The Widdershins

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

 

Good Weekend Widdershins!

My goodness, what a week this has been.  We have had the continuing revelations of more young women that Roy Moore either stalked at the Gadsden Mall (until he was banned), or called up during their trig. class; the first one that he picked up on while sitting outside the Etowah County Courthouse, plus the one whose yearbook he “autographed” at the Old Hickory House Barbecue restaurant.  Adding to the sordid mess were the descriptions of what he wanted to do to several of the young girls in his car.  But, he’s got that (R) behind his name and besides he’s a Christian* so yeah it’s okay for the voters of Alabama to send him up to the world’s greatest deliberative body, one of 100 who are members of that body.

Then…sigh…Mr. Franken.  Damnit Al, you’re better than this.  You were better than this in 2006 and I’m glad you are not making any excuses. You admitted what you did and you made a sincere apology (on the second try) to Ms. Tweeden.  Still Al for you, you must do five hundred Daily Affirmation sessions with Mr. Smalley along with the Senate Ethics Investigation.

And then there’s the uh, titular (ahem) head of the United States government.  Sadly we already know what he’s done and what he said he grabbed – we have the tape.  We have the stories…we’ve had enough.

Following along the lines of what these jerks did with their feeling and grabbing and what have you, let’s take a look at songs about feelings.  There are a ton of them out there but I don’t believe they specifically cover the uh “feelings” these clowns did.

(1) Feelings ~ Morris Albert

(2) Hooked on a feeling ~ B.J. Thomas

(3) The 59th Street Bridge Song ~ Simon and Garfunklel

(4) Can’t Fight This Feeling ~ REO Speedwagon

(5) No Hard Feelings ~ The Avett Brothers

(6) I Get The Sweetest Feeling ~ Jackie Wilson

(7) How Would You Feel ~ Ed Sheeran

Okay Widdershins, there ya go – seven nice songs about feeling/feelings and no actual assaults on women occur in these songs.  There are still lots of songs about feelings out there so I hope to see a few in the comments.

Open thread of course.

 

 

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GOOD DAY WIDDERSHINS!
This post was written before the announcement concerning indictments from the Mueller Grand Jury  – will probably be a lot to talk about concerning that

From her comment the other day we know that MB is super busy with her job right now and that she may or may not be doing Monday posts.  I am going to run on the assumption that she won’t be writing any Monday posts so here’s one for this week.  I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing this because basically it’s just DYB and me trying to keep things going.  Nevertheless, here’s one for Halloween and spooky, Halloweenish songs, some of them you are probably familiar with.

(1) Werewolves of London ~ Warren Zevon

(2) Highway to Hell ~ AC/DC

(3) Thriller ~ Michael Jackson (short version)

(4) Monster Mash ~ Bobby Pickett

(5) Silly Symphonies ~ Skeleton Dance

(6) Night on Bald Mountain~Mussorgsky~Fantasia (full)

(7) Danse Macbre ~Camille Saint-Saëns

(8) In The Hall Of The Mountain King ~ Grieg-Animation

Okay!  That should get you into a nice Halloweenish mood for tomorrow Widdershins.  Please add some of your Halloween favorites below.

 

I thought this was interesting to watch.  From the folks who created it:

Dozens upon dozens upon dozens of pumpkins were cut, gutted, rotated, scraped, poked, slapped, and banged to make this stop-motion animation and the music that bring it to life. It took a few years – pumpkins rot, schedules get busy – but we loved discovering the methods that worked and the many that didn’t. Many pumpkins were photographed twice. First as a nicely lit, carving-free plate. Then again after carving our designs and removing the top or back so we could insert a light. The two were then composited together to remove the lighting equipment. We re-used pumpkins where we could (fronts and backs and sometimes sides) but that wasn’t always possible.

A reminder:  I won’t be doing a weekend post this coming weekend because LSU/Bama.  However I’m sure someone will be able to pick up the slack and keep everyone entertained.

 

 

 

 

 

You see Widdershins, I told you previously that we would most likely be visiting this topic again, and here we are.  The latest antics of the “President” are surely the signs of someone who is either bonkers/batshit crazy/insane, or is sooo super smart (ask him about his IQ!) that he is playing three dimensional chess with Spock.  All things being equal above, I’m going with the former.

So…(sigh) once again, let’s take a look at some crazy songs.  Now as before, the songs can be about any form or variation of crazy; plain ole crazy, crazy in love…you know the drill.  My choices are below.

