Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

American Harmony, The Movie… Revisited

April 20, 2009


American Harmony

Barbershop singing like you’ve never imagined

By MEG DOWNEY • The Tennessean • April 14, 2009

Start humming…
Gonna take a sentimental journey.
Yes, sentimental, fiercely competitive, charming and obsessive. American Harmony, a music documentary about barbershop singing, exposes the passion and friendship of the men drawn to this peculiarly American style of a cappella singing.
Influenced by African-American gospel and European hymn chorales, the music, for some, may seem stuck in the early 20th century. We think of men with sleeve garters, handlebar mustaches and straw skimmers on heads bent together in harmony on “Sweet Adeline.”

Get past that. Today, many may dress more like dons and sing 1960s pop. The film sets up four gladiator quartets seeking to be No. 1 in the international competition held by the eminent Barbershop Harmony Society, which is based in Nashville.
Max Q is the revered dream team of older singers who’ve won before with other groups but can’t seem to get the gold; the OC Times (for Orange County, Calif.) are attractive young turks who could easily wow American Idol fans; Reveille is a group of middle-aged friends with a comedic bent; and Vocal Spectrum is a foursome of upstarts just out of college.

These musical Olympics attract 10,000 fans, and the singers practice with the intensity of Lance Armstrong, while mowing the lawn, playing poker and for hours in front of a coach. The blissful ringing chords they produce are only half of it. Watch their faces contort with emotion — eyes popping for surprise, eyebrows bent up in sincerity, half-closed eyes and crooning lips oozing love. They are all hams, and that’s the kick.
Shawn York, the tenor with the OC Times, works as a manager in a Chick-fil-A, then suits up and becomes a rock star on stage or enchants a waitress when his quartet spontaneously erupts with “So In Love” in a luncheonette. No wonder these guys have groupies following them.

As Joe Hunter, a baritone with Reveille, said: “It’s you, your voice and the audience, and when it’s done right, it moves people.”
While winning may drive the singers, it’s the camaraderie that binds them. American Harmony shows that effectively. The teams deal with challenges from rookie nerves to brain cancer. The 86-minute film, written, produced and directed by Aengus James, is a rose in the lapel for these songsters.

Stay “Tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA


Orange Crush… On The Move…

April 10, 2009


Elaine                 Sally                  Tracey                  Anna

My wife Elaine’s Sweet Adeline quartet “Orange Crush” is moving strongly towards the first “Official” Competition since they put this combination together. (the addition of Elaine to replace their lost Tenor). Their performances are getting powerful, magical, inviting and most of all pleasurable.

They have been getting specific quartet coaching for the quartet as well as going to visit various chapters, both men’s and women’s and singing a “set” of songs which will be their contest performance on stage in Pasadena, CA on April 24 & 25.

Last night I had the privilege of video recording a session where a small group of very capable people in the “know” (judges and the like) had Orange Crush run sets, and then critique them on what could be made better.  It was a great session and the quartet (who sounded GREAT at the begining) learned a few more little tips that will make their performance on stage (and therefore their scores) all that much better.

We all look forward to hearing them on stage and seeing how happy they are with the high scores they attain after doing the superb job we know they will do.

Stay “Tuned”

Jerry Braack

California USA

Harmony Creating Balance…

February 25, 2009


spebsqsa-logo-colorOne of the ways I choose to harmonize and balance my life is through the medium of Barbershop Harmony.  It helps generate feelings of excitement, contentment, cooperation, teamwork, excellence and of course… Balance!

When you have harmony in your life, there is a natural balance that emerges.  You may or may not feel it, but those around you can definitely feel its presence.  That feeling is subconsciously attracting people to you.  The universe acts in a multitude of ways no one understands, never the less, the “laws” of attraction (or repulsion if that is the feeling being eminated) are very strong and very effective.

Have you ever noticed that you feel better being around a certain someone, yet you don’t know why… well it often times is that underlying feeling being acted upon by one or both parties that creates a friendship or business relationship and yes even a better life partner relationship. 

This is all being accomplished by forces we don’t understand, but never the less, it happens.  It is similar to a “feeding frenzy” only in a positive way, in that the reaction isn’t to devour something or someone, it is just to make a situation better, more productive or more beneficial to a special someone, or the a group depending on the situation.

We should all strive to define, create, enhance and maintain harmony in all aspects of our lives.

I hope this helps all who read it to do just that… define, create, enhance and maintain.

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry  Braack

California  USA

Keep Time & Money in Balance…

February 19, 2009


As we go through life there are certain necessities we must have to sustain ourselves.  Because our society(s) are based on the “exchange” concept, money becomes that which we exchange for whatever we need… to give to someone else providing a product or service either to the public in general… or to us specifically.

Over the past many months, our economy is becoming more and more out of balance with regard to money and time.  As a consequence, many people the world over are feeling the effects of that… being a loss of income, job, home, automobile, security and/or not the least of which is a “secure”, “well funded”,” let me live in my current lifestyle” retirement.

It is in my opinion that especially during these trying times, people must maintain their own balance with regard to time and money, since unfortunately, these kinds of situations tend to bring out the dishonesty in some people who want to capitalize on the misfortunes of others.  Be very aware of those you deal with… do your “due diligence” very thoroughly in these recessionary times.

People, companies, manufacturers, suppliers, retailers… basically everyone across the board are cutting back, in an effort to wait out the storm.  Hopefully the new stimulus package will instill a sense of hope to regain the balance needed for us all.

Here is to regaining the balance SOOOOOOON!

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA

Balance Your Valentine’s Day…

February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Wishes


Tomorrow is a day to celebrate a day of yourself, your relationships and your friendships.  This is the day to say thanks to those who matter in your life. 

This activity will bring balance and harmony back to you 10 fold.  More than you can imagine.  The universe currently holds for you all that you could imagine and want for… all you have to do is make a place for it in your life.  The more you give, the more you receive.

This concept has been told a million times over and remains true for all time.  For things to be right for you on the outside, you must be right on the inside.  Truer words were never spoken.

So take the time to say “I Love You” to the people who you love and never let them forget it.

I am spending the weekend with my beautiful wife, since tomorrow is not only Valentine’s Day, but also our 11th Anniversary.  Yea us!

This post is short and sweet so I can spend some more time with her.

Thanks for reading

Stay “tuned”

Jerry Braack

California  USA