30 May, 2010

Absolute dork

You guys! My package from the Queen Online store finally arrived yesterday! I haven't listened to the CDs yet (aside from a couple seconds of disc one to make sure it would play), but I am really loving the picture book.

You know... looking at that picture of John and Roger sitting like that, I'm beginning to understand why a lot of people assumed the entire band was gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

29 May, 2010

Reviewing my collection, part one

Because you're desperate to know what I think of my stuff...

I think I'll start with Queen Live: A Concert Documentary by Greg Brooks. This is the first edition, so there are plenty of errors, but it is informative. I think I got this when I was 12 years old..? I became protective of it immediately because shortly after opening it on Christmas, my brother decided to be an asshole and hide it from me. His cute, harmless prank resulted in damage that has since been fixed with scotch tape. So I went through a short phase where I took it to school with me because I was so scared of it being completely destroyed before I could read it. Well, I think I almost got in trouble the first couple times my teachers saw Freddie all rocking the eye liner and looking all seductive and shit. But once they realized it was Freddie Mercury, they seemed to cool down - as long as I could focus on my school work and resist the temptation to get distracted by the book I really cared about.

Thank you, Queenpedia!

Despite the errors, I really do enjoy this book. It's chock full of geeky information and pictures. Plus I'm pretty sure this and the second edition are out of print, so that makes it even more special.

And then there's The New Visual Documentary by Ken Dean. Really, the only selling point for me is the pictures. Having owned and read Greg Brooks first, you could see it in the writing that he really fucking loves and cares about Queen. Ken Dean, however, sort of read like he was obligated to write his book. He didn't refer to any of the band members by their first names, even! Not that that's a requirement, but it added to the coldness.

The UK single jacket for Fat Bottomed Girls with the naked woman riding a bicycle and a pair of red panties painted over her ass apparently, "reeked of cheap gimmickery." ... Ken Dean's words, not mine. Maybe he's right. Maybe he's wrong. But after so many pages of disconnected writing, this sudden emergence of opinion felt like a slap in the face as I read it. This book is also out of print.

And then there's Freddie Mercury: An Intimate Memoir By The Man Who Knew Him Best by Peter Freestone with David Evans. Sadly, this book was accidentally left behind in Illinois, but it remains one of my favorites despite my not having read it for years. I could be remembering it incorrectly, but I don't recall it being too personal (read: I love Freddie and all, but I don't need to know what specifically he did in the bedroom), but it was close enough that I could pretty easily picture Freddie hanging out in his house and stuff, y'know?

28 May, 2010

Do not get me started on Robbie Williams

There are collaborations that have happened over the years that I've really fucking hated questioned. 5ive (I'd rather listen to Rick Rubin's remix - which is saying A LOT!), Robbie Williams, Britney Spears with Pink and Beyonce (I do love me some Pink and Beyonce individually... but not Britney), so when I first heard of Brian May working with Kerry Ellis, my first thought was: "Who the fuck is Kerry Ellis?" because I'm uncultured and originally from the midwest.

I think I first heard her sing Who Wants To Live Forever sometime in the late 90's..? I have to admit, I turned off the recording after a few seconds because I couldn't handle someone else singing Queen (it was right around when Robbie Williams butchered WATC, so he's to blame for temporarily ruining other vocalists for me). But she was good! Better than Sarah Brightman, in my opinion!

And then I started listening to showtunes. Not that I'm a total queen about it, but there are some shows I like. Anyway, One of my roommates introduced me to the musical version of Wicked during one of our many heated card games ('Go Fish' and 'War' made us both verbally assault each other - but it was never serious). Of course, it was the version with Idina Menzel singing. Cut to about a year later when YouTube recommend I watch the live version of Defying Gravity with Brian May and I was completely sold!

So now Kerry Ellis has a new album coming out in September this year! And Brian's been contributing to it! Can you tell I'm pretty excited?

25 May, 2010

Ooh! Another compilation CD! Queen never releases those!

When I was ten years old, I got my first Queen CDs. Classic and News Of The World to be specific. From there, I made it my goal to collect as much merchandise as possible (I spent the first 19 years of my life in a city south of Chicago, so that task wasn't particularly easy). And despite that difficulty, I did. Hell, I even bought Greatest Hits III. And then for Christmas, I received The Platinum Collection even though I already owned all of those CDs! It was purely about expanding my collection.

