Category Archives: music

Sweet Dreams

So apparently, Faith No More have reunited and are touring Europe…  There’s even talk of playing dates in the U.S. I’m not too familiar with their oeuvre, though I do recall being something of a fan of Epic – I liked the song and found lead-singer Mike Patton to be quite easy on the eyes…

What I had not known was that the band used to perform this rather amazing song, “Sweet Dreams” – and, no, it’s not the one popularized by Eurhythmics – though I suspect it will be recognizable to most…

And just in case you don’t remember it, here’s the source… Though be warned: if you click through to watch it, the tune will be stuck in your head for at least the rest of the day…

Les Liasons de Madge

I rather enjoyed Lady Gaga’s performance at the VMAs.  I mean, yes, the production was a little over-the-top/insane, but that’s pretty much her deal…  Though I did laugh out loud at one comment I saw online about this performance: “DANCERS WANTED: MUST WEAR THONG ON FACE OR BE IN WHEELCHAIR”

But she has a pleasant voice and writes pretty great pop songs with the most amazing hooks…  Seriously, Chris and I both kept randomly blurting out “papa – paparazzi” on our walk home from dinner…

Of course, it also made me reminisce about the all-time best VMA performance ever, namely Madge singing (I mean “singing”) Vogue in court dress. This was perfection…  Well, near-perfection.  As my friend Ron pointed out at the time, the one thing that would’ve made it better is if they’d had headset mikes coming out of those wigs…

South Pacific

Well, it’s been a week since Chris and I saw South Pacific in NYC…  And every day since, I still find myself humming (or more often singing) “Some Enchanted Evening” or “Bali Hai.”  I’ve been lucky enough during my life so far to see many fine and memorable shows performed on Broadway and in San Francisco.  But I don’t recall ever spending a night at the theater as magical as last Friday.  This production was perfection: the cast, the orchestra, the set, the venue, the costumes, Lt. Cable’s bare chest (but I digress…).  And of course the music and lyrics are as lovely as ever.  An enchanted evening indeed and a night I shall remember forever.

When I first thought about a trip to NYC to see a bunch of shows, I brought it up to Chris over dinner – asking if we could maybe go to NYC for my birthday.  His response?  “Sure, let’s go.”  To quote Nellie Forbush, I’m in love with a wonderful guy…

Here’s a little taste of what we got to see – though needless to say, seeing the entire production at Lincoln Center is beyond compare.  Nonetheless, I challenge you not to get the shivers (or if you’re anything like me, the weepies…) when Paulo Szot sings…

UPDATED: MADGE ALERT! MADGE ALERT!

UPDATE: Listen to the whole song on YouTube.  I’m not embedding, since it’ll probably get taken down soon.  Hurry!

A longer, better quality preview clip of “Celebration” can be heard on Amazon here.  Available for purchase on August 4. I am both kvelling and plotzing.

celebrate2_

Let’s take a dance down memory lane…

Breaking, tectonik, freestyle, runway, vogue-ing… The club kids are ever changing and yet always the same.

Play That Beat – DJ Jean

MADGE ALERT! MADGE ALERT!

New single “Celebrate” being released Jul 28. Preview clip below.  It actually sounds good.  That is all.

via Towleroad

She Dreamed a Dream

So apparently (and rightly), Susan Boyle is now an internet sensation… This clip is long-ish, but so worthwhile…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Whiskers on Kittens and Dancing in Depots…

These are a few of my favorite things.

from Towleroad

Take On Me – Literally

Just stumbled across this again.  A bit of an old chestnut in internet terms – it’s been around for a couple of months – but it’s perfectly executed technically and the video choice is ideal.

Thanks Tina!

“Who the fuck anyway wants a Christmas tree?”

Cyndi Lauper just gets better and better…  Here’s her new Christmas classic with The Hives.  Sample lyrics:

I bought no tree this year
And I slept with your brother

Read the rest after the jump.

Continue reading

Single Man vs. Single Ladies

OK, so I’m probably behind the news cycle on this, but holy shit!  Miss Thing is breaking it down Beyoncé-style…  And in only one take.  Well done, sister, well done…

And, as Chris asked last night, is this Beyoncé song kinda cute?  We determined yes…  in fact, it’s actually super-cute.

thanks to Tina for the tip

Meh-donna

Saw the “Sticky and Sweet” concert on Saturday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.  The show was adequate – though considering the breathtakingly exorbitant price of the tickets, we were disappointed.

Things started off well...

The opening was pretty good (though as I predicted, she could not surpass – or even come close – to the best entrance in the history of the universe, when she emerged from a giant disco ball in couture/fetish riding togs to start off the “Confessions” concert)…  The video screen rises, revealing Madge slouched in her throne behind her usual troupe of very foxy dancers, done up in short-sleeved tuxedos and full-length gloves.

