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December 12, 2014     Post-Gazette
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December 12, 2014

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I, PagelO POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 12, 2014 reviewing A MERRY FRIGGIN' CHRISTMAS - SOUNDTRACK Lakeshore The soundtrack for A Merry Friggin' Christmas stars the late Robin Williams and the film is enhanced by what is definitely not a "standard" Christmas music album. The collection of original tracks and exclusive cover will rock your holiday. Rufus Wainwright opens with It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and closes with the new ChriStmas is for Kids, followed by Going Home this Christmas (The Belle Brigade), the clas- sic Jingle Bells, while Ben Kweller contributes his new Here Comes Santa Claus and Try to Love (Joy to the World), plus Up On the Housetop (California Feetwarmers), and Aaron Tipton's moving version of Silent Night. Ryan Culwell's raises the decibels via It's Christmastime I Know (Ho Ho Ho), the forecast The Weather Outside (Spencer Shapeero), plus FM Radio tuning in with More Than I Wished For, the celebratory Best Time of the Year (Alex Rhodes), winding down with Santa Will Be Flying Over the Moon (Anna Su), and John Isaac Watters' Gentle, Mary Laid Her Child. Certainly not your typical Christmas al- bum - but refreshing! CHRISTMAS " WITH NASHVILLE Big Machine Fans of TV's hit show Nashville can revel in the spirit of Christmas with a dozen tracks performedby the cast of the show. Clara Bowen (Scarlett) unwraps the package with Santa Baby, Charles Esten (Dea- con) & Vince Gill deliver Blue Christmas, Christmas (Jonathan Jackson - Avery), the tender White Christmas {Hayden Panettiere Juliette), picking up the pace with You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch (Connie Britton - Rayna), and Sam Palladio - Gunnar performs Joni Mitchels River. A dynamite. duet has Rayna. and Luke (Will Chase) singing Baby. It's Cold Outside, the explo- sive Merry Christmas Baby is- dynami.te from Aubrey Peeples - Layla, trailed by Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Chaley Rose - Zoey), sister act Lenn.on & Maisy - Maddie 8t Daphne, perform a song penned, by their real-life -parents titled Christmas Coming Home, as Luke chips in with O Little Town of Bethlehem, and Cel- ebrate Me Home features "the entire: Cast. THE ROYS - BLUEGRASS" KINDA CHRISTMAS Rurai Rhythm The tight harmonies of The Roys {Elaine and Lee) pour through ten tracks of bluegrass gems as they bring the holiday's home with their album Bluegrass Kinda Christmas. The humor of Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy sets the pace, chug- ging along with Santa Train, by bob morello the rest Dolly Parton's ringing With Bells On, the Merle Haggard tune If We Make it through December sets the date, and the anticipation of Christmas Time's A Comin'. The title track Bluegrass Kinda Christ- mas was the first Christmas song penned by Elaine and Lee, then the mood is mel- lowed with There's a New Kid in Town, picking' up the pace with Winter Wonderland, low- ering the decibels for the angelic sound of Elaine sing- ing O Holy Night, and the fi- nal gift in song wrapped is the spirited Santa and the Kids. Let the warm feeling of The Roys' music shower all over you! HOME FREE - FULL OF CHEER Columbia Home Free won Season 4 of The S/ng Off, and they were rewarded with this Christ- mas album, Full of Cheer. Their a cappella capabilities allow them to create the vo- cals and instrumental sounds using only their voices. Their tasty harmo- nies blanket your ears like snow on Christmas Eve. Check out the hilarious Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, the heav- enly harmony of O Holy Night, celebrating lost love with the title cut Full of Cheer, and hit the halfway mark with I'U be Home for Christmas. That's just the half of it, continuing the fes- tive moods via Baby, It's Cold Outside featuring Canadian country music artist Kira Isabella, the tongue-in- cheek Hairy Christmas, the smooth, traditional Angels We Have Heard on High, their reworked version of Do You Hear What I Hear?, and the final slice is the beautiful Silent Night, with the accom- paniment of violinist .Taylor Davis. THE LEGACY COLLECTION:, THE LITTLE MERMAID Walt Disney Walt Disney Records has created a line of collectible COs to celebrate theanni- versaries of Disney's most cherished and classic films. The Little Mermaid's 25th An- niversary collection features the songs and scores from the film; by Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, and lyricist Howard on Disc One. Disc Two contains work tapes and'song demos performed by them, plus a collectible 20-page booklet. Commenting on Disc Two's song demos, Menken adds, "I hope listeners experience some of our memories," and I hope they take awayas I do a lot of rediscoveries. The demos of some of the song moments, take the listener through the process on how they were developed, under- standing what the authors wanted to communicate, and ultimately leading into what the song became.' One of the most beloved soundtracks of all time! The time has come, the walrus said, TO TALK OF MANY THINGS of shoes and ships and sealing wax of cabbages and