Archive for January, 2011

I am the Luckiest
January 27, 2011

The Athens music scene saw some big names yesterday when Ben Folds and opening act Street Corner Symphony performed at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. SCS, runners-up on the NBC show “The Sing-Off,” started the evening off with some of the rousing covers they performed on the show. “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears, “Creep” by Radiohead and “Hey, Soul Sister” by Train were some of the crowd favorites performed by the a cappella group. They also introduced an original piece called “Shooting Star.” The amusing and personable group set a great tone for the rest of the concert and even took time after their set to meet and take pictures with fans.

Me and Alisa with Street Corner Symphony

After a delay long enough to meet SCS, Ben Folds and his band finally took the stage. They scampered around like little kids hopped up on sugar for a few minutes, but they eventually took their places at their instruments. The band immediately assumed a casual attitude, interacting with the audience and not taking themselves too seriously. Ben played the keyboard with his feet, the tambourine player made a spectacle of himself and Ben responded to hecklers in the audience. There was a lot of improvisation on stage, with Ben taking a long keyboard solo and then singing specifically to Athens. The group then requested the house lights be brought up and then led the audience through a sing along of sorts for a collaborative video being filmed over the course of the tour.

Most of the songs featured throughout the performance were from Ben’s recent album Lonely Avenue, on which he collaborated with British writer Nick Hornby. Ben’s hands seemed to move faster than physically possible as he pounded out rocking rhythms and genius riffs. Towards the middle of the set he slowed things down. It was just Ben and his piano with a single spotlight illuminating the scene as he played some of his mellower tunes. He even took requests from the audience and played “The Luckiest.”

By interacting so freely with the crowd and making it clear that he was having a lot of fun, Ben Folds’ performance was entertaining, riveting and, most importantly, fun.

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Smooth
January 26, 2011

I played the cello for a hot second in elementary school. I thought it would be really cool to be in strings until I realized I would be missing recess to chase after my musical dreams. So, instead of telling my parents, who had spent money on renting me a cello, that I wanted to quit, I just brought my cello to school everyday, left it in the strings room, skipped rehearsal, then brought it home at night. My fourth-grade reasoning was that my parents would never be the wiser.

This was also the time in my life that I thought wearing overalls non-ironically was acceptable.

Anyways, I eventually got in trouble when my strings instructor called home after a few months of skipping. Something tells me that if I had known that playing cello could be as badass as these dudes make it, I would have stuck with it.

I need to know how to live my life as it’s meant to be
January 18, 2011

My life is getting exciting.

Yesterday I booked a one-way ticket to Geneva, Switzerland. That means that in two months and one day I will be boarding a plane and going to Europe for the first time ever. I will land in Switzerland at 6:40 am on my sister’s 19th birthday and be greeted by her at the airport. It will be the first I have seen my sister in eight months at that point. Then I will meet her exchange friends and her host family and she will show me around her town of Fribourg. I cannot wait to see her!

Oh look! It's me and my seester!

She is one of the only people who truly understands me and I can’t believe we are going to be reunited so soon! I also can’t believe that after a few short days with her I will be heading to Avignon, France. I will then get a host family of my own and somehow survive in France for 10 weeks. This thought both exhilarates and terrifies me, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it. And THEN, at the end of my program, my mom is coming over to Europe to galavant around with us. We may even go to Turkey to visit my cousin Sarah.

You guys, when did my life get so cool?

On a completely unrelated note, I went driving around the hills of Southeastern Ohio this weekend with Claire and Alisa and, of course, made a bomb-ass playlist to accompany us. Here are some samples:

I think I’ll learn to play the banjo.

When I grow up
January 14, 2011

While waiting for my movie to load on MegaVideo, I was stumbling about YouTube when I came across this video of John Williams directing an orchestra through a number of popular film scores.

Did you watch it? Good.

Obviously this is some amazing music. But the thing that struck me the most is in the very beginning of the clip. As he is walking out onto the stage, the majority of the audience gives Mr. Williams a standing ovation. He had not even conducted yet! You just stand up because it’s John Freaking Williams, so you show some respect. The man has been nominated for 45 Academy Awards! That is absolutely unbelievable to me.

I guess what I’m trying to say with this is that no matter what it is that I end up doing with my life, I want to be good at it. Whether that’s kicking ass as a journalist or being a great mom (or both) I want to be respected for the things I have done with my time on this planet.