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

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A good friend of mine found something quite interesting!

A good friend of mine Clare told about something interesting today, pretty funny at the same time. She knows I love the era of Neil Tennant working in Smash Hits and there's an interview that Neil did of Marc Almond of Soft Cell back in the day well from a shocker he also did a singles review on Soft Cell's "What" single. I do agree "What" is a song that isn't as bizarre as Soft Cell's other material, and then I know he forgot the title on a podcast calling it "Why" which is pretty hilarious because did a singles review on the song. A day after my birthday on the same year the interview he did of Marc Almond too? What could be better? Seeing a review like that one and seeing a review like the negative review on the Go-Go's single is just quite fascinating about how a person's opinion can change on different artists/bands and then the Duran Duran "Save a Prayer" review was shocking since he didn't or doesn't like Simon Le Bon supposedly. I took a photo from my phone because you can't save photos on flickr. Here's the link Click Here! to see the original! Thanks again Clare, I just love finding the similarities on artists!

CLick Here! to see an awesome drawing from an awesome pet head! :D 

Anniversry drawing/ reflection post

Another year for an anniversary drawing, I had a birthday so I was busy yesterday. But today I worked on this drawing to wish a happy 31st anniversary to the Pet Shop Boys. I would like to also discuss about how I became a fan of their work since I don't have an actual day when I became a fan. But it was around this time I bought the Pandemonium CD/DVD at Barnes and Nobles, was with a friend who is stuff into the new music today, but I'm completely the opposite but I do have a few exceptions of course. I was 18 at the time because my birthday is strange but it's right next to the day Pet Shop Boys met back in 1981, I find it so cool! I enjoyed the CD/DVD, and I had music of theirs I downloaded a lot before then but fully gotten into them. Met some cool fans and some weird fans, some actually thinking they are number one fans. I guess we all feel that way but it's the way they present themselves and the sad thing is that they are older than me and act childish, but it's fine. It's inevitable to meet fans like that, even my Marc Almond fan friends encountered the same thing. It gets annoying because it takes the joy of enjoying the band, but I came to realize, why in the world let some ignorant fans ruin your joy? I was actually on edge of doing so, but I love the band because they have the artistic sense, and don't dare to be different they do what they like and experiment and that's what artists are suppose to do. They are like a proper version of Soft Cell, because they aren't too extreme and it fits them perfectly. Even though some of the choices they done through the years weren't too good but somehow go pass it and still do smashingly! And the astonishing part is that they never really took a long, long break at all, and they are still continuing strong, I can honestly see why Marc was jealous of them back in the day, even though Soft Cell was one of their influences in their material. The fact they did numerous collaborations and doing experimental works beyond their years, it's quite amazing. I think after all of this, it made adore their work even more, sometimes I wish I was in the UK to be fortunate to even see what and how they work like some tour or something. Listening to commentaries and watching concerts and music videos, it's like wow, like my mother said "Only two people?" You'd think it's like 4 or 5 people but it's only two along several musicians and people that are also known or were getting there. All I can truly say is that I'm proud of being an African American fan of their work, and hope to continue to see more brilliant material! I also done art work of them because of requests by fans or just drawing on my own and was glad that I can still draw after a long hiatus! Happy 31st anniversary Pet Shop Boys! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pet Shop Boys Life in Pop DVD review

