Friday, April 29, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

I promise a real post about life choices is coming soon. The life of an opera singer is frequently fraught with all day rehearsals followed by another day of all day rehearsals. Successive days of this can cause ones brain to not be suitable for choosing anything but sleep. Today's video is dedicated to a very intelligent young music producer named Bruno Mars who has been the mastermind behind many of todays pop hits. This is sort of dorky but an average day in heaven for me would involve not showering and "not doing anything and laying in my bed."Enjoy the catchy tune and kind of strange monkey dance.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

Today's video is sponsored by me. For the grand total of some free time that I decided to spare this song has now been given unto you. Performed by an acapella group called The Backbeats on a show on NBC called The Sing-Off. The Backbeats are a group originating from Southern California and are largely from the illustrious USC. The lead singer is incredible for her genre and really steals the show in this song. Enjoy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

One slacks on occasion. I slacked the last few days in providing you dear reader with a video to entertain your mind for three minutes. I look to amend that by providing you many minutes of audio enjoyment. Todays videos are chorale pieces composed by the still very much alive Eric Whitacre. He is my favorite chorale composer and writes truly incredible pieces with harmonies ranging from utter chaotic dissonance to stunning consonance.

The first is a piece I did a few years ago back when I sang in choirs in high school. It's called Sleep. It was originally written to the words of a Robert Frost poem "Stopping by woods on a snowy evening" but due to copyright laws it was not allowed to be published. It sat beneath a veritable mountain of music on his desk for many years until it resurfaced with new words written by Charles Antoni Silvestri about the very moment before sleep. This is Sleep by Eric Whitacre.

This second one is not for the faint of heart. It is fifteen minutes of utter harmonic bliss. Full of what have become known as Whitacre chords which are repeating diatonic clusters of Major triads with seconds and occasionally perfect fourths above. It is called When David Heard and the words are from 2 Samuel 18:33. It had not been set to music by any major composer for over four hundred years until Whitacre composed this. It's a very dramatic and powerful piece full of sounds similar to the sad wailing of a father losing his son. Do not listen to this piece unless you have the fifteen minutes to spare to fully enjoy the beauty and scope of the entire piece. Enjoy

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

The Lord is risen. Hallelujah. In honor of that I'm going to post my favorite hymn. Despite it's Christmas origins it's still stunning and I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

I chose to go a bit off the beaten path with today's video choice. This is a song that was written for a not very well known movie called Moving Mcallister. I happened to catch the end of it and this song was playing. I then spent around 3 months on and off trying to figure out what it was and where I could get a recording of it when I happened to get lucky one day and stumbled upon it on youtube. I'm also going to link to the lyrics as I find that reading lyrics while listening makes any piece far more understandable. The guy has a weird voice but I kind of like it and I hope you do too.

I'm also going to add the clip from the movie which if you have the time I highly recommend watching as it is kind of touching..Mila Kunis is in it too and she's hot. Essentially if you have a heart or are attracted to women watch this video. That hopefully is all of you.

Choice of the Week

In an attempt to continue having blogs of interest I made a choice(theme of the blog in case you hadn't noticed yet) to add a weekly post devoted to one cool thing you should try. Whether it's food or a nifty pen that writes in water if it's posted here that means it's of the highest quality as according to the under-qualified and overly critical tastes of mine.

Note: There will be nothing depicting Sheenfluence in this blog and the fact that I just posted that clearly means even my brain can be overwhelming contaminated with useless information about said character.

This week's choice is....

A Game of Thrones-based on the critically acclaimed fantasy series by George R.R. Martin this series has been in the making for awhile with a budget to rival any great fantasy movie and a cast list to surpass them this series is...awesome. Don't worry about having missed very much. They only released the pilot this past weekend and are replaying it twice a day on HBO. I recommend any nerd to check this out immediately and find the time to read the books as well. You won't be sorry. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

One of these days I may post a video that is non-music related. Seeing as music is essentially my life it seems appropriate that I post a lot of music. Today is a song by the great Simon and Garfunkel called America. Enjoy.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

Today's RYVD is courtesy of a man named Corey Vidal who laid down four overlapping video and audio tracks to a very clever arrangement of themes by John Williams. It's a pretty cool video and if you haven't seen it it's well worth watching and if you have watch it again because it's quite catchy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

Today's video is dedicated to the single greatest song of all time. The one and only..Crash into me by Dave Matthews band. Naught else need be said.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

For today's installment of RYVD I again am posting two fantastic videos. The first is a song by Death Cab For Cutie(One of my favorite bands) It's a little bit as kids these days say..emo..but it's a very good song nonetheless.

