Mic: check!

I’ve never been shy about taking the stage. I remember being in third grade and singing the solo in the Hanukkah song in an elementary school holiday concert.  As I got older, I sang with choirs, played my clarinet in band, even tooled around on a bass guitar in jazz band.  I had a few lines as a lovely lady in Les Mis and was a Bali Ha’i dancer in South Pacific.  But since I didn’t take up acoustic guitar until after I’d graduated from college, I never had a chance to play in public – until this weekend.

I headed back to my hometown in NH for the weekend to play at the local (read: only) coffeeshop’s open mic night. The shop itself is related to my theatrical past – it’s housed in the old train station, which was actually the hardware store when I was growing up. Katie and I used to go there about twice a week (or day) to buy paint for flats and signs and furniture. In the audience were old friends, my middle school shop teacher, the town librarians, etc. So much hometown love.

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And SO MUCH FUN.  I played two songs – cut out the middle one because the program was running a little long.  First my dad and I sang “Jolene” by Dolly Parton – I was inspired by a first date I went on a few weeks ago where I heard a woman kill it. Thanks for taking me to that bar, Ryan! And then I sang and played “You and I” by Lady Gaga alone – an anthem to my “cool New Hampshire guy.”

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After all that time of planning, and all that hype, it was so much easier than I expected.  And so much more exhilarating. I added this to my five year plan because it seemed like something good to try “before I got too old” but actually, it struck a serious chord (teehee) in my heart. I think I’m going to have to look at going bigger… maybe even seeing if there are any bands that need guitarists…?

Lesson learned: always push yourself and try new things – it might not only make you tick, but also inspire some further desire!

So much love to my mom and sis for cheering me on, bro-in-law Wes for also playing for the first time, cousin Sophie and uncle Andy for rocking it, dad for always playing by my side, and Ashley, Zak, and Rachael for coming to cheer me on.

Now, onward to the rest of the fun adventures on my list, and all those I haven’t even thought to write down!

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Music Monday: rolling into the new year on a wrecking ball

Just because the year’s over doesn’t mean we’re safe from the earworms that defined our year – those dudes at the thrift shop, that chick on the wrecking ball, the techno beats that wake us up and get us rocking.  Having a Spotify account this year made me so much more hip as I could listen to these songs as they came out.  What will 2014 hold?  Dare I predict… a lot of Beyonce?

 

Music Monday: When I’m Gone

This is my latest jam – for sunny mornings, rainy afternoons, days when I’m missing camp and our own game of cups (ours involves passing it down the line at increasing speed – take that, Anna Kendrick!). I love the musical background and her voice. Learning to play this is my next musical adventure – stay tuned to see how it goes!

Inspiration for this “Monday”

As we’re all getting back into the flow of work, I hope you find something you can be excited about – even if it’s only halfway as thrilling as this kiddo thinks this song is. My favorite part: her big sister laughing in the background. Love it.

More later – life has been mega busy but good, now that I’m over my latest cold and dug out of last week’s giant snowstorm!

Music Monday: We are young

Every day, I check the marquee of the Orpheum Theatre on my way to work.  Whose tour bus will be blocking my door this week, I wonder?  But for the last few days, I looked up with an extra smile because I was actually going to see the band whose name was displayed – it was time for me to have some FUN.

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It was surreal to actually be inside the theater for the first time – it felt like walking into Mary Poppins’s bag, like “how could this large space possibly fit in the downtown Boston that I know?”  The opener was underwhelming, the beer was $13, but the seats were good and FUN. was amazing.  They rocked the house, even if they did play a little too much new stuff for my fellow fans’ taste – it’s rare to find a band that sounds as solid in person as in the studio.  They also brought the Boston charm for encore #1 (photo courtesy of the lovely Katie Catano).

Photo courtesy of Katie Catano

(c) Katie Catano

My favorite part was just how much they enjoyed playing, and their newfound fame.  When they held their mics to the audience to let us sing “SO WE SET THE WORLD ON FIRE, WE CAN BURN BRIGHTER…” the looks on their faces were of mild disbelief and sheer joy.  This is my absolute favorite part of live music – seeing the face of an artist who clearly is still wondering “What did I do to deserve this, to get all these people to pay ME to sing to them, and to have people who not only like my words and tunes… they love them so much that they know them by heart?”  If that isn’t the point of getting famous in the first place, I don’t know what is.

Here’s their megahit – trust me when I say it’s even better in person.