Archive for December, 2012
Gladys All Over
December 21st, 2012

The fashions in this clip may be trapped in aspic but the joy of singing remains fresh and alive. Although this song sits on the borderline of a land called sentimental, Gladys Knight and her high-pitched Pips display a joyous example of control and release that looks effortless but requires such a degree of control that it leaves the technically impressive vocal acrobatics of today’s R&B ballad singers looking somewhat forced and emotionally cold.

Grand Master
December 16th, 2012

I recently saw Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. I was so impressed by the two central performances by Joaquin Phoenix (whose contorted, bemused face you can see above) and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The film continues to have an afterlife in my mind and today I was watching the Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers musical Follow The Fleet when I heard the following song, also featured in The Master, albeit beautifully sung by Ella Fitzgerald. Both Phoenix and Astaire’s characters are sailors pining for lost loves.

Goodbye Kiss
December 16th, 2012

I heard this song on an excellent mix by guitarist William Tyler. It has a depth of feeling that resonated with me and it perfectly captures a sense of perceived inertia and perpetual drift that can sometimes strike you down.