Category Archives: Beauty
My daughter, Maura Murphy-Barrosse (aka Ms. Maura) and her musical partner, guitarist Lynz Floren have just released their first single, “I Can’t Complain” – and it’s now available on iTunes and other online music sites. Get it today.
All you have to do is send Ms. Maura a photo of you holding a sign stating why you can’t complain. (See the charming samples at right.)
Then, you and your fabulous photo will be featured in the music video.
But that’s just where the musical fun begins. Ms. Maura & Lynz are also playing a gig at The Viper Room Lounge THIS THURSDAY, May 10th at 7:45 PM. And if you come to the show, they promise a special surprise!!
The Viper Room Lounge is located at 8852 W Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. Tickets are $10.00. And remember to mention Ms. Maura & Lynz at the door!
You can also “Like” Ms. Maura on Facebook.
And check out her EP, “Reversible Lobotomy”.
If you haven’t discovered Ms. Maura yet, check out what the National Music Examiner has to say about “Reversible Lobotomy”.
“LA’s talented sassy mama, Ms. Maura is laying down some serious tracks on this EP. Proving that if you’re going to do an EP, you should cut the fat and give ‘em your best, this lady proves to have the talent and skill to do just that. If you enjoy Shirley Bassey’s style, Adele’s throaty range, and some textured, complex musical arrangements that traverse through jazz/classical/world rhythms. Each track melds beautifully into the next and yet each packs a powerful punch unto itself. ”I don’t wanna” exudes truth, beauty, and honesty expressed with a rich soulfulness. These 5 songs have been on repeat rotation since first hearing this EP for it’s a fresh, timeless, deep cohesive effort by a deserving to be called “Diva”, Ms. Maura.”
And an iTunes Review by IndieIsGood said:
“At first you think, “Oh, she’s a little like Annie Lennox,” then you think, “No, she’s sort of a torch singer,” then you think, “Whoa! That’s a BIG voice — like Etta James Big,” and then you just stop thinking and sit back and say, “It’s just GOOD.”
Your Pop Filter said:
“Ms. Maura’s voice has SO MUCH range and expression. The record is a tidy 5 tracks long, but these 5 tracks feel so much bigger. Throughout the first listen, the songs seem to vary a great deal, but something unspoken ties them together. Subsequent listens serve only to pull you deeper into her world… I heartily recommend that you buy it.”
Forget Mitt Romney, the fitful economy and the Presidential election for a moment — and pause a moment to enjoy a young lovely woman and a beautiful song.
Here’s my daughter Eva at a high school coffeehouse performing a great Bob Dylan ballad. (Forgive dad, the cameraman, for getting into the action late.)
The talented and brilliantly bluesy songstress Ms. Maura, backed by her friend and guitarist Lynz Floren, performed at club TRIP in Santa Monica on Friday night, March 9th. I was lucky enough to be there – and here’s a sampler of iPhone video from her very groovy set.
According to Ms. Maura, here’s what you need to know as you listen to this selection from their sultry, soulful set.
“Combining the stylistically-varied vocals of Ms. Maura with the textured guitar-work of Lynz Floren, this acoustic duo performs dynamic original songs along with some token obscure covers. He of large stature, she of large voice, they met in 2001 as students at UC Santa Cruz. They lost touch for several years but recently reacquainted and found themselves on a common musical journey.”
Looking to take a brief break from the GOP war against modern civilization and women’s rights? Do you envision a government that has better things to do than to poke its head into your bedroom to see whether or not you’re using — egad! — contraception? Then, here’s a little more than two minutes of glorious, awe-inspiring brain food, courtesy of your Federal tax dollars, well spent!
Thanks to our good friend and fellow NU alum, Jim McCutchen, for making me aware of this stunning video.
Those who write a song give it life – but after that, their song takes on a life of its own: shaped and reimagined through the experience, talents and style of the artists who cover it. And when the song is a great piece of work – a composition that puts a deeply human, emotional message to a beautiful melody – it will have a long life. A great song will be addressed, caressed and blessed by many musicians over the course of decades.
Inspired in a dream, 22-year old Paul McCartney gave us “Yesterday” in 1965.
Since then, there have been more than 1,600 recorded covers of that classic gem.
It’s amazing that such poetry, passion and profound wisdom could flow from someone not even old enough to buy a drink in the Greenwich Village folk clubs.
Listen to that song again – and picture a teenager building that heartbreaking classic, verse by verse.
