Sunday, October 01, 2006

Do You Hear What I Hear?

This is something I posted on my MySpace blog; but I have some friends who are on BlogSpot who don't look at MySpace, so I am posting it here, too. I think it would be fun to see what LGG would write if given this excercise.....

Annalisa tagged me with this task. You're supposed to tag people back but the last time I tagged people, most of them didn't play. So I am not going to tag anyone here, today. I am just going to say: If you are interested in doing this, I am interested in your answers...

Basically, you have to write out the 7 songs that you're currently really into and why.

1. "THE BLOWER'S DAUGHTER" by Damien Rice. I am obsessed with the song--it is hypnotic. I am obsessed with the play/movie CLOSER. It says so much about what I feel and think about life, love, sex, truth, betrayal, self authenticity, survival. I am obsessed with Natalie Portman and her performance in this film. I am obsessed with the words "thank you". I am obsessed with Plain Jane Jones. This song is good theater.

2. "CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU" By the original cast of Jersey Boys/by The Four Seasons. It was originally sung by the Four Seasons and I have loved it since the first time I heard it. But ever since seeing the great play JERSEY BOYS, it has been stuck in my head, even more. I love The Four Seasons, I love the cast of Jersey Boys, I love the song. It's just freakin great music.

3. "SEXY BACK" by Justin Timberlake. I don't care if it's the original version or the remix by Rauhoffer. I was at Roxy the night it debut'd and it is INSANE and HOT. And the mood at the club was like liquid heat, like the colour red, like being inside the hottest, wettest, strongest ball of fire, like being in the middle of your dream orgy. The song is like having 100% self confidence, which is what I want, before the day I die.

4. "WE BELONG TOGETHER" by Mariah Carey. Like SEXY BACK, it doesn't matter if it is the original ballad version or any of the remixes. It's great music and Mariah, it has to be said, is one of a kind. This song brought her back into the public eye, really restored her career and really locked me in as a true fan. The rhythm and the lyrics and the pentameter are so complicated and wonderful, how could anyone not love it? "who else am I gonna lean on when times get rough, who’s gonna talk to me on the phone, till the sun comes up" and the entire passage about Bobby Womack and Babyface is freakin INGENIUS. It's hot. If you don't know this song--GET to know it.

5. "YOU MUST LOVE ME" by Madonna. I can't explain it but ever since the first time I heard this song it has haunted me. I have to admit, I don't know what it means. It was a song written to win an Academy award when the film EVITA came out; and I have been listening to EVITA since the white album with Julie Covington. I felt, when the film came out, that this was a song written and shoved into the film just for the Oscar. I didn't feel like it belonged--I could not figure out what it was supposed to say within the confines of the story; it showed a vulnerability that I did and do not feel Eva should show. She was a piranha, harsh to the end. This song shows weakness, it shows humanity--she should never give up, she is a fighter. Think of the song EVA'S LAMENT: "the choice was mine and no one else's..." even in her death, Eva stands on her own, she is accountable.. "i could burn with the splendour of the brightest fire or else, or else i could choose time". But in YOU MUST LOVE ME, she focuses on someone else.. "why are you at my side? how can i be any use to you now?" or the lyrics "deep in my heart i'm concealing things that i'm longing to say scared to confess what i'm feeling frightened you'll slip away". They are beautiful lyrics and ones I love but I don't get how they fit in with the story. She was a double die bitch. I don't believe she should be shown this way. It is too weak and too vulnerable. And what does the title mean? When she says YOU MUST LOVE she saying "You HAVE TO love me" or is she saying "I guesS you love me"? I don't know. I have never been able to figure it out--and I think it is clear that I have put some thought into this! BUT. I LOVE the song!!! It has hypnotized me and become the song that I hum whenever I feel like stretching my vocal chords or my emotions.

6. "DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER" by Dame Shirley Bassey. This is my favourite Shirley Bassey song and it has been for a long time. There is a mood, an ambiance, a feel that I get from this song; a coldness, a harshness, a mercenary feel that I wish for, in my heart and in my being. Having been hurt by so many people in my life, I wish for a personality that is impenetrable, implaccable. If only my heart believed "they are all i need to please me, they can stimulate and tease me, they won't leave in the night, i've no fear that they might desert me" then maybe it wouldn't be so easy for people to get in, to earn my trust, to take, take, take and then hurt me and walk out. "Men are mere mortals who are not worth going to your grave for" certainly sums up some of the people I have known. "i don't need love, for what good will love do me? diamonds never lie to me, for when love's gone, they'll lustre on". The song is a perfect marriage of words and melody, of arrangement and instruments; and then there is that one of a kind Bassey belt. Even if you don't have the emotional baggage that I attach to the song, it is just great music.

