Nostalgia Bomb – Kumbia Kings, “Azucar”

Several weeks ago, I attended a beautiful wedding (congratulations, James and Leslie!) I like South Texas weddings.  There are always constants you can look forward to, no matter how many you attend.  For instance, there’s going to be wedding floor dancing to a mix of pop, country, and Tejano.  You can look forward to munching on some Mexican Wedding cookies.  A mariachi band is sure to make an appearance at some point after the wedding.  And fajitas WILL be on the menu, whether it’s at the rehearsal dinner or the actual wedding.

This wedding I attended was lovely on all accounts and did not disappoint with the South Texas traditions.  As I was leaving the dance floor to take a break, I heard a Tejano song that sounded very, very familiar that instantly took me back to high school.

Kumbia Kings, “Azucar”

Now, I’m gonna be honest.  I don’t listen to Tejano.  But hearing it instantly brings me back home to my backyard growing up.  Our next door neighbor Nas (who painted his house purple) blasted Tejano every weekend, drinking Tecate and barbequing.  I started growing fond of the songs and became familiar with them, like “Azucar.”

You guys may not know who the Kumbia Kings were, but if you grew up in South Texas, you did, even if you were a total white girl like me.  Selena’s brother was in the Kumbia Kings, so that fact right there sealed their popularity.  Selena was a BIG DEAL where I grew up. (Fun fact – it’s almost like a rite of passage in my town to visit her grave. I’m just saying. We’ve all done it).

And since we’re heading down memory lane, STORY TIME!  I was almost in a Kumbia Kings video, right around the time this song came out.  It was going to be filmed at our high school gym during Christmas break. I was so excited but my mother, in a fit of protectiveness, decided that I couldn’t because she didn’t think there would be any adult supervision. I was bitter about that for quite awhile, because for some reason unknown to mankind, I was certain my big break would be from that video (cut me a break, I was sixteen).

I later saw the video on TV; my high school principal and several of the administrators were in the closing scene.  But the extras’ parts involved sitting in a stand for a crowd scene, so chances of my being seen would have been nil anyway.  IT’S OKAY, MOM, I’M NOT MAD ABOUT IT ANYMORE.

All these memories – sitting out in my backyard and smelling barbeque, thinking that Hollywood would care about my being an extra in a crowded gym for a Tejano music video – came flooding back to me when I heard “Azucar” playing on the dance floor.

And that is why I love South Texas weddings.

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A Sort Of Update

HEY GUYS.

I promised I’d be back. And I even updated my other blog. 

The short story is that I missed blogging. The longer story is that I started feeling unsure of what to write about.  Apollo is always a good source of writing fodder, but I fear turning into the blogger I dread – the blogger who can’t stop blogging about her cute baby/dog/cat when no one else cares.

But I feel ready to write again, and to share stories.  I like being somewhat private so I’ll avoid blogging about the more boring details of my personal life, but I feel keen to share misadventures, music, fashion, and essentially awesome beauty items.  I’ve started subscribing to Ipsy Glam Bags and will be getting my first bag tomorrow (hopefully), so I’ll be doing a review here soon!

To give you a brief update of what I’ve been up to in the past month or so:

  • Workworkworkworkworkworkwork
  • Puppy training classes.  After Apollo chewed half a bow off one of my adorable new flats I bought from Target, it was GAME OVER.  He’s doing really well with the classes and I note a huge improvement. He’s graduating on Wednesday (squeeee), so I’m sure I’ll post a picture of the cuteness.
  • I went to my first bachelorette party two weeks ago. I missed the memo that you’resupposed to bring lingerie as your gift (dur, self).  My dad offered to drop me off but I declined because I figured it would be awkward to be driven to your first bachelorette party by any male member of your family. He let me borrow his truck, which led to much nervousness as I drove it.  I ended up having a lot of fun (and there were no strippers, thankfully.  It was a classy affair.)
  • I had to rush Apollo to the vet two weeks ago after some god-awful screaming. He had strained his paw, I think from jumping off the couch (I wasn’t in the room when it happened, but had just heard the horrible screaming).  I never want to hear that screaming again, it was awful.  I think at one point we were both screaming because I was like, “NO NO NO NO!” in despair.  Poor puppy. He’s fine, though. He was back to jumping on the couch immediately after we returned home from the vet (sigh…)
  • On Friday, a two-hour car drive turned into four and a half thanks to a nasty storm that passed through.  That was the worst driving experience I’ve had yet.  At least when I got stuck in a tropical storm three years ago, the experience was over in fifteen minutes.  There was a lot of water on the road and I pulled over several times to let the storm pass, since apparently I was traveling with it. I ultimately decided to keep going after my de facto weatherman told me that the storms had passed over the route I was taking and wouldn’t be severe anymore. I was never so happy to get out of that car.  “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” came on the radio when I reached my destination – I took it as a note of TRIUMPH.

