“Rhythm in Me”-Altar Boyz

August 15, 2010 at 8:02 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Hello again!  As explained before, life gets in the way of posting regularly.  I’ve been taking acting classes this summer, and I’m in a show.  Classes just ended, and I had a lot of rehearsing for the final, and tech week (Hell week for everyone in theatre) for my other show has kept me very busy.  By the way come see Waiting for Lefty either Sunday or next weekend, if you’re in L.A.  See link for more info.  It’s a really great show!

Anyway, rehearsals have kept me busy, and I’ve been too tired after rehearsals to blog.  That being said, here I am with more Altar Boyz stuff.

I’ve been through my Altar Boyz explanation.  This song is “Rhythm in Me,” another song in their concert, hoping to cleanse the souls of the audience.  It’s just a fun number.

Lyrics-wise, there is nothing too spectacular.  However, I do love that Juan, the Latin lover says “God put Mass in English so we’d know what it’s about,” since Mass was originally in Latin.  Granted he’s Spanish, I think, but at least it’s a Romance language.  It makes me smile.

Something about this number really reminds me on a N’Sync song.  I can’t really remember which one, if any reader does, please let me know.

I think musically, my favorite thing in this is the use of autotune.  As you can tell in the following video, these boys do not need autotune to sing well:

However, the autotune is very clear in the recording, especially in the second verse, in the lines “God put Noah on the Ark so all would not be lost.”  I love that they use autotune in the recording because it is just so fitting!  Since autotune became really popular in 1998 with Cher’s “Believe,” it it a trend very popular with the boy bands of the 90’s.  Altar Boyz wants to imitate that sound, and it does, even to the point of autotuning the recording.  I love that detail so much!

Another favorite thing is the little inserts Mark has after the dance/music break: “Put it in me,” “Put it, put it, put it, put it,” and “Let me tell you!”  I’m not sure completely why, but it’s adorable.  Please watch the video to see his dancing in that part, too!  So good.

Listen with me (still can’t figure out how to get it without making a Powerpoint of it, but please listen to hear the autotune): “Rhythm in Me”

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“We Are The Altar Boyz”-Altar Boyz

August 4, 2010 at 7:26 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

So, I have finally gotten to a song, I’ve consciously heard before now.  It’s from the musical Altar Boyz. Since I am going through things by album, the next several posts will be about this show.

An off-Broadway musical that parodies both religion and the boy band crazy of the 90's. A.k.a. my life.

The concept of this show is that an off-beat Christian boy-band is performing the last show in their tour, where they played in church basements, youth group meetings, and various other tiny concert halls.  In the process of performing their final concert, the group tells you about their history, issues, and relationships, all while attempting to cleanse the souls of the audience members, with the help of the Soul Sensor DX-12, which displays the number of heavy souls on a screen (keep this in mind).  It’s fun and cute, and has quite an energetic punch.

Now, I’m going to come clean, I am not religious.  At all.  I have no issue with religious people, but I am not one of them.  I saw this show for my birthday a year or so ago at this tiny theatre.  It was adorable.  Really, it parodies the boy band fetish that was so prominent in the 1990’s.  N’Sync?  Backstreet Boys?  Dream Street?  Anyone remember these guys with a little too much fondness.  I know I do.  While it isn’t  really about religion, I think it does contain the idea that religion is a good thing, but we shouldn’t take everything too seriously.  This however, is not a religious blog.  Any mention of religion will really be about the show.

As the title implies, the song introduces the band itself.  The members are:

1. Matthew-The band leader.  The one who started the group. (Played on this recording by Cheyenne Jackson)

2. Mark-The sweet, VERY effeminate one.  Also can sing higher than many girls, including me.  Yes, I’m jealous. (Played by Tyler Maynard)

3. Luke-Lovable, but a little dense.  Crashed the van once because he was “exhausted.” (Andy Karl)

4. Juan-Latin lover.  Orphaned, his family is the band. (Ryan Duncan)

5. Abraham-He’s Jewish.  Sort of fell into the group by accident. (David Josefsberg)

The introductions are from about 3:14-3:24 on the song, towards the end, if you can’t see the time.  I think my favorite part, is the introduction of Abraham.  Literally, “Abraham!  He’s Jewish!”  You can see it in the video, too, at about the same time.

