This will be the last Music Video Thursday for 2007. Here's some Trans-Siberian Orchestra to wrap up the year:
Merry Christmas, and see you in the New Year!
This will be the last Music Video Thursday for 2007. Here's some Trans-Siberian Orchestra to wrap up the year:
Merry Christmas, and see you in the New Year!
And yet another "something completely different" - here's something I'm going to call "Riffed Off", where we explore how the songs change, but the riff stays the same... causing endless flamewars about who ripped off whom. Tonight we present a battle royale with Nirvana, Killing Joke, and the Damned. We'll start with Nirvana, with "Come as You Are" in 1992:
Listen carefully to the guitar riff underlying the verse, and then take a listen to "Eighties" by Killing Joke in 1984:
Sound familiar? Killing Joke certainly thought so, accusing Nirvana of copyright infringement (although they stopped short of legal action). But is this the pot calling the kettle black? Check out "Life Goes On" by The Damned (originally from 1982, this concert footage from 2007):
Hmmmm... very familiar. Just goes to show that there's nothing new under the sun, as the saying goes - and that imitation may well be the sincerest form of flattery.
First take: standard rock "party" video, except for what I can only call "visual whiplash":
Second take: starring the wallpaper from the first take, with dancers, acrobats, etc. dressed to match:
It's a fun song, I don't mind hearing it twice...
This past weekend I took my older daughters to the symphony, along with my parents, where we got to see Angela Cheng perform Beethoven's Piano Concerto no. 3 in C minor (op 37) with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. It's been a long time since I've been to the symphony, and the first time for the girls, and was a wonderful experience, and I thought I'd take a break from the usual goofy crap that I post here, and try to get classy. Here's the 3rd movement of that concerto, as performed by Alfred Brendel with Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra:
I really enjoy reading the comments on YouTube for classical music - just like any other music videos, the conversation quickly devolves into a flame-war, albeit much more polite and well-articulated.
For those of you not following current events here in Flatland, we had an election yesterday, and I was in it. While I didn't win, I think I did pretty well, especially considering that I didn't have any budget for campaigning. The new premier has announced that the next election will be held on November 7, 2011, and I've already found myself thinking about "next time". The Green Party did pretty good this time, but just keep your eye on us - you ain't seen nothin' yet:
Head and wrist sweatbands? Check. Mugging for camera? Check. Blocky computer animation? Check. Looks like we've got us a bad case of the 80's again...
And for those of you keeping score at home, yes, this is late. Get a life.
On one of our family trips this summer, we dropped the soundtrack for "A Knight's Tale" into the CD player, which starts of with Queen's classic stomp-stomp-clap:
Little did I know just how much our kids would take to that song:
My mother would be rolling in her grave right now, except that she's still alive.
What have I gotten myself into? I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, but excited, but tired... it would be nice to just be able to close my eyes, lean back, and just sail away...
Ordinary spell favorites better office Toronto number, order bulb service. Notebook menu betta disasters compendium, unofficial Unix marathon corridor community:
Together exercise pages album? Ready strange recognition.
I'm exhausted - spent most of last night fighting with replication between a couple database servers, gave up and went to bed at 5 this morning, got up at 7:30, fought for another hour, back to bed, up again at 10:30, think I finally won around noon... am I sounding incoherent yet?
And speaking of incoherent, how about some classic Ozzy?
Going back to bed...
Once again, Scandinavia provides tonight's music video mayhem, courtesy of Sweden's Familjen and director Johan Söderberg. The video fits the music well - Familjen's loop-based electronic music is matched with loops of film footage from an early tent revival, cleverly spliced and speed-matched to fit the tempo of the music - and in some cases, it even looks like the preacher is the one singing. Pretty neat stuff:
Hey, this is my 100th post to my blog! Happy... ummm... blog-iversary? I dunno... just seemed worth mentioning.
