Category Archives: Music

The music died

All the discussion of late around the Confederate flag brought the band Lynyrd Skynyrd to mind, since that flag is part of the band’s logo.

(I didn’t use that version here on The Sticky Egg because, um…no.)

lynyrd_skynyrd

That led us to talking about where we were when we learned about the plane crash that killed half of the band members.

[If you’re too young to a) know who Lynyrd Skynyrd is, or b) remember the plane crash, move along.]

I was in bed asleep. The phone rang — a corded phone, no less  — and I walked down to my mother’s bedroom to answer it. A good friend of my oldest brother was on the line, and he was crying. I may have been young, but I knew a call that late at night could only mean one thing…

Someone had died.

We woke up my brother, who came to the phone in a fog of sleep. We heard him say, “Oh no. Oh God. Oh no.” Then he hung up the phone and turned to go back to bed.  We stopped him, saying, “Wait — what happened?”

He said simply, “Lynyrd Skynyrd died.”

I’m not sure either my mother or I knew exactly what that meant, so we went on to bed.  When we questioned my brother the next morning, he barely remembered the phone call.

But it stuck in my memory, all these years — the day Lynyrd Skynyrd died.

The day the music died

american-idol-judges-feb-26-2014-ftrAmerican Idol is being canceled?

I feel such strong emotions  — or I’m trying to, anyway — so I must breakout into song, like any decent musical would:

(My apologies to “American Pie.”)

Denial, denial,
American Idol

You are leaving
I am grieving
in a ugly rage spiral

Sure, I’ve spent my nights
watching your network rival, singing —

I’ll tune back in for the big final.
I’ll tune back in for the big final.

So long, AI.  (Harry, you were my fav.)

All in the family

Turns out you can’t judge a musical by its poster.

Fun-Home-1

The only thing I knew about the Broadway show Fun Home before I saw it last night was a) the critics loved it and b) the Tony voters did, too.

It scored 12 nominations earlier this week.

I didn’t know the soundtrack or the book upon which it was based. I walked in the theatre about as clueless as a person could get.

So imagine my surprise when the show wasn’t the singing, dancing Partridge Family parody that I had cooked up in my head.

If you too are in the dark (and wish to remain so), stop reading now.

Have they left?  Okay.  So the rest of you know why my mind is a bit blown right now.

The musical’s narrator is a lesbian cartoonist. (Yeah, this show’s no Cinderella.) With the help of her very young self and college-aged self — two incredible young performers — she tells her life story.  With captions.

(‘Cause she’s a cartoonist.)

Fun-Home-2How her father was a part-time teacher and part-time funeral director — FUN HOME was the family nickname for the funeral home — and a closeted gay man who slept with lots of boys and committed suicide while she was away at college.

Yeah.

But that’s not to say there weren’t moments of humor and laughter.  Her first girl-on-girl experience in college inspired “Changing My Major to Joan,” one of my favorite songs in the show. And the kids did do a little Partridge Family at one point, so the graphic designer gets to keep his job.

The cast is all-around amazing. I do wish I had seen the show off-Broadway before they were plopped down into this in-the-round venue. It has led to a lot of ‘singing to the audience’ staging that seems amateurish for a story of such complexity.

It is quite a ride.

Read my lips

Jimmy Fallon’s epic “Lip Sync Battle” has left its home at The Tonight Show and now occupies prime time Thursdays on Spike TV.

lip sync batle

The earlier time slot means the segment gets 30 whole minutes, costumes, backup ‘singers’ and dancers and racier trash talk (since it’s on cable). And the celebs are lovin’ every minute. The only thing that suffers?

The actual lip sync.

The celebs have a lot more bells and whistles to contend with, and limited rehearsal time, I would guess. So everything is messier…but who cares?

They’re making fools of themselves to music — just like on Dancing with the Stars — and it is magical.

Irony?

image

I’ll check with Alanis Morissette.

Laugh it off

I didn’t watch Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve 2015 with Ryan Seacrest, so I missed Idina Menzels’ performance of  the ubiquitous “Let It Go.”

idina-menzel-responds-to-critics-of-let-it-goRumor has it she botched the final high note.

(Haters on Twitter made sure that everyone knew.)

So Idina went on Twitter and defended herself, saying she is ‘more than one note.’

I can understand wanting to stand up to the backlash, but laughing at the sour note might be more effective.  Audiences love when people in the public eye can be self-deprecating.

Plus, why give nameless, faceless trolls the satisfaction of seeing you rattled?

Let it go, Idina.

 

Scare tactics

I saw the movie Whiplash last night, and found it extremely compelling.

Are you planning to see it? Here are a few things you should know.

Whiplash-5547.cr2

 

  1. It’s not about jazz.  They play music, sure…but the selected songs — even the title track — are simply vehicles for the story.  The film could have just as easily taken place in the world of sports or the culinary arts.
  2. It is about abuse. The relationship between a music student and his no-holds-barred instructor — portrayed with gut-wrenching intensity by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons — is difficult to watch. Teller is attacked emotionally and physically at every level, and like a hostage in a kidnapping incident, has a twisted love/hate relationship with his captor that boggles the mind.
  3. It’s hard to watch. In the theater where I saw the film, there were several horror movie trailers that preceded the feature presentation.  I found that odd until I saw the film.  There are definite similarities.