full circle

. . .from an upward battle of struggles and emotions to a journey of healing, growth, and laughter. . .

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“don’t smoke weed”

don’t you wish your girlfriend was hot like me? those words came out at 7 pm. right on time. what a change. they stormed the stage with sparkly shorts and stiletto boots. all the hair flipping and suggestive positions made me feel like i was at a strip club (not that i have ever been, lol), but the pussycat dolls put on an amazing show. they played to the fans with every song, always taking a moment to check in with vancouver. the screams from the crowd were deafening. i was duly impressed.

we were even entertained during the intermission with circus performers. and when the video screen started with an intro at 8.15, i thought, ‘wow, this is going to be the best overall concert i’ve been to.’

but i was wrong.

what can i say about britney that you haven’t already heard on the radio, seen on TV, read in the newspapers, or scanned on the web? all around the world. i won’t dwell on it. the show started off great. the show resumed after 30 minutes. the show continued great. but i was disappointed. after the shit that went on, i couldn’t quite get back to my excitement. even the crowd seemed quieter. i admit i loved that she sang “baby one more time” (a song i am quite fond of, as it was the last song i heard before moving to milano 10 years ago) and did “womanizer” during the encore, but i now use the word “sang” loosely. during the first part of the night, i wondered if she were really singing, because the vocals sounded exactly like the CD. but with the live band and a ballad later on, i decided she was indeed singing. and then last night, i saw a clip on the news. the cameraman had zoomed in on brit at the exact moment she paused singing to scratch her face, but you could still “hear” her singing. i didn’t think you could add to my disappointment.

but i was wrong.

as i snuck out of the arena while she was saying thank you to the fans, all i heard was “don’t smoke weed”. that’s rich coming from someone who’s been to rehab and photographed multiple times smoking, smoking in the presence of her son, and smoking while pregnant.

piss off, britney.

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the crystal method is my favorite band (… or should that be … musicians…? or djs…?). i have to give an old ozzie friend credit for that (actually, he turned me onto a bunch of music of the same genre that night in palm cove…). i have every album they’ve done since. and when i saw them play at the commodore a few years ago, it was madness for me. i had a wicked time. so, i wondered how a show at celebrities would turn out. i hadn’t been too keen on the venue. i hadn’t been there since i saw an old colleague perform for his cd release party, and i was worried that i would feel uncomfortable being the only single girl in a gay club, and i was curious to know how a dance club would convert itself for the show.

the funny thing is that the dance club did not convert itself. and i did feel uncomfortable (which had less to do with it being a gay club and more to do with the hetero freaks who attended). it wasn’t a show per se but just some great djs spinning for the dance club. i debated for a long time whether to leave but finally decided i would at least wait until they played something i recognized (which took about an hour and a half). i now know the difference between playing at the commodore and “playing” at celebrities. their commodore show was geared to show off their album, so whatever they played was something off their album. the “show” last night just provided the backdrop for crazy dancers.

i’ll stick to dancing in my living room with any one of their albums blasting through my speakers.

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rock your ferry back to wales

i saw duffy at the orpheum last nite. amazing voice but terrible performance. she showed up on stage in a skin tight red dress from the 80s (a black stripe down the middle, eww!), which was unflattering to her tummy, and black stilettos, which-if you looked closely-she teetered on. she looked like white trash barbie. and her moves were worse. i felt like i was forced to watch cheesy music videos from my youth. i was so disgusted with her performance that i was debating to just walk out and find a way to remove those painful images on my brain. just as i was reaching for my coat, she sang her last song. and i bolted. i did not need the encore. i think i’ll just stick to listening to the cd.

