Sunday, April 22, 2012
This video got art written all over it, from comic book art and a modern version of Pop Art and optical illusion. Not only that but also a neat contrast between color and black and white. I also like the fact the outfit Marc wears matches a lot of the pop out and moving words, and even have the words “Baby’s On Fire” even the band T-Total were matching. The part where Marc says “the photographers snip snap, you hear camera noises, it reminded immediately the audio clean version of Soft Cell’s “Sex Dwarf” when he stated get my little camera take a pretty picture, you also hear noises of a camera. I did noticed how Marc isn’t like he used to be on the camera, moving all over the place, I mean he still does it, and you can’t argue that this video he does, but it’s not like a prancing motion, it’s more structured and mature, but he does more of acting gestures in this video. The objects moving every which way in the video also kind of reminded me of La Roux’s “Bulletproof” video in an odd way, then again it’s the UK, but I like the effects it have; especially when Marc sings and certain key words would pop up. The dominant colors in the video are red, white and blue, black, white and pink, there’s more colors of course but those were the dominant ones I saw. The effects of the noises were fascinating, was it suppose to be a woman in agony or something, I mean henceforth the title. At first, I thought it was about an infant being on fire, with Marc, it’s pretty unpredictable, but then after I thought about a woman and it made more sense, talking about being melancholy. I personally love this video, one of Marc’s best work in the 2000’s shows that he is still vibrant and hanging in there. This video is also vintage because of certain parts Marc looks all comic book like with all the dots, something Lichtenstein based and then the microphone he uses as vintage like the one in Soft Cell’s “Torch” video. So in other words this video is worth watching, if you haven’t seen it! Also it really feels like a continuation of Soft Cell’s “What” video because of the several art references and a hint of “A Lover Spurned” too and the lyrics are pretty comical.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
After going through some minor issues, a fan friend texted me about Record Store Day and she was looking for High Contrast by Logistics on vinyl and another band called London Electricity, unfortunately they didn't have it over here and usually Amoeba would have a good source of rarities. The clerk even told me they didn't have it but had everything else of theirs, the lines were packed like crazy. Lord knows I tried! Anyway, I came across these items, the two above me Essential and The Maxi-CD Collection of the Pet Shop Boys are limited/out of print items and boy it was another smashing moment, it guess it was good karma because I helped a friend out and then by chance had these items. The Soft Cell/Marc Almond CDs are pretty common, I did own the Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret with the blue outline before but it was all scratched up and I finally gotten another copy there's a description in there that I like so I thought why not get it again, I can't find the original one I have, so I have four versions of Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. The Idol looked artsy and there's two live versions of two songs I like from Marc Almond which is pretty cool to get, they did have other material but I have them or I haven't test the album yet, Marc Almond wise. I'm really excited I own these, never thought I see the day I find valuables such as these!!
Friday, April 20, 2012
I finally changed my thoughts on getting this particular book. From a variety of fans I keep hear negative reviews on this book, but couple of fans showed me there's some good points to it, so I thought why not try it? This along with two more books I need to investigate that I already currently have, and expect posts later on in the year. I like to read up on how people started off/behind the scenes type of scenarios, so I am ecstatic to get items like that.
