Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Skott Freedman Returns

skott freedman
skott freedman

After taking some time off to finish a graduate program on the West Coast, Skott Freedman has moved back to the East Coast and back to the studio. He kicks off his return with a charity single, supporting LGBT youth, New Alternatives for LGBT Homeless Youth and GSANI of GABLES, on the compilation album I Hear On The Streets, on which he performs the title track. You can buy the CD at CD-Baby here. It features Gregory Douglass, Sacha Sacket, Mara Levi, Kathy Fowler, Josh Zuckerman, Thomas Raniszewski, Emily Nyman, Eirc Himan, Namoli Brennet, Reuben Butchart and Ki Ki Hawkins.

skott freedman,charity album skott freedman

I am a fan of Skott, his music just strong and gorgeous. From his early releases, 2001's Anything Worth Mentioning and 2003's Some Company and 2005's Judge A Book, to the latest, the 2009 album The Cottage Sessions, I am always eager to hear what he is up to. I am proud to say all those are in my collection. His talent on the keyboards is remarkable, and his voice has a nice tone and depth. Here is is on a recent YouTube clip singing a cover of Coldplay's See You Soon, a nice message to fans as he just announced his first show in a while, in New York City on August 14, 2010.

He also posted this clip of another cover, Measure's Begin Again. While I do enjoy his voice and style, I would love to hear him singing some of his original songs on YouTube, cause I really like them.

For more about Skott Freedman, check out his official website here, his FaceBook page here, and his MySpace page here.

NKOTB + BSB = Fan Overload

backstreet boys,new kids on the block
backstreet boys,new kids on the block

At a recent New Kids On The Block show at Radio City Music Hall, the fans went wild when the New Kids started playing a cover of the Backstreet Boys' I Want It That Way, screaming and singing along. However, when the curtain at the fabled theater went up to reveal the BS Boys, the crowd went into Boy Overload. The fan video below is filled with jostling, screaming, and lots of love.

For more about the New Kids On The Block click here. And for the Backstreet Boys, click here.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Live From New York, It's SIRPAUL!

sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music
sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music
Top: SIRPAUL. Bottom: SIRPAUL with Jessie Riley.

It should come as no surprise to anyone, but I am a huge fan of live music. So when tickets went on sale for a SIRPAUL show in New York City, I reached for my credit card and bought my tickets. There was little that would have stopped me from catching my first SIRPAUL concert, and June 26, 2010, was blocked off the calendar. I knew where I was going to be.

I've been a fan of SIRPAUL for a couple of years now. I think the first album I downloaded was the 2006 Dismantle, and it is still a favorite. I love his song Addicted, which remains special to me. It's like I heard that, and I've been hooked. Don't get me wrong, I love them all. But there is always a soft spot for your first, right?

sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music
sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music
SIRPAUL with DJ Alex Lauterstein

Well, SIRPAUL did not disappoint. In fact, despite the fact I went in with ridiculously high expectations, I was nothing short of amazed. From showing up and being brought to my seats by Paul Peterson, SIRPAUL's partner, to find they were rather spectacular, so close to the stage I swear if I smiled, SIRPAUL could count my crows feet. I was sharing a table with my niece, Mandy, and Rickey Yaneza, blogger of the world renown Rickey.Org. We were excited to get out goodies - the button we all immediately put on, the sticker, and the download card, entitling the bearer to a free download of SIRPAUL's latest, Music & Me.

