Archives for category: music

I came across this little gem on Twitter and tried to post it directly from there. That did not go well. So, dear Purple Koalaers, I deleted it, dug the video up on YouTube, and am making another attempt. So sorry for the typical glitch and repost.

So. It’s Dick Van Dyke singing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in a restaurant, which has made my day. I only saw the movie once, a long time ago, but somehow bits of this song creep into earworm status to this day and I find myself singing what I remember of it. That is powerful entertainment.

Dick Van Dyke is a national treasure. He’s still got it. All the its. 

I’ll paste in the link at the bottom too, in case of further glitchiness.

Dick Van Dyke Singing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang In a Restaurant

​​A few weeks ago I was minding my own business, driving home from grocery shopping. I was almost home, when a song I’d never heard came on the radio. I was spellbound to the point that when it ended I kept repeating the artist’s name, in hope that I’d remember it long enough to look it up, which I did the minute I stopped the car in the driveway.

Lewis Capaldi was pretty easy to remember, actually, being so similar to Peter Capaldi, the actor who is my favorite Doctor Who.  I’d also loved him in The Hour. 

So as soon as my groceries were put away, I bought Lewis Capaldi’s debut album on Amazon. It even has a great title:  Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent.

Instead of starting to give it a full listen right away, I Googled around some more and ended up on YouTube. That’s where I discovered the very special Someone You Loved video that promotes awareness for heart transplants. It made me cry. It’s like a tiny movie, with Peter Capaldi playing a man with a dying wife who donates her heart. He meets the family who receives new life through that donation. The little girl missing her two front teeth, but still having her Mummy, will melt your heart. So will Peter Capaldi’s extremely expressive features. We watch him love, grieve, and finally find a measure of peace. His ever present ear buds are a lifeline to the not quite lost second heartbeat of his life. This is one of the most touching and poignant music videos I’ve ever seen.

That song has become something I listen to almost as much as he listens to his wife’s heart. It’s my understanding that Lewis Capaldi conceived it as a song about lost love, but as the video so beautifully illustrates, it can also be the soundtrack to a loss from death. July 15th was the third anniversary of my mom’s death, and Someone You Loved captures what she meant to me so personally. The theme of how it feels when the one person who can get you through such a profound loss is the person you’ve lost tells its own story. What do you do with that kind of pain? You learn how to stand alone and bear it. Sometimes, if you’re in the right moment at the right time, you find a song that makes it a little easier, if only in its reminder that deep pain from staggering loss is a universal experience. One that unites us with unseen strangers we’ll never meet and gives us all comfort from invisibly linked unknown friends.

I listen to the entire album every day still. Not just for that one special song, but for the remarkable combination of songwriting and unique singing that is Lewis Capaldi. I love that his Scottish accent comes through so clearly…to the point that I don’t always understand every word. Doesn’t matter, since I understand every song.

 Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved

I stumbled across this video on YouTube and found it stunning. I’m not familiar with the musician, but like the song. It’s the combination of the song and the visual that is so riveting, though. The also unfamiliar actress is phenomenal. So still. Spare. Stoic for so long and then the breaking of determination into despair. It makes you hurt to watch her face, body language, and progression of emotion. Such a stunning production. In a few brief minutes, it becomes unforgettable.

Keaton Henson–You Don’t Know How Lucky You Are

There’s not a lot to say about this singer songwriter, because not much is known. He’s chosen to keep himself in the dark. Literally, at times, in shadowy profile. That’s the way he’s presented, in the acoustic video of Someday Soon one of the two songs he’s released so far. Apparently, he’s in a famous band and will do a reveal eventually.

In the meantime, what I can say is that he has an incredible voice. I bought the song and like it, but not as much as I love the acoustic video. In the acoustic version, he’s a total belter, with a grit and growl to the held notes that gives him a unique and intriguing sound that’s unforgettable. It makes you want to hear it again. Then again. And more.

I’m looking forward to finding out who it is. I want to guess it’s Dave Grohl, because it would be such a departure. I love Dave and Foo Fighters, but that silhouette just isn’t right…..

Wilder Woods Someday Soon Acoustic

I saw Playing for Time on TV so long ago that I don’t remember exactly when it was. Decades, I’m sure. I wanted to see it again for all that time, but the nearly $70 price of the eventual DVD was way beyond affordable for even such an excellent movie. It recently became available on Blu Ray and I finally have it in my movie library.

When I first saw it, I hadn’t even really started having favorite actors yet, but I did notice extraordinary talent. The entire cast was outstanding. Yet, Vanessa Redgrave stood out as someone special. Her acting and singing we’re heart-rending and inspiring at the same time. The beautiful Aria from Madama Butterfly stands out as a glorious jewel, juxtaposed against the horrors of Auschwitz.

