Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CLAP YOUR HANDS EVERYBODY:  Flipside of yesterday's question -- fictional artistic works within artistic works that are just as good as the characters want us to believe they are, whether Keith Carradine's "I'm Easy" in Nashville; the Tri-Lam/Omega Mu performance at the Adams College Greek Games; Stillwater's "Fever Dog" (a big step forward for the band, and the guitar sound was incendiary); the production of "Little Shop of Horrors" on Head of the Class; the student performance of "All I Want for Christmas Is You" in Love Actually; and, of course, the climactic dance number in Center Stage.

55 comments:

  1. The Pathetic Earthling9:38 AM

    Bill & Ted's history project.

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  2. I wanted to note, with an asterisk, Hugh Grant's interruption of Marcus' "Killing Me Softly" at the end of About A Boy; it was just as bad as it needed to be.

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  3. Chris H9:57 AM

    Although I don't know country music well, some of the music in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story was impressive.

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  4. I can't agree with anyone for anything on the final dance number in Center Stage.  It's not even that the dance is awful (which anyone who knows ballet knows it is) or that the costume changes don't make sense (which they don't), or the fact that they bring a frickin' MOTORCYCLE on stage...it's the fact that the lead dancer changes hairstyles five or six different times...in inceasingly more complex fashion without the use of wigs.  Drives me crazy!!!!!

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  5. But that's what makes it AWESOME. Reality is so lame and boring.

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  6. I'm not particularly a theater geek, so I need some to tell me where the "For the Want of a Nail" climactic scene in "Camp" falls.

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  7. gretchen10:13 AM

    I have a soft spot for the Samantha Mathis songs in The Thing Called Love. 

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  8. Another Hugh Grant one?  "Pop Goes My Heart," from Music and Lyrics, which is a very nice piece of 80s cheese.

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  9. I suppose it's cheating to say Yo-Yo Ma playing himself playing Bach Suite in G Major in The West Wing episode "Noël."

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  10. Paul Tabachneck10:35 AM

    I watched Josie and the Pussycats many many times for the music.  It may not count as separate from the That Thing You Do thing since it was another Schlessinger project, but still.  Awesome stuff.  

    Also the Circus Monkey music in Bandcamp.

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  11. gretchen10:48 AM

    Oh, I thought of another one: A Kiss At The End of the Rainbow, in A Mighty Wind.  That performance at the end is just brilliant because it takes a song that's a parody and turns it into something really moving.

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  12. Goghaway10:48 AM

    Do Ferris Bueller's parade performances count? Because almost everyone I know watches that scene with same huge grin that Cameron has (myself included).

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  13. An interesting question--where do the various "Glee" performances fall?  Some of the ones we were insistently told were great are not (particularly the original songs from Regionals last year), and some of the things that we're told are great are pretty damn impressive (Rachel's "Don't Rain On My Parade," the Journey Medley and Bohemian Rhapsody from Season 1, most of the stuff from last week's episode).

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  14. Marsha11:35 AM

    Oh, pretty much everything from A Mighty Wind works here. I'm partial to "Potato's in the Paddy Wagon" and "Eee Ah Ohs," but they're all spot on for the period, and delightful to listen to even apart from the movie.

    Of course, the genius song from that movie is the Sure-Flo theme at the end.

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  15. Marsha11:38 AM

    I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who will list this, but the kids' final number ("Joyful Joyful") at the end of Sister Act 2 definitely lives up to the hype. Lauryn Hill gives me goosebumps in the opening section, and the rest of it is a wonderful mashup of genres and a ton of fun.

    (I'm also fond of Salve Regina from the first movie, but we're not expected to think that's genius, just a massive improvement over the past, which isn't a high standard.)

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  16. "Joe Lies" is honest, heartbreaking, and genius.

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  17. The last one (hair half-up and then she puts her head down and rises up with braids with red lipstick) makes me unreasonably angry.  However, that doesn't mean I don't also freaking love it.

