December 22, 2003

Moody II

I'm now listening to the CD I used to code to, a CD I dubbed Moody II when I made it back in August of 2001. It's still one of my favorites, full of Radiohead and Moby and a few angsty songs from Bob Mould and Soul Coughing. I think this is the first time I've listened to it since I left my job as a software engineer, and when the first song (Radiohead's "Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box") came on, I had the urge to plow through server behaviors and C++ code and even the Navigation Bar object/command/behavior (in other words, the stuff I find hardest to untangle).

I'm trying to retrain my brain to think of blogging and processing images and framing photos and paying bills when this CD comes on. If it doesn't work, I may have to find a job.

Posted by Lori at 11:04 AM | TrackBack (0) | Permalink
January 12, 2004

Separation Anxiety

I had almost completed a post on the deep depression I have been plunged into by the inability of my new iPod to hold a charge, when for some reason my attention was captured by a story in my daily NYTimes e-mail, and I clicked on the link. Of course the page opened in my last-used browser window, which contained my post about the iPod. It's all gone now....

Here's the gist: I love my iPod. It's not working. I'm very, very sad.

Posted by Lori at 2:06 PM
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January 15, 2004

iPod Update

I've sent my iPod in for repair, and I'm hoping Apple can figure out what's wrong with it and get it back to me asap. Of course, I know I'm not getting back the same iPod—I've had a couple days to get used to this idea as I waited for Apple to send me a special shipping box—but I'm hoping that the one I do get back will have my name engraved on it, as the original did. (My husband is very sweet, no?)

In the meantime, I am consoling myself by trying to re-create my playlists in iTunes, using a borrowed Powerbook. It has all the songs I need in the Library, but since I created most of my playlists directly on the iPod, I'm not sure if I've re-created them exactly. When I requested repair services for the iPod I was informed that it was my responsibility to back up all the data on the thing before sending it to Apple, but of course that's the problem: something's wrong with its Firewire port, so it will neither charge nor mount when plugged into the Powerbook.

Though it's not the same as slipping the iPod into my pocket and plugging the earbuds into my brain, the Powerbook is helping me stay above the depression line, and for that I'm grateful. I spent all day listening to Moody III (my extended-beyond-the-length-of-a-CD remix of Moody II, aka Tunes to Code By) on repeat yesterday, and today I am shuffling the Non-Classical/Non-Xmas playlist. It's something I can see myself doing often, so I've started another sidebar item called Today's Shuffle Surprise. Even without classical and Christmas, it seems my musical tastes are a bit varied...

Posted by Lori at 3:17 PM | Permalink
January 30, 2004

Where the Heck is My iPod?

The Apple website reports that my iPod has been repaired as of 1/27, and the case is closed. So where the heck is it? Airborne Express guy, please bring it to me!

On a related note, my friend Clem sent me a link to a Macworld UK article about how iPods are wrecking marriages. For anyone who was worried, we're fine, thanks.

Posted by Lori at 11:27 AM | TrackBack (0) | Permalink
January 30, 2004

Frozen FedEx

My iPod arrived (via FedEx rather than Airborne Express, for some reason) a couple hours ago. Like the FedEx guy's pen, with which I was asked to sign the receipt, the iPod was frozen. After about 90 minutes of charging in my overly-warm office, however, I was able to copy all my playlists from the borrowed Powerbook to the iPod, and I'm now happily grooving away. Yay!

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November 3, 2004

Playlist: Post-Election Blues

I won't try to explain every selection on this list; I'll just say that when I finished the last post, I really needed to hear some music. Some that made me feel better, some that made me feel indignant, some that made me feel resigned... some that just made me feel. Here's the new Post-Election Blues playlist, in no particular order (since I Shuffle Songs anyway).

Beyond Belief ~ Elvis Costello
One Step Closer ~ Linkin Park
In God's Country ~ U2
Cradle and All ~ Ani DiFranco
Acoustic #3 ~ Goo Goo Dolls
Fell on Black Days ~ Soundgarden
Sinners and Their Repentences ~ Bob Mould
Crime for Crime ~ Ani DiFranco
Frozen ~ Madonna
Black ~ Pearl Jam
Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? ~ Moby
Policy of Truth ~ Depeche Mode
Running to Stand Still ~ U2
Life Takes a Life ~ John Butcher Axis
Promise of Sleep ~ The Jody Grid
Parallel Universe ~ Red Hot Chili Peppers
No Peace Los Angeles ~ Mike Doughty
Cuts You Up ~ Peter Murphy
No One Is To Blame ~ Howard Jones
Days Go By ~ Dirty Vegas
Bittersweet Symphony ~ The Verve
I Might Be Wrong ~ Radiohead
Bad ~ U2
Love Spreads ~ The Stone Roses
Nice Dream ~ Radiohead
White, Discussion ~ Live
Brothers in Arms ~ Dire Straits
Busy Child ~ Crystal Method
Natural Blues ~ Moby
How Many Cans? ~ Soul Coughing
Poison Years ~ Bob Mould
Slide ~ Goo Goo Dolls
Superunknown ~ Soundgarden
Destroy This World ~ Five-Eight
Here Comes the Rain Again ~ Eurythmics
Fly Away ~ Lenny Kravtiz

Posted by Lori at 3:07 PM
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November 19, 2005

Bruce's Misfortune

My favorite song by far on Mike Doughty's CD Haughty Melodic is the last track, Your Misfortune. It caught me by surprise in the car just now, however, in that it summed up so neatly and so beautifully the sentiments my sister, my parents, and to a lesser extent I have been expressing to my Uncle Bruce for months (or years, really). It goes like this:

When your faith in life is gone
Come and speak to me
When you're down and all messed up
Seek my sympathy
When everybody says "no, no, no"
Well it's your misfortune and none of my own
"Wrong, wrong, wrong"
Well it's your misfortune that sweetens my song

I can be the friend you want
I can be your confidant
I can be the right reminder at the right time
Throwing out the lifeline

Stand in the light stand in the light stand in the light
Stand in the light stand in the light stand in the light

When your face is caked with mud
Come and speak to me
When the chill creeps in your blood
Seek my sympathy
When everybody says "no, no, no"
Well it's your misfortune and none of my own
"Wrong, wrong, wrong"
Well it's your misfortune that sweetens my song

I can be the air you drink
Every single thought you think
I can be the right notion at the right time
Warm you like the sunshine

Stand in the light stand in the light stand in the light
Stand in the light stand in the light stand in the light
Stand in the light stand in the light stand in the light.

If Bruce failed to take the advice in the verses, I hope at least he is now standing in the light, free from worry and especially from pain.

