Words….Witticisms…Whimsy…Whatever!

Posts tagged ‘Music’

Aside

Third verse, same as the first!

Today is the anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Don’t worry, I didn’t know that either, but a couple of friends posted about it on Facebook, including one who posted a link to the Gordon Lightfoot song, which I have always loved in some morbid way. So after I listened to that, I went looking to see if my Gordon Lightfoot cd had made it into my iTunes library at some point, which it had. Gordon is easy to listen to. If you like one of his songs, you probably would like them all, which is a nice way of saying there is a certain sameness to his music. And that made me think about when I first got it.

A million years ago, back when I was married, Mike & I took a vacation in South Haven, renting a little cottage type thing right on Lake Michigan. We spent time on the beach of course, but also making day trips to all the fun surrounding communities. We were in Holland one afternoon checking out their cute downtown, and we discovered a shop having a going out of business sale. It was late in the game – they were down to selling fixtures. In fact, now that I think about it, that’s where I got the big white crate that we used for a TV stand for a while and now serves as my nightstand by my bed. They also had a stack of CDs from their in-store music, which were selling for a buck apiece, back in the day when people still bought CDs. They had some Christmas music, some county, and a Gordon Lightfoot greatest hits collection. I think I might’ve bought the entire stack for five or ten dollars.

Later in the week, we had a rainy afternoon so we spent it inside reading and playing cards and listening to music, including our new-to-us Gordon Lightfoot album. After a while Mike said, “Didn’t we already hear this song?” Pause, cock head, consider. “Nope, I don’t think so.” We returned to our respective books. Twenty or thirty minutes passed, when Mike exclaimed, “Ok look, this is THE SAME SONG!” At which point we discovered why yes, we had accidentally hit the repeat button, and it had been playing the same track over and over again. Which surely we would have noticed sooner had we not been engrossed in whatever we were reading. But did I mention the sameness?

Apparently the other problem I have is forgetting that his name isn’t Edmund Fitzgerald, since I just googled that instead of Gordon Lightfoot when I was trying to find you the link for the song I’m going to share, which is NOT “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. Instead, I’m going to share “Song for a Winter’s Night”. Are you familiar with the Sarah McLachlan version? Did you know it was a cover of this one? I didn’t, until my friend Mikem pointed it out. Could it be more different? I don’t think so. (Because hers sounds NOTHING like a Gordon Lightfoot song, and his, naturally, sounds like every other Gordon Lightfoot song.)

Here you go. Enjoy! 🙂

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Under the Influence – part 1

Hey guys and gals! Have you (those of you who don’t know me) ever wondered what my voice sounds like? (Somehow I doubt it, and if you have, I might think you’re a little creepy.) Regardless, here’s your chance! I’m going to be on the radio. What??

Northeast Indiana Public Radio has this cool program called Under the Influence. Every week they invite “regular people” into the studio to discuss five songs that have had an impact on their lives.  And I am the regular person of the week!

I was charged with identifying five songs that have had an impact on my life, songs that have affected me to do something big or small, and songs that have shaped me into the person I am today.

Gah! Pressure!

Fortunately they never used the word ’’favorite’’ because that would have sent me into a full-blown panic. I’m not good at picking favorites. But songs that have helped me through a rough time or bring back special memories or help me fire up for something? Sure, I can come up with that list. Limiting to five was tricky, but I’m pretty sure there are no wrong answers (although I fully expect some of you to critique me).

I will share the songs and the stories behind them, but not until after the
program airs on Thursday, because duh, you should listen to it, and they stream it online so don’t give me grief about not being in the listening area. 😉  And we recorded it a few weeks ago, so you can’t call in to heckle me, sorry Charlie!

Thank you to my friend Samantha for referring me to Sarah & Rob, the hosts – it was definitely a fun experience, other than the anxiety about picking great songs and being prepared to talk for an hour. And worrying what I sound like on the radio, and whether or not I talk too fast or slur my words too much. Although once you put on those headphones, it does kind of bring out one’s inner public radio voice. 🙂  I think. I guess we’ll find out on Thursday!

Tune in: Thursday, April 4, 9:00 pm. www.nipr.fm.

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Sometimes I am an idiot and sometimes I get it right.

In 2011, Mumford and Sons and The Avett Brothers and Bob Dylan all performed together at the Grammys. It was amazing. (Except for Bob Dylan, because he is really not amazing at all, ever.) It was the first time I’d heard Mumford & Sons (and probably the first for The Avett Brothers) and they knocked my socks off. The whole performance was killer, but I focused on Mumford. And I still love them. Yes. Muchly. My point, however, is that I did not fall in love with the Avett Brothers that night. I was too blown away by Mumford.  And sons.

