[ Song of the Week ] John Williams – "Rey's Theme"

from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)

For the last weekend of 2019, I went and saw Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, so I thought it might be nice to end the year with the theme for the main character of the final trilogy, and one of my favorite Star Wars characters overall.

Here is Rey’s theme from The Force Awakens, performed by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in 2017, conducted by none other than John Williams himself.

[ Song of the Week ] Michie Tomizawa – "Last Christmas"

from Sailor Moon Sailor Stars Merry Christmas! (1996)

Yes, I’m a day late. The weekend went by too quickly and I didn’ t have anything ready for Monday. Anyway…

I am a fan of Wham!’s “Last Christmas”. I have heard several cover versions of it over the years, and don’t care for any of them. Except this one. This one I like. And it’s from a Sailor Moon Christmas image album of all things! Rei Hino (Sailor Mars) puts her own spin on the famous song.

(Incidentally, I’m not a fan of AMVs either, but this being a Christmas song, it doesn’t lend itself to deviating far from the intent of the source. Plus, it compiles some good winter scenes from Sailor Moon.)

[ Song of the Week ] Daryl Stuermer – "Little Drummer Boy"

from A GRP Christmas Collection (1988)

The closest thing to a Christmas song from anyone in the Genesis family is this contemporary jazz take on “Little Drummer Boy” by Daryl Stuermer, the band’s on-stage second guitarist and bassist. (At least until Steve Hackett played on Chris Squire’s 2007 Christmas album.)

In fact, A GRP Christmas Collection is one of my overall favorite Christmas albums, with great contemporary jazz interpretations of many well-known songs, and Daryl’s contribution opens the collection.

New Albums in my collection: November 2019

>> Steve Hackett: Genesis Revisited Band & Orchestra: Live at the Royal Festival Hall
Multi-disc set with the concert film on blu-ray and DVD, and the audio on two CDs. The latest in Hackett’s increasingly frequent live albums. It’s hardly a redundancy though, as this time the songs are accompanied by a full orchestra. Genesis and Hackett solo songs of old (and not so old) are featured.

>> Anthony Phillips: Strings of Light
The first new album in seven years from the Genesis founding member is a showcase of his skills on a variety of acoustic guitars from his collection, similar to 2005’s Field Day. The 24 pieces of music span two CDs, and a DVD with a surround mix is also included.

>> Prince: 1999
New 2CD edition with a remastered version of the original album, plus an extra disc of single versions, remixes, and B-sides.

>> Wilderun: Veil of Imagination
Wilderun’s third album shows a band comfortable in their craft and expanding their scope. While they made their name taking the uniquely European genre of folk metal and putting it through a North American lens, Veil of Imagination finds them going more symphonic, with a generous helping of early Opeth influences.