oxymoron67: (Default)
I have two versions of the (amazing) song Stormy Weather on my iPod. One is by Judy Garland from the album Judy at Carnegie Hall*. The other is Liza Minnelli's cover.

*Yes, I own this album. Well, actually, the two cd set. I bought it the same day I bought my first Shirley Bassey cd.

I think I'll listen to some showtunes now...
oxymoron67: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] mountain_hiker at Bad Romance Avengers


I think it's fun that they made Bruce Banner the lead dancer.


oxymoron67: (roll eye)
I didn't sleep last night. Actually, that isn't quite true. I slept for under two hours.

So, low energy day... no trips to museums, but I did eventually go see a movie.

Rock of Ages: spoilery )
oxymoron67: (history)
Despite misgivings (everyone I know who has visited had been underwhlemed by it), I decided to go to the Museum of Sex. I figured I'd make it a two-fer. It's about 9 or 10 blocks away from the Morgan Library and Museum, so after the Museum of Sex, I'd walk up to the Morgan.

I arrived at the Museum of Sex, and it was so crowded that I decided to skip it. Also, the gift shop? Kind of lame.

I walked to Madison Square Park (a whole block away), and spent some time there, wandering around, looking at the statues, confused that a park named after James madison has no statues of him.
After about a half hour, I left the park and meandered up to the Morgan.
The Morgan didn't disappoint. I wandered through J. P. Morgan's private study and library. It is amazing. the rotunda is all in marble, and, on display there is, among other things, a poem written by Abraham Lincoln.

One of the rooms off the rotunda contained displays from the ancient and medieval collections, including seals from Ancient Mesopotamia and fragments of clay tablets covered in cuneiform. Some small Ancient Egyptian statues were also there, as were small objects from Medieval and Dark Ages Europe.
The main library had one of the three (!) Gutenberg bibles* on display, as well as many other illuminated manuscripts: some prayer books, one was a wedding gift. Also here was a display of musical manuscripts from people like Liszt, Mahler and Mozart. In fact, the mocart piees were the original manuscripts of peies he wrote when he was five or six.

Leaving the library part of the Morgan, I went to the museum. I went to the Revolutionary France exhibit, which featured drawings (borrowed from the Louvre) done by the best French artists of the age. By this time, I had started sneezing. A lot. So I decided to leave and visit another day.

On the way out, I saw a cartoon on display for the Dickens at 200 exhibit. Dickens was sitting with his editor, who was saying, "'It was the best of times; it was the worst of times'. Mr. Dickens, you must make up your mind. One can hardly believe that it was both of them."
I chuckled.

Tomorrow? Depending on energy level, I think I'll go to the Mount Vernon Hotel and Garden.

MUSEUM!

Sep. 25th, 2011 08:12 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
I went to the Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI) today for the Jim Henson/Muppets exhibition.

It's a great place with lots of programs. I joined. This is my seventh museum.

I did not know that the museum was hosting a special clip show to celebrate what would have been Jim Henson's 75th birthday. The show was at 1:00 pm. I arrived at 12:15, which wasn;'t really enough time to go through the Muppets before, so I got a ticket for after the movie.

Still, I had some time, so I visited the animation station. MOMI has lots of interactive exhibits, where visitors can do voice overs, sound effects, and other things. Those are for one person (or group) at a time.

The animation station can seat eight? ten? people, so it's easier. It's stop action animation done with cut outs that they provide and computers. When you're done, you can e-mail the animated film to yourself. It;s a lot of fun to play with.

Then I went through the sound and sound editing technology displays. Really informative and fun.

It was about time for the movie, so went to the theater. The theater is VERY nice and the seats are comfortable. The person doing the introduction started with a short with Rolf on the Jimmy Dean (Country singer, sausage maker) Show from 1963.

It was fun.

Next was a speech from the man who was the music producer for the Muppet Show for the first four seasons. After his speech, the movie started. So many highlights.

1) The Mahnah-Mahnahnah muppets
2) Kermit and Debbie Harry singing The Rainbow Connection
3) Elton John (in a shiny, skintight pink jumpsuit) and Miss Piggy singing Don't Go Breaking my Heart.
4) Beverly Sills singing a country/western song and tap dancing
5) Stadler and Waldorf doing a burlesque number
6) Pearl Bailey singing Hello, Dolly (well, Hello, Pearly) during a satire of the jousting scene from Camelot.
7) A version of Lullaby of Broadway done at the South Pole

But my favorite?

