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Tag Archives: Music

Marilyn Manson Reaped Profits From the Justin Bieber Tee Using His Image

Marilyn Manson Reaped Profits From the Justin Bieber Tee Using His Image Last year, Justin Bieber and the designer Fear of God released a new shirt. It sold at Barneys for $195, though you would be forgiven for not realizing it was a Bieber shirt at first glance. This Justin Bieber Marilyn Manson tee repurposed an existing shirt design from the ’90s shock-rocker. The sleeves were cut off the shirt, which featured a picture of Manson on the front with his name, and “Bigger Than Satan” on the back. The Bieber version screenprinted “BIEBER” on the back beneath “Bigger Than Satan.” The Justin Bieber Marilyn Manson shirt front The original non-Bieber’d version of the shirt is still available. Amazon ...

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Theatre Review: “Jerry’s Girls”

Can’t get tickets to Hello, Dolly? Well for the rest of this week, you can hear all of the major songs from that show sung beautifully, plus just about every other great song Dolly composer Jerry Herman wrote, in the York Theatre’s “Musicals in Mufti” presentation of Jerry’s Girls, a revue of Herman’s best, designed for a trio of women. “Mufti” refers to “everyday clothes,” and this series from the York presents worthy but neglected musicals of the past in something between a staged reading and a full production, in rehearsal clothes with script in hand, minimal rehearsal and no design elements. The stellar trio in this production are Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Avenue Q), Christine Pedi (Forbidden Broadway) and Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime...

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Opera Review: “Rusalka”

To make a longish story short, Rusalka is a tragic operatic Czech variation on The Little Mermaid. It also takes elements of the older fairy tale novella Undine (and all three have roots in the medieval legend of Melusine). There’s also a strong musical influence from Wagner here too – and not just musical: The opera opens with a trio of water spirits teasing a gnomish creature, exactly the same opening as Wagner’s Das Rheingold. It is also very Czech. While Little Mermaid and Undine are obvious influences, the libretto takes much more directly from the fairy tales of Czech authors Karel Jaromír Erben and Božena Němcová. As with all of the works of the opera’s composer Antonín Dvořák, Rusalka draws directly on Czech...

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Cabaret Review: Marcos Valle and Celso Fonseca

I like bossa nova singer / songwriter and all around luminary Marcos Valle because he combines a strong sense of syncopation and groove with a rich and vibrant harmonic palette – these things will get my attention anytime. Add to that a sunny disposition and sensibility best expressed by his signature song “Summer Samba (So Nice)” (made famous by Astrud Gilberto), and I’m in musical love. In his current club act at Birdland, Valle is backed by a trio of musicians whose precision and energy border on the supernatural. When they lock into the groove that Valle is playing on the keyboard – which is most of the time – the room positively levitates with musical excitement in its most direct form. The effect is so dynamic...

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Opera Review: “L’Italiana in Algeri”

A fun time is had by all. Sure, Rossini’s comedy L’Italiana in Algeri is an exercise in orientalism. But it’s a relatively innocuous one. Little is made of the “Turkishness” of the setting (Algeria was under the control of the Ottoman Turks in 1813 when Rossini wrote the opera). Instead, Turkish potentate Mustafa is simply an ancient comic type, the “braggart soldier,” who happens to be wearing a fez. As a matter of fact, the tension of the “exotic” setting gives L’Italiana a bite that most frothy bel canto comedy doesn’t have. The plot is, typically, thin: feisty Italian girl Isabella (Marianna Pizzolato, in a charmingly funny Met debut.) turns the tables on the blustery but bumbling Mustafa (the delirously hammy...

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Opera Review: “L’Amour de Loin”

Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho’s much-praised 2000 opera has a darkly shimmering beauty to it, and director Robert Lepage has created a gorgeous production for its Met premiere that leans powerfully into that shimmering quality. Lepage and set designer Michael Curry have draped strip after strip of LED lights across the immense Met stage. With those strips, “lightscape image designer” Lionel Arnould paints constantly shifting washes of color that vary from evocative abstractions to almost realistic representations of the Mediterranean Sea. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, and suits Saariaho’s music to a “T”. There’s precious little to the plot of L’Amour de loin. Very loosely based on the legend of French troubadour prince Jaufré Rudel (c. 1100-c. 1147), it tells of Jaufré’s idealized love...

