Tuesday, January 31, 2012

GLEE Redux • Michael

Michael Jackson Michael Jackson

The show opens with Mercedes and Santana complaining about not performing Michel Jackson at sectionals a few weeks ago, and Blaine and Kurt wanting to perform more. In fact, Blaine knows just the song he wants to sing, Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'.

Of course, he is joined by the group, all dressed from a variety of periods/videos of Michael Jackson. Soon they are talking about performing Michael for Sectionals. But soon we find out the Warblers are going to do an MJ tribute, too. In fact, Sebastian gloats that he got the idea from Blaine. The New Directions get into a tizzy about it, but soon decide they need to move forward, and take the argument to the streets, and perform Bad.

At the end of the number, Sebastian hits Blaine with a slushy. Blaine is taken to the hospital, needing surgery on his right eye. In the chorus room, the kids are talking about wanting to get even, since they know Sebastian did it on purpose. Artie is angry, and not wanting to hear the whole 'it gets better' crap, he wants it to be better now. He yells at Mr. Schue, and gets up out of his wheelchair. He is joined by Mike Chang, and performed Scream.

Back in the room, Artie is still confined to his wheelchair, and still upset. We follow Rachel to the ladies room, and we find Quinn. She tells Rachel about her early acceptance to Yale, and Rachel mentions that Finn proposed. Quinn suggests she needs to take it easy, and tell Finn no. Quinn sings Never Can Say Goodbye.

After the class applauds her song, she announces her plans to go to Yale. She thanks everyone for their support and their love, their unconditional love. She looks Rachel when she explains she needed to let the past go, in order to move forward. Next, Santana is walking down the hallway, and sees Kurt, and the two talk about beating Sebastian, but taking the high road. The continue to plot, but we join Sam and Mercedes in the auditorium, Sam looking cute with a guitar. He wants to sing a duet with Mercedes, who he still loves. Mercedes tries to leave, but Sam stops her when he starts to play Human Nature.

The song ends with a kiss. This reminds me just how happy I am that Sam is back on the show. We cut to the chorus room, and Kurt's Dad is there. He has a letter from NYADA. Kurt is a finalist, still up for admission. His father is so proud of him, it brings a tear to my eye. Kurt rushes to tell Rachel, how has not heard from NYADA, and collapses into Kurt's arms, crying over her lack of a future, sure she will be denied by NYADA.

Kurt is reading the trade magazines, when Rachel and Finn come to visit the eye-patched Blaine. Upset he is missing MJ week, they bring it to him, and Kurt, Finn and Rachel sing the haunting Ben.

We go to Warblers rehearsal, and see Santana coming to call Sebastian on his nefarious behavior. Soon they are dueling, with the aide of the spectacular 2Cellos, the handsome duo of Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser. They sing Smooth Criminal.

Santana is laying it down. Afterwards, Sebastian admits to putting rock salt in the slushy meant for Kurt, but has nothing in the one he tosses on Santana. Back in the chorus room, and Santana is explaining she had a tape recorder attached to her underboob. However, Kurt doesn't want to hit back, or get Sebastian arrested. He has an idea, and takes the kids to the auditorium. But Finn stops Rachel, and tells her there is something he left out of his proposal. He brings in the band members, and sings I Just Can't Stop Loving You.

Of course, Rachel joins in on the song, and it is quite lovely. Rachel accepts Finn's proposal, and there is much hugging. He is, after all, the love of her life. The Warblers walk into McKinley High, and the New Direction are on stage, saying they won't do Michael for Regionals, but if they did, they would be better, because the Warblers don't do it justice. To prove it, they sing Black or White.

Soon, the other members of the Warblers are on stage dancing, except for Sebastian. He claps a sarcastic round of applause, only to be put in his place by Santana. The other Warblers learn of his treachery, and it seems as though this is a victory to truth, justice, and the American Way. With a gay flair, of course. Next, we are at Kurt's locker, and Rachel walks up, with a letter in hand. She has been made a finalist at NYADA, and they are both overjoyed. But when Kurt asks if she has told Finn yet, there is an awkward silence. Well, except for the dramatic score. Hmmmm.

