Archives for category: music review

The Vegetable Orchestra (Das erste Wiener Gemüseorchester) is a musical group from Vienna who perform using instruments made entirely from fresh vegetables. The group consists of ten musicians, one cook, and one sound technician. Tonight, the group performed to an enthusiastic Berlin audience, which included some of Berlin’s most prominent vegans and vegetarians. 


Their instruments, which are all of their own invention, include carrot recorders, clappers made from eggplant, and trumpets made from zucchini. Their repertoire includes some experimental pieces and some standards from the likes of Stravinsky and Kraftwerk.

To ensure perfect sound quality, the instruments are made from scratch just one hour before each performance using only the freshest vegetables available. Then all ninety pounds of vegetables are cooked into a soup following the performance. Nothing goes to waste!
Advertisements


At 80 years old, Petula Clark (Downtown, Don’t Sleep in the Subway, and A Sign of the Times) has reinvented herself and is still surprising us. Her new album, Lost In You, will be released on February 25th. Her opening track, Cut Copy Me, is a hypnotic number that is sleek and contemporary. In addition, the album contains cover versions of Elvis Presley’s Love Me Tender, John Lennon’s Imagine, and Gnarls Barkley’s Crazy

Petula is better than ever. Her voice is clear, warm, and even soulful. She’s an inspiration. Genius doesn’t stop when you become older.



The Bhangu brothers are full-time taxi drivers in Hamburg who include a song with the taxi ride. The brothers, Lovely and Monty Bhangu, mix bollywood songs with German lyrics. Lovely is the songwriter and Monty is the singer. They call their unique musical style, Dollywood (no connection to Dolly Parton). They’ve become a cult hit in Germany and have recently released their CD, Wenn Du (If You). Their music success has also been a boon for their taxi business. They are often booked solid on the weekends. 







The Bhangu brothers are full-time taxi drivers in Hamburg who include a song with the taxi ride. The brothers, Lovely and Monty Bhangu, mix bollywood songs with German lyrics. Lovely is the songwriter and Monty is the singer. They call their unique musical style, Dollywood (no connection to Dolly Parton). They’ve become a cult hit in Germany and have recently released their CD, Wenn Du (If You). Their music success has also been a boon for their taxi business. They are often booked solid on the weekends. 





The Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells, died last week at the age of 92. Her amazing career spanned nearly 50 years, and included being voted the nation’s number one “Country Female Artist” by Billboard Magazine for 14 consecutive years, an achievement that no other country female artist has ever topped..


Her honest and unadorned voice and plain spoken lyrics touched my heart. My grandparents had a collection of Wells records that I would play for hours on end, and they somehow imprinted on my young mind. I can still hear the lyrics.

While her song titles may have sounded like trashy dime store novels, there was nothing trashy or pretentious about Kitty Wells. Her songs dealt with the common country music themes of love, heartbreak, rejection, and sadness, but Wells was the real deal. No schmaltz here. 

Her hits included, It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk AngelsI Don’t Claim to be an Angel, and I Heard the Jukebox Playing. My favorite Wells song has this refrain, “Your lips are sweet as honey but there’s poison in your heart.” A line that has come in handy over the years. 
Here are some of my current music favorites
Great visuals from Eric Hutchinson. 



Just an Old-Fashioned Love Song
NI
Nina is Still Going Strong


I was washing clothes at the neighborhood launderette, and this music video was playing on the TV. This is currently number 1 on MTV-Australia. It’s funny but certainly not sexy! Take a look for yourself. BTW: Can you spot the real-life porn star? 

I heard this song while having breakfast at a restaurant on 3rd Avenue in NYC. The song is by the Irish singer Imelda May. I’d never heard of Ms. May before this song captured my heart with its catchy rockabilly lyrics and melody. She has a fan now.


I enjoy music. So recently I began to take piano lessons. I’ll never be a concert pianist, but the challenge of learning a new skill is always exciting. It’s like learning a new language or taking up ballroom dancing.

I also like to listen to the radio while driving. It’s my time to be alone and away from the pressures of daily living. Unfortunately, a lot of music on the radio just isn’t my taste. I guess, I’m just too old to enjoy the pleasures of rap.

Portland has a very good classic radio station (WBACH 104.7 FM) and an excellent rock station (WCLZ 98.9 FM), but what excites me these days is commercial free Heritage Radio. Broadcasting from Yarmouth Maine, Heritage Radio (WYAR 88.3 FM) plays songs from the first half of the twentieth century. Sure, the songs are kitschy, but there’s something endearing about the lyrics and the old-fashioned melodies. You’d be surprised how good these songs are.


Unfortunately, Heritage Radio doesn’t have live streaming. It’s in the works; so hopefully, you will soon be able enjoy this unique treasure too. I know it sounds strange, but I find myself enjoying the songs my grandparents and great-grandparent used to listen to. 

BTW: I’ve included Eddie Cantor’s “You’d Be Surprised,” and “Put the Blame on Mame.” Even if you don’t enjoy the song, Rita Hayworth is a knock-Out! Wow, she certainly was something!