Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year - Auld Lang Syne

Daniel Cartier
Daniel Cartier

I love this haunting, lovely version of the classic song. I am a real fan of Daniel J. Cartier's music, both his original music and his cover songs. He is always putting a great spin on things, something personal.

Happy New Year, everyone!

New Years Eve Party

Clockwise: Sacha Sacket, Ivri Lider, Jason Walker, Derek Nicoletto, Brian Kent, SIRPAUL, Archy & Mehitabel and Christopher Dallman.

Time to get the New Year party on, with some of the fun music that will help you get up and shake the 2010 'blahs' off you and be ready for 2011! So I just gathered together some of the videos from the last year or so, with some recent remixes, all by some incredible sexy out performers who where either established favorites or new discoveries. No matter which, I hope you enjoy your time with Club S2MD, and get your a$ on the dance floor, even if it is about 5 feet from your computer.

First up, I have to say I love it some of my favorites overlap a bit - appearing together live, showing up in the liner notes, it just makes me happy. So it was one of those moments when I heard that a great song from this past summer, Sacha Sacket's Cocky, was getting a remix from another of my faves, SIRPAUL. If I didn't love Cocky enough when first released by the handsome Sacha, add in SIRPAUL and there is another great version. And SIRPAUL told me he first heard the song on my blog! The result can be heard below, and you can download the SIRPAUL vs Robotika Remix for FREE by clicking on it!

Cocky (SIRPAUL vs. Robotika Remix)

While the song nor the performance are from the last year, I do have to say I am incredibly excited about the release of Ivri Lider's first English language album soon. So, to celebrate that, I am bringing out a clip of Ivri singing Bo (Henree version) live in New York. I would love to interview Ivri at some point, but first I must assure myself I can end each question without the words 'Will you marry me' in there.

In the fall of 2009, Christopher Dallman released a song in support of Marriage Equality, and I just loved it. It was a lovely song, and I bought it right away. However, a bit later, a new version showed up, and it turned out to be a great dance song, too! So check out Anthem (Radboy Radio Edit).

I only recently found the music of Jason Walker, and can't get enough of it. His most recent album release was Leave It All Behind, and the title cut was a rollicking song suitable for any party/dance mix. His voice, it just makes me find happiness.

I have been a fan of Derek Nicoletto for a couple of years now, and loved the song Crash Me Up from the second Telling On Trixie album. Well, only recently, I became familiar with some of the remixes, and I can't seem to let go of them, including this one, Crash Me Up (Arudius Remix).

Since discovering the music of Archy & Mehitabel, I have become fully addicted to it all. Every damn track. Lee Waters and Alexander Horwitz, the men behind the music, make music that is impossible to categorize, other than to label it as great. This particular track, Callisto, is a great addition to this group of songs. Enjoy.

Just saying the name SIRPAUL makes me happy, and listening to his music is even better. Put the sexy singer/songwriter/producer in a video and you have a surefire winner for me, like in Killer. SIRPAUL takes electronica and spins it outta control, taking me on a ride I love to take over and over.

I only recently found the music of Brian Kent, and discovered it is filled will joy and life. Check out I'll Find A Way, and I think you will agree with me.

Happy New Year!

5 on the Fifth - Reminder for January 2011

five on the fifth

As we come up on the New Year and the according celebrations, we are also approaching the latest installment of 5 on the Fifth. One reason I know that is the receipt of a message on FaceBook reminding me, so I thought I would offer the readers the same courtesy. The following is the message from Stephen Chapman.

It's almost time for the next "5 on the Fifth". As usual, everyone is welcome to take part. You can either take 5 random pictures of something that happens to you on the 5th of January (or the days leading up to it) or perhaps go for my suggested theme. This month, the theme is Fun and Games.

So, be they pictures taken during the holiday celebrations, or just part of your everyday life, it is time to make sure your cameras are handy, the battery is charged, and you snap a few shots.

Worth Another Listen - I Don't Like Mondays

Boomtown Rats
Bob Geldof - Boomtown Rats

Was watching a movie on BBC America about the story behind putting Live Aid together. It was called When Harry Met Bob, and it made me think about the Boomtown Rats and their amazing song, I Don't Like Mondays. I was thinking about it and decided it needed to be a post. And, luckily enough, I have a music blog, so here it goes.

