Band Numero Dos

October 29, 2010

Hey Britt and Steve! Here’s the link for the new In Studio Session

It’s a blank canvas- feel free to write/post anything you want

Part I: Lyric

This song makes me think and feel: Red. Red because of anger, red because of fire. It’s just a red song. When I don’t listen to the lyrics and simply what is evoked by the sounds of the song. I see a stark contrast.

Eminem= red (Anger, wrath, desperation)

Rhianna= baby blue that slowly turns red

I love the contrast of this song. While Eminem is rapping, when he’s hitting the beat it’s like he’s pounding his fist against the wall. You know that this is a man you is just mad as hell. And during this song, while I hear Eminem I want to hit something too. I want to just shake something (somone) and scream: “Don’t you get it?!?!?”

But Rhianna. She’s the beauty, she’s the angel. The best part of her loft chorus is that it turns from the lovely, fragile blue to a dark and deep red that matches Eminem’s. While she sings you see this celestial heavenly being turned into a pissed off vixen. I like.

When I here her, she fascinates me- makes me think of Stockholm Syndrome.

—–

Part II: Being Singular

Where do I fit in? Where to begin…

Orality — Family & Community


My Bar:

Tim Horton’s

Everyday my dad would take me to school and get me breakfast at Tim Horton’s. I got the same thing.

Sesame seed bagel toasted w/ butter

I always had to order because if not my dad would order it with “Light Butter.” He thought I could stand to lose a little weight.

My friends and I would meet there after school. Got the same thing. Sesame seed bagel toasted w/ butter.

Whenever I go back home I have stop and get the same thing. Sesame seed bagel toasted w/ butter.

Literacy — School & Career;

Erving Goffman is my favorite sociologist


He came up with the theory of Dramaturgy. It mixes my love of sociology with my love of theatre. How cool is that?

People are actors, what we wear are costumes, were we interact- the front stage, all of our secrets- the backstage.

We do everything for the audience. We try to manage our impressions. We bring forward things that put us in a positive light and repress those things that make us look foolish. We try especially hard on occasions where we first meet people.

Ever had a bad first date?

Electracy — Entertainment — Web/Digital paradigm.

I’ve become obsessed with Pandora Radio. They call it part of the music genome project. You pick an artist. They play songs. You “like” or “dislike” the song. It finds more songs based on your preferences.

You can have many different stations.  According to your mood.

Frank Sinatra. Lady Antebellum. Howling Bells.

Heard of the Howling Bells?


I was introduced to them by Pandora. Chill-out music at it’s best. Makes me feel like a college student.

The best part of Pandora- it will tell you why it’s picked certain songs. Here’s an example from one of my many stations.

Based on what you’ve told us so far, we’re playing this track because it features pop rock qualities, punk influences, a subtle use of vocal harmony, mild rhythmic syncopation and minor key tonality.

That was for this song:


Pandora— how do you get me so well??

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY:

How do these things make me feel?

Tim Horton’s-

It always made me feel like Sunday Morning

My family would always dress up for church and before church we go and strut our stuff at Tim Horton’s. Every Sunday, without fail. So when I went their during the week, I would get that feeling. It was an informal environment, but a more formal atmosphere- they served croissants for God’s sake (notice the religious reference- this paragraph has come full circle…)!

Tim Horton’s also evoked a feeling of familiarity, ritual, and comfort. My dad would always treat me to Tim Horton’s. It was his gift. I was grateful. I always think about him when I go to Tim Horton’s, and not only him as a person but him as my dad and me as his child.

It’s a good feeling.

Erving Goffman-

When I think about Erving Goffman and using his theory of Dramaturgy I feel intellectual.

I feel lucky. It’s not often that someone can have a mixture of the two passions in their life.

Theatre + Sociology = Dramaturgy = Awesome (for me at least.)

When I actually analyze the theory it makes me introspective. It has me asking myself- “am I being fake right now?” I try to pride myself on being a genuine and truthful person, but when I think about Dramaturgy in the terms of my life it makes me nervous.

It’s a cynical theory- that’s what other people say. I agree, but I think it has a lot of truth in it too. And who doesn’t like to think of themselves as the “star” of their own life???

(Oh wait, is that just me?)

Pandora-

When I use Pandora I am in control. That is a great feeling. I feel like a DJ– I don’t know if I would make a good actual DJ but I love being able to mix and match the songs on my station.

I am empowered by Pandora and feel no shame when it comes to eclectic taste. It’s liberating to be able to put in a techno song with Frank Sinatra.

I just have station, after station, after station.

And when you use Pandora, you discover music. That makes me excited. Giddy even.

Before I came to college I was stuck with the same radio station.  I’d always hoped that once I got into the university my options would open up. Turned out, I actually liked pop music, and listened to the same songs anyway. But now Pandora has opened my horizons and when I use it I can only be thankful.

For Exercise 4:

October 27, 2010

Part 1:

  • The “third meaning” of a song
  • The performance- how is it sung?
  • Leave out your interpretations of the lyrics
  • You’re initial insight into the song

Part 2:

    After reading this chapter, I can help but think of the Bar in my life. So many people, perspectives, and stories that have come together to make me who I am. When I start to try to dissect and understand the supporting players of my story I get all nostalgic inside.

