Saturday, December 31, 2011
Molly Johnson: The Molly Johnson Songbook (2011)
The Molly Johnson Songbook includes 14 studio recording and 2 previously unreleased tracks-featuring the Daniel Lanois song Still Water from his acclaimed album, Acadie.The Molly Johnson Songbook also included a Cole Porter composition not included in the Juno Awards Winning Lucky Sessions.
01. My Oh My 5:00
02. Lucky 2:41
03. Rain 4:00
04. Diamond In My Hand 4:49
05. Summertime 4:21
06. Ode To Billie Joe 5:25
07. Tristes Souvenirs 3:38
08. Melody 3:46
09. Lush Life 5:35
10. Let’s Waste Some Time 4:33
11. It’s Only Love 4:48
12. But Not For Me 3:25
13. I Loves You, Porgy 4:35
14. Ooh Child / Redemption Song 3:52
15. Still Water (Previously Unreleased) 4:52
16. Just One Of Those Things (Previously Unreleased) 3:58
Ardian Bujupi - To the Top (Deluxe Edition) (2011)
Genres: Pop, Music, Dance
Released: Dec 09, 2011
01. This Is My Time
02. Kiss the DJ
03. Rise to the Top
04. I Dont Know
06. Get Wasted
08. That Girl
10. Stereo Love
11. Green Light
Digital Booklet – To the Top (Deluxe Edition)
Anthony Hamilton - Back to Love (Deluxe Version) (2011)
Anthony Hamilton’s voice just keeps getting better with time.
The Grammy Award winner’s arresting voice—a favorite staple on the scene since 2003—recently provided the perfect accompaniment to Jill Scott’s earthy vocals on the captivating duet “So in Love.” Their dynamic pairing also set a record: 18 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Urban Adult Contemporary chart, tying with Maxwell for the most consecutive weeks atop the tally. The single, in turn, helped propel Scott’s album, The Light of the Sun, to a No. 1 debut on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums.
Now on the heels of that smash hit, Hamilton is igniting even more buzz. It’s for his new single “Woo,” recently the No. 1 most added single at urban adult radio. The vibrant, Babyface-produced track is the first single from his fourth studio album, Back to Love. The December 13 release is the follow-up to his 2008 gold-certified, No. 1-debuting album, The Point of It All (So So Def/Zomba Label Group). The impending release marks his first album for the newly restructured RCA Records—and signals the eagerly anticipated next chapter in the multi-talented singer/songwriter’s evolving career.
Released: Dec 13, 2011
(P) 2011 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment
01. Back to Love
02. Writing On the Wall
04. Pray for Me
05. Best of Me
06. Never Let Go (feat. Keri Hilson)
08. I’ll Wait to Fall In Love
09. Sucka for You
10. Baby Girl
11. Who’s Loving You
12. Life Has a Way
13. Broken Man
14. I’m Ready
15. Fair In Love
16. More Than Enough
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
(Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2011)
Genres: Soundtrack, Music, Soundtrack, Classical
Released: Dec 13, 2011
2011 WaterTower Music
01. I See Everything
02. That Is My Curse (Shadows, Pt. 1)
03. Tick Tock (Shadows, Pt. 2)
04. Chess (Shadows, Pt. 3)
05. It’s So Overt It’s Covert
06. Romanian Wind
07. Did You Kill My Wife?
08. He’s All Me Me Me
09. The Mycroft Suite
10. To the Opera!
11. Two Mules for Sister Sara
12. Die Forelle
13. Zu viele Fuchse fur euch Hansel
14. The Red Book
15. Moral Insanity
16. Memories of Sherlock
17. The End?
18. Romani Holiday (Antonius Remix)
Alice Faye- 1936 New Years
Clara Bow and Richard Dix ring in the New Year 1925
Mae West - New Years 1930s
Rita Hayworth - New Years 1941
Joan Crawford rings in the New Year - circa Late 1920s
Hazel Sofinger - New Years 1933
Are you sick of making the same resolutions year after year that you never keep? Why not promise to do something you can actually accomplish? Here are some resolutions that you can use as a starting point:
