Monthly Archives: December 2007

Unheralded Popular Music Artists Who Deserve to be Heard

Aren’t you tired of all theradiohits that come out,that have the same chords and the same sentiment, the same faux-gospel female or brooding,grittymale singing voices, the same instrumentation and production, again and again, yet pretend to be new songs? Have you ever heard of the current (within the last15 years) popular music artists Bess Rogers, Eisley, October Project, Happy Rhodesor Kim Fox? They are separate, unrelated artists, all very talented, and theycreate beautiful, or fun andinteresting songs, but they don’t yethave the fame and fortune they deserve. Give them a listen. There are many other talented but unsung singers/composers of pop music to be found. It just requires searching.

More famous, but not famous enough,are Marshall Crenshaw, Richard Thompson, and Linda Thompson, all very talented and interesting songwriters and musicians. And you’ve heard of Al Stewart, but did you know some of his best workcame out long after “Year of The Cat”? Try his “Between The Wars” CD. And Justin Hayward, of The Moody Blues, released an outstandingCD called “The View From The Hill” that you probably never heard. (I also recommend his 1975 “Blue Jays” album with John Lodge if you never tried it).

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Christmas Movies and Shows I Recommend

“Miracle on 34th Street”– A perfect film in so many ways.  I didn’t even understand all of its implications until I had seen it several times as an adult.

Chuck Jones’ half-hour TVspecial “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” is another small masterpiece.

The Alistair Sim version of “A Christmas Carol” (about a man with low self-esteem, who can’t enjoy life, and learns to see his error).

Also, the Richard Williams animated version of “A Christmas Carol”.

Also, “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol”.

Rankin-Bass TV Special “The Little Drummer Boy”. It’s about trade.  A child with no material possessions canoffer hismusic, and it can be the most appreciated of all values (appreciated by the magic healing baby who then heals his donkey as payment).

“The Homecoming” 1971– (The pilot for The Waltons TV series). I love the atmosphere of a rural Christmas with a large loving family, and the suspense that could arise during a storm, clearly based on a true story in the young life of Earl Hamner, Jr.

“The Snow Queen,” a strange but beautiful animated film from the 1950s.

“Lady and The Tramp” has a bit of a Christmas theme and is one of my favorite animated films.

“Meet Me In St. Louis” has some Christmas scenes and is a fine film.

“Almost Angels”, a Walt Disney movie about the Vienna Boys Choir, which is not a Christmas movie but since it includes “Greensleaves” and snow-capped mountains, I’ll include it, since it’s another perfect movie with the spirit of artistic achievement, and of a purposeful life as a beautiful, thrilling adventure.

“Santa Claus and The Three Bears,” an animated film for children from the 1960s. It’s not really that good, I just like the spirit of it.

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