The Things I Do For Dave

I’ve been watching this benefit concert on and off since 6:30 and now it’s almost midnight.

But I really want to see Dave, Krist Novoselic, and Paul McCartney perform together because it sounds like it will be awesome.

They’ll be playing soon…right? Right.

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Three Things: The Music Edition

There are three things exciting me lately about music.

1. Thom Yorke and Flea are teaming together to record an album together under the moniker Atoms for Peace.  They will also be joined by Radiohead’s drummer, so it’s essentially a supergroup.

This is muy exciting.

2. I go through phases where I love listening to Alt Nation and when I think all the songs on there suck. Right now, I’m in the phase where I’m enjoying the songs.  I really love this one:

The refrain is so pretty and bittersweet.

3.  I saved the best for last and I’m about to nerd out big-time here and potentially embarrass myself but I don’t care, because

DAVE GROHL IS RETURNING TO QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE TO DRUM WITH THEM FOR ANOTHER ALBUM.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I found this out on Election Night and it was almost more exciting than the news that Obama was winning.

Foo Fighters went on hiatus and that bummed me out a bit since they haven’t hit Texas yet as part of their tour. But they’ve been touring for awhile and I’m sure they needed a break.  I’m just really glad I was able to see them in Philly last year (the concert was on November 10, 2011…so literally, it’s been almost a year. Wow).  I was really hoping that Dave would get back in the studio with Them Crooked Vultures, so I was pretty surprised to hear that he was re-teaming with QotSA.  Not that I’m complaining or anything, because the album he did with them is awesome.

I’m going to try very hard not to sound like such a fan girl, but GUYS, Dave Grohl is the reason why I started playing drums in the first place, and I’ve been really hoping I’d have another chance to see him drum in concert.  And now it looks like I have that chance.  The album should be out next year, and I’m sure there will be tour dates associated with the release of the album, which means I get to watch him drum, which means

::fangirl explosion::

On a related note, Michael is having me learn “No One Knows,” a song I’ve been wanting to learn for a long time.  It’s pretty easy and straightforward until it gets to the chorus.

I’m going to be working on this one for awhile, is all I’m saying.

Confessions of a Delinquent Music Student – A Restoration

I have not updated on my drumming endeavors for awhile.  That’s because, for awhile, I wasn’t really feeling a passion for them.  To be fair, I was pretty busy this summer.  I was doing a lot of field work, including a periodic job where I would have to drive at least 8 hours and hike 2-4 miles every day for a seven day shift.  I took a break from drum lessons then. After the field work died down, I got Apollo, and I’ve pretty much blocked out the first month I had him.  I can deal with his crazy hyperness now, but that first month?  Oh God, so many tears.

(Like in the past five minutes, he has wrestled with his bunny toy angrily, bit me on the hand, started humping his bunny while simultaneously biting it, then rolled off the couch accidentally as he licked his genitals.  This is all normal to me now.)

I resumed lessons in September and was wrestling with the idea of quitting lessons ever since.  I wasn’t practicing very much anymore and I just wasn’t feeling the passion I used to.

Two weeks ago, I arrived to the lesson still feeling contemplative.  Michael told me to go warm up and I went inside to practice “Heartbreaker.”  It had been awhile since I practiced.  But the longer I was playing, the more fun I was having.  I knew I sounded decent.  I felt happy and excited behind the kit, and I felt like a legitimate drummer.

The next hour of the lesson proved to be both the most challenging and enjoyable lesson I’ve probably ever had.  Michael gave me the sheet music to “When the Levee Breaks,” which includes this fun passage:

Whyyyy John Bonham whyyyy

I have to say, for a long time, I didn’t get what the big deal about John Bonham was.  I feel almost embarrassed admitting that.  It’s almost like saying you don’t understand why Faulkner or Shakespeare are so revered.  But after learning more Led Zeppelin pieces, I’m like, “YEP. I GET IT NOW.”

For instance, that passage starts around the 2:30 mark.  All the crazy bass drumming footwork is around the part where Robert Plant starts wailing kind of incoherently.  I wouldn’t have known about that technique had I not learned the sheet music for it.  It’s made me appreciate both the subtlety and power that Bonham brings to his drumming.  He is Dave Grohl’s main influence, which makes sense, because Dave Grohl REALLY loves using the bass pedal too.

I left the lesson feeling inspired.  It feels good to be excited about drumming again, and it felt great to be able to learn and play the passage correctly after practicing it last week.

Stay tuned for additional music-related items I am (very) excited for.

A Very Caffeinated Post

I’m caffeinated and excited and unfocused, which means that this entry will be too. LET’S GET THIS STARTED.

Do you all like Cheap Trick? I like them. It’s not like I’ve listened to their albums or anything, but I played the shit out of their greatest hits collection back during the summer of 2007.  I saw them back in 2010 at SXSW and they put on a good show.

It’s hard to focus because it’s vacation week! I’m taking a few days off to go home and be with my family and my douchebag little dog.  Also, my birthday is this week.  I will be 28.  I don’t mind turning 28.  27 was a pretty revelatory year for me and I’m appreciative of the lessons and experiences I’ve gleaned from it.  But it’s strange to think that I’m so close to 30.

