David Thompson
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February 15, 2008

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amb

The disco -- it burns...

David

Yes, it’s almost Shatner-esque in its delivery. Sort of like a low-rent Shirley Bassey doing the chicken-in-a-basket circuit after five too many cocktails.

the wolf

Hey, is that Mohammed (peace be upo..BOOM!)

EBD

I'm wondering if it might not be a bad idea for the the entire western hemisphere to repent on behalf of Nichelle Nichols. Just to be on the safe side.

Although, there's a rarefied pleasure in hearing the musicians subtly registering their response to what's going on. If there's anyone else out there who enjoys hearing musicians making faces behind someone's back, try to get a hold of "Florence Foster Jenkins and Friends", put out by Naxos. She was a wealthy socialite who -- horrifyingly -- loved to sing, and furthermore had more than enough money to pay for quality musicians to back her up.

One can hear, particularly on her Valse Caressante, how her piano player warms up to the task, and by the end finds furtive pleasure in augmenting her...display. At this link she's in full voice from the get-go, but her piano player is just getting warmed up:

http://www.themadmusicarchive.com/samples/f/l/Florence_Foster_Jenkins_-_Valse_Caressante.mp3

The album also features eight songs by other artists (Jimmy Durante makes three soldierly appearances) each of which, for various reasons, are classic faceplants. The highlight of these non-Jenkins cuts is an attempt at popular music, "Please Don't Say No", by Wagnerian Tenor Lauritz Melchior. Possibly the least-effective romance song ever recorded, it brings to mind not successful seduction but rather an unbathed Homer Simpsonesque guy with a wet cigar stump in his mouth squeezing some moll too hard while eating a big onion-y hot dog at the racetrack.

Sadly, this link too doesn't let this song to develop into its full orchestral glory -- trust me on that one -- but it's a taste:

http://www.themadmusicarchive.com/samples/f/l/Florence_Foster_Jenkins_-_Please_Don't_Say_No.mp3

(BTW, this is a thrill. I've been suffering through the rural 23k service for too long, so I finally sprung for the sky-dish. It no longer takes two hours to upload a short video. I can graze upon the Friday Ephemera like the other kids, now. I don't feel left out. Praise be.)

David

EBD,

“I can graze upon the Friday Ephemera like the other kids, now. I don’t feel left out.”

Welcome to the giddiness of the intartubes deluxe. Feel the rush. And I believe Florence Foster Jenkins is singing in the key of H.

EBD

Jenkins' album is subtitled "Murder on the High C's", but personally I give it an A+. If you can endure the first-run gauntlet it actually makes for compelling listening; you end up appreciating her effort, and recogninzing that there's a song in the urge to sing.

I have no punch line.

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