Thursday, January 29, 2015

11 Days to the Grammys: The Final Countdown

The Elf here, again.  I thought it would be appropriate to do “The Final Countdown” (cue theme music) for our trip to the Grammys.

Day 11) Dust off my old CD’s and start listening.  Yes, it is true: I graduated in the late 80’s, and I am most excited about seeing AC/DC live.  Oh, and here’s hoping that Madonna is better than last year.

Day 10) Go running.  Help friends move.  Listen to Sam Smith (because I don’t know any of his music other than Stay With Me, and I probably should).
Mother must be so proud

Day 9) Try on my dress to determine necessary accessories.  Isn’t that a mouthful?!  But seriously, I still need to purchase undergarments, jewelry, and probably something to control my Elf-like hair!

Day 8) OMG!  I’m going to the GRAMMY’S, and I get to walk down the RED CARPET!!!  And I get to see Lady Gaga sing with TONY BENNETT, and so far, it looks like no head-banging from Taylor this year!  Go running.

Day 7) Pack.  An Elf can never be too prepared.  Packing early will ensure that I have all necessary supplies for anything that comes my way on Grammy morning.
Don't judge

Day 6) Go to the Apple store.  It is obvious that my last-leg-now-apparently-obsolete iPhone 5, will need to be upgraded so I have appropriate technology to take pictures and capture the Elf and Hobbit experience for all of you.  And…run, AGAIN.
Maybe I should reconsider my running WITH the phone

Day 5) Set the DVR to make certain we record the festivities, and read the program so I know who (besides Weird Al) is up for Best Comedy Album.

Day 4) Call my Hobbit friend to make certain there isn’t something I forgot to do or pack.  I may have the long legs, but she has all the creative brain-power.  She will inevitably think of things I never even considered.  Then? You guessed it: run, for the last time prior to our trip down the red carpet.

Day 3) Fly to Los Angeles.  YES!  Did I mention I am going to the GRAMMY’S?!!  Oh, and eat salad and drink lots of water, so I don’t become a bloated Elf in the travelling process.
I'll just have a Diet Coke

Day 2) Pick up our tickets, and try not to stare and look star-struck when George Michael walks by.  Note: I am so jealous of “The Boy”, who actually did see him last year!

Day 1)  Get up early, put my Elf self together, and look stunning for the cameras all day long. And, most importantly, ENJOY every single moment of this amazing day!  After all, it is not every day one gets to go to the Grammys!


The BentBeat Team

Monday, January 19, 2015

22 Days to the Grammys: Respecting the Little Guy

Hey all, Hobbit here. So here we are, 22 days left til the Grammys. Our lives are so full of work and kids and day to day activities that we rarely think about that fact.  After all, it’s so far away that such a little event is just a tiny niggling detail that hangs out in the back of our minds. Occasionally we remember that it’s coming up and get a little excited about how fun it will be, but really we sort of forget about it most of the time. 
And that, is a big, fat, not-even-close-to-the-truth lie.

Yeah, it’s pretty much all we’re thinking about right now. Well, that’s not entirely true. There’s also a couple projects getting recorded and mixed, the “Musicians Don’t Have Free Time During the Holidays” belated company Christmas party to plan, a couple conferences to attend and teach at, and the list goes on.  But if we’re being perfectly honest, here we should admit that we blew off a scheduled session of at least one of the above projects to Google “best places to eat in LA” and plan a shopping trip for just the right pair of casual-rocker sunglasses to wear on Manhattan Beach. So, um, yeah, we’re getting jazzed. 
What do you mean 'these don't have any UV protection?'

And we should! This event really is one of the biggest nights of the year in our industry. The Grammys are often called “Music’s Biggest Night” and with good reason. Musicians from around the world gather together to catch up on the year’s worth of music, honor each other’s work, and create landmark performances.
Where else can you see Gaga together with Bennett?  Oh, nevermind.

The industry’s finest (attempts to) put aside their differences and examine the categories from an objective standpoint, and in so doing the year’s finest rises to the top and gets a shiny stamp of approval from their peers. Since we’re members of The Recording Academy, we get to take part. 
As in, "I'd like to thank the academy."

