Thursday, April 12, 2012

Face Front, Man

Sarah and I just finished watching the 1993 film, What's Love Got To Do With ItI had never seen it  before, but music fan that I am, it stood out to me amidst a stack of DVDs at the library the other day. Well, I now see what all the talk was all about. The movie features some truly great performances by both Angela Bassett as the singer Tina Turner, and Laurence Fishburn as her husband, the abusive musician Ike Turner. I had known a little about Tina's troubled past, but it was interesting to learn more about how she became the legendary performer that she is today, despite all the obstacles--both personally and professionally (I was not aware of how long it took her to land a hit song):

Last night I had the opportunity to see a concert in New York City by a singer who is not quite as well-known as Tina Turner, but equally as entertaining a performer. Truthfully, Jarvis Cocker's witty indie rock music is more my speed than Tina's glossy rock hits, and especially the songs off Different Class, the 1995 album that he recorded with his band Pulp. Well... Pulp reunited last year, and just played a couple of rare shows at New York's Radio City Music Hall--I guess as a warm-up for their performance at the Coachella Music Festival this month. It's all unbelievable to me, as Pulp was a '90s Britpop band that never really attracted widespread commercial success here in the U.S... but I just love the swagger of British pop/rock music--there's something rather exotic about it, and here was a rare sighting of a "bird" that seldom makes it to these shores.

Unfortunately, my last-minute decision to attend the show was thwarted, as I just missed the train to make it out to the city... I sat there at the station perplexed... trying to figure out what to do... suddenly rocked back to reality with a concern about my finances, and whether it was really worth trying to catch a later train that would be cutting so close to showtime... Jarvis would surely have appreciated the gloomy scene, as it is the kind of mood you'll find mixed into some of Pulp's best work: dark themes wrapped in a rather infectious pop/rock groove. Anyway, I hear the shows were fantastic, and the band played most of the songs off their 1995 album-! And apparently Mr. Cocker has become an even more engaging and eccentric showman... well he should, as I understand he founded Pulp back in the late 1970s (that's a long time until they broke in the mid-90s)!

While trying to forge my own artistic career, it is interesting to consider the trajectory of two musicians who have persevered through tough times and lean years. The fact that they both have matured into such strong performers is a good example of stick-to-it-ness in the uncertain "creative" world.

So I'm disappointed that I didn't make it to the show with the other "common people," but there is a lot to plan for in terns of my wedding and other projects, so the money is well saved... I just wish being "responsible" felt a little more fun in the here and now. I'm hoping I have another opportunity to see Jarvis live... in the meantime, I'll just keep "rolling, rolling, rolling down the river..." hopefully collecting more savings and knowledge along the way, and growing into my own frontman shoes.

Related Links:

Tina Turner:

"Pulp Make Triumphant U.S. Return at Radio City Music Hall," Rolling Stone, April 11, 2012

"Watch Pulp Make Triumphant U.S. Return on 'Jimmy Fallon,'", April 10, 2012

"Pulp make triumphant return to the U.S. with two sexy, bouncy shows at Radio City Music Hall," Entertainment Weekly, April 12, 2012

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