“Books are like seeds. They can lie dormant for centuries and then flower in the most unpromising soil.” (Carl Sagan); “Nothing ever dies on the Internet.” (anon.); “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile.” (Madison Ave. [m]adman). My posts amalgamate these three philosophical elements into one novel experience; they champion critical thinking, human dignity / equality, levelheaded / even-handed / liberty-based governance and solid environmental stewardship. C’mon in!
At this point of our human race’s annual lap around old Sol, I welcome you to our BlogCast monthly get-together. In this installment, we’ll discover four stellar recording artists’ musical performances… to excite our ears… accompanied by four videographers’ interpretations of this music… to please our eyes. Interwoven into the mellow musical mix will be images of breathtaking Earthly splendor, natural wonders and celestial bodies. We’ll even eyewitness an artist connecting the starry dots into a constellation rarely… if ever… seen in textbooks.
Obviously, I could not have pulled off such an astronomical coup… taken that quantum leap… without the considerable help of featured recording artists Don McLean, Bread, Eithne Pádraigín Ní Bhraonáin (a.k.a. Enya) and Julia Westlin… without YouTube videographers glivingston73, Roadvideo 404, Tatiana Blue and JuliaWestlin. My mega thanks to them all.
On a musical note…on an informational and philosophical note, too…
♦ Throughout the playback of Don McLean’s ode to Vincent Van Gogh, we’ll be getting glimpses of this painter’s incomparable work… including the one titled (what else) Starry Night.
♦ We’ll hear Bread’s If and Enya’s Paint The Sky With Stars… discover how well both tracks segue since they have the same key signatures and similar lyrical themes.
♦ I had originally planned on featuring Ben E. King’s rendition of Stand by Me. However, while auditioning prospective tracks, YouTube’s recommended videos algorithm wound up both wowing me and changing my mind. In this instance, my new pal Al (short for algorithm… haha), had simultaneously introduced me to Julia Westlin and one of the finest cover renditions I’ve ever heard. [Blogger’s whispered aside: Methinks my musical soul hath been touched by an angel!] Well… that virtually heavensent song certainly sent me rushing over to my piano to confirm what my musical ear was already telling me… it was recorded in the Key of “A” (the significance of this appears below… Please Stand By). My programming sensibilities and lifelong appreciation of music did the rest.
♦ It’s a virtual certainty that we’ll be gobsmacked by the pitch perfect, breathtaking voices of Westlin and Enya. The manner with which these songstress’ voices and sung lyrics blend so seamlessly together… well … the resultant segue is every DJ’s dream come true.
♦ Each and everyone’s overall quality of life could dramatically improve were we all to take to heart Stand By Me’s love one another / help one another lyrical philosophy… to fearlessly and steadfastly breathe those sentiments into our interpersonal relationships… renew them when necessary… liberate ourselves… allow this spirit fly freely… soar upward and outward until it reaches all four corners of our world and touches all seven+ billion souls.
On a technical note…
♦ Once Don McLean turns in his topflight performance, all remaining tracks will play out in the Key of “A”, which makes the ending, fade-out moments of each song tonally overlap perfectly with the fade-in instrumental lead-ins to each successive track. As DJ’s, that’ll make life… both yours and mine… far easier and enjoyable.
♦ I do wish I could directly stream these BlogCasts to you… or go the podcast route… but since I can’t afford the required tech… that’ll make life… both yours and mine… just a tad more complicated. You see, my having to go the YouTube route means that their penchant for profitability will cause Ads to pop up from time to time. As of my posting time, sponsor Menards™ preempts the start of nearly every video. True, they are a fine home improvement store / retailer but their catchy li’l jingle does jangle this BlogCasts aesthetics. But fear not… I do have a quick-fix solution. My brief, one paragraph tutorial outlines the EZ procedure.
It’d be advisable to cue up the 2nd, 3rd and 4th tracks in advance. That way you can either PLAY or SKIP whatever YouTube Ads that may appear. Once you do so, quickly click PAUSE and confirm the counters are “ZEROED OUT”. If your reflexes aren’t quick enough, simply re-cue the song by dragging that “RED DOT” backward to 00:00 and engaging the PAUSE button… STAT!.
