"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts negative associations." - Marilyn vos Savant

Monday, July 30, 2012

Opportunities Art

When I saw the latest pet text on the Pet Shop Boys official site, I had to see where this came from. It's actually pretty funny because that's a form of Pop Art/comic book art with one of their songs. It's really cool that Mark Farrow sent them that. I couldn't believe it was from a tumblr site; I actually went to it and come to fine out it had several forms of art, even had couple of my favorite artists including Salvador Dali and Vincent Van Gogh. It's astounding at you what you can find from another form of art. This art piece, if it had the red polka dots, yellow and tear drop from the woman, it would have really looked like something Roy Lichtenstein based art or something he would have done. It's from this tumblr site: Thisisnthappiness. This is worth looking at, if this type of art fascinates you. I also notice white, almost look like some glue was added or something because it have a shell color and white looks brighter obviously.Way to go guys posting such fantastic findings! 

Soft Cell: Live in Milan DVD

Soft Cell: Live in Milan was released as a DVD back in 2002. It was one of the concerts that Soft Cell toured in the early 2000's as a reunion tour. Not really to stay as a band but let others know that they are still around. This was for supporting their new album at the time Cruelty Without Beauty and their compilation The Very Best of Soft Cell. You can also find similar live productions of this concert but in the UK form, in Soft Cell Live and Soft Cell Save Hello, Wave Goodbye Live which are basically the same double CDs collections with the same tracks and more songs than the Live in Milan DVD. This was filmed during a sold out stop at the Rolling Stones in Milan, Italy.  They were under new management, even though Stevo was executive producer Arto and Perko limited. And Cooking Vinyl records was their new record label too. Their style changed you can tell obviously. The choices of the songs were a brilliant mixture of all five albums in one list. Their best songs and classics fans know and love. I liked the way they toured after nearly 20 years. This and the Non Stop Exotic Video Show are the only DVDs I know of that Soft Cell and company made published. The other concerts back in the 80's can be found on YouTube, well some and most are in audio. This is recommended if you don't own this. I gotten another one because the previous one I owned, doesn't work anymore, I used to play it a lot when I younger, and this is really cheap. I gotten this at Wherehouse, it's another good store, if you don't want anything just mainstream. Amoeba is still better, but Amoeba didn't have it shockingly.  There is bonus material and that is Marc Almond and Dave Ball being interviewed and discussing about the past how things happened and it's pretty exclusive. This is also PS2 compatible. I think if i'm not mistaken, they were one of the bands that was suppose to tour with the Pet Shop Boys, something called Wotapalava that the management of the Boys   planned but never happened. I wished it did though. I guess things really do happen for a reason. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pet Shop Boys - A Man Could Get Arrested (Original 7-inch Version) post

“A Man Could Get Arrested” is one of my favorite B-sides and funnily it’s the B-side to “West End Girls” The first time I heard this song, was when a fan was sending me songs since at the time I couldn’t afford to get CDs and things, but for the longest time, I never knew what the track was it didn’t have names. And them I was searching on YouTube on what the track was and finally found it. Out of all the versions of this particular track, I really love the 7’’ version. Ironically the 7’’ is longer than of the two versions.  And based on reading the sleeve notes from the Further Listening to Please, Chris pointed out the 7’’ has real drums, real bass and real brass section and Neil said the bass player of the Status Quo plays on the track. I didn’t even know that! I thought it was funny Chris said it sounded like a rip off of Shannon, because it does have that freestyle vibe. The 12’’ version is Bobby O’s version yet he didn’t finish it, but the Pet Shop Boys did.  What I really like is the lyrics behind it all. Based on Bobby O’s approach to life, sex frustration and Chris pointed out Neil nearly gotten arrested. It was also the first time they met Peter Andreas, according to Alternative. It’s a real eighties pop production by Steve Spiro. I honestly didn’t see the sex frustration until reading it, I actually thought it was a strong message meaning if you want to do something, do it now! Even the 7’’ version have female voices doing the chorus, it almost sound like it could be a soundtrack to a movie or something or at least a theme for a cartoon show.  They spent a week doing the 7’’ version, which is quite impressive! The title always reminded me about Soft Cell’s A Man Could Get Lost, which is about a man exploring the nightlife and having so much fun, he probably would get lost. I know the songs have two different meanings but the whole “A Man Could Get” line of the title sounds so similar it’s pretty funny, I think. I’m actually quite shocked it’s a B-side! A Man Could Get Arrested could have been an A-side but then that’s a lot of their B-sides and then vice versa. I do have the 12’’ vinyl of “West End Girls” with the 12inch B-side of the song, but I prefer the 7'', I also forgot to mention there's a female backing vocals her name is Margot Buchanan, but it seem she was uncredited somehow. I can't find her on the net, or tell if it's the right person, but I found her name on a site on where it tells you where the backing vocals of their songs.

