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Monthly Archives: February 2008

Colette’s Corner: Sweet, Comic Valentine

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From the Music Maven, here is one of my favorite Valentine songs:

My Funny Valentine, Frank Sinatra

More importantly, Colette weighs in after a long absence with a special Valentine treat. Take it away, Colette….

Sweet Hearts & Hot Kisses

Happy V-Day! Valentine’s Day is all about love, love, love — and so is popular music. But love is a happy and sad experience, kisses are sweet and bittersweet, hearts are aglow and broken. So here’s a yummy sampler box of Valentine’s musical treats — think of it as Godiva’s chocolate for the ears, and the soul.

Starting out sweet, with a big smooch from Satchmo:

A Kiss to Build a Dream on — Louis Armstrong

And enjoying those giddy memories of kisses that swept you off your feet, from Mary Chapin Carpenter (singing a song by the great Lucinda Williams):

Passionate Kisses — Mary Chapin Carpenter

Sometimes, a big delightful, big ol’ paper valentine comes your way, like this one from marvelous Marvin:

Take this Heart of Mine — Marvin Gaye

But not all love is requited, as we well know. And if anyone can get the agony of that across, it’s the divine “Love Man,” Otis R:

“Pain in My Heart” — Otis Redding

Sometimes love is a prison, and you’re desperate for a jail break, as Joe Cocker can tell you (in this Ray Charles tune):

Unchain My heart — Joe Cocker

Sometimes love is a search, with no end in sight, as Neil Young knows:

Heart of Gold — Neil Young

But as Cesaria Evora, the great Cape Verde singer makes abundantly clear in this sweet-and-sour rendition of “Besame Mucho” (“Kiss Me a Lot”) once you find that great love, revel in those smooches:

Besame Mucho – Cesaria Evora

And sometimes, when times get really tough, heart and soul are all you need to get by:

Heart and Soul — Taylor Hicks

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Posted by on February 14, 2008 in colette's corner, frank sinatra, holidays

 

Have I Mentioned That I Love John Mayer?

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Cajun Boy in the City had the most fabulous picture of John Mayer cruising.

Now, that’s what I call manly.

Your Body is a Wonderland
 
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Posted by on February 12, 2008 in John Mayer

 

Daddy’s Little Girl

I’m still caught off guard by the way that a certain song at a certain time can just grab you and wring every ounce of emotion out of you.

I was starkly reminded during a recent wedding reception that we attended.  This is Mr. D’s baby brother, 10 years his junior.  Mr. D is the oldest of seven, so they are all very close in age and very close, in general.

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Baby Bro has six kids and this is his second to marry within a year.  Number one son was married in May of last year in a beautiful outdoor ceremony.   Now, it was time for his oldest daughter…the soccer star who left home at 18 on a college scholarship and after a storied college career has become a neo-natal nurse in a Southern city six hours away.  We all knew that this one was going to be a little tougher on Baby Bro and his father’s death a few days before no doubt made it even more difficult.

However, he held up pretty well.

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Even when he had to kiss her goodbye and give her away.

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But then, someone interjected the cruelty of a song for the traditional Father/Daughter dance that left many in the crowd (yours truly included) in a puddle of tears.

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Even my burly nephews were wiping away the tears.  I think all of the parents there were acutely aware of the feelings when you realize that your work is really done and that while you will always be there to help and care, that baby you brought into this world no longer needs you to survive.  They are beautiful, independent people starting their own journeys and creating their own stories.

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With such a large loss only a few days before, this moment had significant poignancy as a son remembered his father and saw his father’s reflection in his own daughter’s eyes.

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Admittedly, I had heard this song before but never really took the time to listen to the words and the emotions in Tim McGraw’s voice.  The father of three daughters, I imagine little pictures of them flashed through his mind just as pictures of this lovely bride through the years flooded her Daddy’s memory.

  My Little Girl

Gotta hold on easy as I let you go.
Gonna tell you how much I love you,
though you think you already know.
I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm.
You’ve had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born.

