Thursday, September 10, 2020

Movie: Jazz on a Summer's Day

What a thrilling piece of history being restored and redistributed.

"Filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island and directed by world-renowned photographer, Bert Stern. JAZZ ON A SUMMER'S DAY features intimate performances by an all-star line-up of musical legends including Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O'Day, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, and closes with a beautiful rendition or The Lord's Prayer by Mahalia Jackson at midnight to usher in Sunday morning."

(Via (182) Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959) – Official Re-Release Trailer - YouTube.)

Cory Grinder, Jen Maurer, Stephen 'Tebbs' Karney (8/16/20)

Just catching up with this show.  I was thrilled to get a call to attend this small private performance of 3 great local musicians.  We thought it was going to be canceled, but after a rain delay and a change of venue, the sky parted and the sun came out!  Cory Grinder, Jen Maurer, and Stephen 'Tebbs’ Karney are all individual performers who pulled together to perform some great folk music, pulling out some old timey songs, as well as a cover of Reba’s Fancy!  It was such a delight.

Cory Grinder Jen Maurer Stephen  Tebbs Karney  8 16 20

Cory Grinder Jen Maurer Stephen  Tebbs Karney  8 16 20

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Disclosure is killing by bringing on Sydnis and Kehlani on his new release for Birthday. Declan McKenn’a Lyric Videos are cooler than a lot of other music videos out there, having just released his for Rapture. Gus Dapperton keeps us laughing in his new video for Post Humorous. 

Bonus:  I just discovered Cleveland artist MILAN because of their success remixing a Glass Animals track, and thoroughly enjoy this video from 2018

"Just this week, local musician Victoria ‘Tori’ Kurtz, who records and performs as MILAN, became a finalist in a prestigious international remix competition sponsored by the UK indie pop act Glass Animals. She's one of 11 finalists out of 400."

(Via Cleveland’s MILAN Named Finalist in International Remix Competition | Scene and Heard: Scene's News Blog.)

 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Ben Gage (8/15/20)

This was my second Rock Hall show of the weekend (!) with equally as great weather for sitting socially distanced outside.  Ben Gage is an Akron-based singer songwriter who played a lovely set out on the pavilion.  He really won me over when he covered Gillian Welch’s Miss Ohio, captured below.

Ben Gage  8 15 20

Ben Gage  8 15 20

 

Did I mention how nice out it was?

Ben Gage  8 15 20

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Elliphant is making a triumphant return with this beautifully shot video for the perfectly polished Had Enough. Dua Lipa just jumped out of the top-40 fray with this amazing single, Levitating, featuring Madonna (!), Miss Elliott, (!!), and remixed by The Blessed Madonna (!!!). Finally, how could I not post this star-studded video of Erasure’s Nerves of Steel!

Bonus:  You wouldn’t normally see a Rolling Stone video on this blog, but their recent video for Scarlet was actually pretty good - featuring Paul Mescal from Hulu’s Normal People.

Kid Tigrrr (8/13/20)

A return to live music!!  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has just cemented a lifetime of memberships from me by breaking this drought with a series of shows out on their pavilion (temperatures taken, masks required).  I missed the first couple, but this Thursday night could not have been more beautiful for my first.  

Kid Tigrrr is a local band that I’ve been aware of, but have missed seeing live.  While their whispery indie pop sound would have better served in a small club, they complimented this strange reunion with live music quite well.  Check out some clips from the show.

Kid Tigrrr  8 13 20

Kid Tigrrr  8 13 20

Friday, August 7, 2020

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Austra just released her new video for I Am Not Waiting, off my second favorite pop album of the Summer.  Disclosure dropped their new video with Fatoumata Diawara for Douha (Mali Mali), which you should start for the dancing and stay for the visuals.  YELLE is promoting their yet to be release album with their new dance-centric video for Karaté.

Bonus:  Just ran across this video for Runway Daydream by The Ivy. Who’s not up for a summery pop tune from a cute boy band. 

 

Movie: Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester

Sylvester was not of my era, but I’ve become a huge fan. I don’t even remember how I discovered them, but it wasn’t long before I was collecting Sylvester’s music on vinyl and and playing it on jukeboxes.  I was thrilled to see this light shown on this amazing artist over at Amazon Music.  Check it out!

"In partnership with filmmaker Lauren Tabak and writer/consulting producer Barry Walters, we dive into the music career of Sylvester, starting from church choir in South Central LA to his early years in San Francisco. It follows his ascent to stardom through his evergreen, international hits 'Dance (Disco Heat)' and 'You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)'. Through his groundbreaking career, Sylvester blew open the doors for queer visibility and gender fluidity in mainstream music, leaving a legacy that continues to influence today's pop music. The documentary features candid interviews with Billy Porter, Martha Wash (The Weather Girls, Two Tons o’ Fun), Sylvester’s sister Bernadette Baldwin, biographer Josh Gamson, producer/songwriter James Wirrick, and more. Listen to Sylvester on our Pride History playlist: https://amzn.to/37D73XG"

(Via (100) Love Me Like You Should: The Brave and Bold Sylvester | Amazon Music - YouTube.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Video Day #tzaupbeat

Slyvan Esso keeps getting better with every release, including this delicious new song & video for Ferris Wheel.  Declan McKenna takes us on quite a stroll in his new video for Daniel, You’re Still a Child.  After catching Sen Morimoto opening for Lala Lala last year, I excited to see this new video for Woof coming off a new album slated for October. 

Bonus:  Seemingly out of the blue, Jessica 6 is (re?)releasing some videos from some of their best tracks!  I’ll be curious to see if this is just some YouTube catalog completion exercise, or if there’s some more news to come!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Article: The Number Ones: Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”

I’m not sure when I first heard this song, but I know the drama of it has always captured me.  I loved that Stereogum gave it some treatment in their series, The Number Ones, as to remind me what a spectacle this song can be.  And speaking of spectacle, I don’t remember ever seeing this video - wow!  I have no idea what’s going on in this video, but it surely lives up to the theatrical nature of the song.  There’s much to love about the campiness of this video - except maybe the creepy blue eyed choir boys.  And if there were anything that would cement Bonnie Tyler as a gay icon, it would be this video.

"Nobody’s entirely sure what ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ is about, and nobody needs to know. ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ overwhelms the idea of songwriting specificity in the same way that a tidal wave overwhelms a rowboat. Spend enough time with ‘Total Eclipse,’ and you might find yourself wondering if that isn’t the only way to write songs.

The term ‘power ballad’ doesn’t adequately describe ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart,’ if only because the word ‘power’ just doesn’t have enough power. ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart’ is an extinction-level event rendered in musical form. It’s pop music as heart-pounding, chest-thumping, blood-gargling, heavens-falling passion explosion. It’s sheer spectacle. It’s fireworks and lasers and lightning and thunder. It soars and swoops and barrel-rolls. The song flies along from one fiery climax to the next, and right when it seems like it’s about to end, it takes off again and somehow becomes even bigger. Who the fuck cares what it’s about?

Jim Steinman, the writer and producer of ‘Total Eclipse Of The Heart,’ originally came from musical theater. But you knew that. Even if you didn’t know that, you felt it. Only someone from musical theater could’ve gone for that level of cheap-seats bombast."

(Via The Number Ones: Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” - Stereogum.)