Category Archives: Music

Sing, Sang, Sung – “I Miss You” By Blink-182

Well, it’s a one month “anniversary” for me. I say “anniversary” because an anniversary is by definition an annual thing. I’ve never understood why people started using it to just mark a passing amount of time. Just say, “It’s been ____ days/weeks/months.” It’s not too hard.

So, it’s been one month as of today. If I’m cryptic about what today marks a month of, well, I’m allowed to be so nyah. Anyway, because of this demarcation of time (which the dictionary tells me is an okay use of that word, so double nyah), I’ve ended up listening to an old mix CD someone gave me years ago. Yes, I know the hot new thing is apparently giving people playlists or something, but I like mix CDs. They’re much easier to make than mix tapes and more permanent than playlists or whatever. And super way easier than cutting a vinyl record, but would that be neat?

Well, songs and memories and blah blah emotional stuff trudged through… it’s really unfortunate to take a hindsight look at a time in your life and see more clearly what was going on… especially if you were happy at that time of your life. My suggestion: Don’t do it to yourself. Leave the past behind you, not just to move on from the crappy things but also to not overthink and perhaps ruin the good things. But, yeah, mix CDs are very often given for one of two reasons. One, you want someone to listen to this awesome music you think they’ll like. Genuinely, that’s what you want to do. Two, you’re sharing emotions with that person that the songs are meant to subtly suggest. Usually, they’re emotions about that person. Usually, it’s a way to discretely say you like them, a la “Mix Tape” from “Avenue Q” or most every mix tape in “High Fidelity.” Those tend to be the main reasons that I can think of.

So it sucks when you go back to a mix CD/tape/whatever and realize the person that gave it to you was talking about someone else.

Anyway… I still like some of the songs. This one brought me back to the CD… I can’t remember how, but I heard it somewhere in real life recently. I’m not exactly a Blink-182 fan, though I don’t necessarily dislike them. Either way, I think it’s a good song. Take what emotions from it you will.

“I Miss You” – Blink-182

(I miss you, I miss you)

Hello there, the angel from my nightmare
The shadow in the background of the morgue
The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley
We can live like Jack and Sally if we want
Where you can always find me
We’ll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we’ll wish this never ends
We’ll wish this never ends

(I miss you, I miss you)
(I miss you, I miss you)

Where are you and I’m so sorry
I cannot sleep I cannot dream tonight
I need somebody and always
This sick strange darkness
Comes creeping on so haunting every time
And as I stared I counted
Webs from all the spiders
Catching things and eating their insides
Like indecision to call you
And hear your voice of treason
Will you come home and stop this pain tonight
Stop this pain tonight

Don’t waste your time on me you’re already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)
Don’t waste your time on me you’re already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)

Don’t waste your time on me you’re already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)
Don’t waste your time on me you’re already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)

Don’t waste your time on me you’re already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)
Don’t waste your time on me you’re already
The voice inside my head (I miss you, I miss you)

(I miss you, I miss you)
(I miss you, I miss you)
(I miss you, I miss you)
(I miss you, I miss you)

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Copyright Law Needs To Change

Copyright law is one of the most convoluted, confusing and backwards things I can think of after the Alabama State Constitution and the United States Tax Code. Honestly, it makes little to no sense to me by and large. So, I’m going to end up talking in analogies and about what should be right/wrong.

If you haven’t heard, recently, musician Jonathan Coulton found himself unknowingly being featured on an episode of the inexplicable Fox TV hit “Glee.” Honestly, I’ve tried to watch the show and I just don’t get the appeal. Some of the songs are okay, but they’re always very obviously doctored, which is generally a big disappointment. Though I guess that’s what kids are into these days.

Anyway, when I say Coulton was unknowingly featured on an episode of “Glee,” specifically the episode called “Sadie Hawkins,” I mean that “Glee” yanked his arrangement of Sir Mix-A-Lot’s hit “Baby Got Back” without informing him or even crediting him at all. The song appeared on iTunes before it was shown on the episode, which is when this all started.