The song was released 31 years ago, in 1979. It went to #1 in the UK, but only went to #73 on the US singles chart. But it was played often on college radio stations, where I came to hear it. It was based on actual events in the US, which Geldof was reported to have first heard about while in a radio station for an interview, having read a Telex coming in. The Boomtown Rats performed it at Live Aid, one of the seminal moments of music history, at Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985. Here is the clip.

While I enjoyed the movie, I was a bit dismayed by the fact Midge Ure, who worked alongside Geldof on the single Do They Know It's Christmastime?, as well as the concert, was virtually erased from history, and as a diehard Midge Ure fan, that made me sad. And not trust what the movie was saying as being factual. But it did make me think of the song, so that is a good thing!

For more information about the Boomtown Rats, check out their official website here.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Levi Kries & Eric HIman In Vienna, VA

Levi Kreis Levi Kreis

Next Monday, I will be attending An Intimate Evening with Levi Kreis at the World Cafe in Philadelphia, and I can't wait. Levi's special guests for the evening will be the amazing Eric Himan, as well as the handsome Jason Antone. I was lucky enough to see the show at a previous stop, in Vienna, Virginia. I was lucky enough to be joined at the show by my friend, Tom Goss, and his husband, Michael Briggs. I picked Tom up at the airport, and Michael met us at Jammin' Java. With the help of Tom & the GPS, we were able to make it there in time to order some dinner, despite my own directionally-challenged self. I have to admit I went prepared, with a videocam and camera, and the video was a bust, and my pictures unspectacular at best.

Levi Kreis

We found our way to the seats, and settled in by the time Jason to be introduced and make his way to the piano. I was interested in this, as I know he tends to sing electronic dance-pop, but he performed a lovely, albeit quick acoustic set accompanying himself on the piano, including a beautiful cover of the Tears For Fears song, Everybody Wants To Rule The World.

I was a bit surprised, but next up was Levi Kreis. He made a beeline to the piano, and started playing right away, kicking in to a cover of Bonnie Raitt's I Can't Make You Love Me, an amazing song. Levi played a nice long set, with plenty of banter between songs as he took us through a nostalgic trip of his life, from life as a youngster to some of his musical highlights. It certainly was an intimate evening, with the audience learning much about Levi and what has brought him to this point in his career. This includes his thoughts on being on the first season of The Apprentice, not as a contestant but as part of a challenge. That brought about his first album, One Of The Ones, which included the beautiful ballad, With You.

In the trip down memory lane, he spoke of The Gospel According To Levi, Bygones, and the latest album, Where I Belong. There was plenty of great material from those album to give a full evening, and when pared down, it is quite the soulful tour de force. Levi has a voice that can soar to greater heights, and just as easily touch your soul with a whisper. Take, for instance, his performance of his last single, Nothing At All, which was #1 on MTV's LOGO network.

Toward the end of his set, he spoke of his great respect for Eric Himan not only as an artist, but also for his strength to tour so strongly, packing in crowds across the country. They toured together a couple of years ago, before Levi was involved with Million Dollar Quartet, and before the Tony win. So when Levi decided it was time to hit the road again, he wanted to tour with Eric once again. But Levi was taking an online class, and needed to be back in his hotel room, so after introducing Eric, he would be venturing to the merchandise area, where he would chat and autograph CDs.

Eric Himan

I will admit this threw me a bit, as I love Eric, and could never be moved from my seat while he was playing, and figured this meant I would not get a chance to see Levi. But I would be getting to hear Eric sing live, which is always a highlight to my week. And, once again, Eric did not disappoint. He played some o fhis set on the guitar, and some on the piano, as his latest album, Out With The Old, features Eric reworking some of his previous material on the piano, which is fantastic! I love the piano version of Frozen In The Sun, a song from the Eric & the Adams debut. Included on the album is a new song, Gonna Make It Work, which you can see/hear in this clip.

