May 29, 2010

11th grade- A year in famous last words.

"This year is gonna be a really productive year." "Let's just get marching band season over with, then I can really get working." "Better be prepared for the IUP honors band audition, we wouldn't want to mess that up, would we?" "Ah heck, looks like we messed that up after all. But district jazz is coming up soon, so we have a chance to redeem ourselves." "When I'm done with all these district music festivals, I will have plenty more time." "Oh, but now I have to practice for regions, so as soon as I'm done with that I'm good to go." "Hmmmm, now I have a bit more time, but the All-State festival is coming up, so I probably should be getting ready for that." "Woo hoo all the festivals are over! Victory is sweet! Now I can practice whatever the heck I want!" "Before I get too much into this practicing whatever I want thing, I gotta remember that the middle school and high school spring concerts are coming up. For once I may get stuck playing music with regular people." Mrs. Manning: "Hey, wanna play the Tube on this song?" Me: "Sure, but I really don't know much about the tuba, so I'd better spend as much time practicing as I can!" "Now, I just have to go to a whole bunch of combined rehearsal before the spring concert, then I'm home free!" "That went well, but don't forget the memorial day parade." Mrs. Manning: "Want to play tuba in the brass ensemble?" Me:"I'm a little better now, why not?"
I will never cut myself a break, will I?

May 9, 2010

Zune is the bomb!

Now folks, if you've ever read anything that I've written you probably know that I'm a big fan of Microsoft and Zune. Well now I'm an even bigger fan, because for my seventeenth birthday (!?!?!?!?!?) I upgraded to the Zune HD, a 16 GB, wireless-enabled, super-thin, super-awesome portable mp3 device created by Bill Gates and company in Redmond, Washington. I must admit that I'm not a big fan of the new touchscreen trend that seems to be sweeping today's gadgets. I went to great lengths to avoid it in my new phone, and Dear Apple iPad: Please cease and desist, neither print media nor computers with buttons deserve to die by the tip of your extra-shiny tech-sword. But I digress. The Zune HD has most of the traits of a heavy duty competitor to apple's iPad mini (read: iPod Touch), but with the benefit of using the ever-improving Zune software instead of Apple's convoluted and low-resolution iTunes system. Surprisingly, I dig the touchscreen and the applications that take advantage of it. There are many different ways to organize and search your music collection, and so far I haven't pressed anything by accident. I've even downloaded a few songs and a music video in honor of the occasion. Hopefully some of my smarter acquaintances are down with Zune, because I am looking forward to sharing songs and info with them via the Zune Social system. As more exciting things, or any kinds of things happen, I will find some time to write some stuff. Any ideas/suggestions/rants/miscellaneous time wasters? Hit me up! .... Peace!

May 2, 2010

The Bongo and Steel Drum Band is here to ruin your walk in the park.

Yesterday, I was supposed to play at a benefit concert in the park in the afternoon after a morning already occupied by taking the SAT (again). I'd have to say that the Scholastic Aptitude Test went rather well, which one could only hope so after taking it twice, but that is beside the point. The real events were supposed to start during early afternoon. Our band's plans for the day had already been scaled down due to an absent rhythm guitarist and a bassist whose bass playing was excellent, but was unable to sing because of sickness. Then, the only other voice in the group had to take a rain check, claiming illness and allergies. At this point, we had to call it quits and cancel the gig. It was clear that hanging around in the park and watching the other bands play would have to be a sufficient compromise.
At loose ends, I decided to go hang out with some friends who were, amusingly enough, working to raise money and awareness for a different charity just across the street from diamond park. A great many cool kids are in their church's youth group. Somehow, one of them materialized later that night with a rather wonderful steel drum that he claims to play in his school's steel drum band (I still don't believe it). The other thing that made me quite happy was that for some reason somebody produced a very entertaining basket of miscellaneous percussion instruments. Now I must admit that a "drum circle" with a bunch of Unitarians who rarely go south of the border and know little about grooving tends not to be extremely successful (sorry guys, you know I still love you). But steel drum jamming, on the other hand, is a unique experience. Playing some out-of-tune bongos to a funky beat with some sweet steel drum (and intermittent cowbell) late at night while no doubt annoying any passerby is an opportunity every aspiring musician should have. Too bad they are quite expensive, otherwise a steel drum would be an excellent addition to my basement equipment and musical repertoire. Anyways, that's how I spent my Saturday, which was, I must admit, more than I do on an average Saturday. Let's keep on jamming!