Well my listeners… we should now be in biz! It’s time for us to liberate these heavenly tunes… set them afloat atop the undulating, aural waves of mellifluous, relaxation music. <– YIKES!!! I cannot believe I served up that word salad. I’ll just have to… pun intended… toss it.
So sorry. I swear to the cosmic deities… and to you, too… that my musical repertoire is much, Much MUCH better than my repartee. In other words… its time to let this music speak for itself…
Don McLean ~ Vincent
Bread ~ If
Enya ~ Paint The Sky With Stars
Julia Westlin (ACAPELLA) ~ Stand By Me
I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to click back here for my next monthly BlogCast, which typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into a variety of appealing themes. My next program is slated to hit the www during the first week of August 2018.
FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.
If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment (click onto this blog’s headline to access the “LIKE” and “Reblog” buttons and “Comment Box”).
America’s system of representative government means that the candidates we elect are supposed to represent our interests and concerns. At the very least, I expect all who get elected (even the ones I don’t vote for) to represent the compassion and high moral standards which define me. Those qualities are especially important if a victorious candidate winds up sitting at the Oval Office desk.
I realize that people, all over our world, do keep a watchful eye on my homeland… with many of them presuming that whatever the President says and does represents the will of Americans… the character of Americans… my will and my character.
MY WILL AND MY CHARACTER? OMG! NO WAY!!!
Under the current circumstances… nothing could be further from the truth!!! The distance between Donald Trump’s interests and concerns AND my interests and concerns… is measured in light years. His compassion is fake while mine is real. As for moral standards, he takes the low road and I take the high.
Alas… ever since Inauguration Day 2017, I’ve been feeling UN-represented… abandoned and stranded… metaphorical light years distant from my homeland. I cannot help but feel cut off… all alone in our vast universe.
Oddly enough… I’m simultaneously feeling trapped within my homeland… buried alive. I desperately want to escape but… not being a man of means… realistically, there’s nowhere to run… nowhere to hide.
Of course… I’m not the one who deserves such an exile. Need I even mention who does?
As a compassionate man, I object to the abject cruelty of Donald Trump’s ham-handed, iron-fisted, zero tolerance immigration policy. His flawed “law” has resulted in multiple thousands of youngsters and infants getting snatched from their parents’ embracing arms.
After that, these youngsters are deemed “guilty” of their asylum seeking parents’ minor border crossing infractions… in essence… kids are being found “guilty” just for being alive!
These innocent political orphans… prisoners of Trump’s Border War… are getting dumped into internment camps, where their shed tears go unnoticed… where their mournful, “Mama and papa where are you?” pleas cannot possibly be answered. Or worse yet, when they do get a response, it’s not heartfelt consolation… it’s downright derision. Check out this translated from Spanish to English quote… words uttered by a detention center guard who had utterly failed to take the endless crying seriously…
“Well, we have an orchestra here. What’s missing is a conductor.”
All of that breaks my heart… the hearts of millions of sensitive souls all across America and the world. To assess the feelings within the alleged president’s alleged heart: What feelings? What heart?
With no end to this humanitarian crisis in sight, what’s to become of these detainee children? There’s far more to raising kids than merely serving them a steady diet of junk food and crappy TV programming. Are there any psychologists / social workers on hand to ease their separation anxiety? Are there any teachers to keep them mentally engaged? Who’s assuming the roles of nurturing, surrogate parents? Anyone? Who’s conversing with them? Reading them bedtime stories? Hugging them? Truthfully offering them hope for a better day?
Are these kids just languishing in their cages / cells… staring blankly at the dank, dingy gray, cinderblock walls through their welled up with tears eyes? Going for days, weeks, months on end without even the slightest chance for any normal, human interaction?
These young detainees must be nurtured. In the absence of that? Well, if they don’t die of loneliness first, what sort of adults are they to become?
