Saturday, September 25, 2010

30 giggles

The 30 Rock season 4 I ordered last summer for myself with birthday money arrived yesterday. I literally laughed for hours. One of the episodes focused on Jack Donaghy's attempt to reach "real" America. As part of that outreach, Jenna Maroney sings a new country-fied version of the NBC tennis coverage theme song. Can we say "pandering"? What's so funny is how pitch perfect the song remake is ... and of course, the part with the names of the tennis participants is red, white and hilarious!

Same episode, Jack is introducing a new food product called a Cheesy Blaster. Liz pipes in with the theme song. Is this not spot on too? And Meat Cat? Yeah! How American can ya get?

"You take a hot dog, stuff it with some jack cheese, fold it in a pizza ... you've got cheesy blasters!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Prefab rock-n-roll

Okay, crazy confession here.

Well, in a minute.

First, the back story. Annie has a cool funky Hannah Montana-esque style all her own. (Well, all her own after being heavily influenced by everything in Justice, a popular girls' clothing store.) She loves peace signs, slouchy boots, big scarves, torn jeans, and the color black. Along with this look comes a certain musical style ... let's call it Radio Disney (LOL!).

I bought her a Radio Disney compilation as a back-to-school "sussy" & she loves it. Do I feel guilty about supporting this conglomerate monster? Well ...

It makes me happy to see her enjoying a little slice of popular culture that resonates with her. Music and clothes are a big part of my personal expression and enjoyment, so I get that, even if I wouldn't necessarily choose the Radio Disney tunes on my own.

So here's where we get to the confession part.

On the drive to the Mother Daughter retreat, we listened to that Radio Disney CD several times, and by golly, my toes just tapped like crazy during this song. I wanted to shout it out! (It's called "Shout It"!)

Note: it's sung by Mitchel Musso a/k/a Oliver on "Hannah Montana". Yep, the goofy sidekick has a recording career too. That's the way they grow them over at Disney. And I don't mind it at all when the CD hits this track!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

How deep

Annie and I attended a mother daughter retreat this weekend. This is our second year to go. It's an amazing experience - we challenged ourselves on a ropes course, played games together, laughed, chased, and bonded. The retreat is hosted by a lovely evangelical Christian group. As always, I really enjoy observing the way other people worship, the way the rhetoric of worship changes, the kinds of experiences that are valued and all that.

One of the fun things about this weekend was our worship singing. It is much more contemporary than the kind of singing we do in my church. I enjoyed the breath of fresh air. It is also more sincere and less ironic than the kind of music I listen to in my free time. That also was a breath of innocent air.

The song leader had an amplified acoustic guitar in the front, and those of us in the congregation followed the lyrics shining on a large projector screen above her. The music genre for pretty much all of the songs included is very singer-songwriter-y, with mellow and sweet melodies, lots of "yeahs", repetitive song structures (so that I could usually pick it up after once through the first verse), fairly simple lyrics with common motifs ("glory", "waves", "love", "power", etc.) It's extremely user friendly. A person doesn't need to be a skilled musician to be able to jump right in and sing along!

I point all of that out just because I genuinely enjoyed watching the way these believers celebrated. Our song leader was a terrific woman who just brimmed with kindness and charisma. Singing along with her -albeit in a more contemporary way than I would ever find at my church - was really inspirational. And I'll admit, this long lead-in to the song is partly an explanation (excuse?) for my liking of this song.

Because it's not hip.
Or edgy.
Or intellectual.

But it sure is pretty.  As soon as I got back from the retreat, I found the chords so that I could play it too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Solsbury Hill"

This was Peter Gabriel's first single, post Genesis. I heard it while driving home from the gym today and remembered how much I like the time signature - it's in 7/4, which is pretty unusual in any kind of music.