Feb 082014

In Memoriam pays tribute to those who have left this world, and the songs they left us to remember them by.

Joe Raposo taught America’s children how to sing. – Charles Kuralt

Joe Raposo died a quarter century ago this week; today would have been his 77th birthday. The name might not ring a bell, but the music sure does – he was the very first person to ask, “Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?”

Yes, Raposo’s songs helped many a sunny day sweep the clouds away, whether they were performed by Cookie Monster or Frank Sinatra (who called Raposo “the genius”). His melodies were catchy and uplifting, while his lyrics were simple enough for kids to grasp, but sophisticated enough that adults could find true meaning in them. Put together, they defied you to not sing along.
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Nov 232010

For some, Christmas music brings back memories of simpler times, of family gathered happily around a warm fire on a cold winter’s night. Others find it annoying at best, like Halloween candy. Sweet and satisfying for the first few bites, it soon leaves you feeling bloated, short-tempered, and just waiting for the pain to recede. Anyone who has rushed around the mall trying to find last-minute gifts the week before Christmas while being subjected to “Feliz Navidad” for the 500th time probably falls in the latter category.

Even in this relatively hostile environment, lounge-jazz-indie-pop combo Pink Martini decided to wade into the ocean of holiday albums with their fifth release, Joy to the World. In typical Pink Martini fashion, they tackle the 14 tracks using a variety of different musical genres and singing in several languages. Yet, through it all, despite the eclecticism, the album does not sound like a compilation; it sounds like one band. Continue reading »