Take Me to the World https://www.takemetotheworld.com Travel. Theatre. Life. Thu, 17 Sep 2020 23:58:16 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.1 Deep Dive Music Project: September Artist – Lana Del Rey (Albums Overview) https://www.takemetotheworld.com/lana-del-rey-album-overview/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/lana-del-rey-album-overview/#respond Wed, 16 Sep 2020 00:05:37 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28684 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

I give some thoughts on the Lana Del Rey albums I've been listening to this month for the Deep Dive Music Project.

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For post I’m gonna write briefly about each of the Lana Del Rey albums I’ve listened to this month.
Since this is a different type of post than what I normally publish I’ll be describing things in some weird vague terms. So get ready throughout the Deep Dive Music Project (not just for this post) to see phrases like “sounds like” “reminds me of” “this vibe is like” “feels like” and so on. While I took piano for about 10 years I only have a couple years of music theory so there won’t be much for “wow I really loved the Gsus7 chord here. And the fact that this song is in E Aeolian symbolizes the sad contemplation of humanity.” I mean there might some “I think this is in a major key. I like how it sounds” but this isn’t going to be very theory based. I’m also not at all familiar with music production so that might not be very detailed or accurate. I’ll likely says things like “those drums in the opening on the songs are fucking great” and “I liked the synths (I think) in this song” and so on.

If you want to listen to the songs I’ve been listening to hear’s my Lana Del Rey Playlist on Spotify.

General Overview and Impressions

On the whole I’ve been enjoying Lana Del Rey’s music. While there are some songs and albums I may like a little bit more than others there isn’t a song or album I hated or wouldn’t listen to again. I could easily see myself going down the rabbithole with her music, so I’m glad I’m restricting this project to a month or artist. I know there are probably bootlegs of unreleased songs before she went by Lana Del Rey. I would like to listen to them at some point, but I wanted to focus on her main releases under the moniker of Lana Del Rey, and not the earlier stuff she made under the name May Jailer or Lizzy Grant.

I see images when I listen to a lot of Lana Del Rey’s songs. Like in my mind which is weird because I’m not a very visual person. I have a hard time picturing things in my mind (meditations that are all you’re walking along a stone path and you come to a big wooden door make me frustrated because visualizing is really hard for me). With many of her songs I could picture little vignettes and scenes in my head. This doesn’t happen for me with every music artist. Like I love Queen, but I don’t picture anything in my mind when I listen to Queen’s music (I just enjoy some great fucking songs by Queen).

Lana Del Rey’s vocal delivery is kind of great. Whispering with strength. There’s a lot of vocal control to do that. She still sounds clear, but her voice isn’t overpowering. And I’ve been reading articles looking back at how Lana Del Rey’s sad pop sound influenced the back half of 2010’s music. And I didn’t really realize this until I started this project, but there’s even a Taylor Swift song from a few years ago “Wildest Dreams” where Swift was clearly going for a Lana Del Rey vibe (like very “Without You” from Born to Die vibes – Taylor Swift’s album coming out after Born to Die).

I find it really interesting when a singer puts on an accent (for lack of a better term) in songs. I notice Lana Del Rey does some different vocalizations like this, like the higher, breathy vocalizations she does in songs like “Off To The Races” (in the chorus) and in “Lolita” for example. Many of her songs have a story element to it, without being a “once upon a time…” kind of deal and these vocalizations add to the feeling of this story element to some of her music.

Born to Die (Paradise Edition)

I started with Born to Die Paradise (Deluxe Edition). This album is basically Born to Die (which has 12 tracks) and the Paradise EP (which has 8 tracks) in one album. There are also a couple of tracks that weren’t on the original release of Born to Die or the Paradise EP as well. The handful of the Lana Del Rey songs I knew beforehand were from this album, most being from the Born to Die part of this album.

I liked this album, but I think because I was familiar with several songs from the album I kind of knew what to expect. Don’t get me wrong this album was pretty good. If we lived in a world where all music sounded like the songs from Born to Die I’d be okay with that, but it didn’t blow my mind. I kind of knew there was gonna be a theme of Americana (or maybe a postmodern version of Americana) and ideas about that. Maybe because I’m Canadian and don’t always connect to that idea of Americana, but yet I consume a lot of media meant for American audiences there’s a bit of a separation in that regard.

I found “Lucky Ones” to be kind of meh. Like it’s not bad, but also it was the one song I was most likely to skip from this album when listening to it. The melody for the verses I really enjoyed, but the bridge and the chorus just didn’t do it for me, it kinda fell flat. And the background jungle noises (which worked in other songs like “Born to Die” for me) just felt distracting.

Also the sample of the “hey” voice (not sure what was actually being said, but you hear it several songs) was okay. It added to the trip hop element, and I generally didn’t notice it. Except my brain decided that the sample in the song “Blue Jeans” was yelling “Sharks!” Now, I understand that is not being said at all, but that’s what my brain decided to hear and I can’t unhear it (like the whole Yanny/Laurel thing from a few years back). I hope now you hear “Sharks!” when listening to this song. You’re Welcome.

Ultraviolence (Deluxe Edition)

This album blew me out of the water. I was not expecting a guitar heavy psychedelic rock 60s and 70s inspired album. And maybe because I listened to a lot of 60s and 70s rock music growing up (music my parents listened to a lot) that my brain was basically primed to love this album right off the bat. In fact this album has definitely become my favourite Lana Del Rey album (so far), and it was the one I wanted to constantly repeat. I do tend to get pretty fixated on a particular album/song when listening to music, so that’s not say the other albums weren’t also fantastic in their own way. It’s just that Ultraviolence was the one where (at least now) I want to keep listening to it.

In fact this to me this comes pretty damn close to being a perfect album, which is a complete misnomer. When I use the term “perfect album” I don’t mean it’s a flawless masterpiece beyond criticism. To me a perfect album shares several qualities. They are

  • I love all the tracks equally and don’t have any desire to skip any tracks. There are many albums I love, but most usually have a track or two that I don’t like as much as the other tracks.
  • It’s an album I can listen to at anytime, no matter how I’m feeling or what I’m doing. Again there are a lot of albums I love but sometimes I gotta be in certain frame of mind to listen to some albums or artists.
  • It’s an album where I can play any track on repeat multiple times (like say 10 times in a row) and not be tired of the track, and I’ll still want to listen to more of the album.

On first listen I loved every song from Ultraviolence but after multiple relistens there are a couple songs I don’t love as much and would sometimes skip. But I was not expecting to hear a close to perfect album for the second album I listened to on this project.

Ultraviolence is an album that sounds very different from her other albums, but yet when I heard it I was like oh yeah that’s a Lana Del Rey song for sure. Like there are some artists/bands who have a pretty consistent sound and that’s cool. And then there are artists whose albums can sound a bit different from each other, but yet you’d never mistake their song for someone else’s. I’d put Lana Del Rey in that second category.

Honeymoon

Definitely more of a Born to Die vibe with less hip hop. Very slow tempo, but to be fair I don’t think there’s any high tempo Lana Del Rey song. I mean if you’re looking for music to do cardio to then Honeymoon probably isn’t the best choice. Though if someone played this album in a yoga class or something I’d totally understand that. Wikipedia says this a baroque pop album, but that’s a pretty broad category (basically just means pop music that has classical elements to it). I could definitely year that and several songs definitely sounded like they could be in a film score “Honeymoon” and “Swan Song” standing out for these reasons.

