Music

Hallelujah

Okay, that last video got me addicted.  I am now sitting at the Subaru dealer watching music video after music video.  Why is this so addicting???

This one is my favorite song of all time, even after waking up to it every single morning for the last year.  In fact, I love it so much it makes me want to take voice lessons to teach my tone-deaf self how to sing it.  I feel sorry for whichever vocal instructor gets stuck with me…

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The Next Susan Boyle

Some of you may remember my obsession with Susan Boyle from a couple years back (if not, check it out here).  There’s something about underdog stories that do me in, and she was the best I’d seen in a while.  Today while I was stuck waiting for my car to get repaired I stumbled upon this one.

Similar to Susan, it’s a total underdog in ‘Korea’s Got Talent’ competition.  Unlike Susan Boyle, he’s 15 and homeless.  And somehow taught himself to sing like this while working on the street selling gum and candy.  I don’t know what else to say except watch it.

The biggest 10 of the day 🙂

Bringing It Back…

Alright, I know everyone has been counting down the days to Bringing It Back Week (2010, 2009), but don’t get too excited yet.  We’ve got another month or so until the official event, but I figured bringing the blog back might be a great start.

Back in Durham for good, I felt something was missing from my life.  I’ve been reminded by several people that the something missing might just be Rate Your World.  Let’s try it out to see if that solves the problem.

YARNS PERFORMANCE AT ‘HE’S NOT’: 7.5

This summer I went to a Bluegrass music festival in Floyd, VA for the first time (Floyd Fest).  I think there will need to be some flashback ratings of this life changing event sometime in the near future… in the meantime, all you need to know is that I discovered several new amazing bands, one of which is called Yarn.

I saw their midnight show on Saturday night where they played all Grateful Dead covers (and considering I’ve never listened to the Dead, it was all new music to me :)).  The next day I checked out their afternoon show where they played all of their own music, and  I fell even more in love.  Came home with a CD, and have listened to nothing else for the month since.

You think I’m kidding.  Please believe me when I tell you it plays in my car, on my stereo at home, before I go to bed, in my iPod at the pool, and pretty much the entire road trip up to Maine.  Yes, I’ve listened to almost nothing else since.

Is it obvious that I love their music?

While I forgot a camera, here’s a quick look at their music… but beware, it’s addicting.  Pretty soon you might be typing the same story I just told.

So I would like you to picture the excited face I made when I found they were playing in Chapel Hill this week.  An outdoor performance at ‘He’s Not Here’.  I was excited about the outdoor part, not quite as much about the ‘He’s Not’ part.

We’ve had some good times there in the past (see one of the original Rate Your World post for evidence), but it’s a classic college bar, the week that students are returning for classes.  I was pleased to see that at 9:30 the crowd was a bit older.  (What is happening to me that an older crowd excites me???)

The music was great.  The company was excellent.  The weather was AMAZING.  Chuquin, who introduced me to the band at Floyd Fest, was in town, which made it even better.  Couple small deductions, however…

-1: There were intense amounts of jam sessions.  I realize many people like this.  And I do appreciate that you hear things that aren’t on their album, making the live performance a bit different than the recorded performance.  However, Blake (the lead singer)’s voice is amazing.  And more jamming means less singing.  So really, it should be -1: More of Blake’s beautiful singing.

-1: At around 11:00 the crowd took a violent turn for the worse.  The old people (including most of my friends) took off, as we all have to work tomorrow.  The young people, who have yet to start classes, began pouring in.  And drinking.  A lot.  The area got crowded, the girls got a bit more obnoxious, and the number of people smoking quadrupled.  Bummer.

-1: Some dude had an intense microphone set up in the tree we were standing right in front of.  I’m oblivious, so definitely did not notice this despite the awkward stares he kept giving me (later translated as ‘Get the f*** away from my mike’ stares).  Finally when someone pointed it out he came over and said “I don’t mind if you continue to talk right in front of the mike, but just be aware that everything you say is being recorded”.  Seriously dude?  You couldn’t have told me this BEFORE I had multiple conversations RIGHT IN FRONT OF IT.  Apparently not…

+.5:  Luckily most of our conversation was clean up to that point.  Until we knew the mike was there.  That’s when we got inappropriate.  Enjoy your recording buddy 🙂

Overall yet another great night out in Chapel Hill.  Until next time, just living for the tens 🙂

Bryan Adams, ‘Bare Bones’

I heart Bryan Adams in a pretty serious way.

In fact, I’m pretty sure almost two years ago I called him the love of my life.  It appears not much changes in two years.

At that time, Paul and I also made a trip to his concert in Durham.  It was an amazing experience that earned a rating of 9.5 (-.5 for the venue).

He has now come out with a new CD called ‘Bare Bones’ that I received a copy of over Thanksgiving break.  I listened to it the whole ride back from Harrisburg, and have pretty much not stopped playing it since (except for brief intervals of the Bryan Adams station on Pandora).  It’s been so fun to revisit all my favorites, that inevitably take me back to freshman year of college.  My poor roommate, Anjali, had to put up with my love and constant playing of ‘Everything I Do, I Do it for You’, ‘Here I Am’ and ‘Please Forgive Me’.  I’d prefer to think I just helped her fall in love with him as well 🙂

Regardless, on to the album rating.

