Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Milestone • Over 2 Million Hits

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I am not sure exactly when S2MD passed 2 million hits, but is sneaked up on me, and passed me by. But even if it surprised me, I find it cause for celebration. So light the fireworks, and and strike up the band, and let the party begin!

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But before I drink just a little too much, I wanted to say to everyone who reads this blog that I am so very grateful for your support over the past six years. I must admit, when I started 'Soundtrack to my Day' in June of 2009, I had no idea I'd still be at it, and would have more that 2 million hits. For that, I owe my heartfelt thanks to all who have stopped here, and helped me share some great music. But, I must admit, rather than spewing more, I think I will let an artists speak for me. This is the late, great Sylvester, with his wonderful song "Grateful".



For many who stop by here, I feel as though we have become friends, or more apropos, e-friends. Like we are back in college again, you stop by my room, listen to some music, and hopefully, had a great time. We might be in different states, or, in some cases, in different countries, but we are having a shared experience nonetheless. To thank my dear friends, I thought I would share with you a great clip of Michael Feinstein singing "Old Friend", written by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford.



And, finally, I want to offer a big "Thank You!" to everyone involved, be it those who stop by to read and listen, as well as the artist who are making amazing music that inspires me all the time. While I love all music, it is the LGBT artists in particular that really lift me up, and make me proud to post about their music. In my time writing this blog, I've seen artists releasing music, some of which I still follow and love. Others made a big impression, but just kinda disappeared, like the band I am featuring next. Archy & Mehitabel was made up by the very handsome duo of Lee Waters & Alexander Horwitz. I loved all the music they made, and still listen to it. And they have the perfect song for the mood I am in. This is "Thank You" by Archy and Mehitabel.



So, once again, I just want to thank everyone who helps make this blog possible. From the readers of the blog, both regular and those who just stopped by for a favorite song, to the artists who sing their heart out and make music I can't help but share, to the fans with their posted videos that reminds me of some great music, to the people who share links to help promote these amazing musicians. Thank you all, 2 million times over.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Miss Hope Springs • Where Have the Good Times Gone

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I was thrilled to get the notification of a new music video for the one and only Miss Hope Springs. I have noticed the grand dame is preparing a new show in London, 'Queen of Fools', set to open early next month. One can only hope there will be a new album to accompany that show. After all, not everyone can fly over to catch her performances, but I can live vicariously through the videos and albums so I can feel like I was there, drinking in her glorious talent. The latest is "Where Have the Good Times Gone", a wistful remembrance that combines just the right amount of melancholy to the song. It makes me think Miss Hope Springs is the Miss Peggy Lee for a new generation, with her husky vocals imparting knowledge while striking a balance of heart and irony to keep me under her spell. This is Miss Hope Springs with her latest, "Where Have the Good Times Gone".



While "Where Have the Good Times Gone" is not available for purchase, you can still find her first album 'Live in London: Welcome to the Carnival'. That album can be purchased from iTunes and Amazon. I love it, and can't hear it enough! For more about Miss Hope Springs, visit her official website. You can also 'follow' her on Twitter, and 'like' her on Facebook. You can also find plenty of videos on YouTube.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dark Monday • Carousel

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'Carousel' opened on the Broadway stage on April 19, 1945, seventy years ago yesterday. The show played in the Majestic Theatre, on 44th Street. With music by Richard Rodgers and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, the musical seemed destined for greatness. It was their second collaboration, following the hugely successful 'Oklahoma!'. The show was directed by Rouben Mamoulian, with dances by Agnes De Mille. The great choreographer had previously worked on the original production of 'Oklahoma!'. The set and lighting were designed by the great Jo Mielziner, and the costumes by the fantastic Miles White, who also designed the costumes for 'Oklahoma!'. Carousel starred John Raitt and Jan Clayton (pictured below), both of whom made their Broadway debuts with the production.

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Like much of the history of musical theater, there is plenty of lore about the original production. Rodgers and Hammerstein wanted unknowns for the production, and had only one member of the cast had prior Broadway experience. It was said they 'discovered' John Raitt while auditioning singers for the touring company of 'Oklahoma', and instantly knew he was perfect for 'Carousel' while he was just warming up to give his audition. Jan Clayton, a California resident like Raitt, was discovered by Theresa Helburn, who brought her East to audition for the female lead, which she landed. Together, they made a magical pair. This is John Raitt and Jan Clayton singing "If I Loved You", recorded for television to mark the 10th anniversary of the show.



Christine Johnson played the role of Nettie Fowler, and sang one the most moving and well-known songs from the score. Johnson was an opera singer, already singing regularly with Metropolitan Opera. 'Carousel' was her first, and only, Broadway show. After staying with the original Broadway production for hundreds of performances, she took time off the study in Italy, and returned to join the national touring company. She returned to Broadway to again sing the role of Nettie in the 1949 revival, before returning the Owensboro, Kentucky, where she married and had two children. But she will long be remembered as the woman who gave voice to the show stopping number, "You'll Never Walk Alone".



