95 posts categorized "MUSIC REVIEW"

Oct 14 2014
2 Die 4: A Review Of DEARLY BELOVED Comments (0)
  Dearly-Beloved-actors Robin-de-Jesus-performsRobin-de-JesusDearly-BelovedLena-Hall

Promo images courtesy of JD Urban, live images by Matthew Rettenmund for BoyCulture.com

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: ***1/2 out of ****

I still wasn't being allowed to see R-rated movies in 1984 when Prince's Purple Rain came out, making him seem like Jehovah's gift to the multiplex, and I was probably a bit protective of my diva Madonna due to Prince's chart-busting achievements with its legendary soundtrack. But as an American Top 40 freak, I was acutely aware of the many hits the record launched...it was like Minneapolis spooged all over Billboard.

Dearly-Beloved-Prince-Robin-de-JesusMaking his big entrance

Lena-HallPurple reina

Robin-de-Jesus-profileTake from him his lace.

Flash forward 30 (!) years, and I'm seated in 42West (514 West 42 St., NYC), watching Dearly Beloved, an anniversary tribute to the album (and the film), directed by Jacob Langfelder and starring Robin de Jesús (as Prince—I don't honor the whole Artist Formerly Known As thing) and Lena Hall (as Apollonia), and with featured performances by E. Clayton Cornelius, Kiyan Taghaboni and Ariel Bellvalaire.

Performers-PrinceTheir chemistry was something that you cannot comprehend.

AiiaKKDl7Si4TFI0gR89Iw-YluRYWcexTg1mVjjlL5wE. Clayton Cornelius was Morris Day all night long!

The show was a straight-up revue, but certainly wasn't karaoke. De Jesús suggested Prince without copying him exactly, sounding perfectly confident in every number, with the possible exception of “When Doves Cry”, with its odd, nasal vocal, which proved a little too offbeat for him to nail.

Hall, looking the opposite of her male Hedwig and the Angry Inch character in her bustier and Katy Perry via Bettie Page glamour makeup, soared in her numbers, making even the delightfully sugary “Sex Shooter” sound like a whole different animal coming from such powerful pipes.

Sexy-Robin-de-JesusCock 'n' Robin

The audience was mesmerized by the whole thing, especially de Jesús's libidinous writhing—it will be hard to see him in his In the Heights mold after witnessing this transformation.

Prince-fansThese fans acted surprised that I wanted their picture...

Lena-Hall-Prince-Robin-de-JesusMy pal Jason shot these. Yes, I wore purple...I wasn't kidding around!

The show felt like a try-out for a more elaborate, sung-through musical based on the already very musical movie; if that's the case, I think everyone involved proved it's an idea worth exploring.

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After the jump, check out the original “Sex Shooter”...

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Oct 10 2014
Need To Know: Don't You Forget About Her + Thom Thom Club + Gay Marriage Goes Viral + Gay After All + MORE! Comments (0)

Molly15

*widget boy cultureMolly Ringwald takes on Madonna's “Sooner or Later”.

*widget boy cultureA buncha hot Thom Evans pictures, sans shirt.

*widget boy cultureGay marriage coming to more states minute by minute!

*widget boy cultureObama stands firm on Net neutrality.

*widget boy culturePainful irony of Stephen Collins on Jessica Biel's “child porn” mag cover.

*widget boy cultureFinding out your dad is a child molester.

*widget boy culturePARIS STILL BURNING: Vogueing doc hits Toronto.

*widget boy cultureMore Magic Mike XXL goodness from GA.

*widget boy cultureCute British reality star finally admits he's gay.

Charlie+King+Celebrity+Social+Media+Pics+IYufEcKLy4xlI wouldn't even mind if Charlie bit my finger!

 
Oct 07 2014
MILKing It: A Review Of I AM HARVEY MILK Comments (0)

BOY CULTURE REVIEW: **** out of ****

Tonight, I was privileged enough to be invited to attend a one-night-only oratorio (or, as last-minute guest Whoopi Goldberg called it, “oratio”) I Am Harvey Milk, with words and music by Andrew Lippa and starring Lippa as Milk, Noah Marlowe as Young Milk and angel-voiced Kristin Chenoweth as a soprano muse who stands in for several different women in Milk's life.

They were accompanied by the Joel Fram-conducted Orchestra of St. Luke's and The All-Star Broadway Men's Chorus.

Following Goldberg's intro (she referred to us as “family”...) and a more impassioned intro by Milk protégé Cleve Jones, the 60-minute presentation was thoroughly impressive, especially considering how well-mined the subject matter is. It was especially exciting to see and hear on the day the Supreme Court declined to review some lower court decisions, bringing marriage equality to five states immediately and another six in the long run, but this piece would be exciting to see and hear any day or night of the week, at any point in history.

The reason I Am Harvey Milk has a timelessness is that it's about the overall struggle for equality and fairness, even as it uses Milk's personal political odyssey to get at that larger theme. 

I was lulled to light sleep at times by the beauty and sonic purity, but there were plenty of attention-getting highlights, most notably the jumpin' “Enough Is Enough”-inspired “Friday Night in the Castro” (complete with clapping hands and gay boogie), the triumphant “Lavender Pen” (recounting Mayor Moscone's signing of a non-discrimination proclamation) and the searing “Tired of the Silence”, in which the assembled singers exhort every gay person in the world to come out, come out, come out. (Using images that included reluctant, quasi-out Jodie Foster was perhaps a misstep, but damned if they weren't up-to-the-minute enough to include headlines from earlier today!)

