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  • Dan Graziano

The Set List #16



The Setlist is RMC Studio's Monthly newsletter! It's jam packed with awesome pictures, videos, and news that you won't want to miss. So make sure you always keep your eye on the setlist, you're gonna want to know what's coming up next!



This Week's Set List:

- Rocktober Success!

- Welcome Wagon

- The Lit List

- EJ's Deep Thoughts

Rocktober Party


This years Rocktober party was a huge success! It was a night filled with music, food, candy, bouncing, video games, and FUN! We had a whopping 32 performances on the the open mic stage, the escape room was full of sleuths young and old , and the video game truck was full of gamers all night! It was a Rocktober Halloween celebration to remember! Now all that's left is to enjoy Halloween itself! Happy Haunting!



The Welcome Wagon


We have some new students to welcome to the studio! A very warm welcome to the following students:


Nicholas Fernandez / Guitar / George Sheehy

Ryan Fernandez/ Guitar / George Sheehy

Amber Zoppo / Guitar / George Sheehy

Jake Tagliaferro / Piano / Kara Delonas

Leo Tagliaferro / Guitar / George Sheehy

Lexi Beke / Voice / Liz Robbins

Lily Okas / Piano / Liz Robbins

Jayden Adoni / Saxophone / Rachael Siegel

Annabel Lang / Voice / Antonia Kitsopoulos

Christopher Gonzalez / Trumpet / George Maher

Elana Ryvkin / Cello / Jordan Yiu

Nathaly Erreaz / Violin / Eric Lin


Welcome to the RMC family!

We can't wait to make some music with you!

The Lit List

Having trouble figuring out what's hot this month? The Lit List's got you covered! Here's what's in and what's out this month at RMC studios:


Fortnite Chapter 2


Lewis Capaldi - Someone You Loved

Brawl Stars


EJ's Deep Thoughts


Thucydides, Aristotle, Plato, John Locke... EJ. These people all have one thing in common. They think. They think DEEP. Take this journey with us to the deepest depths of pontification itself. Take this journey through... EJ's Deep Thoughts.

EJ finds ways to gain an edge in this year's Turkey Trot.

Quote I am Pondering:

"The Eternal is a constant present without beginning or end, without past or future" - Bjorklund (Swedish Philosopher)


This one goes out to my good friend and long time RMC Instructor Pontus Gunve, who is Swedish. I'm always looking to compliment his Swedishness in ways that don't involve ABBA, IKEA, Swedish Meatballs, or Swedish Fish.


This is a popular belief across many cultures and religions. What I love about this quote is how it serves to help center my perspective. There is not a single thing I can point to in my life, and I would like to believe life in general...but you never know, that did not unfold in the present moment. If I revisit the past, or speculate on the future it happens in the present. Any emotion it evokes happens in the present. In a world filled with distractions and intense sensory stimulation it is so easy to lose the present. For me, when I lose the present, when I let my mind wonder, I then allow my habits to take the wheel in the present, essentially going on autopilot. Getting up, checking emails, eating, showering, washing dishes, running errands... sometimes I can go hours paying little to no attention to what I am physically doing until something happens that snaps me out of that and pulls me into the present. It's a shame, because I lose so much. How many flowers did I pass without noticing, or laughing children, or thousands of other countless miracles? How many people did I not notice who could have used a helping hand, or someone to talk to? How many people did I react to based off my own prejudices not really seeing them in the moment, allowing them to show up as they are, but instead dealt with them based off my previous mental construct of who they are?

The best part about the present is that it lacks bias. We can be whoever we want in that moment. I love this quote because it reminds me that I build my life in the present. The present moment is ever going and has no beginning or end... we are always in it, regardless of how much we sometimes try to get out of it.


THEN AND NOW


This is a messy one. My mind is going 100 miles an hour with so much to write about. I'm thinking I should break this up into a series... but I am just gonna write and see how it goes. Apologies in advance!!


The other day I was chatting with a student of mine and he happened to ask me a question regarding his girlfriend and gift ideas. I was excited that this line of communication opened up because I try to talk with my two daughters about dudes... but for some reason they elect to shut me down right at the start. I did discover my younger daughter, who is in 7th grade, had a boyfriend for about 3 days... but broke up with him because "she did not want to be tied down." Such is the life of a seventh grader I suppose. But the dad in me did do the Toyota Jump upon hearing this news.


So my student was quickly disappointed in me when apparently all my gift ideas were "too old school" and that he "wasn't trying to ask her to marry him."

Here is my issue. Kids now, I feel, lose the artisan stuff that us older folks had to go through during our more formative years. Things are simply too easy and in that we lose a "sense of craft."  And now, I will use this mighty platform to make my case. Travel with me back to high school for a moment. The hallways of North Plainfield High School were filled with girls dressed in oversized sweaters, leggings, and white tennis shoes. Debbie Gibsons"electric youth" perfurme stung your eyes as you passed through its heavy cloud like formation. This bottle still gives me nightmares.