You can read Coulton’s story, as well as some Fox response, on “Wired.” For those that don’t want to read it, here’s the short story on what Fox said, according to Coulton: We’re within our legal rights to do this, this is our policy when it comes to covers of covers and you should be glad for the exposure (which is a load of bull because they’ve given no indication in any fashion that Coulton was involved in anything).

Now, here are the songs in question: First, listen to Coulton’s cover, which he did purchase a compulsory license to create. Interesting and very unique, right? Okay, now listen to “Glee”‘s version. Pretty much identical, right? They didn’t even change the lyrics that Coulton changed, such as “Johnny C’s in trouble.”

Now, according to Coulton and others, the law is very much a grey area when it comes to this sort of thing. And the law is already confusing enough in my opinion when it comes to creative works and copyright, so I’m going to invent a hypothetical similar situation.

Let’s say I’m part of some sketch comedy troupe, and I become very famous for a specific sketch. It’s an original sketch, people pretty much know me by it. Now, let’s say two people, Kid A and Kid B, decide to both do the sketch. Kid A asks me for permission to use and potentially alter the sketch, which I grant him, which was a nice thing for him to do for sure, potential legality aside. He then alters the sketch to fit his own personal humor, the audience and the place he’s performing the sketch at. He credits me whenever people unaware of the original sketch ask about it. He makes money off of this sketch.

Kid B was in the audience of one of Kid A’s performances. Kid B thinks it was great, so Kid B decides to do the same thing. And when I say the same thing, I mean almost exactly the same thing. He changes none of the words, none of the pacing and extremely little of the physical movements. He doesn’t ask Kid A, or even myself, for permission to do this.  He tells people unaware of the original sketch that I’m the originator, of course, but never mentions Kid A at all, in spite of much of Kid A’s material being original and unique. Kid B makes money off of this sketch.

Now, in that situation, Kid B might be legally within his rights. I don’t know, to be frank. But he shouldn’t be. No one should be allowed that type of blatant theft, be it from music or otherwise. To be honest, “Glee,” which was Kid B for those having trouble following along, may have payed for the rights to the original song to do a cover. But this isn’t a case of eerie similarities between two covers. This is intellectual theft, and unashamed theft at that. And it shouldn’t be allowed.

But while it is allowed, Coulton has made a cover of “Glee”‘s cover of his cover… If you buy Coulton’s “Baby Got Back (In the Style of Glee)” between now and the end of February, proceeds will go to charity. So, not only can you stick it to the megacoporation practically taking a dump on artists like Coulton, you can also do some good. I suggest looking into it.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “I’m Not Afraid Of The Dark” By Lauren Krothe

I don’t get too much of an opportunity to listen to new music these days. Partly because I’ve decided to listen to other things instead most of the time, and my time at work is spent listening to audiobooks if anything.

However, every once in a while, I will manage to listen to a new song. Usually because someone puts it on Facebook or Twitter and I spare a couple minutes to check it out. This time, that artist is one Lauren Krothe, who is almost certainly someone you’ve never heard of before.

She’s got a Kickstarter going for her first album. She’s clearly a skilled singer, and has a very operatic tone in her voice, particularly in the song she’s singing during her Kickstarter video. I think it’s fantastic that she’s doing this for herself, and I think IndieGoGo and Kickstarter and wonderful ideas for people to create in ways not available to them before. I’ve been thinking of possibly doing it myself for a couple of projects, but we’ll wait and see first.

Anyway, I don’t actually like the singing she’s doing in her Kickstarter video as much as the other song on the page. It’s not bad, it just has a quality that I find a bit strange, one I’m not 100 percent into. But I do think it’s good.

Her song “I’m Not Afraid of the Dark,” however, is just fantastic. Great singing, very catchy, macabre yet fun lyrics… I really really like it. I think an album of hers would be worth listening to. I think she can bring some new, interesting sounds into the world, and I am nothing if not a big fan of bringing new art into the world. I’ll even tolerate art I just can’t stand for the most part, because art is what makes us human.

