Showing posts with label composers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label composers. Show all posts

Monday, December 28, 2009

For Battlestar Galactica fans: Edward Olmos interviews Bear McCreary, Brendan McCreary and Raya Yarbrough

This is very cool. Raya Yarbrough sent this video from Comic-Con 2009 in San Diego to me months ago and I'm just getting around to watching it now. I actually got a little emotional. James is such a sweetheart!

View more news videos at:

For those that care, I am planning on interviewing Bear again as he's got several projects in the works.

Click here to see my interview with Bear McCreary, Battlestar Galactica composer.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

CMASH and Classical Revolution bringing concert music back to the people

A note to my classical/concert musician friends:

If you are into performing music for not just folks in concert halls, please do yourself a favor and check out the organization Classical Revolution. They might put on shows near you.

A note to my composer friends:

Check out CMASH, a Bay Area collective of musicians and composers.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Adam Lambert doesn't stand alone as openly gay male pop star: six musicians to check out

I wasn’t going to broach the subject of Adam Lambert's "coming out" into mainstream pop culture post-American Idol , but after hearing and reading reactions all across the board I had to get my two cents in. I, sometimes painfully, sat through most of the American Music Awards and can’t believe the media is getting their panties in a bundle over this. Nevermind, I can believe it, that’s what the media does. I guess I’m part of that, eh?

In the midst of all this Prop-8 nonsense, I do believe it is the double standard that is to blame. But there are two double standards at work here: that of gender and that of sexuality. As many have said before me the Britney Spears/Madonna kiss was okay with the media. They are both straight women. If Melissa Etheridge pulled what Adam Lambert did, I think there would have been a similar noise. Blatant homosexuality is threatening to mainstream media. This we know.


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Jewish Music Festival celebrates the art of the Holocaust created by both Jews and non-Jews

Through out my life, I often think about the fact that if it were not for Adolph Hitler, I would not be here. Plain and simple: my grandmother would probably still be in Germany and my Grandfather would have married another pretty Jewish lady in Los Angeles.

If it were not for the Holocaust, we would also not have any of the beautiful and inspirational art and music featured in They Left a Light: Masterpieces from Nazi Prison Camps at the East Bay Jewish Community Center on Sunday evening, October 18th.

This performance will be an educational experience with narration and a multimedia production performed by some of the Bay Area’s top classical musicians, including Susan Waterfall, piano and narrator; Jeremy Cohen, violin; Burke Schuchmann, cello, and Erin Neff, soprano.

By nature, human beings find ways to make beauty out of the darkness. Olivier Messiaen, composer of The Quartet for the End of Time, Sunday evening's featured piece, was a Catholic French composer who lived in the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp during the Holocaust as a prisoner of war...


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.I.P. Ellie Greenwich: a pioneer of women in the music industry

It seems like famous people are dropping like flies lately. But there is one person's life that I'd like particularly like to celebrate: that of Ellie Greenwich, songwriter of such hits as "Chapel of Love," "Da Do Ron Ron," "Be My Baby" "Leader of the Pack," "River Deep - Mountain High" and dozens more. Greenwich was part of the songwriting hit machine in the Brill Building in New York City.

At a very young age, Greenwich and Carole King blazed a path for women in the music industry at that time dominated by men. Women hadn't really been on the creative production side of the music industry at that point, with few exceptions they had been mostly singers or administrative types. Greenwich found great success as a songwriter and partnered with her husband Jeff Barry. Greenwich and Barry wrote songs for the popular girl groups of the early '60s like the The Ronettes, The Crystals and The Shangri-Las.

In an interview with NPR, Greenwich reflected on being a woman and working in the production side of the music industry,
It wasn't that accepted back then, a female being in that end of the business.
She even had a little bit of difficulty working with other female artists;
At first it was like, 'Well, who does she think she is, giving us orders here or telling us what to do?' But on the other end, if you were very open to them, they saw you could be their friend, and then it became an asset to be a woman dealing with girl groups.
Ellie Greenwich gave us dozens of hit songs, like silly bubble gum pop with nonsensical choruses, and some with heart felt meaning. Let's remember her as she held her own against the British Invasion and paved the way for women who wanted to have a creative role in the music industry.

Ellie Greenwich died Wednesday August 24th of a heart attack in New York City at the age of 68.

This is my favorite Ellie Greenwich not-so-famous tune: "Maybe I Know" performed by Lesley Gore (I fell in love with this tune when my junior high performed the musical "Leader of the Pack" based on the music of Ellie Greenwich):

And just for fun, this is the same tune performed by They Might be Giants.