The Swedish Chef, Beaker and Animal singing Danny Boy. I laughed so hard I cried.

After that, I went through the muppets exhibit, except that, by then, it was hyper-crowded, so I figured that, now that I'm a member, i'll just go back.
oxymoron67: (Default)
I'm listening to my iPod. I just realized that I own six versions of Don't Cry for me, Argentina.

SIX.

That feels... excessive.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Two of my three choices are specifically Christmas songs:

1) Angels we Have Heard on High

How can you not love a song that features the refrain "Gloria in Excelsis DEo"?

2) Do You Hear What I Hear

Another great song. I pretty much every version I;ve ever heard of it.

But the song that always makes me smile?

Funiculi, Funicula

It's in Italian, I have no idea what they're singing. It sounds like "jambo, jambo, jambo, FUNICULI! FUNICULA!", but it's just such a fun, bippy song that I just don't care.
oxymoron67: (Default)
As the college was closed today, for Lincoln's birthday, I think, we get President's Day on the 21st, I decided to go to a museum.

Actually, I had planned to go to two: The Museum of the City of New York and The Jewish Museum.

However I spent the morning enraptured by the coverage of the revolution in Egypt, so I left in the early afternoon, meaning I could only visit one museum. I chose the Museum of the City of New York. I saw three things there:

1) A Retrospective of Herbert Katzman's work: he was an expressionist artist who drew inspiration from the city.

I loved his art: beautifully rendered. There is a clear Van Gogh influence, though it lacks Van Gogh's intensity. Which is totally okay. It's not about details with Katzman, it's about feelings and impressions and color. He painted many versions of the Brooklyn Bridge, with brilliant sunsets. But when he painted the harbor, he used much more muted colors.

His work shows real thought and vision.

2) The drawings of Denys Wortman, a cartoonist in the 30's and 40's for various NY newspapers

Most of Wortzman's drawings were about The Great Depression and the home front during WWII. While they are frequently funny, they also give an impression of the time, in a very different way than books or even interviews.

Neat.

3) Ain't Nothing like the Real Thing: The Apollo Theater

I did not know that there was an Apollo Theater retrospective at the museum.

It was wonderful. There was a short introductory documentary, artifacts from various performers there (a dress Patti LaBelle wore there, old playbills, one of Miles Davis' guitars, etc.), and placards discussing various types of performers (comedians, dancers, singers) and eras (the 20's, the 40's, etc.)

A must see.

Also... I joined the museum because, Lord knows, I'm there often enough

Right before I left, I was sitting down and sorting my stuff putting my camera back in its case, putting my purchases at the gift shop into my backpack, etc. Well, the gentleman sitting next to me started talking to me.

We had a wonderful conversation.

He had come specifically for the Apollo Theater exhibit. We talked for a while (his wife was off going to the restroom and picking up her coat) . He was a retired music teacher who had spent a lot of his youth at the Apollo. He met Charlie Parker and Pearl Bailey. He told me that he had talked to Charlie Parker "right before he died."

Cool!

He then said that he's now a docent at the Queens Museum, and discussed the art there. Much of the art at the Queens Museum comes from the immigrant communities in Queens, and we were discussing various diaspora... diasporas?... diasporae? ... diasporabus? (okay, this one is most unlikely, but I like how it rolls off the tongue.)

After he and his wife left, a lady walked up to me and said that she was there specifically for the Apollo exhibit, because she had memories of sneaking in there as a child. I told her that she would love it.

Then I left, caught the bus and came home.

I like the Museum of the City of New York. It's off the beaten path (5th Avenue and 104th St.), but has some really neat stuff.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Not "can't stand", but perhaps "A little disappointed."

When I was little I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Aristocats.

The songs! Eva Gabor (or Zsa Zsa, I mean, it's not like it matters which one) as the mama cat! The dogs! O'Malley the Alley Cat! A fun romp!

It ROCKED.

Then, I watched it with my nephews on a trip to Atlanta. It was... okay.

I mean, it was still fun, and my then young nephews enjoyed it, but, as an adult, I realize that it's not really a classic.

In fact, I should see if I can download the soundtrack...

If we want to talk about things that were cool as kids but not adults... let's talk the board game Monopoly. As a kid? I loved it. It was all about trying to get monopolies and drive your competitors (usually my siblings) into bankruptcy.

As adults... we all just tried to block one another from getting the monopolies and we discovered that the game kind of sucked.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Better? I don't know. I think a cover is well done when it takes a song in a different direction.

For example, Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights is a beautiful song. Pat Benatar covered it, and it's just as good, but different.

