Good Morning, September

Good morning, September!  As a child, this month meant back to school.  Now for me it begins the journey to December winter (and Christmas.  YAY!!!)  So because I’m an old fart, this song has been my earworm all morning.  Jerry Orbach originally sang it in the 1962 off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks. 

Enjoy.

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Surreal Saturday: Panty Party?

Nothing can get as strange and weird as Japanese media.  If you want to take sexism to the wall, check the Japanese media. If you want a weird sexist game, yeah, check out Japanese media.

Here is a real game where you can dash and dodge in high speed battles – with panties.

I have no words.

Panty Party Trailer – I must find the Warrior of Love!

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Surreal Saturday: Petlexa; or Happy Birthday to Me!

I’m not sure whether everybody has seen Amazon’s Echo.  This device connects to an artificial intelligence server named Alexa, a kind of competition for iPhone’s Siri. (I have one.)  With the appropriate equipment, Alexa turns lights on and off, wakes you up and puts you to bed, answers questions, and walks the dog.  Well, not exactly but that doesn’t mean that Amazon hasn’t been thinking about your four-legged friends.  Enter Petlexa – for your pet.   What could possibly go wrong?

Enjoy.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my birthday with a day of lazing followed by culinary overindulgence at a location known only to friends.  Ta ta!

Amazon Alexa Moments: Petlexa (Amazon Echo Commercial)

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The Sound of Silence

Hearing aids circa 1990

Back in the Jurassic Age, I was a lawyer.  Courtrooms could be cavernous, swallowing up sound, so I plunked down money for state of the art hearing aids.  That meant that they were molded in one piece and fit in the ear.  I could control the volume on the piece and didn’t need a little black box that hung around the neck or fit in a pocket.  I loved them until I realized they magnified all the noises I could already hear and nothing else.  They drove me crazy.  Into a drawer they went and years later, out with the trash.

So 27 years after my first failed experience, I decided to try again.   Although I’ve been hearing impaired since birth (mostly deaf in the right, partially in the left), what remains has been gradually disappearing.   Friends told me that I heard less.  I found myself growing quieter and quieter in noisy social situations.  I’d become so accustomed to the sound of silence that I didn’t realize how bad things were until the audiology test.  To my dismay, the spikes and lines dipped much lower and the good ear had lost a great deal of word comprehension in noisy environments.  Literature lying around warned that increasing deafness carried a higher risk of dementia.  So I bought more state of the art digital hearing aids, fully programmable, and geared to amplifying the sounds I need.  My geeky soul was thrilled.  The audiologist stated he wouldn’t program the devices to full capacity so that the wall of noise wouldn’t knock me over. Instead he would increase the volume over a 45 day trial period which would allow my brain to adjust.  Even so, the variety and loudness of sounds have been startling.    Literally.  I’ve jumped at every odd noise since beginning this post.  Is the strangely loud washing really breaking down?  I have clue.

The new high tech. Starkey Halo 2 hearing aid

Naturally my high tech gear has not come without glitches.  The devices should be programmable with my iPhone allowing me to take calls and listen to music – that is if the damn phone will see them.  One hour with the audiologist and  two and half hours with Apple troubleshooting have yielded no fully functioning hearing aids.  There’s another audiological appointment on Friday. Apple swears they are working on their end, and I’m about to bring Starkey, the manufacturer, into this.  Needless to say, these iPhone friendly devices will be returned if they aren’t iPhone friendly soon.

All of this reminds me of another type of deafness which leaves people isolated in their personal bubble of silence.  Simon and Garfunkel sang about it in Sound of Silence.

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound Of Silence [HD]

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Serene Sunday: Hamilton – Acappella Medley

Tony award winning Hamilton is one of my fave musicals I’ve never seen yet.  So I checked on YouTuber Peter Hollens to see if he had taken a shot at it.  Lo and behold, there was the tribute video.   So here is Hollens and company with a medley of hit from Hamilton.

