Friday, May 13, 2005

Doin' the Friday Shuffle

And away we go

1.) "The Beatitudes" - Arvo Part, composer, Theater of Voices, Paul Hilliard, conductor - De Profundis

Part writes wonderfully moody choral pieces, this is a hushed, church-ish piece that very slowly builds throughout its eight minutes.

2.) "In Marge We Trust" - Klang And Koto/'Mr. Sparkle' Theme & Logo - Dan Castellaneta/Nancy Cartwright/Yeardley Smith/Sab Shimono - Alf Klausen, composer

"The Simpsons" folks have produced a few CDs featuring music from the series; this is the audio around the "Mr. Sparkle" promotional video from one episode. In the episode (In Marge We Trust), Homer is dismayed to find his likeness on a box of Japanese laundry detergent (Mr. Sparkle). He writes to the company, and they send him a promotional video, the audio of which can be heard here. Brilliant parody of Japanese culture and its difficulty in translating into English.

3.) "Rudy" - Supertramp - The Best of Supertramp

My father's CD; I only really know their stuff from this best-of, but I like it. Love the piano intro on this track.

4.) "How Glory Goes" - Adam Guettel, composer/lyricist - Floyd Collins (original cast)
This is one of my all-time favorite theater songs. Floyd Collins is the true story of a Kentucky man who was caught in a cave. There was a media frenzy around the site at the time, kind of an early pre-figuring of the media's current "jump on a story" bandwagon style of delivering news (for the most recent example see the Runaway Bride). This song is sung at the end of the show; Floyd is about to die and he questions God about what is coming next.

5.) "Darkness" - The Police - Ghost in the Machine
Synthy mid-tempo number from The Police; haven't heard this in ages.

6.) "Why?" - Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
Effective, if a bit heavy-handed ("Why do the babies starve/When there's enough food to feed the world") song off of Chapman's debut album. Nice guitar work here, and the earnestness in her voice kind of compensates for the baldness of the lyrics.

7.) "End of Scene Four" - Schmidt & Jones - 110 in the Shade
Dialogue and underscoring from this complete recording of the play.

8.) "O Little Town of Bethlehem" - Nat King Cole - The Christmas Album
One of the great voices.

9.) "First Letter" - Stephen Sondheim - Passion (Original Broadway Cast)
In the original production, the Playbill did not have song titles listed, the intent being to create a seamless story told through songs and words, without obvious "song" breaks. This gambit is reflected in the CD; this is just the first of several letters, a short bit of sung dialogue transitioning between scenes.

10.) "Head Over Heels" - Tears for Fears - Tears Roll Down (Greatest Hits)
I always liked the melodic sense of this duo, and this song is no exception. I love the big interval jump in "Head over HEE-ee-eels."

Until Whenever

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