Singing Self-Discovery, Spring

Wed 2/23/2005

Well, I got my next temp assignment, working at the American Institute of Graphic Artists. I'm going to be going through THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of entries for their design contest, catagorizing and catalouging them. I think it is going to be REALLY cool and I'm more excited about it than any of the other temp jobs I have worked at so far. The BEST part is that it doesn't start until NEXT WEEK, so I have a few extra days to get some drawing in. Woo!

Yesterday I had an interesting experience while drawing actually...

As any of my previous housemates can tell you, when I listen to music on my headphones I "sing" along. "Sing" is in quotes because a lot of times it is more like humming, moaning, whistling, scatting, talking, mumbling or screaming along with the music. It's something I can't seem to control. I've done it since my first year in high school, when my Jazz Band teacher told us that it was a good way to learn proper jazz articulations and inflections--to be able to sing what you had to play. That's where it started I think, but it has since sort of gotten out of control.

The thing that usually frustrates people is that I often don't know the words, but will "sing" along just the same. Hell, when I buy a new CD and put it in to listen to it for the first time I will "sing" along, even though I've never heard the music!

Anyways, so yesterday I was listening to some Weezer and "Suzanne" came on, which is arguably my favorite Weezer song EVER. I quickly spun my chair around and as Mr. Wilson played the escalating snare/tom intro I turned my volume up on my computer and began to sing. I fidgited with the volume for the first few seconds of the song until it locked into this bizarre sort of PERFECT level. This happens often, but I've never really given it much thought until yesterday.

It's loud enough that if I mess up a lyric (or just don't know it) or I'm mumbling or whatever, the CD will cover it for me. It's quiet enough that I can barely hear myself singing--enough so that it seems I'm not out of tune (which would just make me feel self-contious). But really it's a perfect blend between those two levels. And what I realized, is at this perfect volume, I'm not LISTENING to Rivers singing, or to MYSELF singing, I AM Rivers singing.

When I close my eyes I can feel myself singing the song--my whistling becomes me playing an awesome guitar solo--my hitting the table becomes me smashing a crash cymbal. It's this magical sort of thing where I BECOME the music. I feel this with Rivers Cuomo, Ben Kweller, Jim Adkins, Matt Sharp, Jeremy Enigk, Thom Yorke, Isaac Brock, Ben Folds, James Mercer, Jason Leetle, Doug Martsch, Conor Oberst, Jeff Magnum, Graham Smith, Dave Bazan and a few other I can't think of right now. All of whom have a somewhat similar range to me...

And I was thinking, maybe this is why I listen to so many MALE artists? I mean, a lot of people have pointed out that I don't listen to many female singers. It seems like it would be harder for me to BECOME the performer if it's a woman and also harder to sing along when it's super-high. For instance, "Whip-Smart" is one of my all time favorite albums, but Liz Phair sings really low on that whole album... When I listen to Ella Fitzgerald though, I'm more likely to "become" her background horns, or if I do sing along I have to do it an octave lower, which is kind of weird.

I don't know. I thought it was interesting... But I'm rambling, so I'll move on...

It was a really nice day in New York today. Still really cold, but clear and sunny and nice out. I think I am really excited about SPRING for what seems like the first time in my life. Growing up in Seattle I didn't really care about the transition from winter to spring because it just kept raining, which was fine by me. And while in Ohio I was always so bitter about Spring for whatever reason (usually my propensity for having my heart broken sometime around mid-March).

But yeah. I don't know. This year I'm really excited for Spring. I can't wait to see all the trees in Central Park turn back to green (not to mention the tree outside my window in the courtyard!). I think it's just hard in New York because when it is cold you are sort of TRAPPED inside. So it will be really nice to be able to sit in the park and draw again, and to be able to explore for a few hours without getting frozen to the bone.

Anyways, I've babbled long enough. To bed! And Comics all day tomorrow... Life is okay.

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