Review: Marilyn Manson – The Pale Emperor

It’s been years since Marilyn Manson released something, so you can understand my excitement when I heard Killing Strangers during John Wick. A promise was made – that a new album will come soon enough, and I was eager to listen to it!

Killing Strangers is the opening track – it’s slick, and screams „Manson” with every note. It’s sickening, it’s angry, it’s disappointed – it’s everything you and me are, so why the fuck not!? (10/10)

Deep Six was promoted as a lead single, with a very simple, yet disturbing video. I must admit I adore the bass line at the beginning of the song, the drumming and how it all blends in perfectly with Manson’s screaming. It’s pure joy for my ears, even though at first the song seemed a bit predictable. (10/10)

Third Day of a Seven Day Binge was released as a first promo single, and it was a very smart move. The bass mixes the guitar in a rather savage way, and in theory nothing would seem to make sense, but it does – it does make sense in such a weird way, I can’t stop listening to it! (10/10)

The Mephistopheles of Los Angeles – that’s quite a mouthful! I’m still undecided – the guitars are amazing, the rhythm is not quite there, the lyrics don’t seem to make sense, but the whole package screams „suitability and fear and hope”. What?! (7/10)

Warship My Wreck kinda sounds like a modern Coma White, with a little more comformity and a little less genius. It’s not bad, but it’s not wow either. (6.5/10)

Slave Only Dreams to be King is the kind of title that makes me proud of being a Marilyn Manson fan. Even though the platitude is noticeable and kind of expected from him, at this point in his life, the song is not bad. It reminds me a bit of (s)AINT, minus the angst. (7/10)

The Devil Beneath My Feet seems like a forgettable piece, since I had to look up to see the name. The album seems a bit repetitive at this point, and all the songs get mixed up in my brain. This particular track also has the quality of reminding me of The Red Carpet Grave combined with Children of Cain, so it’s understandable why I’m confused. (6/10)

Birds of Hell Awaiting starts off great, with a bit of Aggaloch-like vocals, and it seems to be the kind of vehicle that propelled Manson to stardom. Too bad he’s like 20 years late… (7/10)

Cupid Carries a Gun sounds like Manson had to fill in a quota, and this straw came short, and Mercury was in retrograde, and a bunch of other bad stuff happened, and so… This song was all that they could come up with. Except that it sounds like Manson circa 20 years ago, so yay?! (7/10)

Odds of Even. I can’t even. Is this The Speed of Pain, remastered?! (5/10)

Overall, The Pale Emperor is at least bearable. Marilyn Manson goes out of his way to please old fans that don’t want any spark of creativity for their idol, and he manages to squeeze out a beautiful combo of Born Villain and The Unholy Trinity (Antichrist Superstar, Mechanical Animals and Holy Wood), recycling old concepts that once appealed to the masses, and are now obsolete.

To be completely honest, after The Golden Age of Grotesque, Manson looked like he was on his way to reinvention, and for about 10 years that reinvention seemed great. Too bad peer pressure, or whatever that is, chased away that new spirit – I hope all those oldies reminiscing their 1996 Manson are happy. I am only meh.

Review – Cum se duce totul dracu’

Cum-se-duce-totul-dracuCum se duce totul dracu’ este, in teorie, cel putin, o comedie. Incepe ca o comedie, in care razi si razi si razi, si starea de facto a natiunii pare sa fie un ranjet larg, intins de la ureche la ureche, si se sfarseste, cel putin pentru mine, in lacrimi sincere. Cel mai neasteptat lucru la acest spectacol a fost tranzitia exceptionala, emotionanta, naturala, de la amuzament la realism dureros si dur.

Povestea din Cum se duce totul dracu’ e una simpla rau de tot, fix ca-n viata (cum altfel?). Un el, o ea, un razboi etern al principiilor si nervilor, al dreptatii puerile si al logicii si ratiunii. Daca vreodata credeti ca aveti sorti de izbanda in dragoste, think again. Bazat pe un text contemporan scris de Mihai Ignat, spectacolul face uz de creativitatea celor doi actori, Loredana Cosovanu si Florin Fratila, care au creat Cum se duce totul dracu’ integral si l-au pus in scena asa cum am avut ocazia sa-l simt pe 10 decembrie.