This is a shot from the production I saw. Left to right, the boys are Juan (Robert Acinapura), Luke (Jake Wesley Stewart), Matt (Jesse Bradley), Abraham (Kelly Rice), and Mark (Clifford Banagale).

As far as the song itself, it’s fun.  Yes, the line “We are the Altar Boyz, and I think you’ll find, we’re gonna alter your mind.” is corny.  But, it is intentionally so.  I think the lyrics are clever in the sense that they are just not clever enough to be ridiculously close to something like N’Sync.  Personally, I find it hilarious.

The sound imitates “boy band” to a T, which I love.  The beat is peppy.  I’ve listened this this musical at the gym on many occasions.  It’s really good stationary bike music, I swear.

Listen with me: We Are The Altar Boyz (So, the only way I could figure out how to put this in was to turn it into a Powerpoint.  I don’t want to pay for a blog upgrade, at least not yet, and I can’t seem to find a good video of the song.  Download it, listen to it, and then if you like, trash it, but it’s a fun listen.)

Also, here is a video of it:

It’s not the best video or audio quality, but you get a sense for the show.  It really is so energetic live.  Also, please vote in my first poll!  I decided “Favorite Boy Bands” would be a fun poll, since we’ll (more likely I’ll) probably talking about them for a bit.

On a personal note, I am just too lazy to post everyday, so very likely I will be blogging for the rest of my life.  Well, hopefully people see this as a relaxing thing to read when they reach their 80’s.  It’s a goal.

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“Suomirokkia”-Aknestik

July 23, 2010 at 6:54 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

So, as promised, my first blog post on a song, is today.  I tore myself away from watching A Very Potter Sequel (go watch it and the original!) to do it.

The first song on my iTunes is “Suomirokkia” by Aknestik from the album Aallonmurtaja.  This is a Finnish pop song, and the title translates to “Finnish Rock.”  Aknestik released its last album in 2001, and the lead singer Jukka Takalo released his self-titled singe album in 2005.  As far as I can tell, from a spottily translated Wikipedia article on the band, it stopped touring in 2008.

From what I can understand from Wikipedia, Aknestik may have been named after a skin care product. I'm totally serious.

This is one of the songs, which is on my iTunes, but I’ve never consciously heard.

It is in Finnish, which has it’s pros and cons.  The issue, is I don’t understand Finnish, and Google Translate is terrible at translating Finnish (and arguably other languages).  Therefore, I have no connection to the lyrics of this song, and I am the kind of person who can be wowed by really well-written lyrics.  These lyrics might be brilliant, but I don’t know that.

The up side, is I don’t think they’re brilliant.  From what I can tell, and I admit I can be wrong, half the lines are “Finnish rock (insert action/noun here).”  While I understand the power of anaphora showing the pervading power of Finnish rock, I don’t think it’s very original.

The fact that I don’t really understand the words masks the repetitiveness to me.  A Finnish person probably will have an absolutely different reaction, and there may very well one day be a Finn who will read my blog and laugh at the ignorant American that I am.  To that hypothetical Finn, I say, well how many Americans have any Finnish rock song on their iTunes, give me that!

Lack of lyrics comprehensible to my American ear aside, it sounds fun.  It’s catchy and the perfect tempo for head-bobbing.  I also think it’s pretty.

There isn’t any particular musical moment that strikes me on this recording.  But, I think the moments where the drums come in about 4 seconds into the song (19 seconds into the video) and when the guitar chords about 11 seconds (25 seconds) in would be the kind of thing to give me chills in a live performance.

Now, all there is left to do is wait for the reunion tour in 20 years.

Listen with me (the music video amuses me, too):

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