Sunday, May 15, 2005

Celebrate singer-songwriters on the radio blog to your right

Welcome back to another Sunday and new music in the radio blog to your right. Remember that it POPS UP so you can listen to music while you visit other sites or read through this one.
A shorter selection, and NON-OPERATIC (except for the closing piece, which is as always Wagner) this week. We are celebrating singer-songwriters who WOD thinks are worth a listen to vocally.
First up? Tom Jones. Yes, that Tom Jones who in my humble opinion, could have had a classical career if he wanted it. We hear him with the band Portishead, in a cover of the old folk tune, "Motherless Child". Welsh vibrato, baby.
2 - The Bobs with Ladysmith Black Mombazo (sp?) in a cover of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". The Kings Singers aren't the only ones out there doing good a capella. Think it's easy? Try it sometime.
3 - The Sweetest Embrace - the most evil "breakup" song ever written, and featuring Nick Cave the goth king of depressing, Leonard Cohen, Canada's Musical Poet Laureate, and Barry Adamson, who is an undiscovered genius writing songs that should be film soundtracks. Oh wait, he's done a couple of those. Vocally, it doesn't get much darker than this.
4 - Stephen Sondheim - The Ballad of Booth : from his musical theater piece titled "Assassins" - a musical about Presidential assassins of all things. I firmly beleive that Sondheim is America's leading opera composer. Don't argue with me about this, you'll lose. This is an edited version, both for length and language. In the original, there are long stretches of dialogue and some fairly non-PC references. John Wilkes Booth was an actor and the assassin of President Lincoln. I first heard this sung by an opera singer, and really wish I had a recording of that version. Sorry about the levels, folks. I'll see if I can fix it.
5 - Surprise, by Liz Larin. A bit of a tangent jump after the Sondheim, but Liz Larin should be right up there with Sarah McLachlan and Tori Amos when it comes to female singer-songwriters. A wonderful unique jazz-tinged vocal style as well. Go visit her here, she has a new album out. This cut is from her last album, "The Story of O-Miz". Puts on a great live show, writes her own stuff - what's not to like?


Blogger c said...

Every time I hear Tom Jones, no matter what song, I think of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Carlton doing his ultimateblack-boy-dancing-like-
an-uncoordinated-white-boy dance!

Sorry, can't help it.

And I *believe* it's Mambazo. I'm not certain.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Kranki said...

LOVED the Liz Larin! Great voice. Must get me some. I love it that Tom Jones sings with bands on a whole different musical spectrum. He be pretty cool. Do you ever take requests? Miriam Makeba?

7:21 PM  
Blogger Opera Gal said...

I will have to talk to our world music DJ and see if we have any - I will look on Tuesday when I do my live show.
thanks! glad you liked it.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I accidently 'tuned in 'to your site fairly recently. I love it. A you have any music by Waldo De Los Rios? I had a cassette (Sinfonias)and ended up playing it to death. I would love to hear more of his musical interpretations. Henryk_

2:48 AM  
Blogger Opera Gal said...

Hi! Thanks for dropping by - this weeks music is somewhat of an anomaly - usually the blog is straight opera, as is my live show on Tuesdays. I checked a little on the De Los Rios - primarily he is a movie/tv soundtrack composer. I'll talk to the soundtrack guy at the station and see what we have by him, and I'll also dig through the classical - you never know!

7:26 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

I have enjoyed Ladysmith Black Mambazo ever since I first heard them singing Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes with Paul Simon on Graceland.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Hi, nice music pics. Okay, my favorite is the Wagner. You know, I just don't care for the Liz Lorin sound. Maybe I should have listened a little longer. Her voice sounded kind of airy and I don't care for that so I clicked to Wagner right away. Liked everything else, though.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Opera Gal said...

glad you like the Wagner, because its my "closing" music and has been for some time. I also use it as my closer on the live program. so it will be up there for a long time. Liz has a very unique vocal sound - it has a lot of personality. Is it a trained sound? no, but it has that "something else" that I personally think is the mark of a great singer. I've heard her do a great cover of Led Zeppelin, of all things, so its not just her own stuff. ok, I'm rambling now.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

I second kranki and andrea. Liz Lorin reminded me just a little bit of Melissa Etheridge, but I like Melissa's voice better.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Squirl said...

Maybe I'm being unfair. I'll have to give Liz a try again sometime. Some of the female singers I like are Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Sarah Vaughn. Most of the pop singers don't have a sound I really care for.

8:45 AM  

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