Cum se duce totul dracu’ are noroc de o distributie exceptionala – doi oameni care par sa se inteleaga din priviri, cu o chimie incredibila intre ei, dar si intre ei si public, doi oameni care au muncit extrem de mult pentru a prezenta un rezultat incredibil de bun unui public receptiv si empatic. Sau poate asa s-a vazut spectacolul din primul rand, de acolo de unde ai acces la trairile actorilor, dar si la trairile oamenilor care au facut din Cum se duce totul dracu’ un spectacol sold out, asa cum ar fi fost normal.

Daca Loredana Cosoveanu a stiut sa imbine gratia, frenezia si irationalitatea feminina, Florin Fratila a reusit sa mixeze simplitatea, confuzia, bunatatea si exasperarea masculina. Cei doi actori au adus pe scena o relatie cat se poate de reala, cat se poate de plina de defecte, cu sperante, vise si frustrari, cu fericire si ura, cu momente stupide si absurde. Realitatea acestei relatii inchipuite m-a miscat si m-a impresionat, si cred ca si daca n-ati suferit vreodata din iubire, tot veti rezona alaturi de actorii de pe scena.

Cum se duce totul dracu’ e un spectacol pe care il recomand din suflet, alaturi de o buna doza de rationament. Puteti sa va uitati linistiti zambetele acasa, veti avea destule motive sa zambiti In Culise.

Review – Ghengbeng

ghengbengDupa experienta unica pe care am avut-o cu Scrisori catre Rita – The Show, urmatoarea intalnire pe care am avut-o cu cei de la teatrul In Culise a fost la Ghengbeng. In teorie, o comedie efervescenta, marketata drept 16+, in realitate, o comedie spumoasa, care m-a tinut in priza toata seara.

Incerc, pe cat posibil, sa evit comparatiile intre cele doua piese, mai ales ca nu au actori comuni, si Ghengbeng e o productie comuna a celor cinci actori de pe afis (Alexandru Minculescu, Maria Popovici, Paul Alexandru, Cristiana Ionita, Ionut Iftimiciuc), ajutati la scenografie de Iulia Popescu si pe partea de tehnic de Bogdan Ionescu. In rest, introspectiile sunt lasate deoparte, si primeaza emotia pura, nealterata, care, odata mutata de pe scena in public, se transforma in hohote de ras cat se poate de sincer.

Ghengbeng are o structura usor deosebita pentru o piesa de teatru, fiind mai degraba mai multe piese de teatru mici, scenete, as zice eu (dar nu sunt o autoritate in domeniu), care culeg si expun situatii care mai de care mai banale, transformate in umor si lectii de viata.

Mi-a placut foarte mult energia si capacitatea de „cameleonizare”, ca sa spun poetic, de care a dat dovada Maria Popovici, in special in momentul cu „doamna Picasso”, iar Cristiana Ionita a reusit sa fie, rand pe rand, ingenua, prostuta si posibila victima, cu la fel de mult farmec ca si prima oara.

Paul Alexandru s-a achitat onorabil de intermezzo-uri savuroase, si trebuie sa va spun ca e musai sa auziti varianta lui la piesa Un actor grabit, precum si fascinantul moment cu Scoateti-o la timp. In caz ca va intrebati, da, despre asta este vorba. Coitus interruptus pe romaneste si foarte plastic.

Ionut Iftimiciuc mi-a dat impresia unui titirez neobosit, pe cand Alexandru Minculescu a reusit sa se faca parte integranta din toate scenetele in care a avut ceva de spus.

Pana la urma, Ghengbeng a fost un moment amuzant construit de niste oameni care au ales sa expuna in fata publicului consecintele si alegerile naturale in cazul unor situatii destul de comune, si sa extraga de acolo fix elementul lipsa dintre confort si acceptare. Daca la Scrisori pentru Rita ar trebui sa va inarmati cu multa deschidere, la Ghengbeng e destul sa fiti prezenti. Va veti regasi macar intr-una din situatiile expuse, si universalitatea subiectelor din piesa nu va va lasa indiferenti nici macar o clipa.

Review: Scrisori catre Rita – The Show

scrisori catre ritaN-am scris niciodata despre piese de teatru, si cu atat mai putin n-am facut un review complet al unei piese de teatru, dar sper ca entuziasmul din seara aceasta sa ma ajute sa transpun ce se intampla in Scrisori catre Rita – The Show.

Invitatia a venit din partea teatrului In Culise, si am acceptat-o aproape pe negandite, pentru ca de mult le urmaream activitatea, in special cursurile de teatru pe care le au disponibile. Am ales o piesa neconventionala, pentru ca voiam sa vad oameni si caractere aflati la extreme, atat pe scena, cat si in public, si sa am parte de reactii de pe toata scara emotiilor, nefiltrate si pure.

