If Only I had Listened Closer…

9 07 2008

There are a number of crystal clear memories I have of my childhood.
Many of these memories are uncovered when I hear a song I haven’t heard in years (or decades).
One of those memories came back to me this morning while listening to XM44:Fred- the “New Wave” station.

Dad used to be a computer technician, back when computers had to be repaired, via cottering (sp?), instead of having boards changed or replacing the entire unit.
I don’t remember much about his job in particular, except that more often then not, it sucked and made him frustrated.
We always used music as a form of therapy and I clearly remember there’d be times when Dad would BLARE “Birth School Work Death” by The Godfathers, over and over and over and over again, yelling just as vehemently to the first playing as the twenty-seventh.
I remember being at the “School” phase and thinking “Yeah, so what’s the big deal?”.

Now I am at the “Work” phase with a “Death” phase closer then I’d like to acknowledge and now I know what the big deal is.

This is life does not match the “Adulthood is Fun!” pamphlet I was given during childhood.

So I present, for those of you who do not know said song….

“Birth School Work Death” by The Godfathers

Been turned around till I’m upside down
Been all at sea until I’ve drowned
And I’ve felt torture, I’ve felt pain
Just like that film with Michael Caine
I’ve been abused and I’ve been confused4
And I’ve kissed Margaret Thatcher’s shoes
And I been high and I been low
And I don’t know where to go

Birth, school, work, death
Birth, school, work, death

And heroin was the love you gave
From the cradle to the grave
Boys and girls don’t understand
The devil makes work for idle hands
I cut myself but I don’t bleed
‘Cause I don’t get what I need
Doesn’t matter what I say
Tomorrow’s still another day

Birth, school, work, death
Birth, school, work, death

Yeah I been high and I been low
And I don’t know where to go
I’m living on the never never never
This time it’s gonna be forever
I’ll live and die don’t ask me why
I wanna go to paradise
And I don’t need your sympathy
There’s nothing in this world for me

Birth, school, work, death
Birth, school, work, death

Birth, school, work, death
Birth, school, work, death
Birth, school, work, death
Birth, school, work, death





“Present” E: Entertainment

20 06 2008

In the summer when I turned 10 (that’d be 19 years ago for those of you playing at home), I was supposed to see Debbie Gibson and Tiffany at the local amusement park.

Fate, as it ends up, was in the air, along with the thunder and lighting and eventual raining out of the event.

So, in the fall, Dad took me to see…

With special guest

Now, this was back in the day of “Arena Rock” (Generational translation: Bands playing, NOT LIP SYNCING, in sold-out areanas where sports are played.  Elaborate stage shows, fireworks, fire pillars, giant inflatable props, flshing lights…)

And we’re sitting in the only area where we could get tickets, The Nosebleeds.
“Daddy?”
“Yes hun?”
“Why are those guys behind us sharing a cigarette?”
“Uhhhh…”
And I’m sure he came up with some elaborate story about it (it wasn’t a cigarette as much as it was a joint), much like they first time I found a condom.  (“It’s a static bag for my chips for work.”)

Thus, changing the course of my teenage years forever.  I wonder what would have happened if I would have seen Debbie and Tiffany instead… I’d probably have a minivan.





… and then it hit me….

20 03 2008

I’m listening to “Fred on 44” which is like a new wave station.
At noon, they have a program called “One Revolution (around the sun)” in which they spotlight a year of music for an hour.  Usually pretty cool.

So I’m mindlessly typing away, thinking about when I first heard nine inch nails and I thought “ha ha, that will be weird when that album (which in my case was a tape) will be twenty years old.”

This year, Pretty Hate Machine is 20 years old.

And then it hit me.
I do not feel the need to explain this post any further.





Okay Bob, I got the message.

6 03 2008

The past couple of nights, I’ve been having upsetting/frustrating dreams.
Last night was no exception.

It is not a secret that I HATED high school (what, like 10 years ago, whatever).  HATED.  LAMENTED.  DESPISED.  I would often mope around, commenting, “If these are the best years of my life, I am fucked.”  You get the gist of it.
I can’t really put my finger on exactly why I hated it so much, but I know a big part of it was my “major” and “teacher”.
Okay, I’ll explain that and then the dream will make more sense.
When I was 11, I was transferred to a Smrt Kids School where I met a very wonderful teacher who would foster my curiosity about music.  I took up a number of instruments, included but not limited to: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto clarinet (still one of my favorite sounds), trumpet, flute, trombone, violin (that didn’t last) and finally saxophone.  I had always loved the sax and I finally got the chance to play one.  I taught myself over a the summer between sixth and seventh grade.
I was good.  Damn good.
I did state contests and placed.  I had high scores in the quartet divison…  For 8th grade graduation, my parents purchased me a tenor sax and I named it Bob.
So I decided that I wanted to play saxophone for a living  (“How Silly!” 1997 Stephanie would say to 1992 Stephanie) and I auditioned for the Peforming Arts High School.  Remember the show “Fame”?  Yup, that’s exactly what it was like.  I got accepted.
It wasn’t until my senior year (and many talks with the principal) that the instrumental teacher finally learned that my name was NOT “Stacy Yuk”; which was not even close to my real name, BTW.
For a long while, I was the only girl in the sax section and (I think) because I wasn’t in Jazz Band, I got the crappiest instruments and was placed in third chair.  (By tradition, Seniors got first chair, regardless of ability).  I had my own horn but it wasn’t feasable to carry it to and from school… seeing as the case is about 2/3’s my size.
Sometime around Spring of my freshman year, I had grown tired of playing.  I did not look forward to band.  Sure, I had done musicals and even tried Dixieland (holy hell, that was a nightmare).
The displeasure grew and festered until my senior year when I activly counted down the days until graduation.  My instructor didn’t care about me and I certianly didn’t care for him.  I did what I had to do to graduate.