It would be nearly a decade before Browne put the song on his second album, “For Everyman”, in 1973.
Here’s a much older Browne performing “These Days”. The song seems perfect for an older and wiser man looking back on a long, hard life. But as you listen, try to strip away the years – and picture a 16-year old kid writing such lyrics.
Now, I’m not a big fan of Nico, but she did have the good taste to record “These Days” in 1967. Pay attention to the arrangement of her version. Four decades later, you’ll hear the influence of Nico’s arrangement in Glen Campbell’s 2008 cover.
Here’s 41-year old Allman performing “These Days” in 1989, harmonizing with the great Graham Nash. It’s remarkable what an additional 16 years of life experience brings to the performance of a song originally written by a kid who had only been alive for 16 years.
The first time I can remember hearing “These Days” was when Glen Campbell featured it on his 2008 album, “Meet Glen Campbell”. Glen was 72 years old when he sang it – and listening to an older and wiser Glen connect with the song, I thought Jackson Browne had written it recently. Surely, a man with something like Glen’s years and experience created those lyrics, and the melancholy yet somehow hopeful melody they’re strung upon. Maybe Jackson had even written it for Glen? But no.
It’s just another moving example of how a great tune written by a soulful young songwriter of preternatural talent can be given new life by a great artist.
“Picture Paris” will be shown on Saturday, January 28th at 7:40 pm and Monday, January 30th at 10:10 pm. To watch the trailer, click here.
In “Picture Paris”, Julia plays Ellen Larson, a Southern California suburban mom with an empty nest and a longing for the City of Lights. I won’t give away anything else, except that the film – written and directed by Brad – is shot beautifully, the ensemble acting is pitch perfect, and Julia is better than ever. The music is another great character in the film – and Steve (another good friend) Rashid wrote the original score.
It must also be noted that Mr. Hall took meticulous care to get all the details right – on both sides of the pond. Not only do the locations and street scenes in Paris capture the spirit and romance of that grand European capital – exacting attention was also paid to Ellen’s house in Southern California. In fact, after a vast and exhausting search to find the perfect suburban home, Brad and Julia used our house in Woodland Hills. They shot for a week at our domicile this past June while Victoria and I were in Chicago doing “The Vic & Paul Show” at the Prop Theatre with Steve (there’s that name again) Rashid.
See “Picture Paris” soon, if you can. If you can’t get to Santa Barbara next weekend – hopefully Brad & Julia’s charming, funny (and surprising) opus will soon be coming to a film festival near you. Meanwhile, check out the “Picture Paris” blog here. Adieu, mon ami!
Don’t miss the broadcast of Larry Schanker’s first piano concerto on radio station WAUS this Sunday, November 20th at 6:00 PM Michigan time.
I am delighted to announce that our good friend, the amazingly talented pianist and composer, Larry Schanker, has performed his first piano concerto — Concerto for Jazz Piano — with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra. Better yet, we’ll all get a chance to listen to it on Sunday November 20th – by clicking this link at 6:00 PM Michigan time.
Larry was the Practical Theatre Company’s first musical director, and played keys for our comedy revues at the Piper’s Alley Theatre: The Golden Jubiliee, Megafun and Babalooney (with Rockin’ Ronny Crawford hitting the skins.) Larry also worked with us on the development of our musical, “Rock Me!” for the Columbia College New Musical project in 1988. He’s also a lifetime member of Riffmaster & The Rockme Foundation.
But Larry is also one of those longhair serious classical artists — and he’s been busy in the past year writing his first piano concerto, preparing the orchestral parts over the summer, and, as he says, “practicing more than I have in many years to make sure I could play the darned thing.”
On Sunday, Larry’s performance with the Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra will be broadcast on a local Michigan university radio station, WAUS. Larry says it may only be accessible in real time.
Here’s a link to the concert program and program notes.
Congratulations, maestro Schanker!
Our band’s lead guitarist, Riffmaster Peter Van Wagner, a stellar musician in his own right, sent me these two wonderful photos (see below). Pete said, “A buddy of mine sent this to me, so I’m passing it on.”
And I’m glad he did.
The photos capture two pages of notes on which jazz saxophone player Steve Lacy outlined the advice he got from the great jazz man, Thelonious Monk.
If you’re intrigued by Steve Lacy’s notes on Monk’s musical advice, check out this great blog article for more information on this wonderful document.