27 March 2015

Music Day - Brutal Planet

It was in this song that I heard -- really heard -- guitars for the first time.

Title: Brutal Planet
Artist: Alice Cooper
Album: Brutal Planet
Year: 2000
iTunes here; YouTube here (warning: fan-made lyric video -- contains language in some slides).
Chill-inducing live version (with theatrical intro) on YouTube here.

You all know of my fascination with keyboards/synthesizers ('80s in general), vocals (Rick Florian, Loyd Boldman), piano (David Meece, Keith Green), and bass guitar (Tim Chandler et al). But the guitar has never done anything for me. I tend to find the guitar overused and boring. I've never understood people who have a favourite guitar solo -- after a while they just all become a way to kill time and make the concert longer without necessarily making it better.

But the guitar work in this song blew me away. I literally got chills when I first heard this, and it was the guitar licks that did it. I've heard about Cooper's stage shows, but never seen one until I clicked the link to the live version on a lark. This set is so lavish. It's fantastic. And the lyrics are so spot-on. I'm willing to make the argument that it's harder to pick out (and find the point of) the words to a 'Christian' song (they're so mumbled and vague) than it was to pick out (and find the point of) the words at a bona-fide rock concert by a seasoned rock vocalist like Alice Cooper. It's food for thought, anyway.

But whatever your beliefs, this is darn good rock. Enjoy!

14 March 2015


I just realised that I will never again not be missing someone. Whether it's people in another province or people in another world entirely... I will be missing somebody or someplace for the rest of my life.

When I'm in Alberta, I'll miss the people I worked with at college. When I'm here at college, I miss the people in Alberta. And no matter where I go I will always miss Brittney and Deb.

How do you live fully even though your soul is divided between joy in where you are and longing for where you aren't? How do you live to the fullest when there's always someone missing? I can spend the rest of my life being happy that I'm with 'this' group of people right now, even though others are missing, or I can spend the rest of my life unhappy because no matter who I'm with, somebody's missing.

College has expanded my heart and broken it. Perhaps it's a good thing. But sometimes this world seems unbearably sad.

13 March 2015

Music Day - Angel Falls

Named a novel after this one. I had been plotting the story and this song came on the Cephas Hour at the same time. (And your college English prof told you authors agonise over the meaning of any word, phrase, or title associated with their material. It's lies, I promise. Trust me… I'm an author. But I digress...)

When I first heard this song, I actually thought it was from the eighties (it's from 2013). The production totally does not sound overly loud, flat and generally obnoxious like most of today's songs -- and that, in my opinion, is a very good thing. Plus, that bassline (not necessarily eighties, just generally awesome).

The performer in me appreciates the loose theme -- a story of a girl being the star, the princess, all her dreams have come true… and the harsh reality in her quest for love, her loss of innocence. Thematically, it's ABBA's Thank You For The Music mini-musical meets Crumbächer's Jamie.

But ultimately the song is about a fall from grace. I think we can all relate to that.

Title: Angel Falls
Artist: Veil Of Ashes
Album: Eternal Teenage Angst
Year: 2013
Listen to and buy the song on Bandcamp here.

I needed this song tonight. I make my theatrical debut one week from today, as Mary Lennox (the main character) in The Secret Garden. This is the first official theatre production I've even been in, never mind in a lead role. It's a part I never honestly expected that I would get. I didn't think I was lead role material, especially since I didn't really have any acting experience at all. It's still surreal, and it's almost over.

We've been rehearsing this thing for a month and a half. Every night I fall farther behind on my homework, but I barely even notice or care because every night I've been surrounded by the magic of the stage. It's hard to describe to someone who's never experienced it. It's a totally different world on stage. We can get so totally wrapped up in that world that we forget reality (which is why I haven't been freaking out over the four papers I have to write this month). I especially identify with the subject of the song -- you get the sense that this is a previously unknown girl catapulted to fame, into a lead role. Sound familiar...? And then she falls -- in love? from grace? -- harder than she could have imagined. It's a little terrifying listening to these lyrics tonight even as I consider what I'm going to do with this newfound love of performing after I graduate next month.