#1: The Dream from Floyd Collins by Adam Guettal
I love Floyd Collins. And the dream sequence is probably my favorite part of the show. In fact, if we had some more thin top-notch male singers, I'd want us to do it here. The story's a little dull, but the music is beautiful. I saw it staged at Playhouse in the Square (or something like that) in Memphis in February of 2005. (Wow, that's like a lifetime ago!) I had some friends working there, and I was in town for the disastrous UPTA cattle call audition. I've wanted to go back the past several years if for no other reason than to try to redeem myself for my horrible returns from that experience. I'm pretty sure that all of the friends I went with got jobs from the event. They got at least seven or eight callbacks. I pretty much got one. Would have been an awesome job, too. It was really scary to be three-quarters of the way through my senior year, knowing I was going to be getting married in August, and still having no idea what I was going to be doing, work-wise, or where I was going to be living. That became a really trying time for my faith. I had to learn patience through frustration and, eventually, to come to peace with God's provision, even when I didn't see it manifesting in any tangible way.
Truth is, I didn't know what I was going to do until the day before graduation. That was cutting it a bit closer than I'd have liked, but it was really awesome that I got to tell my theatre profs I'd gotten the job here as I walked by them in the line headed to the chapel on the way to graduation. It was like something from a movie: "Whooo! Congratulations!" Hugs. "Yay, Will!" "Hey, I got the job!" "You got it?" Enthusiastic hugs again, then ushered along with the rest of the graduates to the awkward baseball-themed graduation ceremony.
That was a good day.
And, that's a good reminder. Well played, iPod.
Incidentally, this song has a heartbreaking ending. Which takes us to...
#2: 4:12 by Switchfoot
Okay, seriously. What's going on? "I'm so sorry I've been so down and I started doubtin' things would ever come around, but I still can't believe that all we are and that all of our dreams are nothing more than material. Souls aren't built of stone, sticks and bones."
I love this song, by the way. I love pretty much everything Switchfoot's done in the last five years. They make for an interesting trilogy, Nothing is Sound to Oh, Gravity! to Hello Hurricane. Have I blogged on my thoughts on this trifecta of awesome before? Meh, most of you probably wouldn't care anyway, but I find it an interesting examination of themes, both musically and lyrically.
Anyway, this is a great song. I love what it does musically. It's really quirky and bouncy and fun, but not in a cotton candy sort of way. The bass part is particularly catchy, and it makes me want to learn to play bass.
Well, I've still got a good mid-life crisis coming to me at some point. Maybe I'll make that my bass-learning phase. Then I'll be that guy in his 40's who can sort of play bass in cover bands that play songs that nobody really listens to anymore at low-paying gigs.
You know what? That sounds kind of awesome. Maybe because I'm reading "Love is a Mix Tape" right now. But really, I suspect, more because it just sounds awesome.
#3: The Blues by Switchfoot
This playlist is evoking thoughts that are almost painfully applicable to someone in my current state of mind and of affairs. Also, unusual to get two songs by the same artist back-to-back, and yet the second time it's happened in the last half hour. Just before I started shuffling, I got two Pirates of Penzance songs in a row. (Yeah, speaking of happy memories from college theatre!)
This recording of the song is not actually the one from the album. I never managed to get it to let me burn those songs to my iPod. Sony did this weird thing with Nothing is Sound where you couldn't burn songs from the CD without obtaining permission every time, and you only had 3 permissions per song, and ripping them to you computer took up one. And then when I tried to burn it from the compy, it said I needed to insert the CD to gain permission, and then it just ripped it to the computer again and took another permission. One more try, and then I was just out of luck. Boo.
However, Switchfoot recorded all of their concerts during the Oh, Gravity! tour (or "Gravity, eh?" in Canada) and sold the copies immediately following the shows. People set up a web site called Switchfoot bootlegs for people to share the tracks from these limited-edition bootlegged recordings, so any Nothing is Sound tracks I have on my iPod are from this collection.
For their part, Switchfoot knew about the bootleg site, and they loved it. They seem to be guys I'd get along with if I ever actually met them.
"Does justice never find you? Do the wicked never lose? Is there any honest song to sing besides these blues? And nothing is okay until the sky falls down, and the hungry and poor and deserted are found..."
#4: Someday, by The Afters
Have I mentioned how much I love The Afters? They're one of two or three bands I discovered AFTER I started college that I still follow. Their last album, "Never Going Back to OK," is one of my favorites. It's actually the first CD that's ever inspired me to write a particular story. I had in mind a vague sketch of a sequel I wanted to write for the novel I finished for NaNoWriMo back in 2008, but the details of it really didn't flesh out until I got hooked on "Never Going Back to OK." Every song became a character or a plot device. It was so weird/new/awesome. Now, I still haven't written that book, because I need to re-write the first. But I don't have any show responsibilities this summer, and I'm really itching to write about three different stories, so maybe something'll get done in the blistering heat of June, July, and August.
"Someday, someday, your time will come..."
#5: Procrastinating, by Stellar Kart
I'm not really a huge SK fan, but Robbie absolutely loves this song. It's not bad pop-punk, but it is decidedly pop-punk, and that's just not something I'm into as much anymore. This used to be one of the pieces he'd given the distinct privilege of being recognized as a "Robbie song." We'd play this CD on the way to church, and if he didn't care for the song that was playing he'd ask for the Robbie song, and we knew he meant this one. He did that with most CDs for awhile, but now he's started learning that songs have names, and while he doesn't always get the correct name for the song, he definitely has a name for it.
Current favorites: "When We All Get to Heaven," "Dance of the Cucumber" ("peeeeeas!"), and, oddly enough, "Oh, Gravity!"
Short song. Last one:
#6: Surfer's Anthem by Evan Foster
Ha! You know what this is? This is the music we used for the Bottlenose Boys battle scene in Hero Squad last spring. That's funny, because we had an issue today at Alice where it appeared the Cheshire Cat's costume might not actually make it to the theater (from the dry cleaner's) in time for the show, so I was in the costume shop with one of our lovely and talented costume ladies trying to find anything that might work in a pinch. Digging through our rich costume heritage, I came across some of the Hero Squad stuff and jokingly suggested we could have a Cheshire Dolphin for today's show only.
The cat arrived ten minutes before showtime, so there was no Cheshire Dolphin. (Admittedly, we weren't actually going to go with that idea anyway, but with enough Tender Love and Care, I think we could create an Internet meme with that idea!)
Speaking of Internet memes, I'm still kind of sad that our plan of "Our Town with Sock Puppets" never happened. Dave? Hannah? What happened there?
And, true to surf anthem form, a prolonged drum roll will take us out.
Thank you, goodnight.