#Musical Monday Top 50 Musthaves in my #Writing Playlist Pt. 2

Hey it’s been awhile since I made the initial post, can find here, so I thought I would finish the list. Sorry it took awhile, but finding only 50 out of 3500+ songs is hard. Reminder, these are in no particular order.

26. Aqua “Doctor Jones”
27. Nsync “Dirty Pop”
28. Barlow Girls “She Walked Away”
29. Meatloaf “Paradise by the Dashboard Lights”

30. Stevie Wonder “Signed, Sealed, Delivered
31. Michael Jackson ” Liberian Girl”
32. Eminem “The Real Slim Shady”

33. Shakira “La Pared”
34. LeeAnn Times “Blue”
35. Alan Jackson “Pop a Top”

36. John Barrowman “I Know Him So Well”
37. Toby Keith “A Little Too Late”
38. Spice Girls “Mama”

39. Rod Stewart “Superstar”
40.  Wilson Fillips “Hold On”

41. George Michael “Father Figure”
42. Godsmack “Voodoo”

43. Tammy Wynette “D.I.V.O.R.C.E.”
44. Blue Oyster Cult “Don’t Fear the Reaper”
45. Kazaky “Crazy Law”

46. Psy “Gangnam Style”
47. Glee “Don’t Stand So Close to Me/Young Girl”
48. Tim Curry “I Do the Rock”

49. The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever”
50. Styx “Show Me the Way”

#Music Cache Needs an Update

As you can see from this list my music tastes are eclectic and in some cases outdated. I don’t listen to the radio that often, because reception here is crap and I just don’t like having to go through all those commercials. When I go to YouTube, I look at songs or artists I know because I love them.

Plus I am in the middle of nowhere and avoid news at any cost so don’t know new artists.

I’m asking you, my people, do you have any music suggestions? I’m looking to expand my music library and could use a bit of tips. Something to stay away from though, Beaver. I am not a Believer and never will be. Thank you.

#Musical Monday Review #25: State Fair

Overview: Margy is a young girl bored with country life and excited about going to the Iowa State fair with her parents and brother. Each family member has different hopes for the fair, Ma has mincemeat pies for competition, Pa is entering Blue Boyvas biggest boar and brother Wayne had planned to spend the time with his girlfriend. Wayne’s hopes are a bit dashed as his girlfriend can’t make it, but he finds ways of entertaining himself. Ma compromised her morals and added brandy to her pies. Margy meets a cute boy on a rollercoaster. Blue Boy falls in love with the competition, named Esmeralda. End of the fair and things may not have turned out as they planned.

Opinion: It is a bit slow in the beginning. A lot of other musicals seem a bit over the top and a bit theatrical, irony is not lost on me, but this one seems down home and real. Just ordinary folks going to a state fair. It is refreshing to see, or maybe I’m just crazy for fairs, I like it. Dick Haymes is my favorite, his nice low voice is very soothing. Why don’t we have Singers like him today?
Favorite song is “Isn’t it Kind of Fun?”

#Musical Monday Review #24: The Identical

**I know technically it is not a musical, but totally worth a watch and full of music.**

Overview: Twin boys separated at birth due to parents being unable to properly care for both. A preacher and his wife take the child as God’s will for they cannot reproduce otherwise. The two boys grow up differently but one thing brings them together, music. Drexel Hemsley, the boy kept, becomes a big star; while Ryan Wade was pushed into being a preacher via military man. Ryan grows tired of trying to become what his father wanted and branches out to be a mechanic occasionally singing in honky tonks. He marries and she pushes him into a Drexel Hemsley impersonator contest, which he wins by vote of his unknown twin popping in and viewing his performance. Other than that, the two never meet. Drexel goes on with his stardom and Ryan becomes “The Identical,” a traveling Drexel impersonator. After a few years, Ryan wants to do his own music but his manager won’t allow it so he goes back to being a mechanic and making records to send to producers. Being turned down again, he thinks of giving up. One day he is in the shop talking with a friend when all of a sudden he collapses. At the same time, Drexel’s plane crashes to the ground killing him. Ryan mourns for the loss of a part of himself and his dad becomes upset that he is no longer doing anything with his life. He becomes so upset he has a mild heart attack and is rushed to the hospital. Ryan discovers the truth in a letter his birth father wrote to him, hiding in a desk drawer while looking for his adopted father’s medication. Upset, he takes a solo vacation to come to terms with everything and is reunited with his birth father. He decides to continue his brother’s legacy as the Identical and sing his songs as well.

