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Category: Music Life

A Few Things I’m Listening To These Days

I don’t know if it’s dreary January Berlin (where, oh where, has the little sun gone, oh where, oh where can it be?) or just my general state of mind, but I’ve been listening to a lot of kind of lowkey stuff these days. Here are a couple of my favs for your listening pleasure. Love Jarvis Cocker’s voice and Chilly Gonzales has been a go-to for a while now. I was actually supposed to perform this Patricia Barber tune, but I went to Cali instead when the performance was taking place (an accident, but not such an unfortunate one,…

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5 Goals For 2019

Dear Phantom Reader, So a new year is upon us. What are your plans and New Year’s resolutions? As for me, I thought up five goals for this year last night through a fog of congestion from the nasty cold I’ve been fighting since the end of December. Here goes: Rebeccah M. Dean’s 5 Goals For 2019 Goal 1: Complain more Tis true. There’s not enough complaining in the world and I plan to do my part to remedy this dire lack in the year to come. I will complain when lines are too long. When lines are short, I…

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A Little More Success, A Little Less Failure

Dear Phantom Reader, Hard time finding words. Working often ten hour days for past two months writing EFL lessons for school in Vietnam. Good in some ways because had hole in my bank account so deep I could have struck oil if lucky, but almost never lucky. Poor me! (Did win pair of show chickens at 4-H raffle in 3rd grade. RIP, Everett and Helen. Best. Win. Ever.) Bad and other ways because leaves far too little time for creative writing and miss it so. Read through stories and worlds are so far away, flaws screaming out but no real…

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A Kick of Classical

Although I listen to all kinds of music, a large part of my heart will always belong to classical. Of course, this isn’t the case for a lot of people, and here’s my theory why. Reason one: Most people haven’t been exposed to much classical music aside from Mozart kitsch, bombastic Beethoven, or Christmas-time Tschaikowsky. Reason two: The class connotations are off putting. Yep, classical music is most certainly a conservative pursuit for the upper middle class on up, and most people listen to classical music for a sense of aristocratic edification, particularly in the US. Because my love for…

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Performance At Bergmannstrassenfest

I performed three songs at Bergmannstrassenfest at the beginning of July. This is the third year in the row that I’ve performed there, but last year it rained (summer in Berlin can equal a bummer in Berlin, though not this year so far, hoorah!) and the year before Germany played a game in the European Cup literally five minutes before I went on, so almost no one was there. Speaking of soccer and being bummed, I was really disappointed to see Belgium kicked out of the World Cup last night. They played with such passion and were my favorite team this…

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Pity Party Take Ten Or Something

Yes, folks, it’s pity party time again. Just got notice that I was not shortlisted for a story competition I really thought I had a good shot at. The magazine sent out the same form letter that I’ve gotten from them before, stating that my piece “really stood out from the rest” and that I’m “obviously a talented writer” and they felt “honored to read my work”, but it was still a pass. The first time I got this letter I felt really encouraged, but this time I realized it’s more likely just they’re “no thanks, but please don’t slit…

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A Musical Biography

If anyone ever spends more than thirty seconds on this blog, they’ll soon discover my two main thangs are writing and music. My reading life has always been eclectic, although these days I’m really digging Kelly Link, Karen Russell and, of course, George Saunders (had a bad bout of insomnia last night and listened to this podcast with him on Think Again at around two in the morning. They have a lot of good interviews podcast thingys on there, so check it out.) I just finished a story I like a lot called “Headless”, a satire on start-up culture complete…

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Ten Songs For The Day

Here are the ten songs I most enjoyed listening to today, and I’m sharing them just because. Enjoy. 🙂  

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Fucking Wagner

The other day I randomly came across this interview with my former voice teacher, Blanche Thebom. It was so strange to hear the voice of someone who had such an impact on my life all these years later. I would have recognized her voice anywhere. A lot of the stuff she mentions in the interview are things she told me when I was in her studio, ableit the nicer, more diplomatic version. I remember her mentioning the excellent musicians who came to the US after the war, but she also blamed the newcomers for ruining voice technique in the country.…

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