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Mixing it up for the Holidays

Holidays and music have long gone together. Some of the most memorable holiday sing-alongs (aka ‘The Classics’) have been written and recorded over the last 150 years. With the Golden Age of holiday songs (arguably) behind us, we are annually subjected to the popular artist re-make rife with vocal olympics, over-production, gaudy arrangements, and sometimes just a bad fit.

There are occasionally some gems: poignant versions that remind us of the sentiment in the song, and some versions featuring clever arrangements, genres, and mash-ups. But what seems to be most lasting or most impressionable (to me at least) are the odd, random pairings of artist, song and genre. Over the last 35 years there have been some new “Classics” that put a genuine twist into the old standards. Here are few of my favorites.

Run DMC – Christmas in Hollis [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqe30azXSBo&feature=player_embedded#!]

David Bowie and Bing Crosby – Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiXjbI3kRus&playnext=1&list=PLDE5BD9BA29C89A86&index=33]

A little history on this odd pairing that almost never happened can be found

Kiehl’s Welcomes Rainn Wilson for Grand Opening!

Even though Kiehl’s has been offering high quality skin care products since 1851, the brand new store in Bellevue Square Mall is opening this weekend.  Saturday, October 23rd from 10:30-12:00pm Rainn Wilson, most famously known as Dwight Schrute from The Office, will be the special guest at this grand opening.  If that isn’t enough, you’ll also receive 15% off your entire purchase all day!

Later that night, the Seattle Native will be showing up at The Paramount for a pre-show dinner, show, and after party with some of his friends (including Presidents of the United States of America for a special acoustic performance).  See you there!

Kymberlee Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

Concert Review: Recoil (Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode) – The Triple Door, Seattle – October 18, 2010

For the last 15 years Alan Wilder hasn’t been a member of Depeche Mode. And in the span of 90 minutes, the length of Recoil’s show last Monday night in Seattle, it became painfully obvious what’s been missing from the last four DM albums.

Against a backdrop of intriguing (and sometimes disturbing) visuals Wilder, with the assistance of Paul Kendall (a longtime Mute Records engineer, producer and mixer), created a stunning sonic landscape, chock full of all of the elements we have come to know and love, i.e. analog synthesizers, sound effects and vocal samples. Playing songs spanning the entire Recoil discography, the tunes that received the biggest response from the audience were mash-ups that incorporated elements from the Depeche Mode catalog (for me, “Walking In My Shoes/Jezebel” was a highlight).

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igWGacLdQb8]

Apparently Wilder is constantly barraged with questions regarding when he’ll rejoin his former band mates. That would be fantastic! But, please Alan, at the very least: produce DM’s next album. Just imagine;

Burn The Floor – Review

What do you get when you take all of the top ballroom talent from SYTYCD, DWTS and National Championships and make them perform together?  The answer is a spicy hot, nonstop ballroom dance extravaganza called Burn The Floor.  This new Broadway production came to the Paramount Theatre last weekend and blew me away.  The dancers transitioned seamlessly from Cha Cha to Viennese Waltz to Rumba to Jive and more.  The best part was the hottest Samba I’ve ever seen to “Magalena”.  I highly recommend checking this show out.  Fly to the to New York if you have to.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ftDoAmA_KI]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVlah7oYyWo]

Kymberlee Taylor Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

Bumbershoot Comedy Recap

So I did it!  I completed my goal of watching every single non-local comedy show.  It took the whole three days and a lot of following special guest and my imaginary friend Doug Benson around but I did it.  He proves the worth of Twitter with his smart one-liners and ‘Where’s Doug‘ secret sayings to get free merch.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUM69fH7FaE]

Bumbershoot did a great job of designating venues for certain genres of comedy.  Vera Project was local acts, Charlotte Martin was musical comedy, and Intiman was your typical stand up.

The musical comedy was a lot of fun and pretty much everyone involved had toured with Flight of the Concords.  I saw David O’Doherty open for my celebrity crush Demetri Martin a couple years ago and I still reminisce the hilarity his performance produced.  His dad was a trained jazz pianist and D.O.D. plays his things like “My Beefs 2010” on his 1984 tiny electric yamaha keyboard.  Sell out performances by Patton Oswalt and […]

Happy 9.02.10 Day!

Even though the Facebook fan page didn’t reach its goal of 10,000 followers (which means no officially recognized holiday, TBS marathon, or new 90210 movie) we can still celebrate our favorite Beverly Hills gang!!

This is a once in a lifetime event so I’m getting out my Brenda Barbie and running my own 90210 marathon tonight.  I said it and I’m not ashamed.

Larry King loves it too.. and for even more details on the event go here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KSXEo9b70I]

Now hum along and get this song stuck in your head all day!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRXm1AavtmY]

Kymberlee Taylor Executive Assistant/Sales Coordinator PlayNetwork, Inc.

Heather’s Song Of The Day: Fresh

In case you missed it, New-Wave band Devo recently released their first new studio album in 20 years. 20 YEARS! And it is a FANTASTIC album! Something For Everybody really does have something for everybody. I love this album and the video for the first single from the CD, “Fresh,” shows the boys are just as quirky as ever. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVqESo4mFMs&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

Heather’s Song Of The Day: Yours

Finally! After two years of waiting, Dan Black is coming to Seattle! The Paris, France native will play Chop Suey on October 11 in support of his 2009 Polydor debut album ((Un)). That album made my Top 15 list last year, and I am super excited that Dan is finally coming to town. To celebrate, here is the video to one of my favorite tracks on the album, “Yours.” This video came out in October 2008, which is why I’ve been waiting so long for a Dan Black Seattle tour stop. Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJgLrhj9iZ0&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Oh yeah! Dan’s also been nominated for an MTV VMA! The video for his song “Symphonies” received a nod for best Breakthrough video. The awards show is September 12.

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

Heather’s Song Of The Day: Any Which Way

Scissor Sisters have just released the second single from their new album Night Work, and it’s one of my favorite songs on the disc. The video is appropriately awesome and it only makes the wait until I see them live at Showbox Sodo on September 15 seem even longer. This clip has everything! People breaking stuff, hot shirtless men, pretty colors and clothes to die for. (I’d love a pair of shoes like the ones Ana is sporting at 1:44. Size 9, please!) And did I mention the song is fantastic? Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHv0jW4p_xA&fs=1&hl=en_US]

Heather Producer, Branded Music PlayNetwork, Inc.

Janelle Monae is IT

Why is it that Janelle Monae has not massively blown up yet?  Maybe it’s because she doesn’t have a machine gun brassiere? Or is it because she’s singing about politics and poverty instead of hard-partying & boy troubles? Either way, I have hope that her slow-growing album The Archandroid keeps growing roots. Here’s her new video for another amazing track off of it- “Cold War”:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqmORiHNtN4]

Julia

Music Director