March 25, 2005
Jazz in Vancouver
Looking for some Friday night entertainment? My choir director, Tracey, is singing at a local Vancouver coffee house. She's planning to start her own blog soon, so if you are a music lover, stay tuned!
Fri April 1: FIRST FRIDAYS COFFEE HOUSE features TRACEY CLASSEN and QUATRO.
Tracey offers jazzy pop original songs; together with singer Eileen Albang and guitarist Earle Peach, the vocals are stunning.
Quatro is Barbara Jackson, Niki Westman, Elliott Dainow and Earle Peach. This a cappella quartet emphasizes harmony and mood in an eclectic collection of found, altered and original arrangements.
Join us for ERITREAN SUPPER ($7) at 7pm.
Find us JAVANET: 3436 West Broadway, 1/2 blk east of Collingwood. Music from 7:30 - 9:30.
June 30, 2004
All that Jazz
Granville Island is going to be hopping tomorrow. To celebrate Canada Day, there is FREE jazz from noon to midnight at various venues around the market.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in the Vancouver International Jazz Festival--singing (and dancing!) with my choir as backup for the Tracey Classen band. I guess it's a bit late for a plug, but Tracey is a very talented musician and teacher. If anyone out there is an aspiring singer who wants voice lessons, let me know, and I'll hook you up.
February 07, 2004
La La La!
Tonight Tomi and her choir pals, the Pacific Spirit Singers, gathered together to sing some tunes of passion and mystery. To date I have only witnessed the "Japan people" a-la-karaoke so it was a pleasure to hear them together in this setting. A job well done by all!
They had a great turn out but no one cheered more than little Miss Ella. Imagine if you will, this little girl sitting proudly on her father's lap, straining left and right of Uncle Dave's back, trying to spy her mom up on stage. Then, just when you think she can't get any cuter, you hear a tiny little, not so quiet "hi!" from the back of the room that echoed well above the singers.
Luckily Oliver was not in attendance or the choir would have had double the competition!
January 30, 2004
I joined a community choir last year, after a friend of mine saw an ad in the Georgia Straight. We rehearse every Tuesday night, and then go to the local pub if enough people are around. Members of this choir have not only sung together, but we've also gotten drunk together, gone dancing all night together, formed bands and performed on stage together, and gone to Japan together. Yup...this is the best choir I've ever been a part of!
If you love to sing and meet new people, you should check us out:
Pacific Spirit Singers is a fun, inviting, gay-friendly, performing choir. We sing folk songs, love songs, jazz and some classical, and perform twice a year. All voices welcome.
Rehearsals meet Tuesday 7-9:15.
Starting in February 2004.
Our upcoming concert:
Saturday, Feb. 7th, 8 pm
Quaker Hall 1090 W. 70th Ave, West of Oak
$7. Refreshments served.
January 18, 2004
After coming over on several occasions and hearing the same CDs playing in my living room, a friend of mine suggested that I add some variety to my life and tune into some radio stations over the Internet. Well, I have to say that now I'm completely hooked on a couple of stations listed on Shoutcast.com. Radio Paradise describes itself as playing "eclectic intelligent rock."
Radio Paradise is Old Fashioned Radio for the 21st Century
Each hour of music is carefully blended together to flow smoothly between different musical styles & genres - just like real DJs used to do on FM. We don't use the computer-generated playlists or "carefully researched music libraries" that have sucked the soul out of FM radio - and we never just throw songs together at random the way many web stations do.
Then there is Groove Salad: "a nicely chilled plate of ambient beats and grooves."
Ella loves these two stations as well, as indicated by the enthusiastic head-bopping that she does whenever she hears music with a good beat. The best part is that you are constantly being introduced to new songs, and if you hear one that you like, you can look it up on the station's playlist. Or you can do what I do--keep the mini-playlist window open so that you can quickly (and perhaps obsessively!) look up information and read comments about the song that is playing. Yup, I'm hooked.
January 15, 2004
May I Have This Dance?