Chorus:
You’re a beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this old world.
But to me you know you’ll always be, my little girl.

Verse 2:
When you were in trouble that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone.
Now look at you, I’ve turned around and you’ve almost grown.
Sometimes you’re asleep I whisper “I Love You!” in the moonlight at your door.
As I walk away, I hear you say, “Daddy Love You More!”.

You’re a beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this old world.
But to me you know you’ll always be, my little girl.

Verse 3:
Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand.
But I won’t say “yes” to him unless I know, he’s the half
that makes you whole, he has a poet’s soul, and the heart of a man’s man.
I know he’ll say that he’s in love.
But between you and me. He won’t be good enough!

You’re a beautiful baby from the outside in.
Chase your dreams but always know the road that’ll lead you home again.
Go on, take on this old world.
But to me you know you’ll always be, my little girl.

Pardon me.  I’m still a little verklempt. 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2008 in Country, music imprints, that's life

 

And the Winners Are…

If, like me, you did not tune in to watch the Grammys, here is Entertainment Weekly’s List of Winners.

The biggest winner, by far, was Amy Winehouse with five Grammys.  While she couldn’t be there, in person, she rocked the house in London performing her mega-hit, real life drama, Rehab, as well as I’m No Good.

What a great night for real music.  Congratulations to Amy Winehouse for being the standard bearer.  Make no mistake, her wins make a real statement to the industry. 

Lefsetz has a pretty scathing assessment of the travesty of trying to associate Frank Sinatra with the music prowess of Alicia Keys.  To quote Aretha…”C’mon now.  Please.”  Even this is a cry by the industry to harken back the days of good music because, frankly, so little of it is found on today’s charts.

I have to admit that I did flip over from catching up on Jon & Kate Plus Eight on TLC and caught Ree Ree and BeBe Winans singing Never Gonna Break My Faith, which tied with The Clark Sisters to win a Grammy in Best Gospel Performance.

Awesome.  But, lawsy mercy she is large.  This has to be affecting her health.

Although I was extremely disappointed in the status quo with Justin Timberlake beating out John Mayer in the Best Male Pop Performance for that lame-ass song, What Goes Around Comes Around, it seems that perhaps the tide is starting to turn as Daughtry was shut out, even though his CD was by far the best-seller of the year. 

The excitement of the crowd when the legends of great music, like Aretha, Tina Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Fogerty, and the incomprable Little Richard performed indicates that there is a yearning for the great music that built this business.  In my opinion, it also exposes how shallow the current promoted music is.

Sorry, but there is nobody even close to the great Richard Penniman in today’s music.  As usual, makes ma toe shoot up in ma boot!

Alas, my buddy Geno Delafose lost to Zydeco Legend Terrence Simien.  Maybe next year.

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2008 in aretha franklin, grammys, Music Today

 

So, it’s the Grammys…Do You Care?

Tonight is the vaunted Grammy Awards at 8pm Eastern, on CBS.

This is the 50th Grammy Awards ceremony. Do I care? Should I watch? This flowchart from Vulture in New York Magazine give some great insight to these questions:
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I think that the Grammys is a poster child for all that is wrong with the music industry. First, it’s basically monopolized by Clive Davis and the mega labels’ warlords. The major categories — which, let’s face it, are the only ones that anyone really knows about — are full of the same old shite (Beyonce’ and Justin Timberlake) and a bit of new, contrived shite (Chris Daughtry and Taylor Swift) that the major labels have crammed down our throats through obnoxious overplay on the radio and manipulation of record sales and charts.

However, I must say that there a few diamonds in the rough that are shining through. Amy Winehouse, whose Rehab, CD is nominated in six categories. Unfortunately, she won’t be attending because her Visa didn’t come through in time. Perhaps her recent detox will have her better prepared in the future, but this time she’ll likely be accepting via satellite.

Corrine Bailey Rae is also nominated for Song of the Year with Like a Star. Sadly, she doesn’t stand a chance against the bought juggernaut of Carrie Underwood’s Before He Cheats. Also, ma girl Feist is nominated for best new artist. Riddle me this, how is it that Daughtry is nominated in three or four categories, yet not nominated for Best New Artist? And, Amy Winehouse who has been around a while, is?

