sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
So ages and ages ago I went to a performance of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, typed up my thoughts, and then forgot to post them. HERE THEY ARE.

Attending the War Requiem was mostly on a whim, and I didn't really expect to enjoy it much; I mostly just wanted the experience. But OH DUDE I WAS SO EMOTIONALLY COMPROMISED BY THAT PERFORMANCE. Like, I actually spent most of the performance having feels? I was not expecting that.

It was really good you guys! The music was glorious and the words were a gutpunch and THE PROGRAMME HAD ALL THE LYRICS SO I COULD ACTUALLY FOLLOW ALONG.

My biggest problem with the whole thing was that I'm not actually a fan of the classically-trained-soloist vocal sound. You know, all plummy-sounding and dripping with vibrato. NOT INTO IT. At all. So for me the baritone was barely tolerable and the soprano was not even a little tolerable, alas. But! The tenor didn't sound like that and I actually really enjoyed his voice! So that was great.

And the choir and the children's choir and the orchestra were all just as fantastic as the tenor soloist.

Semirelatedly, going to this performance made me wonder about the existence of modern war poets. A cursory google thus far is not turning up a great deal; mostly only Brian Turner's collection 'Here, Bullet' and a bunch of other people also wondering where the modern war poets are. Of course, back in World War II already people were also asking where the modern war poets were.....!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
Last night I was at a fun. concert in Toronto. It was really good! I've seen fun. in concert once before, and this was a really different experience because HOLY CRAP THAT WAS A LOT OF PEOPLE. The venue was Downsview Park, and I've been trying to figure out via the magic of the internets how many people were there and I am failing. BUT IT WAS A LOTTTTTTT.

Anyways. Last time I was complaining because doors opened at 7 and fun. didn't come on until 9:30. This time doors opened at 4 and fun. didn't come on until 9:30. I WAS LUCKY LAST TIME.

cut for length )
sophia_sol: Photo of Gerard Way with arms like \o/ (Bandom: Gerard: \o/)
WELP [personal profile] sentientcitizen and I went to a fun. concert last night AND IT WAS SO GOOD OMG. Okay. Let's see if I can get down my thoughts in any sort of coherent way!

Cut for length, because you know me and my tendency towards verbosity )

In conclusion, A+ concert, would see again.

(and, as Essie says, Nate has an excellent face. I appreciate his face a lot.)
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man playing guitar beneath some trees, with text saying "Stan Rogers in the yard again" (C6D: Stan Rogers: in the yard again)
Okay, um, I will get back to all you people in my last post who inexplicably want questions from me, but I have no brain for that right now so instead you get this post. And then I should, like, go to bed or something, so I can find my brain again....

I was at a concert last night! Aengus Finnan, folk musician who's been doing other things for the last, like, eight or ten years and is dipping his toes back into that whole performing thing again. I've been listening to his CDs for only, oh, the last SEVEN YEARS or so, so it was kind of magical to actually get to see him PERFORM. LIVE. Instead of just listening to his two albums on repeat and wishing there was more.

The concert was really good! Finnan is an excellent performer, with excellent stage presence, and a real knack for how to tell stories well. The stories he'd tell between songs would make me just about die laughing, and then he'd start singing and I'd be surreptitiously wiping tears away.

(He's even more dedicated to the art of sad songs than the folk scene in general, and that's saying something. He sang exactly one happy song all evening, and it was one he'd written for his best friend's wedding last year. He tried to write a happy song once, back when he was making his living as a musician, and ended up with a song about a war-bride whose husband died in the war. That's just how he rolls)

His voice is excellent, and his songs are amazing. I found out at the concert that one of my favourites of his songs -- Fly Away -- was the first song he ever wrote. My god, that man's talent, that he could hit it out of the park like that on his first attempt! I'm only a leetle jealous.

He did a good mix of music -- some traditional stuff, some covers, some songs he's written recently, some old songs off his albums, and some old songs that he never recorded. I enjoyed all of them.

Of the songs I was not already familiar with (Apple Blossom Time! Swing Boys Swing! Fly Away! My Heart Has Wings! O'Shaughnessy's Lament! Rolling Home!), my favourite two were one of his covers and one of his old songs. The cover was of a Gordon Lightfoot song, Miguel. I can't quite follow the story -- I think it's a reference to something that I do not know -- but it is a beautiful song. (If you want to hear Aengus Finnan sing it, it's on youtube here -- skip to about 1:50 to avoid listening to the other dude's preamble)

The old song was one he'd written about the last three-masted schooner to sail the Great Lakes, and how for some fair or exhibition or something in Toronto, instead of fireworks, they burned her. It was a lovely song, and had a lovely sad-but-not-quite tone, and it makes me sad that he doesn't have it on any CD so I will probably never get to hear it again. And I can't find it on youtube. (well, there's really not much Aengus Finnan on youtube, so it's not like that surprises me...)