Fantastic evening, surrounded by a lot of civic-minded gay people and our supporters, lovers of the arts and some glitterati; but the snazzy ensembles and relentless fitness of the crowd was just fashion, and the music and words were a reminder than being loud and demanding respect never goes out of style.

 
May 15 2014
Gaga Live: You & Deny Comments (0)

Lady-Gaga

Gaga in NYC was shiteous! No, she was everything! (Oh, and without giving her/him a link, the elusive Angela Cheng wrote an offensive, viciously personal attack piece on Norris simply for saying how much he likes Gaga and for calling into question the fantasy figure of $25 million that Cheng asserts Interscope spent on Artpop promo. If you're a Madonna fan who tolerates Cheng, you're a party to that.)

 
May 12 2014
Cher Ecstasy: A Review Of Cher's DRESSED TO KILL TOUR Comments (0)
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Above: Dozens of Dressed to Kill-er photos!

Continued from here.

BOY CULTURE REVIEW OF CYNDI LAUPER & CHER: ***1/2 out of ****

When Cher took the Dressed to Kill stage, the venue throbbed like the main artery in the middle of the guiltiest pleasure ever. She appeared beneath a gigantic set of pheasant feathers, adorned in more glitzy accoutrements than one could make from an entire discount bead store. And wearing dreads, a la Cleopatra. Her smile had that inimitable “I know, right?” quality that resides midway between intentional camp and an unapologetic love of all things tacky.

CHER DSC05512 copyBird of a feather

The showgirl had arrived.

She opened the concert with “Woman's World,” her mostly dismissed lead single from her latest album, Closer to the Truth. Heard months after its release as a kick-off tune, it sounds a lot better. Like quite a few of the numbers, it was done to track, but was sold hard by Cher via her facial expressions and easy flaunting of her costume.

CHER DSC05569 copyA bold Cher-'do

She segued seamlessly (or, considering that bold costume, seamfully) into her scandalously underplayed 1998 release “Strong Enough,” which was lost on radio in the wake of “Believe.” Her gladiator-garbed backup dancers bounced around the stage with zero of the coolness of most divas' dancers; it wasn't about being cool, it was about being outrageous and flashy and inciting fun.

The projection behind her resembled a cheesy, vintage electronic one-armed bandit in all its 8bit glory.

CHER DSC05668 copySixty-eight???

Probably the least satisfying aspect of the show was the fact that in order to accommodate the myriad of costume changes, Cher spent a lot of time offstage while her dancers distracted us; it felt like there were several instances in which she sang only one song before disappearing to do a medium-quick change. But this allowed for spectacles like what came next, a gaudy, blood-red, vampire-themed “Dressed to Kill,” an album track from the latest CD.

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May 11 2014
I'll Say!: Cyndi Lauper (With An Assist From Liza Minnelli & Rosie O'Donnell) Opens For Cher Comments (0)
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7, count 'em, 7 Cyndi snaps in the gallery above

Cher review is here.

I've never seen a full Cher concert. #gayshame Or rather, I'd never seen one—until Friday, when I rectified that grave oversight.

I loved Cher when I was a kid, staying up past my bedtime to watch her endlessly entertaining, kitschapalooza of a variety show with Sonny, then lost interest when her promising acting career (Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean and Silkwood are amazing) became a bit mainstream for my taste. I snapped out of my Cher love when she hit her schlock-rock/infomercial/Madonna-bashing phase.

Cyndi Lauper DSC05276 copyBitch is so grounded, she does her own lighting!

But over the years, Cher has won me back time and again. I personally don't see her as a compelling artist so much as a true original, which can be just as transfixing and important in its own way. She is a personality always worth listening to and watching. And I've thoroughly enjoyed both her Twitter proclamations and her post-“Believe” disco, the latter of which I believe is far superior to at least some of the music she made during the original Disco Era.

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Apr 09 2014
Better Than Sexxx: A Review Of Lady Gaga @ Roseland (RIP) Comments (0)
Lady GagaImage courtesy of Emaline Tisserand
 
The following review is from Boy Culture reader and my fave Little Monster, Sean O'Connor.
 
It’s been a rough few months as a devoted fan of Lady Gaga.

Her new album ARTPOP was already being called ARTFLOP before anyone had heard it. Despite the fact that “Applause,” the first single, spent 14 weeks in Billboard’s Top Ten, the prevailing wisdom has been that the Lady was over. A disappointing first-week debut on the Billboard charts (albeit at #1) comparable with her contemporaries (but spectacularly far off from the debut of her previous album) seemed to confirm the worst fears of her fans and the joyous predictions of her detractors.

“Do What U Want”—one of the strongest numbers on an unfairly maligned album—proved a non-starter. The misguided decision to work with R. Kelly may have had something to do with this. Gaga’s late remix with Christina Aguilera, an eminently more satisfying version boosted by the fact that the two divas were former rivals, was too late to salvage the song.

Thus we come to her latest single “G.U.Y.” and her residence at Roseland Ballroom to mark the closing of the famous venue. At over 30 million views since its release and on the eve of the single’s official debut on radio, it’s too early to tell how the song will or will not grow. But any thought of being a flop was miles away from Gaga’s performance on Friday, April 4.

She was positively electrifying.

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Jan 29 2014
Like 2 Rhinestone Cowgirls: Madonna & Miley Shimmy & Shine Comments (0)

Madonna-MileyImage from one of the best Madonna Tumblrs alive.

If Madonna didn't look pretty damn good to you in Miley's Unplugged special, I'm not sure what you expect from a 55-year-old hussy. I thought she looked great, and they sounded good together and had fun. Miley was so excited, which was infectious. I love that Madonna just humbly jumped up and did it with no diva entrance. That half-broken foot must have been killing her.

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