The New Wave Encyclopedia

I'll post this on my other blog, because it is quite unique. I decided to blog a bit since I'll be heading somewhere on the weekend and probably won't have a decent connection. I'll be focusing on more scripting. With that being said, I cam across something really fantastic and it's also an early birthday gift to myself. It's basically a encyclopedia of New Wave. It's found out by a friend that it's a relatively a new book! Because I was showing her the book and I somehow convinced her to want to get this book. I want to make copies of the book and send it back but when I found there was more to be expected, I had to keep it. It's a really fascinating book full of surprises. It's vivid images and sections and gives brief information, photos, fun facts, and a lot more, of the new wave era of the 80's. It's by Daniel Bukszpan, and it has a foreword by Gerald Casale; and it goes in alphabetical order too They used a lot of facts from several sources you can tell. I almost gave me a vibe of Smash Hits in a strange way. One of the sections they had that struck me was The 1980s: The Decade in Gay, as you can see on the first photo below. It showed familiar artists on here and description are very neat for it to be quite a brief info. I couldn't believe to see a description of Marc Almond and Neil Tennant in the same page, almost like I did the birthday drawing with the same arrangements, only thing there's no photo of Marc Almond but it's alright, he's in the Soft Cell section of the book and of course Pet Shop Boys are in there too. What really found really awesome is that photos they used were good selections because of the band names and everything. When you get this book, you'll see what I mean; however, I'll give an example. In the Pet Shop Boys' section of the book, you'll see a photo of them actually looking like boys even though they are adults, and not using other photos that won't get the idea of their titled name. There's actually four descriptions of the artists in here: Marc Almond, Neil Tennant, Jimmy Somerville and Boy George. The next photo below this one is that you see Jon Cryer as Duckie Dale from John Hughes' movie Pretty in Pink, it's the males' fashion section, it was so strange because I took a vast fascination of his movies and you'll also see more about this movie and other brilliant movies by him and others. The movies like Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, to name a few along with many others, were very iconic movies and still rememberable even to this day because of the heart and realness the movies portrayed. This book honestly summed me up a real treat for me. I'm impressed the artists and bands, quite known and some I never heard of gotten a part of this book so when more generations to come, they will see how the 80's was a vibrant of both art and madness in it's decade with its own style. Like Ferris Bueller would say "It's so choice" this book is definitely choice for someone who love the new wave era and for it to be 304 pages of information and pictures, it's totally worth it! I would tell what's more in the book but I don't want to spoil it for future buyers!
(here's two more photos)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick Update

I have been focus on reading and writing lately. Ever since I gotten The Soft Cell biography book as a gift by a dear UK friend Elaine, and watching several documentaries, it really inspire me to explore a different approach with art. I won’t stop drawing and painting, but I will do more of writing, also since August is approaching school and I have school coming up, it’s a great exercise and practice to keep my mind focus. With that being said, the Soft Cell biography, I was actually trying to catch up with it since I did read the unauthorized Pet Shop Boys biography which is really good as well, actually learned a lot about them, very recommendable if you haven’t gotten it yet. The Soft Cell biography is very raw, probably even make you wonder why you’d like a band like this, but at least it’s not sugar coating anything, I learned a lot about Marc Almond and Dave Ball, seems like they have a lot more similarities to the Boys than I thought! It is quite emotional especially Dave Ball lost his father at 17, I lost mine at 19, never knew that, it opened a lot of doors and answers about them.  But it’s very different from Marc’s autobiography Tainted Life, from the bits I read of course. So far I’m on chapter 4 almost on chapter 5 and I’m on chapter 7 with Pet Shop Boys’ biography Introspective book.  But just letting you guys know why the delay of posting.  But I’m still here alive and well.  Once I complete these books I will post an actual post on what I thought and descriptions. They will be coming in soon as well as many other posts! 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Battleship Potemkin score updated discussion.

