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Showing posts from January 23, 2011

Magical Moment 359, "The Show Must Go On"

I played a show in New York City the other night. I was booked last minute at a lounge in the lower east side. I did my best to promote the show in the few days I had, but I knew with the most recent snow storm, the crowd would be sparse at best. And with another round of snow the day of the show, I knew I had to decide right then to cancel or go ahead as planned. The thought of trekking into the city in such bad weather for an unpredictable crowd tempted me very hard to cancel. Until I thought about my friend Bethany.

Bethany is a singer/songwriter from my hometown. She often plays at small, local venues. We've been friends since kindergarten, but I had never heard her play until recently. She had a show scheduled at a club in Lincoln, NE and I was so excited to finally hear her music. When I got to there however, I was one of only ten people in the audience. I looked around, puzzled, wondering if she would just cancel the whole thing, but as soon as I spoke to her I realized tha…

Magical Moment 358, "The Highest Compliment"

Anyone who struggles with worry or anxiety knows that there is no break from it. Despite reassuring myself, reasoning with myself, and preparing the best I know how for everything, I'm constantly surrounded by feelings of self doubt, nervousness, and apprehension. Even though I've been playing for a ballet school and company for five months now, I still feel butterflies every time I go to work. I'm so thankful for the job, and so surprised I got it, that I'm terrified the other shoe will drop. I'm probably the most inexperienced pianist on staff.

I feel pretty comfortable with most of the instructors, but occasionally I play for an instructor I've never met, and that's when things can go not-so-smooth. Everyone likes their class to run their own way and they have a certain taste of music they prefer. The other day I was asked to stay for an extra class, which I agreed to do. I walked into the classroom, hoping to see an instructor I've played for before.…

Magical Moment 357, "Any Old Business, Any New Business?

Do you enjoy looking at your old yearbook photos, or does it make you cringe to see what you once were? For me, and probably for most, it's a little of both. There is proof of how goofy, naive, and immature I used to be (dorky, bad dresser, stringy hair, but I digress). And proof of how much I've grown since then (I have better hair now).
I found something today from my early musician-hood that made me laugh out loud. I began playing piano professionally (I use the term loosely) during my senior year of high school. In trying to gain some more business, I asked my then piano teacher, Ceil Brown, to help create a business card for me. This was before I knew how to use a computer (oh my, I didn't realize I was so old). Ceil, in addition to being amazingly gifted and a wonderful teacher, is one of the funniest people I've ever known. She came back the next week with some very professional samples......and this one. I'm so thankful that I've kept it tucked away all …

Magical Moment 356, "Eye Witness of Eyewitness News"

Channel 7 Eyewitness News is on our TV pretty often. I'm not a huge news buff, but sometimes I leave it on in the background to somewhat "stay in the loop" of the outside world. But something caught my ear today.

It's been a while since I've been around elementary school age children, and it's been an even longer while since I've been that age myself. I've nearly forgotten the silly games and rituals that take place in the world of a child. Remember the cutie shot? Circle, circle, dot, dot, now I have the cutie shot? Yesterday, I sat through ballet class and listened to 2 young girls discuss their sure-fire routine to create a snow day. It involved putting socks in the freezer, and some interesting rhymes (Zang, zong, zing! Come on sky, do your thing!). I snickered out loud despite myself. But today, I'm not snickering.

The ground is covered with a fresh layer of heavy, wet snow with no signs of slowing down. And today on the news, a reporter inte…

Magical Moment 355, "Vocal Lesson"

Today was the very first day I attempted to lay down vocals for my album with Modern Vintage Recordings. I went into the studio very unsure of what to expect, after all, I've never been one to boast that I had the best voice. In fact, all 4 years of high school, I never once made the select choir group. I never made all-state choir. I never got solos in the school concerts or plays. I could only muster the courage to sing a special in church occasionally because at least I had a piano to hide behind. But in a recording booth, I get no piano. And all those insecurities I have about my average voice were magnified by a million through a state of the art, condenser microphone, amplified with huge speakers, and scrutinized by an audience of 2 producers. 

I know I can sing on pitch. I know my tone is nice. But recording a song is so much more than that. There is a story to tell, energy to emit, and a mood to portray. Many people can sing a melody on key and make it sound fine, but these…

Magical Moment 354, "The Class Saver"

I love the moments that I "accidently" see. They're not planned, rehearsed, or expected, and I'm lucky enough to be a third party onlooker, and later describe them:  

The ballet instructor was feeling the stress in her intermediate class of 10-year-olds. Energy and excitement was high tonight, and focus and obedience was low. She loved her class, and told them so every week. They loved her too, you could see the respect in their youthful attitudes. She was the kind of teacher who honestly cared if her students learned, and when she had to discipline and be stern, she wanted them to know it was only to better them as dancers...and people, for she cared about them outside of her dance class. 

One little girl sat on the side this evening due to an injury. Her foot was bothering her so bad, she could barely stand. And she watched as the instructor struggled to gain control of the rambunctious class. In an uncharacteristic moment of frustration, the instructor announced, &q…

Magical Moment 353, "Your Letter"

I had a nice, unexpected, and long overdue surprise today. Inspiration to write a song! I haven't done much writing in the last year because I've been so focused on recording. In fact, I haven't even thought about trying to write music lately. But today, I have no idea how or why, but the first line of this chorus popped into my head and suddenly I thought, "I have to write that song!" Maybe it's because I've been de-cluttering the house lately and throwing stuff away. Maybe it's because I watched the movie, Letters to Juliet last night. But somehow, this idea implanted itself into my brain, I caught some wind in my sails, and I actually finished it in one day. It's a little rough around the edges, but here is my proud work for the day! 

"Your Letter" by Elizabeth Grimes 1/23/11
Verse 1: I knew the moment that we ended, I could see it all over your eyes, I could tell you were pretending that my tears weren’t killing you inside. So regrets and…