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  18. Adam C.12:53 PM

    Jack Black's "Let's Get It On" in High Fidelity.

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  19. kd bart1:03 PM

    Alvy Singer's stand up in Annie Hall.

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  20. Watts1:03 PM

    I just assume at that point that the movie has taken an unexpected turn into science fiction and is fusing the classical art of ballet with the future of nanotechnology and that tiny mechanisms that rest inside her hair braid it for her.  

    Or I just think about the motorcycle and start laughing again.

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  21. As opposed to Tom Hanks' in Punchline.

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  22. Watts1:10 PM

    Some of the "Sweded" videos in "Be Kind, Rewind" are pretty great.

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  23. Genevieve1:12 PM

    I need to re-watch Camp ASAP.

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  24. Ooh, me too!  I also like some of the other original songs, like the one Dermot Mulrooney sings, "Vagabond on the Streets of Love." 

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  25. In "Postcards from the Edge," Shirley MacLaine keeps telling her daughter, Meryl Streep, that she should sing more, that she has such a great voice.  We get a glimpse of it when Meryl sings "You Don't Know Me" in the middle of the movie, and then she takes down the house with "Heartbreak Hotel" at the end.  Yes, she was definitely as good as the characters thought she was.

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  26. MidwestAndrew2:03 PM

    Every time I see commercials for the new ABC show "Duets," I have this image of Dewey Cox and Countrified Pam singing "Let's Duet... In Ways that Make Us Feel Good." It makes the commercials a little bit more entertaining.

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  27. Jenn C2:08 PM

    Baby and Johnny's routine in Dirty Dancing--yes, the routine was hard but believable that she learned it, and the lift is awesome. 

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  28. isaac_spaceman2:08 PM

    I said Boogie Nights yesterday, so I'm going to say Boogie Nights today.  Dirk Diggler's Dirk Jr. at the end of the movie. 

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  29. C3P0's performance of the Star Wars saga to the Ewoks during ROTJ was as amazing as the Ewoks' reaction to it implied.  (And it doesn't matter if you hate the Ewoks.)

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  30. Look, if you're about to die in a massive Ewok holocaust, you might as well go down smiling.

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  31. Slick2:37 PM

    Thank you for listing the Tri Lamb-Omega Mu's Greek Games performance. If I need a good pick me up, that's always a winner. 

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  32. StvMg4:08 PM

    Would it be sucking up to Watts to select the battle of the bands in Bandslam?

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  33. Typical Imperial propaganda.  Just like them to claim it's the Rebel Alliance that is engaged in species warfare.

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  34. Watts4:45 PM

    <span>You'll get argument from whoever it was in yesterday's thread that said Vanessa Hudgens brings down I Can't Go On, I'll Go On.  
     
    But I'll think you're great.</span>

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  35. Becca4:59 PM

    I may have bought the Josie and the Pussycats soundtrack because it's so great, but also because "Backdoor Lover" is a masterpiece. 

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  36. Tosy and Cosh5:02 PM

    I said it yesterday, but the Crazy Heart Jeff Bridges songs are pretty damn fine.

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  37. I agree that Josie and the Pussycats and Circus Monkey are both awesome.  I actually had to buy the Bandwagon soundtrack online from a record store in Sweden years ago because it was the only place I could find a copy; they had stopped playing the movie on cable and "It Couldn't Be Ann" was haunting me.  Now if I could just buy the movie...

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  38. bill.6:06 PM

    that was me. If StvMg is saying the battle of the bands was decent and featured good bands, I agree. I would also agree that Vanessa Hudgens fronting the band wasn't horrible (though her acting throughout the movie was atrocious). I personally would prefer the version of the worst band name ever that had Aly Michalka singing.

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  39. bill.6:10 PM

    I mentioned the art of Chris Stevens yesterday, so that.

    Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter? I don't care for Loretta Lynn, but loved Sissy Spacek singing as Loretta Lynn.