    As I have said (probably one too many times) before, I am on my way out of college.  I start to think about those people who have come before and have shaped who I am today. These people flash before me and I start to wonder if they will ever know how they’ve affected me…

    Probably not..

    But I guess that makes it all the better, we interact and change each other on daily basis: A compliment here, a joke there, and sometimes even with saying anything we can change someone’s life. My Bar is ever spinning and ever growing- people coming in and coming out.

    I went through high school as a theatre nerd, which in turn started me on my current career path (possibly still part-nerd), but anyone who knew anything about theatre in the early 2000s knows about “Wicked.” The song “For Good” sums up my feelings towards my Bar. Not everyone drastically changes our course of life, but they change us for good, somehow.

    Ok. I’m done with the cheese. Just watch the clip.

    On Thursday, October 22, I sat in on a session entitled “Re-contextualizing Shakespeare” at the English Graduate Organization Conference, University of Florida. I heard two interesting speakers, both speaking about the possible praxis of bring Shakespeare to a modern audience. It’s a tough task. Shakespeare’s an old guy, we’re a modern culture. We have to think of new and exciting ways to present his works if we want to keep him alive.

    The first speaker, Jimmy Newlin, presented his work comparing King Lear to a new English production of “Blasted.”

    Now a little about Blasted: Many call it “theatre of cruelty” because it’s so grotesque and violent in nature. It’s in your face, it’s not for the light of heart, it’s the farthest thing from Shakespeare, right?

    Wrong.

    Newlin argued that it’s not about any similarities between the plot an action of the two play (King Lear and Blasted) it about the feelings they can evoke and the similarities between the value of each play.

    Even though both plays may involve a character being blinded (the character in Blasted has his eyes sucked out by a soldier… ewww.) but it’s the reasoning behind the blindings and the consequences that blindness has for the character that make them similar. These similarities are things that will please the appetite of a Shakespeare fan, and may even attract the population of younger viewers.

    By  pushing the envelope, and putting theatre in the audience’s face, we create new ways to view Shakespeare, and that’s one way to keep him alive.

     

     

    The second speaker, Kristen Denslow, spoke about Adaption. It’s tricky word. To adapt Shakespeare, which many have done, how much “Shakespeare” really has to be there? She used the production of “Funk if up About Nothin” as an example of adaption that works. There is not much that comes straight from the page, if anything. But again, it’ not about the words- it’s about the feeling, the presentation, the composition of a play that makes it Shakespeare.

    Kristen considered “Funk it Up” a good adaption because they used things like puns and fictional words to get their point across, just like Shakespeare did. The essence of Shakespeare is in “Funk it Up about Nothin” and that ghost or specter of Shakespeare that may be hidden to the naive audience is what keeps the show interesting and prudent for today’s audience.

    Never Get Spoon-fed!

    October 22, 2010

    Yes, yes, when we look back on the days when we were infants and toddlers having our moms and dads helping us to eat puree versions of every vegetable known to man may be fond memories. I mean, who does love to imagine eating an airplane?

    But now that we are much older, and hopefully a little more self-sufficient, we should be eating on our own- and the same goes for watching movies.

    A director should not have to tell us what the movie is “about”- we need to figure that out by ourselves. That is part of the value of the film. The director has something to say, something he wants to you to know, but he’s not just going to give it  to us- he’s going to make you work for it.

    I love those movies were I leave the theatre and think to myself “that was great movie, but I’ll have to see again to see what it was really about.”

    That’s the magic of movies.

    Below is clip from a movie called “Revolutionary Road.” Now to a novice movie watcher it may just seems like a pic about the dissolution of marriage, but there is so much more. Check out the clip (and the movie in it’s entirety) and try to think  about things like cultural expectations, what’s truly “being happy,” and freedom. All things that may not be spelled out on the celluloid, but are all part of the film’s value.

    Exercise 3: High Concept

    October 18, 2010

    The Scene: A coffee shop

    It’s busy, the morning rush is on

    We focus in on two females that are in the center of the hustle and bustle of the urban hot spot.

    One, Allyson, has short red hair and brown and white sun dress on. She sits with a bad of paper and a pencil, smirking at the women across from her.

    Allyson taps that pencil on the bad of paper and looks across at Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A very fit woman, with long hair, dressed in all black leather. Buffy looks at Allyson with slight sense of uneasiness.

    Allyson has a questionnaire in front of her.  She is doing social research. She could be considered a sociologist. A light Spanish guitar plays in the background. This is the sound of any stereotypical coffee shop. (Keep reading and let music play at a low level— it’s for the ambiance!!!!)

    “So… you don’t sleep very well.”

    “No, I wouldn’t say that” Buffy shifts in her seat with nervousness. “I…” Allyson takes a cool sip of coffee and gently puts her cup back on it’s ceramic coaster with a melodic “tink”

    “I… just have to stay up late. You know, business.”

    Allyson fills in a bubble on her sheet, and writes a short comment. “So, you do sleep well?”

    “I sleep fine.”

