30 March, 2011

Is This The Real Life? and Freddie Vs. Michael Jackson

That book by Mark Blake got a fairly decent review. I've still not gotten very far, but I'm loving what I've read so far!

I think my favorite part of the review:

Is This The Real Life is recommended for serious Queen fans, people interested in the machinations of the music industry at the highest level, and anyone discovering the band's music for the first time.If you happen to be one of THOSE daring souls, you're in for an amazing, gripping, rude and sometimes ridiculous journey.

Queen is dead.
Long live Queen.


So which one is it? Do you want Queen to live, or should they officially disband because Freddie died? Well? WELL?!



I'm pretty sure if Brian and Roger did call it quits after the release of No-One But You (Only The Good Die Young), people would be whining that they've not done anything when they very easily could. "They could get a bass player and lead vocalist! I'd love to see them on stage again!" etc.

And yeah, Queen + Paul Rodgers was different. Different, however, doesn't necessarily mean worse.

Speaking of, there's a thread on Queenzone pitting Freddie against Michael Jackson.

As I clarified in my response, I'm not what anyone would consider a Michael Jackson fan, but I appreciate his music and the influence he's had on his fans. I love Freddie dearly, but I don't think Freddie's made a crowd lose their shit just by snapping his fingers.

And as it turns out, the News section of the site where I had replied didn't show that the thread was started with a link so my comment, while I still stand by it, was grossly misdirected.

29 March, 2011

Ummm...

A search on Youtube made me aware of a Glee version of Fat Bottomed Girls just now and I'm not totally sure how to feel about it.

I used to love the show when it first started, but I've since broken up with it for a multitude of reasons (the one that stands out the most for me is ableism, but there's more of a mess than I can currently list)

But yeah. The cover itself is... I'm not sure. There's some bits of the vocal work that I like, but at the same time it sounds like Puck doesn't really give a shit. "Yeah, okay. Here's where I sing 'get on your bikes and ride!'... did the check for this clear yet?" And if I'm not mistaken, the background vocals are auto-tuned, which is totally my issue, but it doesn't sound right to me.

That said, one of my favorite covers of this song is by a fucking amazing band called Coyote Grace. Check them out. I hope you won't be disappointed.

But to keep perspective, there are worse covers out there (only because I hate Kid Rock).

27 March, 2011

A rant about Freddie

I touched on this here but I felt compelled to go deeper and get a bit personal. Bear with me, I wrote this at a writing workshop last week.

It's been recently suggested that Freddie Mercury might be alive today if he had lived to see the year 1992 where I guess there was this sudden boom in effective AIDS treatments and medications. Part of me does think that it would be pretty awesome if he were around today, but only just because he wouldn't be dead.

Freddie Mercury is my hero and probably my biggest influence in life, but you know what? A lot of people died just before effective medication was readily available. And to think "Oh, if only they'd held in there, they might be fine!" is an insult. AIDS is a painful, agonizing virus. And the meds that are available in 2011 don't typically have you feeling so great, so I can only imagine the shit being given to patients in the 80's and early 90's were all sorts of fucked up. And let's see, by the time Freddie died, he was blind, couldn't do anything for himself, couldn't breathe, his friends and family watched him deteriorate and they were forced not to tell their loved ones what was going on, and he was in constant pain. But yes, He was a fucking dick for making the decision to leave.

If only that prick had kept putting himself and the people around him through hell, he might eventually get better so he could do it all over again at a later date. Because, let me tell you, it's so much fucking fun to see someone you love and care about go up and down with their health and wonder if maybe this time they're going to die!

When I started dating my ex (who is alive and healthy, I might add), one of the first things I had to get used to was that the shit that a body with a healthy immune system fights off every day can hurt and weaken and possibly kill someone if their T-cell count is low enough. So yeah, let's all keep resenting Freddie for not pushing through. Nevermind what he was dealing with emotionally and physically for years, he's pissed off many a fan for choosing to die quietly and that's just so much worse than anything any other human being has done, isn't it?!


"Hey, Freddie. I know you're clearly on your way out, but could you maybe hang around until medicine advances so you can keep entertaining us?" - Queen fans who clearly have no idea how much it sucks to have AIDS.

25 March, 2011

*headdesk*

I'm convinced that every other member of Queenzone is a troll.

A thread I've contributed to this week about casting for the Freddie Mercury biopic has this... uh, lovely exchange:

Person A said:
I don't like Baron Cohen, he's too tall to play Freddie.

I responded saying that that's like saying they don't want Jamie Foxx to play Ray Charles just because he's sighted. Person A responded thusly:

But you wouldn't cast Brad Pitt as Ray Charles (or as Freddie). It's a physique du role thing.


(See? It's like Freddie was in the middle of rocking out when suddenly...)

Just to be clear...


Ray Charles


Brad Pitt

... The fuck?? I mean... just... the fuck?? If you'll excuse me, I need to go find my faith in humanity. Funny how I lose it when I become active on Queenzone.

23 March, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor passed away today at the age of 79. She was one of Freddie Mercury's favorite movie stars.

