Gina Vivinetto’s Greatest Hits

Archive for the tag “Bjork”

The Sugarcubes “Birthday” video (1987)

Because it’s my birthday, I got to thinking last night about all the wonderful rock ‘n’ roll songs about birthdays: Altered Images “Happy Birthday, The Beatles “Birthday,” Concrete Blonde‘s “Happy Birthday,” and the weird and wonderful “Birthday” by The Sugarcubes.

I dug up the “Birthday” video (the English version) on YouTube and thought I would share. I was a big Sugarcubes fan back in the mid-1980s and this video reminds me why. No one ever, before or after the band, sounded like The Sugarcubes. Led, of course, by Icelandic wunderkind Bjork, The Sugarcubes released the superb 1988 debut album Life’s Too Good and it blew my mind with its originality.

Here’s “Birthday”:

That crazy percussion! The woozy horns. What a song!

What other songs about birthdays can you think of? Or, if you would like to share your thoughts about The Sugarcubes, that’s cool, too.

Mr. Blackwell is dead!

Hurray! Now we can wear what we want!


I’m kidding. I actually loved Mr. Blackwell’s pithy little critiques. Like this review of Bjork: “She dances in the dark — and dresses there, too.” Or Meryl Streep:  “She looks like a gypsy abandoned by a caravan.” Oh, snap. I guess.

Hope your sartorial senses are not offended in the afterworld, Mr. Blackwell.

Elizabeth Peyton and Robert Phelps: rock star portraits

I was reading an item about Pulp singer Jarvis Cocker just a moment ago and all I could think about is the fact that British artist Elizabeth Peyton painted much ballyhooed portraits of Cocker and several other rock stars (Kurt Cobain, Eminem) a few years ago and the international art press went apeshit for it.

It was interesting to me that someone could be become the darling of the art world for the kind of work many of us fans did alone in our bedrooms when while growing up. I know I sketched plenty of pictures of David Bowie and Jim Morrison when I was 15. The best drawing I ever did was the little boy on the cover of U2‘s War album.

Alas some fans are more talented than others. For years now, I have seen artist friends like Robert Phelps painting beautiful portraits of people like David Bowie and Bjork and I’ve realized famous musicians are the modern day equivalent of the important society types who used to get portraits done centuries ago. Mick Jagger = Abe Lincoln? Well, something like that.

I think some of Bobby’s paintings are even better than Peyton’s. (They’re certainly more affordable). Check it out:

Want to see more of Bobby’s work? Here’s his Myspace page and a bio on his professional site. (Isn’t he cute?)

If you could paint any rock star, who would you choose? Or maybe you already do? If you aren’t talented like Peyton and Phelps, would you buy a painting of a musician you really liked? Do you know of another artists – even just a friend – who does great portraits like these?

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