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Archive for August, 2007

Okay, call me whatever names you will, but I’ve got exciting news and I know that some of you will share in my excitement. There is a band… yes, I think you could call them a band… getting back together to do one last reunion tour. They are hitting the biggest cities in the world, and I plan to catch them in NYC.Can you guess? I’ll give you a couple hints.

Their music was huge when I was a teenager… so… in the mid-90’s… and they actually starred in a film, the title of which would completely give away the band name.

Their songs were, and are, very catchy. There’s one in particular that everyone knows but no one understands.

One of the members recently moved to the US with her soccer-player husband. That’s gotta give it away, right?

So do you know yet? Well, I can’t hold it back any longer. It’s the Spice Girls! I know, I know, so cheesy, so 90’s, so British… but I grew up with that music and it has been the soundtrack to so many memories for my friends and me. How could I not get excited about this tour?

So the buzz kill. So far, the cheapest tickets I’ve been able to find are $285. Kind of a problem for a recent college grad just starting to pay off student loans and without a lot of extra dough in the wallet. But then again, can you put a price on nostalgia? Isn’t this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity almost… priceless? I think that’s what I’ll be telling my husband, at least.

If you’re as hopped up on Zig-Ah-Zig-Ah as I am, and are looking for more details on the concert, I’m afraid there are no postings yet on ticket sales on their official website – I found these expensive tickets through various and sundry other connections – but I can tell you that the concert is in December, in Madison Square Garden. And that I will be there with platforms on.

http://www.thespicegirls.com/en/index_us.html 

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What Are You Afraid Of ?

                     Yesterday marked an occasion for me. It was the first time I ever sang in my husband’s church. And I don’t mean from a pew or with a choir – I mean by myself, with only a piano to hide me. Nerve-wracking? Yes, slightly.But yet I’m not sure I can say exactly what I was so nervous about. You see, a church is such a safe place for a musician, and I‘ve sung dozens and dozens of times in my own church. A church is the only place, actually, where you can mess up as much as you want, and as long as your performance is for God, nobody can say anything or throw anything at you or cane you off the stage. It’s actually very acceptable to be less than perfect in church. If I were at The Apollo, for example, I can definitely say that I would not have been so comfortable with the idea of the performance. Those people can, and will, rip you apart. No thank you.So why was I nervous? I knew the song backwards and forward – it’s one of my favorites, a sweet, sad song by Sara Groves called “What Do I Know?” – and I even had the words right in front of me just in case I faltered under those proverbial bright lights. The rehearsal the week before went off without a hitch, and I knew that people would identify with and appreciate the song’s message.Then WHY? Why the nerves? Well, for one thing, I knew that my name carried a stigma. My husband is a brilliant singer and guitar player who has been attending that church his whole life and is beloved by all, so for me to get up there with a microphone instead of him probably raised some eyebrows. I guess I had to prove myself? Even though I knew they wouldn’t judge me – it is a church, remember – I wanted to leave that stage knowing that I had left my best work with them. I wanted to do the song justice, I wanted to do my name justice, and I wanted to leap out from the shadows and let them know that Erik and I have a lot in common.Once I realized the origin of my jitters, they were easier to control. I took a breath, remembered the great rehearsal, thought about how my family would be there to support me, and just knew that there was nothing to be afraid of.

Stage fright is abominably common. It is neither new nor scarce, and if there was a pill for it, I can bet that its bottles would line the cabinets of the world. For whatever reason – whether you’re playing The Apollo, singing lullabies to your kids, giving a speech in your office meeting, auditioning for a place in an orchestra, a choir, or a dance company, it’s important to identify where the jitters are coming from in order to most effectively conquer them.

       Trinity Church, Manchester, CT

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The Fall line-up for Imagine has been posted, and it is certainly worth checking out. There are three classes offered this season. The first, Musical Theatre Performance, is where kids of all ages are invited to come and learn the ropes of music theatre, while preparing for a full-length November performance. This season’s show is entitled “Brandon Finds His Star,” and promises to introduce first-time actors to exactly how much fun the performing arts can be.The second class being offered is Theatre Technology and Design, and will allow hands-on training with today’s most efficient musical sound and recording equipment. This is a great opportunity to immerse yourself in innovation without any risk of failure. Technology can be scary, but with Imagine, it will open doors and create a safe environment for learning.In an effort to expand Imagine’s course-offerings, the third and newest class is Poetry Workshop. It will feature the works of a variety of published poets and allow you to explore the works of some unpublished poets – yourselves! In a workshop setting, you’ll investigate the whys and hows of poetry, learn the essentials, and practice identifying the major formats. With that under your belt, you’ll be well-equipped to begin writing your own poetry, and have your peers evaluate and critique it each week.

With something for everybody, Imagine has opened its enrollment and they are waiting for you and your kids !

http://www.imaginesp.com/

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                If you don’t know by now, I love statistics.  So when I research dates, times, places, sales, visits, ratios etc. I can use this information to measure value against other outcomes.  I am very impressed with statistics we dont have direct control over, such as how fast the earth rotates or how many babies are born in a town in a year. 

                Trends are information of a general direction.  Sales of a musician’s record show a trend in a given direction. What goes up must come down.  Take the artist Gene Pitney.  Gene Pitney had trends with his music.

                 Try this out just for fun:  

                 #1)   Click here to see who is hotter – Harry Potter or Tom Cruise .  

                 #2)  Click to see what has been looked up the most – NBA OR NFL

                # 3)  Top 40 Key Phrases as of  Sept 5, 2007 by the Nielsen BuzzMetrics Co .

Carl Slicer, Sr Editor                     

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Connections. How indispensable are they really? How much can they make or break your music career? Well, you’d be surprised. My father, today, began a conversation with me by using those famous four words, “I know a guy…”And most of the time, that’s a scary phrase. But today it was actually a breath of fresh air. You see, my husband Erik compiled, within the past few years, seven tracks of original music. Erik sang lead vocals and played acoustic guitar, I sang the background vocals, and there were drums and bass as well. He got as far as recording and editing the tracks, but after that a few things kept him from moving forward. The first and most important was money. It’s not cheap to finance your own project from start to finish, and since I was still in college and he was freshly graduated at that point, we didn’t exactly have a lot of extra dough lying around. So the project was put on the back burner, and it has not been revisited since. All that remains to be done is mastering and producing. That’s where my story begins.So my dad says “I know a guy…”, and I cringe, but he follows that up with “who would finish Erik’s album up for him.”My ears perk up. “Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, I work with him and he owes me a couple favors.”

Ah, favors. A vintage Dad word. Everybody owes him favors. Or so he says. But this is actually beginning to sound pretty legit. I listen as he explains that he’s always felt that this project should be followed through. It sounds a tad like a “living vicariously through you” talk, but in the end I’ve got to admit, he made some great points about how we shouldn’t go through life saying “what if we’d only…” or “I wonder what would have happened…”

So I said, “I’ll get a hold of those tracks for you, you can hand them over to your guy, and we’ll make it a surprise for Erik.” And that’s the plan. If he knew about it, he would probably try to stop us, for whatever insecure reasons, but I’m confident that when we present him with the finished product, he’ll appreciate the “favor,” and the fact that he won’t have to ask himself “what if?” simply because my dad knew a guy.

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