Aziz Ansari: I was sitting there with a friend and he’s like ‘Aziz, what you’ve been up to in L.A.?’ and I said - ‘Shut up. Because 50 Cent is sitting over there and i need to hear everything he says’. 50 Cent did not disappoint. Okay. He ordered a grapefruit soda, right. Waiter brings him a grapefruit soda. And 50 Cent said the greatest thing anyone could ever say when you see a grapefruit soda. He looks at the waiter and goes - ’Why isn’t this purple?’ And it took me a few seconds and then I realized - Oh my God. 50 Cent has no idea what a grapefruit is. I couldn’t believe it. I was like ‘Everybody in this restaurant you need to shut up right now because a waiter is about to explain to a grown man what a grapefruit is!’ I just couldn’t believe it! How does he not know what a grapefruit is? He’s been rich for so long. He must’ve run into a grapefruit every now and then. I do ‘okay’ and I see grapefruit at least every other day.
South Carolina’s finest.
This is the best story I have ever heard.
“I’m Gene Parmesan. How you doing?”
GREATEST OF LIQUIDS!
the good news is you are going to live
the bad news is he’s going to kill you
So I recently joined the band Three If By Air over at Lehigh, and we played their Relay for Life at 4 am on the top of a freezing mountain in the (light) rain. Yet, despite the sleep deprivation, complete lack of preperation, and zero organization, it was a blast. I’ve never actually performed with more than one other musician at a time (Not counting playing in the band for a play), and so it was a very satisfying milestone to hit. Something that I’ve wanted to do for years has finally been accomplished. And now that I have my first gig in the past, I have a bar to raise.
… Unfortunately, it needs to be raised quite a bit. Now, this show was done on about 5 hours of rehearsal over 6 days, and realistically that’s probably being generous. On top of the lack of rehearsal, I only started learning the songs about a week before the show, meaning I didn’t have enough time to learn them all before the gig, especially considering my simultaneously being in The Whitman Piece the whole week.
But let’s get down to brass tacks. I sang on five songs:By The Way, Razorblade, Fell In Love With A Girl, Crazy On You, and Everlong. So I figured I’d go ahead and document/analyze my mistakes. GO!
By The Way:I sang the chorus (If you can call it that) while David did the “rap” verses. Realistically, I shouldn’t have pawned those off on him, but I was worried about my ability to get through them because I kept losing the fourth lines and I didn’t wanna screw it up. I probably should have manned up and done it, but next time I’ll be ready. All in all I think this one went pretty well. I was a little pitchy, but it was the first song and for some dumb reason I didn’t properly warm up during the 20 minute sound check… Not sure what I was being so dumb for. But whatever. I remembered my lyrics, and sang the notes. With a little more practice, I think I’ll get pretty good at this one.
Razorblade:Of the set, I think this was my best performance. I entered too late at the beginning, and that threw me on the lyrics for the second line, which ended up coming out as “You got to pick me up and take a br[gibberish] with it…” But other than that, this one felt good. Also, it’s actually in my range, unlike more than half the other songs… hah hah…
Fell In Love With A Girl:I entered a full beat early on the first verse. Not to pass the buck, but it was because one of the bandmates (I don’t know who it was) shouted “Hey!” somewhere during the fourth chord, which had never been done during rehearsal. I took it as a cue and launched, only to be unable to auto-correct myself back on tempo because the goddamn song is so fast and I couldn’t get a gauge for where I was until the middle of the second stanza, where I finally took a breath and let the music catch up. I wish I had been able to do that sooner, but such is life. Other than that, I was a little pitchy, and maybe a little off key here and there… But I think it worked out okay. Also, had some excellent banter on this one, unfortunately it didn’t all make it into the video Rob posted. Alas.
Crazy On You:This was the one I was most worried about. I didn’t have the lyrics memorized (Though in the heat of the moment I knew more of it than I expected) and so I used the lyric sheet to prevent epic screw ups. This is written for a Soprano, and I’m a baritone pretending to be a tenor, so this was way out of my range. I intended to drop it an octave, but as the song began I was so wired and nervous that I couldn’t get my voice down, so I just ran with it at the top of my lungs. While singing it, I was pretty sure it was sounding awful, but my brother assured me it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was. Having now seen the video, I’m surprised to admit I think he’s right. It shows that it’s not in my range, but it actually didn’t sound all that awful even though my lack of experience with the song definitely showed. This one contained my favorite moment of the concert though, being the scream I did on the last word of the third verse. This was counterbalanced by a lot of flat notes, messed up rhythms, and just general lack of knowledge on where the melodies were… Blagh… Still, it was okay though.
Everlong:Everlong went… Okay. I was late on the entrance to the last chorus, which I chop up to only having done it like thrice in rehearsal, and not getting it right any of those times either. Other than that, I sang one stanza at two points in the song, and missed a few notes because, again, I wanted to be singing an octave lower than I was. Again, inexperience with the song cost me.
So what do I need to improve? Well, obviously I need to become more familiar with the songs. The problem is this isn’t the genre I typically listen to, so while I basically more or less know them, I don’t know them nearly as well as most guys my age tend to. Gotta work on that.
Next time, definitely gotta actually warm up. That was dumb.
Lastly, PRACTICE MORE! I missed so many entrances just because I didn’t know where they were well enough, and I didn’t get the chance to sit down with the bandmates and figure it out together. Won’t repeat that mistake.
So, that’s that. My performance in review. Another giant thank you to Rob Fagan, Anders Pedersen, Dan Guan, and David Atwater for letting me be a part of this, and I can’t wait for the next one. The bar has been set. Time to raise it.
day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year
Gonna do this.