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I went to high school with this guy named Lucas Steele. His voice is one of the indelible memories I carry with me from that time. I mean, I'm talking a world class voice. By the time this kid was 16, he could sing anything, and people would stop whatever they were doing in order to listen. I've seen him hush an auditorium full of chattering teenagers by spontaneously breaking into song.

I often think of him, and wish I could hear him again. I've never assumed he would achieve anything short of exactly what he wanted. So while I just found out about it, his current project doesn't surprise me in the least. It does, however, at last provide me with a sample I can point people to in order to say, "See, this is what I was talking about."

It's so strange hearing such a familiar voice in such a context, but until I heard those samples I hadn't quite realized how much I'd missed it.
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Pop quiz, just because I'm curious: what's the saddest song you ever heard?

ETA: Guess I should add mine, huh? For me, it's probably Into the West. It's the sonic distillation of the bittersweet truth that everything ends. I can't even get depressed when I hear it, because it makes me simultaneously remember all the good times and how they pass.

Play this at my funeral. And then party.
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These two songs seriously make me want to learn how to vid.

Also, the second one makes me want to learn how to dance like that. And guys, you really do look hot when you dance. I've always thought so.



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YouTube - SPN - The Road ... So Far to the End

Somebody I know [livejournal.com profile] bunnymaccool made this. Do me a favor and tell her how awesome it is.
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I always knew Hamlet was HARDCORE.
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Janis Joplin still puts chills down the spine.

But who'd have thought David Bowie would be one of ones who'd survive?
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There's not much better in life than finding a nice surprise where you were expecting a bad one. These're from the "Britain's Got Talent" show, which...yes, apparently it really does. Really, really does.

Susan Boyle, I Dreamed a Dream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

Paul Potts, Nessun Dorma: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DelJrP3P7tA

Connie Talbot, Somewhere Over the Rainbow (she's six years old!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWNoiVrJDsE

Connie Talbot, Ave Maria (still six! Some things in life just really aren't fair): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iy3XJ9yDfD8
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Ever hear of "Fnugg?"

Most kickass tuba solo ever! Possibly also the only tuba solo ever. But no less kickass for that!

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The reconstruction of ancient Greek music is one of those things that lots of people have been working on for years. It's kind of a ground-up rebuild, because many of the instruments have been lost, the musical notation they used is different from ours, and they use a different scale.

My sister told me about an article she read once, about a man who'd dedicated his life to this work and thought he'd gotten it more or less right, rebuilding instruments from ancient ones found in digs and the whole shebang. The interviewer had met with him in a coffeehouse in Athens during the Olympics, and described a moment when he asked the man, "So...what does it sound like?" The man stared down at the sheet of music he'd brought with him for so long that the interviewer thought he wasn't going to answer...and then he started to sing.

Every head in the place turned toward him, and the interviewer said it was eerie: this music was like nothing he'd ever heard before, and yet it was as though he'd always known it.

My sister couldn't remember the expert's name, but she recalled that they were planning a concert of revived ancient music. Using that, I tracked the man down. His name is Panagiotis Stefos, and the ensemble he has trained and played with is called Lyravlos. And they have samples of the music online.

http://www.lyravlos.gr/multimedia-en.asp

I've heard other attempts to reconstruct ancient Greek music, and none of them sound much like this. It's true: this just sounds more right, and I realize when I hear it that it lurks at the heart of the music we've been listening to all our lives.
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Just a thought: ever since [livejournal.com profile] alice_montrose introduced me to Within Temptation, they've been my soundtrack for the Coldfire Trilogy. It just sounds right. Especially because of Deceiver of Fools.
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You have to be real good to headbang like that while playing a cello.

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After two people on my flist posted about musicals I love, I felt the need for a hit. Bless you, Youtube, for catering to my addictions!

Phantom of the Opera:
"Music of the Night" by Anthony Warlow: Warlow was the youngest Phantom ever, being chosen for the part in Melbourne, Australia at the age of 19. Considered one of the definitive Phantoms, he refused to be exposed to Michael Crawford's version, because he didn't want to end up copying him like so many others had.
"Phantom of the Opera" by John Owen-Jones and Rachel Barrell, who is one kickass Christine.

Les Miserables:
"Bring Him Home" by John Owen-Jones: this song kills me, and his is one of the best versions I've heard.
"One Day More" by John Owen-Jones, Michael Ball, sounds like they rousted out the original Eponine...

Chess: yes, they made a musical about chess. This was back in the 80s, when the Cold War was still alive and chess was a civilized way to wage war and for intellectual geeks to feel glamorous. Chass was also the source for the hit single, "One Night in Bangkok." So now you know who to blame.
"Anthem" by Anthony Warlow
"Anthem" by Josh Groban: I never noticed how much Josh Groban sounds like Athony Warlow before. Stomach the opening seconds of opening sequence; it'll go away, I promise. Sadly, there's some microphone feedback toward the end, but not the painful sort.

