Posts Tagged music

Midweek Linkspam

I’m sure by the time I finish writing and coding this post, it will not be, as the title says, early morning, but I’m claiming artistic immunity. Or something.

  • I’ve only heard through the grapevine about the ‘Fake Geek Girls’ article posted on Forbes, mainly because I didn’t want to raise my blood pressure any higher than it already was, but on my morning travels through the blogosphere I found a great rebuttal to the article on Sexy Videogameland. Even the comments are readable, well thought out, and full of rational discourse rather than the typical “no u suk!11!!!!!!!1”
  • I stumbled upon (Not StumbledUpon) Magnet Stories’ Valentine’s Day post discussing relationships and dating in the golden age of social media. In a world where society encourages you to follow all of your friends (and many of your enemies as well – what’s that old saying about keeping enemies closer?) on every social media platform available, you can often find yourself knowing much more than you realize about a potential partner after only one date, which takes away much of the thrill of getting to know someone. Technology has its advantages and disadvantages, as this blog post clearly talks about. There’s still much to learn about the effects of social media and the internet on relationships of all kinds, not just romantic or sexual ones, and this post definitely brings up some good points that should be studied and expanded on in the future.
  • Last week, I purchased tickets to see the second revival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita, starring Elena Roger, Ricky Martin, and Michael Cerveris. “True Musical Fans,” who often think along the same lines as the “Real Geeks” discussed in the article above, will probably throw their noses in the air (much like the upper class detractors of Eva in this musical), but I am a fan of Mr. Webber’s music. Always have been, and probably always will be, no matter what When I found out about Evita’s return to Broadway, I was overjoyed to imagine I might get the chance to see one of my top five favorite musicals on stage. Did it live up to my expectations? In four words, oh my god yes. Entertainment Weekly reviewed the production about a week ago, touching on many of the facts about this new production that I find especially interesting. Most interesting, perhaps, is the Broadway debut of actor Elena Roger, the first Argentinean to take the title role in a major production. She adds her own special something to role, a certain flair that wasn’t there in performances before. That certain flair is certainly aided by a new orchestration which adds a more Argentinean sound to the production. If you’re in the area, I’d recommend you go see the production on those notes alone, but I can’t end this paragraph without both a nod to Ricky Martin and Michael Cerveris. Martin’s take on Che, the everyman foil to Eva, is wonderful, full of contradiction, good looks, charisma, and a surprising maturity.  He’s definitely come a long way from his boyband/pop singer years. Cerveris is the piece of the puzzle I was most worried about, but he tackles the roll of Juan Perón very well. Eva and Perón’s duet “I’d be Surprisingly Good For You” was one of my favorite parts of the show, and my heart went out to Perón during the last songs of the musical as Eva dies. (Whoops, spoiler alert? Although I’m not quite sure if spoiler alerts are necessary for actual historical events, especiall considering the musical begins with the news of Eva’s death.)
  • QR Codes: Not Just For The Uber Geeks. The title says it all. Those squiggly little bar codes you’re starting to see on every surface ever out in public are called QR codes, and I’m a big fan of them. Their biggest draw is as an easy way to grab information from somewhere to store it. From URL’s to contact or event information, as long as you have a QR Code reader (something easily downloaded to your smartphone), you can read it. I even put one on my personal business card which links to my online website and portfolio. I have a feeling QR codes only going to get bigger as more people start using them and more uses are devised, so go play around with them.
  • Marvel’s Nextwave is the Rocky Horror Picture Show of comics. It doesn’t sing, it doesn’t star Tim Curry, and the entire main cast of characters doesn’t crossdress (although one character has an entire closet full of dresses…), but it is one of the greatest cult hit comics in Marvel’s history. The great guys over at Multiversity Comics do a great job at fancasting, so I was excited to see they’d tackled Nextwave as their next project. Even more so when I completely agreed with their choices. I would totally watch this movie, as long as the Official Nextwave Theme Song was used.
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“Rush Limbaugh Calls Sandra Fluke a Slut – Reformed Whores’ Response Video” or ‘Happy Coincidences’

A recurring occurrence in my life is my curious habit of watching popular performers without actually realizing how well known they are. The first time this happened, my cousin’s then-boyfriend-now-husband who worked at Carnegie Hall took the entire family to a performance by some foreign bass-baritone opera singer guy. The entire performance was amazing, but I didn’t realize the significance of the evening until I went home and Googled the singer’s name. For the record, the name on the program was Bryn Terfel,  who I later found out was a rising star in the opera world and is now one of the biggest names in the business.

