Monday, August 31, 2009

Dark Monday - Follies

Follies is a show by the remarkable Stephen Sondheim. I am telling you, the man is brilliant. Follies was a well-conceived musical about a reunion of a group of vaudeville singer and dancers. Perhaps one of the most sung numbers from the show is I'm Still Here, sung by Eartha Kitt. The song was famously sung by Shirley MacLaine in Postcards From The Edge.

Here is Dorothy Loudon, known for her role of Mrs. Hannigan in the original Annie, singing a medley of Sondheim songs, including the incredible Losing My Mind from Follies and You Could Drive A Person Crazy from Company.

For a more traditional version of I Think About You, here is the glorious Cleo Laine.

New Music - Jack Peñate

jack penate jack penate
jack penate jack penate
jack penate jack penate

I caught the new video by Jack Peñate on LOGO's NewNextNow show, and really like it. In doing a bit of research, I can find no commentary to the otherwise, and just assume it is another pretty boy MTV Networks are trying to pawn off as 'possibly' gay, but I will get past that. I will just assume he is another Str8 boy desperately needing LGBT love. His sophomore effort was released in the UK at the end of June, and released here in the US only recently. There is something interesting for me in his retro 80s vocal stylings, harkening back for me to Robert Smith of The Cure on some of his poppier numbers. There is the quality of the talking/sung lyrics, with an evocative yet lightly detached delivery.

The London-born Jack has an eclectic feel, with a pop/rock/dance/club thing going on. And he is cute as a button. There are moments he puts me in mind of a younger Sting, the aforementioned Robert Smith, and other times distinctly himself. He is much more melodic than those two, but every bit as creative. Give Yourself Away, the 7th cut on the 9-cut Everything Is New CD, really screams out to me. The eighth cut, Let's All Die, has a kinda ska flavor that is reminiscent of Terry Hall, should he ever be given to happy days.

What little there is to learn about Jack Peñate can be gleaned at his website, here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Worth Another Listen - Clannad

Clannad was an Irish group steeped in the tradition of Irish Folk and New Age music. The nucleus of the group was a family, with brothers, sisters and uncles making up the roster. Lead singer was Moya Brennan, whose sister, Enya, went on to considerable success. Frankly, I'll take Moya any day of the week. Although they came together in the 70s, it was the 80s where Clannad found their success, recording for movie soundtracks like Harry's Game and television shows like Robin of Sherwood. In 1986, the band recorded the song In A Lifetime with Bono, lead singer of Irish supergroup U2, although it was re-released in 1992 to a much greater response. It is their most successful song to date. The band still plays and tours together.

Anniversary Party - Update

Mom and Dad surrounded by us 'kids'

Well, the 50th Anniversary party went off without a hitch. Everyone had a wonderful time, and the surprise was achieved. I took some pictures, but tried to enjoy myself and cuaght up with some family friends I haven't seen for a long time.

anniversary anniversary
anniversary anniversary
anniversary anniversary

Among the guests were the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as the latest arrival, great-grandaughter Caitlin.

anniversary anniversary

And the videos were a success, and many people wanted copies of it. All went well!

Sunday Worship - Caravan Of Love

housemartins housemartins

I love the Housemartins, who were together for far too short a time. But this a cappella version of Caravan of Love certainly had me thinking they were special. Part revolutionaries, part Christian soldiers, the Housemartins did their thing in the mid 80s, preaching God and Karl Marx as the answer.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

New Episode - Being Human (Episode 6)

being human,lenora crichlow
being human,russell tovey being human,russell tovey,aidan turner,lenora crichlow
being human,aidan turner being human,russell tovey

Tonight at 9PM (8PM Central) Being Human airs on BBC America, the final episode of the first season. I am telling you, I love this show, and it just keeps getting better. I cannot wait for season 2! As for the question I ask myself earlier in this series, I think I wanna marry George, and have the affair with Mitchell. Or just be able to watch him...

being human,russell tovey being human,aidan turner
being human,lenora crichlow being human,russell tovey

The season finale opens with a return to when George met Mitchell, and the bond they immediately shared. We return to the hospital, where Mitchell is fighting for his life, even as he confounds the medical staff with no real heartbeat [he is a vampire, after all]. George and Annie stay by his side. All this scares Nina, and she questions George, who has no definitive answers.

