Archive for Tongue and Groove

Free me

I generally don’t think of Iran as being an inhospitable place, but this doesn’t help:

British singer Joss Stone says she was denied entry to Iran – the last country she had to visit as part of a five-year, 200-stop “total world tour”.

The 32-year-old posted a video from Kish Island in which she said: “We got detained and then we got deported.”

She said that she knew Iran did not allow women to perform solo concerts.

“However, it seems the authorities don’t believe we wouldn’t be playing a public show, so they have popped us on what they call the ‘blacklist’.”

“After long discussions with the most friendly, charming and welcoming immigration people, the decision was made to detain us for the night and to deport us in the morning,” she added. “Of course I was gutted. So close yet so far.”

Of course, this song immediately bounced into my brain:

(With thanks to Fillyjonk.)

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Just the two of us

This qualifies as a heartbreaker for us Secret Garden fans:

A few months ago Fionnuala was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery, she has now started radiation treatment as well as infusion therapy. Her medical team has advised her to concentrate on her health situation, so subsequently, we have decided to cancel all concert plans for the rest of this year. This involves concerts in China, Korea and Norway.

We hope to be rescheduling all touring plans in 2020. We’ve been looking forward to performing the music from our new album Storyteller which was released in April. The response to the album has been great. We’re thankful for all the support we’ve received and we regret that we have to postpone the upcoming touring plans. Fionnuala’s health is the most important issue now. Meanwhile, we hope you will enjoy the new album Storyteller.

Secret Garden — Fionnuala Sherry and Rolf Løvland — won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995 with the perennially lovely “Nocturne”:

Storyteller is their tenth album, from which comes “The Pilot”:

And of course, we wish them well.

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Don’t you just know it?

Just out from Grace VanderWaal, the not-particularly-grammatical “Ur So Beautiful,” which, apart from that clumsy title, is a really lovely song, and since it’s the title track from her next album, I’d be well advised to get used to it.

And I have to admit, that’s the most inspired deployment of “Damn” since Sophie B. Hawkins. Maybe it’s a little offputting coming from a fifteen-year-old, but it’s not like there are any fifteen-year-olds who never, ever use words like that. (And judging by the writing credits, Hawkins got paid for VanderWaal’s expropriation of “Damn.”)

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And we still do

Last Friday, we were introduced to the lyric video for the new Rebecca Black single “Do You?” It must be stated up front that the words to the song are riddled with symptoms of depression, but if you heard it, you already know that.

Knowing that, however, doesn’t prepare you for the visuals:

Still, the fanbase comes prepared, and while the words-only version got 30,000 views in its first week, the full video rolled up 15,000 views in only six hours.

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A wild Christopher appears

Once again, we tap the archives of the Wikipedant:

Prince wrote “Manic Monday” in 1984, and recorded it as a duet for the band Apollonia 6’s self-titled album; however, he eventually pulled the song. Two years later, he offered the single to The Bangles under the pseudonym “Christopher,” a character he played in the 1986 film Under the Cherry Moon. It was rumored by various writers that after Prince listened to the band’s 1984 debut album All Over the Place, he gave the song to Bangles rhythm guitarist Susanna Hoffs, so that in return she would sleep with him. Prince’s original demo recording of the song would not be released until it appeared on the 2019 demo compilation Originals.

Imagine wanting to get Susanna — oh, right. Never mind. Forget I said anything.

This is that original Prince demo:

And now we know: it was the bus that was already there.

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A heavy light show

From the next Lindsey Stirling album, due out in September:

It’s like playing old Curved Air records at 78 rpm.

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You bet we do

There is no circumstance under which I would not celebrate Rebecca Black’s birthday, and today, her twenty-second, the fans get the present:

Cover art for Do You by Rebecca Black

A lyric video is already out, with what appears to be footage from the upcoming “real” video, due next week.

And 22 is old enough for the full Rule 5 treatment, right?

