Monday, November 2, 2009

Greatest Classical CD Covers EVER, Part 14

Click here for the complete (ongoing) series...


STRAVINSKY IN AMERICA (TILSON THOMAS)
The worst buddy comedy of the '80s. TT was game, but Stravinsky seemed determined to sink the venture from the start. He insisted in speaking Russian throughout the film ("No goddamned subtitles!" was the only thing he said in English on set). He also demanded frequent and nonsensical script changes (his character, a crotchety janitor helping TT's CIA agent break up a narcotics ring, turned into an emperor midway through the film with no explanation). And the use of some of Stravinsky's later, serial works as theme music hardly had the impact of say, the Ghostbusters theme. Avoid if you see it at Blockbuster.


RICHARD STRAUSS - ARABELLA
Hey! There's a party in the giant blow-up sex doll's hair and everyone's invited!


RIGOLETTO (SERAFIN)
"Yup. I've been a widower for 50 years... Yeah, two. Daughter. Married. Moved down to Phoenix. And a son that teaches in Peru or Paraguay or some damn place... Once in a while. Phone call at Christmas, usually... Oh, most days I'm here, drinking my bellywarmers I call 'em, heh heh heh... Bored? Oh, no no no. Between the game on TV here and going to the races, I'd say my plate is plenty full."


VILLA LOBOS: ALMA BRASILEIRA (TILSON THOMAS)
After the Tilson Thomas movie went nowhere, TT got a detective show. A kind of Baretta Meets Miami Vice. The gimmick was that the parrot would talk and give TT clues, but bafflingly, only TT could hear him speak which lead to many scenes of him conversing with the bird while others in the scene demanded "who are you talking to?" even though he was looking right at the bird. The parrot left after the third season due to a contract dispute. TT himself left early in the fourth and the show bizarrely carried on for 3 more episodes with neither of its stars. Critically acclaimed as a dadaist treatment of 80s decadence, it's worth checking out on DVD.


SEJONG PLAYS EWAZEN
Confusing. The words of the title could be in any random order and it would make equal sense to me. Not sure how well these guys play but their hotel room trashing exploits are legendary. They're banned worldwide from staying in a Holiday Inn after the guy on the left drove a Caddy into a swimming pool at one of their hotels in Kalamazoo. At one show, these guys were so worked up they just jumped up and down and cheered for 90 minutes and left the stage without playing a note.


TRIO CÉRÈS - FAURÉ/RAVEL/HERSANT PIANO TRIOS
Another rule of great cover design is if you're going to put a picture of yourself on the cover, make sure you project total contempt for all potential buyers. Two of 'em can hardly stand to look at ya and are all "if we just stay still and be quiet, maybe he'll go away" and the middle guy is totally "what do YOU want"? Look man, I'll just put the CD down. I've got enough static in my life and don't need any hassle from my CDs.


THE ONLY OPERA CD YOU'LL EVER NEED!
Is it too much to say that anyone who has this in their collection should be forcibly institutionalized indefinitely?

2 comments:

Colby Cosh said...

I'm still trying to work out the logic of needing one opera CD, but ONLY one. Just going with zero seems like unquestionably the superior option here.

Jason said...

I saw an airtight proof that the correct number is 14. I can't remember the details, but it did end with a QED so that was enough for me.