artwork by Scott Ewalt
artwork by Hanni Balzer
I recently checked out Marc Almond’s End of New York. It is a series of poems, lyrics, and prose from the 80’s and 90’s of his view of New York that was published in March of 2001, I was updated by a fan, thanks again. I noticed that there’s a couple of major, distinctions between the readings from the CD and the book itself: There’s a reading of “The Puerto Rican Go Go Boy” in the CD that’s not in the book, and a lot of the wordings were either omitted or inserted by Marc himself, but there’s a photo with the same title, it’s an art piece by Scott Ewalt, but there is “The Lonely Go Go Dancer”, but it wasn’t read. I personally was confused that he only read about 75% of his work and then left the rest unread. However it is a nice piece of art and liked his perspective of New York. I also like how there was two Soft Cell songs that were used: One was read which was “Baby Doll” it had another feel to it compared to how it was released in 1983, but it was equally erotic and the other was "L’Esqualita" which wasn’t read but it did have a small fact Marc pointed out, “L’Esqualita is the name of the Puerto Rican drag club in New York. I first visited the club in 1982 and it became one of my favorite places. When the drag artists performed members of the audience would walk up to them and push dollars down the front of their dresses.” End of New York, p.49. There’s also photos that are in black and white that Marc took of people but wasn’t credited, don’t understand why unless he was trying to be mysterious. I really love the rawness Marc provides for these pieces and organic, really telling it like it is. I do love the artwork by Scott Ewalt, the usage of colors and people from abnormal heads and shapes to the complicated structures of buildings. This item is out of print, and was proud to finally get it, it was one of the items by Marc Almond I wanted. I felt sorry for him when he was trying to get his fans into it, but they all wanted to know about the latest album and when was it coming out. If I was there, I would have asked what made him feel secure enough to have his some of his art pieces released into a book and why did he left out some of his work. I knew from reading previous facts that New York was actually his idealistic place to live, but after 9/11, it was irrelevant and then too the accident few years later that would change him altogether and found a new fascination that is Edinburgh, and shockingly enough Russia.(found this out on his twitter) it's interesting because Neil Tennant is into the Russian culture, he would definitely have someone to talk to about that now wouldn't he? Anyway, Also another piece of art remains not credited, which is the portrait of Marc as a devil. I also wonder how his attitude was when his voice was recorded; what was going on when he read them, did he feel different or felt the same after a period of years. Maybe the word “ellipsis” probably meant something symbolic such as to be continued or something like that. I also noticed how there’s a similarity on the theme, there’s a photo of Marc as a devil but then too, the cover of the photo have Marc’s head being almost dominant and then behind him says the Angel of Death. This is something for either young adults or adults that into the sleaze, drug, sex, violent, glamorous type of world that was and probably still is New York. My thoughts might change over a period of time about this, but as of now, it’s something I would get if you’re into art and would to know more about an artist. Also I forgot to point out the musical Cats the way Marc discuss about it seems very intriguing, I always wanted to see it and now getting the idea of it, makes me want to see it more, but I don’t think they will show it anytime soon. There’s was a bit of humor about it because Marc says there were the only cats he wasn’t allergic to, even though some of them were intoxicating. There is a remix album that shares the same title of The End of New York but there were fifty limited editions that were given away and some of the songs aren’t from the series too which was interesting. I’m glad I just have the series of his art plus the audio CD. If my facts are off is because they don't have much for me to look at.
sources were from the book and
Monday, April 16, 2012
I remember this parody like it was yesterday, Rowan Atkinson portrayed Marc Almond on this, when I was younger I felt kind of offended by it, but of course I was really immature at the time and didn’t know better, but as of now, I thought it was pretty funny, I didn’t see a point it was trying to convey unless saying Marc’s voice sounds fake and it’s only used on a tape or saying. I heard that his voice was out of tune a lot, but I think that’s the beauty of his voice though. They omitted the song on this clip, it’s a song about Whales I think it was bizarre. I think I read that Marc said that Rowan could have done a better job, Only thing I would say about that is that Rowan needed to sound more nervous and laughing through and a bit of stammering because that’s how Marc really talks when, well when I see him interviews. The interviewer said they were on the Whistle Test, I don’t remember seeing that Whales clip on Whistle test, it just looked like some sing a-long type thing, that’s what I remember, I maybe wrong. But over all, it’s pretty hilarious, I mean he dressed up like Marc really well, I believe so.
I’m currently working on more drafts and have brainstorms, probably going to be some difficult posts to master, but ever since I went to Universal Studios with a good friend from school, this particular actor was on Universal Studio tours and he was the tour guide: Jimmy Fallon. I kept wondering why Jimmy Fallon kept going through my head and I just remembered yesterday that portrayed Neil Tennant on a Saturday Night Live parody mini skit called Napster Hearings. I saw it a year ago on Youtube, thankfully the video is still there. So I thought to share my opinion about it, but before I do that, I have to give a synopsis about it.
This skit was from Saturday Night Live on March 10, 2001. It consists of 80’s artists including Corey Hart, Toni Basil, Cameo, Right Said Fred, Rico Suave, David Lee Roth, Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys, I’m pretty sure there’s more but that’s why I seen and remembered. It’s called “Napster Hearings” if I’m not mistaken, Napster was one of those sites you can download music for free. Now you can tell where this is going, ah well, you know how artists can be a bit ticked when you download their music or when a manager from a record store get angered because of the downloading? Well you can tell why these artists are there in court because of illegal file downloading and copy right policies. Nowadays it’s pretty common now; I mean just see how the technology keeps advancing every nanosecond of our lives.
