Sunday, January 31, 2010

Great Women - Sarah McLachlin

With the Winter Olympics starting in about 2 weeks, I came across the 'theme song' for the Vancouver Games, sung by Canadian National Treasure Sarah McLachlin. The song, One Dream, features some clips form previous Winter Olympics, focused mainly on the skating stars. Stylistically, the song is classic McLachlin, and she is in great voice for it and looks positively gorgeous in the video.

McLachlin started her career in 1988 with the release of her album Touch, which managed to be little more than a blip on the US charts. In fact, it wasn't until her fourth album, Surfacing, that she made an impact on the American audience, but that was huge. The album was #2 on the US Top 200 Albums chart, and was certified 8 times platinum, a major, bigtime hit. The 2nd release, the uptempo Sweet Surrender, showed off a voice that could move around the through her range with ease, making it look easy. The song scored a remarkable #14 on the US Rock chart, and #6 on the US Dance chart.

The 4th single managed to hit #4 on the US pop chart and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, a huge success. Angel featured trademark heartbreak on a ballad that was not only a great song, but the perfect one for McLachlin. Her voice, nuzzled warmly in the mezzo soprano range, slid easily around the notes, in a style that is so very McLachlin. Her vocals are so identifiable on this track, if you have heard it, you are never able to forget them. There is a haunted quality, a vulnerability when you think she is ready to break, but instead she slides up to the note perfectly.

In 1999 a live album was released, Mirrorball. As such, a live version of the song I Will Remember You was released, and it, too, soared up the charts, hitting #14 on the Pop chart, #3 on the Adult Contemporary, helping the album go triple platinum in the US alone.

McLachlin has released 2 more studio album, and both have sold well in the states, earning varying levels of platinum sales. She has sold well over 40 million albums in her time in music, and is still a young woman. But it was the '98-'99 years that established her as the immaculate artist with a strong range and impeccable delivery, communicating great depth of emotions. For more on Sarah McLachlin, check out her official website here. And it was her birthday on Thursday, the 38th, andother reason to celebrate her music. Happy birthday, Sarah.

Bagdad Calling

In 1987, I was living in New York City and a single man, spending most of my free time with a group I affectionately referred to as 'My Lesbians.' They were a fantastic bunch, and we did so much together. They saw me through my break-up with Bill, and also my break-up with Michael. One of the things we did was go to plenty of movies. One such movie was Bagdad Cafe, which the lesbians had already seen, but loved it so much they wanted to go back and take me with them. And they were right, it was a great film, with one of the most interesting songs in the movies - beautiful, jazzy, haunting and just flat-out magical. It captured the mood of the movie perfectly. I bought the album just to have the song, and still listen to it, finding it perfect when I want to relax.

Sunday Chorus - Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles

Raising their voices lout and proud to make a statement about marriage equality, The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles sing Maybe This Time, The Day After That and First You Dream, all written by the legendary songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb.

For more information about the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, check out their official website here. I am sure they would appreciate any support, be it a donation, purchase of a CD or DVD, hat or t-shirt.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Music - Matt Morris

For many, the first time they saw or heard of Matt Morris is when he sang with Justin Timberlake on the Hope for Haiti Now Concert, produced by George Clooney. They sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, a gorgeous and haunting song. It was certainly a moving performance, on a show filled with some of the biggest names in the entertainment business.

For my money, Matt Morris was the stand-out voice on that performance, which didn't surprise me. You see, I have downloaded his album the previous week. When Everything Breaks Open is Matt's debut with Tennman Records, the company owned by Timberlake. Morris was the first artist signed to the fledgling company. Seems Matt and Justin go way back together, when both appeared on the Mickey Mouse Club in the early 90s. Matt's vocal talent should come as no surprise, as his father is Country singing star Gary Morris, who also had success on Broadway, singing the role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, and singing opposite Linda Ronstadt in La Boheme.

After his time on the Mickey Mouse Club, Matt continued to develop his talents, one of which was that of a songwriter. He has written for former MMC co-star Christina Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson (he wrote her hit Miss Independent), Timberlake , and Reba McEntire.

Morris is an out and proud gay man, and married partner Sean Michael Morris in California during the brief period it was legal prior to Prop 8. He not only speaks about him in concert, but he also mentions him in the liner notes of the album.

