he aint afraid of no ghost
[pic via M&HS]
It’s so good, it’s so good
It’s so good, it’s so good
It’s so good
Thems are the opening lyrics to Donna Summer’s classic for all seasons ‘I Feel Love’. Just hearing them words makes one FEELS good. They also make you feel love. And when Franz Ferdinand medleyed Donna’s delight into their own ‘Can’t Stop Feeling’ (hear below), it felt more than good – it felt ecstatic, and the crowd felt love, and everyone sent that love right back to the band, who put on the best show I’ve seen this year (and the best since Pulp’s triumphant RCMH shows)
But I knew what I was getting myself into, after logging hours upon endless hours listening to their latest (which they gave away free to all concert ticket purchasers!!!)
Oh dear lord is this album so FCUKING FRANZTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!! The fellas played SEVEN out of the album’s ten tracks, and to be perfectly honest, I wish they played all ten (how often would one ever ask for such a thing of a new album and a concert???). That’s how stellar this album is. It’s on par with their brilliant debut, and probably as time passes, I will regard it even higher than that one (!!!). I tells you, it’s the best album of the 10s (that’s not the Daft Punk Tron 2 soundtrack). Theses no jokes. These are truths
Set List – Bullet / No You Girls / The Dark of the Matinée / Do You Want To / Evil Eye / Walk Away / Stand on the Horizon / Can’t Stop Feeling > I Feel Love (Donna Summer Cover) / The Fallen / Brief Encounters / This Fire / Take Me Out / Michael / Ulysses / Love Illumination / Goodbye Lovers & Friends
Encore – Right Action / Darts of Pleasure / Outsiders
Dude, you know all about Deltron 3030, right???? They’re like the older brother of the Gorillaz that has always been overshadowed by their younger, more popular broseph. In 2000, Dan the Automator, Del the Funky Homosapien and Kid Koala (the first two being Gorillaz album #1 collaborators) formed like voltron and came up with a masterful eponymous concept album about a dystopian future. It’s basically hip-hop’s Pink Floyd’s The Wall. 9reals, it’s that good (for hip-hop). And then what? Nothing, literally NOTHING. 13 years passed and they finally decided to follow-up album #1 with #2 – The Event II, which not only continues on the same bad future theme, but also on the same rAWEsomeness in all around musical craftsmanship + a who’s who of coolness for guest starringness - Damon Albarn, Mike Patton, Zack De La Rocha, Emily Wells, Jamie Cullum, Mary Elizabeth Winstead (and her HEAVENLY voice) + (pointless) interstitial skits from David Cross, Amber Tamblyn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Chang and the Lonely Island boys (theirs is worth skipping every time it plays cause they are unfunny like Nazis)
Don’t remember if the original album was ever toured, but I remember not having the chance to ever see the 3030ers live, and would jump at the first opportunity to do so. That day finally came, and boy was it well worth the wait. Supported by a 16-piece orchestra, Dan, Del & Kid took their concepts and put them into overly-good practice. Kid’s beats were sick, and Del’s voice, clear to hear (a rarity in a hip-hop show), was even sicker, while Dan automated the rawking orchestra by conducting all the madness. This was a big big big show that deserved an even bigger venue. The Highline Ballroom juss can’t handle something of this magnitude. Deltron 3030 should be playing the likes of MSG or Radio City, and if they did, they should do it with a symphony CAUSE THIS SH!T IS SYMPHONIC, YO!!!
Setlist - State of the Nation / 3030 / Things You Can Do / Positive Contact / Stardate / The Return / City Rising From The Ashes / Nobody Can / Mastermind / Melding of the Minds / The Agony (Kid Koala Solo) / Virus / My Only Love / Memory Loss
Encore – Do You Remember / Clint Eastwood (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! but why couldn’t they get Damon to show up???)
