Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Really, this is a Public Service Announcement.

Okay, so I'm guessing that most people (providing that most people pay attention to films or at least watched this year's Oscars) know who Ryan Gosling is.

This is who Ryan Gosling is.
I enjoy being able to use this photo.

What you might not know, is that he has a singing voice that feels like it's slapping you in the face and hugging you all at the same time.

In 2008 Ryan teamed up with a guy called Zach Shields, who I am eternally grateful for, and they started a band called Dead Man's Bones that is really really good.

Like, if we were to put Dead Man's Bones on a scale that measured actors' legitimate talent when they branch out into music (highly talented - hello, Zooey Deschanel - or just high - ahem, Lindsay Lohan), DMB fall somewhere around 'oh my god is this real life?'

Part of me is wondering why I haven't blogged about them sooner, but in reality I probably would have forgotten to mention them at all if I wasn't overcome earlier today with disgust at how few people (or well, how few people I know) have listened to them.

Who cares that they sing songs about ghosts when the songs are so good?!

Anyway, their album is self-titled and you can get it from iTunes here and from Amazon here and you DEFINITELY SHOULD.

Here is a clip of them performing 'In The Room Where You Sleep' live with the Silver Lake Conservatory of Music Children's Choir (who feature heavily on the album and are very good.)

I am 85% sure you were not expecting that noise to come out of that man's mouth.

You're welcome.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

'I am a beta theatre kid' or 'I can't sing or act but I sure am enthusiastic!

A couple of weeks ago, I found out that my old secondary school formed a glee club, and I was quietly furious because HELLO! Where was this club three years ago when I could have been a damn valuable asset to it?!

Then I remembered that I can't sing. (That's not me being self-deprecating in a 'Well I am quite good but I'm also modest' way. I am genuinely terrible at singing.) In spite of this painfully obvious setback, there is still a part of me that honestly believes I would be awesome on a Broadway stage.

I have a playlist on my iPod that I listen to when I clean my house which is specifically dedicated to musical theatre. It features mostly well-known productions with a couple of obscure tunes thrown in, but really, it's nothing too noteworthy.

What probably is noteworthy is the effect this playlist has on me - an effect which is now so prominent that I can't clean when there are other people in my house because they will all hate me.

I turn into the characters I am singing along with. This is not an exaggeration.

One minute I'm Tracy Turnblad and I'm so damned excited to welcome my mother to the sixties that I've forgotten to rinse the dishes and the next I'm Moritz Stiefel and whilst I most definitely don't do sadness, I do happily use my sweeping brush as a microphone stand and stamp my feet a lot.

For a while, I was entirely embarrassed by my tendency to cross genders and/or historical periods.

Keya, do not let people find out that for the short time it takes you to clean your kitchen floor you're a rebellious teenager who went off to see the world after a failed abduction-come-matchmaking and returned only to fall in love with your next-door neighbour.
(Ten points and my eternal love go to anyone that catches that reference)

Then I thought, fuck it.

Isn't the entire point of theatre arts to make an impact on people?

Doesn't the fact that one song from Wicked can still make me tear up two years after I saw it sung live just prove that it's relative? Doesn't the fact that I have lines from Spring Awakening memorised speak volumes for the quality and prominence of its script?

Doesn't the fact that I dance like my life depends on it when I hear 'Don't Rain On My Parade' just confirm that it's a damn catchy song?

Musical theatre makes me genuinely happy and mock me all you want, but I will most definitely be breaking into song at random intervals for the foreseeable future. Regardless of my terrible voice and sub-par dance skills.

NB: In case anyone cares to delve into the playbill world, Liza Minnelli is my girl and also co-queen of musical theatre alongside Barbara Streisand and so you should begin your education there.