Matthew Duffy • Man Out Of U

Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge
Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge
Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge

Out and Proud singer/songwriter Matthew Duffy released a new video for his latest song, Man Out Of U. The video features Ronnie Kroell, the out contestant on the first season of Make Me A Supermodel on Bravo. He has continued to work as a model, as well as appear at Pride Festivals and other events. The video features the song written by Duffy which pokes fun at the roles within the society, not only the male/female roles, but also the sexual roles, and others that have formed. Give a eye and an ear to the video.

Matthew looks and sounds great, and Ronnie is every bit as cute as I remembered him. You can find out more about the music of Matthew Duffy by visiting his Facebook page here. You can find his music, including his recent cover of the Pete Shelley classic, Homosapien, on iTunes and on Amazon. And you can find out more about Ronnie on his official website here.

Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge
Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge
Man Out Of U music video, Matthew Duffy, Ronnie Kroell music video directed by Francis Legge

Monday, January 30, 2012

Eric Himan • Under The Ink DVD

One of my favorite singer/songwriters has a new DVD coming out. Eric Himan, who totally has me under a spell, just announced he is about to release his first DVD, Under The Ink: LIVE!. The DVD was recorded at a live show in Tulsa, as well as a few songs from an Acoustic-Requests Session. It showcases Himan's storytelling, as well as that incredible voice we have all come to know. It is songs featured on his latest album, Supposed Unknown, as well as some treasured songs from his catalog, and a very special cover. To give you a taste, here is a live performance of a song on the DVD, but taped by me at a recent show at MilkBoy Coffee. This is Little Boy Blue, originally off the Resonate album.

I am so excited, I just had to get my order in right away. When I went to the Order page, I noticed there were several combinations from which to choose. The first is the opportunity to pre-order the DVD, and get a free download of a live album. The DVD and the live CD get their songs from the same places, but their is a differing line up. For just $20, you can get both by going here.

Eric Himan - Under The Ink

You can order the DVD, the CD, and an opportunity to have a 3 song, 15-minute performance by Eric on Skype. You get to pick the songs from Eric's catalog you like the best, and enjoy your private slice of heaven.

Eric Himan - Under The Ink

You can also purchase the DVD, the CD, and a live house concert. This is a 90-minute performance at your home. He will perform selections from the DVD, and maybe even a special request or two, if you ask nicely... And Eric will be glad to meet you and your guests, and autograph your copy of the DVD.

Eric Himan - Under The Ink

And for those die-hard fans who want the complete Eric Himan experience, you can purchase the package that includes the DVD, the live CD, a 90-minute House Concert, and give you a chance to taste his cooking, as featured in the Trial And Eric videos online. That is right, you get to have roadie Eric set up, Chef Eric cook the meal, and Rock Star Eric give a live show for you and a few friends.

Eric Himan - Under The Ink

I placed my order, have you placed yours? And once the order was placed, I was able to download the live CD, and it is certainly worth having. Right away, I had to listen, and when he played Patti Smith's Because The Night, I was in heaven, I tell you, up in the fluffy clouds! And there is special guest performances from Namoli Brennet and Angel Adams, among others. I hope you have placed your order, and you are getting ready to download the live CD. You won't regret it!

Jay Brannan • Rob Me Blind

Jay Brannan Beautifully CDS Cover

The time is now, people, the time is now. The ever-so-talented Jay Brannan has a new album coming out, titled Rob Me Blind. In my own humble opinion, you can never go wrong with a purchase of Jay's music. Rob Me Blind is due out on March 27th, a date you should have marked on your calendar. I know I have. However, you can get a jump on things, and pre-order the album. And being the guy that Jay is, he has not only made it easier to do, but offers a couple of alternatives from which you can choose. But before we get to that, I am going to offer the first video from the album. Here is Jay singing the amazing Beautifully, the first single.

