Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Posted by LeAnn Stephenson
Morning - it’s your friendly, narcoleptic blogger here. Today I feel as though I have just eaten a rather large bowl of Captain Crunch that has been drenched with Ambien-laced milk. For the last three mornings I’ve waked and turned immediately to my husband and have said, “You know what I could go for? - A nap.” I realize I’m belaboring the "I don't care for daylight saving time" point here, . . . so I will move on.
This morning I would like to have a little session of show and tell. A long, lost dear friend and I have recently reconnected. We have been catching up with photos of spouses, kids and brief glimpses of the events that have shaped our lives over the last 20 years. We’ve been swapping favorite recording artists, comedians, books, websites and blogs. And if you would be so kind as to indulge a sleep-deprived, over-caffeinated woman, I’d like to share a wonderful group of artists that he has introduced to me. If you are already familiar . . . just humor me.
Pink Martini is the brainchild of classically trained pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale and vocalist China Forbes. This duo and the rest of the band members blend genres of music such as Latin, lounge, classical, and jazz. In trying to reflect the group's style and period-inspired content of their songs, many descriptives have been attached to their music like "vintage" or having the characteristics of a "little orchestra". Their songs' lyrics involve many different languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Arabic, and Modern Greek. According to Wikipedia, they were originally brought together to play political functions in Portland, Oregon, their home base. Pink Martini made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival, and the group's debut album, Sympathique, was released on Pink Martini's own label, Heinz Records, in 1997. Over 1.3 million copies of the record have been sold worldwide. The song of the same name is also featured on Putumayo World Music "World Lounge" CD.
In October 2004, the group released its second album, Hang on Little Tomato. In the transition from its first to its second album, guest-singer Pepe Raphael left to concentrate on his other band, Pepe and the Bottle Blondes. Lead singer China Forbes continued to write songs with Lauderdale.
Pink Martini songs appear in such films as In the Cut, Nurse Betty, Josie and the Pussycats, Tortilla Soup, Shanghai Kiss and Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and have been used on television shows such as Dead Like Me, The Sopranos and The West Wing.
If you're listening to the soundtrack on my blog, I've added many of their songs to my playlist. You can learn more about the group and get their concert dates on the official Pink Martini site. I think they are really groovy and my family and a few friends have made plans to attend their San Antonio, Texas concert date on May 15th at the Lila Cockrell Theater. Ticket info and purchases can be made here.