Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Today’s Song

Today’s song is the classic, A Place in the Sun, written by Stevie Wonder and recorded in 1966.

A Place in the Sun

Like a long lonely stream
I keep runnin’ towards a dream
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like a branch on a tree
I keep reachin’ to be free
Movin’ on, movin’ on

‘Cause there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

Like an old dusty road
I get weary from the load
Movin’ on, movin’ on
Like this tired troubled earth
I’ve been rollin’ since my birth
Movin’ on, movin’ on

There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
And before my life is done
Got to find me a place in the sun

You know when times are bad
And you’re feeling sad
I want you to always remember

Yes, there’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone
Where my poor restless heart’s gotta run
There’s a place in the sun
Where there’s hope for ev’ryone…”

To download a MP3 version of this song from Amazon.com, click here.

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Success for Susan

Congratulations to Susan Boyle, who was catapulted to worldwide fame through her breakthrough, bravura performance on Britain’s Got Talent, on the release of her debut album, called “I Dreamed A Dream.”  The album, which was released earlier this week, was the biggest advance seller of any music CD in Amazon.com’s history.

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To order your copy of the CD from Amazon.com, click here.

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Holiday Songs

The 2009 holiday season is approaching, and the holiday music is coming.  Here is my list of TOP 10 HOLIDAY SONGS.

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1.  Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, performed by Judy Garland, from the film “Meet Me in St. Louis”
2.  The Christmas Song, performed by Nat King Cole
3.  All I Want for Christmas, performed by  Mariah Carey
4.  Mele Kalikimaka, performed by Bing Crosby
5.  Christmas by the Bay, performed by Tim Hockenberry
6.  Merry Christmas Darling, performed by The Carpenters
7. White Christmas, performed by Bing Crosby
8. I’ll Be Home for Christmas, performed by Barbra Streisand
9. Feliz Navidad, performed by Jose Feliciano
10.  Auld Lang Syne

The go to other Top 10 Lists, click here.

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Boyle is Back

Susan Boyle is back and at the top of her game following a powerful performance of “Wild Horses,” a classic from The Rolling Stones, on America’s Got Talent on 9/16/09.  And on 11/24/09, the 48-year old singer will release her much-anticipated debut album, which was produced by Simon Cowell.  Titled “I Dreamed a Dream,” the album has reportedly already sold over a million advance copies.  According to published reports, Cowell is quoted as saying that the album will include I Dreamed a Dream, Wild Horses, Memory, You’ll See (Madonna), and Cry Me a River; other tracks have not been announced.

Above:  A video clip with Susan Boyle’s amazing performance of Wild Horses on the reality talent show, America’s Got Talent, on 9/16/09.

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To place an advance order for Susan’s Boyle’s debut album, go to Amazon.com by clicking here.  To read more about Susan Boyle, go to her official music website by clicking here.

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Top Film Songs

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The American Film Institute (AFI) compiles a variety of lists that honor films over the past 100 years.  Among them is the Top 100 Film Songs which showcases the most memorable songs from movies.  An excerpt of the top 35 entries is shown below.

The #1 ranked film song is “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz (1939).

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To view the full list of 100 Years 100 Songs from the American Film Institute, go to their official website by clicking here.

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Farewell, MJ

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The King of Pop is gone.  Rest in peace, Michael Jackson (August 29, 1958-June 25, 2009).

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Dream a Little Dream

Today’s video is a vintage (circa 1968) recording of Cass Elliot singing “Dream A Little Dream of Me,” written by Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt and Gus Kahn.  The song was a Top 20 hit for Frankie Laine in 1950 and later was recorded by Louis Armstrong, Doris Day and Ella Fitzgerald.  Today, it is probably most associated with the legendary Mama Cass.

“Dream A Little Dream of Me” is #6 on my list of Top 10 Favorite Songs.  To go to a previous post with the complete list of Top 10 Favorite Songs, click here.

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Today’s Video

Today’s video is a terrific live recording of Louis Armstrong’s classic, beloved rendition of “What A Wonderful World.”  Written by Bob Thiele, George David Weiss and George Douglas, the song was recorded by Louis Armstrong in 1968 and inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.  Although it has since been recorded by dozens of other artists, nothing compares to the original interpretation by the great Satchmo (1901-1971).

Even on the darkest days, this song always lifts my spirit and makes me remember– there is always hope for a brighter day.

 Thanks, Satchmo.

“What A Wonderful World,” sung by Louis Armstrong, is ranked #2 on my list of Top 10 Favorite Songs.  To view the complete list of Top 10 Favorite Songs, click here.

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Today’s Video

Today’s video is “Desi Girl,” the lively, high-energy signature track from the popular Bollywood film ”Dostana,” directed by Tarun Mansukhani, which premiered in New Delhi during my visit in November 2008.


