Xmas Season Reblog & Tatsuro Yamashita & Christmas Eve & and Classic JR CMs

The unforgettable 1983 Christmas classic (though this video is a bit cornball).

This song also became the theme for the Japan Railway (JR) “Christmas Express” CMs for the bullet train (1988-1992), one of the most romantic CM campaigns ever, compiled here:

This is the English version of the song. A bit lost in translation, but it’s still good:

Addendum: I just noticed a detail in the first JR CM. You can see the breath/steam of the boyfriend hiding behind the station platform pillar at 0:18-0:19, before he appears to surprise his girlfriend. Nice touch!

Advent Art, Henry Ossawa Tanner: The Annunciation

Another one of my favorite paintings. Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Annunciation (1898), at The Philadelphia Museum of Art.
The Annunciation
Painted in France by Tanner, an African-American painter. Tanner also spent some time in the Middle East to background this and other paintings with biblical themes. I may get some more of them up ere Christmas season is over. This one is worth clicking twice to enlarge.

Shabbat Music & Ernest Bloch & Sacred Service

Excerpt from Ernest Bloch’s Sacred Service (1931-33). London Symphony Orchestra directed by Geoffrey Simon, with the Zemel choir, solos by Louis Berkman.

I don’t know much about Ernest Bloch at all, but these kinds of things come up when you do a Toob search for music for the Sunday specials–or in this case Shabbat specials. Bloch wrote this in the Swiss Alps, where he escaped for a while to live a simpler life. He took these photos himself, except for the one of himself near the end.

Overture to Das Rheingold & Wagner

Herbert von Karajan with the Berlin Philharmonic

Not really a Wagner fan at all, but this overture made an impression on me when I heard it in the soundtrack of Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampire (it was the scene where the guy from the city walks up the mountain to Nosferatu’s castle). The music is pretty cool considering it’s just one long major chord.

This is the scene from Nosferatu:


They also used this music in the live action movie Pocahontas, which I didn’t see:



Oh Happy Day & Sunday Music & Sister Act 2

“Oh Happy Day” from Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993), with Whoopi Goldberg, and Ryan Toby doing the solo.

UPDATE: Thanks for the likes for this particular post, which triggered an automatic announcement informing me that I have received 1,000 likes on this blog. At 506 posts, that’s almost exactly . . . let’s see here . . . two likes per post!

By gosh, that’s gotta mean something.

I’m just not sure exactly what.

& Dark Star & Grateful Dead &

From Live Dead (1969).

Lately I’ve really been getting into this cut for the long commutes, and hit the back button for it a lot for replay. There are depths and layers to this thing. It’s a very, very long jam. But one of the very, very best of the very, very long jams.

Jerry Garcia (lead guitar), Mickey Hart (drums, percussion), Bill Kreutzmann (drums, percussion), Phil Lesh (bass), Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (organ?), and Bob Weir (guitar). Lyrics by Robert Hunter. Now, some Deadhead please help me out here. Is it Jerry Garcia doing the lead vocals, and who is actually playing the organ? The material out there is kinda unclear on the exact personnel for this cut.

Sunday Music & Tchaikovsky & Merciful Peace

Back to our regular Sunday Specials. Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, “Merciful Peace.” From Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Performed by The USSR Ministry of Culture Chamber Choir, directed by Valeri Polyansky (1990).

OK, I admit things are kind of placid around here after our link to the explosive finale of Nightskyradio’s riotous Rocktober Countown!!!!!!!!! That being said, one still has to stay on one’s toes. And on that note, I am obliged now to provide you with the following safety advisory warning.

Listeners, please be on the alert for an abrupt volume change at 2:21. Repeat, abrupt volume change occurs at 2:21. If you are using earphones or any other high fidelity listening device, please adjust volume downward at 2:20. Repeat, adjust volume downward at 2:20. Thank you.