I did find this album harder to get into than Ultraviolence and maybe because I loved that album right away (like from the opening bars of “Cruel World”) and this album is very different than that it just didn’t connect right away. I still really enjoyed Honeymoon overall, but there were certainly less earworm songs for me (catchy songs that get stuck in your head) on this album than from the other two I listened to previously. Even if this album isn’t perfect (according to my completely random and biased opinion) it’s still pretty damn good. And sometimes there are albums I don’t connect with right away, and then I go back to them months later and then become obsessed with them. I feel Honeymoon could definitely be one of those albums for me.

Lust For Life

In my first post where I mentioned the previous Lana Del Rey songs I knew before starting this project there was one song from this album (unbeknownst to me) I’d heard many time before. The first track from Lust For Life “Love” is a song that plays on the random music player we have at my retail job. It’s a pre-made playlist we can’t change, with maybe 100 or so songs. So because of this I’ve heard this song a lot (and just didn’t realize it was a Lana Del Rey song…I tend to try to tune out the music I hear at work). “Love” isn’t a bad song by any means, and if I didn’t hear it all the time I’d really enjoy it. Since I hear it so often I probably won’t listen to it much outside work.

I wondered if the song “Lust For Life” would be a cover of the Iggy Pop song of the same name, but it was a different song (a duet with The Weeknd). This album had several features from other artists, and it was the first album that does this. On this album there are songs featuring The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Stevie Nicks and Sean Ono Lennon. I find it interesting when an artist collaborates with artists from different music genres. My favourite features on here were “Summer Bummer (Featuring A$AP Rocky, Playboi Carti)” and “Tomorrow Never Came (Featuring Sean Lennon Ono).” That last song, the vocals were gorgeous and I would classify it as a song that sounds pretty.

Several songs from here have a Born to Die vibe with hip hop elements like sample use and all that. But definitely not as much of a trip hop album as Born to Die. I found this album easier to get into than Honeymoon and there were several catchy songs that got stuck in my head right away “Cherry” and “13 Beaches” being two of them. And “When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing” feels like a vibe for 2020. Just saying.

Norman Fucking Rockwell

This was just a really solid album. Does Lana Del Rey have a bad album? No, I don’t think so. Maybe her next release will prove that wrong, but I’m sure it’ll be great.

The song “Norman Fucking Rockwell” gave me some serious Fiona Apple vibes, with its sound – like from the  Extraordinary Machine era. The production for this album feels scaled back, and tighter. It’s another great Lana Del Rey album and I can definitely see why it got the praise it did. What I will say about this album is I found the first few songs and the last few songs to be fucking great, and the songs in the middle I just didn’t love as much. Are those few middle songs bad? No, but they weren’t ones I kept repeating. And again they could be songs that I get into at another point in time, but I just wasn’t feeling them right now.

One thing I didn’t mention in the previous albums is how poetic a lot of Lana Del Rey songs sound. And I know she wrote a book of poetry (and the song “Burnt Norton – Interlude” from Honeymoon is a TS Elliot poem that Lana Del Rey reads). But in NFR songs like “Mariner’s Apartment Complex” and “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it” feel like they could just poems on their own, or that they could have started as poems rather than being intended as songs.

I know I didn’t write a lot for this album, but there’s only so many ways I can say it was pretty fucking great. It was pretty fucking great.

Extras

Since Lana Del Rey’s 2020 album Chemtrails Over the Country Club hasn’t come out (as of this post publication) I listened to a few extra songs not on any of the previous albums. “Looking For America” is a standalone track released last year, which is a contemplative look at the idea of America and Americana. She also wrote two songs (“Big Eyes” and “I Can Fly”) for the soundtrack of the film Big Eyes. Both of those songs I enjoyed, but I think I liked the more somber tone of “Big Eyes” than the uplifting tone of “I Can Fly”. As well as her song “Young and Beautiful” for the film adaptation of The Great Gatsby, a song I heard before and enjoyed.

There are also a few cover songs I listened to not featured on the previous albums. “Once Upon A Dream” from the Maleficent soundtrack which works so well (and also made me think a Lana Del Rey cover of “Sally’s Song” from The Nightmare Before Christmas would be great). And a cover of the 1966 Donovan song “Season Of The Witch” for the film Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. I found the tempo of this song to be a bit too slow and it kind of dragged for me.

Finally Spotify has the single track “L.A Who Am I To Love You?” which isn’t a song, but a poem from her book of poetry Violet Bent Backward Over The Grass with some accompanying background music. I really enjoyed this track and while I’m not one to read poetry books I’d like to give the audiobook of Violet Bent Backward Over The Grass a listen.

Conclusion

If you’ve read all that congratulations on getting through that, maybe. I didn’t know exactly what to expect with Lana Del Rey’s discography, but on the whole I’ve really been enjoying her music. Considering that’s she’s released an album every couple years of so since 2012, and those albums have all been really great to fucking stellar I am quite impressed with Lana Del Rey. I’m looking forward to hearing her new album and if it comes out this month as expected I’ll try to listen to and my thoughts about it to this post.

In the next post I’m gonna pick a couple of songs from each album and write a little something about them.

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Musical Theatre Podcast Episode 12 – An Analysis of Act 1 of Cabaret https://www.takemetotheworld.com/episode-12/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/episode-12/#respond Thu, 10 Sep 2020 01:19:25 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28665 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

On episode 12 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I talk about Act 1 of the musical Cabaret. 

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On episode 12 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I go over Act 1 of the musical Cabaret. This is the second part of series looking at the musical Cabaret. Check on the previous episode to learn more about the history of this musical and my experience with it. For this analysis I am looking at the 1998 Broadway Revival, although I’ll have resource links to other versions of Cabaret on this page as well. This episode contains major spoilers for Cabaret.

Where to Listen to Episode 12?

If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 12 on Podcasts.com

You can also listen and subscribe to the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast on your favourite podcast app or website below.

Google Play

iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Tune In

Resources – Music

This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.

It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 2000 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows on here as well. Albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.

Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. It’s a great way to listen musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals as well.

Cabaret (1998 New Broadway Cast)

Cabaret (1966 Original Broadway Cast)

Cabaret (1972 Movie Soundtrack)

Resources – Videos

These are links on Just Watch (unless otherwise noted) for the following movie versions of the musicals I talked about in this episode.

Cabaret (1972 Movie Adaptation)

Cabaret (1993 London Revival). This is a version on YouTube, but was professionally recorded. If you are unable to see a production of Cabaret live on stage this version is closer to the 1998 revival than the 1972 movie adaption. Unfortunately, this is the only place I’ve been able to find this version.

Resources – Websites and Apps

Concord Theatricals. This is the company with the licensing rights to put on the musical Cabaret. You can rent a free copy of the libretto for Cabaret for a 2 week period. They have several versions including the Original 1966 Broadway, the 1987 Revival, and the 1998 Revival.

Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.

Broadway Musical Home. This is an amazing website for any musical lover. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musicals you can check out the Rights page, where you can find where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.

Playbill has listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.

