Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Lollapalooza, Rock n' Roll and where we're at in 2024


Back in the summer of 1991, with a newly minted driver's license, I drove from Spring, Texas to Austin.  We picked up a friend of my brother's, and then we pivoted, driving into Dallas just before dusk.  

The next day, my brother, his buddy Mike, my buddy Scott and I attended Day 1 of the first two dates in Dallas of the first Lollapalooza tour.  Back then, Lollapalooza was fairly small, and a roving event that moved the artists and associated folks from city to city.  Dallas had sold better than expected, so they added a second day, which was, because of scheduling, the day before the original date.

We kind of knew about the music festivals in Europe, but at the time, music festivals here had sort of died out except for the very successful Monsters of Rock thing (the history and complexity of which I won't get into here).  Bands mostly played 2-3 acts together at most.  Something like Reading was way out of reach on our shores.  You had to have Farm Aid to see anything like a festival that I was really aware of.

Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell somehow cooked up the idea of his caravan of 120 Minutes friendly bands (we did not have the term Alternative in 1991), pulling together a fascinating herd of musicians, hitting cities all across the US.  That I could see Jane's Addiction, Ice-T, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Rollins Band in one day was mind-boggling.  As promised Farrell also brought along artists and international food I wasn't familiar with (I recall looking for food from Africa every year and never regretting it).

Monday, December 14, 2009

Rock It, Bing

Pretty much exactly what one sees at League HQ come Christmas time.

Leaguers may not know, but I once had an affinity for the vocal stylings of Mr. Bing Crosby. It has greatly informed my approach to singing Christmas Carols. Except... I can't sing. So... it gets interesting.

This clip is from "Holiday Inn", which will run on cable over the Holidays. There are some seriously dodgy moments in the movie when it comes to race-relations of the time, and some versions cut out a particularly questionable sequence (the film loses nothing, and its about as offensive of a scene as you're likely to find).

Anyhow, Crosby's cover of "White Christmas" is one of the best selling records of all time, and, in fact, spawned a movie entitled "White Christmas", also starring Crosby. Both are a good way to kill an hour or so over the Holidays.

Crosby was considered a bit of a heart-throb in his day, and had a mind-blowingly long career, spanning around 5 full decades, dominating the charts for much of the pre-Rock-n'Roll era. He was, in fact, a hero of Sinatra's before Sinatra was Sinatra.

Anyhow, here's Bing and Bowie.

Throw in David Byrne, and this video would literally melt my brain.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Madonna, eat Lady Gaga's Dust

Lauren and Randy pointed to this video, and I can see why.

In the tradition of pop stars who relied upon image, sex and production value over any actual ability to sing or dance and who aren't necessarily traditionally beautiful, Lady Gaga is picking up where Madonna dropped off when I was in high school. No doubt this video would have been "controversial" in the late-80's and early 1990's for, basically, freaking out The Moral Majority.

Today, its just a particularly well-produced video. But, nonetheless, Mom, you can probably skip this one.

If I wasn't a fan before, they had me from 3:43 to the end

Despite the fact its a fairly standard driving disco song, it's clever and sort of tragic and fits in with Gaga's over-the-topishness in a way I can't help but admire. Seriously, whether I love the music or not (and I actually do like this track), I have to salute that this isn't going weird for Lady Gaga, but from what I can tell, this is sort of where her persona lives.

I am reminded of how vague accusations seemed to surface that Madonna had co-opted, processed and (possibly accidentally) made okay for the Pepsi Generation the culture of the gay community to create a persona at times, and its hard to look at Lady Gaga and not get the same, vibe. There's something oddly Hedwig-like about the personality she's creating that I wonder how it sits with John Cameron Mitchell. At minimum, the lush costuming, elaborate make-up, etc... seems lifted from a drag show. And I'd guess I'm not the only one whose reading some of that, as, after all, the lady was accused of packing just this summer (which I think was disproved, but am also fairly certain is a little irrelevant).

But I gotta go with Randy and Lauren on this. I'm digging the video, and on view #4, the song.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The League Sings

photo courtesy Mr. Harms

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Weezer + Snuggie

I am most likely late to the party on this, but:

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Batman Musical 2

So I got to looking, and there are actually several musical versions of Batman on YouTube.

From "Batman: Beyond". An aged Batman attends a performance of a musical based on his life.

Batman does the Batusi

Batman sings "Am I Blue"

Here's a whole site dedicated to a Batman Broadway show that almost happened. Seriously, this had Tim Burton and other big name people attached.

Which may have been canceled in the wake of this MadTV skit, which in turn was a direct response to where Warner Bros. and Joel Schumacher's inability to reconcile their ideas regarding Batman. See "Batman and Robin" for how that worked out.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Batman Sings!

If you didn't see "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" this Friday, woe unto you.

For the season premiere, the producers put together a musical episode, featuring NPH as "The Music Meister".

This is exactly the sort of place where your comic fans who get into comics to see "edginess" and myself part ways. I WANT to see NPH singing as a villain, Gorilla Grodd dancing and Black Canary belting out a tune. If I've one regret, its that the show has a moratorium on using Superman, who I would love to see lighting up the Great White Way.

