Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

This “Let It Go” video is a joy

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

http://youtu.be/DAJYk1jOhzk

The song “Let It Go” from the animated smash Frozen was written specifically for the prodigious vocal talents of Idina Menzel. And she rocks the song.

The song is so beloved that there are literally hundreds of versions of it on YouTube. Of them all, this one is my favorite. Not only does Alex Boyé get props for his ingenius Lion King-like vocal arrangement but the young girl who sings, Lexie Walker–she’s eleven–is a true songstress. (Check out her singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” It made my husband cry.

I’ve watched this video about twenty times now and every time it makes me smile.

Dabney Grinnan

“Typecast is a smart, sharp parody of “Royals”

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

If you’ve turned on your radio anytime in the last year, you’re likely to have heard the song “Royals,” by the song recorded by a powerhouse teenager from New Zealand. The song won Song of the Year at this year’s Grammys and has spawned countless copies and parodies. This one, written, directed, and filmed by Tess Paras is funny and spot on.

“You can’t have two black friends.”

Sad but, on the big screen, almost always true.

Dabney Grinnan

Strangest Ear Worm Ever

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

babymetalSometimes I wonder about the originality of music – there’s a ton of great musical artists, but so many of them sound so incredibly similar (you can look at the confusion between Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Sara Bareilles’ “Brave” if you don’t believe me). Japan, however, has a different plan. When Suzuku Nakamoto got too old for the group she was in (too old = 16 apparently), her entertainment company decided to try something new – Jpop (Japanese Pop music) needed something a bit more intense, so why not add some heavy metal? (Sorry, can’t embed the video for some reason.

Someone wrote an article about it on The Daily Dot but this is the line that sticks out the most for me – “Babymetal is kind of like a magical, leather-clad, fire-breathing, sonic unicorn.” And it really is. I’m not sure if it’s the oddness of it, or the catchyness of the lyrics (my Japanese is a bit rusty, but it’s all about the tune anyways).

And what are those lyrics? Well, I found a translation for you!

“Check-it-out chocolate.  Can I have a bit of chocolate? But my weight worries me a bit these days. However, chocolate.  Can I have a bit of chocolate? But wait a while!  Wait a while!  Wait! Wait! Wait!”

Apparently I’m not the only one to think we need more songs in the world about chocolate.

What do you think? Ear-worm from hell, or the most ridiculous, catchy thing ever?

- Melanie AAR

PS – If you want to hear more, this is actually a better song. I just am highly amused by chocolate heavy metal…

The Story Behind the Carol: Silent Night

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
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On Christmas Eve of 1818 the young priest of St. Nicholas parish church in Obendorf faced disaster. The organ had been incapacitated by mice. The chance of fixing the instrument before the evening service was nil. Father Joseph Mohr was not a man to just give up however. He pulled out a poem he had written several years before called “Stille Nacht”. Mohr took his poem to the schoolmaster and organist of a nearby town, Franz Xaver Gruber. He asked that Gruber write a melody to accompany the poem on guitar. In several hours, Gruber had the music done and the carol was played for the first time that night at the Christmas Eve service.

The song was not translated into English for another 50 years. Episcopalian bishop John Freeman Young published the English translation that is most frequently sung today in 1859. The writing of the song is unique enough but one other interesting factoid makes this carol special. In 1914, during the Christmas truce, the song was sung in French, English and German simultaneously. It was apparently the one song that all the soldiers on both sides knew.

What are your favorite Christmas Carols? Do you know the story behind them?

- Maggie AAR

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Monday, November 11th, 2013
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Katy Perry’s latest, Roar, has been something of an anthem for me the last few weeks. Love the music but especially love the message. We all need to go from zero to our own hero every once in awhile.

- Maggie AAR

Earworm of the day: Radioactive

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
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Radioactive by Imagine Dragons is my newest earworm. Absolutely love the song – and the video is pretty funny (in a twisted sort of way).

So what do you think of Radioactive? What is your earworm of the day?

- Maggie AAR

Earworm of the day: On the Street Where You Live

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

YouTube Preview ImageI grew up listening to My Fair Lady. I am not kidding you: When I was a small child, my parents had a lot of classical music on records, a couple of German songwriters, and My Fair Lady and Fiddler on the Roof (both in a German version). I was allowed to handle the record player from a very young age, and often chose to play the musicals for their catchy tunes. (more…)

You Call This An Apology?

Saturday, June 1st, 2013
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While listening to an oldies station recently I happened to come across this song(Second Chance, 38 Special). I made the mistake of listening to the lyrics and what a surprise! This is (I think) meant to be a loving plea to a wronged lover. All I can say is I hope this poor woman didn’t take him back. I mean, she was willing and that’s all there is to say? Really? So let me get this right. You cheat on me, you don’t even have the decency to care about the person you cheat with and the only defense you can come up with is that she was willing? Should I congratulate you for not messing around with the unwilling ones?

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Earworm of the day: Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

YouTube Preview ImageWuthering Heights is the song that originally awakened my interest in Kate Bush. I don’t even particularly like the novel, but there’s something magical and otherwordly about the song, and often it’s the first song I play when I take out my Kate Bush CDs. This video version is delightfully overacted. Enjoy!

- Rike Horstmann

Earworm of the Day: Thriftshop by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
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Warning: Strong Language

This song seems to get almost constart air time in my city and as a result is my earworm of the week. I find it intriguing not just because of the catchy tune but the subject matter. Thrift shops don’t tend to be the subject of popular music very often. I can’t help but wonder if that is some kind of statement on our current economy. Has thrift store shopping become a part of our daily living? I don’t know – but I sure do like the song.

What is your earworm of the week?

- Maggie AAR