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Cover Battle – “Bohemian Rhapsody” September 19, 2014

 

Bohemian Rhapsody“. What words can I use to describe it?. Epic. Operatic. Dramatic. Theatrical. Performed by the legendary group Queen, this … masterpiece is like nothing you’ve ever heard. It sweeps through different tempos and stylings and vocals and levels. Excuse my French, but, it’s mother-fucking-brilliant! As such, this is one of those songs you think of as untouchable, not that others haven’t tried. But for most, they’d consider it sacrosanct – not to be tampered with, redone, reimagined, or covered. Except by The Muppets. Theirs is the only alternate version I would even deem worthy. It’s totally cute and hilarious and fun. But that’s it. Up until last week, that is.

 

During the season episode of the final season [ :-( ] of Sons of Anarchy, the ending montage begins – a variety of scenes with a musical underscore – I’m looking at the screen, and listening to the music. I hear the opening words, and they sound familiar, and I’m like “wait – what? No. No way; they did not do this” But yes, they did: they covered “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

 

The musical director for SOA, Bob Thiele, has always been incredibly adept about finding just the right songs for the show. They’ve redone a few other songs over the years, that I never thought I would like as covers and they’ve blown me away each and every time. This was no different. I was floored by the audacity, but it was so well done, and so appropriate, that I loved it.

 

As mentioned above, the cover done by The Muppets is a true joy. Not only do they cover the song, but they pretty much recreate the stance of the original Queen video. They do change the words in some parts to fit into the whole Muppets world, but it’s still pretty perfect.

 

In checking the internet, I also found another really fun one. It’s a parody version with a Star Wars basis. It’s well executed, with a lot of attention to detail. I’m sure it would go over big at any Comic Con.

 

The group Panic! At the Disco does a live version which, surprisingly, I actually like. I don’t think it has the same force and power as Freddie Mercury’s vocal with Queen, but it’s really, really good. And I’m not just saying that because the lead singer is shirtless, I swear.

 

Actor and singer Adam Lambert performs parts of the song on stage with the surviving members of Queen. During the performance they play major portions of the original video, then Adam and the band come back in. It’s very effective and captivating. It gave me chills.

 

Adam actually performed the song for his audition on American Idol. Leading judge Simon Cowell clued into his theatricality and flair, and seemed a little unsure of him being a good fit for the competition. He ultimately gave him a “yes” vote. As did the other 3 judges, enthusiastically, because Adam is a good singer. The drama and exuberance is just a thrilling bonus.

 

In addition to performing the song with Adam Lambert, the band also did a performance of it with Elton John, tackling the earlier, more ballad-like section, and Guns N’ Roses front man Axl Rose, taking on the later raucous role. They come together for the very end. I like hearing Elton’s voice. There’s a true respect and admiration for the material, the band, and Freddie that’s evident in his care with the song. Axl gives the later hard rock section his usual all-out frenetic gusto. It’s a respectable job.

 

A few years ago, a new hotel, The Cosmopolitan, was opening up in Vegas and they brought out a series of really … interesting commercials. (Their tag line was “Just the right amount of wrong”.) One of them featured the song, acted out, in a very dramatic way, using only the lyrics. The guitar riffs and whatnot were brought in at the end. I thought it was very creative and successfully done.

 

The most unexpected cover has to be the one from Jake Shimabukuro’s 2010 TED Talk presentation. On the ukelele. It’s unbelievably cool. This video is longer than the other versions only because they tack on a 3 minute Rolex commercial at the end. So, unless you’re seriously into Rolex watches you can shut it off after the 7:03 mark.

 

As they tend to be, cover versions done by William Shatner are usually pretty out there and have a strongly WTF? flavor. But this has to be one of the most batshit crazy things I’ve heard in quite some time. I think medication might be in order. For him, and for me.

 

I found a documentary on the making of “Bohemian Rhapsody” that you might also be interested in. It runs just under an hour.

   

   

 

Where are they now? September 17, 2014

Filed under: Found Objects — jerzygirl45 @ 1:29 pm
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Where Are They Now? from Steve Cutts on Vimeo.

 

That awkward moment when Tesco replaces walnut bread with octopus September 13, 2014

Filed under: Found Objects — jerzygirl45 @ 12:14 pm
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That awkward moment when Tesco replaces walnut bread with octopus.

 

Cover Battle – “Best of My Love” September 5, 2014

   

Looking at the title of this week’s song you might think I’m getting forgetful and starting to repeat myself. (Ha-ha Starting? That ship has sailed, my friend)

 

Last week we had “Best of My Love” by The Emotions; this week we have “Best of My Love” by the Eagles. Different song, though, so this isn’t a comparison to the previous one.

   
   

 

The Eagles are a Southern California rock group. They rock; they croon; they satisfy a lot of different musical yearnings. They’ve written some of the best songs of all time. At least in my opinion they have. They are definitely one of my faves.

 

This “Best of My Love” is a slow, heartfelt, soul-deep reflection of a relationship on its last legs. The lyrics of the song are so spot on: you love someone; you try to make it work and be the best version of yourself, but sometimes actions don’t always equal intent. And then after it falls apart, you “monday morning quarterback” your way over the whole thing. You forgive your partner; you forgive yourself, and realize you both only had the best of intentions but it all got away from you.

 

Although written by Eagles collaborators Don Henley and Glenn Frey (along with J.D. Souther), the song was released by someone else prior to the group’s recording of it. The actual first version was done by John Lees of Barclay James Harvest. All I can say is “Holy mother of crap – MAKE IT STOP!!”

