Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Roches • The Hallelujah Chorus

The Roches - Maggie, Terre & Suzzy Roche photo The_Roches_zps81b1a9d9.jpg

I don't know if there is a better way to welcome in Sunday than with the "Hallelujah Chorus". But in saying that, I do hear a voice in my head that says "if you have the 'Hallelujah Chorus' sung by those sisters you like so much, that would be even better." So there we have it, if I bring Maggie, Terre, and Suzzy in for the song, that would make is amazing. So here it is, everyone, The Roches with their own version of "The Hallelujah Chorus".

To learn more about the Roches, visit the official website. You can also 'like' them on Facebook. The "Hallelujah Chorus" can be found on their third album, "Keep On Doin'". You can purchase the album from iTunes and Amazon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Matt Fishel • Run With Me

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I have to giggle at myself sometimes. I was about to type in that I have been a fan of Matt Fishel for a long time, and when I look at the young man on the cover of his latest release, 'Cover Boy', I realize he is still young. But I have been a fan for a couple of years, since first discovering his music. I gobble up his music like it was candy, making me a very happy camper.

Matt Fishel - Run With Me photo MF_RunWithMe003_zpsc5c852cb.jpg Matt Fishel - Run With Me photo MF_RunWithMe001_zps21b78f05.jpg
Matt Fishel - Run With Me photo MF_RunWithMe005_zps4a968c7a.jpg Matt Fishel - Run With Me photo MF_RunWithMe002_zps874c3120.jpg

And that would include his latest album, a real aural treat. And he had a new music video out for the single "Run With Me", his cover of the theme song from the children's television show, 'The Racoons'. In fact, the video is a compilation of footage from the show, for which permission was generously given to Matt from series creator Kevin Gillis. The song, written by Gillis with Jon Stroll and Steve Lunt, instantly brings back warm memories to those who watched the show during the late 1980s. I hope you enjoy Matt's cover of "Run With Me" and the video featuring it.

I must admit I never saw the show, but I still get the fun and love Matt brings to the song. "Run With Me" can be found on Matt Fishel's 'Cover Boy', which can be found on iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about Matt Fishel, visit his official website. You can also follow him on Twitter and 'like' him on Facebook.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

SIRPAUL™ • Love Sick (NSFW)

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The oh-so-talented SIRPAUL™ has a new single out, a track off the exciting 'Seventh Star', that also comes with a new music video. Like much of SIRPAUL's work, the song takes on an edgy flavor, that area when darkness and sexiness collide to make life a bit more exciting. This song is a perfect example of this, with lyrics that start off with a sweetness associated with love, but we quickly learn there is something more to the puzzle.

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With the music video, the song earns the title "Love Sick Twisted Shit", so you know this is not meant to be played at high volume in every office, but certainly cranked up to 11 at home. SIRPAUL is taped giving a live performance at Eastbloc Hoxton, London, where the crowd is packed in nice and tight, ready for SIRPAUL to give it to them good. And as I would expect, SIRPAUL delivers with a stamina and bravado few could dish out with so many hot men watching. And from the looks of the crowd, he gives them just what they were looking for. Speaking of what you are looking for, with the single is a new EP, featuring a single version of the song, and three hot remixes. And there is also a new song, the darkly sensual "Strut", giving marching orders as only SIRPAUL can. But first, I hope you enjoy the music video for "Love Sick (Twisted Shit)" by SIRPAUL.