The boys all looked like waiters at a high end restaurants. Z-Cavaricci pants were on every guy.... except me. My mom said they cost too much and made my hips look funny. So she elected to buy me a pair of bugle boy pants and try to sew a silver label down the zipper line. Yes, I had to go to school with them, yes humiliation ensued, but this is not the time to discuss this. I do not know the gents in this photo, but they fit right into the North Plainfield Hallway vibe.



Along with the pants, every guy literally bathed in Drakar cologne. I could not get within about 6 feet of my friends. The smell was simply too intense. You might be asking if I also wore the cologne. I'm disappointed you would ask, because it means you have yet to identify with my struggle. 


The cologne was too expensive and my mother felt it smelled like a dog's rear end. Not positive how she connected those dots, as we did not own a dog... ever. So sometimes I would go to the Macy's up the road in Plainfield and splash some on myself at the sample area. That was only for big occasions. Most of the time I had to use my grandfathers cologne... that was the original Old Spice. That stuff literally smelled like gasoline and took a layer of skin off my face. I would go to school, after splashing that on and my face looked like I was exposed to nuclear radiation. We also had Brute and Aqua Velva. It was a mess as typically I would put them all on hoping to make a superior scent. If I had to call it something... I would now call it "Rejection."


Ok. So now that the scene is set. Maybe you were looking to get yourself a girlfriend or boyfriend. In my case girlfriend. In order to do this...you had to have skills in 3 areas:

1. Your ground game and infantry

2. Your penmanship and phone game.

3. A MYSTERY I WILL REVEAL NEXT TIME


1.) Your Ground Game.


We did not have cell phones, social media, email, or anything. Maybe you had a beeper. But everyone thought you were dealing drugs if you did. So what you needed was a good infantry. Some friends who could network with the friends of the girl you liked. Even better than that... was a girl on the inside. A double agent. One of the girls inner circle who was committed to helping you out. They would gather you info in and around your classes. They would plant seeds with your woman of interest. This team is critical to your success and one misstep and the whole operation could go down in flames. If you played your cards right...you moved on to phase two. Sometimes you could skip phase one and just go to phase two... but this was highly risky and could expose you to quick rejection.


2.)  Triangle Notes and Emergency Breakthroughs and Call Waiting.


Ok, so hopefully you got some good news. The object of your affection is interested. Next thing to come is a note. A handwritten note that once penned was folded into a tiny triangle to be passed along several messengers until it finds our waiting hands. This note requires skill to fold, but even more to unfold. Too eager and you tear it... then you and your buddies are trying to scotch tape it together to read. This note was handwritten. I preferred block print myself but some ladies wrote in script and the real annoying ones wrote using pig latin. Remember that? ugh!!!!!


After a few notes, you moved to phone calls and now you're close! Cause "we are talking on the phone." was a status update. But the phone game was tricky. Especially for me. First off, you were super fly if you had your own phone line. I did not. I had to use the family line. The main phone was in our kitchen. Zero privacy. And remember... back then, phone calls were the jam. They were like 4 hour affairs. Sometimes saying nothing for extended periods of time. I think I fell asleep on many occasions to wake up and realize I missed nothing. A game changer for me was when we got our first cordless phone. It had like a nine foot antenna that I would use to try to blind my brother with or use as a weapon... remember these:


If I sat too close to my window I would pick up my neighbors conversation. He was two years older than me and boy that guy loved talking on the phone. If the person you were talking to had call waiting... a big tell was how long she would leave you on hold. If it was a long time... things are not trending well. And if you called her and she was already on the other line, and she didn't take your call... ouch. Only the lunatic used the "emergency breakthrough" option. Remember that? You could call up and get an actual operator and ask her to bust into the other persons phone line requesting them to hang up and talk to you! It was really unfortunate when the operator had to come back and break you the news..."ah, she said NO." So you had to play your phone card right. 

If you made this far then you are coming down the homestretch. There were rules and protocol to follow. First was notes, then you moved to phone. Finally you were close to having to "ask her out." This of course has nothing to do with actually going somewhere but served as code for "would you be my girlfriend." For some reason we never said boyfriend and girlfriend... it was "they are going out." So you would muster up your courage, walk up and say "Would you go out with me?" Hopefully they would say yes, but then things get really awkward cause you kinda just stare at each other, then separate into your friend groups to stare at each other from afar while giggling. Oh Man.


At this point... you needed a song. This brings me to the track I am listening to because it was my first song as part of a couple. 


Track I'm Listening To


"Blaze of Glory" - Jon Bon Jovi


Solo Jovi here... man oh man... could a title have foreshadowed this relationship for me. My girlfriend was a huge Bon Jovi fan and also a big Charlie Sheen fan. This song came from the Young Guns Soundtrack. Technically Young Guns 2... but nobody saw that movie. The song hit number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1990. Jeff Beck actually plays guitar on the track... which does lend some coolness to the song. The song is designed to sound like Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive." The Bon Jovi song was requested for the movie... but instead they got new Jovi... and I got my first relationship song. Which in fact the relationship did go down in a Blaze of Glory when I was dumped months later for my rival. The song is in the key of D minor and is at 77BPM.

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