I don't know how it happened, but one of Rob's CDs managed to stow itself away in my laptop CD-ROM drive. Lucky for me, it was Ro Sham Bo by The Grays. The CD rocks, but I totally find myself loving the Jason Falker-penned/performed tunes more than the others. Where has this man been all my life?
This CD has changed my life. I'm now downloading every Jason Falkner-related thing I can find... Jellyfish's other albums, his solo stuff, the recent stuff he did with Travis, holy cow.
How did one human being get to be so darned amazing!? How did "Both Belong" get to be the coolest song I've ever heard? And yesterday I thought the coolest thing I'd ever heard was "Very Best Years" - feh! Last night after rehearsal I did a quick search online for the tabs to the song and saw that there's a zillion requests for them but nobody did 'em yet, so I jotted them out in about 3 seconds; can't remember being so focused on anything in a long time. The chord progression on the chorus just absolutely floors me. The D - E - A - C - Em ... But specifically the Em on 'encouragement' makes me scream. I was actually driving around last night physically screaming in my car because that change just totally ruined me in the best possible way. Good GOD, I just love music.
Plus, the fact that his voice is absolutely the most perfect thing like, ever ever ever... it's so accurate, smooth, and his tone is totally straight with the exception of the most achingly subtle vibrato on carefully sustained words... My good lord above, I could die right now.
Anyway, you can take a listen to the two cooler tunes on the CD by right-clicking the links below and doing a "Save Target As..."
The Grays: Very Best Years
The Grays: Both Belong
In other news, I had an amazing barbershop rehearsal last night-- these guys are so awesome, not to mention an absolute blast. The guy singing lead is this 40-something year old guy Kurt, and he's so hilarious and smart and festive and just a natural singer. The other guys worship Kurt because he's just so cool, so we're calling the group the Barbershop Kurt-tet, and we change all the words to having to do with Kurt. "It's Kurt in the morning, it's Kurt in my cup, it's Kurt all the way in to towwwwwwwwwwwwwn..."
Anyway, the other guys in the quartet rock just as hard. There's Chris Ghiorzi who sings baritone, and just picks up these butt-obscure parts so easily. I remember being really impressed with him during Jesus Christ Superstar, the way he handled the wacky harmonies and time changes in there was solid. He's also one of the funnier and smarter humans on the earth-- he loaned me a book on PERL which I don't think I'll be giving back anytime soon. Then there's Paul Stamegna who sings bass, and he's gotta be what, only 17 or something. He's absolutely adorable, he wears checkerboard Vans and is one hell of a musician. I love the way he approaches music-- you can just see the wheels turning in his head as he's feeling where he's going next. He gets totally juiced on perfecting the group, and he provides a nice solid foundation for the group's sound. Plus he stands like a bass when he sings. I can't really describe what that means, but he just gets this "bass face" and this stance that even to a deaf guy just shouts "I'm a bass in a barbershop quartet." He's hilarious. And then there's my favoritest of the favorites, Brian Elam. Brian has gotta be one of my favorite people alive; I admire the crap out of him. He beams goodness from the core of his soul-- he is really warm. To look at him, he kinda plays up on his slight build and looks kind of unassuming, but when this cat sings, you'll have your socks knocked off. In the quartet he sings top tenor and he's all light and falsetto-y, and he's also dead spot on. But I saw him in a play called "The Me Nobody Knows" where he sang this HUGE song about living in a really poor neighborhood and singing praises that your little baby brother died because now you have more food for the rest of the family. It's absolutely heartbreaking, and this guy delivered it with a sledgehammer. Wasn't a dry eye in the house. And the thing is, the song wasn't a mellow thing-- it was this boisterous giant thing. I only have one other recording of Brian singing, where he was jamming at a post-JCS cabaret; he sang this tune "Wine" which again, had a bunch of loudmouth theater people stopped cold and dead in their tracks to hang on every consonant. Here's an MP3 of it (right-click, save target as). I don't think I've had so much fun and been so simultaneously productive in a long time.
I don't think I'm ever happier than when I'm in that musical uber-focus-zone. Whether I'm arranging stuff, listening, singing, coaching, whatever... I'm just so happy when I'm there. Why am I not doing something musical full time? Maybe I should put this stupid degree to use, eh? Gargh. I hate money.
I don't think I type "I don't think" quite often enough.