Posted by Lori at 11:41 AM
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July 25, 2006

News From Our Busy Weekend

So as I mentioned in the previous post, we had a busy weekend. I probably should have spent the weekend doing laundry and cleaning the house and bleaching my hair and making packing lists in preparation for BlogHer (I only remembered last night that I'd be IN THE OFFICE on Thursday and not calling into meetings, and that I'd need to have everything washed and ready to be packed on Wednesday in preparation for the 6:20am flight on Thursday), but instead I spent it getting my hair cut in the suburbs of DC, rocking and romping in Baltimore, and riding the subways and running around the West Village in NYC.

First, the new haircut. (This isn't really news anymore, since I jumped ahead and posted about d:fi, but anyway...) Toni always does an amazing job, but I've noticed that the less guidance I give her, the more likely I am to get what I want. This time I just said, "I like it pretty short, except in front—I need something to hang some color on there." What I got was this really cool "pinwheel" cut that two other stylists came over to ask about. It's exactly as requested—short everywhere except in front—plus it's spiky, asymetrical, and interesting, three other things I love.

listening to cool tunes austen learns the word same color, new cut what do you think, boo?

After the haircut we made a mad dash up traffic-choked I-95 to Baltimore for our first-ever Rock 'n Romp. I'd read about it on Tracey's site, and after clicking through to the sound clip of the Sick Sick Birds (who were scheduled to play on Saturday), I'd decided I wanted to go. The only thing that remained was convincing Al. He finally bent to my will when his brother proposed that they play golf together on Sunday; I think knowing that he could have a day to do what he wanted to do made a day of running around and being social bearable.

sarah white sick sick birds rockin' out
and the audience LOVES it
Sarah White | Sick Sick Birds

I think Al even had a good time playing with Austen and listening to the music. I really dug the Sick Sick Birds, as expected, and the lyrics to Danny's songs were hi-fucking-larious. I think even better than the music was meeting other alternaparents—though of course alternamusic was the reason for the plethora of alternaparents. I spent quite a while talking to a woman named Maryann (MaryAnn? Marianne? I should see if Tracey has her e-mail address...) who looked like a normal mom on the outside, but who turned out to be super cool. Her current haircut was deceiving; apparently, she used to have a bleached-white spiky do like mine. We also had our kids in common—or rather, the fact that we had to be talked into having them. For her, it took 7 years of convincing before she finally caved. We were also together in the "one and done" camp. I wish now that I'd introduced myself properly and gotten some contact info from her, even though she lives down near Annapolis (too far for regular schmoozing, sadly).

austen and al eyeing the slide the bubble table draws another crowd yay, I've got the bubbles to myself!
no touch, monkey down to the suds
That's Maryann in the blue sleeveless top (top left), and her son is in the blue Hawaiian shirt (bottom right).

Austen's favorite thing in the back yard was the giant, three-wand, no-spill bucket of bubbles. Actually, now that I think about it (and look at the photos), this was almost every kid's favorite thing. Another big hit was the super-cool slide, though the platform at the top was rather narrow and pitched slightly away from the slide. After racing down a couple times, Austen climbed to the top again with Al's help—and then promptly lost his balance, stepped back to right himself, and found his foot striking thin air. He disappeared off the platform rather suddenly (I was standing at the bottom of the slide, waiting to take his photo as he came down), and for a moment, I froze. I think I instinctively knew I couldn't get there in time to catch him, so I stayed exactly where I was, trying to see what, if anything, he hit on the way down. Luckily Al had ahold of an arm, which slowed his progress until Al had to let go (the post was between them), and another mom broke his fall slightly (enough to keep him from getting tangled in a swing or striking his head, anyway). Still, it TOTALLY freaked Austen out, and after that the only word he said for a long time was "go". As in "let's leave," rather than "there's a car!" It was a little heartbreaking the way he pointed to the gate.

the amazing slide al and austen listening to the sick sick birds

I finally convinced Austen that there was enough fun still to be had to make it worth staying for a little while longer (I *really* wanted to see the Sick Sick Birds, and Austen fell as Sarah White's band was breaking down). The butterfly bushes and other wonderful flowering plants in Tracey's yard really helped, as they attracted actual butterflies. Austen was enchanted by them, calling them "whys" and pointing whenever he spotted one. And of course, there was the big bucket of bubbles.


We left (after listening to a couple wonderful songs from Danny, his computer, and his accordian) when it became obvious that Austen was really done for the day. Quite honestly, we were too—the heat and humidity were tiring, and we still had a two-hour drive back to Philadelphia (in what turned out to be a scary series of thunderstorms). The triumph of the day for me was hearing Al say that he'd go to another Rock n' Romp event in the future.

On Sunday we all got up early (earlier than we usually do on weekdays) to drive up to NYC so Al could meet his brother for golf. My sister-in-law Tris, her son Henry, Austen, and I hung out and played in the apartment for a while—Austen and Henry had great fun chasing each other up and down the long hallway—and then we took the C train down to the West Village to visit Henry's favorite playground. We stayed there for at least an hour, maybe more; long enough, at least, for Austen to have several meltdowns every time he wanted to play with a toy that someone else was using (or vice versa). I literally had to pry him out of the extremely popular bug car a couple times, while he screamed and cried like he was being tortured. Several parents looked horrified and tried to interest their children in another toy, saying, "oh, no, it's OK, he can keep playing with it," but I just said, "he's got to learn how to share sometime!" while trying to fish him out.

the bug car bug car shopping
henry gets things rolling

Each time we gave another kid a turn, I'd have to hold Austen on my lap for a little while and talk him down. I explained about sharing, and how the toy wasn't his, it was for everybody to use, and that he could have another turn when the other kids were done with it. He finally sort of chilled out when I gave him a half a peanut butter sandwich (talk about weapons on the playground!) and he got interested in chasing Henry up and down the ramp and around the sandpit.

From the playground we walked over to John's Pizza for lunch. We ordered two small pizzas (one cheese, one mushroom), but when it came time to actually eat them, Austen refused to wear his bib. (Al later correctly identified the problem: Henry wasn't wearing a bib—he's 4, and much less messy—and Austen loves to copy Henry.) I insisted that he wear the bib if he wanted to eat pizza, and once I took that stand, I kind of wished I hadn't. It would have been so much easier to cave and just let him eat—we were in a public place, after all, with company, and he was totally making a scene—but once I pick a battle with my kid, I win it. Tris confessed that it made her a little bit happy to see other kids act out in public, as it made her feel less bad about Henry's antics, but I wasn't amused. I finally just ate my own pizza and left Austen alone until he started saying "UP! UP!" and motioning that he wanted to get out of his high chair.