7. "FINISHING THE HAT" written by Stephen Sondheim but performed by everyone from Mandy Patinkin to Betty Buckley to Maria Friedman... but I have to admit that my favourite recording of the song is my own. For my 40th birthday, the guests were given a cd I recorded of songs that said something about my experience on this planet. I recorded FINISHING THE HAT because it speaks to me about my experience as an artist. All my life I have wanted to be an artist; but as a young person I did not realize the heartwrenching difficulties that come with the lifestyle of an artist. Oftentimes, as an adult, I have wished that I had been something, anything, other than an artist. I understand the obsessiveness this song speaks of, how you will let your entire life pass you by while you work to make your art perfect. I have stayed up all night, printing photos; I have missed time with Pat because I was busy planning the next day's elaborate shoot; I have turned down chances to walk in the sun with friends because I was busy writing. Unlike the character in the song, I do not have to deal with a spouse (or partner) who does not understand my need to create. My own spouse supports my artwork and encourages it and me. That difficulty does not exist in my life--but all the rest of it does; along with the immeasurable joy of looking at a piece of artwork that I created and saying "ok. That's right. That's it". I will also say this: the reason I like my recording best is because it had to be recorded LIVE. There was no track laid down that I could sing to, no chance of punching in a new recording over any mistakes. Since it is a musical monologue, I needed the luxury of emotion and pausing when it felt right; and my musical director, Joe Kinosian, was with me the whole time, watching me like a hawk, making sure we got it right. That song is some difficul sh*t to sing and it may not be perfect, it may not be Patinkin, but when I listen to that recording, I say "ok. That's right. That's it." For someone who has been told his entire life that he could not sing...that's something to think about in the cool grey of the dawn.

please note: I wanted to include artwork but I didn't want to go searching the net for pics of Damien Rice, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Shirley Bassey, any of The Four Seasons, Mandy Patinkin or Justin Timberlake. And I haven't DONE any photos of any of them. So I'm just using one of my favourite pics of myself--it was shot by Derik Klein


Anonymous annalisa said...


i also LOVE (x10) that you write so much more beautifully on these subjects than i do.

and finally i also LOVE (x a large, large number) ste! :)

2:42 PM  
Blogger StephenMosher said...

you are so good for me!

thanks for the ongoing validation.

i will call you later today. the weekend got away from me like you can't believe. so we need to plan another play date. the five hours on thursday was heavenly.

ps. we were watching the tv show JUDGEMENT, which i love and the murder victim's name was caitlin o'neal....

7:28 AM  
Blogger jungle dream pagoda said...

RUH ROH,on above comment "...victim Caitlin O'neil." Hmmmmm,could be my S.M.B.soundbite of the week.

6 songs I am currently obsessed with, hmmmm....
1. Mrs Bertolozzi,by Kate Bush,on Aerial
This song is breathtaking in its elevation of the mundane task of washing clothes to an emotional art form.
2.Powerful,by Skye
This is a beautiful melodic song that really does empower!
3. I'm not that girl,Idina
No matter who you are ,if you are female and do not have blonde hair ,you relate.
4.Caroines fingers,The Cocteau Twins
from the first 6 strums on the guitar,my fairy wings are attached and I am boogeying in the air with Oberon.
5.In a Big country,Big Country
this is probably my ALLTIME FAVORITE POP SONG ! and they sing with a brouge!
6.Melt with You, Modern English
Mine and Chris' song we hear it in the car, we reach for each others hand .He hears it while traveling ,he turns it up and calls me.("never 2nd best")
7. They Were You, Matt and Luisa

12:29 AM  
Blogger StephenMosher said...

Hey darlin!

I LOVE that there is a SMB soundbite!

Do you know.... THE FANTASTICKS has re-opened in NYC and, while it isn't the same as having it at the Sullivan Street Playhouse, it's great to have it back. AND we pass it every night on the way home from the gym and every night we sing a song from the show as we pass..usually it is MUCH MORE but it does vary...

LOVE your list!!

6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


8:52 AM  
Blogger StephenMosher said...

Thank you Jennifer!

I've been writing my blogs on Facebook but I will be cutting and pasting them to blogger.

Thank you for reading. What a great compliment.


9:04 AM  

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