One of my favorite R&B songs, from the early 90′s (of course). Does anybody write stuff like this anymore?
Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category
I read with abject sadness this BBC article last week. I know that Downton Abbey has been all the rage for small-screen Anglophiles of late, but I’ve especially loved Agatha Christie’s Poirot for years.
The series was an unabashed love letter to the period settings, with little bombast and constantly restrained dignity from all characters. Watching these subdued murder mysteries always felt, oddly enough, calming in their quiet culture.
David Suchet’s portrayal of the cool, mincing Belgian genius who loves exercising his “little gray cells” was masterful. Suchet truly loved the character, and it showed. Such acting is rare, and a treat to enjoy.
Over 25 years, Suchet has made several dozen Poirot episodes and films–now encompassing everything Christie ever wrote about the detective. I didn’t realize there were so many. I think I’ve only seen about fifteen. I’ll catch up on the rest before the final episodes air here in the States next year.
My favorite Poirot memory: a few years ago when they made Murder on the Orient Express. My eldest son and I watched it, including a charming documentary about it beforehand. We were both very impressed. It was a delightful evening.
Thanks again to the good people at the Thistle & Shamrock, I have another great contemporary Scottish folk song to love. Last Sunday I heard “The Sang o the Saracen Maid” and fell for it hard; it’s about all I’ve listened to for a week.
Here it is:
I was prompted to do some research about the background of this heartrending tale.
This YouTube video directly precedes the one above; the author of the original poem introduces it.
Here’s a written story of the poem’s origin.
Here are the words to the poem.
And the lyrics to the song.
This is the old legend being retold here. Isn’t it sad? I’d never heard this before. Local folklore is the best!
Here’s another telling of the same story.
Earlier this year, Josh Groban released an album including this cover of the Dave Matthews track “Satellite.”
Hard to tell which version I like more. Groban’s is excellent though: haunting, translucent, mystical. It’s been heavily looped in my daily listening for the last two months.
Talking to a student a few weeks ago about The Catcher in the Rye segued into the movie Finding Forrester, which reminded me of the clip of this song used near the end of the film, which led me to look it up on YouTube, which is how I found this wonderful video:
These are photos of one of my favorite wood carvings. It’s a statue from Africa, and it’s on display at the Las Vegas Natural History Museum.
I love how wise this figure looks! He pulls on a little beard and frowns like Yoda with a migraine. Clearly, this is an elder shaman deep in thought. It’s a perfectly-rendered image of a very specific human condition: vigorous contemplation of some somber vexation.
Sadly, it’s hardly on prominent display there. It’s actually in a small hallway in the lowest level, right next to a vending machine and an elevator. Alas.
My favorite part of The Music Man is at the very beginning. I know it’s simple, but I still think the whole “song synchronized with the train” thing is catchy and clever.
But I was also charmed by the ending of Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You. How did he make something so random still feel organic? The weird magical realism of this scene somehow works–it’s sweet and charming. The whole point of musicals is to express deep emotion by depicting life filled with song and dance, and this scene just does that even more boldly.
Yes, they’re awful movies, but there are some great things about them that we should be able to acknowledge despite that.
1. The music. John Williams’ “Duel of the Fates” is a terrific theme, as are its derivatives. Totally worthy of the series. The usage of the theme was even judicious, never becoming obnoxious.
2. The titles. The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith are great names, in full harmony with the original three–nostalgic, evocative, melodramatic. Too bad the content didn’t live up to the promise here.
3. The conspiracy. (more…)
Lindsey Stirling’s done some entertaining stuff:
I heard Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” on the radio last week, and found this patriotic video set to it. Happy Memorial Day!
Saw this live once at a community theater performance and loved it. Still love the movie–fantastic dancing. And the humor in this musical is just excellent.
I still think this is catchy and sweet as all get out.
I’ve watched this whole concert many times. Beautiful. And it doesn’t hurt that it was in my neck of the woods!
Still one of the coolest, catchiest songs ever.