Album meme (expanded version)

So, I did the facebook “10 album” meme that’s been going around, but I had some additional thoughts. And I thought, “Oh yeah, I have a blog! So here goes.

First, a repost of the 10 (okay, 11) I posted to facebook, covering roughly the years 1987-1993.

True Blue–Madonna

Licensed to Ill–Beastie Boys (Yeah, I know the many ways this album is, uh, problematic. I also know it’s not the best Beastie Boys album. But I was 13, and I listened to it A LOT.)

Batman Soundtrack–Prince Well, y’know, Prince. 

Faith–George Michael

Appetite for Destruction–Guns ‘n Roses

New Jersey–Bon Jovi I loved Bon Jovi so, so much, you guys.

Hysteria–Def Leppard

Rhythm Nation 1814–Janet Jackson

Blacks’ Magic–Salt n Pepa

River of Dreams–Billy Joel

Bat Out of Hell–Meatloaf This obviously did not come out while I was a teenager, but my high school years were when I got into it. Also, It’s a miracle that it took me so long to figure out that the man responsible for these songs also wrote “Making Love (Out of Nothing at All)” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

My taste in music could best be described as “mainstream.” 🙂

Here are some albums that were important to me earlier in life:

Annie–Original Broadway recording When the movie version of Annie came out, I had been listening to this album for a couple of years. I was kind of a tiny hipster, annoyed by how different it was. The songs that were left out. The songs that were created/added. I still prefer this version. Oh, and as a side note, we’ve been re-watching 30 Rock, and it tickles me how much Tina Fey (or someone in the writers’ room) loves Annie. The songs come up rather frequently.

Grease soundtrack (movie)

Just Sylvia–Sylvia My mom had this album, and I was obsessed with the song “Nobody.” I would pretend that I was going to sing it on a gameshow. (which I think might have been the 80s version of The Gong Show?)

*honorable mention: “Eye in the Sky”–Alan Parsons Project…it doesn’t get a full spot because I only bought the 45, but it was the first music I purchased with my own money*

Air Supply–Greatest Hits  I had originally stayed away from including greatest hits collections, but this one was a huge part of my childhood. My mom had it on cassette…in my memory, it was a copy, and it had Bonnie Tyler on the other side.

The Other Side of Life–The Moody Blues My dad was a huge fan of The Moody Blues, and I remember listening to many of their albums on cassette, in the car. I know not everyone is a fan of this record, but I liked it quite a bit (and was kind of obsessed with the single, “Your Wildest Dreams.”)

Hi Infidelity–REO Speedwagon I really, really liked this album when I was 9. In fact, I got in trouble for bringing it to school once, due to the risque cover.

She’s So Unusual–Cyndi Lauper

Hangin’ Tough–New Kids on the Block I went on a trip to the beach with my friend Heather and her family the summer I turned 14. We had a tape that had Hangin’ Tough on one side, and Appetite for Destruction on the other. It’s really kind of hilarious.

Dirty Dancing soundtrack So, who else can sing the Kellerman’s anthem?

And a few later (college/after college) offerings:

Pop! (The First Twenty Hits)–Erasure This is just one of the greatest hits albums that was a very big thing for me when I was first building my CD collection–which didn’t happen for me until early college. Billy Joel. Journey. Styx. Queen. REO Speedwagon. etc.

Jesus Christ Superstar–Original London recording

Les Miserables–complete symphonic recording

I never would have discovered my love for these musicals if it hadn’t been for my roomie/bestie Jen…

Jagged Little Pill–Alanis Morrissette I admit, I wasn’t on board the Alanis train right away. I was, in fact, kind of put off by the aggression and what, at the time, I felt was vulgarity of “You Oughta Know.”  Then, I don’t know, a year or so later, I went through a bitter breakup and was all “AND I’M HEEEEEEERE TO REMIIIIIIND YOU…”

Shakespeare My Butt–Lowest of the Low This is the quintessential album for surviving your 20s. It’s about being broke, getting fired, falling in love, breaking up, and trying to figure out your place in the world.

Talk Nerdy to Me

This is my parody of Poison’s “Talk Dirty to Me,” performed during our concert at Marcon, with ASL by the lovely and talented Judi MIller. (Thanks again to ladypoetess for the recordings!)

Lyrics by Erin Bellavia and Amanda Marlowe

You know I never
I’ve never met a guy like you
You dream you’re part of Malcolm’s crew
‘Cause you like it
And you know I like it too
And oh, those tight pants–ooh
I wanna cosplay
Oh, yes I do

You know I’ve never
read Tanya Huff ‘til dawn
I’ve never been to Comicon
but I’d like to
And after watching Tron
we’ll watch some Doctor Who
and maybe Torchwood

Cause baby, we’ll be
in the filk room (alt: at the filk con)
Singin’ songs till four
Or buying Saga
at the comic book store
down to the book sale
then we’ll read some more
And baby, talk nerdy to me

You know your grammar
Your grammar truly thrills my heart
It’s obvious you’re really smart
I wanna hear you
When you say big words to me
Like “ostensibly”
I gotta hear you

Cause baby we’ll be
writin’ fanfic
about our OTP
Or chasing Gollum
you are precioussss to me*
We’ll read web comics
let’s check xkcd
And baby, talk nerdy to me

cause we’ll be
Readin’ Scalzi
Redshirts or Old Man’s War
Or buying Rat Queens**
at the comic book store
down to the book sale
then we’ll read some more
And baby, talk nerdy to me

*this line may change, but I didn’t come up with anything I liked prior to performance

**this line will probably be changed, in light of recent news about this title

Fight Like a Girl–now with video!

(lyrics in previous post)

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”…)

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!)

Musical nostalgia

So, I’ve been feeling all music-nostalgic lately. Every few days, I seem to be buying some new-old music for my collection and adding it to my iPod.

This is my current favorite old-new purchase:

Now that We Found Love

I’ve also picked up:

  • Strike it Up (Black Box)
  • Poison (Bell Biv Devoe)
  • Motownphilly (Boyz II Men)
  • Connected (Stereo MCs)
  • Unbelievable (EMF)
  • Rump Shaker (Wreckz-n-Effect)
  • Inside Out (Eve 6…one of these things is not like the others…)

I also purchased a Salt-n-Pepa greatest hits CD.

Then today, I saw this posted on a friend’s facebook. (sorry, I tried to embed the videos, but they didn’t cooperate…)

I’m going to be indulging my musical nostalgia a bit more in the coming months, as All Things Jennifer has put me in charge of the soundtrack for some of her pre-wedding festivities. YAY! (I’ve already started making a playlist…)

Deja-vu

Dear Hollywood:

How many times will you make this movie?

I was going to make a whole list here, but look! Wikipedia already did it for me!

 

We Shall Be Free

I used to listen to country music a lot more, before the world went a little bit crazy. I was a pretty big Garth Brooks fan, and I love this song. I heard it today, and I just felt like it needed to be shared.

When we’re free to love anyone we choose,
When this world’s big enough for all different views,
When we’re all free to worship from our own kind of pews,
Then we shall be free.

I wonder what the fans would think of Garth now…