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in stereo

i actually got up early yesterday, lol. i went to brunch with a friend/mentor and then ended up working on my song for eight hours. a new song, you ask? no, not a new song. the song i recorded last week. i was going to work on condensing the two verses but discovered that we recorded a couple of the parts out of order, so following along was a task in mending the out-of-sync. so, i ended up re-recording (for follow along purposes only) the entire song, complete with strings. and i taught myself how to use the fader, yeah! and then i edited out some of the extra parts the song could do without. but i really struggled with condensing the verses, because increasing the tempo made it sound funny and i didn’t want to cut out any lyrics (although, i am still considering whether i can tell the original story in four fewer lines). i worked on the song at my computer and piano continuously until i realized that i was running late for the stereophonics show, i hadn’t eaten dinner, and i would probably miss the opening band. so, i grudging left my song and got ready for the show.

i figured i would get to the commodore just in time to see stereophonics go on, which would be perfect because then i wouldn’t have to stand around by myself (i’m getting tired of going to bar shows alone). i didn’t care about the opening band this time. . . kinda hard to care when they don’t tell you who it is. . . i was even debating whether to go at all, because i was so tired. well, i got to the commodore, and the opening band was still playing. that sucked for waiting around time, but the band was pretty good. . . people in planes from wales. . . in fact, so good that i’ll be getting their cd. . . yup, that good. . .

i’m glad i went. stereophonics kept the energy level high at all times, kicking off the show with ‘the bartender and the thief’, an old fave i had forgotten about [the black crowes could take lessons]. they actually played a lot of old songs [the black crowes could take lessons]. my only complaint wasn’t even about the show… it was that there was an unusually high number of tall people there… and with my flats [i took a lesson from the black crowes show], i was just too short, from every angle of the commodore (yes, i moved around A LOT). i finally decided to go back up to the front and managed to find the perfect niche for the rest of the show. i must admit, despite being a fan, i was pleasantly surprised with their performance. and their fans adore them. that was great, to see so many people so excited to see them play, singing along. i’ll forgive the tall ones this time.

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studio cats

after a long absence, i found myself in the studio last night. but this time, not only was my keyboard magically transported there, but i was also playing and recording my song! when, the night before, my friend suggested he pick up my keys and we work on my song, i became extremely nervous and uncertain (yes, i went straight to the liquor store after work, lol). i hadn’t played the song all summer and really didn’t want to waste my friend’s time. but this was the first real chance to record my song, so i threw back my drink, practiced for an hour (ok, half an hour), and headed into the studio.

i hadn’t played piano for anyone in my adult life except T (and that was only a few notes), so to have to do so for the first time in front of the person who would be producing and mixing (and ultimately judging) my song was not something i was anticipating. but the nerves dissipated once i started playing. i figured if i could get the parts down one at a time, my friend would just copy and paste them where they repeated in the song… except that my friend had other plans. he told me i wasn’t allowed to cheat. what? but that had been my plan all along. but he didn’t budge (at least not yet, lol).

so, with a lot of starting and stopping, arghing, sighing, and an occasional swear, i slowly lay down each part, one after the other. i couldn’t believe i was actually recording my song! but when we got to the second chorus, i kept screwing it up. magically, my friend realized what a good idea it would be to just copy and paste the previous chorus i had recorded. YEAH! while my friend edited what i had put down, i waited for my solo (teehee), throwing out my editorial comments (see, now i get producer credits, too). but after hours of playing, exhaustion set in, and i kept screwing up my solo, too. he told me to play the parts separately, and once again i was off the hook. {hey, i’m never going to need to play this song ever again!}. then, he told me to play it in ‘strings’ mode on my keyboard. what an ingenious idea! we put down strings in a few places, and when we heard it, it sounded amazing!

after nearly four hours, i finished playing around midnight. my foot cramped from the pedal, my eyes strained from the dim light, and my yawns getting stronger, i rested on the couch and watched my friend pick up an acoustic guitar. he strummed the notes a few different ways with the song, and it sounded exactly the way i had originally wanted—with that extra musical layer, my song would really shape up. but it was too late to start anything new, so he didn’t actually record the guitar (now that is something i am anticipating).

we decided the song was still too long, even after i had cut out a part originally and we cut out a part in the studio. so, i have to work on the last two verses (for anyone who cares, lol) to get them sung in the same amount of time as one verse. the tempo is rather slow, so it might just work. but that’s an exercise for another day!