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Theatre Review: “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”

This tops many outlets “Best of 2016” lists, and is often compared favorably with super-musical Hamilton in terms of innovation and sheer vivacity. What do I think of it? Well, similar to the way I feel about Hamilton, I at least really enjoyed it about as much as everyone else. As for innovation, well, this sort of thing has been done a lot before, especially in the 1970s, though I can’t deny the dexterity of execution here far exceeds anything I’m aware of in this vein. Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 is composer / writer Dave Malloy’s inspired, stylistically eclectic musical adaptation of a 70-page slice of Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel of Russia under attack from Napoleon, War and Peace (some...

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Simply Barbra Holiday Show: The Music, The Mem’ries, The Matzo…

Steven Brinberg is the premier Barbra Streisand impressionist, who has taken his act, “Simply Barbra”, to international acclaim both on stage and television (performing on several occasions with none other than Streisand buddy Marvin Hamlisch) paying homage to all that is Streisand. Steven does not lip-sync but does a stunningly accurate singing impressionism of Streisand. Steven will be doing Simply Barbra Holiday Show: The Music, The Mem’ries, The Matzo… at Feinstein’s / 54 Below this Sunday, December 18. It’s an evening of holiday tunes, Streisand classics and glimpses of other divas from Cher to Bea Arthur. All performed live, no lip synching. Look for a special guest star to join Barbra to help ring in the holidays – and sing some famous Christmas songs written by...

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Cabaret Review: Judy Collins

No one sings a folk song more beautifully than Judy Collins, and few people sing more beautifully, period. She’s an authentic river of song, in truly golden voice in her seventies. She’ll be talking about a song in passing, and then launch into three or four lines, singing with breathtakingly casual grace and beauty. And then continue with her story “and so I told Leonard Cohen that yes, ‘Suzanne’ is a good song and I’ll be recording it tomorrow…” In tribute to Cohen’s passing she did a medley of his “Bird on a Wire” with one of he own songs – Cohen had encouraged her as a songwriter, which was life-changing for her. When she sings a song in earnest, she’s truly...

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Cabaret Review: Sharon Needles

A song about Candy Darling by Lou Reed, and a Rocky Horror song delivered with a dash of Bette Davis and a whole lot of Alice Cooper – these were perhaps the most deliciously telling things about Sharon Needles’s Halloween-themed cabaret act. Needles keeps referring to her shtick as “stupid,” which I chalk up to a knee-jerk – and praise-worthy – punk need to puncture any and all kinds of self-importance. But don’t you believe it: This is one smart poison cookie! The question I had going into this act was: “how well does this witch sing?” Because, like Bianca Del Rio, I don’t pay much attention to singles and albums released by drag queens. These are people...

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Kaytranada, the Out Gay Canadian 2016 Polaris Prize Winner, Just Dropped the Chillest of Mixtapes: LISTEN

Kaytranada, the 24-year-old Haitian-Canadian electronic musician, producer and DJ who came out as gay in April and this week won Canada’s biggest music award, The Polaris Prize, has released a super-chill mixtape on Soundcloud. The mixtape, titled .0001%, a play on his album 99.9% which won the Polaris Prize honoring the year’s best album by a Canadian artist, is 90 uninterrupted minutes of chill goodness. Writes Pigeons and Planes: Lacking track breaks or names and an accompanying description of “?????????” not much is known about the project—but a quick listen to the loose, free-wheeling tape reveals plenty of surprises including Anderson .Paak vocals (at 1:04:50) and a remix of Usher‘s “U Don’t Have To Call.” Listen: Kaytranada...

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Theatre Review: “Shuffle Along”

The first act of Shuffle Along is like 42nd Street on steroids – smaller chorus, perhaps, but even more aggressive tap dancing. Then the second act is like an Art Deco version of Dreamgirls‘s second act. Shuffle Along has both the advantage and disadvantage over those shows, in that it is the kind of real story that they both imitate. Because, you see, this is in no way a revival of the groundbreaking 1921 musical Shuffle Along, it’s more like a “making of” coupled with “whatever happened to.” The original 1921 Shuffle Along was the first Broadway musical to combine a jazz-heavy score with an entirely black creative team. The choreographer of that production, one Lawrence Deas, doesn’t appear as a character in this...

