Friday, October 10, 2014

Muse -- "Uprising" (2009)

They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious

You know what Florence Jean "Flo" Castleberry would say if she heard those lines?  She would say "WHEN DONKEYS FLY!"

Mel Sharples would reply "STOW IT!" of course.

You remember Flo and Mel from the old "Alice" TV series, don't you?  The brassy, man-eating Flo was played by Polly Holladay, while the grumpy diner owner Mel was played by Vic Tayback.

"Alice" ran for nine seasons on CBS – can you believe it?  It was far inferior to the movie it was based on, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, which was directed by Martin Scorsese and starred Ellen Burstyn as a quasi-neo-protofeminist widowed mom who struggles to make a living until she meets Kris Kristofferson, who sweeps her off her feet.  (Kristofferson had a real knack for sweeping women off their feet despite having one of the most lackadaisical personalities in history.)

[NOTE: I must not have been feeling very victorious when I wrote the above lines about two weeks ago.  Otherwise why would I have led off a post featuring Muse's bold, in-your-face anthem with Flo's sarcastic "When donkeys fly"?  But I have to admit that I have no idea what I was planning to say next – I have absolutely no clue where I was going when I wrote that stuff about "Alice."  This is rather disturbing, so rather than dwelling on it any more, I'm simply going to move on.]

One of the highlights of my recent Las Vegas trip was attending a show called Absinthe, which opened at Caesar's Palace in 2011.

Absinthe was originally created for the Fontainebleau Las Vegas, a 68-story hotel/casino located on the north end of the Las Vegas "Strip."  The Fontainebleau tower was topped out in November 2008.   But the project's owner filed for bankruptcy in June 2009, and the building was never finished.

Absinthe performers
Over $2 billion has been spent on the Fontainebleau, but the highest bid the bankruptcy court received for the property was $156 million.  It's not clear what will happen to the Fontainebleau, but it seems likely that it will simply be torn down by its new owner so something else can be built on the site.  (How does something like this happen?)

Absinthe has been described as "an uneasy cross between terrific variety acts and a stag party" – sort of like a Cirque du Soleil show, but much sleazier.  The show is presented in a Spiegeltent – "mirror tent" in Dutch -- which is a kind of traveling tent originally constructed in the Flemish part of Belgium as mobile dance halls.

The Absinthe tent holds about 600 patrons, and all the acts perform on a stage that is only nine feet in diameter.

I'm featuring Muse's 2009 hit, "Uprising," in this post because it was the song that accompanied the most remarkable act in the Absinthe – an acrobatic roller-skating act by two German performers who call themselves Sven and Roma.

The whole act is pretty crazy, but the last minute or so is simply mind-blowing: 

Here's a promotional video containing snippets from all the Absinthe acts:

Here's the official music video for "Uprising," which held down the #1 spot of the Billboard "Alternative Songs" chart for a total of 17 weeks.  (There have been over 62 million views of this video, boys and girls.)

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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