Coffee and Classics All By Myself

The past weekend was AMAZING and super busy. We did something fun and awesome everyday, which means I have some fun and awesome events to review for you. I’ll start with Friday… Friday morning I got to review the Nashville Symphony’s (Schermerhorn Symphony Center) Coffee and Classic’s series. I had planned on going with Husband, but turned out he was the only one who could watch Luna. So, I got all dolled up and headed downtown all by myself.

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At first, I felt slightly apprehensive about attending the symphony alone. I’m used to being with someone pretty much all of the time, being alone seemed a little scary, at first. Then, it wasn’t scary. It was awesome. From the quiet car ride to the single chair and hot cup of coffee, it was nothing but awesome. I have never been to the symphony (minus the one time I took my 2nd grade class on a field trip), so I really didn’t know what to expect. I learned quite a bit during this first experience of mine and I became a forever fan of they symphony

The first thing I learned was to arrive early. I left with enough time to arrive 30 minutes early, but after driving through downtown traffic, searching for a parking space, paying and walking to the theatre, I barely had enough time to scarf a blueberry muffin and add a little creamer to my coffee. Thankfully, they allow you to bring your coffee inside. Otherwise, I may have missed the first number. I joined the crowd of senior citizens and found my seat which was located at the end of an aisle and an empty seat next to it. Yay! I expected a crowd of Moms and kids, but I guess there are lots of elderly people who prefer to drive during the day and not hangout downtown at night. I get that.

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Before the show began the conductor gave us a history lesson over the composer, Rachmaninoff, and symphony No. 2 in E minor. It was lighthearted, humorous and interesting. The whole setting was laid-back. People dressed more casual, drank coffee and laughed at the composer’s jokes. As soon as the show started I was transfixed. The way the strings moved up and down simultaneously and the fantastic facial expressions each violinists made was mesmerizing. I didn’t know if I could appreciate the classical music the way it should be appreciated, considering my lack of knowledge when it comes to symphonies, but holy cow, it is impressive how instrumental music can arouse such a wide array of emotions.  And, come on, who doesn’t love watching the conductor? It’s amusing and stunning at the same time.

Honestly, the coffee and classics experience was the exact kind of peaceful break I needed. It was as relaxing as a stroll in the park, as soothing as a coffee break at Starbucks and as magical as an hour trying the new products at Sephora. Not to mention, it finally gave me an opportunity to dust off the real clothes hanging in my freshly cleaned and organized closet.

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The symphony reminded me to do three very important things, three things that we should all do more often.

Be still.

Listen.

Reflect.

Scratch that. There’s a fourth thing; enjoy something beautiful.

Shouldn’t we take the time to do that everyday? I guess that’s why I enjoyed being alone so much that morning. It gave me the opportunity to sit still, listen without needing to respond, reflect on things I enjoy and appreciate the beautiful music being played for me by such talented musicians.

I am already planning my next trip to the Symphony. On October 28th they are playing Phantom of the Opera and it will be accompanied by the Concert Organ. There will be trick-or-treating, costume contests, street performers and more! Can’t wait!

To check out info. on the Coffee and Classics series and the many other events hosted by the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, click here.

Cheers!

When I Grow Up I Want to Be Katy Perry

Anytime I’ve heard the question “What is one thing you would change about yourself?” I always have the same answer: my singing voice. I LOVE to sing. I also LOVE to perform. I just know I am meant to perform on a huge stage with thousands of fans singing along with me and screaming my name. (I like attention.) This is by far my most common daydream. Whenever I am in the car or the shower I am almost always singing, creating choreography and putting together my worldwide tour. I am a rockstar at heart, but I am missing one thing…the ability to carry a tune.

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I am not exaggerating when I say I cannot sing. I mean, I really cannot. I don’t even know what a key is, let alone how to sing on one. Husband will attest to this. Luna would too, if she could. Poor baby has had to suffer through many off-key lullabies. I’d like to think that if I had lessons, I might at least not hurt people’s’ ears, but considering I’m almost thirty it’s probably a little late to start a pop-star career and go on tour. Now, I just live vicariously through the actually talented pop-stars…singers like Katy Perry.

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That’s right, I love Katy Perry and I’ve got no shame. My taste in music varies widely, but a large portion of my music library (i.e. pandora stations) is probably identical to a twelve-year old girl’s. Last weekend I had the pleasure of going to Katy Perry’s concert in Nashville. I went with my friend, Bella and we had amazing seats. We could actually see the glitter that lined Katy’s eyes and we were surrounded by hard-core Katy fans…or ‘Katy Kats’. These fans are surprisingly extremely diverse.

