10, 9, 8…

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…

newyears17

 
“Auld Lang Syne,” performed by the BBC Symphony, Chorus, and Singers (and I think the audience, too):


Video posted by Kromgols kanal

Just give it a couple of days…

“It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve” by Barry Manilow and Marty Panzer, sung by Barry Manilow:


Video posted by egaygigi

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?

Continue reading “Just give it a couple of days…”

Is it too late to ask? Or too early? Or…

“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” by Frank Loesser, sung by Barbra Streisand:


Video posted by ChristmasCottage’s channel

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:


Video by HelloGiggles/Zooey Deschanel

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!”

Deschanel is wrong about one thing, though–the original isn’t by Nancy Wilson, whose recording of the song came out in 1965. The song was written by Frank Loesser (about whom I have already written this year) in 1947 as an independent song,

(Which leads me to believe that Gordon-Levitt has a penchant for Loesser’s music–which is not a complaint, just an observation!)

and it was first recorded by The Orioles a couple of years later.

Continue reading “Is it too late to ask? Or too early? Or…”

Or at least it will be, tomorrow!

“It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve” by Barry Manilow and Marty Panzer, sung by Barry Manilow:


Video posted by Erie Alcantara

Why do I always feel the need to make excuses for bringing up a Barry Manilow song? In my youth, although I was a fan, I was known to say that Manilow had one fast song and one slow song, each with many titles–but it’s not true. It’s more, I think, that he sings in a deceptively stylized way; it sounds relaxed and not stylized at all, but it’s still 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–he does–but there’s also the fact that the songs that he DIDN’T write sound as much like Barry Manilow as the ones he did.)

Don’t believe me? Try listening–really listening–to the same song sung by Lea Salonga:


Video by #LeaSalong

Beautiful, right? Very much like something you’d expect to find in a Broadway show or in an album of pop standards.
Continue reading “Or at least it will be, tomorrow!”

Hey, hey–the holidays are not yet over!

“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” by Frank Loesser, sung by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald:


Video by TheBillie HolidayExperience

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).”

So let’s undercut the melancholy with this sweet version sung by Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt:


Video by HelloGiggles/Zooey Deschanel

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.

So, um, you know … what ARE you doing? (We’ll be right here.)
Continue reading “Hey, hey–the holidays are not yet over!”