1. Gain weight. At least 30 pounds.
2. Stop exercising. Waste of time.
3. Read less. Makes you think.
4. Watch more TV. I've been missing some good stuff.
5. Procrastinate more. Starting tomorrow.
6. Don't date any of the Baywatch cast.
7. Spend more time at work, surfing with the T1.
8. Take a vacation to someplace important: like, to see the largest ball of twine.
9. Don't jump off a cliff just because everyone else did.
10. Stop bringing lunch from home: I should eat out more.
11. Don't have eight children at once.
12. Get in a whole NEW rut!
13. Start being superstitious.
14. Personal goal: bring back disco.
15. Don't wrestle with Jesse Ventura.
16. Don't bet against the Minnesota Vikings.
17. Buy an '83 Eldorado and invest in a really loud stereo system.
18. Get the windows tinted. Buy some fur for the dash.
19. Speak in a monotone voice and only use monosyllabic words.
20. Only wear jeans that are 2 sizes too small and use a chain or rope for a belt.
Friday, December 30, 2011
Doris Day is 87 years young, and you could still fall in love with her, even over the phone. Her buttery speaking voice, which kind of purrs as she recalls her halcyon days as a screen star and singing sensation, has not aged, despite her protestations. She laughs a lot in our conversation about her extraordinary career.
Long before Julia Roberts or even Barbra Streisand, the Cincinnati-born Day was the reigning queen of the box office—the No. 1 money-making star for four years in the early to mid 1960s. Nominated for an Oscar for the comedy Pillow Talk (co-starring her buddies Rock Hudson and Tony Randall), Day has some knockout dramatic performances on her resume, too: Love Me Or Leave Me (which Martin Scorsese later used as the inspiration for New York New York) and Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, with Jimmy Stewart. Many of her films were made at Warner Bros., which, unlike MGM, was not known for its musicals.
"At Warner Bros. they had serious films," Day tells me. "All the dramatic actresses were there. When they hired me, they didn't know what to do with me. The first thing they put me in was Romance on the High Seas, a little comedy. The next one was My Dream Was Yours—I don't even know what that was about."
She did know about singing, and she had hit after hit for two decades.
Day has released a new album in the US, already a Top 10 hit in Britain in the fall. My Heart—all the proceeds from which go to the Doris Day Animal Foundation—features 13 tracks, 9 of which were produced in the 1980s by her late son Terry Melcher, famous for his work with the Byrds and the Beach Boys. Two highlights of this sterling collection are "You Are So Beautiful" and the Beach Boys classic "Disney Girls." On the day I spoke to her, Day's most famous song, "Que Sera, Sera," was selected for the Grammy Hall of Fame, where it joins her recordings of "Secret Love" and "Sentimental Journey." She also has a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Day was married four times. After her third husband, Marty Melcher (also her manager), died in 1968, she learned she was in financial straits and went ahead with a TV series Melcher had committed her to, which became the top-rated Doris Day Show. After five seasons, she bowed out and went into semi-retirement.
The star has lived for 40 years in Carmel, California, where she's a well-known animal rights activist and owner of a popular inn. Fear of flying has kept her from going to New York, Los Angeles, or Washington, D.C. to accept the many awards she's been offered. Her return to the spotlight with My Heart could not be more welcome. Modest to a fault, Day—who continues to receive hundreds of fan letters each week—doesn't seem to fully appreciate her place in popular culture. But recently a visit from a Beatle provided further evidence of her vast influence.
PARADE: Paul McCartney interviewed you recently for a British newspaper about My Heart. What was that like?
I think it went well. I was out walking my dogs, and the man who works here came out and said, "It's Paul McCartney on the phone." I said, "All right, tell me who it really is." I thought it was someone playing a game. He said, "Will you please tell her that I want to know her and want to come and see her." It was Paul, and he did come, with his new wife. We had hours here. It was really nice. And he's really cute.
