The Kimmel Cultural Campus announced its 2022-2023 Broadway series of shows, and it’s a stellar lineup. Personally, I can’t wait to see Tina when it comes to town because I’ve heard it’s excellent. Read on for all the details about the Broadway shows coming to Philly.Continue reading
I love animals. I often say they’re better than humans. After all, they provide us with unconditional love and they don’t have all of the faults and issues that humans do. Especially now, when many of us are at home because of COVID, our pets provide us with a level of joy and love that is irreplaceable. I also believe that until you live with a pet, you don’t fully understand just how profound that connection can be. They truly are wonderful beings. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I hope everyone reading this had a fabulous holiday. Mine consisted of a bounty of food and watching two movies with my wife: The Break-Up and Marley & Me, both starring Jennifer Aniston. If you’ve never seen Marley & Me and don’t want me to spoil it, stop reading here. If not, let’s dive in.Continue reading
I have two cats and I often prefer animals to human beings, so I was delighted to see that Shudder and AMC are encouraging fans to adopt a watch buddy this October. With many of us staying at home more than ever, now is the purfect time to adopt a furry friend. You can be couch potatoes together and binge watch a ton of horror movies on Shudder — what’s not to love?! Below is the full press release with all of the details of this campaign. Do your part: adopt, don’t shop!Continue reading
My girlfriend and I are back from Mexico and it was a great trip. The weather was beautiful almost every day except for the last – but I’ll take a rainy day in the 60s over a chilly snowy day in Philly anytime. We went snorkeling with sea turtles and fish and visited Mayan ruins in Coba and Tulum. We also ate a ton of food, including a chocolate cake I couldn’t seem to get enough of at the “Cupcake Cafe” (i.e., Starbucks) on the resort. All in all, it was a great vacation and a fitting way to celebrate being in a relationship with my girlfriend for one year. For those interested, I highly recommend checking out Mexico; it’s a beautiful destination worth exploring.
Thanks to my friend, Mary, I was recently able to get my hands on a copy of Barry Manilow’s out-of-print album, Here Comes The Night. Originally released in 1982, this was Manilow’s 12th record and the studio album that preceded it was If I Should Love Again, which was filled with beautiful ballads including “Somewhere Down The Road” and my favorite, “The Old Songs.”
After having listened to Here Comes The Night several times, I have to say I think it’s a shame that it’s not available to the public. It’s a wonderful collection of music. And while the album went platinum, it didn’t spawn as many hits as it should have. I blame this on Arista because the music quality was top notch. Below are my six favorite songs out of the album’s 11 tracks.
“Here Comes The Night”
This song is spectacular. It’s a traditional Barry Manilow power ballad that soars. Between the gorgeous arrangement and heartfelt vocal, I get lost every time I listen to it. This track should have been a monster hit, but it wasn’t. I’d love to hear Barry perform it live the next time I see him; it’s one of his most underrated numbers.
“Memory” is the most popular song from Cats, the 1981 musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s a beautiful song that many artists have covered, including Barbra Streisand, whose version of the song charted lower than Manilow’s. Anytime Barry Manilow sings a Broadway show tune, I listen with rapt attention. His voice is perfect for these kinds of songs and he knows how to make them sound magnificent. This is one of his best.
“Some Kind Of Friend”
I would classify this as a rock-infused pop song. It has a harder edge to it than the other music on the album, but it’s still as infectious as Manilow’s other hits. The funky synthesizer, descriptive lyrics and catchy chorus make this a song that gets stuck in my head frequently.
“I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter”
Here’s a song that’s been covered by everyone from Nat “King” Cole to Paul McCartney. It’s simple, funny and catchy as hell. And when I hear Barry Manilow’s version, it makes me think of Elvis. It has that rockabilly sound “The King” was known for; and when listening to Manilow’s recording, it’s clear he had a lot of fun with this number.
“Getting Over Losing You”
What a terrific melody. The chord progression in this song is simply wonderful. It tells a great story, the vocal is spectacular and just like “Here Comes The Night,” it should have been a massive hit. I love it.
One of the things that makes Barry Manilow a great live act is he performs the songs he enjoys – not just the hits. About a year or two ago, he started adding “Stay” to his set and longtime fans loved it. This sexy mid-tempo number is another song that didn’t get the attention it deserved. The haunting chorus is one that I find myself singing long after the song has ended.
George Carlin’s third HBO special, Carlin at Carnegie, featured an excellent bit about cats. For anyone that’s interacted with these cute creatures on a regular basis, the following clip will make you nod in agreement as well as laugh out loud. Enjoy!