SIRPAUL lays down music that is smart, musical and danceable. From the first song to the last, the 15-song show had me clapping my hands, singing along, tapping my feet, and chair-dancing like never before. Starting with sexy DJ Alex Lautenstein hiding behind the Mac and the gorgeous Jessie Riley are on stage with the Intro/She's So Unusual opening, to SIRPAUL taking to the stage and making Killer sound sweet yet deadly, complete with Jessie, the black widow in the video, I knew this was going to be something memorable. I could hardly keep still to take picture, let alone video, which I have to apologize for in advance for the Blair Witch style during some of it. But, in my defense, no one can keep still to this music. No one. And I have to mention James Contrino, SIRPAUL's cousin. Not only is he handsome, his voice blends beautifully. [And his partner Adam was really nice, too!]

sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music
sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music

We come next to a block of songs from Music & Me, starting with Digital World (Killed the Radio Star), a clever one about life in these electronic times, Mistaken, Music & Me/Physical Attraction, Give it Up (Til Ya Get Enough) and Press Rewind/One More Time. They are all great songs, better than most, if not all of what I hear on the radio.

Secret Love from Objectified, was up next, and such a sexy song it is! Then back to Music & Me for U, an ethereal love song SIRPAUL dedicated to his partner, Paul. Colors was up next, another song from the new release, a hot ballad that reminds me a bit of YAZ. Let Me Go, Objectified, continues the electronica sound. Then comes the outstanding cut Don't Stop (Break the Beat), from Music & Me, and we were treated to SIRPAUL & James being joined by SIRPAUL's talented sister, Cherylyn, adding even more depth and beauty.

sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music sirpaul,music and me,lgbt,gay pride,triad theater,do u,thrust,killer,objectified,live music

I have also had a long love affair with Do U, first as a single and then part of Objectified. What a rocking good time! And there is Thrust 2010, originally from an EP of the same name - kinda makes me sweat a bit, in a good way. He closed the concert with Shine from Music & Me. It is such a celebration of life and love, and brought everyone to their feet, dancing in the audience. Glorious!

So here is the video compilation of some of the songs I taped, along with a few pictures I took. Forgive my limited skill with the videocam, and revel in the great show SIRPAUL put on for an audience that loved every minute of it. After the show, Mandy turned to me and said 'if he has another show, I want to come!' I know I'll be there.

Stop by SIRPAUL's official site here, and comment if you feel so moved. You can find Music & Me on iTunes here. It is well worth the $9.99, and will be a valued part of your collection. And when the next show is announced, I'll race you all for tickets! And in case anyone missed it, here is me getting all fanboi-like to SIRPAUL, and him saying 'hi' to everyone here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dark Monday - Broadway Bares Strip-Opoly

broadway bares,strip-opoly,broadway cares,equity fights aids broadway bares,strip-opoly,broadway cares,equity fights aids

On Sunday, June 20, 2010, the theater community came together for an annual fundraiser, Broadway Bares. In the 20th edition of the event, they raised over a million dollars for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The title of the show is Strip-Opoly, and while I didn't make it myself [one day, David Dust, we just gotta!], from the video, it looks like it might have ignited the heatwave on the East Coast. While countless people give of their time, some of the names of people who offered their services included: Nick Adams (La Cage Aux Folles), Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show]), Kevin Burrows (Spamalot on tour), Charles Busch (The Divine Sister), Kevin Chamberlin (The Addams Family), Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth (Promises, Promises), Jennifer Cody (Shrek The Musical), Tony Award winner Alan Cumming ("The Good Wife"), Diana DeGarmo (Hair), Lea DeLaria (The Rock Horror Show), Felicia Finley (The Wedding Singer), Tony Award winner Katie Finneran (Promises, Promises), Barrett Foa (Avenue Q), Julie Halston (The Divine Sister), Jackie Hoffman (The Addams Family), Cheyenne Jackson (Finian's Rainbow), Denis Jones (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Sebastian LaCause (The Rocky Horror Show), reality television star Reichen Lehmkuhl ("The Amazing Race"), Lucy Liu (God of Carnage), Julia Murney (Wicked), Christopher Sieber (Shrek The Musical), Rachelle Rak (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels), Andrew Rannells (Jersey Boys), Bruce Vilanch (Hairspray), Tony Award winner Lillias White (Fela) and Vanessa Williams (Sondheim on Sondheim). And here is a video recap of the night - with just a little warning: the images on the clip might not be safe for all offices, and one might need a cold shower when done.

