Saturday, October 8, 2011

Songs in the Key of Crapola

It's not that I *can't* sing.

I sing rather well, actually. A solid alto.

It's when you ask me to sing and drum at the same time when things get messed up. Singing and playing and instrument simultaneously is something that takes admittedly a lot of practice, of which I've had literally none, unless you include my rehearsal Friday night and practice before the church service on Saturday night.

Out of sheer necessity, I had to sing. Our two sopranos bolted on us, both teenage-ish age: one to pursue teenage social shenanigans and the other to work. That left us with our two new singers, who, while both competent vocalists, just don't know how a lot of our songs go by virtue of their newness in the band. So Friday night at practice, after Bob (the guitarist) couldn't replicate the keys the girls needed to sing in, I stepped up to the microphone and sang 3 of this week's songs a capella to guide the girls. Cue instant anxiety attack, for I'm not used to singing in front of other people. It was challenging trying to sing the soprano parts out of my range, but I managed alright. The girls got the general gist of what their parts should be (one singing alto, the other soprano) and then we had the bright (??) idea of putting a mic up to me and having me sing and drum at the same time.

At practice, I was missing fills, my tempo was too fast, and I was having a hell of a time following along to both the lyrics and my music. Unbeknownst to me, my son was following along on his song sheet during the service, check marking every time I made a mistake drumming and singing, and accused me of singing like Yoko Ono, though he was only half right. On "Be Unto Your Name," I had to turn down the main volume on the electronic kit until the song builds up intensity, which took some fancy work, and I ended up changing the actual KIT, leaving me playing a house electronica kit, then a contemporary jazz kit, finally back to the "hard 70's rock kit" I was supposed to be playing. What a clusterfuck. I, at least, managed to rebound from the critical error with nobody but the band noticing my snafu.

Luke looked over at me, facepalming himself. My mom looked over at me with a reassuring, "You're doing just fine," encouraging face, and nodded in approval, which made me feel better. I was following along vocally, but not belting anything out by any means, and thankfully, the whole ordeal only lasted an hour.

Sunday, my mom turns 68. She's the ultimate survivor--lost her husband at age 39, raised 2 kids essentially alone, worked her ass off, and didn't let breast cancer take the best of her almost 5 years ago. We live together in close quarters, so we have our rows, as anyone in close proximity would , but she takes really good care of Luke and me. She's retired now, forced into so by her doctor boss moving her practice to Florida, so a lot of her time is spent being the constant in Luke's life while I work, planning and cooking healthy meals for us at home, and maintaining a warm environment in which Luke and I live and thrive. She is the chief force in helping me maintain my sobriety, though she doesn't realize it fully. She and Luke both. I am eternally grateful for everything she's done for me and helped me out with, materially and emotionally. So today I wish her a day filled with happiness, surrounded by her children and grandchildren, celebrating her special day.

Bonus! She shares a birthday with John Lennon, another one of my heroes.

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