Saturday, 5 December 2015

Madonna Bomb Baby

Mother Russia rise! Mother Russia falls!
Mother Russia cries; Mother Russia calls
I got the fight in me. You got the fire in you
I could fight this fire the whole night through
You got your vigil light but I am filled with doubt
I could blow you up or you could blow it out
You blow it out baby; you’re driving me crazy
(You blow, you blow it out baby. You blow, you blow it out baby)

First I rise and then I fall
Cause our baby cries; and our baby calls.
And you run away again baby
Our baby (is) driving me crazy
You blow my mind, I blow your brains
Either way, they say we’re both insane
I'm filled with doubt you're filled with flame
(You blow, you blow it out baby. You blow, you blow it out baby)

I crossed a burning bridge just to be with you
When I made it crossed you said we’re through.
Mother Russia where is my Lady?
Mother Russia why’s the world crazy?
I’m alone, alone again baby
Got to find another “lady”
Give me one that won’t drive me crazy
(You blow, you blow me baby. You blow, you blow me baby)

They build me up then they take me down
First they give me blow then they bring me down
Couldn’t walk the line for my baby
Now I’m snorting lines with some “lady”
There was one line I feared to cross
Now that I did my soul is lost
You said go to hell and you lick those flames
Well I am here with all my shame

I cry again baby; nothing can save me
Back against the wall face the firing squad
There She is right next to God
She said Fire! And those bullets flew
Every one was sent by you.
Vigil lights; tiny prayers; strings of beads; lying everywhere
53 bullets in my soul
Everyone is plugging holes
I fall face down and you run to me
That mouth to mouth you’re giving me
(You blow, you blow, you blow baby. You blow, you blow, you blow baby)
You brought me back again baby
You drank me in again baby

Mother Russia rise hear your baby call
Mother Russia come, Mother Russia please
Three tiny kids down on their knees
They did for you what she did for me
Little Lucy‘s not crazy she a Madonna bomb baby
And just when I thought you were gone
You got me quartered you got me drawn
You got me crying that I am saved
You’ve got my fears you’ve got my pains
You got my balls you got my chains
You blow you blow again baby

Men take it all and give women none
Oh a bit of silk just for their fun
They got your shame they got your guilt
They got you strapped, you have to stay
Couldn’t give a baby’s milk away

You got nothing again lady
Just a baby bottle and a bit of cloth
Just a vigil light; you got your wooden cross
But you don’t give up baby
That’s why you’re so crazy
And just like you, you don’t miss a beat
(You) take that crying child
Latch him to your breast
Never seen such a sweet caress
And as your child falls fast a sleep
Fully fed and tucked up neat
Five inch nails in his tiny feet
You set the world on fire again baby

You women just drive me crazy
First my mother and then my wife
Then my “ladies” it’s my whole life
Any girl can make a man crazy; can’t ever be lazy
Like a Russian doll, like a Russian Queen
Like a rushing wind, like a rushing stream
I never get you all baby
I strip you down layer by layer
Oh you Matryoshka doll baby
When I get inside it’s just the same
You beat me up at my own game
I never can own you but baby I need you
Oh baby we’re not through; but what can the world do?

ISIS rising. ISIS rage. Can’t get them into a cage
World war history page by page
They set the stage for a world war
We've been through this twice before
The world is going, the world is gone
I’ve finally written my final song
It’s over now baby
Nothing can save me

Then she said to me with her silky voice,
Can I still make you crazy?
Or are you too lazy?
Here’s your cocktail baby
I feel the fire welling up inside
She winks at me with her Russian eyes
Like a smoking Phoenix she’s on the rise
My world keeps moving on
I got my Madonna bomb

So you can call the world war off
It’s not a baby bottle it’s a Molatov
She took the vigil light, lit the silken cloth
She tossed the Molotov to the wooden cross
She tossed her head and she changed the game
She’s got the fuel she’s got the flame
She set us up, my Madonna bomb baby

She’s got the thrust she’s got the aim
You can call me crazy but I’m not to blame
No she's not crazy
She is a lady
ISIS you're not so strong
So why don't you just move along
You never do a lady wrong
Especially one with a Madonna bomb

You blow, you blow it up baby!
You blow, you blow it up baby!