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  40. isaac_spaceman6:11 PM

    I do not know the name of the band with the worst band name ever that you're referring to, but you are wrong.  The worst band name ever is Alcoholocaust, the idiot New Jersey death metal band of the boyfriend of a girl with whom I went to college.   

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  41. Marsha7:36 PM

    The song at the end is "Checkin' Out."

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  42. lisased8:16 PM

    My 11-year-old may or may not know all the words to "Three Small Words", and we may or may not sing it together at the top of our lungs.

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  43. StvMg9:04 PM

    At the risk of spoiling a movie that's a few years old, I always found it amusing that in one hurried outdoor session that lasted a couple of minutes, they were able to arrange their own ska-flavored take on Everything I Own. We'd seen the video earlier in the  movie that revealed Vanessa Hudgens' character knew the lyrics, but how could they have rearranged the whole song in such a short time?

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  44. Joseph J. Finn10:28 PM

    The climactic ballet performance of The Company.  Now THAT is a dance performance.  Also, of course, The Red Shoes in the movie of the same name.

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  45. Joseph J. Finn10:29 PM

    Also, any of the in-movie sequences of Singing In The Rain, especially Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly.

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  46. J.O&#39;Connor12:42 AM

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned any of the musicals (hollywood or broadway) that use the old "show within a show" plotline. 
    In the category of "just as good as they are supposed to be," I'd throw out "One (Singular Sensation)" from A Chorus Line and any of the Taming of the Shrew numbers in Kiss Me Kate ("Tom Dick or Harry," "Where is the Life that Late I Led," and a bunch more). 
    For works that are every bit as bad as they are supposed to be, there's the pretentious "Faust" musical in The Bandwagon and the pre-dubbed "Laughing Cavalier" in Singin in the Rain. 
    And for numbers that aren't what they're cracked up to be, I'd pick the "hits" from Dreamgirls and Merrily We Roll Along.  The best songs from Dreamgirls (including the one that actually became a pop hit) are the ones sung by the characters off-stage.  The pastiche performance songs created for the Dreams ("One Night Only") and the other pop groups ("Cadillac Car") are pretty uninspired.  In Merrily, Sondheim set himself a challenge by having the lead characters be successful musical theater composers who write a song that becomes an enduring standard (sort of like "Send in the Clowns").  The actual song, "Good Thing Going," isn't terrible, but it's far from the best song in the score, which isn't one of Sondheim's strongest.

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  47. victoria2:16 AM

    First thing I thought of too!

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  48. victoria2:18 AM

    The "Canned Heat" dance in Napoleon Dynamite. Yeah, I'd vote for that.

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  49. victoria2:19 AM

    Two other media-within-media that are every bit as bad as they're supposed to be: the video GOB makes for George Michael in "The Immaculate Election," and the fake soap, Prescription Passion, on House.

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  50. Watts9:31 AM

    Using the same technology that braids hair on stage. It's a growing field.

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  51. Adam (mobile)9:40 AM

    Obvious one: the performances in Purple Rain, except for Appolonia 6's Sex Shooter, are just as good as the Fifth Avenue audience thinks it is, and The Kid earned that win with his ballad.

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  52. Anna Kendrick's Ladies who Lunch is excellent.

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  53. Marsha1:37 PM

    Ditto the soap opera in Soapdish (and the one in Tootsie, for that matter) - both are gloriously awful.

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  54. Nancy6:33 PM

    ALL the numbers in my fave guilty pleasure movie Streets of Fire are cheesetasically fabulous.

    Most of the numbers in another fave, Grace of My Heart, are also damn good.

    The Opus in Mr. Holland's Opus, is to me, crappy. It's bombastic and overblown... actually, just the type of piece that character would write... and think it's good.

    Every Spinal Tap and Rutles song is perfection.

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  55. bill.6:42 PM

    Streets of Fire is fantastic.

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