms. Minor can provide you with some of her favorites.

Patti suggests “a lovely light Albariño; classic Chablis (the real kind…not the California jug wine) or Sauvignon blanc ESP with a nice bright goat cheese. Now I’m hungry!”

Robin likes Hugl Weine – Gruner Veltliner from Austria, ” and any sauvignon blanc from the Marlboro region of New Zealand.”  Speaking of which, Kristin says “I vote for Kim Crawford, Matua, and Babich.  The Babich story is pretty swell – they were Croatian immigrants who built this fabulous winery; the matriarch talks about how when she got to NZ she would just cry because she was so far from home and so isolated.  Obviously she found another Croat to marry and it all worked out.  Interestingly, her maiden name was Grgic, so she may have been related to those who started Grgich wines in the U.S. as the c at the end of a Croat name is pronounced like a ch in English.  Speaking of which, the California Grgich chardonnays are usually wonderful.

I would also add Lis Neris, an Italian winemaker in Friuli.  The chardonnay is yummy but all the whites are good.  Jermann’s pinot grigio is pretty good, as are most of their wines (they are a major higher-end producer in Piemonte), but so is Zenato’s at probcervaro07ably a third of the price.  Zenato also makes a very good wine called Lugana San Benedetto, which I think is of the Lugana grape.  You can sometimes find Zenato at Total Wines.  And finally–and this is a stunning wine at special-treat prices in the U.S.–I highly recommend Cervaro della Sala from Castello della Sala, which is produced by Antinori.  It’s an Umbrian wine.  I spent an evening in London with my friend Tom talking and eating and drinking a 2007 Cervaro della Sala, which was so good I took a snap on the iPhone to remember. ”

Chilean whites are coming into their own.  We’ve heard good things about De Martino 347 Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc, although no one has brought one to rehearsal yet.CasalGarcia

Betsy says “Silver Lake Cabernet.  I know, I know, you’re supposed to drink white wine in the summer.  But this is an awesome full-bodied cabernet, perfect with a grilled steak and summer veggies.”

And this just in from Dolores…

“The empty bVenusWineSingingottle next to me says CASAL GARCIA, since 1939 Vinho Verde “Young and Refreshing”  Product of Portugal (of course). Since it’s the one I had last night, it’s my favorite.”

OK fans, keep us posted on your doings and see you at the next cocktail party!

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Robin’s Memorable “Uke Break”

Kristin nails Sunny Came Home.

Kristin sings Sunny Came Home.

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Betsy in “Regretting”

Thanks, fans, for turning out in the rain and having some fun with us last weekend. Let’s do it again soon!  And thanks again for getting our Facebook page to 100 likes (do we hear 101?).

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Venus Takes a Bow

Venus d Minor sings GP Town HallFrom Shawn Colvin to Cole Porter, Venus serenades fans for a Mother’s Day weekend a cappella extravaganza at the Garrett Park Town Hall. Last year’s concert sold out early, so order your tickets today!

When: Saturday, May 11th at 7:30PM.

Where: Garrett Park Town Hall, 10814 Kenilworth Avenue, Garrett Park, MD

Details: Wine and other refreshments available for purchase, along with Venus CD’s and logo items.

The concert is brought to you by the Women’s Club of Garrett Park, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Betsy White Emergency Fund, created in 1969 for families who find themselves in urgent financial need due to fire, health or other family emergencies.

Tickets: Fans, we’re sorry to advise you that our Advance Ticket Sales are now closed. But we’ll still have tickets at the door for $12.00 We’ll see you at the venue!

Parking: on the street, or if you go past the venue and turn right, there are plenty of spaces in the school parking lot. Please arrive early to ensure a seat–it’s cozy…thus fabulous for a cappella!.

Venus, Rodgers and Hart

Our hats are off to Robert Gottlieb for his splendid essay in this month’s Atlantic about the Rodgers and Hart song partnership, plus some notes on Gary Marmostein’s new Hart biography “A Ship Without a Sail”. Venus sings My Funny Valentine (1937) from this prolific pair. What other Rodgers and Hart classic do you think we should sing? Their break-through hit Manhattan? Or perhaps I Could Write a Book? Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered ? Or maybe we could improve on Shauna Hicks parody of “Zip” (here entitled “Fish”) and do one of our own? For a complete and unbelievably long list to choose from, click here, then post a comment!Image

ImageIt was great to make ABC TV’s Good Morning America host laugh (in a good way) during our set this past Saturday for the 21st Annual Sing Out for Shelter Concert. Shipman was the MC for the event for an audience of 250, where Venus rocked the house…well, the church…with our melifluous tones and slightly off-beat humor to benefit three local organizations that serve the more than 30,000 individuals who experience homelessness each year in the nation’s capital. Organized by the Augmented Eight, a men’s a cappella group which has performed for Washington audiences for over 50 years, the SOS concerts have raised approximately $180,000 over the past twenty years.  Venus and the Aug 8 were also joined by The George Washington University Troubadors and Eat at Joe’s from the Georgetown Day School, who reminded us 1) that we have been singing since before they were born and 2) that the future of a cappella is bright!

VenusRockstheJewelTonesVenus is thrilled to be asked back to sing at the annual Sing Out for Shelter concert this year. Join us for great music in support of a great cause (several local organizations that support the homeless) at 8:00 PM at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church (MMUMC) 3401 Nebraska Avenue in Washington DC.

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