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Old 07-07-2012, 12:48 PM   #1401 (permalink)
Nobody likes my music
 
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Certainly no fan of UB40, or reggae in general, but the worm does like this one, from 1987, this is “Rat in mi kitchen”.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:03 AM   #1402 (permalink)
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Yes, late again this week, although with the scary news about Stacey-Lynn's disappearance I think you can agree that we've all had other things on our minds this week. Still, as they say, the show must go on, the rent must be paid and the cats must be fed, so here we go with this week's selection.

It's cheese for so many reasons. A soppy love song? Check. A duet? Check. Lots of digital piano? Check. From a really cringeworthy movie? Check and check. Yeah, it's that really annoying song from that twice-as-annoying Disney movie, “An American tail”...

Somewhere out there (Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram) 1986

Yeah, I realise we're back in the eighties. I keep tryin' to get out, they keep pullin' me back in! No? Well, okay then. But the 80s was such a time for cheese it's hard not to keep going back there for prime examples, and this is certainly one. There's of course no doubting the star quality and vocal talents of either James Ingram or Linda Ronstadt, but I think it could have hurt their street-cred, if not their actual careers (this DID hit number two, God knows how!) that they took part in this. It's written by that famous composer of film music, James Horner, whose biggest crime to date is writing the godawful “My heart will go on” for Celine Dion (note to self: check this for future inclusion), although in fairness he's not solely to blame, as he did collaborate with two others on this song.

The music is not bad to be honest, but then it's apparently loosely based on a Beethoven symphony, and we're hardly going to diss the B-Man, now are we? But the lyric is terribly twee: the idea of two people separated by vast distances but hoping their love will span the gulf is nothing new, and the theme of the song, that the same stars look down on each of them, has also been done before, and better. Of course, the fact that in the film the duet is between a brother and sister, yet the released single is based on two lovers could be seen as slightly controversial --- no? Fair enough then, it's just terribly, terribly cheesy.

Trollheart admits he bought this, though he maintains it was only for his radio programme, as the song was charting and very popular at the time. I, however, have my doubts...
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:41 AM   #1403 (permalink)
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:40 AM   #1404 (permalink)
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One of several big hits for Billy Ocean, this is “Get outta my dreams”.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:45 AM   #1405 (permalink)
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:25 AM   #1406 (permalink)
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Kidnap nightmare over, journalist back home



After a five-day ordeal during which she says she feared for her life, Music Banter journalist Stacey-Lynn McPherson is today recovering with her family in Dublin. Abducted on Thursday last, July 5, she had been held against her will over the weekend and was only released early this morning in a deal brokered by her employer, Trollheart.

Speaking at a news conference called earlier this afternoon, Ms. McPherson was unable to shed too much light on who her captor or captors might have been, however she remembers distinctly some music she describes as "terrible, just noise really" being blasted constantly, while someone in the background seemingly talking to themselves muttered "I hate everyone." She admits it was "quite terrifying".

Snatched on her way to work that Thursday, Ms. McPherson has little recollection of her time held captive, believing she may have been drugged for some or indeed all of the time. When released, she had no idea what day it was, and for a very short time she was unable to remember her own name. Thankfully she is now recovering at home.

Looking defiant but fragile in a smart business suit this afternoon, she told the gathered media she had "no idea" why she had been captured, other than the fact that she is pretty. When asked whether this was some sort of attempt to poach her from Trollheart, she replied she had no comment on that.

The question and answer session was brief, as Ms. McPherson looked drawn and tired, but when pressed on how she ended up being let go, all she would say was "Look, I was blindfolded, you know? I saw nothing and with that awful, awful music going I could hear just about nothing too. But when there was a break in the music, I did hear a voice I thought I recognised. It said "They're all there", and another voice which I believe was my kidnapper sounding doubtful. "Even the extended remixes and rarities?" it asked. The other voice sighed. "Even the deleted albums. As agreed. Now, do we have a deal?" Shortly afterwards I was aware of being bundled into some sort of van, driven a distance and then suddenly daylight exploded before me as my blindfold was removed. The van drove off, and I was picked up by Trollheart."

Asked if she got the number of the van, Ms. McPherson turned testy. "Look," she snapped, "I had been in the dark, virtually blind for over four days! YOU try making out a registration plate under those circumstances!"

Police are following a definite line of enquiry, and are hopeful of making a "significant arrest" soon.

McPherson has declared her desire to return to work as soon as possible, however it seems that Trollheart will be insisting she take some time off to recover, as he is sure she will soon realise the impact of the ordeal has not yet hit her.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Garda hotline, on 01-7100999. All calls will be treated with the utmost discretion and confidence.
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:25 AM   #1407 (permalink)
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Their greatest hits --- Carpenters --- 1990 (A&M)


Yeah, you can snicker, you can roll your eyes, you can make choking noises but we all know we've all listened to at least one song by the mellow duo in our lives. Just admit it: among all those Sigur Ros, Black Sabbath, Porcupine Tree and Dylan albums there's a Carpenters one hidden away on your shelf. You pretend it's your ma's, but hell, she doesn't even listen to records, let alone CDs anymore. Oh, you're just storing it for her, are you? Keeping it safe? The same as that Johnny Mathis and the Barry Manilow that, though you claim it's hers shows signs of recent usage? Fair enough. Your secret's safe with me. Well, it was...

Fact is, music like the Carpenters made can't really be put down. Sure, it may not fit into your usual listening routine, and you may in all likelihood only pull out the album --- and it is the album, the only one of theirs you own --- once in a blue moon, but every so often the mood hits you and you want to listen to something a little easier, a little less complicated or intense than what you usually listen to, and for sheer, indulgent, guilty relaxation music the Carpenters --- oh, you know they're called Carpenters, do you? You leave out “the”, do you? Interesting...