Today Tix is an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and more. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.

Use the Code JGZYL to save £10 (or $10) on your first order with Today Tix.

Check out some more Musical Theatre Podcast Episodes on Take Me to the World

Have you seen the musical Cabaret? What’s your favourite song from Act 1 of Cabaret? 

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Deep Dive Music Project: September Artist – Lana Del Rey https://www.takemetotheworld.com/september-artist-lana-del-rey/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/september-artist-lana-del-rey/#respond Tue, 01 Sep 2020 18:56:37 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28643 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

For the first month of the Deep Dive Music Project I'll be diving into the discography of Lana Del Rey.

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This post is part of my Deep Dive Muisc Project. Read more about the project here.

For this first ever post in the Deep Dive Music I want to clarify a few things. The order I’ve chosen to feature the artists on this project isn’t some official ranking. I’m not doing that. I don’t even know if I’ll rank the albums or songs (that seems way too intimidating). However I’ve decided to feature the artists with the shorter discographies in the shorter months. Not that I’ll be able to listen to 97 Johnny Cash albums in a 31 day month, but putting the artists with a shorter discography in the shorter months seems less intimidating to me. My goal is to listen to about 7 albums (changed from 8 to 10 because that’s insane), unless the artist has less than 7 albums and then I’ll listen to each album (if possible).

Before starting this project I asked for album and song recommendations on Instagram. I’d like to thank my friend and visual artist Rose for her Lana Del Rey song recommendations.

The Lana Del Rey Songs I Kind Of Know

I wanted to start every month by giving a brief over view of the songs/albums by the artist I’m featuring for the month that I kind of know. For Lana Del Rey I know a few of her songs, but they’re pretty much all from her 2012 album Born to Die. The Lana Del Rey songs I kind of know are

  • Summertime Sadness (which was the first song of hers I heard)
  • Blue Jeans
  • Video Games
  • Born to Die
  • Ride
  • National Anthem

I’ve also heard “Doin’ Time” from her 2019 album Norman Fucking Rockwell on the radio. And I’ve heard her song “Young and Beautiful” for The Great Gatsby soundtrack, though the first version of that song I heard was a cover from music collective Postmodern Jukebox. I’ve also heard her cover of the song “Once Upon A Dream” used for some trailers for the movie Maleficent.

As I listen to the Lana Del Rey discography I might come across a song and go “oh yeah I’ve heard that.” For now just looking at the track list of her albums those are the only songs of her I can say I know for sure.

Impressions

Before I start diving into the discography for the artists I’ve chosen I want to give a run down of the impression I get of their music and their work. This may or may not be accurate. The point of this isn’t for me to tell you, “this is definitely what this artist’s music is/will be like” but for me to see if these impressions are correct as I go along. They may or may not be.

From the limited amount of Lana Del Rey songs I know I get the impression that she’s talented and willing to take risks in her career. I have a feeling each her albums are different from each other. There’s a sense of nostalgia in her songs that I’ve heard and a version of fernweh (a German word with no direct translation but is a sense of missing a place you’ve never been to). The songs of hers I’ve heard (with the expectation of her cover of “Once Upon a Dream”) seem to have a version of fernweh but for a period of time as well as a place, like 1960s Hollywood.

I also feel Lana Del Rey takes after (in some regard) to what I call the Kate Bush school of songwriting. Kate Bush is an English singer-songwriter who has been around since the late 70s (though I first heard her music around 2013). One thing that struck me about Kate Bush was how (particularly in her earlier work) she writes songs from various perspectives. Her songs aren’t necessarily about her life or viewpoint (some are, but many aren’t). She often has songs from many different viewpoints and characters (in an abstract way). She often uses works from other mediums (film, television, books, etc) to inform her songwriting.

There are some artists that definitely use their own personal experiences to inform their music, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Kate Bush was the first music artist I really got into where I often realized, “oh this song isn’t about her or her personal life experience.” I realized that music doesn’t have to be a reflection of an artist’s life or view point. Music and songs can be a more abstract. Before I just always felt that a song was either some personal diary entry where the artist shares their feelings about a particular topic, or some impersonal and generic song about partying or dancing or something like that. I should clarify; I’m not saying Kate Bush was the first/only artist to do this, but she’s the first artist I discovered who did this where this really clicked in my brain that “music does not necessarily equal a personal diary of life experiences.”

From the songs of Lana Del Rey’s I’ve heard I don’t think of them as, “wow this is definitely a personal experience she’s had and now she’s catharting out this song because all songwriters have to write from personal experience.” I’m sure there are more personal songs she has, but it doesn’t seem like this is her entire identity. It’s kind of like reading a book of fiction and realizing the story isn’t actually something that has happened to the author.

Of course these are just my preliminary impressions of Lana Del Rey from the limited amount of songs of hers I’ve heard. We’ll see if any of these are accurate.

The Lana Del Rey Albums I’m Listening To This Month

According to Wikipedia Lana Del Rey has 6 studio albums with 7th album slated to be released on September 5. I didn’t realize this before I picked Lana Del Rey, but seeing as this isn’t more than 8 albums I should be able to listen to all of them. I’ll be listening to her albums in chronological order.

There is an exception. I’m using Spotify to listen to this music for this project, Lana Del Rey’s first self-titled studio album released in 2010 is not available on Spotify. It was released on iTunes apparently, but the only Apple product I have (a 2010 Macbook) no longer works. Instead, I will be starting with her 2012 album Born to Diefor this project. And assuming her new release Chemtrails Over the Country Club is released as it’s scheduled on September 5 I’ll listen to that as well.

The Lana Del Rey albums I’m listening to are

  • Born to Die (2012  – Paradise Edition)
  • Ultraviolence (2014 – Deluxe Edition)
  • Honeymoon (2015)
  • Lust For Life (2017)
  • Norman Fucking Rockwell (2019)
  • Chemtrails Over the Country Club (2020)

After that if there’s time I’ll listen to any one-off singles not feature in the albums above. I may also try to check out her non-music work if there’s time including films she’s done. I know she released a book of poetry earlier this year called Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, which I may read.

If you want to join me in this listening experience I’ve created a playlist on Spotify of all the Lana Del Rey albums I’ll be listening (with the exception of her latest release which isn’t coming out for a few days – I’ll add it in when it is available).

I am going to try to delve into as many Lana Del Rey songs as I can over the next week and a bit, and go from there. See you on the other side.

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Musical Theatre Podcast Episode 11 – A Brief History of the Musical Cabaret https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-11/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-11/#respond Wed, 19 Aug 2020 21:10:13 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28594 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

On episode 11 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I talk about the history and my experience with the musical Cabaret. This is part one of a multiple episode analysis on the musical Cabaret.

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps to keep this website running.Thanks for your support.

On episode 11 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I talk a little bit about the history and my experience with the musical Cabaret. This is part one of a multiple episode analysis on the musical Cabaret. For this analysis I am looking at the 1998 Broadway Revival, although I’ll have resource links to other versions of Cabaret on this page as well. This episode does not contain major spoilers for this musical, although there will be spoilers for this musical in the next two episodes.

Where to Listen to Episode 11?

If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 11 on Podcasts.com

You can also listen and subscribe to the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast on your favourite podcast app or website below.

