Old and New

Some years ago, while helping someone to pack up her stuff before moving to the south of France, I was asked to use my advanced online tracking skills to replace a ‘misplaced’ album, by some singer/songwriter I never heard of. With some persistence I was able to find all tracks, and without listing to the files to find out if they were börked I burned them to CD. From what I’ve heard, I made someone very happy.

Fast forward to some weeks ago. I was once again browsing through the best record store in town, and under the letter ‘P’, I saw a LP with a familiar title. It was Dory Previn‘s Mythical Kings and Iguanas, and indeed, it was that album I was once asked to replace. Since the LP was dead cheap, I was in a mellow mood and I was looking for something new, I took it home. After I payed for it of course.

To my surprise, it wasn’t bad at all. In fact, I quite dug it. It fits nicely into the more mellow part of my collection, along with Simon and Garfunkel, Lisa Loeb and the like. Because I suck at describing how it sounds, I might as well let you experience it yourself: go ahead and download “Angels and Demons the Following Day” [mp3 download] and “Going Home (Mythical Kings and Iguanas)” [mp3 download]. “Lady with the Braid” [mp3 download], from the live LP Live at Carnegie Hall that I picked up some time later, also originates from Mythical Kings. Pops and crackles are once again on the house.

There are a few reasons why I am pestering you with these definitely unhip and uncool songs, is that they somehow remind me of a definitely hip and cool singer/songwriter from New Jersey, named Jenny Owen Youngs. I found her song “Fuck was I” [mp3 download] on the internet, and was intrigued by the title alone. Took a bit of getting used to her voice, but then it grew under my skin, and I was hooked. And her totally awsum cover of “Hot in Herre” has a totally awsum video too. Or that’s just the blood rushing from my head speaking.

As always, all active downloads can be found on the downloads page.

So…

It is said that if you plan on having a successful weblog, you should post regularly, and never apologize when you don’t manage to do so. So you can consider this a non-apology, since I never planned to be successful at this.

When I posted my planning almost two weeks ago, I said that I would probably take some time off. And since it still looks like it’s actually gonna happen, let me fill you in: coming thursday, I will be leaving for the south of France with some friends, and we will be gone for ten days.

10 Jahre Tanz der Vampire

Exactly ten year ago today, Jim Steinman and Michael Kunze’s musical Tanz der Vampire (based on Roman Polanski’s The Fearless Vampire Killers —or— Pardon Me, But You’re Teeth Are In My Neck) premiered in the Raimud Theater in Vienna, Austria. That calls for a little celebration.

Although I’ve know of Tanz since ’97, the first time I heard some of the original music was around 2001/2002. Jim was preparing an English version for Broadway, and some demos were made available through its official website. After hearing (original Vienna Von Krolock) Steve Barton sing “Confession of a Vampire (The Insatiable Appetite)”, I knew I had to get me some more of that stuff. I quickly ordered the Vienna cast recording (which I still think is the essential album to have), and that was when it all went wrong.

After leaving Vienna, Tanz drained Stuttgart, and when it was done there, it sunk it’s teeth in Hamburg. Late 2003 plans were made for a Steinmeet. Steinman-fans from all over the world would meet up in Hamburg, and witness the splendor that is Tanz der Vampire. For me it was easy: as opposed to New York, Hamburg was budget, so I arranged a ticket, a hotel and a train ride, went and had a great time.

The next three versions I skipped. Poland didn’t do it for me, Japan was both too far and too expensive, and another German version in Berlin didn’t tickle my fancy either. But when I heard of the Hungarian version in 2007, well, I could see the humor in that. A couple of weeks after I obtained a ticket for Vámpírok Bálja a concert version to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the premiere in Vienna was announced. Quickly ordered a ticket for that one too. Both versions were great.

It’s fair to say that Tanz is by far my favorite musical. I haven’t yet seen a version that managed to disappoint me. (Well, there’s the Broadway Dance of the Vampires, but this abomination we do not speak of.) In Budapest a Korean, Belgian and Dutch version was announced. Bring it on.

Here are were some samples:

  • The one that started it all: Steve Barton – Confession of a Vampire (The Insatiable Appetite) from the Dance of the Vampires Demos
  • Once again, Steve Barton with the original Vienna cast: Tanzsaal
  • From the Polish Taniec Wampirów, Kuba Mol?da as Alfred with Dla Sary (Für Sarah)
  • From the Japanese Live Highlights, Yuichiro Yamaguchi as Von Krolock with ????? (Sei Bereit)
  • And finally, the always impressive Thomas Borgert and Marjan Shaki from the 10th Anniversary Album: Liebesduett / Totale Finsternis

The final quarter

It’s just the second day of the month, and yet my agenda is pretty much filled up until November: if all goes according to plan, my first weekend without obligations outside Amersfoort is starting on November 3rd.

This weeken, I am meeting most of the same people for the third week in a row, but this time for the monthly dinner. Tuesday November October 8th 9th I have an appointment to get my butt kicked by Dream Theater in Rotterdam, and the following day is the first (volleyball-)competition round of the season. (I’m hoping that if I skip practice once again this week, my knee should be able to handle that.) Saturday the 13th I have two birthdays. And while I probably could skip the (then) one year old’s one, it wouldn’t be entirely nice of me to skip my little brother‘s birthday, so what the heck. And then, while I still have to work some details out, I’m taking some time off. More to follow on that. And indeed, there is some work to be done inbetween.

Compared to that, November is looking pretty quiet so far. Three engagements in two theaters and once again Ahoy’ Rotterdam, and a ridiculously early Sinterklaas-party. December has just one entry besides the regular stuff everybody has to deal with. And then it’s 2008 already.

So, what are your plans for the rest of the year?