Tag Archives: Ben Folds

Melodymakers

1 Oct

In honor of my not getting to sing at last night’s Ben Folds concert¹, I hereby declare today Music Thursday.

What is Music Thursday, you ask?  Well, my friends, today I’m diverting from my usual posts about writing (and the occasional posts about cats and bad drivers) to talk a bit about – what else? – music.  Obviously.

First on the list: My incredibly wonderful husband and I are facing a dilemma, and I want your opinions.  It turns out two of our new favorite musical artists are playing concerts in Dallas in November – on the same day.  If you had to make the choice, based on the live performance videos linked to their names, which concert would you see?

The lovely, eccentric, brimming with creativity Regina Spektor?

or

The fresh, up-and-coming, catchy-yet-not-cliché Erin McCarley?

Like I said, click on their names and it should take you to a video, if you’re not familiar with their music.  If you want to help us make this difficult decision, please leave me a comment about it!  The bright side to this dilemma is that we’d be spending two weeks’ grocery money if they played on different nights.  So there’s that.

Now that I’ve mentioned two major artists, I thought I’d feature some less-known local talent from the town where I live.  After all, it is Music Thursday, and you don’t have to be famous to make great music.

First up: Darcy, a group made up of guys who are as nice as they are talented².  Check out their latest video here.  If you like what you see and want to hear more, they released their first album on I-Tunes today, called The Brighterside.

Also: Ashley Gatta.  She’s got a quirky timbre to her voice, and is a local singer-songwriter.  I like her stuff – click here to see her perform her song “Ain’t Nobody.”   Ashley’s album, Forget Subtlety, is available on I-tunes; also, here’s a link to her MySpace page.

Thanks for taking a break from my regularly scheduled thoughts on writing with me!  I kind of went link-crazy today, but hey – that’s what happens when I come thisclose to performing on-stage with Ben Folds and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  Which means?  It probably won’t happen again.

Remember to give me your thoughts on the whole Regina v. Erin debate, if you are so inclined.  

One final thought: while I was writing this post, my husband randomly started singing Britney Spears’ “Oops!…I Did It Again” while slaving away at his computer work.  To embarrass myself here more than I may have embarrassed him, let it be known that when that video came out, I spent hours trying to copy the dance from her video.  This wouldn’t be nearly as hilarious if I was coordinated.  There are many things I am – a writer, a singer, an organized Post-It note lover, and much more.  A dancer, I am not. 

¹Fortunately, for them, they were healthy and therefore got to have an incredible experience.  Unfortunately for me, I wanted to fulfill my duty as alternate backup singer and instead, made a grocery list.  

²I guess the “they’re as nice as they are talented” only works if you think they’ve got talent.  They’re definitely nice.  Just thought I should clarify that, lest you be of the opinion that they stink.

I Am Not Regina Spektor, and other thoughts on Rejection

13 Sep

I did what I said I wouldn’t:  I got my hopes up.

Because, seriously?  How amazing would it have been to sing with Ben Folds, with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, at the Meyerson Theater?  How incredible would it have felt to sing the Regina Spektor part on the (self-proclaimed ‘disturbed and bouncy’) song “You Don’t Know Me” in front of 2,062 people?  

Pretty amazing, I bet.  

There is about a 99.5% chance I won’t get to find out how it feels, though, because I was not one of the three girls chosen.  I am an alternate.  It’s still cool to be an alternate, don’t get me wrong¹ — but what are the chances a girl will get sick or break her leg or whatever?  

I’m trying, really trying, not to get more bent out of shape over this than I should.  I should know from past experience that when I get passed over for something, which happens to me more often than not, it truly is for the best.

I’ve been thinking how my life would be different, had I gotten everything I ever wanted.  That life, that person I would be, is not the same as the person I am today. 

If I had gotten everything I tried for, I would have been a popular girl in high school, who got all the scholarships she applied for instead of none.  With that scholarship money, I would have gone to a different university instead of moving to this place that has totally shaped me.  

Let’s just say I ended up here, anyway, though.  I would have married the 100% wrong guy for me, instead of the sweetest man on earth who popped into my life a few years later.  I would have been working some corporate political job that is not me in the slightest.  I would have been promoted to a manager at places like Chick-Fil-A and the bank and Starbucks.  Then, I would have been tempted to stick around and be Important at places I didn’t want to be.  Oh, yeah, and I would have made it onto American Idol, where I’d be the focus of television cameras for a year and sucked into a, well, sucky and consuming contract that works out not-so-much in my favor.

Looking at it that way, that is not the life I want.  But, looking back, those are all things I was disappointed I didn’t get, when I got passed over in favor of someone else. 

Flaws and failures and all, I’d rather be this person.  This girl, who is married to a kind, thoughtful sweetheart who encourages me to pursue my passions.  This girl, who knows she has something to offer the world even though – so far – the world has generally overlooked her.  This girl, who is determined to write a novel that will, one day, change the world, even if it only changes the world of one person.  This girl, who knows that when the time comes and someone notices, she’ll appreciate it a thousand times more than she would have if she always got every single thing she ever dreamed of attaining.

So, why do I still get bent out of shape when things don’t happen like I hope they will?  Probably because they’re awesome opportunities like singing on stage with Ben Folds in front of thousands, and because it hurts my pride.

I think these experiences are part of why I love outcasts, why I root for the underdog, why I write about the people who have great things to offer, but need to stop believing what the world tells them is true.  I write these things, because I know them all too well.  I guess that’s the little bit of sweet that comes from bittersweet rejection – the ability to be where I’ve ended up, writing about things I know with truth and authority, hoping it will inspire people to believe in themselves despite discouraging circumstances.

—–

¹Except the part where one girl who got a spot sang horrendously out of tune, and another girl sang the bass note (instead of the alto note…) on her entire audition.  I’m a little bitter, because not only did I take the time to perfect my part, I got it in by the deadline, too.  I will force myself to stop this rant before I cry again, like (most of) yesterday.

Poor Mr. Cat

4 Sep

It’s Friday, finally, not that it’s been a restful one by any stretch of the imagination.

Half of this week was great, the other half was not so great.  I know I told you on Monday I planned to really dig my heels in and work hard on my writing.  For two of those days, my plan worked wonders and I wrote like a mad woman (a mad woman who wrote not only quantity, but quality).  As for the other two days, well, life got in the way again.

Some days it’s just so hard to focus.  I’ve had a smattering of other things demanding my concentration this week, which took some time away from writing.  Also, poor Mr. Remy the Cat, I had to take him to the vet this morning because I accidentally clunked his head on a doorknob while picking him up.  I cried a lot because I thought I’d given him a concussion.  He was a good kitty at the vet, until the doctor stuck a thermometer in a place that sounds clearly like a cat screaming and hissing (Rather violently, I might add.  The hissing, I mean, not the sticking of the thermometer.).

Fortunately, Mr. Cat does not have a concussion, and he’s acting normal, so I feel much better.  Much, much better.

Now, it’s off to Kansas to visit my husband’s family, and I wanted to squeeze in a post before we set out on our eight-hour drive.  We’ll be listening to some Ben Folds, some Regina Spektor, some Erin McCarley, and some Sandra McCracken on our drive.  And, hopefully, we’ll find several Starbucks stores on our way so we can have lattes, too.

Y’all have a great weekend.