Category: Music

I love you.

I’ve decided not to go on my usual anti-Valentine’s Day rant this year. It’s so easy to be a hater, so I’m going to put that aside, pour myself a nice glass of scotch and just say: I love you.

To everybody who’s made me laugh in the last year, I love you.

To all my dance friends who have taken me for a spin around the floor, I love you.

To the friends who have let me cry on their shoulders and sat with me in my moments of darkness, I love you.

To all my companions on my many and various crazy adventures in the last year, I love you.

To everyone who has listened when I asked for help, or given me a hug, or just a empathetic ear, I love you.

To those who have held a little piece of my heart if even for a short while, I love you.

To those who have seen me in my moments of craziness, and stuck by me, I love you.

To N, for continued friendship and grace in the heartache of transition, I love you.

To my mother, for embarking on new adventures of your own, I love you.

And most of all, to my inspiring, brilliant, empathetic, curious, vulnerable, funny, beautiful, brave sistertwin, I love you more than anyone can understand. I still remember the moment when I realized that even if you died, I wouldn’t have to miss you all that much because you are so much a part of me. That said, don’t go anywhere just yet. We have a whole world to take over.

And, because everything is better with music, here’s my current musical crush The Civil Wars doing a cover of one of my favorite love songs.

Tuesday Tuneage

Been in a mega programming haze at work since New Year’s. Trying to do whole new analysis with a dataset I’d never worked with for a deadline next week. Taking longer than expected. Might be a few late nights coming.

There are two things that keep me going when I have to sink myself into lines of code for hours and hours at a time: coffee and tunes. The tunes might even be more important than the caffeine. This week it’s been mostly bassy ambient-ish shoe-gazey dubstep-lite type stuff. Swarms. Star Slinger. Bonobo. Stuff like that. But usually there comes a point in the afternoon (oooo, around 3pm when my body is angling for a nap), when I need something upbeat, light, and maybe a bit silly to perk me up. This song has fit the bill most days the last two weeks.

I don’t really care for the original. But the remix? Cute, goofy, ridiculous, catchy. Almost makes me want to scour the thrift stores for my own velvet Elvis. Almost.

Alex Winston – Velvet Elvis ( Crystal Fighters Remix)

Tuesday Tuneage – Toyz Noize by Pogo

I have the biggest heart on for Pogo. Pogo being a 22-year old remix master living in Perth, Australia. He takes classic movies (from Up to Gone with the Wind), and puts together mixes consisting almost (>95%) entirely of sound bites from the movie. And they are MAGIC. Upular was my favorite until last week when my sister showed me Toyz Noize, which is a Toy Story mash.

POGO does some amazing stuff besides remixing soundtracks of course, my personal favorite is Splurgensh**ter; the video makes me smile every time. Darth Vader will never be the same. (Just watch it.. bonus points if you can identify the source of the “I want to move to the beat” clip.)

Obviously, being a remix artist, Pogo has come up against the various laws surrounding copyright, which he discusses a bit on his blog. He has had to go to battle against Disney for remixes of some of their classic movies including Alice in Wonderland.  Some  of his work (including a remix of Hook) is not legally available in online format, you have to go to his shows to see him mix live. Just need to get him to Vancouver.

Pogo’s work clearly embodies sampling as a loving reinterpretation of the original source material, and it is obviously done with a lot of respect for the original movies. And has rekindled many listeners’ love affairs with some of their childhood favorites. Not all movie production companies think so and still insist that this is money-grubbing copyright infringement.

Here are Pogo’s own words: “My work serves as free viral marketing to the organisations that own the films I sample from. It’s high time the music industry pulls its head out of its ass, and realises that today’s remix culture is an asset, not a liability. To shoot down the potential here would be utterly illogical.”

I’m going to go find a Darth Vader helmet and go dance in my backyard now…

Walkman retired!

I just read that Sony has officially retired the Walkman and has ceased their production in Japan. Somehow I was surprised that the trusty cassette player (in all its incarnations) was still being produced at all…

Here‘s one of the many stories that appeared about the announcement.

I never had the sporty yellow Walkman that EVERYBODY ELSE had back in the mid-90s… I couldn’t afford one of my own until halfway through university; I bought a slate grey version with digital FM radio (whoooeee!). I don’t know where all my mix tapes ended up, but I can tell you that I listened to way too much Dave Matthews on that thing (I was 18 and a romantic at heart… now I’m, well, 30 and a tad more cynical).

I then graduated to a Discman (it actually was a Sony). Which I loved because I could burn MP3 CDs and fit like 10 albums on one disc.

A few years later (2004-ish?) I bought myself the biggest brick of an MP3 player that has ever graced this planet: the Creative Zen Xtra. 40GB. Almost the size of my original Walkman. But with my entire music collection on it.  Which was great for a while until I realized I wanted something nice and small that I could take to the gym (back when I regularly WENT to a gym). So I got myself a little Creative Zen Micro. Which I loved until the battery door  fell off. I’m hard on my electronics, what can I say.

