Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘music

Real Life Musicals: They Do Exist

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Today, as I was riding on a chartered bus between point A and B. I found myself listening to music which is nothing new to me. If you ask people who have been around me for awhile, they will tell you of the likelihood of me bursting out in song. It’s just how I am…I like music, so whenever I’m in a good or bad mood and everything in between I am likely to be singing something that either compliments my mood or that is seeking to lift my mood. I am also a music whore…I listen to most things fairly equally (except rap and country) with my favorites being classic rock, musicals, and some pop music.

The other day a friend of mine said that someone in one of her classes said that they didn’t like musicals because there is no way that anyone gets up and just starts singing…it’s unrealistic…that’s what they said…and while I can understand the points they make that musicals seem to be “staged” (but isn’t everything now a days), I also know that my friends and I are very likely to randomly burst out into song…there are usually some harmonies and the choreography is us moving around with our daily lives…all of us know the words because let’s face it, you’re not going to sing something if you don’t know the words. We have our own little musical world…I don’t think that anything beats it. It’s better than living in the nihilistic world with some of the idiots that are out there.

“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” -Anais Nin. It’s so true…music is the ultimate in connecting us together. Think of the last time you heard of some tragedy in your community. If you went to a service about it, wasn’t there singing….wasn’t everyone singing. When we’re wee things, our parents sang lullabies to lull us to sleep. When we marry, there is usually song to help the two begin their life together. And when we die, there is music to celebrate our lives.

Music is unique. Nothing else out there in the world does exactly what it does. So, I will continue to have my musical life. I will think of people having theme songs. I will burst out randomly into showtunes when I’m teaching. And I will do so with my head held high, my high note unwavering, and Jazz hands wobbling at my sides.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 21, 2010 at 9:59 pm

Ironic

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So, I was listening to random songs on my iTunes account earlier today, and the song “Ironic” by Alanis Morissette came on…Now, looking at it from my perspective, none of the stuff that she really mentions in the song is in fact ironic…matter-of-factly, most of the stuff is just down right unfortunate…

“Ironic”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jne9t8sHpUc

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late
Isn’t it ironic … don’t you think
Chorus

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought … it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids good-bye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
‘Well isn’t this nice…’
And isn’t it ironic … don’t you think
Repeat Chorus

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

It’s a traffic jam when you’re already late
It’s a no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife
And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think
A little too ironic… and yeah I really do think…
Repeat Chorus

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

Prime example, the raining on your wedding day, if it rains on your wedding day it is just unfortunate that it happened to rain. It’s a meteorological phenomenon…it’s not some conspiracy from up above. Whether it be the guy who is afraid to fly crashing or the no-smoking sign, nothing in this song is truly “ironic”…so, I would have to say that Alanis has a flawed conception of a song…yet, at the same time, I can understand artistic integrity and know that ironic and unfortunate would sound very different in the song…I just think that it’s quite ironic that the song “Ironic” really isn’t all that the name sets it up to be…which leaves us trying hard to swallow the Jagged Little Pill that Alanis to feed us.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 20, 2010 at 1:35 am

(RAH)² (AH)³ + [ROMA (1+MA)] + (GA)² + (OOH)(LA)²=A Hit

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So, I will willingly admit that Lady Gaga is a guilty pleasure of mine, one that some of my musical elitist friends find laughable. However, I find her music to be throughly hypnotic and reminiscent of other pop greats of the passed 30 years.

What is it that makes a powerful/memorable pop song? I believe that there are several things that make a “good” song or a pop star.

1. The song has to be catchy. When I first listened to Lady Gaga, her song permeated my subconscious. The beat and lyrics of “Paparazzi” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgKrzdaDQMw ) stuck in my head and haunted me until I finally downloaded the song off or iTunes. The  great beat of the song and the repetition in the lyrics are what make it so memorable and hypnotic. I mean seriously how many of you could say that you found yourself singing along with the “Queen of the Night Aria” ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2ODfuMMyss )after listening to in once.

2. Lady Gaga puts on one hell of a show which adds to her mystique as an artist. People have done it before. Think of Elvis and his pelvis, Michael Jackson and his dance moves, or Metallica and their heavy metal attitude. Each one had their own distinctive style that they brought to the table and built their fame on. Gaga does the same with her ‘weirdness”. People are drawn to it because she puts on a show.

3. Controversy is what also plays to the masses. The more people say we should look away from the sun…the more we sneaks peeks at it…right? Just as with Elvis, Madonna, Elton John, Etc., there are those out there that have proclaimed Lady Gaga as some sort of “Faux Pas” celebrity of the moment. Due to this, people cannot look away whether she’s talking about her bisexuality or “hanging” herself at the VMA’s. This publicity is what makes her mysterious or eccentric to the masses.

