Monday, December 20, 2010

Year End Review

It has been a busy and a trying holiday season here in Miami. It should come as no surprise that, in the lead up to the several Christmas concerts I am in charge of each year, I was sidelined with a horrible cold turned stomach flu. It is something of a yearly tradition and I have started to wonder if I am slightly allergic to Christmas.

Anyway, my blog writing has fallen by the wayside as I attend to my health and the various rehearsals that prepared my preschoolers to the limelight. I felt I would be remiss if I didn't get in one final post before Tracey, Lucy and I head up to Atlanta for Christmas and then Utah for New Years.

I did a top ten song list for our 2 year anniversary this summer, and I thought it might be nice to close out 2010 with a Viral Video Edition of Singing in the Bathtub. This has been a year of many funny YouTube offerings that I think the whole family might enjoy. Let's start the ball rolling with a classic ear worm that can bring a smile to my face no matter what the world throws at me:

Next I'd like to offer this parody of an Old Spice ad done by Grover:

If you type the word "Ukulele" into a YouTube search you get two videos at the top of the list. One is of Jake Shimabukuro (arguably the greatest Uke player of all time) playing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." The second is this kid playing "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. Yes, he may not know all the words, but this kid owns it!

The next viral video is from a band that has both youth and talent on their side:

Ladle Fight from Jennifer M. Noll on Vimeo.

This video was featured on post a while back. Proving once again that Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" video is a classic!

Okay, so this classic video won $10,000 on America's Funniest Home Video (yep, the show is still on the air), but it's my favorite smile coaxer on a tough day!

Kid Quote of the Day: She walked into the classroom and anounced, "My cholesterol hurts!" ~Jazmine (age: 4)
I think she may have seen too many Cheerios commercials!

Friday, December 3, 2010

You are getting sleepy, very, very sleepy

Today I have a unique offering for my dear readers. The album is called Cantilena (night songs from around the world) by guitarist Hilary Field and vocalist Patrice O'Neill.

This is a lush and beautiful album of nighttime music. The orchestral arrangements and the sweet and, at times, haunting vocals featured on this CD set a calming and peaceful tone. Hilary Field's skillful classical guitar work are the perfect compliment to Patrice O'Neill's emotive performances. I appreciated the collage style artwork that is very reminiscent of picture book art by illustrators such as Lois Ehlert or Ellen Stoll Walsh. I am thankful that children's music is still a genre where physical CD's and liner artwork can compete with digital downloads.

As a collection of music from around the world the list of languages featured on the album is long, French, Swedish, Gaelic, Spanish, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Ladino and in most songs sections of English translation. The classical guitar foundation and characteristic tone of O'Neill's voice are the threads that tie these disparate elements together. I can't speak from experience, but O'Neill's delivery seems effortless switching language to language with ease. As musicians, I think there is a strong connection with language and dialects. She pulls it off with grace.

I don't know if I would go so far as to call this an album of lullabies. There is a peaceful quality to much of the music, but there are certain moments of expressiveness that caught my ear and kept my imagination working and my mind active.

The Mike Brady Wrap-up: I have come across a few albums of kids' music that incorporate classical elements. There is always a level of musicianship and production value that can't be matched with the more poppy stuff. I know it's not for everyone, and I don't want to scare listeners off. To say this is a "classical" album would be selling it short. You won't hear electrified instruments, but you will hear some of the sweet music that helps kids around the globe have a pleasant night of sleep. I highly recommend this one!

Kid's Quote of the Day: "I saw the REAL Santa and he was really funny. He is a boy, but he had a really funny voice like a girl. And his beard came down from his face, and I said how can somebody's beard come down." ~Lucia (age: 6)

Winter in South Florida

Just a little holiday treat for friends of the Bathtub:

Kid's Quote of the Day: "You remember how to say 'Merry Christmas' en espanol?" I asked my class. "Elise blah di blah!" ~Hallie (age: 4)