Ash and I have been listening to Mortal City by Dar Williams in the car recently. In particular, we really like track eight, “The Pointless, Yet Poignent Crisis of a Co-Ed.”
And another thing, what kind of a name is “Students Against the Treacherous Use of Fur”?
Fur is already dead, and besides, a name like that doesn’t make a good acronym.
It’s a good album, as long as you like really, really folky music. We generally do.
Some of the American Idol contestants are decent, I guess, but I’ll tell you who my idol is: Robin Sparkles. She’s got the best music video ever.
The new Broadway musical Spring Awakening is based on an 1891 German play about teenagers discovering their sexuality in a strict, prudish German town. The adults are unwilling to be straightforward and honest with the teenagers about the changes they’re experiencing, and the children are victimized and hurt as a direct result.
The play has essentially been translated verbatim, but songs have been added and both characters and plot points have been fleshed out. The play still takes place in 1890’s Germany (apparent in the costumes and minimal set pieces), but the songs are full-on modern rock.
It actually works remarkably well. The songs generally happen as inner monologues, or as expressions of emotion when words aren’t enough. And it makes sense that in these teenagers’ heads, they hear something akin to rock music. Because rock music has always represented youth, and how youth is misunderstood by the adult world around it.
The show is edgy, unexpected, and full of captivating, addictive tunes. It’s satirical in both comedic and dramatic ways, and it tells its story very well. It also helps that the cast of young actors (plus the two adult actors who play all of the adult characters) are superb, easily attacking both the rock music and the antiquated dialogue with great conviction.
I don’t want to say too much about the content of the show, because you need to see it for yourself. A limited number of $25 student tickets are available at the box office beginning at ten o’clock daily, and there are always seats on stage available for $36 if you’re not squeamish about that sort of thing.
I was all excited waiting for the new Barenaked Ladies EP, Barenaked for Hanukkah. And then it finally came out (exclusively on music download sites), and…
It’s just three songs. One is a track taken directly from Barenaked for the Holidays, another is a live version of a song from Barenaked for the Holidays, and the third is “I Have a Little Dreidel,” which is less than a minute long. Lame!
I’m listening to Elegies: A Song Cycle right now. It’s a musical revue by William Finn from a couple years ago. As much as I love Spelling Bee, it’s really sad to me that a lot of people will buy the Spelling Bee cast album and think that simplistic music is all William Finn has to offer.
So if you’re buying Spelling Bee and want to buy something else (to qualify for the free shipping), please consider also buying a better example of his work, like Elegies.
Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years, Songs for a New World, et al) released a new album a couple weeks ago. It’s not a musical; it’s just a collection of random songs he wrote. But this time, he sings them:
Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes
Some of the songs were cut from (or at least written for but not used in) his musicals. If you’re a fan of The Last Five Years, this album is a necessity because it includes the song “I Could Be in Love With Someone Like You,” which was cut from The Last Five Years (and replaced with “Shiksa Goddess”) because of a lawsuit from Jason’s ex-wife.
For those of you not into musicals, you might still give this album a listen. It doesn’t sound like musical theatre… I think I’d describe it as “piano blues” or even “country without a drawl.” If someone else has a better classification for it, I’m open to suggestions.
Remember how I wanted to do a musical using the songs of The Cure? Well, they didn’t exactly steal my idea, but…
The Smiths–a band from Manchester, England, whose singer and lyricist, Morrissey, taught a generation-wide cult how to mope with melodramatic self-consciousness–are getting…Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others, a music-theater piece based on Smiths songs. [Read more.]
Dammit! It’s too similar! Now I have to choose another totally different band, like Daft Punk or Fine Young Cannibals.
When my hard drive mechanically failed last year, it was impossible to recover any of the data from it. Fortunately most of it was backed up on my laptop, on my iPod, or on CDs. The big casualty, however, was an album of photos taken at Sammi’s Halloween party (the night before I left for New York).
Last week when my new hard drive failed (non-mechanically), I purchased some file recovery software so that I could copy all of the data off the drive. Now, this software still wouldn’t be able to do anything for the mechanically failed drive, but it sparked an idea.
I decided to run the file recovery software on my digital camera’s memory card. Lo and behold, it was able to “un-delete” several of the photos from Sammi’s Halloween party, and I was a happy camper.
I immediately placed an order for Sondheim Sings, Vol. 1: 1962-72 when it came out today. I read about it on Playbill:
The disc, the first in a series produced by Peter E. Jones, “utilizes the demos held in Stephen Sondheim’s private collection, and consists of the composer-lyricist singing and playing songs from such shows as A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Anyone Can Whistle, Company, Follies and A Little Night Music, among others, all digitally remastered.” [Read more.]
I know I’ll enjoy this (even though I’m sure Steve isn’t a great singer) for the same reason I liked hearing (and seeing) William Finn and Jason Robert Brown playing and singing their own songs: There’s just something so perfect about the way a songwriter interprets the meaning of his own song.
Speaking of “The OC,” I found a web site that tells you every song used in every episode. Now I can be totally sure that Onelinedrawing has never been used. I mean, not that I’d really care if they were, because some great bands have been used (Jem, Death Cab for Cutie, Belle and Sebastian), but I just think it’s important that I heard about them from my friend Traci instead of a television show.