She sang (or should I say “sang”) some of her better newer and older stuff during the first half of the show, including “Vogue”, always a favorite of mine.  “She’s Not Me” was rather clever, as four dancers posed at the end of the catwalk, dressed in various incarnations of Madonna (Material Girl, Slutty Bride, Cone Bra), while Madge yanked off their wigs and furs and (predictably) made out with one of them…

"Vogue" - and yikes!

"Vogue" - and yikes!

The second half fared less well, with “You Must Love Me” and “Spanish Lesson” among the low-lights of the show. And Chris was really appalled that she was sporting clip-on bangs for this portion of the show…

Things picked up a bit as the show neared it’s end, with a very good “4 Minutes” (including Justin Timberlake on the various vidscreens scattered across the stage, Madge performing her signature bumping-and-grinding as she strutted about…) and “Hung Up”.

Still with the guitar "playing"?

Still with the guitar "playing"?

But lots of problems with the concert…  Sound system not so great…  Costumes nothing to write home about – she spent a good portion of the show prancing about in couture running shorts (yawn) and black bra and panties with fishnets – boy, we’ve never seen that before, have we?  The set was good, especially the  video monitor that breaks apart accordion-style – but there were no show-stopping props (like the disco ball, the jungle gym or the leather-studded carousel saddle from “Confessions”).  Even the stage felt a bit flat, with just a single catwalk extending into the audience.

And, Madonna, please – have a piece of cake or something.  You’re getting a bit too sinewy and haggard – it’s not a good look.  And enough with the guitar playing – we want to see you dance and “sing” and thrust your vadge…  We’re not really interested in seeing you attempt to channel Hendrix as you muddle your way through the same four chords on your ax…

So, don’t get me wrong – we enjoyed our evening (our section was filled with fun folks, too…).  But this is probably the last time we shell out top dollar to see Madge…

UPDATE: Please note that all three images in this post were snagged off the web, i.e. not taken by me…  Our seats were good, but not that good…

What Is Love?

This shuffled onto my iPod today – sweet/bittersweet lyrics and a catchy pop tune that sounds just as good today as it did twenty-five years ago…

And it was in this video that I first laid eyes on the Stravinsky Fountain next to the Centre Pompidou in Paris – still one of the most delightful sights in a city brimming with the amazing and the charming.

Sorry, no snark.  Anytime I see Paris, I’m immediately transported back to the wonderful time I spent there with my honey…  Thanks, Howard Jones, for putting a smile on the face of this semi-crotchety old grouch…

Love of Summer

Donna Summer; Paramount Theater in Oakland.  That’s right – Donna Fucking Summer! Is there really any more that needs to be said?

Well, OK – I guess I can come with a bit more than that…

Welcome the Queen!

Welcome the Queen!

She made her entrance to “The Queen is Back”, preceded by her three back-up dancers in marching uniforms (and I know that back-up dancers are generally gay…  OK, really, really gay – but the lead fellow was Super-Ultra-Mega Gay from the planet Gay-tron – of course he was also fierce…  But I digress), serenading her arrival with trumpets – pretty great – and segued into “I Feel Love” (which Chris is convinced she was lip-syncing…  eh, what’re you gonna do?  It gets a little harder to hit those high notes as the years go by, as we all know).  But then she followed up with “Dim All the Lights” and “I’m a Fire” and it was all Miss Summer all the way…  She sounded pretty darn good.

I'm a Fire

A couple more new songs, then a 15-minute intermission.  I raced from our eighth row seats and managed to be first in line at the bar (the intermission was only 15 minutes!).  As we guzzled our Chardonnay, I met my new friends who were wearing the best outfits of the evening.  Seriously, it was like they started with flannel pajamas and said “how can we make these into evening wear?” – and succeeded.  No joke, I would love to be able to pull off black-and-blue-and-white checkered pants.

Oh no she didnt...

Oh no she didn't...

So, after tossing back our drinks, we hurried back to our seats as one of Miss Summer’s back-up singers wandered out on stage with an umbrella – singing the opening lines of “No More Tears” – followed by the lady herself, clad in orange rain coat and matching orange umbrella – a matching orange umbrella with a  sequin-encrusted handle!  Chris and I were pretty much swooning (by which I mean dancing like idiots and singing along) during this number.  Next up? “MacArthur Park”.  I nearly had to reach for my smelling salts  (or maybe my poppers..?) as we went into full-blown disco-ball hot tranny mess gay-stravaganza overload.

Um, so yeah, we liked that part…

My new friends

Me and my new friends

Miss Summer sang a few more new songs (actually, pretty good – but of course we’re really all there for the oldies), then closed with “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff”.  And then the old “encore that’s not really an encore since it’s my most famous song and I haven’t sung it yet, so you know I’m coming back out” routine – but I can hardly complain about closing the evening with “Last Dance”.

