Doin' the Friday Shuffle
On your marks . . .
1. "Samwise the Brave" - Howard Shore - The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (score)
One of the really remarkable achievements in film scoring. This moment is a nicely uplifting and tender orchestral swelling moment for Sam.
2. "The Ladies Who Lunch" - Stephen Sondheim (sung by Elaine Stritch) - Company (Original Broadway Cast)
One of the most acclaimed and iconic song performances in Broadway history. Elaine Stritch is an amazing singing actress, and this just may be the highlight of her recorded career. In her one-woman show of a few years back, she admits to assuming that "Mahler," in the the line "A matinee, a Pinter play, perhaps a piece of Mahler's" referred to a local bakery. Go see a play and after get a piece of cake at Mahler's. Brilliant. Her anguished, repeated cries of "everybody dies" at the end are a master class in how to weave acting and singing for all of those musical theater actors with less-than-operatic voices.
3. "Living Waters" - Burkhard Dallwitz - The Truman Show (score)
Tense, unsettling music from the score.
4. "Human Wheels" - John Mellencamp - Human Wheels
One of Mellencamp's most underrated songs, a disarmingly melancholic rock piece with a strong backbeat, plaintive mandolin, and a wonderfully dry and almost defeated vocal. "While I with human-hindered eyes." Love that line.
5. "Stored Memories and Monica's Theme" - John Williams - A.I. (score)
I've proclaimed my love for this score elsewhere. This cut has some eerie low male and high female vocal choral singing that's particularly effective.
6. "Phrygian Gates - Part 3" - John Adams - Road Movies
Rumbling, stuttering piano from my second-favorite contemporary composer. (Don't blush, Arvo Part).
7. "Baby" - Dave Matthews - Some Devil
Pretty ballad from Matthews' solo debut.
8. "American Without Tears" - Elvis Costello - King of America
Costello with a slight, shuffling country feel. Pretty song.
9. "You Have Loved Enough" - Leonard Cohen - Ten New Songs
A little too happy-shiny in the arrangement for me. And by this point, Cohen had pretty much abandoned singing and just speaks the songs, not that effectively.
10. "Marion Barfs" - Clint Mansell - Requiem for a Dream (score)
Sad, sad music. This whole score is basically just umpteen variations on the same theme, but somehow it works. I still have to get my hands on the full orchestral version (the film's score used a string quartet) of the main theme that Peter Jackson used in the trailer for The Two Towers. Hey! Symmetry!