Well, 2016 was quite a year, and not entirely in a good way. At least it was good for Castro The Band! But we lost far too many special creative people, and rediscovered some deep and unattractive rifts in the world’s social fabric.
Still, it’s over. For 2017, whatever happens in the world…
“Auld Lang Syne,” performed by the BBC Symphony, Chorus, and Singers (and I think the audience, too):
Yeah, yeah, I know, Barry Manilow, yadayada. But did you listen to the song? Because it’s really good. Try listening to the same song sung by Lea Salonga:
Video posted by LeaSalonga–Topic (Provided to YouTube by Sony Music Entertainment)
Beautiful, right? Very much like something you’d expect to find in a Broadway show or in an album of pop standards. People say that all Manilow’s songs sound the same, but my theory is that he sings in a very stylized way even though it sounds simply conversational, and it’s a strong enough style that the songs he sings sound more alike than different. (Not that he doesn’t have a definite music writing style, but the songs on his albums that he DIDN’T write sound as much like Barry Manilow as the ones he did. That’s a neat trick.)
Not to mention that right about now, I find it really nice to hear someone sing “We’ll get through this…we’ll be just fine,” don’t you?
(The top comment on this particular YouTube is by the producer and director of the PBS show, how awesome is that?)
Peter, Paul, and Mary debuted “Light One Candle” during their 1982 Holiday Concert at Carnegie Hall. If you keep count, you will see that the lyrics “light one candle” repeat exactly eight times–and if you watch carefully, you can see that the children light one candle each time that phrase is repeated, making them a human menorah.
From Idol Chatter, “The Top 10 Post-American Idol Songs” (of 2016, that is):
“Automatic” by Castro: The best song on the very fine debut EP from Casto, which includes Jason (4th on Season 7 of Idol), brother Michael (a contestant on Seasons 8 & 9) and younger sister Jackie. Dang, does she sound great on the opening to this song? Then the very familiar voice of Jason cuts in on verse number two. Here’s hoping the trio continue making music together. I haven’t ranked these songs, but this is my absolute favorite from 2016.
To explain–the writer, Mark Franklin, begins by saying he’s not ranking the songs, but… 😉 Anyway, check out the whole article here!
My absolute fave from the EP is Hearts Coming Home, so have them both!
According to the Songfacts blog, this is the second most popular song for the end of the year, and it is “the kind of ballad that is usually sung in a melancholy tone because the singer instinctively knows the answer (you’re probably busy).” Fits.
So let’s undercut the melancholy with this playful version sung by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:
Maybe it’s that they’re clearly having so much fun, or maybe it’s that it’s a duet, but one way or another, that doesn’t sound sad or wistful to me at all–they sound like the answer they’re expecting is, “Spending it with you, you idiot!”
Tonight will be the third night of Chanukah, and since my family has not yet had latkes at dinner, I bring what I hope will be some inspiration–the Maccabeats singing “Latke Recipe,” lyrics by Spencer Garfield:
“The Christmas Song,” was written by Tormé and Wells when then were 19 and 22 respectively. According to Tormé, it was written in about 45 minutes during a heat wave, sparked by an attempt by Wells to cool off by thinking winter thoughts. (This seems to be a not-uncommon trigger for the writing of Christmas songs, does it not?)
Castrocopia is run entirely by a couple of misfits. Although McLovin, Liz Lemon, and REReader are in the back pocket of the Castros, it should not be inferred that this site is sanctioned by the Castros. Tolerated, yes. Loved, who wouldn't? Our words are our own and we stick by them.