11 September 2013

I Saw Him ...

... tonight. He might not think I did. I was mostly staring intently at my phone as I was walking because of Ingress (go Enlightened!). He might even convince himself that he didn't see me, but I know he did. And I saw him. He was there at the corner of 16th and Scott Circle in his gym-casual clothes and backpack, his almost-shaved head, his mustache and goatee. I saw him.

I normally wouldn't care. He did to me what I saw him do to countless people when we were together... what I never thought he'd do to me... and, as a Leo, I have no problem returning the complement. You wanna cut me out of your life? Fine. You're dead to me. There's no one-upping that. (Good luck with trying to get back in my life.)

Except today is 9/11. The most tragic day in any American's life, especially any American in New York or DC or PA. That day in 2001 was very important to me because I worked near the Nation's Capital and because the one person at that time that I thought I was going to marry, grow old with, and die with was working a block from the Capitol Building. And, as much as I wish it wouldn't, this day brings all of those memories and emotions back.

This is what I wrote.

So I never know how to feel this specific day of the year. I'm glad to be alive. I grieve the loss of my countrymen. I'm angered by the audacity of villains who will never be brought to justice. I'm numb at the loss of a relationship that once was the center of my universe. And I'm incensed at the hubris of ego.

19 July 2012

Album Review: A Tribute To "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" By Rewiring Genesis

Before you begin this review, you must know some history. This album is a tribute, song for song, to the Genesis album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway. If you have never listened to the original album, do so first. Then come back here. Believe me, you will need to know the source in order to enjoy the tribute.

That's not to say A Tribute To "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" doesn't stand on its own. On the contrary, even if I hadn't heard the original, I would still love this album. Nick d'Virgilio and Mark Hornsby draw out the soul of the album, sticking closely to the original format while applying some ... dare I say ... inspired arrangements.

You probably don't know, because a good number of humanity didn't buy it, but Nick (or NDV, as he's known in certain circles) was one of the two drummers used on Genesis' last studio album, the Ray Wilson-led Calling All Stations. He also toured with them during that album's European tour. So he knows something about Genesis.

And his affection shows in this album. The major thing you will notice is that the only keyboards used is the piano. No synths. Instead a full orchestra is used in place of the synthesized parts, as well as in place of some guitars and bass portions. The result is actually quite amazing. Some songs are done in a very faithful manner. Others take different, exciting turns (such as "The Colony Of Slippermen", "The Lamia", and "Riding The Scree").

My only big nitpick is Nick's vocals. Yes, comparisons will be made to Peter Gabriel ... and, to a lesser extent, Phil Collins ... and they are comparisons that are wholly unfair. Nick is his own vocalist and brings his own style and coloring to the lyrics. My issue is that his voice gets thin and tinny at important moments; this caused me a significant distraction throughout the album. But, hey, maybe you won't care.

And you shouldn't. As I said earlier, this album is a solid effort. If you didn't like the Peter Gabriel era (because the music was pretentious or muddied or whatever), I'd like for you to know that the use of an orchestra brightens up the heavy moments in The Lamb. Get yourself a copy. You'll thank me later.

12 April 2012

A Little Self-Promotion

Do your friends tell you that you have an amazing voice? Do you crave the roar of the crowd and the adulation of your peers? Can you use some extra coin?

Than Cobalt Idol is for you!

For six weeks, Cobalt will be holding its annual Cobalt Idol singing competition. We will have five semi-final rounds, with the winners facing off in a winner-takes-all.

The winners of the semi-finals will be chosen by audience approval. These finalists will face a panel of judges (who can be swayed by audience reaction). The champion walks away with the prize. The rest are left to dream of next year.

Do you have what it takes?

Semi-finals: April 25-May 23
Finals: May 30
Time: 10:30p
Prize: $500

Sponsored by SVEDKA Vodka

For more information, join the Cobalt Karaoke Facebook group page or email us at WednesdayNightKaraoke@gmail.com.