“Fuck You / Till You’re Gone” — Gabe Dixon

28 10 2012

I just discovered Mr. Gabe Dixon via an episode of Parks and Recreation, and I gotta say, I wish I could improvise and play like him.  To me, he’s the blues version of Jamie Cullum, but a bit less crazy/eccentric.  If I had the choice to either learn how to improvise or play Classical music, I’d pick improvising.  It’s just so much freer and way more impressive to me.  I’ve been trying to improvise more, and it’s really difficult sometimes.  I will probably never be able to play so free and fearlessly as Gabe Dixon or Jamie Cullum, but alas.  It’s times like these when I think my ARCT Diploma in Piano Performance means shit.  Which it basically does anyway.

“Faithfully” — Journey

17 04 2012

For whatever reason, I found myself watching an old clip from Glee, and suddenly, I dug “Faithfully” a lot.  Then I searched up the original by Journey, and it’s so good!  I know there is a lot of hate for Glee, but I honestly wouldn’t have listened to Journey without Glee‘s help, and I think that’s one of the positive effects about the show.  It exposes younger audiences to music and artists they may not have even heard of.

As someone on youtube posted, “Lol I think it’s stupid to compare, Glee and Journey are different, Glee introduced me singers I didn’t even know. They are not trying to be better. That is just my opinion.”  I agree with this.

Re-inspired by Glee

21 02 2012

Every once in a while, I’ll see or hear something that makes me step back from reality, something that reminds me of my purpose in this world.  It happened again tonight while watching the newest episode of Glee.  Surprised?  Rolling your eyes at me?

Perhaps I should clarify that it really was only one short part in the episode that made me re-think things (ie. not when Rachel is singing at Regionals.  Meh).  *Spoilers!*  Blaine sings a cover of “Cough Syrup” by Young the Giant to Kurt on stage.  While he’s doing so, Dave Karofsky, now outed to his school and online, contemplates, then prepares to kill himself in his bedroom.  Of course, this made me tear up and cry a little, as I’m sure it did for a lot of people.  But moreover, it reminded me that I have a responsibility in this world to ensure that gay teens, even if in this case it is a fictional character, don’t have to do what Karofsky did.  It reminded me of my documentary project idea about gay teen suicides across North America.  It reminded me that maybe doing this project is more important than school or work or watching TV shows; this is about getting an important message out there– one that I have the potential to tell and show everyone.

It’s difficult because it’s not like I can just go out and make this documentary.  If I was only working and not in school, things would be so much easier.  Or if I had help, since it takes more than one person to make a documentary…  and it takes a lot of planning.  In some ways, I feel like I’m too late to cover this topic.  The big news stories about the string of suicides happened almost a year and a half ago.  I should’ve gotten footage of things going on then.  Who’s to say there aren’t filmmakers doing it right now?  But I want to do this, I really do.  It’s got me thinking, it’s got me thinking.

And I have Glee to thank for that.

Your Song

9 02 2012

I don’t like admitting certain things, and this is one of them.

I really, really, really dig this cover of Elton’s “Your Song”, even though it’s quite different from the original (and what many people would call an abomination because of that).  But I like that it starts off in a minor key, and the general tone and atmosphere of the song changes because of this.  It feels more humble, more unsure– much like me.

30 Day Song Challenge: Days 27 + 28

7 05 2011

Day 27: A song that you wish you could play

I’ve posted this “song” before and have commented on it already so I don’t have much else to say.  A difficult Chopin piece of which I’ve taught myself about half of so far but the last half awaits me and my cursing when I screw up.  I’m working on it though…

Day 28:  A song that makes you feel guilty

This is probably the most difficult one I’ve had to pick so far, just because I had NO idea of any song that makes me feel guilty.  I think part of the reason I couldn’t think of one was because the songs I mainly listen to make me sad or are sad and songs that I’d listen to when I’m sad, but none that make me feel guilty.  And why guilty?  Out of all the emotions out there, why choose a song that makes you feel guilty?  I didn’t realize there were supposed to be a lot of songs for this category, but apparently so, or else they might’ve asked me for a song that makes me feel like constipated or scared of heights.

Anyway, the best I could do was Vivian Green’s take on the jazz standard “Love For Sale” by Cole Porter.  I’ve listened to a few version of this song and I had seen De-lovely (but have forgotten most of it since it was kind of a meh movie) but didn’t remember her singing “Love For Sale” in the film at all.  It’s a darker, more melancholic take on the song, I think, and as much as I am open about discussing most of everything in my life, the song reminds me of a period in my life that I’m certainly not proud of.  Judging by the lyrics, I’m sure you can come to some conclusion about what that might be.

“Hallelujah” — Rufus Wainwright/k.d. lang

5 04 2011

As much as I want to repost “Sweet Surrender” because it’s the song for me at the moment, I know I probably shouldn’t.  I’ve been practicing “Hallelujah” for a fundraiser that I’ll be performing next week on Wednesday, which I’m slightly nervous about because I’ve never sang it before in public and I only remember 2 and a half of the 5 verses.  I do have the sheet for it though, and I’ve always really liked the song.  Like most people, I had only heard either the Jeff Buckley version or the Rufus Wainwright version, both made popular by Shrek.

I realize it seems like I’m only posting covers done by queer people but quite frankly I think Jeff Buckley gets enough attention with his rendition (and Rufus too, although to a lesser extent).  After the closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympics, I saw and heard k.d. lang’s version and thought it was pretty darn fantastic so I’m posting it here too.

My pen pal in Australia told me once that “Hallelujah” is one of those songs that always makes him cry when he hears it, and for me, it’s one of those… truly sad — and strangely happy at the same time — songs written in a major key that makes it all the more sad.  One of the things I learned after listening to some sad songs in my life is that I’ve found sad songs are even sadder in a major key.  I’m not sure why, but it’s almost like it makes the pain all the more real and stronger.

Here are two live versions of the song.  Now excuse me while I crawl into bed and weep.