Now based on the Pet Shop Boys parodies I see so fair, I think this one is one of the shortest ones I ever seen. It’s actually the first one I have seen without someone being a Chris in there. I have only seen Katy Brand’s “It’s a Song”, and French, Saunder’s It Pays Our Rent, “I’m With Stupid” video and “Go Hetero.” I think personally they could have used a better actor instead of Jimmy, or Jimmy should have acted the part a wee-bit better, I mean I know it’s a parody and all, but I never seen Neil walking in such ways like Jimmy did and the hair was way too exaggerated and if he was supposedly poor, I would expect seeing like marks from dirt or paw prints or something that proves that he’s working in an actual Pet Shop. It’s just my opinion. The lines he says are funny but It needed more feeling, I think that’s why Saturday Night Live wasn’t so good like it used to be, a lot of the good actors/actresses are not there anymore. Also in addition to it, I didn’t get the whole sketch because a few of the artists were one hit wonders, but I don’t recall hearing about the Pet Shop Boys breaking up or being a one hit wonder, so it was almost a fail, now if they had Soft Cell instead(just saying because it’s true) it would have made more sense because Soft Cell aren’t a band anymore, and it was in 2001 and they did make a comeback, they are considered a one hit wonder, but other places they weren’t. That’s just an opinion. Two things are for sure is that the Pet Shop Boys are alive and kicking, and certainly not poor. And then based on Wayne’s site Fallon mistakenly called himself Nigel Tennant, yeah a fail. Well at least it was rebroadcasted and then the Pet Shop Boys did perform “Love, Etc in 2009 on Fallon’s late night show.
I seriously think it could have been a better skit, but that’s just me. Comedy is suppose to be a natural, originality and creative and have some facts on it.
Here’s the bit from the skit. The youtube video is the part two and it begins on 1:44
Neil Tennant: I'm Neil Tennant. I used to be a part of the Pet Shop Boys.
Sen. Evan Bayh: Right. And what do you do now?
Neil Tennant: These days, I work in an actual pet shop. But I'm planning a big comeback. "In a west end town, a dead-end world. The end end boys and west end girls—"
Female Senator: Please, sir, stop singing.
Neil Tennant: "What have I—what have I—what have I done to deserve this?"
Female Senator: I said stop singing.
Neil Tennant: I wasn't singing! I'm flat broke, and I work in a pet shop! What have I done to deserve this?
Sen. Trent Lott: Next witness!
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Clare showed me this last year, she's a great finder of things! In first few moments of this clip, you will hear Marc Almond, discussing about how he loved the 1989 tour, and admits that he had a touch of envy between the Pet Shop Boys, more like a inspiration type thing. Even in his autobiography Marc admits that he was a bit jealous of the Pet Shop Boys early success. At least it's a mutual respect nowadays, I think it always was, but sometimes a little envy doesn't do much damages, at least Pet Shop Boys admit that Soft Cell was one of their influences so I shouldn't see anymore jealousy with Mr. Almond.
A fan by the name of Maria Jesus told me about this trailer last month I think. It's basically a trailer about the DVD called Just Dusty about the life and legacy of Dusty Springfield along with collaborators and friends, etc. This also feature as you know Pet Shop Boys, and kind of surprising appearance of Marc Almond talking about Dusty. He did do a cover of one of her songs called "I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten" few years ago on his album Stardom Road.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I gotten these yesterday, I apologize for the upside down photo, it's basically Please on vinyl and "Where the Streets Have No Name/I Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You/How Can You Expect to be Taken Seriously" remixes on vinyl! They looked artsy so why not get them?
A Marc Almond fan name Yvonne Moore, told me she had some rewards on her HMV card and told me about this Chris Lowe poster she had and I was excited, because It's my first Pet Shop Boys poster ever!!! After attempts with the post office, she went to one close to town and after couple of weeks, it finally came yesterday, I was checking the mail for the family, and I noticed this long pole sitting outside and when I opened it, I was just excited!!!! I'm grateful to anything really, and it made my day along with other treasures I gotten from Amoeba music!!! Thank you again Yvonne!!! I'm going to work on your Marc Almond drawing!!