So now you have the background.

In my dream last night, I’m back in hell high school but as 2008Stephanie.  I enter the theatre though the balcony door (which was reseved for orchestra members only) and see that there are four music stands and chairs.  I have Bob with me and we take a seat.  I open my case, assemble Bob and start warming up.  Then my evil teacher enters.  He tries to give me a trumpet score (as trumpets and tenors are in the same key) and I tell him that I am a saxophone player and he needs to give me saxophone music.
So he does.  And it’s a for a C-tuned sax (tenors are tuned to Bb) (Soprano saxes are tuned to C and ET played soprano) (hmmmm).
Now I have to transpose between keys, which was another stumbling point in the day, and I can’t do it in my head.  Especially at the tempo of which the piece was going.  Bob’s honking and squeeking and the notes aren’t making sense and all I want to do is play.  Just play.  Show him that I can.  That I’m better then him.  That he didn’t break me (which he did).
After practice, I take my score and painstakingly transpose the score so I can read it.  But I hid it in the C-tuned score.
All I end up doing is embarrasing myself and running out of the balcony.

So this morning I purchased four theory/technique/training books from half.com
Point taken.
Now stop with the nightmares.





Tragically Hip- Bobcaygeon

7 01 2008

1) A long long time ago (VERY pre-Steve) (say around 1998) when this song first came out, I had just become involved with a new (yet typical) romance.
In fact, I had met this person like two days before I moved into another county.  Figuring that things wouldn’t work out, I opted to go on another date with him.
Months later, we’re still dating and I stay over at his house until 4 or 5 in the morning (as I had to drive over an hour to get home and then go to work).  Surprisingly, we never (ever) have sex.  Really.  I mean it.  Never.
I’m crazy over this guy, have needs of my own and frankly, while it sounds like something I guy would say, I am tired of things not going anywhere.
So many frustrating nights/mornings, I drive home in the dark listening to Bobcaygeon.
When I hear the song, I still tend to think of Pascal (that was my car’s name) and those long drives home.
2) Steve likes The Hip.  We see The Hip.  A lot.  We’re at a show (was it Boston?) and this totally plastered woman is hollering at her date.
“I’ve seen The Hip like, 100 times and I’ve never heard them play Bobcaygeon!”
Steve and I look at each other knowingly.  The Hip almost ALWAYS plays Bobcaygeon; I don’t think she impressed her date.
3) At Hip shows, he seeks me out in the crowd and holds  me almost as close as he does to “Ahead by a Century”.





The White Album by The Beatles

28 12 2007

Used to be that The Beatles landmark recording, The White Album, would send me into a catatonic state.  (in a bad way).
I have some pretty nasty memories associated with The Beatles in general (as is with the Eagles and Beach Boys) and just listening to them would make me very pensive and quiet.
On the way back from Michigan, XM played the medley of Golden Slumbers and I sung along while Steve slept in the passenger seat.  I was surprised that I remembered as many words as I did.
Even though Golden Slumbers isn’t on the White Album, I put it on my iPod anyway.  Plus, I’ve had Helter Skelter stuck in my head for weeks now.
Nano gets plugged in to detract from “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and while listening to disc 1, I am filled with new memories.
No longer am I afraid and cowering.  The songs take me back to summer, Steve and I listening, no shoes on in the grass, playing catch, chasing Bailey around the yard…  instead of filling with apprehension, I am filled with happiness.

Oh, this is nice.





“No, YOU make no sense!”

17 12 2007

We’re out to dinner, watching the Sabres game, and the restaurant is trying to set ambiance by playing music clips as you would hear them at the arena.
me: Wow, they’ve broken out the KernKraft2000.
him: The what?
me: This song.  It’s called Zombie Nation and it’s by KernKraft2000.
him: This song is HORRIBLE!  Why is it even in existence?  (BTW, he thinks good music stopped being produced after 1975, unless it’s Pink Floyd, Tragically Hip, Pearl Jam or NIN).
me: I-Don’t-Know-Maaarrggo.  What’s the point of Castellorizon ?
him: to relax.
me: Well, I guess then that Zombie Nation is created to energize the audience.
him: pppffttt
me, sarcastically: Fine, what about “New Orleans is Sinking”?
him, knowingly: It’s about New Orleans Sinking.
me: And “Careful with that axe Eugene”?  And don’t say it’s about someone telling Eugene to be careful with an axe.
him: Ummm, (mumbling)
me: Uh-huh… and “Set the controls for the heart of the sun”?
him: Well, it’s about the Sun.  And setting controls for and it’s like a PS3 game, getting the controls into the heart of the sun.
me: You’re lucky you’re so cute.





Ear Piercing

15 11 2007

“If you leave me now” by Chicago makes me want to poke my pen into my ear canal.
That man’s worbling, “awwwww-woooo-aaahhh-oooowwww”.
So, just, annoying.
And right after I get off hearing the song on hold, it plays on my co-workers radio.
*hums “My Own Summer”*