Friday, September 29, 2006

Chris Botti's Coming To Singapore

You know, considering how many times I've been spammed by SISTIC, I'm quite miffed that they failed to highlight this. I mean, why the heck would I give a hoot about concerts for kids, hip-hop contests and what-not?!

THIS, my friends, is one class act.

I have at least 5 of his albums ( maybe more ), and consider him one cool cat.

First learned of him when I discovered Sting ( another hot dude ), and have been a fan ever since.

Known for his pure, mellow sound and a laid back ( though skilfull ) delivery, Botti hit pay dirt with his 2 most recent albums - When I Fall In Love and To Love Again - which feature covers of jazz classics and numerous mesmerizing duets with the likes of Michael Buble, Renee Olstead, Sting, Gladys Knight and Paula Cole.

I can only imagine how magical experiencing Botti 'live' will be.

Doesn't hurt that he's tall, blonde and blue-eyed. :)

Good seats still available, but be prepared to empty your pockets. Don't miss this.

A Few Other Random Musings

[ this bit is being entered at 4:45am during my last night shift at "the other ER" ]

Feeling a pang of nostalgia. Will miss this place, yet am also eager to go home. I hear it's hell back there. Morale a bit shaky. Let's see if I can change that. :)

Cat's at the vet for a short while. Couldn't eat for 3 days and we finally figured out that it might be a gum infection -- some major freaking out after chewing on his biscuits provided the diagnosis. If you haven't seen a cat freak out before, it's quite a sight, believe me.

MOPEX is out. Seems a few of our MOs are staying on, and I don't recognize any of the new names. But then I've been out of the wards for ages so no surprise there. Anyhow, each batch never fails to produce its fair share of star pupils and black sheep. As long as there're more of the former compared to the latter, we're safe.

Can't believe I forgot to mention Prison Break.
Just started airing on local TV a week ago, and I'm hooked. Not because of the plot, which has its moments but is chock-full of gaping loopholes. Not because of all the beefcake characters strutting around ( I prefer men who have some sense of personal grooming and less muscle, thank you ).
IMHO, there's only 1 good reason to watch the show, and this is it.

First, I'm fascinated by his personal history. Funny how he looks distinctly Caucasian despite a mixed lineage. Like Mariah Carey - whose music videos he appeared in. Coincidence?

Second, he's obviously got a brain. Princeton English lit grad, no less.

Third, he's got charisma. And guess what, my mom said it before I did. Astute woman, she is. :)

More specificially, he translates well on-screen. He doesn't do very much, to be honest, but every time he stares ( and he does this a lot ), whether it's out of fear, anger, amusement or introspective contemplation, you can't help but pay attention. This is one actor who never goes over the top, and I find it very refreshing, especially when his calm demeanour only serves to up the tension score.
This week's episode was a fine example, with a few nail-biting scenes involving run-ins with several violent personalities, a fatal stabbing and a blood-curdling toe amputation - sans anaesthesia. Miller's expressions never escalated beyond a barely perceptible flinch or mildly alarmed stare, but boy was I on the edge of my seat.

Kudos also to the terrific supporting cast, who seem to be enjoying their roles thoroughly, especially the scrawny fellow who plays the serial rapist with a young inmate trailing him like a lovesick puppy. Creepy.

Miller's 34, though I initially thought he's in his mid-20s. So now I don't have to feel guilty. Haha.

Another TV appearance I'd like to mention is Chris O'Donnell on Grey's Anatomy. ( Sorry about the campy pics on Wikipedia. You might like to try this link instead. )

Now you have to understand that I've been a fan of his for 12 years now, ever since watching his inspired turn in Scent Of A Woman. I ain't fickle, so I tend to remain eternally loyal to those I admire, unless s/he does something absolutely evil and / or unforgiveable.

Chris O has maintained a blemish-free record thus far, so I'm thrilled to see him wrestle Meredith Grey away from swollen-headed, greedy Derek Shepherd, who can't decide if he prefers his wife or his young intern. Tsk tsk.

By the way, this subplot about cute vets is quite accurate. Have met a couple of those at the hospital where my cat currently resides. But that was years ago and they've since moved on to start their own practices. But yeah, these entities exist, heh heh.

Last but not least, a short review of Shayne Ward's self-titled release, which I've already gone through a few times. ( Track listing on Amazon )

I hate how he's being marketed, with the glossy glam pics and boy-band-y look. Sometimes, winning an idol search alters people's perception of an artiste, rendering him / her somehow less talented.

This is the image projected by SW, no thanks to too much makeup and a cheesy CD cover shot. The songs range from mushy ballads to R&B and epic choir-filled numbers, all very radio-friendly and doing very well on singles and album charts.

However, I still find myself spinning the disc over and over again, for one reason: the voice.

Interesting how I'm savouring 3 different albums which feature 3 very different vocal styles and qualities all at the same time. ( Haven't gotten to John Mayer's Continuum yet -- that should add another spicy ingredient to the mix. ) Like Clay and Peter, Shayne also possesses power and pizazz, performing vocal acrobatics with relaxed ease, transforming mediocre songs into things of beauty.

Good examples include That's My Goal, Stand By Me and Over The Rainbow ( wait for the last part where he does a slow, long scale progression then ends with a glory note -- fantastic! ). Of all the covers, I like Back At One the most, purely because it surpasses the original and resulted in me actually enjoying it ( never really cared for it much in the past ).

I wouldn't recommend this to everyone, but if you're thinking of purchasing the album, try to sample it first, or at least have some idea of what he's about ( I got my exposure from MTV - the video for Stand By Me is really good ).

Before I sign off ( and play Book Worm on Yahoo :)), I'd just like to post lyrics from Walk Away -- originally done by Matt Monro and covered by Peter Grant on New Vintage -- and The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, which has been sung by Roberta Flack, Celine Dion and George Michael.

I'm a late bloomer where jazz is concerned, but with its recent revival in the form of new artistes who hail from younger generations, I realize that my love for the genre isn't solely based on its timeless melodies or wildly diverse styles.
Rather, it's the way emotions are conveyed, with words so simple and subtle yet overwhelmingly intoxicating when used in the right combinations and coupled with a gorgeous melody.
Songs today - with their overt sexual overtures comprising indispensable nouns like "sex", "hump" etc - leave me cold. Give me an oldie anyday.

Walk Away ( excerpts )

Walk away, please go
Before you throw your life away
A life that I could share for just a day
We should have met some years ago
For your sake I say
Walk away, just go.

Walk away, and live
A life that's full
With no regret
Don't look back at me
Just try to forget
Why build a dream that cannot come true
So be strong, reach the stars now
Walk away, walk on.

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face ( excerpts )

The first time ever I saw your face
I thought the sun rose in your eyes
And the moon and stars were the gifts you gave
To the dark and the empty skies, my love,
To the dark and the empty skies.

The first time ever I kissed your mouth
And felt your heart beat close to mine
Like the trembling heart of a captive bird
That was there at my command, my love
That was there at my command.

If you haven't heard either song before, go to That CD Shop, grab Peter Grant's New Vintage and George Michael's Songs From The Last Century, and prepare to be hypnotized.

This was a long entry. Thanks for reading this far and have a good weekend. :)

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