It is perhaps the most brilliant thing ever. With a click, I can listen to pre-made radio stations, featuring artists I like and artists like them. Basically, it's like getting a mix tape from a music-savvy friend, instantly.
In addition to learning that Michael Buble is sexy and that the soundtrack to Rent still makes me misty, I've been prompted to ruminate on my life as a wannabe musician.
I was in choir in high school. I was neither mocked and slushied a la Glee, nor was I revered and worshiped like, um, Michael Buble. I was average.
I can carry a tune, meaning that I rarely make dogs howl when I sing. However, I cannot sight-read to save my life. When people note (heh-get it?) that something is sharp or flat, I nod my head, clueless.
I am the Paula Abdul of my personal American Idol, waxing on about "energy" and the "intensity of your soulfire" to cover up the fact that I have no idea what's going on.
I didn't make the select choir back in my high school days. I never had the lead in a school play. I wasn't even especially popular with the other choir kids. But yet, I would do it all again.
Why? Because it taught me humility. It taught me that things that look easy rarely are. I didn't know what was involved in making a song until I actually tried. Which is why, when I look at performances like this, I am suitably awed.
Choir taught me strange little things, such as the knowledge of Latin phrases like dona nobis pacem. I know the alto AND tenor parts of the Hallelujah Chorus.
Yes, I can sing tenor. Isn't that hot?
Thanks to high school choir, I understand that there is beauty in the collective, that the support of others can create a cathedral of sound. I have felt goosebumps in that magic pause between the final note and the return to earth.
Perhaps, for a type-A perfectionist like myself, the most important thing high school choir taught me that it really is okay to act like a jackass sometimes. It's okay to let go. It's okay to stop being right, and it's okay to sing. And dance. And celebrate the fact that I can.
If I'm singing Neil Diamond while doing it, all the better.