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Anyone read this?

Discussion in 'A Song For You: The Carpenters Forum' started by ullalume, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Alec Baldwin?!?! At first, I thought it was a typo, but then I realized that you, GaryAlan, are far too polished to make such a mistake, given your enthusiasm and attention to detail, in generously and regularly giving us these great links to stories involving the Carpenters. Thank you for all you do!!!

    Getting back to Alec, it's refreshing that he likes Carpenters' music. Who knew? I guess he's not that bad after all... But maybe if he listened to Karen's serene and soothing voice a bit more often, it might help with his apparent anger-management issues... :)
     
  2. ullalume

    ullalume Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    And again a little interview arises I had no clue about. 1982's always an interesting year.. . . . . I wonder when in the year it took place.
     
  3. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Forgive me if I have already posted this news article, but seems to me I forgot about it:
    At Christmas, kids love Carpenters:
    "I like the Carpenters version better," Little Solomon said.
    "Me, too," said Eve.
    And then, seconds later, before I could adequately prepare myself for what he was about to say, the boy dropped the bombshell: "I like all the Carpenters music."
    I almost swerved off the road. "
    "I changed the station, and hoped that the materialism, pettiness and stupidity of today's music would balance out all that peace and love stuff.
    Hopefully, I got to them in time."
    Read more:

    http://www.philly.com/philly/living/20131224_At_Christmas__kids_love_Carpenters.html
     
  4. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

  5. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    From Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/20/top-artists-vocal-range_n_5357698.html
    "Comparing The Top Artists, Past And Present, By Vocal Range
    At the top of the chart: Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose, closely followed by Mariah Carey, Prince, Steven Tyler and James Brown. At the very bottom: country singer Luke Bryan, who is just topped by Taylor Swift, Karen Carpenter, Sam Cooke and Justin Bieber."
     
  6. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    And now, from the 2002 edition of the "Great Rock Discography" book ,
    here are their Album ratings for Carpenters (1 -worse to 10- best Stars):
    2-Old Fashioned Christmas
    3-Christmas Portrait
    4-Passage, Made in America, Voice of the Heart, Time
    5-Ticket to Ride, Horizon, Kind of Hush
    6-Carpenters, A Song For You,Now& Then
    7-Compilation/ Yesterday Once More
    8-Close to You, Singles 1969-1973, Compilation/Only Yesterday
     
  7. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    An artist who incorporates Karen Carpenter in his work:
    How do you decide what words to use on the paintings?
    EDB: The texts are the words of the subjects, sung, spoken, or written. The figures and texts I’m using in this show play off one another. Karen Carpenter’s love songs, for instance, are very different than Richard Pryor’s observations about race. Taken together, I’m hoping to suggest the different realities that existed at the same time. I’m attracted to the way the texts change once they are put on the painting. Pop songs can become surreal; jokes can lose their humor; melodies are lost and meaning is reshuffled.( Source:http://artefuse.com/5-questions-for-artist-erik-den-breejen/)
    Do you end up picking your favorite songs and stand up jokes for your pieces, or do you try to have them epitomize the individual?
    EB: I’m interested in the historic and cultural significance of the figures I paint. Sometimes, my interest in portraying them stems from my fandom, while other times I’ll become a fan during the course of my research. For Pryor, for example, I selected what I thought were some of the most daring and funny bits from two albums. My current show is an attempt to show a period in history — the early 70′s — as it is reflected and recorded by artists. There’s a Riot Goin’ On is an album by Sly and the Family Stone that is frequently pointed to as an album that signaled the dark new mood of the early 70′s. The comedown from the high of the 60′s. I thought it was a fitting title for my show, especially as it was an answer to Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, which was released a few months earlier.
    So, to answer your question, it’s a mix. For Karen Carpenter, I used standout cuts which I thought best represented her work. One of the Nilsson paintings uses one song about his drug addiction multiple times throughout the painting. I love the song, but it’s also important to his biography. The other, larger Nilsson uses the cover image and complete lyrics of his most successful album Nilsson Schmilsson. Nilsson is an oddball figure. Like Gaye, Pryor, Carpenter, Minnelli, and more, he is a “troubled genius.” His work, while not overtly political, reflects the early 70′s in that he is making the most Beatle-esque music of the time in the wake of the demise of the Beatles, another letdown of the era.
    (Source: http://www.boweryboogie.com/2014/05...res-riot-goin-showing-freight-volume-gallery/)
     
  8. moog

    moog Member

    I am loving all of these articles, GaryAlan! Thanks so much!
     