I brought him up onto the booth bench with me, where he noodled about for a bit and then reached for some pizza. I said, "no, you have to wear your bib if you want some pizza," at which point he struggled and screamed and tried to twist away from me. I'd finally had enough, so I wrestled the bib onto him and then held it firmly in place so he couldn't yank it off, and then as he opened his mouth to wail—yes, there were actual tears rolling down his face—I shoved a little piece of pizza into his maw. He closed his mouth on it, sniffled, and then started to chew. "It's good, huh?" I said. He smiled sheepishly, and that was then end of the bib drama. He ended up eating two (small) pieces of pizza with the bib on.

austen loves playing with his cousin drumming on the seat
austen @ cones henry @ cones

After pizza we went next door to Cones, where Henry had a scoop of vanilla ice cream (his choice), and Austen had a scoop of watermelon sorbet (my choice). Since I wouldn't be eating the sorbet, I wasn't sure how to choose (usually Al and Austen share something, so Al chooses), so I just went with one of Austen's favorite fruits. He seemed to enjoy it well enough, though I could tell from the measured way he ate the stuff that he didn't like it as much as gelato from Capogiro. From Cones we moseyed back to the Bleecker Playground so I could change Austen's diaper on a bench outside the play area. Austen didn't want to ride in the stroller, and after a couple blocks Tris and I got tired of carrying him, so we assigned Henry the task of holding Austen's hand. Henry took this job very seriously.

waiting to cross crossing by themselves
sightseeing in the west village this went on for blocks

After the diaper change, the plan was for Austen to fall asleep in the stroller while we walked back to the subway via the meat-packing district, but Austen was in no mood to nap. I honestly think he was afraid he might miss something (especially an opportunity to mimic Henry). When we got back to the apartment Austen still refused to lie down, instead resuming the game of chase-Henry-up-and-down-the-hall that the boys had abandoned when we went out. I'd never heard Austen pant before, but he was puffing pretty loudly by the time we announced it was time to go home (Al and Carl came back from golfing about 15 minutes after we came in). We left with a giant bag of toys that Henry'd outgrown, plus a few items of clothing from Tris and Carl, plus Henry's push-tricycle. Total bonanza! The only thing we didn't leave with were bagels and lox; we were too tired to see if Barney Greengrass or H&H were still open. I regretted that on Monday morning, but I was thrilled to have such a happy, eventful family weekend. Yay!

hug break #2

Posted by Lori at 5:54 PM | Permalink
October 17, 2006

Valerie on the Violin

I just visited my friend Valerie's site, where she talked about getting together with some friends to record a piece of music.

After we were done, I was sitting on the couch noodling around on my solo version of Air on the G String and talking to L., not realizing that Mi. had turned the mic on and was recording. Here's the result. It's fun to listen to it, despite the intonation bloopers.

Listen yourself and see if you don't cry, too.

Posted by Lori at 1:09 PM
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December 22, 2006

Jingle All the Way

I think I've mentioned here before that The Beaner's favorite Christmas tune is Sleigh Ride (also known as "look at the show"), though he's also fond of Jingle Bells ("jingle all da way"), Let It Snow ("weather outside"), and The Little Drummer Boy ("parum pa pa pum"). He's been singing a few selections at the top of his lungs lately; listening to a song 30 or 40 times in a row is apparently paying off when it comes to lyric memorization (or mangalization, as the case may be). It's pretty interesting, to me at least, to see what he gets wrong (and what he sings instead).

NOTE: I switched to Flash because not everyone could see QuickTime.

Posted by Lori at 4:04 PM | Permalink
April 9, 2007

Only Children Can Hear It

Via Pearls Before Breakfast, an article about an experiment designed to determine whether anyone would notice if a famous violinist busked at a busy Metro station in Washington, DC. I cried when I got to the part about children being mesmerized by his performance, while their parents tried to hurry them along through the station. Fascinating, heartbreaking, and definitely worth reading.

Posted by Lori at 10:43 AM
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August 13, 2007

Do Do Do Do Doot Doot Do Do...

Thanks to Mrs. Kennedy, I cannot stop humming Lovecats by the Cure. I may have to download the damn thing off of iTunes if this keeps up.

Posted by Lori at 10:00 AM
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December 4, 2007

Sarah Made Encouraged Inspired Me to Do It

Ever since I read Sarah's entry for the iTunes Meme, I've been dying to go downstairs and analyze the copy of iTunes to which Al and I sync our iPods, to which I work out on rainy days, and from which I have burned many Beaner-friendly CDs for the car. The Beaner and Aura are down there, however, and I'm supposed to be either working (bugs!) or sleeping (germs!), so I can't get down there until later.

After following the links backward from Sarah's site, however, I'm positively itching to analyze, so I will first do the meme here on my work MacBook, which has a VERY limited subset of the music that's available on the home Mac—it's mostly the kind of stuff I like to listen to while working (duh), and I often supplement it with my iPod docked into a JBL speaker ring. I've been listening to the Favorite Christmas & Classical/Big Band playlist non-stop for the past two days, so that also might skew the results. Let's see!

How many total songs?
1117 songs. 2.6 days worth.

Sort by song title - First and Last…
À part - La Laque (just downloaded as part of a bunch of free MP3s the other day; listening to it for the first time right now)
$300 - Soul Coughing
(Technically the last thing in the list is the 1920s Radio Network stream, but I'm not sure that counts)

Sort by Time - Shortest and Longest…
(Again, excluding the radio streams, which have no time)
Bonus Track - Ani DiFranco, 4 seconds
The Tech Guy Podcast 339 - Leo Laporte, 2:11:23
(Longest actual song is Concerto fatto per la notte di natale - Corelli, 15:38)

Sort by Album - First and Last…
A. Marcello - Alessandro Marcello
1981-Beauty and the Beat - The Go Gos, but that's only because the dorkwad who had the privilege of yelling "FIRST!" when his album information was uploaded to CDDB entered it that way. Dude, the album is called Beauty and the Beat, and it's filed under B. The real last album, alphabetically, is Zooropa - U2.

Sort by Artist - First and Last…
[Ignoring another dorkwad who entered the song titles in the Artist field] Zero7

Top Five Six Most Played Songs…
Everloving - Moby (15)
Pyramid Song - Radiohead (14)
Planet Telex - Radiohead (14)
Climbing Up The Walls - Radiohead (14)
Running To Stand Still - U2 (14)
In The Waiting Line - Zero 7 (14)

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 2, Death: 0, Love: 17, You: 49, Home: 5, Boy: 13, Girl: 48

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle…
Candy Perfume Girl - Madonna (Pop)
Beautiful - Bill Medley (Blues) [ugh, another free mp3 that I hated]
Mine's Not A High Horse - The Shins (Alternative & Punk)
Adagio for Concerto for Two Harpsichords in C Minor - Various Artists (Holiday)
Kommet, Ihr Hirten - CSSR State Philharmonic Orchestra (Holiday)

Hmmm, looks like it'll be an interesting Christmas party.

Downstairs iTunes to come, hopefully tonight.

