On imprint musicals

After our performance at GAFilk, Rand and I had a conversation with Seanan about our “imprint musicals.” We had performed “Heaven on Their Minds” from Jesus Christ Superstar, a musical that we both love. And Seanan wondered, “why Superstar?

For Rand, it was the musical he had the most access to as a child, he explained. (my love of Superstar, though no less than Rand’s, came much later when it was introduced to me by roommate/bestie Jen…)

“Ah,” said Seanan. “I’m never one to question someone’s imprint musical. What’s yours?” she asked, turning to me.

I thought for a second. “Annie,” I replied.

I had the Broadway Cast Recording of Annie (on vinyl!) as a child. I loved it. I loved it so much that, at 8 years old, I was a bit disappointed by the movie because so much of it had been changed. (That album was originally released in 1977. The movie came out in 1982.) Young Erin’s favorite song was “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover.” No, I can’t explain that.

A few years later, I landed the role of a non-speaking orphan in a community theater production of Annie. I own both the soundtrack and DVD of the 1999 made-for-tv version. (This was due in large part to my HUGE CRUSH ON VICTOR GARBER, who played Daddy Warbucks.)

I also have a bit of a soft spot for Oklahoma!, which was the first professional production I saw (a touring company in Pittsburgh, on a Girl Scout trip). Also during high school, I saw a college production of Sweeney Todd, which I absolutely adored. I can’t say I love Sondheim, but I do love me some Sweeney Todd. (I feel kind of “meh” about the film version…and OH! Who is part of that original Broadway cast? None other than my  good friend Victor Garber.)

Now, since then, I’ve seen and fallen in love with many, many more musicals. Too many to list, really. (While I’ve seen many professional productions, I still have yet to see anything on Broadway, which is kind of a bucket list item for me.) But…you never forget your first, do you?

Here’s a clip from the 1999 TV version I mentioned, featuring Victor Garber. (Andrea McArdle makes an appearance as the “Star To Be.”)

I’m more than happy to talk musicals in the comments, so go ahead and talk to me! (And no, I haven’t listened to Hamilton yet. *hangs head in shame*)

GAFilk 2016 Concert Post!

I started a full con report, which I suppose will get finished eventually…but for now, I wanted to get this post up about our concert for any interested parties! It went really, really well overall and I once again would like to thank the concom, the guys working the sound board, Amy McNally for providing her awesome fiddling on a couple of songs, and just everyone in that audience. I wasn’t kidding when I said I wanted to hug you all. *hug*

So, this was our setlist for the ConCom’s Choice concert at GAFilk (with notes):

Heaven on Their Minds

really, seriously, just a straightforward cover of the song from JCS. (The Original London Recording is my preferred version. ymmv.)

Pandas/Jesus

A mashup of “Pandas” by Corky and the Juice Pigs and “This Jesus Must Die” from JCS

(Storybook) Love Story

A parody of Taylor Swift’s Love Story, about The Princess Bride (lyrics here)

The Princess Who Saved Herself

A cover of the Jonathan Coulton song (minus the phone call bridge)

Actually Ironic

A few years ago, College Humor or Funny or Die did a video that adapted Alanis Morrisette’s “Ironic” to make it, well, actually ironic. We didn’t think it went far enough and added some of our own little twists to it. This went over really, really well.

Ex

Dear Seanan

With Seanan in the audience! Squee! This is a parody of Seanan’s song “Dear Gina” (lyrics here, by me and Merav Hoffman) Lyrics and video from our FKO concert here.

Real

from William Shatner’s album Has Been. (which you should totally check out if you haven’t already.) This song was a collaboration with Brad Paisley. I played the part of William Shatner. Amy played fiddle. It was awesome.

Tiberius Rising

Just a straight performance of Ookla’s song with Rand on lead vocals, Amy on fiddle, and me singing a bit on the chorus.

Little Red Riding Hood

Cover of the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, featuring me on the ukulele, alone…I’ve done this in open filk a couple of times, but I was REALLY NOT PREPARED to do it on stage. OMG. My fingers forgot how to work, and it was almost a total disaster…but the audience seemed to have a good time anyway and everyone seemed to be on my side and nobody threw things or anything!

Cowboy Secret Space Detective

with two new girl-centric verses! And yeah, I screwed up the lyrics (both in performance and when I posted them to facebook) and I am super embarrassed.

Haven’t We Been Here Before

A cover of a Styx song from the album Kilroy Was Here

View Mistress

“View Master” with lyrics modified by vixy (and tweaked here and there by Rand and me)

Cliffs of Insanity

A parody of “Green Hills of Harmony” about (again) The Princess Bride, lyrics by me and Rand (lyrics here) And here’s a video from FKO.

