2 cents worth



by Mackenzie Eurell

Well, the second presentation, has come around. This time the song was one that I already knew something about, it was “Beat It” by Michael Jackson. This song was one that I had never really listened to although I had heard of it and of course, the current dealings with Michael Jackson. My first response to having “Beat It” as my presentation was let’s go and download the song now. While I was searching for the original version of the song I had stumbled across two other versions of the song a well.

I had found the 2008 version of the song which was Michael Jackson and Fergie singing “Beat It”. Then there was the Fall Out Boy and John Mayer version of the song, which sounds nothing like the original. Not only did I find interesting new songs, but cool new information about the original that I was not aware of. One piece of information was that Eddie Van Halen did the guitar solo in the original “Beat It” and he was not payed when he recorded it. Also right before Eddie Van Halen was about to begin his solo a janitor knocked on the door to the recording booth, say Van Halen inside and quickly shut the door. The mistake was noticed by both Jackson and Van Halen, but they decided to leave the mistake in the sing anyway.

I had more fun learing things about this song then I did about “Waterloo Sunset”. That is to say that it was something I was familiar with, not something that I had heard of once or twice.



by Mackenzie Eurell

We have had to do presentations lately for Rock/Soul/Prog. and the first presentation that my partner, Cat, and myself have done was the song “Waterloo Sunset” by the Kinks. I argued that the song was a rock song, albeit it was a rather weak argument. While Cat argued that the song was a progressive song. We had made a movie about the history of the band, the movie was in all actuality just a very well timed power point, but made with Window’s Movie Maker. Cat did most of that, seeing as I was away for part of it, I had helped come up with the images, and some of the information.

I feel as though we did a nice job of the presentation, even though there were some that were definitely better than ours, we were very determined to do our best. We will do better on our next presentation…that I am convinced of.



by Mackenzie Eurell

I would have to agree with Cohn’s opinion about the Rolling Stones being ‘honest trash.’ The easiest way to put that would be is that they do not present themselves to be anything other then trashy. Not by lyrics, but simply because of the clothing they wear, and how they allow themselves to be viewed by the public, in most cases drunk. This is not to say that the Stones are a bad influence but that their image is partly determined by the era they grew out of and into. They were also part of the British invasion, but had a very different look from the Beatles, the Kinks, and other groups that came over from the UK.

Being called Trash, as the Stones were, could either make or break a group’s reputation.



by Mackenzie Eurell

The day we viewed the DVD Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll was one of my favorite class days. Not only did one of my class members get into contact with James Miller, but we had gotten to see the clip from that film where Chuck decides to say that he is never going to die and that he will live forever. This was especially humorous to me because he was saying this to a Rolling Stone, Keith Richards. Although I know now that Chuck Berry is more of legend then the present Rolling Stone, at the time of the viewing I still wasn’t quite sure who Chuck Berry was. Upon listening to the song that was being played live, in the clip I realized that I had in fact heard Chuck Berry before.

That is to say that I generally can name songs when I hear them, within several bars in most cases, but this one eluded me. My parents would have asked what was wrong with me for knowing who Chuck Berry was, this is mostly because they had me listening to this era of music since I was very young. Occasionally my mom will still play songs that we listened to, from when I was younger until I could distinguish my taste from hers, and she will ask me what the band name is and if I can’t name that then what the song title is. This is always exciting for me when I get it right, even if I heard the song not 10 minutes ago on my own iPod. I guess this just goes to show that he will live forever in music even if he does eventually ‘kick the bucket.’



by Mackenzie Eurell

I know this is a bit late, since it is no longer Christmas time but I felt that it was just one of those things that had to be shared since it sort of has to do with the class.

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And musicians all over
Were praying for Santa
To put them in clover.

Careers at a standstill
No jobs to be had
The clubs all closed down
The economy’s bad!

What is it we want?
St. Nick has to know
As he boogies in his sleigh
Through the Christmas Eve snow.

Hark! Here he comes!
And I hope he takes heed
As I lay it all on him
When I tell what we need.

“An album! A Grammy!
A number one hit, sir!
We’ll do road tours! Club dates!
Even a Bar Mitzvah!

A concert at the Garden
With Aerosmith as guest!
But first, money for the PA
So it’s not repossessed
Along with the van
Which is one of our fears:
That we’ll deplete all our assets
And get kicked in arrears!”

His eyes, they were glassy
His threads were real jive.
He smiled as he said,
“Hey bro, give me five!

I hear you’re in the market
For a few lucky breaks.
Well, I’m your main man
‘Cause I got what it takes!
I know Sinatra and Bruce
And Waylon and Willie,
Pavorotti, Barbra Streisand
And even Mickey Gilley!

I’ve partied with Miles Davis
And done time with Johnny Cash
And I used to gig with Jagger
When we weren’t smokin’ hash!

So just say the word
And I’ll put you in touch. . .
For a SMALL consideration.
I don’t ask for much.

Just a piece of your action
When you make it big.
So Happy Christmas to all
And to all a good gig!”