I love Jay's music, and have had the thrill of seeing him performing live, in Philadelphia and Annapolis. He is every bit as good live as he is recorded, something I just love. I have all his music, and just love it all. Now, Jay has made it easy to order Rob Me Blind on his website here. There are a couple of options, from pre-ordering on iTunes, to three other different packages that include various music and other Jay-related treats.

Jay Brannan Pre-Order Jay Brannan Pre-Order
Jay Brannan Pre-Order Jay Brannan Rob Me Blind Album Cover
Jay Brannan Pre-Order

For $10, you can get the album from iTunes. For $12, you can get the new album and a specially produced live album. For $25, you can get Rob Me Blind, Live at Eddie's Attic, and a fantastic t-shirt designed and produced for this offer! And, for $40, you can all of the above, plus autographed liner notes, and a canvas poster, and, get this, a limited edition lip balm! No, really! I have placed my order, and you should, too. Wait, you need more convincing? Really? How about a sneak peak at another song on the album? Here is the song Greatest Hits.

And isn't he just so damned handsome on the covers of these records? So, you can get all of this through the website here. You can get to the iTunes per-order here. You can get the single version of Beautifully on iTunes here and on Amazon here.

Jay Brannan Greatest Hits CDS Cover

Brett Gleason • Destruction Single

Brett Gleason - Destruction

This first single of the soon-to-be-released The Thawing is now available on Bandcamp. Destruction, which starts with an explosion, is a layered and textured art song much in keeping with the music made by the handsome rocker. To purchase it, go to his Bandcamp page here. Here is the video of a live performance of the song.

The album is due out next month. To learn more about Brett Gleason, you can find him on Facebook here. Stop by and say hello. He won't bite, not right away at least. Join his mailing list. Then you can learn what is new with Brett, and other great tidbits.

Brett Gleason

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Morning with the Davis Sisters

The Davis Sisters

The Famous Davis Sisters were a Philadelphia-based gospel group founded by Ruth ("Baby Sis") Davis and featuring her sisters Thelma, Audrey and Alfreda. At a time when the gospel groups were predominantly all-male, the Davis Sisters were breaking boundaries of their own. The ladies honed their sound being raised in the Fire-Baptized Holiness Church in Philadelphia. They were signed to their first recording contract in 1947, and were making Gospel music until 1985, when they retired. Here they are singing We'll Understand It Better By And By.

In another appearance on TV Gospel Time with Brother Joe May, the ladies performed I Believe I'll Go Back Home. I managed to find the sisters credited for the composing of the song.

Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Little Sparrow de Paris

Edith Piaf Photobucket
Edith Piaf

If there was ever a queen of the torch singer, it would have to be The Little Sparrow, Edith Piaf. She was born Édith Giovanna Gassion in Paris in December of 1915. Her parents were performers; her mother was a professional singer, singing in cafés, and her father a street acrobat. Of course, much of what has been said and written about Piaf's youth has been questioned, but it is said that before her father went off to fight in World War I, he let his daughter with his own mother, the owner of a brothel. Three is also a story that Piaf was blind from the age of 3, only to have the prostitutes pool their money to pay to send her on a pilgrimage honoring Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, which the author claims resulted in a miraculous healing when she was just seven.

When she was 14, she joined her father as a traveling performer, marking her the beginning of her public singing. When she was just 17, she had her only child, a daughter who died when she was just two years old. In 1935 Piaf was discovered in Paris by nightclub owner Louis Leplée,whose club Le Gerny off the Champs-Élysées, was frequented by the most fashionable of Paris. As the story goes, he brought her in to perform, and she was so frightened she was trembling, so Leplée called her "La Môme Piaf," or The Little Sparrow. She was 4'8". It was a name that stuck with her, as she was forever known as Edith Piaf from then on. But it was from her time in the club that she rose to fame. In 1946, she sang what is arguably her most famous song, La Vie En Rose.

In 1957, Piaf recorded a song she had heard on her travels in South America. The song, La Foule, translated to The Crowd, was originally a song written in Spanish by Angel Cabral in 1936. Once it was sung by Piaf, it became a huge hit.