Posted by Lori at 4:20 PM
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December 4, 2007

iTunes Meme: The "Home" Mac

Finally made it downstairs to the "home" Mac, where the main iTunes account (which I share with Al and the Beaner) is. Here's the scoop:

How many total songs?
5184 songs. 13.7 days worth.

Sort by song title - First and Last…
Abblasen: Fanfare - Chip Davis
. - Stevie Wonder (This isn't the actual song title; it's where the Beaner hit . and Enter on the keyboard once, and we lost the actual song title. I've been too lazy to dig out the Sesame Street CD it came from to see what it really is.)
1999 - Seahorses (The last actual song title.)

Sort by Time - Shortest and Longest…
Bonus Track - Ani DiFranco, 4 seconds
It took me a while to determine this, since Cast, Nirvana, Kula Shaker, and the Stone Roses all have songs with a huge amount of dead air at the end of them. I think the winner for actual longest song is:
St. Robinson In His Cadillac Dreams - Counting Crows, 15:40

Sort by Album - First and Last…
A. Marcello - Alessandro Marcello
1989 Keep On Movin' - Soul II Soul, and here we run into the "FIRST!" dorkwad problem again. Last real album title is 5 - Lenny Kravitz

Sort by Artist - First and Last…

Top Five Most Played Songs…
Sleigh Ride - Johnny Mathis With Percy Faith And His Orchestra (211)
Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box - Radiohead (202)
Go to Sleep - Radiohead (194)
True Dreams Of Wichita - Soul Coughing (184)
Destroy This World - Five-Eight (172)

Note that although I do love Sleigh Ride, it wouldn't be in the top five if it weren't also the Beaner's favorite song of all time. We've been known to put it on a single-song loop for him. The remaining four are all on my Moody series of playlists (II-VI), which *I* put loop when I'm coding.

Find the following words. How many songs show up?
Sex: 6, Death: 326*, Love: 83, You: 229, Home: 19, Boy: 64, Girl: 78
*323 of these are Harry Potter audiobook chapters

First five songs that come up on Party Shuffle…
The Guns Of Brixton - The Clash Story of the Clash (Alternative & Punk)
Voices Carry - 'Til Tuesday (Rock)
Glycerine - Bush (Rock)
Southside - Moby (Electronica/Dance)
Begin The Begin - R.E.M. (Rock)

Not a bad mix, actually. As I was doing this, I noted to Al that there are probably some more interesting questions that could be asked that would elicit more hilarity as well as more diversity (Abbey Road seems to be coming up a lot as a first album, a-Ha as an artist, for example). Al thought of two things he'd like to know: Since the "sex" and "death" keywords came up relatively little for me—death was 0 on the work machine, and 3 on the home machine if you exclude all the Harry Potter—he wondered what keywords *did* show up rather frequently. I'd probably have to write a program to determine this. Also not as simple as sorting by column header: Top Five Artists by Number of Tracks. iWantToKnowMore: How about some iTunes analysis tools, Apple?

Posted by Lori at 10:31 PM
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January 16, 2008


I think I created the first beaner_car playlist over a year ago (maybe even further back than that), using songs from his Music Class CDs mixed in with a few boppy pop favorites of mine that I thought he might like, too. Since then we've been refining his playlist, taking off songs he rejects, adding new ones he's either heard on the radio, on TV, or me humming in the kitchen, and also trying out tunes we like just to broaden his tastes a bit.

We're now up to beaner_car_x. (Although maybe we should move to beaner_car_xi now, since we just bought a used 325xi wagon to replace our current vehicle... but that's another story.) ANYWAY, my point was music, and what appeals to the Beaner right now. Here's his latest playlist, with notes:

