Archive for icons

cut from the cloth of greatness

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , on October 17, 2018 by phanteana

the 90’s were a transitional period in music: glitzy Hair Metal gave way to grimy Grunge, Faith-based singers crossed into Pop territory, Rap artists shed their party-time lyrics in favor of more politically-oriented content & Dinosaurs still roamed the airwaves decades after their big breaks. then, there was Alternative music: a library so vast it encompasses a multitude of genres (and this is only a fraction of it).

among the artists lumped into the Alternative category is Peter Murphy. anyone who has read this blog or knows me IRL is well aware of how devoted i am to him, & that despite forgetting my name (because famous people meet thousands of fans, so i don’t expect him to remember anyone’s name), he recognizes my face whenever he comes through my city and can recall little things here and there (he once complimented my haircut, and on a separate occasion asked me if i was still living in [name of section of city], but i had since moved to another section). his easy-going manner when talking to fans is just part of why i love him. i don’t view him as a celebrity, but rather as a (stunning looking) regular person who just happens to have been blessed with immense talent.

that immense talent landed ex-Bauhaus front man Murphy the honor of a Number 1 hit in 1990, as well as Billboard’s 9th Greatest Alternative Song of All Time (not too shabby), bringing him out of the shadows of Goth Rock & into the dorm rooms of Dr. Martens-wearing art majors (i was one, until i switched to Film Studies). that song, “Cuts You Up“, and its subsequent album Deep, stood apart from other artists receiving radio & MTV play with its moody violin, soul-searching lyrics, and its high-cheek-boned, bleached-blonde singer poised to perfection under the influence of David Bowie (the Godfather of Alternative Music). it was pre-Grunge, post-Glam…whatever you called it, it was a peak point for Modern music in 1990. although Murphy only cracked the US charts a total of 3 times in his 40-year career, “Cuts You Up” still reigns as a prominent piece of his catalog and brings back fond memories for those who remember it well…and considering Murphy is currently touring to mark Bauhaus’ ruby anniversary (and hopefully, that tour will make its way to the States), perhaps his signature song i due for a pop culture boost.

 

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a bearded Peter Murphy and his Bauhaus band-mate David J. Haskins still love their audience 40 years later 

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tanzen up a storm

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , on August 23, 2018 by phanteana

the full Suspiria trailer premiered this morning, as promised by the insanely clever & ultra witty marketing team behind its Twitter account. now if y’all excuse me, i’m going to need a moment to recover…

 

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…ok, back to work. but first, more iced tea.

 

con-founded

Posted in Film with tags , , , , , , on May 10, 2018 by phanteana

conferences are always filled with free food, informative panels, swag bags & the occasional surprise guests. the tech conference i attended last weekend certainly offered all of the above (except for the surprise guests). it’s a good thing one of the sponsors gave out free hand sanitizer bottles, because after a few days of being surrounded by hundreds of people you’re bound to catch the dreaded ‘post-con crud’ (cough/cold). fortunately, it’s not bad enough to keep me home from work. but i do feel bad for everyone who hears me sneezing. this is where remote access will come in handy in the future.

while my conference may have been low on the surprise factor, CinemaCon delivered a wallop during its lunchtime schedule with the premiere of the first footage from the upcoming Suspiria remake. judging from the reactions, whoever decided to show the clip while people were chowing down is either insane or a marketing genius…or both.

while i’m not the biggest fan of Dario Argento, Suspiria is considered to be his most well-known and most successful movie. i understand why people love it: the visuals & the soundtrack are important elements in his approach to storytelling (remember, i studied Film in Undergrad). when news of the remake broke, it sent fans into a frenzy because they felt it would ruin a classic: replacing Goblin with Thom Yorke for the score is completely ludicrous. on the other hand, there is no modernization of the plot so expect lots of 70’s outfits/haircuts. speaking of the original, Jessica Harper has given her support by appearing in a small role in the new version so that has put some of the anxiety at ease. but until the first trailer drops, we’ll all just have to rely on the commentaries from those terrified lunch-goers who may never look at quinoa salad the same way again.

 

 

 

“…cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home”

Posted in Music, Popular Culture with tags , on February 8, 2018 by phanteana

if you’re a celebrity, it’s an honor to have a day named for you. it’s an even bigger deal if you’re a celebrity that’s not only largely unknown to the mainstream, but also deceased. such an individual is Cliff Burton, whose brief-yet-illustrious career has always been overshadowed by his early passing over 30 years ago. even so, volumes have been written about his playing technique, his songwriting ability, and his devotion to his family, notably his father Ray (who is just as beloved as his famous son). Papa Ray has kept his son’s memory alive numerous times in the past, but now the late bassist’s hometown of Castro Valley, CA has declared “Cliff Burton Day” to take place on February 10 (which would be his 56th birthday had he lived). first, the Library of Congress inducts Master Of Puppets. now, this…further proof that even though he is gone, Cliff Burton is very much still with us.

original sin(ger)

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 22, 2017 by phanteana

Michael was the epitome of the charismatic front man: his voice, physical presence, and personality made him the Mick Jagger of the 80’s. he was special, whether he realized it or not. i never got to see INXS, and it remains one of the biggest regrets i could have. the proposed 20th anniversary tour, which Michael was rehearsing for at the time of his death, would have been my opportunity to see him in his true form. i never got that chance.

when we mourn artists we’ve never met, we don’t cry because we knew them. we cry because they helped us know ourselves.

 

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days of black

Posted in Music with tags , on October 20, 2017 by phanteana

i live in a major US city that hosts a lot of popular musical acts on their tours. however, some of the artists i enjoy are European, and rarely cross shores whether it be for travel issues, financial matters, or simply just less of a fan base to perform to. while there are some folks who have the means to travel around the world to see their favorite musicians, others do not and unfortunately miss out on the experience. but again, it costs money to have fun these days.

one group that i’ve been a long-time admirer of is Amsterdam’s Clan Of Xymox. for over 30 years, they’ve cast a spell on listeners with dark & dance-able tunes. they’ve headlined some of the biggest festivals in Europe and South America, but finding a home with US audiences hasn’t been so easy; while the West Coast and the Southeast have welcomed the band with open arms (despite their lack of US appearances, they have played multiple one-off shows in Florida, Texas, and California), parts of the Northeast only contain smatterings of fans and obviously concerns of whether or not audiences will turn up certainly have held CoX back from playing places like New York & Boston (despite both being large cities with rich culture). but both these cities will finally have an opportunity once again to see Clan of Xymox next spring, as they tour the US for the first time in almost 20 years…happy days of black are here again.

an unexpected (ok, not entirely) anniversary

Posted in Library Science stuff, Popular Culture with tags , , , , , , , , on September 21, 2017 by phanteana

long before i became a librarian, i visited plenty of libraries. i borrowed tons of books, even if i never finished all of them. but one which i took out frequently and always completed is one that has withstood the test of time. it has been translated into countless languages, beloved by literary critics, librarians and voracious readers everywhere, has has been beautifully displayed in art and film countless times, and today turns 80 years old…and to think, all this from a book whose central character was created while grading exams. happy anniversary, Bilbo Baggins!

 

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