She was a rockstar for AIDS awareness as well. Not just for Freddie's sake, but for the whole HIV-positive population. And just a reminder for folks who may be too young to remember/do not have this perspective in mind: It was a huge fucking deal to be an advocate in the late 80's and early 90's because not much was known and there wasn't much in the way of medication. According to Phoebe's book, Freddie was essentially a guinea pig up until the end. And it's recently been suggested that Freddie could have lived longer if he made it to see 1992 (but let's be real: I'm pretty sure if he did live to see better meds and treatments become available, they probably wouldn't have done a whole lot if you consider his state in November 1991).

But getting back to Elizabeth Taylor. I fail as a queer man in the pop culture category because I haven't really seen her movies. But the important thing is I recognize her as an icon. And beyond that I recognize that she was a hell of a movie star in general. Surely that counts for something?

21 March, 2011

Impulse buy

Just got the second edition of Queen Live: A Concert Documentary by Greg Brooks. I'm surprised by how tiny it is, since the first edition is about the size of a magazine.

I still maintain that this was an impulse buy, but I'm hopeful that eventually I'll be glad to have it. Aside from the difference in size, there's a foreword by Brian. And for the record, the picture on the cover may be my favorite, not because you can see Freddie's ass and obvious underwear line (come to think of it, why was that not a problem when he wore his tights in the 70's?!), but because it's a different angle than what we usually see All. The. Time.

The seller left the price tag, and I just pulled up my confirmation email from Amazon. I purchased this book used at $14.83 plus $3.99 shipping, bringing the total to $18.82. The price sticker on the book is £7.95, which converts to $15.35. I'm not entirely sure why I felt the need to point that out, except maybe to remind myself that buying shit from the UK has its downside when you live in the USA.

18 March, 2011

Dude...

I'd like to think I'm very open-minded about Queen covers, despite being a bit of a snob. I poked around on Brian's Soapbox because, well, yeah. He posted a really interesting link to Secret Sessions where this week(?) people are taking Queen songs and making them their own. I haven't heard them all yet, but I'm listening to I Am A Camera's take on White Queen for the second time because I'm in love.

For real, I am swooning here. And at the same time I'm really sad. No doubt this will hit Queenzone and some of the members will be frothing with rage for no real reason. There are some really awesome cover versions out there (and some that are not so much. ... YMMV) and as long as the singer sounds nothing like Freddie, or the guitar sounds nothing like the Red Special, or - G-d for-fucking-bid - it sounds different in some other way, it's going to get brushed off because it's WRONG! Doesn't matter if it's actually good, it's just fucking WRONG!

I've posted about this before, as it's obviously something that gets under my skin, but I think as long as this whole, "Queen is the only band allowed to do Queen!" bullshit is still going, I'm allowed to complain.

In other news, I'm currently reading Is This The Real Life? The Untold Story Of Queen by Mark Blake, and I'm pretty impressed so far. Kids, support your local, independent book stores!



I also ordered a copy of the second edition of Queen Live: A Concert Documentary by Greg Brooks. At this point I'm not entirely sure why. I have the first edition, which is full of errors, but it's in fairly okay condition (the tears on the cover caused by my brother notwithstanding). Who knows? Maybe some day (one day. DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE?!?!) I'll be glad to have both editions.

And finally, since Japan is in dire need, consider donating any money you can spare. Japan was where Queen got their jump-start in 1974, and it's always been one of Freddie's favorite places in the world. So there!

10 March, 2011

03 March, 2011

I Want It All/We Will Rock You mash-up

I just listened to a bit of the soundtrack for the film, Sucker Punch and... wow.

I thought I was going to hate it because the last time I'd heard any rap artist sample Queen, it made me want to tear my eyes out (Eminem sampling Reaching Out doesn't count since that's not technically by Queen, but damn, that's a good song). I searched all over Google and checked Queenzone's archives and couldn't find it, but I swear Nelly [ETA: It was actually 50 Cent. My bad, Nelly] had sampled the entirety of Greatest Hits '92 about six years ago and it was the biggest piece of self-indulgent shit I had ever come across (I dare say worse than anything Kanye West has ever done). I remember the front cover looked like Greatest Hits, but it was made to look like someone smashed the CD case in, and on the back was a picture of Nelly [50 Cent. Again, my bad] with Freddie's mustache photoshopped on his face. I listened to 30 seconds of it where the opening piano riff to Good Old-fashioned Lover Boy was on a very badly done loop. Somehow Queen was not ruined for me forever.



But this mash-up had me very pleasantly surprised. I think the first thought to pop in my head while listening was: "This is hot!"

However, I think sticking a verse of We Will Rock You in there seemed forced and didn't fit at all with the track. What may have worked better for me would probably be the stomp-stomp-clap during the chorus. But still, this was really amazing. I think I have to go see this movie.

02 March, 2011

Mini Red Special

I purchased a miniature Red Special statue on Amazon for just over $30! I'm really excited about it, but it's really fragile (or I'm just paranoid) so I don't think it'll come out it's wrapping and box until I have a proper shelf dedicated to my Queen stuff. But I took some pictures to show how awesome it is!


The box and wrapping


Brian's autograph


The statue on its display stand, next to my cell phone so you can see how small it is

What's pretty fun is the whammy bar can move, and the strings are bits of nylon. But again, I'm not going to mess with it too much. I wanted to order this Red Special wall plaque but I didn't want to deal with shipping overseas.

I'm pretty happy with this purchase :-)