Fetch Clay, Make Man
New York Theater Workshop
I know you know who Muhammad Ali is, but how about Stepin Fetchit????? As a movie buff, it almost pains me to say that I knew NOTHING about the first black man to ever receive a screen credit! Fetchit (real name Lincoln Perry) was a trailblazer, but also a controversial figure. The roles he typically played were of a lazy black man. Those were the only roles Hollywood allowed him to play, and so he went with it, and made a career out of it, until he didn’t have much of a career. By the time the civil rights movement was in full force, he was basically nothing, and his own people looked down at him for what he had done to further stereotype the existing stereotypes
Anywho, as a big man of his time, Fetchit knew boxer Jack Johnson - aka the first African-American heavyweight champion – and newly-minted heavy weight champ, and Nation of Islam convert Muhammad Ali wanted to know Johnson’s boxing secrets – specifically his ‘anchor punch’ – and so he brought Fetchit into his inner circle as a secret strategist, before his rematch with Sonny Liston in 1965
This is the subject of the mos eggsalad play Fetch Clay, Make Man, a knockout look at the crossroads when a new black identity in America was being forged, with Ali at the forefront, and moving away from the one Fetchit represented in the times leading up to it. Ray Fisher went all in as Ali, and K Todd Freeman frees Fetchit from his own ghosts, giving the man some depth and understanding. Supporting, most strongly is Nation of Islamer John Earl Jelks + Richard Masur (the guy who played a dad in every 80s movie) as Hollywood mogul William Fox
The play ended its run, but it should be turned into a movie cause I said so
You remember the DC Beltway sniper attacks of 2002, right???? Honestly, it’s best to forget about the horrible horribleness that happened, but now I can’t stop thinking about it, after catching the Alexandre Moors directed / RFI Porto written powerful account of how John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo got from point A to the point of no return – senseless murders of innocent people, and terrorizing a region, and in turn, a nation
What were Muhammad and Malvo’s motivations? That’s not clearly stated in Blue Caprice (named after the make of car that ultimately became their killing machine), but their motivations were never clearly made in real life either. And does their motivation even really matter? What’s done is done, and it’s hard to make sense of any of it
Muhammad was endlessly bitter about the custodial loss of his children to his ex-wife. He met a basically abandoned Malvo in Antigua, took him under his wing, and back to America. He was good for Malvo, until the surrogate father figure turned him into a sniper, bent on creating death and chaos. Watching the transformation of these drifters into killers, embodied by incredible performances by both Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond, is a sight to be seen, and to be feared. Adding solid support is Tim Blake Nelson, and when does he not add solid support in anything he’s in??
Verdictgo: mos def mos def mos def Jeepers Worth A Peepers
and until next thyme the balcony is clothed…
Global Citizen Festival
Great Lawn – Central Park
Everyone hates poverty. There’s an organization set up to end it by 2112 or something. I hope they do. As an incentive to get others motivated to do the same, they dangle the carrot of free tickets to an awesome concert if you sign some petitions and what not. BLAMMMM-O. This is exactly what got me motivated to
end poverty AND see Stevie Wonder in Central Park, FO FREE!!! YESSSSSSS!!!! Heck, I’d agree to end poverty by signing petitions even if the only thing they were handing out was/is free fried chicken skin!!!
But the concert wasn’t juss Stevie. There was John Mayor and Queens of Neon and Elvis Costello playing some poopy song for a second, and that Janette Maynoisse girl came in and dropped some tunes, and there was Alicia Keys too, who we REALLY wanted to see, but only heard her, as it took about 9 hours to walk thru a maze of fences to get into the event. No REAL gripes here – as the show was free, and for a good cause, although we could have done without the speeches, but free is free and poverty BLOWS!!!
Anywho, this show was really all about Stevie. You MUSSSSSSSS see Stevie Wonder in concert. MUSTTTT. This was our third time with lil big Stevie (Jones Beach in 2008 + the crazy duet madness at The 25th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Anniversary Concerts – Night 1 in 2009), and we are prepared to see him 33 more times. An ageless… wonder, who is juss purely… wonder…ful, and full of life, and love, and songs that will be with us 17ever, even when man orbits Uranus! Bless you Stevie. BLESS YOU. TAKE MY EYES, CAUSE YOU ALREADY OWN MY EARS!!!
Stevie Setlist – How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You) (Marvin Gaye cover) / Master Blaster (Jammin’) / Higher Ground (with Janelle Monáe) / Sir Duke /Day Tripper (The Beatles cover) / Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) / My Cherie Amour / Living for the City / Imagine (John Lennon cover) / Superstition / Isn’t She Lovely (with Maxwell) / Do I Do / I Just Called to Say I Love You