Friday, June 27, 2008

Music, encore

How do I know I'm doing better, feeling better, coming out of the depths? Music.

I've started listening to music again. And it's so much fun!

Now, I have very eclectic taste, when it comes to music. Classical of one sort or another is my usual fare through local public radio. But there is more than one public station in these parts. But there is also Itunes. Remember, I have teenagers. And one of their Ipods is on my computer. And, my girls love both all the contemporary fare of the day, plus Broadway, some classical, etc.

So, right now, I'm listening to "Phantom of the Opera" (soundtrack from the movie). Wish I had a sub-woofer. Lately I've also been through "West Side Story" and "Wicked." Of course, there has been some meditative aboriginal flute music, a little bit of rock-n-roll, and at least one good, strong chorus of "I'm coming out."

Don't forget the Anonymous Four, and Chanticleer (for you, raybobbear - oh, please send me some Baroque suggestions). Ur-Spo, could you suggest some opera?

What do you like? Why let my teenagers do all the downloading?

My turn, now. Please get this gay boy up to speed.


Ur-spo said...

my laughter at what you are listening to these days - well how could you kids not know you were gay?
recommending opera is a lot like recommending 'food' or 'wine' - there is so much of it in so many styles. it gets down to what you would like?
May I suggest The Magic Flute for pleasant tunes, and La Boheme for pure delight? those are good beginner operas.
later, you can 'graduate' to Verdi.

Lemuel said...

Oh my, my musical tastes are all over the map! Classical, broadway, film, easy listening, pop, rock, folk.

I do not know if you appreciate "folk/pop" type stuff (with a hint of C/W), but may I suggest taking a listen to some of Mark Weigle's music. ( and also available via CD Baby, sadly not thru iTunes). He is a gay bear singer. I would suggest as his best cd's "Out of the Loop", "The Truth Is", and "Different and the Same", "All that Matters"

Among some of the particular songs: "Bears", "Hiding in the Stone", "All that Matters"

daveincleveland said...

not much into opera or classical but the show tunes...wicked i think is by far one of the best in years..still have yet to see it but hoping in its next round to cleveland will see it....
i have been listening to the new madonna cd, just bought new coldplay...and still have my contemporary christian select fav's i listen to....

manxxman said...

I don't know about a complete opera (I tend to listen to the airas) but it you want the hairs on your neck to stand up get a recording of Nessun Dorma, it does it to me every time....

A Troll At Sea said...


You could do worse than "The Magic Flute," but as somebody who has been married, you can go past the happy ending and deal with the heartbreak on exhibit in "The Marriage of Figaro."

Puccini [and Stravinsky reportedly once said that Wagner was the Puccini of music] is always good for a tune, and "La Boheme" is as good a place to start as any. Leave "Turandot," which I personally find pretty dreary aside from "Nessun dorma," for the end -- Puccini did.

Verdi is the Grand Old Man, much as Mozart is the Master. Start with La Traviata [there's a wonderful recording by Carlos Kleiber with Placido Domingo and Ileana Cotrubas, who can do no wrong].

For a change of pace, and something closer to "Messiah," try Glueck's wonderful "Orfeo ed Euridice." There's a wonderful recording by Georg Solti with Marilyn Horne. Make sure you get ahold of a libretto so you can follow the marital squabble between the two after she is rescued from Hades.

Leave Wagner till you have a really good stomach for noise, and a lot of time on your hands. I have to take him in Very Small Doses, myself.

If you don't know them already, get ahold of "South Pacific" and "Candide." Both have terrific scores and terrific overtures.

All Rodgers shows had terrific overtures, actually. My all-time Rodgers score, though, is "Boys From Syracuse."

Then there's Frank Loesser's "Guys and Dolls"... and Lerner and Loew, though "My Fair Lady" is the only one that does it for me.

"Phantom" is probably the best of ALW, so you can save yourself some trouble there.

Follow what you like. Try filling in what you like on Amazon or some other site that makes suggestions, and see what you get.

All the best.
The best, in case no one has told you yet, is yet to come.


Michael said...

Okay, at least for the sake of becoming aware of gay culture, you have to listen to ABBA. Also, it will prepare you for this summer's release of Mamma Mia!

Sorry if that seems too lowbrow...

Also, I hope you have given some of the better and more humorous country stuff a try. For a song that could serve as a gay anthem, Don Williams' Good Old Boys Like Me. I don't like Toby Keith's politics all that much -- I doubt he would like mine -- but he has some entertaining things. And Miss Dolly, of course, is a gay fave.

Gay dudes so easily get into the somebody-done-somebody-wrong songs.

Besides, if you get invited to a square dance or to a cowboy bar, you want to have some context at least.

BentonQuest said...

KATE BUSH! In my opinion, her older stuff is better than her newer stuff.

Hirsute polyamorous bear said...

Hey! That's the organ in the chapel at my alma mater, btw. I have sung from that gallery many, many times, and have held keys for the tuner many a night, too.

Just back from Baroque Band Camp, I can suggest the following for beautimus Baroque listening:

anything by Marc Antoine Charpentier
Sonata de Camera by Johann Rosenmueller and performed by Hesperion XX
Michael Praetorius Christmas Vespers performed by Apollo's Fire (I'm on this one)
Monteverdi: Vespro della beata Virgine (Vespers of 1610 by Monteverdi) (I'm on this one, too)
Musik der Hofkapeller zu Kremsier by the fantastic group Anima Mea.

Almost anything by the group Hesperion XX, actually.

This will all lift up your spirits! E-mail me and I'll give you a more extensive discography.

afod said...

I'll second Lemuel what he says about Mark Weigle. Some of his songs are in the videos I have on my blog. I love Phantom as well.

Ur-spo said...

Wagneris 'noise"???
pish posh to that!
i concur though that Wagner isn't for the novice.
Taking someone new to opera to Wagner is a misdemeanor in sevearl states.