Star Wars veteran now working as a programmer and raising some kids. I play the banjo and enjoy Minecraft. Also, I'm a Wookie.
12 stories
·
2 followers

That’s Entertainment

1 Comment and 2 Shares

It’s clear that the city of Boston has a strong devotion to culture and the arts, with a multitude of world-class museums and globally-renowned universities. But many of these places are hoary, even time-worn. Fortunately, the cradle of liberty is refreshed from time to time with new blood. For proof, look no further than Boston’s newest cultural institution — Keytar Bear.

Keytar Bear in Concert
Keytar Bear in concert
[Photo courtesy P. Kafasis]

Just about all you need to know known about this delightful Boston bruin can be found right in his name. Keytar Bear, or KTB, is a person wearing an adult-sized teddy bear costume while playing that delightful instrument known as the keytar. You just can’t beat that. New York City can keep their so-called Naked Cowboy.1 Who wants a nearly-nude buckaroo playing a fusty old acoustic, when you can have the hybrid of man and bear playing the hybrid of keyboard and guitar?

Don’t let the goofiness of the costume fool you, either. Keytar Bear is truly a talented musician. Accompanied only by a backing track, he uses a clumsy-seeming pair of paws to tear up all manner of music,. Videos on YouTube, such as this and this, simply don’t do proper justice to the performer. My own paltry attempt fares no better:

To truly appreciate Keytar Bear, you must see him in the flesh (or perhaps “in the fur”). Keytar Bear first hit the streets of Boston in 2013, and he quickly gained fame on social media. News of the latest busker spread via tweets, Facebook posts, and of course, Instagram pictures. The keytar is enjoyable enough, but the keytar played by someone wearing a bear suit from the movie Ted? That’ll make folks stop and take notice. For more than a year now, KTB has been raising both eyebrows and spirits throughout the city.

Image Text: Was in bad mood. Just Keytar Bear at Charles St station. Made me smile. Keytar Bear 1, World 0.
[Link]

We Stand With Keytar Bear

Of course, there’s always one or two bad eggs out to ruin a good thing. In the spring of 2014, Keytar Bear was attacked twice, likely by the same assailant. Some claimed that this is why we can’t have nice things. But I don’t accept that, and neither did others. Following these unfortunate incidents, Ms. Abigail Taylor quickly organized a fundraiser for KTB. It quickly blew past its $2500 goal, ultimately raising over $5500 for the performer.

More recently, Keytar Bear was assaulted again, with his earnings stolen. The Boston Police Department moved swiftly to protect our already-cherished icon, however, and arrests came shortly after incident. Let their work serve as a warning: You don’t mess with Keytar Bear in this town.

Thankfully, you can’t keep a good Keytar Bear down. In short order, he was back delighting passersby throughout the city. This past Monday, KTB played a full concert at Cambridge’s Middle East club.2 After grooving for nearly three hours straight3, in an event that was without a doubt the best $5 I’ve ever spent, Keytar Bear answered a few quick questions posed by your humble author.

Quick Questions with Keytar Bear

Do you practice in the bear suit?

  • Yes. Yes, I do.

Is there more than one bear suit?

  • No, it’s the only one.

How do you wash a costume bear suit?

  • Mmm — dry cleaning. [Please enjoy the image of a dry cleaning carousel slowly rotating to reveal a bear suit on a hanger, coming around the line. -Ed.]

Today alone you’ve been at Downtown Crossing, then Harvard Square, and now you just played non-stop for three hours. What’s your training regimen to rock so hard all day?

  • Passion. It’s passion.

Why do people keep assaulting Keytar Bear?

  • I’m a small guy.

You don’t think it’s because you’re in costume, because they can’t see your face?

  • Nah, it’s just…“small guy”.

Alright, last one — Does Keytar get a lot of tail?

  • [Laughs] Umm…No. No.

For a deeper look inside the bear suit, see this in-depth interview from Boston Magazine.