Obviously, links for a lot of things are provided, both to lyrics and video…I’ll get lyrics for some of these other things posted at some point.

And just in case you need a reminder of how much I never ever EVER thought I would sing in front of people let alone on a stage, you can read more in my writeup from FKO in 2013.

Oh, and do let us know if you have photos, video, or sound recordings from the concert…we’d love to see/hear them! (er, well, I could maybe do without ever seeing or hearing that performance of “Little Red Riding Hood”…)

Actually Ironic

Again, this isn’t entirely original…it just puts our own twist on something that was already out there. The italicized segments were spoken.

An old man turned ninety-eight, he won the lottery and died the next day…
of chronic emphysema from inhalation of the latex particles scratched off decades’ worth of lottery tickets.
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay…
poured to celebrate the successful fumigation of your recently purchased vineyard in southern France.
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late…
because the governor was too busy watching Dead Man Walking to grant clemency any earlier.
And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think

It’s like rain at a dehydration victim’s funeral
It’s a free ride to your bankruptcy trial
It’s the good advice to never listen to me
Who would’ve thought…it figures

Mr. Play It Safe, he was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He’d waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
“Now I’ll never make it to that Fear of Flying seminar”
And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think

It’s like rain flooding an umbrella factory
It’s a free ride to an overpriced car dealership
It’s the good advice from the guy who just got you fired
Who would’ve thought…it figures

A traffic jam when you’re already late…
to receive an award from the Municipal Planning Board for reducing the city’s automobile congestion 80 percent.
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break…
at the R.J. Reynolds tobacco corporate offices in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife…
to rob a soup kitchen
It’s meeting the man of my dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife…
who happens to be the psychiatrist I recently hired in hopes of improving my luck with the opposite sex.
And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think
A little too ironic…yeah, I really do think…

It’s like rain on your wedding day…to the Egyptian sun god Ra
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid…for a stolen car
It’s the good advice someone advised you not to take
Who would’ve thought…it figures

Cowboy Secret Space Detective (new verses)

Here are the two new verses we wrote for “Cowboy Secret Space Detective”:

I want to live in Washington in a big White home
and I want to be the first commander in chief with two x-chromosomes
I’ll give the West Wing some estrogen
I’ll be the first lady to have a First Gentleman
And my run won’t be derailed by an email non-event
I want to be the first female President!

I’m gonna know my value in a world of men
And Howard Stark and I will fight against Leviathan
We’ll co-found SHIELD to keep the world Hydra-free
And I know Steve will save the last dance for me
And I’ll be a super spy like Maxwell Smart, but even* smarter
I wanna be Agent Peggy Carter!

*may change this, per Randy Hoffman’s suggestions

(Storybook) Love Story

Hey, I forgot to post my most recent lyrics. No video of this one, at least not yet. 😉 We performed it at FilKONtario. Those of you coming to ConCertino will have a chance to hear it this weekend. :)

(Storybook) Love Story

Music: “Love Story” by Taylor Swift

I’d torment you whenever I saw you
You were my farm boy and I was in love
I saw you there, sunlight dancing on your golden hair

What could I say, you looked just like a picture
I just pointed saying, “Fetch me that pitcher”
‘Twas foolish
But you said, “As you wish”

Then you had to go, you were seeking fortunes,
But you swore you would always make it back to me
Then I was kidnapped by some pirate
Why did you have to go?
And I said…

Humperdinck took me, I thought you’d left me all alone
Now I’ll never doubt you; here they come, we’d better run
You’ll be the pirate and I’ll be the princess,
It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”

So I ran out to the fire swamp with you
Tried to keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew
I’ll close my eyes… avoid the rodents of unusual size

But at the other end the evil Prince was waiting
Humperdinck said, “Get away from Buttercup”

But you were everything to me,
and I was begging him, “Let him go”
So I said…

Humperdinck, take me and leave him alone
I’ll come quietly; promise you I’ll never run
You are my prince and I’ll be your princess
It’s a love story, baby, I’ll say “Yes”

Westley, please save me, I just don’t know what to do
I don’t love Humperdinck, I’m so screwed
I’m so afraid, will we make it out of this mess?
It’s a love story, baby, please say, “Yes”

I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around
My faith in you was fading
Then I saw you in that bed, lying down
And you said…

“Buttercup, gently, I’ve been mostly dead all day
I came for you, all you had to do was wait
Help me out of bed, this jerk has got to go”
You picked up your sword and stood on your own
and said…

“To the pain, Humperdinck / You warthog-faced buffoon”
The prince dropped his sword, he won’t be getting married soon
We tied him to a chair and rode off in the sunset
That’s our love story, baby, we said Yes

Does it matter if the mother is dead? YES IT DOES.

