For the love of men and music

Monday, April 30, 2007

This Year's Rent?

I’m not sure how I came across the video of The Bitch Of Living from the current musical flavour of the season Spring Awakening, but regardless of how I stumbled across it, there is something about the tune and the stageing that has utterly captivated me, and has me going back and playing the song on repeat enough to drive those I live with into utter despair.

The musical, based on the controversial play of the same title by Frank Wedekind, features music by Duncan Sheik and book/lyrics by Steven Sater. Based upon what I’ve seen and heard, I can’t wait till this makes its way across the ocean.

MP3: Spring Awakening – The Bitch Of Living
MP3: Spring Awakening – Touch Me

Holy Mother

Cough! cough! sputter! sputter! The sun may be shining oustide, and the streets maybe (unseasonanably) full of men walking around with their tshirts off, but the last few weeks have seen me suffering with the flu (real flu, not man-flu). So two round of antibiotics and a years supply of Vicks products later, I’m slowly on the mend.

Twenty years after the release of her debut album, Sinead O'Connor is back with new album; Theology.

The press release accompanying the album says; “Theology is an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war…It is my own personal response to what has taken place and is affecting everyone around the world since and including September 11, 2001. I simply wanted to make a beautiful thing, out of something beautiful, which inspires me."

Theology features eight new songs written, or cowritten, by Sinead, as well as three covers: Curtis Mayfield's soul-searching "We People Who Are Darker Than Blue," an interpretation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's "I Don't Know How To Love" (from "Jesus Christ Superstar"), and the traditional reggae spiritual "Rivers of Babylon" with new lyrics written by Sinead.

The two disc album features predominantly the same songs in different forms: the minimalist acoustic "Dublin Sessions" disc was produced by traditional Irish musician Steve Cooney (In Tua Nua, The Chieftains, Mary Black), who, along with Sinead, plays guitar on the stripped-down recordings. The second disc, dubbed the "London Sessions," showcases the songs with a full band arrangements and guest artists include reggae bass legend Robbie Shakespeare.

MP3: Sinead O'Connor – Pslam 137 (Rivers OF Babylon) (Dublin Sessions version) (expired)
MP3: Sinead O'Connor – I Dont Know How To Love Him (expired)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Oh Yeah

Frank Farian has a lot to answer for in the world of pop; the man who brought us the sublime Boney M also brought us the farce of Milli Vanilli and the tragedy that was No Mercy. I recently discovered an album by one of his first projects; Gilla (the stage name of an Austrian singer (Gisela Wuchinger).

Her debut album Bend Me, Shape Me hints at the sound that would become instantly recognisable as as the Boney M sound of euro disco – while the album is pretty much middle of the road disco; one of the tracks Johnny has oddly become stuck on my playlist this week – probably because it’s like a pastiche of about 3 other disco songs.

P.S. if you think you recognise the male vocal from somewhere – Frank Farian also sang the male vocals on most of the Boney M tracks – Bobby Farrell lip synched for the performances.

MP3: Gilla – Johnny

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Yes He Is

I first discovered Go On Do It by Victor (aka Victor Beard) from the awesome Morgan Geist album Unclassics that sought to uncover classic yet not terribly well known Italo disco tracks. ‘Go On Do It’ rejoices in funked-out 1984 electrodisco beats and production from Alexander Robotnick, sexy girl background vocals, and an insane sleazy rap from Robotnick's friend from Chicago, Victor Beard.

The track is the standout track from the album for me, and I’ve spent the last 2 years looking everywhere for the full unmixed track – so it really made my day yesterday when I discovered the track lying in a mate’s record collection.

MP3: Victor – Go On Do It (expired)

Sound Track

Over the past two weeks, I’ve been spending most of my free time (and cash) watching films at the London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival – this year, there weren’t many films I watched that captured my imagination once I’d walked out of the cinema hall – the positives were Infamous (Toby Jones was amazing), the HIV documentary No Magic Bullet and the third film by Israeli director Eytan Fox: The Bubble.

The latter was a great film which had me till the last 5 mins or so when it went awol (those that have seen it will know where I’m coming from). Inspite of hating the way the film ended, there was someting about the film and the way that it portrays the relationship between an Israeli and Palestinian that stayed with me for a few days after seeing the film, to the point where I was dreaming of certain scenes from the film.

The soundtrack of the film is excellent featuring a good mix of indie and israeli artists, specifically a couple of songs by the gay israeli popstar Ivri Lider. Ivri is a previous contributor to Eytan Fox’s soundtracks – in Yossi vs Jaeger he covered Rita’s track Bo, and in The Bubble he covers the Gershwin classic The Man I Love and Tim Buckley’s Song To A Siren.

You can hear one of Ivri’s new tracks Jesse at the GLEE site as part of the promotion for the forthcoming gay themed album from Sony Music’s gay label ‘Music With A Twist’.

MP3: Ivri Lider – Bo (expired)
MP3: Ivri Lider – Song To A Siren (expired)
MP3: Ivri Lider – The Man I Love (expired)
MP3: Ivri Lider – Zachiti Le'ehov (I Was Lucky To Be Loved) (expired)