    {date: 12 September 2004, Trafalgar Square, London}
Performed by Pet Shop Boys and Dresdner Sinfoniker
Conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer
Orchestrations by Torsten Rasch
Staged by Simon McBurney at Complicité

As some of you remembered or probably not, I did a previous discussion post on here about Pet Shop Boys’ Battleship Potemkin score, a fan sent me the songs, but now I officially own the CD and gotten a better and clear explanation and also had an art history class, ironically in my spring semester back in school. I will be using facts from the Battleship booklet, A New History of Documentary Film (my college book) and bits from Catalogue and other text.  And I will have my previous discussion on this post too so you can all see what I thought before actually knowing much than I know before. Just to mention, I only saw 54 minutes of the film/score on YouTube.

But before we got into the score, it’s good to know the origin of material. "Documentary is one of three basic creative forms in film other two are narrative fiction and experimental avant-garde. Propaganda is information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc. Propaganda became a key concern of Russian communist leader Vladimir Ilyich  Lenin (1870-1924) Following the October evolution of 1917, the new in Russia-the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.)- was the first to make sustained, extensive, and coordinated peacetime use of film propaganda.  Modern interest in propaganda is related to the intellectual disciplines of sociology, social psychology and political science." (A New History of Documentary Film p. 5 and Dictionary.com) So in other words, this is when art and political science or history are conjoined together as one to portray the meaning or give the idealistic scenario of what is going on. Battleship Potemkin is basically a propaganda film really. Here’s why.

Battleship Potemkin is a fiction film based on historical fact of the 1905 abortive Russian revolution (U.S.S.R., 1925, Sergei Eisenstein)…Potemkin has five acts. If that makes it like a classical tragedy, as Einsenstein suggested, it is a tragedy with only a chorus; it is not about a particular men or women of high station as in the Greek plays.” (A New History of Documentary Film p. 40-41) Still not convinced? Here’s what two artistic musicians that are known as Pet Shop Boys have to say.

‘“I’ve read a lot about Russian history and when we started this I said, ‘of course it’s really just a propaganda film,’ says Tennant. And Chris pointed out that it’s an ideal really. It’s just an ideal of revolution. It’s a romantic film of people struggling against oppression to find freedom. And that’s why I think it works totally outside the communist context. It’s a very stirring film, and I think we’ve tried to bring out the stirring and idealistic quality in the music.’’’ (Battleship Potemkin booklet and was by Chris Heath, July 2005) I think that’s a good brief explanation on how any it’s a propaganda film.

Mind you that Battleship Potemkin is also a silent film, which explains why it’s necessary that the music would be the chorus or voice portraying the visual. Einsenstein wanted a traditional formula of where every generation/decade have a new soundtrack of his piece. Famous composers like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and later on in Berlin and specially-written by the radical composer Edmund Meisel. (Battleship Potemkin booklet)

In April 2003, Philip Dodd, the director of Institute of Contemporary Art in London (Where Pet Shop Boys made one of their first live appearances) asked Neil and Chris to write a new score for the classic 1925 silent film Battleship Potemkin by Russian director Sergei Einsenstein, and performed it as a free concert in London’s Trafalgar Square with the film as a backdrop. Einsenstein’s film describes the mutiny of the sailors on the battleship Potemkin in 1905, an event that involved local population in Odessa and formed part of Russia’s 1905 revolution. Its celebration of political dissent has made it one of the most powerful films of all time…the group composed music that would be released under the names ‘Tennant/Lowe’ surnames. They asksed German composer Torsten Rasch to orchestrate the work after hearing his song cycle Mein Herz Brennt, based on the music of the rock group Rammstein. (Catalogue p. 303/Battleship Potemkin booklet)  Of course, other keynotes and information can be found on Catalogue page 303, Battleship Potemkin CD booklet, and A New History of Documentary of Film)