Read more about Ellie Greenwich and watch more videos here at Pitchfork.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Interview with Bear McCreary on!!

Hello readers!

I am happy to report that I have been accepted to be a music writer for and that I will be GETTING PAID in CASH MONEY (through paypal) for my writing. This blog will not die, I promise, I mean where else am I going to share Muppet videos at 5 AM in the morning???

I will be linking everything I write for to this blog, so you don't have to do anything different, just click away. Please note that I get paid by the amount of traffic I get. And no, refreshing 100 times a day will not make a difference. Once a day, or whatever you do, is fabulous.

My first story is an interview with Bear McCreary, Battlestar Gallactica's composer. I lucked out with having friends in such awesome places. I'm really happy with my first journalist interview (which is pretty different than ethnographic ones) and thank you very much to my brother and those of you fabulous people that edited it before I uploaded it.

Here is a sneak peak at the upcoming documentary.

Good things are starting to happen here at alwaysmoretohear (including free press passes! Why didn't I think of that years ago??!!!) so please keep checking back. There will always be more to hear and I will keep sharing the good tunes with you.

Thanks again,


p.s. oh, and I get to see Bruce Springsteen with my dad and brother tonight. How much better can today get?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire wins four Golden Globes, including best original score

If you haven't heard yet, Slumdog Millionaire won four Golden Globes last night, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score!  And A.R. Rahman was there to collect his statue! (read about it here and watch a video, including Rahman's short but sweet acceptance speech, here.

Check out my previous blog entry about the movie (including the trailer) and my favorite of Rahman's previous scores Lagaan. I have since seen Slumdog and loved it.  It's very clever, sweet and educational about Indian poverty. 

Slumdog will be released in India in a little less than two weeks, and I'm sure the masses are clamoring ever more to see it now that it has received Hollywood's praises.

Watch the press ask the cast and crew questions at the Golden Globes here.  (Too bad Rahman wasn't asked a question.) 

Congratulations! Let's see what happens at the Oscars. 

p.s. I've added a couple of tunes from the soundtrack (M.I.A.!) as well as put the tunes from Lagaan at the top of my playlist. Take a listen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A.R. Rahman: Slumdog Millionaire and Lagaan.

The first Bollywood movie I ever saw was Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India. After seeing that movie I fell in love with Indian film and popular music.  But Lagaan's soundtrack, by A.R. Rahman is still my favorite.  Last week his new movie Slumdog Millionaire,  from the director who brought us Trainspotting and 28 Days Later, was released in the United States. The soundtrack also features M.I.A.'s Grammy 2009 nominated single "Paper Planes."

In 2004, TIME magazine declared Rahman the "Mozart of Madras" and has sold over 150 million records, placing him among the 25 highest selling music artist of all time.  He has composed over one hundred film scores in the last 25 years and is also involved in various charitable causes.

Watch this clip from the 2002 Oscar nominated film  Lagaan , staring the fabulous Aamir Khan. The film takes place in Victorian colonial India. During a drought, the English colonizers have placed a double tax (lagaan) on the local Indian farmers.  Feeling the injustice of the situation, Bhuvan, Khan's character, bets the English Captain that he and his farmer friends will beat the English in a game of cricket (a game that Bhuvan has never played before). If the farmers win, they will never have to pay lagaan again, if they lose, they must pay triple lagaan.  

In this clip, Bhuvan and his friend Gauri, must convince their friends and fellow villagers that while the task might seem impossible, the earth and the sky belong to them and are worth fighting for.  
Listen, O my friend,
What is this fear you have?

The earth is ours
And so is the sky.
The song is called "Mitwa." 

This is just one of the several fantastic songs and dance sequences from this movie. If you are interested at all in Bollywood (and good foreign flicks in general), I highly recommend Lagaan . It's long though, as are most Bollywood films, but I wouldn't be ashamed in you if you wanted to fast forward through much of, what seems like a 45 minute cricket game toward the end of the movie.

Slumdog Millionaire, Rahman's new release, is the story of the impoverished teen Jamal Malik who becomes a contestant on the Hindi version of "Who wants to be a Millionaire."  The film jumps back and forth through time presenting the viewer with life tales that lead Jamal to possess the answer to every question.  

Read this in depth review of the soundtrack. Thank you to Manu at t-Shirt Junkie for turning me onto this movie.

Don't count on seeing much singing and dancing in traditional Bollywood style in this film, I hear that doesn't come until the credits.

I'm super excited to see this movie.  It's not often that I am able to see a Hindi film on the big screen.

I've also added some Bollywood tunes to my playlist.  Enjoy!