Seen and Heard


Overtone singing

Quoting Wikipedia (this isn’t a college essay, get off my back), “overtone singing” is “a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the resonances (or formants) created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out of the lips to produce a melody. This resonant tuning allows the singer to create apparently more than one pitch at the same time (the fundamental and a selected overtone), while in effect still generating a single fundamental frequency with his/her vocal folds.” In simple terms, one creates a melody and harmony at the same time coming from the same sound source. I first learned about this in a college music history class and up until now I’ve only been familiar with a style of throat singing being done primarily by Tibetan Monks. This video of singer Anna-Maria Hefele shows her doing polyphonic overtone singing, where you can hear her singing two lines of music in harmony. It’s weird but kind of cool.

Rockapella is still a thing

Photo &copy Ross Leung

Photo by Ross Leung

Do you remember the theme song to Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? It was sung by a vocal group called Rockapella. Almost 20 years later and here they are with a new rotation of members but still bringing a great sound to the stage for audiences of all ages. I’m kind of excited to mention that they’ll be performing a show at Kent Hall in Westerly this Saturday, October 18th! The ticket prices are affordable and they’re bound to put on a great show. If you or anyone you know will be in southern Rhode Island that weekend, let them know.

Bottle Boys

I have no idea where I found this clip, but please enjoy the Bottle Boys performing their own beer bottle rendition of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean.

Voice Lessons with Kristen Bell


I’ll be honest, I’ve never seen Frozen. I think Aiden saw it at a friend’s house once. Me, I have no clue what it’s about. I found out that Kristen is one of the voices who also sings in the movie. I’ve heard her voice-over work on Gossip Girl, and I’m late in becoming a fan of Veronica Mars, but I’ve seen numerous talk show interviews with her and I’ve loved her for the last few years already. (her story about a pet sloth was adorable) Here’s an interview on The Chalkboard blog with Kristen in which she shares some of her favorite Frozen lines and a couple singing tips. [image via The Chalkboard]

Taking Stock


And now for something completely different.

Pip over at Meet me at Mike’s started posting this list describing everything she was seeing/hearing/listening to/consuming at the moment. It reminded me of my old Facebook statuses and AIM away messages where I’d post a one-liner about what I’m doing or what took me away from the computer (I think I just dated myself by referencing AOL Instant Messenger). I’m sure most people didn’t care what exactly I was doing but I still told everything anyways. Now I feel the need to do it again. So if by chance you’re wondering what I’ve been doing lately, here’s a list!

Making: A wall hanging. Have you ever weaved before?
Cooking: Rice
Drinking: Iced Coffee
Reading: Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close
Wanting: New bedsheets
Looking: at new-to-me artwork!
Playing: Candy Crush, sadly
Wasting: time on Facebook
Sewing: an apron with an old summer dress
Wishing: there were more hours in the day
Enjoying: The Mind of a Chef, season 1
Waiting: for a phone call that’ll dictate our near future
Liking: the iced Americano with caramel syrup my friend made for me
Wondering: why some things are happening in the world
Loving: my family. you knew i’d say something mushy.
Hoping: for that one phone call will bring good news
Marvelling: at how skilled and talented some people are in creative fields
Needing: gas for my car, always
Smelling: nothing. stuffy nose.
Wearing: red, white, and blue. ‘MURRICA!
Following: anything and everything #Ferguson
Noticing: nothing new, I’ve been stuck in a routine lately
Knowing: a new coffee shop is about to open nearby and am excited about it
Thinking: I want to start a creative business one day
Feeling: antsy
Bookmarking: The Eyeglass Lass
Giggling: at a conversation with my friend that took a weird turn
Feeling: as good as it gets

I’m Digging: Grand Tarantula


Grand Tarantula is a band based out of San Diego. The frontman, Jordan, was one of my classmates back in the mid 1990s. I even have photos of him from 8th grade but I won’t show those because he’s obviously a lot cooler looking now. One of my fondest memories was of him singing and playing in his own band, and they played a gig at our 8th grade dance. You could tell at a young age he loved making music and I’m so excited to see him still making music today. If you must know, Jordan was probably one of the first “rock stars” I had a crush on. I have a thing for guitar players.

Grand Tarantula has a new album coming out on September 7th entitled Slime Times, and here’s one of the tracks from the EP, “Freaks”:

If you’re in or near the San Diego area they’ve got some gigs you can attend as soon as tonight. You could even buy Jordan a congratulatory Mexican beer afterwards. Follow the band on Facebook and Twitter.

