Archive for Music

Things that try… But not really.

This is a post about things that try… But only about halfway.

Such as my car.  Last Sunday, as I was rushing out the door to go to church, I stepped in my car, put in the key, and turned the ignition.  I enjoyed the sound of the revving engine for a few seconds, until I realized that it was going to continue revving and not actually turn over.  I found this very odd, since I had just filled it up with gas the day before.  So, I tried again.  And so did it–it tried really, really hard to start, but it just… couldn’t.  It was quite pitiful.  So, now I have a dead car in my driveway and no time to do anything about it.  Luckily, I have another music major friend with her morning classes at the same time, so she gives me a ride to school.  Then I’m stuck at the school for the rest of the day until I can convince JD to take me back to my house.

Another thing that tries hard, but not really?  My fingers.  I have recently been… Ah… asked… to play a piece titled after a swear word that rhymes with “Slam,” with the percussion ensemble.  I have not taken clarinet lessons in two years and seldom practice technique anymore because I am a VOICE major and clarinet is just a fun thing on the side in band.  I believe the only reason I was asked to do this is because I just so happen to be dating one of the percussionists, and the percussion teacher seemed to have decided we just don’t spend enough time together as it is.  Anyway, the piece is by a guy named John Mackey, a guy who seems to take great pleasure in creating some of the most bizarre fingering combinations at the most obscenely fast tempos that are absolutely impossible for someone with as little technical skill as myself.  Seriously, I feel like the IQ of my fingers (negative a million) is seeping into my brain when I attempt them.

I’d come up with a third thing, but my brain isn’t really in the mood to try very hard right now.



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Morning Musings

I wouldn’t necessarily say that it is morning as I’m typing away.  Technically, it is, as it is 1:15 in the morning, but morning doesn’t officially start until I wake up, even if I don’t wake up until noon, it is still morning until I have breakfast and take a shower (which might be a while as I have to do laundry tomorrow before I can take a shower).  And I wouldn’t necessarily call what I’m about to write musings, but rather random snapshots of thought, that may or may not be coherent, and may or may not take me forever to type due to the fact that I seem to be having recent problems making my fingers do what I tell them to do.

Perhaps the most pressing matter to address at this moment is the fact that the end of April is drawing nigh and with it brings the end of spring semester and — no joke — finals week.  The thing I’m still trying to get my head around is that it is, in fact, April, and soon will be May, when I still feel like I’m stuck in March, and I’m left wondering if March even happened.  I then have to look at my calendar and assure myself that yes, March does follow February and is followed by April, and it did in fact happen because I did in fact cross out the days in March.  March and April aside, today (being Sunday, and not Monday, as my Sunday has not yet ended in sleep) marks the end of Hell week and the beginning of the end of Spring semester.

I call it Hell week because that’s perhaps the best way to describe it.  Tuesday choir concert (which sadly failed to get recorded), Thursday Orchestra of Southern Utah concert, Friday band concert (don’t EVEN get me started…), and Saturday… Well.  I’d rather not say much about Saturday other than it was a long, useless day spent in a building with no outlets and therefore nothing to do but sit around and shuffle cards all day or sleep.  Of course, it could have been spent socializing, but really… What a useless activity.

Of course, there were some good things that came of Hell week, perhaps aided by the law of averages.  I was able to pass my aural skills final, which means no more sight singing in Locrian, dorian, or any other -ian, and no more trying to figure out if that last chord was a Neopolitan, German, Italian, or French, only to find out that it was merely a secondary dominant of the dominant (which I don’t expect many to understand, don’t worry — you’re not ignorant).

I was also able to accomplish quite a bit in the little time I had between classes, practicing, and sleep, spending more time in the library in one week than I had nearly all year just printing stuff out.  So many trees…  Ironic that my tree-killing escapades fell on Earth week.  But hey, I’m going to drop off some plastic bottles to be recycled, so it all evens out, right?

