So, what are you listening to these days?

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Mendalla

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Floor Jansen doing The Merry Widow. Never thought I would type those words. This is another clip from Beste Zangers. Henk Poort is a classical singer known in their native Netherlands for opera and musicals. So Floor sang this on his "feature" episode, a popular song from Franz Lehar's most famous operetta, albeit in a modern arrangement (kind of "Nightwish does Lehar" to be honest). It is probably the first time I have heard Floor in full-on classical mode (she did study opera for a time in conservatory) and ... :love:.


And her Nightwish predecessor Tarja Turunen in a solo performance of a song she first sang with Nightwish, also showing off her classical chops backed by classical instrumentation.

 

Mendalla

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Got the Juno Jazz Showcase from this year on as I work. CBC organizes these showcases for various genres of music as part of Juno week every year. For jazz, they put together a band of top Canadian jazz musicians to back various Juno nominees in performances of their work (usually there's a few nominees in the band, actually). Not surprisingly, the host is singer-pianist Laila Biali who hosts Saturday Night Jazz on CBC Music. This year, she was also a nominee so one of the other performers stepped into the host role briefly to introduce her and shared some nice personal reflections (he's know her since she was a student at Humber College). Apparently Laila has perfect pitch per him.

 

Mendalla

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Moving on to the Classical Session now. Opens with harp and flute doing some contemporary works, then violin and piano for some Beethoven and Massenet. Again, the relevant CBC host, in this case mezzo-soprano singer and CBC Music classical host Julie Nesrallah, is hosting the show. Sadly, she did not perform this year.

 
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Mendalla

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So, I raved aplenty about Floor Jansen and a bit about Tarja Turunen (current and original lead singer respectively of NIghtwish), but in between those two was Anette Olzon. Unfortunately, she did not play well for some fans, lacking the operatic quality of Tarja's voice, who she had the misfortune of succeeding. The circumstance of Tarja's departure (she was fired in the middle of a tour) did not help Anette's acceptance much, as many of her fans were angry over that. But Anette sang on two of their best albums, including the powerful Imaginaerum, and was altogether a solid lead singer, even if she struggled with some of the material written for Tarja's operatic soprano. Her post-Nightwish work has borne that out nicely, too, as she has both done solo work (new album coming in September) and fronted the band The Dark Element.

From her upcoming solo album:


And one of my favorite The Dark Element songs:


(Yes, it's very much in the vein of Nightwish)
 

Mendalla

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FYI, the videos above have not been taken down on Youtube. There's a glitch in Xenforo's Youtube embedding (probably caused by a change at Youtube) that is fixed by a new patch that came out last night. I'll get to it sometime today.
 

Mendalla

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And to celebrate, some of Anette's Nightwish songs.

From Imaginaerum, which largely featured songs written for a movie of the same title developed from an idea by the band's songwriter Tuomas Holopainen.


(I have previously posted Floor Jansen's amazing live version but this is the original)

And one of the band's rare flat-out rock numbers, from Anette's debut album with Nightwish.

 

Mendalla

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The Juno Songwriters Circle has become an important part of the Juno Week festivities and this year was no exception. You get great Canadian songwriters singing and talking about their work. And what a bunch this year.

Host was Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy and, not surprisingly, this song came up. For all the great music he and Greg Keelor have written for the band, this one is probably the one that will haunt them forever.


And going back further, Dan Hill first charted with this song in 1977. #1 in Canada, #3 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and many other national charts. And many covers of it have been hits as well.


Sticking with the seventies, Carole Pope was the lead singer and songwriter for Rough Trade. While I think "High School Confidential" is perhaps better known, 1982's "All Touch" was actually the bands biggest hit.


I can't find anything that says how old Carole is, but she first met her Rough Trade co-founder Kevin Staples in 1968 so she must be in her seventies and still sounds pretty damn good. Rough Trade itself dates to 1975.

And, finally, the relative noob of this year's group, R&B singer-songwriter Deborah Cox. She was born the year before Pope started Rough Trade and dropped her first album in 1995.


Cox has also had success as an actress, appearing in a number of musicals, including Aida (a musical by Elton John and Tim Rice based on the Verdi opera), Josephine (about the life of singer Josephine Baker), and The Bodyguard (based on the Whitney Houston film). She also provided the vocals for a biopic about Houston.
 

Mendalla

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Voces8 have a new album looming so lots coming out from them right now. And this one is gorgeous. It is a solo by their alto Katie Jeffries-Harris, who doesn't get to solo very often, and the arrangement really showcases her voice.

 

Mendalla

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Two of my favorite young bands have a lot in common. Concrete Castles and Against the Current are both "power trios" featuring talented guitarists and drummers backing a strong female vocalist. The two women, Audra Miller and Chrissy Costanza, even have a similar sound and style at times. Both used covers to build and promote their work. And they just announced that Concrete Castles will be opening for Against the Current on tour this fall.

So here's the latest from both bands. First up is the lyric video for Concrete Castles new single Wish I Missed U.


And then the latest from AtC


The one difference is probably experience. While Concrete Castles have been together for several years as the cover band First to Eleven, they are still pretty new as a band producing original material. AtC, by contrast, have been going for a decade and are definitely well established, having a contract with Fueled by Ramen, the same label as Paramore, Twenty-one Pilots, Panic! at the Disco, and other successful bands.
 
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Mendalla

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And if you wonder where Concrete Castles got their name, it is actually a line from one of the first original songs they wrote and recorded. And as a first effort, it is actually a pretty good piece.

 

Mendalla

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Billy Idol was almost inescapable for a while in the eighties, with hits like "White Wedding" and "Dancing with myself". And I guess he never really went away, just passed his peak. Well, he's back, with guitarist and co-writer Steve Stevens still accompanying him.


And a sentence guaranteed to make Gen X'ers feel old: Billy Idol is a grandpa. :oops:
 

Mendalla

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New Pentatonix! They actually dropped two tracks in the past week. And they seem to be into a K-pop (Korean pop) vibe.

First, we have a mashup of two songs from K-pop sensation BTS.


Then they team up with three members of K-pop group Ateez

 

BetteTheRed

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Do you think videos sometimes distort our feelings about songs? Or vice versa?

The song sounds okay, not totally my style (pop-py is fine, sometimes), but the video really turns me off.
 

Luce NDs

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Do you think videos sometimes distort our feelings about songs? Or vice versa?

The song sounds okay, not totally my style (pop-py is fine, sometimes), but the video really turns me off.

Why a lot of hummers are best in the dark ... oh that song about Shady Lanes ... cooling the flames by optional process?

... beyond ordinary comprehension and cognate? The metaphor keeps it going around ...
 
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