Saturday, April 24, 2010
I just received a nice email asking:
"Where do you find beauty. In other words, what to you is the most beautiful?"
I'm going to try to provide an answer from the heart because she deserves to hear it straight.
I fancy myself a guy who sees beauty all around me. So much graffiti is so beautiful but I'll admit that at first blush, I usually see vandalism and not like the Visigoths, either. Graffiti strikes me as a bit random and rather senseless until I remember to look closely.
When you are open to it, you will find beauty.
There's all kinds of beauty all around us. And, the idea of physical beauty has changed over the years. A quick look at advertisments from past decades provides a reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
BEAUTY & THE BRAIN
I would imagine that beauty exists inside us, that it's all in the brain. If that's the case, then I can think of nothing more beautiful than art that we carry around with us, beauty that we can experience again-and-again. Music is by far the most beautiful thing ever. God bless the creators of popular songs for you provide a living soundtrack for our lives.
I was driving down the Las Vegas Strip late last night and, passing by what was once the Sands Hotel Casino, I heard FRANK SINATRA singing 'Fly Me To The Moon,' backed by Count Basie, as recorded on 'Sinatra at the Sands.' Oh, I know, the Sands is no more, but I know exactly where the original Copa Room was. I produced its last great show before they blew-up the place to make way for the beautiful new Venetian but the music that was made there reverberates still. Sinatra's heart was full of song and he will sing forever more.
When the moon is shining brightly, JASON MRAZ can be heard confessing his love to his supernatural nightlight, his voice echoing far beyond into the swimming sea of stars. 'Bella Luna' is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and thanks to MRAZ, it glows within all of us who are open to its love.
We may well forget the sun in his jelous sky, but we'll remember EVA CASSIDY always. She lives on, within us, among the 'Fields of Gold.'
I haven't taken a road trip of any significant distance without playing JACKSON BROWNE's 'Running on Empty' throughout the journey. Looking out at the road rushing under my wheels, I see that JB was right about the moon, but wrong about the stars. The entire album is by and of the road and, if we were to calculate an accurate toll, the world would owe JACKSON BROWNE a fortune. And it does. DYLAN and SPRINGSTEEN too.
'All At Sea,' the great pop ballad by JAMIE CULLUM, was playing on the iPod at the pool on the regular until, yesterday, I messed-up and dove-in with the ear buds still in my ears, bud. Yes, the song quickly cut-out but it dried-out and I was all at sea once again.
Good songs can enter us and can live on with us. Good songs can find their own place in your soul.
Do me a favor, open the door and let 'em in.
Friday, April 23, 2010
The 27th annual Pop Music Awards were held last night. I attended the event back when it was still in its teens. PAUL WILLIAMS was just my favorite songwriter and now, he's ASCAP President. Well, we're all grown up now. Well, some of us are.
The Song of the Year is, say it with me: 'I'm Yours,' and who doesn't feel the beauty of the music of JASON MRAZ?
ASCAP was blown away by the success of 'I'm Yours,' a beautiful song that stayed on the Hot 100 Charts longer than any song, ever! And what's so incredible is that the MRAZ CD is loaded with songs every bit as beautiful as the title tune. From the inspiring 'Make It Mine,' which I wrongly thought would be the hit single, to the dreamy 'Love For A Child' and the clever 'If It Kills Me,' the entire record is great. MRAZ is music.
THE KILLERS were honored with a Pop Music Award as well and Las Vegas is proud, guys.
You know, for a couple of years now, JASON MRAZ has been touring the world, singing 'I'm Yours,' and I think it's time we faced it:
Thursday, April 22, 2010
What can be more beautiful than music?
I was lucky enough to hear some of the forthcoming JACKSON BROWNE DAVID LINDLEY double CD, 'Love Is Strange,' which will be released May 11th. And the luck continues when Jackson's U.S. tour launchs right here in Las Vegas July 20th with a sold-out benefit at The Hard Rock.
'Tu Tranquilo' is great and hearing 'Call It a Loan' performed by the composers is beauteous for sure.
The music of JACKSON BROWNE remains relevant because he's always sung to us of truth. Jackson's lyrics are elegant, engaging and stunning, adjectives synonymous with beautiful and, as said so succinctly on that Grecian urn: Beauty is truth, truth beauty.