Scrisori catre Rita – The Show reuseste sa faca fix asta. Actul de pe scena e vulgar, direct, dureros, amuzant si sincer, e cam cum am vrea noi sa fim, daca n-am fi atat de incordati si imbatraniti de canoane impuse de altii.

Din distributie face parte Andreea Stafie, care este superba si suplineste rolul de iubita, amanta inchipuita, inger presupus si respiratie pierduta. In cuvinte putine, Andreea da viata mai multor personaje, si isi domina scenele prin prezenta electrizanta si gesturile ei ireale si aeriale.

Alaturi de ea, Stefan Nistor il joaca pe Nic Labis, personajul imaginat de Stefan Caraman, un fel de parodie fara poezie, dar cu foarte mult umor, foarte dezinvolt si canibalic, face din personajul tau un arhetip al zilelor noastre – pasionat de blog, pasionat de comunicarea cu cineva, oricine, fie chiar si o femeie imaginara, macinat de probleme triviale si condus de cel mai inutil cap disponibil, Nic capata profunzime doar cand vorbeste. Si atunci cand o face, nu iese niciodata ceva poetic.

De regie s-a ocupat Cristian Bajora, si de muzica, din ce am inteles, chiar Stefan Nistor (si i-a iesit un superplaylist). Decorul este minimalist, lasand actorii sa se transforme si sa evolueze, sa-si spuna povestile murdare si sa-si expuna gandurile sincere in fata unui public deschis. Atmosfera e perfecta pentru luna decembrie, o luna a povestilor si amintirilor, si replicile lui Nic intaresc adevaruri deja universal valabile – la KFC se intampla iubire, stickul cu melodii preferate a luat locul casetei cu mixuri, shaorma are gust de p*zda si un capot nou poate schimba mentalitati.

Daca sunteti nehotarati si nu stiti daca sa vedeti piesa, raspunsul este „mergeti sa o vedeti”. O sa va dispara din reticente si retineri, si o sa plecati de-acolo razand. Pentru exemplificare, piesa incepe chiar asa:

Ti-am scris un email.
– Sa te f*t!
Tu mi-ai raspuns:
– Asa e frumos?!

Si continua, savuros, cu:

Am luat o sticla de Cola de 2 litri, am ragait de 2 litri jumatate.

Imi cer scuze pentru limbajul licentios, Scrisori catre Rita – The Show m-a invatat cu prea multa libertate.

Review – Sabaton, Eluveitie & Wisdom

I went last night to see a metal show – I haven’t seen one in a long-long time, so when I bought the tickets, last November, I thought „hmm, why not? they are pretty good”.
I kinda waited for this show, because I felt like I needed the out-of-the-ordinary experience, since my life is filled with going out for a coffee or other drinks, going to a club, walking the dog and oh-so-mighty going to work. Metal was good for me, so I tried to review the concert on the spot, step by step, as everything happened.
The outcome? Sort of a tweeted review, if only I had tweeted it (I still don’t use my Twitter account, so you get the picture). Here comes nothing!

wisdomband_1

Wisdom not so wise, creatively speaking
Lead singer that stars in a Pantene comercial and also does air guitar
Kinda copy cats – Metallica & Bon Jovi circa 80s
Really really average singer, with high school lyrics and GOT references
Necesary time to pass for you to like Wisdom – one shitty beer from Turbojalle (play on words, omg, I am so witty!) (pic here)

eluveitie

Eluveitie – awesome start!!!
* metal is a genre that can be done in pairs – you get introduced by someone you like and you stay there, as some of the couples present there proved*

Awesome vocal, awesome drummer, Anna missing, but it’s still a great show
Lots of people stuck in the 80s – hairwise
I can’t say too much about Eluveitie, because they were too awesome to make time to record any of it
This, adding my unnecessary swelling of the hands when it gets crowded, made it a little tough to keep track of things (pic here)

*All the cocalari!!! Cocalari metalisti, but still…*

Sabaton

Sabaton ruled the house
Their raw power, and drums and guitars moved an entire mass of people
Romanian flag and also goosebumps (according to Sabaton’s lead singer)

Omg, he’s got the moves like Freddie!!!
I want to hit the drums, not play them! Omg, I forgot how to human!!!!