Rebecca Black just sits there

Rebecca Black hits the deck

Rebecca Black on RuPaul's DragCon

And purely by accident (yeah, right), I took a peek at her IMDb page, and was startled out of what wits I have:

Rebecca Black on the Internet Movie Database

From “Anyway” on down, this list contains a lot of music videos, some Web stuff, and that animation from China in which she did a voice character. I was not expecting to see two feature films. They’re both in post-production, which can mean any number of things; the most likely, I’m guessing, is “looking for a distributor.” Still, assuming IMDb hasn’t messed up the names, which seems unlikely: (1) it’s IMDb and they just don’t do that and (2) if she’s paying dues to the Screen Actors Guild, there’s nobody else billed with that name. I have yet to find a trailer, though, for either American Reject or Bad Impulse.

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The sand which is there

It wasn’t so long ago that composer John Luther Adams swept us all off our feet with Become Ocean, and by “us all” I mean everyone from me to Taylor Swift. Become Ocean was symmetrical in its design, and I wouldn’t have thought the framework lent itself to a follow-on composition. I would, of course, be wrong:

When Become Desert was announced, I turned in a pre-order at the iTunes Store. Friday Apple notified me that it was ready to pick up:

iTunes Store Notification

Through Sunday the most I could coax out of the iTunes Store was this:

iTunes Store Notification failure

Eternities do seem to take a long time these days.

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Still iconic after all these years

Eight years after becoming part of the national discourse, “Friday” got the full Captain Cuts — despite the name, three guys — remix treatment, on Emo Nite in Los Angeles, and of course She Who Made It Possible was on hand:

For those who might be interested, “Friday” enters the public domain some time around 2105.

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Not all that monstrous

After all these years, an actual Freezepop video:

This, I figure, is the lead single from Fantasizer, which the band crowdfunded a while back and which is presumably ready to drop.

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And don’t forget those accessories

Or Cousin Hank down in Arlen will never forgive you:

(Suggested by Gail Hapke.)

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In a happier place

Dr. John, the Night Tripper, live in 1981 with his second-biggest hit ever:

As a studio pro, the man born Malcolm John Rebennack played behind everyone from Cher to Frank Zappa; for two decades he was a songwriting partner to Doc Pomus.

And now he belongs to the heavens, where I’d like to think he’s jamming with Professor Longhair.

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Strictly noncommercial

Frank Zappa’s last public appearance, back in 1992:

If your first thought is “Damn, I wish I could hear that live,” you’ll be pleased to know that this very piece will open the Oklahoma City Philharmonic program on the 11th of January, along with the First Violin Concerto by Philip Glass, featuring violinist Jennifer Loh, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major.

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Not his little tale of woe

Still, I’m thinking that Leon Redbone pretty much owned this song long before this live show in Nashville:

Redbone first recorded it in 1977, for his second album (Double Time). Really, nobody else need bother.

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This year or that

Happy 38th to singer/songwriter Brandi Carlile, a woman of many musical styles anchored to a single point: “I’ve gone through all sorts of vocal phases, from pop to blues to R&B,” she has said, “but no matter what I do, I just can’t get the country and western out of my voice.” And indeed, some of her most compelling work is the sort of girl-with-guitar stuff that many do, but that few do consistently well.

Brandi Carlile and her guitar

Brandi Carlile heads down the breezeway

Brandi Carlile and her lovely bride

That last picture: Catherine Shepherd was a charity coordinator for Paul McCartney when she and Brandi met; they were married in 2012. They have two daughters.

My own introduction to Brandi Carlile was the song “That Year,” from her third album, Give Up the Ghost (2009). It’s pitched so subtly that it takes a couple of listens to take in the whole story:

Give Up the Ghost made it to #26 on the Billboard Hot 200; each new album — she’s done six — has climbed just a little higher.

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Bongo, bongo, bongo

“Bongo Rock” is where it started:

Preston Epps was a percussionist, and a good one. Born in Mangum, Oklahoma in 1930, he attended grade school in Tulsa before the family relocated to Oakland, California, and spent the duration of the Korean War in Okinawa. He was rather muted on his first big recording gig, behind the Penguins on “Earth Angel,” but he found his way to the spotlight, with “Bongo Rock” hitting #14 in Billboard.

Our title comes from Epps’ second charter, which wasn’t quite so boisterous:

Preston Epps kept playing until 2014; he died on the 9th of May.

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In their area, so to speak

The BBC had a nice little chat with Blackpink, just prior to their appearance at Wembley, and a few things stood out:

  • Apparently they spent eight years as “trainees” before they were turned loose on stage. I knew K-pop stars go through extensive, um, training, but I didn’t realize how much.
  • Their English is quite good, but they just adore audiences that try to sing along in Korean.
  • They still have that giddy-teenager air about them, though Lisa, the youngest, is already 22.