Monday, 5 October 2015

Vancouver Opera Gets it Right With a Classic Performance for the Modern Patron

Soprano Simone Osborne "Gilda" in Rigoletto
Photo Courtesy of Vancouver Opera

At the beginning of the evening, when audience members were asked how many of them were attending the Opera for the first time, many, many people clapped in response to the question. Whoever is responsible for community outreach and new audience development at Vancouver Opera is doing their job well. The Queen Elizabeth Theatre was very nearly sold out, and newcomers to the opera were treated to a spectacular performance of Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto. Director Nancy Hermiston says “It is 'Grand Opera' at its best!'”

Rigoletto had its premiere in 1851, and remains a timeless classic about love and revenge. Dan Paterson,Vancouver Opera's technical director, notes that many modern versions of Rigoletto have been performed in the past fifty years or so, but says that Vancouver Opera chose to present a more traditional version set in 16th Mantua. The sets and props were supplied by Utah Opera and were originally designed by John Michel Deegan and Sarah J. Conly. Built in 1987, and refurbished in 2001, the sets were outstanding, and perfect for this production. Lighting designer John Webber's contribution ensured that audience members always focused their attention on the right portion of the massive set.

Often in the spotlight during the performance was Gilda, the daughter of Rigoletto. The role was played perfectly by soprano Simone Osborne, who convincingly displayed the the wide range of emotions her character experiences during the course of Verdi's famous work.

According to the “Instant Expert” section of the program, “Rigoletto was the 9th most performed opera in the world from 2007-2008 to 2011-2012.” It also notes that “Verdi wrote the bulk of the score in 40 days.” How many people can claim that 40 days of work result in such an enduring masterpiece? The facts and trivia found in the “Instant Expert” section give newcomers to the opera something to talk about during the intermission. It is just one of the many ways Vancouver Opera seeks to make the experience of attending a performance comfortable for those just learning to appreciate the art form. Another way is the "pre performance talk" which is always informative, well researched, and entertaining.

Subtitles are also projected on a screen at the top of centre stage. While this feature allows one to follow along, in English it is the one feature I have yet to appreciate fully. I find it a literal pain in the neck and each performance become distracted trying to think of better ways to project the subtitles, or a better location for the screen. There is no doubt a better way read the subtitles than I am doing, and perhaps it is a skill that some audience members have perfected. If so, including in the program “tips on how to make the most of subtitles” might be appreciated by several people. By the end of the performance I concluded it is likely the best way to project the subtitles; I also envied those who didn't have to rely on them.

In reading the subtitles, it struck me how few words are actually involved in this opera and how much meaning is packed into each one. Every word sung by baritone Gordon Hawkins was filled with emotion. Regular attendees of Vancouver Opera may have recognized him from his last role with VO as Scarpia in the 2013 production of Tosca.

One minor intrusion into the emotional performance of Hawkins was the audible noise of what sounded like velcro when he opened the sack containing the body of the dying Gilda. During Osborne's time in the body bag, she convincingly played the part of a corpse. I looked to see her breathe, and no movement could be detected. The touching moment of Rigoletto opening the sack to lift up her body was broken momentarily by the apparent sound of velcro. It serves to demonstrate how easily the audience's attention can be broken, and might also serve to demonstrate how our attention was otherwise held steady throughout the 2 hour and 40 minute performance.

As usual, the customer service at Queen Elizabeth was excellent; the theatre spotless and well maintained. It was nice to enjoy a Red Truck beer prior to the performance. It was good to see the theatre offering beer from this local microbrewery, which is gaining a good reputation for their support of the arts. It was also nice to see audience members encouraged to share their photos of the evening on Instagram. Vancouver Opera's performance of Rigoletto is an excellent example of how to engage the modern opera patron. It seems to me all of the traditional stuffiness associated with opera has been replaced with audience engagement, good service, and a modern approach to understanding what today's arts patron wants. I hope all arts companies across the country take note of what VO is doing well. If you want to engage the modern audience, you can still present them with the work of the masters using a traditional set. What we want is to be entertained, well served and well informed for the time and money exchanged in order to see a performance. Vancouver Opera gets it right again. Nice work; can't wait to experience more opera this season!

For updates on all the performances planned for this season, be sure to follow Vancouver Opera on your favourite social media platform.


For more arts reviews follow @KatrinaBoguski C.E.O. of @artistdeals_ca

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

A Must See Music Film at VIFF

 You simply must come and see the Landfill Harmonic at the Vancouver Film Fest. 