It's nothing to be ashamed of. Of course initially I heard their music because my mother liked them, but even back then I was unashamed to say I also liked their songs. Like everyone, I possess only the one album, one of their greatest hits, as you may have gleaned from the title of the review, and I probably wouldn't even consider buying one of their “real” albums. To quote Genesis: I know what I like, and I like what I know. Their hits are the ones I'm familiar with, and even though during the course of this album you get one or two lesser known hits and some covers, it's still very good value for a greatest hits compilation, and one of the few such albums I can play pretty much all the way through.

They're all there. “Yesterday once more” opens the album in fine style, Karen Carpenter's smooth, cool, relaxing voice washing over you like warm sunshine on a spring day, Richard on the keys always an integral part of the music, the orchestra swelling and falling away behind them like an ocean wave, crashing, then receding as required by the music. There's hardly any need to go too deeply into the songs themselves, is there? You more than likely know, or have heard, some or all of the hits, even if you pretended to clap your hands over your ears when they came on the radio, or tried to change the station (but were unable, somehow) --- “Top of the world” is joyous affirmation of love and life with a boppy jangly country beat, “Jambalaya” is calypso delight, while “We've only just begun” is a starry-eyed song of two lovers starting out on their life together, a song on which the orchestra plays an important part.

There are, as I said, the covers: Neil Sedaka's mournful cautionary tale, “Solitaire”, nestles alongside a slow, dreamy version of the Beatles' “Ticket to ride”, with the aforementioned “Jambalaya” itself a cover of Hank Williams' song, and the infectious fun of the Marvelettes' “Please Mr. Postman” is perfectly juxtaposed alongside Bacharach's classic “(They long to be) Close to you”. But it's the bitter “Goodbye to love” that takes top place for me, always my favourite Carpenters song, with that distinctive acapella opening and Karen's defeated voice declaring she's had enough of love and will never trust it again, not to mention the soaraway powerful guitar solo at the end, much unexpected in such an easy-listening song.

And then there's their famous cover of the less-famous Klaatu's “Calling occupants of interplanetary craft”, which closes the album. Yes it's twee, yes it's cheesy and looking at the future through Gene Roddenberry-tinted glasses --- like, will aliens not just want to destroy us? Did Klaatu ever consider that I wonder? --- but it's at its heart a song of hope for the future of humanity, perhaps misguided but laudable nonetheless. I could have done without the stupid radio DJ bit at the beginning, but again there's a fine guitar solo near the end to really round out the song.

There are twenty tracks on this album, which is good value for a start, and really there's something for everyone. Whether you like to nod your head and tap your foot to the likes of “All you get from love is a love song” or “Top of the world”, or sigh and relax to soft love songs like “Touch me when we're dancing” or “Rainy days and Mondays”, or just hear some really good cover versions, this album has it all. I wouldn't advise going out and actually buying a full Carpenters album, as I have no idea what their other material, the stuff that didn't make the charts, is like. But if you like their hits, then you could do worse than get this album.

The death of Karen Carpenter was a great loss to the world of music. She had the voice of an angel and though she had her detractors and there was smutty gossip about how close she was to her brother, she and he left behind a true legacy of great music, which can be enjoyed by anyone of any age, anywhere, without guilt or irony.

In a word: timeless.

TRACKLISTING

1. Yesterday once more
2. Superstar
3. Rainy days and Mondays
4. Top of the world
5. Ticket to ride
6. Goodbye to love
7. This masquerade
8. Hurting each other
9. Solitaire
10. We've only just begun
11. Those good old dreams
12. Please Mr. Postman
13. I won't last a day without you
14. Touch me when we're dancing
15. Jambalaya (On the Bayou)
16. For all we know
17. All you get from love is a love song
18. (They long to be) Close to you
19. Only yesterday
20. Calling occupants of interplanetary craft
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Old 07-11-2012, 07:35 AM   #1408 (permalink)
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Ah, who remembers Adam Ant? He went on to quite a successful acting career on television, you know...
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Old 07-11-2012, 01:39 PM   #1409 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollheart View Post

They're all there. “Yesterday once more” opens the album in fine style, Karen Carpenter's smooth, cool, relaxing voice washing over you like warm sunshine on a spring day, Richard on the keys always an integral part of the music, the orchestra swelling and falling away behind them like an ocean wave, crashing, then receding as required by the music.
Yes yes YES I will proudly defend how much I love Karen and this song in particular, it is in my opinion hauntingly beautiful, although I actually prefer the Redd Kross version, believe it or not! (Then again, they are my second favourite band!)






NOW:

I wish to formally announce that today is the birthday of the remarkable, the incredible, the irresistible and the irrefutable RICHIE SAMBORA, one of my absolute all time heros and possibly my favourite ever rock star. Against all odds the man has survived another year, to finally reach his twenty-something-eth birthday or however old he feels like being this year.

In celebration of this remarkable man, I shall share with you a fantastic song this man has written from the album "Undiscovered Soul", one of my and Trollheart's favourites:



It's being posted here because quite frankly, Trollheart is quite possibly the only other person in the world who cares.

Enjoy!
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:55 AM   #1410 (permalink)
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Ah yes, happy birthday Mr. Sambora! I'd do a special, but as he only has two albums and I've already reviewed one, with the other waiting in the wings, probably wouldn't be too much point.

Ah hell, have another video though! This is my favourite from his second album, "Undiscovered soul".
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