Friday, May 28, 2010
With not so much as link to a link (the laziest species of blogpost) appearing in this space in 3 weeks, you'd expect something really special to turn up eventually. So here's a spoiler alert: this is not that post.
However, there are a few items of note to talk about, so we're going to 'up' the Awesome Quotient by talking about both of them in one jam-packed missive.
School Concert or French Foreign Legion March?
With both of my teen-brats involved in school music programs, we attend a Metric ass-load of concerts. Don't construe this as complaining, because we get to see some really high quality performances around town. One recent example: I had never heard of the Finnish a capella supergroup, Rajaton, until my kids spent a full day in a workshop with these amazing performers. Their combined concert that evening was some of the best live music I've ever seen. That's the good stuff.
Then there are the wonderful-but-dreaded school concerts. The 'wonderful' bits are the music and the commitment from the kids and their teachers to do high-quality stuff. The 'dreaded' aspect is the length of these concerts - always an audacious challenge from every kid in the music program to every parent in the audience to see who blinks first.
But 3 1/2 hours of Spring Music Night this week was about 90 minutes too much. When my knees have gone numb and I fantasize how it must feel to run through a meadow, I know I've been sitting on my ass much too long. Of course I'll listen to every note, check my raffle tickets during intermission, and smile with my eyes when my kid is onstage, but I'll also murmur a little prayer that maybe, just maybe, someone might think to pull a fire alarm sometime before 10pm.
I Gots The Looks for Radio!
Earlier this week I got the phone call that all of us secretly-extroverted blogwhores dream about. It was my friend Sean - one third of the All Your Basecast crew - asking me if I wouldn't mind sitting in on a recording session for their fledgling podcast. I didn't care that I only had a few hours to prepare. The Basecast crew of Sean, Vanessa, and Brian are great folks and I was going to enjoy spending an hour or two chatting with them. That there was going to be a microphone in the room was not going to matter, for it would only serve to feed my Ego and give me a little push towards 'celebrity'.
So we met, we chatted about geeky things, we laughed a lot, and we recorded. In the following days, Vanessa would recite some Editting Spells and, presto!, Episode 8 of Basecast would take it's rightful place in iTunes. In the meantime, I cleared my inbox in anticipation of the deluge of admiring emails to come.
Upon my first nervous listen later that week, I was pleasantly surprised at the results. The Basecast folks were their usual fine selves - Vanessa mixing geek joyfulness with strong opinions, Brian offering true insights and honest admissions, and Sean playing the role of Master geek while drawing out his crewmates' thoughts with an interviewer's touch. And I was pleased to discover that the sound of my recorded words was not too cringeworthy, and that I even had something to say once in awhile!
Upon my second listen later that week, I got self-critical in that way that us glass-half-empty types can be self-critical. My voice was too raspy. My voice was too quiet. I stammered right there! I used too many adjectives in place of actual insights. I couldn't remember that author's name. I paused for too long. I didn't finish that one thought before going on to the next.
What was I doing there?
It might not have been as bad as all that, of course. And I did have a blast (thanks guys!) But I will say that it's harder than it looks to have a casual conversation and make it interesting enough that other folks will want to listen in.
I'd do it again in a New York minute, but first I've got this inbox to clean out...