Entertainment


Today’s daily prompt asks what role music plays in your life.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/daily-prompt-music/

From a very early age music has been a big part of my life. More listening and watching than playing up until recently.

My tastes are wide and varied, from classical and opera, to rock and heavy metal, jazz and blues, stage musicals to traditional I love it all. My least liked music is pop and country, though I do have a few artists from those genres that I listen to. My favourite and most listened to music is Mozart, U2, the Eagles, Kate Bush and Stereophonics.

What do I like about music? I just love any music that touches me and has meaning to me. For example, one of my favourite artists, Kate Bush, I love all of her work and still get chills listening to Wuthering Heights. I first read the book because of the song and have loved the story ever since, I think that song really gets to the heart of the book and tells the whole story in 3 minute song. Amazing when you think that Kate was in her teens when she wrote it. Similarly with Mozart music, he is the only classical composer that I like every single piece of his work. I like many composers but not all of their work. I like to have music on as often as possible I find it has a calming effect on me. I think it is like the feeling you get when you eat something really tasty, you get a warm satisfied glow through your body, that is what music does for me.

As I mentioned music has played a big part in my life from an early age. One thing music has done for me is winning many competitions on the radio. The main reason this is because I can remember many lines from songs and I have been able to get through and use this ability to win a number of times. Prizes have ranged from $10,000 to videos, concert tickets, CD’s and tickets to the football. So this is another good thing about music in my life.

Another aspect is watching. I have seen so many concerts and stage shows, from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to U2 (twice), The Eagles, Kenny G, The Police to Les Miserables and many more. Concerts add another dimension to the music you hear on the radio or through other mediums, the top performers are the ultimate professionals, giving their all for every performance. Yes, they get lots of money but you can see by the way they perform they love what they are doing.

The final aspect is playing music. I have been trying to play guitar since I was 13, and only in the last 14 years have I really been able to play anything. I have taught myself to read music and have a large collection of printed music that I pull out and play often. I often sit and have a tinker on the piano too, though nothing to put down on record. I love playing music, though I would prefer playing along with others because my singing voice is deplorable and takes away some of the enjoyment.

So yes music plays a big part in my life.

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

JD Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and the main character, Holden Caulfield, are often discussed and referred to, yet there are still a lot of folks who seem to miss the point of the story. I have read reviews that suggest Holden is the epitome of the me generation and a self-centred bore, this really seems to miss the point. If these reviewers had actually read the book properly they would have seen the caring and considerate side of Holden’s character, which was clearly evident in his interactions with the nuns, his past teachers and his sister. Another indication that Holden was not as self-centred as these reviewers claimed is his feelings of sadness about the less than popular students.

 

There is one review I read that touches on a point that is quite possibly the crucial aspect of Holden’s behaviour, his obsession with his deceased brother and the bullied suicide student. These events have obviously had a large impact on Holden and his psyche, this may account for his  indifference towards studying subjects that seem to have no purpose to him.

 

There are a lot of reviews that understandably identify with Holden. Though I am not too sure there are many from as privileged a background as Holden and still as lost as him. Holden is a lost teenager without direction, desire or purpose. He is caught on the cusp of adulthood in a world of high expectations of the privileged, and yet not having any idea what he wants to do or where he wants to go. Haven’t we all been there? I don’t know too many people who knew what they wanted to do or where they wanted to go in their teens, myself included. I really didn’t find direction till I found my love at 35, and I still really haven’t stopped wanting to learn and explore.

 

Yes, Holden does behave badly in some situations, seriously are we all angels? Have we all not carried out deeds that we frown upon as we grow up? Give the guy a break.

 

I hadn’t read this book since I was 14, though I was thinking of reading it in 1980 when Chapman murdered John Lennon, trying to understand what may have triggered him to do so, though I didn’t as I thought it may give credence to this individuals actions. Having reread this as an adult with a mix of experiences in my short life, I read it with fresh eyes and enjoyed it immensely, and no there was nothing in this book that could account for the actions of Chapman in any way shape or form. Yes, I did sympathise and empathise with Holden, I too cannot stand fake people who say things just to look good in front of other people.

 

 

 

I am not sure about you, but I am tired of reading book or movie reviews where the reviewer seems to have completely missed the point of the book or the movie. Yes I do know and understand we all see things differently, but when they complain or say negative things about someones hard work, and have clearly not understood the point, is it the author at fault or their inability to comprehend? Another thing I dislike is telling the story in your review! Review and tell how it made you feel or think, let the reader of your review read the book and find out what happens. So there is no need for me to put a spoiler warning here.

13225035Orpheus Lost – Janette Turner Hospital
Anyway enough ranting, this book is one of those, where most of the reviews on Goodreads seem to actually miss the point and review the vehicle for the story rather than the actual intent of the story. So I will give this a go from my perspective.