The Ting Tings – That’s not my name… Oups, error!
Sabaton is a magical show – the lead keeps appearing and disappearing on the stage, makes me think he’s related to Flash
We got to chose the next song, but then we didn’t. Into the fire!
Still wanna be a drummer! Muhaha!
Now I’ve learnt how easy it is to become an arena band – Iron Maiden style
Swedish time!!! A lifetime of war – easy pick
Swedish – such a beatiful language, I can’t understand shit :))
ABBA, wtf is wrong with us? :))
Weird music, omg!
And then some emo stuff…
So I had to go, cause of all that tiredness and stuff… (pic here)

Overall:
Wisdom 4/10
Eluveitie 10/10
Sabaton 8/10

Review (and disappointment): 2CELLOS & Naya Rivera – Supermassive Black Hole

I am late to the party, yet again, but I can’t help it! Life gets into the way everyday, so… Some news just arrive a lil’ bit late.

First of all, I love 2CELLOS. Who does not know what 2CELLOS are, please check their Youtube channel for further information on the matter.

Next, I love Naya Rivera. If you don’t know who this lovely lady is, then maybe you’re not a Glee fan (like yours truly), so I’d go ahead and suggest one of her songs in the TV show. Mostly covers of Miss Tina Turner, Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse. Regardless, she’s kept in the background, used when the producers want to teach us about mean & vile things to say, or about LGBT, or when they want an awesome number on the TV show, spiced up with some Latina sexyness.

I also love Muse. Ever since I was a little girl, Muse was among my favorites, and that didn’t change a bit through out the years.

I also love „Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse. It’s one of their songs that always had a place in my playlists, and rare were the moments when I used the power of skipping songs when the song came up.

So I thought „hmm, „Supermassive Black Hole” covered by 2CELLOS and Naya, this MUST be awesome!”

Except it wasn’t. The video looks kitsch-ey, Naya Rivera looks like a trashy Catwoman, even though her level of hotness is usually over 9000. 2CELLOS blend ok in the futuristic background, I don’t get what’s with the 3D chess game, but ok…

The song is the worst part of this combo. I haven’t heard a song so bad by 2CELLOS (not counting the weird collaboration between them and RHCP). Naya’s vocal abilities aren’t used full power. We’re given some weird auto-tune or whatever that is, in a lame atempt to copy whatever Matt Belamy managed to make out of „Supermassive Black Hole” something incredibly awesome.

BtVS – Characters

Continued from here.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is all about characters. Oh, you thought it was a vampire TV show? You are so wrong.

First of all, vampires are not the only bad things that happen in Sunnydale. Sunnydale is the fictional town where Buffy moves in order to move on with her life after burning down school property.

Second of all, in Sunnydale a lot of things happen, things that almost end the world (countless times), things that are so weird that you don’t know what to do with them (Dawn), things that are fucking scary (Hush), things that are weird and sad and no one knows how to react (The Body), things that resemble love and lust (Innocence), and I could go on. But you should know that these things keep the story moving and make the characters evolve.

buffyBuffy starts out as this insecure girl, a little overwhelmed by the sudden power given to her, not so much on the bright side (academically speaking), but fierce, powerful and brave. At first, a little lonely and awkward, she starts caring for the nerdy girl and her BFF, as well as for the father figure that is Rupert Giles. We see her trying to play it cool in front of the boys (Angel), trying to make friends (Willow and Xander), trying to be a good girl while solving the problems in her unique way (Rupert), trying to be a better daughter and sister, trying to stop the first apocalypse (the Master), the second one (killing Angel), the third one (killing the Mayor), the fourth one (killing Adam), the fifth one (sacrificing herself), the seventh one (killing the Turok-Hans and closing the Hellmouth). She’s trying to cope with things like sleeping with a guy and his sudden loss of interest in her, the death of her mother, exes of her boyfriend, her exes, her strained relationship with Willow, with Giles and with Xander, the sudden apparition of her sister, her resurrection. The only evolution we see in Buffy is that she gradually starts to accept her fate. She becomes more aware of her mission and her rights as a Slayer. She becomes this powerful woman, that’s left her childhood behind and is ready to embrace whatever kind of evil life may throw at her. She becomes a responsible leader, being an example for everyone in her life, she becomes selfless and caring with people around her. Pic here.