And now, they’ll hit us with that ddu-du-ddu-du:

That song came out last summer, which is an eternity in K-pop terms.

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They can change, they can change

The fourth album by the ad hoc “Andrew Oldham Orchestra” was called The Rolling Stones Songbook, which Oldham had no problem getting the rights to, inasmuch as he was, at the time, the Stones’ manager. It did not sell on the level of, say, a Hollyridge Strings Beatles compilation, and it mostly disappeared for the next two decades, when Richard Ashcroft, then of the Verve, requested permission to sample Oldham’s version of “The Last Time” for a song to be called “Bitter Sweet Symphony.”

Permission was granted, but quickly withdrawn, once Abkco Music, owner of the Stones’ catalog (and Oldham’s) in those days, heard just how much of the song the Verve actually used. Long story short: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wound up with their names on the publishing rights.

And that’s the way things stood for the next couple of decades, until I imagine Keith and Mick said to each other “Hasn’t this gone on for long enough?” Abkco boss Jody Klein, generally regarded as less of a hardass than his father Allen, apparently assented, and while the parties in question retain nominal ownership of the song, neither Jagger nor Richards will collect any songwriter royalties: they’ve assigned their statutory songwriter-royalty rights to Richard Ashcroft and taken their names off the pertinent papers.

Roebuck “Pops” Staples, who died in 2000, was not available for comment.

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Quantities are limited

Carly Rae Jepsen’s new album Dedicated dropped Friday; remarkably, this is the fourth single to be released, and so far it’s the best, possibly because it’s so skeletal you can feel it in your, um, bones.

I still don’t get why it took nineteen producers to record a thirteen-track album, but Jepsen reported that she’d come up with over 100 songs for it, so maybe it takes that many to clean house.

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Someone got paid for this

Perhaps the dumbest aspect of Quora is the fact that they actually pay people to ask questions. The inevitable result of this, as could have been predicted by anyone who doesn’t drink the social-media Kool-Aid, is that lazy bastards will write the same question dozens of times, changing a single variable in each one, and then uploading the lot.

That lot will almost always contain something at this level of stupid:

Which artist sang the song Tequila

As regular readers of this space know, the One Whole Word in that record by the Champs was uttered by composer/saxophone player Danny Flores.

And yes, they offered to enroll me in the program. I threw the offer away.

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He could have danced all night

In 1964, Anthony Hopkins — yes, that Anthony Hopkins — composed a waltz; like many geniuses, he had little faith in his ability to create something so far out of his usual métier. And he might have gone on composing for the cedar chest, except that his wife sent a copy of the score to Dutch violinist André Rieu. Rieu thought it was wonderful:

That was in 2011. By the next year, Sir Anthony had dusted off a whole CD’s worth of music. And there isn’t a fava bean to be seen anywhere.

(Via Kim du Toit.)

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Nobody came

Well, it fits, sort of:

I mean, she wasn’t picking up all that rice because of mere hunger.

And by Gawd, McKenzie came through for her, although his timing was a bit off.

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All the sentiment you could want

About a week and a half after the musicians’ strike of 1942-44 drew to a close, Doris Day sang “Sentimental Journey” in front of Les Brown and his Band of Renown; that spring, Columbia put it out on a 78, and it made Number One on whatever charts existed in those days. It’s appropriate that we play it here:

Incidentally, when Doris got her own radio show on CBS in 1952, Brown was her bandleader.

I’m sure there were at least some guys of a certain age who didn’t crush on Doris Day, but I never met any of them.

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Tickets torn in half

If your knowledge of Michelle Creber is limited to “Wasn’t she the voice of Apple Bloom?” this will put socks on you just long enough to knock them back off again:

On Display, released last summer, is her sixth album. Sixth.

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Don’t overlook her

For every young, cute, chirpy singer I fixate upon, there are a couple of dozen I manage to miss entirely. One of the latter is Sabrina Carpenter, twenty today, who’s been acting as long as she’s been singing. At 12, she had a teensy role in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; shortly thereafter, the Disney Channel picked her up for Girl Meets World alongside Rowan Blanchard, and inevitably, she had a single promoted on Radio Disney:

If she comes off here as a younger Meghan Trainor, you will not be surprised to hear that M-Train wrote this one.

