Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Wonky Weekend

This past weekend was a bit of an oddball, but totally in a fantastic way.

On Friday, Hubby and I met up with two friends for dinner at a pub. Not especially strange, but these two were friends I’d made while at work. One of which, used to “work” for me as the Front House and Ticketing manager during concerts. The other “worked” for me as the Back Stage manager. The Front House has since gotten a bona-fide job as – wait for it – a Front House manager at a theater company in Baltimore. Her company recently bought a property downtown and is renovating it. Once done, it will be the third largest private theater in the City. The Backstage manager is working in the school system with special needs children. Both had references from the chorus to get their jobs. Both are excellent workers and very talented. Sometimes I forget how much a good reference can get you and I was happy to give both of these ladies one.

We met at 6 and left at 11 pm. I’m sure our waitress wasn’t pleased, since we hogged a table, but when you are accustomed to spending 2-4 hours chatting during rehearsals, a simple meal just isn’t enough time to “catch-up”.

The next day, Hubby and I had tickets to Beer, Bacon, Music. For $45.00, you got entrance to the event, all day “tasting” of beer and all-you-can-eat bacon. We got there a bit after the venue opened, and it was already packed with people. Lines were a bit outrageous and there was no clear entrance procedure. I don’t think we can ever go to any event without my mind clicking in to either how well, or how poorly, the event was planned. For this event, they were trying to funnel prepaid ticket holders, with pay-at-the-door patrons, all through one small tent. With no clear markings and long lines, people were frustrated and grumbling that they wouldn’t get in for at least an hour. When your event is only 5 hours long and you’ve paid $45.00, I can understand the complaint.

We were processed in 20 minutes or so, because I had Hubby go scout the lines and figure out what was really happening. Sometimes it pays to be familiar with this stuff. ;0)

In any case the word of the day was BACON! BAYYYCON! mmmmm, BACON! Men, Women and children were all chanting the same thing.

We quickly located the Bacon Building, where you were supposed to be able to sample 5 different flavors of bacon at their all-you-can-eat bacon bar. After about 20 minutes in line, we got to the serving table to be greeted by a sad looking volunteer who was doling out three anemic strips of apple-vinegar bacon to each person. Next to him where 4 empty serving dishes and at the end was a container of pork rinds that was rapidly dwindling. A glance at the other three serving lines revealed much the same scenario.

Well! Talk about some outraged patrons. People wanted their fill of bacon, and three small strips wasn’t going to appease the masses. Nevertheless, during the afternoon, we’d pass by the entrance to the Bacon Building and hear the same rumbling about how “they’d run out” of bacon. If you happened to be in line when a new pan arrived, there would be cheers, and since there was plentiful beer, many of the grumblings mellowed into less fearful grumblings as the afternoon wore on.

Another event that would raise cheers would be the inevitable glass hitting the floor. Someone at this event was incredibly silly when they decided it would be wise to have all the beer sampling glasses be made of real glass. The event was held in an area that was primarily pavement. There was beer involved. I guess the equation would be:

glass + copious amounts of beer+ pavement – bacon = shattered glass / people in flip-flops = DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

Um… duh?

In order to have those copious amounts of beer, you had to pay a penny for each sampling you wanted. I think there were more pennies on the ground than there were in the collection tubs at the booths. If you’d run out of pennies, there certainly wasn’t anything that was going to stop you from having more beer, as long as you were willing to scan the ground and not worry about what kind of fluid your penny was sitting in .

The event was winding to a close and Hubby and I decided we’d get something quick from one of the food trucks before they shut down and we had to leave. On a whim, we headed over to the Bacon Building first. Lo and behold, we spied a worker bringing in a fresh pan of bacon. We rounded the building and got into line, which by comparison was now fairly short. By the time we got to the pan, there was very little left and we got our 3 strips. HOWEVER, while we were nibbling on our prize, we hit the jackpot. In rapid succession, two more pans appeared with heaping mounds of bacon and a quick glance over our shoulder showed about 6 people in line. WHOA! So, we rounded the table and got not one, but two more containers, each piled high with enough bacon to satisfy even Hubby. SUCCESS! FTW!  I guess good things do come to those who check in at the last-minute to scrounge for leftovers!

And finally, on Sunday we attended a Senior Recital for one of our chorus singers, although she was playing the violin instead of singing. Don’t ask.