I think that Lady Gaga has done what she set out to do. I think she has shaken up the pop scene (which she may or may not have intended). She has raised the bar for those that are coming out now. They cannot just be the Taylor Swift cookie-cutter pop star if they want to compete. Like Debbie Harry and Madonna (the celebrities that I compare her with), I think she has found her own nicht and has impacted the pop world.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrO4YZeyl0I

Writing

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So, I’m sure at this point the majority of people realize that I like to write on some level or other. It’s one of those things that I just find innately interests me. I can write about any and everything under the sun and let it take me where it wants me to go. I know it might sound silly to some, but sometimes writing  just seems to flow out naturally and from a place that seems untouchable at times.

What is it about writing that seems so mysterious? Honestly, I can’t find an answer for myself that suits my own curiosity about the subject. Maybe it’s another way that people out there experience some flash or vapor of what we are all connected to in this web of life we lead. I mean I will willingly admit that through music I think most people experience whatever spiritual force exists out there in the wide-world. However, I think that writing is the same way.

Writing can do so much. It helps us vent our frustration. With the right words, we can express ourselves more fully on paper or computer monitor more fully than we ever could holding a conversation out loud. Words also help us show the sites and adventures that we want to share with others. Whether a fantasy tale full of dragons, witches, and damsels in distress or a biography of Bill Clinton, writing helps open multiple doors for us into realms that we will never fully understand…

I suppose that I will continue to write my randomness down on napkins, church bulletins, scrap paper, and other things…regardless of the looks I get doing it…:)

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 16, 2010 at 12:28 am

Elaine Paige Vs. Susan Boyle….no competition…please…

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Recently, I have been doing a lot of web surfing, and in my searches for Les Miserables songs, I came across several that were comparing Elaine Paige to Susan Boyle all because Susan Boyle dropped Elaine’s name in Britain’s Got Talent (BGT). Susan said that it was her dream to be like Elaine Paige and commenced to sing “I Dreamed a Dream” (a Paige specialty). She sang it beautifully for someone who is on a talent search type show. However, it is not really a fair comparison to make for Susan and for Elaine.

First off, Elaine has been a singer for some 40 years professionally. Susan Boyle is a TALENT SHOW sensation. I’m not saying that I dislike her, but she does not have the experience that someone of Elaine’s caliber does. Look at her acting career http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elaine_Paige . It speaks wonders of her experience.  She has appeared in Hair, Cats as Grizabella, Evita as Eva Peron, and other notable musicals. How can you compare that to Susan who was a virtual unknown until summer of last year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_boyle

Secondly, Elaine Paige supported Susan. There are many people out there that think that Elaine just bashed Boyle. However, did you ever think of why if this were true would she sing a duet of “I Know Him So Well” from Chess (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF1hIaHKANk)? Elaine Paige is one of the few genuine people left from that age of Broadway/West End Theater. She is a humble and nice star. Why can’t people see that?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua-vKRx8MsA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s96NZoeDs68

My final thought on the whole matter is this: how can you critique something if you have never seen or you don’t know the show that it came from. Last night while looking through the plethora of vids of the “SUSAN VS ELAINE” vids, I came across so many misinformed people’s comments that it made me irritated beyond belief. Elaine Paige has a style that rivals other Broadway Greats like Bernadette Peters, Patti Lupone, Angela Lansbery and many others. Also, it’s musical THEATER for God’s sake…you are supposed to act and sing and dance. That’s the whole concept of it all. I mean true Susan does have an alright singing voice; however, she has no stage presence. She seems like a scared puppy at times.

You can’t compare them is my main point. You are trying to compare apples and oranges. Elaine is a polished performing goddess with 40+ years of experience. Susan is a Cinderella Story for BGT (and I wish her well in her endeavours), but really, that’s all she’s got. Both are good in their own rights. One just has the street cred to back up all that she’s done.

Music and Emotional Manipulation

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Have you ever thought about why that song you listen to makes you cry/laugh/smile/think? Well, I think it’s because (and if you don’t agree with me I’m sorry) music is probably one of the most effective emotional manipulators out there. I mean think about it: how many of you have been watching an action movie and during the climatic scenes of the movie a rousing melody plays and makes you go “Hell yeah! I want them to win!”.

This sort of thing happens to me all the time. I sometimes get invested in a movie simply because of the music itself. A brilliant score can only enhance a beautiful movie or can pull a mediocre movie out of its mediocrity. If you look at a movie like X-Men the Last Stand, a movie that is not the best in my eyes (partially because the X-Men are my comic book baby as it were), but the music makes it a little more bearable.

Music to me can touch that innermost parts of ourselves that may not be accessible on a regular basis. It is the one art media that nearly everyone has a stake in to. Think about it. You might walk up to someone and ask them who their favorite novelist/painter is, and they might look back at you with a blank stare. However, if you ask them who their favorite singer/musician is, you will surely get and answer from 99% of people because music easy more easily accessed by everyone.

Music is beautiful in its own right. Whether you’re listening to a Sonata by Beethoven or a new pop ballad by Lady Gaga (who I believe is either a siren or a witch because of her damn near hypnotic affect on listeners), music is there to comfort and drive us, to help us grow and to let us cry/laugh/etc.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

February 2, 2010 at 12:06 am