    “Just during the day?”

    “Yeah, I sleep during the day.”

    “Are you a vampire?”

    “No, I am a vampire slayer”

    Allyson raises her eyebrows, Buffy sweats.

    “And what does that entail- the slaying of vampires.”

    Allyson picks up her coffee again and takes a slow sip, her lips lingering on the rim of the cup, making Buffy more uncomfortable. She watches Allyson with the greatest of intent- “is she judging me?” she wonders.

    Allyson likes it when her subjects squirm.

    “Well, I go around.. at night… hunting them… and then I drive a stake through their hearts and then poof <nervous laughter> their dust.”

    Allyson cocks her head and smiles wider. “A couple of things you said interest me.” She scribbles something on her paper

    “You drive a steak through their hearts? Is that symbolic?”

    “No. It’s literal”

    “So what you’re saying is that you literally… LITERALLY.. drive a steak through the hearts of vampires.”

    “Yes.” Buffy sighs thinking that Allyson has understood.

    It’s not that easy.

    “How do you get a piece of meat that sharp?”

    It takes a moment for the comment to register and Buffy nervously cackles as she explains: “no a wooden stake”

    It’s not funny to Allyson. Keeping her piercing eyes on Buffy and with a straight face, she hold out her cup for the waiter to come and give her a refill.

    The waiter rushes out. He’s not your average waiter:

    Without glancing at the unusual waiter Allyson stays focused on Buffy. The waiter quickly sinks back out of view.

    Allyson writes vigorously, and without looking up whispers: “not afraid of grotesque violence.”

    “Oh no, I’m not like that”

    “Like what?”

    “Like what?”

    “Like that- you just said I was violent. I’m not violent. I’m…” Buffy is clearly flustered and embarrassed. Allyson is a peaceful women with quiet confidence and wisdom- but she’ll whoop you if she needs to.

    “Tired?”

    “No I’m not tired. I’m peaceful– that’s what I wanted to say- I’m peaceful.”

    “But you kill things for a living?”

    “Yes, but… yes.. but.. you are getting the wrong idea about me.”

    “Ma’am, this questionnaire is simply inquiring about your sleeping patterns and how that affects your daily activities, I’m not here to judge you.” She picks up her cup one last time and loudly slurps the last little bit of her coffee.

    Buffy, still nervous, sit back in her chair. What was Allyson getting at?

    “And since you have such unusual sleeping habits you are the perfect person for me to interview, we like to see, you know, the exceptions to the rule.”

    “Well I am exceptional.”

    “I’ll make sure to write that down.” Allyson gives a sarcastically sweet smile, and writes a quick note on her pad.

    Buffy, exhausted by the questionnaire, holds her heads in her hands with her elbows on the table. “You.. are the true blood sucker.”

    “No, miss, I just get enough sleep to be sharp.”

    And with that we see Allyson’s toothy grin for the first time- and we see that along with the other teeth in her mouth she has a set of fangs. Allyson is a vampire.

    Her teeth are sharp- get it?

    Buffy gasps.

    <End scene>

    Cyberpidgin the Opera???

    October 13, 2010

    Cyberpidgin is the language we use on the internet that reaches across cultural boundaries. Using cyberpidgin allows us to tug on the heart string of a boy in China, or make an old women cry in South Africa. We all don’t have the same language, but there are certain things that simply connect with all of us.  I believe this is similar to opera. Now, I know. Opera is not for everyone, but for those that don’t find it excruciatingly boring there is great beauty to be found in opera. The amazing thing about opera though, is that there is very few operas written in (American) English. We can feel the mood, and we understand the plot without knowing a word that they are saying. That is the beauty of opera, and it is the beauty of using cyberpidgin.

    Now for the media.

    Below is a clip from the movie “Pretty Woman.” In this scene she goes to the opera (see the connection???), and although she may not be from the target audience of this form of art, she still enjoys it and is incredibly moved by it. This is a cyberpidgin- being able to touch someone without having to speak the same language. Enjoy.

    For High Concept Exercise

    October 13, 2010

    • Using characters (not necessarily fictional) and create a scene
    • Family member, bands, TV personalities can all be characters
    • You don’t invent the characters, but you do invent interface through setting (mixing of two genres)
    • Choose one character from each part of the popcycle and put them all into one scene (with some associative link between all the characters)
    • We are searching to know what are the “ingredients” which we are blending together
    • Include media

    Heartfelt Endings

    October 11, 2010

    I am a huge fan of Greg Garcia- the creator of “My Name is Earl” and the new show on Fox “Raising Hope.” He has a signature style that is a good representation of the conductive/convergent style we were highlighting today in class.

    Greg’s style is to have characters that are raw, trashy, uncouth, and plots that could make a biker gang blush, but at the end of every show there is always a heart of pure gold. Garcia does  a great job ( I would argue the BEST job) of combining the audience repulsion and cringe of Jerry Springer with the values and morals of “The Brady Bunch.”

    If you haven’t checked out “Raising Hope”  I would suggest it, and if you’ve never caught a rerun on “My Name is Earl,” get your tivo crackin- you’ll be glad you did!