Acapella Soul’s Doo-wop delivery of Stand By Me (a 1960, Ben E. King / Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller composition) is unplugged music at its very finest. Consider all that is and isn’t involved within the musical mix…
We find no composer obsessing over each and every note of a spontaneity robbing, musical score… instead, these talented singers draw on their impeccable musical instincts / sensibilities / timing. No need for overcrowded, over-orchestrated instrumentation… except for the assist of a solitary upright bass, the lead vocals and harmonizing more than get the job done! No electrification… these performers are tapping into the pure power of their passion for music… for life itself.
There’s no need for roadies / sports arena stage construction crews… Acapella Soul sets up their group / stage on the streets, in subway stations or… in this instance… in NYC’s Central Park. No hidden, deceptive behind the scenes recording studio enhancement / wizardry is required… these consummate professionals draw on the magic of the moment to cast their musical spells.
No stage lighting save for the sunshine above. No pyrotechnics save for the enduring spark of the timeless human spirit!
It has oft been said… by many… that the human voice is an instrument. Acapella Soul’s live and video performances provide the living proof of that claim.
On a cold, wintry Sunday evening, February 9, 1964, I was amongst the estimated 73 Million TV viewers on hand to ear and eyewitness the Stateside Birth of the Beatles… courtesy of the “CBS Delivery Room’s” “Ol’ Doc” Ed Sullivan.
To have been there almost from the dawn’s earliest light of JPGR’s brilliant musical careers, is what played a significant role in my forming an instantaneous, nearly lifelong, long-distance, musical mind meld. As for that approximately 12-year age gap between us? It didn’t really matter… the rapport we were building was inevitable.
All of their music that was to follow… recorded both as bandmates and solo artists… dominated… still dominates… the soundtrack to my life. Since I’m familiar with every tune the Fab 4 ever commercially released, I can attest to the fact that there’s not one turkey (cold or otherwise LOL) to be found throughout that entire discography.
Transitioning to the Vid of the Day… My first order of biz is to thank CBS Late Late Show star James Corden for presenting and participating in such innovative, quality, TV programming. In comparison, many competing TV networks’ shows aired in the wee hours are not much more than 4-watt “nightlights”. Hell, I’ve even seen some overnight, music infomercials that dim those “nightlights”… put them to shame. But, I digress. Getting back on track…
In this video we find singer / songwriter / performer Sir Paul McCartney still at the top of his game… at the Mt. Everest apex… providing ample proof that age 76 is the new 26 (btw… my best, belated Happy Birthday wishes to Sir Paul — dob 06/18/1942). To continue to hear him delivering his trademark clever / playful / cheeky / dry wit… his uniquely-Beatle banter… easily elicits smiles and laughs. To ear and eyewitness him rocking on as if he’s still that young Liverpool Lad debuting on the Ed Sullivan Show is nothing short of a rejuvenating experience.
As for the affable ex-Beatle and chat show host’s actual interview / conversation, one can sense the strengthening mind-meld and rapport with each passing syllable. Like life itself, Sir Paul and James’ conversation touches base with a wide range of emotions. Their mutual, genuine feelings of joy flow… as do their shared tears of sorrow. For those who have chosen to read this prior to viewing, I’ll avoid relating both the specifics and concurrent need to issue spoiler alerts. Suffice to say… these real life moments are what breathe even more life into this autobiographical sketch / music video… virtually add that missing third dimension to our flat screens.
Perhaps this is just my sentimentality talking, but, to merely categorize Paul McCartney’s Carpool Karaoke as a Vid of the Day just doesn’t seem to cut it.
How about re-titling it to read: The Feel Good Vid of the Century…of the Millennium!
Oh… to hell with all the wordplay… if you haven’t yet done so… just play and enjoy the video! Don’t allow that 23:42 PB time to be of any concern to you. As soon as McCartney and Corden start rockin’ and rollin’… once the tunes are rockin’ and the car is rollin’… you’ll tap into that Sixties spirit, the time will surely fly by… and then… by video’s end…
You may even catch yourself “grousing”… “Oh NO! Over so soon?”