I had forgotten all but impressions, images, and sounds from the first time I saw it, but the full impact came back to me as I watched it so much later on Blu Ray. Vanessa Redgrave’s portrayal of Fania Fenelon has an impact on viewers that screams with quiet dignity of courage, strength, and perseverance that will not be forgotten. 

Should never be forgotten. 

Playing for Time TV Promo

The Greatest Showman is the best musical I’ve seen in a long time. Granted, I’m a bit late to be just discovering it, but the concept of better late than never certainly applies. The best thing about this movie is that I loved the story, and then the music wouldn’t let go to the point that I went straight to YouTube and watched videos of my favorite songs that also happened to be favorite moments. Fortunately, I recently got an unlimited data plan. Somehow, these songs work best when watching the actors’ performances while listening.

The one that lingered so intensely that it drove me to YouTube initially was Jenny Lind singing Never Enough. An incredibly beautiful song, it also tells a powerful story of momentary intimacy and the extended longing it can bring. Rebecca Ferguson’s performance was remarkable. I usually skim comments, because I pick up information that way. Of course, what’s read there may be true or not, but what I found out about Never Enough was fascinating. First, that she was lip synching. Astonishing. Such emotion and grace and intensity…impossible to fake, one would think. Ah ha! It turns out that the actual gorgeous voice belongs to Loren Allred. According to bits of information scattered throughout the comments, Rebecca Ferguson was filmed actually singing the song with a recording of Allred, then sound and visual were seamlessly merged to create such an unforgettable moment. Rebecca Ferguson’s talent and selfless dedication to her craft made what might seem impossible to a layman come vividly alive on that magical, and now more and more metaphorical, silver screen. I prefer a clip that was edited like a music video that tells the story behind the song. Oddly, someone commented on her neck looking scary as she sings. I hadn’t noticed, but then I couldn’t not notice it looking as if she was about to transform into an alien creature. Eventually, it just becomes part of the viewing experience and not so prominent. It even adds an extra bit of cool factor over time.

I do mean over time.

The word obsession comes into play when music hits me just right. I watched Never Enough videos enough for it to qualify as both ear worm and eye worm! And This Is Me, as well. Keala Settle was amazing as the Bearded Lady. She carried that role like a second skin and sang fearlessly, with great beauty. She evoked empathy, admiration, and acceptance, with an anthem for those who are different in the world. A march for the downtrodden, This Is Me was choreographed like an marvelous music video from decades past. When the ensemble of characters joins her as a perfectly synced dance crew, it’s Thriller meets Beauty and the Beast. I love the fierce, joyous nature of it, accompanied by the percussion of hands and feet. This song too tells its own story and won’t be dislodged from its place in the soundtrack’s glorious irresistibility.

It took me a while to remember the beautiful Rewrite the Stars, sung by Zendaya and Zac Efron. Another masterpiece; this one more subtle and understated, thoughtful and outright romantic. Once I tracked down the video, I was again captivated by both the song and performance. The way it blends not only the danger of the trapeze work but also the grace and elegance of the ropes makes it seem magical, though the magic is underlaid with a rich patina of dispair and tragedy. Beautiful performances, by more incredibly talented actors.

The Greatest Showman as a whole would have always interested me, with its bigger than life story based on real life, particularly in the historical period in which it happened. It was made more fascinating to me, however, by the fact that I had watched the PBS documentary Circus last year. I was enthralled by the great spectacle of P. T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth, as well as awed by the myriad of tragedies and setbacks he endured. That he still succeeded as stunningly as he did seems almost miraculous. Multiple fires and mishaps destroyed his dream time after time, yet he always rebuilt, reimagined, and was reborn as a man who could entertain the world and scatter joy among even common folks wherever he traveled. When he lost his venue, the tents he used to replace it were mindbogglingly huge, seating tens of thousands of people desperate for the rare escape from mundane life. The logistics of the travel alone, when he took his massive show on the road, seemed impossible. P. T. Barnum apparently did not recognize the very idea of impossibility and the world at large was the better for it.

Never Enough:

This Is Me:

Rewrite the Stars:

It had been a while since Cat Power released a new album. I’ve been a fan since way back to Myra Lee and Moonpix, so I was thrilled to find Wanderer among Amazon’s New Releases.

I’ve enjoyed the different styles she’s used over the years. There were aspects of the earliest that I loved, especially her lyrics, but the songs were pretty raw and a bit slow for my taste. Her later efforts were more polished and uptempo, and I liked them all.

Now, along comes Wanderer. This new album carries reminders of Myra Lee and Moonpix, but is more accessible. It is a beautiful combination of polished melodies and lyrics, even as it echoes Cat Powers’ earlier work. My favorite track is Robbin Hood. For me, it carries the best of all of her music.

Cat Power Performing Robbin Hood