Enjoy it and dance along!

To purchase the Dostana soundtrack album from Amazon.com, click here.  In case you haven’t seen the movie, which played in most major USA markets earlier this year, you can rent it now at Netflix.com or purchase it from Amazon.com.  To learn more about the movie, visit the official Dostana website by clicking here.

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To go to previous entries in the “Today’s Video” series, click here.

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Into The West

In the midst of sadness, there is always comfort to be found somewhere.  I find comfort in this song– Into The West, written by Fran Walsh, Howard Shore and Annie Lennox, which won the 2003 Academy Award for Best Song, from the film The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

This song is #17 on my list of  Top 10 Favorite Songs.  Click here to go to the full list.

To purchase and download this song from Amazon.com in MP3 format, click here  or go to iTunes.

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The Boss in San Jose

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Bruce Springsteen’s new concert, featuring songs from his latest recording, ”Working on a Dream,” arrived at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, CA, on 4/1/09, the first stop in a 47-city worldwide tour which runs through August ‘09.  Accompanied by the E Street Band and Patti Scialfa, The Boss delivered a solid, no-frills performance to a sold-out and appreciative crowd in San Jose.  Working on a Dream is Springsteen’s 16th major studio album.  Springsteen turns 60 on 9/23.

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To read more about the Working on a Dream tour, visit the official Bruce Springsteen website by clicking here.  If you want to purchase the CD or the MP3 downdload, visit Amazon.com by clicking here.

Photos taken: 4/1/09

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Jai Ho!

The DVD and Blu-Ray versions of Slumdog Millionaire, the 2008 winner of eight Academy awards, including Best Picture of the Year, are being released this week.  The exhilarating and hugely popular film, which has grossed nearly $300 million worldwide, also won five Critics’ Choice Awards, four golden Globe Awards and seven BAFTA awards, including Best Picture. 

In celebration of the film’s relatively quick  release on DVD (considering it’s still in first run in many locations around the world), here’s a video of the film’s Academy award-winning Best Song, Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny), which is played as part of a Bollywood tribute during the film’s end credits.

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To order the DVD from Amazon.com, click here.  To view the official Slumdog Millionaire website from Fox Searchlight Pictures and to view the official trailer, click here.

In my list of  Top 10 Favorite Movies for 2008, Slumdog Millionaire tied with WALL-E as the #1 film.

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The Day The Music Died

 

This month, Virgin Megastores announced the closure of three of its six remaining stores in the USA, including the iconic store at Times Square in New York City, the Union Square location in New York City and the Market Street store in San Francisco.  The fate of its remaining three stores in Denver, Los Angeles and Orlando is unknown, but the signs are definitely not good. 

I know I’ll particularly miss the huge, three-level store at Times Square, where it was possible to roam the music (and DVD) aisles for hours.  According to reports published this week, the prime Virgin Megastore space on Times Square will be occupied by Century 21, the discount designer and major-brand fashion retailer.

In 2006, Sacramento, CA-based Tower Records shut its 89 USA stores in a final, sad liquidation sale that ended the chain’s colorful 46-year history.

What’s left?  Well, of course, there’s iTunes, Amazon downloads, and online music sharing.  But in order to roam the (physical) aisles and browse music CD covers, we’ve now got Borders Books, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy, and (yikes!) Walmart, as well as the few, heroic remaining neighborhood independent music shopkeepers, who are probably counting down their final days right now. 

And where do we go for comprehensive selections of independent, international, and niche music that was available from Virgin Megastores?  I don’t think you’ll find it shopping at Walmart.

It’s sad.  Music retailing has been dying for a while now.  And so today is just the latest day the music died.

UPDATE: 3/4/09.

The Los Angeles Times published an article today confirming that the three remaining Virgin Megastores in Denver, Los Angeles and Atlanta will close by Summer 2009.

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At the Rrazz Room

 

Vocalist, songwriter and musician Spencer Day returned to San Francisco this week for a limited engagement at the Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko to introduce songs from his upcoming album, “Vagabond,” which is targeted for release by a major label next Spring.  His previous CDs include ”Introducing Spencer Day” in 2004 and ”Movie of Your Life” in 2006.   In addition to concert and club dates in the Bay Area, Day teamed up with Rafe Chase on the musical theater piece “Someday, Love,” which premiered at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in 2005. 

Day has been described as a singer/songwriter who combines the talent and style of Harry Connick, Jr, Norah Jones and Chris Isaak.  His musical influences are jazz, soul, blues, country, Broadway, and the American standards songbook.  He gained national fame as a finalist on CBS’s Star Search in 2003.

To learn more about Spencer Day or to view his Schedule of upcoming performances, visit the official Spencer Day website, by clicking here.  Copies of his two CDs (pictured below) are available for purchase online from CD Baby.