For more on the event, including some great pictures, check out BroadwayWorld.Com. For more on Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, click here. You can also make a donation to the group by clicking here.

SIRPAUL Says Hello to You!

sirpaul,rickey,howard,mandy,concert,nyc,music and me
sirpaul,rickey,howard,mandy,concert,nyc,music and me
sirpaul,rickey,howard,mandy,concert,nyc,music and me

Saturday night, I hit the town to see SIRPAUL in concert, along with my niece Mandy, and friend and blogger Rickey Yaneza. The show was outrageously good, and I will get to that in another post very soon. But in the meanwhile, here are some pictures and video Rickey graciously took after the show.

Yes, that is you he is talking to, dear readers. I will have more on the show of this talented, sweet, and handsome man soon, I promise. Such a great night!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Morning with Kristin Chenoweth

kristin chenoweth

Hey, I know I just posted about Ms. Chenoweth last Monday, (if you missed it, click here) but there was a few videos I was dying to use that I just didn't have the room for - there was so much good music from which to choose! So, without further ado, here is Kristin Chenoweth singing The Girl in 14G. Her vocal abilities are most definitely on display, and are amazing. The song can be found on her 2000 album Let Yourself Go, which you should rush out to buy!

From the same album, you can also find If You Hadn't But You Did. The song was originally from the 1951 musical Two On The Aisle.

And here she is singing Glitter And Be Gay from Leonard Bernstein's brilliant operetta, Candide.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Two Concerts in Two Countries


I mentioned in an earlier post I would be in New York City tonight at a concert, drinking in the music of SIRPAUL. I have been a fan for several years, collecting & loving his music, so it was a big thrill to interview him a while ago. The following are short clips of SIRPAUL performing from several years ago. Enjoy this partial clip of SIRPAUL singing Carry You Home.

However, I haven't seen him perform live, at least until tonight. So I have had these tickets for a couple of months, and just ecstatic. Not only am I getting to see him live, I will also be meeting him after the show! He has been so gracious and fantastic so far, this is just pure bonus. Here is a short clip of him performing the song Thrust.

At the same time, Theo Tams will be live at a show in Toronto. When Theo first announced he had a show coming up, I tweeted him to say if it was any day but the 26th, I would be there. Oh, well, best laid plans.

theo tams,toronto,the supermarket

I still wanna see this boy live at some point, but he is soon taking off for some shows in the UK. I am hoping to catch him soon when he returns! Until then, enjoy this clip of of Theo's acoustic performance of I'm Gonna Say.

Here's hoping everyone will have a great time tonight, not only those in the audience, but also these two performers, as well as anyone else putting their music and soul out there on a Saturday night!

Doctor Who - Vincent & The Doctor

doctor who,vincent,matt smith
doctor who,vincent,matt smith

Tonight you can catch the 9th episode of the new Doctor, Vincent & Me, on BBC America, 9PM/8PM Central. In this episode, we watch as the Doctor is taking Amy on special trips, helping her get over the death of her fiancee, Rory. The odd thing is, she doesn't really remember the death, or even Rory, for he was eaten by the crack in the universe, but he is trying to cheer her up. So they go to a museum in France, and the Doctor notices sometime odd about one of the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, and decides to travel back to talk to him. So off in the TARDIS they go.

doctor who,vincent,matt smith
doctor who,vincent,matt smith
doctor who,vincent,matt smith

So they travel to 1890 France, and find a somewhat broken and disheartened man. Seems there have been several brutal murders and some of the villagers believe Vincent, with his crazy ways, brought this to the community. He insists this is not true, but that he can see the monster responsible for the deaths, even if no one else can. Vincent draws the monster, and the Doctor and one of his concocted machines identifies it as a Krafayis, a predator who travels in packs. Vincent is pleased the Doctor knows what it is, but is really entranced by Amy, identifying with a deep pain and anguish in her, even if she doesn't see it herself.