House of H2O is saluting beauty and the music of JACKSON BROWNE is timelessly beautiful.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Talk about beautiful- CLAY ADKINS is a multi-talented guy who was a hit on Broadway, took Las Vegas by storm and now, dozens of television shows later, is Hollywood's most popular character. To me, he'll always be my buddy, a helluva singer with a solid gold personality.*
I was hired to write and produce a follow up show after his successful production closed at The Sands and I've been following my talented friend's career ever since.
You have to be on vitamins-or whatever-to keep up with CLAY ADKINS but this week, just tune-into CBS and watch him steal the show 'Accidentally on Purpose.'
*I taught Clay everything he knows about good music
Monday, April 19, 2010
Here's something really beautiful:
I'm working on a new novel, 'Condo: The Story of How Las Vegas Got High,' with the main character, Roy Richards, a 30-something attorney who 'hears' the voice of Lady Luck, leading the reader on a sexy story of late nights in Las Vegas. Now as I'm writing, I start to 'see' the characters and, 500 pages in, I kind-of fell in love with Roy Richards. I mean, I fall for all of my characters and Roy is the book's hero.
Even though he is totally made-up, to me, he's real. So imagine my surprise when I came upon some pictures of a guy who looks EXACTLY like my dream of Roy Richards: JASON BEHR.
Now THAT'S beautiful!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Happy birthday or whatever it is.
I live in your desert, and I love it here. The desert saved my life.
Others are celebrating mountains and oceans, hugging trees and swimming with dolphins. There will likely be photos of cute girls in pastel dresses running through prairies holding small flowers. That's cool, I guess, but guys like me feel real beauty here in the Nevada desert.
It hit 88 today so I enjoyed being in the desert by being in the pool. There's something purifying about breathing in your dry air while swimming in your sparkling wetness that makes me feel so very connected to you, to everything.
You may not remember this, but, when I was a kid, I suffered from asthma so badly that I couldn't breathe without fighting for it. After all the inhalers and other drugs, we found that the dry air in your California Palm Springs had magicial powers.
Your desert healed me. It heals me still.
Most images this week will be green, and that's cool, but, today, please accept with love this tan greeting from a desert rat.
H20 loves you, Earth.
Friday, April 16, 2010
Now this is beauty for serious. NORBERT ALEMAN, the savvy producer who brought CRAZY GIRLS to the stage, was cool enough to hire me to help, way back when. Talk about 'workin' stiff!' Now, all these years later, the CRAZY GIRLS are still going strong at the Riviera. Oh, I've had my favorite Crazy Girl over the years, you too. (That's a very Crazy Girl as a young stripper stealing the scene with BRAD PITT in Ocean's 11, by the way). Twenty=plus years and still running? Now THAT'S beautiful!
Beauty is as beauty does. MATTIA BARBIERI is a brilliant young artist from Brescia Italy. Any guy who loves Dylan, Mina and Sinatra is fine in my book and the music in Mattia's soul fuels the beauty in his art. H2o is saluting beauty and MATTIA BARBIERI is bello, man.
Talk about beautiful- JUSTIN KREDIBLE is the #1 Act on college campuses all across the country, year after year after year after year after year after year after year. Um, no- that's NOT a typo. He's BMOC (Best Magician On Campus) for like, forever. I am proud to call him my friend and even though he doesn't always return the call, that's cool- he's busy as hell and that's beautiful.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
House of H2o is dedicating the next several weeks spotlighting some beautiful people who are friends of mine. From specialty acts to singers and magicians, I am lucky to know some very talented people.
I thought it fitting to begin with the talented athlete and super model LIAM HALL. It's weird, because in addition to a similar first name, Liam and I... okay, well, we don't have anything else in common.
Monday, April 12, 2010
QUESTION: You have written a lot about what you call 'good music.' Define that, please.
ANSWER: Listen. No really. Listen. A good song will reach out to you. Lean in. Let the song take you. A fine song will remind you of home, and you'll know the place for the first time.
There is the all-important beat, for sure. And notes, chords and a progression. But the first thing is the sound. How does it make you feel? No, really.
When you listen to someone speak, or sing, notice the spaces in between the words, the silence surrounding the sound. See the white between these letters? That's where everything comes from, man.
I owe so much to songs, and to the musicians who brought them here.
Let's do this: head on over to iTunes and let's download some music. No really, right now!
I know, I know, you can listen on YouTube, but come on, let's take some songs with us, make them part of our lives.
Here's what I am going to purchase right now:
***** "THE MONKEY & THE LION" by The Makepeace Brothers
***** "PRAY FOR YOU" by Jaron and The Long Road to Love
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