Tag Archives: music

kind of like glee, without the drama

25 Oct


A couple weeks ago I went with two of my pals to Choir! Choir! Choir! 

If you’ve ever been to this event, you just clapped your hands and got very excited and started humming the song you learned, trying to remember the harmonizing notes.

If you haven’t ever been, here’s a brief overview: It’s a high school choir reunion with alcohol.

This is the second time I’ve participated in Choir! Choir! Choir! and both times have been memorable experiences. Not because I was suddenly discovered to have a voice like Norah Jones and signed a record contract (my first album will be titled “What the Shit is Going On Here and Where Are My Car Keys?” Look for it this Christmas); but rather because now I know all the words to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen and “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac. And not only that, but I can harmonize the shit out of both songs.

And I’m a better person for it.

The two guys who founded this event, Daveed and Nobu, basically teach a crowd of people who have typically consumed between one and four glasses of wine or beer the music to popular songs. You self-select into highs, middles, or lows, depending on your vocal range, and learn your part of the music. And sometimes you can stick with your part. And other times your ear fails you and you end up singing a totally different part of the music. (Maybe you’re better at melodies. Perhaps you can’t resist the harmony. Whatevs.) There’s a little bit of comedy, ALL of the audience participation, and more than one person who thinks they have a voice like Norah Jones but in fact is the opposite of Norah Jones and really their voice is more akin to a Muppet but who gives a crap because it’s fun and no one is really getting a record contract so let’s all just calm the hell down and sing a bit.

Singing makes me happy. I’m not terribly good at it, but I so love it. I loved being in choir in high school, and I’ve never made time to pursue community choirs or the like as an adult. Maybe I should. Maybe I will. One day. But in the meantime, I love these types of one-off events that make my heart happy and make me feel like the world IS in fact a beautiful place and people are not completely terrible. Singing feels good, and I like being a part of something that is bigger than just me, even for just a little bit. Together we make a nice song.

(Check out the video of the Chicago event!)

questions i’ve been meaning to ask you, part one

20 May

One: Whatever happened to the Offspring? They had some pretty good tunes, like Come Out and Play and Smash It Up, a song that was on the Batman Forever soundtrack. Which is actually a really good soundtrack, you guys—U2, Nick Cave, PJ Harvey. I know it’s from the summer before my junior year of high school, but the album holds up. Or is that just me?

Two: Why is everyone so astounded and why do they think it’s so magical that Eskimos have 50 different words for snow? How is this anything special? I’ve got at least five different words I can think of off the top of my head for underwear—underpants, chonies, (everyone’s favorite) panties, pantaloons, undercrackers. I mean, I could go on. No one thinks it’s amazing that I have that many names for underwear. What’s so special about the Eskimos?

Three: Why doesn’t it say, “objects in mirror closer than they appear” anymore on car side mirrors anymore? Granted, on our car, we don’t have a passenger’s side mirror anymore, so it doesn’t say or reflect anything at all, and it hasn’t for the past five years, ever since I swiped past a car on Davenport Avenue on my way to the grocery store. (Sorry, neighbor!) But it doesn’t have those words on the driver’s side mirror.

Why doesn’t the driver’s side mirror have those words? Do car manufacturers just assume we all know? What about new drivers? You know, kids these days aren’t as smart as they used to be, or maybe they’re smarter because of the Internet, but they shouldn’t be googling about physics and driving at the same time. So how are they supposed to know that objects in mirror are closer than they appear, unless the words are on the mirror itself?

What questions are on your mind, Interwebers?

music week at mcpolish: spring 2015 edition V

27 Mar

See what I’m doing here?

Since usually I have Photo Fridays in this spot? And instead I have a song about a camera to round out this music week? (It was either this or Pictures of You by the original emo kids)

Clever is my middle name.

Actually it’s Veronica.

But my superhero middle name is Clever. McPolish Clever, ehhmmm….Fantasticosity.


McPolish Clever Fantasticosity. That’s it.

It has a nice ring to it. And it comes with an amazing cape.

Now. Go enjoy this last treat for your ears.

Until next Music Week, Interwebers! And as always, tell me what you’re listening to these days!

music week at mcpolish: spring 2015 edition IV

26 Mar

You guys.

It’s Thursday.

That means one more day until the weekend.

You can make it.

I know you can.

Especially in those shoes.

