I came across this beautiful and dynamic trailer today, for a movie called Cloud Atlas based on the novel of the same name.
Favourite Songs I Heard for the First Time in 2009
What were your favourite pieces of music that you heard for the first time last year?
I don’t necessarily mean music that came out last year, just that you heard it for the first time last year because it was new to you. If you care to share, you can put it in the comments following the post. I’d love to know to expand my musical horizons.
Below are a list of favourite songs I heard for the first time in 2009, enough that would fit on CD were I to have made one. Most were from musicals as I really got into them in 2009 after my classic jazz year in 2008. A few were one-off takes on television events, though, so I’ll start with one that was both. It was available on YouTube like most of my selections so I have included the videos to have the music right here for you. I also linked the songs to blog posts I did inspired by them, where I did one.
Someone Like You
from Jekyll & Hyde
Linda Eder & Frank Wildhorn on 2000 PBS Special
Linda Eder delivers a loving performance of this gorgeous song with touching lyrics, accompanied by husband Frank Wildhorn, who had composed the song. (blog post)
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Upload of this video sometimes seems a bit slow so please be patient.
If You Were Gay
from Avenue Q
Rick Lyon and John Tartaglia
Love and humour, not just in song but also video spoof. (blog post)
The Internet is for Porn
from Avenue Q
Stephanie D’Abruzzo, Rick Lyon & the Guys
Possibly the funniest song I have ever heard! (blog post)
from Avenue Q
Stephanie D’Abruzzo and John Tartaglia
A song that dragged my emotions up and down, enhanced by Stephanie’s nuances of acting while singing this song. (blog post)
As Long as You’re Mine
Idina Menzel and Norbert Leo Butz
An often overlooked song from Wicked that I only heard once I saw the musical, rather than hearing the more popular songs from it. However, I loved it immediately, especially the soft-spoken ending.
Academy Awards 2009 Introduction
Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway
This number was both brilliant and unexpected in being clever, funny and spectacularly performed. My intro to the full talents of Hugh Jackman. (blog post)
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from Saturday Night Live November 7, 2009
How to trash everybody you want to with class and humour while being really cute about it. (blog post)
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by Bob Dylan
Judy Collins gives this sad Dylan song a haunting rendition. (blog post)
The original It’s My Party girl seriously grows up with this beautiful tune I first heard on CSI Miami (compilation video of episode shown below).
I Got a Feeling
Black Eyed Peas
Just an awesome dance song, ’nuff said cause I’m getting dancing! Best 2009 song in my opinion. (I chose the flash mob version shown on Oprah for the video cause it’s also so awesome!)
The Arcade Fire
I heard this song via the trailer for Where the Wild Things Are and thought they had made a pretty good choice for a theme song.
The Closest Thing to Crazy
by Mike Batt
Pretty much describes what feeling in love feels like to me. (blog post)
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
I heard it on a Telus commercial and loved it immediately, a bit surprised I had never heard this 1950s seasonal classic until now. (blog post)
You’ve Gotta Have a Gimmick
from There’s No Business Like Show Business
Bernadette Peters, Julia McKenzie, Ruthie Henshall
This is probably the ultimate example of my claim that girls have all the fun songs in musicals, and the video only emphasizes the point.
Ron Rifkin, Michelle Pawk
A charming little song about marriage. A compact version is shown below.
performed on the show Inside the Actor’s Studio
A hilarious and charming example of how lyric writing sometimes feels like to me, trying to find desperate rhymes and more desperate words that conform with desperate rhymes. (blog post)
Love, Look in my Window
from Hello Dolly!
There isn’t a video for this one but the piece was written for Ethel Merman when she joined Hello Dolly! If you hear her perform it with the emotions she does, you’ll know why it was written for her. I can hardly keep from crying at points in it. Probably good I don’t have the music for that reason!
What Lyric Writing Sometimes Feels Like, Demonstrated by Hugh Laurie
This is Hugh Laurie of( Dr. Gregory) House M.D. fame, singing a comedic song, Mystery, during a June 2006 appearance on Inside the Actor’s Studio. The song was originally from the show A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
I’m not posting this for performance, or lyrics or musicality. Rather, I’m posting it because the way Hugh put a little acting into all the little spots in the song as if he were improvising. At various points, he pretends to struggle to come up with a rhyme, the idea for the next verse, how to manipulate a word to rhyme, making up new words, squeezing in entire phrases, etc.