Some classic Pink Floyd for you tonight, with a twist of contemplation on the side:
I remember singing the chorus when I was a kid, thinking how cool it was, how defiant and rebellious it was to declare that I didn't "need no education". When I was in university, I saw "The Wall" at a midnight showing at the campus movie theater, and thought it was very cool, very interesting, but didn't really have a lasting impact on me. But now, this song holds new meaning for me, after discovering John Taylor Gatto.
Shortly after being named New York State's "Teacher of the Year" in 1991, Gatto quit, saying that he didn't want to "have to hurt kids to make a living", and has now become one of the most outspoken critics of the entire modern institution of education. As the faceless children in "Another Brick In The Wall" shuffle mindlessly into the meat grinder, I remember Gatto's contention that modern schools exist for two purposes - to create "human resources" for the industrial machine, and to create bored, easily influenced consumers to fuel the economy.
Gatto is not without critics, but I think he is right . We're currently homeschooling our son (kindergarten), planning on homeschooling our youngest daughter when she gets old enough, and have told our two oldest daughters that they'll have one year of homeschooling when they get to grade six - and hope that they'll want to continue after that. But it's going to be their decision in the end - yes, as parents, we have a lot of influence on that decision, but it will be their decision.
I can't begin to do justice to Gatto in a blog posting like this, so I encourage you to read his work for yourself - and keep an open mind while you do. As for Pink Floyd - I don't know if Roger Waters' views on education are in complete agreement with Gatto, but I can't imagine that they would be in complete disagreement either. Hey, teacher - leave those kids alone...
No matter how hard I try, I just can't seem to EX-TER-MI-NATE the '80s...
I don't quite know what to make of this video. Christopher Walken somehow manages to look awkward, yet graceful, while he cuts loose to Fatboy Slim - and for the life of me, I can't quite decide if he's actually a good dancer or not:
Of course, part of the problem is that even if he is a bad dancer, he still looks like poetry in motion compared to me, so who am I to judge?
Again, definitely not the 80's - from 1967, actually, which makes this pretty groundbreaking stuff, both in terms of the music and the animation. Here's Pierre Henry's "Psyché Rock":
Note the similarities to the Futurama theme:
And, just for fun, here's Fatboy Slim's remix:
Next week - still definitely not the 80's.
And now for something completely different... and definitely not the 80s. The Chemical Brothers are apparently trying to start a new dance trend. Or something. I can't say as I understand it, but it's strangely compelling...
Coming up next week: still definitely not the 80s.
It's time to wrap up the "80's Mix Tape" series here - I think I've just about worked the 80's out of my system, at least for a while. There are a couple other videos that I decided not to inflict on you (in case you're wondering, Aldo Nova and INXS). We're ending the way we began - boys with guitars and big hair, making pretty for the camera. Here's Triumph:
Coming up next week: anything but the 80's. I promise.
We interrupt Music Video Thursday's "80's Mix Tape" series for this late-breaking bulletin: I'm going to see Weird Al tonight at Credit Union Center! w00t! In honour of my getting seriously "white and nerdy" tonight (no bubble wrap please), I'm taking a quick break from the 80's to present the first take of the "White and Nerdy" video shoot, with Weird Al fronting, and Donny Osmond getting freaky as a backup dancer. Avert your eyes, children, it's not polite to stare:
Back to the 80's next week (if I can get Mr. Fusion hooked up properly to the flux capacitor - Great Scott!!!)
And here's one more piece of evidence in the case against my good taste in music in the 80's - Adam Ant:
I'm so ashamed...
A lot of the video's for my mix tape have been cheesy. This is cheese that has gone bad. Ladies and gentlemen, in an unprecedented three-peat appearance on Music Video Thursday, I present to you: Twisted Sister!
