How To Have A Classy, Rock-Themed Wedding
25 March 2013
Just because it’s a rock music-themed wedding doesn’t mean it has to be wild-looking, because there is an aspect of rock music culture that has a sense of class. Think Freddie Mercury of Queen or the slick suits of ska musicians. Think of punk groups like the Buzzcocks in working class-style suit jackets and street attitude. Another source of inspiration would be steampunk culture, with its emphasis on vintage 18th century fashion merged with speculative technological advancements. Glam fashion and leather wear can also be integrated into your rock wedding theme, reminiscent of David Bowie’s aesthetics and 80’s glam rock. New Wave bands and mod fashion exude a kind of rebellious classiness that values stylish clothing and art-cool sensibilities.
Here are several ideas on what you can do to have a classy, rock and roll wedding:
1. Use rock music iconography as part of the wedding motif; guitars, skull patterns, chains, thorns, sunglasses and leather boots. Get the wedding rings and jewelry customized to display familiar rock icons or musical symbols.
2. Have a punk rock band play your wedding. Ask them to make punked-up versions of your favourite songs.
3. Get your artist friends to design your wedding reception so it looks more like rock stadium. Use guitars, drums, amplifiers and stage lights as part of the decor.
4. Set the dress code and inform the guests to dress up like rock icons, or at least wear Doc Martens and Chuck Taylor shoes. If possible, convince them to wear rock music- related jewelry such as skull rings, silver chains, leather arm bracelets with silver studs and band logo pendants.
5. Make a music CD mix that contains well-known classic rock ballads and romantic rock songs. It can also be a compilation of songs from the couple’s favourite indie rock bands. You can make several copies to give away as souvenirs to guests. Just make sure to indicate in the CD label that it is for non-commercial, creative purposes to avoid copyright issues.
6. Use ornaments that connote an otherworldly ambience, such as flashing spotlights, avant-garde pieces, steampunk, metalcraft, and psychedelic-colored items.
7. Design wedding invitations to look like concert tickets and vinyl album covers. You can even make them look like classic album covers by notable rock acts.
8. Instead of typical store-bought decorative ribbons and cards, use ribbons and cards made from paper inlays of old cassettes.
9. Use scratched or old CDs as drink coasters or decor. Your guests will find it very nostalgic when they recognize some of the song titles and artist names on the printed side of the CD.
10. Cassette tape ribbons make great confetti. Just make sure none of your guests have chemical or allergic sensitivity to the chemicals in the tape ribbon. Also make sure that children, especially toddlers brought by guests, do not ingest the tape confetti.
11. Bring in old portable transistor radios or small boomboxes as table centerpieces. You can even use the boomboxes to play music during reception intermissions.
12. Old turntables and vinyl records connote nostalgia and a romantic atmosphere, especially when the music players are encased in vintage carved boxes.
13. Hire a tribute band that plays covers of songs by the couple’s favourite classic rock band, such as KISS, The Beatles, Van Halen and others. Ask the band to play appropriate songs that match each portion of the event.
14. Quote song lyrics from epic rock ballads in the invitation text and make them a part of your wedding vows. Think epic rock singer Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)” or Mr. Big’s “To Be With You”.
15. Instead of a wedding car or a limousine, get the couple to ride a motorcycle or decorated bicycle with a sidecar as their getaway vehicle to close the wedding ceremony.
The great thing with rock music-themed weddings is that there is a lot of room for improvisation and creativity. What will help make it stand out from ordinary weddings are the choice of music to play during the ceremony and reception, a dress code that does not require too much effort from the guests, knowledgeable wedding coordinators, simple but creative designs, and a sense of fun. It should be something that the couple will find enjoyable and relevant to their interests, especially if they are serious music fans.
Sharon Sussman is from Brilliance, LLC. In her work as a gemologist, she has come across a good share of weddings, and a number of equally memorable wedding rings. Sharon is always on the lookout for tasteful trends and innovative fashion in weddings.
Kids On Tour Musical Field Trips For School Children
25 March 2013
Field trips provide an integral part of any good education and the experience of travelling with a musical purpose is no exception. This provides a unique opportunity to experience the music of other cultures and nations and also perform in settings that would otherwise not be accessible to schools.
Music is a fantastic force for good in the world and has a real power to unite people. Children who are passionate about music should be given as many opportunities as possible to engage with this global cultural phenomenon and travel to experience music in different settings and as part of different communities. It is a great way to combine their love of music with a broader cultural understanding and expand their horizons in general too. Making sure that trips such as these are as enjoyable and beneficial as possible is a responsibility that falls to the teachers and staff and there are a few key points to remember to maximise any such trip's potential.
