Hey Octet fans - it's time for something exciting and new. The UC Men's Octet Archives have just hit YouTube, and the archivist (an Octet Alumni) is sharing classic Octet music with YouTube. Enjoy "Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" below, and then click on the link (even further below) to enjoy other Octet classics. I am SO excited for this to happen, and I hope you will enjoy all the music to come from this INCREDIBLE group.)
Also, I am going to announce the official 2013-2014 Octet as soon as I know, for sure, who are in the group. I KNOW that we have 2 Kyles, and one of them is an alumni, and American Idol contestant. Oh, yeah. It's gonna be a good year.
Hey Guys and Gals. Cats and Kittens. Friends and Foes. Fans and Looky-Loos...sorry, but that patter was running through my head and escaped from my fingertips.
Sooo...Silhouettes. It's a song by the Rays about a teenager stalking his woman, and he finds her in the embrace of another. He experiences violent anger. Plot twists abound. It's a quite involved song, and I can totally see how it would be popular, not only in the time of its conception and inception (and performance, originally by The Rays, a fabulous doo wop group from the 50's. Have a listen, listeners.
My thoughts on the song. I like the arrangement. I enjoy the potential violence. I thought it was a song I could sway to. The plot twist was unexpected. The Rays did a great job with the original and the Octet covered it nicely.
What do you think?
Hey Octet fans. I'm back with another review of the UC Men's Octet's cd "Gold". This time we've got Billy Joel's memorable "She's Got A Way".
I posted another short sample (though I'm noticing the short samples are unintentionally getting longer - this might be redundant, but it IS unintentional. I also added a bit of clumsy animation. I've finally got the Bamboo tablet out again...but I haven't used it in a while, and the 'art' and computer put up a struggle. But, there it is. :)
I find this song to be very relaxing. A song about that woman. Perfect for him. Love. Devotion...etc,. The song is Piano bar. White bread. Well arranged and performed by both Billy Joel and subsequently the UC Men's Octet, but ultimately, not very interesting to me as a song. I really have to be in the mood to hear this one, otherwise, I usually hit "skip" or listen without noticing it much. I like it. I just don't "LIKE" like it.
Next time: Silhouettes by the Rays.
Also, another year older!
Hey Octet Fans!
Another review piece for the "Gold" CD. This time, it's the Octet's arrangement of "Hair" from the 1960's hippy musical that goes by the same name. Since the Octet's version was my first encounter with the song, I'd like to begin by letting you see and hear the original. Well, it's from the movie...made in 1979.
You can see it in the video: youth, anti-establishment, free-love, violent prison beatings...oh well, there have to be some drawbacks to having long hair, eh. It's an entertaining clip.
But this was my introduction to the musical.
The Octet's version actually begins with "She asks me why I'm just a hairy guy." I took the sample from a several seconds into the song.
The arrangement is wonderful. The soloist has a great/strong voice, and the backing singers really make this song fly. Every time I hear this song, I'm literally bopping my head to the music and singing loudly with the Octet (much to the chagrin of those around me.)
For me, since I heard the Octet version before the movie version, I have to say that the Octo-version sounds "more correct". The perfect version.
This is one of my 3 FAVORITES on the Gold CD (and, indeed, one of my favorites for all the Octet music I have or have heard.) I like all of their music. I love most of their music. But this. This is spec-freaking-tacular!
So...I guess I'll just be doing spot-reviews. I did figure out what I did wrong with the uploads. No. It wasn't the computer. It was me. I take all the blame for that.
And, with that, I shall review again. Possibly Friday. But I procrastinate, so don't hold me to it.
Hey Octet Fans. I'm going to post this review in a few installments because after my computer returned from being repaired it decided it was INSANE. So...I'm working with what it will allow me to do at the moment.
Gold was released in the YEAR 2000, and features the ICCA award winning members of the UC Men's Octet. The ICCA's are a big deal. It's like the Grammy Awards of the collegiate a cappella world. (Well, maybe not exactly) and the Octet are the only group who won 2 years "in a row". (Why is "in a row" in quotes? Well, between the first and second year that the Octet won the ICCA's, there were no regional championships.)
That being said. Onto the music. (Tracks 1-3 of 18)
Let's begin with "Eight's Company" - a parody of the 70's/80's theme song "Three's Company". I spent my early childhood watching this show, and I love how the Octet arranged this song. If you compare it to the original, you will find that it's quite different from the memorable theme song, but the Octet arrangement is quite good and enjoyable as they have it. Eight's Company showcases their humor as well as their musical ability. I think this is a great song, and wish it were actually longer - but what can you do with a theme song - unless you incorporate it into a "medley". Well, I guess it would still be short...never mind.