Afterwards, we’d been invited to join her family at a local Indian restaurant for a dinner party. We arrived a little early and spoke with the owner, who made sure that my meal would be onion-free, and settled into to listen to the Indian electronica/classical/jazz fusion mix they had going. Odd, but not unappealing! As guests from my musical world arrived, we began to have plate after plate of colorful, fragrant and highly spiced foods arrive. By the time the 20 of us were served, the table looked like a page from a foodie magazine. It was pretty awesome and so different from a paper container of bacon! I had a fried avocado, which was heavenly, and some marinated shrimp, but all around me plates were overflowing with the most intriguing sights and smells. Those are BOO/YAY moments for me. Boo that I can’t eat most of it and Yay that it all looks beautiful and almost like art.

So, in all, I had a pretty eclectic weekend. From a pub playing pop Muzak, to a rock/grunge band with a banjo involved, to classically trained violin, to Indian electronica, both my palate and my ears had quite the smorgasbord!



Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Rave-ing Mushrooms

Awhile back I stumbled across a piece about the Electric Daisy Carnival. At the time I thought it had been a one-off kind of event and didn’t pay it much mind. Then, this past summer, I happened to see a short documentary on cable and realized that this one-off event had become a multi-city, multi-day event. After watching the documentary, I commented to Hubby, “I think I’d go to that.”

Let’s just say he was pretty shocked, since I haven’t agreed to go to a live concert in more years than I care to admit. If it wasn’t a performance done by, or involving, the children’s chorus I don’t want to go. I’m not a huge fan of live events mostly because of the audience. The screaming and hooting and general disruptive behavior of a fan “enjoying” the concert is not something I usually can come to grips with. Sitting quietly and giving your full attention to the art the musician is performing is generally my preference. Live concerts (unless you are at a symphony, maybe) aren’t normally so tame.

I think I may have found my mid-ground. If I’m not confined to a specific seat and can find a place to observe from, noisy fans don’t seem to bother me so much. Now how odd is that?

This past weekend, I decided I’d take a page from my Electric Daisy Carnival interest and jump in to see if I really could put that on my “bucket list” by going to an Infected Mushroom concert/event at a local performance venue. Aside from Infected Mushroom, there were 3 other DJ’s that were there to whip the crowd into shape.

I’m pretty sure I was the oldest person in attendance, but honestly, does that matter? Well, maybe. If by wearing a sweater and a pair of jeans, you are WAY overdressed – even if it is only 35 degrees outside, it might be time to re-think my attire for the next time I go to one of these. Surely a t-shirt wouldn’t have been out of line.  I’d like to say that many of the females attending this were conservative dressers. The thing they were conserving was the use of FABRIC!!

Girls looked pretty much like this
And guys looked like this.. :0)

Still, I found myself reveling in how much fun these people were having and how they didn’t seem to care that some of them were walking around in banana suits, or Mario costumes, or had made a version of chain mail from glow sticks. They were just out to have fun and I found that infectious.

Things I discovered:

  1. I loved the high energy of the music and the crowd.
  2. I am totally into a rave…. if I’m on the sidelines in a fairly safe place. (almost oxymoronic, eh?)
  3. I had fun!

Infected Mushroom put on a good show, although it was only an hour long and I would have liked to have had more of them and less of the 1st official DJ, but still and all. The thumping, the jumping, the ability to watch – not participate – in a mosh pit, and watching body surfing was quite an experience. When I had entered the venue, I had seen signs posted forbidding body surfing, which I snickered at because really…. who does that kind of thing!? Well, silly me, of course that happens. Why else would they need a sign forbidding it? And I guess if the experience of traveling about 20-30 feet while 5-6 feet above ground with people’s hands all over you is worth your price of admission (’cause trust me, they haul you outta there FAST once they see you up there) then so be it. I mean, if people get a kick out of jumping from a bridge with a rubber band attached to their feet, then who am I to question body surfing??

I think the best part of my night was the clash of my two loves; The Chorus and Electronica.

When I first got there, I bumped into one of the chorus kids. He was dressed as I would have expected him to be. He said hello, gave me a big hug and told me his friend likes this “stuff” and that he’d come with him. I know he was surprised to see me there, especially since I tell him to button his tux shirt and straighten his tie for concerts, but he seemed comfy enough. It took him two DJ’s before he lightened up enough to do the simple flat handed arm wave that seems to be the preference of dance/electronica.

