Thursday, August 28, 2008

it's the same old song (but with a different meaning since you've been gone)

tonight i had the slightly random experience of listening to a brief performance of the University of Delaware Y Chromes. now, when i was in college it became painfully clear to me that the all male a cappella group at my school very rarely arranged new material. songs that were not new to people who preceded me in the group were still being performed the last time a saw the group a couple years ago (that's at least 10 years of the same material). it got to the point where if one more new guy earnestly sang "flashdance" my head was going to explode.
anyway, i thought this was just the lazy group culture of these particular guys. this theory was called into question on this lovely evening in delaware, when we wer
e serenaded to tunes including "bright lights" and "you're a god." seriously, are these songs still cool? or are they also using ancient arrangements from their glory days? it's not like they are musical masterpieces or songs for the ages. it's vertical horizon, people. come on.
perhaps i am an a cappella snob, but part of what we loved doing was arranging and performing our own material. it's what made the group ours, what kept our alumni interested, and what made us family. arrangements were a source of pride and an avenue for us to grow as musicians. i actually feel bad that those guys missed out on that experience. as for the y chromes...i guess we'll never know.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

another and another

inspired by dooce's up close and awesome picture of jeff tweedy from the outside lands festival, i would like to share a little bit about why i am in love with glenn kotche: the drummer from wilco:
  1. he is hot. he looks a little bit like brian from queer as folk, but without the assholiness.
  2. he is a ridiculously good drummer. i don't really know anything about drumming, but he can be playing one thing with each foot, and then have two drumsticks in one hand and some mallets or some shit in another. and that looks really difficult.
  3. he gets all sweaty every time they play. so sweaty his shirt is always soaked at the end (please refer to item #1).
  4. even though he isn't one of the singers, he often sings along and smiles because he's just having such a good time.
  5. he is funny and smart.
  6. he was in marching band.
i rest my case.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

ack! i have readers!!

so, much to my irrational surprise, a few people have actually found this blog. i was operating under the delusion that if i didn't tell anyone, i would be able to experiment with this blogging business in complete anonymity. silly me. they always find you.
you will now find that the ante is upped. i am beginning to craft some pieces about school, an area of my life i had originally elected to leave off of this blog. however, now that the boob tube is gone, i have to fill the void in with something and intellectual/spiritual growth seems like a nice replacement for the fictional or titilatingly non-fictional exploits of people i don't know.

so here goes...this week, before the school year begins, i'm doing a significant amount of review and preparation for the high holidays. though i have attended services every year, and even taken some high profile roles such as running the kids program or reading torah or leading a discussion, i have never been responsible for the entirety of the liturgy and the overall experience. it also cannot go without saying that the my rabbinical studenthood adds a level of expectation. i took this job because i knew it would force me to work on being "rabbi," but now i actually have to do that. i am constantly defining and redefining what it will mean for me to be a rabbi - professionally, personally, and politically.

Monday, August 18, 2008

brace yourself

today i cancelled cable. and tivo. after some serious self-reflection I decided that I watch way too much tv. i mean check out the evidence: I'm writing a blog about my life and I've created four labels, one of which is "the boob tube." i need a richer life. so the money and time i would have spent this year on television are going to go into "the bod" and "the brain" which will (god willing) result in a label called "the boy!"