June 9, 2008

Music for my soul…

Posted in music at 8:07 pm by Katelyn

I would be remiss if I did not take a minute of your time to tell you about the album that has been playing non-stop in my stereo for the last 3 weeks – Yael Naim. Maybe I’m a bit behind and everyone else has already discovered her, but if you haven’t you at least owe her a listen. Yael Naim Cover

Most of us will recognize her voice as the background music in the MacBook Air commercial where she sings “New Soul”. The rest of the album only gets better from there. Her melodies are soulful and revealing and every time it plays I am in awe and inspired.

So close your eyes and take a listen. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

March 6, 2008

Honoring Hen: Marin Alsop

Posted in music, Music Industry, Uncategorized tagged , , , at 10:01 pm by Katelyn

The name Marin Alsop probably doesn’t sound familiar to most people. Even I only knew her story and not her name. She is the woman who broke the glass baton so to speak.

Alsop is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the first woman to ever lead a major American Symphony. In the world of classical music, where men still dominate the scene, she has broken through.

I won’t bore you with biographical details because she has so much of her life still to live. I will instead leave you with several of her quotes that I think speak to her character and the opportunity she has earned.

“I think the most challenging aspect is people’s need to focus on the fact that I’m a woman. It’s really entirely irrelevant to what I do.”

“I don’t want to give it short shrift. I want to take this responsibility of being a role model, in a certain way, and try to capitalize on it and make it easier for future generations and really make a contribution because of this circumstance I find myself in.”

“In some ways, it’s really a shame that it can be the 21st century and there can still be firsts for women. That’s disappointing. But at the same time, I’m proud. I want to try to use this opportunity to pull a spotlight onto the fact that there can still be firsts for women and we need to work harder to make those part of history, rather than part of the present.”

(quotes taken from CNN article: http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Music/09/23/alsop.baltimore/index.html)

March 2, 2008

From Governess to Butcher

Posted in Film, music tagged , , at 4:33 pm by Katelyn

Moulin RougeSince the topic of movies was raised earlier this week, I thought I would touch on the phenomenon and resurgence of the movie musical that began (in my opinion) back in 2001 with Moulin Rouge.

Growing up, musicals were always our genre of choice. It probably helped that my parents are both music teachers, but there was also much more of a selection of musicals from which to choose. The last great era of producing movie musicals was probably in the 1960s with films such as West Side Story and The Sound of Music and it could maybe be considered to have continued into 1978 with Grease. But most would agree that great musicals ended there. People stopped understanding the need to break into spontaneous song and dance in every scene and they moved toward reality.

After a 20ish year hiatus, suddenly within the last 5 – 8 years big name stars have taken an interest in showing off their hidden singing and dancing skills in films like Moulin Rouge, Chicago, Dream Girls, The Producers, and most recently Sweeney Todd.

So was it the novelty of the musicals themselves or the celebrities that drew the attention of a general public with no previous knowledge (or experience with) musicals? Then again, does it matter? They’re back! Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger, Jamie Foxx, or Johnny Depp may have attracted the audience initially, but they would not have received the great reviews and box office numbers without the stories and stellar music of great Sweeney Toddwriters and composers.

My personal list of great newer movie musicals:

Chicago (2002), Dream Girls (2006), The Producers (2005), Hairspray (2007), Walk the Line (2005)

Newer movie musicals I need to see:

Ray (2004), Across the Universe (2007), Sweeney Todd (2007), Phantom of the Opera (2004)

November 12, 2007

Anthem of a Generation?

Posted in music tagged , , , at 10:19 am by Katelyn

No doubt you’ve heard the popular song by John Mayer “Waiting on the World to Change.”  I happen to think this is a great song with great lyrics, as all John Mayer’s are in my opinion.  I recently heard a radio announcer refer to this song as John Mayer’s anthem and that got me thinking about the message it holds. 

Do you think this could be the anthem of our generation – causing us to look forward to a time when we will have the power to change things and make them right?  Or does it paint us as a generation not willing to take initiative and try to change things even when the odds are against us?   

Here are the lyrics.  Let me know what you think…

~DC

Waiting on the World to Change by John Mayer

Me and all my friends are so misunderstood

They say we stand for nothing and there’s no way we ever could

Now we see everything that’s going on with the world and those who lead it

We just feel like we don’t have the means to rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting, waiting on the world to change

It’s hard to beat the system when we’re standing at a distance

So we keep waiting, waiting on the world to change

No if we had the power to bring our neighbors home from war

They would have never missed a Christmas – no more ribbons on their door

And when you trust your television, what you get is what you got

Cause when they own the information, they can bend it all they want

That’s why we’re waiting, waiting on the world to change

We keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change

It’s not that we don’t care, we just know that the fight ain’t fair

So we keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change

One day our generation is gonna rule the population

So we keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change…

November 2, 2007

Music & Lyrics

Posted in music tagged , , at 4:53 pm by Katelyn

I thought I would try something a little different and write a weekly post on something that means a lot to me – something that I depend on to pick me up when I’m feeling down – and that is music & lyrics.  So each week I will pick a set of lyrics to post, and leave it to you to hear the music in your head.  I will try to cover different styles, different topics, and as always, I will take suggestions of your favorites for posting as well (leave them in the comment box).

Today’s pick is a piece that I sang a few years ago while accompanied on guitar by my father.  The words and their story give me goosebumps, and everytime I hear them I find new meaning in them.  I hope you enjoy!

If It’s Magic by Stevie Wonder

If It’s Magic, then why can’t it be everlasting 

Like the sun that always shines, Like the poets in this rhyme, Like the galaxies in time.

If it’s pleasing, then why can’t it be never leaving

Like the day that never fails, Like on seashores there are shells, Like the time that always tells.

It holds the key to every heart throughout the universe.  It fills you up without a bite, and quenches every thirst.

So if it’s special, then with is why aren’t we as careful

As making sure we dress in style, posing pictures with a smile, keeping danger from a child.

…So if it’s magic, why can’t we make it everlasting

Like the lifetime of the sun, it will leave no heart undone

For there’s enough for everyone.