The music on When Everything Breaks Open is a combination of pop, rock, soul, folk and a touch of jazz. There are 13-songs on the Amazon version, produced by Timberlake and Charlie Sexton. The first song, Don't You Dare, a pop number allowing Matt to establish up front he has the vocal chops to carry a strong career. It is a strong song I could hear on the radio, much like mentor Timberlake. It combines funk and pop, sounding very current. Next up is Money, a soulful song with a great vibe. While lyrically it comes down to 'money is the root of all evil,' it is the delivery that sets this one apart. He performed it on the Ellen Degeneres Show below. Ellen, it seems, is a big fan.

The next cut is Love, a song written and performed straight from the heart. It speaks to the essence of love, the strength and beauty of it, and while never stepping up with a direct statement, is obviously speaking as a gay man who loves his partner very much. Here he performs an acoustic version of the soulful pop tune at a show in Denver, at a show headlined by the Indigo Girls.

The fourth song is Bloodline, a very interesting song. At heart it is very much a folk song, although the production and Matt's natural tendencies take soulful liberties with it, truly making it great. The background vocals of Patty Griffin, are perfect. When Matt performed it on the Ellen Degeneres Show, it was Justin who came out to perform with him, along with co-producer Charlie Sexton on guitar.

Other tracks on the album are Live Forever, nice pop song, through and through. The Un-American Interesting song, is remarkably like the acoustic Queen song, updated and current. Let It Go is Classically-inspired piano-driven pop, so melodic and beautiful. You Do It For Me Classic funk updated, Motown classics brought into today's sound. Just Before The Morning is just beautiful pop with great hooks. In This House is a soulful pop ballad with great vocals. Matt does some amazing singing on this one. Forgiveness is pop, almost a power ballad. Someone To Love You soulful ballad, blending the sound of R&B with a touch of Sarah McLachlin folk. Eternity is classic folk, updated with an R&B twist. There isn't a bad track on the album.

At the moment, you can download a copy from Amazon for just $5, quite the bargain, by clicking here. I am not sure how long that will last, so do hurry. When I bought it, it was at full price, and well worth it, so I'd suggest if you have any interest in his music, go for it. You can also check him out at his official website here. That page also has links to his MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, and FaceBook pages.

Welcome New Followers

Top: J.P., left, and {}, right. Bottom: Funkybatty.

This has been a busy time here at Soundtrack to my Day. There are three new members, and I am proud to welcome J.P, {}, and Funkybatty.

J.P. is a handsome 34-year-old librarian assistant from Kentucky just brimming with personality. His blog, called This And That, is about books, sex and politics and can be found here. Check out his post on make-out albums. {} is from Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a beautiful single lady. Her blog is live the life you love, where she posts about what she comes across in her daily life. Funkybatty has joined us via a Twitter account, found here. Unfortunately, there are no pictures or information, but Funkybatty is most certainly welcome here.

There has been an increase in traffic coming thru the site, and I have to thank the 2010 Bloggies for that. I have most certainly seen an increase in traffic, new followers, and some very nice emails. Whether or not you voted for Soundtrack to my Day, I am most honored you stopped by for a visit. Since voting is closing on Sunday evening, I suspect things will be settling down a bit, and hope when they do, the new followers will be joining in the conversation. In the meanwhile, to celebrate all the new members of the family, as well as those passing thru, here is Livingston Taylor, JT's brother, singing Good Friends.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Night Party - Communards

They burned so bright for such a short period of time, but I love them still. The Communards, the group made up of vocalist extraordinaire Jimmy Somerville and classically-trained keyboardist Richard Coles, were only together from 1985 to 1988, but their own particular take on music was glorious, with fantastic original music and some great new looks at older classics. I would often put their albums on the turntable and let them spin, dancing in my Brooklyn apartment. Whether I was cleaning the apartment, or just enjoying myself, I could always count on the music to make me sing, dance, and be happy.

The Communards put out 2 studio albums in their time together, the 1985 self-titled release and the 1987 album, Red. Both were excellent, and far too much play from me. Whether I was going through a breakup, or just wanting to have a great time, Jimmy and Richard were there for me. I went to see them once in NYC, and had the most magical time, because Jimmy's voice is every bit as spectacular live, if not more so! And Richard is even more adorkable.



