Tag: Musical Theatre

Day 999: Buh-Bye, So Long and Hallelujah

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It’s a completely valid question.

For the past 50 or so days I have been fielding one question more often than most: what am I going to do for Day 1000? Will the final kilograph reflect upon the 999 that came before, like some extended clip show of my greatest guffaws and most aww-rending moments? Will I spend my final entry in closing-credits mode, thanking those who have made this all possible and put up with my considerable dearth of free time over the last 2 years and almost 9 months?

In short… no. While my original intent was to meander down that self-serving footpath for my final article, I decided that I would only do so if I could cite the Wikipedia page that had been created about me – as it turns out, that doesn’t exist yet.

In order to figure out my final missive, I felt I should turn to the moulder of my wisdom, the sage oracle who has helped to shape my morality, my perception, and even my understanding of the world: television. I have experienced the highs and lows of series finales – certainly at least one of them could illuminate the road to a poignant, entertaining, and (most of all) worthy coda to this monstrous undertaking.

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My first option is the beloved trope of bringing back a classic character for the finale. In my case I could introduce a surprise cameo by Yoko Ono, Craig David, Mary Nissenson, or if I really want to stretch to my roots, Phineas Gage. I could style the entire piece in a blend of haiku, musical theatre and secret code (did anyone ever figure that one out?). It sounds trite and cliché, but that’s always a place to start, isn’t it? Read more…

Day 611: Scrolling Through Sputum – Worst TV Part 5

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As my television dependency shifts more and more from standardized broadcast schedules to the liberating realms of Netflix and Hulu and torrent dowloads, I find myself less and less interested in the annual fall offerings of fresh meat, filtered through tried-and-tested formulae. There was a time when a new slate of pilots would whet my curiosity at the next direction of pop culture.

Looking back, the year that ultimately steered my obsession with network TV into the shallow waters of rehabilitation was 1990. Some good shows found their way out of the sludge of mediocrity that year: Law & Order, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Parker Lewis Can’t Lose all popped up in 1990, but we were also handed more than our fair share of drek.

This year… who knows? I hear Seth McFarlane has a live-action sitcom and AMC is plugging the ever-loving hell out of Low Winter Sun, but that’s all I’m really aware of. Twenty-three years later and my expectations are still tempered by the crapfest from 1990. Will we ever sink this low again? My guess is probably.

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This really happened. While NBC was pushing that giant Law & Order boulder down the mountain – the fragmentary pieces of which are still rolling along with a steady momentum – ABC felt that what was really missing from the standard police procedural was the bright splash of musical theatre. Read more…

Day 64: “Hail Capua!” – An Excerpt From My New Musical About 9th Century Italy

The scene: the Bridge of Teodemondo, over the Volturno River. The year: 859. The cast: Lando I, the Count of Capua; Lando II, his eldest son, general of the Capuan army; Peter, the youngest son of Lando I. They are waiting in a tower overlooking the bridge, where a battle is about to take place. The attacking forces from Naples, Amalfi, Salerno, and Suessola will soon be arriving, and Lando II is leading the battle. Lando I has been stricken with paralysis – he will watch the battle from the tower with his young son.

 

LANDO I: I foresee this as our most important battle, my son. Is your army prepared?

LANDO II: Yes, father. These are our most seasoned and experienced soldiers. And Peter, of course.

LANDO I: Ah, Peter. How I wish you could taste the meaty flesh of battle on this day.

PETER: Why can I not, father?

LANDO I: You simply cannot. And you will not.

 

<<music begins>>

 

PETER (to audience): Why must they tease me? Why must they doubt me?

It must be because of my name.

Why are they cruel to me? Constantly fooling me?

Must be because of my name.

Why name your sons Lando and Landulf and Pando?

Why Landenulf, all names so neat?

His daughter Landelaica, sweet sounds the tongue make-a,

Then call his youngest son Pete?

Dad isn’t up for this battle, yet still

He keeps me up here at the top of the hill.

I must abide every word of his will,

Yet just one Napoli troop I’d love to kill!

 

(the music picks up in intensity. Two rows of people in lobster costume enter from the back and dance in front of the three men, then exit stage right)

Read more…

Day 60: Speed Niggs & The Weirdness of German Rock Music

Who says the Germans don’t have a sense of humor?

Today I’ll be checking out the German indie rock scene, or at least as much of it as I can fit into a kilograph. My interest was immediately piqued by the card I pulled from the Wiki-deck today: Speed Niggs.

Is that an offensive name? Is it offensive that I’m even asking that question? I don’t know, but these guys came out of a freshly united Germany (they formed in 1989), so I’m sure they were still getting a grasp on Western Capitalist Culture.

Their first album was called Boston Beigel Yeah! I ran the middle word through Google Translate, and it turns out ‘beigel’ is German for ‘beigel’. I’m not sure that’s completely accurate. Or if you can put lox on it.

Apparently their music ‘can be classified between classical rock acts like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and songwriters like Neil Young’. Alright, I’m intrigued. I watched a video for one of their songs, and while the quality sounds like it’s being played on an Edison wax cylinder that either is or has recently been on fire, the song itself isn’t bad. It’s a shame I can’t locate a track off their third album, entitled 667 – Right Between The Dicks. I’m sure that stuff is downright haunting.

Another band from recently-de-commied Germany is the 90s rock group known as Fuckin Wild. They apparently cite blues, progressive rock and middle eastern influences, which sounds like something a band would say if they want to be considered as high-brow rock. Their first album was called Live Fast, Love Hard, And Get Into The Boogie, which may explain why they weren’t more successful. Nobody in the 1990s was interested in the boogie. The rest of the world had officially checked the boogie into the musical retirement home in 1982. Read more…