reading this book was almost like work. gregory maguire‘s “wicked years” series expands on the world of oz that l. frank baum created in the wonderful wizard of oz. a lion among men explores the life of the cowardly lion, named brrr here. his back story is filled in and the tale of dorothyfrom his point of view is told. the majority of the book is devoted to the time after dorothy left and oz is trying to put itself back together. i really enjoy the world that maguire created, wickedis a good book and the second book son of a witch is great. the problem with a lion among menis that it’s cluttered with too many characters and locations with names and connections that are too tenuous to be memorable. Also the post-dorothy plot involving the lion as undercover investigator looking into the rumors of the wicked witch’s child, is thin and not strong enough to carry the book. maguire is now writing the forth and final book in the series, i’m sure i’ll read it because i like closure, i hope it seems more natural less forced.
a couple of weeks ago i was trolling netflix for musicals when i found the apple. here’s netflix’s description.
two canadians, alphie and bibi , fight the leaders of a future dystopia (set, interestingly enough, in the now-distant past of 1994) when they test their fate at the worldvision song festival. their sweet and smart lyrics earn them the admiration of many, but corporate giant Boogalow International Music pushes for another team to win. when BIM offers them a contract, however, the pair wonders whether the gift is really a trap.
i immediatly added it to my queue and bumped it to the top. it’s not on the watch it now, so i had to wait a bit. i watched it last night, my mind was blown. the version of 1994 in the movie is hysterical; pointy shoulder pads on everyone, tiny domes on cars, and record companies run the world. the music is disco, glam and new wave influenced and the production numbers could’t sparkle more. here are some of the performances.
the competition for a record contract.
what the world looks like after the contract is signed.
a soft reggae ditty about how to manipulate the public to create a pop sensation.
can’t recommend enough.
liars had to win me back with sisterworld. their last album, liars, held none of the surprises of the older albums had. for a band that stylistically grew with each release, it was troubling to hear them be stagnant. i should say that liars does sound a lot different from it’s predecessor drums not dead, it was just a step back for them. so i was looking forward to sisterworld, i had a feeling that they would pull it together. when the video was released for “scissor”, i was convinced sisterworld was going to be good. almost immediately you notice a symphonic sound aboutsisterworld, expanding their sound into an eerie, somewhat ethereal direction. it sounds distinctly like liars, unexpected driving guitars and drum blasts all filtered through whatever they use to make that swampy blues post punk sound that appeals to me. lyrically they are still mining the caves of dark fairy tales for tales conflict, desolation and distress. sisterworld isn’t as strong as the earlier albums, but the sound of this album makes me think that their next one will be outstanding. i’ll be seeing them next week, i think the songs fromsisterworld will have some killer live versions.
i strongly recommend that you get the two disc version of the album. the remix album is pretty solid.