Tag Archives: music

Stop, Collaborate and Listen

You wouldn’t know it by looking at me, but I’m kind of like the skinny white Polish girl version of Snoop Dogg.

snoop-dogg

This is where I add the mandatory disclaimer or “Hugs, not drugs.”

No, I don’t have dreads, a criminal record or say “shizzle my nizzle”that often, anyway—and my skills leaned more towards piano than profanity-laced rap when I was younger, but straight up yo.  I’m kind of hardcore.

Okay, not “hardcore” exactly. But for what it’s worth, I’m not one of those people that thinks the word “rap” is missing a silent “c” at the beginning.

True to my commitment issues, there’s no one kind of music I like enough to claim as the best. There’s good country and then there’s “poke your eyes out with a pitchfork” country. There’s good alternative, and then there’s “poke someone else in the eye with a guitar pick” alternative. Each genre has ups and it’s downs—including rap.

But this girl loves her Eminem, so much so that she would put aside her spinsterhood for him and engage in a long distance relationship that involved a weekly phone call and mandatory date night that did not involve sleeping over.

Eminem

I still need my space.

I also like Kid Rock, so as you can tell I’m a Michigan girl who lived in Detroit for a bit at heart. However, I have no interest in creating a lukewarm distant semi-romantic relationship with Kid Rock.

I would rather date an actual rock.

But unfortunately, other than a menacing looking gnome in my garden, that’s about where my street cred ends.

I have no idea what Drake “sings”—for lack of a better term—but if some old school LL Cool J comes on, I can bust out with every word and be instantly transported back to middle/high school.

Then once the horror-filled memories of middle school seep from my brain, I can put on a thugtastic version of Salt-n-Pepa’s “Shoop,” “ Push It” or “Whatta Man.” And even though I can’t remember why I put my keys in the fridge, I can rap every word to Arrested Development’s “Mr. Wendal” from 1992, the song from which our ghetto rescue cat Wendell (spelling change) was named, may her one-toothed, crooked crotched furry little body RIP.

But you have to understand where I’m coming from.

Vanilla-Ice

Nice eyebrows, Homeboy.

I grew up with a white boy from Dallas telling me to, “Stop, collaborate and listen”—all three at the same time?—and a black dude named Stanley wearing Hammer pants reminding me I was, “Too Legit to Quit.” There was hardly any profanity and instead of their pants hanging off of their asses, they pretty much just wore them backwards a la Kris Kross.

Now they have “99 Problems” and one of mine is the fact that I can’t understand a damn word that most of them say.  Another one is the fact that when flipping around on the radio recently, both “Baby Got Back” and “Bust a Move” were playing ON THE OLDIES STATION. 

Sigh.

Shizzle my nizzle, indeed.

Like the blog-izzle? Buy the book, yo.

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Destiny Takes a Detour

When I was seven or eight, I heard my life’s calling, and it came in the form of a show tune.

broadway-street-sign

My parents had gone to see Les Miserables and I got the first taste of my destiny—to be on stage, to sing, to perform—to be a star. I played that tape over and over, memorizing every word to every song. While I was too young to know the story, it didn’t stop me from rollerblading dramatically around the driveway to the songs or performing solos on our deck to flowerpots and pets. 

I was destined to be a star, and it’s not like I didn’t have experience.

When I was four, I had to be dragged off the stage after a breathtaking tap/ballet performance. Then there were the dozens of living room concerts, foam balls stuffed in my shirt for fake boobs and a gaggle of bangles adorning my wrists. I would shimmy and shake down the staircase, emulating Mariah Carey or Barbie and the Rockers in what could only be described as an exact approximation of their talents.

The years saw me hand jive through “Grease” and sing for my “Rent” of “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes."  I’m not sure what happened, but somehow the use of my musical talents became restricted to years of piano lessons and leading cheers in the dugout of softball games.

I can only assume that this town just wasn’t ready for my unique talents.

As an adult I’ve seen a few shows locally—Les Miserables a couple of times, of course—and a trip to New York afforded me the opportunity to see my first Broadway show—“In the Heights.” I left in awe, reminded of the life I could have led.

(And hearing show tunes still gets me singing and dancing around the same way that watching Jackie Chan movies gets me karate chopping my way through the house.)

But apparently being able to sing well is a prerequisite for starring in musicals, and unfortunately, things always sound much better in my head and living room than they do when presented to an external audience—say, people at the grocery store watching me sing “Summer Nights” to the summer squash.

I suppose sometimes destiny takes a detour.

(insert dramatic sigh)

Lesson learned.

This post is in response to the RemembeRED prompt:

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Write a post that either starts or ends with the words "Lesson learned." Word limit: 400 words.