One night the phone rang around 2:30 in the morning; I thought something terrible had happened. He said, "Hey, what are you doing?" I said, "Well, I was sleeping." He would call at all hours just to say hello. He got a big kick out of that.
Your new album, My Heart, was mostly produced by your late son, Terry. Most people don't know he co-wrote "Kokomo" for the Beach Boys.
And they didn't win [the Grammy] that year. That was a crime. [The song lost in 1989 to Phil Collins's "Two Hearts."] That year, that was so terrible. At the table we were really....I thought was an insult. I loved "Kokomo." It was so popular.
And you covered the band's song "Disney Girls," which he produced. How was that?
I loved it. If it's a good song, I love singing so much. I get so involved.
Do you sing much now?
I can't now. I could still sing until I got bronchitis. I had a very, very bad attack a couple of years ago; I thought I would never get over it. That's why I sound different. But sometimes I sing along with something, and I think, "That wasn't bad." I wonder sometimes if I could start vocalizing.
I'm interested in your technique as a singer. Your phrasing is so elegant and simple. Did you think about what you were doing?
No. I knew the songs that we were going to do. We would put them together at my house. We would all decide what to do. The words were there, and the words told a story. I can't say any more than that, except I loved singing.
Was the label always suggesting songs to you?
They used to tell us what to do. The album I did with Andre Previn [1962's Duet], I picked my own then.
A great favourite is "Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps," from the Latin for Lovers album.
I loved making that album. At first I thought, "I'm going to do this? Me?" But I fell in love with all the songs. It's maybe one of my favourites of all time.
Were there songs you weren't thrilled with?
[long pause] "The Purple Cow." When they tagged that one on me, that was it. "I never thought I'd ever see a Purple Cow." Isn't that terrific? Great idea. Oh lord! I don't like to fight with people and say I won't do that! But you also get a lot of good things to do.
What was it like singing with Les Brown and His Band of Renown?
It felt good. And if you liked the song, it was wonderful, because people came right up to the bandstand and it was great fun. They wanted to say hello to you.
Doris Day and Les Brown
Did the band kid around with you a lot?
I had a great time. The guys were so nice to me--they looked after me and helped me, they took all my baggage. They were all like my brothers.
Was it a big change for you when you went solo?
The first time I ever worked alone, I had two shows a night at the Little Club on East 55th St. in New York. I opened it. My mother was with me, and my little baby. It was something so new for me. I thought, "What am I doing?" I was so used to having the guys behind me. But it turned out to be really nice. The people kept coming back! I was surprised! A lot of the women were Vogue types, models, all dressed up like crazy. They would say, "Come on over and have a drink." But I wasn't drinking. I would go back to my apartment between shows.
You were not a drinker?
Other singers—Billie Holiday, Judy Garland—had terrible substance problems. How did you avoid it?
Easy—I didn't do it.
Many other performers would party all night.
Party all night? Oh lord! No, no no! I don't even like parties.
When acts like the Beatles became popular, did you resent it? It's been widely acknowledged by many singers of your era that rock groups hurt your careers.
Not at all. Weren't they entitled? I thought when I heard [the Beatles] that they were very good. That never occurred to me. And Paul was the one who got in touch with me!
Tell me about your co-stars. What was Jimmy Cagney like?
I loved him. He as a wonderful person, just adorable. Not in that film [Love Me or Leave Me], he wasn't. Oh, he was nasty!
He was so superb, so funny. He was always in New York after that. I just loved him. Did we ever [have fun]! We laughed.
We keep in touch. He's funny.
Rock Hudson? The two of you had such great chemistry.