Google Play

iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Tune In

Resources – Music

This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.

It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 2000 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows on here as well. Albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.

Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. It’s a great way to listen musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals as well.

Cabaret (1998 New Broadway Cast)

Cabaret (1966 Original Broadway Cast)

Cabaret (1972 Movie Soundtrack)

Resources – Videos

These are links on Just Watch (unless otherwise noted) for the following movie versions of the musicals I talked about in this episode.

Cabaret (1972 Movie Adaptation)

Cabaret (1993 London Revival). This is a version on YouTube, but was professionally recorded. If you are unable to see a production of Cabaret live on stage this version is closer to the 1998 revival than the 1972 movie adaption. Unfortunately, this is the only place I’ve been able to find this version.

Resources – Websites and Apps

Concord Theatricals. This is the company with the licensing rights to put on the musical Cabaret. You can rent a free copy of the libretto for Cabaret for a 2 week period. They have several versions including the Original 1966 Broadway, the 1987 Revival, and the 1998 Revival.

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood. This is a link on GoodReads to read the novel Goodbye to Berlin, which eventually lead to the musical Cabaret.

I Am A Camera by John Van Druten. Another link on GoodReads to read the play I Am A Camera, which was later adapted into the musical Cabaret.

Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.

Broadway Musical Home. This is an amazing website for any musical lover. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musicals you can check out the Rights page, where you can find where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.

Playbill has listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.

Today Tix is an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and more. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.

Use the Code JGZYL to save £10 (or $10) on your first order with Today Tix.

Check out some more Musical Theatre Podcast Episodes on Take Me to the World

Have you seen the musical Cabaret? 

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Focus on Festivals | Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia https://www.takemetotheworld.com/cow-cart-festival-indonesia/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/cow-cart-festival-indonesia/#respond Fri, 07 Aug 2020 20:26:38 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=27827 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

Today's Focus on Festivals post is from blogger and photographer Willow Paule who shares her experience at the Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you. This helps to keep this website running.Thanks for your support.

Right now people can’t quite travel the way they did before, but it  won’t be like this forever. So to give some inspiration on places to visit when travel opens up again is this post from Willow Paul on the Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. All photos in this post are copyright, Willow Paule.


Festival Gerobak Sapi or The Cow Cart Festival takes place yearly outside Yogyakarta. It’s a smorgasbord of colourful, wooden carts and big, droopy cows. If that doesn’t get you excited, you obviously have a warped sense of entertainment.

I’m a photographer and I’m always looking for new cultural events to document. The Cow Cart Festival did not disappoint. There were colourful, hand-decorated carts and droopy cows galore as well of lots of good people watching.

A look at a cow at the festival through one of carts.

My visit to to the cow cart festival

This festival epitomizes much of what I enjoy about Java, Indonesia. There are plenty of cultural experiences revolving around moon cycles and old wisdom. Javanese people are also consumed by the aesthetic beauty of things, and they practice curiosity as a national pastime. No event is ever poorly attended here on Java, the most densely populated island on earth, and this festival was no different.

The parking area was just one part of a vast, dusty field shared by motorcycles, cows and their carts. There was no one in charge of parking (a rarity in Java), and drivers pulled their motorcycles in every which way. Vendors selling snacks, balloons and plastic toys set up shop in the same area. Whole families sat in the parking area on their motorcycles, just passing time. Others would drive their families up and down the lines of oxcarts inspecting the entries. Walking is not that popular in Indonesia’s sweltering heat.

Parking at the Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Parking at the Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Parking at the Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Some families chose to ride their motorcycles up and down the rows of cows and carts.

Mostly men, and a few women and kids positioned the cow carts, and took care of the cows. All the cows wear metal cowbells producing a lovely jangle as they walk.

What About Those Cows?

Indonesians use Brahman cows to pull the carts, and they are fascinating. They’ve developed many adaptations to deal with hot weather, insects, parasites and diseases. They are also the same breed that is considered holy in India.

The Brahman cows are white, have droopy necks with pendulous skin flaps and a big hump above their shoulders. They have a penchant for licking their noses with their long tongues. And their large, watery eyes render them very sympathetic.

Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

The cows were used for labour more often in the past. I’ve been told that people still use them occasionally for hauling bricks and to plow and carry crops for farmers. And, occasionally, I do see long processions of cow carts slowly moving along the road. I am always curious where they are going. But the cows and their carts have definitely become less visible than they once were.

Watching the cow carts make their entrance at the Festival Gerobak Sapi is a treat. Their procession that originates at the drivers’ homes on the outskirts of Yogyakarta. The melodic clamour of cowbells fills the air. Upon arriving the owners set up the carts in rows so festival-goers can enjoy a closer look.

Here’s a brief video to a Cow Cart procession at the festival.

I am often moved by the aesthetic considerations that go into making day-to-day utilitarian objects in Indonesia, and how many things are handmade with painstaking processes. The carts’ colourful decorations are ample evidence of this aesthetic sense. The array of styles and decorations is dizzying.

One of my favourite things about photographing at festivals the world over is the people. They’re in a good mood and open to being photographed. The crowds here were no exception, and the intricately-decorated carts made great subjects too. But I think we can all agree that the cows were the real stars.

Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Close up of some of the cart decorations.

Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Want To Check Out The Festival?

The Festival Gerobak Sapi is annualand takes place in September over a weekend. You’ll find details on their Instagram page. The location of the festival seems to change, but it usually takes place outside Yogyakarta, Indonesia.


About the Author

Bio pic for blogger and photographer Willow Paule

Willow Paule is a documentary photographer and virtual assistant who loves to experience new cultures. She considers photography to get to know about people and communities. Check out her blog on intentional photography and nurturing your creative practice and follow her on Instagram and Facebook.


 

 

Have you been to Indonesia? Would you like to check out the Cow Cart Festival in Yogyakarta?

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Update and a new project https://www.takemetotheworld.com/update-new-project/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/update-new-project/#respond Fri, 31 Jul 2020 01:12:39 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28585 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

A quick update on my life and the new writing project (and possible podcast) that I'm doing over the next year and a bit.

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2020 what a year that was. I mean I know it’s not over yet, but it feels like the longest year in recorded history. Technically this year is a leap year, so it is one of the longer ones.

I’m back working at my retail job right (with proper health and safety precautions), but the normal things in the past that help me to differentiate one year from another have been put on hiatus, mainly travel and theatre. I mentioned before that the one trip I had booked for this year was cancelled (obviously). Recently, found out the one theatre event I had booked has also been cancelled (not surprising). Plus there are no summer festivals this year (not in person anyway), and that has been weird.

But this year I did something (well I actually I started it last year on my birthday) that I found immensely helpful during the past few months (especially when I was at home). I did a daily writing project where I picked a music artist whose birthday it was that day, and wrote a blog post about them. I also picked a song of theirs and put it on a playlist. Now while this is pretty inconsequential in the history of humankind it helped me keep a daily habit of writing something, and gave me something to focus on (helpful when I was off work from March to May). If you’re interested you can view that now retired project here.

