Sunday, July 3, 2011

Music To Live By

I went with Dana to the Red Cross quarterly pot luck meeting and while the food was good and the meeting was well run, what really struck me was the music. As we walked into the building a lady was standing in the lobby singing some spiritual music. I didn't realize it but she sang with a group that uses a room at the Red Cross building for practice space. As the meeting began one of the executives greeted us, then introduced the ladies and they sang a song for us. It was a beautiful spiritual number done a capela and the ladies nailed it, building gorgeous harmonies and singing passionately about salvation. Very nice way to start the meeting, made it feel special.

Over a late June weekend I caught the train with Heather and Benito, Carina and Ben for Klamath Falls. We took plenty of food and had a few drinks, it was very pleasant. Dana's sister was getting married and much of the family was getting together for the wedding and the party afterwards. At the Rehearsal Dinner the night before the wedding I hung out with the DJ and his wife and we had an interesting conversation about how the DJ looks at the party, what he aspires to in a performance (high energy dancing) and how you sometimes have to read a crowd to figure out what will get the dancing started. I also got to hang out with Dana's immediate family a bit and drank a bot too much, so all in all it was a fun dinner. The wedding went well, it was gorgeous and in honor of the butterfly theme there was a butterfly flitting around above the couple as they spoke their vows. A bridesmaid performed a song she wrote during the ceremony, playing acoustic guitar and singing a pretty song about love. I got a video tape of it and left a copy on Keith's computer so I don't currently have access to it, otherwise I'd post it here. Having a song in honor of the occasion was cool, it added an element to the wedding, something special in honor of the event.

After the wedding my wife and son stated for an extra week to hang out with her folks and the family, which was nice for them but things were awfully quiet at home wothout them. My son runs last-fm on our Linux PC when he's at home, so the back room always has seems to have some tunes cranking out when he's home. He chooses an odd assortment of music - a mild amount of it is my favorite classics from the sixties, seventies and eighties, I played a lot of them for him and some of it stuck. Another chunk is novelty stuff, not my favorite although I'd have loved it when I was his age, I suspect. The rest is odd and unpredictable. He's been playing heavy amounts of Russian rock and roll, assorted styles, with forays into related Slavic language rock from Eastern Europe. I don't understand a word of it, but most of it sounds great and it frequently rocks out like nobodies business. No Slavic rock while Ben's out of town though. You forget that music doesn't just happen, somebody has to choose to turn it on, select some programming, perhaps vary it from time to time. I missed my wife and son but now the weeks up and they're back home. Here's to more music in our lives, it always makes things better!

Friday Carina and I planned to see the Paperboys at the Harbor Steps, one of the free Out To Lunch series at 12. We ran extremely slow and late, then hit major traffic on I-5 into Seattle. We listened to the radio, switching channels in search of good music, as finally got off I-5 downtown. We turned off the radio as we drove by the Harbor Steps with the windows open and you could hear the band playing, but it was 12:56 so they were probably on the last song. We ended up missing the show and driving back up town so I could put in an appearance at work before the long weekend.

I'm still feeling the effects of my Mom passing, barely making it to any shows and posting at a much reduced rate. I'm slowly working back into it, attempting one free show with one band per week (and only making it to 1 out of 2 at that) is a pretty lame pace. On the other hand, next weekend is the West Seattle Summer Fest with plenty of free bands including the Fastbacks so that should help get me back into going to shows and videotaping and blogging about them. Later in July I get to go to all 3 days of the Capitol Hill Block Party so I should be able to see 20 or 30 bands pretty easily, between the two I may be able to see 50 bands in July, and that isn't bad at all.

In early August I'll be off on a business trip to India for a couple of weeks, I've asked some of the Gargaon locals about local shows and music, most direct response was "your hotel is right next to a mall with a nice disco club, so you can go dancing to music most any night." I may check out a show at a club in India, that would be fun. I asked about local live musical performances and the answer was more complicated, they mentioned something about a destination where they did heritage related stuff if I followed them, apparently you can listed to musical performance done live on traditional instruments there. I'll have to pursue that while I'm there, perhaps I can find some music to blog about while I'm on the other side of the world.

Thanks goodness for the summertime musical festivals, they are so easy to plan for and provide so much musical entertainment that I'm able to see plenty of bands without working at it too hard. I've been blessed by the opportunity to see an amazing assortment of bands and it looks like there's plenty more to come - life is just an on-going embarrassment of riches!

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