(1) All the Madmen~David  Bowie

(2) Back On My Feet Again~Randy Newman (concerns a patient in the mental hospital, whose sister absconds with a white millionaire wearing blackface)

(3) Delirium~Lacuna Coil

(4) Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment~Ramones

(5) Crazy~Patsy Cline (gotta have one “crazy” love song)

(6) They’re Coming To Take Me Away (ha-ha)~Napoleon XIV

(7) Insane~Korn

(8) Crazy~Gnarls Barkley

(9) Redneck Crazy~Tyler Farr (and here I thought it was just a given-
Redneck/Crazy)

(10) Madhouse~Anthrax

Okay Widdershins those are my selections and hope to see some of yours in the comments.  Also, after listening to all of these, you may feel a little bit anxious or crazy yourselves. In that case we have a fine selection of psychotropic meds at the Widdershins gift shop (trial sizes only).  So stop by to see if we have something that can help out.  Our list of meds literally goes from A to Z so we probably have you covered.

I’ll be around in the later afternoon/evening because, football.

 

 

 

Good Saturday Widdershins!

I have been just incredibly busy the last couple of days and have not had much time to devote to thoughts of a post for the weekend.  Was going to try to do one for Friday and the weekend but that plan fell apart.  One thing that drove me up the wall was that the Pharmacy Benefit Manager for BCBS-AL decided to change from one company to another effective the first of October.  Why now and not the first of the new year?  Oy!  So I’ve had to get refills ordered for meds, make sure the original place could process them in time, fill out new info for the new mail order place, print out records of expenses for the old one, yadda, yadda.

So all I’m going to do for this post is just to put up some of my favorite music and hope you do the same.  Doesn’t have to follow any particular theme or idea.  If you like it, add it.

(1) Claude Debussy~Prelude to the Afternoon of a Fawn

(2) Erik Satie~Trois Gymnopedies

(3) Brahms~Intermezzo in A minor

(4) Chopin~Nocturne in E-flat major, Op. 9, No. 2

(5) Gershwin~Rhapsody in Blue (Solo piano version)

(6)~Vladimir Ashkenazy: Rachmaninoff – Variations on a theme of Corelli, Opus 42

Well!  Didn’t realize I was going to go off on a keyboard thing but there it is.  I just wanted some relaxing, maybe soothing things to take our minds off of you-know-who. So add any choices of yours below.  Remember, if you like it, add it in.

Open thread obviously.

 

 

A little h/t to chat

Good weekend to you Widdershins!

On Friday we had our Autumnal Equinox.  Of course we wouldn’t know that down here in the lower parts of the country – we hit 89° for a high yesterday. We have the autumnal equinox each year and yes I’ve done music posts about it before.  But isn’t it nice to have some continuity?  (I know that you are all nodding your heads in agreement with that)

I found a site that has some nifty items about the equinox and I’ll share some of them here.

  • This year, 2017, the autumnal equinox arrives precisely at 4:02 pm (EDT) on Friday, September 22. Unlike an event such as New Year’s midnight that follows the clock around the time zones, equinoxes happen at the same moment everywhere.
  • There are two equinoxes annually, vernal and autumnal, marking the beginning of spring and fall. They are opposite for the northern and southern hemispheres – so for those of you in the south, happy spring!
  • Because it takes the Earth around 365.25 days to orbit the Sun – and why we have a leap year every 4 years – the precise time of the equinoxes varies from year to year, usually happening around six hours later on successive years. On leap years, the date jumps back an entire day.
  • “Equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night.” This implies that there will be equal amounts of daylight and darkness, however such is not exactly the case.
  • Exactly equal day and night won’t happen until sunrise and sunset occur precisely 12 hours apart, which depends on a location’s latitude; the closer to the equator, the closer it is to the equinox. This day is known as the equilux.(“Lux” being Latin for light, isn’t that pretty?)

Okay that’s enough of lessons.  You can go to the link and read them all.  Let’s move on to some music.

I’m going to do this a little differently this time.  I found a lot of fall/autumn images so I’m going to put a picture or image inbetween the songs.

(1) Cloudy~Simon and Garfunkle

(2) Autumn Sweater~Yo la tengo

(3) Indian Summer~Poco

(4) When the leaves come falling down~Van Morrison

(5) Forever Autumn~The Moody Blues

(6) The Autumn Leaves~Nat King Cole

Last:
(7) Autumn in New York~Sarah Vaughan

Okay Widdershins, that’s all I have for today.  Please share your selections, if any, in the comments below.  Open thread of course.

