#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As you can see from this list my music tastes are eclectic and in some cases outdated.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 #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 #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!

#Musical Monday Review #16: Yentl

Overview: A young Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy in order to study the Torah. Problems arise when she falls in love with a fellow student and can’t confess her love. Yentl is then forced to marry a young woman because of Jewish law and find reasons to keep from consummating their marriage.

Opinion: I understand that it is traditional for Jewish women not to study religion, but I find it a tad sexist. Women should be able to learn what they want the same as men, that doesn’t mean that women will give up their “womanly duties” they will just be able to have a better conversation with their male counterparts. Is that a bad thing? Not unless you enjoy a dull and boring life.

That said, this musical is wonderful in challenging the archaic laws put down for women of the times, pre-world war I, and shows that woman came be just as good as men. Even if it portals Yentl’s thirst for knowledge stems from the fact she was raised by a single father. The storyline reminds me much of Disney’s Mulan, where a daughter runs off to fight in place of her father. In both cases it was illegal for women to speak their minds or fight wars or study religion. These women taught girls that they can do whatever they put their minds to and I think that is great. I remember when when I was younger, this was my favorite musical by Barbara because of the strong message behind it.

I do find it sad that because of the life Yentl chooses, she has to give up finding a husband and having children with the man she loves. Had she been able to be a scholar as a woman, things would have turned out differently. Obviously it would not have made as good of a story but still makes you feel for her.

Barbara is spectacular as always. Not only is she a beautiful woman, but makes a handsome man. Pulling off both parts well. One thing I’m not quite sure about is the music. Don’t get me wrong, I love her voice, but it seems as if the songs are actually one long song. There is not much difference in tempo or melody. At least to me it all seems the same just different words.

Papa vs The Way He Makes Me Feel

Because of that I find it difficult to pick a favorite song. And as there is no dancing there is no favorite choreography. Which I feel was a bit of an justice because I love Jewish dances. Actually for a long time I’ve loved different cultures and one prominent in my mind is the Jewish culture so not having a lot of dancing I find was a disservice and would have enriched the musical.

#Musical Monday Review #15 Mamma Mia (The Movie)

Overview: Sophia is getting married and wants to invite her dad. Problem is her mom never told her who he was, because she secretly doesn’t know. So she sends an invitation to the three possible candidates, not explaining the reason behind it. Thinking she will automatically sense the right one when they show up. When the men arrive, without mom’s knowledge, Sophia doesn’t feel a fatherly connection with just one but all three. Hidden from her mother, the men set out to find her and are surprised to find she didn’t know they were coming or why they were there. Laughter ensues as the wedding draws closer and minds are changing. In the end there is a wedding, and a few unexpected connections are made leaving the “Little Island” a bit upturned.

Opinion: Love it! But who doesn’t love ABBA? Throw in a girl who wants her dad for the biggest day of her life? It just makes your heart melt. Then who knew Colin Firth, Meryl Streep and Pierce Bronson could sing? Meryl Streep’s rendition of “Winner Takes It All” was heartbreaking.

“S.O.S.” was also frustrating and resonates too truly. So close to each other, and yet so far apart they can’t see each other right in front of them.

Of course ABBA’s most iconic song (at least for me and I wasn’t acquainted much with them before the movie), “Dancing Queen,” is in it. Performed by every extra woman they could find.

However, my favorite would happen to be “Honey, Honey.” Sophia reading her mother’s diary is so sweet and devilishly childish.

A close second would be “Does Your Mother Know?” A little secret about myself, I’ve always had a thing for older guys. So this song featuring a young man being spurned by an older woman is hilarious.

The scenery is beautiful, a Grecian island. Turquoise water everywhere and fantastic multi-colored buildings. Always wanted to go and the movie just entices that urge to travel again. While the songs don’t seem to depend on a specific local, I’m glad they chose Greece when it could have been filmed anywhere.