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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Evening miscellany 
7th-Aug-2009 10:41 pm
Hearth
* I finally made Mark watch RENT today - the DVD of the final Broadway performance, not the movie - because I was sick of him panning it without actually watching it. Reader, he cried.

* But in order to get him to watch it, I had to promise to watch a movie of his choice. His choice? Yellow Submarine. Anyone got any earplugs I can borrow? *plaintive look* No, I'll watch it and listen to it - deal's a deal - and hopefully after seeing me supremely unmoved, he'll finally accept that I will never like The Beatles.

* I am aware that those are fighting words. Very well. To incense even more people: I can't stand Lord of the Rings.

* Elayna spent her chill time at Explo between the coffeehouse and the dance in the computer lounge - on Gchat with Adam. Aw. :)

* She sang "Where I Want to Be" from Chess at the coffeehouse, a capella. I'm not sure how she got it from baritone to alto; she was too shy to belt it in the enclosed space of the car, but has promised to sing it for us tomorrow.

* She had so much fun at Explo this summer. Once again, thank you so much, those of you who helped get her there!

* Tomorrow, NYC - express train, and dinner at the Mesa Grill, where I will decide if I can like Bobby Flay even though he pissed off Iron Chef Morimoto. Sunday, brunch somewhere awesome (don't know where), and see The Marvelous Wonderettes off-Broadway (Elayna's most interested in In the Heights, but it was sold out. We'll try to get to it when it's in Boston in January). And after lunch on Monday, Elayna and I go down to Florida!

* I don't expect to be able to check e-mail more than once a day through Tuesday. If it's an emergency, call my cell phone; number's in my Facebook info.

* And now, bed.
Comments 
8th-Aug-2009 03:04 am (UTC)
I love that song from chess!
8th-Aug-2009 03:10 am (UTC)
I have a hard time taking RENT seriously but then I'm familiar with La Boheme. The music does give goosebumps and I'm happy that you got him to watch the proper version (I'm not too thrilled with the movie version but I tend to not like most movie versions of stage shows, especially ones that suddenly have everything filled in for you).

I like the Beatles more now than I use to. I was forced to watch Yellow Submarine in middle school. I don't think I started to appreciate the Beatles musically until late college and they still aren't one of my favorites. I'm completely there with you and shall not send hate mail. Also, I have a hard time sitting through Lord of the Rings. I get too distracted.

Have fun!
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8th-Aug-2009 05:40 am (UTC)
I have a hard time sitting through Maureen's performance piece...it's that who entitlement that makes me twitchy. Her main concern was loosing a performance space, not the welfare of the people in the lot. But yes, the singing is amazing and there is character development. I watched some of the behind the scenes stuff on the RENT Broadway DVD. The scene where Collins says it's over gives me shivers even thinking about it because that night it meant something completely different. The cynic in me wonders if it would have been as big if Jonathon Larson hadn't died before it opened.
8th-Aug-2009 03:32 pm (UTC)
I've found RENT takes on new life if you look at it with the attitude that the author intended the "artists" to all be idealistic but incompetent. Maureen's performance piece makes me twitch, Roger can't write a decent song to save a life, Collins may not be able to hack it as an academic but his efforts at anarchy aren't exactly world-changing either. So lately when bits of the soundtrack come up on iTunes I think "Maybe what this is saying is that even self-indulgent soi-disant artists can get second chances." This was probably not Larson's intention, but he can't tell me any different.

The pronoun problem with Angel also intrigues me. Is it deliberate? What does it say about the characters?

The musical is not one of the pinnacles of Western culture, and it needs polishing so so badly, but yet I can keep coming back to it. This intrigues me.
8th-Aug-2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting take on it. I hadn't thought of it like that. I may have to think of that next time I listen to it. There are some songs that don't make me twitch but those seems to be the more "real" moments. "Without You", "No Day But Today" and "Dying in America" give me goosebumps but those are more about situation.

Angel's pronoun thing is something I've frequently seen with drag queens where people who don't know them aren't sure which pronoun to use. I actually have a co-worker who I've until recently been confused until recently what pronoun to use (I believe Max is transgender; I do know that my other co-workers know Max as a she but there are others who refer to Max as he. When I asked, Max just wanted to be called Max and not have a gender pronoun used, especially since Max is the same length as most pronouns).

I remember when I first learned about RENT. It was during a summer music camp in high school and there were people who thought it was the Best Thing Ever. I didn't understand why and figured it was just because it was the newest thing. I didn't actually listen to it until late college and I still feel the same way. It's not the best thing out there but it was different when it came out and then has it's own personal tragedy.
8th-Aug-2009 10:36 am (UTC)
"I had problems with RENT: they scorned the only one of them who was actually trying to develop the property; they acted like a bunch of entitled genius artists who didn't actually produce anything; they reveled in their decadence even as they decayed."

YES. Some great numbers, but I wanted all the characters to go get a bloody job. ;-)
8th-Aug-2009 03:22 am (UTC)
I could never really get into the Beatles stuff... not all that much, anyway... but I always liked Yellow Submarine (the film, not the song).