So Cold The Night

The Communards - So Cold The Night - MyVideo

Never Can Say Goodbye
Like so many on a Friday afternoon, I will sometimes wistfully remember days long past, back to a day when I was actually asked out on dates. Or even just having a guy flirt with abandon. I remember rusing home from work on a Friday, putting some music on the stereo and jumping into the shower, giving myself plenty of time to fret over what I would be wearing to dinner, which could take some time, although always far less than I thought it would. Meeting him at the appointed time and place, there would be some consternation about what time to be out the door, not wanting to arrive too early nor late. So I'd sit on the sofa listening to music, programming it to be as relazing as possible, to avoid stirring up the butterflies in the stomach while ssitting there counting the seconds until it was time to leave. I would often resort to music from a bygone era, stories of great love, or love lost. Was it the wrong music knowing my state at the time, who knows? I just know that now, I will ask myself Lover Man(Oh Where Can You Be).

The music is by the Communards, although there is no video to show, and instead the images were created by the Sisters of Pertetual Indulgence of Bogata, Columbia, to a song from the selt-titled debut album from The Communcards. It was directed by Sister Opus Gay with the fabulous debut of Patty E. Patetik, and Santiago Echeverry.

One Hit Wonder Trifecta

Top to bottom: Brotherhood of Man, White Plains & Edison Lighthouse

What do Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes), United We Stand, and My Baby Loves Lovin' all have in common? All were hits in the first half of 1970, ushering the early crop of one hits wonders for their respective bands, Edison Lighthouse, Brotherhood of Man and White Plains. The first out the gate was Brotherhood of Man singing Untied We Stand. While it never achieved the top spot, it did run up the charts to #13 in the US, and had a long shelf life, as it has continued to be a song thought to be spiritually uplifting, used for many occasions. One such event was after 9/11, over many a montage and ceremony. When it starts to play, everyone just wants to sway and sing along.

In march of 1970, Edison Lighthouse released the playful and joyous Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes). Bouncy and springy, you can't help but feel happy when you hear it. The first minute of the video is just announcers for the British show, Top of the Pops [the UK equivalent of American Bandstand], and check out the 2nd girl with the prizes and her eyelashes!

In June of '70, the White Plains had My Baby Loves Lovin' rise to the top of the US chart, securing another #1 for a British act. It is another great pop song that makes you want to move with it, a bit more rock than the others, even if the boys look like they are dressed to be the backup band for the Partridge Family. Again, this is a clip for Top of the Pops.

So, in the beginning of 1970, three different British acts moved up the US charts, and it was the only hit of those bands, relegating them to be forever known as one hits wonders. But what truly makes these groups so special and forever bound is that on all three songs, studio singer Tony Burrows was singing the lead vocal. Burrows, who was in high demand at the time, was brought in by producers to sing on the songs, something he did often. However, it is quite rare for all three to be released within months of one another, and all becoming major hits. Even more odd, Burrows sang the lead on Gimme Dat Ding, a novelty song performed by the Pimkins that hit #9 on the US chart in April of 1970. When I played the song, I have no memory of it whatsoever, so take my word he sang that one, too. To be honest, I had no idea Burrows sang on the three songs, and am fascinated that with 3 hits in 6 months and 3 different bands, he might have to be known as the King of the One Hit Wonders.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

New Music - Sacha Sacket

I have long said, you never can tell where you will find new music. I was chatting away on Twitter to my friend @bsayasane and she pointed me in the direction of Sacha Sacket, who I had never heard of before. And what a gift that was, for I am truly impressed with his music. So I downloaded his most current, and EP entitled Hermitage, and was so impressed I went back for two more, Lovers & Leaders, as well as Live at the Zone, recorded by he and the all-girl band, billed as Sacha & the Ladykillers. Before I start talking about the EP, I will get to some facts about Sacket. Indeed, he is a handsome man, and according to his biography, he was born in Tehran, Iran, and is an American citizen living in Los Angeles. From all reports, he wrote the five songs on Hermitage at an isolated mountain cabin where he had gone to recuperate following and extensive tour. He is an out and proud gay man, creating music without the support of a label. Despite that, he has put out four albums on his own, starting with the 2001 release Alabaster Flesh, followed by 2004's Shadowed, 2007's Lovers and Leaders, and 2008's Live at the Zone.

