Thursday, October 01, 2009

The day after the day after the Diva Equinox

So Tuesday, September 29th, 2009 was dubbed by Entertainment Weekly as the Diva Equinox because there were three new releases that day by, well, divas. Madonna released her 2-CD best-of collection, Celebration (which I think I might have mentioned a time or two here), Barbra Streisand released her SIXTY-THIRD album - that's nearly 1 a year for her entire life, folks - Love Is The Answer, and Mariah Carey released Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Well, two out of three ain't bad - I'm just not into Mariah and never really will be beyond a song here and there - it's okay that other people are, so back off Lambs! For me, she's an artist that just never really lived up to the potential of her debut, but that's a blog post all on its own.

The problem with the Diva Equinox falling when it did was it landed smack dab in the middle of a bad paycheck so I had already made my peace with the world and decided that I was going to put off Celebration until things looked a little bit better money-wise. I mentioned it to Heidi who was dumbstruck by my stubbornness and said "Come on! It's Madonna! You need to get it." I've been struggling with whether or not I wanted to purchase it right away because I have already paid for these songs at least once or twice before and I was having a hard time justifying paying for them again - or at least paying for them again RIGHT NOW when there are other things that need attention. Well, not surprisingly, I got home from work and she had gone to Target and bought that CD. I should have known that's what would happen. I've known this woman for 14 years and I didn't see that coming? What the hell was I thinking?

What's really funny is that despite all that, it's still in the packaging. I haven't opened it yet because I had mentioned to my friends Matt and Bess that I was holding off on the purchase of Celebration and it was kind of out of character for me (the last Madonna CD I didn't purchase the day of release was Erotica). Well, I got an email later in the day stating that in celebration of Diva Equinox, it was their long-standing tradition to "send good friends diva-ish CDs we know they will love." The end result is that they bought me a copy of Celebration as well! It's a good thing I didn't open the one from Target. It has not arrived yet but should in the next few days. It was one of those things that made you appreciate the way the universe works and realize that, as is so frequently said it is cliched, there's no such thing as a small act of kindness.

So hopefully it will be arriving in the next day or two - I will be eager to open the CD and look at the artwork. Allmusic said that it had the Herculean task of compiling 30 years worth of hits which immediately made me feel as old as dirt.

But one should not forget Streisand either. There is a song on her new album that will absolutely make my year end best-of list which is kind of amazing because honestly, the album is kind of the sonic equivalent of an Ambien. She does a good job with the songs, but I think the production is just too sleepy. I should have expected as much with Diana Krall producing because her last album was also in the same vein as this one. But the song that is amazing on there is "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" - a song Barbra sang on the tonight show 40-some years ago. The thing I can't get over about "SCRHYUTM" (wow, that abbreviation looks oddly suggestive) is that everybody and their pet rock has done a version of this song, but every version I've heard has different lyrics. The main body of the song is always the same, but there's an intro that is never the same - at least not in any of the versions I've heard. I'd be really interested to know more about that. But anyway, go to iTunes and listen to Barbra's new version before the music industry starts charging you for the privilege (yep, still miffed about that one.)

(I was going to do this as a video blog, but apparently, I lack even the most rudimentary video editing skills so it ended up being this. I desperately needed to edit out the last 5 seconds of the clip, but could not make iMovie do it. It's probably for the best anyway.)

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