Buffy The Vampire SlayerWillow, the nerdy BFF, shy and scared of the likes of Cordelia, grows to be this strong powerful witch, after losing the ones she loved the most. In the beginning her talents were used for research, especially hacking some police archives or something similar, but after the second season, she started doing magic, resulting in her nearly destroying the world. After a crush on Xander and a failed relationship with a werewolf, Willow embraced her witch side and tried loving a woman for a while. Losing her made Willow abuse her powers and use black magic, but in the end those powers helped Buffy “share” her super-strength and Slayer-characteristics to the army of Potentials. A long way for the scared little geeky girl. Pic here.

xanderXander, the male friend attempting jealousy in weird moments, was not the scholar, but not quite the clown. Providing comic relief was, for about 2 seasons, his “deal”. But then he was molded into something more. Being only human, he was far from the researcher type, far from the hero type, but mostly stood by his friends when no one else would. He has the ability to see and understand better than others, due to his beautiful soul, and he has to power not to judge his friends and he helps them overcome their darkest times. Also, he has the uncanny ability to attract demons, culminating with his relationship with Anya, the retired demon of scorned women. Pic here.

gilesGiles, the archetypal father figure, is seen mentoring Buffy, mentoring Willow, mentoring Faith, sleeping with Buffy’s mom, trying to make Buffy more independent (in her days after the resurrection) and involved in every little aspect of her life. A younger version of Rupert, called the Ripper, is summoned in few episodes and we can see that the now serious and a bit too British Giles was a wild child, practicing dark magic and singing in a rock band (actually, Anthony Stewart Head has a wonderful voice). At first, he seems dull and out of place, but with time his role is increased from Watcher to father, doing him great justice. Pic here.

spikeSpike was part of the Big Bad in season 2. He was a puppy-dog vampire, promoted from drag to annoyance to dangerous and finally to potential lover from season 2 to season 6 (keep in mind that he didn’t appear in all of the episodes in those seasons). He goes through serious torture to finally get his soul back, because he loves Buffy so much and he wants to be with her, without hurting her or making her feel ashamed. In the end, he becomes the champion without whom the world could not be saved. In my opinion, his transformation is the best example of an evolution in a character. His role, though small in the beginning of the series, grew bigger and became more important when the show became darker. Pic here.

cordeliaCordelia, the Bee Queen of Sunnydale High, transforms herself from vapid egotistical bitch to superhero (but this will happen in Angel TV show), after a brief moment that was her relationship with Xander. Pic here.

ozOz, the werewolf that I thought was Willow’s soul mate, is an equilibrate character. He doesn’t evolve, he doesn’t involve, he just leaves Willow to “find” himself. Pic here.

taraTara, the greatest love in Willow’s life, is introduced as this shy girl, that takes interest in magic and witchcraft and, as the time goes by, she becomes more and more involved with Willow and the Scoobies. She goes from shy to no identity whatsoever to powerful woman and witch in just 2 seasons, only to be killed by a human. Pic here.

anyaAnya is the ex-demon stranded on Earth, flunking math and scared of rabbits. Oh, and also she has a relationship with Xander. She is introduced in season 3, after Cordelia wishes that Buffy never came to Sunnydale, but is immediately liked by the viewers and she stays as a regular until her death in season 7. She is awkward, has a very poor sense of what behavior is deemed as appropriate, she is very blunt and honest in her opinions and usually provides comic relief. In my opinion, we would all be Anyas, if socially accepted rules weren’t thought since early years. Pic here.

Dawn, the sister that was the key, is annoying and remains annoying throughout the series, without being funny.

faithFaith. The rogue Slayer. Five by five, if you know what I mean. She’s the dark Buffy, if you want, starting as a scared, insecure Slayer, getting promoted to Lieutenant Evil, then put in a coma (by badass Buffy) and then coming back, as an important ally against the Turok-Hans. Pic here.

angelAngel. Oh, Angel. The love of her life… Or so we thought. He is boring, with his hidden weird ways, with his soul and his mystery, eventually deemed too good to be true. He doesn’t evolve, he just moves on. Actually, he did evolve. From drunken Irish to killer vampire to vampire with a soul to killer vampire once more to vampire with a soul (again?!) and then to LA. There, he has another deal, with Cordelia and other demons, making babies with Darla and whatnot. Pic here.

The list is not complete. There are so many great characters, like Joyce Summers, Ms. Calendar, Darla, Drusilla, Jonathan, Snyder, Kendra, Riley, Warren, the Potentials and so on, that contributed to the evolution of Buffy and her friends and to lead us into the final battle against evil.