Eurovision 2018: Bet Against Logic and Taste

May 14, 2018 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Modern Music, MUSIC, THEATRE |

Lisbon, May 2018 Israel claimed its 4th Eurovision victory in a stunningly predictable finale, where taste was defenestrated and trampled, writhing and squirming, on the Portugese cobbles below. The UK and Bulgaria had outstanding entries, and we give honourable mention to Estonia, Holland and Cyprus.  However, what with the jury vote and the televotes, bizarre results were in the cards. We liked Elina Nechayeva with her dress of many colours and the operatic aria, ‘La forza’ sung in Italian, but Estonia came in 8th. Bulgaria’s Equinox (see main image) featuring an East European Lady Gaga, had a dramatic pop-rocker called “Bones”…

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Melting Pot

May 14, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Songs in Our Heart # 91 Melting Pot (Blue Mink) (written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway; released 1969) [A timeless, funky classic, a paean to racial harmony that is banned from public broadcasts now because public broadcasters are morons.  Yes, we know “yellow chinkees” is a little out there, but as Alan Partridge’s mate Michael points out, the term is both a people and a meal. “We should all get together in a loving machine, I’d better call up the Queen, it’s only fair that she knows…! What we need is a great big melting pot, big enough to take the…

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Go Your Own Way, Neil!

May 4, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Fleetwood Mac have sacked an angry egomaniac…. …..and replaced him with a nastier, flimsier version…. Why?  Why?  Have Stevie, et al actually heard the horror that is the sound of Crowded House’s “Always Take the Weather With You”?  What ghastly offences against nature are to follow? Justin Bieber fronting The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, penis sock and all? Kanye West replacing Brian Wilson in The Beach Boys? Taylor Swift and The Imposters? Beyoncé heading-up a re-formed Velvet Underground? [P adds: these are genuine nightmare scenarios, particularly if you’re a fan of Elvis or Lou!  How about the Cadbury Gorilla replacing Lars on drums…

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In Search of Wagner

The sentimental Marat

(By Theodor Adorno) (written 1937-38) (Rodney Livingstone translation) (2005) Whilst Adorno (1903 – 1969) was a thinker of wide learning and deep perception, here he is defeated by Wagner, as well as by his own Frankfurter-Marxist dogma and drab obsession with the dialectical. He’d love to dismiss RW as repulsive, dangerous, tin-eared, a Jew-baiter and Jew-hater, formless and, worst of all, bourgeois; yet a kind of intellectual honesty keeps creeping-back in to Adorno’s highly profound skull that undermines all of his grumbling. Wagner is not only sui generis; he is unimpeachable; Adorno’s brilliant attacks, often highly personal, fail utterly, proving…

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Cosi fan tutte

April 6, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | MUSIC, Opera, OPERA, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, TRAVEL |

At the Metropolitan Opera, NYC, April 2018 – Mozart, the Met, and Spring in New York…what more could one wish for?  Some Spring weather, perhaps? Cosi Fan Tutte has the most preposterous plot in all opera, which takes in a lot of territory. But Mozart’s music rolls along so merrily that it doesn’t matter, and the piece can survive, and even be enhanced by throwing the switch to vaudeville, as director Phelim McDermott does here by re-imagining the action in 1950s Coney Island. Lucy and Desi and Ethel and Fred…ah, no, sorry, let’s start again: Ferrando (Ben Bliss) and Guglielmo…

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