What all that feels like is the struggle, and mystery, of lyric writing for songwriting. The various methods, successes and failures of “creativity” to find that elusive lyric, sometimes forced and sometimes “enlightened”, are demonstrated well, I thought. The song is simple enough you can just sit and dissect the lyrics, which are included under the video below. The tune and musical chord progressions are nice and simple, too.
Besides that, I’m not sure I can say much about the “mystery” of lyric writing. It just kind of feels this way, if you’ve never experienced it yourself.
If you have, I’d love to hear your descriptions of it. Thanks!
All my life has been a mystery
You and I were never ever meant to be
That’s why I call my love for you a mystery
You and I have always lived in a different country
And I know that airline tickets don’t grow on a tree
So what kept us apart is plain (plane?) for me to see
That much at least is not really a mystery
I live in a houseboat on an estuary
Which is handy for my work with the Port Authority
But I know you would have found it insanitary
I’d be foolish to ignore the possibility
That if we’d ever actually met, you might have really taken a violent dislike to me
Still, that’s not the only problem that I can see
Dead since 1993
You’ve been dead now . . . wait a minute, let me see…
Fourteen years come next Jan-uary
As a human being you are history
So why do I still long for you?
Why is my love so strong for you?
Why did I write this song for you?
Well, I guess it’s just a mystery
Just a mystery
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 6.9
Silver Screen Facebook Picture Tagging Meme
Click here to see the video I made with these and similar images to 1940s crooner Margaret Whiting singing The Lies of Handsome Men.
And click here to get avatars and buddy icons of the 20 silver screen stars you see here, plus 8 more I did not use to create the collage below!
This is an old skool style Facebook tagging meme where it’s just pictures you tag and attribute whatever to them you choose to, not a new style version where there’s a more direct message. However, I just realized that just about everything that’s been created has been for the younger generation. While it’s true the younger generations do dominate the Internet usage, and Facebook, that was no reason to not create something for our elders.
Here’s how to get the picture:
- Click on the picture below to get it at full size.
- Right click on that picture and save to your computer.
- Upload it to your Facebook profile.
- Tag your friends (or let them tag themselves).
- Click the Back button on your browser to return to this post.
Please click here for a complete list of over 100 Facebook picture tagging memes on this site with which you can use for fun with your friends.
I read somewhere that the elders were the largest growing age demographic of Internet users, in part because it was an effective way to keep up with their grandchildren and/or children. Intuitively accurate, if you ask me, as there’s a lot of motivation to be found in being involved in the lives of grandchildren, especially if you have a lot of time on your hands. Still, the elder demographic fall behind the averages. Check out the Forrester Research’s Groundswell Blog Social Technographics profiles to confirm. Pick the 55+ age category for any country and see how the blue bars tend to fall short of the thin white vertical line average for every participating category of Internet users.
Apr 14 update: CNN confirmed what I said above in its All in the Facebook family story on Apr 13.
Those Social Technographics further revealed the 55+ users to be very unlikely to be Joiners or users who maintain social networking profiles, i.e. Facebook users. But as said above, that was no reason to avoid creating something for them. So here is a collection of classic movie stars from the silver screen, when the silver screen still looked silver. They are beautiful portraits which I personally see no reason why the younger generation couldn’t use themselves and learn something of our treasured past. Heck, they sure look better to me than a lot of the movie star picture these days!
Video notice courtesy of the lifelessons4u blog.
Special credits goes to Dr Macro’s High Quality Movie Scans site for many of the portraits used in the Facebook tagging picture above. Beautiful galleries and lots of great info!
By the way, what’s the big deal with Bette Davis’ eyes, like mentioned in Kim Carnes’ song? [ Lyrics ]
Have you seen Lauren Bacall’s eyes? Them’s first degree murder!
Lauren is not in the Facebook tagging meme because she is still living. Yeah, those eyes will even keep Death away!