  9. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Strictly speaking, this might be off-limits, but in the UK Telegraph today:
    Don’t ignore anorexia
    It often surprises people to learn that of all the psychiatric conditions, the most deadly is anorexia. Despite high‑profile deaths, such as that of the singer Karen Carpenter, the public still struggles to understand the seriousness of eating disorders.
    Although the risks associated with anorexia have long been known, research by Oxford University published last week illustrated the extent of the danger. Life expectancy for those with the condition is worse than for those who smoke 20 cigarettes a day. It’s estimated that between 5 and 20 per cent of sufferers will eventually die from it.
    It’s an area I feel passionately about because of the lack of sympathy it garners from other people, including some doctors. There is a sense that – more than with any other mental health condition – sufferers should pull their socks up. Everyone else can eat normally, so why can’t they?
    It is more than 20 years since the late Diana, Princess of Wales spoke out about her own eating disorder. More recently, the actress Christina Ricci has followed suit. And yet the level of ignorance is astounding. It’s not simply that sufferers want to be thin, as though it’s some perverse form of vanity; it is a desperate, unconscious attempt to deal with deep-seated emotional problems.
    Ensuring that there are adequate services and provision to help these people should be an absolute priority.
    Source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10855852/Clinicians-not-bed-flow-must-dictate-discharges.html
     
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  10. djn

    djn Well-Known Member

    I've said it before and say it again...great job and thank you GaryAlan! Your contributions offer depth, reasoning, insights and a generous dose of interest. Your participation helps balance emotion with perspective and intellect. You the cool cat G.A.!!!

    Jeff
     
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  11. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the ultra-kind words, Jeff. Your message is greatly appreciated.
    It is a pleasure to contribute to this forum, and hopefully my contribution is infused with substantive observations.
    This forum has been not only entertaining for me, but a learning experience for all things Carpenters.
    I must say that I get an enormous uplifting each time I read one of your great posts.
    And, it is an honor to be a part of this wider circle of Carpenters aficionados.
    Love the passion !
     
    Natesmommy77 likes this.
  12. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Here is a quote from Toni Tennille (Source:http://www.classicbands.com/ToniTennilleInterview.html ):
    A - I'm a one take person. I'll get it within one or two takes. And in the new CD, same thing. There's a school of thought about recording that came from Karen and Richard Carpenter, and Richard Carpenter in particular as a producer. And, this is a valid school of thought. Richard would have Karen sing over and over again and he would punch in until he got exactly the way he wanted it - one word, or one note. Consequently all of their recordings are perfection...absolute perfection. You cannot hear a flaw anywhere. But, my philosophy is I want the performance. I want it to be all of one, all in one. I don't care if there's a little glitch here or a little attack of a note that's not quite perfect. If the emotion is there, if the feeling is there, that's what I go for. Now both are equally valid. It's just a style that you choose. Daryl has always understood that I'm a performance person. When I go out to do a concert, I don't get to do two or three takes. I go out there and that's it. I believe a recording should be the same. That's just my philosophy.
     
  13. Rick-An Ordinary Fool

    Rick-An Ordinary Fool Well-Known Member

    FL
    I never read that before about Toni Tennille^^^
    Thanks for sharing that insight.
     
  14. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Aaron Moyer and A&M Retro like this.
  15. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    From Huffington Post (Source:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-sayre/karen-carpenter-in-the-ag_b_2870762.html )
    "And then I chose Karen Carpenter for March, and my inbox was full. Full.
    Emails upon emails. Requests, memories, and stories; people wanting me to know how much they love Karen Carpenter. And I don't blame them. I adore Karen Carpenter myself. There is no sound in the world like the harmonica solo that opens "Rainy Days and Mondays," it's totally unique, yet reminiscent of so many other things, and then you hear the voice of Karen. There's nothing like it. All the rest is just an invitation to listen to the sound of that beautiful and singular voice.
    Karen Carpenter's voice isn't big, or loud, or gymnastic. I don't know if she would make it on American Idol today. It's simple, real, but painfully alive. It's filled with hope and promise, yet totally aware of the dark. It's that mixture that grabs you, holds you and forces you to connect, to engage. She is speaking just to you, taking you to places only you and she have known. She sings like she's your friend, in a private conversation, confessing her fears and hopes just to you. She's instantly familiar, as if you've known her all your life. You can hear her smile on some lines; her slow building grin shading the notes that somehow communicate no matter how bad it has been, it can always get a little better. Very few people have this sort of talent. It's a rare and precious thing, and as history has taught us time and time again, it's usually gone entirely too soon. It's what makes them Icons.
    I expected a lot of emails, but what I didn't expect was so many from really young people. I got more emails from people who were born well after Karen was dead than anyone else. Karen Carpenter died 30 years ago last month, and yet there is a whole host of young people who adore her music and still fall in love with that voice. She speaks to them in a way that so much of the world around them doesn't: She is totally unironic. I know this may shock you, but, I don't like Irony.
    You could be "ironic" about Karen Carpenter. The music can sound hokey, all those strings, the French horns, and the '70s swirl that lives in so much of the sound. And it's overly optimistic, and "wholesome" in a world that is increasingly less so. But as one 19-year-old put to me in her email, "I listen to Karen, and I feel less alone."
    That's what great art is all about. It's hard to see the irony in that."
     
