Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Send In Sondheim

The other day the postman delivered into our hot little hands a copy of Stephen Sondheim's new book Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines & Anecdotes . We are anticipating a blissful holiday weekend lost in all its 445 pages. Of course, the book's arrival sent us straight off to Youtube to see what Sondheimian gems could be found there and we were not disappointed. Here are a few of our favorites:

Thoughts on songwriting from a salon for songwriters at The Academy for New Music Theatre.

A clip from a workshop Mr. S taught at the Guildhall school in the late eighties. It's wonderful to see him work with the students, but the best part is watching his face as he watches and listens to them. By the way the actress in the clip is Jacqui Dankworth, daughter of Cleo Laine and John Dankworth, and an impressive performer in her own right.

Bernadette Peters performs One of our favorite songs from one of our favorite musicals.

Judi Dench sings Sondheim...need we say more?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

We’d Rather You Didn’t

We’ve been bit harried these days and so have gotten away from some of our beloved regular features. But as we both have CDs nearing completion (and availability) we find we are beset from all sides by well meaning advice and analyses of How The Music Business Works. With this in mind, we have decided it’s time for another segment of We’d Rather You Didn’t.

All told Your redheads have been singing professionally for as long as Cher has been alive, and in that time we have picked up a few tidbits of information about the music business so we’d really rather strangers didn’t assume that we are lost little lambs in need of guidance. In fact, here are few things we’d like to share with you, especially if you are thinking of entering the business and getting rich by Christmas.

1.)The check is NOT in the mail.

2.)Though someone may have opened for Englebert Humperdink at a Muscular Dystrophy Telethon in 1978, it does not necessarily follow that he or she knows or, for that matter, even met said Englebert.

3.) In light of #2, therefore, said someone probably can’t get anyone a gig headlining Caesar’s Palace.

4.) Therefore, singing for free in his or her Greek restaurant in Lodi, NJ may not be the career move he or she is suggesting it will be, as no one can compete with flaming saganaki.

5.) The check is still not in the mail

6.) Though Hot Blooded was a big hit for Foreigner, it’s really not the right song for either of us.

7.) We know your friend Ace very successfully managed his local tire shop for many years, but that’s not really the same as managing artists.

8.) Giving “Power of Attorney” to a manager does not mean he will have the authority to get you an attorney should you need one. Indeed, it means something very different.

9.) Music actually is a “Real Job”.

10.) Check? What check?

Some of the spirit of this list is admirably captured in DC Anderson’s song Your Father & I Have Been Talking. It’s our Thanksgiving present to you. Scroll down to the next post and enjoy!

We'd Rather You Didn't

DC Anderson's Your Father & I Have Been Talking

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tuscany Ciao-down

We Redheads are not given to envy; we love all our performer pals and are never ever jealous of their success, but we do admit to just the slightest twinge because we can't be there when two of our favorite  people, Amanda McBroom and Michele Brourmanspend an entire week teaching, singing (and eating!) in Tuscany this June.  But YOU can go! Heart & Soul: The Art of Vocal Performance  will be taught June 11-18 at San Fidele, a twelfth-century monastery in the Tuscan Hills between Sienna and Florence. The class is for any vocalists who want to sharpen their skills and increase their repertoire while enjoying the beauty of Italy. In addition to Michele and Amanda, Gerald Sternbach (master pianist, arranger and composer) will also be part of the faculty.  It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with some of the finest musicians and teachers we’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. The program  is sponsored by Il Chiostro and you can get all the details on their site . Meanwhile, we have a sudden craving for pasta, and must dash! Ciao!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Music for a Monday

It’s Monday run amok! I’m throwing myself about trying to get ready for a photo session, meet nine or ten pressing deadlines and prep for an influx of houseguests. The glam quotient is sorely lacking, but the soundtrack is great. Cutting through the chaos is Cyndi Lauper’s At Last album, taking the sting out of an overwrought afternoon.