I was of course my super-awkward self after the concert when leaving and passing by Aengus Finnan in the foyer -- I was like "HI I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO YOUR ALBUMS FOR LIKE TEN YEARS AND IT WAS SO GREAT TO FINALLY GET THE CHANCE TO SEE YOU OKAY BYE." Awkward. But whatever! It WAS so great to finally get the chance to see him! His music is great and his voice is great and he is great and everything was great! Basically it was an awesome concert in all the ways. The end!
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)
I went to my first ever concert-y concert a little over a year ago, when I saw Great Big Sea in Toronto, and one of the things I learned at that event is something that is continuing to stick with me in all my bandomy stuff. Which is that people at concerts sing along. When what you've previously been to is small-venue concerts with singer-songwriter types, singing along is not so much a thing that happens. And yes, singing along happens at folk festivals, but that's because it's folk and that's what's supposed to happen, and why should I expect it elsewhere?

But I keep on seeing in fic, over and over and over again, that if you're making it as a band even a little bit then you will have fans singing along, and that's just -- mindblowing. I always used to feel really sad that modern western culture didn't have many socially acceptable ways for people to just sing for the fun of it. I was always in some choir or another at the very least so I had an outlet, but that's relatively unusual and it made me so sad that a lot of people just...never really sing ever.

EXCEPT I WAS WRONG.

Because people who go to concerts sing.

And they might be crappy singers, but that doesn't matter, because they know the songs and they love the songs and being able to connect in with the energy and excitement of it with their voice is a powerful thing and I just... oh, I have so many ~feelings~ about this, you don't even know.

Because -- and you may have caught on to this given ALL THE POSTS I have been doing in these last few months about music -- music is a thing that is really important to me. In so many ways. At my peak in high school I was in four different choirs and two different bands and also private trumpet lessons, all at the same time. (...I know. I don't know where I found the time to do anything else either!) I got up before 5:30 in the morning almost every day in order to be at early-morning rehearsals, and I did so willingly despite being the opposite of a morning person.

I'm not as involved in music activities these days, because it's harder to do outside the structure of school, but it still means every bit as much to me as it did back in the days when I was making music an unholy number of hours every week. Music just means so much to me, you guys, and the thought of making music with other people like that is enough to make me cry sometimes.

And I can't even find the words to explain or describe what it is about it, just that it's something -- something amazing, and so to know that people who don't have the musical background I do can still experience something like that, every time they go to a concert? That means a lot to me. A really fucking lot.

(...Also it makes me want to go to more concerts but that's kinda beside the point. But I am so bitter that MCR was in Toronto like a month after I started getting into their music, and I was oblivious to the fact that they were there until weeks after. I am willing to bet it's going to be a very long time before any of the bandom bands is back playing in a place within a reasonable distance of me again. And MCR is the one I want to see the most. And I missed my chance.)
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man playing guitar beneath some trees, with text saying "Stan Rogers in the yard again" (C6D: Stan Rogers: in the yard again)
This weekend I was at the Mill Race Folk Festival, which means I spent MANY HOURS sitting outside listening to awesome folk musicians with likeminded people. It was marvelous and fantastic. And it was, after my various music-related efforts in bandom, a remarkably relaxing experience: I am able to judge on FIRST LISTEN whether or not I like a song or a group, without second-guessing myself! There was no mental effort expending in getting my head around the music; all I had to do was sit there and enjoy. MMMMM.

There were some really great groups there! Well, there always are. Mill Race is a free folk festival, which is super rare, and yet somehow still manages to get amazing musicians every year. I don't know how they do it, but I'm sure not complaining!

My favourite group this year was a Quebecois band from Montreal called Bon Debarras (pretend there's an accent on that first "e"; I'm too lazy to figure out how to do one on my keyboard). They were just magnificent. Extremely talented, obviously having fun, great stage presence, and the music all sounded fantastic. A+! Also, how impressive is it for one person to be doing three separate musical things all at the same time? Harmonica AND guitar AND percussive foot-stomping! Also, my god, I always forget how attractive an ability to dance makes a person. (yes, there was dancing. EXTREMELY ENERGETIC TAP-DANCING TYPE THING. By the dude who also played the washboard and sang lead vocals. HE WAS AWESOME.)

