Y'all, consisting of Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer and James Dean Jay Byrd, first surfaced in New York city in 1992, touting themselves as the first openly gay country music act. That same year, they preformed Y'all's First Xmas Xtravagaza: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. [more inside]
"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song (Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann (Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya, that was made famous by The Doors and their use of a Marxophone (Wikipedia). [more inside]
Jun Togawa is sort of like what you'd get if you crossed Kate Bush and Mike Patton. Togawa, who became known in Japanese culture after appearing in a bidet commercial, was half of the electro-cabaret band Guernica, which sometimes sounded very classical and sometimes sounded very new wave and sometimes much stranger. Somewhat more straightforward is her rock outfit Yapoos, which similarly varies quite a bit in sound and style. Her solo work, unsurprisingly, is quite melodramatic, with some very interesting arrangements, both parodically poppy and funky. I particularly like her covers of All Tomorrow's Parties by the Velvet Underground, Brigitte Fontaine's Comme à la Radio, and – weirdly – Pachelbel's Canon.
Just Say No To Cabaret [slight nudity]
Cabaret's Don't Tell Momma performed by a young Judi Dench, or by Molly Ringwald, or Chris Moore, but what would she want with me?
A timeless monologue on the mechanics of likelihood. Tage Danielsson's talk about "sannolikhet", which he wrote in 1979 after the Three Mile Island accident remains a Swedish classic. [more inside]
Kinktrepeneur, former evangelical missionary, and “Rent-a-meanie” the Twisted Monk: "I guess is some ways, I’m finally fulfilling the calling I had when I was a kid and being that evangelist, changing the world one bedroom at a time." ... [most links contain no nudity but might be NSFW anyway] [more inside]
Just Tiger Lillies is a YouTube Channel devoted to three-piece band The Tiger Lillies, whose music style the band members describe as either satanic folk or death oompah, though they are usually considered a cabaret band. On the YouTube Channel there are uploads from fan collections and links to most every Tiger Lillies video on YouTube, from blasphemous appearances on radio shows to MeFi's own Amanda Palmer covering their song Flying Robert to a collection of hamster images accompanied by The Tiger Lillies ode to the activity Richard Gere is purported to enjoy. If you are not familiar with the band the best place to start is probably the Official Videos playlist. Or you could check out these three songs: Mountains of Madness, Bully Boys and Lily Marlene. [A large percentage of The Tiger Lillies' material is NSFW, though the last three links aren't]
Bollywood, the 1960s and 70s: "For years, the favorite setting for the big dance number has been a cabaret, with its atmosphere of forbidden liquor and sexual permissiveness, with its mixed audience of privileged Indians, industrialists, playboys, princes, and its foreign decadence..." And no one was more at home this exotic milieu than an Anglo-Burmese refugee who began dancing in films at 13 to support her family. Her pale skin and vaguely foreign looks, along with a collection of colored contacts and wigs, allowed her to play white women, Asian women, whatever titillating role was called for. She was Helen, Queen of the Nautch Girls (part 2, part 3, part 4). [more inside]
Unfortunately there is not much on the web about the greatest cabaret singer who ever lived, the wonderful Mabel Mercer. So I am adding this new animated Guinness commercial made for the Rugby World Cup to pad out this post. [more inside]
Maude Maggart-- Fiona Apple's sister-- does cabaret. She doesn't sound anything like her though, her voice is more soprano than alto.
R.I.P. Bobby Short. One of the finest cabaret singers of all time, and a Manhattan fixture at the Carlyle Hotel since 1968, Short died of leukemia yesterday. He was 80. Listen to an NPR tribute. Time Magazine once said of him, "In an increasingly inelegant world, Bobby Short is the very symbol of elegance." Thankfully, many of his best recordings are available on CD. (Requisite Wikipedia entry.)
Colin Powell in cabaret performance in Viet Nam. "As Powell acted out his death throes at the end of the song, [Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko] Tanaka - in traditional Vietnamese dress - flung her arms around his prostrate body and kissed him on the cheek." Apparently these kinds of performances are regular occurences at these things.