Enjoy.

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Hamilton – An Acappella Medley. Nine Months in the making… Join my community! https://www.youtube.com/user/peterhollens/community Support my videos on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/peterhollens Stream or Buy This Anywhere: http://smarturl.it/peterhollensmusic Watch Evynne’s FULL VERSION of “BURN” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86yDHhz2hhc Featuring: Eppic! (CHECK HIM OUT!!!) http://www.facebook.com/eppicinvasion – http://www.youtube.com/eppictv Click Here To Subscribe!

 

Surreal Saturday: Hi Stranger

Today’s entry is the creepiest little life affirming thing I’ve ever seen.

Breathe in.   Breathe out.

Hi Stranger

It’s been a while… omg and there’s merch here: https://society6.com/kirstenlepore Written, Directed, and Animated by Kirsten Lepore Voice by Garrett Davis Final Sound Mix by David Kamp Thanks to: Dan Kwan Kent Osborne Late Night Work Club

Serene Sunday: Beauty and the Beast

One of my favorite animated films is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast released in 1991.  Twenty-six years later, Disney decided to release a live action version.  Naturally I wonder why they would want to do that when they had already achieved perfection?  Still my curiosity is piqued, so I will go see it.  I’ll tell you what I think.

In the meantime, you can compare the two versions of the title song.  Here is the official 1991 video with Peabo Bryson and Celine Dion.

Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson – Beauty And The Beast (HQ Official Music Video)

Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson’s version of Beauty And The Beast is simply just magical! In honor of the new Beauty and the Beast Diamond Edition Blu-ray and DVD coming out next year, here is a High Quality Version of the Music Video. I edit the Audio to the studio version.

Ariana Grande and John Legend perform the new 2017 release.  It is more lushly produced.  What do you think?

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Stream #BeautyAndTheBeast on Disney+. Disney+ is the only place to stream your favorites from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more. Access it all at https://disneymusic.co/JoinDisneyPlus?IQid=dmvevo. Coming to UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy March 2020.

 

Serene Sunday: For Once in My Life

Got waylaid last week, but thanks to antibiotics I’m back on track. So here I am, awake at 12:48 AM on a Sunday morning waiting for the clocks to change to Daylight Savings Time (I’m pro) and sifting through YouTube for something “serene.”  Then I began reminiscing about my parents’ voluminous record collection and the ones I enjoyed.

For Once in My Life, as a song, isn’t technically in my top 10 list of best songs even though it’s been covered by many artists.  Even when Stevie Wonder popularized it in 1967, I never cared for the upbeat rendition.  Why?  Because Jean DuShon’s version had captivated me first.

According to our pal Wiki, the demo of the song was recorded as a ballad by Barbara McNair but first released by DuShon in 1966.  Then through DuShon lost the right to sing it.

“Jean DuShon was one of the singers who was originally tapped by Ron Miller to demo the song as he was fine-tuning the composition. Miller was impressed by DuShon’s rendition, and her version, produced by Esmond Edwards, was issued as a single on Chess Records’ Cadet label in October 1966. It was chosen “Pick Hit of the Week” by Detroit’s WXYZ radio. Although the record label gave the sole songwriting credit to Murden, Motown CEO Berry Gordy discovered that Miller – who was contracted to Motown – had co-written the song, and reportedly asked Chess not to promote the single.  DuShon dropped “For Once in My Life” from her nightclub act and later said: “It was a very big disappointment in my life. I stopped singing it ‘cause I didn’t have the song. I didn’t have anything. It wasn’t mine anymore.””

DuShon’s version was overshadowed and forgotten which is unfortunate.  It was DuShon’s powerhouse singing and the soaring orchestral arrangement that gave the lyrics the deep soulfulness it required.  Some people may prefer a simpler version but I’m a sucker for power ballads.   As the joke goes, “back in my day, singers could sing, and we liked it.”

