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 Post subject: February 2007
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:43 pm
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Location: Northern California
2/3/07

Stop the presses! News flash! Nope, world peace isn't at hand, just the arrival of Volume 39 of our Special Collection.

Yep, more David Shire. But it's a twofer so you'll find another composer represented on the other half of the CD as well. We're talking someone with multiple Oscars and various other awards up the wazoo - so I don't want him to read this and feel neglected!

A proper announcement comes up Monday the 12th, around 5:15 our time, which is usually the end of our workday. We'll start shipping orders out Tuesday morning. Or that afternoon if none of us get in before lunchtime! (Actually I'm always out to lunch but Jeff's usually here early so don't worry.)

We don't expect this one to set the world on fire - nor establish world peace... we should be so lucky! But our license is for just 1200 copies so don't put things off too long if you find it to your liking.

2/8/07

It's sad to think about Frankie Laine. What a singer. I keep reading about his "country/western" roots and just shake my head. I'm no expert, of course. In fact I'm actually just the opposite. Call me a country-not expert. Anyway, I always thought he sort of melded jazz and whatnot into his singing style. Not really just country. Maybe even a little blues. A little bit like Elvis Presley, maybe - just before Presley appeared. I don't know the chronology. I'm just shooting from the hip.

That said, I think about his contributions to movies and there we go - it's country/western time. Well, western time, anyway. A favorite? I don't know. I've always been partial to his late fifties ballading in Tiomkin's "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral". Especially when he sings the closing melody then shoots way up high on the tonic for the last note. What singing! Another Tiomkin tune he sang a few years earlier, around 1953 or so, was "Blowing Wild". Even had a bit of Spanish color to it. And, of course, we all fall down for that TV chestnut, "Rawhide". Hmmm? Tiomkin again. A connection, maybe?

The last thing I really noticed was "Blazing Saddles". There were probably other things to come but I said I was no expert. I just liked the way he sang those movie tunes!

Keep singing up there Frankie! We'll hear you!

2/12/07

Keeping our promise. This evening we'll offer Special Collection 39. The CDs are here now so orders will begin shipping tomorrow, which should be Tuesday here in California unless something weird happens with our planet's rotation.

While on the order of things, you may already have Volume 40, which comes after this one but shipped out before it. Or something like that. We're still adjusting to quicker turnaround times from our new - and more efficient - manufacturer. This also means our next Signature Edition should be pulling up to our curb in just a couple of weeks. Since I'm the delegater, someone else gets to move the boxes around in the warehouse. Hopefully you'll keep ordering this stuff so there won't be much to move around!

2/16/07

If all goes well, this coming Tuesday evening we'll post news about our latest Excalibur release due in April. It's an ambitious project so we're trying something a little bit different to spread the word. Come visit our forum Tuesday evening and see what we're excited about!

2/21/07

Ranting. For those who say I like everything here's my two cents on Oscars. Best Score category. I'm unhappy. No disrespect to Gustavo Santaolalla but he's sorta my target here. He's already won an Oscar, now he runs for a second one. I'm thinking of composers that worked for three, four decades, even more. Composers who made lasting contributions, influenced the artform, whatever - and struggled to get just one award - in some cases unsuccessfully! Has Santaolalla really contributed so much to the artform that he should be so honored? Yes, his music may be wonderful - but his legacy is still in it's infancy!

Think about this, dear Academy. You passed over the likes of SPARTACUS, HOW THE WEST WAS WON, STAR TREK, TARAS BULBA, WILD BUNCH, MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, THE MISSION, MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY, CHINATOWN, GREAT ESCAPE, SILVERADO, PLANET OF THE APES, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, WIND AND THE LION, PATTON... on and on. Many of these things actually define this noble artform.

Maybe Santaolalla will be worthy of such recognition after years of service. But he's already received honors pacing Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann, Hugo Friedhofer, Alex North, whoever. To say nothing of Ennio Morricone!

To me, the lofty stature of the score award just doesn't seem so illustrious right now.

Okay. Ranting over.

2/23/07

Morricone fans have a treat! If you keep up with the iconic TIME magazine, you just saw this. If you don't keep up with this weekly publication, check out the one that's on the stands right now, dated February 26, 2007 to be exact.

Turn to page 65. Read a terrific tribute to this incredible composer by Richard Corliss. And reflect.

Here's a man with music that has shaped and enhanced the art of film composition for more than four decades. This Sunday he receives an honorary Oscar. I'd say it's well-earned!

2/27/07

Enough time has passed to reflect on the Academy Awards. Or hang your head. The end of an era, perhaps?

If playing new releases by Miklos Rozsa or Jerry Goldsmith are your ideas of a good time, you'll understand.

I don't mean to belittle Gustavo's award but I saw BABEL and the only music I really noticed was either from another movie or by someone else entirely. Gustavo's part seemed pretty minimal. Certainly too much so to be Oscar material. But that was then, this is now.

Once the music award went to works that were noticed, flashy, flamboyant, richly emotive, innovative, powerful, whatever. Not always the best, maybe, but usually noticeable. That's disappearing now. Two years in a row and counting...

Think what it would be like if the Academy did this with acting. You come out of a great movie and you say to your mate "who was the lead actor, I don't recall" and your mate says "I've forgotten what the main actor's part even was" and you say "I guess it was so good it wasn't even noticeable" and your mate says "Golly! It should get an Academy Award or at least a nomination because it blended in with the movie so well I can't even remember a single part... " and so on and so forth.

But that's where they went with the music this time. I certainly don't recall much in BABEL to write home about. I didn't for BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, either, but I'd at least mostly gotten past it. MEMOIRS was deserving but Williams already has his fame and fortune. Anyway, I can't say that I'll be so forgiving after this year.

Somebody made a mistake.

The end of an era? Yeah. I think the time for classic film music getting recognition is fading just as quickly as the great composers are and what's emerging now just isn't in the same league.

Guess it's telling that during the pre-award ceremony we heard Thomas Newman joke about being ready to lose his eighth time up. He was right. He wrote real music that one could hear and feel and touch. Guess that just isn't much in vogue these days.

How ironic that while we watched Ennio Morricone get a special Oscar for being neglected after all these years, we also watched Gustavo Santaolalla now nail down twice as many! Just not fair.

Well, on a cheerier note. By the time we end our workday this evening we should be posting our newest Signature Edition up for sale. Probably about 5:15 pm our time, in fact. And yes, it's real music!


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