Image courtesy SongLyrics.com
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE - THE BLACK PARADE
As a birthday gift to myself tomorrow, I'm seeing Green Day's American Idiot at the Ahmanson Theatre. This live-action stage play based on the NorCal punk trio's essential album of the same name (with a little 21st Century Breakdown for good measure) seemed a natural fit for the bombast of that record. Each song was like a little rock operetta. And now, a movie version is on the way.
Popular music has always been theatrical. Look at Freddie Mercury of Queen (and don't forget that We Will Rock You has already crushed it on the West End). Or Elvis, who repeatedly took his talents to the big screen. Or Lady Gaga, who truly believes the whole world is a stage (which would explain her outrageous style choices). Got us thinking of which other albums we'd like to see turned into a musical.
SMASHING PUMPKINS - MACHINA: THE MACHINES OF GOD
Pretty much the only album of the aughts that could compete with American Idiot in monumental scope and evolution of its band, MCR's masterpiece did, after all, feature a cameo from Liza Minnelli. Coupled with the quintet's full embodiment of these toy soldiers of rock while on tour, of course this needs to be made into a stage play!
This underappreciated, sweeping album by Billy Corgan and crew actually was in development to become a traditional play, but instead, it took a detour into a very Liquid Television realm of animation. The series was never finished, but the retelling of the album's alchemical love story still germinated in Corgan's head. With him feverishly combing the Pumpkins' rarities for the rereleases, maybe it's time he reconsidered the live-action Machina.
SIGUR ROS AGAETIS BYRJUN File this one under interpretive dance or surrealistic fiction. One can't help but imagine sprites, sullen demons and swan-like undulations when listening to the emotional strains of this Icelandic troupe. Really, any of their albums lend themselves to the theater, as front man Jonsi is privy to adorning himself in feathers. He's a peacock - you gotta let him fly!
HONORABLE MENTION The Decemberists - Picaresque (The narrator gets eaten by a whale. Your argument is invalid.) The Dresden Dolls - S/T (They call their music "Brechtian punk cabaret." Perfect!) Muse - The Resistance (Matt Bellamy is a classically trained pianist and super-rad singer, and his group's last record included a three-song "Exogenesis" suite. It's something even staunch opera fans could enjoy.) The Kinks - Village Green Preservation Society (It would definitely turn out better than the Sgt. Pepper's movie, wouldn't it?)