Saturday, December 24, 2011

Peace Out: a Retrospective of 2011

Sorry if I ruined your holiday mood with this rather blunt and harrowing retrospective of the year of our Lord 2011, but these are the facts, ma’am, just the facts. Regardless of religion, the preferred methods of violence this year seem to be rioting, shooting people in the head and, coming in third, pepper-spraying.
And regardless of religion, people just don’t seem to learn. There’s nothing we can do about the hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes (well, except blame them on the gays), but it seems there’s a lot we can still do about the other stuff. Let’s begin by trying with all our might to stop shooting people in the head.
In my own weird way, I consider myself somewhat of a journalist, which is why I aim to give you the facts in a concise, accurate, timely fashion. Ergo I must publish this without a diatribe, as it is meant to be my official GBGC X-MAS video!
Peace, out. See you in 2012!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

GBGC Original - If I Had A Boyfriend (track #71)

For those of you who have been following me, you know that the vast majority of my technological equipment was stolen a couple months ago (see previous video).
This put a pretty big fork in operations here at Grahamophone’s Bad Guitar Channel, so I apologize for the delay in getting the next video out. At last I have replenished all my equipment - in fact the quality of the microphone and camera in the new MacBook Pro is pretty good, almost TOO good - and the creative juices are flowing again. But never ye fear - the GBGC videos and songs will never lose their homespun touch, and the bad guitar will never, ever be in tune (see Track #7 “Totally Flawsome”).
This little ditty has been going around in my head for the past several weeks, after having survived the shock of the robbery and getting back into my old routines. I realized that, although I was afforded an opportunity for a fresh start (which I have partially taken advantage of), and although I would like to have someone to share this fresh start with, I am pretty darn happy sitting home alone, farting or whatever, whenever the spirit moves me. So to speak.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here I Am at the Apple Store - a letter to Steve Jobs from GBGC

 Just ten days before my birthday, all my cherished Mac equipment was stolen. The following song (lyrics below) says it all:

p.s. Please be patient while GBGC Studios gets back on its feet again!

Addendum:  Just hours after posting this video, I learned that Steve Jobs resigned from his position as CEO of Apple.  GBGC wishes Mr. Jobs all the best, and hopes that, in his new position as chairman, he will continue to be a creative inspiration in the world of computers. Mac macht's möglich!

Dear Mr. Jobs,

You don't know me, I sing opera professionally. In fact, I'm on the verge of a breakthrough. I took my laptop wherever I went; working on my website was time well spent. And this is the matter that concerns you.

You see, the other day when I was at work, I fell victim to a thieving jerk who snuck in through the back door at the cafe. He emptied our bags of all they were worth, then disappeared off the face of the Earth. No one's ever treated me that way.

So here I am at the Apple Store. I don't have a MacBook no more. They took it from me while I wasn't looking, out from the kitchen where nothing was cooking. Ain't nobody ever done me so wrong, and so I wrote you this little song. Dear Mr. Jobs, won't you please send a new MacBook to me.

As if that wasn't bad enough, they also took some other stuff, like an iPod Touch with fancy In-Ear Headphones. Yes, an iPod Touch with 8 gigabytes and cool apps like Skype and Flashlight, so I could always find my way home.

So here I am in the Apple Store. I don't have my iPod no more. He took it out of my purse and left me my keys. You can have my house, just give me my iPod back, please, so I can play Scrabble while I'm on the road and listen to my favorite NPR shows. This American Life is hard to believe. Give me an iPod, Steve.

I bet you didn't expect to hear a third verse. My sob story just keeps getting worse. The MacBook and the iPod weren't the only things stolen. That bastard took my external hard drive and now I want him - dead or alive - to "back up" into my hand until his ass is swollen.

So here I am in the Apple Store. Heck, I don't even have an external hard drive no more. I wish I could climb into that Time Machine and catch that guy who swiped me clean of Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Weeds, and yes, even a season of Glee, not to mention my work: my writing, my singing, my whole life's oeuvre.

I got a bit frustrated, I'll admit, when iMovie would always unexpectedly quit, and I couldn't open certain types of files. But I've always been an Apple girl - the thought of a PC just makes me want to hurl. But dreaming of my MacBook makes me smile.

So here I am at the Apple Store. I know you can't give me my pictures no more, nor letters from my family, recordings of my voice. But what can I do? I have no choice. Dear Mr. Jobs, you know how I feel. My love for Apple is something very real. A MacBook, a hard drive, an iPod Touch is all that I want - am I asking too much? I just don't have two thousand bucks. I got talent and a dream, but otherwise my life pretty much sucks. So dear Mr. Jobs, I'm down on my knees, send me a new MacBook, please.

Yours truly,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

GBGC Original: The Queen of the Night

As many of you may know, I am a professional opera singer.
Yes, it's true.

My most recent role is Mozart's famous Queen of the Night. On the one hand, this role is a coloratura's dream. She sings two of the most challenging arias written for our Fach, and the character is very complex. The challenge lies in the fact that she has but three short entrances in which she must prove all of her pudding.  The sprint to the runner's marathon, so to speak.

If a singer is lucky enough to be able to sing the Queen, she is often cast in this role more than any other -- this can be a curse as well as a blessing. Although we are thankful for having work, we crave a bit more more variety. The struggles that the Queen herself endures become apparent in the offstage persona. A blurry line between good and evil, love and hate. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

GBGC Original: Whine whine bicker bitch moan complain

I heard once that if you say what you really mean when you get hurt (like screaming profanities when you accidentally hammer your thumb), that you actually heal quicker. In fact, people who cried "#$@%!!!" felt better even faster than those who merely said "gosh darn it" (because you know "gosh darn it" is not what you really mean).

