Sugarboom

Dress

By Laural Winter

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You know how people say I’m with the band? Well, I lived with a band back in the early nineties. I lived there for the birth of an album. Sugarboom practiced Monday and Tuesday nights in our basement.  Anne, my roommate, was the bassist and rented the house partially because it was a great space for Sugarboom to practice in.

At the time Seattle sound was monstrously popular. And I barely noticed. I was into the local poetry scene, into seeing free movies because I worked at the Movie House, into seeing local bands. But I disliked seeing three guitar bands in a row. I wanted to see variety shows or cabarets. I wanted to see coed bands. I loved male and female singing duos like X or the Pixies.

So not the Seattle sound.

I ignored them and listened to X, the Pixies or defiantly pop bands like Crowded House. Ha! That would show them!  I didn’t hide that I loved Crowded House.

One night my friend Marina and I went to the Portland club Satyricon. It was THE place to see bands and hang out. We used to go there several nights a month. We had seen a lot of great alternative rock and punk rock bands there. We heard this great fast dance-able beat coming from the stage area. We raced in and started dancing immediately.

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Me reading at Cafe Lena

 

I don’t remember which Sugarboom song they were playing but it was probably from their first or second cassette. We hung around dancing and drinking. Marina and I loved to dance. I ended up buying the cassette.

Like I said they practiced Monday and Tuesdays. I read poetry Tuesday nights at Cafe Lena. I would hear the beginning of their practice and that was my cue to head down to the open mike at Lena’s. They were being creative and I was being creative. It felt good.

They each individually practiced on their own too.  I have a lot of respect for how hard bands work to create an album’s worth of songs.  It seems tremendous to me.  Sugarboom created the album Planer while I lived there.  Greg Sage produced it. I love that album.  It has an atmospheric sound with lovely vocals.  There’s a great blend of poignant and fun songs. The album is also the ticket to my 28-year-old self.  When I listen to it I have fun but a heavy blanket of melancholy can come over me if I let it.  I was extremely sad then and coming out of depression.  I was trying to figure out who I was and where I wanted to be.  So I moved to Philadelphia and went to Drexel University to study for a Masters of Library Science.  

Isn’t it amazing how music can take you down memory lane?  It’s up to us to find our way back and redefine the music so we can listen again without the fog of memory if we choose.

Dress is of my favorite songs by Sugarboom. Because I still want to go dancing. How about you?

Dress on YouTube

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Sugarboom

Tchaikovsky

Theme from Swan Lake

By Theresa Snyder

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Mom at 20 showing off her new suit

 

Our home was always full of music when I was growing up. As an adult it has continued to be such at my home.

I was raised on classical music. My mother dreamed of being an opera singer when she was younger. She was a soprano with a three octave range whose voice instructor insisted on telling the surgeon how to remove her tonsils without threatening her career.

Mother used to encourage her mother and father to take the rest of the family out for picnics on Sunday after church. She would rush home, with the promise to clean the house and do the ironing, if she could only listen to the Sunday opera broadcast on the radio in peace.

Sometimes reality gets in the way of dreams. Mother married and had a family, but she never lost her love of music.

To her way of thinking, a cup of tea, a piece of classical music and a long chat could solve any problem.

She loved the power of Beethoven and Bach, the playfulness of Mozart, the commanding voice of Mario Lanza or Caruso, and the playfulness of Jeanette McDonald.

By the time I was in my teens I could hum along with most classical pieces from heart, but never bothered to learn the composer’s names or the names of the compositions. When I left home and become a writer, I found myself listening to classical music. Unlike music with lyrics, it was not a distraction while I wrote. Later, when my mother passed away, I started to listen to the classical station on the radio. It brought back fond memories of her and our lives together.

I longed to have some of the pieces mother had. When I would hear one I recognized on the radio, I would often sit in the car until it was finished, even though that might mean I was late to work. I would write down the composer, take the information to the local music store and ask one of the staff to suggest the best recording of that piece.

Theresa pic 1I found out two of my favorites were Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov and Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky. Both of these pieces transport me into an almost ‘out of body’ experience. I can visualize the action. The storyteller of Scheherazade in the Arabian tent of the Sultan appears before me to weave her story and prolong her life. The swans effortlessly glide across the lake of my imagination in Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake until confronted by the hunter.

And during both pieces I can hear the click of the spoon in mother’s cup as she stirs her tea and her soft voice smoothing the wrinkles out of my current problem. They call it ‘classical’ for a reason. It is timeless and oh so memorable.

Swan Lake Main Theme on YouTube

Scheherazade Main Theme on YouTube

 

Tchaikovsky