Pet Shop Boys' Life in Pop is a basically a visualized biography/autobiography/documentary about the life and continuing legacy of the Pet Shop Boys. It's about two hours of jaw dropping, fascinating information about the boys, plus other artist's and colleagues'/associations' views on the Boys themselves which include Brandon Flowers, Robbie Williams, Peter  Robinson, Tim Rice-Oxley, West End Girls, Jake Shears, Bruce Weber, David, Trevor Horn, Tony Wadsworth, Richard Blade, David Walliams, Matt Lucas, Pete Gleadall, Dr. Wayne Studer, Derek Jarman (pre - filmed), Liza Minnelli (1989),  and Frances Barber. It also consist of clips from their concerts, music videos, multiple media footage used chronologically, not to mention if also have on location shots which I personally like, especially reminiscing about. The one of Blackpool definitely reminded me of some footage Soft Cell  did on something called BBC Young Guns: Go For It. Something like that and it was about Soft Cell, so the location looked familiar because Dave Ball of Soft Cell is from Blackpool as well. It was originally broadcasted on Channel 4 in May 2006 but have an extended version that is on the DVD. It was directed by George Scott, this can be appealed to any audience because it's artsy, in depth information and it's very intriguing, for example, I didn't know Neil dyed his hair red to dress like David Bowie, I knew about the blonde hair thing thanks to Annually but the red thing had me baffled, or even Chris worked as a waiter or something. It's  like they can honestly relate to just about anyone that's seriously struggling. Even have well known performers and people, to take out time to speak on their behalf on the musicians is quite dynamic. It also include bonus material like music videos: "Miracles", "I'm With Stupid", "Minimal", and "Numb".
Their first ever televised appearance on Hits des Clubs. Namur, Belgium performing "West End Girls" and finally two BRIT Award sequences "What Have I Done to Deserve This? 1988 with Dusty Springfield and "Go West" 1994 with Welsh miners' choirs conducted by Richard Niles. This is a perfectly formatted DVD that would be considered highly suggested, if to do some research or wanting to learn what are the Boys really about, well one of them materials anyway. It's definitely worth it.
I even showed my mother the closing ceremonies footage few days ago and she was shocked that it was only two people in the band, she thought it like five people in the band because they are so powerful, she was blown away herself. I haven't showed her any concerts yet but she's definitely into the music so this band is a-okay in my book, even my mother's and that's her era really. I thought I throw that in there if I haven't already. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Pet Shop Boys at the Closing Ceremonies

Yesterday, multiple bands/artists like Pet Shop Boys, Madness, Beady Eye, Jessie J, Fatboy Slim, Spice Girls Annie Lennox,The Who, George Michael, many others along with tributes of John Lennon, David Bowie. Freddie Mercury; having choirs, marching bands and many other forms of art of the London culture. But one of the ones I really adore were the Pet Shop Boys, even though it was brief, I was finally glad to see them on something that was broadcasted on NBC, was absolutely grateful, because you barely hear anything of them on television unless it's a music channel. Sadly that's how America is with a lot of UK bands if they aren't in the legendary realm yet. You practically have to do a handful amount of research just to know where they are.
The first photo you see here, I saw this on tumblr, I don't know where it originates on a website but I do like pre photos meaning before the show the real deal. Apparently they are on rickshaws, I can actually hear "Chariots of Fire" going in my head when I see them on these for some odd reason. I guess because of the next photo to the right it look like an abstract version of fire or something. Actually what they were wearing and the colors, well to me obviously brought up something quite familiar from their previous material. Well they wore cone hats in the music video "Can You Forgive Her?"and ironically the dominant color would be orange because their album Very (lego casing) was primarily orange. Also the blue lighting in the background and the orange rickshaws/abstract head wear, that's another clue to me that it reminded me of the "Can You Forgive Her?" video because those two colors were very dominant in the video. If you also look closely on the photo even the background had triangles so it's like a three forms of triangular/pointy forms and shapes: the abstract heads, the cone hats and the triangles in the back! How artsy can you get?? Gareth Pugh are behind the outfits, the black jacket Neil wears looks quite similar to the one he wore in the Brit Awards(same one with Brandon Flowers and Lady Gaga) but the one Chris wears looks practically new and different. I am getting a sense of a black crow in their outfits. It would make sense because of Chris' outfit looks feathery and the cone hats for some reason, almost look like a beak or something. (I found out on a photo that someone used Chariot of Fire, on an article, I guess I rest my case when I thought about that then!!) Anyway, the closing ceremonies blew me away! So much talent and legends performing and newer generations keeping the balance. And thank God for DVRs I would have honestly missed it, if I didn't have one! I personally wished there were some more artists that would be in it, but I know because of time and all, it's understandable. I just remember in the "Can You Forgive Her?" video did have two species of bird: an ostrich and ducks. So in a way I can see where the bird reference came from a wee bit. I love how the people were doing the dance for "West End Girls"very unified! That song seriously will never get old. I forgot to mention this the suits the guys are wearing look like something from Tim Burton's Beetlejuice, because the main character Beetlejuice wears a suit with black and white stripes.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Ultimate Deluxe edition review

This is the special edition cover.

This is the standard version cover.

