Friday, August 14, 2009

Krazy German Konzepts

German music sure was creative and bizarre in the 70s and 80s. First there was that Krautrock movement (subject for an upcoming EasyTV show!), and then all this futuristic fascination stuff took over. Let's kick-start today's show with my favorite Kraftwerk song:

But even more bizarre, we have the inimitable Klaus Nomi, with his crazy make-up and robotic moves. He was part of the New York scene that included artists such as Basquiat and Haring. It's also no surprise that David Bowie was intrigued by a guy like this:

Kitsch yet disturbing stuff, no? But speaking of mixing opera with craziness, here's Nina Hagen giving it a go.

I wouldn't want to leave you with a bad impression of Klaus Nomi, so I am adding here his fantastic Cold Song (apparently it's an old Purcell composition, but I don't know much about opera). Klaus had a genuinely amazing voice, and was at his best when concentrating on the opera side of his music instead of the kitsch pop stuff. Klaus Nomi was one of the first famous casualties of AIDS. RIP.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beauty and the Beast

I'm in the mood for duets today, and since I got a request (EasyTV's very first request: thanks, Mme Easy!) for some Lee Hazlewood, I'll start today's show with this very strange Hazlewood/Sinatra duet. It looks to me like a cross between Star Trek and some old Sergio Leone movie, very psychedelic!

People just had more guts in the 60s. I can't believe that at the end of the song he intertwines bits from his singing and hers, although they are on a completely different tempo! There's definitely much more to him than These Boots Are Made For Walking. I especially recommend all the videos from Hazlewood's Cowboy in Sweden TV feature. Oh, here's one, and who cares if it's not a duet?

(But there definitely is a train to Stockholm. How else did I get there from Uppsala or Tranas?) RIP, Lee.

Today's show is called Beauty and the Beast for a reason. I was digging for songs pairing some dirty old man with a young innocent girl. Here's, I guess, the furthest one can go with the concept: Serge Gainsbourg, the master of provocation, singing about incest with his own 13-year old daughter Charlotte.

But before you start sending me the outraged hate mail, note that the lyrics specifically say "the love we will never make is the purest and the most intoxicating", meaning he never intends to sleep with her. This is all about fatherly love, nothing else! Musically speaking, you may have recognized some Chopin in there, whose romantic melody only adds to the scandalous nature of the song.

In the next video, another man sings about killing a young woman to preserve her beauty forever. Unfortunately the official video is nowhere to be found on YouTube due to copyright restrictions, so a live Top of the Pops performance will have to do:

More murder ballads can be found on Nick Cave's aptly named Murder Ballads album!

Now after a song on incest and another one about murder, you might be tempted to say "I have seen it all!". Bjork and Thom Yorke do just that, on a song that can be found on Bjork's Selmasongs album. Although Selmasongs is the soundtrack of the heart-breaking Dancer in the Dark, you won't exactly hear this duet in the movie, as the Scandinavian actor does the singing instead. I wanted to find the movie excerpt featuring the song, but I didn't want to hear the actor (whose singing is pretty bad). Well, guess what, somebody on YouTube had the same idea and made an attempt at a solution. The result is obviously out of sync, but I give this a B for effort:

Any reactions? Ideas? Requests? Your comments are what will make me keep this up!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No Comment

I bet you didn't know there was such a thing as francophone country music! Only in Quebec...

I'll leave the best title for the end. Back to that Cayouche dude:

Comment away!