25 min

What’s with Florence + the Machine? Ongoing History of New Music

    • Music

One of my favourite movie lines of all time comes from a 1982 Peter O’Toole film called “My Favorite Year”… O’Toole plays a movie idol named Alan Swann who is reduced to appearing on a variety tv show of the 1950s… a junior writer named Benji Stone is put in charge of babysitting Swann… “just keep him out of trouble,” his bosses say…

Naturally, it doesn’t go well and they have a fight when Swann grows angry when Benji insists on the hero worship…then Benji replies:

Whoever you were in those movies, those silly heroes meant a lot to me! what does it matter if it was an illusion? it worked! so don't tell me this is you life-size. I can't use you life-size. I need Alan Swanns as big as I can get them!

That’s how a lot of us feel about our heroes… and I include our musical heroes in that number…

Music is an escape for us…it’s also a fantasyland populated by exotic creatures who do and say things far, far beyond what we could ever dream of doing… but at the same time, we want these creatures to be at least a little accessible, so we can make that all-important personal connection…

It’s a tricky balance…we want heroes and heroines, but we also want to know that they’re real… keep the fantasy but open the door a crack, you know?...

And it’s more difficult with some artists than others…how, for example, do you handle like someone like Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine?... much of her success is based on a kooky, quirky, fantastical image, like someone who looks like they just stepped out of a renaissance painting or out of a book of Grimm’s fairytales…

And then you learn she’s not a natural redhead…I’m sorry, but she’s not… she’s dark-haired and dyed it as a kid…did that just ruin something for you?...

It did?... oh, dear… this could be a rough show for you, then…

One of my favourite movie lines of all time comes from a 1982 Peter O’Toole film called “My Favorite Year”… O’Toole plays a movie idol named Alan Swann who is reduced to appearing on a variety tv show of the 1950s… a junior writer named Benji Stone is put in charge of babysitting Swann… “just keep him out of trouble,” his bosses say…

Naturally, it doesn’t go well and they have a fight when Swann grows angry when Benji insists on the hero worship…then Benji replies:

Whoever you were in those movies, those silly heroes meant a lot to me! what does it matter if it was an illusion? it worked! so don't tell me this is you life-size. I can't use you life-size. I need Alan Swanns as big as I can get them!

That’s how a lot of us feel about our heroes… and I include our musical heroes in that number…

Music is an escape for us…it’s also a fantasyland populated by exotic creatures who do and say things far, far beyond what we could ever dream of doing… but at the same time, we want these creatures to be at least a little accessible, so we can make that all-important personal connection…

It’s a tricky balance…we want heroes and heroines, but we also want to know that they’re real… keep the fantasy but open the door a crack, you know?...

And it’s more difficult with some artists than others…how, for example, do you handle like someone like Florence Welch of Florence + the Machine?... much of her success is based on a kooky, quirky, fantastical image, like someone who looks like they just stepped out of a renaissance painting or out of a book of Grimm’s fairytales…

And then you learn she’s not a natural redhead…I’m sorry, but she’s not… she’s dark-haired and dyed it as a kid…did that just ruin something for you?...

It did?... oh, dear… this could be a rough show for you, then…

25 min

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