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Mighty Sky: an astronomical success

CD: The Mighty Sky, Beth Nielsen Chapman

This is a phenomenal album of original songs about astronomy that reflects the scope of its subject in musical forms and lyrical excellence. I expected folky niceness. I got edgy,informative tunes.

“Through Hubble’s Eyes” is a spoken-word piece by the telescope’s founding scientist, backed by majestic music. “Big Bang Boom” is an upbeat country-tinged statement on the origins of the universe. “The Moon” gets an a capella upbeat doo-wop treatment.

“Zodiacal Zydeco” is exactly that, and corrects misinformation about the zodiac by repeating the scientifically preferred “ecliptic plane” to describe the movement of the sun and planets. My favorite “Test, Re-test & Verify” has an English music hall feel to its all-purpose celebration of the scientific method.


"The Moon" from A Mighty Sky


SONG: “Escalator,” David Tobocman, from the CD Escalator

David Tobocman’s lyric “when you’re ready take my hand and hold steady let’s go” brings back holiday shopping memories of clutching my grandmother’s hand on the escalator. His “Escalator” is a delightful pop song ear worm with infectiously melodic rules for this year’s crop of kids facing this “favorite mode of transportation.” Boogie woogie piano undertones on the chorus of this danceable title track are a nice surprise.

► Listen to samples from the Escalator CD


EVENTS: Trout Fishing in America swims our way throughout December: Dec. 15 at the Sellersville, PA Theatre; Dec. 28 at Morristown, NJ’s Minstral; Dec. 29 at World Café Live at the Queen in Wilmington, DE; Dec. 30 at Philadelphia’s World Café Live, and later that day at the Levoy Theatre in Millville, NJ; and their traditional First Night Ocean City, NJ on New Year’s Eve. 

Kathy O’Connell is a contributing writer to MetroKids and host of Kids Corner, weekdays 7-8pm on WXPN 88.5 FM.

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