If you see the episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister" as an option on your DVR, I highly recommend recoding.

By the way, Grey DeLisle did a fantastic job singing. Which I learned should come as no surprise as, in addition to her extensive voice-over career, she has several albums to her name.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Light Monday

Item #1:

Randy sent this item:

Apparently somebody (possibly the California Dairy Council?) put together a Rock Opera about... a sci-fi future in which milk has made everything better. Look, I can't explain it. But if you've got 20 minutes or so, be prepared to have your world rocked.


Seriously, you need to watch this thing. Its mind boggling.

Item #2:

I think the McBride siblings will appreciate this most of all:

Bacon Narwhal

Stolen from Calvin

Item #3:

Apparently, Dr. Robert Bakker, one of the most famous of paleontologists, is now at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I have no idea how long he's been there, but I just saw him on a NatGeo documentary, and that's where he's at. Who knew?

I read Bakker's book "The Dinosaur Heresies" partially in high school and then all the way through in college. He's an interesting guy, and I'd be curious to know what's going on at that museum that they landed Bakker. Sounds like they've upped the ante since I used to go there in high school every few months.


I'm not sure about Bakker's reputation these days, but the way I was told in college (back in the mid-90's): he was not loved by the dino-community as he had sort of by-passed the usual route of scientific research, publishing and debate via journals and conferences, and instead went straight to a publisher and got his book out there to the public. "The Dinosaur Heresies" title was a reference to Bakker acknowledging that his hypotheses weren't accepted by the dino-community, but he wasn't letting that slow him down. And in the end, some of what he proposed is now widely accepted as theory.

More milege may vary.

I don't have an opinion on the whole thing, and I don't even know if my facts are correct.

I really, really hope a mention of Bakker doesn't accidentally draw a bunch of angry paleontologists in the comments section.

Item 4:

I'm going to get an Aye-Aye, and I'm going to put it in your kitchen.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vera Lynn, Solomon Kane, K in hospital

Vera, what has become of you...?

Vera Lynn has hit the top of the UK album charts at age 92. Former teenagers may remember Vera Lynn's name from the Pink Floyd album, The Wall.

The RAF is kind of awesome, even when singing

I'm not entirely clear on why Lynn is having a resurgence at the moment, but the Andrews Sisters better start polishing their dance shoes.

Moster-Fightin' Puritan Solomon Kane headed for theaters

Do you like awesome things? I do.

Robert E. Howard was a prolific guy in his short life. You probably know his most famous work, Conan, thanks to the 1980's Arnie movie.

While a lot of Howard's work (Kull, Red Sonja, Thulsa Doom) is sort of cut from similar cloth, Solomon Kane is a puritan with a bible and a gun who doesn't take kindly to supernatural terrors.

While The League is often disappointed in the final products Hollywood churns out as they adapt different characters (I mean, I almost wept through the last 2/3rds of Van Helsing), you have to hope that some of these will wind up okay, just by statistical probability.

Also, Kobayashi is in this movie. Go figure.

I suspect this is going to be really bad, but... what the heck. I want to see what they do the idea.

College Days

Ever wonder what college was like for The League and JAL?

Metaphorically, it was exactly like this...

credit for the clip: co-worker Adam of A&M

Kristen Doing Better

You probably missed it, but Jamie's soon-to-be sister-in-law (finance of The Dug) landed herself in the hospital over the weekend. She had a routine if not-minor surgery, and seems on her way to recovery.

This is good.

K and Dug are getting married in a few weeks at the end of the month (where I am performing a singing solo. They just don't know it yet).

So let's all wish K a swift recovery, so we're not wheeling her up the aisle on a dolly.

K has been around for a number of years now, and is already in the McB family by default, the wedding just making official how everyone has felt for a good long while. So, yes, we want her in top fighting form for the wedding, but we mostly just want her back to doing backflips as soon as possible.

Joe Wilson's got nuthin' on Kanye

A huge tip o' the sombrero to Jason Craft for this one

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The League Watches: Glee

If my Facebook friends are any indication, I am not the only one who has tuned into Fox's new program "Glee".

Fox did something fairly smart, originally broadcasting the pilot last spring, and then offering it for free online all summer long, let the buzz grow online and at places like Entertainment Weekly, rebroadcast the pilot (which is, honestly, very good) and then got the season going again with episode 2 broadcast last week.

That's not going to work for every show, but a show that needs to find its audience by word of mouth and from trusted sources rather than a blitz of ads... I guess I think the same approach would have helped "Arrested Development" with a stronger start in teh ratings, and give people an idea of the sense of humor the show had instead of going back grazing to "According to Jim" and "Everybody Loves Raymond".

Nickel synopsis:

"Glee" is about a high school teacher who dearly loves his job, and gets the opportunity to coach the unpopular and underfunded Glee Club at the school. The same school where he led the Glee Club to nationals in 1993. Which makes the character just about my age.

The characters include what should be crude stereotypes for the kids, focusing for now on the "girl with a dream" who firmly believes too much in her aspirations of Broadway, and the jock who is realizing he likes to sing.