From all reports, he just filmed the video for the first single, Running Away, so I have no video support for the EP, but will offer up samples of his other music while discussing the EP. And speaking of Running Away, it also is the first song on the EP, opening with a sparse piano and violin duet, before adding his strong voice and more instruments. There is an interesting ebb and flow to this song, very tidal, with hills and valleys in intensity and strength. I really like it. Used opens with a bolder vocal, with just a bit of percussion accompanying him, only to quickly add all the instrumentation, soon to quell to a cello. The chorus swings back and forth between plaintive wail and accusatory scream. The intensity level is high, and this could be my favorite of the collection.

Sacha Sacket Sampler

Sweet, soft and sensitive, You Could speaks of love's tender side, showing a different side to the artist and his voice. Hold On and Hope is not a political slogan, but instead an introspective and philosophical offering from the heart. With lyrics like And all these tears won't stop the rain, slipping down that window pane. You can hate it but it won't erase a stretch of time, so hold on, could it be anything else. The River has a sound more alternative, with classical overtones in the construction of the melodies. I am constantly amazed at the way Sacket slips between using his voice as an instrument and using it to tell the story. I take from it a need to fight to stay above water in the river of life, learning to swim as soon as possible.

Sacha Sacket & the Ladykillers - Desire & Cockatoo Live

Sacket has a wonderful, full tone to his voice, and uses it with remarkable ease and agility. To learn more about Sacha Sacket, you can check out his website here, or his MySpace page, where you can listen to some music. I would highly recommend purchasing any of his music.

Some Spring Tours 2010

Aiden James, Christopher Dallman, Eric Himan, Eric & the Adams, Garrin Benfield, and Tom Goss have started putting Spring tours together, so I thought I would give everyone heads up on them. Also, Derek & the Darling have schedule the CD Release Party, so they are here, too. While the schedules below are screencaps, you can click on the names above them to be taken to the interactive schedules. I will try to update as changes occur, but you should check the artist or venue schedule to be sure. I know sometimes these schedules will overlap - Aiden & Christopher will have some shows together, and there might be more. If you get a chance, I would highly recommend seeing any of these talents! I know I will, any chance I get.

Aiden James

Christopher Dallman

Derek & the Darling

Eric Himan (solo tour)

Eric & the Adams

Garrin Benfield

Tom Goss

Worth Another Listen - Rupert Holmes

Born David Goldstein in Northwich, Cheshire, England, the song of an American Army Warrant Officer and bandleader, and an English mother. Holmes has dual American and British citizenship. Primarily known as a songwriter and musician, Holmes worked with many different groups before putting out an album of his own, which is when he started being noticed. He had a strong career writing for stars like Barbra Streisand, Gene Pitney, the Platters, the Drifters, Wayne Newton, Dolly Parton, Barry Manilow and television's The Partridge Family. All this enabled him to put out more music of his own.

Escape, also known as The Pina Colada Song, was included on Holmes' fifth album, Partners in Crime, and reached the Hot 100 No. 1 Hits of 1979. The song hit #1 late in December 1979, becoming the last song to top the pop chart in the 1970s. The song fell to #2 for the first week of January, 1980 and then rebounded to #1 the next week, making Holmes the only artist to ascend to the #1 spot with the same song in different decades.

Another popular song on that album was Him, which peaked at #6 on the Hot 100. He had another top-40 hit with Answering Machine, which hit #32.

Holmes has gone on to write much more, including Broadway shows like Drood, where he wrote the music, lyrics and book, and Curtains, which starred David Hyde Peirce and featured a book by Holmes, and music by legends John Kander and Fred Ebb. But he will forever be known as the guy with the Pina Colada Song. For find out more about Rupert Holmes, check out his website here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Music - We Are The Fallen

On February 2, the band, made up of Carly Smithson, Marty O'Brien, and former Evanescence members Ben Moody, Rocky Gray, and John LeCompt, will be releasing their first single, Bury Me Alive. The song is a hard rocking one in the style of Evanescence, not surprising knowing the members. This was taped when the band played publicly for the first time at a press conference. I really like the song, the dense nature of the music.

Carly Smithson was a contestant on Season 7 of American Idol, and I thought she easily had one of the top two singers of the group. I am so glad she has found the band, for it seems like a fantastic fit. The band will be touring starting in March, in support of the debut album, set for Spring release. The first part of the tour can be seen below.

For more about We Are The Fallen, you can check them out on their official website here. You will find a more complete touring schedule and more fun stuff.

Welcome New Followers

Well, this has been a busy week, between the Bloggy nomination, the Kreativ Blogger Award, and several new followers joining the family. In fact, there have been four in the last few days! So I'd like to welcome SE, mrosstheboss, Punk and Cecilia Villero.

Top: SE & Punk. Bottom: Cecilia & MRossTheBoss.

SE is one of the team members for the blog Skeptical Eye. For a little more background, try SE's page here. Punk is a Google member from Atlanta, Georgia, who says her interests are "Music, writing, punctuation, grammar, Canada. Why Canada? I wish I knew." You can find more about her here. Cecilia is from Brighton, Massachusetts, and a Google member. You can find her page here. MRossTheBoss is a Canadian friend with a blog that can be found here. Sounds like our type of person, for the 'about me' includes "most of all i like music, sharing it, listening to it, groovin to it, pretending i know how to mix it."

Thanks for joining the group and I hope we get a chance to hear from you soon. In my own way of extending a welcome, I offer you one of my favorite artists [admittedly, I have many] singing a song I really love. In this case, it is a song written by the stunningly handsome Shane Mack, who also sings with Ashley Arrison, to the song Someone Like You. By the way, I am still waiting for a Shane Mack album. I mean, the boy is just so very talented!

Worth Another Listen - Toad the Wet Sprocket

Glen Phillips, Todd Nichols, Dean Dinning, and Randy Guss started a band in 1986, Phillips a sophomore and the rest juniors at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara, California. They stuck it out, playing local gigs, and grew in popularity. The released their first album, the self-financed and produced Bread & Circus in 1989, which saw a little success with college radio, embracing the alternative sound starting to surface. But it was their third album, Fear, that put them on the map, with the hugely successful All I Want on the rotation of college stations and MTV, helping the album reach platinum status. The sound epitomized the rock sound coming out of Southern California, a smooth pop melody playing over the rock instrumentation.

While that was their most successful song, I really liked Fall Down, a great tune that did manage to make it to #1 on the US Hot Modern Rock chart. You will recognize the song the minute you hear it, but few will remember it was Toad that made it famous. It was their first single from the 1994 album Dulcinea, which was certified as a platinum seller.

The second single was Something's Always Wrong, another great rock song I really enjoyed. I love the complex melody, and the really nice harmonies on the chorus. The video, well, it screams out mid-90s...

They released another album in 1997, which had less success. And the following year, the band announced they were breaking up and never had another studio album, although they have reunited for limited tours, mainly in acoustic arenas, since then. Singer Glen Phillips went on to a solo career. For more information about Toad The Wet Sprocket, check out their MySpace page here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Theo Tams Live - Fan Videos

Since I am not sure when or if I will get to see Canadian Theo Tams in concert, I appease myself by searching out fan videos of him performing live. I am really impressed with his live videos, making me think about making the trip north to catch him for myself. I enjoy that his setlist is a combination of songs from his debut album, Give It All Away, and an imaginative group of cover songs, clearly defining him as an artist who plays music he connects with. So I try to make up my own list of songs I'd like to hear Theo sing, and came up with the following. There is Let Go, I'm Gonna Say, and Dead Wrong, all from his album. Dead Wrong is one on my favorites, I just love the inherent soulfulness, Theo's voice is tailor made for this type of song. I also will add The Sweet Ones, a song written by Sarah Slean. And there is a cover of Five For Fighting's Superman that I find particularly nice. The performances were videotaped at live shows as varied as a venue in Toronto, an outdoor mall as he raised money for children, and a private show at a radio station. So sit back and enjoy the show.

Let Go

Sweet Ones

I'm Gonna Say

Superman (Five For Fighting cover)

Dead Wrong

You can purchase Giving It All Away here. I still listen to my copy all the time, so it is worth it. And I have to figure out when I will make it to see Theo, or at least convince some fans to record my favorite song from the album, Reckless. To find out more about Theo, you can visit his official website here.

Kreativ Blogger Award

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
Thank you to Stephen from Portland, and for setting the bar so damn high with all his great answers that I spent far too long answering them, and still feel like I could have done better. I have long enjoyed your blog because of the writing style and great stories, both of which are haunting me now.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

Soon I shall make this part of the right hand column.