I cut my bangs on Friday.  Now that I’m not dying my hair different colors every three months, it’s easy to get bored with my look and I needed something to freshen it up.  I saw a picture of Paris Jackson last week and loved her bangs, and decided to cut mine too.  (Last year I dyed my hair darker after seeing Frances Cobain’s look. I don’t know why I get inspired by children of legendary musicians who are much younger than me, but whatever.)

THAT WAS A VERY DEEP PARAGRAPH.

I am in a “all the things” mode lately.  I want to learn basically everything. I miss the structure and rigors of a college class. Isn’t that weird? I miss college.  If I could go back, I’d do something like genetics or biochemistry.  If I was born with more brains, I’d do something like astrophysics. I love the idea of complex mathematics; I just don’t have the intellect to do it.  Now that my crazy field schedule is over, I’m getting back into guitar and drums.  I’ve purchased several drum books over the past several weeks, most of which may or may not be associated with Dave Grohl.  Picking up guitar again makes me realize just how lacking my knowledge of music theory is.  When can I get the time to learn everything I want?

This weekend, I was flipping through the station when I stumbled upon True Blood.  I haven’t been keeping up with that show.  I stopped watching it mid-season last year, even though it was an Alexander Skarsgard centric season. I don’t know; it just lost my interest.

It’s always an interesting experience watching it with non-fans. I watched an episode with a friend a couple years back and he thought it was gross. I watched about fifteen minutes with Boyfriend this weekend.  I told him I just wanted to watch until I caught a glimpse of Eric; he was accepting and tolerant of this.  As I was watching it, I couldn’t help being hyper-aware of how cheesy it looked.  “This was a good show,” I said as Eric and Bill revealed their fangs, started hissing at each other, and flew the air.

I changed the channel since Eric wasn’t even shirtless so it was a waste of time to watch  I was behind on the story lines.

Okay, I’ve rambled enough. Hope you all have a safe and Happy Fourth of July!

Three Things: The Music Edition

1.  I’ve been listening to a lot of the Beatles lately.  I go through phases where I listen obsessively to an artist; last fall, it was Queen.  In the winter, it was Jeff Buckley.  Now I’m using the Beatles to welcome spring.

When I was a little younger, I was very proud of the fact that I didn’t get the hype about the Beatles.  “They’re catchy,” I would say, “but overrated.”  Now that I actually know and care more about music, I completely disown that opinion.

I know that this puts me in the category of, like, every teenager ever (“OMG, nobody loves them like I do! I hope no one else discovers them!111!!!!”)

I think I mentioned in a post last week that I was listening to the shit out of Magical Mystery Tour.  I think it eclipsed Abbey Road as one of my favorite albums of theirs.  It’s a hard choice.  Just their music has been so soothing to me lately. I feel like the lyrics to some of their songs narrate my life like a soundtrack; it’s perfection.  And I will find new meaning in songs I’ve heard a million times before.  Like “Let It Be?”

I bet you all are grateful that I posted this song since it’s TOTALLY NOT A HUGELY POPULAR SONG OR ANYTHING.  Anyway, I’ve heard this song a million times in my life but sometimes all it takes it just opening your mind to hearing it a different way.  I found myself feeling a visceral emotional response to it, especially the line, “And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me.” It’s rare for me to get emotional over a song, but I found myself tearing up over that line.  It’s just so moving.

Yes, internet, there are times where I feel emotionally vulnerable. Like anytime I watch something from Pixar.  NEXT.

2.  Today I went to music lessons.  I’m at the drum solo part on “Tom Sawyer.”

I can’t find a good video where Neil Peart is doing the solo himself, so skip to 2:30 in this video if you want to see it. Yeah? It kind of makes me want to cry.

The fact that I made it that far into the song says nothing about my actual skill level, because this song is so ridiculously beyond my skill level that the fact that I even wanted to learn it is laughable.  It’s like a kid getting a microscope for Christmas and then deciding he’s going to find the cure for cancer before his next birthday.

Of the part I have “learned” so far, I can play maybe half of it.  Then I fudge the rest of it, especially the fills.

The solo though? No. No. No.  I can’t help keeping a “DEAR GOD, WHY?” look on my face when my teacher performs it for me.

It’s going to be awhile before I learn it, is what I’m saying. And by awhile, I mean, maybe after I turn thirty.

3.  You know those days when you turn on the radio, and it’s playing all the songs you love? That happened to me this morning.

I don’t give a fuck what you all think about Foreigner, I love some of their songs. Some. Like this one, and “Hot Blooded.” I even like some cheesy 80’s Foreigner (though I hate “I Want to Know What Love Is” with every fiber of my existence).

3a.  Bonus: this is my Facebook profile pic right now.

 Is this not an awesome picture?  Dave has inspired me in many ways, and continues to do so now…I will be a better drummer! I will run again! I am using too many exclamation points! This is the part where where someone yells, “WIN ROCKY, WIN!” and I run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art (WHICH I HAVE TOTALLY DONE, BY THE WAY.)