That project, writing daily and focusing on music (something I love) gave me the idea for another music-related writing project. There were several instances when I was writing about an artist during that project and I thought wow I really don’t know many of their songs and I’ve always wanted to listen to more of their work. That is the basis for my new writing project I’m calling the Deep Dive Music Project. Starting in September I’m picking 12 music artists, focusing on one artist per month, and listening to as much of their work as possible. Some of the artists here are fairly well known and others less so. All of them (for me at least) are artists I only know a handful of their songs (if that). I’ve never actually sat down and listened to a full album from any of these artists, despite enjoying the few songs of theirs that I know.

Basically this project is an excuse to listen to a lot of music. Some of the artists I’ve chosen have a huge discography and hundreds upon hundreds of recorded songs to their name, so I won’t be able to get through everything. But I plan to listen to a few of their albums (no compilations or Christmas albums) and then write something about it. I want to actively listen to their music, and not just have it on in the background as I’m doing something else. I’ll share my thoughts and opinions on their songs/albums, and maybe some fact-based research too (don’t expect an in depth biography of these artists). This isn’t going to be a these are the greatest music artists ever and here are there 10 best songs kind of deal. If I don’t like a song or album I’ll share that too.

Originally this was going to be on a separate blog, but I pay for hosting for this site and I figured I might as well use it. Make no mistake I still love travel and theatre, and will write about those things again as well, but I need to write about something else too. Maybe this isn’t on brand, but fuck that. Take Me to the World is about travel, theatre, and life – and in my life music has always been important. I just haven’t written much about it until now. I’m not entirely sure how it will work, but I’m planning to write a few blog posts during the month. I’ll share the songs and albums I’m listening to (likely with a Spotify link) so you can join me in this project if you want.

If you want to join me in this project you can. I’ll have the artists that I’m going to be focusing on for this project below, but this isn’t to say you have to pick the same artists. If there’s an artist you kind of know a few songs from, but have always wanted to get into more of their work then pick that person instead. I’m focusing on individual artists rather than bands, and on these artists solo work (though I may include some collaborations like duets and features on other songs). This list is in random order, and may not reflect the order thee artists are features on in the project.

  • Frank Ocean
  • Björk
  • Johnny Cash
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Lana Del Rey
  • David Bowie
  • Tori Amos
  • Prince
  • Emilie Autumn
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Lady Gaga

I have a request from anyone who might be familiar with any of these artists. If you have song/album suggestions for any of these artists let me know in the comments. In particular I’m interested in the lesser known songs from these artists. Not saying I’m going to avoid the popular hit songs, but this isn’t meant to be a “here’s David Bowie’s greatest hits” and nothing else kind of deal. Especially if you know some obscure songs from any of these artists I’d love to here them. I’m also interested in extra research material like books, movies, to go into for these artists as well. The main focus will be the music, but I might talk about other art forms these artists have done (like movies for example) as well.

That’s my life for right now. And again I’ll still have some travel and theatre posts on here, but while things have shut down or slowed down immensely I want to give myself something else to focus on. More importantly I wanted to share this project with you so that you can join me in this music adventure.

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Why I Love Travel in May https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travel-in-may/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/travel-in-may/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 23:08:27 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28519 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

While we can't be traveling right now thinking back I've come to realize May is one of my favourite times to travel. Here are some reasons why that is.

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Back in the before time when we could leave our house (remember those?) I liked to travel. While staying at home now I’ve been reminiscing about the month of May. I’ve only ever travelled to North American and European destinations in the month of May, so I can’t speak for traveling to every place on earth in May (also that’s impossible). However May has always been one of my favourite months to travel.

Much of this depends on where you’re going, but for many places May is considered either the off-season or the shoulder season. This means it’s usually less crowded than during peak travel seasons like holidays and summers. And prices during the off-season or shoulder season will be lower than during peak season. There are downsides to travelling outside peak season as some attractions (like outdoor ones) might not be open, or have more restricted hours of operation. If there’s an attraction you really want to visit and you’re traveling in May check see if it’s open in advance.

Another thing to consider is there might be holidays in May for the places your visiting. For example in Canada the Monday before May 25 is Victoria Day, which is a statutory holiday in the country. This is unofficially considered the start of summer, and lots of people will go out camping this weekend (though maybe not this year). For 2020 Victoria Day is May 18. Always check if there’s a holiday in May for the country your visiting. Obviously if you visit somewhere on a holiday it’ll probably be a bit busier than usual.

Another thing I like about travelling in May is the weather. Again, I’ve only travelled in North America and Europe in May, but I find the weather to be generally pleasant. Where I live there might be the occasional bit of snowfall in May, but it usually doesn’t last very long. Some places might get some rain in May, but it’s always a good idea to have a waterproof jacket on hand. I’ve also been to places like Cancun, Mexico and Las Vegas where the temperature in May is above 30C/86F. If you want to visit somewhere hot then there are definitely places for that in May. Check the weather for your destination so you know what to pack. For example the weather in San Francisco in May is a lot different than the weather in Las Vegas in May.

Finally, for the two reasons above (places usually not as busy, and generally good weather) I find May is great time of the year to go on a road trip. I’ve done several road trips in May. Two friends and I did a road trip to Las Vegas (with a stop at the Grand Canyon) in 2007. I went on a a short road trip around the east coast of Canada and the US with a friend in 2009. Finally I did a solo trip from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario (took about a week of driving). I’ve also travelled by plane and by train (within the same country) in May and that’s been great as well. I have a feeling a multi-country train trip in Europe would be pretty awesome to do in May.

I don’t always travel in May, but when I do I always enjoy it. So here are a few photos from some places I’ve visited in May.

Utah

My first big trip in the month of May was in 2007 when a couple friends and I drove to Las Vegas (I’d also visit Vegas in May 2014). This is a photo of Utah, a state I hadn’t been to before. Before taking this trip I could only really picture Utah as having lots of farms and Mormons, but I didn’t realize how diverse and beautiful the landscape was. This was in the southern part of the state.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

On the way to Las Vegas we stopped at The Grand Canyon (just a 5 hour detour, but worth it). Fun fact it was snowing when we were there (not heavily).

Moncton, New Brunswick.

In 2009 I went to visit a friend who had moved out to Nova Scotia. I flew to Moncton, New Brunswick and rented a car and also went to Prince Edward Island. Plus my friend and I drove down to Maine and New Hampshire. I’m glad I got to visit these provinces and states, but going to all 5 in 10 days was a bit too much. I also didn’t take a lot of great photos on that trip, hence this semi-okay one of Moncton, New Brunswick.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

In May 2011 I went to Mexico for a family wedding. While a lot of that trip was drinking at the resort and hanging out in the pool my family also took a day tour out to Chichen Itza.

Wolseley, Saskatchewan

In 2013 I did a solo road trip from Edmonton to Toronto. I got to see a lot of amazing places on that trip; ones I’d never known about. This is the town of Wolseley, Saskatchewan. I stopped here for a few minutes because there was a sign saying the town had a swinging bridge. I’m a sucker for roadside attractions on road trips. This photo was taken from that bridge.

Provencher Bridge, Winnipeg

Only got to spend a quick night in Winnipeg on my road trip. I didn’t have much time there but I did wander around The Forks (a historic site and green space in the city), and I took this photo of the Provencher Bridge. Winnipeg is a city in Canada I’d like to go back for a visit.