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Cabaret Review: Charles Busch

Legendary playwright and drag performer Charles Busch has always combined elegantly languid, self-effacing charm with an effortlessly brassy glamour. Busch’s main line is comically complex hard-boiled dames, and while he doesn’t leave that behind entirely, this act is in general more sentimental and sincere. The most time he spends in “brassy-land” is when he’s portraying the character Miriam Passman, an under-talented, over-egotistical cabaret dilettante. When not giving us Ms. Passman, this act is more of a “big sing” than previous presentations. Busch has a pleasantly throaty, not terribly strong, high tenor singing voice – but you don’t come to one of his acts for musical virtuosity. As with the greatest cabaret singers, it’s all about how Busch...

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Theatre Review: “Tuck Everlasting”

A charming and thoughtful (if finally slight) musical, Tuck Everlasting asks the question if you could live forever, would you? While it doesn’t really take that question head on, it uses it to gently explore questions about family, love and many other things. Set in the 1890s in small-town New Hampshire, the musical follows 11-year-old Winnie Foster as she runs away and meets the immortal Tuck family, who are very intent on keeping the key to their immortality secret. The choreography by director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw (best known for Something Rotten!, Aladdin and The Book of Mormon) is the best thing about the show, especially in gaudy production numbers set in a traveling carnival, and a moving extended sequence tracing Winnie’s life after...

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Cabaret Review: Lady Bunny

Lady Bunny sings! In the past, she lip-synched her own voice for her song parodies, both medleys and single-song versions but now she does them live. It’s skipping a step and she’s a decent singer, so this new arrangement works well. Of course for her famous, zany Laugh-In style routines, she still lip-synched, and there was a number where she performed the attitude in her voice-over, but didn’t actually mouth the words. This “Lady” doesn’t put limits on what she’s going to say or do in her new cabaret act “Trans-Jester” – one of the great charms of this show is its spontaneity. Bunny is one of the smartest drag queens ever, and she is equally...

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Theatre Review: “Cagney”

As energetic and optimistic as its subject, this James Cagney bio-musical is fizzy fun with just enough seriousness to make it a satisfying tribute to the pugnacious movie star. The show is above all a vehicle for Robert Creighton, who physically resembles Cagney, and who – more importantly – shares Cagney’s charisma and fleeted-footed dancing ability. Creighton also wrote a handful of songs in the show’s score, showing a gift for doing pastiches of corny 1920s vaudeville, the milieu where Cagney got his show-biz start. The remainder of the business-like score is mostly by Christopher McGovern. The climaxes of both acts are nearly century-old production numbers composed by George M. Cohan, who Cagney played in the 1941 movie musical Yankee Doodle...

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Cabaret Review: Rumer Willis

This girl is the real deal! Rumer Willis may be the oldest daughter of actors Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, but to quote the song “God Bless the Child” – of which she sings a rousing rendition – she’s definitely “got her own!” Willis covers a very diverse array of material in her Café Carlyle debut, ranging from Kander & Ebb (she did make her Broadway debut in Chicago, after all) to Wynnonie Harris’s hilarious 1951 r&b shouter “Bloodshot Eyes”, to poppier neo-soul material by the likes of Amy Winehouse and Hozier. Vocally, Willis resembles journeyman soul ladies of the 1960s like Barbara Lewis and Gloria Jones; not the most towering vocal instrument, but strong, flexible and quite expressive. She’s really good...

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Listen to ‘Happiness’, the Opening Cut Off the New Pet Shop Boys Album ‘Super’

Tracks from the Pet Shop Boys upcoming studio album Super have been trickling out over the past few weeks, and today we are treated to the opening cut, “Happiness”. The track had its premiere yesterday on Zane Lowe’s Beats1 radio show. Listen to the earlier tracks “Inner Sanctum” and “The Pop Kids“. Listen: Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe published an interview online in which they talk about the new album, how it came about, and what’s in store. Said Tennant: “We have a little studio in Berlin that we use and we go there to write. We also have a studio in London but a lot of the time we worked in Berlin. We started going over there for two or three weeks...

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The Official Unicorn Booty Guide To SXSW!