Eric's set included his great original material as well as a few cover songs, and as is always the case, Eric was in great voice. He just has so much great material, I am betting I could see him weekly and never tire of his show. One of my favorites (and I have at least 20 songs I consider favorites!) is from the Resonate album, We Are The Same, in this clip sung with the amazing lesbian singer/songwriter, Andy Moore.

After the show, I did miss seeing Levi, but did manage to see Eric and get my picture taken not only with him, but with Tom as well. Being the ultimate in geeky fans, I did mention I still think Tom & Eric sing a duet on The Monkees' Last Train To Clarksville to be one of my all-time faves, so I needed to get a picture of them as well!

Tom Goss & Eric Himan
Tom Goss, Me, Eric Himan

So, I am very much looking forward to seeing Jason, Eric and Levi in Philadelphia on Monday, January 3, 2011 at the World Cafe Live! If you are in the area for the show, I would say you have got to make it there. Click here for tickets. For more about Eric Himan, check out his website here. You can find Levi Kreis on the web here, and still see him 8 shows a week on Broadway in Million Dollar Quartet. You can find Jason's official website here. I'll be there with my sister Kathy, my niece Mandy, and cousins Margie & Eileen. And I hope to be having better luck with my pictures and videos, and will be sharing them with my readers.

The show has added another date, this time in New York City. They will be playing at Joe's Pub on February 28, and anyone in the area should definitely be checking that out here!

Movie Music - Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen
Photobucket Bruce Springsteen

To me, one of the most remarkable songs written for a movie was written by the Boss, New Jersey native Bruce Springsteen. Streets of Philadelphia was written for the movie Philadelphia, starring Tom Hanks, Antonio Banderas and Denzel Washinton. It was the first mainstream movie to be released that included AIDs in the storyline, as well as documenting homophobia. It was released just before Christmas in 1993, which was really quite late in the game, although the studios were often wary of including themes that would make mainstream America uncomfortable. Honestly, I didn't love the movie, and thought it was a bit over-rated - for my money, the 1990 release Longtime Companion was a much better movie.

However, Streets of Philadelphia still gives me chills when I listen to it, further proof that when a great singer/songwriter like Springsteen is on his game, the results are tough to beat. The song is haunting yet truthful, and honest to the core. It is just magical.

While it topped the charts in several European countries, it only made it to #9 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It did win the Academy Award for Best Song, as well as the Grammy for Best Song From A Movie and Song of the Year. You can purchase the song from iTunes, where you can get the soundtrack album, or you can find it on his Greatest Hits album. You can find that link here. At the moment you can get the Greatest Hits for only $7.99, a veritable steal for this 18-song collection.

Bruce Springsteen

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Wanda

A Christmas Wanda
A Christmas Wanda
A Christmas Wanda

Life can be a drag for Wanda, even if she has music by Robert German on the soundtrack? Well, the people who worked on the film might be able to explain it better...

What happens when you take the ORIGINAL podcasting drag queen and a cast of wacky, wonderful characters, add incredible filmwork by Adam Carmichael and original music by singer-songwriter Robert German? You end up with a zany, wack-a-doodle telling of a time-worn tale that's sure to become an annual holiday classic!

So, if you have a half-hour of time, and if you just need to laugh and have a good time, watch this movie. If you only have 5 minutes, watch and listen to the opening song, White Christmas, by Robert German, and like me, you'll need to buy it ASAP!

Robert, tell me where I can get it! No, really, you should watch this movie. For more about Robert German, check out his official website here. You can find the first post I did on Robert here. I am hoping to do another very soon! I love Robert's music.

Doctor Who Christmas Special

Doctor Who - Christmas 2010
Doctor Who - Christmas 2010

I can't wait to see the new Doctor Who Christmas Special, tonight at 8PM on BBC America! The show is said to be "a clever twist on the much-loved A Christmas Carol." I didn't get the chance for an advance viewing, so I will just have to be content with the sneak peaks available on the internet!

It certainly seems like it is going to be a great and exciting episode! And here is a behind-the-scenes preview of the show.

Or maybe you will like this one, made by fans of the show!

Have I mentioned lately I am really loving Matt Smith as the Doctor? To check out Doctor Who on the web, click here.