Opinion: A great story about what might have happened, if Elvis’s brother had lived. I jump to Elvis Presley not just because the actor, Blake Rayne, is Identical to him but because this is a big possibility and possibly a new conspiracy theory.

IMG_0019

FOR SUNDAY FEATURES - Blake Rayne  - HANDOUT
FOR SUNDAY FEATURES – Blake Rayne – HANDOUT

The family said the twin died, they had a little ceremony and buried a shoebox, while really they couldn’t afford to take care of two children so they gave one away to a better life. It is highly possible, and Like in the movie only one twin finds out because the other dies before learning the truth. It is completely possible given that it would make sense. This movie is a wonderful fairytale of what might have been.

#Musical Monday Review #22 Fiddler on the Roof

Overview: A Jewish family living in a poor village, just trying to live their lives. Tavye, the patriarch has five girls to we’d and give a dowry to but he just sells milk and delivers it with a lame horse and trailer. The oldest daughter is able to marry the man she loves, while a Yente tries to fix the younger girls up with eligible bachelors. They rebel their suitors and break tradition, a very powerful thing Tavye holds very dear. All while fearing the Czar doesn’t invade their little Russian town.

Opinion: I first watched this in high school, and instantly fell in love with it. Tavye is such a great dad, wanting the best for his daughters as long as it follows tradition. He is also funny! I respect the traditional dances but to an uncultured high schooler, his shimmying (can’t believe that’s an actual word) during my favorite song, “Rich Man” is hilarious.

It’s not just the dancing that he does that is funny, but some things he says or the way he says it. I particularly enjoy his questioning of God, without actually questioning his existence. It’s something I’ve always been told not to do. If you believe in God, you can’t question his actions…or in-actions.

Another favorite song is “Matchmaker.” It is the Yente’s job to find husband’s for girls. However this Yente has a problem of making matches the girls don’t like. The girls go from wanting her to find them a match to not being in a big hurry.

Tzeital, the eldest daughter, reminds me so much of Barbara Streisand. However i find the middle daughter’s voice sounds clearer.

Comedy aside, I see the tragedy of losing special traditions and tearing a family apart as the result. My family has always been close but never as close or held many traditions as those of any faith let alone the Jewish faith.

I love the choreography of the Russian dancers during “L’chaim To Life.”

#Musical Monday Review #21 Aladdin

Overview: Aladdin is an orphaned teen running around Agrabah with his best friend and pet monkey Abu. He dreams of a better life inside the palace walls. Princess Jasmine, longing for a normal life outside of the palace walls, runs away from home and meets Aladdin. The two have a romantic moment, before being caught by the palace guards and he was arrested under the orders of Jafar. Jafar is the royal advisor and sorcerer, who is on a quest to find a magic lamp. Inside the lamp is a genie that will grant three wishes (within certain guidelines). Problem is the lamp lies in the Cave of Wonders and only a “diamond in the rough” can enter. Jafar tricks Aladdin into going inside to retrieve it, but Abu gets greedy and the Cave collapses. Aladdin rubs the lamp and becomes Genie’s master. They get out of the cave, and Aladdin starts to make his wishes, but finds that he just needs to be himself to get what he wants. Jafar learns Aladdin has the lamp and attempts to steal it, takes control over everything. Then makes a fatal mistake, that aids in his downfall and giving a happy ending.

Opinion: I love classic Disney. This was one of my favorites growing up. Jasmine has been my favorite Princess because she tried to stand up for herself. She still needed help being rescued, but she had tried to fight. Plus I always thought she was the most beautiful.

This is probably my first introduction to two of my favorite actors: Robin Williams and Gilbert Gottfried. I loved Iago’s crotchety anger and frustration, he was such a great comedic relief. Genie was amazing at moral fiber, and friendship. I don’t know why but Robin also brought a bit of a Jewish feel to his role. Maybe it has something to do with his freedom speech and wanting hummus, but I could be wrong.