A couple of weeks ago, I read multiple posts about the theory that the mother on How I Met Your Mother is dead at the point when future Ted is telling his children the story. (If you are a fan and have somehow avoided this theory? Congratulations…)

I was not, and am not, okay with this.

Part of what’s fueling these theories, apart from clues and odd moments in the show, are the tweets and posts and comments from cast members regarding the series finale. Cobie Smulders, apparently, said in an interview that she “immediately started weeping” after reading it. Alyson Hannigan tweeted a photo from the table read, consisting of her script surrounded by used tissues.

Today, I read an article on TV Guide.com titled “Does it Matter if the Mother is Dead?” The authors thesis is, of course, that it does not.

I am not okay with this.

I was okay with the finale of Six Feet Under being what it was, because this was a show about death and mortality. I was fine with the end of Breaking Bad, because really…how else would a show like that end? But How I Met Your Mother is a sitcom, and at its heart, a love story. A romantic comedy, if you will. I have certain expectations from a story like this. Yes, the show has had moments that were heartbreaking and poignant, but ultimately, I will feel betrayed by an ending that tears Ted’s true love away from him…one that we have all waited SO LONG to meet. (and don’t even get me started on how I’ll feel if that happens and it leads to him somehow ending up with Robin after all. No.)

In the aforementioned article, the author says, “…sitcoms tend to feel forced to wrap up with a neat bow and rainbows and kittens because God forbid what would’ve happened if Rachel never got off the plane…”

rossrachel

 She got off the plane.

Yeah? So what? I will fully admit with zero shame that I would have been upset and disappointed if Rachel hadn’t gotten off the plane. As I said, these are romantic comedies. In a romantic comedy, Rachel gets off the plane. In a romantic comedy, the mother doesn’t die.

I get that there’s a place for tragedy. I do. I get that people don’t always get to live happily ever after, and that in real life, loved ones die. But I respectfully disagree that all of our art needs to reflect reality. I know where to go for reality; I want stories that offer hope. I want Ted to get married and raise his children and grow old with the woman he loves. I want Ross and Rachel to find their way back to each other and finally make it work. I want Harry and Sally married and talking about their wedding cake at the end. I want Lloyd and Diane holding hands on the plane, heading off to England ready to defy the odds against them. I want Westley and Buttercup literally riding off into the sunset together.

buttercup-and-westley

Wuv. Twoo wuv.

And I just don’t get what’s so terrible about that.

I don’t know if this has always been the case, but there seems to be this persistent idea that what makes for good writing is subverting expectations. (In this case, the expectation that the audience expects Ted and the Mother to have the happy ending I described above.) There’s also a persistent idea that the best love stories are the most tragic ones. I’ll bet you aren’t surprised by this, but most of the time, I kind of hate tragic love stories.* 

es-titanic-jack-rose

I’ll never let go, Jack…

(Side note…don’t you dare even try to bring up Romeo and Juliet. If you think “tragic love story” is the point of Romeo and Juliet, well…that’s a whole different rant.)

My bottom line is this: we have enough heartbreak and sadness. In this sea of portrayals of bleak desolation, of horror, of darkness, of anti-heroes, and of tragedy, this show has been one of my bright spots. Over the course of this season, I have fallen in love with Cristin Milioti and her beautiful portrayal of the mother, and I have forgiven Ted for his past douchebaggery. Over the course of the past nine seasons, I have laughed and cried and loved with these characters…

Is it really to much to ask for it to not break my heart at the end?

*I still harbor some resentment over the way the movie Once ended. Seriously, ask my husband. 

Why I have not (and will not) watch/read GoT

Despite generally being a fan of fantasy, I really, really don’t want to experience Game of Thrones. I came upon this blog post that pretty much sums up why. Here’s one quote:

I HATED THE BOOKS. But I read EVERY SINGLE ONE. Hating it the entire way but not able to put them down.  And now with the show, I cannot stop watching.  Those who read and/or watch Games of Thrones know there is little sense of rules or mastery or fairness.  Instead, there is violence, abuse, systems of power that favor the powerful, good people dying, why are they ALWAYS dying?!  Good people die.  All the fucking time.  And no magic to save them.  Well, very little, and it is dark and scary and uncontrollable.

