Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

“Once” Wins the Tony for Best Musical

June 11, 2012



The great indie film “Once,” starring Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard and his collaborator Czech singer-songwriter Marketa Irglova, was apparently turned into a Broadway musical. I missed the whole thing. Fall asleep for one damn minute in this world and by the time you wake up, there’s some new Facetweet Tumblepress shit munching up the airwaves, Live Journal is owned by the Russians, Friendster is huge in the Philippines and your phone cashes checks.

Anyway, “Once” won the Best Musical Tony this year. Above, the cast performs at the awards ceremony. Keep an eye out for some major cello-fu; seriously, I didn’t even know you could pull shit like that with a cello strapped to your pievault. Way to go, cello dude.

Hansard and Irglova are great and “Once” is well worth checking out if you like melancholy, beautiful, highly atmospheric and melodic folk-pop.

Here are Hansard and Irglova performing what is to me the most beautiful song from the film, “Falling Slowly,” live at Amoeba Records (I think it’s the one on Haight Street, but it could be Berkeley) in 2007:



once broadway poster



Flight of the Conchords: Bowie2Bowie

June 7, 2012



Jemaine Stardust

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the 40th anniversary of the release of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, witness Brett’s “frEAKy dREAm” from the Flight of the Conchords episode “Bowie’s In Space.” That’s some New Zealand comedy so good that it almost killed me when I first saw it.

Do they really like Bowie down under, man?

Where better?

In addition to Bret’s freaky dream, don’t miss the brilliant “Bowie’s in Space/Bowie2Bowie” medley from the same episode.




A few choice lyrics:

Isn’t it cold out in space, Bowie?

Do you want to borrow my jumper, Bowie?

Does the space cold make your nipples go pointy, Bowie?

Do you use your pointy nipples as telescopic antennae to transmit data back to Earth?

Bet you do, you freaky old bastard you

Hey Bowie, do you have one really funky sequined space suit?

Or do you have several ch-changes?

Do you smoke grass out in space, Bowie?

Or do they smoke Astroturf?




Forty Years On, Man: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars

June 7, 2012

My good friend and fellow tawdry-taste glam-spammer Alex S. Johnson alerted me (as did several other sources) that yesterday, June 6, was the 40th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s classic The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

This was one of my favorite albums when I was in the second half of high school and made a huge mark on my psychological (some would say “psychiatric”) development. Tell me straight, man, does that maybe explain some of those freaky danced-up spikers, man, like the quick fly rule jewels, the sky high rude games, and the heart stain spy game commanders on the wrapper taste folly flies of the monkey train?

Ever since those days, I’ve always subscribed to Bowie’s philosophy that if you can’t think of a phrase, let the streets make it up for you…or better yet, you make it up for them. In his world, it appears to have been the underground clubs of London. In mine, it’s the sewer-street sand castles and dreamy speaks of Squeesville, bubbled-up tight through a jigger of game-taming sting teasers.

Language-fu has always been one of my favorite sports, man, and Bowie did it as well as any freaked-out scribbly wibbler stale-nailed to the jeezy mudgang. I’m pretty sure the drugs really helped. In lasting tribute to Ziggy, I’m also sometimes tempted to lick my guitar.

Today, Ziggy Stardust the album remains eminently listenable, packed with happy earworms that burrow into my brain.

Happy anniversary, Zig, and don’t stay a stranger, man.

Rachel Bloom’s Irresistible “Fuck Me, Ray Bradbury”

June 6, 2012

This came to me via Paul Goat Allen, who describes it (accurately) as “irreverent.” This is NOT SAFE FOR WORK, nor presumably for the rather conservative Mr. Bradbury.

But it’s just so $@$*@$*ing catchy.

Death Trance in Oakland

May 14, 2008

Death Trance

Originally uploaded by Emit Idy

Wow, this looks fucking awesome. Time was, I was a big devotee of the dark and I loved me some death trance, I tell ya what.

Tina Sinatra: Scorsese to Direct Bio on Her Dad

May 11, 2008
The Winnipeg Sun is reporting that Martin Scorsese will be directing a biographical picture about Frank Sinatra. According to Frank’s youngest daughter, Tina Sinatra, “That means dismissing scurrilous rumours that Sinatra was a stooge for the Mafia.”

“Sinatra admitted it is premature to officially announce Scorsese for the biopic. Initially, she referred to the director as ‘the most prominent Italian-American filmmaker’ working today in Hollywood.

“When Sun Media guessed Francis Ford Coppola, she said: ‘We adore him but he didn’t step up to it.’

“When Scorsese’s name followed, Sinatra offered this: ‘I can’t tell you yet but you’re warmer.’

“Laughing, Sinatra later confirmed it was Scorsese. ‘You’ll be reading about it very soon … oh, go ahead and print it, I don’t care!'”


Image: Frank Sinatra in 1960, from Wikipedia.

Street Musician 2

April 20, 2008

Street Musician 2

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Dude playing an old brass guitar, Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market, San Francisco. I gave him a buck and asked if I could take his picture. He never stopped playing.

Street Musician

April 20, 2008

Street Musician

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Street musician across from the Farmer’s Market in Ferry Plaza, San Francisco. Aka “the dude who makes music by beating on plastic tubs.”

There was a time in my life when I was utterly fascinated by this kind of stuff — making music out of items that were not meant to make music. Me and my friends would get together and beat hard on pianos and jump up and down on top of old milk cartons making explosive noises. We called ourselves Orphan Down There, and our spiritual leader was a dude named Jonathan who was known for profoundly weird turns of phrase and/or heartbreaking Debussy-esque piano riffs in the heat of the moment.

This was a magical time, a time well before Stomp and deep into Einsturzende Neubaten territory. Those days are long gone. Maybe they never existed.

I now quote a classic Orphan Down There song from the era, lyrics improvised by Jonathan: “Kill your mother!!! With a stick!!! Kill your father!!! With another stick!!!”

Oh, to be young again. How it sucked, but being old sucks worse.

JP and the Rhythm Chasers

April 14, 2008

JP and the Rhythm Chasers2

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

I am a huge fan of small-combo, vintage-styled jazz. JP and the Rhythm Chasers are a San Francisco area quartet of standup bass, guitar, sax/clarinet and drums, playing classic hopped-up speakeasy small-combo jazz. I loved ’em.

JP and the Rhythm Chasers

April 14, 2008

JP and the Rhythm Chasers1

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Another shot of JP and the Rhythm Chasers, a small-combo vintage-styled jazz band from the San Francisco area.