A Christmas Fireplace

Merry Christmas!

A Merry Christmas To All! May the warmth, joy, and love of the season be with you and all you hold dear this holiday season. Just thought I would post this Christmas Fireplace for all to enjoy, with music by the talented Sam Harris.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Music - Anthony Callea

Top: Anthony Callea; Bottom: With Tim Campbell

Since I don't live in Australia and can't watch the telecast of Carols by Candlelight, I will just create my own. What I truly mean by that, of course, is that I will pick and chose some of my favorite performances by Anthony Callea that I have found on YouTube, and post them on Christmas Eve. Whether he is singing a traditional carol or a hymn, Anthony delivers like few can, and I just love him. So I will start with his beautiful rendition of the classic song, The First Noel, which he performed in 2009.

Way back in 2006, Anthony decided to rock it out a bit, and put his own special spin on the Darlene Love classic, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

In 2007, Anthony lifted his voice to sing a gorgeous O Holy Night. When Anthony hits his stride, I can't think of many who can keep up with him.

In 2008 Anthony and his partner, actor/singer/host Tim Campbell, performed together. An out couple, they are just too adorable together, and I will admit to having a crush on Tim, too. Their voices work quite well together. This is Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, with Tim singing first, and introducing the 'beautiful' Anthony.

Finally, I shall end with what might be my favorite performance I have seen so far from Anthony's run on Carols by Candlelight. In 2008, he sang a spectacular version of Ave Maria. It gives me goosebumps to listen to him sing it. Enjoy.

For more about Anthony, you can check out his website here. You can find out more about Tim at his website, here. For further information on Carols by Candlelight, click here.

Billboard Top Holiday Songs - #1

Billboard Top 10 Holiday
Chart Legend
#1 Burl Ives A Holly, Jolly Christmas

To continue with the Christmas celebrations, here is Burl Ives taking the #1 spot on the chart with A Holly, Jolly Christmas. He recorded the song in 1964. It was written by Johnny Marks, who also wrote Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer and the #2 song, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree. It was part of the soundtrack for the 1964 CBS/Rankin-Bass television special, Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Billboard Top Holiday Songs - #2

Billboard Top 10 Holiday
Chart Legend
#2 Brenda Lee Rockin Around The Christmas Tree

To continue with the Christmas celebrations, here is Brenda Lee taking the #2 spot on the chart with Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree. She recorded and released the song in 1958. It was written by Johnny Marks, who also wrote Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer and the #1 song.

Billboard Top Holiday Songs - #3

Billboard Top 10 Holiday
Chart Legend
#3 Mariah Carey All I Want For Christmas Is You

To continue with the Christmas celebrations, here is Mariah Carey taking the #3 spot on the chart with All I Want For Christmas Is You. She recorded and released the song in 1994. It is the 'youngest' song in the Top 10.

Billboard Top Holiday Songs - #4

Billboard Top 10 Holiday
Chart Legend
#4 Andy Williams The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

To continue with the Christmas celebrations, here is Andy Williams taking the #4 spot on the chart with It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. He recorded this version of the song in 1963. It is an was not released as a single until the following year.

Billboard Top Holiday Songs - #5

Billboard Top 10 Holiday
Chart Legend
#5 Nat King Cole The Christmas Song

To continue with the Christmas celebrations, here is Nat King Cole taking the #5 spot on the chart with The Christmas Song. He released this version of the song in 1946. It is an immortal song written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells in 1944.

Billboard Top Holiday Songs - #6

Billboard Top 10 Holiday
Chart Legend
#6 John Lennon Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

To continue with the Christmas celebrations, here is John Lennon and Yoko Ono, along with the Plastic Ono Band and the Harlem Community Choir taking the #6 spot on the chart with Happy Xmas (War is Over). He released the first version of the song in 1971. It is an incredible song written by Lennon.

Billboard Top Holiday Songs - #7

Billboard Top 10 Holiday
Chart Legend
#8 Jingle Bell Rock

To continue with the Christmas celebrations, here is Bobby Helms taking the #7 spot on the chart with Jingle Bell Rock. He released the first version of the song in 1957. The song is more Rockabilly than it is Rock.


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