Lake Superior, Ontario

Stopped for this photo of Lake Superior in Ontario. This is the biggest of the Great Lakes in Canada (hence the name) and there were several points driving along the lake where is feels like your driving by the ocean.

Giant red Muskoka Chair in Thessalon, Ontario.

This is a giant red Muskoka Chair in Thessalon, Ontario. A Muskoka chair is similar to an Adirondack chair, except the Muskoka chair seat curves down at the back, and the Adirondack chair seat is flat. Also the Adirondack chair is usually a couple inches higher up and the arm rests are further apart than the Muskoka chair. Not sure how that applies for giant versions of these chairs.

Horseshoe Falls, Niagara Falls

Went to Niagara Falls, Ontario and Niagara Falls, New York. This is Horseshoe Falls, which is on the border between the US and Canada, but this photo was taken from the Canadian side.

Dundas Square Toronto

Spent time in Toronto for a conference and blogging workshop after my road trip in 2013. This is downtown at Dundas Square.

Freemont Street Vegas

In May 2014 I went to Las Vegas for a few days with a friend. This is around Freemont Street, which I really enjoyed. I don’t have a strong desire to go back to Vegas, but if I did I’d spend more time exploring Freemont Street rather than the casinos on The Strip. Also, I’d do a day trip outside the city to Red Rock Canyon or somewhere like that.

Hotel MacDonald View of Edmonton

Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to travel. In 2015 I went to an event hosted at the Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton. I didn’t spend the night here, but we did a tour of the hotel including one of the rooms where I took this photo. This is overlooking The North Saskatchewan River and the River Valley.

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin

In 2017 I was living in Dublin, Ireland and my parents came to visit me for a few days at the beginning of May. We went to a few sites around Dublin including this one, Kilmainham Gaol. It was  former prison where many historic Irish figures and revolutionaries were held, and sometimes executed. It’s now a museum and a really interesting to check out in Dublin.

Knowth, Ireland

My parents had also rented a car so we did a day trip to a few places outside of Dublin as well. This is Knowth a Neolithic passage grave at the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. This place predates the Egyptian Pyramids. There are actually several different sites at Brú na Bóinne including the passage tombs of Newgrange and Dowth. You have to take a bus from the visitor site to the passage tombs, but there is a guide there to tell you about the history of the site. Definitely worth taking a day trip out to Brú na Bóinne in you’re in Dublin.

Kilkenny Street, Ireland

At the end of May 2017 I went on a day trip to Kilkenny, Ireland. Before coming to Ireland if someone told me “picture a street in an Irish town” this is what I would’ve pictured.

Vigeland Park, Oslo

May 2018 I took a trip to Oslo, Norway. This is Vigeland Park, which is full of sculptures from artist Gustav Vigeland. I really enjoy Oslo. I was there just a few days before May 17, which is the Norwegian Constitution Day, a massive national holiday.

Balbriggan, Ireland

I moved back to Canada in early June 2018, so in May I visited several places in and around Dublin. This a quick trip up to the beach at the town of Balbriggan, which wasn’t too far from where I was living in Donbate.

Coit Tower San Francisco

Finally in 2019 a couple friends and I went to San Francisco for few days. Here’s a view from one the many hills in the city. The tall tower in the background is Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill, and to the left you can see part of The Bay Bridge.

Those are just some photos from some of the places I’ve visited in the month of May. Hopefully for May 2021 we’ll be able to get out and see some of the world.

Check out some more Photo Essays on Take Me to the World

What’s your favourite month to travel?

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Musical Theatre Podcast Episode 10 – Love Never Dies https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-10/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-10/#comments Sat, 02 May 2020 00:47:25 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28427 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

On episode 10 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre podcast I talk about the musical Love Never Dies, which is a sequel to The Phantom of The Opera.

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On episode 10 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I talk about the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Love Never Dies, which is a sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Spoilers in this episode for both of those shows.

Note: This episode was recorded in April 2020 and as such most theatres (including Broadway, The West End, and National Tours) are suspended for the time being. I’ve still included resources to purchasing tickets for shows (where possible) for whenever these shows open up.

Where to Listen to Episode 10?

If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 10 on Podcasts.com

You can also listen and subscribe to the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast on your favourite podcast app or website below.

Google Podcasts

iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Tune In

Resources – Music

This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.

It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 2000 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows on here as well. Albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.

Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. This is a great way to listen musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals as well.

Love Never Dies (2009 London Cast)

Love Never Dies (2018). This one doesn’t specify the cast, but it seems some of the performers are the same as in the filmed stage version mentioned in the Video section below.

The Phantom of the Opera (1987 Original London Cast)

The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie Soundtrack)

The Phantom of the Opera Live At Royal Alberta Hall (2011 Cast). This was the same cast in the the Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall video below.

Resources – Videos

These are links on Just Watch (unless otherwise noted) for the following movie versions of the musicals I talked about in this episode. Just Watch will have links to where you can watch these movies on various streaming sites.

Love Never Dies (2012 Filmed Stage Production)

The Phantom of the Opera (2004 Movie)

The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall (2011 Filmed Stage Production). This was the production shown on The Shows Must Go On.

The Shows Must Go On.This is the YouTube channel mentioned in the episode that has been featuring different Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals throughout the quarantine. The shows go up at 7 pm (British Time Zone) and only stays up for 24 to 48 hours. There are also song clips from past shows that have been featured on the channel.

Resources – Websites and Apps

Love Never Dies. This has links to where you can buy tickets for all productions of Love Never Dies. Due to Covid-19 productions might be on temporary hiatus.

The Phantom of the Opera. This has links to where you can buy tickets for all productions of The Phantom of the Opera. Due to Covid-19 productions might be on temporary hiatus.

Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.

Reddit Box 5. This is a specific subreddit for The Phantom of the Opera, but there is also some discussion about Love Never Dies on here as well.

Broadway Musical Home. This is an amazing website for any musical lover. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musicals you can check out the Rights page, where you can find where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.

Playbill has listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.

Today Tix is an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and more. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.

Use the Code JGZYL to save £10 (or $10) on your first order with Today Tix.

Check out some more Musical Theatre Podcast Episodes on Take Me to the World

What are your thoughts on Love Never Dies?

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Life During Uncertainty https://www.takemetotheworld.com/life-during-uncertainty/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/life-during-uncertainty/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2020 22:28:45 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28420 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

Life is uncertain right now, but what's helping me deal with everything going on now is reflecting on the experiences I had in Ireland.

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There’s a problem with writing for a travel blog in the time of a pandemic. I don’t know if what I’m going to write is important. I don’t know if it’s going to help anyone, but I hope it does. I worry it might seem over indulgent. Then again that could be anxiety popping in.

First I want to take some time to address my privilege. I am safe and healthy, and so far my friends and family are as well. I’ve been able to say home from work since about mid-March and have received some wages. I’m now temporarily laid off (and not sure on when I’ll be able to go back to work). Since I live in Canada and I can apply for some financial support from the government. I’m an introvert and haven’t had any issues staying home. However I’m also living with my parents and my brother, so I’m not entirely alone. The weather has gotten nicer (the snow has finally melted) and I’ve been able to get outside and go for walks. We have food, medicine and other supplies in our house. All things considered I’m doing well.