For any musical field trip music should always be the focal point, in particular the music of the country, region or community that you are visiting. This means that the destinations should be chosen in such a way as to give the students the chance to experience music in a way that they perhaps never have before. In a city or urban environment, the options are obvious an opera, an orchestral performance or perhaps a concert hall show. In smaller towns and in the countryside, the availability of big shows is reduced, but the possibility of encountering something truly authentic is greatly increased. Local people may be playing traditional instruments in a style that is no longer commonplace among the bustling diversity of a major city. Your pupils can then understand the importance of music at the grassroots or family level, as well as on a grander scale.
If you are planning such a field trip music should be performed as well as encountered, in order to give the students a chance to experience both sides of the coin, so to speak. Ultimately it must be remembered that for many children choosing to embark on a musical field trip, their first passion will often be playing an instrument, perhaps more so than listening passively to others play. The chance to perform for audiences other than their family, friends and teachers will be a hugely exhilarating one for them and will encourage and nurture confidence in, dedication to and enthusiasm for their talent. It will give them something tangible to work towards in rehearsal time and it will allow them to showcase any new skills they've learnt on the duration of their tour.
Overall, musical field trips can be immensely rewarding experiences for the students, both in terms of expanding their own cultural horizons but also in giving them the chance to perform in an unconventional setting. Teachers and staff will benefit too, not least from the pride of seeing their pupils perform well.
Martin George writes regularly on music field trips for a range of educational travel websites and blogs. He has worked as a teacher, as well as in a ski school and a music academy, so is well-placed to give an insight into this area.
The Makings of a Concert: What Really Goes on Backstage
12 March 2013
When people go to concerts, they are usually amazed with the whole set up and wonder how the band or musician managed to come up with the package. Nothing good comes easy, so you can be sure that coming up with the entire masterpiece takes a lot of preparation. Heavy artillery and several tractor trailers filled with production gear are normally moved to the venue. Plenty of action takes place backstage, which is why people are not granted free access; one has to have a backstage pass. A large team of highly skilled professionals are usually featured backstage, who work on the lighting, sound and video production.
At the backstage of any concert you would find the technical crew, who control all the technical aspects of the event. The technical crew features so many different kinds of professionals like the Stage Manager, Lighting Desk Operator, Props, Sound Desk Operator, Sound Manager, Master Electrician, Desk Electrician, Back-stage Crew, Followspots, Mic Manager, Stage Hand and Flymen. The stage manager is the senior, most technical crew member. Stage managers have to be present from the rehearsals to the actual performance, to ensure the final product shown onstage is of standard. Generally the tasks of a stage manager include event co-ordination, running of the lights and sound, and cueing onstage action. However, the roles of all the technical crew members change depending on the nature of the event.
In large concerts, stage managers control and supervise the lighting conditions at the stage as well as in the entire room. Together with a lighting technician, the stage manager controls the spotlights and ensures that the right lighting materials are used. Lighting plays a special role of setting the mood for the show, and should therefore be properly done. As soon as the lighting set up is completed to perfection, an artist takes over and plays the lighting board like an instrument to give various effects in the room. There are also explosions and flames that are featured in some concerts, which are produced by the gas passed through dragon heads.
Sound is normally affected by the environment. The size and shape of the building as well as the temperatures inside the building affect the quality of sound produced. Other than the lighting conditions, stage managers are also responsible for the sound system. Stage managers work with sound technicians to find out the sound required for the concert, and also make the necessary microphone and amplifier adjustments. Sound adjustments do not revolve around just turning on the speakers and listening to the music. The right measures have to be put in place to ensure everybody in the audience hears the sounds produced equally well.
Musicians and other artists usually prepare themselves backstage. The area can easily become crowded and noisy due to the number of tasks that are carried out there. It is the duty of the stage manager to ensure there is tight security, and clear the area for the celebrities to have ample time and space for the necessary preparations. Different stars have their own unique last-minute preparations before a show. O-town for instance, usually engages in a moment of prayer. Matchbox Twenty on the other hand would sing the first verse and the chorus of the song "Always and Forever." With the assistance of the stage manager, caterers, personal make-up artists and other professionals, all the needs of the celebrities are usually provided at the backstage.
Other tasks carried out backstage include video preparations and curtain raising, among many others. The halls are usually packed with people, and not everybody can secure him/herself a seat in the front row. For everyone to get a good glimpse of the band, video screens controlled backstage are featured at strategic points in the room. The stage manager is the most important person in the preparation of a concert, as most tasks usually fall on his/her hands. However, in every unique role played, the stage manager would work with the professional who is specialized in that particular sector.
Eric Halberg is a music technician and roadie. He enjoys writing about the life behind the stage and his articles mainly appear on music blogs. Visit www.GetDirectTV.org to learn about their music packages.