Monday, January 28, 2008

Best Opening Lyrics

I agree wholeheartedly with most of the choices on this list, although the order may be disputable. Some of these, I'll admit I just don't know that well. For shame, right? I've never gotten into Patti Smith, but maybe it's time I gave her another shot.

Soundbytes included, which will likely drive you to seek out and listen to the rest of the song. Well done, list-makers.

Listening to: Stellastarr* - "My Coco"

Thursday, January 24, 2008

My Favorite Music Videos: Radiohead - "Paranoid Android"

Easily one of my all-time favorite videos, "Paranoid Android" premiered during a prime MTV-watching year for me, 1997. Everything just kind of stopped when this video came on, and you always hoped it would be next in the rotation.

As many times as I've viewed this one, I just learned a whole lot from a little wikipedia research, such as:

-The song title refers to the depressed robot, Marvin the Paranoid Android, from Douglas Adams'
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (I always kind of suspected...)
-The fat guy who cuts off his arms and legs is supposed to be Boris Yeltsin
-The main character comes from a cartoon series called Robin, which Radiohead members enjoyed
-At 2 minutes, 35 seconds, the band makes a cameo as the group of people watching a man dancing on a table with a face coming out of his belly button
-The line "The blood and the screaming" may be a reference to George Orwell's novel 1984, which was a major influence on OK Computer as a whole
-Radiohead has talked about this song as 3 songs in one, getting the idea from The Beatles' "Happiness is a Warm Gun"
-The guitar solo was ranked #34 by Guitar World readers in a list of the "100 Greatest Guitar Solos"

...and so much more.

For those watching at work, this is most certainly the unedited version that MTV would never show (see the mermaids at the end, and you'll know what I'm talking about.)
Now presenting 6+ minutes of deranged, animated joy.

P.S. - My old roommate Erica and I do a badass karaoke rendition of this, if I may say so myself. It's not even a duet, but somehow, we work it out.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More from the Classics collection - Can't Take My Eyes Off of You

This one certainly belongs near the top of my list of favorite oldies. From 1967, "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Frankie Valli.

Who else thinks of a young Heath Ledger singing this one on the bleachers in
10 Things I Hate About You? Le sigh.

EDIT: This was written before today's shocking news. How terribly sad.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Almost Famous

My friend AJ (also goes by Algernon) in his first music video, filmed in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It's a mix of an old Dionne Warwick song called "Shall I Tell Her," but he calls his version "You're Not Here." Yeah, man.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shake Your Tail Feather

There's a reason that I've dressed up as a 60s girl group member the last two Halloweens. My love of oldies music makes me wonder if I wasn't meant to belong to a different era.

Not so much? OK, well it was worth a shot. P.S. - This is what happens when a dork like me gets access to Photoshop.

Here begins another feature: a listing of classic songs that I believe more than stand up to the test of time. Songs we all know somehow, probably from movies or commercials, maybe from a little of our parents' influence too. If you haven't been to a Motown-themed dance night (try Rififi in the East Village every third Saturday of the month), it's kind of amazing how much of the sound is familiar. And what fantastic dance music! Aside: my mom tried to teach me to do the mashed potato once... way harder than it looks.

I really got to rediscover some of the greats while preparing to DJ my parents' 40th anniversary party this summer. The Shirelles, The Chiffons, The Platters, The Penguins... this stuff makes me happy. Kind of takes me somewhere else when I'm typing away in cubicle land. I also wanted to go with a theme of all love songs for the party, then realized.... they're ALL love songs.

Let's start with one that I'll admit got my attention as part of the end credits to
There's Something About Mary. "Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations, from 1968. Try to sit still. You just can't.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Fun with Internet Radio

A song I nearly forgot about just came on my Launch player, which is always a pleasant surprise, even if I did program the station myself by rating my favorite artists, albums, and songs.

I spent a significant portion of my summer obsessed with "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" by Editors. An ex introduced me to these mopey, rockin', dancefloor-friendly Brits, so I guess one good thing came from that lame-ass situation. And I pass the benefits along to you!

Monday, January 7, 2008

My Favorite Music Videos: The Bravery - "An Honest Mistake"

Because honestly, who doesn't love an extended domino toppling sequence à la Mousetrap? (You all remember that board game that took longer to set up than to actually play?)

This song was an indie rock dance floor standard in Gainesville, as I'm sure it was elsewhere, circa Summer 2005. Still evokes vivid memories of hipsters, sweatiness, and smoke burning my eyes. But in a good way.

Keep watching until the end - that's the bloody cleverest part.

Friday, January 4, 2008

I think it's love

Meet my new electric piano, Angela. (Instruments should have names, yes?) Isn't she a beaut?

That's 36 black keys and 52 white keys of electric joy. She was a present from Santa.

A little background. I took piano lessons from the ages of 8 to 16, but I wasn't a very diligent student. I could sight-read well enough to get by, but I hardly ever did my counting or practicing in general. In adulthood, it's been a goal of mine to get as good as I could be. I wonder if there are piano teachers who specialize in such a thing - reforming a bad student later in life. We shall see.

Meantime, I'm excited to have this outlet to play whenever I damn well please. My roommates will soon learn why "Linus and Lucy" (the Peanuts theme) is my ringtone. One of my favorites. A masterwork of syncopated craziness courtesy of Vince Guaraldi, which everyone recognizes after a few moments.

How about a little trip back in time? I think I'm about 8 in this picture.

Hope my first piano doesn't get jealous! Angela could never take the place of my original gleaming upright Samick. Although it is nice to have an electric because it doesn't need tuning, I can jack in headphones to spare my roommates and neighbors, and it fits in my room, sort of. The perfect piano for New York living.

Listening to: Beck - "Lord Only Knows"