Sabrina Carpenter poses in front of a faux-finish wall

Sabrina Carpenter curls up on the sofa

Sabrina Carpenter is about to lose a shoe

Still, she’s ready to shrug off that whole teen-dream image thing:

[A]n “utter and complete transformation” is what Carpenter had been craving — a creative vacation as she was in the midst of crafting her shimmery, dance-driven third studio album, Singular: Act I, released last fall. “I was looking forward to stripping down in every aspect. I wanted to dye my hair for a role. I wanted to be able get into a character in a way where I’d look in the mirror and not even recognize myself. And that’s exactly what I was able do with Nola,” she says. “Ani [Simon-Kennedy, writer-director of The Short History of the Long Road] asked me, “Are you OK with no makeup?’ I was like, ‘Please!’ She asked, ‘Are you OK with not shaving?’ Again, I was like, ‘Please!'”

As Carpenter points out, “This girl, living in a van her whole life with her dad, doesn’t care about her appearance at all. There’s no self-awareness, only an appreciation for what’s going on inside of herself and others. And Nola’s story is one of survival and autonomy, which I think is very empowering for young girls to see.”

That said, Singular: Act II is on the way, containing this song:

In which “chirpy” meets “melancholy.” I promise to start paying attention.

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She loves me not

This, of course, is the default. That said, this cover of a Billie Eilish song deserves to be loved in its own right; to quote the video description, “this song makes my heart sing and also cry a trillion tears at the same time.”

And this, in its own way, suggests another cover RB might consider: Lesley Duncan’s “Love Song,” perhaps best known as a duet between Duncan and Elton John, included on his Tumbleweed Connection LP in 1970.

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Get ’em while they’re young

Being awed at Symphony Hall is not uncommon, but this exuberance was extraordinary:

The Handel and Haydn Society, one of America’s oldest performing arts groups, had just finished performing Mozart’s Masonic Funeral at Boston’s Symphony Hall, when a young child broke the silence with an exuberant “Wow!”

The awe in the child’s voice is so palpable and genuine that it won laughter and applause from the audience, and deeply touched the musicians.

The president of the Society wants to meet the kid and present her (or him; I can’t tell) with some goodies, including a recording of that very concert.

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A lifetime later

When Sabrina Lentini was ten years old, she was singing Leonard Cohen:

That was the summer of 2008. This past weekend:

Sabrina Lentini's 21st birthday party

I’m not sure which counts for more: her strong yet sweet voice or her legendary work ethic. I’ve characterized her before as the hardest-working singer in Orange County, and rare is the week when she doesn’t have at least a couple of gigs. It doesn’t even have to be in the OC:

Sabrina Lentini at a Dodgers-Padres game

And shortly, she’ll be heading for Nashville for a couple of weeks:

Sabrina Lentini, guitar in hand

This is the current single, released Sunday:

All grown up, she is.

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Don’t believe them, just watch

Eight million copies in the States so far. Imagine if it had had a 90-year head start:

And life goes on at 115 beats per minute.

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Always sane

An old friend has turned one more page, and understandably, she feels great about it:

Schooled in music, Carolyne Mas skipped college to travel the world pursuing her musical passions. A triple threat; singer, songwriter and guitar player, Mas was living her dream.

In 2002, after decades in the industry and years on the road, Mas found herself needed at home. She would first become her aunt’s caregiver then later her mother’s, both were living with Alzheimer’s Disease.

During her musical hiatus, Mas said she developed pain in her hands.

“I started having problems with arthritis and went on disability and was very unhappy because I’m not one to sit idly by and let time just roll on,” Mas said.

Hoping to help her get out of her funk, Mas’s husband suggested she “go to college.” By this point, they were living in Pearce, Arizona. So she started looking into programs and came across the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation’s Bachelor of Science in integrative health.

Monday, Arizona State will present her with her diploma — summa cum laude, yet. What’s more, they’ve asked her to speak at the convocation. All of us unrepentant rock-and-rollers should have done so well.

One of her signature songs, recorded live in Paris. (The Europeans always appreciated her more.)

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