Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Eternal Leap

February. The shortest month that still manages to be too long. And this year it's a day longer. The media is all about "leap birthdays" and how someone who was born on February 29th, say, in 1968, is only ten today -- ha-ha.

So, in 2016, will Davy Jones only have been dead one year?

Everyone seems to be playing "Daydream Believer" today, and arguing whether the Monkees were real musicians. Well, they could play their own instruments (eventually), and Mike Nesmith wrote some damn fine songs, including one of my favourite Monkees ditties, "The Girl That I Knew Somewhere". Davy Jones certainly was an appealing singer in those long-ago days before Auto-Tune, and actually got the idea for being a pop star when he was The Artful Dodger in the Broadway cast of Oliver. The cast appeared on the Ed Sullivan show the same night the Beatles turned up.

I came across this gem amongst the online mourning, a collaboration with the illustrator and songwriter Sandra Boyton, whose greeting cards have always been among those I'm least embarrassed to send:

Sunday, 12 February 2012

How will we ever know now?

I wasn't particularly a fan of Whitney Houston's music, but it is clear that she was a very talented lady. Pretty, vivacious, with golden vocal chords and killer connections (her mum Cissy Houston and her cousin Dionne Warwick, among others), she was a gifted and powerful singer. Unfortunately, she spiraled down into addiction.

I did always like this song tremendously, a lighthearted, innocent ditty about awakening love that really is pop at its best. It also includes a little nod to Whitney's real-life godmother Aretha Franklin.

Update: a gentleman named Jake Fogelnest posted an amazing track of Whitney's vocals for "How Will I Know?" It's every bit as listenable as the song with full instrumentation and illustrates how very, very good she was.