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Just around us there were boys and girls of all ages, and I mean all ages. There were Kindergartners dressed in sparkly dresses, a man in his 70’s wearing white tank and smoking a cigarette while taking pics of Katy on his iPhone, college frat boys and LOTS and LOTS of people in their version of Katy costumes. There was candyland Katy, jungle Katy, California Katy, whimsical Katy , Egyptian Katy, blue-haired Katy and the list goes on and on. We settled on little touches of Katy (blue hair, whimsical jewelry, lots of eye makeup…)

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Sitting right next to me was perhaps the best part of the entire show. Sitting next to me was a little girl, maybe 7 years old, and her Dad. The little girl knew and sang every single work to every single song, and not in an annoying way, but in a super cute adorable way. The Dad literally stood, danced, jumped or held his daughter and the sign they made the entire time. They made a poster that said “Dollywood is awesome and so are you!” and it had Christmas lights strung around its edges. The two of them dance and sang the night away and every time that Katy made her way toward them they proudly held up their sign until she notice and pointed right to them as she sang. It was so stinkin’ sweet.

not the greatest picture, but I was trying not to look like a creeper
not the greatest picture, but I was trying not to look like a creeper

The show itself was perfect. There was a “Kitty Purry” performance, all the favorites were sang, a myriad of costume changes, a pizza was given away and there was a huge balloon drop. It was basically a big sing-along/dance party. I’m sad to say that even though I sang with Katy the entire night and watched her very carefully I failed to pick up any of her talent. Looks like I’ll be stuck singing in the car to Luna as she covers her ears.

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If you like Katy Perry at all I highly recommend seeing her in concert. It was a good time.

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Cheers!

Live on the Green

I have had a few days off from blogging, and even though I LOVE writing it is so difficult to get back into the swing of things! The fact that our Internet has been down since I woke up yesterday morning (thanks Comcast!) doesn’t help. Anyhow, my weekend was AWESOME!!!

On Thursday we (friends and whatnot) went to Live on the Green in downtown Nashville to see Michael Franti and Spearhead perform for FREE. Live on the Green is a series of free summer concerts held on Thursday nights at the Public Square Park. There are three performers each night, the last being the most popular, obviously.

I have loved Michael Franti for ages now, but have never had a chance to see him and Spearhead in concert. We got to the park at the beginning of the second act (The Delta Saints). They were great and we sat in our lounge chairs relaxing and eating Subway. The concert is surrounded by dozens of local food trucks, but we came prepared with drinks, sandwiches, chips and a dog.

The park was completely packed with local music lovers, hippies, families, puppies and surprisingly, people of all ages. One of the best parts of outdoor concerts are all the hula hoppers, poi ball swingers and hippie dancers. I don’t know what it is about concerts that bring out these unique talents, but it is so fun to watch.

As soon as Michael hit the stage the entire crowd got to their feet. Michael Franti and Spearhead is kind of like Jack Johnson in the sense that he sings about happiness, peach, good times, loving everyone and bringing people together. His music is a combo of hip-hop, reggae, jazz, folk and rock. I think everyone knows him best from “Say Hey”, but he’s been around for much longer and has much better songs.

Personally I love “Nobody Right, Nobody Wrong”. Its less dancey and fun, but such a good message. Michael is very involved in multiple charities and always finding ways to give back. He’s just an all-around impressive good person.

Everyone seemed to be having a blast as we all danced, swayed and sang along with the band. Towards the end of the concert, random people began walking around with giant trash bags and almost everyone instantly began helping and picking up all the trash around them. That is something I have never witnessed before.

It was a wonderful night and I have a feeling we’ll be back for more in the coming Thursdays. If you are in the Nashville area and wanting to check it out here is the site for Live on the Green and the schedule for the last few weeks. Have fun!

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Cheers!

Rodrigo y Gabriela! Ole!

I am such a nice Fiance. Sooo nice in fact that I bought my other half tickets to see one of his favorite musicians for Valentine’s Day. Fiance has been in love with Rodrigo y Gabriela for years. He actually got to see them once at Bonaroo (a crazy Woodstock-type music festival held every year in Tennessee). He was working at Bonaroo so he got to sit in the press box area on the stage to watch.

His Valentine present tickets weren’t quite that close.

The concert was tonight at Rockefeller center and it was AMAZING! We weren’t on stage, but we were in the orchestra center stage section. HOLY COW, that couple can rock!

 

If you haven’t heard of Rodrigo y Gabriela, here’s what you need to know. They are a Mexican musical duo who specialize in playing guitars REALLY REALLY fast. They are able to make the most incredible beats and rhythms using only their hands and guitars, it is ridiculous. Their music is best described as heavy metal flamenco.

Here’s a clip:

Now, they are touring with a 13-piece Cuban orchestra called C.U.B.A. who are equally phenomenal. They each had solos and I have never in my life been so impressed with a drummer and pianist. Their hands all moved so quickly that I couldn’t even see them..it was just a blur of fingers and it all resulted in crazy good music. They are like super hero musicians.

The crowd was  really fun group of people, and a very odd mix. We were surround by people of all ages and cultures. There were frat boys in front of us, grandparents to the side of us, and a family behind us. Even Ethan Coen (half of the Coen brothers) was also sitting near us.

We had the best time, and this Valentine gift definitely doubled as a gift for me as well.

Happy Valentine’s in April Fiance!