 

 

 

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Happy Friday Widdershins!

If you are reading this then good news: a nuclear was hasn’t started yet! But it is early, so we’ll see how things play out.

This morning I won’t bore you with my thoughts on Dump and whatever the latest shitnado he has unleashed on the world. There is so much happening and it’s happening so quickly that sometimes the brain feels like it will short circuit. So we will stay current on the news in the comments section, as always. If Dump launches a nuke at North Korea or California, please post here ASAP!

Instead I will tell you about a nearly forgotten artist. I listen to classical music almost exclusively and I have not heard of Maryla Jonas until just a week ago when Sony released a remastered box set of Jonas’ complete recordings made for Columbia in the 1940s and 50s. Granted, her recorded legacy was not big, only a bit over 3 hours of music. But it’s amazing how an such an important artist of her day could be so nearly forgotten, even though at the time famed critics like Virgil Thompson and Edward Downes counted her among the greats.

Maryla Jonas was born on May 31, 1911 in Warsaw, Poland. She became something of a child prodigy at the piano and though her father had serious misgivings about his daughter having a successful career as a musician, she did make her concert debut at the age of 9. At the age of 11 she was accepted to study at the Warsaw Conservatory. Over the years she studied with the famous pianist and composer Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

‘When I was no more than seventeen. I played a Ballade of Chopin for [Paderewski], and he said, very calmly and quietly, more pedal here—less pedal there—there, more tone—there, more speed. Such things. Also, he took my music and marked everything down in red pencil. Good! I went home and studied hard everything he had said. Like a parrot.

‘Then I went for a concert to Denmark. I played this Ballade, exactly as Paderewski had said. Well, a friend of his who was there, said it was no good! He told Paderewski I had played it no good. So the next time I came to Paderewski, he asked me what I did to play so badly, and told me to sit down and play the Ballade for him. I did, exactly as he had said. And this time he too said it was no good! I said he himself had told me all this, and he said, ‘No, that was impossible!’ I showed him his own red writing on the music, and again he said, ‘No!’ At that time, I was heartbroken. But today, I see exactly what Paderewski meant! He meant that the first time, he was in a mood to want the Ballade one way, and the next time, not. That is all. But it showed me that teaching can never be a matter of do-this or do-that’. (“The Etude”, February 1947, interviewed by Rose Heylbut).

When she was eighteen , Miss Jonas says an incident happened in her life which, more than anything else, influenced her subsequent career. ‘I had finished playing a whole program for Paderewski and he took me to the window and pointing, he said: “You see that street over there? You see how it winds down into that alley? It looks sordid, doesn’t it. Well, there is life. Go out and find out for yourself. Live an experience and come back to me in a year. You’ll be a better pianist”.

Throughout the 20s and 30s she toured across Europe, including recitals at the Salzburg Festival and Bayreuth. She married a famous Polish criminologist. And then Germany invaded Poland. Her husband and three brothers joined the underground resistance. Her sister, who had married a Viennese Jew, fled to Brazil. Jonas and her parents’ home was requisitioned by the Germans, so they spent months moving from shelter to shelter. They were eventually arrested and after an interrogation by the Gestapo Jonas was offered to be sent to Berlin if she would join the Nazi party and become an official Nazi artist. Jonas refused. She and her parents were sent to a concentration camp.

After several months in camps, a German officer recognized Jonas as a pianist he had heard perform before the war. He arranged to have her released from the camp and advised that she go to Berlin and appeal to the Brazilian embassy for safety. Jonas walked from Warsaw to Berlin: about 321 miles. She slept in barnes and under the moon, eating only scraps that she could find. Finally in Berlin the Brazilian embassy arranged to smuggle her out of the country on false papers, pretending to be the wife the ambassador’s son.

Jonas joined her sister in Rio, but her health had very seriously deteriorated from the long and arduous journey from Warsaw to Berlin. She then received news that her parents, her husband and one of her brothers had been killed in Poland and she suffered a nervous breakdown. She spent several months in various sanatoriums in Brazil. She decided that she would never play the piano again, but at the encouragement of her sister and a chance visit to Rio in 1940 by one of the most famous pianists in the world, Artur Rubinstein, changed her mind.

