Les Miz, January 12, 2013

War Memorial Opera House

San Francisco, CA

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Les Miz

Listen (MP3)

(PIANO, a hint of Les Miz theme)

GK: It is finally here, the movie musical that you wished would not have happened, because it reminds you of the part of yourself that loved it thirty years ago. You were 17, you sang a song from it at the high school talent show, but time has passed, you've grown up, you're over it ----- and you've heard it too many times ---- played by bluegrass bands (BANJO) and bagpipers (PIPES), people have taught their Chihuahuas to sing it (DOG), people have played it with air wrenches (SFX) and fire extinguishers (SFX) ---- it's been used up, and now it's a major $61 million motion picture and you see it on a marquee and you can't avoid going in, even though you hate yourself afterward.


I saw a movie yesterday
And it went on for hours and hours
I fell asleep and had a dream
I sent the actors to the showers

And there was young Anne Hathaway
And Russell Crowe, their talents wasted
Alas the soundtrack was so bad
You wished someone had just erased it

I've heard those songs too many times
By little girls in recitals
I was tired of this film
Before they got through the titles.

GK: The musical Les Miserables premiered in 1980 and it was so successful, they milked it for thirty years, first on Broadway, then road shows, and now comes the movie version, and guess what ---- we're not in the mood. We're over it.


Pretentious, more than slightly
Where's the phone
Would someone call a taxi
Please stop it
I feel my stomach churning
Could you pass it, please, the antacid
My heart is burning

I am trapped between two giant people
And they're weeping up a river
In the darkness, they sit and eat their popcorn
This simple stupid song goes on forever and forever

GK: Two hours and thirty-seven minutes. Keep that in mind. Two hours and thirty-seven minutes. And the second half feels like three weeks. You sit and remember the person you used to be long ago who liked this.

Come with me
This movie is done
Wait hold on
There's still one more song
I can't take this film
Much longer I swear
Yes I get it Fantine cuts off her hair.

I don't care
It's all a bore
I hope it
Wins for worst film score.
I don't know why
Some people said this was great.
Maybe they just showed up 2 hours late.

GK: Another thing people dislike about Les Miz is that the actors can't really sing. Russell Crowe, grunting, singing on his horse in the rain. Why did they try to save money by not hiring real singers for the soundtrack?

Have you heard the actors sing?
All through the movie called Les Miz?
It is the music of some people
Who don't know what singing is.
Actors don't know how to sing
There is no passion there or fire.
Next time you make a movie you should
Get yourself a choir.
GK: The third problem with Les Miz is that ---- okay, it's very heroic, fighters for freedom (SHOUTS), to the barricades (SWORDFIGHT), cannons (SFX), the cavalry riding in (HORSES GALLOPING) ---- but this is San Francisco, it's the most liberated city in the world, so why a movie about fighting for liberty ---- why not a movie about something we really care about? A movie about San Francisco?

SOLOIST ("Everybody loves a landlord" from "MASTER OF THE HOUSE")

Everyone loves San Francisco.
Cafes everywhere.
Bookstores in the square
Walk down to the wharf and get some fresh sea air
Look for a cheap duplex
Buy shoes, buy some specs
Work out at the gym and tighten up your pecs.
Everyone loves San Francisco
Everything you need is there.
Nail salons and hair salons
If you want nice hair.


There is a cafe on a hill.
I like to go there every day.
I get a tall latte.
There in my cafe on a hill.

And the WiFi there is free.
And the people all know me.
I always get a free refill.
From the baristas, Jack and Jill.

GK: Now you've got an idea for a movie. A café in San Francisco. And the patrons aren't looking for liberty ---- they've got that already --- what they want is freedom. Freedom from the electronic world they have created. Freedom from cellphones.


Do you hear your cell phone ring?
Several hundred times a day.
Does it make you want to fling
It out into the Bay.
Are you tired of emails,
Tweets and texts and one more call
And that tone when someone's
Posted on your wall.

I am tired of my phone.
I do not want to hear from you.
I am sick of my ring tone.
I can not wait to say adieu.
And I wish this song would end
And I'm sure it will someday.
I'll be less miserable
When Les Miz has gone away.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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