06 May 2011

Recent Exploits

Spent yesterday afternoon watching Rocky Horror and sewing Butterick 5032 in leopard print. Discovered two things:

a) Either that pattern has a crazy amount of ease or I am way skinnier than I was (though I'd love the latter I expect it's the former); and
b) there is a whole, like, extra 20 minutes of the Rocky Horror Picture Show after the floor show that I had completely forgotten about!

That's such a fun movie. Nothing in it makes any sense, but every moment is so goshdarn enjoyable. I also dyed my hair black, a decision I'm pleased with; the damaged ends are getting fairly ratty and the purple was only making it clearer (and grosser). The new color transcends the too-short cut a bit to make the Bettie Page I'm channelling a little more obvious, which is cool, and  it just generally looks a little saner. I haven't been a color found in nature for a while.

The main excitement in my life these days is my music class: I've spent the week getting course credit for listening to Ray Charles and Bessie Smith and Hank Williams and Bill Haley. The musical history, which I've never really put together the jigsaw pieces of despite my love for the music itself, is super fascinating, and I'm also learning a lot in terms of how to talk about music. My vocabulary for the actual structural underpinnings of music is shameful, and that's being addressed, but in addition the professor thinks it's really important to learn how to talk about subjective musical elements as well--how to describe someone's vocal style, for instance, beyond the mechanics (she's a soprano, she's singing melismatically*). It's an interesting education. I'm heading to school in half an hour or so; today we're doing Sun Records and Elvis through the Brill Building and girl groups.

*fun vocab fact of the day: melismatic singing is the term used to describe a singing style in which multiple pitches are ranged over one syllable, unlike syllabic singing in which changes in pitch are directly correlated to oncoming syllables. For instance, Celine Dion singing "Near, far, where-EV-er you are" would be syllabic, because each new note she hits is tied to a new syllable of the lyrics, but Whitney Houston wailing "And I-I-I-I-I will always love YOU-u-u-u-u-OOOO-u-u" would be melismatic because she really goes crazy on those pronouns.

In the spirit of today's lecture here's my favorite girl group, the Shangri-Las, singing not their biggest song, "Leader of the Pack," but their awesomest, "Great Big Kiss":



Check those outfits! And those girls at the end--"Jimmy O'Neill has boy appeal, he looks so cute in his mohair suit..."

And just for fun, Johnny Thunders singing it too: I love how he does both the lead AND backup dialogue in the spoken part. It's so endearing:

03 May 2011

Louis Jordan Is My New Favorite

Gosh it's been a while, hasn't it? No time for a big long post now but as a quick update: my music class has started and it's awesome. Here's a video from class today that I especially adored. Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five (yes, there are more than five of them, don't worry about it) play this song called "Caledonia":



Maybe I'll write up something on Louis Jordan later, we learned some cool stuff in class today, but right now must work!