Peter Allen – Not the Boy Next Door

September 22, 2015 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | AUSTRALIANIA, Modern Music, MUSIC, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

A match made in Heaven

The final stages of this TV two-parter are a salutary reminder of that dreadful scourge of the homosexual world in the 1980s – the music of Peter Allen. Oh yes and that AIDS was, in those days, suddenly rampant and absolutely untreatable.  This is a paint-by-numbers production.  But that doesn’t mean it is bad – just mediocre, glitzy, watchable  and non-threatening.  Like Allen himself. The audience is  told what to think at every stage, from the obligatory hard-scrabble childhood (cleaning Dad’s brains off a wall), to fame, fortune and an opportunistic marriage to American music royalty. Sigrid Thornton looks surprisingly like Judy Garland but is stretched by a script which…

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Long Live the King

May 21, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music |

"And it's the damage that we do and never know, It's the words that we don't say that scare me so..."

Elvis Costello (Declan MacManus) (b. 25 August 1954) He was at first, with the approval of management, tagged an “angry young rebel” as a result of more than a few brash words and deeds, and the coming of the New Wave in 1976.  Add the reaction to him taking the sacred first name of Mr Presley, who would slide off his toilet to immortality just as his namesake was in the first flush of fame. Yet the label hardly stuck because Costello, though personally scratchy at times, is a dogged craftsman, a superb lyricist, a consummate performer and a lover of music in its many forms (witness, for example,…

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Elvis and the Brummies

January 30, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC, Ulalume |

Birmingham Symphony Hall 31 May 2013 Yes, believe it or not, TVC stalked Elvis Costello to Birmingham to see his spectacular spinning songbook concert.  First, a morning stroll to sneak a peek at roadies setting up the wheel (which turns out to be somewhat incidental during the show) and then to while away some pleasant hours at the Art Gallery in the square – some very good pre-Raphaelites as well as post renaissance art, including an installation featuring a sheep alarmingly bearing human teeth;  St Paul’s embarkation by Lorrain; an excellent portrait of Prince Faisal by Augustus John; a bust…

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The Richard Wagner Society

January 22, 2015 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, Modern Music, MUSIC, Opera, Ulalume, WAGNER |

Wagner laughing at himself

14 April 2014 The Richard Wagner Society of SA presented Timothy Sexton, Artistic Director of State Opera SA, to present the inaugural Brian Coghlan Lecture in honour of its Past President.  Sexton, who presented the Glass Trilogy in August 2014, was given the difficult brief of proving a link between Wagner and Glass, which he heroically did in an erudite and entertaining way, enlivened by musical examples.  Although TVC‘s response to the lecture’s sub text “Was Richard Wagner the first experimental minimalist composer?” is a resounding “No”, we are now prepared to water down that ‘narrow-minded’ position a tad. Wagnerites…

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Joe Cocker and Bob Dylan

December 22, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, Ulalume |

Image courtesy of Eddie

Christmas 2014 – and what have you done?  Gluttony, jealousy, wrath…getting drunk and falling down…presents, presents, presents.  P is listening to (& loving) his new vinyl (!) record, ‘Lost on the River: the new basement tapes’, featuring various artists adding melody and shape to some lyrics of Bob Dylan stuck in a drawer since 1967.  Best so far: ‘Down on the Bottom’, ‘Kansas City’, ‘Liberty Street’, ‘Florida Key’ and the title track (# 12).  Maybe a review in the fullness of time (at least 20 more listens first).  Abject lesson to all: don’t throw away your turntable!  Never discard your…

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