Musetta is a pest in La Bohème (Puccini)

Don’t go, it’s about opéra but it’s short and there’s a pest!

La Bohème is this Puccini opera happening in Paris. Let’s make it quick :

Rodolfo is a poor writer living with a few pals (Marcello the painter, Colline the philosopher, Schaunard the musician) in the Latin Quarter (Paris) in the 1830s. He meets Mimi, who lives in another room in the building. They’ll become lovers (of course).

In the Act II, the four friends+Mimi are in a restaurant within a great crowd. Comes Musetta, “formerly Marcello’s sweetheart” with an elderly admirer. She’s hoping to reclaim Marcello’s attention, and Marcello is furious, jealous, and… in love. All this in songs!

OK.

We all have our comfort food, comfort film, comfort anything.

My COA (Comfort Opera Act – YESSS it can beeee) is Act II of La Bohème.

It’s fast, rich, crowded, full of surprises (lovers, drama, plenty of fun, kids, a Parpignol (who sells toys to kids)) and there’s a happy fanfare at the end!

Musetta is the bigger than life pest-and-pretty. Opera is exaggeration? Musetta is bigger than crazy, and the singers who play her have obviously plenty of fun.

Colored, pest, adorable and extraverted, Musetta is also visibly a delight for costume designers

Push the levers, Jane!

There are hundreds of ways of playing this character. Some days, I compare (YouTube is your friend) and I laugh a lot : Poor Marcello!

Have a nice day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Game : Find Musetta in this finale :

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Wandering into Lists of Best 2017 Albums

I googled “Best 2017 Albums” and found many things. Today I wander.

 

Charlotte Gainsbourg is pretty good. Gourmet production, crescendos, gorgeous harmonic shifts. Ring a Ring o’Roses is a great song. 4

Fever Ray and her icy voice… The album looks like a disconcerting big chest, full of sharp patterns, eargasming sounds and a constant sense of drive. There’s a lack of harmony-magic though 3

Fleet Foxes gives me smiles with strange rhythms, but it’s badly produced (too much reverb, buddy) and too casual for me. Voice is boring. Harmonic colors are great, full of moving clouds and facets, and architecture surprises. 3

Girlpool places itself in a clear “indie sound”. Average, but some rare good surprises (the slippery waltz of Powerplant – oh this bass player), the stairs, squeaking risks & breaks of She Goes By).

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith like a baby Fever Ray. Harmless and insipid, but sweet. Stupid voice and funny sounds at times (To Follow & Lead). I like her good will.

Kamasi Washington, a splendid saxophonist, great to listen in your car

Kehlani got me immediately with Keep On. Irresistible! The rest is crap, sadly.

Kelela loves the sound of her own voice. It’s not good, but it’s good enough to keep me listening to the album. There’s always an element (a sound, a loop, a production idea) which makes you wonder.

Kendrick Lamar. Rap is not my cup of beer, but I really LOVED “King Kunta” in 2015 (which is perfection : the implacability of the bass, the laddered construction). Sadly I didn’t hear anything at this level today…

 

(to be continued)

 

 

In the trash :

Dead water puddles : Boring lazy, examples of “I am ecstatic about myself and I don’t work” : Björk, Future, Jay Z, Julie Byrne and Julien Baker (“I bathe in my voice and empty music”)

Stressed boring mosquitoes : Drunk, slippery and unorganized “experimentations with machines” that goes to trash pretty quickly : Arca, Jlin

Digitalism’s Blitz & Vitalic’s Scholar Inebriation : Dance now!

Dance, today. Listen to this loud.

I wrote recently about Artificial Powerlessness. It’s when you can do better, but you don’t. You’re lazy and knacky, good to you.

But, hell, sometimes it works!!

Digitalism used here a few little tricks.

  1. The contrast between a nosy phony sound and a clear dancy rhythm (it’s at 0’30”, BAM).
  2. Listen to the bass : they do the “James Bond” John Barry trick (three halftones played in a row). It’s a little harmonic danger that Röyksopp uses all the time.
  3. At 1’23” then shup the beat off, rebuilding it until 1’58” (it’s an old knack, oui?).

 

They get more than 2 millions views thanks to a few simple ideas. Bravo!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Vitalic and their extatic bended harmonies (pardon my French) :

 

The scholar drunkenness of this :

 

 

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“I wanna say come on let’s go just when I oughta say nix” – Oklahoma (the movie)

If I take a map of the United States of America, the heart of the country if obviously Kansas.

