Thursday, November 25, 2010

Where We Give Thanks

So, in honor of Thanksgiving, I just wanted to say a big thanks to all the readers this past year.This blog is quickly coming up on its 1 year anniversary, and I've been so thankful for your thoughtful discussions, comments, and emails. I look forward to continue to cover composers and hope you'll stick around and take part!

And in the spirit of Turkey Day, I leave you with the always elegant "Mark's All Male Thanksgiving" from William Finn's Elegies, sung here by Paul Lessard:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aren't we all a little crazy when it come to love?

I first heard of Drew Gasparini when I saw this video from Emma Hunton's concert at (le) Poisson Rouge where he smoothly finesses a cover of Damien Rice's "Volcano" (with the always lovely Emma):


So imagine my excitement when I found out that he also writes music. And it's good.

Two of his musical projects (with books co-written by Louis Sacco) Crazy, Just Like Me and Circles, both explore human relationships, examining love, hope and human connection and feature gorgeous songs that slow big moments and emotions, prodding and finding greater meaning in them.

A couple of my favorites from Circles includes "What Remains" (sung here by Jennifer Damiano and Matt Doyle):


"Two Little Lines" (sung by Anna Ty Bergman):


Drew is also a recent addition to NewMusicalTheatre.com, where you can download his sheet music for songs like the following "My Year" (sung by Alex Ellis) and the hilarious "The Text Message Song" (performed in Cait Doyle's Hot Mess in Manhattan):


Monday, November 8, 2010

Was I enjoying myself or just wasting time?

Due to a work commitment, I'm pretty bummed that I won't be able to make Gaby Alter and Tommy Newman's concert for 29: A New Musical tonight at Joe's Pub. But if you have an open evening, you totally should. You can listen to the awesome music at Tommy Newman's site, and I can only imagine it will sound better live.

Here is a performance of one of my favorite songs, "Twenty-One," performed by NYU Tisch:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Beautiful

I am so glad that I was able to attend Peter Lerman's show tonight at The Laurie Beechman in New York. It's been a little while since I've gone out to a show, and after listening to many of his songs (and having blogged about his music a little while ago), I've been dying to be able to hear them sung live.

I have to say that I really had a great time and found it to be a really lovely evening of some really nice songs. There was a subtle, quiet beauty to the whole affair. The music itself was entrancing, notes and lyrics gently carving out the landscapes that many of Peter's songs describe. Peter mentioned how he loves things that are old (as shown by the classic lucky Phantom of the Opera shirt he was wearing), and there's definitely a sense of time and place in all of his songs. Many of them describe ghosts and moments that may have already passed, but they're also filled with an appreciation and awareness that keep them poignant. All the songs stood on their own, but sometimes even a simple introduction or story from Peter's own life made them all the more intimate, adding yet another layer to already rich songs.

And as much as history and time play a prominent role in his music, tonight also showcased his pop sensibilities. After all, who else tells an anecdote about suggesting Ke$ha's "Dinosaur" or Eminem's "Stan" for his obligatory cover, and follows the story up with a cover of The Killer's "Human"?

If/when videos are posted, I will definitely post them. But in the meantime, go to his website and download his songs (I definitely left tonight with a new appreciation for "Out of My Hands") and enjoy the following music video of Peter Lerman singing "Abraham," which was the encore song tonight.