Finding Keytar Bear

No visit to Boston can be considered complete without witnessing Keytar Bear in all his magnificence. If you don’t get a chance to listen to him jam, in what sense can you truly be said to have been in Boston? Word of KTB spreads well through the grapevines of Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Keep an eye on those and you’ll be sure to catch wind of his latest appearance.

Be aware that Keytar Bear practices what might be called reverse hibernation, disappearing during the hot summer months. If you’re very observant, however, you might still be able to find the man beneath the bear. He may feign ignorance, but come on — how many keytar-playing buskers can there really be in one city? Also, the costume head sitting on his case is something of a giveaway.

Keytar Bear's Head
[Link]

But now, winter is coming, and Keytar Bear has remerged in all his shaggy splendor. full glory. He can be found throughout town town, at many of the area’s most heavily-trafficked spots. Look for him in or near T stops like Harvard Square and Downtown Crossing, at tourist destinations like Faneuil Hall, and elsewhere around the greater Boston area. When you see KTB, don’t be afraid to toss a few dollars in his bucket — this bear only shreds the keytar.

Keytar Bear in Concert
Yours truly in a terribly-lit photo with the Keytar Bear.


Footnotes:

  1. He really ought to be sued for false advertising anyway.

  2. On the way to the show, I passed through Harvard Square and came upon this sight:

    Keytar Bear pre-show

    It would seem that Keytar Bear’s pre-show routine consists of playing another show. The man bear is a machine.

  3. Prior to the start of his performance, he took what he referred to as a “security leak”. Smart.

Read the whole story
chewy
3512 days ago
reply
Brisbane, Australia
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
PBones
3513 days ago
reply
Brighten your day with Boston's own Keytar Bear.
Boston, MA

#1067; The Post-Game Interview

2 Comments and 15 Shares

I knew not whether the skynectar possessed the power it was rumored to, and took it, frankly, for rumor and myth; excavating and restoring the Well, and inviting the pilgrims to supplicate again after a thousand-year drought, was all the reward I sought from the labor. And yet... the reflection I caught in that first bucketful was of a world I knew to be but a dream from long ago. Suddenly, all else fell away, and I wondered in that moment if the score was still tied at 17-all.

Read the whole story
chewy
3534 days ago
reply
Brisbane, Australia
popular
3543 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
michaelglass
3543 days ago
reply
//
San Francisco
zippy72
3543 days ago
reply
alt-text: I knew not whether the skynectar possessed the power it was rumored to, and took it, frankly, for rumor and myth; excavating and restoring the Well, and inviting the pilgrims to supplicate again after a thousand-year drought, was all the reward I sought from the labor. And yet... the reflection I caught in that first bucketful was of a world I knew to be but a dream from long ago. Suddenly, all else fell away, and I wondered in that moment if the score was still tied at 17-all.
FourSquare, qv
MenageAquad
3542 days ago
I would absolutely LOVE to see a post-game interview like this.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day 2014!

1 Share

lovelaceloopSmall

Happy Ada Lovelace Day people! Every day is Ada Lovelace Day here at 2dgoggles, if you’re new to the site you’re probably looking for Lovelace: The Origin! Which is a brisk introduction to Lovelace and what she’s all about.

cardslengthwiise

The FIRST thing I should say is that the gif above is totally wrong, the programming cards didn’t go end-to-end like that but lengthwise like this– and had they existed would have been made of heavy card that would be a giant pain to animate. Seldom, I must say, have I felt closer or more sympathetic to Lady Lovelace than when spending months trying to get my head around, and then explain, Babbage’s impossibly complicated machine! I have failed to make any great world-changing intellectual breakthroughs in the process however. Over the next few months I’ll be putting a bunch of Analytical Engine stuff up so stay tuned for that. Also, comics!

Appropriate to the day, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage has a cover!!

