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Jan. 16th, 2013

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I saw Cabaret last night at the Savoy. First of all, the Savoy Theatre is absolutely GORGEOUS. Google it. I was so impressed! Secondly, Will Young was good, but I think he could have been better. It was almost like he was holding back a bit? I don't know. Michelle Ryan was Sally Bowles and my advice to her is to never sing again. Ever.

The best part of the show, however was the dancing. And the dancers, who were super hot and shirtless most of the time. And fully nude at the end. But even if they weren't naked, the dancing was really good.

Anyway, it got me thinking of when I watched the movie the other day. Liza Minnelli reminds me so much of Lady Gaga in it, that it makes me think that Gaga has just studied Liza's work all her life.

If they ever do a remake, Lady Gaga needs to be Sally Bowles, Will Young should be the Emcee, and the guy that played Marius in Les Mis (Eddie Redmayne) should be Clifford. Obviously, Fraulein Schneider should be played by Bette Midler, but Bette needs to try to be a bit less Jewish, which would probably be hard...

Jan. 12th, 2013


Erik's Top Tunes of 2012

Most magazines do a year end song list, and I am always intrigued by these lists and wonder why I've never heard most of the songs. Well, I don't really wonder that, because I listen to pop music and no one likes to write seriously about Top 40. These lists really tell us more about how much of a conceited snob the writer is than about the music of the year. Therefore, I shall tell you about my year through my Top Tunes of 2012.

Train, "Drive By"
My bestie sent me a text sometime in January saying, "I love that new Train song. Is that dumb?" Since I never really hear new music unless someone makes me, I looked it up immediately. After the first text, I wrote him back and said, "If it's dumb to like this song, then we're both dumb." Patrick Monahan's voice seems to just get better with age. Add that to a Norwegian song-writing duo, and you have a huge it. I love it. (It's too bad the video is super lame!)

Christina Aguilera, "Red Hot Kinda Love"
Why, oh WHY was this not a hit single? Because someone is completely mismanaging Christina's career, and that someone is probably Christina herself. The lead single to her new album was good, but lukewarm. Imagine my surprise when I got the album and heard THIS gem! I thought for sure it would be the next single, but then it wasn't. Unfortunately, it was NEVER released as a single and that's a real shame. (And also probably why her album was a complete commercial failure.)

Fiona Apple, "Hot Knife"
2012 was the year of comebacks, and Fiona's was one of them. My vocal harmony boner basically had an orgasm the first time I heard this song, and I just can't get enough of it.

fun., "Some Nights"
God DAMN I love this song. Everything about it is fantastic. The chorus, the harmonies, the drums, even the fucking video! It's the best song on the album by far, and WAY better than their lead single, "We Are Young."

Garbage, "Blood for Poppies"
No Doubt, take note: THIS is how you make a fucking comeback! All this hype over the last 4 years about a new No Doubt album culminated into cold shit on a paper plate. But Shirley Manson went to Coachella, thought it was a bunch of shit, and decided to get the band back together. Thank you, Shirley! The lead single from the album sounds quintessentially Garbage, which is why I love it. Keep the sound your fans love you for!

Todrick Hall, "Beauty and the Beat
No, this isn't the fucking Justin Bieber song. It's the best thing you'll ever watch. I loved it so much that I downloaded the song and have listened to it time and time again on my iPod. I mean, GLOZELLE is even in it!

(You're welcome)

Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
Do I really need to explain why this is on my list? It's such a catchy song. I shamelessly loved it from the moment I first heard it. In fact, everyone loves it whether they admit it or not. And the guy in the video is fucking hot.

Ke$ha, "C'Mon"
A late entry! This album came out in December in the UK, but I've already listened to this song more times than most of the others on this list. Anyone that rhymes high schooler with wine cooler and Hooters deserves my attention. Also, anyone that says, "Feelin' like a sabre-tooth ti-grrrrr" deserves an award. And hooray - now there's a video for it!

Madonna, "Girl Gone Wild"
I actually hate Madonna now and her new album is complete horse shit. However, I love this song, and it's only because every time I hear it, I think of this video:

Nicki Minaj, "Starships"
Unlike the Carly Rae Jepsen song, I wanted to HATE this song. I mean, it's Nicki Minaj, who has a vocal range of about 4 notes, all her raps sound the same to me, and it sounds like a rip off of Britney Spears, "'Til the World Ends." But I just couldn't hate it. I don't know what it is about this song, but every time it comes on, I want to dance. I love it!