Name Artist Album Notes
Hello Goodbye Paul McCartney Back In the U.S. (Live 2002) His favorite song of the moment. I started singing it while washing the dishes one night, and he immediately wanted to know how it went. (It turns out that I probably got it in my head because of a Target commercial, fwiw.) I looked it up in the iTunes store with the full knowledge that no Beatles songs were available for sale there, but I was delighted to find this Paul McCartney live version. The Beaner actually prefers this one to the Beatles version (we ended up buying two Beatles compilations to see if there were other tunes he might like). He knows all the words now and often sings under his breath while he's working at school or playing at home.
Come On Eileen Dexy's Midnight Runners & Kevin Rowland '80s Pop #1's This one came on at Trader Joe's the other day, and he was completely taken by it. I used to have it on an 80s CD, but as this wasn't one of my favorite tunes, I apparently didn't rip it before selling the CD at a garage sale. Apple now has another $.99 from me.
This Land Is Your Land The Uncle Brothers Two Big Kids He came home from school one day trying to sing this song, but he only knew bits and pieces. I knew a bit more, but not the whole thing. iTunes to the rescue again. This is another one that he sings at random moments.
Time of Our Lives Paul Van Dyk Reflections The Beaner is a big fan of Jeeps, so one day Al showed him the Jeep website, where he found some videos of the vehicles in action. There were also a few Jeep commercials available for viewing, and this song was the soundtrack to one of them. I found it on iTunes and surprised the Beaner with it on disc vii or viii. He said, "hey, it's the Jeep song!"
Snow Day Bleu For The Kids We got this CD from the Beaner's cousin when the Beaner was really little, and I must confess that most of the songs on it didn't really appeal right away. I revisited it when I was looking for new tunes to try on him recently, and I discovered this winter-appropriate gem. It's become one of his most-requested favorites.
Rock Lobster The B-52's Time Capsule: Songs For A Future Generation I tried this quirky B-52s classic out on him really early on (I think it was on the original beaner_car playlist, as well as car_ii), but he didn't like it then. Now, it's highly requested. He especially likes me to sing along (something I can do easily because I rehearsed it to death in preparation for a karaoke event once), and he thinks the line "pass the tanning butter!" is absolutely HILARIOUS.
New Song Howard Jones Human's Lib I started him out with Life in One Day a few playlists ago, and when he got into it, I tried out some other HJ songs on him. He really likes this one, and refers to it as the "ooh ooh ooh" song.
Revolution The Beatles 1967-1970 [Disc 1] Who can resist a little Revolution? The Beaner did at first, but our enthusiastic singing in the front seat eventually won him over. He often asks what that noise is at the beginning; I always reply, "it's a guitar, honey. It's called 'rocking out.'"
Everybody Wants To Rule The World Tears For Fears Songs From The Big Chair A favorite of mine that I tried out on the Beaner very early on, but it never stuck. (He always asked to skip the track.) He has no objections now, but he also doesn't request it. It's a favorite of Al's too, though, so we're just happy he doesn't reject it.
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da The Beatles 1967-1970 [Disc 2] He LOVES for us to sing this song. He always says, "Mommy, Daddy, sing it with me!" but then he doesn't sing—he just listens to us. I catch him singing it to himself when he's playing sometimes, tho.
Hello Goodbye The Beatles 1967-1970 [Disc 1] He's starting to appreciate this slightly slower, slightly more subdued original version, and he'll sometimes ask us to flip back and forth between it and the Paul McCartney version so he can compare. I think playing both versions is what piqued his recent interest in singers and bands; he now asks "who's singing this?" and "what band is this?" for most songs he hears. He knows that there are four different Beatles, and that Paul and John are the most frequent answers to "who's singing this?" He also knows that Howard Jones is both the singer and the band.
Kids In America Kim Wilde Living In Oblivion: The 80's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 This was a wacky choice thrown in for variety. Still too early to tell if it's a hit.
Making Time Creation Rushmore No complaints, but no votes either. Also appeared on car_viii.
Real Gone Sheryl Crow Cars (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) A favorite for several discs in a row, I left it off car_viii—and heard about it. We ended up having to swap discs quite a bit so he could hear it, so I put it back on car_ix and car_x. He knows the name of the song, but he also refers to it as "the race song."
Help! The Beatles 1962-1966 [Disc 2] The jury's still out on this one. It was a favorite from my childhood, but the Beaner isn't convinced yet.
Peanut Butter The Marathons The Tao Of Steve An instant hit. I remember thinking a long time ago that the Beaner would probably love this song, but I didn't have it in my iTunes library despite owning the CD. After watching the Tao of Steve again with Al a few weeks ago, I was reminded to get out the CD and burn this track (I'd already burned a couple other favorites). We all sang it together on the way to pick up the new car, and played it several times in a row. Hilarity ensued.
Jiggle Up And Down The Music Class The Pony Collection For some reason, this is one of the Music Class songs that totally sticks in my head. I make up random lyrics to it or just sing the original ones at completely inappropriate times and give myself the giggles. I don't know if the Beaner now finds it funny because I do (I suspect so), but it's back in rotation for this reason.
Here It Goes Again OK Go Oh No Like Real Gone, this is one of the Beaner's all-time favorites, and he likes to listen to it LOUD. (He likes most music loud—louder than I'd usually listen at—but this one in particular he always asks us to turn up.) Ironically, it's already louder than most other songs on the CD. He's always referred to this song as "OK Go"; now that he's aware of singers and bands, it may be easier to explain that OK Go is the band.
Life Is a Highway Rascal Flatts Cars (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) Another favorite from the Cars soundtrack, known to the Beaner alternately by its name and as "the driving to California song."
My Flying Saucer Wilco For The Kids My favorite song from the For the Kids album (see Snow Day, above, as well), probably because I love Billy Bragg's voice. (I swore up and down that it *was* Billy Bragg, but it took some Googling to prove it.) The Beaner has grown to love it, too, and missed it when I left it off car_viii and car_ix.
Clicking Sticks Music Class The Tiger Collection I'm not sure why this Music Class tune is a favorite, but he asked for it by name one day and was disappointed when I couldn't find a disc in the car that had it. It's been on several car_n discs in a row.
Like Wow/'Wipeout Hoodoo Gurus Mars Needs Guitars! I was looking for CDs from Al's collection to burn and came across this Hoodoo Gurus gem. A friend in college had also this CD back when CDs weren't that common, and I was really into making mix tapes. I salivated over her CD collection and recorded every song that was remotely interesting to me. This was one of them. Al was skeptical that the Beaner would find it as appealing, but it was an instant hit with him.
Love Shack The B-52's Time Capsule: Songs For A Future Generation We rarely make it to this song on the CD because he's so busy asking us to replay earlier tracks, but the couple times he's heard it he's voiced approval. I'm waiting for him to parse the line "I've got me a car, it's as big as a whale", as I think it has the potential to become the next "pass the tanning butter!"
Let Go Frou Frou Garden State OK, I admit it, this one's on there for me. I always do that—try to slip in a song or two that *I* really like, in hopes that he'll like it, too. (Funny, as I write this, I can hear Aura playing "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" for the Beaner in the basement. :) Most of the songs I slip in are rejected vehemently, sadly ("Watching the Detectives" was rejected soundly and repeatedly, to my dismay), but so far this one hasn't been—probably because I think we've only made it to the end of the disc once.
Posted by Lori at 9:20 PM
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January 30, 2008

Moody VI

I've mentioned my Moody playlist here before, most notably in 2003, when I was still on Moody II. As of today, 7 years after I burned the first Moody CD, I'm on Moody VI—and loving the freedom of the iTunes playlist, which doesn't limit me to what will fit on a single CD. The playlist is essentially the same as Moody II, with a few additions; I'm not sure I deleted anything from that original playlist (I don't have it in my iTunes as I originally burned it, so I'd have to find the actual CD somewhere to check), but I've edited out a few experiments over the past few versions.

For all the times I've mentioned Moody in its various incarnations, however, I don't think I've ever said exactly what it was comprised of. Here's the playlist for Moody VI, in all its perfect-for-coding, perfect-for-looping glory:

Name Artist Album
Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box Radiohead Amnesiac
Find My Baby Moby Play
I Might Be Wrong Radiohead Amnesiac
Sunspots Bob Mould Workbook
Guitar Flute and String Moby Play
Pyramid Song Radiohead Amnesiac
Everloving Moby Play
Karma Police Radiohead OK Computer
Roads Portishead Tank Girl Original Soundtrack
True Dreams Of Wichita Soul Coughing Ruby Vroom
Everything in It's Right Place Radiohead Kid A
In The Waiting Line Zero 7 Garden State
Exit Music (For A Film) Radiohead OK Computer
Rushing Moby Play
Lucky Radiohead OK Computer
The Sky Is Broken Moby Play
Sinners and Their Repentances Bob Mould Workbook
Climbing Up The Walls Radiohead OK Computer
Porcelain Moby Play
Hunting Bears Radiohead Amnesiac
Running To Stand Still U2 Joshua Tree
Split Needles The Shins Wincing The Night Away
Reckoner Radiohead In Rainbows
There there Radiohead Hail to the Thief
Weeping Willow The Verve Urban Hymns
Gone Madonna Music
Planet Telex Radiohead The Bends
Sleepless Soul Coughing Irresistable Bliss (Disc 1) [Japanese Import]
How to Disappear Completely Radiohead Kid A
Destroy This World Five-Eight I Learned Shut Up
Optimistic Radiohead Kid A
Heartbreak A Stranger Bob Mould Workbook
Deserve It Madonna Music
Go to Sleep Radiohead Hail to the Thief
Acoustic #3 Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up The Girl
Street Spirit (Fade Out) Radiohead The Bends

Posted by Lori at 7:44 PM | Permalink
January 31, 2008

Another Music Meme: Life Sountrack

I've seen this one before, but never when I had access to my complete iTunes library. Today I happened across Myla's version in the notes to one of her Flickr photos, and thought I'd give it a try. Some of the songs seem spot on; others, not so much. I thought it was interesting that the movie of my life opens and closes with Renaissance/Early music... and there's not a Radiohead song to be found anywhere.

