It's been weeks since I've last updated this blog, so I thought a slight update to the above graphic would be appropriate.
December has brought its usual "year end rush" at work - where all of us struggle to complete all the tasks we promised to finish in 2005. Crunch time has consumed my life for the last few weeks, leaving little time to blog about all the slightly interesting (to me at least) things going on in my life.
First - I saw an absolutely fantastic concert. Sometime in the spring of this year Marvin became a huge Goldfrapp
fan -- and I feel like I've been brainwashed with their recent CD (scheduled for release in the US sometime in the Spring). Marvin hasn't stopped playing the import since the moment he got it - and it's really a terrific album.
As is the case with most of the other great music released in the last 15 years or so, Goldfrapp has been largely ignored in the US. Their last album got a bit of club play - the song "Twist" was mixed by Jacques Lu Cont and "Strict Machine" had an amazing set of mixes by Peter Rauhofer - but I can't say I've ever heard any of their music on the radio or seen a video of theirs in rotation on MTV in the United States. When I was last in South America I saw the video for "Twist" literally once an hour, and the band has seen much chart success in the UK. It was a pleasant surprise to see them do a US Tour Date -- one night only at the Nokia theater in NYC.
The band is very eclectic -- the lead singer Allison Goldfrapp gives off a vibe that is exactly 1/2 sex goddess, 1/2 total weirdo - and it totally works. She was accompanied at points by two half naked dancers who were always slightly disturbing. When the dancers first appeared they were in bikinis with wolf heads -- they would later appear in giant Mirror Ball covered Horse Heads (while the band performed a song called "Ride a White Horse") and simulate masturbation with their tails.
Her voice was crystal clear and is one of the few artists who sounds as good (or better) in person as they do on their CD. The show itself was only about 1:15 long - but apparently the band will be coming back to the US (most likely with a longer show) in the spring. I highly suggest you check them out.
In the meantime, they've just released the first US single from the album called "Number 1" with a remix by Superchumbo - it's going to be huge in the clubs.
For more on the concert (and to see where I stole the above pic from) click here
I also made time recently to see the "Rent" movie -- which (if nothing else) made me feel really, really OLD.
The above pic was taken in 1996 (ALMOST 10 YEARS AGO) when my friend Heather and I decided that we were going to sleep out in front of the Nederlander Theater in hopes of getting front row tickets to the show shortly after it opened.
Above: Chas, Anthony Rapp (Mark from the original cast of RENT, as well as the movie) and myself after the show - circa 1997
At the time RENT didn't seem like a show - more of an experience. RENT's message of being who you are regardless of what people think is espically important in today's America - where it seems that you're only acceptable if you live within the parameters of the "Religious Right".
The movie did a great job of converting the show from the stage to the screen, And still managed to evoke emoiton after all these years. My one complaint about the movie was that they converted many of the previously sung lines of dialog to spoken word -- which would have been fine - had they changed the rhyme scheme. It sounded in parts like they were almost rapping in slow motion.
Other then that minor criticism, I really enjoyed the film.
Finally - in not so great popular music news - Madonna has given a previously unreleased track from "Confessions on a Dancefloor" to fan club members called "Superpop". While I really enjoyed "Confessions" (it does feature many great tracks) it is clear that some songs from these sessions are better off remaining unreleased. A sample of the lyrics includes:
If you want to reach the top
(Reach the top)
If you do, you’ll never stop
f I was a star, I would be who I am today.
If I was a fighter, I’d be Cassius Clay.
If I was emotion, I would be intense.
If I was a man, I would be president.
I’ll be different,
If I’m the president.
I’ll be different,
If I’m the president.
If I was an animal, I’d be a dog.
If I was a dog, I would be a man.
If I was a man, I’d be the president.
If I was the president, I’d be different.
Also, the song features a sound effect of a barking dog.
Sometimes this woman could use a little bit of help from a lyricist -- although it's not quite as bad as her "I Love New York" track:
I don't like cities, but I like New York
Other places make me feel like a dork
If you don't like my attitude, then you can F-off
Just go to Texas, isn't that where they golf?
New York is not for little pussies who scream
If you can't stand the heat, then get off my street
I guess they all can't be winners...