Then, two years ago, after a lot of jealous oogling, I finally joined iPod Nation with my purchase of a cute seafoam green 3rd generation Nano, which I still use daily and love. But of course, y’all know how it is with Apple products… you can’t buy just one… so now I have a MacBook… and an iPhone… and I’ll probably soon have an iMac…

That’s 12 years of portable music technology in my life… I wonder how I’ll be getting my daily tune fix in 30 more years? (And if I’ll still have a soft spot for Dave Matthews when I’m in a wistful mood… is it still wistful when you’re 60 or just nostalgic?). Subcutaneous implants that wirelessly sync with your computer and connect to some kind of cordless earbuds? Or still some form of small device with an earphone jack like today?

Tuesday Tuneage – “I Gotta Feeling”

I gotta feeling that this song is going to still be stuck in my head until 2040, whether I want it to be or not. If you went to a wedding this summer (except mine), you heard it. You jumped around the same way you did when it was House of Pain on the stereo, perhaps you even longed for hip hop of a different era and thought about running to the bathroom to put your pants on backwards Kris Kross-style. (Or maybe that was just me… and I was wearing a dress at both weddings I was at this summer, so putting it on backwards would have just looked wiggedy-wiggedy-whack. Oh, 1992, how I miss you. Musically, anyways.)

The video contains scantily dressed women (shocker) grinding up on each other (shocker), lots of drinking and some glow in the dark paint (which I think is kinda cool… the new version of those glow bracelets/necklaces/earrings that popular culture has borrowed from the raver crowd?). I like that they show the girls falling over on the sidewalk at the end. Dunno, it makes me laugh. (And reminds me how I really REALLY don’t ever want to be the stumbly drunk girl at the end of the night.)

Note the 2010-appropriate battalion-style jacket on will.i.am … this will definitely date this video to the year.

Tuesday Tunage – Tik Tok by Ke$ha

Oh shut up. Even if you try diligently to avoid pop music tripe at all costs, you’ve probably heard this song. (If you haven’t, LUCKY. And then you probably shouldn’t watch the video. Or like turn the sound off or something.) Anyways, I’m sure we’ll look back at this in 30 years and be glad that 2010 is long gone. Of course Ke$ha will be replaced by some other musical tartlet du jour…  then again, we might look back on this era rather fondly. After all we are in the middle of an 80’s revival, are we not? So in 2040, we should be ripe for a comeback of jeggings, hipster chic and those awful baggy-assed sweatpants (why would anybody want to look like they shat in their pants? REALLY girls. Oooo, I gotta do a fashion rant.)

Now, having watched that, meet Glozell. Here she is analyzing the above video, and I laughed my ASS off when I saw this. Pretty much sums up how I feel about Ke$ha’s oeuvre. Except that I don’t have that inner “oh no you DIDN’T”…

Time for me to brush my teeth and go to bed. I prefer to clean my pearly whites with Bombay though… leaves a nicer aftertaste than Jack Daniels, eh Ke$ha?

Tuesday Tuneage – Little Lion Man and Ali in the Jungle

I like alliterations a lot. So terrific (or terrible) tunes on Tuesday it is… My plan is to post a new song every week to document what’s buzzing in my ears (good or bad).

I am already at a conundrum, as I’ve had two songs on repeat on my iPod for the last few days. So I’ll post both of them. They are both from British groups (and I just realized I’m drinking Earl Grey tea at this very moment… with cream and sugar… how English of me).  Might have to buy some scones and watch Monty Python later.

1. Mumford and Sons – Little Lion Man

Love. Love. Love. Love the tune, love the harmony, love the banjo, love the least gratuitous use of the word “fuck” that I can think of (seriously, listen to the song and tell me if any other word could possibly work nearly as well?)

2. The Hours – Ali in the Jungle

Yes, this song is four years old. But I just discovered it a few weeks ago and bought the album (Narcissus Road) yesterday. So it’s new to me.

I’ll admit, I had to look up a couple of the references in the chorus. I just finished reading the Poisonwood Bible, which mentions the 1974 Foreman/Ali fight (the “Rumble in the Jungle” that took place in Zaire, which is now the Congo), so I had that one figured out. Nelson in jail, Keller in the darkness, Ludwig Van… those were straightforward. But who was “Simpson on the mountain” or “Adams on the docks”??  Thanks to the always helpful Wikipedia, I learned that Joe Simpson is a famous British mountaineer who’s had a few brushes with death, and Francis Adams was an English writier who figured in the labour movement when he stood up for London dockworkers.

I love the video… I wish I could find a better quality version, but this’ll have to do.