YOU ARE HERE is an exploration of diegetic music

Dec 19, 2012

"Chilly Winds"

A remixed (house-ified) version of Nina Simon's treatment of this song shows up on a few Christmas records, but it's Maxine Weldon's '71 straight-up R&B "Chilly Winds" track that warrants attention here.

.... because this morning, in this zip code, it was in the mid-30s F.

Dec 17, 2012

"Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" (Symphony No. 3, Op. 36)

Funerals began today for children murdered in the mass slaughter incident at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

Henryk Gorecki composed "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs" (Symphony No. 3, Op. 36)

Although the themes are about loss through war, pegged upon the Holocaust, it is a poignant piece for the day:
The first and third movements are written from the perspective of a parent who has lost a child, and the second movement from that of a child separated from a parent.
PREVIOUSLY: "Devil's Right Hand"

Dec 14, 2012

"Devil's Right Hand"

It's a horrible and horrific day at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticutt. Johnny Cash weighs in on the general topic with "Devil's Right Hand."

Not to be forgotten is the Boomtown Rats' masterwork "I Don't Like Mondays," which is specifically about a school shooting.

Dec 12, 2012

"Ballad of Bilbo Baggins"

Leonard Nimoy was once willing to do anything. He's been an actor, director, poet, photographer and, apropos of our purposes here, a singer. On the occasion of the opening of "The Hobbit" movie (Think of it as "Lord of the Rings IV, The Prequel" or "Middle Earth, Chapter One"), here's the most inane thing you may see today. The fidelity of video is pitiful, so here is the audio to "Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins", but the video is a true gem, in that it will be a regretful way of spending 2 minutes, but it's shareable for it's utter ridiculous charm.

Dec 11, 2012


Ravi Shankar:  April 7, 1920 – December 11, 2012

The sitar master performed in 10 decades (his last show was Nov. 4 in Long Beach) and he was among the most interesting things that ever happened to the Beatles; he played with symphonies and Yehudi Menuhin; collaborated with drum n' bass popster Talvin Singh; he played at Woodstock and the White House in the Ford Administration.

"Prashanti" comes from Shankar's '90 "Passages," a groundbreakingly weird collaboration with minimalist orchestral composer Phillip Glass, no stranger to boundary-busting himself.

And to some, he's Norah Jones' dad.

Dec 9, 2012

"Amarga Navidad" (Bitter Christmas)

via NY Daily News
Banda superstar Jenni Rivera died in plane crash today. Her song,  "Amarga Navidad", translates to "Bitter Christmas."
From Billboard:
Fully comfortable in English and Spanish, Rivera was at the height of her career. A force to be reckoned within multiple media platforms, she had two albums "Joyas Prestadas: Pop" and "Joyas Prestadas: Banda" -- currently coexisting on Billboard's Top Latin Albums chart; her own reality show "I Love Jenni" on bilingual cable network mun2; she had recently inked a deal to star in a comedy on ABC to be simply titled "Jenni"; she hosted a syndicated weekly radio program and had launched both clothing and cosmetics lines; she was a coach on "The Voice Mexico" and had had a role in her first feature film, "Philly Brown." Rivera also launched her own foundation to help victims of domestic abuse.

Dec 5, 2012

"(Farewell) Jingle Bells"

Dave Brubeck (December 6, 1920 – December 5, 2012)
via Wikipedia
"(Farewell) Jingle Bells" comes from his "A Dave Brubeck Christmas" which is as much a title as a description.

Dec 3, 2012

"(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag"

This under-exploited song has a YouTube video of audio with a slideshow of Santa clip art, but here's the song pulled ino the 21st century "(Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man With The Bag" (Thunderball Mix) from the superlative "Merry Mixmas: Christmas Classics Remix" which takes some standards and houses them up, deftly ... more jeweler's mallet than sledge hammer.

Recorded by big band vocalist Kay Starr in 1950,  we can be pretty sure it's not a drug song; eventhough a generation later, similar allusions in mainstream songs leave little doubt as to what they're taking about: The Velvet Underground's "Waiting for the Man," and the George Baker Selection's "Little Green Bag"

... But for some, with these lyrics, a case could be made:
Old Mr. Kringle is soon gonna jingle
The bells that'll tingle all your troubles away
Everybody's waiting for the man with the bag
'Cause Christmas is coming again
He's got a sleigh full, it's not gonna stay full
Stuff that he's droppin' every stop of the way
Everybody's waiting for the man with the bag
'Cause Christmas is coming again

He'll be here
With the answer to the prayers that
You made through the year
You'll get yours
If you've done everything you should extra special good
He'll make this December the one you'll remember
The best and the merriest you ever did have
Everybody's waitin' for the man with the bag
'Cause Christmas is coming again

Dec 2, 2012

"Writes of Winter"

Members of Led Zepplin were bestowed with Kennedy Center Honors for contributions to the arts -- a recognition that undoubtedly irked some traditionalists. The band that began heavy metal sharing an award with Isaac Stern ('84) and Eugene Ormandy ('82) can be marked in a denotative shift of terms: a "classic" radio station is playing rock not orchestral music, and a century ago "long-hair music" meant Beethoven and now it's "Starirway to Heaven."

In keeping with the topical mission of this blog -- including seasonal songs -- here's "Writes of Winter" by guitarist Jimmy Page, one of the most influential instrumentalists in the history of anything.

Dec 1, 2012

"Santa Claus Is Back In Town"

The a capella dectet, Straight No Chaser, seasons much of their music with irony and "Santa Claus Is Back In Town" is no exception. Undoubtedly, that helps to avoid the cliche of yet another vocal ensemble doing holiday songs and also may be due to a certain kind of college frat humor -- this band was born at Indiana University.

Here, they merge elvish with Elvis ... which of course relies on some Elvis cliches. But it's clever, even if it wears out its welcome after a while.

More irony: Taking their name from Thelonius Monk's stellar tune, and despite doing nothing but remakes, they haven't recorded a remake of that one.