Opening Credits: 40.Snow Drop, Affettuossimo: Larghetto (The Broadside Band)
Waking Up: Smile On (Deee-Lite)
First Day At School: Bustin' Surfboards (The Tornadoes)
Falling In Love: Feel So High (Des'ree)
Fight Song: Love To Be Loved (Peter Gabriel)
Breaking Up: Weird Divide (The Shins)
Grad: Flood II (The Sisters of Mercy)
Life: My Ship (Miles Davis)
Mental Breakdown: Mr. Jones (Counting Crows)
Driving Far Away: Private Idaho (The B-52s)
Flashback: Rose Room (Phil Harris [Best of Big Band])
Wedding: Downer (Lush)
Birth of Child: Ultrasonic Sound (Hive, Matrix Soundtrack)
Final Battle: Paisley Park (Prince and the Revolution)
Death Scene: Steam (Peter Gabriel)
Funeral Song: The Piston Cup (Randy Newman, Cars Soundtrack)
End Credit: The Night Watch; Fairy Round; The Choyce; Heigh Ho Holiday (Jakob Lindberg)

The rules, if you want to play:

  1. Open your library (iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc)
  2. Put it on shuffle
  3. Press play
  4. For every life event, type the song that’s playing
  5. When you go to the next life event, press the next button
  6. Don’t lie.
Posted by Lori at 5:38 PM
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May 21, 2008

Parent-Friendly Rock

As I mentioned yesterday, Al and I had tickets to see Liam Finn tonight at XPN's World Cafe Live. Showtime on the ticket was 7:30, and even though bands at most venues don't go on until at least 30 minutes after the advertised showtime, and Liam's MySpace page indicated he'd be going on at 8, we decided to be punctual.

We arrived at about 7:25 after a quick sushi dinner at Aija and approached the bar. Something about it reminded me of the Carlos Club (friends from Redwood Shores will know what I'm talking about :-), so without even thinking, I said, "I'll have a Sidecar, up." The bartender had a look of panic for a split second and then nodded. I thought, "she doesn't know what a Sidecar is, but she's decided that someone else behind the bar will know, so it's not worth asking." After taking Al's order for a club soda she flagged down one of the other bartenders and said, "hey, want to make something?" She forgot the "up" part when she relayed my drink order, however, so he came over to inquire. In the end I got what I wanted, minus the sugar rim (which isn't that big a deal).

Anyway, as my drink was being set before me, the lights dimmed, and onto the stage walked Liam and EJ. Al and I looked at each other in surprise, and Al said something like, "alright, World Cafe! Way to run a tight ship!" The opening notes sounded terrible from the bar, however, so we went down to the floor to listen. MUCH better.

first song

I didn't bring my camera with me because the venue clearly stated NO CAMERAS on their website, and I didn't want to be turned away at the door. There was a woman with a Canon SLR down front, though, and several people in the audience with point-and-shoots. As for me, I wasn't planning to abstain from photography entirely; I figured I'd just use my iPhone to get whatever I could.

EJ requests Remember When
Liam Finn @ world cafe live
acid trip going bad

He played all my favorites, I sang along and danced, and then suddenly he announced that this would be their last song. A few people booed, and he said, "oh, maybe we should leave now?" I responded with a bellowed "MOOOORE!" and was joined by several other shouts of "more, more!" Liam said we'd have to appeal to a higher-up at the club, and since no one knew were to find such a person on short notice, they kept to the schedule.

Liam, last song

When the lights came up, I checked my iPhone: 8:10pm. We decided that rather than sticking around to watch headliner Laura Viers, we'd declare this the most parent-friendly show ever and head home to tuck our kid into bed. (Well, after I went to the stage to thank Liam for an awesome show. I got a genuine smile and a "cheers!" in reply.)

Posted by Lori at 9:40 PM | Permalink
August 2, 2011

Moody XI

Just because I feel like it, I'm going to record the current state of my Moody playlist, which I've mentioned before (when it was Moody II, and again when it was Moody VI). It's now Moody XI, and it contains the same core favorites with a few newer additions. I should really figure out how to share this on or blip or something, so you can listen to it the way I do: while coding, and on loop.

Name Artist Album
Packt like sardines in a crushd tin box Radiohead Amnesiac
Find My Baby Moby Play
I Might Be Wrong Radiohead Amnesiac
Sunspots Bob Mould Workbook
Guitar Flute and String Moby Play
I Got the Drop On You Mike Doughty Golden Delicious
Pyramid Song Radiohead Amnesiac
Everloving Moby Play
Karma Police Radiohead OK Computer
Roads Portishead Tank Girl Original Soundtrack
True Dreams Of Wichita Soul Coughing Ruby Vroom
Fire In Your Belly Liam Finn I'll Be Lightning
Everything in It's Right Place Radiohead Kid A
In The Waiting Line Zero 7 Garden State
Exit Music (For A Film) Radiohead OK Computer
Home Is a Fire Death Cab for Cutie Codes and Keys (Deluxe Version)
Rushing Moby Play
Lucky Radiohead OK Computer
The Sky Is Broken Moby Play
Sinners and Their Repentances Bob Mould Workbook
Climbing Up The Walls Radiohead OK Computer
Night Time The XX XX (Bonus Track Version)
Porcelain Moby Play
Hunting Bears Radiohead Amnesiac
Running To Stand Still U2 Joshua Tree
Split Needles The Shins Wincing The Night Away
Reckoner Radiohead In Rainbows
Walking Away Atthis Alcedo Summer Chillout Mix 2008 (from Angela)
There there Radiohead Hail to the Thief
You Are a Tourist Death Cab for Cutie Codes and Keys (Deluxe Version)
Crystalised The XX XX (Bonus Track Version)
Weeping Willow The Verve Urban Hymns
Gone Madonna Music
Sleepless Soul Coughing Irresistable Bliss (Disc 1) [Japanese Import]
How to Disappear Completely Radiohead Kid A
Destroy This World Five-Eight I Learned Shut Up
Optimistic Radiohead Kid A
Heartbreak A Stranger Bob Mould Workbook
Deserve It Madonna Music
Better to Be Liam Finn I'll Be Lightning
Go to Sleep Radiohead Hail to the Thief
Acoustic #3 Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up The Girl
Street Spirit (Fade Out) Radiohead The Bends
The Past And Pending The Shins Oh, Inverted World
I Will Possess Your Heart Death Cab For Cutie Narrow Stairs
Without You Lenny Kravitz 5
Pink Bullets The Shins Chutes Too Narrow
Welcome Home Radical Face Ghost

Posted by Lori at 9:43 PM
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August 19, 2013

Rockin' Out!

