Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sweet and soulful

I must admit to being charmed by Corinne Bailey Mae. The soft jazz around which she twines her clear, delicate voice is hardly a favorite genre of mine, but she performs with such grace and style that it's irresistible. She also has the second-sweetest smile in the music industry (first prize has to go to Eddie Van Halen).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Open Letter to Van Dyke Parks

Dear Mr. Parks:

Why did you write such a messy arrangement of "It's Only a Paper Moon"? Why so many keys, so many meters, so many styles?
I mean, I get it: "a honky tonk parade, ... a melody played in a penny arcade..." But isn't illustrating that with the orchestra an insult to the song's subtlety?
Watch out, I think Harold Arlen might swat you with that rolled up sheet music.

With love,
A concerned music blogger

Monday, November 12, 2007

Back to Blackout

Herculean drug abuser Amy Winehouse showed up at the MTV European Music Awards last week with her veins pumped full of various substances besides her blood. She attempted to sing "Back to Black," but could barely stand, let alone pronounce consonants.

Event emcee Snoop Dogg went to welcome her in her dressing room, and even that king of the hip-hop lifestyle was alarmed by Winehouse and the overturned furniture strewn with her dinner and some broken plates. Reports are that he "didn't want to hang out with her after that."

Come on, Amy. You have a matchless gift. Get your butt to rehab and stay there!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Simon Sez

Bravo to Sir Simon Rattle and the BBC for their documentary series Leaving Home, on orchestral music of the Twentieth Century. The episodes are defined by topos or compositional philosophy, rather than by chronology, making for a clear overview of the knotty mass of changes that took place in music after the Romantic era.