When I saw bits from the movie on YoutTube, it really was intense and quite convincing. I mean focusing on little noises like plates shattering noices on “Our Daily Bread” or the part where the guy on the piano and his foot hitting the keys on “Nyet”  or even the gunshot noises in “After All( The Odessa Staircase) “actually gives it the sense of what it was like in the silent cinema. I find the film ironic because it’s a battleship but it’s a war between the authorities and sailors over a bowl of soup. I would be going nuts too, if I were forced to eat meat with maggots in them and what have you. It was really sad because a sailor was slain for it. Then the people of Odessa saw him lying there in what it be like a shrine like area where the sailor lie dead. When the revolution broke on the Odessa staircase, it brought tears to my eyes because of how a mother had to see her child getting walked on and then later gotten killed while she was holding him. The sound did fit for this generation, and if you thought silent films weren’t worth a watch, I’d suggest you give this score and movie a look see. I’m pretty sure that it had different tones because of previous composers. But I know how most are into the now and this would probably fit you, unless you’re really into art. It’s quite strange, and oddly I can listen to the soundtrack without the footage but with it, it makes much more sense.  Personally it’s very dynamic because you have a contrast of something of the last century and a new century sound to convey its purpose.  And also have different versions of songs on here and what I found out recently that “No Time For Tears” is a b-side but it fits so well with this soundtrack to the film. Now I also understand why the titles are the way they are. Some of them (from the 54 minutes I had seen) matched some of the song titles. I will see the hour and fourteen minutes of it and update this post) I just thought I give a better review on this post because I have proper information and the CD soundtrack. Then next paragraph below it, is my previous post about it. I still maintain what I think about the songs, this is just an addition to it. I wished I was around to see it live, but oh well I was too young.

(previous post)
When someone sent me the audio of Battleship Potemkin, I was extremely excited to hear it because, if I thought The Most Incredible Thing was fantastic, then something they did previous must really sound phenomenal! "Comrades!" starts off with drums being banged and then come with this soft feel of being in the ocean where you see the open waters and sun towards the evening. Then it gets all digital like on the second song "Men and Maggot", but the feel changed only a bit. Then I hear fast drums playing and sounds like trance mixed with some fast jazz maybe? Then you can tell they were playing random notes on there after that. Our Daily Bread was an intriguing because The Most Incredible Thing on track twelve, one of the Clocks songs, you would hear the Ten Commandments being spoken by some computerized man's voice, so that's a major similarity there. Then when I hear "Our Daily Bread", it sounds like it was influenced by some Asian sounds, even though this is this is the Lord's prayer they used a few lines from. "Drama in the Ha" (Actually it’s Harbour, the person who sent it to me either had made the typo or it was downloaded like that. ) sounds like some kind of multi -genre sound in one song, I can't even think of the genres at the moment. By the album color, the red definitely this would have some tension in it. Digital and violins in a collision damn near other colors white and black title and name description represents the calmness of it, in my opinion. It definitely must have trance in this piece because the feel of being vertigo and hearing horns and violins was like a bonus. "Nyet" remind of something funny, I don't know what it means but sometimes it sounds like "Ah, shit" It cracks me up when I hear it. To the Shore reminds me a bit of their song "King of Rome" because it sounds like it's in the same mellow soft tune, minus the percussion sounds, it also sounds like a calm version of "To the Battleship"(which is one of my favorites). "Odessa" is like a continuation of Comrades, but it sounds so lovely and sad at the same time. Unlike The Most Incredible Thing, Neil Tennant's voice can be heard more than one song in this piece such as: "Our Daily Bread", "No Time For Tears”, "After All(The Odessa Staircase)", and "Freedom." Some of the songs are repetitive but I think it's mostly continuations of the previous songs. My favourites: "No Time for Tears", "To the Battleship", "Night Falls", "Full Steam Ahead" and "Our Daily Bread." These have certain moods that truly depict the feel of tension as well as calmness more than others. "To the Battleship" sounded like a brief instrumental of "No Time for Tears", then it comes back a strong version and continuation of "To the Shore"; it would make sense because of the "To The" in the title. Then "To the Shore" goes back to the "No Time for Tears" instrumental bit, it sounds heavenly. "After All" reminded me of bits of "Please Stay" a song by Mekon featuring Marc Almond, it’s the "digital percussion type sound" that sounds quite similar. "Stormy Meetings" have a calm feel to it, which is ironic for the title. I would think it would have loud thumping like sounds to it. "Night Falls" and "Full Steam Ahead" have this eerie type of feel that I adore, its like a posh version of Mannheim Steamrollers' Halloweens themes album. I just feel like it just so haunting, I can hear this playing of some off horror movie or show. "The Squadron" reminded me of a darker version of "All Over the World" is some odd way. I also love the indistinct voice in it. Then the tempo speeds up a bit then it sounds like a mix of a lot of their songs I can't explain properly. At two minutes and fifty seconds of it, it reminded me of the beats in "Vulnerable." Then finally, "Freedom" sounds like a final continuation of "No Time For Tears" but it ends with a soft bang if you will. All in All, this is another astonishing piece of work that the Pet Shop Boys did, its definitely worth listening too, I wish I was there when they did it live. There are some similarities to Battleship Potemkin and The Most Incredible Thing, I will discuss that more soon.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Brief update: Pet Shop Boys' score of the 1925 silent cinema Battleship Potemkin