This is a blog about travel though, so I should write something about the fact that the only trip I had planned for 2020 will likely get cancelled. I’m about 98% sure this trip is not going to happen, at least not for the dates we originally booked. A couple friends and I were going to go to Portland, Oregon for a few days in June. The main reason being to attend the Alanis Morrissette concert. I’m a child of the 90’s and Jagged Little Pill was the first CD I ever bought.

So far the concert is still going on, but that could change. More importantly the border between Canada and the US is closed right now. It’s hard to say if the border will be opened by the time this trip is supposed to happen. The hostel we’re staying at cancelled our reservation but they are also closed and won’t be reopened during our trip. I got an email saying our flight has changed, meaning we won’t land in Portland until the next day.

I’m not stressed, anxious, or sad that the only travel I had for 2020 is likely getting cancelled. This statement might seem ridiculous to some, but if this situation had happened a few years ago I would have been devastated. I would have put on a calm demeanour and said I was fine, but inside I wouldn’t have been fine at all. Since I was 21 I’ve taken at least one trip a year to somewhere that’s new-to-me. Knowing I have a trip to go in the future helps to keep me focused and optimistic for the feature. When I’m not travelling ,or when I don’t have an upcoming trip planned I start to feel anxious and depressed.

While I wish I could go on this I understand I probably can’t. This pandemic is beyond anyone’s control (how we respond to it isn’t). There is no anyone who’s at fault for my trip getting cancelled. There is no one to blame for this situation (except the virus itself, but that isn’t going to fix anything). Everyone is doing the best they can in these strange times.

What’s helped me deal with this likely trip cancellation, and with the pandemic in general is reflecting back on my time in Ireland. When I moved to Ireland in August 2016 I came there alone, and I initially spent a lot of time alone as well. Eventually I got to know some people, but I didn’t have any close friends. Let me say this was through no one’s fault but my own. I tend to not talk to people I don’t know; it takes me a while before I start to feel comfortable around others. And while I could chat with friends and family online there was an 8 hour time difference. Often they wouldn’t be able to respond to my message for several hours and vice versa for myself. My parents and I would video chat every few weeks, but they were the only people back home I chatted with in real time.

Now I’m introverted, and even though I love travel I also love spending time at home. However; there came points while I was in Ireland, when I realized I’d spent days not talking to anyone. It took me several months (after an initial call center job that only lasted 2 weeks; which was not the job for me) to find work. For a while the only things I would say were phrases like “are you hiring?” “is your manager in?” and “here’s my CV.” I pretty soon came to realize that mental health had suffered greatly from being isolated.

With the situation going on now even though I’ve been laid off I’ll get hired back on when it’s safe to do so. Plus I’ll get hired on for the same wages and position I was in before. When I first got to Dublin I spent months looking for work with no luck. I had someone money saved for emergencies, but rent in Dublin is expensive (more than I realized). Soon that account got dwindled to nothing, and I was much to proud (read: stubborn) to ask for help. Finally I got an interview for a job I knew how to do and I was so relieved. Then a few hours into my first shift I was told it wasn’t going to work out, without any explanation.

I can’t explain how much that destroyed my mental and physical health at the time. I went home and cried, feeling broken and wondering how I was going to afford rent or even food. Then I got sick and I’m pretty sure it was in large part due to all the stress I was experiencing. I was in bed for 2 weeks, exhausted and nauseous only leaving my room to go to the bathroom. The only food I could keep down were a few saltine crackers I kept by my bed. Eventually I got better, and found employment, but it still took months and it wasn’t easy.

For myself at least, the first few months living in Dublin were much harder than what I’ve had to experience with this pandemic so far. There I was alone. I didn’t know anyone (aside from my two flatmates, but I didn’t know them well). I was running out of money (like I said rent in Dublin is expensive and my account got drained fast). When I got sick in October 2016 I was done. That might have been the worst month, psychologically and physically, I’ve ever had. I felt broken. I couldn’t stop crying. For me to stay home with my family, where I’m safe and have security and food is not a big deal. This to me is easy; I’ve got this.

I don’t say this to belittle anyone else’s experience. I know there are people who are going through hell right now, and I empathise with them. Whatever emotion your feeling whether it’s sadness or anger or fear or relief or whatnot is valid. I’d never want to demean your feelings or experience. While things in the world are a bit uncertain right now I’m not as isolated or stressed as I was in the latter part of 2016. My mental health during this pandemic is much better than it was when I first was in Ireland.

While I was in Ireland as soon as things were okay or stable for a bit something would come up to disrupt everything. Before I came to Ireland I knew I wasn’t great with change. Perhaps the universe got the message and decided “yeah don’t get comfortable ever because we’re gonna change things up for you.” I thought the move to Ireland itself would be the only big change I’d need to worry about, but it wasn’t. I had 4 different jobs in Ireland, and I had to move 3 different times (not including the initial move to Ireland).

None of these things were what I wanted, but just what happened. The last place I moved to was in July 2017. My birthday is July 23, and I had booked a few days off from work (a job I’d luckily been at for several months at that point) to go to Cork. Then I found out I’d have to move to a new place by the end of July. The place I was moving to would be able to let me move into my room about a week early. Since I knew I couldn’t afford to take more time off work for my trip and this move, plus I’d have to pay rent and a damage deposit for this new place I just decided to cancel my trip. Financially I couldn’t have afforded to go on this trip and move.

I spent my birthday that year moving by myself from Dublin to the small town of Donabate. I learned places in Ireland usually came furnished with a bed and wardrobe, so I didn’t need to move those items. But I did need to pack other items like clothes, bedding, food, etc into a suitcase and large backpack and move them by public transit. First walking 15 minutes to the bus stop, next taking the bus to Malahide, and then the train to Donabate and then another 8 minute walk to my new place. I had to make this trip several times that day and was exhausted by the end of it. This wasn’t how I wanted to spend the only birthday I’ve celebrated (so far) in another country.

One of the places I visited frequently after I moved to Donabate.

I was sad to have cancelled my birthday trip to Cork, but to be honest I was also kind of numb to everything that had happened. It was at the point where I thought “yeah of course this is happening, because why wouldn’t it?” I’d experienced so much change uncertainty during the 11 months of my time in Ireland thus far. Nothing surprised me. While things did work out, and I go to go to Cork that April my birthday move taught me something important. Don’t get comfortable, because life is here, life is chaotic and life doesn’t care about what you want.

I didn’t write a lot about Ireland when I was there because I wanted time to process things. Despite how it might seem on this post my time in Ireland wasn’t all bad. The hard stuff was hard, but there was a lot of good as well. I got to see some amazing places and learn things about Irish history and culture I didn’t know before. I eventually talked to people, and when I did I realized I could have talked them earlier and no one would’ve been offended like I’d assumed. We think our brains are smart, but they can be pretty stupid.

My time in Ireland taught me the importance of my mental health. How I shouldn’t keep myself isolated when things are hard. If I’d asked for help, even asked for someone to talk to early on I have no doubt my experience would’ve been better. Most important Ireland taught me not to get comfortable. I learned things change whether you want them to or not.