Give it a listen. I think you might enjoy it.

“I’m Not Afraid of the Dark” – Lauren Krothe

I’m not afraid of the dark
But I been afraid they’re all seeing
The mark of the beast
Underneath
The flush in my cheek
Sometimes I can’t even speak

I’m not afraid of the dark
But I’m afraid I might wind up on the chart
Of the stars that went out
Smothered with doubt
Crushed by the weight of false testimonials

I’m not afraid of old age
I never was one who seemed cut out for grace
And my face may be bent
Wrinkled and rent
Contorted before I turn forty

I’m not afraid of old age
I’m only afraid that the words on the pages
In the book of life
Will cover the strife
Instead of the breadth of my hopes and glories
Same old story
Ja…

How you gonna shoot the moon
Locked inside your living room?
How you gonna shoot the moon
Locked inside your living room?

Train
Take me away again
Aeroplane
Carry me away again
Again
Again

I’m not afraid of old age
I never was one who seemed cut out for grace
And my face may be bent
Wrinkled and rent
Contorted before I turn forty

Good thing I’m not afraid of old age
I’m only afraid that the words on the pages
In the book of life
Will cover the strife
Instead of the breadth of our hopes and glories
Same old story
Ja…

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Write Like The Wind (George R. R. Martin)” By Paul And Storm

Did you know that George R. R. Martin has been writing his “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy series for 20 years? And that it’s still not done?

I find that crazy. And I would, were I a reader of the series, find it immensely nerve wracking. One of my favorite authors, Terry Brooks, keeps writing more and more and more series within his Shannara series, and I keep getting deathly afraid that he’s going to pull a Robert Jordan or something and die before he finishes these new series, thus “forcing” a lesser author without the same voice to finish it. So the publishers get their money’s worth, of course.

Well, the nerdy comedy duo Paul and Storm apparently feel the same way about Martin’s writing, which is notoriously slow. Like I said, 20 years… and only five books in that time, I believe. Several short stories written as well, but… Anyway, they have a pretty excellent song about urging Martin to please write faster. And as into the series as they seem to be, combined with friend recommendations and seeing the first episode of the show, I kinda want to start reading the series. But I’m going to wait to see if he finishes first, because by God I am not going to get into this series and then find out he died writing the last book 15 years from now.

Paul and Storm also have a new, kinda not for kids show premiering on Geek and Sundry this coming Tuesday about a kids show called “Learning Town.” It looks like it might be fun. These guys might just be pretty hilarious and clever.

“Write Like The Wind (George R. R. Martin)” – Paul and Storm

George R. R. Martin, please write, and write faster
You’re not going to get any younger, you know
Winter is coming, I’m growing impatient
And you’ve still got two more damn books left to go
So write, George, write like the wind!

I curse the day that my friend ever loaned me
An old dog-eared paperback called Game of Thrones
How could I know that this seed would grow into
An addiction that held me, right down to my bones

Now, five books later, I lurk with the masses
Indignant, entitled, and waiting for word
That the great Bearded Glacier has finally published
Nine hundred more pages of crack for the nerds

Why does every new verse of your song
Keep taking you so goddamn long?

George R. R. Martin, please write, and write faster
please give us boiled leather, and sigils and steel
We need our allotment of incest and intrigue
And six page descriptions of every last meal
So write, George, write like the wind!

Lewis took five years to chronicle Narnia
Tolkien had twelve years, and Rowling took ten
Lucas spent nearly three decades on Star Wars
And we all know how that one turned out in the end

You’re not our bitch, and you’re not a machine
And we don’t mean to dictate how you spend your days
But please, bear in mind, in the time that you’ve had,
William Shakespeare churned out thirty-five friggin’ plays

And if you keep writing so slow
You’ll hold up the HBO show

George R. R. Martin, please write, and write faster
‘cause we won’t stop whining until we’re appeased
Crap out the chapters–and George, while you’re at it
Stop killing our favorite characters, please
And write, George, write…like the wind!

(George R.R. Martin, please write, and write faster
Before you are dead, George, please write like the wind)

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Auld Lang Syne”

It’s officially 2013 (for those in the Central Time Zone). Ring the bells and bang the drums.

…yeah, I’ve never been to a New Year’s Eve party, I don’t know what the hell happens at these things.

Except! Everyone is supposed to sing “Auld Lang Syne.” Fun fact, I have no idea what the words are, except for “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, mumble mumble mumble, should auld acquaintance be forgot, mumble mumble auld lang syne!”

So I figured I’d try to help people out and put the lyrics here. Because, if you’re singing this song, you’ll definitely visit my blog to find the lyrics. Totally. Though my blog does have the added bonus of telling you what the heck the lyrics mean. Old Irish is sometimes hard to discern. I think it’s old Irish. I mean, yes, I janked it from a website, but still. My website’s prettier? Or something? And it includes someone singing it. So there’s that.

…Anyway, here’s the song, and here’s my wish for everyone’s new year.

May you be deserving of praise. May your bad choices be made right again, and may the victims of your consequences be righted. May you be forgiven of your sins and given wisdom to prevent having more. May you find successes and joys, may those that seek to wrong you stay apart from your life and may the things which bring you harm disappear. May peace, love and joy be the heralds of this coming year.

And may you not try to drive home drunk. Stay smart and stay safe.

“Auld Lang Syne”

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine,
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Since days of auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’t in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Since days of auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne!

And surely ye’ll be your pint’ stoup,
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere,
And gie’s a hand o’ thine,
And we’ll tak a right guid willie-waught
For auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne!

TRANSLATION

Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintances be forgotten,
And days of long ago!

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

We two have run about the hillsides
And pulled the daisies fine,
But we have wandered many a weary foot
For times gone by.

We two have paddled (waded) in the stream
From noon until dinner time,
But seas between us broad have roared
Since times gone by.

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

And surely you will pay for your pint,
And surely I will pay for mine!
And we will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by!

And there is a hand, my trusty friend,
And give us a hand of yours,
And we will take a goodwill drink (of ale)
For times gone by!

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

For times gone by, my dear
For times gone by,
We will take a cup of kindness yet
For times gone by.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Why, God, Why?” From “Miss Saigon”

I think as I continue to work out what my hopeful springtime recital/singing extravaganza is going to be, I’m going to start putting up the songs that are on the likely final list of what I’m going to sing. Also, as this song currently fits my mood, and the musical is written by the same people that wrote “Les Miserables,” I think it works out pretty well.

Fun fact, most of the songs on my list, I’ve never actually sung outside of my room. I think I recorded myself singing this one once. Maybe. It’s hard to remember. Even if I did record it, it was on an awful computer mic and only would’ve had accompaniment if I could find an instrumental version on YouTube.

Anyway… I think the lyrics speak for themselves, so no real need to explain it.

“Why, God, Why?” – “Miss Saigon”

Why does Saigon never sleep at night?
Why does this girl smell of orange trees?
How can I feel good when nothing’s right?
Why is she cool when there is no breeze?

Vietnam
You don’t give answers, do you friend?
Just questions that don’t ever end

Why God? Why today?
I’m all through here, on my way
There’s nothing left here that I’ll miss
Why send me now a night like this?

Who is the girl in this rusty bed?
Why am I back in a filthy room?
Why is her voice ringing in my head?
Why am I high on her cheap perfume?

Vietnam
Hey look I mean you no offense
But why does nothing here make sense?

Why God? Show your hand
Why can’t one guy understand?
I’ve been with girls who knew much more
I never felt confused before

Why me? What’s your plan?
I can’t help her, no one can
I liked my mem’ries as they were
But now I’ll leave rememb’ring her

When I went home before
No one talked of the war
What they knew from TV
Didn’t have a thing to do with me

I went back and re-upped
Sure Saigon is corrupt
It felt better to be
Here driving for the embassy

‘Cause here if you can pull a string
A guy like me lives like a king
Just as long as you don’t believe anything

Why God? Why this face?
Why such beauty in this place?
I liked my mem’ries as they were
But now I’ll leave rememb’ring her
Just her

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Nothing Else Matters” By Scala & Kolacny Brothers

I’m trying to be a good boy this year when it comes to culturing myself. Last year, I had seen exactly two of the movies nominated for Oscars: “The Muppets” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.” One of those won an Oscar, too.

But, this year, I’m trying to watch good films (and some bad). As a writer and actor, watching movies helps to hone one’s craft, lets you find things to emulate and steal or gives you ideas of how to do things better. It’s just a good idea. And, also, I just really want to beat 50% in the guessing game of who wins what Oscars. That’d be a personal best, to be sure.

Anyway, the current frontrunner and likely winner of the Best Picture Oscar this year is Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty.” While Oscar nominations haven’t officially come out yet, I’m guessing that both Bigelow and Tom Hooper will be nominated for Best Director, and both of their movies nominated for Best Picture. That’ll be interesting as both directors would be coming in defending their Oscars, in a sense, neither having made a film for the big screen since winning those awards (Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker” and Hooper for “The King’s Speech”).

While some of Hollywood has already managed to see two of the films likely to be nominated for Best Picture I have yet to see (“Silver Linings Playbook” and “Zero Dark Thirty”), here in Alabama, the movies have yet to come out. They’ll come out within the next couple of weeks or so, though, and I plan to see them when they do. During the wait, trailers for “Zero Dark Thirty” have been going crazy playing before most every movie. And the newest trailer has this fantastic song that I always thought I recognized but kept forgetting to Google.

Until now! I Googled the trailer and found out that the song is “Nothing Else Matters,” originally by Metallica. This one, sounding more like a slow, haunting children’s choir version, was done by Scala & Kolacny Brothers. And it’s pretty great. And it makes the trailer look exciting as heck. I’d certainly want to watch the movie if I hadn’t already decided to a while back. Give it a listen.

“Nothing Else Matters” – Scala & Kolacny Brothers

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never opened myself this way
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don’t just say
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

So close no matter how far
It couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
But I know

I never opened myself this way hey
Life is ours, we live it our way hey
All these words I don’t just say hey
And nothing else matters

Trust I seek and I find in you
Every day for us something new
Open mind for a different view
And nothing else matters

Never cared for what they say
Never cared for games they play
Never cared for what they do
Never cared for what they know
And I know, yeah yeah!

So close no matter how far
Couldn’t be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “You’re The Best” By Joe Esposito

Today was one of those restful days that I enjoy taking every once in a while… in other words, I didn’t get much sleep and therefore didn’t feel like leaving bed all that much. …these days happen more and more often, sadly. Mostly sad because I can’t afford to sleep in all the time. I do have a job to go to at least every so often.

Anyway, as I often do during my days of rest, I ended up watching a few movies. As I’ve been trying to do lately, I watched some films I hadn’t seen before. I’ll talk about some of those another time. What I ended up watching last was “The Karate Kid.” That’d be the original with Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio. And since there’s three that fit that description, it also had Elisabeth Shue.

Having finally watched the movie for the first time in my life (yeah, I know, what a weirdo), I finally understand so many references in so many films. I already knew a lot of them, such as “Wax on, wax off, wax on-” “Mouth off” from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” and “Sweep the leg, Scotty!” from “Eurotrip.” But Mr. Miyagi’s magical healing hands made me understand the final bit with God in “Dogma.” So, that was cool.

Seriously, there’s a lot to enjoy about the film… and a whole lot to laugh about. I may do a “Second First Time Viewer” of it someday soon. Haven’t done one of those in forever, and I can’t say I don’t enjoy it. It can be good to poke fun at movies. Especially movies that have a lot to poke fun at. I’m also going to do ones for the “Back to the Future” trilogy. A friend of mine just watched the first one for the first time today. So I’m not the only person missing out on classic films.

Anyway, instead of doing one of those straight off (I have to watch it a second time, right?), I decided to do a post on the only other thing I knew was from “The Karate Kid” prior to watching the movie: The Joe Esposito song “You’re the Best.” …admittedly, it was a Cracked.com article within the past year that made that known to me, but who cares. A fun song, very much a product of its time. And this music video comes with the clip from “The Karate Kid” it played during. Also, I’m keeping the part in the lyrics where it says “INSPIRING GUITAR SOLO” because that’s just fantastic.

“You’re the Best” – Joe Esposito

Try to be best
‘Cause you’re only a man
And a man’s gotta learn to take it

Try to believe
Though the going gets rough
That you gotta hang tough to make it

History repeats itself
Try and you’ll succeed

Never doubt that you’re the one
And you can have your dreams!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own

Fight ‘til the end
Cause your life will depend
On the strength that you have inside you

Ah you gotta be proud
starin’ out in the cloud
When the odds in the game defy you

Try your best to win them all
and one day time will tell
when you’re the one that’s standing there
you’ll reach the final bell!

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ho-how-ho-own

INSPIRING GUITAR SOLO

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own

Fight ‘til you drop
never stop
can’t give up
Til you reach the top (FIGHT!)
you’re the best in town (FIGHT!)
Listen to that sound
A little bit of all you got
Can never bring you down

You’re the best!
Around!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best!
Around!

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Shave And A Haircut… And Some Songs

Trust me, a shave and a haircut sure as heck ain’t two bits anymore.

Also, phew! After a really really bad fall-behind on the blog I’m again caught up. That’s two bad failures in close proximity. Yuk. Maybe I just need to post more meaningless posts to fill up the days I can’t think of anything to talk about. …but that’d be just silly. I would never do something like that.

Ahem. Moving along. After two years of not going clean-shaven and two years of no haircut, I’ve finally done both. My haircut this time is significantly shorter than I’ve maybe ever had it, too. Partly because I cut my ponytail off on my own, and I may have cut it just a smidge too close to my head. Oh, well. I have about 12 inches of hair to donate to people that need it more than me, so that’s good. It’s nice to do what you can when you can. And my haircut doesn’t look nearly as awful as I thought it did yesterday. We’ll have to see if that’s a constant thing or not.

Anyway, I ended up going to Sports Clips. Poor girl… First, she seemed a bit like a beginner in the haircut business. Which is no good with me. Not saying I can’t handle a beginner… just saying that I have no idea what I’m talking about with hair styles. And I don’t go for the standard men’s cuts. I like a part in the front, parted on the right, and tapered in the back. But there are technical words I don’t actually know how to convey. All in all, it took three different women to give advice to my hairdresser, one of whom actually did some cutting herself. Didn’t help that I changed where the part was on her, too. It’s been a while since I’ve had anything that wasn’t really long and automatically parted in the middle.

But, eventually, I got the hair cut, and since I wear a hat all the time, I can hide it even on days it looks horrendous. And, since it was my first visit there, I got a free shampoo in a massage chair, free shoulder massage and free hot towel during the shampoo. …Honestly, I’ll never understand the purpose of a hot towel on one’s face. It was a bit odd. Slightly uncomfortable at first, then just… odd. And weird once it was gone. But, yeah. All that for $18. I tipped $7 because I felt bad about how terrible a customer I was, not knowing what to say. I also came in with rather ridiculous hair, so that likely didn’t help. Still, it worked out in the end. I think. Mom will likely be happy.

Can you believe there was a time when a shave and a haircut was two bits? That’s $0.25, by the way. …can you believe there was a time when we split quarters in half?

Oh, the songs part. I’ve made progress on my recital, insofar as I have a wonderful friend acting as my music director. He has lots of music, and I came to him with a truncated list, severely so from my original choices, of songs I’d like to sing. I told him the few that most definitely had to happen (three duets with men and two solos) and he gave me a list of songs and rough order in which I might sing them. (I’ll even link you to past posts I’ve made about some of the songs!)

“On The Street Where You Live” – “My Fair Lady”
“Falling Slowly” – “Once”
“Why, God, Why?” – “Miss Saigon”
“If I Can’t Love Her” – “Beauty and the Beast”
“Man in the Mirror” – “A Man of No Importance”
“I Am What I Am” – “La Cage Aux Folles”
“Lily’s Eyes” – “The Secret Garden”
“The Curse” – “Rigoletto”
“No More” – “Into the Woods”
“Out There” – “Hunchback of Notre Dame”
“Finishing the Hat” – “Sunday in the Park with George”

With only two repeated composers to the best of my knowledge (Stephen Sondheim with “Into the Woods” and “Sunday in the Park with George” and Alan Menken with “Beauty and the Beast” and “Hunchback of Notre Dame”), I think I’m doing pretty well. Both of the songs from both repeated composers were ones I absolutely had to have in the recital, so I’m doing pretty well on getting a variety of sources. Though the style and subject matter is pretty unvaried, what with 99% of what I sing being ballads… this list ain’t much different. Literally, Russell (my music director for this) only marked three of these songs as anything but ballads. But, hey, that’s what I do.

Hopefully, some of the songs that didn’t make the list will make appearances at Guerrilla Theatre performances next semester. I don’t have much time, but I’m going to try and do at least a couple of them. Especially before some people graduate. But for the recital, now all I have to do is confirm the venue, set a date, get an accompanist that has time to practice with me and the four other duet musicians and… well, just do it.

Should be fun.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Gandalf’s Reflection” From “The Hobbit”

In my recent review of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,” subtitled “An Unexpected Journey,” I mentioned growing up with the Rankin Bass cartoon Hobbit movie. I also mentioned the fact that Jackson’s movie seemed too long and unable to find the happy medium between dramatic and light.

The one part of the movie that I thought came closest to finding that line was during the time the dwarves spent at Bag End, Bilbo’s house. And I definitely enjoyed the Misty Mountains Song, or whatever the official title may find itself to be.

However, the 1977 movie remains far superior in my mind, though I was a bit upset to find they had cut Beorn and the Arkenstone from the film. Still, a fantastic movie. And one of the reasons it was so great was its music. Whereas Jackson managed to drag things out through the entire movie, the cartoon managed to include music and brevity. The best example of this is the song “Gandalf’s Reflection.” In the song, the dwarves sing about the things “Bilbo Baggins hates,” then transition to the summary of their quest to Erebor and the history of their kingdom and its downfall, laid out by Gandalf (in the song) and Thorin (in the movie over the song). Had Jackson done something similar, the movie would’ve been 15 to 30 minutes shorter. And the audience would’ve seen Bilbo being told the history.

Anyway, since I linked Jackson’s version of the same song, essentially, I thought I should let you all listen to the “original” version, since there are likely many who have never seen the movie. Also, it’s good, in my ever so humble opinion.

“Gandalf’s Reflection” – “The Hobbit” (1977)

Dwarves:
Chip the glasses, crack the plates
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates
So carefully, carefully with the plates

Blunt the knives and bend the forks
Smash the bottles, burn the corks
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates
So carefully, carefully with the plates

Far o’er the Misty Mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold

Gandalf (spoken):
The dwarves of yore made mighty spells
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep where dark things sleep
In hollow halls beneath the fells

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by man or elves

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword

On silver necklaces, they strung
The flowering stars; on crowns they hung
The dragon fire; in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun

The pines were roaring on the height
The winds were moaning in the night
The fire was red, it flaming spread
The trees like torches blazed with light

The bells were ringing in the Dale
The men looked up with faces pale
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail

The mountain smoked beneath the moon
The dwarves, they heard the tramp of doom
They fled their hall to, dying, fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon

Dwarves:
We must away ere break of day
To win our hearts and gold from him

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