This compilation was released last year on November 1st. There’s two versions: One being the standard or regular version with the songs in chronological order including the new song “Together”, which If I’m not mistaken was the idea from EMI and the other one is the deluxe or special edition, which also includes a DVD with 27 BBC performances from mostly Top of the Pops 1 and 2, with a few exceptional appearances from Old Grey Whistle Test, Wogan and Brit Awards and finally includes as well the Glastonbury 2010 performance which pretty much like their Pandemonium tour minus “The Way It Used to Be” being in the track listings. The color scheme on this version is different from the regular, I guess to avoid confusion. The standard version of it has a color scheme of cool colors: green, to blue.  While the deluxe edition have warmer colors with one cool color: pink, orange, orange yellow and purple. I gotten this from a fan as a gift, I guess from buying the Life in Pop on DVD for the person. It’s a really choice idea because if you’re a newbie fan and want to test out their material at first hand, this is one of them because you get the idea what the Pet Shop Boys are all about, as well as Life in Pop DVD and PopArt the DVD(their videos) and if you have more of a fascination then getting their compilations like PopArt CD, their B-side sets: Alternative and Format, bookwise IntrospectiveCatalogue, Annually, Special, Literally and Pet Shop Boys vs. America are something else to get into. If not then there's their concerts: Highlights/MCMLXXXIX (VHS) which is only 30 minutes of it(more can be found on YouTube, Performance, Somewhere, Montage/Nightlife Tour, Cubism/Fundamental Tour, Discovery(VHS) more can be found on YouTube, and Pandemonium tour which includes a CD version, but it has lesser songs than the DVD. I’m not saying to get all at once because fans work on their own paste but whatever that is in your interest definitely test these out if you haven’t already. The deluxe edition also includes a little booklet of silhouettes of the musicians with a color schemes I mentioned earlier on each of them and it has the credits for both the CD and DVD. I would definitely consider this for an artist's choice. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My 6th year being a Soft Cell/Marc Almond fan anniversary post

