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January 26, 2018:

WHINY SONGS

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, I gotta tell you. What is it about whiny singers singing whiny songs today? I had to listen to a slew of ‘em yesterday and every one of the kids who were singing them simply imitated the whiny singers with the bent final portion of a note and frequently singing everything BUT the note in a whiny either low or high voice, every one of them sounding exactly the same. Is this what we’ve come to? And the songs – “I’m broken” “You broke me” whatever, all set to the same four chords played on piano by female singers who don’t really play the piano, with the same whiny structure, the same non-melodic meandering around four notes, and the same kind of lyrics. I literally thought I was hearing the same song for an hour. This has been going on for way too long now and I wish it would stop. These writers wouldn’t know a proper rhyme if it hit them in the head, the story they’re telling is usually over after the first line and then we’re treated to endless repeats of the same banal lyric over and over and over again until you want grab an eggplant and squash the life out of it. Dear kids: try listening to some good songs and some good singers, it will do you a world of good.

I heard these songs because I was invited to a high school “Variety Show”. I will not criticize the kids because they were just left to their own devices by their “teacher.” I blame the talentless teachers and I would like to know, other than a degree, why these people are allowed to teach classes they have no aptitude for. These kids deserve better. They deserve guidance and history and exposure to all kinds of things, and they need to help these kids understand there’s a big, wide world out there, musically, and that they need to explore it. I know I’m tough on these teachers, but they do such a huge disservice to their students and it just rankles me and a rankled me is not pretty. I literally could not tell if these people had talent or not.

Leslie Young’s daughter Alexa was in it – singing in a trio, doing a Stevie Nicks song whose point eluded me. One of her fellow trio members chose it and would not hear of any other trio ideas. Too bad. Alexa was the only one of the trio who put out a performance. The first act of the show was over an hour long because no one was there to direct it and make sure it was smooth. Act two I wouldn’t know about because I bailed after its second number, which was Alexa’s solo. The act before her was actually a somewhat talented young guitar player. And Alexa actually did a show song, Somewhere That’s Green. Which brings me to my other rant: Where is it written that the only way you can do this song is like Ellen Greene? Where is it written that you have to do it with a Brooklyn accent, especially out of the show? The song is wonderfully constructed and funny and even warm, but no one will trust doing it without the accouterments that it carries. Alexa did it fine (she played the role in middle school), but my advice to her was drop the accent, change her dress to something frillier, and to just play the fun and reality of the song. I don’t know that she’ll have time to implement any of that, but I thought I’d at least make the suggestions. So I don’t know if anyone else in the second half was good or not because I was on my way home.

Prior to that, the alarm didn’t go off so I got eight and a half hours of sleep that I needed. Then the morning began with merde, which continued throughout the day, but I survived the day, barely, and so please keep sending those most excellent vibes and xylophones for two miraculous miracles because we need ‘em right NOW. I took the book to be Xeroxed for proofing. Then I came home and did some work on the computer and we’re trying to set two more people for the Kritzerland show and I’m hoping they can both do it or, at the very least, that one of them can do it.

Then I went to the high school thing. I came home after and two little tiny egg burrito things – just fried eggs, small tortillas and a sprinkling of cheese – total calories for the two I had was a mere four hundred. I also had a bagel and cream cheese, which brought me up to eight hundred calories. I then went and picked up the Xeroxed book and came right back home. I don’t remember much of what I did after that – I had some crackers and pepperoni slices – that brought me up to under 1100 calories, so that was very good and I need to keep doing that every day. I had a nice telephonic conversation – otherwise I just sat at the computer like so much fish, listening to music.

Today, I shall start proofing the book for typos, unwanted repetitions and that sort of thing. I don’t know how much merde I can take but hopefully it won’t be too much. Then I’m attending an opening night at the Group Rep Theater.

Tomorrow she of the Evil Eye comes. I’ll probably hang around for a while and then I’ll have an early lunch and proof. Otherwise I have no real plans, same for tomorrow. This coming week is all catching up on stuff, especially the Kritzerland show. I have meetings and meals galore.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, proof, hopefully get through the day without too much irritation, then I’ll eat something light, attend an opening night, and perhaps go out after. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Friday – what is currently in your CD player and your DVD/Blu and Ray player? I’ll start – CD, various Kritzerland projects. Blu-ray, Sayonara. Your turn. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, where I shall hopefully not hear any whiny songs.

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