Rest in Peace, Mindy McCready
Three years ago, this very website ran a review of Mindy McCready’s album I’m Still Here. The disc was a mixed bag with flashes of brilliance and transcendence. And it is that very statement that was a quick summation of her brief and widely documented life.
Her struggles with depression and substance abuse are littered all over the Internet but suffice it to say it was the hope of us at RMP that McCready would right the ship and get herself to a better place. Perhaps she is in that place now. Regardless of one’s opinions on the afterlife, one fact remains: McCready was a talent who let the murkiness and vagaries of life cloud what could have been a truly remarkable music career. For this there are truly no words. May her, her loved ones and the music she left behind, rest in peace.
The Strange Familiar: My Favorite Band of 2012
Even though they didn’t make my year-end list, easily one of my favorite bands of 2012 is Ohio’s The Strange Familiar. Their debut release Chasing Shadows has a cozy charm that is easy to like. Vocalist Kira Leyden has a warmness not unlike Colbie Caillat or Schuyler Fisk. Though she veers more towards Sara Bareilles in her range and scale, there’s a honeyed easiness about each of the 12 songs on Chasing Shadows. Buttressed by a phenomenal backing band and air-tight production, there are few if any missteps on the 45 minutes that make up Chasing Shadows. Whether it’s the sturdiness of single “Redemption,” or the cinematic sweep of the gorgeous ballad “Unwanted,” Leyden and Co. have tapped into something truly potent here.
Clearly I’m not the only one who sees something special in the band. Ashlee Simpson recorded the band’s song “invisible” and it successfully charted on the Billboard Hot 100, and Orianthi recorded the band’s song “Courage Is,” where it charted at #37 on the Adult Top 40. In addition to those accolades, the quartet has been featured on the likes of The Vampire Diaries The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Jane By Design, Switched at Birth, Brothers and Sisters, The Biggest Loser, Degrassi, the 19th Wife and Pretty Little Liars. Though it is arguably “soccer mom rock” and veers heavily towards adult contemporary, there’s still something irresistible about this band.
Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment in the replies and let us know.
Stand Up Guys Delivers……Sort Of
Stand Up Guys is a movie about testosterone. If you’re skeptical, consider the ample amount of sex jokes, comical gags centered around a brothel and erectile dysfunction, and an adrenaline-fueled car chase in a Dodge Challenger. But for all its raunchiness, profanity and skirt-chasing, there’s some nuggets of wisdom about aging, friendship and savoring the golden years. Read more…
PBS’ Attenborough: Life at Work Starts 2013 Off Perfectly
PBS’s Nature premiered the first installment of a three-part series entitled Attenborough: Life at Work last night. Last night’s episode, Life on Camera, focused on Attenborough’s 60-plus year career spent chronicling the natural world. Ostensibly a primer on how far technology has advanced and how these advancements have helped make natural history filmmaking, the hour-long program was concise, insightful and a visual treat.
Whether he was waxing rhapsodic about the advent of underwater cameras, geothermal technology, how the security industry augmented natural history filmmaking or the changes in aerial photography, Life on Camera was a real treat. As much a career retrospective as it is a valentine to the advancements of digital technology, the documentary was a sweet and enjoyable hour of natural history filmmaking. The second installment, Understanding the Natural World, which premieres next Wednesday, digs a bit deeper. Read more…
The History Channel Readies “The Bible”
Will faith sell?
That’s the big gamble Roma Downey and her husband, the revered Hollywood producer Mark Burnett are banking on with their History Channel series The Bible, which premieres March 3. Ostensibly an overview of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, the 10-part miniseries features a bevy of strong performances and depicts the birth and crucifixion of Jesus, Moses and the burning bush, Noah and the Ark, Samson and Delilah, David vs. Goliath, and countless other portrayals. Like most miniseries, The Bible soars on the wings of top-notch performances. Foremost of that is Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado, who portrays Jesus. Others include Nonso Anozie as Samson, Amber Rose Revah as Mary Magdalene, Soraya Radford as Hagar and Darwin Shaw as Peter, to name a few. Read more…
Top 50 Films of 2012
Again, this is quite late, but all the good Oscar competing films didn’t screen in Florida until these past couple weeks. Clearly some obvious ones were left out (Amour, Life of Pi) but I have yet to see them, so I can’t comment.
1. Zero Dark Thirty
2. The Master
4. Django Unchained
5. Les Miserables
6. The Silver Linings Playbook
10. The Sessions
Top 50 CD’s of 2012
Well this is a few weeks overdue, but so be it.
Alright, there’s no way I listened to every amazing album this year. It’s just not possible, but I tried. So without further ado, here’s 50 albums that floored me.
1. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange
2. John Mayer - Born and Raised
3. Jens Lekman – I Know What Love Isn’t
4. Kendrick Lamar – good kid, M.A.A.D. city
5. Japandroids – Celebration Rock
6. Tame Impala – Lonerism
7. Bruce Springsteen – Wrecking Ball
8. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – The Heist
9. Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu
10. Rayland Baxter – Feathers and Fishhooks
Let My People Go!: A Hilarious French Delight
Reuben Steiner (Nicholas Maury) is a gay French mailman living in Finland with his lover Teemu (Jarkko Niemi). But when a sudden turn of events and a lover’s quarrel leads to their demise, Reuben flies home to be with his family in Paris for passover. But once there, his quirky family threatens to bring him asunder. Whether its his ultra-proud uncle who wants him to carry on the family dry-cleaning business, his lothario father (Jean-Francois Stevenin) who doesn’t understand him, his over-bearing mother (Carmen Maura), or his bully of a brother (Clement Sibony), Reuben is torn in many a direction. Read more…
Great Name, Great Sound: Honeyboy Carencro
We’re always stoked when people pass along music for us to listen to, so we are thankful to the fine folks at Rolling Fork Records for suggesting we listen to New Orleans acoustic singer-songwriter Honeyboy Carencro. On his debut single “Air I Breathe,” the sound is more Parisian than it is Deep South, but the gauzy dream pop he evokes is absolutely stellar. Once can certainly see how this guy has a bright future ahead.
Dahna Bender Impresses on Christmas Debut
I’ve never been much for Christmas albums or Christmas music for that matter, but when something strikes a chord, I feel compelled to pass it along. After hearing the six song EP Giving of the Heart by Long Island vocalist Dahna Bender, I have no choice but to spread the word. Holy moses, this woman can sing. Read more…