doctor who,vincent,matt smith
doctor who,vincent,matt smith
doctor who,vincent,matt smith

The trio go off to find the Krafayis, even though it brings a sadness to Vincent once he realizes once they do, his new friends will be on their way again, leaving Vincent alone. How will it end? Guess you better watch to find out. Can the Doctor stop the Krafayis, help Vincent understand his value as an artist, and keep Amy from from the pain of remembering Rory? To check out Doctor Who on the web, click here. And watch the trailer below.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Night Party - Casey Stratton

casey stratton,wealthy theater,live show
casey stratton,wealthy theater,live show
Photos by Terry Johnston

Back on May 20th, singer/songwriter Casey Stratton had a live show at the Wealthy Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Not only was it recorded to be made available for purchase, it was also taped for a future DVD release. The concert was sold out, as Michigan came out to support their talented native son. One of his popular songs is Blood, from the 2004 release Standing At The Edge.

He also performed I Fall Again, a song from the Memories & Photographs album release last fall. The gorgeous ballad is just intoxicating to me.

You can purchase a download of the concert here. I did, and it sounds fantastic, and covers Casey's music from the start of his recording career to the present. I look forward to purchasing the DVD soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Then And Now - Train


The band made up of the core trio of vocalist Patrick Monahan, guitarist Jimmy Stafford and drummer Scott Underwood first got together in 1994, and have been making music ever since. They've had five major label releases, the latest being Save Me, San Fransisco, the late 2009 release that spawned their latest single, Hey, Soul Sister. The album followed a three year hiatus for the band, who wanted to take time for family and friends after several hectic years launching their major label career. The light and frothy pop tune is a departure from their previous hits, which had more of an anthem feel to them. It scored #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Pop charts, as well as #1 on the Hot Adult Top 40 chart.

Although they had a self-titled release in 1998, it was the 2001 album Drops of Jupiter and the title song that brought them to the attention of many. The song also earned the band 2 Grammy Awards for "Best Rock Song" and "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s)". While speculation was rampant about the lyrics, singer/lyricist Monahan says he was inspired by the death of his mother for the lyrics, although the interpretation of them have led to many odd trails.

In 2003 Train returned to the top of the charts with Calling All Angels, the first release from the album My Private Nation. Again the band found themselves on top of the Hot Adult Top 40 chart, and peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 at #19.

For more on the band, check out their official website here. In 2007, vocalist Pat Monahan released a solo album, Last of Seven, to favorable reviews and a couple of Adult Contemporary hits. You can check out his official website here.

Going to See SIRPAUL in Concert!

sirpaul,interview,videos,screen caps

I am going to see SIRPAUL this weekend, so posting will be a bit light while I am away. I will try to get some done in advance, like the Doctor Who recap and some music posts, but as the show gets closer, I am gaining in excitement and losing the time to get things accomplished. But I hope to return with some great pictures, as well as a video or two I will be dying to share with my readers.

I am so excited!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Worth Another Listen - Roxy Music

Roxy Music

They were in the forefront of the 'art rock' movement in the 70s, and made up of Bryan Ferry, who became the group's lead vocalist and chief songwriter. The other members are Phil Manzanera (guitar), Andy Mackay (saxophone and oboe) and Paul Thompson (drums and percussion). A few others drifted through the band, including the amazing Brian Eno for a couple of years. The sound was almost ahead of the times, almost bridging the worlds of David Bowie's Glam and the New Wave music to come of The Talking Heads and Duran Duran. Take, for instance, the 1975 release, Love Is The Drug. The song has sass and spunk, sounding nothing like what was topping the charts in the US, with the likes of Captain & Tennille, Neil Sedaka and Elton John. Still, it managed to be the highest charting single by the band, hitting #30 on the Billboard chart. The following clip is from the late 80s from a Bryan Ferry solo tour.