By the way, my record was broken during the move.  Thank goodness for YouTube.

Enjoy.

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Serene Sunday: Oh Maria

Two of my favorite Whoopi Goldberg comedies are Sister Act and Sister Act 2 made in the early 1990s.  Goldberg plays a lounge singer in 1968 who is placed in protective custody as a convent nun in order to escape a mob boss.  Sister Act was popular, grossing 231 million worldwide.  The soundtrack album debuted at #74 and eventually reached #40 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart where it charted for 54 weeks.  Having attended parochial schools from the 8th grade starting in the early ’70’s (complete with nuns in full habit), this movie struck a chord with me. 

One of the issues facing the Catholic Church today is how to make religion relevant to current times.  In the movie, Whoopi as Delois, demonstrates one way by using music with a modern flair to attract young people to the church.   The resulting choir scene is fun.

Enjoy!

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Surreal Saturday: New Bibi Hendl

Since you couldn’t get enough of Takeo Ischi last week, I found another YouTube video to satisfy your fascination with this chicken yodeler.  He even has his own wiki page.   Here’s a snippet about this 69 year old wonder:

“Ischi was born and raised in Tokyo, Japan.  In high school, he was a loner, but it was during this time that he first heard yodeling on the radio.  Following his father, Ischi went to university for mechanical engineering. In his spare time he became engrossed with the zither and the hammered dulcimer, and learned to play these instruments. Using Franzl Lang‘s records, he taught himself to yodel, and began performing on Japanese television. During a six-month period where he studied abroad in Germany, Ischi went to Switzerland, where he sang at a beer hall in Zurich. He soon started earning money from this. From there he sang in front of Lang, his idol, and Lang took him under his wing. He performed on television with Maria Hellwig, and after that became known in German language circles as the “Japanese yodeler.”

Enjoy.

Takeo Ischi – New Bibi Hendl (Chicken Yodeling) 2011

Takeo Ischi – New Bibi Hendl (Chicken Yodeling) 2011 .. Yodelmeister Mister Takeo Ischi Wiar i bin auf d’Alm aufi ganga hab mer wolln mei Bibi-Henderl fange. Gel mei Bibi-Hendl, gel bi-bi gel mei Bibi-Hendl, jetzt duckst Di! (Jodeln) Wiar i bin im Wald aussi kemma ham’s ma wolln mei Bibi-Henderl nehma.

 

Serene Sunday: After Hours

When I was a child, my parents still listened to 78 rpm records.  (Now if you don’t know what those are, don’t feel bad.  Record companies had stopped pressing them by the time I was born.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. *Cough*)  

Anyway, I inherited the collection which included many jazz greats.  My favorite was “After Hours” performed by Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, and Sonny Rollins.  There was something about the sensuous horns and tinkling of the ivories that caught my attention.  The 78 version was a bit shorter than this LP version (remember those) found on YouTube.  Listen and you can see why these gentlemen were considered among the best at what they did.

So make some jazzy time and enjoy your Sunday.

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Surreal Saturday: Chicken Attack!

Alright then. That was one heck of long pause in scheduled programming.  I went to NYC in November to see Richard Armitage in Love, Love, Love and then – fell off the face of the earth.  During a strange mixture of after-trip fugue, post-election shock, holiday depression and winter doldrums, a strong reluctance to write.  This has been especially problematic since I’m taking a self-publishing course – only with no finished manuscript.  Cart before the horse much?

So what caused you to break through today, you ask.  Well, today would have been my usual Surreal Saturday and guys and gals, I just had to share my love of the bizarre with you and this video doesn’t disappoint.  I saw this Japanese yodeler in a previous video which I can’t find now but he’s back in another surreal but oddly catchy and mesmerizing one.  You’re going to love this. Trust me.  Watch to the end.

Enjoy!

