Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Feb-BOO-ary is Runtmonth.

I know.

"What the #$% is Runtmonth?"

Not long ago my niece Livy was bemoaning the seeming endlessness of January, and I made mention of February's kindness in being so brief, nearly making up for Month Number One wearing out its welcome.

I also mentioned that being the shortest month, February is the runt of months. Hence, Runtmonth.

Today being Runtmonth the First, or simply Runtmonth's Day (or, if you want to use the medieval vulgarity, 'Runtmas'), I thought I should celebrate and put some new music on the ol' S&P jukebox.

Famously, Runtmonth is the month of that insidiously stupid/fun Valentine's thing -- seriously, the red, white and pink in all the stores is killing me, plus we should all be telling our romantic loves that we love them 'that way' far more often than on V-Day (and their birthdays and/or New Year's Eve). 

Still, love is in the air on lustrous, blanketed nights in deep Winter, and here at the Skull & Pumpkin we take no exception... we just tilt it ever so slightly in the direction of Autumn.

(source: the incredible Laurie Lipton)

As is S&P tradition, I have added Vince Guaraldi's charming Heartburn Waltz just after his Great Pumpkin Waltz. Two Guaraldi waltzes never hurt anyone.

Next up, another Feb-BOO-ary S&P tradition -- the main theme from The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Franz Waxman's score is riddled with repeated motifs, and each is presented in this piece. You'll hear the music of the Monster, his Mate, and his Makers all in a handful of musical minutes. Ah, unrequited monster love.

Then, because it's pretty and I like it and it's my pub, I offer Trevor Jones' beautiful love theme from The Dark Crystal (1982). One of the most influential and inspirational films of my life, Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal abounds with monstrously beautiful beings. Heroes Jen and Kira are the least monstrous but still retain an alien, almost nightmarish beauty. 

And now for something completely different.

From their Feb-boo-ary 1965 debut album, folk duo Mitch & Mickey's wondrous When You're Next To Me makes me smile from the very first note, and is the kind of love song I wish more artists made -- lighthearted without losing depth, sincere without being gushy, moving without being morose. Theirs was a fiery marriage and career, full of conflict and passion, but they made beautiful music. Also, you may choose to think it's really Eugene Levy and Katherine O'Hara from the 2005 mockumentary classic A Mighty Wind, but that's totally not true.

Finally, a love song hailing from my own heritage -- the classic American standard Somebody Loves Me off of the soundtrack LP from the 1955 film Pete Kelly's Blues.

You'll hear Jack Webb's brief introduction, then Pete Kelly's Big 7 Band, led by my dad Dick Cathcart on trumpet.

I've kept the two ghostly folk songs from the previous post because they still deserve a listen for a while. They have merely been moved to positions 7 and 8.

Love, love, love.

It's at the core of Runtmonth.

Oh! that we could see Runtmonth spirit all the year 'round...


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