Lorde: Master of Reinvention

Lorde, whose song Royals last night won Best Rock Video at MTV’s Video Music Awards, must surely be the modern-day David Bowie. No other contemporary artist has reinvented themselves so completely. Look at these photos, one from her victory for Finland at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, the other from a concert in 2013.


It hardly even looks like the same person!

As well as this stunning visual turnaround, the change in Lordi’s music is remarkable. Who could believe that the woman behind Royals also wrote Bite It Like a Bulldog?

Well done Lorde, and I can’t wait to see how you reinvent yourself next!

Baroque Cantatas are Pretty Metal

So I touched on this in my last post and I feel it deserves to be expanded upon: some baroque cantatas are pretty metal.

When you look at it a certain way, it’s not necessarily all that surprising: “baroque cantata” covers a broad range of works and “metal”, similarly, is a large category and it can mean a lot of different things. However, I don’t think they are close enough in most people’s minds that if I were to ask someone “How would you describe BWV 199?” that the answer would be “Sweet riffs, man.”

In general of course, we’ve got a few commonalities; in general they both use simple formal structures, there exists a common element of individual instrumental solos within this framework, and they can both have a slight tendency towards the theatrical. The kind highly ornate melodic lines we often encounter in this music would easily fit into songs by bands such as Dragonforce or, if we restrict ourselves to good bands, Iron Maiden.

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Opera Advice Columns

Dear Bill,

love the blog. I’m writing to you to ask for your help with some girl problems I’ve been having.

I was going to marry this real nice girl my mother adopted. But then I fell in love with this other girl, who works in a factory. I did some prison time because I helped her get off an assault charge when she stabbed one of her coworkers. The day that I get out, I go to meet her, and we have a really great time – but then when I have to leave to go to work, she accuses me of not really loving her, and asks me to run away with her to live on the road. Then my boss shows up and starts flirting with her (and she doesn’t seem to mind). So I fight him, and he kicks my ass, but her dodgy gangster friends distract him and I stab him in the heart.

Then I’ve to go on the run. One day, everyone else is out on business and they leave me guarding the stash house. This guy turns up – he’s the champion bullfighter of Seville – and it turns out he’s been carrying on with my girl! She’s been seeing him behind my back! So I fight him, and he kicks my ass, but her dodgy gangster friends come back just in time to save me for getting murdered. She says she doesn’t want me around any more, and I refuse to go – I’m staying with this girl even if it kills us both, because isn’t that what love is about? But then I hear my mother’s really sick, so I go back home to be with her for a while.

That’s where I am now. I haven’t been in contact with the girl since, but I know they’re all going to a big bullfight in Seville next week. I’ve been thinking maybe I’ll go too, follow her around for a while, and maybe murder her if she won’t take me back. I just don’t know Bill, what should I do?

 -Nervous in Navarre

Opera characters need to work on their communication skills.