Returning to some of the great stories of Broadway, many told the tale of Richard Rodgers, who had injured his back prior to opening, and was propped up on a stretcher in the wings, fearful the audience would not respond to the musical. It was also said that Rodgers' daughter, Mary, was in the audience, and made eye contact with a dear friend. That fellow teenagers was Stephen Sondheim, and both had tears in their eyes. The musical certainly left a huge mark on the hearts of many, running for 890 performances, closing on May 24, 1947. The show went on a national tour for two years, before returning to New York in 1949. The show was once again in the Majestic Theatre until it closed. Once month later, the Majestic was filled once again when Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'South Pacific' opened to widespread acclaim.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Matt Gold • On The Way

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There has been much written, said, tweeted and posted about the supposed 'Religious Freedom' law signed into law by Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Sure, I have my opinion of what has unfolded, but what is even more important is the thoughts of an Indiana resident, like Matt Gold. Regular readers of the blog will know the music of this out and proud man from previous posts - I must admit I am a fan. But in the wake of the coverage of this bill, Gold has written a heartfelt and touching response, one that I felt compelled to share with you all. "I felt I had to write a song about what was going on in the state I have lived in for the past 20 years," Gold said on his Soundcloud page. "This is my way of hopefully helping the cause with positive reinforcement, sending a message of love, not hate." This is Matt Gold's "On The Way".



I just found this song to be lovely, and touched me on a deeper level than any amount of yelling could. He doesn't allow the conversation to be highjacked by tales of pizza parlors or Presidential primary hopefuls. Instead, he speaks for himself, and in the process, for so many others who won't stand for bigotry and hate. For those interested, I am posting the lyrics here.

"On The Way"
Lyrics and Music by Matt Gold

Light the fire
then slowly walk away
turn around
did anything remain
I have never been afraid of hate
I just won't have it
You've controlled our conscience
with demands
gave away our freedom
with your hands
even God himself
just wouldn't stand
for your waste
Go easy love
we need the love
to carry us through the day
go easy love
we need the love
to save ourselves
on the way
A coward only plays
a cowards game
did you get
your payoff and your fame
We shouldn't have to follow
in your shame
we just won't have it

To learn more about Matt Gold, visit his official website. You can also 'follow' him on Twitter and 'like' him on Facebook. While "On The Way" is not available for purchase, you can find his most recent release, the EP 'Let It Out', from iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby.

Ryan Amador with Jo Lampert & Gyasi Ross • Spectrum

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Ryan Amador first came to my attention with his startling video for his single, "Define Me". Ryan teamed up with another out artists, vocalist Jo Lampert, to deliver a strong statement with the touching song and a sobering music video. Amador once again joined forces with Lampert to bring another statement to life with the song, "Spectrum". The song is the second single off the EP '4S'. Ryan and Jo are joined by Gyasi Ross, an acoustic Hip-Hop artist who delivers a soulful rap. "Spectrum" discusses the range of sexuality found in the world today, which is also reflected in the couples featured in the video. "Spectrum" offers the topic a real but lighthearted treatment, offers some insight as well as a chance to dance while you listen. This is Ryan Amador with Jo Lampert and Gyasi Ross with the official music video for "Spectrum".



"Spectrum" can be purchased as a single from Bandcamp. The song can also be found on his last release. The EP '4S' can be purchased from iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Bandcamp. To learn more about Ryan Amador, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter. For more about Jo Lampert, 'like' her on Facebook, and 'follow' her on Twitter. For more about Gyasi Ross, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Will Young • Love Revolution

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When I heard that Will Young was back in the studio, I was very happy, to say the least. I have been a fan of the singer since I first saw his music videos on YouTube following his win of the very first 'Pop Idol' in 2002. His music appealed to me right away, so I became a fan. With '85% Proof' coming out in May, I couldn't wait to get a sneak peek.

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Well, my prayers have been answered, for the official audio was posted to Will's YouTube page. The first single, "Love Revolution", is online and I just love it. From the opening chords, you hear the lush retro sound, like some soulful song by Lulu or Dusty Springfield is about to come on the radio. Will's voice is bold, with a fantastic fullness that stands out over the blare of the horns. This is the official audio for Will Young's "Love Revolution".



"Love Revolution" is the first single off the upcoming release, '85% Proof'. If you enjoyed that as much as I did, you need to get in line behind me and hope it is made available in the United States. To learn more about Will Young, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Markus Feehily • Love Is a Drug

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I must admit I've been a fan of Markus Feehily since I first heard his gorgeous voice raised as a part of the Irish boy band, Westlife. I became a fan when, back in 1999, I first heard their single "Swear It Again". I loved them all, but soon came to really admire the voice of the dark haired Irishman. He seemed to grow and bloom as part of the band. I was buying the Westlife albums, and the DVDs, enjoying his vocals. Then, in 2005, Markus announced he was a gay man in a relationship. I was proud of him, even if that feeling was being transmitted across the Atlantic.

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Fast forward a few years, and Westlife called it a day, the four remaining members going their separate ways. Soon Shane released his solo album, and then Kian had his turn in the spotlight. Now, finally, we have the first single from Markus, "Love Is A Drug", hitting the airwaves. I just love the song, and can't stop listening to it. The song starts out with a startling growl, and soon builds to an emotionally charged crescendo. The official music video showcases the sentiment behind the song, showing how without the proper care, love can become an addiction that can bring us down to our knees. This is the official music video for "Love Is A Drug" from Markus Feehily.



"Love Is A Drug" will be available in the US on April 21st, and in the UK on April 19th. You can pre-order "Love Is A Drug" from iTunes and Amazon. I know I couldn't wait, and I placed my pre-order now! To learn more about Markus Feehily, visit his official website. You can also 'like' him on Facebook, and 'follow' him on Twitter.

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