© 1985  Printed in The Music Paper, December 1985



by Mackenzie Eurell

I have recently begun competing in WGI (Winter Guard International) and AIA (Atlantic Indoor Association) class Independent A. In my first blog I wrote about the song Romeo and Juliet. That song is our show music, we have recently gotten our uniforms which upon first look seem to be quiet awkward. At the first competition Impact went to Oakton HS and recieved a score of 57.7 out of 100. We then went back to rehearsal for the next week. We then came out in the WGI Regional at Powhatan HS in Richmond, VA. We had to first perform in pre-lims competition and make it into the top 5 to get into finals. After some much anticipated waiting we had found out that we had made it into more than just the top 5, we managed to make it into the top 3 with a score of 66.2. Later that night, after an additional 2 hours of rehearsal, we went back to the regional to perform for finals. The run of our production seemed to be much more lackadaisical, seeing as we had been up since 6:30 that morning and it was now about 8:00. However we managed to keep our third place spot and have our score get raised by 2 points. We finished this passed weekend with a final score of 68.2. The next place we will compete is at the WGI Regional in Nashville. I’ve never been there, so its going to be a whole new experience for me.


Me & Tony with our pre-lims score

the whole group after awards



by Mackenzie Eurell

1. What’s your earliest memory of music?

My parents dancing in our basement to John Denver’s Leaving On a Jet Plane. To this day, that song can still make me cry, if I’m feeling nostalgic.

2. Did you have a favorite song when you were growing up? What, and why? Do you still like that song?

Anything Mary Poppins (it didn’t have any sad parts) and all the music from the Lion King – it had so many fun songs that my friends and I would sing together (not very well). I still love, love, love my Disney movies!

3. What role does music play in your parents’ life?

Music plays a HUGE role in my dad’s life – he just launched an indie music website that’s actually pretty cool. It’s www.sixtysecondhero.com if you’ll excuse the quick plug J. But we trade music back and forth all the time. My mom listens to a lot of Josh Groban and John Denver. My dad wasn’t too happy when I started listening to country; he’s a huge Southern Rock fan.

4. What was the first song or album you bought with your own money?

Backstreet Boys – Millennium

5. What was your first concert? Tell us about the experience.

Spring 2007 (February/March–ish?)

Sparky’s Flaw and Army of Me, at Jammin’ Java. I went with one of my best friends, who goes to UMW too, and we listened to their EP all the way to and from the concert and sang along about two feet away from the band.

6. Who are your favorite bands and solo artists today? Why do you like them?

Matt Nathanson, Carrie Underwood, Wideawake, Blue October, Sparky’s Flaw, Dusty Springfield, Flogging Molly, Tracey Chapman, Josh Groban, Death Cab for Cutie, Dashboard Confessional, Counting Crows, Brad Paisley, Billy Joel, Lily Allen, Teddy Geiger, Dixie Chicks, Sara Bareilles, Brand New, Rico Kiley, Regina Spektor, James Taylor, John Denver.

7. Do you play a musical instrument – or instruments? What, and for how long? Do you sing?

I don’t play any instruments very well… I tried flute, clarinet, viola, piano, and

guitar, but none of them really worked out for me.

8. Have you ever been in a band? Tell us about it.

I played in my school band in middle school, if that counts?

9. How does it feel to take a college course in rock, soul, and progressive music? What do you hope to learn as a result?

It’s kind of weird taking a college class about rock music – it wasn’t something that I ever thought I would take, even though I love music. I hope to learn about more musical terms and how music has progressed since the 1950’s. Mostly, though I really wanted to learn about new music (or old music) that I hadn’t heard of or listened to before.



by Mackenzie Eurell

Why do most people listen to music while they work out?

One reason why people listen to music while doing mundane tasks, such as working out, would be so they have some thing to listen to. This would help keep them focused at the task at hand, keep them grounded in a way that having actual people there wouldn’t be able to do. I also find that listening to the music gives me something to keep my mind off of the people that are around me, I know that might sound repetitive, but it keeps me running, biking, or rowing to a specific beat. This comes in very handy when you need to get used to marching at a specific beat again. This example also correlates to my previous blog about the song Romeo and Juliet; for I have to get used to the 158 tempo of the song. Granted the song changes tempo several times either direction by increments of two, but for all intents and purposes the song generally stays around 158.

Another reason for using music to help focus you when you work out is because music can calm you, which is needed for when you work out. The more tense you are the more it will hurt the next day. The music that calms may also help you keep a steady heart rate.

I can’t seem to think of anything else to write about tonight, so thats my two cents worth.



by Mackenzie Eurell

“Romeo and Juliet,” is a song that has been covered by several bands, the one group that I find most memorable would be the Indigo Girls. This version of the song was released in 1992, and consists of the vocals of Amy Ray and the chords from an acoustic guitar. The song first came about in 1980, from the group Dire Straits on their album Making Movies. One of the reasons that I like the Indigo Girls’ version better than the Dire Straits’ version, is simply the fact that I have heard that version more than the other one. I listen to the song probably several hundreds of times in one weekend, due to the sheer fact that I do winter-guard and the Indigo Girls’ version is the music for our show. However, I believe that by the end of the season I will be done with the song for a long time. This has happened with other show music that I have had in the past years, the most recent song to have this done to it would be “The Sound of Silence,” by Simon & Garfunkel.