The Landfill Harmonic, also known as the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay is a youth orchestra that plays with instruments made from recycled garbage. They are world-class musicians and this film will make you grateful for everything you have.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Harmony in a Discordant World -The Christian Vocation to Music

The thought of Christians in music brings up two stereotypes: those narrowly defined Christians who appeal only to the churchgoing audience, or the inflammatory “former” Christians who went to church at some point, but who are now hellbent on rebelling against it; Miley Cyrus and Sinead O’Connor being two obvious examples. Between these extremes stands a different type of musician who is also Christian, the type who is “in the world but not of the world.” What are Christians doing in a space as vile as the music industry? As it turns out, they're doing quite a bit.

Amongst popular music icons, you'll find many have their roots in Christianity. Elvis and Johnny Cash sang gospel; and more recently U2 has formed a mutual admiration society with the last three popes.

Cynics might argue that Christianity's contribution to music stems from the fact that many Christians learn to read music to sing in the church choir; ergo, it is the ability to read music, not their beliefs that attract them to careers in music. Others may argue Christianity's contribution to music stems from its literature. Good stories, profound images, and classic cultural references make for great lyrics. While not an overtly “Christian band”, the lyrics of Mumford & Sons draw deeply from Christianity's profound words. Their lyrics appear to have been infused with incense before being released into the open air.
Daryl Bazinet Musician

What if some Christians entered the music industry, not because of their ability to read music nor their access to interesting words, but rather because music is their vocation? It seems clear that, singer songwriter, Daryl Bazinet received his vocation to music very early. He recounts the traumatic events which lead to his involvement in music:

"I have had 4 brain operations in my life. The second one when I was eight was actually a frontal lobectomy. They removed my entire right frontal lobe in order to make sure they got all of the tumor."

Bazinet actually died on the operating table and was brought back to life TWICE -that's more times than Lazarus. To help redevelop his small motor skills, which are controlled by the right frontal lobe, his mother placed Daryl in piano lessons with the church organist. According to medical reasoning, he should not be alive, let alone be performing as a musician. He says he owes his life “to the grace of God and music.”

Bazinet has been been playing piano for 34 years. Additionally, he plays drums, guitar and bass, an instrument also played by his manager Mark Rosner. Mark is the force behind Rosner Management Services, a company disrupting the North American music scene ( ). Bazinet says, “the expert guidance...I receive from Mark is amazing.”

Mark Rosner Rosner Management Services

Perhaps Mark's impact on so many music careers indicates that he too is living out a vocation that had its origin in Christian musician. Albeit a vocation that is different than he and others might have predicted. When he first entered the industry as a member of a Christian rock band, it was to touch people's lives through music. Now he manages musicians from many genres; in fact his clients include people who routinely take open and direct aim at Christianity. Somehow he manages to unify this motley crew. He describes his company as a 'mini-world' with it's own eco system that mirrors life and gives him an opportunity to help and direct people in their lives, provided they are open to it.

Rosner encourages Christian artists to be original, noting that “art is about expression.”
He is also clear that talent is essential for success in music, but notes that if talented people don't have ethics and integrity to accompany their talent, he can spot that quickly and will move on from those artists. He admits there can be conflicts between people based on values. In addressing these issues he says, “...I always try to educate first. If that doesn't work, I exercise as much tolerance as I can, but only to a point”.
On the point of values Bazinet says, “...When my Christian values have been challenged it's those same Christian values, my faith, that has seen me through.” When playing at venues that challenge his world view he says, “...really all I can do is hope that the message in the music reaches those listening on some level.”

While not opposed to fame and fortune, these aren't the forces that drive him. Daryl says, “My goal is to bring my talent... to as many people as possible....if in some way I can touch people on some level... I have accomplished something wonderful. Money is often not a top priority for artists. To help musicians keep body and soul together, Rosner partners with companies like Sierrasil who fill the role that patrons of the arts once did. Every time a Sierrasil customer enters the promocode “DarylBazinet” on that fan receives a discount and Sierrasil supports this artist in his vocation. If you've ever thought there should be more Christians in music, supporting the ones who are there seems like a good way to ensure more will answer their calling. To find out more about how Rosner, Bazinet, and other musicians engage the world of music and business while participating in a just economy visit

Michael Bentley President of Seirrasil

For more articles on Daryl Bazinet and other musicians, please follow Katrina Boguski on Twitter for the latest updates: