Tag Archives: The Voice

Sing, Sang, Sung – “No More Walks In The Wood” By The Eagles

[My apologies… apparently, I forgot to actually press “Schedule” or “Publish” yesterday. I’mma back log it so it says it went up yesterday, like it was supposed to.]

For some reason, after spending most of my weekend driving (Tuscaloosa to Huntsville, Huntsville to Memphis, Memphis to Oxford, Oxford to Tuscaloosa), I’m ridiculously tired. So, instead of something intelligent, here’s another song! Specifically, it’s the song I auditioned with for “The Voice.”

This song is one the a capella group I was a member of for two years, “Subject to Change,” sang many times. It’s a group favorite… the group’s alums were even asked to come help sing it during this last year’s STC concerts. And since “The Voice” auditions were supposed to be a capella, I figured it would be a decent choice. Maybe I was wrong… Oh, well. It’s not like I have an extremely heavy modern music repertoire… I suppose I should learn some more modern songs, like John Mayer or Ben Folds or something. Or I could’ve just sang “Falling Slowly.” I’ll remember than next time.

Anyway, personally, I like our slower, soulful version of “No More Walks in the Wood” to the original, but it’s also the first version I heard. I’ll let you decide while I go to bed. And if you have any suggestions for songs to audition with next year for “The Voice,” let me know. It was between this, “Something” by The Beatles, “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (covered by Rufus Wainwright), “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers, and I had originally considered “Collide” by Howie Day as well.

“No More Walks in the Wood” – The Eagles

No more walks in the wood
The trees have all been cut down
And where once they stood
Not even a wagon rut
Appears along the path
Low brush is taking over

No more walks in the wood
This is the aftermath
Of afternoons in the clover fields
Where we once made love
Then wandered home together
Where the trees arched above
Where we made our own weather
When branches were the sky
Now they are gone for good
And you, for ill, and I
Am only a passer-by

We and the trees and the way
Back from the fields of play
Lasted as long as we could
No more walks in the wood

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12 Bit Meal Plan – Week 1 Summary

Well, first thing to update… I auditioned for “The Voice” today. Sang “No More Walks in the Wood” by The Eagles… no success. The lady next to me in my group said I was her favorite, but that’s all I managed, sadly. Oh, well. Tough luck, and I was kinda expecting it, frankly. Especially when I was put in a group with the one and only guy I desperately didn’t want to be in a group with. He’d been singing all day, and he was good. He was also the only one that was asked to stay back in our group.

I’m okay with it. Maybe I’ll try again another year if I have the time.

Anyway, time for the review of my first week on the “Food Stamp Challenge” and the preview of my next week.

This first week I learned a few things. First: When on food stamps, having friends and family willing to give you free food is nice. Somewhat unfortunately, I’ve “cheated” slightly this week. I was offered free food by friends and family… the first time, I still ate my meal, I was just very hungry so I ate again. I have, however, missed a breakfast, a lunch and two dinners due to the graciousness of friends and family. Though, in my mother’s case, I think it was graciousness combined with the fear of my imminent starvation.

Second, potatoes take FOREVER TO COOK. It’s most unfortunate.

Third, stockpiling food is necessary. You may suffer a bit at first with meals a bit smaller and less filling than you’d like (and be driven toward friends with extra burritos), but it will help in the weeks to come.

For example, I’ve purchased most of my groceries for this coming week… I still need to buy eggs and bacon, but I’ve gotten a bit more food this time, and I still have some eggs, some bacon, some bologna, some bread, some cheese, some potatoes, a box of spaghetti, a can of tomato sauce, a bottle of juice and half a pound of ground beef.

…to be fair, I might not have been eating enough out of fear of running out of food. I think salad and strawberries are the only things I completely ran out of. I even still have some spaghetti that I cooked left over. This week, meals will hopefully be bigger and more filling.

Also, to explain/defend some of my purchases last week… Specifically, bacon. First off, eggs are a decently cheap breakfast food, and they have some good health benefits. But frying them without oil can become problematic. Hence my need for bacon. Not just because bacon is delicious and lard is a good metabolism kick-starter, but the fat of the bacon acts as the oil for the eggs, keeping them from becoming a huge, sticky, failbait mess.

I have leaned more toward canned foods this time. Since I came home for a day before my audition in Memphis, I got to shop at Aldi. They just recently put one in Madison near my family’s house. Aldi is good for cheap, off brand food. They are massively shameless in their off brand copying. No joke. They had something like “Fruit Hoops” with a parrot. The box was red, too. It’s almost beautiful how shameless all the many rip-offs are. They’re also good for produce because they don’t go by the pound, but by the quantity. A rarity, for sure. I wish Tuscaloosa had an Aldi.

Anyway, here’s the food I have so far:

4 15 ounce cans of whole kernel corn – $0.59 each
2 15 oz. cans refried beans – $0.79 each
2 8 oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chilies – $0.59 each
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes – $0.59
4 12 oz. cans fruit cocktail in juice – $0.89 each
2 15 oz. cans kidney beans – $0.59 each
4 8 oz. cans tomato sauce – $0.29 each
2 12 oz. packs of frozen broccoli florets – $1.09 each
1 16 oz. pack of frozen strawberries – $1.99
1 pack 2% shredded cheddar cheese – $2.79
1 pack of bologna (about 15 slices) – $0.99
1 pack 8 bun sized hotdogs – $0.99
3 pounds of Fuji apples – $2.99
3 lbs. Long Grain White Rice #3 – $1.69
1 loaf 100% Wheat Bread – $1.29
30 corn tortillas – $1.19

Total: $27.71
Total plus tax: $29.93 (so I still have some room even for my $31 post-tax limit that I don’t think I’m going to be doing anymore)

The idea is to make some beans, rice and “sausage” (hot dogs), as well as bean, tomato, chile and cheese burritos. I still have spaghetti and ground beef, and now I have more sandwich material, fruits and veggies. Another week or so and I might be able to start buying spices and condiments. And eating more filling meals without fear of running out of food. I’ve lost about 5 pounds doing this so far, which is nice… I just have to continue making sure that it’s healthy eating, not starvation.

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Little Lion Man” By Mumford And Sons

Okay. I originally intended to write about the whole “Is it a tax?” thing with that health care thing that I’m way late to the game on… but I got to go to trivia for the first night in, like, forever. So I went to do that. And now my time is more limited, so I’m not as able to write a cohesive intelligent post about the issue like I want to.

See, unlike many on this subject, I want to collect my thoughts and think about things before I say them. It’s a strange, novel concept, I know. Especially for many politicians and pundits.

Anyway. Once again, I have a little ditty that my Pandora radio has led me to. I do believe this is the only song by Mumford and Sons that I’ve heard… So I can’t exactly say that the band has a Southern, bluegrass-esque feel to it… but this song certainly does, what with the presence of an upright bass being plucked and a banjo being strummed.

It’s a fun song. It’s not one I even really listen to the lyrics all that much. It’s one of those songs I let wash over me with the sounds, because it frankly sounds great.

…I really don’t have much else to say… Um, on the subject of music, I’ll be auditioning for NBC’s “The Voice” on Saturday. I’ll let you know how that went when it becomes a past tense event.

Anyway. Listen to the song.

“Little Lion Man” – Mumford and Sons

Weep for yourself, my man,
You’ll never be what is in your heart
Weep Little Lion Man,
You’re not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself,
Take all the courage you have left
Wasted on fixing all the problems
That you made in your own head

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear?
Didn’t I, my…

Tremble for yourself, my man,
You know that you have seen this all before
Tremble Little Lion Man,
You’ll never settle any of your scores
Your grace is wasted in your face,
Your boldness stands alone among the wreck
Now learn from your mother or else spend your days Biting your own neck

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear? (x2)

Didn’t I, my dear?

Ahhhhh……

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear? (x2)

Didn’t I, my dear?

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Who Needs Sleep?” By Barenaked Ladies

Man. I am burning all three ends of my candle. I had to create a third end just to burn it. But, hopefully, this week will be my last week of extreme wall-to-wall activity for a while. Because this week is the week The Rude Mechanicals perform their second summer play, William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” One of the three Facebook events can be found here. We will be performing at the Park at Manderson Landing on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with pre-show music starting at 7 and the show starting at 7:30. As always, the show is free, but donations are nice. On Thursday, the show will be at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Northport/Tuscaloosa. It will have a $15 cash pay-at-the-door with proceeds going to the West Alabama Aids Outreach program. Inside, there will be a free buffet and a cash bar. That one is RSVP, however, and may have been filled… if it’s not, though, I’ll let you know as soon as I know!

Anyway, that’ll be fun. And I’m actually in the show after three stage managing gigs. Have lines and appear in two scenes and everything. Yay.

…Sorry, excitement is more exhausting that I can really muster fully right now. Starting July 1, I’ll finally be done with theatre for the first time since… March 25. Three full months of non-stop theatre. Two of which were stage managing, not the easiest job in the world. Of course, then I’m turning around on July 7 to audition for “The Voice” in Memphis, Tenn. I doubt I’ll get anywhere with that, but there’s not much to lose by trying.

Point is, I’m exhausted and need sleep. But I’m never going to get it.

Which is where this song comes in!

From my favorite Barenaked Ladies album, “Stunt,” “Who Needs Sleep?” is this strangely upbeat ditty about insomnia and coming to terms with it. Or, rather, hating it profusely. Which I do. But it’s something I can’t ever seem to avoid. So, with a bonus acoustic solo in-the-bathroom version, here’s the song. I’m off to do laundry instead of that sleeping thing, because sometimes insomnia is required by the things we do during the day.

“Who Needs Sleep?” – Barenaked Ladies

Now I lay me down not to sleep
I just get tangled in the sheets
I swim in sweat three inches deep
I just lay back and claim defeat

Chapter read and lesson learned
I turned the lights off while she burned
So while she’s three hundred degrees
I throw the sheets off and I freeze

Lids down, I count sheep
I count heartbeats
The only thing that counts is
That I won’t sleep
I countdown, I look around

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

My hands are locked up tight in fists
My mind is racing, filled with lists
Of things to do and things I’ve done
Another sleepless night’s begun

Lids down, I count sheep
I count heartbeats
The only thing that counts is
That I won’t sleep
I countdown, I look around

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

There’s so much joy in life,
So many pleasures all around
But the pleasure of insomnia
Is one I’ve never found
With all life has to offer,
There’s so much to be enjoyed
But the pleasures of insomnia
Are ones I can’t avoid

Lids down, I count sheep
I count heartbeats
The only thing that counts is
That I won’t sleep
I countdown, I look around

Hollah hollah hollah

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

Who needs sleep?
Well you’re never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
Tell me what’s that for
Who needs sleep?
Be happy with what you’re getting
There’s a guy who’s been awake
Since the Second World War

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Sing, Sang, Sung – “Somebody That I Used To Know” By Gotye Ft. Kimbra

If you listen to any of the big, current hits, it seems extremely near impossible that you haven’t heard this song. Becoming an international hit and have the distinguishing characteristic of not being sung by some high-pitched fad artist or an inexplicably bad YouTube sensation, “Somebody That I Used To Know” has rapidly become extremely popular amongst… well, everyone it seems.

I was introduced to the song via my little sister, who sent me a link to an a capella version of the song, sung by the band Pentatonix, winners of Season 3 of NBC’s “The Sing-Off.” Which, quick aside, with “The Sing-Off” and “The Voice,” NBC is really nailing it with these vocal competitions.

Anyway, the Pentatonix version is pretty freaking amazing. There’s definitely a reason they won. Amazing beatboxing, a fantastic bass and some pretty freakin’ great lead vocals in the three original members of the group combines to create a really excellent a capella group.

Not too terribly long after, a friend posted another cover of the song to Facebook. This time, it was a cover by Walk off the Earth. Note that this song was also my introduction to both of these bands. Anyway, the Walk off the Earth version has a very distinctive style to it… the five members of the group (four guys and a girl, just like Pentatonix) are all playing the same instrument.

And by that, I mean they’re all sharing one guitar. Five people. One guitar. At this point, Vizzini would shout out “Inconceivable” and most would tend to agree. But it’s true. And it’s phenomenal and spectacular.

Then, for those of you that like your pop TV and the like, “Glee” of course did a cover of it, which I discovered today in an article saying that the artist Gotye isn’t too happy with it. To me… well, if you’ve ever listened to a Glee’d song, you tend to expect tuned vocals and a sort of off sound to it, but it’s not a terrible version. Besides, it has Matt Bomer from “White Collar” singing, and I really like that guy. He’s awesome.

Anyway, after hearing all three of these covers first, I finally listened to the actual original. And, son, I was not disappoint.

The video, song aside, is actually pretty freaking great in and of itself. It’s definitely not your standard music video and is very… well, either surreal or avant garde, I’m never 100 percent sure on those… Symbolic for sure, though. And it has neat colors and effects, which I like. But beyond that, the acting from both of the singers, especially Gotye, and the interaction between them is spectacular. It really makes the words of the song have an even more powerful effect.

The instrumentation is strange, yet somehow perfect… Not quite happy and upbeat, not quite depressed and upset… much like the song, where the singer(s) seem confused about their emotions, passionate though they are. They’re upset, and they can say why, but not in a satisfactory way. It all boils down to memories and blame of the other person for their actions. …something I know too well these days.

Further, Gotye has a voice that has a hint of something strange and unique on top of what is actually a pretty standard higher tone male singing voice. It’s a great voice that I don’t think I’ll mind hearing again.

Basically, it’s a fabulous song, and the covers I’ve linked to aren’t so bad either. (The first two are amazomenal. Phenominazing? Actually I like phenominazing better. We’ll go with that.) Give it a look see.

“Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye featuring Kimbra

[Gotye:]
Now and then I think of when we were together,
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die.
Told myself that you were right for me,
But felt so lonely in your company.
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember.

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness,
Like resignation to the end, always the end.
So when we found that we could not make sense,
Well, you said that we would still be friends.
But I’ll admit that I was glad it was over.

But you didn’t have to cut me off,
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing.
And I don’t even need your love,
But you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough.
No, you didn’t have to stoop so low,
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number.
I guess that I don’t need that though.
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.

