Archive for December, 2006

More VC Singing

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

A Capella
Originally uploaded by jamesjyu.

Here’s a picture of UpRound Sound singing at the STIRR event last week. It was a pretty incredible event sponsored by Tim Chang’s firm Gabriel Ventures. You can see more photos of the event on Bubblicious, although they seem a bit whiny complaining about the $22,000 worth of free gifts.
ValleyWag also picked it up, with their usual snarky commentary. My comment to them was if they didn’t like VCs poking fun at themselves, we can always go back to being pretentious snobs.

Yoga for Kids

Thursday, December 7th, 2006

My sister Kira Willey is a terrific musician, and she just came out with her new CD, so this is an unabashed plug. She wrote an entire CD full of kids yoga music that is designed to introduce young kids to yoga. The best part is, she not only wrote and recorded the songs (which are great, fun and original), but she also has a version of each song where she voices-over the class, so you can do the class in your home. Pictures in the included booklet show you the poses, so it’s very easy. And kids love it!

I confess, I’m not completely unbiased. Not only is she my sister, I also sing bass on three of the songs: Let’s Go to Work, Surfer Mama, and Caterpillar, Caterpillar.

Buy it today. Heck, get one for each of your friends. Makes a great Holiday gift!

UPDATE: her web site is now up – Fireflies Yoga – you can buy it there, since CD Baby doesn’t stock a lot of them.
CD Baby: KIRA WILLEY: Dance for the Sun

Singing VCs

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

It’s really Onset‘s fault. They put out this great holiday card every year, and for 2004 it was a holiday songbook. Randomly at the ESVCA event this summer I was talking with Tim Chang of Gabriel Ventures, and he mentioned that he sings, and since I sing too, we got chatting about it and somehow hatched the idea that we should sing the Onset songbook. I knew Randy Haykin of Outlook Ventures also sang, since we had both sung (at different times) in the Voices in Harmony chorus, so I got him involved too.

Since I have 4-part mens arrangements of most of these songs, we looked for another singing VC. The one we found, who shall remain nameless, backed out before our first rehearsal, saying he was “too busy”. I tried to argue that this activity would be good for deal flow development and foment strong relationships within the business, so it should count as “work”, but for some reason he just laughed at me.

In the end we brought in David Binetti, who is an entrepreneur considering becoming a VC, and (by the way) a great singer. We had a couple of (short) rehearsals on the roof of our building – we didn’t want anyone to hear us – and spent a little time reworking the lyrics – they were so 2004! We were a little surprised that we actually sounded pretty good. We also joked about picking a name, settling on Up-Round Sound. Other contenders were Top Quartile, Here’s the Pitch, and J-Curve. We decided we weren’t old enough to be the 4X Seniors.

With the songs ready to go, we talked to a number of VC firms (who shall also remain nameless) about singing at their holiday parties. Turns out most VCs are very particular about their holiday parties, and don’t want random groups of people breaking out into song in the middle of them. So, quite a lot of people were deprived of the enjoyment of laughing at themselves while listening to our close harmony renditions. We did end up performing at the Gabriel Ventures party, where we were very well received. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that everyone was 3 drinks in and pretty much everything was funny. We will be singing for the Band of Angels party tonight and that’s probably it for this year.

We have no idea if this quartet will continue to sing together, but we are in the process of acquiring matching socks. Most likely we’ll be available for weddings, bar mitzvahs, and funerals any time all 4 of us are free at the same time, which is approximately as often as pigs fly.

Read on for the lyrics we wrote to Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls (once again, with thanks to Onset for the idea and some of the lyrics). Read the rest of this entry »