Friday, May 30, 2008

I need a new word.

Because tired just isn’t going to cut it. So I think it’s high time you people started pulling your weight around here and amused me for a change. Let’s change things up this week, shall we? As always, in the comments if you please.

1) Most horrifying cheesy musical you’ve ever seen and why.

2) Favourite musical and why.

3) Tell me what you’re reading.

Me first.

1) Behold the unspeakable disco-driven horror that is Xanadu — starring Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly.

Where do I even begin to describe the absolute heinous fuckery that is this movie? The plot (if you can call it that) revolves around Olivia Newton-John’s character, a Greek Muse (no ... really), who periodically comes to life and inspire people to greatness. She meets up with Michael Beck’s character, an artist named Sonny Malone, and inspires him to form a partnership with Gene Kelly and build, wait for it, a roller-disco nightclub. It was just fucking, gouge-your-eyeballs-out awful. But Gene Kelly could still move, couldn’t he?

2) I’m not actually a huge fan of the musical genre. I find them to be somewhat stilted and awkward to watch but I do love Funny Girl with Barbara Streisand. It’s just an absolutely lovely film. And Streisand has some serious comedic chops on her to go with the pipes.

3) I think I’ve mentioned this before but I’m a voracious reader — I usually have anywhere from 3 to 6 books on the go at any given time and today is no exception. Let’s see ... The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett, The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore, The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, all of which are new to me. I’m also re-reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (who is just brilliant), Bag of Bones by Stephen King and I just finished Mort by Terry Pratchett. I luuuurrrrrvvv books.

Now your turn.


Frank Frink said...

Warning: Stereotyping ahead (with tongue firmly in cheek, OK?)

Musicals? Sheesh, girrrlll. I'm a straight guy. What would I know about musicals? (or, at least, admit to knowing).

Think I'll give this one a pass until I crawl back home sometime past midnight (my time) after a few drinkies. Answers might be more... what's the word? ... creative. So will the typing.

3) Books. I still have Dawkins' The God Delusion and Motley Crue's The Dirt on the go from the last time this was posed. Add Wages by John 'Buck Cherry' Armstrong. If you do a search over at you can read a series of exceprts. Hilarous. And I've picked up a copy of Paul Quarrington's King Leary. A comic novel written by a bass player, and legendary consumer of cold and frosty beverages, about a fictional hockey legend (and ghosts). Sounds up my alley.

KEvron said...

1) it wasn't horrifying, but it was pretty weird. don't know the name of it, but it was a soft-core porn musical version of cinderella; her fairy godmother was a black cross dresser, and rather than give her glass slippers, he gave her a snapping pussy. swear to god. to tell you the truth, it was kinda funny, definitely sexy, and the songs weren't too bad.

2) the music man. robert preston at his jaunty best. shirley jones at her yummiest. more hits than you can shake a baton at. favorite line: "i'm an anvil salesman, but i've got heavier things on my mind!" also, "not on your tintype, girly girl!" that anvil saleman had all the best lines.

3) nada. got a stack of 'em staring at me, too. i'll start by finishing palahniuk's rage when i get around to it.



Red Tory said...

1) Hmmm. Cheesy musicals… that’s a tough one. I hate musicals as a rule, but I’d have to go with Lisztomania although you might quibble over it actually being a “musical” although it’s got that — both classical and rock — plus fantasy, hallucinations, vampires, Frankenstein, nudity, sex, rape, castration, a giant penis, and Ringo Starr as the pope. It’s probably better described as “freaky” rather than “cheesy”… Behold the weirdness.

2) Guys & Dolls because… well, Sinatra. ‘Nuff said.

3) The Day the Universe Changed by James Burke (bedroom book), Crowns in Conflict by Theo Aronson (bathroom book) and Tom Paine’s The American Crisis (traveling book).

liberal supporter said...