kings, by Sal Giarratani WREATH MAKING EVENT FOR HOMICIDE SURVIVORS Last week, the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute in Dorchester held a wreath- making event for those who are survivors of homicides. Many families came and many brought photos, me- morial buttons and memen- tos of their loved ones to in- corporate into their wreaths. Dinner was also provided at this time for remembrance. Many who have lost a. loved one to violence came to- gether as a family to offer solace to one another truly making this their season of peace. CHECK OUT THE MOODY BLUES NEXT YEAR The Moody Blues will be in this area on Thursday, March 19a playing all their hits at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester. For fur- ther information, log on to www.HanoverTheatre, org. THE PRICE IS RIGHT Drew Carey will be bring- ing The Price is Right to the Hanover Theatre too on April 11% So come on down, or is that over to Worcester. For more details,, log on to www , PUMP PRICES FALLING The price in Roslindale at ALFA Gas is now down to $2.55 per gallon. This price is really right: Supports Italian Home for Children in Memory of Mayor Menino Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Kevin Youkilis (Photo courtesy of Tina Cantu) Italian Home for Chil- dren, a nonprofit institution that provides behavioral and mental health services to children, adults and families, recently announced the receipt of a generous dona- tion from Kevin and Julie Youkilis through Kevin YoukHis Hits for Kids in memory of Mayor Thomas M, Menino. Throughout his over twenty years as the Mayor of Boston. Mayor Menino had a special relationship with Italian Home for Children. He actively participated in community outreach on be- half, of the agency, attended the ground-breaking and rib- bon cutting ceremonies of its school, made appearances at events, and as with most Boston nonprofits, ensured the work that we do with chil- dren and familiesdid not go unnoticed. "Mayor Menino was a loyal and special friend to all of us at Italian Home; especially the children that we serve." said Michael Papile, Italian Home Board President. "For Kevin and dulie Youkilis to honor his memory with such generosity means a great deal to all of us. We are in the process of memorializing this special relationship and contribution to inspire future generations of children in our care." Youk and Mayor Menino also had a special bond. In 2009, Mayor Menino joined the Red Sox All-Star at Fenway Park to launch the "Batting for Books" program, an initiative in which Youk's Kids collected books for libraries throughout the Bos- ton Public Schools system. Youk has been a major sup- porter of Italian Home since the 2007 inception of his foundation, Kevin Youkilis Hits for Kids, fondly known as Youk's Kids. After his first visit to Italian Home, a spe- cial bond was formed between Kevin and the children at the Home;s on-grounds school. Kevin often visited to take the children bowling, deliver toys during the holidays, or simply sit with them to an- swer questions during pizza parties. Upon learning of his passing, Kevin and his wife Julie knew they wanted to make a donation that Mayor Menino would have approved. "I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Menino family and to city of Boston for the passing of Mayor Thomas M. Menino." Kevin stated upon learning of the former mayor's passing. "Mayor Menino worked end- lessly to better the city and the people within it. No mat- ter what injury or ailment Came along the way, Mayor Menino would always be on hand to see things through. That attitude and dedication to the city of Boston is what made Boston Strong! I had an amazing opportunity to work with Mayor Menin0 on many charitable endeavors. Words cannot express the amount of gratitude Youk's Kids and I owes to Mayor Menino. We truly will miss you Mayor Menino and your devotion to the great causes benefiting the city of Boston. Thank you for everything and your legacy will live on forever." ABOUT ITALIAN HOME FOR CHILDREN Italian Home for Children was founded in 1919 to pro- vide care for children or- phaned by the influenza epi- demic of 1918. By the mid- 1970s, the Home for Italian Children, as it had been called, changed its name and became a residential treat- ment center, providing clini- cal services for emotionally challenged children of all nationalities and races. Today, Italian Home for Chil- dren is a caring, training and research institution that works with children at its Jamaica Plain and East Freetown campuses as .well as children, families and adults through its mental health clinic and community outreach programs. ABOUT KEVIN YOUKILIS IIITS FOR KIDS Youk's Kids was founded by former Boston Red Sox All- Star third and first baseman Kevin Youkilis to support the health and well-being of children. Growing up sur- rounded by the precious gifts of family, friends, commu- nity and religion, Youkilis has long been passionate about giving back to the community. Over the years, he sought opportunities to make a difference and participated in a variety of philanthropic efforts. In 2007, he took his commit- ment to the next level and founded Youk's Kids. Since its inception, Youk's Kids has raised over 3 million dol- lars to support more than 1,000 children.