The Official Unicorn Booty Guide To SXSW! It’s SXSW time again! South By Southwest is the yearly arts and culture festival that turns Austin into the cultural capital of the world for a whole week. Even Obama knows what’s up — he’s blowing off the funeral of the dreaded lady Reagan to go. (Sadly, Michelle’s got to go to the funeral. Hopefully Obama’ll take lots of good videos for her.) Of course, with hundreds of events scheduled, it’s hard to know which ones to go to, which ones just to say you went to, and which ones to pass by entirely; that’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to let you know the must—see stuff. Load this ...

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Cabaret Review: Marilyn Maye

This legendary singer simply has to appear on the The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (I’ve started a Facebook group with that goal)! It couldn’t be more appropriate: Johnny Carson gave her a standing invitation to sing on “The Tonight Show” whenever possible, and she ended up appearing 76 times while Carson was in the chair, a record no singer has broken since. She sounds almost exactly as amazing as she did back then! For her January runs at the Metropolitan Room, Marilyn asks her audience to pick her “Marilyn By Request” set list by making song suggestions when making their reservations. Maye has been rediscovered by New York audiences over the last few years, and the ever growing lovefest between fans old and new is...

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Cabaret Review: Buster Poindexter

This guy’s smarter and wittier than the “worldly and urbane” Mick Jagger! So says legendary rock journalist Lisa Robinson in her recent memoir There Goes Gravity, and I’m inclined to believe her. David Johanson (aka Buster Poindexter) was arguably the king of rock in early 1970s New York, as the lead singer of glam punk legends the New York Dolls. Poindexter is Johansen’s martini sipping, jacket required alter ego. At this point, after retiring and returning to the Buster multiple times, it essentially signifies that Johanson will be singing the Poindexter repertoire, while wearing a pompadour. When he talks about himself in the act, he calls himself David. Johansen is at his best when assaying international material – a rattling version of calypso standard...

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The New Cool: “DXDXD” by SHINee

Oh HELL Yeah! I’ve called SHINee the Jackson 5 with 5 Michaels, and their latest Japanese video (after the jump) is really good proof! The post The New Cool: “DXDXD” by SHINee appeared first on GaySocialites.com.

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Opera Review: “La Bohème”

Director Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La Bohème, is, to me, the very height of traditional opera. He captures both the details and spirit of 1830s Paris, the exact time in which the opera is set. There’s a gesture in the direction of realism – we see real places from unusual and oblique angles. But there’s also a nod in the direction of Romanticism – these places are rendered with a misty painterly touch. Gorgeous. And I’m not just talking about the scenery either. Amidst a realistic crowd scene showing the bustle of Paris, a soprano begins a beautiful aria, and suddenly all of the hurrying crowd stops moving. Zeffirelli is a master of stage effect and his use of it here is every...

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Theatre Review: “Allegiance”

To quote another Star Trek luminary, Allegiance is utterly “fascinating.” It’s also far more engaging and even entertaining than I expected – this is after all, a musical about Japanese-Americans being interred in camps during World War II. George Takei, known equally for being Mr. Sulu on the original Star Trek and being something of a social media Oscar Wilde, was himself interred in these camps as a child. He inspired the creative team of Allegiance, and also stars in a dual role. Takei is terrific as both Sam Kimura – a man looking back on his years both in the camp, and eventually as a soldier in the war – and Ojii-chan, Sam’s doting grandfather. He spends more time playing Ojii...

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Opera Review: “Otello”

It’s not my favorite Verdi opera, based on one of my least favorite Shakespeare plays. The story of the macho Moor Othello seduced to jealous thoughts by the evil Iago has just never resonated with me. Much has been made of the fact that the Met is abandoning the practice of having the title role done in blackface, but since I didn’t really care in the first place, that signifies nothing to me. All that said, I far prefer the opera, featuring, as it does, some of the most adventurous and exciting music Verdi ever wrote – it is one gorgeous slab of music, and it is getting a lovely account right now at the Met. Director Bartlett Sher’s new production is quite handsome...

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The New Cool: “Evil Eyes” by Róisín Murphy

In this new feature / function at GaySocialites, we’ll keep an eye out for music that’s new, different and cool. That’s what gay men are supposed to do, right? First up we have the latest from experimental Irish popstress Róisín Murphy, a cynosure of cool if anybody is. Video after the jump. And here’s a great remix: The post The New Cool: “Evil Eyes” by Róisín Murphy appeared first on GaySocialites.com.

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