Obviously this pandemic is different than what happened when I was in Ireland. I don’t want to equate the two experiences because what’s happening now is completely unprecedented. Yet, I know everything I went through in Ireland is helping me to process what’s going on right now. I’m grateful that during this pandemic I’m with people I care about and who care about me. I’m grateful that I can talk to my friends via text or video chat and there isn’t an 8 hour time difference. I am relieved to know I’ve got support from the government to help me pay my bills. I am lucky that I can stay home, write, play piano, watch Netflix and learn German (I’ve always wanted to learn German).

I don’t want it to seem like I haven’t had any fears or anxieties during this time, because I have. When I was still at work (before our store had closed) I felt a lot of anxiety, particularly because I work at a store close to an airport. My eyes would feel watery and I’d wonder if it was allergies I usually get in the string, or if I was dying. Once we were informed our store would be closing I was relieved. I didn’t have to worry about factors I couldn’t control (basically what other people were or weren’t doing).

When the pandemic first broke out I felt a lot of anxiety watching the news and going on social media. Now I limit my exposure to the news to about an hour per day. This was also something I learned in Ireland. When I was in Ireland the 2016 US election had occurred and my only exposure to the election campaign were memes I saw about it. Now, if this seems like me being uninformed and avoiding reality maybe it was. At that time, with all I’d been through, I mentally couldn’t handle reading every news site and political commentator. Plus I am Canadian. I couldn’t have voted in the election. I couldn’t have changed the results.

“Staying informed” can easily cross over to the point of “ruminating over things you can’t control and stressing because there’s nothing you can do.” It seemed like many of my fellow Canadians back home had crossed that line during the 2016 US election. In Ireland I realized while it’s important to stay informed, I should get overwhelmed by things I can’t control. Instead of worrying about this things I can’t change I focus on what I can change. That is my actions, my attitudes, my behaviours.

Watching the news constantly and looking up things like how many people have corona virus right now? doesn’t help me. Most importantly it doesn’t change what’s going on. I can’t force everyone but essential workers to stay home, no matter how much I’d like to. I can’t change how a foreign government responds to the pandemic in their own country. What I can do is stay informed with what my government is doing. And let me say if you live in a country where you have the right to vote remember how your government responded to this pandemic the next time you’re at the polls. If you want things to change then don’t be apathetic when it comes to voting. Yes, sometimes life brings change, but sometimes we need to be that change.

I don’t want to sound out of touch with this situation, or like I don’t care because I do. This pandemic is serious, many people have gotten sick and many have lost their lives, which is heartbreaking. Essential workers are putting their lives in danger every day. Seeing that many are doing so with a lack of personal protective equipment is infuriating. People are stressed/scared/overwhelmed/traumatised. I’ve been there too. Today I feel all right, but tomorrow might be different.

I’ve heard sentiments like “I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.” I get that people don’t want to stay in this state forever, but to be honest I don’t want things to go back to normal. I don’t want things to return to how they were before, because things before weren’t great for everyone. This pandemic has shown people how much inequality exists in the world. We’ve been able to see the damage we’ve done to the planet and to each other. To say the world should go back to the status quo before the pandemic is cruel and unfair. I want things to be better than they were.

I don’t have any exact answers. I don’t want things to stay they way they are now, but I also know they won’t. The big thing I learned about in Ireland, more than historical facts or how to pour a perfect pint of Guinness or anything else is change. The only constant in life is change. Nothing, whether you perceive it as good or bad, will last forever. While I don’t know how things will change I know they will. The situation we’re in now will not last forever. Things might get better, things might get worse, but they won’t stay the same.

This might not be a comforting statement, but it’s the only truth I know. Things will change. I hope we’ve taken the time to look within ourselves, to prioritise our mental health, and to connect to others (even if it can only be online) to handle whatever change comes next.

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Musical Theatre Podcast Episode 9 – Reviews of Come From Away, Six, and Waitress https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-9/ https://www.takemetotheworld.com/musical-theatre-podcast-episode-9/#respond Mon, 06 Apr 2020 00:07:28 +0000 https://www.takemetotheworld.com/?p=28408 This is post is from TakeMeToTheWorld.com

In this episode of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre podcast I review the three shows I saw in 2019 Come From Away, Six and Waitress.

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On episode 9 of the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast I review the three musicals I saw last year. They were Come From AwaySix, and Waitress.

Quick correction: in the podcast I state that King Henry VIII’s first wife Catherine of Aragon didn’t bear him any children, but this is incorrect. She did have a daughter, but at the time (cue: the patriarchy) you had to have a son to be the heir to the throne. I also I wished one the shows good luck, when I should have clearly said “Break a Leg.”

Where to Listen to Episode 9?

If you haven’t heard it yet you can listen to Episode 9 on Podcasts.com

You can also listen and subscribe to the Take Me to the World Musical Theatre Podcast on your favourite podcast app or website below.

Google Podcasts

iTunes

Spotify

Stitcher

Tune In

Resources – Music

This has links (mostly on Spotify, unless otherwise stated) to the cast recordings/soundtracks that I mentioned in this podcast, as well as to some musical playlists.

It’s Broadway, Bitch – Spotify Playlist. This has over 2000 songs from different musicals I’ve either seen or have listened to obsessively. Most of the playlist is from stage musicals, but I have a few movie musicals and musical TV shows as well. As I see more musicals and listen to more cast albums I’ll add them to this playlist. The albums are in random order. Some songs contain strong language and subject matter, so listener discretion is advised.

Sounds of Broadway. This is an online radio station with over 4600 songs from 560 different musicals. This is a great way to listen musicals you know and discover some musicals you may have never heard of before. The station also has a great weekly podcast about musicals as well.

Come From Away (2017 Original Broadway Cast)

Six (2018 Studio Cast)

Waitress (2016 Original Broadway Cast)

Resources – Videos

There aren’t any movie musicals of the three shows I saw. However as mentioned in the episode the musical Waitress is based on a movie of the same name. You can find links to watch the non-musical movie Waitress (2007) here. It’s pretty much the same as the musical, minus the whole musical aspect of it.

Resources – Websites and Apps

Come From Away. This has links to where you can buy tickets for the Broadway production of Come From Away. Due to Covid-19 this production might be on temporary hiatus.

Six. This has links to where you can buy tickets for all current productions of Six. Due to Covid-19 some of these productions might be on temporary hiatus.

Waitress. While the Broadway production of this show closed in January it does have some International and National tours. Due to Covid-19 some of these productions might be on a temporary hiatus.

Reddit Musicals and Reddit Musical Theatre. Both of these subreddits are great places to go if you want to talk about musicals, get tips (if you’re a performer), and to get recommendations on shows to check out.

Broadway Musical Home. This is an amazing website for any musical lover. They have an alphabetical list of over 300 musicals, and you can look up musicals by different categories like “based on a book” and “based on real life.” For anyone or any theatre company looking to put on a musicals you can check out the Rights page, where you can find where to get the rights to put on a variety of musicals.

Playbill has listing for shows (musicals and plays) in New York, London and National Tours.

Today Tix is an App for both iOS and Android. You can use the app to buy cheap, same day tickets for shows in cities like New York, London, Toronto, Chicago, and more. I used this app with great success in London and highly recommend it.

Use the Code JGZYL to save £10 (or $10) on your first order with Today Tix.

Check out some more Musical Theatre Podcast Episodes on Take Me to the World

What musicals did you see in 2019? Any musicals you hope to check out this year?

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