this rant is all <lj user="maddening">'s fault ;-)

a trend i have found most interesting — and for which i blame randy newman – is the trend of “pop” or even “rock” artists to suddenly try their hand at scoring movies or broadway. the movies are usually cartoons – for example, phil collins (“tarzan”) or elton john (oh please, there are several – that “el dorado” movie, i think he is also responsible for “the lion king”, along with master lyricist tim rice), and the resulting material is generally mass-marketed pap. say what you want about phil collins or elton john – they have been capable in their careers, at times, of writing some solid material. but they have become newman converts. their work for film is, IMO, crrrrrap. and now, lest we forget, billy joel’s music is currently on broadway. which is a good thing considering he will need the extra money to buy a new car after his most recent run-in with a tree.

what really sent me over the edge, tho, was when, about 10 years ago, i went to see the broadway show “tommy.” i wanted to be lobotomized after the experience. yes, the music was mostly the same. but. it-had-been-SO-sanitized. it had been disney-fied. i mean, there are some really icky issues teased out here – a pedophile, heavy drugs, death – and it all sort of flitted away. it was a serious relief when, a few years after, i had the pleasure of seeing 3/4 of the Who plus guests do it onstage. someone refreshed pete townshend about what he had originally written, i guess.

two of the onlies who, IMO, have successfully made the leap are mark mothersbaugh (Devo) and danny elfman (Oingo Boingo). their work continues to be interesting — even when, like mothersbaugh, they write for children’s shows. believe me. i know. i get to watch some of those children’s shows.

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