BARE BONES: 8

-1: One of the things I loved most about his concert was the way he interacted with the audience, rather than just playing music.  However when I heard some of the same jokes on the album that I heard in person, it made me feel like our time together may not have been as genuine as I thought…

-1: A collection of great songs, but a couple I either don’t know, or just don’t love as much.  But, that could just be the price you pay for an album with 20 songs.  You’re bound to hit a couple you don’t love quite as much.

Let me assure you, these two points will not be preventing me from continuing to play it on repeat until I do know all the songs.  Or from researching when he will next be playing in North Carolina…

Beautiful Music by Beautiful People

I’ve decided that I’d rather go broke than miss out on live music.  I can’t believe I almost hesitated earlier this week when it came to seeing The Swell Season live tonight, solely because of the $20 price tag.  Thank god I came to my senses and remembered how much I love both outdoor concerts and The Swell Season.

The framily headed out for an early arrival, planning a picnic before the show.  Only the framily does picnics like this…

GOURMET PICNIC: 9

If there’s one thing the Bobbasheely Framily does right it’s food.  Combine the brilliance of Laura, Paul, Jay and occassionally me, you’re bound to end up with a feast. Sadly we were missing Ben, Katie, Scott, and Snooky, but as you’ll see we managed to get by on the food front…

I provided the veggies and left with a TON.  Can’t say this is a bad thing though, as I now have five different kinds of veggies pre-washed, cut and baggied for the week ahead.  Score!

-1 for buying a Sheetz sub on the way, forgetting that Laura was coming and clearly would provide delicious tuna salad wraps, solving my ‘tons of snacks but no real meal’ concern.  Next time…

One of the things I love most about concerts is that they provide you the opportunity to get to just hang out with your favorite artists.  Anyone can listen to someone’s CD at home and enjoy the music.  But at a concert you get the stories and banter that goes with it.  This is only the case if the artists are actually enjoying the concert as much as you are, and Glen Hansard certainly was.

GLENN HANSARD’S STAGE PRESENCE: 10

He was HILARIOUS, and gave plenty of chatting time between each song.  This I loved.  Plus when playing he was full of emotion and clearly digging the music.  He ad-libbed as necessary, and got the crowd involved in almost every song… not good news when I’m in the audience, but nevertheless he was hopeful 🙂

HER AWKWARDNESS: 2

It was clear he dominated the stage and the show, and I have to admit I felt pretty bad for her apparent uncomfort when performing… I will say, however, while it’s receiving a low rating it has nothing to do with her talent.  That would be a whole seperate rating, and clearly way above a 10.

HIS HUMILITY: 10!

SO appealing.  What a great, down-to-earth guy.  Never for a minute did he come off as too cool for school, and was so good to the whole audience.

Early on he invited anyone and everyone to come down front and fill the huge gap that’s part of this particular theatre, meaning Laura and I enjoyed up-close seats the entire time 🙂  As soon as it filled up he commented ‘Now it feels like a gig!’.  Can totally picture this guy rocking out at the local pub…

In his own words:

“It is exhausting at times, but the idea of going on stage and singing a bunch of notes and a bunch of chords, the idea that people would pay to see that is kind of sad. I hate to say it, I have gone to concerts where bands are doing just that, and I feel cheated. I think if people are going to spend their hard-earned money on a Friday night to go see my band, the best thing for me to do is get my own ego out of there and do a good gig.”

VIDEO GUY: 3

Clearly I videod a couple pieces of the concert.  But what’s with the folks who feel it’s necessary to film the ENTIRE concert?  I wonder if they actually go back and watch the whole thing… can’t imagine why if the quality’s anything like what I took home.  This dude seriously didn’t put down his flip cam the entire concert…

Whatever floats your boat I suppose 🙂

LOVING LIFE GUY: 10

This guy on the other hand never once lifted a camera, but instead just loved every single piece of the concert.  Head bobbing, dancing, the most emphatic claps I’ve ever seen… he covered it all.

People like this make me love concerts just a little bit more than I would have otherwise… doesn’t get any better.

GLENN’S WHITE MAN DANCE: 10!!!

What more is there to be said about this?  Glenn dances like a white guy and I love it.

FALLING SLOWLY: 10

God I love this song.  I used to play it in my classroom all the time, and when it won the Oscar I could finally gloat to my students that my taste in music was verifiably good.  They didn’t buy it.

I still love the song more than any other love song.  Ever.

RANDOM DUDE ON STAGE: 10

Just to prove my point about what a great guy Glenn is, as he was playing a Bruce Springsteen song at the end, and getting the crowd to sing, some random dude from the audience jumped on stage and took over the mike.  Glenn loved it, graciously moved to the side and let him have his moment.  He rocked out on the chorus, and then started giving hilarious shout-outs to ‘his’ band.  Super entertaining, and the crowd loved him!

MY DECISION TO STAY IN NORTH CAROLINA: 10!!!