Teenager In Love - originally recorded by Dion and the Belmonts in the late 1950's, is higher energy than the original. The speaking parts and included add character to the song, as does the humorous backing vocals. ((Soloist:) I cried a tear, for nobody but (Backs:) whoever he points to..)
This is another case where I have found that my love of the UC Men's Octet has introduced me to music I never would have been interested in listening to otherwise. They continue to open doors for my love of music.
Next, Little Red Riding Hood, originally by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs is another song that I had not known pre-Octet, and it is one of my favorites. It must be very popular, because it is included in at least 4 Octet albums.
The song presents the wolf as pursuing Little Red, a "little big girl" and encourages her to trust her as he walks with her to gammas place in his "sheep suit". Enjoyable the whole way through. Especially the "listen to me" scale and the ending "ruff."
I will try to add to the review and I am able.
Track 4 will be "Hair" from the musical of the same name.
Track 5 "She's Got A Way" (Billy Joel)
Track 6 "Silhouettes" (The Rays) will be the next few songs in the review.
Authors Note: I was nearly thrown out of the coffee shop I was in because I plugged my headphones into the wrong hole and had the volume WAAAY UP...Maybe it's not the computer, but the operator that has issues, eh? So, as my computer allows me, I will add to the review a few songs at a time. Thank you all for your patience.
& These Guys
Will Be Guests of These Guys
I wish I were going...(lower lip wibble)
Super quick post today, just because of the transition. Yay, the quarter has ended. I'm not very confident about my grades this quarter, becuause I had a lot of absences. (Being sick and my friend passing away...it added up) Fingers crossed that I can at least get a passing grade. I don't need A's. C's will be just fine.
So, below is a video of the current Octet from the Spring Show. She Bangs. It's so hilarious! I know I've got a few more Oldtet videos to get throught (not many, which is probably why I'm not getting to them. Stupid procrastination). Anyway, I admire these guys because their choreo is so smooth! And they have really gelled together as a solid group. I think they can make it to the ICCA finals...btw, semifinals are tomorrow, I think. Good luck Octet. You can do it! (Yes, you can!)
I was looking through my flair on Facebook, and I found stuff that were either Octet or Octet-ish flair. Cool, no?
It's pretty late. I came home with a migraine at about 4, fell asleep until nine, and have been UP ever since. Let Spring Break begin!
I have finals and about a bazillion projects to get done in the next week or so...so probably no updates this week unless something amazing happens (I win the lottery/The Octet come to my door and sing "What's Your Name" to me/All my Professors tell say "Screw it - everyone get's an A+++).
I understand the Octet had their Spring Show tonight and that it rocked the Casbah. Yay, Octet! Remember to catch the Octet's ICCA Semifinals , if you can, at USC on the 20th! And...yeah, between facebook and my natural Procrastination bent, I'm gonna be pulling a weekend of all nighters.
So, until next time...
The Twenty-Ten Octet are competing in the ICCA quarterfinals today (hosted by the California Golden Overtones - Yay Tones!). The ICCA's are the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella, and the Octet are the only group to have won the championship twice! This was in 1998 and 2000. Apparently there was no winner in 1999. I'm not sure why, so I'll have to look into it.
Each group performs a short set that showcases its strengths. The group is judged on musical ability as well as the overall performance of the group - including choreo - (this years "Down/Forever" should wow the judges).
Break a leg, Octet...that's showbiz talk for "good luck" - unless I've been duped by childhood television...Again.
Below is a performance of Down/Forever that was recorded earlier this year. I can't find the ICCA performance...it may have been removed by the poster for some reason.
I have heard that the Octet will be advancing to the Semi-Finals in the ICCA's. Good luck, Octet! I'll try to get word out as to where/when, in case anyone wants to catch them live.
"Double your pleasure." LOL! This may be vindication to all the people (including me, unfortunately) who were bitching that the Octet didn't sound great when the '09- '10 Octet were new. Jason Mabie set me straight - the group had one returning member, and it would take time for them to gel. Well, they're sounding pretty awesome these days!
If you want to check out the Octet Art area, there have been a few additions. I added Parker today. I think I'm improving. Maybe I should have stuck with one style to show this, but hey, I go where my muse leads me.