And for those of you who may have found this blog by following my "author" link on the Bethlehem Lutheran Church blog - I promise that you won't hear these songs on the Sundays that I'm playing... although you have to admit, "O Come All Ye Faithful" sounds an awful lot like "We're Not Gonna Take It", even if Twisted Sister isn't playing it. :-)
Finding videos for all the songs on my 80's mix tape has proven to be a challenge. Some of the songs have appeared here already (here and here). Some of the songs simply can't be found on YouTube (in particular, anything by Loverboy, aside from crappy cell-cam footage from recent concerts, and Kim Carnes' "Crazy In The Night"). Some are just too... for lack of a better word, "yucky", to post here (Frankie Goes To Hollywood's "Relax" and The Cars "Hello Again" directed by Andy Warhol - search for them on YouTube at your own risk). And, in a most frustrating find, one video that was actually posted to YouTube by the record label... but with embedding disabled, so I can't put it on my blog - a big "boo hiss" to Universal for keeping me from sharing Men Without Hats' "Pop Goes The World" from my vast audience. It's an impediment to true culture, it is.
So, there's just a few more songs that I can give you, and quite frankly, I'm not entirely sure about this next video. I think I can sum up this video from The Cars in five words - Ric Ocasek freaks me out:
On a related note, according to Wikipedia (the Internet's most trusted news source, dontcha know), Ric Ocasek appeared on the Boston Phoenix's "The 100 unsexiest men in the world" list. Not that I'm a particularly good judge of manly sexiness (except my own, of course), but I'm not terribly surprised.
As I've been going through the list of songs on that mix tape, I began to wonder just how bad my taste was in the 80's - cheese, cheese, and more cheese - but then, redemption in the form of Rush. Yes, they've got big hair, they're wearing weird clothes, but they actually look like they're making music, not just prancing in front of the cameras with instruments:
I genuinely like this song - not only is the music complex and interesting, but the lyrics really spoke to me back in high school, and still ring true today. *sigh* I suppose there won't be any other songs like this on the tape, so next week - back to the cheese... I can't wait.
I'm beginning to have second thoughts about doing a whole series of videos based on an old 80's mix tape. I mean, I know that it's cheesy, but I didn't really realize just how cheesy it actually is, and I'm not sure I can handle that much cheese, you know, like a kind of a musical lactose intolerance or something...
But until better judgement overtakes me, we'll keep going on this fantastic voyage de fromage - tonight's "guys with long hair pouting earnestly" is brought to you by Whitesnake!
Ohhh, my stomach...
A few months ago I stumbled across a mix tape I had made back in the 80's while in high school, and I can't stop listening to it. So, I've decided that I'll inflict it on all of you here - misery loves company, right?
The mix tape kicks off with a perfect song for Music Video Thursday - it's from the 80's, it's Scandinavian, the lyrics are wonderfully awful in the way that only non-native English speakers can write them. Here's Europe:
More 80's goodness to come over the next weeks - you bring the wine, I've got all the cheese you need!
Lasse Gjertsen is back, only this time he's staying behind the camera. He's directed a music video for Italian cellist Giovanni Sollima. It's beautiful music, and fascinating video:
Click through each part to YouTube, where Lasse has included some behind-the-scenes notes on the creation of the video, including hand-editing over 4000 frames...
A little something to flush the Eurovision out of our system - here's Nirvana, with the now-classic "Smells Like Teen Spirit":
And here's Weird Al, with the not-quite-classic-but-still-good "Smells Like Nirvana":
And here's Tori Amos, with her heartbreaking down-tempo piano version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit":
And here's... ummm... Paul Anka...
And... what the heck?
Okay, I think that's enough of that. Next week: something completely different. I hope.
Well, that was disappointing. The crazy Ukrainian cross-dresser placed second (WTF!?), Bulgaria placed 5th, Hungary 9th, Georgia 12th, and Switzerland and Israel didn't survive the semi-final. As for the winner - imagine the voice of Celine Dion, trapped in the body of Saturday Night Live's Pat, and you've got Serbia's Marija Serifovic, winner of the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest:
That's it for Eurovision 2007 for me - I've got an idea for another theme for Music Video Thursday, but I'll put in a few weeks of more-or-less random stuff.
The semi-final is complete, and 10 countries have qualified to join the 14 automatic qualifiers on Saturday's final. A lot of strong entries, including some previously profiled here, but one that I especially liked was the Georgian entry. Note that this is the "promo" video - I guess it's still too early for the semi-final performance to show up on YouTube:
Next week - the winner!
