Saturday, April 19, 2008

Eels + Quantum Mechanics = Happy Cerebellum

Thank you thank you Filter Magazine. And Nathalie too for turning me on to Eels...aka Mark Everett; aka son of Hugh Everett III. That's right. The renowned physicist who dreamed up the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.

Leave it to the son of a physicist to thrown convention out the window. Instead of performing with the usual and bland "opening act", Eels showed a documentary of the life of the Mark Everett (why Mr. Everett the 3rd stopped the naming tradition was not discussed). The primary focus of the documentary was Mark's travels to his fathers former haunts to meet with his old colleagues in an attempt to understand why he hardly spoke a word at home.

The documentary even included a quite fascinating introduction to QM. Fascinating in the sense that it clearly conveyed a complicated concept to a statistically non-science crowd in terms that piqued their interest-I know because Nathalie asked to read my Feynman Lectures books afterwards.

Only one other musician performed with Mark, his faithful sidekick, Chet. Chet was a man of many musical hats. His ability to make a hand saw weep was perhaps the most impressive/unusual talent I've seen in a while. Chet was also required to read excerpts from E's new book.

Things Grandchildren Should Know

Another amazing feat occurred when Mark abandoned his piano and took over the drum kit from Chet mid song-one drum stick and kick pedal at a time. The final question I suppose is, "Would you have gone if it weren't free?" Hmmm...tough call.

One things for sure, seeing that Dirac notation again really made me want to crack open those QM books for a look.

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