[Kimbra:]
Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over,
Part of me believing it was always something that I’d done.
But I don’t wanna live that way,
Reading into every word you say.
You said that you could let it go,
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know.

[Gotye:]
But you didn’t have to cut me off,
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing.
And I don’t even need your love,
But you treat me like a stranger and I feel so rough.
No, you didn’t have to stoop so low,
Have your friends collect your records and then change your number.
I guess that I don’t need that though.
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know.

Somebody
(I used to know)
Somebody
(Now you’re just somebody that I used to know)
Somebody
(I used to know)
Somebody
(Now you’re just somebody that I used to know)

(I used to know)
(That I used to know)
(I used to know)
Somebody

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My First Super Bowl Sunday: A Recap

Okay. So as I mentioned yesterday, I’ve never been to a Super Bowl party, never watched a Super Bowl game all the way through… none of it.

That has all changed.

I rooted for the Giants because, first, they were the underdogs, but second and more importantly, most all of my friends watching the game were very anti-Patriots. …also anti-Titans when I shouted that out as a joke. Oh, well.

We weren’t a bunch of football obsessed people, so there was a lot of just simple hanging out and chatting. There was food, there was fun, I met some cool new people (who, depending on how hard hitting those bottles were on their system, may or may not remember me)… it was in general a good time. I even committed my first slight party foul and tipped a drink.

Woo.

The game wasn’t immensely exciting, though the Giants had a couple of extremely memorable plays. Particularly the game saving catch. The half time show was alright, I suppose… I particularly enjoyed Cee-Lo Green’s appearance and the wacky way the show ended… But, as we all know, the real reason to watch was the commercials.

Most of which were disappointing.

I mean, come on. If you’re going to pay that much money to get a commercial on during the Super Bowl, make it good. And make it new! What is up with showing commercials we saw a month ago? Or leaking the commercials early? Yes, I’m looking at you Ferris Bueller commercial. Even if you were nostalgically fun (not for me, since I’ve yet to see that movie (please don’t kill me)), I saw you a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t need a repeat.

There were some great movie trailers that I’m excited for, too…

But I’m going to break down my best and worst moments of the Super Bowl (all but one of which are commercials):

Best moments:

5. “The Catch” – Okay. I’m not really a big football fan. To be honest. But I like well played sports. I like risky maneuvers that pay off. I like skill. Ergo, I really liked this crazy Giants play that shouldn’t have worked.

4. “Doritos: The Bribe” – Wow. This one was one that was actually kind of dark, but still pretty funny. And it was much more satisfactory to me than the other Doritos commercial.

3. “The Voice – Vocal Kombat” – I really love this show. It is SO much better than American Idol. There’s no berating. There’s actual teaching, coaching from singers, singers that don’t swap out every week. There’s constructive criticism, there’s banter, and there genuinely seems to be a real caring nature from each of the coaches imparted onto each of the singers. It’s great. And this premiere? It’s hilariously over-the-top, off-the-wall ridiculous. I love every second of it. Especially the Cee-Lo parts. That guy is simply entertaining.

2. “M&Ms – That Kind Of Party” – This thing is terrible. And hilarious. Terriblious? Hilarible? Anyway, quite good.

1. “Audi – Vampire Party” – This appeals to everyone that disdains Twilight… and everyone with a sense of humor. This is well done and set a great tone of humor. One that wasn’t met well, but it was still great. My favorite, by far. (Well, not super far. The others I listed are awesome.)

Honorable Mention. “NBC lineup – Brotherhood Of Man” – I put this as an honorable mention because I didn’t see it until after the Super Bowl. But that allows me to link you to the longer version! Borrowing from “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” this showcases some of the best shows on television, even if NBC doesn’t realize it.

Best Trailer. “The Avengers” – I will again link the long version. Because it’s great. I’m really hoping this movie is as good as it could be.

There were others I could’ve included in this list, like the fat dog, that were fun, but I have to stop at some point, right?

Worst moments:

3. “Debbie Spenditnow” – This wasn’t one I got to see in my area… but I definitely saw it later. The only reason it’s number three is because it wasn’t in my area. But it’s definitely stupidly racist enough to get on the list.

2. “GoDaddy.com – Body Paint” – I have never liked GoDaddy commercials. They were alright when no one knew who they were. Now they’re just annoying and stupid. Please make them go away.

1. All the bad beer commercials – Seriously. What happened to the Budweiser frogs or “Whazzup?!” Those were fun beer commercials. The rescue dog commercial was cute, and had a nice message at the end… but there were sooo many beer commercials. And they were, by and large, no good at all. And Bud Light Platinum? Well, I’ll let my friend John Davis talk to you about that.

And that about sums it up. More good than bad, that’s for sure. Maybe tomorrow I’ll be back to talking about real issues.

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