There's an old joke that goes something like this:
What do you get when you play a country song backwards?
You get your wife back, you get your truck back, you get your dog back...
Looks like happy endings are only for backwards country songs, though...
Next Thursday (May 10) is the semi-finals in the Eurovision Song Contest, followed by the finals on Saturday (May 12). Catch all the action at eurovision.tv!
Tonight has been a manly night. I have been in the garage. I have fixed the rear wiper on my minivan using a socket set. I have replaced the front wiper blades. I have fixed a headlight mount using a wrench and styrofoam. I have topped up my washer fluid. I have grease on my hands. I am man. Hear me grunt. [insert Tim Allen grunt here]
And now for tonight's featured Eurovision entry. Here's Verka Serduchka, from the Ukraine:
Truly, a glorious, manly night.
Eurovision 2007 coverage continues this week with a look at the Swiss entry. Ah, Switzerland, stately home of diplomacy, banking, Toblerone chocolate, and horror-themed dance music. DJ BoBo was chosen to represent Switzerland for the 2007 song contest, and was allowed to write his own song. In February, DJ BoBo unveiled his creation to the world - a dance number called "Vampires Are Alive", with a music video that appeared to be a cross between Thriller and Underworld. As with Lordi's entry in the 2006 contest, controversy sprung up, with one political party collecting a petition to withdraw the song from the competition, but the entry has prevailed, and will compete in the semi-final in early May:
At least they didn't send Celine Dion again - that would have been truly scary.
Our coverage of Eurovision 2007 continues tonight with the Israeli entry.
While many of the countries participating in Eurovision Song Contest choose their representative artists via popular vote, the Teapacks (warning: MySpace) were chosen to represent Israel by a committee of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority - the only thing up for vote was which song they would perform. The winning song, "Push The Button", immediately caused controversy, with it's direct references to nuclear war and apparent indirect references to Iran and Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Some said it was too political, and called for a ban on the song, but it was eventually approved.
As for the song itself? It's a great mix of folk/polka/rock/rap, with lyrics in English, French, and Hebrew, including some truly funny lines like "And I don't want to die / I want to see the flowers bloom / Don't wanna go kaput, kaboom" - sit back and enjoy the melodic musical madness that is the Teapacks:
Eurovision 2007 coverage continues next week - we've got lots of weirdness to come yet, so stay tuned!
It's that most wonderful time of year - the Eurovision song contest is underway again! Last year's contest provided some wonderfully weird musical moments for Music Video Thursday last year (see Lordi and Silvia Night), and while there are a number of bizarre entries this year, I'm going to start off our 2007 Eurovision coverage with a fantastic video from Bulgaria.
Folklore singer Elitsa Todorova and percussionist Stoyan Yankoulov combine their talents in the song song "Voda" (water), which won the national vote in Bulgaria. It takes Stoyan's wild percussion, Elitsa's incredible vocal style, and a driving beat, resulting in a powerful musical experience:
Out of all the Eurovision entries I've seen so far (admittedly only a small portion), Bulgaria is the best. Here's hoping that their live performance is up to the task of matching the energy of the video.
Well, I had full intentions of setting up tonight's video with a "proof" that The Presidents Of The United States are in favor of copyright infringement, going into the whole "pirates and ninjas are natural enemies" silliness, and then pointing out that in the "Peaches" video, the Presidents kick some ninja butt, so therefore (by the "enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" way of thinking) they must be pro-pirate, and therefore have no problem with their video being posted to YouTube:
...but in the end, it seemed like so much work, with little payoff, and I'm tired, and so instead I just threw this together, which actually isn't too bad, except that I'm not entirely sure how to end it without it being awkward. Like this.
I'm late, I'm late!