If we're on the subject of Kate Bush, I would add The Church's cover of her song Hounds of Love and Placebo's cover of Running up that Hill. Placebo, in particular, turns that into a much darker song.

At one point in my life, I thought Judy Collins' cover of Send in the Clowns was the ultimate version, but then I heard Glynis Johns sing it on the cast album of A Little Night Music. That was that. Judy Collins did really good covers of Amazing Grace, The City of New Orleans and Both Sides Now.

Ugly Kid Joe's cover of Cat's in the Cradle... no, no, no... that needs to be destroyed by fire.

Though, Mandy Patinkin's covers of both Taxi and Cat's in the Cradle are quite something.

For two awesome groups of covers, the compilation Cds I Wish I was a Carpenter and Two Rooms: Celebrating Elton John and Bernie Taupin are great.

The Carpetner's tribute album has Shonen Knife's Awesome cover of On Top of the World among others and The Elton John tribute has Tina Turner's The Bitch is Back along with Sinead O'Connor's haunting cover of Sacrfice.

So, there are some quality covers for you. (At least, in my opinion... your opinion may vary, and if it does you're wrong welcome to have opinions other than mine.)
oxymoron67: (Default)
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No.

Childhood/high school? Sucked.

When people say "When I was a kid, I didn't have any responsibilities, it was so great!", I think "Yes, but you didn't have any control and a very limited amount of freedom."

I like having that control and the responsibilities that go with it.

More to the point, I am, for the first time in my life, in a very stable, happy place. I like my job; I like where I live... I'm doing fine. I don't want to go back ten years, when I was in grad school, and had to scramble for extra jobs every term. (And I enjoyed grad school.)

So, no. I listen to lots of music from the 70s, 80s and 90s, but none of it makes me want to go back there.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Not a nightmare, just ... odd.

In my dream, I was doing ordinary things: washing the dishes, going to work, correcting quizzes... everyday stuff.

But every now and then Kurt Loder of MTV NEws fame would show up and tell me how various musicians died.

While I was washing the dishes, Loder walked in the room and said "Patsy Cline's plane crashed."

And then he left.

He then showed up on the bus, discussing Harry Chapin's car accident.

Finally, while correcting quizzes, Loder appeared in my office to inform me about Jimi Hendrix and how he choked on his own vomit.

Then I woke up. I just lay there for a few minutes, because that was decidedly peculiar.
oxymoron67: (Default)
My iPod died while I was visiting the family, so I went to the Apple Store to see if it could be fixed.

No such luck: its hard drive died.

I had to buy a new one, so I went with the 160 gig version because I can store EVERYTHING there. (Cue evil or geeky or geekily evil laugh).

My service appointment was at 9 am, and I was out of there by 10ish, so I went to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Just because. This time, I spent most of my time in the Monet and Manet galleries, with a little Gauguin thrown in. After that, I wandered through part of the Chinese porcelain collection and ended up in the Assyrian stuff.

They have a room where they've reconstructed what the Assyrian throne room looked like. Sphinxes! Genies! My favorite genies are the eagle headed ones.

Can you imagine the old TV show I Dream of Genie with an eagle headed genie?

Larry Hagman: Genie, what did you do now?
Genie: Rawk!

I'm easily amused.

From there I returned to my apartment, as I am planning to leave for Atlantic City on Monday, and wanted to do a little more tidying up. Not that that happened. I slept instead.

*shrug*

Music meme!

Aug. 8th, 2010 09:42 pm
oxymoron67: (Default)
As relayed to me by [livejournal.com profile] chris_walsh

1. If you'd like to play along, reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. You then list (and upload or link to the video, if you feel like it) 5 songs that start with that letter.
3. Then, as I'm doing here, you'll post the list to your journal with the instructions.

Chris gave me the letter "g"

I'm notlinking to videos, because, for some reason (probably my own stupidity) I'm not able to.

1. Ghost by the Indigo Girls
This is probably my favorite Indigo Girls song. It's beautiful and heartbreaking. The singer is haunted by this former love, who has moved on, even though the singer has not. It;s interesting: this, Galileo and Love Will Come to You are all among my favorite Indigo Girls songs. They're all on the CD Rites of Passage which isn't their best album.

2. Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac
One of the best breakup songs out there. It's on their masterwork, Rumors.

3. Go West by The Pet Shop Boys
Yes, this is a cover of a Village People song. The Pet Shop Boys took a dance tune and turned it into something wistful and romantic in its way. It's one of those songs I listen to when I'm feeling down and don't want to wallow. (Unlike, say, the aforementioned Ghost, which I listen to when I want to wallow in my bad mood.)