In 1981, Roxy Music offered up a recording of Jealous Guy, written and originally recorded by John Lennon. Roxy Music started performing it as a tribute after he was murdered in December of 1980, and later released it as a single. Here is footage of the band performing it weeks after Lennon's passing.

The final album released by the band was Avalon, a lush and incredible offering. While the album only made it to #53 on the US album chart, it did secure platinum sales in the States. Rolling Stone named it the #31 album of the 80s, and I might think it should be even higher. The quality of songwriting and musicianship was high, as can be heard in More Than This, released in 1982.

Released on the heals of More Than This, Avalon proved to be a haunting and gorgeous track. While it didn't make the Pop charts, it got a lot of play on college radio and some progressive rock stations.

In 1983, following the support tour for the album, Roxy Music announced they were calling it a day. Bryan Ferry et al went on to solo careers, continuing to make interesting music. In 2001, they got back together to do a short tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the formation of the band. Although they have not stepped back into the studio, they have occasionally played together.

roxy music,bryan ferry,brian eno

Tom Goss - Free Music Download Today


Singer/Songwriter Tom Goss is offering a selection of songs available for free download. Twelve songs are offered, including Tom's wonderful Till The End, a brilliant cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, and You Don't Question Love, the beautiful song he wrote with Matt Alber. Here Tom performs it live at a DADT rally in Washington, DC, headlined by Kathy Griffin.

To access the free downloads, click here. The link should be good for all of Wednesday, June 23, 2010, so hurray and get some great music now!

New Follower - SisterHazel

new followers,sisterhazel

I would like to offer a hearty welcome to Sisterhazel, the newest member of the Soundtrack circle of friends. Sisterhazel is also known as Louice Dahlberg, and since her music blog is no longer active, can be found on FaceBook here.

As is my custom, here is a video to welcome Louice to the fold. I thought I would double the pleasure with two of my favorites, Christopher Dallman and Aiden James, singing Dallman's Little Bit Of Blue from his latest EP, Never Was.

For more on Christopher, check out his official website here. There you can check out his music, and find the links to purchase his extraordinary music. You can check out Aiden at his website here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Break Mission - Alpha

the break mission,new music,rock
Top, from the left: Matt Hershey, Jeff Knowlton, Ben Lindell

Today, a new band named The Break Mission, released the album Alpha. Childhood friends Matt Hershey and Jeff Knowlton both played the drums, but once they decided to put together a band, one had to move to a different instrument. Matt stayed with the drums, while Jeff moved on to the guitar and piano. Later, the duo moved to Boston and started to carve out a nice career in music, picking up some musicians along the way, and putting out some recorded music. Soon they felt the call to New York, which they answered. Here, they added Ben Lindell to the group, and the duo became a trio. Flash forward to today, and the release of Alpha.

the break mission,new music,rock

It is a 13-song offering that gives hints to some of the possible influence of the boys in the band, but never more than that, always maintaining a fresh and original sound. As I gave it the first lesson, I thought I heard hints of Pink Floyd, a little touch of U2, or maybe the Police. Yet none of the music sounds dated or derivative, just a great sound any rock band would be thrilled to incorporate as their own.

The above cut is the 5th cut off the album, Thieves. It shows the signs of great stadium rock, just yearning for a big light show. Alpha kicks off with Matter of Trust, which starts out with a sparse, almost acoustic feel, but doesn't stay in that vein for long, building to a strong rock ballad with some incredible harmonies in the chorus. Above the Noise and Back To Normal take on a more aggressive rock posture, with some intense and dense orchestrations. Son harkening back to some great folk wonderment, like the band had listened to early prog-rock, sustaining an acoustic subtlety favoring style and emotion over volume. Elevator Songs begins with the acoustic take before the added instrumentation builds elevates to song.

