Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Mid-Week Music: It Might Get Loud

Last week BHE picked up It Might Get Loud from the local video & tanning (where more people tan than rent videos, of course). I love the southern small town invention that is the video and tanning. Who decided that this was a great business combination? But I digress. (Nevermind, he picked it up at Movie Gallery. It was Paranormal Activity that came from the video & tanning, where the lady was apparently surprised at the end that the film is fiction but then said “it could totally happen”.)

Anyway, I strongly recommend picking this flick up. We watched it twice before we took it back, and believe me we don’t typically re-watch movies. It’s just a very interesting look at the guitar, and three amazing guitarists and their approach to music. Massive music nerdness going on here.

So here’s a little taste of It Might Get Loud:

One-On-One Time

No Vintage Monday today. The Monkey (my eldest) and I went out on a “date” last night to an an awesome show:

We saw Star Wars In Concert!!! It was awesome. They’re heading to Paris next (in March) so I don’t know if and when they will make it back to the U.S. If you’re French and you’re reading this blog, I thoroughly recommend that you attend. It’s amazing seeing the scenes with a live orchestra – The Royal Philharmonic – and there was narration provided by C-3PO himself.

It’s been a long time since Monkey and I just hung out together – just us – and it was so refreshing. We had a blast, and not only did I enjoy the concert, but I even more enjoyed the mile-wide grin perma-plastered on my eldest son’s face. We had such a great time.

Mid-Week Music: Getting the Kids Hooked on Classical

Instead of my standard intro + Youtube link, today’s mid-week music features a book review.

We bought Story of the Orchestra two weeks ago and my kids LOVE it. Especially my 5 year old Monkey.

The book includes a CD, and the book functions like a musical guided tour. First, chronologically through the composers – Vivaldi through Bernstein (I don’t agree with the omission of Chopin and Rimsky-Korsakov but am otherwise very happy). All but the most recent composers (perhaps due to publishing rights for Copland/Gershin/Berstein?) feature at least one song, and discuss the music they composed. Then you get to the instruments, and it goes through each instrument in the orchestra, and each instrument gets its own track on the CD.

This book has inspired Monkey to pick his own instrument – the violin. His favorite composer is now Vivaldi – a gifted violinist. We have an old violin that he “practices” at least once a day now.

So if you have a budding musician you want to inspire, I’d recommend picking up this book.

And now I have to find a jazz book – Monkey’s request.

That Ain’t Right, but It’s Hilarious

I heard inklings a while back of Weezer performing in full-on Snuggies, but thought it was some sort of hipster parody. Then this was on my Google this morning:

This is legit. It’s even on their main site.

At least Rivers ditched the beard.

Fa la la la la la la la la

I finally sent out this year’s Christmas cards – digitally. We’re goin’ greener (and cheaper) this year. We used Hallmark’s Smilebox and I was pretty pleased. Every year I want to include pictures of the boys in our cards, but by the time I get the pics made, I end up not printing enough or not printing them at all…I guess I’m not very organized about the holidays! But Smilebox was great – you can include anywhere from 1 to 100s of pictures, and there are a lot of designs to choose from. For a small fee, you can print them and send without ads – but I am cheap, so I sent the free version (sorry, friends and family!). Plus – no paper! I hate mailing cards that will likely be trashed, so everyone gets a nice holiday greeting from us, and my conscience is clear.

We’ve been doing other homey/green stuff for the holidays too. The boys and I made ornaments out of Baker’s Clay, which I highly recommend. It makes a ton of ornaments! We didn’t paint ours, as was done in the linked example. Instead, I used expired food coloring (which I keep around for crafty things like this). When mixed in the dough, it produced a marbled effect that I liked very much. We made all kinds of shapes – my favorites were the stars, but I also liked the sharks and turtles (done with Playdough cutters)! If you do this, don’t let the kids or canine members of your family eat any of this stuff – the ingredients might be edible on their own, but there’s way to much salt in here to be safe for consumption.

Make Your Own

We also made ornaments out of pipe cleaners – mainly candy canes, but a few hearts and snowflakes too. Really easy and fun, and if you have extremely mischievious boys like ours, who disassembled the tree tonight (not kidding), then you don’t have to worry about anything breaking – these can take a beating, and if they break, you can just make more next year!

I am also doing some homemade gifting, but I can’t blog that – it will spoil the surprise!

We’ve also been playing a lot of Christmas music. The Monkey knows (most of) the words to Jingle Bells, so I finally have someone to sing while I play the piano! I have such wonderful memories of my mom playing Christmas music on the piano when my brother and I were young – Jingle Bells, Silver Bells, Silent Night, Winter Wonderland, and many more. I think, to me, that has always stuck as our biggest holiday tradition from my early childhood. She hasn’t played in years, so now I have her books, and I love playing the songs for the boys now.

How are you celebrating the holidays?

Time Flies When You’re Putting Together Chinese Democracy

I don’t go to MTV for much of anything these days, but this is interesting – especially if you were a teen in 1991. I remember listening to Use Your Illusion at our neighborhood pool…on a boombox. And if it was a CD, he was one of my few friends that had a CD player at the time. I wouldn’t get mine until 1993…which I think was the last time MTV actually aired music.

Commitment to Parody

Found this little gem at the end of the Veggie Tales’ Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything. Enjoy.

Piano for the Kiddos

I’ve been meaning to look up EASY sheet music for the Monkey as we’d like both boys to at least be exposed to playing musical instruments, and as I play piano and BHE plays guitar (and we have a drumset that neither of us can really play) – we should be able to at least provide them with a start.

Anyway, I was looking for simple songs, and I hit jackpot here.

I picked a few songs I think he will like. Also, there’s plenty of room below the notes for me to write the coordinating letter, which will be helpful as I already placed letter stickers on the piano keys (in the middle C range). Wish us luck. Monkey claims that he “already knows how to play” so we will see how this goes. I’m definitely not going to force him into piano.

As for me? No freebie songs today – I have plenty of piano books here at home to wade through, and not enough time!

Don’t want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard…

I was browsing through my mp3 selection on my way home from work today and strolled across this gem from 1986:

To me, the song and the video are always linked. I was about 8 when this came out, and we didn’t have MTV at that time…but my super-cool cousin (who was in junior high at the time) did. Anyway, at the time I obviously knew who Chevy Chase was – Three Amigos was out around the time… I didn’t know what Paul Simon looked like, and at my young age I did not understand lip-synching at all – so for a few years I really thought “that Paul Simon guy looks just like Chevy Chase!”

I also at that time thought the lyrics to Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady” were “Do the Nekkid Lady” – and get your minds out of the gutter – I thought the “Nekkid Lady” was a dance. You know, like “The Twist” or later, “The Achy-Breaky”.

Ah, the naivete of my Alabama childhood….

For My Blake, Incarcerated…

Do you know how many times over the past two days I’ve put on a BAD British accent and said “For My Blake, Incarcerated” to BHE…too many times, and it never gets old. OK, it never gets old to me…

I missed Foo Fighters at the Grammy hoopla due to ongoing Bear and Monkey illness (they were checking into some serious On Demand toonage) but I caught on youtube if you want a looksie:

And is anyone else a little freaked out by Amy Winehouse? Did the comin’-down-off-the-crackarock-shimmy-shake freak anyone else out? Just me?

I actually like “Rehab” alright but…I don’t know, maybe she’s just a better singer than dancer.