Across the River

One of my favorite scenes from Spirited Away, and there are many of those! Small Chihiro standing in a wide, empty street of the apparently abandoned theme park makes good use of contrast, and shows just how big a world she finds herself in, especially once night falls.


[ Song of the Week ] Devin Townsend Project – “Bend It Like Bender!”

From the album Addicted (2009)

A cheerful, Europop-inspired metal tune from Devin Townsend suitable to brighten any day. No, really. When I saw him play this in concert, he said it was inspired by the relentlessly happy sounding music by groups like Aqua.

Piano Bear

I recently saw a performance on television by seventeen-year-old pianist Emily Bear with her jazz combo. Impressed with what I heard, I decided to investigate some more, and I found this amazing performance of George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” from a few years ago.

At the mere age of thirteen when this performance was recorded, it’s clear that her talent is the real thing. I got chills several times watching as she breezed through the technical solo sections. This concert clip also made me a fan.

New Albums in my collection: May 2019

>> Joe Hisaishi: Princess Mononoke
Released as part of the GKIDS Princess Mononoke blu-ray collector’s set is a reissue of the original Japanese edition soundtrack CD of the film. It includes an additional vocal version of Princess Mononoke’s theme, which was omitted from the 1999 US release of the soundtrack. The ending theme is also the original Japanese language version. (The 1999 US edition had the English version of the theme.)

>> Seal: Crazy
CD maxi-single from 1990 with an assortment of remixes of the famous song. Found this at a library booksale for all of 50 cents!

>> Masakatsu Takagi: Mirai
The score for Mamoru Hosoda’s latest cinematic masterpiece.

[ Song of the Week ] Pink Martini – “Que Sera Sera”

From the album Sympathique (1997)

“Que Sera Sera” is a pretty famous song, but this particular version has a unique place in my musical memories, and it’s fairly recent. Earlier this year I discovered the TV series Dead Like Me. The feature length pilot episode was particularly good, and near the end they use this song, and I’m 99% certain that it’s this version. It elevated the scene it was used in to something pretty special, and was part of what drew me into the series.

[ Song of the Week ] Genesis – “Dreaming While You Sleep”

From the album We Can’t Dance (1991)

For me, one of the highlights of the penultimate Genesis album is this atmospheric song with a dark lyric by Mike Rutherford. Once again, a great contrast is introduced when the real drums appear in the song, and the synth pads and progressions paint a suitably dark picture for the song’s subject matter.