being human,lenora crichlow being human,russell tovey
being human,aidan turner,lenora crichlow being human,russell tovey

Annie has picked up a new 'skill set,' although she is unsure how to harness it. Josey stops by to see her former lover to talk and offer her assistance. Herrick wants to eliminate all three, and sets a plan in place. Will George abandon Nina or Annie & Mitchell? Who will save Mitchell? Will Annie gain strength, pass thru the door, or will she float away like a plume of smoke?

being human,aidan turner being human,aidan turner
being human,russell tovey

My selection for best quote from the episode follows:
Vicar [standing beside Mitchell's hospital bed]: We could just sit together for a few moments of quiet contemplation.
George: Contemplation about what?
Vicar: Fiery damnation and oblivion awaits all atheists.
George: Huh. No, it's not that. I'm Jewish, and, uhhhhh, he's complicated.
Vicar: Jews people pray, I 've seen Yentl.
George: You're very sarcastic for a vicar.
Vicar: Yeah, so people tell me and I feel really bad about it and then, you know, I forgive myself.

aidan turner,russell tovey,lenora crichlow,being human being human,russell tovey,aidan turner
being human,aidan turner,russell tovey being human,lenora crichlow,russell tovey,aidan turner

The accompanying pictures are screencaps from the episode. For more information, the Being Human website can be found here.

being human,aidan turner
being human,aidan turner
being human,aidan turner

Family Slide Show Video

Hopefully, at around 3:30 PM we will be surprising my parents at the party. Prior to them arriving, I made this little video to amuse the guests, some of whom might actually be seen in it. Enjoy it if you care to take a little look down the history of a family, set to music. LOL

New Video - Backstreet Boys Preview

Backstreet Boys

Yes, I have already admitted I have a soft spot for the Backstreet Boys, so it should come as no surprise I have to do a little post about the new video. This is the official preview from the BSB Youtube site. You can see the complete video here.


Friday, August 28, 2009

Early Stages of Love - A Memory

tom goss tom goss

Tom Goss is doing a contest of sorts, asking for submissions on the topic of love. I didn't think I would get to it [stupidly busy week], but as I listened to his CD Back To Love, there came this need to type this out, so I figured I would not only submit it to Tom, but put it out on the blog. Not sure why I was moved to take this particular trip down memory lane, but here it is.


I went to the party thrown by my lesbian friend, expecting some laughs. Then I saw him, his curly, dark hair cascading past his shoulders. His dark features grabbed my attention. Lizz wanted us to meet, so she brought me over to introduce me to Michael. His smile warmed me, still a bit brisk after the walk from the Chinatown subway stop. We chatted and laughed, nervously at first, but soon that faded. We ended the conversation with an agreement to meet again. We went to the movies, to see 'Maurice,' at a Midtown cinema, and went for a bite to eat after. Soon it was time to leave, following a very nice kiss - the first in over a year, since it ended with Bill.

Michael Michael

We went out again, this time to the Lower East Side restaurant, near where he lived. After dinner, we went back to his place, and he played me some music he recorded. It was good. At least, I think it was, but he was most certainly winning me over. He broke out the guitar and played songs he had written for me. It felt so intensely personal, so intimate, it was over for me. I was falling in love. His voice, certainly not the strongest nor purest to try music, had an honesty, an edge to it. We talked between songs, exploring one another. We also started the physical exploration, first brushing against the other, then caressing, and soon holding. I couldn't help but touch that beautiful face, brushing the back of my hand and knuckles along his cheek. Soon our fingers intertwined, and we leaned back against the exposed brick, holding one another, talking. This felt more intimate, honest, and raw than almost anything I had felt in six years with Bill. We kissed, and our hands explored new territories. It was late - or early, considering your perspective - and I needed to find my way home to Brooklyn. I remember nothing from the trip home, save for the sheer joy and elation at having made a real connection with another living soul. 22 years later, I still remember the feeling. I don't remember much about the last week of that relationship, but I remember Michael, and those very precious early moments.

Worth Another Listen - The Undertones

God, I loved The Undertones. Hitting the airwaves in the late 70s and hitting their stride in 1980, The Undertones were everything I though Punk music should be about. They were raw, bold, brash, not pretty, taking the best of the 60s rock bands and bringing a drive and beat matched with testosterone. The put out four albums before giving up the ghost in 1983.

Here is another 'live' performance on British television of Here Comes The Summer.


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