Owl Meat's Tipsy Wednesdays: Rock of Stages
Owl Meat's column, which typically runs on Tuesdays, was delayed due to Internet errors. That said, I'd pay to see Kayne West's Broadway musical, "Stroke My Ego," if it existed. What about you? Owl Meat has a few hilarious ideas of his own. Owl Meat? Are you there? Oh, here he is:
Rock music and musical theater seem about as compatible as corn and lima beans – the latter being succotash and the former sucky trash.
The exception is the most awesome musical ever: Sir Mix-a-Lot's Pirates of Penzance.
The music of rebellion has become glitter-mulch for super-fabulous Broadway spectacles. Blech.
"Rock of Ages starring Constantine Maroulis and the music of Journey, Whitesnake, and Night Ranger" (pictured, top) is funny. Pathetic, kitschy, and funny. ...
The idea of people spending $219 to see a TV karaoke contest also-ran sing hair metal with fancy dancey costumes ... in Baltimore, blows my mind. (Tickets still available for "Rock of Ages" at the Hippodrome, November 30 through December 5.)
To each his own. Who am I to harsh your Quiet Riot buzz ... Sister Christian? When I told my friend schlockmeister extraordinaire RoCK about "Rock of Ages" he nearly jumped out of his seersucker suit with glee. To each his own.
That got me thinking about musicals, rock operas, and concept albums.
Who's to blame? Pete Townshend (pictured, middle) in part. I never liked "Tommy." I thought it was pretentious and boring. Andrew Lloyd Weber? Puhleeeze. Productions like "Rock of Ages," "Mamma Mia" and "Movin' Out" are not rock operas, but trunk or jukebox musicals, songs strung together with a thin story line.
Green Day's "American Idiot" is another story. Apparently it's a concept album and now a Broadway show. Very punk, dudes. What next, "Buzzcocks On Ice?"
Flash: OMG intern Valerie Valencia just informed me that American Idiot was nominated for three Tony awards and won two on Sunday night.
Editor's note: Owl Meat has interns? For a weekly column? Why the heck am I doing a daily blog by myself?
I was thinking about one of the iconic albums of my youth, Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." The song "Jungleland" is a mini-rock opera of sorts – cryptic, bombastic, and long. Then I thought of the taut poetry of the opening lines of "Thunder Road" from the same album:
The screen door slams
Mary's dress waves
Like a vision she dances across the porch
As the radio plays
I think of those lines often. They are like a Proustian madeleine, opening the hemi-powered world of Born to Run and resurrecting dreams, memories, and desires of youth. "Jungleland" doesn't do anything like that.
Recently I stumbled upon Lou Reed's 1978 album "Street Hassle." It contains an 11-minute song called "Street Hassle" (NSFW).
It consists of three parts that involve male prostitutes, drug dealers, overdosing, love, death, the whole street megillah in E major. Oddly, trendsetter Reed (pictured, bottom) says that Springsteen was an inspiration and Bruce mumbles a few words about tramps like him at 9:02. Despite its pretentions I love it.
I was in New York last weekend and I asked a busker how to get to Broadway. He said, "Pretension, pretension, pretension." Oh!
Given Green Day's example (ka-ching), I guess we can expect a spate of concept albums aimed at making it to Broadway. My crystal ball came up with a few possibilities:
- Ke$ha's "Stuff I Like Found Like In My Purse" featuring "Don't Touch My Strawberry Lip Gloss, B***h".
- T-Pain's "Mr. Roboto-Voice." Domo.
- Elton John's "Songs for Gay Dogs"
- Rob Zombie's "Sound of Music" - The Reckoning, featuring "The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of People Being Disemboweled".
- Amy Winehouse's "A Streetcar Named Crack"
- Michael Jackson's, oh never mind, you know that's going to happen.
It's hard to make up some of these, because it seems like almost anything can be a musical. "Carrie – The Musical?" It happened. Just smother me in my sleep when they announce "Born to Run - The Musical."
(Top photo by Applause-Tickets.com, middle photo by AP, bottom photo by Getty Images)