1) 1776. I tuned in part way through, thinking it was a documentary. Ben Franklin and the boys are preparing to sign the U.S. Declaration of Independence. It went about 10 minutes like that. Then they burst into song! "We shall sign, we shall sign" I think they sang in harmony.

2) Rocky Horror Picture Show, of course.

3) A.C. Clarke 3001 (rereading)

Beijing York said...

1. Phantom of the Paradise starring Paul Williams and directed by Brian De Palms. I saw it as a young one in the theatre and it was atrocious.

2. I like musicals. I know, not cool, but I love them. My favourite I think is West Side Story but I have to give special mention to Cabaret, Rocky Horror, Damn Yankees, All That Jazz and Sweet Charity.

3. I am reading The Englishman's Boy and various other non-fiction books.

Ti-Guy said...

1) Most horrifying cheesy musical you’ve ever seen and why.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Why? Small town, one cinema, two tv channels...oh, why was it horrific? Peter Frampton, the Bee-Gees...1978!!!


2) Favourite musical and why.

I dislike musicals. About the only one I find that has any redeeming qualities is West Side Story. I kind of liked Jesus Christ Superstar because the stage setting was so sparse. You can tell I haven't seen a musical in a while, eh?

3) Tell me what you’re reading.

Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism. Just got it today.

Pale said...

My Mum would be horrified, ticked, irked and really really pissed off at me about now. Worst musical: anything with Elvis. (Thats a whole genre right there.)

My faves tend to be oldies. Golddiggers of 1933 is fun. My Granny and I used to watch South Pacific whenever it was on. Bye Bye Birdie is one of those guilty pleasures.

I just finished a newish JA Jance.
Web of Evil. Always a reliably good author through all the different series she has written.
I used to be like you LuLu. Drove my ex husband mad,(he's still pretty much a whackadoo) books all over. Used to read 2-3 a day, with about 5 on the go at all times. Last move I had about 30 boxes of only the books I CANNOT part with. Bah.

Now I have no time. Summin to do with the innernets me thinks. And babies. :)

M@ said...

1. I refuse to remember the very few musicals I have seen. I've seen few on stage and, I think, fewer on film.

2. But I really enjoyed Moulin Rouge. It was a brilliant parody, or maybe meta-musical, on musical theatre. Very smart and amusing and entertaining.

3. Just finished Fahrenheit 451, which I haven't read in whole since high school. Still extremely relevant. I'm still grinding through Great American Hypocrites too. Glenn Greenwald is the worst good writer I have encountered in some time. Is there a paragraph he can't lengthen with yet another reiteration of his thesis? (Answer: no.)

Frank Frink said...

1) Worst stage musical I have actually seen: Starlight Express. The name Andrew Lloyd Webber alone makes my eyes roll back in my head and I want to fall over and play dead. In a oeuvre mostly filled with stinkers this has a certain whiff of well running dry. Can't even contemplate Starlight Express On Ice.

Movies? Ummm. ya, Pale. Elvis has some real stinkers. And oy, some of the songs. Do The Clam, SoOng of teh Shrimp, Queenie Wahini's Papaya , Adam and Evil ?

Wish I had said Sgt. Pepper's first. How 'bout Hillbillys in a Haunted House. really. I'm serious. 1967. Stars country singer Ferlin Huskey.

Country singers on their way to Nashville have car trouble, forcing them to stop at an old haunted mansion. Soon they realize that the house is not only haunted, but is also the headquarters of a ring of international spies after a top secret formula for rocket fuel

But all time worst musical was on Tee Vee. Stephen Bochco swears it never happened, North America had a mass hallucination for 4 weeks. Two words Cop Rock!

2) Has to be Rocky Horror Picture Show and I did see it pre-audience participation cult, early '76 when I was still attending Carleton in Ottawa. Later became a near weekly routine at the Ridge Theatre in Vancouver '78-'79. How could I not? Lead character is named Frank.

Dana Hunter said...

Oooo, finally, we're talking movies I've actually seen!

