Sunday, October 24, 2010

Brian's Korean namesake

We had the local cable company install a voice-over-Internet landline telephone late last week and the attending technician was of Southeast Asian descent.

After deciding that the best place to access the TV/Internet cable needed to hook up the cable modem for the new landline was behind the cabinet housing the PVR, he had to navigate through a mountain of kids’ toys to get to the cabinet. This inevitably resulted in him asking how old our child(ren) is which prompted me to ask him the same.

Curious as to which Asian ancestry he belonged to, I asked him which languages he and his wife spoke around the house. He replied both Korean and English, although he admitted they didn't speak as much Korean around the kids as he’d like.

When he finished installing the phone line and testing it, he was ready to head off to his next appointment. I glanced at his name tag and it said: Brian Mai. I should have asked him if he played guitar.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Under (economic) Pressure

Media Moment: Viral video
Queen Related: Under Pressure used in muppet-sync performance

Another QMS member sent a link to this video today and after watching it, I thought it was interesting on several levels:

1) The video was hosted on a “comedy” site but I didn’t find any humor in the homeless man’s situation, if indeed this is a legitimate appeal for help and not a social satire on the economic slump felt throughout most of the westernized world.

2) From what I remember, the original music video for UP was a montage of imagery meant to underscore the stresses felt by citizens in a turbulent society . . . how to deal with the overwhelming pressures of industrialization. Now, however, it’s the recent global economic pressures that the song seems to reflect.

3) I wonder if this guy was inspired by the recent Muppet performance of Bohemian Rhapsody that made the viral rounds a few months ago.

4) Unlike other fan-created Queen-themed videos that have saturated the Internet over the past few years, this one has a poignancy to it due to a performance that is more akin to video-panhandling rather than a single-minded attempt at fame and glory (ala slide recorder BoRhap dude).

5) This guy has obviously thought through the duet between Mercury and Bowie because he imbues each Kermit with subtle characteristics from each singer and exaggerates their mannerisms to coincide with the lyrics, especially the end sequence where he intertwines the two muppets. He would have crossed the line, however, if he had given one Kermit a moustache and the other two different colored eyes.

6) As a Queen fan witnessing a Queen song used to sell me a hard-luck case, I’m actually motivated to help the guy because of this connection. If it was a non-Queen song being performed, I can’t say that I’d be any more moved to help the guy than I would out of mere compassion. The Queen connection does hit a nerve for me. It would be interesting if Queen fans came to his rescue, or even if Brian or Roger made a donation to his cause.

7) Bottom line: he’s either a huge Queen fan, a huge fan of the song, or merely chose it to plead his case of desperation and rehearsed it perfectly.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fat bottomed puppets

Media Moment: Broadway production of Avenue Q
Queen Related: Fat Bottomed Girls mentioned

Queen gets referenced in the strangest of places it seems. My wife was recently in New York and went to see Avenue Q on Broadway, which is sort of like Sesame Street for adults.

And since my wife is tuned in to Queen sightings because of my influence, she told me that there was a line in the song Mix Tape that mentions Fat Bottomed Girls. It’s an awkward metaphor of how one male character thinks of a female character who has the hots for him and interprets his gift of a mix tape as a good sign. Needless to say, she’s a bit dismayed that the titles of some of the songs were less than flattering.

I think there may be a more pervasive Queen element in the production, though. The “Q” in Avenue Q would seem to imply “queer” since there are many homosexual overtones throughout the story. So to reference a Queen song would work on that level alone, although FBG is not a Freddie song. Nonetheless, I think the producers knew that a connection would be made between the Q in queer and FBG to Queen.