The title track runs just under a minute and a half of instrumental tastiness. Fight of Our Lives is ruled by the soulful vocals and acoustic piano to make an effective statement on life as it builds. Words might start off with a quiet, but quickly rocks it up, with a bold and interesting vocal arrangement. Honestly is a song that reminds me a bit of the Kings of Convenience, only electrified. There is such a sense of coolness, with a lovely and languid feel.

All Your Guns makes a political statement of love, with a complesity to the melody line that brings the track to new levels. Porcelain starts with the prog-rock feel, but quickly explodes into anthemic rock, all big and bold. The Street is a lyric treat, the poetry reminiscent of some of the early Paul Simon work, channeling moody pictures and set to conversational rhythms.

Hershey handles the percussion with an ease when it should be so, but also a vibrancy when asked. Knowlton guitar and keyboard work is varied and textured, and always top notch. His vocals also emit an emotional connection sure to be felt. Lindell takes the bass to a wonderful level, offering a layer of percussion as well as the intrinsic fullness to the base. He also chips in with the keyboards.

the break mission,alpha

The album is available now on iTunes, and you can find it here. You can pick up all 13 tracks for just $9.99! You can check them out on their official website here, or their MySpace page here.

Sing For Hope - Play Me, I'm Yours

sing for hope,play me,i'm yours
sing for hope,play me,i'm yours

Sing For Hope is a non-profit organization that mobilizes professional artists in volunteer service programs that benefit schools, hospitals and communities. From June 21 until July 5, Sing for Hope takes music to the streets with Play Me, I’m Yours, a public art project that will bring 60 pianos to the parks and public spaces of New York City. The Play Me, I’m Yours “street pianos” will be placed throughout the city’s five boroughs to be played by all who pass by. The following video is the first promotion of the new program. It features Tituss Burgess, Nathan Gunn, Monica Yunus, Diana Degarmo, Kyle Riabko, Ace Young, Kevin Mambo and Nial Djuliarso

For more about Sing For Hope, check out their official website here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dark Monday - Kristin Chenoweth

kristin chenoweth
kristin chenoweth

With a talent for being cute as a button or sexy as any woman living, Kristin Chenoweth has the vocal abilities that far outshine even her electric smile. Currently on Broadway in the show Promises Promises, Chenoweth first came to be known as five-year-old Sally Brown in the musical You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown in 1999.

My New Philosophy

For that performance, she won her first Tony Award. It is certainly not the last of those that have or will come to her. In October of 2003, she opened in a musical few knew too much about, an interesting take on the Wizard of Oz called Wicked. She co-starred with the magnificent Idina Menzel and together they blew the audience away night after night. Both Kristin and Idina were nominated for the Tony Award, with Idina taking home the trophy that night.

In 2007 she costarred in the whimsical and quirky Pushing Daisies, once again wowing audiences with her impeccable comic timing and astonishing voice. Her portrayal of Olive Snook brought her acclaim as well as the 2009 Emmy Award despite the fact ABC had canceled the show. Here she sings Hopelessly Devoted To You, originally from the musical Grease.

This year, the producers of GLEE were smart enough to snatch her up and give her a recurring character, April Rhodes. Although in her last appearance, she left with a rather determined attitude to make it on her own, I certainly hope she returns, for the enormity of her talent shone so bright in ever minute of her time on the screen, but perhaps never as greatly as when she and Will [Matthew Morrison] performed One Less Bell To Answer/A House Is Not A Home.

As I said in the opening, she is now appearing on Broadway opposite Sean Hayes in the Burt Bacharach/Hal David musical Promises, Promises. She also received attention when she wrote a response to a deplorable Newsweek article about gays not being able to 'play straight', using Hayes as an example. Her words, written by strong Christian woman sounded as clear and strong as any song she had sung to date, being a clarion bell for human rights. Here she is with an excerpt from the show, singing I Say A Little Prayer.

To learn more about Kristin Chenoweth, check out her official website here. You can also go to the official website for Promises Promises here, and maybe order your tickets to catch her live! You can also purchase her 2001 album release, Let Yourself Go, on iTunes here.


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