4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, by Elton John
I just love this song, even though I didn't really understand the lyrics. Elton's diction is... problematic. The feeling of being trapped and just wanting to run away that is the center of this song is something I totally relate to, having felt that way many times when I was younger.

Not so much now. Also, because it;s worth mentioning, the CD Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is amazing.

5. Grace in Gravity by The Story
I just think this is a beautiful song.
oxymoron67: (Default)
Twenty-five new entries for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry.

It's a wide range of recordings: from Yiddish songs to Opera to Broadway to REM and Tupac to spoken word recordings.

Highlights for me:

1) America’s Town Meeting of the Air: Should Our Ships Convoy Materials to England?
One of the non-musical selections, this is a debate between those who wanted the US to stay out of WWII, a majority at the time, and those who wanted to aid Britain.

I'm guessing that this deserves its spot because it represents a viewpoint about WWII that tends to get glossed over: that many in the United States didn't want anything to do with another European War (as they saw it.).

I need to hear this.

2) Leon Metcalf Collection of recordings of the First People of Western Washington State

Recordings of native speakers from the various American Indian tribes in Washington state. As many tribes are trying to revive their languages, this is an important work.

3) "When You Wish Upon a Star," Cliff Edwards
The voice of Jiminy Cricket singing one of Disney's best-known songs.

An interesting choice. I would have thought that maybe "Whistle While you Work" would be here since it *IS* from "Snow White", the first of the Disney's feature length animated movies.

4) The Library of Congress Marine Corps Combat Field Recording Collection, Second Battle of Guam (July 20 - August 11, 1944)

More oral history. I think that the concentration on Guam is interesting as is the variety of things recorded.

5) "Horses," Patti Smith (1975)
I was surprised to see this here. I think it's a great recording, so I'm happy it's been included.
oxymoron67: (Default)
On Thursday, one of the people from advising (who also adjuncts) came to the Speech Center.

We talked, and he asked where my co-worker was. That led to this:

Me: She stepped out. It's just me.
Him: I hate the word "just", you should never think that its "just you...

As he was about to go into a self-esteem spiel that I was IN NO MOOD to hear, I decided to intervene.

Me: You misunderstand. When I say "just" I mean "RIGHTEOUS"*.
Him (stunned): What?
Me: I'm not saying "only me" or "merely me", I'm saying "RIGHTEOUS me", and you damn well better respect.

He looked at me as if I just blew his mind and left.

*I said "righteous" so loudly that my student tutors came rushing in to see what I was doing.

Later on, I was listening to my iTunes, and I had it on REALLY loud. So loud that the folks in the lab, who were recording themselves for a project, asked me to turn it down.

The song? Air Supply's Making Love out of Nothing at all

And, yes, I was singing along. Don't give me that look. It's been a rough week,
oxymoron67: (Default)
I have my next few adventures lined up, though not in any particular order:

1) The Irish Hunger Memorial

2) The Skyscraper Museum.

3) Th Cloisters, which is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

4) A return to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, because of three words: German Romantic Painting.

GERMAN ROMANTIC PAINTING. Those words don't go together. I have to see.

So, I'll be busy over the next few weekends.

Meantime, yesterday on PBS, after the Sunday at the Arts broadcast, Emmanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzak Perlman performed chamber music by Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Schubert. It was wonderful. Catch this (it's on Live from Lincoln Center, I think) if you can.

Following that, on the show Great Museums, the collection of Chinese Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was showcased. It was interesting.
oxymoron67: (Default)
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Lord, so many choices. I could do a top ten! Let's!

Click for the list! )
oxymoron67: (Default)
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My favorite love songs? Peter Gabriel's In Your Eyes. I just adore that song. I especially love the version on his two-cd Secret World live set.

Another one would have to be Modern English's I Melt with You. That song always makes me smile.

On the other hand Breathe by Faith Hill drives me batty. At first, I loved this song, but, after I heard it 33 million times (sometime around the second week after its release), it started getting on my nerves. Plus the line "I can feel you breathe. Just breathe." gets on my nerves. It seems creepy and stalker-y.

Seriously, it may sound sweet coming out of Faith Hill's mouth, but take that line and have, say, Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails sing it and the true creepy nature of that line comes out.

(I'm now picturing Trent Reznor releasing an album of love ballads done the Nine Inch Nails way. I would totally buy that album.)

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