In 1960, Piaf released a song I know very well, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. The song was written by Charles Dumont and lyricist Michel Vaucaire in 1956. However, it was Edith's recording that made the song famous. The English translation of the song would be "No, I regret nothing," which was the very way Piaf liked to live her life.

And, finally, in 1962, Piaf recorded À Quoi Ça Sert L'Amour with Théo Sarapo, whom she wed that same year. Théo was some 20 years younger than Piaf, so it raised many an eyebrow. They sang together often, and this song, translated to "What good is love," was a bit hit for them.

Piaf lived a rather tumultuous life. She had a rather public affair with boxer Marcel Cerdan, until died in a plane crash in October 1949, flying to meet Piaf. In 1951, she was in a bad traffic accident along with French troubadour Charles Aznavour. The result of the accident was an ever-increasing dependence on both drugs and alcohol. In 1952, she married Jacques Pills. Her Matron of Honor was Marlene Dietrich), only to divorced him in 1956. She married Théo Sarapo in 1962, but it did not last long. Piaf died on October 11, 1963, following a rough couple of months when she went in and out of consciousness. According to lore, her last words were "Every damn fool thing you do in this life, you pay for."

Edith Piaf

Tens of thousands of people showed up to her funeral in Paris. She was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery next to her daughter who had died years earlier. Despite sharing the cemetery with the likes of Jim Morrison of The Doors, playwright Moliére, novelist Honoré de Balzac, and actress Sarah Bernhardt, it is said Piaf still counts far more visitors than any other celebrity interred there. Piaf was 47 when she died.

2Cellos Do Sting

2Cellos, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser
Standing: Stjepan Hauser and Sitting: Luka Sulic.

I have already written about the amazing music being made by the absolutely brilliant duo of Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, better known as 2Cellos. They have made some excited interpretations of some Pop and Rock classics, by Nirvana and Michael Jackson. Watching them play their instruments with the amazing passionate and kinetic energy just keeps me entranced. But this fine Saturday morning, I will go just a little bit easier, as the handsome duo takes on Fields of Gold, written and performed by Sting.

I will also share with you a rather beautiful version of a song by the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. They add something just a little special to Michael Jackson's 1983 hit Human Nature. The song was off the colossal album Thriller.

While I am mentioning Michael Jackson, I see that the boys will be appearing of the next episode of GLEE this Tuesday, the episode devoted to Michael. They will be performing the 1988 hit, Smooth Criminal. I think it will be Santana singing it with Kurt's rival for Blaine's affection, Sebastian. Should be great, since I have been loving Santana's voice each time we hear it. But first, let me move on. And for the last song this morning, the boys tackle Californication, the song written and performed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from the 2000 album of the same name.

They are a brilliant combination of Classical music with a renegade twist, tossing a bit of Jazz and Pop in the mixture, along with some real Rock Star bravado as well. You can find many of the songs on the album 2Cellos, on iTunes and on Amazon. I am so glad I made my purchase, and sure you will be too.

2Cellos, Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser

Friday, January 27, 2012

B.Slade™ • The Children • Share Now

B.Slade The Children Cover

I have been clear in my appreciation of the great talent of B.Slade™ over the past year. As an added bonus, he has made his latest track, "The Children", available on his Bandcamp page. Listen, drink in, and share it with others. I don't know who he managed to think of it, but sampling the theme of a recently defunct soap, to make a statement about LGBT Youth is brilliant. Listen...

You can get find "The Children" on Bandcamp. You can learn more about B.Slade by visiting his official website. You can also follow him on Twitter and Tumblr.

Catch The New Wave...

Lloyd Cole Haircut 100 Pictures, Images and Photos
Fine Young Cannibals Nik Kershaw
Clockwise: Lloyd Cole; Haircut 100; Nik Kershaw; and Fine Young Cannibals.

As we take one last breath before going out tonight, and try to not let the last day of work get us down, I thought I would offer up some of the music I was listening to about 30 years ago, give or take a year or two. I will start with a singer/songwriter I loved back then, and still love today. That would be the delicious Lloyd Cole, here performing with the wonderful group, The Commotions. It is so amazing, for I did purchase his latest release, Broken Record, in 2010. But now, we are going back to 1985, and enjoy Lloyd's Lost Weekend.

