Sunday, November 2, 2008
My singing group, MC6, is getting ready to release our 1st CD here in a couple of weeks. We have been working on this album for the past several months, spending many long nights in the studio either recording or mixing tracks. Currently, the album is at the mastering studio, then it goes to replication. We should have CDs in hand for sale by Thanksgiving, so we're very excited!
It is an album of Christmas tunes done in a cappella style - no instruments but our voices. Some tracks are classic, traditional holiday tunes, such as Away In a Manger, Sleigh Ride, and White Christmas; while others will be new to you, such as Candlesong and He Is Born. We actually have two versions of Away In a Manger on the CD - one is the traditional version you have heard before, while the other will knock your socks off!
These will be available for sale very soon. If you'd like a copy, let me know (through email or via Blogger), and we'll be sure to rush one out to you in time for the holidays.
For more information, see MC6's web site at www.mc6music.com.
Kate looking super-spooky in her witch costume. Without her hat, though, people thought she was a "dead girl". Still spooky.
Seth the friendly ghost.
The brood. Kate is looking pretty scary!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Just a few minutes ago, whilst on one of my "bio" breaks (not to be confused with snack or social breaks), I encountered a most unusual, yet strangely not completely surprising phenomena. As I took my place at the bank of urinals, I could not help but notice the fellow right next to me was doing some serious multi-tasking. While with the one hand he was, shall we say, "doing his business", the other was feverishly working the buttons of his Blackberry. Needless to say, his gaze was focused entirely on said Blackberry and not on the "business" he was doing. Apparently, this bathroom is for conducting more than one (or two) kinds of business.
I tried not to stare, as is rude in most situations, even more so (not to mention somewhat awkward) in the men's restroom, but this guy was, shall I say "handily" completing both tasks at once without even the subtlest appearance of awkwardness or uncertainty. He had definitely done this before - was perhaps even a seasoned pro. Is this an Olympic sport this year? If not, it should be! Takes all kinds of ambidexterity and coordination and stuff. I'm pretty sure I couldn't pull it off, and, although certainly not of Olympic caliber, I do consider myself to be somewhat athletic and coordinated. Really, this is much more than the old "pat your head and rub circles on your tummy" routine. This goes way beyond the "chewing gum whilst walking" bit. This is even bigger than throwing left-handed. Yes indeed , these are unique skills, developed over a long period of time of intense and repeated practice. I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't just do this trick at work to show off to us lesser mortals. Nay, he must have a strict training regimen after work hours, perhaps even early in the morning before work. I'll even bet that, when he awakes in the middle of the night, he takes his Blackberry into the home bathroom for an impromptu training session. I wonder how many words/minute he can type on that thing? Didn't some teenage girl from Ohio recently win a competition for the most words/minute texting? Of course, she could use both hands - not even a contest. I wonder how many words/minute I can type on mine? Should I try now? Right here, right now? Will he think me a silly amateur and scoff at my bumbling efforts to emulate?
All of this is going through my mind as I'm trying to take care of my own "business". A thought occurs to me - "Have I done what I came in here to do?" I think so. I got more than I bargained for, really. My colleague has not noticed me staring, which is a good thing. His attention is focused elsewhere. I'm to his left, and, thankfully, he's looking to his right at the Blackberry. I realize I've been trying to read his email. Looks business related. That's a good thing - it is a company issued device, you know.
I turn away and move over to the sink to wash up. He's still furiously working that thumb. Is he still "going"?! Man, that's some bladder! Or maybe he just needs to finish this train of thought before he can step away. Either way, he's still at it as I walk out the door. Who knows how long he was there before I showed up? Maybe he does his best work this way? I don't think I know him, but have I ever received an email from him? Perhaps one typed in just this way? I may never know the answers to these questions, but I do know it's time for me to get back to my desk and to the mounds of work (solitaire) that await me.
(Found this on a site called www.someecards.com - check it out.)
Thursday, July 17, 2008
We drove 2 hours North-East, past Payson, up onto the Mogollon Rim. Thought we'd do some light hiking, soak up the cool mountain air, and then catch the fireworks in Payson before running home. When we got to the Rim, we could not believe the amazingly cool temps - probably mid-60s or so and wet. We got rained on several times off and on while we were up there. The hike didn't go so well as there was not a very good trail for the stroller, but we did find a great spot along the Rim View trail to see the sights.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I actually had a very nice day yesterday, except for the fact that I had to get up at 6am to get ready for 8am church. Now that I think about it, though, I believe Melanie allowed me to sleep in until about 6:30 - ostensibly b/c it was Fathers day - but I'm sure it just took me that long to face the eventuality of having to get up and out of bed in time to avoid her ire. However, one cool Dad's Day gift I received was that the twins decided to stay in Nursery at church for the whole time! Yep, they did not cry their way out even once, and that is a moment I will cherish forever. Me thinks they are finally catching on to the fact that a class full of fun songs, tasty snacks, crayons, toys, and generally being loud and crazy is preferable to constantly being shushed by Dad and having to sit "still" through Sunday School and Priesthood classes. They're young yet, but they're catching on.