In the wrong hands… they can burn down the bridges which society (from time immemorial) has been struggling to build and bolster up… bridges intended to span cultures, races, religions, ideologies and whatever else needlessly divides us.
In the right hands… torches can light our path… hopefully help guide humanity to our mutual destination… better days… a better society… a better world.
At present, both within my homeland and throughout much of our world, misguided leaders’, ideological tsunamis have been threatening to wash out every bridge and extinguish each torch’s guiding light.
Alas, their paths forward have gone dark… they’ve all lost their way… they can only go backward to revisit backward eras. And since, in their small minds, “misery loves company”, they all try their damnedest to demoralize us… to drag us all down with them.
It’s no accident that they usually share a common, wicked goal… to stifle what should be inalienable human rights… especially freedom of press and speech. They would never want us to gain knowledge and strength from inspirational books and songs. For, when we wise up, it is we who become empowered… they who (eventually) get dethroned.
A musical composition such as John Lennon’s Imagine conveys his timeless, energizing, galvanizing message to promote peace AND this exemplifies how songs can serve in a dual capacity… both bridge and torch… to guide us to better days… a better society… a better world.
Folks, it’s hard to imagine there ever being any way to improve upon any of that… but… there actually is. That occurs during the playback of my featured Vid of the Day. This event is far, Far, FAR more than a cover of Imagine. We become eye and ear witnesses to Lennon’s intergenerational handing off of the torch to a younger recording artist… such as Julia Westlin.
And Julia’s cover rendition does provide just as sturdy a bridge… just as brilliant a guiding torch as John had supplied us… nearly one half century ago.
We can rest assured that there’s still hope, after all, for better days… a better society… a better world.
WordPress denizens are fully aware of what a truly amazing experience “living here” can be. We get the golden opportunity to freely express ourselves each and every time we key in our login data. Even better… for those of us fortunate enough… our visits can and do go way beyond the words. In other words…
We can count our lucky stars whenever transcendental experiences materialize before our very eyes and ears… when cloaked within the vast sea of cyberspace… we discover true star power.
Such is the talent of piano virtuoso… Ms. Lori D. Marchell Carlsen. From her YouTube and WordPress websites, I’ve copied and pasted (below) the backstory to her (above featured) seven movement masterpiece…
“My Copyrighted Original Piano Music entitled C-13 Sonata inspired by 1 Corinthians 13 about Love, the Universal Language. This was composed throughout one summer many years ago. I would love to see it orchestrated. It was during a very difficult ‘dark night in the soul’ in my life, so the victories seventh movement brings the importance of remaining diligent in honoring our heart paramount in my life. Please feel free to share it with others, and thank-you for your kind comments and following my blog!”
Since I cannot think of a better testimonial / finale, I’ll also copy and paste my posted WordPress reply to her comment…
“Your talents as a classical pianist and composer are extraordinary. I’d wholeheartedly echo your wish for a full orchestral arrangement of your masterpiece. Your vid’s accompanying photos / paintings are impressive, too. I hope you can hear my virtual applause and chants of bravo! Bravo!! BRAVO!!! and encore! Encore!! ENCORE!!!”
With Renaissance woman Lori’s creativity being self-evident… as limitless as the cosmos itself… do I even need to recommend the following? OK… I will…
Visit Ms. Marchell Carlsen’s WordPress Site… tune into her YouTube Channel and… of course… be sure to subscribe to and follow/friend this mega / multitalented pianist, artist and published author, too.
Considering our present-day sorry state of affairs… especially within my homeland… I figured it was high time for some hijinks… especially tomfoolery of the wordplay variety. And nobody did it better than the King of Comedy… Johnny Carson… and his brilliant team of writers. I mean, seeing how we’re all here @WordPress, how much more appropriate could wordplay ever be?
This Vid of the Day is also a reminder of a political era where America still had its sense of humor AND how… as bad as the Reagan years were… we could still hang on to our hopes for a better day.
In any event… I do hope you got a charge out of viewing this Carson Comedy Classic sketch… I know I did.