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Sunday, September 04, 2005

I Feel Love - I Feel Loved 


Blue Man Group, in conjunction with Annette Strean of Venus Hum, has covered the old Donna Summer song "I Feel Love." Video here.

I figure that this is as good a time as any to answer that question - what the heck is the deal with that danged Blue Man Group?


Blue Man Group is a creative organization dedicated to creating exciting and innovative work in a wide variety of media.

Blue Man Group is best known for its award-winning theatrical productions which critics have described as "ground-breaking," "hilarious," "visually stunning" and "musically powerful." These performances feature three enigmatic bald and blue characters who take the audience through a multi-sensory experience that combines theatre, percussive music, art, science and vaudeville into a form of entertainment that is like nothing else. People from all over the world, from all walks of life and from all age groups have become fans of Blue Man Group's show in New York, Boston, Chicago and Las Vegas. Blue Man Group opened its first international production in Berlin in May, 2004 and will open a show in Toronto in June 2005.

Blue Man Group is also known for its unique style of music which is played on a variety of invented instruments. Blue Man Group's 1999 debut album, AUDIO was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category. One reviewer called it "a glorious wall of sound."

Blue Man Group released their highly anticipated second album, The Complex, which served as a bit of a departure for the enigmatic performers. Aided by some of today’s most intriguing vocalists, Blue Man Group has moved beyond the instrumental category. While writing The Complex, Blue Man Group simultaneously created a state-of-the-art rock show that captures the themes and mood of the album. The Complex Rock Tour has been hailed as “awesome musicianship enhanced by unadulterated good humor and fun” by The Chicago Sun-Times. During the summer of 2003, The Complex Rock Tour visited over 70 cities across North America and footage from two of the shows was included, along with music videos and select songs from The Complex in 5.1.Surround Sound, on Blue Man Group’s first ever rock concert DVD, The Complex Rock Tour Live. The DVD was recently certified Platinum.

In 2004, Blue Man Group won critical praise for their first television score, providing the dramatic sound for FOX’s “The Jury,” produced by Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana. Blue Man Group is currently in the studio collaborating with John Powell on music for 20th Century Fox’s animated feature Robots (in theatres March 2005), from the creators of Ice Age.

In addition to live shows and music, Blue Man Group has created installations, "happenings," "unusual ads," and a number of television-specific performances for "The Tonight Show," several of which were nominated for Emmy awards.



From the Frequently Asked Questions:


The show evolved out of salon style meetings in the late 80s with three long time friends Chris Wink, Phil Stanton and Matt Goldman. They began making public appearances as Blue Man Group on the streets of New York City as well as in performance art spaces of the East Village. Some of those pieces, as well as others developed with musical collaborators Larry Heinemann, Ian Pai and video designer Caryl Glaab, were used to create a show at La Mama, ETC. (the famous East Village performance space) in 1990. This led to opening the show at the Astor Place Theatre in the fall of 1991. The Boston show opened in the fall of 1995, Chicago in 1997, and Live at Luxor in Las Vegas in March of 2000. The Complex Rock Tour launched May 2003. In May 2004, Blue Man Group opened their first international production in Berlin. Toronto will be the next home of Blue Man Group, opening June 2005....

There are close to 60 Blue Men working within the company and rotating through the shows right now....



From a review of a performance (sounds like a cross between Rocky Horror and Gallagher):


Even if you never heard a thing about Blue Man Group ' just walking into the lobby of the Astor Place Theatre would tell you that something exceedingly unusual was about to happen; this is underscored when you walk into the seating area. The first thing you notice is that everyone in the first five rows is wearing plastic rain ponchos. A look around reveals strangely twisted tubes lining the walls and hanging from the ceiling, and rolls of what appear to be toilet paper secured to the front of the balcony and the back walls.

And then there are the headbands, crepe paper strips that audience members have donned and tied 'round their foreheads, knowingly, and with such confidence, that you get a sense they've been here before. An electronic "zipper" with moving red letters sends messages of greetings to the audience, who begin to hoot and holler; some stamp their feet. Finally, drumbeats, like rhythmic thunder, signal the beginning of you know not what, and this most extraordinary and inventive show explodes.

For two rapid-fire hours, a trio of expressionless men, heads coated in royal blue grease paint, accompanied always by inexorable percussive sounds, catch marshmallows in their mouths, spit up paint balls to create New Age art, down boxes of Cap'n Crunch, demolish Twinkies, and leak all manner of liquids through chest holes in their black two-piece costumes. Imagine the World's Great American Food Fight, or the contents of a garbage truck run through a Cuisinart and you'll have an inkling of the chaos on stage.

Involving as this action is, these three graceful men involve you still further, breaking the fourth wall as they enter the audience, climbing on the backs of the seats, scaling the balcony, looking for likely victims to bring on stage to join them in their mania. After having a go at it with a couple of good sports, the activity changes abruptly and the Blue Men confront the audience with still more hilarious shenanigans. No matter how Space Age, or space-y, your thinking, you will never come close to predicting what they might do next....



Ignoring Blue Man Group for a moment and returning to "I Feel Love," is it just a mere coincidence that the most Mode-like song from the misnamed album "Exciter" happens to have a name very similar to the song that supposedly launched Depeche Mode mentor Daniel Miller into a music career?

(Admire my consistency here.)

For those who want the puzzlin' evidence, here's my quote from Dave Thompson in Some Great Reward:


[Miller] looked to Moroder for guidance, and the producer did not disappoint. The holiday season of '77...was dominated by the sense-destroying pounding of "I Feel Love," Donna Summer's second Moroder-made masterpiece and the first truly computer-generated dance hit ever recorded.

A number-one hit throughout Europe, a Top Tenner even across unadventurous America, "I Feel Love" had nothing to do with punk rock, but everything to do with punk....

And while few could - or even would - take the time to diagnose their delight, those people who understood the tides of pop were left in no doubt whatsoever. Punk was simply the paint stripper, peeling last year's decor from the walls. "I Feel Love" was the first lick of genuine freshness rock 'n' roll had seen in years. Daniel Miller quit is deejay job almost immediately....



And here are some remixes of "I Feel Loved."

And here's a slow remix from symbionproject.


in terms of the style of the remix, i'm a huge fan of violator and music for the masses and missed the dark,slow element from this song. i knew that since it was a upbeat dance song that most remixes were going to focus on keeping it faster, and i wanted to take it in another direction.


From the Ontario Empoblog

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