But any show that wraps with a spirited rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'"... that goes from a pomo chuckle to actually hitting that sweet spot of the Broadway musical by songs end... hey, my hat is off.

The show equally (for now) follows the teachers at the school. The aforementioned Glee Club coach, a football coach who actually isn't that interested in his job, a germ-o-phobe guidance counselor, beleagured but shrewd principal, and Jane Lynch (who I can't cook up enough superlatives to describe) as the cheerleading coach who has won nationals and has let it maybe go to her head a little.

The League was, of course, a drama kid, so I feel I have some small insight into the non-sports high school world and the adults who led us kids. But Jamie was actually in Show Choir in high school, so I think she's particularly entertained (Hey, She's headed for the future...!).

Its tough to describe the sense of humor of the show, but its certainly got a knowing wink and a nod to the world of high school that you aren't going to find in shows like 90210. And its treatment of the adults who live in that world isn't bad, either. There's an interesting juxtaposition between the kids with their future ahead of them and the adults who are looking at doors potentially shutting around them.

While I adore Jane Lynch in pretty much everything she ever appears in, the character who rings oddly, insanely true is Rachel Berry, the wanna-be-a-star heroine of the show. We didn't necessarily have anyone with that myopic view of stardom at KOHS, but I spent 7 weeks at drama camp*, and the number of kids who believed they were headed for stardom.. tomorrow... was astounding.

Anyway, you sort of have to love that dame.

One thing I've noticed... there are different styles of acting (no, really). Broadway and stage actors have certain habits that you can see (in front of a camera, they might forget they are not projecting to the back of a theater). When you listen to the delivery of lines by the leads, occasionally you pick up that odd lilt to their lines that doesn't sound weird in musical theater, but on a Fox TV show... Anyway, it doesn't bother me, especially as I know that by necessity, they were working with musical theater people... but every once in a while, actors Matthew Morrison and Lea Michele sound a bit like they're voicing for a Disney movie.

The Music:

I have no idea what actually happens in Glee Clubs and Show Choirs across the country, but I do know that there's a hopelessly optimistic view of music as its processed by the show choir directors.

So seeing bright-eyed kids wearing matching outfits singing Amy Winehouse's "Rehab" rings just about right. That the pilot winds up with Journey, and the second episode features Kanye and Salt'n'Pepa is something The League can only salute.

It could be a one note joke to see covers of popular favorites, but I think the producers are savvy enough that they know how they can make this work.


The League recommends.

*Yeah. Drama camp. I said it. It was money well spent as it showed me that I was not going to major in drama in college.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Elvis Costello's 2.75 hour show means no post for you

This evening I went to see Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes at the Bass on the UT Campus with British person, Simon (not Canadian Simon, whom you know an love).

Costello is on a Country kick, so we heard some of this...

and he also did old favorites, like this:

only more acoustic-y

He also wrapped it up with a blend of a Costello song "Five Small Words" and Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away". Which, oh hey... its also on YouTube

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The "Ideal" Bowie Song?

I think you may have seen this at io9, but...

This honest-to-god scientist analyzed Bowie's popular work and cooked up a song based on what he felt were the common elements of the tunes. There's a lot of explanation at the beginning, but its sort of an interesting notion.

The guy is not, however, Bowie. So we will never know. Except that, seriously, you gotta think Bowie's going to give this a shot...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kind of Bloop

Because its funny to see Nathan C. freak out.

Miles Davis: Kind of Blue as an 8-Bit

It may also sound like the only video game Nathan would be really motivated to play

from Dan G.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Artifact: KLF and Miss Tammy Wynette

I had forgotten this existed until this evening. I don't know if I'd seen it before, but I seem to recall Shoemaker telling me about it at some point.

I find it baffling that I just blanked on this thing for what must have been the last 16 years, but, dang yo. Sometimes I miss the 90's.

Found at CCCofC

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Turn Around Bright Eyes

So I spent a lot of today in Waco, where my organization holds training through our partner institution, Baylor University.

Its a short drive, and I like Baylor's campus, which is much more traditionally "campusy" than the white block of cement I work in as a state employee.

Anyhow, afterward we headed to Austin Books to meet up with Jackbart and support him during his signing. I also met Alan Porter, who is working on the Cars comic for Boom and Pixar, and who is a bit of a James Bond expert (I bought his James Bond book). And I met Paul Benjamin, the guy handling the Monsters, Inc. comic.

It was a lot of fun!

Hit Mandola's for dinner, and now I'm home. Ran the dogs, watered some trees, etc...

So its been a long day.

Going off to read and then sleep.

So here's a very important link sent to the League Priority Channel, via Randy.

A Total Eclipse of the Heart Flowchart.

Also received this link from one of the folks at Newsy. It's on Usain Bolt's amazing sprint, and looks at the size of today's athletes.

I think I have t-shirts older than the anchor in that clip.

Also, for Mad Men fans: Mad Libs.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Anyone want an ACL Fest Ticket for Friday?

I'm looking to unload Friday ACL Fest ticket. No mark up. I'll sell it for what I paid for it.

Date is October 2nd, 2009. Here's the schedule for that day.