 

And, congratulations to Rrazz Entertainment and Hotel Nikko San Francisco for opening the wonderful Rrazz Room following last year’s closure of The City’s beloved Plush Room in the York Hotel.  The new Rrazz Room offers some significant improvements over the old Plush Room, including a larger, more contemporary space with better sight lines, improved acoustics and expanded service bar.  The Rrazz Room is located in the Hotel Nikko San Francisco at 222 Mason Street. 

To view a schedule of upcoming performances at the Rrazz Room or to purchase show tickets, click here

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Linda Eder in Vegas

One of the reasons I visited Las Vegas last week was to see Linda Eder in concert at the Suncoast Casino Showroom on 10/12/08.   She was appearing in three performances in Las Vegas, as part of her ongoing concert tour.

Ms. Eder is a vocalist who gained fame in the original role of Lucy in the Broadway musical Jekyll & Hyde, which is based on the novel, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  The original stage concept was by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn.  The music was composed by Wildhorn with lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.  The show opened on Broadway in April 1997 and closed in January 2001, following 1,543 performances, which made it the longest-running show in the history of the Plymouth Theatre.  I saw the show on Broadway in December 1997 with the original cast, which included Linda Eder, Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll/Hyde) and Christiane Noll (Emma).  Since that time, I’ve seen about four of her live concerts, including this intimate performance at the Suncoast Casino, one of the smaller venues in her tour schedule.

Linda Eder’s recording of “A New Life,” from the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Jekyll & Hyde, is ranked No. 9 on my list of Top 10 Favorite Songs.  To view my complete list of Top 10 Songs (from a previous post), click here.

You can view Linda Eder in a recorded performance of “A New Life” from Jekyll and Hyde below.  To view the video, click the Play icon.

Over her career, Linda Eder has released nine solo albums.  The three most recent albums, including the release of “The Other Side of Me” last month, are shown below. 

 You can learn more about Linda Eder and check out her concert schedule at her website, LindaEder.com.

To view Linda Eder’s complete list of recordings, click here.  All recordings are available in CD format via The Linda Eder Store at amazon.com or for downloading via iTunes.

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Cher at Caesar’s

Cher, 62, and still going strong, opened her new show in May at Caesar’s Colosseum in Las Vegas, in what is now a “perfect storm” of pop divas, comprised of Cher, Bette Midler and Elton John, in rotation over the next two years.  (On a combined basis, the three performers are 185 years old.  Yikes!)  I saw the show on 8/31/08, in a packed house of 4,300 people, where Cher delivered a solid, 90-minute show of what her fans demand– a retrospective of her big hits, lots of razzmatazz, and over-the-top, practically bare-all Bob Mackie gowns.

Through a series of costume changes (12 or more, perhaps), Cher takes her audience on a time travel through her four decades of singing, including an emotional and highly-effective segment featuring video images of Sonny Bono projected on huge screens onstage. 

The audience was filled with an interesting mix of people– soccer moms with their drag-along husbands, retired couples who may have been expecting re-runs of the old Sonny and Cher shows, groups of “girls gone wild,” as well as core, die-hards from her touring concert base, and of course, her gays.

 

 

In a review of the opening night performance, the Los Angeles Times said “One last tribute must be paid to the Colosseum’s new goddess.  Any sixtysomething who can wear flesh-colored body stockings, even with the hint of a corset beneath, is truly supernatural.   Maybe she really is immortal.”

To purchase tickets from Ticketmaster, click here.

“Lavish, nonstop fun, with the usual array of outlandish Bob Mackie costumes…”

   –Los Angeles Times

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Top 10 Songs

This list changes periodically; however, as of today, my TOP 10 FAVORITE SONGS are:

1.  Over the Rainbow, sung by Judy Garland
2.  What a Wonderful World, sung by Louis Armstrong
3.  Aloha O’e, written by Queen Lili’uokalani
4.  Isn’t it Romantic, sung by Ella Fitzgerald
5.  The Man I Love, sung by Billie Holiday
6.  Dream a Little Dream of Me, sung by Mama Cass
7.  Love Changes Everything, sung by Michael Ball
8.  The Way We Were, sung by Barbra Streisand
9.  A New Life, sung by Linda Eder
10.  My Man, sung by Barbra Streisand
11.  Happy Days are Here Again
12. Too Young, sung by Nat King Cole
13.  Young at Heart, sung by Frank Sinatra
14.  Tears in Heaven, sung by Eric Clapton
15.  Imagine, sung by John Lennon
16.  On My Own, sung by Lea Salonga
17.  Into the West, sung by Annie Lenox

(Okay, I snuck in a few extra songs.)

To see other lists in the “TOP 10 FAVORITE” series, click here.

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