There is something that is just far too delicious about the music of Haircut 100, and the amazing Nick Heyward. I loved their yummy Pop music. I fell in love with Favourite Shirt (Boy Meets Girl) in 1981. And the following year, they had the coolest song of them all, Love Plus One. You can't help but move when you hear this!

I won't like, I had such a crush on Nik Kershaw. I first discovered him when I heard Wouldn't It Be Good, an amazing song he released in 1984. The song had me running to the import store, and buying his album. It was then I heard the song that would quickly become my favorite, the intricate Don Quixote. Some 28 years later, and I can say that Don Quixote is still a favorite of mine. And I still have a bit of a crush on Nik!

There is something about the music of Fine Young Cannibals that is ultimately sexy and sultry as hell. Roland Gift's voice is just amazing to hear, with nuance and a nod to earlier rock 'n' roll music, but certainly looking forward to a new and exciting combination of sounds. I remember hearing Johnny Come Home for the first time in 1985, and actually getting excited, and wanting to own the album.

You can find all of the music on both iTunes and Amazon.

Lloyd Cole & the Commotions iTunes and Amazon
Haircut 100 iTunes and Amazon
Nik Kershaw iTunes and Amazon
Fine Young Cannibals iTunes and Amazon

Countdown to the weekend has begun...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Years Resolutions

Photobucket Breathe
Tom Waits
Clockwise: Dylan Rice; Breathe; Tom Waits; and Shane Mack.

I decided that since we are coming up on the last week of January, it was time to discuss all those New Years Resolutions that were made in a fit of panic, or a somewhat altered state. No matter the case, for a majority of people, by this time all the Resolutions made have been broken in one way or another. They have been forgotten, actively abolished, or willpower has not held. But, no matter the reason, they hare a thing of the past, much like certain bets in bars with your best friend, or promises to call that one-night-stand the next day. So,whenever I hear resolutions or the aforementioned promises being made, I feel like shouting one thing: lies! Even on New Years Eve, as a friend is sipping on their cocktail, once they start the sentence with "my New Years Resolution will be..." I hear Dylan Rice singing in my head, to his amazing song off the 2004 album Wandering Eyes. Yes, my mind starts hearing The Lie.

I have always loved that song, and that whole album. You can find Dylan Rice on iTunes and on Amazon.

There are also times when my 1980s retrospective comes online, and the next thing I know, I am hearing the lovely voices of Breathe sing on of their big hits, Don't Tell Me Lies from the 1987 album All That Jazz. Man, this is so infectious, there are times I swear I can't get it out of my head!

See, now it might be stuck in your head! You can find Breathe on iTunes and on Amazon.

And there are many times she the gorgeous voice of the handsome Shane Mack comes into my head, singing to something I or a close friend has said. Well, that he sang, as part of the soundtrack to the Movie Shelter, released in 2007. I have been waiting for at least five years for Mack to put out an album, and have yet to be greeted with a definite answer. Until then, I will be content to listen to Lie To Me by Shane.

That song is all kinds of sexy and sultry, I think I would lose it if I saw him performing that in person. You can find Shane Mack on Music From The Here! Original Film Shelter on iTunes and on Amazon.

And, finally, we have a sweet little ditty by the same name by the outrageously talented Tom Waits. Here is Tom singing Lie To Me from his 2006's Orphans album. And check out this clever video for the song.

I just find Waits almost impossible to resist. You can find Tom Waits on iTunes and on Amazon. And that is what I think of New Years Resolutions!