You can purchase the "Love Sick EP" from iTunes and Amazon. The track can also found on his latest album, 'Seventh Star', which is available from iTunes and Amazon. To learn more about SIRPAUL, visit his official website. You can also connect with him on social medias, if you would just 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dark Monday • On The Twentieth Century

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On the Twentieth Century photo OnThe20thCentury_zpsc362ea9b.jpg

Eighty years ago, in 1934, a movie was released by Columbia Pictures. 'Twentieth Century' was directed and produced by Howard Hawkes, starring John Barrymore and Carole Lombard. The screwball comedy was a tale of Hollywood shenanigans, set on a transcontinental train. Based on a 1932 play of the same name by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, who adapted it for the screen. The movie was a delightful romp, but had really been forgotten. But not by everyone. Betty Comden and Adolph Green remembered, so much so they decided to write the book and lyrics, They wanted Cy Coleman to join them, but he was unsure he wanted to write a show highlighting the music of the Jazz era of the 1920s. But once he learned about the show, he was on board. Instead of being light musical fare, he felt it was more of a comedic opera, which intrigued him. The cast featured John Cullum, Kevin Kline, Imogene Coca, and rising star Madeline Kahn.

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(l to r) Kevin Kline, Madeline Kahn, composer Cy Coleman, lyricists Adolph Green and Betty Comden, John Cullum, Imogene Coca, and musical director Paul Gemignani.

The book tells a story of Producer Oscar Jaffee, who is down on his luck and looking for his next project. To help with funding, he pursues Lily Garland, and actress he discovered years before. She is now a Hollywood star, and dating heartthrob Bruce Granit. He hopes to convince her to drop Hollywood and Granit, and return to Broadway in his new production, 'The Passion of Mary Magdalene'. Along the way we get to meet the porters, conductors, Hollywood characters, and religious zealots, all making for an excellent Operatic farce. The production was nominated for nine Tony Awards, with one for Best Musical. The show won five of the nine Tony Awards, including ones for John Cullum and Kevin Kline. This is the performance from the 1978 Tony Awards, the title song. The performance features stars Cullum, Kline, and Coca, as well as Judy Kaye in the leading role.

Nine weeks after opening, Madeline Kahn left the show, and her understudy, Judy Kaye took over the lead role of Lily Garland. The official press release stated Kahn left the show because of damage to her vocal chords. Rumors floated about her being fired for being tough to work with. Years later, costar John Cullum, stated that composer Cy Coleman did not get along with Kahn, and the production on a whole didn't treat her with the respect she was due. He felt she was magical on stage, and was sad she was lost by the production. I thought I would bring you a song by Kahn, one of my favorites off the Broadway Cast album, which I purchased and fell in love with. The song allows the audience to share the moment Jaffee discovered Mildred Plotka. While auditioning a fading star, Oscar asks the accompanist, Plotkin, to sing the song "Veronique", about the French heroine who refused to sleep with Otto Von Bismark, starting the Franco-Prussian War. He found a star, and gave her a new name. She would be known as Lily Garland. This is Madeline Kahn singing "Veronique".

In an odd move, when Kaye was put in place, the producers invited the press back to the show, as if it was a second opening night. They also submitted Judy Kaye for a Drama Desk nomination, not original star Kahn. Kaye got great reviews, and The New York Times even said she was "bang, boom, overnight she is a star star". Kahn had much success in films, like 'What's Up Doc?' starring Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal, as well as the Mel Brooks' comedies 'Blazing Saddles', 'Young Frankenstein', and 'High Anxiety'. She was nominated for an Academy Award for her roles in 'Paper Moon' and 'Blazing Saddles'. You can purchase 'On The Twentieth Century' from iTunes and Amazon. For several years, there has been talk of a revival. It is said that the show will be remounted by the Roundabout Theater Company, starring Kristin Chenoweth and Peter Gallagher, beginning previews in February of 2015.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Love Speaks in 1963

Little Peggy Marsh photo LittlePeggyMarch_zps15073855.jpg Brenda Lee photo brenda-lee_zps0b24dd16.jpg
Barbara Lewis photo barbara-lewis_zps490366d3.jpg Patsy Cline photo Patsy-Cline_zpsaaf27c2a.jpg
Clockwise: Little Peggy March, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline, and Barbara Lewis.