Among the other highlights were Knights & Mageean, who are two old dudes who sing a capella, with lots of union songs and sea shanties and other things that are great for audience participation; and The Good Right Arm Stringband, who sound (and, in part, look) like they belong on the set of O Brother Where Art Thou. And of course the rest of the acts, even if they weren't stand-out, were still very lovely and enjoyable, because hey, I really like folk music.

All in all a fantastic way to spend a weekend!

And then, because I am sadly predictable in the level of my obsession, I spent entirely too long working out how a bandom folk-musician AU would work. Um.

(And THEN in the process of writing this post, I decided I'd describe what this AU would look like, and somehow that meant I ended up writing nearly four thousand words of Definitely Not Fic in one evening (WTF SELF?), and now I'm left staring at it going, "WHAT. WHAT. WHAT EVEN." And if it's 3.8k as not!fic, then I shudder to think how long it would be if I wrote it all out properly! Should I just edit it a bit for clarity and flow and post it as not!fic? Should I leave it to languish forever on my hard drive? Should I turn it into actual fic? I DO NOT KNOW!)

(but SERIOUSLY. 3800 words! In one evening! I NEVER WRITE FIC THAT FAST. WHAT EVEN.)

(AND NOW I NEED TO BE IN BED AN HOUR AGO. GOOD NIGHT.)
sophia_sol: black and white drawing of a man playing guitar beneath some trees, with text saying "Stan Rogers in the yard again" (C6D: Stan Rogers: in the yard again)
OKAY SO I'm pretty sure I'm more or less caught up with comments? Ish? My email account is a terrible morass right now and I need to actually deal with all those starred emails or something. *headdesk*

Also why is it that going away for JUST A WEEKEND results in WAY TOO MUCH INTERNET TO CATCH UP ON?

ANYWAYS. This post is about MUSIC. Mostly of the rock variety. Aka: bandom, plus U2.

U2 concert )

Bandom music, namely Panic and My Chemical Romance )

Bandom fic )

Okay I will stop ranting now because I probs ought to go to bed. I could say a million things more about bandom and about the U2 concert but I'll shut up because really my thoughts are all so disorganized that it would be hard for me to make this post actually work in any kind of coherent manner. So there's that.

(in other music-related news, I was at an ice cream place the other day with my parents and grandparents and a song came on the radio that I recognized so I started absently singing along, and my parents looked at me funny and asked me how I knew a song that was actually on the radio and I went OH OOPS and realized what song it was: Set Fire To The Rain, aka the song that that fantastic Thor vid is set to. I know a ridiculous quantity of the lyrics at this point!)

WOO

Aug. 21st, 2010 01:42 am
sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (TDS: Stewart: Swoon! omg)
Just came back from a Great Big Sea concert. SO TIRED. But concert was AMAZING.

I've never actually been to a proper concert before. The only sort I've been to, really, is the small-venue type thing. This is an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE. Surprising and lovely.

It's incredible, being part of such a huge crowd of people gathered for the same purpose.

What surprised me was that everyone in the audience sings along with just about all of the songs. AWESOME. It was so energetic, so energizing, so exciting. I'm pretty sure, actually, that the draw of the concert isn't so much the band. I mean, you can hear them sing exactly the same songs on your CDs. The difference is the presence of the audience.

What was cool, though, was seeing how genuinely pleased the band seemed to be there and doing the concert for us. They were enjoying themselves, having just as grand a time as the audience.

It must be so amazing to be part of a band like that, to be able to stand in front of an amphitheatre packed with ridiculous numbers of people who are all there because they love you. I mean, I'm thrilled just to get five people responding to my fic when I post it. To have one's creative endeavours result in thousands of people screaming for you? ENTIRELY DIFFERENT LEVEL.

And you know what else is cool? To know that the sort of band that has an accordion as one of the prominent instruments is also the sort of band that can get legions of screaming fans. Oh Great Big Sea how so awesome?

I was going to write some intelligent and thoughtful stuff here about the singing-along stuff, about how there are not many circumstances in today's society for people to actually sing, and, um, stuff, but I am brain-dead and needing to go to sleep. I was so pumped during the concert but I've definitely had an adrenaline crash. GOOD NIGHT.

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