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.

Post Apocalyptic Bohemian

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

a. I lived in New York City from April 1983 to September 1992, the last 8 years living in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. I also in Cranston, Rhode Island, for four years, and almost four years in Shelburne, Vermont. Otherwise, I have lived in Delaware since the family moved their from a Philadelphia suburb when I was nine.

b. I have eaten only fish and fowl for the last 24 years or so. There is no great philosophy or reasoning behind it, just that I didn't really like the taste of beef, and just stopped eating it. Then, one day I decided I should have a hamburger, since it had been a while. Needless to say, I was sick as a dog, and figured out it had been over a year since I had last partaken. And that was the last time.

c. Despite having a music-oriented blog, I have no clue how to play a musical instrument. The closest thing I can do would be to hit play on the CD player/iPod. I'd like to think my own talent lies in the aural arts. Yep, I listen well.

d. Once I left high school, I have only dated one person younger than myself. And that didn't really go all that well, and he affectionately became known as 'Stalker-boy' after a rather unfortunate breakup following a good trip to Barcelona, Spain. At least I got good pictures.

e. After moving to NYC, I started working in my first chosen profession, the theater. I worked my way up from intern to Assistant Production Manager at the Circle Repertory Theater Company, an off-Broadway house in Greenwich Village. My first show was Sam Shepard's Fool For Love, after it had been running for 6 weeks. I handled set repairs and wardrobe. So my first professional experience was washing the underwear for Ed Harris and Kathy Whitton Baker, and later actor Will Patton. And Bruce Willis was an understudy who never went on, and left NYC to work on a TV show, Moonlighting.

f. At an opening night party for one of the shows at Circle Rep, I spent a good amount of time talking to Pulitzer Prize winning author/playwright Lanford Wilson, who I knew rather well as he worked with my boyfriend, Bill, an aspiring playwright. At some point I noticed he had his hand down my pants, cupping my then young and firm buttock. Oddly enough, I never felt threatened, and just stood there talking with him for about 20 minutes. And he didn't try anything, so my trust was well-placed. Oddly enough, he was about my age now, and I was in my mid-twenties.

g. I went to college as a Chemistry major, but by the middle of my sophomore year had changed to be an English major, with a Mass Media minor. As part of my studies, I designed the set for a local community theater in Reading, Pennsylvania, directed by Bill, my first love. Later on, we moved to New York City together.

5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers and post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

Joy at Babble On

Bob at I Should Be Laughing

Wonder Man at Maybe It's Just Me...

SteveA at Long Haired Boy

Beth at Nutwood Junction

Ginger at The Fabulous Blog of Miss Ginger Grant

Beth at Blind As A Bat

6. Someone forget to post rule 6

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.
I will be doing this shortly!

Worth Another Listen - Oingo Boingo

The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo started in 1972 as a Los Angeles live experience, part theater, part rock band. Originally founded by Richard Elfman, the band had an esoteric set list more in keeping with Frank Zappa, combining a wide range of influences, blending it all together with a jazz mentality. In 1976, Richard decided to focus on his career as a movie director, and younger brother Danny Elfman took the leadership role, changing the direction and feel of the band. While the theatrics were still a big part of the performances, Danny's darker side made for a new flow for the band. That included a winning appearance on the Gong Show, which did not manage to catapult them to any fame, not surprising once you see the clip.

It wasn't until 1981 they managed to put out their first album, and still didn't find commercial success until 1985 with the release of Dead Man's Party. The band had focused their sound, moving in a New Wave direction, although maintained the large performance style. But the real success was a single off the album, which was the written for a John Hughes film. The song, Weird Science, which played everywhere in 1985, enabling the album to be certified gold.

They followed up the hit with Dead Man's Party, another visually arresting video to support a layered and textured musical performance.

One of my favorite songs off the album was Stay. It was more melodic and less theatrical, showing a more New Wave and less Pop side of the band. The song did not chart, although it did get some radio-play follwoing the success of Weird Science.

The band were together until 1995, when they finally called it quits. Elfman started working full time working on film soundtracks, something he had started before, working on brother Richard's films, as well as the soundtrack to Pee-Wee's Big Adventure. He went on to work in collaboration with Tim Burton on such films as Batman Returns, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Corpse Bride. He also scored Burton's upcoming release, Alice In Wonderland.


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