Thursday, November 24, 2011

Today's Themes: Epic Romance (with Ralph Fiennes Above the Title), Coldplay and Dreams of Paradise

Today I have no pearls of wisdom, no meaningful musings, no lists to share. I have a few decadent stories, but I should probably keep those to myself since they all involve whiskey and nudity. So I will slightly alter the title of this blog and turn my attention to themes for great cities, particularly the song that's been playing in my head and on my computer since last night.

A wise man once told me that every day deserves a perfect soundtrack. Wait, it was my best friend's hairdresser, with whom she was trying to set me up. Anyway, if that is so, then today my soundtrack would be "Paradise," the latest single from Coldplay, who recently revealed that every teardrop is a waterfall, which couldn't be more true, especially today.

I not only learned that Robin Gibb of my beloved Bee Gees has liver cancer (coming soon: a proper Bee Gees post to honor the best of the trio's non-disco years, which, incidentally, included its own "Paradise," from 1981's Living Eyes LP), but I had to watch Matthew Buchanan die on One Life to Live, and I learned that Prospect Park has abandoned its plans to continue the series online after its ABC run ends in January. As the Brothers Gibb once sang (on the appropriately titled "Tears"), "I will not sleep tonight. There will be tears."

But maybe I'll put it off until tomorrow, when the Bee Gees will no doubt provide the soundtrack. Today is all about "Paradise" found. I'd never paid much attention to the Mylo Xyloto track until last night when it started playing on the radio in the taxi I was taking to Silom Soi 2 just as I noticed that the driver had taken a wrong turn.

As I tried to get him back on track, suddenly, it hit me: What a brilliant song! It manages to merge classic Coldplay with the electro sound currently dominating pop without straining to be a hit. But more than anything else, it's a grand, romantic musical gesture, the kind I used to snicker at in private. I've spent most of my life refusing to assign the "romantic" tag to myself, preferring the stamp of cool, collected cynic, and finally, I'm learning to embrace it. I'm a hopeless romantic, after all (not only regarding matters of the heart but regarding life in general), and today, "Paradise" is my song.

Romance has been creeping up on me since yesterday's song, "Snowed In at Wheeler Street." I imagine the epic musical love story that begins a little bit like Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" and is sung over the course of centuries by Kate Bush and Elton John on Bush's new album, 50 Words for Snow, as a three-and-a-half-hour movie starring Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes, who, in a case of egregious Hollywood injustice, has spent the last 15 years without an Academy Award nomination or even serious Oscar buzz while having to suffer the ignominy of watching his costars get nominated and occasionally winning them.

But boy do I digress. If Moore and Fiennes are not available, I'd settle for Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz (one of those Oscar-winning Fiennes costars), since they already played lovers across centuries in The Fountain. "Paradise" would accompany the closing credits.

In a month where I've had both sleepless nights and ones filled with strange, vivid dreams, tonight when I shoot out the lights and close my eyes, I hope to fall asleep quickly and dream of para-para-paradise.

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh.

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