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Oklahoma is under Kansas, this state with a stick on the upper left. It exists since… 1907. The name comes from the Indians.

Foot! Tonight I watched the musical film Oklahoma, 1955, adapted from a 1943 stage musical. The music comes from Richard Rodgers and the lyrics from Oscar Hammerstein (yeah, the guys who made The Sound of Music).

You have to accept it’s a musical, an innocent story (“In Oklahoma, several farmers, cowboys and a traveling salesman compete for the romantic favors of various local ladies”, says IMDB), with good songs, gorgeous skies and great “stylized western dancing”. So, in a way, it’s seems clean, light hearted and conservative. And you really don’t care that much about the characters, from transparent semi-idiots “pretty” girls to really dumb cow-boys.

In fact, the treasure of the film is Ado Annie, played by Gloria Grahame, who is a funny featherbrain who likes to kiss everyone who passes by. There are so many details along the movie that you quickly realize the movie is all about sex. There are songs (like this “I cain’t say no”) in which she “has the sex coming out of her eyes, right along with the innocence”. Many times during the movie I was like “How did they dare that in a family movie??”. And it’s constant.

The film happens when the state of Oklahoma is not in the union already. There are fights, but not with immigrants : between farmers with “their fences”, and cow-boys…

Today I watched it with plenty of fun. Sex lovers in Oklahoma : Yeepeeee!

And this music is taking modulation bends that I love!

 

 

Annie:
It ain’t so much a question of not knowin’ what to do
I knowed what’s right an’ wrong since I been ten.
I heared a lot of stories an’ I reckon they are true
About how girls are put upon by men.
I know I mustn’t fall into the pit
But when I’m with a feller, I fergit!

I’m just a girl who cain’t say ‘No’
I’m in a terrible fix!
I always say ‘Come on, let’s go’
just when I oughta say ‘Nix.’
When a person tries to kiss a girl
I know she oughta give his face a smack!
But as soon as someone kisses me
I somehow sorta wanna kiss him back!
I’m just a fool when lights are low
I cain’t be prissy an’ quaint
I ain’t the type that can faint
How can I be what I ain’t?
I cain’t say ‘No!’

Whatcha gonna do when a feller gets flirty
An’ starts to talk purty
Whatcha gonna do?
Sposin’ that he says
That your lips are like cherries,
Or roses, or berries?
Whatcha gonna do?
Sposin’ that he says
That yer sweeter ‘n cream
and he’s gotta have cream or die?
Whatcha gonna do when he talks that way?
Spit in his eye?

I’m jist a girl who cain’t say ‘No’,
Cain’t seem to say it at all
I hate to disserpoint a beau
When he is payin’ a call!
Fer a while I ack refined and cool,
A settin on the velveteen setee
Nen I think of thet ol’ Golden Rule,
And do fer him what he would do fer me!
I cain’t resist a Romeo
In a sombrero and chaps
Soon as I sit on their laps
Somethin’ inside of me snaps
I cain’t say ‘No’!

[Additional Verse]
I’m jist a girl who cain’t say ‘No’
Kissin’s my favorite food!
With or without the mistletoe
I’m in a holiday mood!
Other girls are coy an’ hard to catch
But other girls ain’t havin’ any fun!
Ev’ry time I lose a wrastlin’ match
I have a funny feelin’ that I won!
Though I can feel the undertoe
I never make a complaint
Till it’s too late for restraint
Then when I want to, I cain’t
I cain’t say ‘No!’

 

 

Losing My Religion, Every Breath you Take

Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees

 

I wrote here, a few days ago, something about Every Breath you Take, from Police :

  • The strange lyrics of Police‘s Every Breath you Take, the story of a stalker after a break up. “Sting later said he was disconcerted by how many people think the song is more positive than it is. He insists it is about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow.” – and not a gentle love song.

Tonight I just watched a documentary about Pixies, R.E.M. and Nirvana. I saw the clip of Losing my Religion, then discovered this on Wikipedia :

  • The phrase “losing my religion” is an expression from the southern region of the United States that means losing one’s temper or civility, or “being at the end of one’s rope.” Stipe told The New York Times the song was about romantic expression. He told Q that “Losing My Religion” is about “someone who pines for someone else. It’s unrequited love, what have you.” Stipe compared the song’s theme to “Every Breath You Take” by The Police, saying, “It’s just a classic obsession pop song. I’ve always felt the best kinds of songs are the ones where anybody can listen to it, put themselves in it and say, ‘Yeah, that’s me.'”

 

Well, I suppose everybody remembers these two songs. In France, I admit both were hits, though we didn’t care that much about the lyrics. Though we felt that R.E.M.’s song and clip was, indeed, about a powerless obsession. The mandolin…

 

Yep, it’s a tool for my blog, a dial for creatives. Stipes says it perfectly :

I’ve always felt the best kinds of songs are the ones where anybody can listen to it, put themselves in it and say, ‘Yeah, that’s me.’

It’s true I admire poets, photographers and musicians who are able to talk about subtle things “between words”. Words are simplifyiers, and it’s sometimes boring. They put life, and moving shades into immobile boxes.

We talk here about another thing. When words are “so” flat, grey, imprecise, that anyone will find what one wants. Haziness as a talent. The audience jumps into it. We apply it to our story…

Sting told the story of a stalker, but lovers love it, they play the song at weddings! Stipes sings about past pining, but never explains what it is about in the song. It’s like a tropism, a flake of feeling. One person is “losing religion” – and we all understand the frustration.

It’s like the “But I could be wrong” image. You don’t know the author, and why we see that picture, what does this mean. You raise an eyebrow in wonder. And YES, you could be wrong, dear!

 

Awweeee. Have a nice day…

 

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Life is bigger
It’s bigger
And you, you are not me
The lengths that I will go to
The distance in your eyes
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

Every whisper
Of every waking hour
I’m choosing my confessions
Trying to keep an eye on you
Like a hurt lost and blinded fool
Oh no, I’ve said too much
I set it up

Consider this
The hint of the century
Consider this
The slip that brought me
To my knees failed
What if all these fantasies
Come flailing around
Now I’ve said too much

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream
That was just a dream

That’s me in the corner
That’s me in the spotlight
Losing my religion
Trying to keep up with you
And I don’t know if I can do it
Oh no I’ve said too much
I haven’t said enough

I thought that I heard you laughing
I thought that I heard you sing
I think I thought I saw you try

But that was just a dream, try, cry, why, try
That was just a dream, just a dream, just a dream
Dream

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“Sways & Totters” : Teetering Harmonies in Bear in Heaven

One motto of art is “What’s new here?”, right?

Therefore my inner dial is the “Eyebrow Criteria” – one has to move up.

Like : “What??!”

Thus today I gathered some sick pop songs.

 

If the verses sounds minimalistic plastic “I make you wait”, the choruses lift you up dangerously in uncertain harmonies. Don’t be sick.

 

This one is pleasantly teetering, right? Your ears warn your brain : there’s a mistake! There ARE mistakes! But… Errr… these ears of yours also say : I feel pleasure. Mmmh. Maybe. When it climbs?

 

I opened a community about dissonant pop in G+ :

https://plus.google.com/communities/115751320828152239563

 

 

 

 

Burst of Punk : Sex Pistols & The Clash

I continue watching a BBC documentary (BBC – Seven Ages of Rock), an episode about Punk Rock. They showed pretty well what was under it. The Ramones or Television as a source. A will against virtuosity and special effects. Raw rock energy, like a angrier faster sixties rock&roll.

Interviews of the guys and journalists of this era were pretty funny. I remember the leader of the Buzzcocks taling about this song “Boredom” and its guitar solo made of two stupid notes tatee-tatee in an endless boring loop…

Sex Pistols‘ slogan was “No Future”, and obviously it was the case. But how to get out of this crabs’ nest??

It led to this : No fun. Wikipedia tells it pretty well :

On 14 January 1978, during the tour’s final date in San Francisco, a disillusioned Rotten introduced the band’s encore saying, “You’ll get one number and one number only ’cause I’m a lazy bastard.” That one number was a Stooges cover, “No Fun”. At the end of the song, Rotten, kneeling on the stage, chanted an unambiguous declaration, “This is no fun. No fun. This is no fun—at all. No fun.” As the final cymbal crash died away, Rotten addressed the audience directly—”Ah-ha-ha. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night”—before throwing down his microphone and walking offstage. He later observed, “I felt cheated, and I wasn’t going on with it any longer; it was a ridiculous farce.

The band split, Sid Vicious died of overdose. No Future.

Another group (The Clash) used Punk energy and injected reggae or rockabilly in it. They became stars.

 

Tools :

It’s an interesting pattern, right? How do you use big thrust? Do you let it flow the fields? Do you let it burn itself in insanity? Do you channel it? Do you feed it with external elements? Like what? Curbing? Surprises? Taming?

 

Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : anapaula380