As an aside, I somehow managed to find a copy of In Vision in a local record store... which was a HUGE deal because that's a Japanese import! Anywho...

I've since drawn the line. I mean, Greatest Hits - We Will Rock You is a bit much. It's the UK version of Greatest Hits with bonus tracks, I'm In Love With My Car, Under Pressure (Milton Keynes Bowl, 1982) and Tie Your Mother Down (also from Milton Keynes Bowl, 1982). I mean, I get that it was a promotional thing for the musical, but still... I'm not about to spend something close to $20 for something I both already own and will have no need to listen to.

And Stone Cold Classics... What the hell?! Anyway, when Absolute Greatest got released, I was determined to not buy it. It just screamed, "waste of money!" But then I checked out the Queen Online Store for kicks and it was like I was a brand new fan again!

I had to. I just had to order this!

It was the damn book that got me. It cost almost $70 but I have it to spare this one time. I probably won't be uploading either CDs onto my iPod, but my CD collection could use something new.

Oh, if Brian May or Roger Taylor happen across this: Can you get to work on Greatest Video Hits 3?

24 May, 2010

I'm not a total dick

So I live in the greater Boston area, right? And any self-respecting queer person who even so much as visits absolutely must go to Diesel Cafe in Davis Square, Somerville. They're awesome. They're vegan-friendly. They treat queer patrons and staff well (at least I hope they treat their staff well). The staff people are hot. And usually they have art for sale. And for the record, I didn't make up that rule about queers having to go there at least once, nor do I have any kind of stake in pimping out Diesel. It's just a really awesome place with gender-neutral restrooms.

Last February, I went in - because I'm a self-respecting queer person - and the art on the walls was all musicians. I'm so fucking proud of myself for snapping a picture, because it wasn't up the next time I went in!

Is it a perfect painting? No. But you'd best believe I got super excited when I saw it! Some people carry pictures of their kids or pets in their wallets. I keep a picture of a picture of Freddie circa 1974 in my phone... because you never know when that kind of thing might come in handy.

23 May, 2010

If you listen to Queen long enough, you learn the inner workings of Freddie Mercury's mind!

Seriously. Some people seriously believe they know exactly how Freddie might feel about ___ if he was still alive.

Queen + Paul Rodgers, Pink's cover of Bohemian Rhapsody, Somebody To Love being performed on Glee, other Queen fans listening to music that's not Queen: FREDDIE WOULD HAVE HATED IT, SURELY!

Give me a fucking break.

It's one thing to hate some music because it just isn't your thing. It's fucking stupid to hate music and call it loyalty to your favorite band. The thing that massively sucks is that Freddie can't actually voice his opinion. Maybe he would have hated the collaboration with Paul Rodgers? Maybe he would have thought it was awesome? We will never know. And it shouldn't matter anyway.

It doesn't make me a lesser Queen fan to, say, eat meat when Brian May's a vegetarian. Or listen to Coldplay even though Roger Taylor has stated that he doesn't like their music.

It's like that infamous saying: If Freddie Mercury jumped off a bridge, are most Queen fans still obnoxious? The answer is yes.

22 May, 2010

I wish I was making this shit up

Alright, kids. I will share with you one of my ultimate pet-peeves... You know what? "Pet-peeve" doesn't quite cover it. Let's just say it irritates the fuck out of me.

Some fucking assholes stupidly-passionate Queen fans ripping on other music for no other reason than that musician or band is either nothing at all like Queen, or they're obviously influenced by them and that makes them THE DEVIL!

Muse, Mika, Lady Gaga, My Chemical Romance, Green Day - to name but a few, are apparently fuckers because THEY'RE NOT QUEEN OMGROFLBBQWTFNASABRUCEWILLIS!!!! And yet, HOLY FUCK THEY SOUND A LITTLE LIKE THEM SO THEY MUST DIE OMGLOLCAT!!111!!

Seriously, go to Queenzone and just skim through the forums. I'll wait. I'm not sure how accessible the site is, but I'll keep waiting.

Honestly if I had to pick between having a conversation with Fred Phelps and most other Queen fans, I'd pick Fred. Fred would at least very nicely call me a faggot and condemn me to eternal hellfire and an AIDS-related death.

