Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Little Self Promotion, Real World Denver Anyone?, A Little Holiday Music, ......more later

Good Wednesday morning blogger friends and readers. I want to give myself one more shameless plug, and then I will try to stifle my conceited self for a while, lol. If you look over at the top left of the blog, I have been accepted into Gay Blogads. This is a chance for me to get a little support thru ad revenue, so I can try to make the Gay Guru blog and website bigger and better with that long promised podcast one of these days, and it also gives you a chance of seeing some of the coolest offerings out there on the web that relate to the GLBT community and our friends. I just created my "adstrip" on Sunday and this week is my first monitoring week to see what kind of traffic I generate so they can give that information to potential advertisers. If you own a company and would like to be a featured ad here at The Gay Guru, click on the link over there at the top left and it will give you all the information you need. It also lets me create nice ads that I can generate for FREE there, so if you have an upcoming special project that you think needs some exposure and it is for the good of the community, drop me an email and if possible, I will set you up with a free ad. One of the bonuses I offer, is that I will copy any paid ad here from the blog and place it on the Gay Guru Website at no charge. Tell your friends about it, and if you are a blogger friend who has not yet linked to me, please do to help me generate the traffic to make advertisers interested in little old me. Thanx blogger friends!!

Did you all happen to see the premiere last week of the Real World in Denver? Davis is pretty darn cute and Steven is pretty darn opinionated. I think this will be the most explosive cast since Real World Hawaii. Are any of you Real World fans out there?? If you are, I have the opportunity to get some free Real World merchandise and will do a couple of fun contests if you want. If you are a Real Worlder, and want me to keep you updated and even have a chance to win some free stuff, leave me a comment or drop me an email. For now, you can check out one of these two links below and see how your personality matches up to the Denver cast and who would be your friend, your enemy, and your hook-up. Have fun with them......


Keeping a little each post in the Christmas Spirit, here is sampling of 5 of my favorite holidy music collections. You can find all of them I am sure at Amazon or on Ebay if you dont have them yet yourself. Enjoy.....

1. One of the advantages to consumers of huge music biz conglomerates is the tremendous music catalogs they amass while swallowing up smaller companies--and thus NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL CHRISTMAS brings us one of the more comprehensive Christmas collections of recent years. With the notable exception of George Michael's "Last Christmas" (Michael sued Sony a while back and is notable by his absence here), this trawl through some 50 years of Christmas pop unearths quite a few gems. Elvis Presley's "Blue Christmas," Frank Sinatra's "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and Burl Ives' "A Holly Jolly Christmas," to name but a few, share digital space with the more contemporary stylings of Britney Spears, Boyz II Men, and the Big Yard Family featuring Shaggy. The latter's "All We Need Is Love" is one of the more affecting contributions here. The overall effect is instant nostalgia and a decidedly warm, fuzzy feeling, and you can't ask for more than that in a Christmas compilation.

2. This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files from 'N Sync: Justin, Chris, JC, Joey, Lance. These boys can sing! 'NSync put together this album less than a year after their first album. The gorgeous vocals are still a pleasure 8 years later. Tracks include standards with their own A capella version of O' Holy Night, along with some not so popular, but rich songs.

3. You haven't heard "Jingle Bells" until you've heard Barbra Streisand's version. Sounding more like a bebop Santa on A Christmas Album's rousing opening track, Streisand keenly races through the stanzas, toying with the words, pushing the song's tempos, and generally having a lot of fun. After that, she gets down to the more serious side of holiday offerings, with tracks that include "My Favorite Things," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Silent Night," "The Christmas Song," and others. At times this world-class singer can bowl you over with her range, sensuality, and emotion, and when she visits "Ave Maria" or closes with "The Lord's Prayer," it's easy to see why this is one singular Streisand record that has traveled so well for so many years. A classy classic.

4. As the song goes, "Merry Christmas" has already "been said many times, many ways." Diana Krall's Christmas Songs is a worthy--though not particularly unique--addition to the holiday catalog. On it, she excels with an approach mastered long ago: elegant delivery that gives extra polish to a very familiar lineup. Some might find her style frosty at times, but that will come as a relief to those who want their carolers to cut through some of the holiday treacle and create a festive, yet grown-up vibe. And Krall does show off her playful side with little, personal touches. In "Winter Wonderland" she promises to "frolic and play the Canadian way," which should draw smiles from her native land. (That'll mean toasting the holiday with Molson, eh?) Elsewhere, she ends "Jingle Bells" with the girlishly giddy statement, "I'm just crazy about horses." Well…can't argue with that.

5. I know, Cyndi Lauper? Christmas? But trust me, this a FUN album. There aren't many classics on this one, but Cyndi's new take is great. "Christmas Conga" will get you get on your feet and "It Feels Like Christmas" will make you feel like you're in Louisiana. I definitely recommend Cyndi's "Merry Christmas....Have a Nice Life!"

I also usually pick up one or two NEW holiday albums each year, (i know there must be a kewl disease name for it like, "christmobsesive disorder" or something.) My picks for this year, are.....

Bette Midler – Cool Yule

The Divine Miss M lives up to her name with her absolutely divine new holiday album, Cool Yule, which is sure to become an instant classic. Made up mostly of familiar tracks like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “White Christmas” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve”, Midler’s seasonal offering also delivers new Christmas classics like the title track as well as an updated version of her seminal 90’s hit “From A Distance”. Throughout “Cool Yule” Midler has never sounded better as she swings through this holiday set with the confidence and finesse of the old pro we already know her to be. An all around excellent recording from one of our most beloved divas, “Cool Yule” is without question my top pick from this year’s crop of new holiday albums.

Wynonna Judd – A Classic Christmas

When Wynonna Judd hums, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. A powerhouse vocalist, Wynonna has ruled the country charts for decades now, but as of late it seems that one of country’s biggest stars is looking to spread her wings a bit and A Classic Christmas seems a nod to her new direction. Judd’s first solo holiday album is not the least bit country, but it is restrained, beautiful and, dare I say, sophisticated. On A Classic Christmas Judd sings “Ave Maria” in Latin, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” with the prowess of a jazz legend, and “Silent Night’ with such tenderness that it almost feels like a lullaby. A Classic Christmas is not about histrionics or re-inventing the wheel but it is solid collection of Christmas favorites sung by one of the best voices in the business, which alone makes it a must have.

So what's your favorite Christmas music/album?? Let me know and share it with everyone else. I will be posting again later with more and our "HUMP"day Wednesday expanded edition of Captured Cuties............GG


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