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Monday, August 11, 2008

Randy Newman "Harps and Angels"

After working through the weekend, I took a day off to hang out with wife and daughter (son's first day of high school, which is strange), fix the vacuum cleaner, mow the lawn, read a bit, and take a nap. Lovely.

While out and about, we stopped at the new Borders and I saw a display for Randy Newman's latest CD. So I bought it -- on sale for $14.

Man, I wish I could play piano like that. (I did play a bunch of Scott Joplin songs this morning, which was fun, but I'm only middlin' good.) Newman is not only a great shuffler, a great comedian both lyrically and musically (see "A few words in defense of our country," or "Potholes") but on occasion he can pull out songs so heartrending you can barely breathe. Examples: "Losing You," "Feels Like Home."

I think of Randy Newman as a kind of modern day Stephen Foster: intensely romantic, with a sweep of lush melody, and an eye that misses nothing.

Oh, and why not support the local economy, eh?

3 comments:

GraceAnne LadyHawk said...

Greetings, old friend. Randy Newman is not a favorite, but piano is, and heart-stopping music is, and I think "Feels like home" is going to wander onto my iTunes cart.

Your "Buddha at the Gate, Running" is required reading for my children's and YA lit students, and it never fails to thrill them with its directness and honesty.

waltc said...

Well, now I'll have to buy the CD, which I probably would anyway. In my case, Randy Newman is a favorite--I think he's America's best living songwriter. (Too bad he finally won an Oscar for what may have been the least of the 13+ songs/scores he was nominated for!)

Question: Is "Feels like home" on the new album a new song, or a new version of "Feels like home" on Randy Newman's Faust (sung by Bonnie Raitt on that album)? If the latter, it's certainly a stunning song.

Jamie said...

graceanne - hi! Glad to hear I'm adding to the reading of incoming librarians. Hi to you all, too. I miss YOUR writing. Where can I find some?

waltc: yeah, "Feels Like Home" is a version of the Faust piece, but a little quieter, more personal.

I wish I'd seen Faust performed. The recordings are all wonderful.