And another:

George R.R. Martin is such a different kind of fantasy writer.  Where is the hero(ine)?  Where is the arc of self-discovery and mastery?  Where is the MAGIC?!  I hated the books not because they weren’t well-written — Martin’s world and characters are some of the most (morally) complex I’ve seen; there is a terrible beauty to it all — but because of how they made me feel.  Constant anxiety and disappointment and rage.  And distrust!  I did not, could not, trust the writer anymore.  Horrible things could happen at any moment, betrayal and loss and trauma at every turn.  (Umm, the Red Wedding. What.The.Fuck.)  I found myself trying to disengage emotionally, trying not to care about characters as it became increasingly clear that Martin had an almost perverse interest in the exact opposite of character preservation.  But I couldn’t.  I kept reading. I’m still watching.  And I’ll await the next book, the next season, with both excitement and dread.

I would hate it. And yet I would find it compelling. And I would keep reading/watching with that sense of dread and anxiety. And I would be angry. SO VERY ANGRY.

The author ends this piece speculating about what has drawn people into this story…in particular, a sense of catharsis that comes from “loving and rooting for and mourning and even reviling these characters intensely.” And while I’m sure this (and her other points in favor) is valid, I just don’t think it’s for me. Trust me, we’re all better off this way.

You probably don’t want me to talk about my love/but mostly hate relationship with Breaking Bad either…

(Here’s a secret…I’m saying this out loud because sometimes not liking the thing everyone likes is lonely. If you feel the same way, please speak up and make me feel a little less lonely!)

And we have video!

So, last year I blogged about my and Rand’s concert at FilKONtario. Well, I recently got that DVD of the concert that Tom promised, and I managed to get some video posted on YouTube over the weekend.

Here’s a link to the playlist I made, which includes five of the songs we performed.

And directly embedded above is “Cliffs of Insanity,” our Princess-Bride themed parody of “Green Hills of Harmony.” (lyrics at the link)

Enjoy! 😀

On big numbers and “bucket lists”

Y’know, I’ve kind of resisted the term “bucket list” since the movie came out, and everyone started talking about having one. And not just in terms of “things to do before I die,” which is, pretty much, the definition of the term. Suddenly, everyone had a “summer bucket list” or whatever. But, I digress…

Anyway, this year, I turn a big number. A big, scary number. (I was born in 1974–you do the math.) And while I’ve had a couple of setbacks, career-wise, I can’t really complain too much. The past decade has been really good to me. Last year, in particular, I took on some things that were a pretty big deal to me personally. I performed in a concert! On a stage! In front of people! I started learning how to play the ukulele. (still a work-in-progress, but I’m continuing to plug away!) I decided I was tired of waiting for someone else to create a local alumnae organization of my sorority and took it upon myself (with the help of my awesome and dedicated friends) to get it going. I wrote two songs. (Okay, co-wrote, and they were parodies, but still!) I also celebrated 5 years of marriage to an amazing man.

Looking ahead to this year, I’m finally going to take that ASL class like I’ve been talking about for ages. I’ve got some other song ideas that I want to work on. I’d like to get myself writing regularly again. I want to get back to yoga, too. And then there are some other things, some big things, that don’t necessarily need to happen this year or before the BIG NUMBER, but they are things I would like to do/see/experience at some point. So, here they are:

  1. Go to a Disney park (never been…bonus, go to a Disney park WITH SEANAN!)
  2. See the Northern Lights
  3. (this one has a huge question mark after it…) Get a Ph.D. (???? I think about it, but I’m not sure if I really want to do it. I’m not sure if it would be worth it…)
  4. See a show on Broadway. (I’ve seen lots of Broadway shows, but none of them on Broadway.)

I thought I had more things for this list, but that’s all that’s coming to mind at the moment…I reserve the right to add items as necessary. 😉

At any rate, happy 2014 to you, and please share what big (or small) things are on YOUR lists!

 

Grandparents

FilKONtario report posting has been interrupted because earlier this week, my paternal grandmother passed away. The funeral was today.

me & grandma

(This picture is from my bridal shower in 2008)

KolbNappe  140

My paternal grandfather (pictured above, at Justin’s wedding), died in 2009, and my maternal grandmother died in 2001, not long after I moved to Buffalo. I wrote about losing her here.

gram0024.jpg

(One of my favorite photos of her. I don’t have any more recent photos scanned.)

I know I’m very lucky to have known all of my grandparents, and to have them in my life as long as I have…but it’s very heavy on my mind that I only have one grandparent left. I’m too exhausted to put any more thoughts together right now, so I’ll leave it with this.

me & grandpa again

 

(at grandpa’s 85th birthday party in 2007)