My emusic subscription is now active again. I haven’t bought any bonus packs yet though.
I did a separate post about Eurovision. In short, it was exhilarating to watch, but I wish that the favorite didn’t win … just to be surprised.
BEAUTIFUL SONGS NEVER WIN BIG THINGS. Here’s a terrific and uplifting sung by Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper (Official Eurovision entry for Netherlands). Such a simple song, yet a standout performance which unbelievably didn’t qualify for the Eurovision finals. Have no fear. This song will endure with or without the Eurovision bump.
1st Semifinals featured a LOT of strange songs — even by Eurovision standards. Truthfully I love strange songs and performances at Eurovision, but after watching so many outlandish hyperkinetic performances I begin to want something more basic. (Btw, the interval act with Alyosha and Rebecca Ferguson singing Ordinary World was extraordinary even though the audio quality was substandard).
Articles and Interviews
Here’s a great annotated ranking of Weird Al songs (though I’m bummed it didn’t include the awesome SPORTS SONG on the list). Special appreciation goes to Dick Van Patton for his cameo appearance in the SMELLS LIKE NIRVANA music video.
- Of Night and Shades by Nazca.
- Play by Inge van Calkar.
- Two by Deborah Palmer: Dreaming Wide Awake and Nowhere Land.
None this month.
Here’s an On the Road YouTube playlist I made with the theme (music you’ll like to speed to). About half the ideas came from a subreddit thread, the other half were personal picks.
To my astonishment, I discovered that the Houston club Mucky Duck has been producing a lot of concerts of its mostly Texas performers. Here’s a playlist of full concerts. I particularly recommend Bob Schneider, Sarah Hickman, Kelly Willis, Shinyribs, Trish and Darren Murphy, Patricia Pike, but clearly I am only scratching the surface. Wow, here’s Jonatha Brooke who just performed there last weekend!
Ace of Base I’ve been on a memory trip about Ace of Bass, a group I was only dimly aware of while working overseas.
I’ve been watching Sofi Tukker live performances on Youtube. Here’s an energetic 2021 concert — the first they did after COVID lockdown –563 days after their last performance. Here’s a July 2022 DJ set in Croatia — with a gigantic crowd. Half of the songs are their songs, but they know how to work a crowd. (Also the funky visuals behind them help a lot).
Rick Beato and songwriter Mary Spender marvel at the beautiful lyrics of Jim Croce’s Operator. They marveled at the compactness of the language, the antiquated technology (calling the operator for a number!?) and the hints of sadness in the midst of the upbeat chord changes. Someday I would like to write lyrics for a song! I can do prose and I have a very good sense for rhythm and word flow.
Amazing studio performance by Blondie in 1977 (2 years before they hit it really big). Here’s Debbie Harry singing Rainbow Connection with Kermit (aka Jim Henson). Here’s an interview with Paul Williams about the composition of Rainbow Connection for the Muppet Movie. Here’s his description:
There was an initial meeting at my house in the Hollywood hills to discuss the film, the story of how the Muppets met and the songs that were needed. Walking Jim to his car I told him that Kenny and I would not throw any surprises at him. We’d let him hear the songs as we worked on them. He answered with a smile and then said “Oh, that’s all right Paul. I’m sure they’ll be wonderful. I’ll hear them in the studio when we record them.”
I’ve never once, before or since, experienced such freedom. In the world of filmmaking and the costs involved it’s unheard of. But, there in the street above tinsel town I was shown a level of trust that says more about Jim Henson than it does about Kenny Ascher and I.
Confident in the creative choices he’d made he was willing to step back, allow the process to unfold without excessive control and, energized by his caring and respect Kenny and I did our best work. His graciousness and the elegance of kindness he wore so well made knowing and working for Jim Henson a classic case of living with a master of gratitude and trust
Freegal and Library CDs
- Deltron 3000
- Miriam Makeba.
- Sofi Tukker. More random tracks.I can’t get enough of this group!
- Sammi Smith. Country star famous for pretty much one song. Help Me Make it through the Night. But she has a great voice and a slow deliberate way of singing.
- Microphones. The Glow Pt. 2 . This 2001 strangely-named avante-garde album has received widespread praise, even from Pitchfork Magazine.
Reviews (Rateyourmusic/Personal Reviews, etc)
None this time.