It’s really not surprising that I’m a fan of M.C. Frontalot. We run in the same circles after all. We have a lot of the same friends, go to the same conventions…. I think we’ve even performed in the same shows a couple of different times.
What *is* surprising is how long it took for me to become a fan. I’ve known about him for ages, seen him perform, sat next to him at signings….
But here’s the thing. You can know someone, know about their work, and even enjoy their work without being a fan. For me, being a fan isn’t the same as just occasionally buying, listening to, or liking someone’s art.
The line between being a fan and a guy-who-enjoys-your-art can be blurry. But I know I’ve crossed that line when I feel compelled to spread the art around. For example, I regularly buy copies of Peter S. Beagle’s Last Unicorn to have handy when I want to give it away to people. That’s not something I do for every book I just enjoy.
This is what pushed me firmly into the fan camp for Frontalot:
You know when you love something like a TV show and a new episode comes out? And you’re excited because you get more of that thing you love?
Finding this CD wasn’t like that for me. At all.
Listening to this CD was like finding something I loved that I never even knew I wanted before. It’s like it filled a hole in my soul I never knew existed.
It’s a collection of songs that retell classic folk stories. From the familiar little red riding hood to the delightfully obscure Wakjąkága.
Do I even need to tell you how delighted I was to be listening to this collection of folktales and run into one that I didn’t even know? Do you know how rare that is for me? But here I am, already enjoying twelve colours of awesome out of these songs, grooving along, and suddenly *bam* Wakjąkága. Eating his own butt. And I’m like, what? Seriously? Did you just out-obscure me mythologically? While rapping?
Okay. I gotta calm down a little.
Last year at a convention, I go up to Frontalot and gush to such an extent that I’m probably lucky he didn’t signal security. Later on, he asks me if I’d be interested in helping him spread the word about the album by helping him debut one of the videos he made for it.
Which brings us to today.
The Song is Mornings Come and Go.
Watch it. Watch it ten times.
Here’s some words from brilliant, crazy brain of Frontalot himself:
I drew mostly from a Norwegian fairy tale called The Mastermaid, which I had been enamored of when I was little, reading it in my mom’s large illustrated copy of Idries Shah’s World Tales. I think this text is identical to the one he used: http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/norway120.html
I also pulled details (the tasks that the ogre assigns to the boy, the magic obstacles the maid throws down while escaping) from other countries’ versions of the story, including Nix Naught Nothing and Lady Feather Flight.
The Norwegian version has three acts: the boy protected the maid in the house of the beast, the obstacle flight, and the forgotten fiance, all of which come, I think, from even earlier folk tale traditions (forgotten fiance even figures into Hindu myths of Rama and Sita). I end the song at the very beginning of act III to emphasize what a terrible cad the ostensible hero of the story is.
The video is by Cheyenne Picardo. She decided that the story matches up well with the John Hughes movie Some Kind of Wonderful, with Stoltz as the boy, Thompson as the ogre, and Masterson as the mastermaid. Then she re-cast that as an OKCupid nightmare with local NY personalities: Bob the Drag Queen (officially announced to be on the upcoming season of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, though appearing out of drag here), Hye Yun Park (star of “Hey Yun“), and Melissa Roth (NY stage actress). The big rotating kiss scene is a shot-for-shot from SKoW.
So… there’s a lot going on! You can explore that as deeply or as shallowly as you like.
The other videos from Question Bedtime were:
And all my other official music videos are in this playlist.
So there you go. I’ve been waiting to gush about this album for *months* now. But I had to wait until the video was done.
Myself, I’ve already bought six or seven copies. One for each car I drive (yes, I still use real CD’s) and others to give away as presents.
Share and enjoy everyone,