Consequence is an album comprised of some of the most epic folk
compositions ever penned. The songs are cinematic, and don’t veer into “rock”
territory. It cannot be a coincidence that film director Sam Mendes used Alexi
Murdoch songs almost exclusively to score his (criminally underrated) film Away We Go. This is the kind of album
that can make the most mundane tasks seem profound due its highly meditative atmosphere.
Standouts include his wandering confessional “All My Days” and when he is waxing
poetic in “Orange Sky.” Alexi Murdoch creates folk music for the soul, while
singing from the heart.
Melanie’s music is a wonderful artifact from the ’70s,
seeing that I doubt that anything quite like “Brand New Key” could be produced
in today’s world. Her lyrics are earnest, but as they are sung over some of the
most infectious choruses, it is easy to mistake her music for just another pop sensation.
Her sunny disposition paired with her extremely catchy melodies is a match made
in heaven. So if you haven’t listened to her since you had her single “Brand
New Key” on 45, then do yourself a favor and rediscover one of the best pop
artists of all time.
My musical journey began with classical piano training with a stint in orchestra as a cellist. Consequently, I have a passing knowledge of the classical genre and also a deep love and respect for its glorious offerings.
Instead of letting this passion languish like a wallflower at her first middle school dance I thought I’d periodically blog about classical music. Starting today, starting with Boccherini. Don’t you love that name! BO-KER-EE-NEE. Luigi (love that name, too) Boccherini lived at the time of Mozart and Haydn though he never achieved the same rock star status. Maybe it was the cello. There’s something inherently nerdy about the cello — until you hear it played and it becomes the most soulful of all instruments. And that’s a fact.
Boccherini wrote a lot of great music. His quintets for guitar and strings are particularly fabulous (downloadable from Freegal) or check outtable from the Library (CD 785.7 BOC).
Well that’s it for The Classical Lassie for this week. I sure hope somebody hasn’t already claimed ‘Classical Lassie’ as their ‘Handel’.
Critics were divided over the film Drive last year, some raving and others hating, but there was one opinion
that was universal: it had the coolest soundtrack in recent memory. Keeping in
tune with its ’80s visual aesthetic, the soundtrack bounces from synths to
dancehall slow-jams at full throttle. The opening track (of the film and album
alike) “Nightcall” blasts through your speakers, effortlessly transporting you
to the more sleazy side of Los Angeles nightlife that the film lives in. “Under
Your Spell” plays out as a touching yet disturbing love ballad (much like the
film itself) and pushes the dancehall rhythms merrily along. The apex of the
album is “A Real Hero,” featuring some of the most earnest lyrics ever sung on
top of a head-thumping bass. Cliff Martinez, a frequent music composer on
Steven Soderbergh films, rounds out the rest of the album with his indelible
score, mixing orchestral grandeur with electronic pulses. I don’t think I have
to drive (pun intended) the point home any further; this soundtrack is
When Topher Grace made the film Take Me Home Tonight, he was trying to emulate the sweet and silly
films from the ’80s (for which John Hughes gets all the credit). Of course, to
make a film seem like it was made in that decade, you have to load its
soundtrack with pure ’80s tunes, for better or for worse. Better than any
actual ’80s album compilations, the soundtrack covers all areas of the decade
in just 12 songs. If you were in high school or college in the ’80s, you will
have no doubt heard these songs from a boom box or two back in the day. Such
hits include: “Video Killed the Radio Star,” “Hungry Like the Wolf,” “Safety Dance,” and what
’80s nostalgia trip would be complete without: “Straight Outta Compton?”
Have you been waiting for Adele’s ’21′ album? Still on the
list for Glee’s Holiday CD? Spent all those iTunes gift cards? Well, listen to
this: 1000′s of free, downloadable tracks are just a few clicks away when you
log into Freegal, the St. Charles Library’s music subscription service.
Our deal with Freegal allows every St. Charles Library
cardholder 3 downloads per week! That’s 3, count ‘em 3! downloads per week.
That’s like having a gift card worth $156.00. And the fine print gets even
finer because every cardholder in the
family is entitled to 3 free downloads. So, moms and dads, you can use your kids’ cards to get those Bangles
tracks you’ve been pining for.
Getting started is easy. Just have your library card
number and PIN handy and then start loading up, or downloading up, or uploading
your downloads. It’s free, it’s legal, it’s Freegal.
Full disclosure: Freegal is the entire Sony Music
Collection – any artist, any genre, past or present who is on the Sony label can be had from Freegal.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there’s no better time than the present to give thanks. But if you’re anything like me (which I know, is very likely) then I’m sure you’d rather sing it than say it!
“Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” by Sly and the Family Stone
Let’s all be thankful that Sly and the Family did not become English teachers and stuck to what they did best: gettin’ funky.
“Thank You For Being a Friend” by Andrew Gould
I highly doubt that Andrew Gould had four silly senior women living under roof on his mind when he wrote this song.
“Thank You For The Music” by ABBA
Thank you for not making music videos like this one anymore.
“Thank You” by Dido
Eminem still needs to send Dido a thank-you card for letting him use this song in one of the most critically acclaimed songs of his career. He then needs to send her an apology letter for letting Elton John steal her part at the MTV VMAs when the song made it big.
“Thanks, That Was Fun” by Barenaked Ladies
One of the coolest music videos ever made, and not just because it’s Barenaked Ladies. In a song written exclusively for their greatest hits album, the song acts as a retrospective both in its lyrics, and the way it utilizes footage from their past music videos to go along with this new song. You can thank me later for showing you this one.
Hugh Laurie was mastering sarcasm and elaborate wordplay on
television long before House went on
the air, but, he was doing so across the sea. With his comedy partner Stephen
Fry, he hosted a short-lived but seriously funny sketch show titled A Bit of Fry and Laurie, which invaded
innocent British households on a weekly basis. It was during that show that
viewers were introduced to the lesser-known side of Laurie: a musical side. In
almost every episode, Laurie would perform an original song in various styles
that were often as hilarious as they were catchy (I’m still waiting for him to
make a real recording of the very politically-correct “Protest Song,” a song
that is equal parts silly and satirically astute). Never having released a
proper album, Hugh Laurie has corrected that with Let Them Talk, a blues album comprised of well-known classics. The
album opens with “St. James Infirmary,” a haunting interpretation of an old
English folk song. Another highlight is his take on “Winin’ Boy Blues,” which
is proof alone that Hugh Laurie is much more than his on-air persona. Let Them Talk is a wonderful endeavor in
New Orleans blues, and makes a strong case that not all actors-turned-musicians
are necessarily a bad thing.
The Civil Wars’ Barton
Hollow is the stuff of magic. Two completely earnest singer-songwriters,
Joy Williams and John Paul White, have joined forces simply for the sake of
good music. No Fleetwood Mac backstage drama, for this relationship is strictly
platonic between two people and their love for music. Their debut album, Barton Hollow, is nothing short of pure
bliss. The music is being marketed as country, but due to their fondness for
plucking their strings instead of strumming them, they technically fall into
the folk category. They are a powerhouse duo who realizes that the strength of
their act lies in the combination of their voices, and not in their individual
performances. “I’ve Got This Friend” is a highlight on an album full of them,
and it plays to their winning chemistry as they sing about their “friends” who
would be perfect for one another. The song is a wonderful embodiment of the
perfect interplay the two have developed. Now let’s just hope they don’t ruin
it by making it “real.”
Wilco has returned to the music scene with their latest
album, and after 17 years of making music, they remain just as vital as ever. The
Whole Love finds the group diving back into their more experimental side, a
side they’ve mostly ignored for the last two albums. It’s nice to see them
shaking things up again, but, their less experimental songs on the album are the
highlights. The experimentation is surprisingly shallow for a band that is
anything but. Still, in today’s music scene, we need bands like Wilco to remind
us that there’s always something new to be made. The real high point of the
album comes in the form of a 12 minute folk-rock ballad entitled, “One Sunday
Morning (Song for Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend).” This song alone is worth the price
of this album. Wilco still has some blood left in its veins, that much is
clear. Let’s hope though that on their next outing they’ll be able to draw a
Listen up all you loyal inTune@SCPL readers, it’s time for some soothing music! WARNING: Do not play this just after you’ve had a big lunch. Eyelids will close.
Ahh the lullaby. So sweet the melody, so calming of the nerves. Though Herr Brahms opus is my personal go-to lullaby of choice there are quite a few others to choose from in our collection. Here’s a few recommended by Warren Truitt at kidsmusic.about.com. (Click on the image to get catalog information.)
Are you having trouble sleeping at night? Well, you’re in luck. There are plenty of doctors out there that can help you. In the meantime, why don’t we sing about it? 1, 2, 3, 4…
-”Who Needs Sleep?” by Barenaked Ladies (Appears on the album Stunt)
Even when he’s not singing his lungs out, Steven Page is still giving it 110% on the flute. I guess it’s true what they say: “There ain’t no rest for the wicked.” Sorry… I still haven’t gotten over him leaving the band.