I have several friends who like The Avett Brothers. They’re generally people who have respectable taste in music, but I never ventured into Avett territory to give it a listen. For some reason, however, I decided I should go see them when they come to town next month. The Avett Brothers, that is, not my friends. Although I’m not opposed to seeing my friends. In fact, I quite like some of them.

This scenario is peculiar, because I don’t usually to go to a concert when I really have no familiarity with the music. Not completely unheard of, however; 3Names convinced me to go see the Zac Brown Band with him a few years ago, even though I’d never heard of them, by paying for half my ticket, and he was right, it was a fun show. I do like to support things here in town, especially when they are uncommon, special, not your usual past-their-prime or not-yet-famous acts that pass through these parts. A few years back Ben Folds performed with the philharmonic and even though I dig him, I dig the Phil, and it definitely fell into that atypical for Fort Wayne category, I didn’t go. (This is the part where I am an idiot.) I had some legitimate reasons for not going, but mostly they were just stupid life things that I should have worked around. Everyone who went absolutely raved about how amazing it was. And I missed it. I could kick myself, still today. This is one of my biggest concert regrets in life, second only to missing Florence & the Machine open for U2. That was something I actually WENT TO, I just didn’t allow adequate time to get there. In my defense, East Lansing does not know how to move traffic. Jesus, people. It’s not like you have football games there all fall. Oh wait, it’s EXACTLY LIKE THAT. Learn how to move the freakin’ cars!

Anyway, I am determined not to have the same kind of concert regret again, and somehow I got it in my head that the Avett Brothers show would be something not to miss. I don’t know why exactly I thought that. But I bounced it off Klondike and he was game, and the tickets weren’t outrageous by today’s concert standards, so ok, let’s go. And the concert is Valentine’s Day. Klondike, act surprised by your present of concert tickets. 😀

So then I decided perhaps I should check them out ahead of time. By good fortune, Santa just gave me an iTunes gift card (I know, I’m Jewish, but iTunes! – who am I to say no?) so I downloaded “I and Love and You”. Oh, sweet Jesus, what took me so damn long?? I can’t remember the last time I loved a CD this much (even though it’s not a CD, it’s a collection of digital files, but I don’t know how to deal with that; I’m in the digital age, but reluctantly). Album. That might be the right word. Of course, that conjures up an image of a vinyl record. Whatever. Call it what you like, I’m in love.

I get to see them in concert in six weeks? Oh hells yeah. I’ll report back, but I fully expect it to be awesome.

This is the part where I get it right.

Oh yeah, and I just downloaded “The Carpenter”. Might as well keep going.  🙂

P.S. I tried to find the amazing Grammy performance for you, but no such luck, unless you want to watch a shitty video of someone watching it on TV. Seriously WHY do people shoot videos of their TV screen and post them on the internet?

Goddamn, I love Blue Man Group.

I just got home from seeing Blue Man Group (again). I love that I was able to see them right here in my hometown (rather than Vegas, where I saw them the first time), at the lovely historic Embassy (rather than the Coliseum, where I saw them the second time). (That’s it, by the way – three times.)

Blue Man Group take my breath away with their charm and whimsy, and how much they can convey without uttering a single word. With a turn of the head or a subtle gesture, we the audience know exactly what the joke is. And holy crap, the drumming. Lots of things make me wish I knew how to play the drums, but this makes me want to whale on a giant drum like nobody’s business.

If you’ve never seen them and have no idea what I’m talking about….well, you’re missing out. They’re kind of impossible to describe – even their own website is mostly pictures and video, without trying to articulate quite what they are/do. I first remember the Blue Men coming onto my radar with those commercials they did for Intel back in what must have been the late 90s and early 00s. Then my dad and I had to go to Vegas for business, and I wanted to see a show. “I don’t like plays,” he said. Fine. I would find something non-play-like and make him admit he liked it. Enter Blue Man Group. And he loved it. So much so that he has also seen them three times now. You’re welcome, Dad.

Music. But mostly percussion. Rhythmic movement, but not really dance. Humor, but not really comedy. Audience interaction. Lights, sound, drumming on all sorts of things. Gigantic floaty ball thingies. Exploding streamers. See. Impossible to describe. Magical. That’s what I should’ve said from the beginning and just stopped trying. A big, enchanted dance party.

That magical feeling is part of what I love so much about the live theater experience.  There’s nothing like it. And perhaps seeing Blue Man Group for a third time is excessive (although I would happily see them again), but I want to support freakin’ awesome shows like this being brought to Fort Wayne. I want them (them? the powers that be? promoters? who knows…) to see that there is an audience here. I will spend my dollars on quality productions that come to my doorstep. Please feed my theater hunger.  I’m not used to going to bed high on theater right here at home; I like it!

(Then I crashed. Pretend I posted this late last night, mkay?)

(Ooh, and thanks, Sunshines, for inviting me to come along!)