Lovelace and Babbage cover

That links to the Amazon US site, should you care to preorder, and be astonished six months from now by a strange artifact appearing inexplicably in your mailbox. Ditto UK! Erm… the description still suggests the Book contains The Organist, which we unfortunately had to jettison to attain more lift. We’ll get that fixed up!

Traditionally on Ada Day I provide some novel primary documents, so I hunted down a couple of women-in-STEM celebrations from days of yore.. first up, the Babbage-boosters at Mechanics Magazine have a shout-out to Lovelace in an 1851 Babbage retrospective:

(Lovelace wrote the notes anonymously, of course, but was outed by the Statistical Society in 1848, “with the permission of Lord Lovelace”).

A positive roster of accomplished women from a speaker advocating for women’s suffrage, 1852– early indeed, and accompanied by ambiguous ‘laughter’:

Do check out the ALD website and lively twitter hashtag for lots of articles and events on women in tech for the next day or two!

Read the whole story
chewy
3536 days ago
reply
Brisbane, Australia
Share this story
Delete

Sympathy Emoji

1 Share

As the emoji character set gains cultural prominence, the world is still navigating its use as a communications medium. Recently, I saw emoji used in response to the passing of a loved one. Some friends messaged simple, encouraging smiley faces (“Keep your chin up! 😃”), while others offered virtual flowers (💐). These digital pictures may While these digital pictures are perhaps not the most appropriate tool for use in conveying sympathy, but I appreciated the gesture nonetheless. and wasn’t bothered. However, it certainly would be possible to truly offend with emoji. So, allow me to present:

An Incomplete List of the Least Appropriate Emoji to Send in a Sympathy Text, Which Probably Should Not Be a Thing Anyway, But That’s The Age In Which We Live

  • Skull emoji Skull (💀) – It should be fairly obvious why this is no good.

  • Ghost emoji Ghost (👻) – This emoji is just called “ghost”, but I’ve always thought of it as the happy ghost. He may also be flipping the Double Deuce, and that’ll hurt a guy’s feelings.

  • Astonished Face emoji Astonished Face (😲) and Dizzy Face emoji Dizzy Face (😵) – The double X’ed out eyes, often used to indicate a dead cartoon character, are truly problematic.

  • Face with Tears of Joy emoji Face With Tears of Joy (😹) – “Crying Face” (😢) might be alright to use, and at first glance, this may seem to be an extra sad version of that. However, the name and larger version make it clear that those are actually tears of joy, so this emoji is right out.

  • Crying Cat Face emoji Crying Cat Face (😿) – Even if the aforementioned ”Crying Face“ is OK, adding a cat to the mix just wrecks it.

  • Weary Cat Face emoji Weary Cat Face (🙀) – This cat is even worse. It’s unclear what exactly makes it “weary”. It looks far more like Munch’s “The Scream”, with its depiction of agony. Even so, it’s just not appropriate.

  • Pile of Poo emoji Pile of Poo (💩) – “Pile of Poo” is a tremendously versatile symbol to convey many different things. While it’s functional in many different situations, it’s best left out in these circumstances.

Ultimately, you’ll be best served by using real words to express your condolences. If you must use emoji, however, at least be sure to avoid the worst offenders.

Read the whole story
chewy
3541 days ago
reply
Brisbane, Australia
Share this story
Delete

June 10, 2014

2 Comments and 15 Shares

"Zach, are your comics going to get nicer after you have kids?"
Read the whole story
chewy
3655 days ago
reply
Brisbane, Australia
popular
3661 days ago
reply
Share this story
Delete
2 public comments
tante
3662 days ago
reply
How to teach ...
Berlin/Germany
mburch42
3662 days ago
reply
Parenting advice for Dave.

January 07, 2014

1 Comment and 5 Shares

Hey geeks! SMBC is now available on Comic Chameleon!
Read the whole story
chewy
3810 days ago
reply
Brisbane, Australia
Share this story
Delete
1 public comment
blakeyrat
3816 days ago
reply
I liked it better when Ray Bradbury did it.
Next Page of Stories