I leave you with a song I’ve been obsessed with. Something tells me that I should consider this song a guilty pleasure, but I don’t CARE because it’s catchy as FUCK and I LOVE IT.

A Christmas Vacation Update

For some reason tonight, I’ve decided to buy a pastels kit at Half Price Books.  So that’s happening here in a couple of minutes.

I’ve been in such a Led Zeppelin mood lately.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kQWiAOaA9c

I’ve been learning “Heartbreaker” and “When the Levee Breaks” at lessons, and that’s given me a newfound appreciation of John Bonham.  I’ve been really thinking hard the past several weeks about music.  I played at a friend’s party last week with mixed results (i.e. the songs we practiced sounded really good, and the songs we didn’t practiced sucked).  But playing at that party really made me want to be a better musician.  Not like I think my drumming was terrible; it wasn’t.  But I find myself at a place where I could be a better drummer, and I’m not, and I want to be serious about it.
I have more plans about that but I’ll talk about it later.

But for now…yes.  Led Zeppelin.  I watched the Celebration Day concert today and it was terrific.  I still can’t believe I’ve seen both Robert Plant and John Paul Jones in concert.

Anyway.

Led Zeppelin is awesome.

I’m about to try out pastels?

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Here is One Christmas Song That I Don’t Hate

I hate to sound like a Grinch, but oh man, I feel like I tolerate Christmas songs less with each passing year.

Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole? Yes, please.  Over-produced, cloying, and annoying pop retreads?  God no.  Like, if I have to listen to ONE MORE WHINY BITCH VERSION of “Last Christmas,” I am seriously going to kick something.  And there is no reason to have fucking melisma on the “pa, rum, pa, pum, pums” in “Little Drummer Boy.”

I know I’m not the only one. Boyfriend and I were at Whataburger at midnight last night and heard this atrocious cover of “Jingle Bells” where the singer not only included rests in between each lyric to drag out the song to oblivion, but included so many vocal affectations and unnecessary studio embellishments that I wondered why Santa was punishing me. Boyfriend’s horrified face told me he was feeling the same way.  And I was in a bathroom at HEB a couple of weeks ago while this super fucking annoying Christmas song was playing. All I remember are these high-pitched voices singing, “WE ARE SANTA’S ELVES! WE ARE SANTA’S ELVES!” and an HEB employee next to me washing her hands, with a facial expression that clearly read, “I hate my life.”

But today I heard a cover version of “White Christmas” that didn’t make me want to gouge my own eardrums out.

Ok, first of all – I love me some Buble.  With some exceptions, I feel like he does justice to any cover he tackles. (And his voice is just so pretty. SO PRETTY).  I was really surprised to find out that Shania Twain was the other singer in this duet.  I don’t know why, but I thought it was someone else.  I’m not a huge fan of hers, but her voice sounds really pretty in this song.

Well, it’s after one o’clock and I spent about four hours (literally) in the kitchen baking, and I was forced out of my slumber earlier this morning than I wanted to (Dad apparently decided that scraping out concrete in the living room for tile prep is the perfect activity to do at 7:30 in the morning on Christmas Eve.)  Anyway, I don’t know how I’m still awake.

So goodnight…and Merry Christmas!

A Quick Check-In

Hello everyone.  It’s been awhile, eh?  I’ve been pretty busy this month with field work.  This week I will be puppy-free due to an impending field trip; but instead of spending the suddenly enormous amount of free time I have on something useful, I’ve reverted to old habits and have spent my evening on the internet.

YAY!

I leave you with a picture:

Happy Little Bug*

A song:

watch?v=v0ol14Dz3TM

And a suggestion:

If you want to see a good movie that will make you laugh and tug on your heart strings just a lil’, go see Wreck It Ralph.  It was an adorable little movie and very funny.

*Apollo already has a myriad of nicknames, but his main one is “Snuggle Bug,” since for a very brief period of his puppyhood, he loved to curl up on my chest and snuggle.  I often call him “Bug” for short.

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.