  16. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    The Huffington Post, today, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kari-...-freig_b_5394772.html?utm_hp_ref=arts&ir=Arts
    The webpage leads off with the Artists' rendition of Karen Carpenter , acrylic on linen.
    "Erik den Breejen's exhibition, There's a Riot Goin' On, at Freight + Volume includes paintings embedded with blocks of letters that devotedly trail into one another, line by line. The acrylic paintings are framed as tributes to cultural icons (mostly from the 1970s), with titles such as Joan Baez (Diamonds and Rust), As Pure and Strange as What I See (For Lou Reed), Karen Carpenter, and Allen Ginsberg.
    While fully recognizable, the portraits are also specters, skillfully composed by fragments of the long-ago. This sense of apparition echoes den Breejen's painted lyrics of Karen Carpenter's song, Superstar, which ruminates on absence and distance: "But you're not really here, it's just the radio." Den Breejen's choices, in terms of the individuals he represents and the lyrics which he uses to form their image, are often profound and meaningful."
     
  17. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Thought I would interject that a recent scholarly publication,
    The Persistence of Sentiment: Display and Feeling in Popular Music of the 1970s
    ( University of California Press April 29, 2013)

    by Mitchell Morris ,
    has an entire Chapter devoted to an analysis of Karen Carpenter's vocals and Carpenters music (pages 118-142).
    I read as much as I could on the Amazon preview, which is abbreviated, and the book is well worth perusing.
    A very interesting chapter,indeed.
     
  18. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    Very nice to see the quotes from Toni Tennille. I have noticed that, over the years, she has given Karen some compliments. I give Toni much credit for that.

    On a personal level, I have always had a love/hate relationship with Captain & Tennille. For the most part, I do like their music. Yet I have this lingering resentment---I know, maybe I should get therapy for this and other things---that they carried (stole?) the A&M banner in the second half of the 1970s while approximating the Carpenters' sound/image. I can't help but wonder whether this was calculated. Consider the similarities. Both duos:
    1. Were fronted by a pretty woman with an engaging voice.
    2. Had a mostly silent male partner who played the piano.
    3. Made similar sounding music (pop, adult contemporary), which often included overdubbing vocals.
    4. Recorded songs written by, and had a musical connection to, Neil Sedaka.
    5. Hosted a prime-time TV music/variety show.
    6. Performed in Olivia Newton-John's "Heartache Tonight" of Olivia's special "Hollywood Nights."
    I'm sure there are other similarities (as well as differences). It could simply be that I was resentful as I saw the Carpenters' chart success waning while that of the Captain & Tennille was on the rise. The old "a star is born" phenomenon. Anyway, I'll just try to focus on my enjoyment of the music and try to shoo away any conspiracy theories...
     
  19. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This may well be an article already known to most here, but it was 'new' to me (quotes taken from 2002 Billboard Review of "Essential Collection"):
    "Some 30 years on, few female vocalists can deliver ache and intimacy with the seeming ease of Karen Carpenter.
    The music of the Carpenters holds an indelible melancholy. So there's plenty of wrenching emotion to be had throughout The Essential Collection (1965-1997), boxed set that sweeps from the brother/sister duo's pre-A&M signing through its 21 top 40 hits to songs that were issued following Karen's passing. Fans will get a kick out of the pair's earliest works, beginning in 1965, which showcase a developing act in search of its sound, experimenting with folk and jazz-quite a distance from Richard Carpenter's soon-to-be trademark easy-listening arrangements (an all-too-common source of derision from critics who missed the big picture).
    And-perhaps the collection's greatest moment-an intoxicating take on "Tryin' to Get the Feeling Again" .
    It would have been fun to include outtakes and alternate arrangements instead of packaging the hits yet again, since most followers likely already have one of the numerous collections previously issued . But Essential does compactly tell the story in total of an act whose achievements and place in history become more appreciable with some distance from its day in the sun. Truly a sentimental journey."
     