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A Pause in Scheduled Programming

Yes I’m back from NYC (with no picante sauce).  Have been trying to get my thoughts together about Love, Love, Love but the political change has come as a shock.  However, this is the U.S. process and something I will have to accept.  I’m giving myself a little time to grieve and ruminate about where we’re heading and what I can do.  As soon as I sort things out, I’ll review the play and Richard Armitage’s performances.

In the meantime, here’s a video of the November 5, 2016 stage door.

11 5 2016 stage door

Love, Love, Love Stage Door November 5, 2016

Serene Sunday: Pachelbel’s Canon in D

We are five weeks from the start of the official holiday season in U.S.  Interestingly, Pachelbel’s Canon in D comes to mind because I usually hear it played around the holidays.  So who is Pachelbel and why is this piece heard at Christmas?  My old pal Wiki states the following:

“Pachelbel’s Canon is the name commonly given to a canon by the German Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel in his Canon and Gigue for 3 violins and basso continuo (German: Kanon und Gigue für 3 Violinen mit Generalbaß) (PWC 37, T. 337, PC 358), sometimes referred to as Canon and Gigue in D or simply Canon in D. Neither the date nor the circumstances of its composition are known (suggested dates range from 1680 to 1706), and the oldest surviving manuscript copy of the piece dates from the 19th century.

Pachelbel’s Canon, like Pachelbel’s other works, although popular during his lifetime, soon went out of style, and remained in obscurity for centuries thereafter. A 1968 arrangement and recording of it by the Jean-François Paillard chamber orchestra became unexpectedly popular over the next decade, and in the 1970s the piece began to be recorded by many ensembles; by the early 1980s its presence as background music was deemed inescapable.[1] From the 1970s to the early 2000s, elements of the piece, especially its chord progression, were used in a variety of pop music songs. Since the 1980s, it has also been used frequently in weddings and funeral ceremonies in the Western world.”

To paraphrase, Pachelbel was known as a composer and organist during his lifetime but today is known for his church and chamber music.  In 1968, the Jean-François Paillard chamber orchestra made a recording of the piece. A classical San Francisco radio played it in 1970 which garnered many requests.  In 1974, London Records, aware of the interest in the piece, reissued a 1961 album of the Corelli Christmas Concerto performed by the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, which happened to contain the piece, now re-titled to Pachelbel Kanon: the Record That Made it Famous and other Baroque Favorites.  The album was the highest-selling classical album of 1976.

And the rest, as they say, is history.  Enjoy.

pachelbel’s Canon in D–Soothing music(the best version)

Music Title: Canon in D Composer: J. Pachelbel Genre: Classic

 

Serene Sunday: Take Me Home, Country Roads

Happy first Sunday in March.  This month supposedly will herald the first days of spring but as far as I can see, snow rules.  We’ve still got the now black mounds from the blizzard and expect more of the refresh white stuff today.  Friends are in town to visit (read: check up on me). Two nights ago, we saw Million Dollar Quartet which really got the house rocking. The cast did a fine job of impersonating Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Peggy Lee.  So all that 1950’s music made me think of …. John Denver.  (My friend tuned into a ’70’s station on the drive to the theater, so the association makes perfect sense.)   One of Denver’s biggest hits was Take Me Home Country Roads, which makes a serene enough song for today.

Enjoy.

John Denver – Take Me Home, Country Roads (Official Audio)

Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver Listen to John Denver: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/listenYD Subscribe to the official John Denver YouTube channel: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/subscribeYD Watch more John Denver videos: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/listenYD/youtube Follow John Denver: Facebook: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/followFI Instagram: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/followII Twitter: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/followTI Website: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/followWI Spotify: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/followSI YouTube: https://JohnDenver.lnk.to/subscribeYD Ask your device to play John Denver!

