Hi, my name is Lisa, and I’m addicted to a cappella.
There–I’ve said it. I am clinically obsessed with the a cappella style of music. You know, the kind of music where there are only singers with no accompaniment but their own voices. There’s this just nerdy, ecstatic feeling I get when a few people sing a perfect chord together. It’s like I want to take a huge gasp in and let my heart leap out of my body at the same time.
And because this feeling is like ecstasy, I have become addicted to it like a drug. I look forward to a cappella concerts for entire semesters at a time, and will put an entire halt to my schedule to make room on those rare weekend nights of me and my a cappella. I peer pressure my friends into going to concerts (“Come on, everybody’s doing it!”) and even if no one can come with me (or will admit that they are available to come with me) I will just go to the concert alone and content.
It’s pretty natural that my obsession with a cappella music then transfers over to the groups I see sing. It all started in high school with our Men’s Ensemble. I will always remember when they sang “Look My Way” by Eclipse. All the girls in the choir made them sing it at practice, at a rest stop on our choir trip, and of course when it came to the concert, we were all screaming and clapping along. Here’s a good group from the Airforce Academy performing “Look My Way”, and here is also the recording of Eclipse singing it:
Awesome, right? And the reason I put the In the Stairwell video first is because part of what makes a cappella is the performance. When people are really passionate about what they’re singing (and add some dance moves along with it) it makes each song so much better. So after hearing and seeing my high school Men’s Ensemble, I got into Eclipse. And as much as I’m all for equality, I just have to say that I love men’s a cappella way more than women’s. Their voices sound better, they have a better style of background vocals, and it’s just fun to watch them perform.
My latest obsession, as many of my friends know, has been with UMD’s Generics. The Generics are the only men’s a cappella group on campus, and they are awesome. I try to go to their concerts every semester, and have gone to so many, in fact, that I know what songs they’ve had in their repertoire forever, what dances go with these songs, what their traditions are for the end of each show, what their ALUMNI look like, and of course, what each of them looks like. If you are a Generic and you walk past me on the way to class, I WILL recognize you and freak out in my head. The worst (and best?) part though is that they’re students like me. So I do have to restrain myself from buying one of their t-shirts at a concert because who wants the girl who sits behind you in Comm class trying to get your autograph? Here’s a video of my FAVORITE Generics song and hence my favorite soloist, Ben Heemstra:
The whole reason I wrote this post this morning was because last night I–surprisingly–went to an a cappella concert. It was hosted by Faux Paz, a co-ed a cappella group on campus. But real reason that a few HUNDRED people showed up to the Memorial Chapel last night was because the concert featured Tufts University’s The Beelzebubs, of Glee and The Sing-Off fame. These guys are AMAZING. Like even better singers than the Generics (sorry guys). One of my friends kept making fun of me because when they started singing a song I recognized, I would literally start jumping up and down. Here’s a compilation of their songs from The Sing-Off and their infamous “Teenage Dream” (the group on Glee isn’t actually singing–it’s a recording of the Bubs):
Doesn’t a cappella make you want to, as my fellow addicts would say, “just melt”? The AA isn’t just for Alcoholics Anonymous. There’s also one for A capellaists Anonymous.
“A cappella” actually means “in the manner of the church” in Italian, because that’s how music used to be sung in church. And when I go to heaven someday? I’ll be wearing my fan t-shirt and those a cappella groups are going to be singing to me for the rest of eternity.