[ images via Facebook andSan Diego Reader ]

The Girls With Glasses are Not Fancy


If you’ve somehow been tracking my Spotify listening history you’ll be annoyed to know that I’ve been recently obsessed with Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” and a couple dance remixes that came from it. I actually like the remixes more because I can dance with them when I’m driving alone. My favorite Girls with Glasses made their own version of Iggy’s song called “I’m Not Fancy” that all the mommas could relate to.

That hook is so catchy.

And if you want to know where to get their clothes, there you go.

[ image via ]

Girl Crush: Misty Copeland


I think I might be a little obsessed with all things ballet lately. From the Free People ad faux pas I learned about Under Armour’s ad campaign featuring American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland. A little Google image searching and some stalking on Instagram and I am now a big fan of hers.

In any profession I am very in awe of the professionals in the field. When the Chorus of Westerly performs with renowned soloists I take the time to study their techniques and try to implement certain things to improve myself as a singer. Observing skilled professionals is like attending a free masterclass or workshop. There’s valuable information for the taking when you get to watch a professional at work! If I were an aspiring ballet dancer I’d already have read all her interviews and bought her book off of Amazon. I think I might actually buy her book…


Follow her online: / Instagram / Twitter

Other ballet things that have intrigued me:
Janie Taylor for ChloƩ
Where Ballet Meets Fashion
Dance, a video for a ballerina shoe that Saint Laurent made in 2013

[ Photos via Women's Health Mag, Joel Minden, Delux, Pittsburgh Urban Media, copyright Erin Baiano ]

I Love a Good Parody


Roo wrote an article at Ad Week about why trained ballet dancers are appalled at a Free People Clothing ad featuring a ballet dancer who doesn’t look trained enough to be able to go on pointe like she did in the video.

I think most people in Free People’s target consumer demographic probably wouldn’t notice anything problematic. They’ll see a girl doing plies, a couple jumps, and smooth arm movements and think, “Okay, she makes those clothes look cute. Take my money!” while the trained dancers over there are going nuts because they notice the little details that they’ve been educated to avoid doing because it’s part of their career.

I’ve been one of those people. I’ve gotten mad every time I hear that one Taylor Swift song where she takes a breath in the middle of a couple words in the chorus. I’ve been trained to take a breath in between phrases or if I must take a breath within a phrase, do it between two words. Then I remind myself that it’s pop music and Taylor can do whatever she wants with her own songs. ;) The remarks of the trained dancers though, those are legit critiques.

So I just found these ad parodies on YouTube as a result of the uproar about the Free People ad. I think a lot of it went over my head because I don’t know what ballet ankles are supposed to look like, but they’re still funny if you get it.

Music Video for Sia’s “Chandelier”


I’m a big fan of interpretive dancing when I’m alone and can listen to any kind of music I want. This video reminds me of those times, except I learned that the talented dancer in this video is a girl with actual dance experience. Me, I just feel the music and let my sometimes uncoordinated limbs do as they please.

I’m also a big fan of Sia. Though her singing voice may not be as sweet as other singers, I still see beauty in the imperfections. She’s written many songs for other pop singers and usually writes songs with other singers in mind, so I understand that she probably spends less time and effort writing songs for herself. BUUUUT I hope she doesn’t stop singing, because she’s as much (or more) of a star in my heart as those other musicians.

[ image via Wikimedia Commons ]

One Point for Lorde

Whether or not you’re a fan of Lorde’s music, you gotta give her credit for what the youngin’s these days call being real. Even though she’s a musician, she doesn’t have to do anything else other than perform her music and get paid. I appreciate that she cares enough to address issues like the unnecessary Photoshopping of images of hers.

It’s acne. We all have it at some point in our lives, right? No biggie.

(psst! did you watch those Postmodern Jukebox videos with Puddles the Clown covering the Lorde tracks? They’re amaaaaaaazing)

Geeking Out for a Minute

Have you seen this? Jelani Eddington plays the Main Title from the Star Wars Symphonic Suite at the 5/80 Sanfilippo Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ in Barrington, Illinois. While the track was originally recorded with a full orchestra, this man can play all the parts with his hands and feet. It’s beyond remarkable.

I’m a big fan of instruments that are traditionally played for one genre of music but switched up to play something totally different. I love when jazz/blues bands play pop and rock songs in a more jazzy style. If you know me in real life you know I fell head over heels for Postmodern Jukebox. (you’ve got to hear Puddles the clown.) When I lived at my mom’s house and had the house to myself (I’d never do it with an audience, sometimes I made sure my cat was in a different room) I’d jump on the piano and jam out to Britney Spears in the style of a lounge singer. It was fun.

Watch more videos of Mr. Eddington on the organ here.