Saturday, October 31, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Lotte Lenya is just an amazing singer. I love her. Sure, her style seems to be on the dated side, but she was born in 1898, and left us in 1981. She was married to composer Kurt Weill, and is perhaps best known as the Rosa Klebb in From Russia With Love and as a name in a song so dubbed by Bobby Darin and Louis Armstrong while singing Mack The Knife, her husband's best known song. But she was an important singer and performer on the world stage, first in Europe, and eventually in New York. Her work in the Bertold Brecht and Weill musicals Three Penny Opera and The Seven Deadly Sins certainly set the mark for many actresses in decades to come.
Here is a clip of her singing Alabama Song from The Rise & Fall of the City of Mahagonny, another great work by Brecht and Weill.
Here is a song that is appropriate for the season by one of my faves, Garrin Benfield. I desperately want to see him performing live - I just love his music so much. This is a song written by his brother, Jeff Gore.
Lambert Covers: Top is for the single, bottom for the CD.
Adam Lambert previewed his first single on the Ryan Seacrest show this morning. For Your Entertainment is the debut from the album of the same name. The album is to be released at the end of November. For more information, go to Adam's official website here.
In 1986, Lady Miss Kier met DJ Dmitry, and they started working on music together. Soon thereafter, Towa Tei was added to the mix, and Deee-Lite was established. Prior to this, Lady Kier was working to establish herself in the fashion industry, and was active in the club scene, which is where she met Dmitry. As well as the musical partnership, they entered into a romantic one.
In 1990, they released World Clique, and their big style and their animated performances set them apart from the crowd, and sent them moving up the charts. The album went to #20 on the US charts, while the first single, Groove Is In The Heart, practically lived at #! on the Club charts, and scored #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Their second single was Power Of Love, which again topped the dance charts, but they never saw a single fly up the pop charts again. Far from one-hit-wonders, they had secured six #1 songs on the US Club charts, starting with Groove Is In The Heart, through to their last single, Call Me, in 1995, after the band had called it quits. In 1992, they scored a #1 with Runaway.
In many ways, I feel as though Lady Miss Kier paved the way for performers like Lady GaGa and Katie Perry to top the charts today. Lady Kier's outrageous sense of style, and bold and brash musical style, certainly were setting the trends, not following them. In 1994, Lady Kier and Dmitry ended their relationship, and the band were finished as well.
Lady Kier disappeared for a while, living and working in the UK, and returned to the US a few years ago. She is rumored to be working on a new musical project, and has many fans on the edge of their seats while the rumors build. To find out more about Lady Miss Kier, go to here official website here or her MySpace page here.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Late in the summer, I ran a post for the single of Josh's upcoming album, Got Love? You know I love my out and proud rockers! The title song was a great rocking single, perfect for his gritty vocals. So I have purchased the album, and as with his other music, I love it. I'll get the shallow part out of the way early. Josh is quite hot, and when I seew video of him playing his low-slung guitar, I melt a little. Which he does in this live version of the first single - the official video was in the prior post.
The new release has 12 songs, all very good. I think Josh is rocking a little harder these days, and I am liking that very much. To Be Today kicks off the album, with a sweet opening that quickly moves to some solid guitar work. The sweet voice quickly moves aside for the growl I love. Then the title tune comes out, with a strong message and a guitar that blasts from the get-go. '
Black white doesn’t matter, gay, straight, thin, or fatter
When love is the answer, got no more fear…Got Love!
I Thought You Loved Me is next, and it is rock with a punk edge. The driving beat is matched with the intensity of the unrequited love. Let Love In returns to a more stadium rock approach, more melodic in nature and a a chorus that tells a lover "Love should be easy…love shouldn’t be so hard. Love can be healing…just let your guard down." Mother I is a wonderful song, offering thanks to what his mother taught him, including rocking with a slight alt.rock feel. Then If Prayer steps up to the plate, showing off a more soulful side, complete with the astonishing lyrics "If prayer is you really talking to GOD, Then listen to your gut cause GOD is talking to you." I Fall In Love Again slows it down and uses the piano to drive the ballad, and Josh's voice smooths it out and warms my heart. When We Dance adds a bit of Spanish flavor to charge the uptempo rock to another level, and really brings up the sexual quotient as well. Whoo!