Of course, its not always a good idea to use this method if it's your boss or a good friend who has done you harm. Bite your tongue and say it in a song -- that will surely help you turn your frown upside down!

This little ditty commemorates the start of a week in which I will be the featured comedy artist on YouTube's Social Media Talent Network. No big deal just yet, but I'm glad at least somebody is randomly noticing me! Thanks for watching, listening, reading and maybe even following and/or subscribing!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

GBGC Original: Eddie Vedder Smiled At Me (It's Not A Ukulele)

Let's get three things straight: a ukulele has four strings, a guitar has six strings, and Eddie Vedder is a beautiful man. I'm not just talking about wavy brown hair, blue eyes and interesting thumb-bone structure; I am also talking about vocal quality, musicianship, creativity, integrity, choice of home (Seattle), and -- oh let's face it, I'm still thinking about the wavy brown hair.

But seriously, folks. Listen to any live recordings of Pearl Jam, and you'll hear a baritonal quality unprecedented in the rock music world, diction similar to that of Dame Joan Sutherland, and compositional structure which rivals any classical composer. Listen to Vedder's new album "Ukulele Songs" and you'll know he's not in it for fame nor fortune. He is an artist and colleague, true to his quirky but beloved instrument, forging new paths for generations to come.

Just like Bridget Fonda's character in the grunge-era film "Singles" (the film that inspired my "I'm Big in Europe" T-shirt and was filmed around the corner from my last abode on Capitol Hill), I moved to Seattle from Arizona at the age of 23. I suppose I knew I was entering Grunge Central Station, but, like my relation to most things in life, I maintained a certain peripherality. Nevertheless, it was almost impossible to remain untouched by the influence of that movement. One such story is told in this, the latest episode of Grahamophone's Bad Guitar Channel. And the next chapter is in the works.

Stay tuned to the Grahamophone!!

(I seemed to recognize your face)
It was a sunny day in Seattle
(that makes this story hard to believe)
but you wouldn’t doubt me at all
if you’d seen what I’d seen.
He pulled up in his truck.
You won’t believe my luck.
(I seemed to recognize your face)
So I thought I’d dilly-dally,
soak up the last few rays.
It was just he and I in the alley
just off of Denny Way.
I was standing at the top of the stairs.
I saw a guitar and curly hair.

(I seemed to recognize your face)
Seattle Opera was rehearsing Turandot (Turandot! Turandot!);
it was time for me to go in.
Some band across the street was jammin’, and as you turned to go
you flashed me a sunny grin.
That smile, and those blue eyes.
I was stunned, I was paralyzed.
I thought, hey that guy really looks like Eddie Vedder.
Oh my God that IS Eddie Vedder!!
(I definitely recognized your face)
That’s the story of when Eddie Vedder smiled at me.

Monday, May 2, 2011

GBGC #66: Anniversary Edition - Don't Stop (Fighting Terrorism)

In 1994, David Hasselhoff’s big pay-per-view comeback concert was scheduled to be televised on the very same night that O.J. Simpson happened to be fleeing police in a white Bronco. All eyes were on O.J. and Hasselhoff’s comeback was thwarted. 
On this day, the first anniversary on Grahamophone’s Bad Guitar Channel, the world awoke to the news that Osama bin Laden had been found and killed in Abbottabad, Pakistan. 
I suppose people will be glued to the television news instead of perusing the archives of the GBGC, and the number of views on YouTube will be significantly lower than I projected. But I will persevere. Unlike Hasselhoff, I will try to refrain from sinking into a drunken stupor (if I do, I will of course videotape it, and then maybe one of my videos will finally go viral).
I will not be beaten by terrorists! 
After all, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Baywatch is the world’s most-watched television program. As a result, Hasselhoff’s fortune allegedly amounts to 100 million dollars.
The world’s most loathed enemy may have usurped my ratings today, but I won’t stop thinking about tomorrow. Yesterday’s gone. Yesterday’s gone.

(and for my serious take on today's news, here's my other blog, Christine In Between )

Saturday, March 5, 2011

GBGC Original: Yadda Yadda Yadda Yadda (Tell Me Something I Don't Know)

Those of you who read my other blog will know that I've recently accepted the fact that I'm not perfect. This imperfection comes complete with a healthy dose of impatience. I've been waiting for quite some time for quite a few dreams to come true. And quite honestly, I'm getting quite sick of disappointment. 


The nice thing about this little phase I'm going through is the realization that I am absolutely unwilling to change to appease others. Take it or leave it, I'm practically perfect in every way. But my guitar, proverbial and otherwise, is out of tune, and that's the way it will stay. Personally, however, I will try to work on the patience bit. Que será, será...

Friday, January 21, 2011

GBGC #64: Verdi Cries (a shout out to fellow singers everywhere)

As much as I love the dulcet tones of the bad guitar and all of the songs I play on it, one genre has sorely been missing in my videos. Opera. Yes, that's right, I am a professional opera singer and no, I'm not ever going to sing an opera aria on the GBGC. But if you listen closely, you will hear a few well-supported tones in this rendition of one of my favorite 10,000 Maniac tunes.  This is a little tribute to my colleagues past and present who are singing their hearts out somewhere in the opera world, and to the man who contributed so much to it: Giuseppe Verdi.

(you can sign up to follow this blog on Blogger, on Facebook, or subscribe to grahamophone on YouTube -- or to follow my operatic videos, check out sopranograham)