There are lots of little music tidbits I want to blog about, so instead of making five separate posts about them, I’ll consolidate them all into one.
1. SING TO ME, ROBERT PLANT
Last year, my brother and I sent to see Robert Plant and his Band of Joy in concert. It is my second-favorite show ever. Here’s a really shitty rendering of the show taken by my cell phone camera:
The sound quality is horrible, but it was one of those rare, awesome shows where my brother and I were SO CLOSE TO THE STAGE, and the audience was cool, and Robert Plant was in our field of vision the entire time. That show was pretty close to a religious experience. Some people were complaining that he didn’t sing “Stairway to Heaven,” and seriously, assholes? He could have pulled a Van Morrison on us and not perform any of his old stuff. Instead, he performed his solo stuff and NINE LED ZEPPELIN SONGS, including motherfucking “Rock and Roll.” Never in my life did I think I would be privileged enough to hear Led Zeppelin songs live from the original golden voice.
Seriously, if you went into this show thinking that Robert Plant is going to perform “Stairway to Heaven,” then you’re not a real Led Zeppelin fan. Period.
Anyway, I was talking to a friend from drum class yesterday, and he told me that one of his friends spotted Robert Plant at Walgreens. As in, our local Walgreens. “Wait, WHAT?!” I exclaimed. ”Yeah, Robert Plant is living here,” he said, then went on to say that he’s living in a really unassuming part of town with Patty Griffin, and that they took pictures with trick-or-treaters.
Holy shit. I have no idea what I would do if I ran into Robert Plant at a Walgreen’s. This man’s face adorned my dormitory wall freshman year of college. I have a Led Zeppelin bumper sticker on the back of Pearl Jr. It would be very hard not to say, “SING TO ME, ROBERT PLANT!”
I told Patrick that when he comes to visit next month, we’re going to be keeping an eye out for Robert Plant. I mean that in the most non-stalkerish way possible. We’re not going to be seeking out Robert Plant at any specific location. Just, you know, if we’re downtown or some other cool part of the city, we’re just going to be keeping our eyes open for any British men with long hair.
2. What the hell, John Bonham?
I haven’t practiced drums for two weeks since I was in Philly. I went for a lesson yesterday, and worked more on “Heartbreaker.” Holy crap, that song. I want to know what kind of uppers John Bonham was on when he came up with the drum beat for that song. Basically, it’s all, “Ok, so here are some 32nd notes on the bass drum scattered throughout the song for you to deal with, along with some random time signature changes thrown in there for fun. I’m glad you are no longer walking like an old lady after your marathon, because here’s a shitload of sixteenth notes that you have to play on the bass drum. Oh, and yeah, this is the part where you go from 97 beats per minute to 212 beats per minute. HAVE FUN!”
WHAT THE HELL, JOHN BONHAM?
3. If Y’all Don’t Know Who Three Dog Night Is, I’m Gonna Cry
My cousin Amanda and I were talking last week basically about how our fathers have led more interesting lives than we ever will. At one point, she said, “My dad was friends with Three Dog Night.” I responded with, “Shut up.” ”No, it’s true,” she said. ”They were next door neighbors and they used to hang out a lot. He was with them when they wrote ‘Joy to the World.’” I flipped my shit when she told me this, and confirmed with my uncle. Yes, they were neighbors, and he overheard them writing “Joy to the World” while he was in his backyard.
I was so excited about this information that I immediately told my friends. Their response was, “…who?”
I’m not saying I have every single Three Dog Night album on vinyl or anything, but come on, how can anyone NOT KNOW who Three Dog Night is? Their song “Shambala” is one of my favorites. It’s one of those, “THIS IS GONNA BE A GOOD DAY!” kind of songs when I hear it on the radio.
Last weekend, when I was at the marathon expo, “Joy to the World” came on over the loudspeakers. I pointed to the ceiling and said, “See! Three Dog Night!” to my friend, who had previously expressed ignorance. ”OHHHHHHHH,” he said in recognition.
4. SUCK IT, BARRE CHORDS
I have been playing guitar for nine months now. I’m a very lazy student. I don’t like learning anything exceedingly difficult. Thanks to the coordination that I learned as a drum player, I could sing and play at the same time pretty much from the first day I had my guitar (which my friends hated me for). So that was one hurdle I didn’t have to work through. In keeping with my extremely lazy approach to learning, I have stuck to songs with chords like A, D, G, C, Em, or Am. If I see an F (eff) chord or barre chord, I skip it.
But lately, all the songs I’ve really wanted to learn how to play have barre chords, and the variations almost seem harder than the actual barre chord. So finally this week, I gave in, and decided to learn barre chords. I can almost make F minor sound good. The eff barre chord still sounds like a cat regurgitated my guitar strings, but I’m working on it.
So I’m finally learning barre chords. You win, universe. YOU WIN.
5. Concerts I Am Not Cool Enough to Get Into
I found out yesterday that Green Day was playing a secret show downtown. I’ve seen Green Day once and they put on a great show. It was my first show that wasn’t in the pit, so I remember watching the whole time, feeling incredibly jealous that I wasn’t experiencing the pit energy. Seeing them in a small venue sounded like it would be an amazing experience. I freaking love bands that go the secret show route. At least for Green Day, it proves that they aren’t as corporate as everyone accuses them of being.
Of course, it was sold out.
My friends and I also tried to get Radiohead tickets. Yeah, that didn’t happen. The website froze completely for the first five minutes they went on sale. Then you were fooled into thinking you were going to get tickets because you could choose what tickets you wanted. Then the website was all, “Oh haha NO, these are already sold out lololololol.”
Tap told me afterward that it’s not a terrible thing that we didn’t get tickets, because Radiohead apparently is only playing songs from their last two albums. I mean, their last album was decent, but I would have been incredibly disappointed if I saw them live and didn’t hear something like “Paranoid Android.”
Maybe one day, I’ll be cool enough to get into a secret or hot-ticket item show.