Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ronald Reagan: The Music-Hating US President?

Even though he was an accomplished actor and a host and music program supervisor of the General Electric Theater before going into politics and being elected into the US presidency, but is Ronald Reagan the “music-hating” US president? 

By: Ringo Bones 

Maybe it was that notorious Omnibus Regulation Acts of 1980 and 1981 that not only gave birth the “Ketchup is a Vegetable” controversy but also allowed the then US president Ronald Reagan to be put on trial for cutting the American public high-school music programs in favor of team sports. Maybe the powers-that-be of the Reagan Administration really decided to cut funding for the American public high-school music programs in favor of team sports in order to advance the US Republican Party’s political interests at the time, but does this action ultimately make Ronald Reagan the “music-hating” US president? 

During his high school days, Ronald Reagan’s two main interests was his school’s football team and his school’s acting program before eventually cutting his acting chops in Hollywood; And then later on eventually becoming the host and music program supervisor of the General Electric Theater which was forever immortalized by Ronald Reagan’s collaboration with movie orchestra conductor Elmer Bernstein 20-years before Reagan being elected into the White House. Given his career track record before going into politics and then the US presidency, it is quite inexplicable that there is truth behind the claim that Ronald Reagan hates the 1980s era public high school music program funding schemes that he eventually decided to make serious cuts on the program – but is it? Or maybe Reagan got frustrated that his signature “bland baritone” is more suited for program hosting and B-Movie roles than a full-fledged theatrical or operatic Heldentenor. 

Basing on his choice of inviting Ol ’ Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra to perform on his January 1981 presidential inauguration and to “romantically serenade” the then US First Lady Nancy Reagan, its quite hard to conclude that the then US President Ronald Reagan is a “music hating US president” given that this White House musical extravaganza is something only George W. Bush can dream of. But whether it is just unfortunate luck that some thermionic vacuum tubes of musical merit – like the 7591A vacuum tubes and the Mullard EL34 – became scarce during the Reagan Administration or Reagan choosing a strategic nuclear arsenal build-up instead of hosting a Classical Music showdown between the Soviet Union’s Leonid Kogan and Itzhak Perlman only fosters the speculation of Reagan’s Philistine outlook when it comes to the artistic aspects of music creation. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Should There Be A Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime The Musical?

Given that there’s already a Green Day based American Idiot and Rock of Ages Broadway musicals, is it high time that one should me made about Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime?

By: Ringo Bones 

Green Day’s American Idiot the musical – which might be about the George Dubya Bush presidency - had been a runaway Broadway hit, so does Rock of Ages – the musical unabashedly glorifying 1980s era hair metal, but is there another “untapped” musical movement in the punk rock and heavy metal world? Had you checked Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindrime album for its Broadway musical potential?  

Based on Queensrÿche’s 1988 album depicting the political spin and media-manipulation of the Reagan Administration to suit its own political ends, although the narrative of this Album Oriented Rock (AOR) tends to get muddled towards the end despite the music keeping its own holistic theme. Despite being a compelling listen, one planning to make a Broadway style musical based on Queensrÿche’s Operation: Mindcrime album must inevitably borrow elements from the next Queensrÿche album – as in Empire. 

Given the spoken word part of the title track of Empire (the last song of Side A for all you lucky vinyl LP owners) goes – “In the fiscal year 1986 to 87, local state and federal governments spend a total of 60.6-billion dollars on law enforcement. Federal law enforcement expenditures rank last in absolute dollars and only account for 6 percent of all federal spending. By way of comparison, the federal government spends 24-million more on space exploration and 43 times more on national defense and international relations than on law enforcement.” Add some Ronald Reagan era pornography and you now have the makings of an instant classic Broadway musical, though there is no guaranteed financial success formula yet when it comes to Broadway musicals. Or would Lunachick's Spoilt The Musical prove to be a more financially secure Broadway musical?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What’s Next For Miley Cyrus?

With a risqué performance in the 2013 VMA’s and a matching risqué music video for her hit Wrecking Ball, can Miley Cyrus ever top these to further advance her musical career? 

By: Ringo Bones 

With a risqué performance at the 2013 VMA’s – as in that twerking that even grossed out Taylor Swift and more suited for the AVM awards in Las Vegas by some A-List porn star like Madison Scott, many popular music spectators now wonder if Miley Cyrus has become a “spent force” musically with nowhere else to go creatively. Does this mean it is only a matter of time before Miley Cyrus will fade into oblivion? 

Ever since her Hannah Montana days with the Walt Disney Corporation, many a pop music spectator had speculated that Miley Cyrus will soon fade into oblivion as soon as she becomes too old to play the iconic teen pop sensation with a Disneyfied puberty. But before all of this came to pass, she managed to boost her popularity by posing a series of age-inappropriate risqué photos with iconic photographer Annie Leibovitz for the iconic Vanity Fair magazine – with her father, the early 1990s country music phaenom Billy Ray Cyrus, nonetheless. So what’s next for Miley Cyrus before her risqué signature twerking at the 2013 VMA’s gets relegated as a largely forgotten historical footnote into the dustbin of history? 

Though emulating the recent rowdy antics of fellow male teen pop sensation Justin Beiber is out of the question, Miley Cyrus could resort to an untried risqué stunt – like what she did so effectively in the past - to yet extend the shelf-life of her popularity and “commercial viability”. How about the ultimate risqué “Father’s Day Surprise” set to music? Maybe a duet with her country music icon dad Billy Ray Cyrus with the 1993 era Motörhead hit single Don’t Let Daddy Kiss Me (from the Motörhead 1993 album Bastards) might do just the trick to extend Miley’s popularity shelf-life for another few months given that she’s somewhat obsessed with the resurgent redneck culture in the 21st Century.