Kylie Minogue, "Timebomb"
This is the song that Madonna wishes she'd put out instead of her entire last album. It's delicious pop perfection and was one of my summer JAMS. Madonna, take note of the age appropriate outfits.

Jason Mraz, "I Won't Give Up"
Uh oh, here come the ballads. When this came out, the line that struck me first was "Even the stars, they burn, some even fall to the earth." I thought that was such a great lyric. I didn't know at the time that my relationship was falling apart and that I would literally be living this song. It's too bad that Jason looks like such a douchebag in the video, but it doesn't take away from the fact that it is such a beautiful song. (Incidentally, I did give up in the end, unfortunately, because that was all I could do.)

Pink, "Try" & "Just Give Me A Reason"
Shit. I can't tell you how many times I listed to these two songs on repeat while crying. Not only did 2012 bring me my first serious boyfriend, but also my first serious breakup. I fell in love for the first time and when it ended, I was completely heartbroken. I thought that if I just tried harder I could make it work. If I was more accommodating, he'd change his mind. But in the end, when your boyfriend says it's over, then it's over. I felt like a teenage girl listening to these songs on repeat, crying, and thinking, "How does Pink KNOW??" Music is my therapy, however, and thank GOD these songs where there for me when I needed them. And don't worry, I'm fine now. :)

Also, have you SEEN the video for "Try?" It might be one of the most beautiful and moving music videos of all time. (It doesn't hurt that the guy is fucking hot, OKAY?)

Santigold, "Big Mouth"
Boy, did Santigold make us wait for that second album or what? It was worth the wait, though! I don't even know how to describe her music. It's like, weird, quirky pop. Initially, listening to the album my favorite song was "Look At These Hoes" because, well, it's called "Look At These Hoes." But then I saw the video for "Big Mouth." When I realized I wasn't tripping on acid, I just watched it again and again and again and again. It's pure genius and now this is definitely my favorite Santigold song of all time.

Scissor Sisters, "Let's Have A Kiki"
If I were organize this list into some sort of countdown, this song would sit in the number one spot. It came out right before my friends Josh and Chris' gay wedding in Provincetown and became the unofficial theme of the trip. When the video came out and I was even more hooked. Most, people drool of Jake, but I think the hottest member of Scissor Sisters is Del Marquis by a landslide. I want to play the tambourine, wear tight little pants, and make beautiful babies with him.

SMASH Cast, "History Is Made At Night"
Did you see the show SMASH? It's basically Glee on Broadway. It had its moments of brilliance, but it also had moments of complete shit. I, of course, loved it for the sole fact that Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee were singing their pussies off in every single episode. But the REAL star of the show was all the original music! So many fantastic songs were written for this show, but my absolute favorite is "History Is Made At Night." The harmonies are just so sexy. Plus, this was written by Marc Shaiman, who was Bette Midler's musical director for years. And before he was her musical director, he was her super-fan, so I think I'm justified in saying that he totally ripped the opening off of Bette's version of "Make Yourself Comfortable."

And finally, the last song on my list isn't a new release from 2012 at all. But it just came onto my radar in October:
"Le Jazz Hot" from Victor Victoria
One of the decisions I made in an effort to distract myself from the breakup was to do the pit orchestra for a production of Victor Victoria. Yes, I'd be playing Reed 2, which is tenor sax and clarinet in a professional production. That meant seven shows a week. For EIGHT WEEKS.

In addition to my full time job.

Yeah, I didn't really think that one through...

This all came via my friend Paul, who is ten times the sax player that I'll ever be. He suggested I do this, and I agreed only if he split the run with me. Well, when we hashed out who was doing what show, it seemed I was doing 75% of the shows. The shows I didn't do were because I had another engagement on that night. Talk about exhausting!

I remember at the first rehearsal we ran through a bunch of the clarinet songs and I thought, "Oh, this is totally no problem". Then we hit "Le Jazz Hot" and I realized I was in way over my head. I'd only been playing the sax for a year, how the FUCK was I supposed to play all this? I told Paul my reservations about doing this, but he insisted I was being ridiculous and convinced me not to drop out.

