Popehat Goes To The Opera: Tannhauser

It's time to introduce a new feature: Popehat Goes To the Opera.

Anything David writes about art here is not to be missed. Patrick's discussion of film is always worth a read. Many of my colleagues talk about games. But what do I contribute to art or geek culture?1

Practical reasons have hindered my contribution. I'll never be able to write about culture the way David can write about art. I'll never have a talent for relating games to politics like Derrick. And let's face it: gaming has passed me by. I barely have free time to play games, and my heart belongs to ones so primitive you could play them on a modern wristwatch.2

But I do have one geeky interest that bears exploring, Popehat-style: a somewhat esoteric taste crammed with all the history and minutiae a fanatic could want, with high barriers to entry and too few followers.

I refer to opera.

So: without further ado, the first chapter in a new series seeking to expose our readers to opera and explain why it appeals to me, one opera at a time. I start with a favorite, an opera that embodies the best (gorgeous music) and the silliest (ridiculous operatic conceits) of the genre: Richard Wagner's Tannhauser.
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Open Sesame?

Here's NBC News on the first openly incarcerated-related muppet:

Alex is blue-haired and green-nosed and he wears a hoodie – you might think he’s just another carefree inhabitant of Sesame Street. But there’s sorrow in Alex’s voice when he talks about his father.

“I just miss him so much,” he tells a friend. “I usually don’t want people to know about my Dad.”

My wistful muse is piqued. Everybody sing!

Takin' your Dad away
On his way to a detention suite.

We can tell you how to get,
How to get to Sentencing Street.

Come and play.
Everything's A-OK.
Social workers here
Make sure you eat.

We can tell you when you'll get
When you'll get to Sentencing Street.

It's a penal playground ride
Once the guidelines are applied
To criminal people like–
(What's probation like?)
To people your Dad is like!
Just be dutiful….

Takin' your Mom away
On her way to a detention suite.

We can tell you how to get,
How to get to Sentencing Street.
How to get to Sentencing Street.
How to get to…


Marian Call the DJ



Marian Call will be spinnin' the discs for KRNN this Wednesday night for a couple of hours from 8pm PST (11pm EST).

She says she'll be playing "music by [her] favorite artists — several Alaskans, several utterly obscure artists, and a few very popular ones".

MC puts the work in 'quirk' and the cover in 'discovery' and the fun in 'latifundium'! So if you're so inclined and you've got the time, feel free to stream netwise at http://krnn.org/ .


Merry Christmas

If I still made mix tapes, this is the one I'd have made this year.

Supremes: My Christmas Tree.

Carla Thomas: Gee Whiz It's Christmas.

Darlene Love: Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).

Elvis Presley: Blue Christmas.

Mahalia Jackson: Silent Night.

Vince Guaraldi: Christmas Time Is Here.

Eartha Kitt: Santa Baby.

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan: Baby It's Cold Outside.

Roger Miller: Old Toy Trains.

Buck Owens: Christmas Ain't Christmas.

Joey Ramone: Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight).

Nat King Cole: The Christmas Song.

Feel free to play it.  Sorry about the advertising.