My Inspiration is a highly personal song, a mid-tempo ballad that mixes up the feel with some interesting acoustic guitar and a little horn action. Take reminds me a bit of the 80s bands I loved, with tempo changes and at times a ska feel. The next song is so timely, called Our Wedding Song. It starts with a rocky version of the Wedding March, and then establishing what he wants to say with the third line "And here we are with friends and family gathering to watch us as we cry With tears of joy that remind us who we are and where we were." The final cut is Small Percentile, which returns to the ska feel, with a bit of 70s adult film score, with the wah-wah of the guitar. The search for love is never easy, is it?
So I love the album, and am just so damn glad I bought it. Josh's music makes me happy, and a little hot. Can't ask for much more, can you? I've never seen him play live, but I think I have to do that sometime, and hopefully soon. Here is a video from an earlier album, Out From Under. The song is Something Inside, a really sexy number.
You can buy this album at iTunes, CD Baby, and Amazon. You can find out what Josh is up to at his website here.
Last night, the Philadelphia Phillies defied the odds and took the first game of the World Series in New York, defeating the New York Yankees 6-1. They played exceptionally well, although most ESPN pundits have made the reigning World Champions the underdog for the series. Cliff Lee pitched a great game, and the gorgeous Chase Utley had a wonderful night, hitting 2 home runs to get the Phillies off to a 2-0 lead. Now, I tend to find baseball to be a dreadfully slow and boring sport, but do watch the playoffs. And in celebration of my shallowness, one of the reasons I watch is those baseball players can be very good looking. These Phillies certainly are. And so are some of the Yankees, but they didn't win game 1, and aren't my 'home team.'
Because of the World Series on Fox, GLEE will be taking a few weeks off, returning on November 11th with the episode Wheels. I already ran a preview for the episode here. It was announced that the cast of GLEE would be on hand to sing the National Anthem on Saturday, October 31st, for game three of the World Series in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This might make up for NBC not letting the cast be a part of the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Some of the spoilers floating around the internet include:
– Artie gets his own solo, singing his own rendition of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself”
– Sue recruits a girl with special needs to the cheerleading squad. Does she have ulterior motives? Not quite…
– The Glee club hold a bake sale to raise money for their next competition
– Kurt and Rachel compete for the lead in singing “Defying Gravity” from the Wicked musical. (One of them throws the competition!)
– Tina and Artie share a kiss… but things don’t end well.
– Kurt and his father get in some touching father-son moments
– The Glee club does a rousing performance of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary”… all in wheelchairs!
Thanks for Just Jared for the spoilers, you can find them here.
Aside from my graduating from high school, another notable happening in 1978 was the release of the Walter Egan song, Magnet & Steel. The song, co-produced by the amazingly talented Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, scampered it's way up to charts to a high of #8, big news for an unknown artist, and something that will forever hold him as a one hit wonder in fine standing. I remember the song, and it played at the prom, and almost every other event that year. I have many fond memories attached to it.
Egan continued putting out music, but never again achieved the heights he did with Magnet & Steel. He still plays when he can, although he also settled in Tennessee where he is also a substitute teacher at Centennial High School in Franklin. You can find out more about Egan at his official website here.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
He hails from the Seattle, Washington, area, and the 21-year-old throwback has been making a name for himself in the Pacific Northwest, and is trying to break into a bigger market with a slick video just placed on YouTube. Chris Anderson released his first album this year, the aptly titled How Sweet It Is. It is a collection of hits delivered in the crooner style of some of Anderson's inspirations, Bobby Darin, Michael Bublé and Harry Connick Jr. While at first that put him at a disadvantage for me, as I only really like one of those, and he passed away 36 years ago.
He was initially sang pop songs of his own generation, but after being introduced to the jazz standards by his grandfather, he decided to change his career path. Shoot forward to yesterday, when I received an message at my email account from him asking me [and most likely thousands of other people with YouTube accounts]. Hey, who am I to pass up on a chance to watch and listen to a young man sing? For such a young man, he does a nice job, and has a very nice voice. Once he really gets his feet under him, He very well might make a name for himself. His is handsome, a good voice with nice control, and the camera seems to really like him.
That is Chris singing Fever, the great song by originally recorded in 1956, and was made a hit in 1958 by Miss Peggy Lee. The video is very well done, and he shows quite a nice charm. To find out more about Chris, click here. You can hear more songs, and if you should desire, purchase his CD and have it sent to you!