While facing a pretty tough decision a couple months back when tempted by an incredible job in New York City, tonight was a brilliant reminder why I belong in North Carolina.

Looking forward to a summer full of tens 🙂

Purging, Packing and Outdoor Music

MOTHER’S DAY LUNCH WITH THE GREMILLION FAMILY: 9

In lieu (?) of spending Mother’s Day with my mom (although this will be happening on Tuesday as I finally head back North so a quick vacation) I got to celebrate with Scott and his parents.  And boy do they have good taste.  While I often kid Scott that he needs to take me to Ruth’s Chris for a fancy date (despite me not eating meat) I wasn’t actually expecting to ever go.  However, luckily that’s what his mom wanted for Mother’s Day 🙂  So off we went.

Three crabcakes, a ton of broccoli and half a giant baked potato later it was time for these…

However I’ll admit when I ordered the cheesecake I wasn’t expecting to get an entire cheesecake.  One slice would have been just fine… left feeling overfull and sluggish due to the excessive dessert, but overall a DELICIOUS Mother’s Day lunch 🙂

PURGING AND PACKING: 7

I spent most of the weekend beginning the intense purging process that NEEDS to happen before packing up and moving again.  Despite having done this the last time I moved two years ago, you would be amazed by how much more stuff I’ve collected.  It’s out of control, really, and I feel genuinely excited about throwing half of it out.

I find a huge dilemma when it comes to purging, because the minimalist in me (despite the appearance of my apartment, it really does exist) wants to throw out everything I haven’t used in the past month, the cheapskate in me wants to save everything I might use in the next five years so I won’t have to run out and buy a new one.  I’m trying my best to compromise between the two…

That being said, I ended up with three bags of trash, and three giant boxes of clothes/things to give away.  My closet looks INFINITELY better.  However, I’m sure it will be put into a completely different perspective when I move everything out of my giant walk-in closet into something that will continue to make it look excessive… the ongoing fight continues.

MURPH’S HAPPINESS WITH MY PURGING: 0

While I was happy with everything I was able to get rid of, Murph was not.  Here he’s trying to rescue his beloved stuffed animal (that he insists on dragging around the apartment and shedding stuffing EVERYWHERE) from a box that’s just a bit too tall.

For all you that think I’m mean, I did eventually let him keep it, and they’re snuggled up together on the bed as I write this.

OUTDOOR CONCERT AT SOUTHERN VILLAGE: 9

Nothing quite like some Bobbasheely Framily time to finish the week off right… Scott and I headed over to Southern Village to picnic on the lawn with Laura and Snooky, and of course enjoy some live outdoor music.

The music was alright, but the company and food was GREAT.  +10 for showing the boring crowd how to have some fun.  -1 for all the stares we got.  Come on guys, this isn’t the symphony, we’re at an outdoor concert!

Music, Storms and Murph’s Boredom

As if you haven’t had enough ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ recently, Glee decided to do their own version this week.  I’m pretty sure their writers read my blog.  Just saying.

And while I was told to immediately watch the show, I decided to just go with the YouTube version.

GLEE’S VERSION OF TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART: 9

I’m not sure exactly who ‘needed who tonight’, as there were dramatic love glances everywhere, I can confidently say it’s the best vocal version of the song I’ve ever heard.

-1: There’s something to be said for the raspiness of Bonnie Tyler’s voice, and that’s missing here… but otherwise it’s INCREDIBLE!

Last night Laura, Scott and I headed to Tyler’s Taproom downtown after climbing, enjoying some beautifully warm weather and delicious foods.  That is, until a thunderstorm began approaching, and striking everything in sight.  For someone who is scared to death of thunderstorms, this doesn’t exactly make for a relaxing end to a meal.  However, plus 2 since we didn’t get hit 🙂

DINNERTIME THUNDERSTORMS: 2

While this isn’t actually a photo I took, it might as well have been.  Seriously, lightning striking EVERYWHERE.

Laura and I then headed down to Broad Street Cafe to see Ted Dreis and Alex Wilkins (of Tripp).  Ted was up first, and really enjoyed the intro to yet another fabulous local musician in the triangle.  Seriously, this place is amazing.  Interesting lyrics, but fun sound, especially when he was playing guitar and harmonica at the same time 🙂

Then Alex was up, and unfortunately it was already getting late and we only stayed for a couple songs.  HOWEVER, pleasantly surprised with this…

ALEX FINALLY SINGING MY MASON JENNINGS REQUEST: 10

While it took about 8 months, I finally got my Mason Jennings request.  And you gotta give him some credit, considering as of my first request he had no idea who Mason was.

And Alex, don’t think this 10 is just because you asked for it…

MURPHY’S ATTEMPTS TO SHOW ME HE’S BORED: 4

It started with a ziploc bag torn to pieces, then turned to a cardboard box, and finally when it got to this I knew it was time to put my work aside and take him for a run.  While annoying, and surprisingly difficult to clean up, it does force me to enjoy the nice weather 🙂  Plus, I suppose dog’s need to communicate somehow, and Murph has definitely figured out what’s effective in getting what he wants… Plus, I can’t help but laugh.

Until next time, just living for the tens 🙂