My favorite song would have to be “Prince Ali.” Who doesn’t love a parade?

Then of course “Whole New World.” One of the most romantic songs ever.

#Musical Monday Review #20 Children of the Titanic

Overview: Musical docudrama about the children who were on the Titanic and survived.

Opinion: intrigued on many levels. First being whoever heard of a musical docudrama? Second, I love anything to do with the Titanic and her I’ll fated journey. The third level being, hearing stories from children that survived. In general, you know there were a lot of children on board but not too often do you hear their own words about what they saw. Hollie Steel, has a beautiful clear voice and moves you to tears with the slow ballads between the stuffy British Titanic experts.

Sadly it is only an hour long, and pretty much what one would expect from a docudrama. Little bit of singing with tons of facts thrown in. Interesting concept, but I don’t think it is something that will catch on.

#Musical Monday Review #19 Beauty and the Beast

Overview: A selfish prince is cursed by a witch for not helping her. His curse is for him to be disfigured as a hideous beast, and all those who dwell within his castle are also transformed into animated household items until his 21st birthday. In town Belle is a normal girl who enjoys reading more than trying to attract suitors, so the other townspeople believe her to be odd. Her father is known as a crackpot inventor, and is believed to be the source of her weirdness. Gaston, local playboy and jerk, has set his sights on Belle simply based on her beauty. Spurring his affections, she focuses more on helping her father look after the farm while he goes to an investor’s convention. Belle’s father soon becomes trapped by the Prince and sends his horse, Phillipe to find Belle and rescue him. Gaston plans to have him committed once he is back in town, after Belle trades places with him. Once the beast has Belle, he tries to be nice but she only sees a kidnapping monster and he sees a stubborn girl. Over time they grow close and learn to love each other, but Belle has to leave to save her father from Gaston. Finding the beast is real and won the heart of Belle, Gaston leads a mob back to the castle in order to kill it. The house fights back, but the beast has been mortally wounded. With one kiss from Belle, the curse is broken and everyone lives happily ever after.

Opinion: Who doesn’t love a good Disney Princess Movie (DPM)? This one is my mom’s particular favorite. As a kid, I would watch it over and over but I can’t say it was my ultimate favorite. I do think it was my first DPM though.

It is a good story to learn that appearances don’t matter, don’t be selfish and that people are different. Then if you look past the Disney filter, things become a bit creepy. For instance, Belle has wicked sisters in the original and the beast allows her to go home for a visit as long as she is only gone a week. The sisters become jealous and try to talk her into staying longer, so when she returns the beast will (hopefully) eat her. Then there’s the witch cursing a boy of 10 or 11 because he wouldn’t let her into the castle. This why they invented “Stranger Danger?” It’s a bit excessive if you ask me. Disney covered it up by making it seem as if the boy was a teenager or so, but the original story says something about a ten year gap between the beginning of the curse and the time Belle goes to him. If the spell has to be broken by his 21st birthday, given the time gap, the curse began at 10 or 11.

While Disney tried to cover the creepy, they made it creepy by making the beast seem evil. In the original he was kind and giving to Belle and asked her to marry him every night, only to be turned down because she regarded him as a friend.

Back to the movie.

Being the practical child I was, Cogsworth has always been my favorite character. He is the one person that seems to make any logical sense as everyone else is trying to manipulate Belle or her father in the beginning. He was the voice of reason and I identified more with him then the others for that reason. Plus he was smart and because of him I wanted to learn more about the baroque period and have flying buttresses in my house.

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Before I reveal my favorite song, I’d like to rant for a minute. The Special Edition that was released in 2003, and the version I happened to watch for this post, irritates me. Back on the cutting room floor a song was taken from the film and released without it because it didn’t add to the show and just stalled the story line. When they released the Special Edition, the editors decided to add the song in order for the consumers to get more for their money. The movie was perfect with out the song “Human Again” and instead of just adding it as a special feature they put it on the main feature forcing you to watch it. I know it’s not that big of a deal but it is annoying to fast forward through it. Then I feel sorry for the little children who won’t be able to see the movie in all of its original glory, instead being subjected to the pointless scene.