As for the men, Johnny Boy is nominated for Belief, and is truly the most deserving of those in the Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. I think Sir Paul’s nominations are nostalgic and a nod of respect, but Memory Almost Full just wasn’t that good. Dance Tonight was cute but Best Performance? And, of course, Justin Timberlake received his obligatory four or five nominations. Wasn’t his CD released, like, two years ago? Strangely, he performs What Goes Around Comes Around at last year’s Grammys and it’s nominated in 2008?

Just how much exposure can they give this guy? This is the best song he’s ever written? Really? That should about say it all.

To me, the organic and worthy music is peeking through sporadically, but the manufactured and over-synthesized productions are still dominating the music industry and award shows. The Grammys are just a microcosm of the celluloid and shallow state of music today. If Britney Spears wasn’t mentally imploding before our very eyes, she would most assuredly would also be front and center, showcasing the Grammys and the music business as it really is.

Clive Davis once again threw his pre-Grammy self-adoration gathering, with his loyal subjects all in attendance and performing at the feet of the master who controls their fate. Obviously feeling some pressure from the fallout of the dying recording industry, Mr. Davis was compelled to throw a a dig at the critics out there (like me) who blame the demise on mediocre music. “How wrong you are!”, the Puppet Master proclaimed, before introducing The Foo Fighters.

The only redeeming thing about the Grammys is that the great Aretha Franklin was honored last night as the MusiCares’ Person of the Year. Lefsetz describes her performance as bordering on a religious experience.  Speaking of religious experience, The Queen of Soul is also nominated tonight for Best Gospel Performance for her duet with Mary J. Blige on Never Gonna Break My Faith, a Music Maven favorite.

Earlier in the week USA Today interviewed Ree Ree about the award and I was particularly struck by her very blunt statement about her thoughts on today’s music:

R&B is “alive and well,” says Franklin, but it’s no match for the music of the ’60s and ’70s. “You had stronger artists, unquestionably. Sam & Dave, Ray Charles, Etta James, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson. C’mon, you know. Please.”

Right on.

On a homeboy note, here’s wishing Geno Delafose good luck tonight in the Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Performance category.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2008 in aretha franklin, John Mayer, Music Today

 

It’s Friday…..Amen!

Nothing better to start off a weekend than some Asian guys lip-synching Bill Withers in their car.

SOOOOOOOOO good to be back home after spending a mere 18 hours in airports over the last two days.

Lovely Day

Hopefully, I can catch up on some posts this weekend….like, a concert review, an emerging artist profile AND my sage thoughts on the state of the music industry. Hope you’ll join me.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2008 in bill withers, weekdays

 

Night of the Backstory

So Tuesday night’s Idol auditions (when will it be mercifully over?) appeared to be the night to put the story before the singing.

Of course, we have the resident Goth Psycho or should I say 9th grade “Repeater”, Nathan Hite…nice ‘tude, dude.

Then, there was Asia’h Epperson, whose Dad died in a car wreck a couple of days before audition.  Of course, this reduced Paula to a pool of tears.

I must say that I’m intrigued by Amanda Overmeyer, a/k/a the Harley Nurse of Death and heretofor known as HNOD.  She is much better than Gina Glockson from last year and Chris Daughtry from Season 5.  Her Mean Woman was very Janis and she nailed I Wanna Move.

Finally, we had Josiah Lemming who is 18 but has been living out of his car for a year, however he doesn’t consider himself homeless. 

Definition of homeless:  someone who doesn’t live in a structure.

Again, sad story throws the scale to “You’re Goin’ to Hollywood”.  Must say his original song was pretty good.  He had a little Peter Noone thing goin’ on and MUST lose the vibrato, but he’s one to watch in Hollywood.

I’m stuck in the airport in Memphis, so I’ll miss tonite’s episode….mercifully.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2008 in american idol