Friday, February 29, 2008

Metal Beams and Music Means

OK you silly friends of mine who didn't want to "waste" money on a band you didn't know. You've all just missed out on the show of your life! Last night's concert at In the Venue was fabulous! The show started with a few songs from Alexa Wilkinson. She was way funny and witty. I very much enjoyed her--she's a talented girl. Check her out. Some things she did with her voice reminded me of Jewel.

Ingrid Michaelson is probably my new favorite female artist. She's very similar to Regina Spektor in some ways. Her performance was literally flawless. She was a lot of fun. It boggles my mind how people like this probably don't ever get seen. If she were to audition on American Idol, I don't even think she'd get past the producers. Is that weird? I hear the top 24 mess up, go flat, go sharp, forget words, and pick terrible songs. And then I hear someone like Ingrid with an amazing voice, who stays on perfect pitch ALL the time, and I wonder how performers/songwriters like her get overlooked. Read an article about her here. Listen to her music here, especially "The Hat" and "The Way I Am" (ten cents says you've already heard the latter).

Joshua Radin was amazing. Too bad he was wearing his hat--we didn't get to see his cute curly hair. He was very quiet, so I was initially frustrated by the losers who wouldn't shut the heck up for the first song. I took some videos and whatnot; maybe I'll post them soon. Six months too late I found out that he and Schuyler Fisk broke up--a shame, really. It's funny because they're both really down to earth people who I think would be really nice if you ran into them. They seemed like a great couple. They harmonized well for sure. Anyway, Joshua was also flawless, and a lot of his new songs he said had to do with his breakup and stuff. He just seemed so sad still, six months later!

When we first got there, I had to use the restroom. It smelled so pleasant--like mildew eaten landfill. Mmm. Anyway, Tanner was a little frustrated that I did that, but I didn't want to go in the middle of the show, which I knew I would, what with a bladder of a 4 oz. capacity. The stools were all taken at the top, so we had to climb up on this railing to sit on a wooden frame a few feet above everyone. This was good because, as most of you know, I'm five feet tall, and I could SEE! It was a miracle. Some people decided to break through the tarp to bring in some chairs. The staff came up and took all the chairs back, and they also took the stools that everyone was sitting on by the railing. So then Tanner and I were happy that we had a place to sit. If we had sat on the stools before, we'd have been standing after that! Plus it was relatively comfortable sitting on this wooden platform instead of a bar railing like lots of other people, or even standing in the sweaty, smoky mass downstairs.

I faced a relatively painful obstacle in my climb onto this wooden platform. It was dark, so I was a little bit discombobulated. Tanner tried to lift me up, and didn't have anything to hold on to, so I fell down (with style). I climbed back up, and did it much too rapidly, because on my last step, I launched my forehead into this metal pole framework that covered the entire ceiling. Good, I'm glad I didn't notice before. I now have a horn on my head, but it doesn't look as bad as I thought it would. I had a headache for a large portion of the night, and some pains that felt like they were caused by me grinding my teeth for several days. I also noticed that the top of my nose between my eyebrows hurt really bad which I figured was because the frame of my glasses sitting on my nose got jammed onto my face. Oh well, Tanner got me an ice pack, and I enjoyed all of the performers nevertheless, if you couldn't already tell.

We then played a trick on Cara and Raytch by sitting in the car long before they got there. Tanner told them we left early and missed Josh because I needed to lay down. They were so sad for me. It was cute. I couldn't be serious for much longer. Then we talked of the fabulous musician/singer/songwriters we had just witnessed. We stopped and ate at--guess where?!--Denny's! Yay. I got the sampler and a chocolate shake. Cutest Tanner bought it for me. Anyway, it was fun. I called my mother to tell her how I had rammed my head into a pole, and she laughed. I'm glad my pain was amusing to her. Tanner didn't even laugh--that means it wasn't funny!

The drive home was frightening. Tanner drives far too fast and kept saying he was falling asleep. Wow.

So Bri and Aric do this thing where they say their 3 best things or what they're most grateful for at the end of their blog. It can be more than 3, and it probably should, for those who struggle with negativity, as I do. :) Here are mine.

1. I'm grateful for my period. Yes. I've decided that every time I complain about the discomfort and inconvenience of periods, I should be grateful that my body is healthy and regular and capable of childbearing. There are many other women who probably wish they could be in the state that I am in although I do somewhat look forward to the day that I can NOT have it for nine months in a row! Woot.

2. The Spirit--for its promptings and guidance. There are times where I'm grateful I follow a feeling I have, and one of those times was recently. I believe I have a gift with words, and the promptings to use them for others' benefit are always fruitful.

3. Humility. On my part, being able to take criticism (not so easily) and turn it into something to work on. I'm grateful for others being willing to do the same, especially my Tanner.

4. Words. What would I ever do without them? I wouldn't even be able to make fun of people. Oh. Really though, I love the release that they bring.

5. Dinner tonight! I'm going to Tucanos with a thousand people tonight. It will be delicious, and I get to have Brazilian lemonade again. Woot!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just Say Hello...

You know, I’m a believer in the idea that this world is becoming increasingly alienating.

We have more forms of transportation and communication than ever before—planes, trains, automobiles should make it so we go places, see things, meet people—interconnect. Instead we use these things to get us from point A to point B—as quickly as possible, might I add.

We have more ways of communicating than ever before—instant messaging, text messaging, cellular phones, e-mail. We can talk to our friends with the simple click of a button, no matter how far apart we are.

We also have more portable entertainment. My religion professor, Brother Bott, tells us we are killing ourselves with our “iPods and mp3-4-5s and text messaging.” I couldn’t agree more. What got me wanting to write about this was that I saw Brother Bott’s concern proven. Case in point, I was walking to Spanish class yesterday and I saw a guy walking out of the JKB. He looked to his left and saw somebody he knew walking into the building. The way he excitedly tried to say hello hinted that it had probably been a long time since these two friends had spoken to one another. The man tried twice more to say hello. “Hey, Andy! Andy!” and Andy just kept walking into the JKB, iPod ear buds in his ears, blaring too-loud music that deafened the happening of the outside world.

You know, I love music too. I can’t blame Andy (whose name wasn’t really Andy. I forgot what his name was, but it’s good for the sake of concealing his identity) for having his ear buds in. Music is the communication of the soul. It’s a connection and a feeling that usually can’t be explained in words. We all know this. But I don’t think it was meant to alienate us from one another. I think it was meant to bring us together.

Tonight, I’m going to a concert in Salt Lake with my best friends. I am so excited. We are seeing Joshua Radin and Ingrid Michaelson. We’re sharing our love for music with one another, spending time together. And afterward, we will talk about how much we loved it. We’ll have one more experience that we’ve shared. And it wasn’t because we were hanging out in a living room all with our own headphones on.

I’ve decided that we shouldn’t let technology get in the way. We need to use it as a tool to connect to each other. Blogs are a good example—entire families connecting to each other, reading events in the lives of their loved ones. And at the same time, I’m curious how this compares to writing an old-fashioned letter or having a spontaneously long telephone conversation.

We’re gaining so much, and at the same time losing so much. I often wonder what it was like when life was slower—if it meant more to see your relatives when you had to travel by wagon or train to see them; if relationships were better when they were spoken instead of virtual; if asking a person what kind of music they like was better than wondering what they are listening to as they obliviously pass you by, deafened by the sounds from their high-tech music device.

Hey, I’m guilty too. But sometimes I’d rather hear the birds chirping or hear a “hello” from an old classmate as I walk on campus than wear headphones or be too absorbed in my own thoughts and feelings to notice.