The second is an aria from an opera that made waves a few years ago in its debuts around the world. The man singing is a very famous baritone named Gerald Finley whom I had the pleasure of singing for in a masterclass last year. Sadly they don't have the full clip with the video but you can find the full audio if you but look for a second on youtube. It's based closely on the Manhattan Project and the title character shown here is a very loose depiction of Robert Oppenheimer whom the directors intentionally avoided impersonating. This is a 3 minute clip of a really wonderful piece and I hope you enjoy it as much as I certainly do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random Youtube Video of the Day

One of my first daily events will be the Random Youtube Video of the Day. It will range from music to comedy to a downright failure of epic proportions. We'll get this going with my favorite youtube video of all time. Enjoy.

Follow that by this for ultimate Perp enjoyment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The First of Many Choices

As one might gather my first choice made was to make this blog. I've never been much of a writer nor have I ever attempted to change that. I have however grown tired of the amount of characters one is limited to in facebook statuses and find that my full feelings on a subject can in no way be expressed in such a manner. So rather than being mad at the system I decided to beat it. I am now a blogger. An ever growing number of people writing about..really anything.

I dedicate this blog to being about choices. Everything from the mundane to the extraordinary. I hope to comment on choices ranging from the morally challenging to the art of picking the right table in a restaurant. I would describe myself as a Seinfeldian in that I find great joy in arguing about the smallest of choices in everyday life. Even balancing which pockets you place which objects in is a valid point of discussion. With that being said I will move onto my first topic and hope you all can read my writing and as a valued friend said "If you've made them see from your point of view you've written well." Simple..but I like it.

Picking the right seat on a train may not seem like a battle of superior intellects against the lesser..but it is. I spend a considerable amount of time on trains. Going from Philadelphia to New York City frequently for voice lessons. To get through this hell I have come up with a system of tricks to get the most comfortable situation in any circumstance. Here are a few tips to picking the right seat.

Don't go for the 4 seats facing each other
Don't. Just don't do it. I subscribe to the idea that occasionally less is more and this is one of those cases. I cannot count the amount of travelers I've seen make this mistake. It looks fantastic. Four empty seats and marginally more leg room. There's a problem. If you take one seat that leaves three more(I passed my first grade math class with flying colors) Families travel on trains with great frequency. A mom and a daughter. Parents with a child. Newlyweds etc... The very first thing they are looking for is maximum room. When they see three empty seats they will pounce. Leaving your legs tangled in some behemoth's uncaring thighs. Here's the problem. The makers of the trains have jammed four seats facing each other into a space smaller than that which they would normally put chairs that are back to back in. It has the illusion of being more space but it isn't. Avoid this mistake at all costs. You will never get lucky and you will never be happy there. Only do this if you are traveling with at least two other friends.

Don't sit in the window seat
This is another psychological one. Beat your mind. Avoid the window. It may seem nice. It's not. There's less space and the likelihood of someone taking the seat next to you just jumped exponentially. If you block off the window seat by sitting in the aisle seat people are far less inclined to ask to step by you and inconvenience you to sit there. This gives you two seats to yourself. This is always the ideal situation.

Block off a seat with a bag and miscellaneous items in said bag
When people are searching for seats there's a few things that turn them off. One being a person the other being objects. If you have managed to block off the window seat by sitting in the aisle you've already made one big step towards maximum comfort. The other big step is to use your bag or any items you have with you to put on the other seat. This means that if someone asks you they not only have to wait for you to move but for you to clean your stuff up as well. The visual element of objects obscuring a seat is also a huge deterrent for the average traveler.

Avoid eye contact
I'm from Texas. I grew up in a society with very good manners. Everyone is friendly. That being said unless you want a loud phone talker or elbow room stealer sitting next to you...avoid eye contact when you are seated. Once you lock eyes you connect with them if only on a small level. That small social cue can cost you you're extra leg space and potentially awkward conversation.

Last but not least...sunglasses
This helps with the last rule. People are much less inclined to talk to someone who has sunglasses on. It has to do with the lack of eye contact that keeps people from wanting to do so. I believe it to be incredibly rude to talk to someone with your sunglasses on but at 7 in the morning you probably don't want to talk to the businessman concerned with our nation's finances anyways.

Ultimately if you want to travel comfortably it's best to go with friends. There is safety in numbers and it's far more enjoyable to laugh about a bad situation rather than stewing in it alone. These are my tips to traveling comfortably alone and I hope that by following them you can avoid losing your legs to a clown in a four seater. At the end of the day though I believe this quote to be descriptive of the best way to approach any choice and situation.

"I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it's only a choice of attitude."