Last summer (I can't believe it's been a year!), I said to the Beaner, "it's time for music lessons. Would you like to do piano, guitar, or vocals?" He replied, "I want to play the drums." This I found interesting, as I, too, had wanted to play the drums as a child. Well, actually I wanted to play the flute when we were offered the opportunity to choose band instruments in fourth grade, but back in the olden days, when asthma wasn't well understood, I was told that asthmatics couldn't play the flute. "Then I want to play the drums," I said. For me this meant getting a drum pad and sticks and a drum teacher. For the Beaner, it meant calling the School of Rock.

I had noticed the sign for the (original Paul Green) School of Rock when I first moved to Philadelphia and read about it in an article online, and I'd seen posters on Chestnut Street for SOR shows. (And of course, since then, I've seen the movie.) In the intervening years, the School of Rock became a franchise, and there are now locations around the country—including several in this area. I picked the one in Philadelphia proper because that's where we live, and we arranged to visit the place and see if there was a program that was right for the Beaner.

The main School of Rock gig is the Performance Program, in which students have a private lesson in their instruments weekly, plus a 3-hour weekly rehearsal for a particular show (past shows have included themes like The Ramones, 90s Rock, Freedom Rock, Led Zeppelin, and Arena Rock) over 8-10 weeks. Each kid is assigned a few songs, and at rehearsals the participants in each song practice together as a band. At the end of the season, the kids play two shows: one on a Friday night at the School of Rock, and one the next afternoon at a real rock venue such as Johnny Brenda's or The Legendary Dobbs.

For younger kids, the School of Rock also has a program called Rock 101. This is what we signed the Beaner up for, since he was 7 at the time and had no experience playing the drums yet. It's similar to the Performance Program except that there's no show to aim for—just weekly 90-minute jam sessions with fellow 101 Rockers. The shorter rehearsal time was a better fit for his attention span as well as his experience. There was a drum lesson spot open just before 101 on Saturdays, so we took that.

I should probably mention here that the philosophy of the School of Rock is to get kids playing real rock music as soon as possible, and to teach music theory as they go. Putting learning actual songs first gives the kids the incentive they need to practice and to improve their technique. Thus it was that the Beaner was learning basic rock beats in his lessons while also banging out Blitzkrieg Bop and Hit Me With Your Best Shot in Rock 101.

drum practice (with improvised snare, hi-hat, and kick bass) hamming it up during hit me with your best shot

We wanted to make sure the Beaner would stick with it before we invested in a drum set, so we started him out with a set of sticks, a table, a chair, and a shoebox. Al and I both worked with him for the first few weeks of home practice to help him with timing, but after that, his skill eclipsed ours. That's when we got him a drum set—a very basic kit that we will eventually upgrade when this one wears out (and it will if he keeps playing :-).

the kid is pleased with his new drums

I'd started looking forward to spending a couple hours at the School of Rock every Saturday; I enjoyed listening to the kids play while getting caught up on random work tasks like fixing or triaging bugs and updating Trello boards. And sometimes I sang along from the kitchen area to whatever was going on back in the Rock 101 room. :-) When they started learning Seven Nation Army, though, I was actually inspired to get out the awesome bass guitar I'd bought during a bout of depression back in the winter of 95-96. I guessed that the bass line would be relatively easy to figure out, and perhaps the Beaner and I could practice a bit together. (Video password is the name of this site.)

This past June the Beaner graduated from Rock 101 and was invited to join the Performance Program. (Rock 101 had become so popular that the SOR actually started a Rock 102, I think on Tuesday nights, but the Beaner preferred to stick with 101 on Saturdays until they forced him out. Not really surprising; he likes to stick with what he knows and avoids change.) He requested The Monkees as his first choice show and got it. Summer shows are a little ragged because so many kids go on family vacations and miss rehearsals, but the Beaner had a blast—and my Saturday work sessions at the SOR went from 2 hours to 4. I helped him practice at home, mostly by singing and playing the tambourine rather than playing bass.

As usual, the Friday night show was held at the School of Rock. Here's "For Pete's Sake" from that show, with the Beaner on drums (apologies for the horrible sound quality; Al was standing right near the monitor when he recorded this):

On Saturday my parents came up to see the show at The Legendary Dobbs on South Street. Here's "Look Out, Here Comes Tomorrow" from that show, again with the Beaner on drums:

Right around the time the kids were doing their final Monkees rehearsal, Craig (Waxman, the GM at the Philly School of Rock) announced that an adult program would be starting up on Thursday nights. It would work similarly to Rock 101: you'd get a weekly lesson and a weekly 2-hour practice session with your fellow adult musicians. The goal (which I kind of ignored, since my goal was merely to finally learn to play my vintage P-bass) would be to play 3 or 4 shows a year in local clubs. I waffled for a couple weeks and then finally took the plunge. I've had two lessons and one practice session so far, and I'm so looking forward to the lesson and session this week. (Though I did kind of forget that I'd have to work daily practice into my busy schedule, which means something will have to give—and that something will be running... which I realize is yet another thing I haven't written about here. Summary: I went from not being able to run the bases at softball in April 2012 to running my first 5K race at a 9:47/mi pace in April 2013.)

After a brief break between show seasons, signups for the winter season shows took place today. The Beaner's first choice was Punk 'n Funk (he's a little unsure what to expect, given that there's no single band to learn about, but he's hoping that there'll be at least one Ramones tune in the lineup), which rehearses on Saturdays again. His second choice was "nothing," but I put in for Women Who Rock, which was not-so-secretly MY first choice. ;-) The Beaner thinks that's just for girls, tho, so he's not really interested.

Al will be splitting the 4-hour Saturday stints at the SOR with me this time, as the UWHL hockey season starts in early October, and we will have at least half our games on Saturdays. With bass lessons on Wednesday nights and Adult Program sessions on Thursday nights, though, I'm still going to be spending a whole lotta time at the Philly SOR. If you have kid who's interested in learning an instrument or singing with a band—or you want to get out that old Fender, or put childhood piano lessons to use on keyboards—come on down! I'll share the table in the kitchen area—or the microphone—with you.


Posted by Lori at 1:09 AM
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August 23, 2013

Bass Badass

Played so much bass during last night's adult program practice that by the last song my left hand and arm cramped and refused to grip the strings. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't *that* much continuous playing time—only a little over 2 hours—but that's more than I've ever done before. (Usually I practice for 30-60 minutes a night, my lessons are 45 minutes long, and at the last adult session I sang half the songs because I didn't know the bass lines to them.)