I will admit that my sax playing in the first few shows were a bit of a disaster, but near the end of week 2 I started getting the hang of it. And during the run something happened. "Le Jazz Hot" stopped being terrifying and started being really fun to play. By the last show, there was only a single measure that I couldn't play.

Doing the show was completely crazy, but I will forever list it as one of the greatest experiences of my life. I feel like I can actually play the saxophone properly now. "Le Jazz Hot" was a challenge that I overcame and I'm a better person for it. Hooray!

If you're not familiar, here's the movie version:

The version in the show is way more exciting, so you'll just have to imagine it. I will never be able to listen to this song without singing the tenor sax part in my head.

So that's my 2012 in (more than) a nutshell. I'm glad it's over, but I'm also glad I had all the experiences I did. Here's to 2013 and all the music it will bring me!

Dec. 5th, 2011


And I wasn't even drinking...




I did it for a reason, but I shall reveal that later...

Nov. 29th, 2011


Decisions, Decisions...

I think I might grow a beard again. Can't decide.

Oct. 3rd, 2011

music my job?

So lately I've been obsessed with Cee Lo's cover of "No One's Gonna Love You." Have you heard it? If not, stop reading, google it immediately, and listen.

Ok, are you back? His vocals are just outstanding. I knew it was a cover, because I had to look up the writer details a LONG time ago and it made me research it and that's how I found out that it was originally written and performed by a band called Band Of Horses. At the time, I didn't know that band and I was in a hurry to get the writer details for a project, so I just moved on.

But, as I said, for some reason I've been obsessed with this song. It's caused a resurrection of Cee Lo's whole album for me, too, which is awesome. But this song in particular sticks out. I always start with this track and put it on shuffle from there. Sometimes I'll listen to it five or six times in a row. It's weird and I have no idea where it came from.

So this obsession made me go back and do research on the original band, and it's kind of a cool story. Cee Lo covered it, and in turn, they covered his song "Georgia" and they released it as a double A Side. That's cool. I listened to their version and really liked the singer's voice, so then I listened to more of their stuff and realized, "Hey! Band of Horses seems like an awesome band!"

Flash forward to today at work. My co-worker has been out because of emergency back surgery and one of her shows was handed over to me just before it was being delivered. It feels like it's been dumped on me, but it's not that difficult of a show, so I don't really mind. Today, however, the shit hit the fan!

Episode 104 is being delivered, which airs on Wednesday, and it turns out there's a song in it that isn't cleared to use. Long story short, it's MTV's fault because my co-worker accidentally told them it was okay. Mistakes happen, I totally get that, but now I'm faced with a problem. Either MTV has to license and pay for this song, or we need the production company to do an EMERGENCY quick edit and get that song out of there.

I talk to the producer and she says to me, "We can replace the track, but I don't have time to look for a new song. Can you just give me a suggestion on something that's already cleared?" Umm, okay! I put my music supervisor hat on and got to work!

Well, I actually didn't at first. At first I asked my co-workers for help. The song I had to replace was Death Cab For Cutie, "Home Is A Fire." I don't know Death Cab For Cutie AT ALL, which is why, even though I would kill to be a music supervisor, I would be a terrible one. My co-workers gave me some half-hearted suggestions and then went back to work. I sent on those suggestions (I was being lazy), and then got a response saying, "THESE ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO GOING TO WORK."

So then I decided to man up. I googled "sounds like Death Cab For Cutie" and opened Spotify. I listened to a bunch of songs, but couldn't really get a feel for what I was looking for. Then, I got another email from the producer with a scene description saying that the Teen parents are giving their son a bath and talking about how they fight too much. Then, on one of the lists of "Sounds Like Death Cab For Cutie" I saw it: Band Of Horses.

Bingo. I knew it was the right track. I immediately sent her Band Of Horses, "No One's Gonna Love You" and she wrote back and said, "THIS IS PERFECT!"

Well, she didn't say that exactly, but she did say that it would work and she liked it. So that's what's in the show! Woo Hoo! I got to be a music supervisor today!