Chris Keys • New Day EP

Chris Keys
Chris Keys Chris Keys

I have discovered that another of my favorite indie musicians, Chris Keys, has new music out. I was delighted to find New Day on iTunes, and make it a part of my music collection. First, let me reminisce a bit, to that fine day a couple of years ago when I ran across the music of a talented musician from Belfast, Northern Ireland. I was immediately charmed by the slight smoke in his voice, and such honesty in his words. I loved songs like Shooting Star and Seven Seas, and they quickly went into rotation on my iPod. I am amused that I can look back, and see that I first wrote about him on this blog more than two years ago, here and here. But that was then, and this is now. I recently downloaded his latest release, New Day, and find he still knows how to make music that charms me to the core. Take, for instance, the title cut, New Day. Listen and watch this sweet performance.

I thought that was wonderful, so sweet, so honest. The New Day EP is a six-song collection, settled with beautiful songs that tell great stories in the tradition of Irish music. And much like one of my favorite Irish singer/songwriters, Van Morrison, the final product is more than just a story, it is a wonderful journey connected to the soul. I love the ride he takes me on when he sings Shadows, a song off New Day.

Over the past few years, I heard a maturity in both Chris' voice, and his original material. The new music found on New Day just speaks to me so completely, so totally, I can't stop listening. One of my favorites is You and I.

The New Day EP is available on iTunes and Amazon. You can find out more about Chris Keys by visiting his official website here. You can also watch more live performances on his YouTube channel here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Ladies Take On The Beatles

Karen Carpenter Marianne Faithful
Judy Collins Emmylou Harris
Clockwise: Karen Carpenter; Marianne Faithfull; Emmylou Harris; and Judy Collins.

After listening once again to the first entry of this post, I was inspired to seek out other covers of Beatles songs, and found some incredible performances by many gorgeous voices. There are way more than the four that I post here, but picked these because of the purity of the voice, and the honesty they brought to the table that made them stand out. So I will start with Karen Carpenter's haunting version of Ticket To Ride. The song, written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, was a hit for the Beatles in 1965. In 1969, it became the first song Richard and Karen Carpenter had on the Billboard charts.

You can find Ticket To Ride, both the single and the album, on iTunes and Amazon.

A stalwart on the folk scene for the last 50 years, playing in coffee houses since the early 1960s. In 1967, she released her first album, In My Life. It had songs from some of the top writers of the 20th century, from Bob Dylan, Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill, Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel, Randy Newman, Donovan, and, of course, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. In fact, the stunning singer used the Beatles tune as the title track. Here is Judy Collins singing the great ballad, In My Life.

You can find In My Life, both the single and the album, on iTunes and Amazon.

The stunning Marianne Faithful sang a beautiful version of the Lennon-McCartney song Yesterday in 1965. This was before she was having affairs with The Rolling Stones, before she discovered the joys and pitfalls of the 60s drug culture. It was when she was a beautiful girl, with a lovely voice, singing an early cover of a song that is perhaps the most covered song in the history of recorded music.

You can find Yesterday, part of her Greatest Hits collection, on iTunes and Amazon.

At times, there is just a very fine line between Country and Folk, a line that has often been blurred. You could easily say that an artist like Emmylou Harris has not only crossed that line, but made it useless. The brilliance of her tone, the amazing phrasing she has, all makes her an amazing artist. And in 1975, she released an album that included Here, There and Everywhere, a song written by Paul McCartney, but credited to the Lennon-McCartney catalog. Elite Hotel was an amazing album, and the cover was just beautiful.

You can find Elite Hotel or the single Here, There & Everywhere, on iTunes and Amazon.

TimPermanent • Busy Video

Photobucket Photobucket

I can't help it, I am such a big fan of Singer/songwriter TimPermanent and his delightful music. Tim has released a new video for the song Busy off the Resident album. As I said in a previous post here, I love Resident, and am excited we are starting to see the videos.


The new video was produced and edited by TJ Daly, and features images of Tim shot by photographer David B. Arenas. It has the charming feel of a stop-action video, almost a clay-mation. Photographer Arenas captured the spirit and joy of the man and the song. I am crazy about this video!

For more about TimPermanent, you can find him on the official website here. You can find TimPermanent on iTunes and Amazon, where you can purchase he single Busy or the Resident album. I hear that Tim is already working on a video for Dance Floor Lost, one of my favorites off the album! Can't wait!


Related Posts with Thumbnails