Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Queer To The Core!: Queer Rock From The Vaults! (Quick Nuts c. 1998)

Queer To The Core!: Queer Rock From The Vaults! (Quick Nuts c. 1998)
1. B. Bubba: "I'd Rather Fight Than Swish"
2. B. Bubba: "I'd Rather Swish Than Fight"
3. Teddy & Darrel: "I'm Hungry"
4. Teddy & Darrel: "Wild Thing"
5. Teddy & Darrel: "Gary Ghoul Boy"
6. Teddy & Darrel: "Little Red Riding Hood"
7. Teddy & Darrel: "The Hollywood Agent"
8. Teddy & Darrel: "These Boots Are Made For Walking"
9. Teddy & Darrel: "Strangers In The Night"
10. Teddy & Darrel: "Say There"
11. Teddy & Darrel: "Hanky Panky"
12. Teddy & Darrel: "Hollywood Swings"
13. Teddy & Darrel: "They Took You Away, I'm Glad, I'm Glad"
14. Teddy & Darrel: "Hold On, I'm Comin'"
15. Bonus Cut - Billy Devroe and The Devilaires: "There Once Was A Man Named Durkin" and "Queer Police [aka You're Arrested]"
16. Byrd E. Bath: "Mixed Nuts"
17. Byrd E. Bath: "London Derrierre"
18. Unknown: "The Ballad Of The Camping Woodcutter"
19. Unknown: "Scotch Mist"
20. Bonus Cut - "Redd Foxx Is A Lesbian"
21. Selections from Pearl Box Revue: Call Me MISSter

Here's Queer To The Core!: Queer Rock From The Vaults! released around 1998 on the (presumably) ad hoc label Quick Nuts. It contains:

Several comedy 45s from Camp Records

The entirety of Teddy & Darrel: These Are the Hits, You Silly Savage!!!! (Mira 1966)

Bonus cuts from Billy Devroe and The Devilaires and Redd Foxx

Side two and the second half of side one of Pearl Box Revue: Call Me MISSter (Snake Eyes, c. 1970). This is a hilarious and poignant two-record round table discussion featuring four drag queens: Jaye Joyce, Clyddie McCoy, Tony La Frisky, and Dorian Corey (of Paris is Burning fame). Soul journeyman George Kerr serves as a ring leader of sorts. It was distributed by Sylvia and Joe Robinson's All Platinum Record Co. and produced by Coasters baritone Billy Guy. I own the album and will up it in its entirety when I finally figure out vinyl-to-mp3.

Get it here (YSI so move quickly)

Pazz & Jop 2008

Here's my Village Voice Pazz & Jop 2008 ballot:

1. Ghislain Poirier: Bring The Fire Mix (MP3)
2. Steinski: What Does It All Mean?: 1983-2006 Retrospective (Illegal Art)
3. Raphael Saadiq: The Way I See It (Columbia)
4. Belong: Colorloss Record (St. Ives)
5. High Places: High Places (Thrill Jockey)
6. Gang Gang Dance: Saint Dymphna (Social Registry)
7. Royce Da 5'9": Bar Exam 2 (Mixed by Green Lantern) (MP3)
8. The B-52's: Funplex (Astralwerks)
9. Girl Talk: Feed The Animals (Illegal Art)
10. The Service Industry: Keep The Babies Warm (Sauspop)

1. Blackout Crew "Put a Donk On It" (All Around the World)
2. T.I. feat. Rihanna: "Live Your Life" (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)
3. Alphabeat, “Fascination” (Copenhagen/EMI)
4. Lil Wayne: "A Milli" (Cash Money/Universal/Motown)
5. Grace Jones: "Williams' Blood" (Wall of Sound)
6. Kanye West: "Paranoid" (Roc-A-Fella)
7. Tmberlee ft. Tosh: "Heels" (MP3)
8. Burial: “Archangel (Boy 8-Bit's Simple Remix)” (MP3)
9. Nas: "Black President" (Def Jam)
10. Royce Da 5'9: "Shot Down" (MP3)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle 2008)

Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire can best be described as ambient Bollywood. Given its Mumbai setting, the film is dusted with references to India's (if not the world's) largest motion picture industry but in the end (and how!) steadfastly resists the structure of its films. There's a shit-covered encounter with Sholay icon Amitabh Bachchan. Boyle has enlisted the scoring talents of singer/composer A.R. Rahman (best known in the States for Lagaan). And the story is no less preposterous than any number of Bollywood feel-gooders. Street urchin Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) winds up on the Hindi version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and each question just so happens to reference a usually horrifying event in his life. The game show provides the paint-by-numbers grid and flashbacks to Jamal's past color in the details all the way up to the beyond obvious climax.

That's bad enough right there. But what's really infuriating about Slumdog Millionaire is that Boyle felt compelled to indulge in the annoying English-speaking film practice of shunting off a musical number to the final credits. Just as the obsessively plotted story comes to an end, cast and crew run out on a subway platform and perform a choreographed dance (but do not sing) to "Jai Ho" (sung by Sukhwinder Singh) with Patel leading the charge. Thus when it comes to song, the film has more in common structurally with There's Something About Mary, Shrek, Bend It Like Beckham, Garage Days, Down With Love, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Hitch, Jackass 2, Inland Empire, The Game Plan, and I Think I Love My Wife than it does with Sholay or Lagaan. And thus Boyle flubbed a perfect opportunity to invigorate his stiffly conceived film with song and dance.

This is not a plea for Bollywood authenticity (sort of a laughable concept anyway). Indeed, if we're to believe Rahman, the film has nothing to do with India in the first place. In an interview with Logan Hill for New York magazine, he admits that:

"For me, it’s not about India at all. It’s about human emotion, how we suppress so much and it all comes out. It’s a human film, not about India at all. The soundtrack isn’t about India or Indian culture. The story could happen anywhere: China, Brazil, anywhere. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is on in every damn country."

After sucking on 120 minutes of Slumdog's sap, I'm inclined to agree with his human's lib perspective. But my One World movie would feature a more regular alternation between narrative and number. Slumdog Millionaire is missing that regular alternation which offers not only a set of disjointed pleasures but the potential for auto-critique that is the gift of the best Hollywood musicals and Bollywood films. Instead the story remains confident of its own cleverness throughout even though its architecture is laid out in its entirety by the first ten minutes. And the benefits of musicality come too late, as we're walking out of the theater.