Tonight I turn back the clock, and picture myself sitting in front of the high fidelity record player in 1963. Yes, that was 51 years ago, and, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, "The times, they were a-changin'" Pop music had been something of an adult contemporary playground, with music aimed at adults. But since the late 1950s, music was more and more aimed at the kids, not the parents. And in these songs, you see songs aimed at the different audiences. My first song of the evening was first recorded in 1961, an instrumental recorded by French conductor Franck Pourcel. He had co-written "Chariot" with bandleader Paul Mauriat. Soon, lyrics were added to the song, adapted from a song with lyrics by Jacques Plante. Singer Petula Clark had a hit with Italian and French versions of the song. By 1963, Norman Gimbel translated the lyrics, and 15-year-old Little Peggy March recorded it. When it went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, she became the youngest female to top the chart. This is a video of Little Peggy March singing "I Will Follow Him", with augmented audio.

Next up, we have an artist who was only 19, but was already a household name. In 1960, Brenda Lee has a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 with "I'm Sorry". In 1963, she released a song written by Jean Renard and Carl Sigman, "Losing You". The song is a lovely ballad, and the recording was produced by the great Owen Bradley, a driving force in Country music in the 1050s and 1960s. While Lee was a Pop star, she was recording in Nashville from the start, and soon shifted her music to a Country feel. And this song went to #2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, as well as #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. This is Brenda Lee singing "Losing You".

Our this song of the evening was written by the talented young woman who sang it. Barbara Lewis was just 20 years old when she released "Hello Stranger", a song that combined the smoothness and sexy nature of R&B, while maintaining some of the Pop feel the kids were looking for. The song spent two weeks atop the R&B chart, as well as making it to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. I just love the song, but realize Lewis is best known for a song she released in 1965, "Baby, I'm Yours". To tell you the truth, I think I like this one better. I hope you enjoy Barbara Lewis singing "Hello Stranger".

You might say I've saved the best for last. Well, in this case, it was the song which inspired the post. You see, when I was trying to decide the theme of the night, I started looking at YouTube, and the songs of Patsy Cline. I quickly figured out this was a song I hadn't featured before, but that can no longer be said. "Leavin' On Your Mind" was written by Wayne Walker and Webb Pierce, and made famous in 1963 by Cline. And like Brenda's song, this one was produced by Owen Bradley. But it also had the distinct advantage of being sung by one of the greats at the time. I just love her voice on this song, so rich and so full. This is Patsy Cline singing "Leavin' On Your Mind".

Have a great weekend!

Bonnie Raitt • Runaway

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Bonnie Raitt covers "Runaway", the big hit for Del Shannon in 1961. Raitt is performing on the legendary 'The Midnight Special' in 1977. The song was included on Bonnie's album 'Sweet Forgiveness'. That was the first Raitt album I purchased for my collection. There were more to come... When released as a single, the cover made it to #57 on the Billboard Hot 100. This is Bonnie Raitt singing "Runaway" live.

While I loved this song and album, it wasn't until 12 years later than Raitt found great mainstream success. In 1989, she released 'Nick of Time', which took the world by storm. It was a brilliant album! You can purchase 'Sweet Forgiveness' from iTunes and Amazon. For more about Bonnie Raitt, visit her official website. You can also 'follow' her on Twitter, and 'like' her on Facebook.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Date Night • Take It Off

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For Date Night, I thought I would bring an uplifting short film made by and with the LGBT youth in Europe. 'Take It Off' was directed by Lorenzo Benedetti for the Gruppo Giovani Omphalos, part of Omphalos Arcigay Arcilbesbica association in Perugia, Italy, which fights everyday to claim equal rights for LGBT people, and fights against discrimination. The title 'Take If Off' refers to the mask people sometimes hide behind, whether it be one of hate, fear, or confusion. Perhaps, if everyone would throw the mask and fight against homotransphobia, until each human being has truly gained the same right to be happy. This is 'Take It Off'.

When I see things like this, I have hope that there will come a day when gay, lesbian, bisexuals, and transgender people will have the opportunity to live lives free of hate, bullying, and anything else that can keep anyone from being their true and authentic self. To find out more about the Omphalos Arcigay Arcilbesbica association, you can visit the official website, and 'like' them on Facebook.


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