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  20. newvillefan

    newvillefan Well-Known Member

    Love the fact that the reviewer singled this track out, the only one to get a mention by name amongst all the hits he could have named. That tells you something about the sheer pull of this song, which I have always thought should have been released at the time and is very underrated.
     
  21. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    Quoted from Newsweek 1998:
    The Rebirth of Shanghai
    Until the birth of the People's Republic, Shanghai was China's artistic center. Can it regain its former glory?
    By John Leland and Anna Esaki-Smith
    The Gap restaurant in Shanghai's French concession is a squeaky-clean place, all checked tablecloths and stylishly bland Chinese food. But over dinner there, the journalist Yu Lei's mind runs to illicit thrills. Yu, 29, who writes for the state-run Shanghai Star, has a studious look, set off by a stark buzz cut and bookish glasses. When he was a kid, he recalls, Western arts and media were still banned in China, so one of his teachers recorded an American song off the shortwave radio. Huddling the students behind closed doors, and warning them not to tell anyone, the teacher wrote the lyrics on the blackboard and taught the class to sing along. It was dangerously exciting, the lure of forbidden fruit. But what struck Yu most was the sweetness of the melody, the purity of the singer's voice. The singer was Karen Carpenter, who shortly became one of the first Western performers sanctioned in China. Years later, as the Filipino band at the Gap shinga-linga-lings into the Carpenters' "Yesterday Once More," Yu can still hear the sweet strains of revolution. Karen Carpenter, he declares, "was the beginning of the opening of China."
     
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  22. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This from a survey as part of the fascinating research article (which can be read in its entirety in link below):
    American Popular Music In China
    Responses to Question:

    ‘‘What is Your Favorite American Song?’’
    My Heart Will Go On’’ Celine Dion
    ‘‘Country Roads’’ John Denver
    ‘Yesterday Once More’’ The Carpenters
    ‘‘Right Here Waiting’’ Richard Marx
    ‘‘Unchained Melody’’ The Righteous Brothers

    Source:
    http://www.academia.edu/3425094/_Co...Understanding_American_Popular_Music_in_China
     
  23. GaryAlan

    GaryAlan Well-Known Member

    This from the UK:
    Over-singing is overdone

    Whether watching the recent audition rounds for Britain's Got Talent or listening to the radio, I'm struck by how many female singers want to belt out every song they perform at top volume.
    I date the trend back to Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You, but unlike the late singer, more than a few of her successors appear to mistake shouting for singing.
    The three greatest female voices of the 20th century - Ella Fitzgerald, Dusty Springfield and Karen Carpenter - all possessed the sort of nuance and contrast to their voices that meant they never had to resort to such theatricalities. Some of today's performers would bawl out Simon and Garfunkel's Sound Of Silence.
    Source:http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/fergus-kelly
     
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  24. Jamesj75

    Jamesj75 Well-Known Member

    "Over-singing is overdone": I couldn't agree more with this reviewer. In addition to giving high praise for Karen's vocal style (and placing her in good company with Ella and Dusty), the reviewer takes to task singers who feel the necessity to belt out songs at "top volume." Another thing these over-singers do is embellish the notes so that an individual syllable is stretched out over several notes. Case in point: Whitney Houston, particularly for "I Will Always Love You." Compare her overwrought rendition with that of the song's composer, Dolly Parton. I know that many loved Whitney and her version of that extremely successful song, but I find that type of performance over the top and grating.

    I think that a lot of Britain's Got Talent, American Idol, etc. singers as well as other recording artists feel the need to make songs "their own" (often considered a goal in competition) by theatrics, hysterics, and vocal acrobatics, showing off, if you will, when simply singing the song as written is most welcome. Besides, Karen could infuse a song with emotion without being overwrought.
     
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  25. Mark-T

    Mark-T Well-Known Member

    I really like Whitney, but I found "I Believe in You and Me" to be a better listen than her biggest hit.
     

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