But of course, bad and frustrating things happened, too, but at the end of the week, at least I got to spend some time with a rather nice (however slightly smelly) cat purring on my stomach while I watched countless episodes of Nova on my laptop.  Which brings me to one in the morning and procrastinating going to sleep, because the sooner I go to bed, the sooner I have to get up and buckle down on the projects that I should have been able to do on Saturday if I hadn’t had to go to that blasted “competition.”



I also happened upon a coupon book of a plethora of $15, $5, and $1 coupons to the movie theathers around my school that my father gave to me sometime last year.  i think I’ve used a total of one coupon from it in the entire time that I’ve had it — I leave next week, and they expire at the end of June.  Perhaps I will go see some movies by myself this week, as I don’t really have anybody to go with.  But frankly, it makes me wonder if I’m a total weirdo — wouldn’t a normal college student have been able use that up the month she recieved such a bounteous gift?  Is doing social things supposed to be a priority, other than the fact that it’s the only way to find someone who is willing to room with you?  Perhaps I take too functional a view of my social life… Eah.  Another story for another day.  This post is way too long, and if you’ve gotten this far, I commend you for your patience.  Really, you deserve a round of applause.

joker-clapThis is the only picture I could find that involved clapping.  Sorry if you’re sick of seeing batman stuff.

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Attention Utah: QUEEN is not the only classic rock band EVER.

It has recently come to my attention during a long drive home from a singing competition in Las Vegas that many people claim themselves to be fans of classic rock when, in fact, they are merely fans of the now classic-rock band “Queen.”  I must admit that their music IS very good in its own right, but frankly, it is not all that is available in this genre.  Now, I am not saying that I am a crazy classic rock fanatic — I cannot tell you exactly which songs came from which band and from what album and what year etc.  In fact, I am not even listening to classic rock right now — I am listening to “Celtic Women,” who sing rather lovely art songs, such as “Danny Boy” and “May it Be.”  But I do frequent the local classic rock station and have discovered an entirely new world of awesomeness.

I grew up in a home where I was vaguely aware of the classic rock genre.  My father was, in his earlier years, a real “rocker,” drumming in bands, wearing sweatbands, and buying tapes of all his favorite bands.  My mother, in all her wonderful grace swiftly calmed that down and brought out the  lovable piano and singing guy that was also in there.  But of course, he still had his tapes, and when we came along, he, as any good father would do, shared his past with us.  IRONICALLY, the first band I actually recall from these random sessions of ‘past-sharing’ is NOT Queen, but it is a remarkable band called ToTo, specifically the song “Home of the Brave,” which I enjoyed very much in my youth and insisted my dad play it for me numerous times after the initial playing.

I was later introduced to the wonder that is Rush.  Of course, I was never as crazy as my older brother is about them.  He currently owns every single album, and maybe even every book about them.  Yes.  He did go a little crazy.  And frankly, I was nearly sick of them.  But, now that he has gone on his mission (he sent me a picture of himself standing under the Rush Avenue signpost), I am finding that I miss the uniquely un-dulcet tones of the very ugly man, Geddy Lee (or something like that) and the insane drumming the the ultimate drummer, Neil Pert.  I will most definitely have to bring some Rush back down here after spring break.

My true immersion into loving classic rock was realized with the development of the life-altering game, Guitar Hero.  The first game, of course, has countless alternative “tunes” being sung by winy pizza-faced, emo, screamo, angry, angsty teenaged boys and very few classic rock songs, but the second in the series has many great classics that frankly will never go out of style.  This was one of the last games I played before I came down the college in Cedar City and realized that I could no longer find any of my usual alternative stations that play such songs as those from Colbie Caillat, The Fray, Fallout Boy, and other more recent bands.  It was then that I came upon the local classic rock station. 

My dial hasn’t moved since.

I must admit, though, that it is always a treat when I hear some good ol’ Queen (which I was introduced to soon after ToTo), but it is played rather sparsely.  I don’t mean to alarm you, but they have played songs THAT I HAVE NEVER HEARD BEFORE.  And that’s awesome.  Hearing new music that is actually old is like finding the bones of an undiscovered dinosoaur.

But don’t worry Dad.  I don’t think you’re as old as the dinosaurs.


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