Jekyll & Hyde: screw the Hoff! He reeked like a hogwallow. In fact, every stage production ever done of this sucks, to the best of my knowledge. But before that, there was a concept album...and oh, that concept album! If they'd turned that sucker into the play instead of hacking it to pieces, this would've been the best musical of all time.
"This is the Moment" by Anthony Warlow: Jekyll & Hyde on the stage sucks, but Anthony Warlow sang the lead on the concept album (and it sounded exactly like this on the album), so you could say he originated the role. Check out how long he holds that final note.
"I Need to Know" by Anthony Warlow: I think this one was cut from the stage production, but it's the song right before he chugs the brew o'badness.
"Bring on the Men" by Linda Eder: this one is...colorful. In a hooker sort of way.
"Alive" by Anthony Warlow: he voiced Hyde, too.
"His Work and Nothing More" by Anthony Warlow, Carolee Carmello is the woman...and I can't remember the other two.
"Once Upon a Dream" by Linda Eder: says this played on a soap opera, but... *thumbs her nose at that* It came from the musical.
"Confrontation" by Anthony Warlow: Yeah, same name as the Javert/Valjean faceoff in Les Miz. The video on this (taken from the 1931 film) doesn't do anything for me, but the song is my single favorite from any musical ever. Jekyll and Hyde are both Warlow, and it's notable that this recording was does not involve any dubbing...which becomes a dramatic achievement when Hyde starts laughing while Jekyll's still sustaining a note. It's called polyphonic singing.

Not exactly a musical, but:
Three versions of "Caruso", by Josh Groban,
and even better (but not as pretty-looking), by Pavarotti , and possibly even better and much prettier-looking, Lara Fabian.

Finally, just because he's awesome:
Pavarotti sings the theme from "Gladiator". This gives me chills.
From Turandot, it's Pavarotti's "Nessun Dorma", from the Torino Olympics (that freaking made me cry!), and his I Pagliacci (which is a recording from an actual opera; easy to forget he was an actor, eh?)--the kick-you-in-the-chest perfection of Pavarotti's trademark songs. I never appreciated exactly how good his performance of "Nessun Dorma" was till I saw another very talented singer attempt it and not quite pull it off.
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In cosmic recompense for the abuse of my literary sensibilities, the universe has seen fit to provide me with two free tickets to a performance of the Scottish play by Actors from the London Stage. :D

I'm also inclined to attend a performance of Boccatango next Friday. I love tango, and that promises to be a very, well, sexy display of the art.

And then at the beginning of April, I have resolved to shell out the $50 for a ticket to a concert by Itzhak Perlman. Steep (though not so much for what it is), but absolutely worth it! Oh god, the violin. I want to learn how to play, just so I can make some of those incredible sounds.

In other news, I think I figured out what was wrong with that book: I believe that the writer mistook his main character. If you write, you know how the story just kind of turns under your hands sometimes. I get the impression that it did so to him, but that he just didn't notice. There is what I like to call a "bored space orphan of destiny" in the story, and I suspect that in the way of such things, the tale was meant to focus on him. But most of the relationships and character development end up centering around Sir Joshua. Rosenberg makes a habit of alternating POVs between most of his major characters, which certainly leads to enough confusion that his readers can't figure out which character it's all meant to focus on, and since I really do strongly suspect that he has no editor (and if he does--and you'd think a publisher would require it, wouldn't you?-then they're as good as nonexistent anyway), such a thing can much more easily be missed.
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...but heck if I can remember it.

Ah well. I Missed the season opener, but I saw Heroes last night. The season looks like it'll be intriguing (from my golden standpoint of having seen exactly one episode of it). A few of the finer points: Claire's the most hapless teenager since Peter Parker hit comics. Peter...whoa! Peter! You can take your shirt off anytime! And I did not expect him to look so fine with his hair short like that. I'm counting the days till Nathan loses that beard. For a geeky Trekkie, Hiro turns out to be one smooth customer! Man, those're some killer one-liners he was laying on that samurai girl.

My roommate believes--based on long familiarity with comics--that Hiro will in fact turn out to be the villain for the season. What? You say. Sweet little Hiro who idolizes all that is good and honorable? Well, yes. See, he's gone back in time, and Roomie thinks that what will happen is that in one iteration of all the possibilities, Hiro will end up getting so screwed up that an alternate!Hiro will turn out evil, use his time-controlling powers to split his timeline into an alternate reality, and then come back and try to take over/maraud across/destroy this one.

Maybe a stretch, admittedly, considering they seem to be riffing on the Obtenebration shadows/darkness spookiness from what I can see. But it seems like a solid theory. Or maybe we've just been watching too much Doctor Who.

Oh! I remember my point! Last time I posted, I forgot to say that I saw Cirque du Soliel on Saturday. Saltimbanco. MIGHTY fine show. It was just breathtaking. I expected to have a good time, but I never imagined anything like what I saw. It was basically laid out like a circus. You had contortionists, trapeze artists, dancers, jugglers, a fellow who did tricks on a bicycle (that was amazing to see), and so on. But the whole thing was laid out to tell a story about children growing up in the city, and it...it was like stepping into fairyland. Just mind-blowingly brilliant, and colorful, and beautiful. The artists involved the crowd in the show. At the beginning, they amused us by hanging out with audience members. One dancer stole somebody's popcorn and got chased down to give it back. Some of them stole the seats from the folks in the front row, and they brought a girl up on stage and showed her how to do some simple acrobatic tricks (well, they helped her out a lot :) ). Later, the mime artist was running around through an imaginary jungle, and he snagged a guy from the audience to slog around with him. The audience member had a good time, really got into it. I liked the bit where he was creeping past a lion, motioned to the audience guy to go first, and the guy was like, "No way!" :D Aside from the sheer spectacle of it all, the drummers/bola dancers were one of the highlights. I loved watching them. The bungee acrobats were also fantastic. And the band rocked! The one guy plays a killer sax. Very cool to hear. And homygawd, the SINGER. She was incredible! Wow, what a voice!

Anyway. Not terribly coherent, I fear, but if you ever have a chance to see Cirque du Soliel, I absolutely recommend it! But don't take event-level seats unless you're prepared to have a jester in your lap. :)

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