Favorite song is ” Something There.” It’s a short song when they are starting to fall for each other. They are running around and playing in the snow, genuinely getting to know one another. It is such a sweet scene and the song is beautiful.

Favorite choreography has to go to “Be Our Guest.” One there isn’t much choreography to begin with and two it is just an amazing scene. Silverware, pots, pans and flower vases dancing and putting on a show for Belle for dinner.

Favorite scene is the battle at the end because I love it when the wardrobe let’s out a battle cry, jumps through the air and lands on a man who comes out dressed as a woman.

#Musical Monday Review #18: I Kissed a Vampire

Overview: Dylan is bitten by a Vampire and started transforming into one. He struggles with his new fangs, weird dreams and not biting the girl he loves. Then Tray shows up to teach him how to be a Vampire and get the girl. His girl Sarah is bitten and starts changing too. She wants to embrace new life, but than also wants to find a cure, while Dylan is in denial and trying to stop it. They go to see Dr. Dan Helsing and find that the Vampire who bit Dylan wasn’t too powerful so he may not change completely. Sarah on the other hand was bitten by a very powerful very Vampire and will change as well as belong to Tray. In order to make the cure, they just need a drop of Tray’s blood. The two are pulled apart in their quest for blood and giving into their true selves. In his love for Sarah, Dylan’s powers start to emerge and we learn Tray is obsessed with Sarah because he has mommy issues. Sarah breaks the the spell and they are able to create a cure. Sarah almost died but is brought back with a kiss. The cure failed, but the couple found happiness together.

Opinion: Though the lyrics leave a bit to be desired, the music is cool. For a girl who wanted to break away from the goody-two shoes personality, she really wanted to find a cure and change back to normal. Its like here is her chance and she chickens out. I thought that was a little unrealistic or uncharacteristic of her. Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to mind with the duality if Sarah’s fighting good vs evil inside of her, compared to Janet’s similar struggle.

Really over all it looks like something Disney would put out during their 13 Days of Halloween. For me that’s good, I love those movies.

Lucas Grabeel shows a darker side than when he was in High School Musical. He embraces the emo look, foregoing his scary pink attire.

“Just a Little Bit of Nibble” is my favorite favorite choreography. We see Tray teasing Phillip about getting his first kiss and Phillip struggling between kissing, biting and keeping Tray away from Sarah.

“Just a Drop” is reminiscent of “Your the One That I Want” from Grease. I’m not sure why, it just popped in my head as I watched Sarah, the good girl next door type, sing about how she wants to break out of her shell and take a bite out of life (pun intended).

Note: Some people may have seen the mini episodes on YouTube or another website, but a lot of people have had issues finding the whole musical. I found it on Hulu if you are wanting to check it out.

#Musical Monday Review #17: Guys and Dolls

Overview: Nathan Detroit is strapped for cash and looking for a place to hold a floating crap game. In a desperate attempt for quick cash, he challenges Sky Masterson to take a missionary to Havana because he believes all “dolls” are the same. Nathan picked a girl so different from Sky’s usual norm, he is sure he will win the $1,000 bet and be able to host the game. In order to get Sarah to Havana he bets that if she will go to dinner with him, he will deliver a dozen sinners ready to repent in two days time. As Nathan faces problems from his long time girlfriend and an officer in New York, Sky finds himself falling in love with Sarah in Havana, but she isn’t interested in the good-natured gambler. Believing it is all part of a bet, she is only in it for the promised sinners to save her mission. In the end there is a beautiful impromptu double wedding in the streets of New York.

Opinion: Opening is great, all the gamboling and thievery going on under the cops noses is comical and sets the mood for the rest of the show. Though there is a love theme, I believe it is portrayed a bit funny. Nathan believes to be a man they hey have to have a girl by their side. Sky agrees, but any girl will do because they are all the same so you shouldn’t get tied to just one. In the end the boys learn a lesson. Though who could resist Marlon Brando? He seems to be the smoothest man  in the world.

Favorite choreography has to be when Sky and Sarah are dining in Havana. The dancing is strange to begin with, then a fight breaks out and proper little Sarah holds her own.

Sorry the video cuts the fighting part, I couldn’t find a better one.

Too many good songs to pick just one!