Now if Mika pulled a stunt like Vanilla Ice did with Ice Ice Baby, then it would be okay to say he was ripping Queen off. But you guys? He isn't. And for that matter, Freddie was not the first singer to hit the high notes while playing piano. Brian's not the first guy in Earth's history to build an electric guitar. Roger's not the only drummer who wore sun glasses. John's not the only bass player who didn't give himself nearly enough credit, etc. I'm pretty sure there are Led Zeppelin fans bitching about Queen II sounding too similar to anything Robert Plant was doing. And even further - oh snap! All the members of Queen were from England! Just like The Beatles! How fucking dare there be any other band from England just like The Beatles?! And if we want to stretch it further: all these fuckers played piano before you did, Freddie! Fuck you for ripping off Johann Sebastian Bach!

I don't think they know how stupid that sounds. Why can't those fans chill the fuck out and be happy that Queen is influencing some really fucking awesome music? I like Lady Gaga, okay?! I'm not ashamed to admit that I bought The Fame Monster and listen to it almost as often as I listen to My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade.

And then there's the other side: Bands and musicians who sound absolutely nothing like Queen, and therefore they're terrible! Recent examples people bring up seem to be Miley Cyrus and The Jonas Brothers. I mean yeah, they're fucking awful - but not because they sound nothing like the music of 30+ years ago. Yes, it's cool to listen to classic rock, but I feel very sorry for anyone who's willing to close themselves off to all but one or two decades of music. Considering how long music itself has existed, to only stick to the 60's and 70's (and 80's and early 90's if you're into the later Queen stuff) is like only uploading two songs on a 160GB iPod (read: I own a 160GB iPod). Or insisting on keeping AOL 4.0 in this day and age.

I mean, if that's what they want to do, then so be it. But I don't think it's fair to call my Queen fandom into question ("YOU'RE NOT A TRUE QUEEN FAN! GO FUCK OFF AND DIE, YOU MEANINGLESS SACK OF SHIT!!" would be putting it nicely) just because I also listen to other stuff - whether they're incorporating their love of Queen in their music or not.

16 May, 2010

Entry Numero Uno

So yeah... I like the band Queen. Seriously, you really won't understand just how much I like them until you meet me in person.

I've been a fan since I was a wee child. My favorite member is Freddie Mercury. My favorite songwriter - as I'm writing this, because this fluctuates a lot - is probably John Deacon. I liked the Queen + Paul Rodgers collaboration. I love that Brian May - excuse me, Doctor Brian May is a giant nerd but is still more badass than I could ever hope to be. I love that Roger Taylor is still a fucking incredible musician.

In being a fan for many, many years, some things get a little old. Some of my friends - I love them very much and I get that they're just being supportive - drive me fucking nuts. Again, I get that they have the best of intentions, and they very obviously know one of my main interests which shows that they're paying attention... but there are only so many fucking times I can watch that damn Muppet video before it starts to get on my nerves!

Maybe this is karmic payback for annoying the ever-loving shit out of my family and friends when I listened to Bohemian Rhapsody over and over on my Queen's Greatest Hits cassette tape (in my defense I was learning the words and we didn't have internet in my house at that point)?

Don't get me wrong, I think The Muppets are awesome as fuck and I loved that video the first 50 times I saw it! Just like I loved the first couple or so times when Queen would come on the radio in the car and my parents would turn it up for me. And when my friends text me at random times to tell me they heard Queen on the radio at work, or they saw a guy with a mustache, or I Want It All played on that Chase Bank card commercial, etc. I appreciate the enthusiasm... Really, I do! But enough already! I don't care if Another One Bites The Dust is playing on the radio. It's always on the radio! Now, if a US radio station plays '39 or A Kind Of Magic I guarantee you I will stop what I'm doing and get really giddy and excited - because that's different.

At least where I grew up, it wasn't uncommon for any of the classic rock stations to play the following:

- We Will Rock You with We Are The Champions playing directly after that and being counted as one song

- Bohemian Rhapsody

- Another One Bites The Dust

and every once in a while to really shake things up:

- You're My Best Friend

- Killer Queen

- Somebody To Love

And yeah, back when I was younger and just getting into them it was ridiculously exciting. But it gets to a point where I seriously want to question my friends, "Is this all I am to you?!"

Then again, I did create this blog so I could talk about Queen...