However, the real point is that isn't it interesting how I am randomly drawn to this song, and then a week later it's the song I need to use? Life is weird like that. My sister would be like, "This is why you need to pay attention to the signs around you!"
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Sep. 17th, 2011


(no subject)

I'm totally going to be alone for the rest of my life, aren't I?

Mar. 11th, 2011


Big Love

Is anyone else watching Big Love? I have seen every episode and there's only two more to go. I just saw this past Sunday's episode and I can't seem to calm myself down.





I'm so stressed out right now. How the hell are they going to wrap this up in two episodes?

Jan. 30th, 2011


Let it out, Let it go!

I am filled with rage.

Well, let's start from the beginning. I went for an 8 mile run on January 11th after an 8 mile run on the 10th. I was feeling good, and ready to start the new year with a bang, running-wise. Something happened, though, and later that day my knee started feeling a little sore. Figuring I'd just done a little too much too soon, I decided to take the next day off.

Which was good, because it was REALLY sore the next day. In fact, I had to dig out my knee brace. It didn't feel better until the following Wednesday. I don't like taking a week off of running, so even though it didn't feel 100%, I thought I would just go for a quick 4 mile run. Nothing too crazy. Well, it really hurt again after that and I decided to not run again until I was certain everything was fine.

Here we are on the 30th and I'm still wearing my knee brace every day and my knee still hurts. I know my body really well, and I've never had a running injury before, so I feel like this is something that I should be concerned about. I made an appointment with the NHS, reluctantly, because I don't really have much confidence in their advice. When I made my appointment, I specifically asked for an appointment with a doctor.

So I rocked up to the appointment today, and I had an appointment with the nurse practitioner. Strike one. I told her the whole story, emphasized that I'm a pretty serious runner and I know my body, and this seems to be taking a very long time to heal. She then did a google image search for "patella" on her computer and took me through the parts of the knee:

That is the image she chose. It came from this website.

It's a dog's knee.

That's right, a fucking dog's knee. I could clearly see that it was a dog's knee when she was going through it with me, and I was furious. What a moron. Then she told me to take some ibuprofen three times a day and come back and see the doctor if it's still bothering me in a couple weeks.

HELLO! I've already done this shit, and that's why I'm fucking HERE, you bitch. I tried to explain this and she was not hearing it. So I was finally shuffled out the door and on my way. I guess I'll call back tomorrow and try to make another appointment with a doctor?

I think the reason I'm so frustrated is because I'm NOT RUNNING. Last year I ran 1,481 miles. By far, that was the most I've ever run in a year. It was amazing and I was looking forward to maybe hitting 1,500 this year. However, that doesn't seem to be the case. I've only run like 24 miles this month. It will be the first month that I haven't run 100 miles in two years. It's depressing.

I know I'm not fat, but I feel like it. And I just feel like a big sloth. Running is more than just exercise for me. It's my therapy. What am I supposed to do with all this pent up rage and energy if I can't run?

Ugh. It was a fucking dog's knee.

Jan. 15th, 2011

oh really?

I just noticed something...


Britney Spears

Oct. 30th, 2010

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God damn, I love the clarinet.

Last night I had the most delightful experience. I was asked to play in this masked ball with the London Gay Symphonic Orchestra. It was amazing!

Now, I'm a band clarinet player, not an orchestral one. I don't own an A clarinet, I can't transpose, and I'm used to blending with a million people who are playing the same part as me. I love band with all my heart, but playing with an orchestra is a totally different beast.

I mean, initially, I was really stressed out by this gig. My technique has really gone to shit after all these years of not practicing and there were moments when I thought I was going to totally embarrass myself.

I personally think that the most fun part of playing in an orchestra is hearing clarinets in harmony. Luckily, the clarinet is my instrument, so I get to be part of that magic. I actually had some trouble matching my sound and style with the other clarinetist (because I'm so out of practice with this, not because of him), but there were a few short moments in the gig where we did it and it was thrilling.

My only wish for last night was that I wish I'd had more time to practice my parts and get more of the notes and keys. Well, that's a big one, because I made a LOT of mistakes. But I hope I did alright enough that I get asked back because I really had the most awesome time last night.

I really love being a musician. I should really do it more often!

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