For several weeks now, Amy and I have devoted our Tuesday nights to a friendly little music club in Santa Monica, California. From the comfort of our Wisconsin home, we join with a couple hundred others via live chat and video streaming to enjoy Peter Himmelman’s Furious World, a one-hour musical variety show on Ustream.tv.
We’re familiar with Peter Himmelman through our friend Sharon, who is a fan of his and has taken us to see him perform in Chicago. Himmelman is a singer/songwriter/guitarist/humorist from Minnesota whose work spans a wide range. He has recorded an impressive catalog of thoughtful and deeply felt songs.
Perhaps you know “Eleventh Confession”:
Additionally, Himmelman has been nominated for an Emmy Award for his scoring of Judging Amy, and for a Grammy Award for his children’s music. You can hear a few of his songs and read his blog at his MySpace page, and there are also some other videos at YouTube.
It was through the insistent urging of Michael Sean Wright (Nice Fish Films) that I first heard about Furious World. Wright directs the hour, and promotes it online during the remaining 167 hours each week. Over the short time I have watched, the production has made great strides. The video quality has improved, and cameras have been added. Guests Skype in from locations around the globe, Peter takes live phone calls, and prerecorded segments are screened — such as “Turtle Talk”:
Past guests have included TV producer Barbara Hall, actress/singer/songwriter Rebecca Pidgeon, singer and songwriter Syd Straw, and tech guru Leo Laporte. Performing regularly with Himmelman are singer Kristin Mooney, multi-instrumentalist Willie Aron, Al Wolovitch on bass, and Andrew Kamman on drums. Peter’s son Isaac Himmelman often contributes a song of his own.
The whole thing comes to you live from Peter Himmelman’s studio in Santa Monica each Tuesday at 9 p.m. Central / 7 p.m. Pacific. Go to the show’s channel page at Ustream.TV and if you don’t already have a Ustream account, click the “Sign up” link near the top left so you can have a better chat name than just “ustreamer-34320.” Also, it’s a good idea to hook up some sort of external speakers — or even your home stereo — because the audio quality is very good.
We don’t typically use the full-screen video mode, because we like to follow the viewer chat. We do, however, turn the audio up kinda loud.