the end of the year is nearing and as one is wont to do – it becomes a time of reflection.  so over the next couple of weeks i may be chiming in here and there with some ruminations on the year that’s been….

the first iteration of this is ‘things i will not be ashamed of’

i am the first to admit, i’m kinda a snob when it comes to pop culture / art / things.  but, at the same time, i’m a complete glutton for things that are not – and this is painful to admit– not.that.great.  ugg.

but, i have pretty good taste (if i do say so myself) in most things, so i choose to believe that i am simply out-of-sync with the world at large.  and truth be told, i’m kinda ok with that.  of course, this also means that the world is wrong and i am right.  case closed.

the first thing i refuse to be ashamed of is my complete and total love of the film ‘stardust‘.

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sure the film did not set the box office world on fire (shame too), the movie is a lush, beautifully filmed, well acted and charming little flick.  to refresh my memory, i did a quickie search on metacritic to see what the film cognoscenti thought of the movie -and  i was a bit surprised at the mostly positive views of it.  i quite like wha the charlotte observer had to say about it: “heroic, wryly funny, but bloodthirsty as great fairy tales can often be.”

this is afterall a fairy tale.  and the best modern fairy tales are wonderful little escapes into another world.  i loved the world that makes up stardust.  i loved robert de niro’s quirky fey turn as a pirate that’s light in his loafers.  i loved charlie cox’s everyman.  and i loved michelle…. oh how i loved michelle being all wicked and sexy and cool. 

it’s a perfectly lovely little gem of a movie.  and i can’t wait for it to come out on dvd on tuesday. 

another thing i’m not ashamed of liking?  well, that would be everyone’s favorite disaster.  britney spears.  more to the point, it’s not that i dig her, it’s that i dig her latest album ‘blackout’. 

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now, i’ve already chimed in with a review of the album here, but i just gotta say, i still f’ing love it.  it’s pure trash.  but trash can be good.  the album is urgent and hot and sexy (thank god for producers right?).  lord knows the girl can’t make a video anymore (‘piece of me’ is horrible), but the tunes are strong and fun and really fun to just sing along with.  oh, and the above image – such a better cover than the one that ended up on the thing… blech. 

then there is sarah brightman.  sarah brightman is my barbara streisand.  i’ve never been the typical gay guy in love with bab’s, but i love my diva sarah. 

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yes, this is probably the hardest thing to admit.  hi, my name is kyle and i like sarah brightman.  and yes, she’s not the greatest singer in the world (but she certainly isn’t britney, see below).  and yes, she’s kinda like white bread in the classical/opera world – but there’s just something about her that clicks with me.

now, that said – i do wish she’d dump more of her pop oeuvre and go back and focus on her opera.  after all the woman does have a three-octave vocal range that extends to an e natural above soprano c.  no easy feat.  it’s also been said that she has both a pop voice and a classical voice.  take away all of the synths and spacey sound effects that have grounded her eden / la luna / harem disks and you are left with the quiet, lush moments that show a woman that can really truly sing.  take a way all the distractions. 

on a slight side-bar, i’m really wanting to explore more opera; anyone with any suggestions?  let me know.  i just bought cecilia bartoli’s latest disk ‘maria‘ – really beautiful stuff. 

so there you have it – three things i’m no longer going to be ashamed of.  after all for all the stardusts, britney and sarah stuff i love, there’s also the darjeeling limited’s, kate bush’s and cecilia bartoli’s so my good taste is pretty well established.

it’s just that i need my marshmallow fluff every now and then as well.

mmmm marshmallow fluff.

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