And something happened somewhere along the way, and I started liking The Beatles for their music. Go figure. =)
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8th-Aug-2009 12:06 pm (UTC)
*likes this*

I remember looking for a present for my mother's birthday when I was twelve. I'd earned money for the first time babysitting, and was proud that I could do this. So I went to the store and picked up "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" because of the song "Lovely Rita". I learned three things from that experience:

1. Never to assume that my mother was a hippie just because she was born in the right decade. While my aunt was tripping at a commune, my mom was being a Good Girl who listened to Elvis and admired Jackie Kennedy.

2. That one man's (or, in the case, woman's) trash is another one's treasure. So I spent that summer with my uncle Dave and his guitar, listening to classic rock.

3. That the film, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", while it introduced me to Aerosmith (Steven Tyler be praised), was considered by most to be a bomb as opposed to the bomb.

(I will say one thing for the film, though; I really loved Sandy Farina's version of Strawberry Fields.)
8th-Aug-2009 12:57 pm (UTC)
Well said.

[In my garden are many rock family trees.]
8th-Aug-2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
This is absolutely fantastic.
And it sums up why I like the music of the Beatles (not a huge fan, but... well, whenever Across The Universe shows on cable, I have to watch it, even if it's all cover songs, because the music has this intense power for me no matter who sings it, just because it came from the Beatles).

(I didn't understand Yellow Submarine when I was little; but when I tried LSD as an adult, I felt like I completely figured it out -- turns out that I hadn't.)
8th-Aug-2009 03:38 am (UTC)
You don't like The Beatles or Lord of the Rings?

\O/

I have found my people, my long lost tribe!
8th-Aug-2009 10:37 am (UTC)
Blasphemy!

If you hate Beatles music then Yellow Submarine will do little to change your mind, but the art/design is FANTASTIC.
One of my biggest influences.
8th-Aug-2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
Took the words right out of my mouth. All of them. (I'm a Beatles fanatic from a very young age, proud inheritor of a jelly bean that one of them stepped on in concert in 1964. Oh, and: icon lust!)

The art and graphic design are what will get you through this. You already know the songs for the most part; they can be tuned out. The visuals are truly spectacular and innovative, though, so let yourself be immersed in those. And if it helps any, the Beatles themselves didn't have much to do with the movie—they contributed a few new songs and showed up for a short little bit at the end, but they didn't even do their own voice-overs for the animation.
8th-Aug-2009 12:42 pm (UTC)
I will decide if I can like Bobby Flay even though he pissed off Iron Chef Morimoto.

I'm glad I'm not the only one still irked by that.
8th-Aug-2009 12:59 pm (UTC)
I'm glad we could help Elayna get to Explo this year.

Enjoy your time in My City, and hug my lions for me if you get a chance.
8th-Aug-2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
To incense even more people: I can't stand Lord of the Rings.

The book(s) or the movie(s)? Because if it's the latter, I will join my voice to yours. If it's the former, then I'll just sort of shrug. The pot is well off the boil on that particular fandom. The book was formative in my childhood, but I'm not a child any more.
8th-Aug-2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
I thought Fellowship of the Ring was hysterically funny as a movie. I wasn't allowed to see the others as a result.
8th-Aug-2009 06:00 pm (UTC)
I'm not a fan of Lord of the Rings, either (books or movies). I realize and understand the intense significance and the wow factor, but... meh. I cheered for the films' brilliant uses of cinematography and acting and all, but, really... eh.

The Beatles, I did not "get into" until I hit late adulthood, and only after I saw the film Across The Universe and realized I was mouthing or humming each song even if I didn't remember all the words. It's not that I love the Beatles, it's that their music appears to be totally ingrained in my mind somehow and every time I hear some of their songs, even covered by other bands, I automatically enter this weird trance-like state where there's no chronic pain, anxiety, or depression.

8th-Aug-2009 07:43 pm (UTC)
We will never agree on The Lord of the Rings, but I am wholly with you on The Beatles.
22nd-Aug-2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
It may be generational . . . it may have to do with my having been British. But I loved the Beatles when I first heard them at age 5 in 1963. I don't think I'll ever like their psychedelic stuff - I cried in class when the teacher insisted "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" was a Beatles song - but the early songs, the Mersey beat, kept me aware that pop music can be lovely and that my parents are not always right, through a very controlled childhood. And I don't think I will ever re-read Tolkien because I could hardly bear it when I finished reading The Lord of the Rings (at eight or nine, trusted with my parents' first editions), and I was heartbroken when he died a year before I could have met him at Oxford. I don't do those quizzes where you have to name your favorite books, but his writing has a special place in my memory and undoubtedly shaped my idea of good style. We each have our own shining things. I had friends in New York who wanted with all their hearts to be stage stars, and whose friends had died of AIDS or were dying of it, and for them Rent was the anthem of their people. But it's not for me.

M
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