When the news of our membership came to me in 2012, I was super excited. When the invitation to the Grammys came, I was excited times two. When the tickets to the Grammys actually showed up, well…there’s not really a word for how excited I got. And again, I should be! If you’ll indulge me:
Considering what we had to indulge last year...

The Grammys is the night that all the super-cool musicians of the world get together and stand up and remind the world how awesome they are. Yay you, Angus Young, you’re a living legend and you changed the course of rock history. That’s neat and all, but here’s a secret you don’t know when you’re watching the telecast from home: All those big fancy famous pretty people in the audience? Yes yes, they’re really there, but those thousand-or-so people that the lights allow the camera to see are a mere fraction of the audience members in that big fancy pretty arena. The other seventeen-thousand-or-so likely aren't as fancy or famous or pretty, but they are also the best of the best. They are the hard-working people of the music industry that you don’t get to see all shined up for the stage. 
Just ask Mr. and Mrs. Z

They’re the ones who equalized the background vocal on track seven of Arcade Fire’s Funeral, found just the right shade of cerulean to paint the jewel case window for Miley Cyrus, or arranged the track order for Raffi’s Children’s Christmas Album. They’re the ones you've probably never heard of.  Nevertheless, they are making a living in the recording industry, and they are doing it well. They are doing it well enough to be invited to this nifty little toot-your-own-horn party, and that’s something that only about, say, eighteen thousand people on earth get to do. Considering the billions that live on the planet and the millions that are hacking away at this fairly difficult career path, I’d say that’s a pretty elite percentage to belong to. 
Representing about how many people it took to make this duet possible

And that, my friends, if you’ll allow me a moment of not-so-Mennonite-pride-in-my-work, is something that’s pretty exciting to be a part of.

Side note: this “BentBeat FeelGood Session” brought to you by a blatant and not-even-subtle avoidance of the topic of whether or not I feel good about how I look in my dress. Perhaps we’ll revisit that topic next time. Perhaps not. After all, since the camera doesn’t show us Not So Fancies up in the back row, there’s really no shame in wearing an appropriately-printed muumuu. Or maybe just a bag over my head.

The BentBeat Team


Friday, January 9, 2015

33 Days to the Grammys: Our To-Do List

The boy here, again.  So, the big L.A. trip is about a month away.  Now is just about the time that I start to panic.  And what do I do when I panic?  Yes, that’s right – make a list.  
Douglas Adams was an optimist

Lists make me calmer.  They have a sense of accomplishment when you can grab a Sharpie and cross stuff out and make it look like you’re being productive.  
Making obsessive compulsives happy since 1964

They are also good for things to remember later, so that I can calm down and enjoy the moment when it’s upon me.  So, I shall share my ‘Grammy list’ with you:

- Get a tux.  OK, really this is for the Hobbit’s husband.  But an important piece.
- Find the perfect clutch.  Wait, never mind, that’s not me either.
- Listen to Taylor’s “1989” again.  It was good the first time, I wonder what a second listen will do?

- Work on acceptance speech.  Crap, not me again.
- Town Car or Limo?  #firstworldproblems
- Ask Idina Menzel for voice lessons.
"I'm sorry, who?"

- Avoid driving past former girlfriends’ home.  Check.
- Petition ABC to bring back “Lost.”  Hey, I can dream big.
- Visit the Rose Bowl.  Hey, if I couldn't be there for the Ducks, at least I can live vicariously. 
Any excuse to put this in today: #goducks

- Challenge Disneyland’s Gaston to arm-wrestling contest.  
- Be a walk-on extra in Stallone’s new Rambo film: “Last Blood.”  Seriously.
- Shake Kanye West’s hand for his choice on keyboard players.
"Looking forward to a long career. Thanks, Kanye."

- Ask Weird Al if he remembers me when we met in 1986 at Knott’s Berry Farm [citation needed]


The BentBeat Team
Call/Text: 503.489.8275
Follow @bentbeat

Wednesday, January 7, 2015