He had known Maryla in Warsaw, and called on her. He urged her eloquently to resume playing. He told her she was now a representative of Poland. It was her duty, he said, to keep reminding the world that her country had stood for something, and to work and earn money to help rescue other Poles from their Nazi-dominated homeland. She agreed with every word. But she could not play.

Rubinstein was rehearsing for several recitals he was to give in Rio and asked Jonas to come to the theater to offer him advise. At the theater he said he wasn’t sure what the img041_a_200dpi.jpgacoustics of the hall were like, so he asked Jonas to play while he walked to the back of the auditorium to sound-check. Jonas obliged… and found herself musically reborn. She decided to start playing again and within few months was giving recitals across South America. In 1946 she came to the United States and on February 25 gave a recital at Carnegie Hall. That seems to have been a very lightly attended show (someone joked the ushers outnumbered the audience), but a glowing review from the highly regarded Jerome D. Bohm of Herald Tribune: “the finest woman pianist since Teresa Carreno” he wrote. He continued that on her next appearance Jonas “will be greeted not by a handful of listeners . . . but by the sold-out house which such artistry as hers deserves.” Five weeks later her second Carnegie Hall recital was sold out. Olin Downes of the New York Times wrote that “The shimmer of the harmonies, the haunting song that they half revealed and half concealed, was something to remember.” Soon Jonas was engaged to play a Beethoven concerto with the New York Philharmonic. Sold out concerts and glowing reviews, and a record deal with Columbia followed. Jonas also married a surgeon.

During a Carnegie Hall recital on January 27, 1951 she got sick.

Persons familiar with the Schumann work [Carnaval] sensed that something was wrong when some passages were skipped. They were puzzled when the pianist got up after a gentle number about two thirds of the way through. She walked unsteadily to the left side of the stage and just beyond the edge of the dusty-rose curtain she fell.

… Miss Jonas had not been feeling well all week, according to her representative, so her physician, Dr. Franz Groezel, and her husband, Dr. Ernest Abraham, both were in the auditorium. They went back-stage to attend her and ten minutes later John Totten, manager of the hall, emerged from the stage door to say she would continue the program.

The pianist returned to the stage looking white and shaky, but once she was seated she seemed all right. She played the Nocturne, the Waltz, the Berceuse and two of the four Mazurkas she had scheduled. She also managed two encores, though the last one was given with the house lights on as a hint to the audience not to expect a third.

maryla-jonas-piano-chopin-mazerkas-lp-columbia-10-pol-D_NQ_NP_13773-MLB3330388473_102012-F.jpg

In 1952 Jonas was stricken with a rare blood disease and put her concert career on hold. She was bedridden for two years. She returned to Carnegie Hall on December 1, 1956. It seems that physically she was no longer able to play well. Edward Downes of the New York Times wrote:

The Andante cantabile of the middle movement was an achievement of rare artistry. But toward the end of the sonata Miss Jonas began to sound nervous. As the Mozart group progressed there were moments of exquisite lyricism, but they became rarer as one sensed that Miss Jonas’ strength was ebbing under physical and nervous strain.

[…]

Friends who inquired backstage after the program were told that a physician was attending Miss Jonas. Later it was announced that she was not ill but suffered only severe nervous tension.

This was Maryla Jones’ last concert. She died on July 3, 1959. (Her husband, Dr. Ernest Abraham, was an amateur cellist and encouraged his wife’s career. He died a few weeks after her.)

*All* kinds of goodbyes

No no, not gonna dwell on my sad news.  Although, I appreciate everyone’s kind thoughts.

No, today I thought we might look at some musical goodbyes.  Goodbyes can cover many things in life from a person passing away, to a change in your location, to a change in jobs or even a change in martial status.  So there are lots and lots of types of goodbyes and even, maybe soon a political goodbye to certain people. (wink-wink)

Here are some songs that I found that I’ll share here.  And of course your choices are welcomed in the comments below.

(1)  Hello, Goodbye~The Beatles

(2) Friends Never Say Goodbye~Elton John

(3) Good Riddance (Time of your Life)~Green Day

(4) Farewell~Rihanna

(5) You’re Gonna Miss This~Trace Adkins

(6) Don’t Forget To Remember Me~Carrie Underwood

(7) Na Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye~Steam (The Band)

(8) When I Get Where I’m Going~Brad Paisley

(9) See You Later Alligator~Bill Haley & the Comets

So there you go Widdershins.  A nice selection for y’all to build on.  Open thread of course.

 

 

 

 

 


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