Pax (funcrunch) wrote,

Rockin' Julie

On Thursday night I started an "Intermediate Rock and Blues" class at the Blue Bear School of Music. It was a lot of fun! I brought in three songs, hoping we'd agree to do at least one of them: Synchronicity II by the Police, Dear Prudence by the Beatles, and Afterglow, an old Genesis song. We didn't get a chance to listen to the third, which is just as well as we don't have a keyboard player (unless I attempt to play) and that song really needs one. But it looks like we will do both of the others. Since I had a fake book arrangement handy for Prudence, we ended up practicing that for over half an hour. By the end I think we sounded pretty good, and I was encouraged. I'll condense my piano-vocal score of Synchronicity II down to a chart for next week's class.

Besides me, we have another female vocalist, two guys on guitar, one on bass, and a drummer. The teacher, Bill Spooner, is a guitar player and composer who was in the band The Tubes. He can figure parts out just from listening to the CD or tape. He's knowledgeable and also laid back and friendly.

Other songs people brought in that we will probably be learning: All Nighter by Elastica; Y Control by Yeah Yeah Yeahs; Electioneering by Radiohead; Slow Hands by Interpol; Not Saying Goodbye by Jan Arden; and the blues standard Stormy Monday. I'm embarrassed to admit I had not heard any of these except the last; with the exception of Radiohead, I hadn't even heard of any of these bands. But then, the teacher hadn't heard Synchronicity II, or at least didn't remember it, despite the fact that I think it was popular at about the same time his band was...

Anyway, one of the band members is supposedly making CDs for all of us this week, but I preemptively downloaded Y Control and Slow Hands today, which were the only ones I could find through the Apple Music Store. I don't know who's singing what yet; it's too bad that both of the singers are women with jazz backgrounds. I think I'll probably be more comfortable singing "alternative" stuff than the other woman though, even though I rarely actually listen to it. We could back each other up too, though she didn't seem thrilled with singing the backup vocals I pointed out for Prudence (she hadn't heard the song before). She said, "Do we have to do it exactly how it is on the record?" I said, "Well, no...", but generally for rock, unlike jazz, I do end up singing covers pretty much the way the original artist did it.

In any case, we'll have to pick a few more songs to round out the set; the bass player didn't suggest anything and we had a substitute drummer, so we'll see what, if anything, they come up with next week. Otherwise, I'm sure I could bring in a million more tunes, but I don't want to dominate the group, and I want to avoid singing anything I've been doing at The Mint. This isn't karaoke, after all; this is the real deal!

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