Wednesday, September 27, 2006

For the love of hobos.

Interview with the delightful John Hodgman. Hodgman is quickly becoming one of my favorite personalities:
I am on top of a roller coaster that I never expected to be on. I don't know what's going to happen when the roller coaster goes down. My guess is I will fly out and I will hit a pole.

Comes the Dawn by Veronica Shoffstall

After awhile you learn the subtle difference
Between holding a hand and chaining a soul.

And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning
And company doesn't mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats
With your head up and your eyes open,
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.

And learn to build all your roads today because tomorrow's ground
Is too uncertain for plans, and futures have
A way of falling down in mid-flight.

After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.

So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul,
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure...
that you really are strong
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn.. .
With every goodbye you learn.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Democrats go to the matresses.

The Clinton interview heard 'round the world.

Keith Olbermann's brilliant and heartfelt response. Olbermann is absolutely remarkable, calling Bush's response to 9/11, "the textbook definition of cowardice." Make sure you watch the video, not just read the transcript. It's riviting.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Audiovisually Speaking

Pitchfork's 100 Awesome Music Videos, complete with - you guessed it - videos. Some of the video files aren't there anymore, but most are.

Stylus magazine has their top 100 music videos of all time, too. This one is more mainstream than Pitchfork's, but there is just enough overlap on these two lists to be interesting.

Some of my favorite videos, from those lists or not, are:

The Child - Alex Gopher
Font as a character.

Frontier Psychiatrist - The Avalanches
Vaudevillian dementia.

Where's Your Head At? - Basement Jaxx
Monkeys with instruments.

Float On - Modest Mouse
Cool moustache, and even cooler Loretta Lynn look-alike.

Closet Freak - Cee-Lo
Before there was Gnarles, there was Soul Train.

Burnin' - Deft Punk
Is that a groove, or a fire alarm?

Danger! High Voltage! - Electric Six
Remember the Tra-la-la guy? I think that's him. Actually, it's rumored to be Jack White, which is just as cool. This is the best train-wreck of a video ever.

First Day of My Life - Bright Eyes
Lovers in love.

Hurt - Johnny Cash cover of Nine Inch Nails
Fitting tribute and autobiographical account of the Man in Black.

It's Oh So Quiet - Bjork
All musical theatre-y.

Can't Get You Out of My Head - Kylie Minogue
That white dress/pantsuit/curtain is mesmerizing.

Imitation of Life - R.E.M.
Kind of like a Where's Waldo, only with weird people.

Wild Wild Life - Talking Heads
John Goodman in a leisure suit. And David Byrne.

Weapon of Choice - Fatboy Slim
Walken channels his inner Gene Kelly.

Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benatar
Thriller, but with 80s punk bitches instead of zombies.

Vidrar Vel Til Loftarasa - Sigur Ros
Beautiful and devistating.

Drop - The Pharcyde
Spike Jonze does it backwards.

Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads
A seriously stressed out David Byrne.

Star Guitar - The Chemical Brothers
Landscape was percussion.

Sledgehammer - Peter Gabriel
Sure you've seen it. Watch it again now that you are older and enjoy it even more. While your'e at it, see Death Cab for Cutie's homage to this video with their Crooked Teeth.

Bad Cover Version - Pulp
Like Band Aid on a budget.

Rabbit in Your Headlights - U.N.K.L.E. featuring Thom Yorke
Sad, powerful, and ultimately very moving.

We Will Become Silhouettes - The Postal Service
An early 80s childhood brought to life, except for the gravy drinking.

Such Great Heights - Ben Folds cover of Postal Service
If there is a musical equivalent of Hollywood, Ben Folds should be the fucking emperor.

For more excellent music videos, check out David LaChapelle's video page, which contains the excellent "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" vid, which is linked to but missing from Pitchfork's list.

Also, see this excellent rendition of Radiohead's ode to moroseness, Creep.

Finally, Kenna's Hell Bent video is one of my all-time favorites.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Old School

The oldest audio ever recorded. Hauntingly beautiful.

Transcript of Arthur Sullivan's message to Edison upon introduction to the phonograph:

" . . . For myself, I can only say that I am astonished and somewhat terrified at the results of this evening's experiment -- astonished at the wonderful power you have developed, and terrified at the thought that so much hideous and bad music may be put on record forever. But all the same, I think it is the most wonderful thing that I have ever experienced, and I congratulate you with all my heart on this wonderful discovery."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Track 17

There's only us, there's only this
Forget regret, or life is yours to miss.
No other road, no other way,
No day but today.

There's only now, there's only here
Give in to love or live in fear
No other path, no other way
No day but today.

I'm listening to the original Broadway soundtrack to Rent today, as rain falls on my office window. I'm thinking of an old friend who I haven't talked to in too long, because I keep telling myself I am too busy to call him. Actually, I am too embarassed to call him because the last time he called, I was rushing out the door, swore I'd call him back, and then forgot for two days. By then, I was "too busy," and I still haven't called him back. I can't be "too busy" anymore - "no day but today," as the song goes.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Punctuation in Jeopardy?

News stations find protection through properly-placed punctuation. Jon Stewart examines the use of the question mark, which seems let anything be said, as long as it's phrased in the form of a question.