Serene Sunday: Kyrie

I’m behind in writing again.  While looking for the Catholic hymn “Kyrie,” I came upon this song “Kyrie Eleison” by Mr. Mister.  “Kyrie, eleison” (or “Lord, have mercy”) is a liturgical response of the people to intentions mentioned in the Prayer of the Faithful.  Mr. Mister used the phrase for this 1985 hit.  Even though I’m no longer Christian, it’s spiritual message somehow strikes a chord.

Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie, eléison
Kýrie

The wind blows hard against this mountainside
Across the sea into my soul
It reaches into where I cannot hide
Setting my feet upon the road

My heart is old, it holds my memories
My body burns a gem-like flame
Somewhere between the soul and soft machine
Is where I find myself again

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow?
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

When I was young, I thought of growing old
Of what my life would mean to me
Would I have followed down my chosen road
Or only wished what I could be

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow?
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh
Whoa, oh, oh

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow?
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel (will you follow?)
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow? (will you follow)
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel (yeah)
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow? (will you follow?)
Kýrie, eléison
On a highway in the light

Kýrie, eléison
Down the road that I must travel (will you follow?)
Kýrie, eléison
Through the darkness of the night

Kýrie, eléison
Where I’m going, will you follow? (will you follow)

Enjoy.

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Kyrie Eleison, which means “Lord, have mercy”

Surreal Saturday: I See Fire – Peter Hollens Cover

Weathering a bit of post-NaNoWriMo and pre-holiday blues, so I’ve returned to blogging on orders of Dr. G.  Write, she said. Wrote it on her pad and everything.   So, here am I writing. I think.

Anyway, I finally saw Desolation of SmOUg by accident, by that I mean my nose caught a whiff of fresh popcorn as I walked by the building and led me in.  Hey, I’m dieting so my sense of smell is very acute.  A review will follow next week, so all I will say is that I enjoyed it.

I caught the Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire a few months ago when Peter Jackson posted it on YouTube.  Naturally, artists are doing covers of the song.   The following one, by Peter Hollens, has been my favorite.  Actually prefer it to the original.

Enjoy.

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My favorite music video I’ve ever made. Enjoy! Support my videos on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/peterhollens Get the sheet music for this song: http://mnot.es/2hvi0S0 Make a living doing what YOU love! Let me teach you: https://www.peterhollens.com/creatoracademy Click Here To Subscribe! ► http://bit.ly/JoinTheHollensFamily Hollens Family Store!

 

 

 

 

Serene Sunday: May It Be

I’m not a fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy although I’ve seen all the movies.  (Yes, somehow the mystique of Middle Earth escaped me).  So I had to be reminded about the following song.  A few listenings later, it’s clearly a great pick for Serene Sunday.  So enjoy May It Be, sung by Enya.

May it be – Enya

This is the first video I made.. “May it be” by Enya! Hope you like it! =) *** For all those who ask, I found the pictures on the net. Just google them, I’m sure you’ll find these and many more! 😉 *** Thanks a lot for all the nice comments!

 

 

Serene Sunday: Blue Bayou

Recently, Linda Ronstadt announced that she has multiple sclerosis and can no longer sing.  She’d had symptoms for seven or eight years but was diagnosed only recently because of voice issues.  The news shocked and devastated her as well as fans around the world.  I felt deeply saddened because she was one of the truly great voices of her time in the ’70s and ’80s.  Today in the era of wannabe singers and auto-tuning, Linda had an amazing vocal range from rock (When Will I Be Loved) to operatic (Pirates of Penzance).

So today, I present her Roy Orbison cover, Blue Bayou, which hit #3 on the the Billboard 100 in 1977.

Enjoy.

Linda Ronstadt – Blue Bayou

DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the audio of this video. Subscribe. 😉 Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt

 

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KRA 2

I’ve completely fallen asleep at the switch in publicizing KRA week. However, I hope to redeem myself with a post about Richard III in my own strange fashion tomorrow.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, KRA 2013 Week is in its 5 day!  Head over to the KRA fan initiative website here for more and take part in the yearly quizz.  You can sign the petition here.