On a related note, I've noticed that there's a disconnect between the songs I like to listen to and noodle out at home, and the ones I enjoy playing most with the other dudes in the group. I have a pretty wide range of musical interests, but I don't have much in the Blues genre in my library. Blues, however, turns out to be really fun to play. The bass line can really hold up a song and provide a platform for some cool guitar solos—and it's usually chill enough that I can keep up fairly easily.

In other music news, the Beaner got into Punk 'n Funk for this season, so he will start practices for that this Saturday. Oh, and as we were leaving the adult session last night, Yanni said, "we're going to have a show soon. Don't anyone quit the band before the show!" Which... eep!... is both exciting and terrifying. Hopefully we will do all Blues tunes! And we should probably come up with a name for ourselves, so I don't have to keep referring to us as the Adult Program. Maybe we can use the title of the note that was sent home with the Beaner from camp last night and be the HEY GROWNUPS!

Posted by Lori at 12:25 PM | Permalink
January 2, 2015

It Was on MY Calendar, Anyway

It was just me, Brad, and Yanni at band practice tonight—which wasn't terrible, because there are a bunch of songs just the three of us can play, and with no one waiting for a turn on drums, we could run through the same song 4 or 5 times. Janie Jones is actually starting to sound good, and the Misfits song is working, too. Yanni wants to do Electric Funeral, which I am down for, but I'm starting to wonder if we should just do all of Paranoid as a show. It could work.

It also turns out that Yanni is as captivated by the groove of Do I Wanna Know? by the Arctic Monkeys as I am (I am also a big fan of the internal rhymes), so we've resolved to learn that one as well. Brad has volunteered to play bass so I can work on singing.

Looking forward to my lesson next Wednesday, as Scott is back from touring, and I want to finish off Watching the Detectives. Also thinking he might have some tips on how to make the AC/DC songs sound better. Rooooock!

Posted by Lori at 11:09 PM | Permalink
December 26, 2020

One of The Things I Left Out

It turns out that I was so busy living and working and whatnot that I didn’t bother to write for… months? Years? I’m not going to apologize, as I assume I’m writing mostly for myself at this point, and I have the supremely un-searchable Instagram and Bandcamp and other records of what I’ve been up to over the past four or five years that I can reference if I'm curious. For context, tho, it might be helpful to elaborate on how I came to form a band with my friends Brad and Sam. Here’s how I explained it to a friend in 2014:

When we signed The Beaner up for drum lessons and Rock 101 at the School of Rock back in September 2012, I said to Craig (the manager), "oh, this Rock 101 thing sounds like it would be no pressure—the kids are unlikely to laugh at me—so maybe I should sign up, too!" He replied that it was only for kids, but that occasionally they had enough interest to form an Adult Program. At that point they didn't, and I didn't think about it too much. The following summer, around the time I got back from Berlin, Craig said, "oh hey, we're getting an Adult Program together and have a couple guitarists and a drummer; if you're interested, let me know." I waffled for a bit and then signed up in August. I have bass lessons on Wednesday evenings, and then there's a two-hour "band" practice on Thursday nights. We played our first (and so far only) gig at the little club next door to the School of Rock (which is in the same building as the Electric Factory, a well-known rock venue; the little club is called Voltage). Yanni (Papadopoulos, of local band Stinking Lizaveta fame) is both the Musical Director of the Philly SOR and also the show director for the Adult Program; when I joined the group, he had been playing bass and singing all the songs because no one else could sing and play at the same time. I don't play bass as well as Yanni, but I learned my songs, and I also learned to sing a few while playing, so we were able to add songs like Glory Box and Ball and Chain to our repertoire. There are a couple videos of those up on Facebook. About five weeks before our first show our drummer quit, so Yanni played drums for the next few practices. I put out a call for a drummer on Twitter and on my blog… and to my surprise, one of the guys on my team at work, Brad, said he wanted to do it. Since Brad and I work together and we live only 1.5 blocks from each other, we either carpool or walk there and then get an Uber home. (Through December it was all walk/Uber because Al was teaching a class on Thursday nights and needed the car.) By the time of our first show Brad had only had 3 lessons, so he played 4 songs, I think, and his instructor (also Austen's instructor) played the rest for us.

The adrenaline rush was so high from playing that show that I couldn't start working on new stuff soon enough. :-) Things are a little weirder/more complicated now, though, as Adult Program isn't *quite* a band—it's a *program*. We ended up getting three new members in the two months after the first show (actually more than that, but only three stayed), and we lost one of the original guitarists to a move even before that first show happened (he came back for a rehearsal and the show itself). Brad and C (a 20-year old college student who kind of drives me crazy) switch off songs on drums now, A (also a 20 year-old college student, but with a really nice, calm vibe) plays backup guitar to O’s constant soloing, and N sings. I still sing too, but I'm conscious of the fact that if N's not singing, she doesn't have anything else to do... whereas I have a bass to play on EVERY SONG. Anyway, even tho it's a little weird now, Thursday is still my favorite night of the week. We have our second show (N’s, A’s, and C’s first) on May 1, and given that I'm in San Diego for Spring Break this week, I will only have one rehearsal before then. Ack! This incarnation of the group isn't nearly as tight as the first one, but I'm still looking forward to giving it a whirl on stage. Also, I have blisters and callouses on my fingers now. :-)

Our little Adult Band ended up playing a couple(?) shows after that, including one with the best incarnation of the group yet—me, Brad, an amazing singer who unfortunately left after our one show together to attend med school in Virginia, and a young guitarist named Sam. It was our first show where we didn’t need Yanni to play on any of the songs. After that show Brad and I lasted about two or three rehearsals before we decided we didn’t want to start all over again with a new bunch of folks who were just learning to play their instruments. As Yanni had been hinting for some time, we were ready to graduate and go our own way.

We ended up finding a practice space in South Philly, and the two of us jammed together for weeks, occasionally inviting a friend to come and play guitar or keyboards. Nothing really stuck until Sam finally agreed to come and play with us, at Yanni’s urging. At that point, we had a band. Sam wrote some great guitar parts over our drum and bass lines, and he and I traded writing lyrics for the songs the three of us composed together. (We discovered a pattern: I only wrote true stories, and Sam only wrote fiction.) Thursday night rehearsals became our thing, and we eventually played a couple shows (including one at my house in West Philly for the neighbors who’d expressed interest in what we were up to) before I moved to California. On the weekend before I left for good, we recorded our latest set of songs for posterity. As Brad notes, we never officially broke up; we just don’t practice regularly anymore. On my list of things to do this Christmas break is to write something—a fragment of lyric, a bit of bass line—and upload it to the band Slack that we still maintain for Brad and Sam to noodle on. I miss the musicianship, and I want to return to writing and recording and playing with my friends, even if we can’t be together in the same shitty practice space in South Philly.

Posted by Lori at 11:14 PM | Permalink