1. Cheesiest: I don't know the name, but it was a Hindi musical where some guy was... and this girl kinda... and the parents were weird... and they would get really enthusiastic when they sang... I have no clue what was going on, I just know my Indian friends were laughing too hysterically to translate and there were a lot of bright colors. I know it's cheesy because they told me it was.

2. Favorite musical: Ye gods, what a tossup... Phantom of the Opera (not the movie!) I love to pieces, and I'll always love singing bits of it at the top of my lungs, but then again, Jesus Christ Superstar really, really grabs me. I love the "bad" guys in it - love how they humanized Judas and Pilate, and Herod's a scream. AND I get the bonus horrified look from believers when I tell them Judas was my favorite character. All good!

3. What I'm reading: Look, you didn't specify books, so it all goes in: I'm reading a slew of submissions for our Carnival of the Elitist Bastards. I've got me regular round of blogs, of which Canadian Cynic is on my daily list, thank you so very much. Slogging through a ton of often very silly articles on the soul for the story I'm writing. And then, finally, books: Kings and People by Reinhard Bendix, which traces the origins of both kingship and representative government. And I'm reading Mencius. Gorgeous stuff!

(Lulu, love, you and I need to sit down over lots of drinks one o' these days and talk about Terry Pratchett. And Susanna Clarke. And Christopher Moore. And then we need to raid each other's shelves! Exquisite taste you have there, my dear!)

Anonymous said...

1. If by cheesy you mean execrable, then I saw it last night--Spelling Bee. I haven't been so put off since Hairspray. Horrible music, unlikeable, hollow characters, dumb dance, gross poor taste, clever quips that exhaust themselves in ten minutes--a little something for everybody. But I checked out some reviews online this morning and the verdicts run to "cheeky, sparkling, fresh...etc". I grow old, I grow old...

2. My Fair Lady (lyrics), Chicago, Singing in the Rain (dance), Oklahoma (songs), Hello Dolly, Grease (Song & Dance extravaganzas). Best overall combos that deliver emotional depth and pull--Fiddler on the Roof and Cabaret.

3. Michael Burleigh's Sacred Causes, the follow-up to Earthly Powers. No matter which side you're on, they disabuse you of any impression that the religion/secularism debate is a straightforward one.

Romantic Heretic said...

Worst musical - Tommy. Even Tina Turner couldn't save it.

Best and also the Cheesiest - Evil Dead: The Musical. It takes a certain type of genius to take cheesy horror flicks and turn them into an even cheesier musical.

Favorite songs: What The Fuck Was That?! and My Men Are All Killed By Candarian Demons.

Currently reading: Starsight by Minnette Meador. A rather good fantasy. I won it at a big writer's promo party on Yahoo a couple of weeks ago. It's a signed copy as well. :)

Also: The Decisive Battles of The Western World 480 BC to 1757 by J.F.C Fuller. It's interesting. I must learn more about The Byzantine Empire, a section of history of which I'm woefully ignorant.

Sheena said...

LOL. I was just talking about Xanadu the other day....

Father Shaggy said...

Musicals? Really?

1) I wish Andrew Lloyd Webber had never been born. I hate it all, with the possible exception of "Cats". But my least favourite has got to be "Evita", because I'm sick, oh, so sick, of it. My uncle's favourite, and he likes to listen to it at my parents' house when he's in his cups.

2) "Little Shop of Horrors". Absolutely no contest. Even more than "Rocky Horror Picture Show", and that was damn fine.

3) "Assault on Reason", by Al Gore, "The Buddha Book" by Abraham Rodriguez, and next on the list is either "The Green Mile", or "Mysteries of Pittsburgh". Possibly "Inkheart". Just finished volume two of Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Exhausting, but awesome.

Father Shaggy said...

Oh, and the Brits say "knackered", which is pretty good. Just a suggestion.

LuLu said...

Knackered ... I like.