Recently, on a much less wider but no less important and enjoyable scale, I had the pleasure of attending the G.L.O.C. Mixer this past Saturday, which included so many wonderful and, to a young woman just starting to find her own place in the world and in the big city, inspiring performances. One of the great performances of the afternoon, of which there were many, was a little set by comedic singing and songwriting duo the Reformed Whores.

Their video response to a certain radio “talents” recent comments has recently gone viral across the interwebs, and with good reason. Singers Marie Cecile Anderson and Katy Frame are witty writers, great performers, and all around wonderful musicians, and I’ll definitely be marking their next NYC-area performance down in my calendar.

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“Leiht euer Ohr einer Legende”: The Wait Is Over

I wrote this in December 2010 after fulfilling one of my lifelong goals: attending a Rammstein concert. The fact that it was their first concert in the United States in ten years at Madison Square Garden made the event so much sweeter. I’m posting this here because it completely summarizes my feelings about the band.
“You would never be able to tell on first glance, but Rammstein is one of my favorite musical groups. I love the heavy and fast songs which made them famous. I love their slower ballads, overlooked by press and fans alike but are no less spellbinding. I love their ambiguity. On the outside they look very superficial with their flamethrowers and silly costumes, and a lot of their songs sound the same if you’re not listening with the ears of a longtime fan, but their lyrics are so powerful and poetic. Till Lindemann writes gorgeous lyrics, full of wordplay and imagery. They may be about some very dark topics, but they cover a lot of things most artists avoid. You can read translations of most of their lyrics at Herzeleid.com, including several notations of the biggest  instances of wordplay.

My neck is killing me, I can barely talk, and I’ve gotten about 8 hours of sleep total in the past 3 days, but you know what? It was worth it.  Each time the band releases an album, their interviews are filled with comments about how tough it was, how much they fought, and how this might be the last one. Each time I worried they would break up, that I would never get to see them perform live. I love their albums, but every fan knows that this band is not one to to be heard on a iPod’s headphones, a computer’s speakers, or even a Due to their pyrotechnics, immense sound, and general antics on stage, their stage show is often referred to by metal fans everywhere as a ‘must-see’ performance, even if you’re not a big fan of them. I’ve been a fan of them ever since my later years of middle school. During all those years, I thought, barring a trip overseas, I would never ever get to see them live. When this one date at Madison Square Garden was announced, I was over the moon. And now it’s happened, over and done with, and I don’t quite believe I actually was there.

The boys (although they’re really grown men: Till, the vocalist, is the oldest at 47, Ollie, the bass player, is the youngest at 39) did such an amazing job. Even though I was pretty far back (section 302), I could still tell the emotions and intent between every movement made, which is saying something in a large arena. I could also feel the heat from the flamethrowers. If I was that far back and could feel it, just imagine what the people in standing room felt!

The songs were perfect; Till was note on and in full booming sub-bass form. The stage show, flames and antics and flaming antics, was entertaining but didn’t overshadow the instruments at all. There were some problems with Till’s mic, but the audience knew the words anyway and sung along, so nothing was lost. Some of the most incredible moments, peppered through the entire show, happened when the audience’s words overcame the stage performances. It’s so amazing to hear 20,000 Americans singing German lyrics, lyrics which the group as a whole probably doesn’t understand 97% of what they’re singing.

And what really amazed me was the amount of respect and gratitude which came off of them in waves, much the the heat from the flames bursting off the stage in tightly choreographed patterns. In recent interviews, the whole band has talked about how it’s been their dream to play Madison Square Garden, but they’d been told it wasn’t a possibility because they weren’t popular enough in the US. After the entire show sold out in 30 minutes (which is 20,000 seats, if you were wondering), I think that proved the naysayers wrong. Hopefully it was enough to warrant a tour in the upcoming year.

When they’d finished their final encore (Engel) and took their final bows, they were so reverent and so grateful. They genuinely seemed like they were having a good time up there, hugging one another, laughing and joking, which is a big thing because they are known for being very grumpy and taciturn. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience, for both the audience and the band, and I’m honored to have been a part of it.”

Set List
Rammlied*
B********
Waidmanns Heil
Keine Lust
Weißes Fleisch*
Feuer frei!
Wiener Blut
Frühling in Paris*
Ich tu dir Weh
Du Riechst So Gut*
Benzin
Links 2-3-4
Du Hast
Pussy*

Sonne*
Haifisch
Ich will*

Engel*

* indicate my favorite performances of the night

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