We really liked each other. He named me Eunice, just for fun. I was always Eunice with him. I was up here filming a show [Doris Day's Best Friends, July 1985] when all of a sudden he appeared. At first I didn't know who he was. I looked at him and was almost in tears. He was so thin, just gaunt. It was just unbelievable. But we walked and laughed together. He was so seriously ill, but he was still funny. It just about put me away—it's so hard to be funny when you know what's going to happen.
Wonderful. I had a great time with all the gentlemen I worked with. Really.
Looking back, all your co-stars were men. Was there ever a woman you would have liked to be in a movie with? An actress you thought was funny? Or would you have done something like Thelma and Louise?
No. [pause] Yes, if there was a really great script and a reason. But I always thought the women should be with the men.
On Christmas day in 1962, Mary Badham made her acting debut as Scout. In the minds of most people, the word “scout” conjures up routine images of troops, Native Americans and — to lovers of America’s pastime — pursuers of baseball talent. But to the die-hard movie fan — particularly those who can’t-get-enough-of-them film aficionados who grew up in the 60s — “scout” is not a word, but rather a name and it calls to mind only one thing: the critically-acclaimed film “To Kill a Mockingbird” and its then 10-year-old star.
Based on author Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, the movie, which opened on Christmas day is about a southern white lawyer defending an innocent black man unjustly accused of raping a white woman.
Badham was the youngest actress ever to be nominated for an Oscar. She lost out to eventual winner Patty Duke who gave a performance in “The Miracle Worker.” Besides that of Badham, the film was nominated for seven other Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. The latter was deservedly won by its star Gregory Peck who played the role of Alabama lawyer Atticus Finch. It was Peck’s first Oscar win after being previously nominated four times.
In the film, Scout and her brother Jem learn how hatred and racism can hurt those in society, who may be the most innocent. When she auditioned for the role, Badham was living in Birmingham, Ala. She was young. But as an adolescent, are living in California where the movie was filmed, she saw the difference between races. She discovered her parents were not immune to the racial template being created in Birmingham when they forbid her to befriend a young, black delivery boy who had come to their home.
With her parents’ words you-are-not-in-California-anymore echoing in her brain, she decided she could no longer tolerate the discrimination and left Alabama for Arizona to live with her aunt. It was there that she finished her high school education, earned a college degree and met her future husband.
A month ago, she visited Northeast State in Blountville, Tenn., near Bristol, Tenn. With the film’s 50th anniversary less than one year away, Badham stays busy traveling the country and around the world speaking to audiences about its message of racial prejudice and social injustice, neither of which she believes has completely gone away.
“Ignorance and bigotry and racism haven’t gone anywhere. They’ve just changed their clothes,” she said. “If you want to talk about the Mexicans, Muslims, or any ethnic group, it’s all the same. We really haven’t learned a whole lot.”
Badham’s primary target audience is high school and college students. She believes in the importance of the film’s messages and is trying to help young people better relate to them. But going one step further, she also encourages them to read Lee’s book, something she refused to do for years.
“I was perfectly happy in my little world of black-and-white,” said Badham. “But when I read the book, it totally changed my opinion about the whole thing. There are so many things in that book that are life lessons. You could basically use that book as a blueprint for life.”
Badham believes tolerance is one of the main tabulations of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and relays that to those in attendance wherever she goes.
“One of the things I talk about with kids is never let anybody tell you that you can’t talk with this person because they’re green with purple spots,” she said. “Every person you meet, regardless of whether they’re good or bad, learn something from that encounter that can stand you in good stead for later in life. Learn from those experiences and stay open-minded. It’s very easy to shut down and close people off. But when you do that, you end up hurting yourself and being weaker for it.”
Badham also speaks about another equally important message from the book — respecting your parents, especially if you’re a product of a single-parent home as Scout was.
“A lot of times, I ask the students at high schools, colleges and universities how many of them are from single-parent homes. It is the perfect time to talk to them about the trials and tribulations thereof, and the strength of Atticus and the support system that he had,” said Badham. “That really is a good talking point for the kids. It is important that you have parents that you respect. If the caregiver is not someone you respect, you can’t love them.”