Sigh…  a really fabulous night.  Unfortunately, we had to ruin it by stopping at Jack In The Box on the way home, where we ordered a 5-piece order of egg rolls, two tacos, one Monster Taco® and some fries. I actually tried to change from two tacos to just one, once I realized Chris had ordered a Monster Taco® – but as the cashier sagely (and with a certain world-weariness) pointed out, “It’s only 99¢ for two.” So very true…

We hightailed it home and ate every last bit (along with, in a marked contrast from our decidedly déclassé midnight supper, a tarte aux abricots I had picked up earlier from La Boulange – they just opened on Market at Third, which is both fantastic and extremely dangerous from a fitting-into-my-pants perspective… ). We did this because we are vile hogs…  though at least we were crying while we ate and telling each other what awful people we are…  Actually, that’s completely untrue.  We savored every scrumptious bite.

And then went right to bed – because I think I read somewhere (the internet maybe?) that eating large amounts of fried foods immediately before turning in for the night is an excellent way to maintain good health and to lose weight…

More photos of the concert on Flickr, though (thankfully) none of the post-concert feeding frenzy.

Mad About You, Mountain Winery

Monday night was the Regeneration Tour at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga.  The concert was great fun – Flock of Seagulls (surprisingly competent and enjoyable); ABC (well, really just Martin Fry – though he put on a helluva show; sounded and looked great…  but two new songs?  You’re pushing your luck just a bit there, Marty…); Belinda Carlisle (sounded good; looked great – though I’m not a fan of the dress over slacks look – especially since her sparkly top was so cute…) and Human League (wow – fantastic; though as the last act of the night, my recollection becomes a bit hazy).

As for the venue – it was superb.  High atop a hill in Saratoga, amidst a lovely old winery.  Chris and I had dinner at the “Chateau Deck” (shouldn’t it be “La Terrasse du Chateau”?).  We were seated just along the rail, with a view of the mansions and vineyards of the mega-rich below us (note to self: buy more Lotto tickets) and the mountains off in the distance.  The wait staff is made up of what I assume are local kids – they are all as nice as can be, though not the most polished of servers…  But no matter – their gregariousness more than made up for any awkwardness during service.  Our waiter, Dawson, was frankly adorable – especially as he informed us before we ordered as to the schedule for the evening’s show, referring to one of the bands as the “Human Project”. Chris mocked him throughout the evening for this gaffe…  Though once I sang the refrain to “Don’t You Want Me Baby” (quite well, per me; quite hideously, per Chris), he did recognize the song; and he had heard of the GoGo’s, so was tangentially familiar with Belinda Carlisle.

Chris and Thompson twins a la terrasse du Chateau.

Chris and Thompson Twins a la terrasse du Chateau.

At any rate, the food was adequate – like dinner at a decently catered wedding…  And all things considered, not hideously expensive.  The swarms of yellow jackets were somewhat disconcerting, though Dawson provided us with a Bounce dryer sheet – which successfully (and surprisingly) repelled most of the invaders.

After dinner, we ran into our friend Amy and her friend, Amy’s Friend.  They’d just bought their tickets the day before and had better seats than ours – talk about a complete outrage!  Luckily, however, since the Mountain Winery is a venue that caters to adults, the ushers are quite mellow and tickets are not examined very carefully.  So, when the seats next to Amy and Amy’s Friend were still unoccupied after the first act, down we went to join them.  Though I should point out that, at 2500 seats, there didn’t seem to be a bad seat in the house…  But closer is always better…

Flock of Seagulls from our first seats...

Flock of Seagulls from our first seats...

The next couple of hours were spent singing along (well, okay, screaming along) with all of our favorite hits of yesteryear.  It was great fun – a bunch of forty-somethings (not just us by the way – pretty much the entire audience) shouting “Yippee yi yippee yi aiay!” along with Martin Fry and “Here comes the mirror man” with Phillip Oakley, while we pogoed up and down (praying not to break our brittling hips – which Chris nearly did as he took a bit of a tumble when he somehow became ensnared in his own seat…).

Martin Fry from our second seats...  Wow!

Martin Fry from our second seats... Wow!

We spent the night just down the hill at the Saratoga Oaks Lodge – convenient, clean, comfortable and reasonably priced.  And much nicer than schlepping back to the City that night…

So, I heartily endorse the Mountain Winery.  A beautiful setting, an intimate venue and both a crowd and staff made up pretty much entirely of people acting like grown-ups – something one seldom encounters at a concert.

Alphabeat – “Fascination”

Chris hates this song, but I think it’s super-cute – as is the video. It’s kind of like “Walkin’ On Sunshine 2008”.