Thursday was the Ides of March (March 15th), and someone on Metafilter posted a link to this video. I'd never heard of the band The Ides of March before, but the song is great, the video is a beautiful mix of funky 70s fashion and space-race NASA footage, and it was the perfect day for it. Pity that I couldn't quite make it in time, but here it is, better late than never:
So I missed last week's Music Video Thursday, even though I managed to get one in while traveling even though I didn't think I was going to, because I had such a hard time getting back into my weekly routine, and was forgetting things all the time, and then tonight I was going to start early on my blog posting, but then my son threw up while I was putting the kids to bed, and I had to clean up, and then when they were all in bed and asleep, I wanted to put a Loverboy video from the '80s on for the Music Video Thursday tonight, but when I found it there was a big "Viacom has requested that this video be removed for copyright infringement", and it just seems like sometimes I try to do things, and it just don't turn out the way I wanted to and I get real frustrated, it's like, I take my time and I try real hard, but no matter what I do and no matter what I try it never works out, it's like I concentrate on it real hard, but it never works out...
...and all I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi... (lyrics, on the off chance that you couldn't make out every single clearly enunciated syllable)
I'm on a borrowed laptop, on a neighbor's unprotected wi-fi connection, somewhere in the south where it's 30 or 40 degrees (Celsius) warmer than home... just walking on sunshine, you might say:
And yes, we're back to the 80's yet again - I'm a creature of habit.
I'm fighting off a cold, and I'm stressed out. Perfect time for some loud electronica/industrial.
I'm on the road next week with limited internet access, so there probably won't be Music Video Thursday next week. See you in two weeks.
Angry. Angry angry angry angry angry. Grrrr. Stupid users. Stupid co-workers. Stupid passwords. Stupid co-worker gives stupid password to stupid user. Stupid password now needs to be changed on just about every stupid server and stupid application in the stupid company. Too many stupid co-workers know the stupid password. New password won't be so stupid. New password won't be known by stupid co-workers. Only smart ones. Not many of them.
Angry angry angry angry angry. Angry.
Angry. Grrrr. Angry.
And here we go yet again, back to the 80's...
I have no idea what it is about this song. By all rights, I should really hate this song. The lyrics make no sense. The title of the album has became one of my least favorite catch-phrases ever. The video is pure 80's cheese, with big hair, scantily clad dancers, white and nerdy guys desperately trying to look cool, a percussionist who only plays cowbell despite having a full complement of drums in front of her... and yet, the song (and video) is just so catchy, I just about can't stand it. From their 1988 hit album "What Up, Dog", here's Was (Not Was):
Boom, boom, ackalackalacka boom.
"Heartbreaker (At the End of Lonely Street)", a mash-up of Zeppelin's Heartbreaker and Elvis' Heartbreak Hotel, appeared on Dread Zeppelin's 1990 release Un-LED-ed. I remember seeing the video for it on MuchMusic at the time - in particular, one scene that attempts to explain the origins of the band, where a milk truck (driven by Tortelvis) collides with a Ford Pinto carrying a reggae band, resulting in Dread Zeppelin. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find that video online, but I did find a video of them performing it in concert. While the exploding automobile quotient isn't nearly as high in the concert video as in the MuchMusic one, it is a marvelous performance that showcases the band's showmanship:
If anyone manages to stumble across the other video for this song online, please let me know where to find it - I'd be ever so grateful, thank you, thank you very much...
I'm not sure if I really understand The White Stripes. There's just the two of them - Meg White on drums, and Jack White on just about everything else (but primarily guitars and lead vocals). They claim to be siblings, but they were actually married in 1996 and divorced in 2000. Jack is a very versatile and talented musician, but it seems sometimes that Meg is barely able to keep a steady beat. I'm just not sure I understand them.
But I guess I don't really need to understand them to enjoy their surprisingly catchy tunes or their eye-catching videos. "The Hardest Button to Button" is one of their most famous videos:
And you know that you've made it when the Simpsons decide to parody you.
Happy New Year everyone! It's 2007, but I feel like I'm stuck in the 80's again - I've got a brand new Apple computer (but a little more powerful than my old Apple ][+), I've been playing Time Pilot (but in MacMAME instead of a dimly lit arcade), and tonight's video has a sort of 80's vibe to it (even though the song is from 2002). Here is Norway's Apoptygma Berzerk, and "Until the End of the World":