August 2, 2006 was when I became an official Soft Cell fan. Ironically it’s also my grandmother’s birthday she would have been 82 if she were alive. At the time I was 13 going on 14 becoming a fan of Soft Cell. I was unsure of what music choice I was into at the time. I was obsessed with P!nk at one point, then listened to multiple artists from the 80’s and even classical music; I still listen to these types of music by the way. But when I heard “Tainted Love” for the first time, that I can think of, it was during between June and July, I had the Music Choice channel on cable and “Tainted Love” going off and I immediately wrote down the song and artists’ name before the song went off. I was asking my mother, aunts and my grandparents have you heard of the song. So far only my aunts and my mother heard of it.  My mother showed me this really, really old tape (I’ll add a photo of it) she liked the song when it came out and she recorded it off the radio. You can tell it was old but it didn’t sound that bad and somehow she managed to capture the full version of the song. Before I was exposed with technology full on, I almost wore her tape. So I finally decided to make CDs with “Tainted Love” and then the power of downloading and all, had so many versions. Then my cousin, Dario bought me my first Soft Cell CD, which was their compilation The Very Best of Soft Cell.  At the time, I only thought “Tainted Love” was their only hit or song really, I was so obsessed with it, like literately. I mean every time the song played, they wondered where I was. Then I remembered I printed out so many photos of Soft Cell to the point, I compiled a collage jive book, my aunt called it, with photos, interviews, just about everything. When I actually did more researches on them, I realized they had more songs to be expected. Now I’ll be quite honest, I was actually afraid of what to listen to because of the track titles. I honestly had no idea what I was about to get myself into. I mean I never heard such track titles like “Sex Dwarf”, “Bedsitter” or even “Entertain Me”. Then I checked out what “erotic” meant and was nervous because at the time, I was intimidated with sexual stuff, but after a while. I wanted to explore Soft Cell, regardless of what the case may be. I heard bits from their first and second albums. Then when Tower Records was still around, I begged my mother to buy me Soft Cell’s first album, she was mad but she bought it anyway. I really like the album actually wore it out, it was so full of scratches and then later on buying more of their albums, all went terrible until I downloaded their tracks and then when those were deleted on my grandmother’s computer. I finally managed to get them recently thanks to Amoeba Music. Actually because of Soft Cell, it opened doors for me when It came to music. I started reading articles that I printed out and seeing bands like Pet Shop Boys, Bronski Beat, Human League, etc, I soon later became interested into the bands and there are more I need to explore like Kraftwerk, and so on. I didn’t even know at the time Neil Tennant was part of the Pet Shop Boys since there was an article where he claimed “If it wasn’t for Soft Cell, there wouldn’t be no Pet Shop Boys, Soft Cell realized we could form a group.” It was amazing how bigger artists and bands had so much to say about this band and especially being America too. I was quite astounded.  My adoration went even further with them in middle school where people at school told me I liked a gay band, I should listen to rap, or they don’t know you exist and all that stuff. I couldn’t stop listening to Soft Cell, their lyrics really spoke out to me. So I had folders where I spelled out the name and the band mate’s names throughout my items. Then even used some of the photos I had into clear slots, where I would flash out Soft Cell pictures and stuff. What was so funny, at the time I still remembered walking around with the Soft Cell scrapbook with me to school at the time. Even someone gotten me into trouble because I had an almost nude photo of Marc Almond that I gave to someone, they wanted to keep it after class. I actually thought the person was a fan, but it turned out she was only doing it for a mere friendship. She told me she had photos of Marc Almond that were “rare” which were common photos I already seen. Told me innumerous lies about Soft Cell were with mainstream artists and all that. Soft Cell only around briefly in the 2000s and there was no way they would be around any mainstream artist, not that I know of. Even this dude was gay and still mocked me for liking them. It was crazy at my middle school year. I remember this one girl told me that Rihanna actually sampled the track for her song “S.O.S.” song and guess what, it was a big hit, not really a shocker because the song is still popular to this day. I don’t care if it was a big hit, I love the song regardless of what people have to say. Even yesterday my neighbor across from the apartment, had a movie playing and I heard “Tainted Love” which was bizarre because my fan anniversary was very soon and then by finding Bedsit Tapes, I was so excited. But going back to fans, I did meet a hand full of fans.  One that so into them, he was younger than me, but later stopped liking them because of the gay thing, which, I’m thinking you just now realized that? I knew Marc Almond was gay, I used to think Dave Ball was his partner but after reading, I immediately gotten that out of my system. What angered me was that the fan have so much rare items of them it was crazy. He never gotten back to me about it, but it’s fine the technology is so advance it’s possible to retrieve. I met this other nut from South America; I don’t know what his issue was honestly. He was a fan of Soft Cell and the Pet Shop Boys, he seems popular with YouTube, I think that’s also how I took an interest on them too. All I can was that he called me a stupid black girl in Spanish then few months later talking to the previous fan I mentioned and claiming he wasn’t a racist. As if I would believe that. He sketched and all, his art was alright, but he needed improvement. All this was on MySpace and messenger by the way. Then I found out karma had him when he made that animal cruelty video using a Marc Almond song and Marc hated that. Hell he probably hated me too because I mentioned Soft Cell or something, but I am an American fan, I didn’t know anything at the time. Actually I came across a few of Marc’s associates, then to find out he doesn’t want to do with them anymore, for some odd reason. But not all fans were assholes or changed because of ridiculous reasons. I met others who didn’t want to do anything with me, jut because they were stuck up fans and all that. I did; however, met some awesome fan friends: Yvonne Moore, Elaine Darvas, and Jacqueline. I would say more but I found out they were nutcases looking for attention like the Pet Shop Boys fans I met on Facebook. I honestly don’t understand the whole superior thing, but they will learn one day. Anyway, so far I stayed in touch with those Marc Almond fans, our friendship never really faded out. I met a few more that were nice or decent but I kept my distances only because I don't want any ruckus with anybody. It was quite a war, even then no matter what superior fans want to think, if it came from the horses’ mouth, then there’s nothing more to say. I still love Soft Cell, even Marc Almond’s solo work and collaborations. I don’t know what made me really drawn to the music, but I really adore their way of thinking and they were unique and weren’t afraid to be artists. I must say I’m a proud fan of them and it will take a lot to get me off of them. Then by getting awesome gifts lately, it really had it in my mind; that it was fate that I would be into this band. I’m not sure on what date I became a pethead but I will post about it around my birthday.  Don’t worry I have no hatred on fans, I’m only pointed out what happened during the years. I would like to continue meeting awesome fans. Overall I didn't have that much trouble with the fans rather than the Pet Shop Boys fans.