As do most young children, Oliver, now 9 1/2 months, LOVES music. Last night we caught an advertisment on Channel M. The "Little Note Choir", an adorable assembly of young Asian children, was singing wishes of Gung Hay Fat Choy. In the seconds preceeding the ad, Oliver was banging one of his maraca rattles on the floor. As soon as he heard the singing he was virtually paralized. Then...he did an "Ella move"...he started to bounce up and down - not really in time with the music, but he had the right idea!
So, Oliver and I started a new bedtime routine...we'll keep our fingers crossed! After bathtime, we pop in a mellow CD, grab Piccles (his cuddly, velvet blanket), dim the lights and sway to the music. He grabs Piccles with one arm and my neck with the other...is there any better way to end your day?! Then it's a warm bottle, one last dance and off to dreamland he goes!
One of my favorite CDs these days, is a collection put together by Martha, yes, that Martha. I'm still on the "anti-Martha" train, but curiousity got the best of me and I couldn't resist checking this one out. It's titled "Sleepytime" (here's an Amazon.com review link) and is packaged in her usual fingerprint design. By the way, the CD is available at many branches of the Vancouver Public Library for those that don't want to make the purchase. I'm quite fond of most of the artists and have been enjoying their renditions of these sleepy tunes for a few months now.
January 01, 2004
Auld Lang Syne
In spite of the popularity of 'Auld Lang Syne', it has aptly been described as 'the song that nobody knows'.
I love the Celtic version of Auld Lang Syne on the Barra MacNeils' The Christmas Album. They sing the Robert Burns version, which I sing along to, and make up the words as I go along.
For those of you who end up lalala-ing everything except for "Should auld acquaintance be forgot" and the chorus, here are the original words to Auld Lang Syne.
Happy New Year, everyone!!
December 30, 2003
Actually, I sound more like a trucker than anything. Imagine me saying "Hey baby" in a deep, throaty bass tone, and then Ella bursting into tears. "What have you done with my mom?!"
On Christmas Eve I had a piercing headache, which progressed into body aches and then a fever. Then the other day I woke up hoarse. It didn't help that I hosted a potluck dinner tonight, which meant that I was trying to shout over the hum of the crowd (and the twang of the banjo) asking if anyone wanted a drink.
Hopefully, some red wine, a throat lozenge, and a little Vicks Vaporub will do the trick, and I will get my "big" voice back soon. Sweet dreams!
December 26, 2003
How Santa managed to find the only 4-string tenor banjo between here and Saskatoon, I'll never know.
Next year, I'm hoping that he'll use his magical powers to grant me a huge stockingful of musical talent. In the meantime, I'm relying on the patience and expertise of my guitar teacher/virtuoso, p.d. wohl, to walk me through a duelling banjo tune or two.
November 20, 2003
Twelve Bar Blues
Do you play an instrument? When I was a kid, I took years and years of piano lessons, broke a multitude of violin strings in a youth symphony, and spent many hours strumming the Jamaican Farewell on the ukelele, but I never really learned how PLAY music. You know what I'm talking about: the get down, get groovy, stomp your feet, howl at the moon around a campfire kind of music that "real" musicians can play.
I've seen this pattern of rigid behaviour before. In university, I studied English language, and not English literature so that I could read a textbook and memorize the material instead of writing an essay. I can waltz, cha-cha, and swing dance, but only if someone else is leading the way. I'm a tech writer by trade, but I get incredible writer's block when I sit down to write a birthday card for a friend or to try to leave a comment on a fellow blogger's site.
In a valiant attempt to PLAY music (especially for the sake of my child, who already loves bopping to a good tune at the tender age of 9.5 months), I'm now taking guitar lessons with a real musician. Lesson #3. My teacher, after showing me how to play 3 minor chords in a I-IV-V blues progression, turns to me and exclaims, "OK, let's jam!" Um...right...I'm all over that... Gee, look at the time. Next week for sure...
Unless I start doing tequila shots before heading off to my guitar lessons, I don't think "next week" will ever come. Musicians, creative folk, DotMoms--please advise.