 

Within the first 2 or 3 notes I knew it was gonna be tough to sit through. I mean, first of all there’s twang. Extreme amounts of twang. And I totally get that the Eagles’ music might be seen as a good basis for adding twang. But if you do it well it won’t annoy me so much. This is not a subtle or artful use of twang.

 

Also, it reminds me of the worst kind of elevator muzak, dentist office waiting room, brainwashed stepford wives village mall music. It’s not even palatable enough to be an acceptable form of karaoke. It sounds totally corny and lame. Frankly, I consider it an abomination. To music. To the Eagles. To my eardrums.

 

Now to be fair I actually went and listened to (well, tried to listen to) a couple of their other works. They’re actually a little bit better than on this cover, but I’m still not thrilled with their stuff.

 

Singer Yvonne Elliman does a slightly peppier, more up-tempo version. Her voice is light and a touch breathy. She doesn’t really add anything interesting to the song. It’s very bland and not something I’d return to for another listen.

 

I like hearing this in Rod Stewart’s scratchy voice. It’s a good arrangement, and even though you clearly hear a strong undertone of the Eagles … twang (there, I said it. Okay?) it’s not overpowering. The tempo, arrangement and Rod’s vocals work well together. It’s an Eagles song but it’s definitely Rod Stewart doing it his own way, while still honoring the group’s original. (I’m still considering it the original even though it’s not).

 

Following in the words of Monty Python “And now, for something completely different …” , I have the reggae group Aswad. There’s absolutely no sign of twang anywhere in this piece. Even with the radically different sound Aswad still keeps to the original reflective feel of the Eagles’ intent. Surprisingly I actually like it, and think it was pretty well-done.

 

For the last cover I have an actual country version. It’s by the duo of Brooks and Dunn. It’s got the requisite slide guitar twang, but it not really obnoxious about it. I mean, they’re a country duo and the twang is an expected element, but I’m cool with it here. There’s a nice smooth drumbeat here that I appreciate. I could actually enjoy this one.


 

   

   

 

BBC News – The Doctor Who fan who created the show’s new titles August 23, 2014

BBC News – The Doctor Who fan who created the show's new titles.

 

Cover Battle – “Chim Chim Cheree” August 22, 2014

 

Chim Chim Cheree” is a highlight of the Disney film Mary Poppins. It’s mostly sung by Dick Van Dyke, as a chimney sweep (Cockney accent? Not a success.) and the two little children accompanying him. Towards the end Julie Andrews joins in with Dick. (I didn’t mean that to sound dirty, but now that it does I’m gonna roll with it.)

 

In the song there’s a line “When there’s hardly no day , Nor hardly no night, there’s things half in shadow, And half way in light” that sounds, if not quite ominous, then at least a bit haunted or potentially disturbing. The version by Turin Brakes changes the tune from a light cheerful ditty to something darker and more serious. In this video version, we’re confronted with the face of homelessness. We look in the eyes of people we try to avoid and ignore and see that they’re human; just like us. The juxtaposition of the images with this happy, magical song from childhood is striking and takes you aback. I actually enjoyed this reworking. I think it’s quite wonderfully done. Please note: all proceeds from the sale of this song go to shelters in Amarillo, Texas and in the UK.

 

Next I have a version from the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, about the efforts it took to get Mary Poppins to the screen. It’s a lovely little piano piece, with a recitation from Colin Farrell , who plays the father of P.L. Travers, the creator of Mary Poppins.

 

Allan Sherman did a very funny parody lampooning the myriad number of products sold on tv.

 

Duke Ellington does an excellent take on this, adding horns, drum and big orchestration, without overpowering the piece. It’s very jazzy and truly elegant. The music ends around the 2:48 mark, but for some reason the vid continues on for over a minute more. This is the only one I found with just this song on it. There’s another YouTube hit for Ellington’s version but it has 4 other songs as well, and goes on for 15 minutes. So take your pick.

 

The Manheim Steamroller version is strictly instrumental. It starts out very creepy, then adds a sense of whimsy. It sounds like something that you’d hear on the soundtrack for a Tim Burton film. In that context it might be kind of cool, but just listening to it on the fly, it’s a little weird and a bit macabre.

 

In the hands of Esperanza Spalding this song is it’s virtually unrecognizable, though not in a bad way. It’s mostly instrumental with a little vocalization thrown in here and there. It sounds completely magical and she transforms it into high art.

 

Not too sure what to make of the last one here. It’s just a snippet, and it’s performed by comedian David Alan Grier, in the movie Amazon Women on the Moon. There’s even a B.B. King cameo. David’s part ends around the 3:55 mark. I’m not sure what’s going on with this movie but I think I might have to check it out.

 

   

   

 

Dame Twerking August 10, 2014

 

Three words that I never considered would ever be in the same sentence:

 

Helen.

Mirren.

Twerking.

 

 

 

Yet, now that I see it I’m wishing someone would do a mashup of these people following suit:

 

Dame Judy Dench

Dame Maggie Smith

Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Derek Jacoby

Sir Patrick Stewart

Idris Elba

David Tennant (and every other living Doctor Who)

 

My brain. It’s a scary place.

 

exploding_head_animation_by_vaneetra

   

 

“Red Hot” Exhibit Of Redhead Bringing Scarlet Fever To New York: PHOTOSNewNowNext July 28, 2014

"Red Hot" Exhibit Of Redhead Bringing Scarlet Fever To New York: PHOTOSNewNowNext.

 

This gif almost makes it interesting, but … nah July 24, 2014

   

50 SHADES - SML

   

 

He’s coming – August 23, 2014 July 23, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — jerzygirl45 @ 6:40 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

   

PETER CAPALDI AS "THE DOCTOR"

PETER CAPALDI AS “THE DOCTOR”

   

Doctor Who Series 8 Iconic

   

 

 
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