Those shoes are awesome.

So you just take your bad-assed self and dance your way into the weekend, my friends.

music week at mcpolish: spring 2015 edition III

25 Mar

A few things here:

1) George Ezra’s “Budapest” is all over the airwaves right now, and I’m okay with that. If you can’t have fun with that song, especially with the “ooooo!” parts, then you’re just not living.

2) This is one of those cases where the voice does not match at all the picture I had of the artist in my head. I expected a guy with a few runs around the block, perhaps someone with attractive, weathered laugh lines, and instead, it’s a guy who looks like he came straight out of the Alpha Beta fraternity. Or like he could be Nick Carter’s cousin. It was unexpected, let me tell you.

3) Since All Things Sir Ian McKellan are hot right now (why? no clue, but let’s roll with it), I couldn’t help but bring you this track and video for Ezra’s “Listen to the Man.” You really can’t go wrong with coconuts and gongs.

music week at mcpolish: spring 2015 edition I

23 Mar

Whenever the seasons transition like they’re doing now—and for some reason, particularly in the winter-to-spring change—I get a hankering for some new tunes. I’m sure there’s some equinoxical* reason, but I don’t like to think to hard about it, honestly. Instead, I like to just dig through my iTunes for artists and albums I haven’t enjoyed for awhile, and bug my friends** about what they’re listening to these days for some inspiration.

That in mind, my Interwebs friends, it’s music week starting today here at McPolish, and I hope you enjoy the brief mix tape I’ve got queued up for the next five days.

First up we have Liz Phair’s “Firewalker,” which is one of my absolute favorite Liz Phair songs. (My all-time favorite being this one.)

The video here says it’s from an April 1999 performance, and the song appeared on her 2003 self-titled album, which got a lot of flak for being more “produced” and a departure from her grittier previous albums (as did the album Somebody’s Miracle, if I remember correctly). I could give a shit about produced, that Liz Phair album takes me immediately back to my early 20s when I Was Very Deep and Everything Was Profound, Including John Mayer. (My 20s were a confusing time.) But that Liz Phair album still holds up for me today, and if Liz Phair was sitting next to me right now I’d be all, “Hey, Liz Phair, you are a teeny-tiny lady who rocks and I love your shit.”

*Totally made that word up.

**No, seriously, what are you listening to these days? Tell me! Tell me!

Edited to add: I think I jumped the gun a little on that whole “transitional season” bit, as I woke up this morning to snow. And it’s still currently snowing. And there are no signs of spring anywhere. Whoopsie-doodle. 

music week (the second) at mcpolish: friday flashback

18 May


A few weeks ago Swede and I were at a local watering hole and it was like our high school days of the 90s were singing to us all night long. Well, it wasn’t LIKE they were, they REALLY were, as the bartender had queued up the 90s station on the satellite radio. Among others, we were treated to Soundgarden, the Breeders, and, Swede’s favorite, Sonic Youth.

Later, I went home and put on my flannel shirt and overalls and pined for a pair of Doc Martens.

music week (the second) at mcpolish: let’s talk about something

17 May


Happy Thursday! I can’t help but bounce around when I hear this zippy Icelandic group. Though the video kind of freaks me out.

music week (the second) at mcpolish: who knows?

16 May

The other day I realized that it’s been more than 10 years since my jerk of a friend* X introduced me to UNKLE and the Psyence Fiction album. And more than 10 years later, this album still rocks my socks off. A bunch of artists are featured throughout, and this jam in particular highlights Richard Ashcroft of The Verve. (Also, X introduced me to The Verve’s Urban Hymns album which is So. Much. More. than just Bittersweet Symphony. Check it out sometime.)

Dreamy. The song, that is, not Richard Ashcroft. Though I’m sure some people find him dreamy. Unfortunately for him I’m not one of those people.


*He’s not s jerk, I swear. I only say that because I realized that every other time I reference a friend I’m always saying, “my sweet friend,” or “my dear friend,” or whatever, like all my friends are saints and angels. And you know what? They’re not. Some of my friends are assholes. And you know what else? Sometimes I’M an asshole. But in this case, X really is a good dude. I promise I’m not making that up.

music week (the second) at mcpolish: i shall answer your bell

15 May


Is it just me or do banjos seem to be big lately? Like, learning to play the banjo is a “thing” these days.  Either way is cool with me, I was just wondering.