So, after church and a nice Fathers Day lunch (brunch was it?), I lay down for a short nap. 4 hours later, I came to and immediately declared that it had been the best Fathers Day ever! Wow, I'm not sure if I even got 4 contiguous hours of sleep during any night last week, so this was a real treat. At one point during my nap, Seth, one of my 20-month-old twins, came into the room, climbed up on the bed, and lay down next to me, softly speaking to me in his cute gibberish and patting my head. Then he abruptly left and I continued in my peaceful slumber. Then, around 2pm, I awoke and thought that maybe I ought to get up and go to choir practice at 2:30, so I lay back down "for just a couple of minutes", and then did not wake up until 4:30. Life is rough sometimes, but you just have to roll with it.
We went to Mel's Aunt Mareen's house for a big family dinner last night. The whole Arizona crew was there, which amounts to about 30 people, counting kids, and there was even a cake, which I initially mistook for a Happy Fathers Day cake, but was really a birthday cake for Melanie's brother, Daniel. Since we already had a Smith family b-day party (with cake) for him last Tuesday, I went ahead and pretended that this was a Fathers Day cake and had 2 pieces.
Needless to say, Mel and the kiddos treated me to a nice, relaxing day, and it certainly did make me feel special, so thank you, guys.
Got to speak with my Dad last night. He turned 70 this year, but doesn't look a day over 60. He and my step-mom, Nan, came out here to celebrate in February, and we had a grand old time.
Come to think of it, maybe she didn't actually make the cake, but she did cut it.
Here's Dad blowing out the candles...
Anyway, I freely admit that I'm a bit biased, but Fathers Day is cool, and Melanie and the kiddos helped to make it really great this year. Sure wish I could have spent it with my Dad, too. Well, here's to next year!
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I had never before heard of Jordan Bluth, but he has a very nice voice, although his choice of material doesn't really suit my fancy. It was mostly show tunes, although he did impress me with a beautiful Italian operatic piece from...well, I don't remember. Overall, his voice was quite good, but he didn't really impress me until he hit that one piece, and then he proceeded to lose me again when he returned to the show tunes.
Eclipse was awesome! I have listened to their stuff a lot over the past 3-4 years as my group, MC6, has worked to emulate their sound somewhat, but this was my first time seeing them live, and they blew me away. Very energetic sound and stage presence. MC6 could really take some lessons from those guys, although I can think of for sure 2 if not 3 of our guys, right off the top of my head, that I would not want to see try some of the dancing that Eclipse was doing on stage! They have a very tight sound and really keep the audience on its toes throughout their performance. I was impressed before with their recordings, but now they've really got me.
Peter Breinholt was great as usual. He did not travel with his band, The Big Parade, this time, but instead enlisted a few members of Ryan Shupe and The Rubberband to play with him. He's such a down-to-earth guy and a fantastic performer. Melanie got to speak with him after the show, and told him all about how his 1995 De Jong show was our first date, and he was so excited b/c apparently those early Utah campus shows are what propelled his career to what it is today. He even gave us a free copy of his new CD just for being loyal fans over the years. Cool guy, that Peter Breinholt.
Unfortunately for all involved, the turnout for the festival was anemic at best. For the Eclipse/Peter Breinholt show Melanie counted about 100 people in attendance. I heard the morning and evening shows were about the same. Pretty sad, really, b/c these were good shows. The organizers simply did not promote it very well. I hope they work to bring it back next year, though. It's a great idea and realistically could be very well-attended and self-sustaining in the future, but people need to hear about it for it to be successful. I only knew about it b/c I was performing at it.
So, my group, MC6, performed as well. Mel's cousin, Kelly, has given a ringing endorsement of our show, albeit a bit slanted toward my own part in the show. (Thank you, Kelly. Really, it's very flattering!) We had about as many in attendance as the paid show we went to earlier in the day (ours was free, yes free, as we do not yet rate with the sing-for-hire crowd.) We had a lot of fun, and the audience was great. A number of people I invited actually came as well, so that was cool. We sang a couple of new songs. Peanut Butter & Jelly (thank you Inside Out) and The Lion Sleeps (thanks, N'Sync). Both came off pretty well, so we'll likely keep them in the repertoir.
All-in-all, it was a fun day. I'm sad that more people didn't come out to enjoy the sights and sounds and to rub elbows with their favorite LDS recording artists (they were all very accessible after their shows for meet and greet sessions - very cool gesture), and to support such a great family entertainment opportunity. As I said before, I hope they work to bring it back next year, not only for my own selfish reasons, as I'd like to perform there again, but also for the other performers and for the quality entertainment that it brings to the area.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
We will be performing on the free Local stage at 6:15pm, and we'll be singing about 8-9 songs that showcase our stylistic versatility and cool sound. From do-wop to spiritual to silly, we cover the spectrum.
There are also a number of pro to semi-pro groups that will be performing on the not-free main stage, and a couple that I would recommend are Peter Breinholt and Eclipse. They actually will be performing together in the same 3:30pm session, so you can catch them both for the price of just 1 ticket.
Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.musicandartsfestival.com. This should be a very fun and enjoyable event to kick off the summer, so come check us out.