Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday: Country Tokers

A friend and I were having a discussion about how every kind of music (except, perhaps, opera and classical -- though I could be wrong) somehow find a way to reference alcohol and drugs. She said country music doesn't talk about people getting stoned. I had to shake my head. Ahh, youth. And thus it came to be that I had to prove her wrong.

Now, I don't have to go back all that far for my first reference. We'll start with an old favorite, Charlie Daniels. (I could have gone Willie Nelson, but where's the challenge in that?)

So I got the nod on that. "But where's a current song?" she asked. I had to think for a moment, and then it came to me. Eric Church.

Obviously not an exhaustive amount of research was put into this. I just figured two good tunes deserved a run through the ol' Two-fer blender.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two-Fer Tuesday: Human Nature Celebrate Motown

I refuse to go cold turkey (despite it being Thanksgiving week and all) for an entire month when it comes to Human Nature. I've seen their show eight times thus far and, honestly? It's damn good stuff. I was hoping to get in a couple more shows before the group heads off on their Australian tour, but that didn't happen. So, for now, I'll have to make due with their YouTube videos.

Hey, I hear you mumbling over there. Don't question why I'd need to see the show so many times! I said it was good and I meant it. Let me put it this way: when everything else in this crazy town of Las Vegas relies on huge spectacular acrobatics and contortions and makeup and illusion and sex and explosions, it's really refreshing to be able to go see a show where music matters to the extent that it does with Human Nature. This isn't just some tribute show. It's a celebration of all the great Motown hits. Four guys singing their hearts out, dancing up a storm, and enticing you to remember a time when music was king and we were all prom queens. You walk out of the show feeling young and alive and energized! You've spent 90 minutes singing and dancing along with those sweet harmonies and you don't care who saw. How many times has that happened to you? That's what I thought. So don't question me on my tiny addiction. It's the disease AND the cure.

Music? You wanted music? Okay, here we go!

And lest you think that's all there is, let's have a couple bonus songs, shall we?

There. That'll get me through a couple hours. Only 670 hours or so to go until I get another live fix.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday: David Bowie

Don't ask why, but this first David Bowie video delights me in the most bizarre way.

Back in the late 80s I had the opportunity to see Bowie in concert during his Glass Spider tour. Okay, it was August of '87 to be exact. Peter Frampton was touring with the band and that was quite the bonus for this fan girl. The concert was a spectacle on many levels. Opening for Bowie was Siouxsie and the Banshees. I want to say there was another band but the details elude me. I remember I went with Roland Jones, though. And I also remember the song that stood out for me during the show was "Heroes". It gave me chills. Still does.

With the range of David Bowie's music, there's so much to explore. It would be easy to shout out "Space Oddity" as a favorite (and it is), but I encourage you to dig deeper to find the overlooked gems, like "Time" and "Letter to Hermione" and at least a hundred other tunes I can't think of at the moment.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday: Musical TV Moments

Since I love TV and I love music, it stands to reason that the two together would make me happy. This is, indeed, true.

Comedies often provide(d) the best opportunities for musical interludes and the majority of my memories are centered are around sitcoms.

Classic TV shows are a veritable font of musical interludes. Ricky and Lucy, Fred and Ethel had endless numbers...Mary on The Donna Reed Show...Ricky on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet...the list goes on.

The Dick Van Dyke Show had some of the best numbers, though. Rob and Laura singing and dancing, Rob's brother Stacey, Buddy and Sally, and even Mel got into the act. My favorite performance was that of "I Am A Fine Musician", which was used twice during the series run.

This version is fine, but the better of the two is from the episode from Season 2, Ep 24 "The Sam Pomerantz Scandals". I've not found a clip from that episode, though.

Jumping ahead a few decades, there's no shortage of TV-based singing and dancing. Scrubs had more than a few episodes with music montages (anyone remember "Talk Dirty To Me" as sung by Carla and Ted?) Roseanne, for ill or for good, featured its fair share of songs (let's forget Roseanne's trial and focus on Dan singing "Jailhouse Rock" with the great John Juke Logan playing harmonica in the background...which reminds me that he also appeared on Home Improvement doing the same thing).

Then we have Harry's dream from the season two 3rd Rock From The Sun episode, "Nightmare on Dick Street, Part 2". Great Randy Newman tune that also includes an appearance by Newman at the 2:21 mark in this clip. Rubber-faced, spaghetti-limbed French Stewart did a bang up job with "Life Has Been Good To Me". Then again, I'd watch the show even if they'd never gone done this particular musical path. But they did, and it was perfection.

Bonus clip: From Mad About You and special guest star Mel Brooks. Forward to 6:21 and dance and sing along to the "Turkey Trot".

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Power of Music

Alice Dancing Under the Gallows examines the power of music and art and how they contribute to the triumph of the human spirit.

The movie will be released sometime in 2011. I've already put in my request for a copy.

For more info, check out the movie's Facebook page.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Two-fer Tuesday: She's 18 Today and the Songs Remain the Same

Oh, how the mother's heart must stretch and flex in order not to break. My daughter is 18 today. It's not fair. It's not right. It's not really happening. Wasn't she just learning to walk? Wasn't she just uttering words like "babingsuit" and "booprise"?

Time waits for no man, or woman as the case may be. Despite my every effort to hinder growth, my lovely little girl is now old enough to vote and is considered a legal adult. I've fought it, but there it is: nature won.

When Mojo was about 2, she fell in love with John Denver. Our bedtime routine included a couple different Denver songs, along with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Marine Corps Hymn. Hey, it got her to sleep and it was our special time together. (Did the same thing with my son and I have to say, singing our "goodnights" was pretty effective.)

So, without further ado, happy birthday, Mojo!

For a while, this was called "Mountain Mama" and also "Mama Take Me Home". She was two. It was adorable.

Our version of this song was very similar, but we had to sing every verse. Twice.

Then she grew up and began paying attention to more Top 40 music (in addition to all my favorites, like Etta and Bonnie and Billie). I lamented the lack of artists that were brash, lovely, sometimes delicate, sometimes strong like those I grew up with -- Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, Joan Jett... After listening to Jewel and Britney once too often, I really thought my daughter deserved a contemporary female artist with a stronger voice and attitude. Thus we turned to P!nk. At the time, she really was the only one who could speak right to the heart of a young girl without sounding like a wannabe star or doormat.

Those were the days. Now my baby is all grown up and the world is going to expect more from her, people will expect more, life will become more complicated. While I'll miss the little girl I once held in my arms as she cried and fussed and smiled and cooed and caused me to look at the world around me with new eyes, I will cheer her on as she makes her way into the great big world.

Now for Mommy's tunes...

Happy birthday, my sweet daughter! I don't care how old you are, you'll always be my baby girl.