How I usually see students...
How I usually see students…

The other student I bumped into when we were going for our coats after the performance. She was wearing a fairly skimpy outfit in comparison with what I normally see her in and you could tell she’d been right down in the mix, jumping and pumping her arm and enjoying the show. She came up a bit short when she saw me and her eyes got about as big as saucers before she mumbled a hello and turned on the turbo charge to leave. Lol. Poor thing. I think I shocked the hell out of her. S’ok. She’s going to France with us, so maybe we can exchange a few mp3’s and talk about different bands.

Finally, when I went to rehearsal this past week, I was relating my weekend to some of the ladies who wait in the foyer. I hadn’t seen so many jaws hit the floor in years. Why is it so hard to think that just because my JOB is all about classical music and formality, that I wouldn’t enjoy something a bit rowdy like a rave? I mean.. c’mon!! lol (actually, I understand completely, but it kinda tickles me that I’ve not become pigeon-holed by what “people your age” are supposed to be into) I’m finding more and more I’m happy to follow this line of thinking!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Musical Moods

I was listening to a friends music mix today and found myself feeling more and more disturbed. Sometimes their mix is fine, but it does usually carry the same message and tone. Maybe it should be called “Relationship Radio”. Most of the music is about someone who does someone wrong or professing undying love, or how after professing undying love…love dies. Anyway, the majority of it is depressing and the feeling I come away with is angst. Angstidy angst angst angst… Mind you, if you are in the mood for love songs – good and bad love – then that’s the place to go, but there are more days in my world that I choose happy songs.

That’s when I starting thinking about how much listening to music can change your mood. (she says as “Scotland the Brave” on pipes and drums is echoing around her office) See, that immediately makes you either run for cotton for your ears, or you feel perky and patriotic. I don’t think anyone can listen to the tattoo of a marching drum line like that and not think of a parade. Now, I have Symphony no. 4 in G minor floating around my office,  which I find soothing and playful at the same time.

Since songs are catchy melodies that rattle around in our heads and produce a strong emotion in them, then the words that are attached to them – and that we repeatedly sing – are equally important when it comes to influencing your mood and your world. If you are constantly singing about a love gone wrong and feeling torn up inside, what are you telling the world you want? Maybe you’ll get just what you are asking for without realizing you are asking for it so much.

That’s why, after listening for a bit and starting to feel a bit morose on a beautiful sunny day, I opted to go back to my music collection for an attitude adjustment. (Endicott, by King Creole and the Coconuts playing now) Not only is my music widely varied, but it’s mostly happy. Because that’s what I want. To be happy. That’s what I want to sing about and that’s what I think about. I’ll bet most people don’t even think about this and make a conscious choice about lyrics. I wonder what would happen if they did.

In a slightly different vein, but still having to do with music, the concert from our most recent tour of Italy is now up and available. I don’t have an account where I can post the video here, but I can give you the link.  These kids worked very hard on this music, as did the director, and I’m very proud to be a part of an organization that allows them to produce such great music.

(William Shatner and Ben Folds, “Familiar Love” on now! I don’t know who that is in the video, but thought it would be good for you to hear the song) And when I do want a love song, I always have what popped up next on my play list. (Stereo Hearts)

Ok, maudlin feeling is officially gone now!

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Whovian Grooves

I’ve been working at my computer today, listening to my Pandora music mixes, and I got it into my head that I’d like to include some of the Dr. Who soundtrack music in my Pandora playlists. I couldn’t remember who wrote the newest music beyond his first name – Murray – so I decided to Google “Dr. Who Music”.

What I found was a whole page devoted to people who have worked on remixing Dr. Who music. Amazing. There are so many different versions of the theme song, some traditional, some with different overlays and even a series of stories about Mr. Dalek. (Trust me, the Christmas one is definitely a keeper.  I’m going to have to download that and keep it to play instead of the Night Before Christmas.) So, if you are as geeky as me and you just need to have at least a half dozen different versions of the Dr. Who theme and some amusing Dalek stories, go here and poke around.

Kudos to who owns the artwork above. Go check out her other Dr. Who artwork.