It doesn’t matter to me what others say about a book or whether it has won awards or not. The reason I say this, is that often something that is over hyped falls short of expectations and I prefer to take something on its merits without any other “white noise”.

I read the sleeve and thought this looked a good book to read.

The three central characters all have one thing in common, they lost one of their parents at an early age. This is the central binding mechanism around these characters. What the impact would be on your identity if you lost or did not know one of your parents.

Two of these central characters come from the same small town and grew up together. Though their families are from opposite sides of the Yankee divide stretching back to the American civil war times. This brings some challenges in their relationship, and demonstrates some differences in the manner in which their surviving parent brought them up.The third central character is a prodigious musical talent who grew up in the remote parts of Northern Queensland Tabletop mountain region. He too is lost and searching for his identity having never known his father.

This book is partially a love story, part a tale of self-identity, and part a tale of miscommunication and assumptions people make about others just because of the time we live in. This last theme is the one that many of the reviewers focussed on, the third character is part Jew part Lebanese and in the search for himself he becomes embroiled in muslim extremism. Though this is a major part of the story, this is merely a vehicle for weaving the story and helping the reader to comprehend this world through three different sets of eyes.

The book is extremely well written, without being formulaic. I couldn’t put it down, but I didn’t feel the author was putting hooks at the end of each chapter to keep us involved, she merely wove the story well. The only negative thing I can say about the book is some of the sex scenes were not to my liking, as I didn’t feel that this truly fit the nature of the character.
I give this book 4.5/5.

While we were on a business trip we took the opportunity to experience High Tea at the St Regis Hotel. This is a very classy hotel with a small room set aside for the High Tea. An elegant setting with a Harpist playing and an intimate ambiance really made the experience worthwhile.
There were a variety of teas on offer and the food was more than enough for two of us. Very well done and something nice and different to treat yourselves to.

 

We have all done it, sang along with a song and thought we were singing it right.  Only to find the actual lyrics or even worse been corrected by friends who are laughing at your stupidity.

A couple of mine –

Mad World – I heard “…tried to debt for a deadly oasis…” which is actually “…bright and early for the daily races…”

Golden Brown – I heard “…with my mancheros…” which is actually “…with my mind she runs…”

So they are just a couple of many gaffes I have sung, sometimes in a drunken state, loud and WRONG!

Now I am sure there are many of you out with similar word mess ups, so I thought I would share this with so you can feel relieved and never have the need to be embarrassed ever again.

This lady was actually claiming she was singing in English, the song is supposed to be Without You – Harry Nilsson, Air Supply and Mariah Carey. This lady, bless her, introduced her rendition as Ken Lee!! Watch and you will understand, there are English subtitles, for whatever good they are.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQt-h753jHI

 

 

Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, and having a taste for all types of music, there were a lot of quirky songs that hit the airwaves. The type of song I am referring to are the really popular songs that are really insubstantial in terms of quality, but obviously they capture a generations imagination. Often these songs are one hit wonders. Whether the performers were unable to back it up with anything different or less quirky or whether they just took the money and ran!

The list of songs I present here is not necessarily my favourite songs or even songs I have any desire to hear again, it is merely a list of the quirky songs I have encountered in my life. Those with a bit of a review are the ones I can remember vividly, and yes I do sit here slapping my head to try and get those catchy but annoying tunes out of my ears! (more…)

A performance of Lucia di Lammermoor Melbourne...

A performance of Lucia di Lammermoor Melbourne City Opera at BMW Edge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last night we went to the Opera for the first time. We have been to musicals in the West End, seen the ballet, classical concerts and some opera singers with these, but never to the Opera itself. Now we don’t consider ourselves artsy fartsy or even overly cultured, we just like to vary what we see and do.

Our only exposure to a full Opera is watching Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, which we enjoyed, though we thought it was slightly long at 3 hours. The Opera we saw was Lucia di Lammermoor at His Majesty’s in Perth. Our first concern was what to wear, working in a professional environment I get dressed up for work every day, so I don’t want to get too dressed up on the weekend. It was also quite cold so we thought we would just wear casual comfortable clothes. Ooops so many people dressed to the nines, but that is their choice. We also wore warm clothing because of the cold, second oops, the heater in the theatre was set to high, and with a full house it became quite stifling. Gaining a migraine from the event was not something I had planned.

Anyway we got to our seats, on the third level but in the middle, and waited in anticipation. Fortunately there were subtitles in our field of vision our minimal Italian was not going to spoil the event. The show was split into 3 acts, with a scene change in each act. I am not going to go into the story as it is the typical love tragedy, similar to Wuthering Heights. The main singers were fantastic and the orchestra was really good too, though hard to see from our lofty position. All in all we enjoyed the show, and like Figaro, we felt it was very long. Would recommend it to people wanting to experience something different, but make sure you are well rested before so you don’t get the noddy’s like I did.

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