So I finally own a copy of Pet Shop Boys' score of Battleship Potemkin! I'm currently on the process of drafting a newer and updated post on this, reason is because I finally saw bits of it on Youtube and I must say I'm really impressed on this piece! I noticed a lot more significant pieces with the silent film than just the audio. I will make changes with the older post and add like a "Before and after" type post. So Stay Tuned! Don't worry I haven't forgotten the list of coming soon posts, I'm just so excited at the moment and what not! So please bear with me, and thank you again for the views much appreciated! I will have my blogs all updated and a few changes pretty soon! :) 

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Birthday drawing finally completed!

I just finished the drawing tonight, I didn't have a real good idea because I had so much on my mind but I decided to add 90's versions of them portrait wise and then having their 80's cartoon counterparts as dogs. Happy Birthday Marc Almond and Neil Tennant!!!!!!!! ^_^ I find it so awesome that your birthdays are a day apart! Continue to bring astounding music and art to the world!!! You make a 19 year old artist proud to be a fan! 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 8-21, 1982 Smash Hits issue anniversary

I know this is on here on my previous post but I didn't do an actual anniversary for this, I don't think. But anyway, you can probably guess why I'm posting about this. Thirty years ago today was when Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys interviewed Marc Almond of Soft Cell and did a review of Boy George of The Culture Club. The interview of Marc Almond is rare to find and easily forgotten but if you remember the podcast where Neil wanted his old job back one of the people of Smash Hits read the first bit of the interview to guess who he was talking about. However, I believe the review of Boy George was more of a controversy because on the Brit Awards 1988 If I'm not mistaken, he wanted to punch Neil in the face for it. But they are friends now thankfully. And I'm assuming because after what a friend revealed to me on Wayne Studer's site of Pet Shop Boys information it seems like Pet Shop Boys are still influenced by Soft Cell. Also in other news, you know this is a funny chain because tomorrow is Marc Almond's 55th birthday and on Tuesday is Neil Tennant's 58th birthday, I'm currently working on a drawing should be done this week so stay tuned!
<< Here's the full interview page of Marc Almond. >> here's a better look of the interview. And at the bottom you can see the Boy George one and Here's the July 8-21, 1982 Issue. Just click on the image and it takes you to the images of what's inside the magazine! Just in case you can't see them here and of course see what's also in this issue!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Pet Shop Boys' Earlier work (experimental)

I still have more posts on drafts so you will see those very soon. These items you see before you, are quite rare at the same time early Pet Shop Boys work as in experimental. I love this era or short period where they work with Bobby O or Bobby Orlando. It's pretty much "Pet Shop Boys", "West End Girls (original)", "Theme for the Pet Shop Boys","One More Chance"and "Sunglasses At Night" and the combination of the few as one megamix. One from Epic Records and the other two below are Zyx Records. The top one is the 12 inch of the original "West End Girls" and "Pet Shop Boys." Also the photos of the Boys are done by Eric Watson. The four disc CD set is the Maxi CD set which have the songs "Pet Shop Boys", "West End Girls (original)", "Theme for the Pet Shop Boys","One More Chance"and "Sunglasses At Night" and the remixes were done in 86'/88' The Ultimate Mix have these songs too minus "Pet Shop Boys" and "Theme for the Pet Shop Boys" which are sounds and one sounding like an instrumental riff of "West End Girls" I just love the sounds of Maxi CD single because they give me an idea of how Kraftwerk would be even though they are way more experimental since they made their own machines. This is also the Boys raw creative side of them minus their later experimental work and then by working with Bobby O just really makes it exciting.They don't sound like this now of course because of changes in music genres and favorites through the years but in all honesty I really do appreciate this short period. I love the strange and bizarre if you like this type of music I would suggest give it a listen. You can't find these anywhere on youtube but except a few but here's one: Theme For the Pet Shop Boys << this you hear Pet Shop Boys being said but this is the one that have the riff of "West End Girls".