Although “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a work of fiction, many believe it is autobiographical in nature. In fact, Lee’s father was a lawyer and there are those who surmise she drew upon him as the basis for Atticus. Badham believes everyone has a story to tell and encourages her listeners to document their life experiences.
“I particularly urge parents and grandparents to write down the family stories. If not, when they are gone, those stories are gone with them,” she said. “That’s what I miss from my family, a lot of those family stories. I wasn’t old enough to appreciate them at the time. If they are written down, then you’ve got something you can pass on.”
Badham’s film and television career was short-lived; it ended when she was just 14. But before it was over, she gave moviegoers memorable performances in two other movies — “This Property is Condemned” (1966) with Natalie Wood and “Let’s Kill Uncle” (1966) — as well as the television shows “Dr. Kildare” and “Twilight Zone.” Still, she doesn’t wonder what might have been and never missed the movie-making experience. What she does miss, however, is the TKAM family, most of which has passed on, including Brock Peters (Tom Robinson), Collin Wilcox (Mayella Violet Ewell) and Peck, who became a surrogate father to her after she lost both of her parents in early 20s.
While his life inspired her, his death was a sorrowful event. In effect, she had lost a beloved “parent” for the third time. Her remembrances of Peck are good, but she contends that all of her memories, even the not-so-good ones, have helped fortify her as a person.
“We all have to be tempered in our lives and if everything was sunshine and roses, you wouldn’t appreciate life as much,” said Badham. “We grow from those experiences.”
Scout, the character, narrates the events in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” but from her perspective years later as an adult. Similarly, Badham, the actress, is looking back on the events of her life, including those childhood days long ago on the movie set of arguably one of the greatest films ever made, and sharing the lessons learned with receptive audiences everywhere.
It was a bumpy road getting there, but the 84th Academy Awards are on the schedule for February 12, 2012 with Billy Crystal at the helm.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the official poster for the awards with the tagline “Celebrate the movies in all of us.” The movies the poster celebrates are Gone with the Wind (1939), Casablanca (1943), Giant (1956), The Sound of Music (1965), The Godfather (1972), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Forrest Gump (1994) and Gladiator (2000). Curiously, Giant stands out as the movie that did not win Best Picture, though George Stevens won Best Director.
The nominations will be announced on January 24.
Alexander Lieventhal, from Art 28 GmbH & Co in Stuttgart, Germany - which exhibits and sells Rizzi's work - said the artist passed away peacefully at his New York studio on Monday.
"It’s with great distress and sorrow that we have to announce the death of James Rizzi. The world famous pop artist died peacefully in his sleep in his studio in SoHo, New York, the night after Christmas. His sudden and unexpected death comes as a shock to family, friends, and collectors alike.
James Rizzi became famous for the 3D paper sculptures he invented, the playful and childlike forms and bright colours of which were to become his artistic trademark. Thus he acquired a large international following across all age groups and classes. Another claim to fame came through the application of his distinctive style to a large variety of everyday objects – from Rizzi stamps to the Rizzi house, from Rizzi puzzles to the Rizzi jet plane, from Rizzi chinaware to Rizzi cars and trains. Throughout his life, Rizzi contributed to a number of charities, the wellbeing of children being particularly close to his heart. This is one of the reasons why a public school in Duisburg, Germany, bears his name since this year.
James Rizzi died in the city he was born in, New York, which influenced his life as well as his work greatly. He was in the middle of preparing for new projects when death struck him.
In James Rizzi the art world loses one of the last great pop artists, and we lose a good friend and a wonderful human being."
The Rizzi-House in Braunschweig, northern Germany
Sunday, December 25, 2011
If you're anything like many, then at this time of year you're a sucker for Christmas movies of any kind. You melt and grin over the tender lessons learned, the opening of presents, the sourpuss having a change of heart, the pratfalls, the lovers sharing a kiss in the snow, the realization that Santa actually exists. Oh, and Martians.