Showing posts with label youtube. Show all posts
Showing posts with label youtube. Show all posts

Friday Dance Party Featuring The Robot



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Report from the Frontier ... Tokyo Typhoon



I am just waiting to get my call from Sophia Coppola - obviously she will want me as a creative collaborator after watching this gem.

x

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Tokyo Pad



I love Japan so far, which is pretty amazing given that my expectations were insanely high. This morning we were leaving Shinjuku station en route to our apartment for the first time and we got pretty lost. Out of nowhere a lovely man came up, offered his help and walked us way out of his way to get us on the right path. He didn't do it for a tip or any gratification apart from being nice and practicing his English for a few minutes. I'm sure that there are rude Japanese people just as there are rude people in any culture, but for the most part, the politeness here is almost overwhelming. Every time I think of our helper this morning it makes me smile.

Small kindnesses are so important. It's a good reminder.

The above clip is a little video tour I made of our flat, which is quite comfortable and actually a little larger than I was expecting. We've unpacked and Dan already has his work station set up (the work is endless right now). When we went to the rental agency this morning, they had us sign a contract, which was mostly standard things but included were two clauses that made us laugh: we are not allowed to become Yakuza (gangsters) or have them sleep over, and we are not allowed to play noisy games of Mahjong. Both reasonable requests I think!

I think we're going to like it here!

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Japan



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Sesame Street - Feist Counting Song



I watched this today with Sasha, the little 15 month old who lives in the house we're staying in while in Melbourne. Sesame Street is the best.

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Music Will Save Your Life



I've been listening to this all week. You can find more about the project, and even download the track for free here.

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Wrestler Inspired by Tori Amos


I looked out the dressing room door and saw the Japanese preliminary wrestlers taking down the ropes, beginning the process of putting the barbed wire around the ring. The wire they used was the real stuff: cold and uncaring, capable of tearing flesh in a hurry. I knew I had about 30 minutes before the wiring process was completed—a half-hour to undergo a drastic mental transformation. I took out my battered Sony Walkman and, after great deliberation, bypassed the obvious hard-rock selections. Finding solitude in a far corner of the frigid backstage area, I saw a cloud of my own breath as I pressed the play button. "Snow can wait, I forgot my mittens/ Wipe my nose, get my new boots on."
... I'm thankful for everything Tori has motivated me to do inside, and especially outside, the wrestling ring. For many years, I had thought of the fight against sexual violence as one best waged by women and survivors of assault. But then I heard that voice one night, in my beat up Chevy minivan, on my way home from some other road trip I can't recall. "When you gonna make up your mind? When you gonna love you as much as I do?"
Excerpt from The Wrestler and the Cornflake Girl: Wrestling Legend Mick Foley Explains how Tori Amos Changed His Life

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Not for the Kiddies



Some of these old cartoons are pretty scary. Big bad wolf accidentally cuts of his own head, gets into a fight with a cat who is stalking Betty Boop, the cat kills the wolf, skins it and wears its head ... Pretty warped stuff.

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Margaret Atwood Dance Party



Via We Who Are About to Die

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Fifteen Albums Meme

I have a bit of a cold and apart from reading and laying under a blanket I have some spare time today, which is my excuse for spending the better part of the last hour responding to a meme I was tagged in on Facebook. It's a pretty good one as far as memes go and has got me thinking about the various stages of musical infatuation I've gone through and what those phases represent to me.

The rules of the meme were to come up with a list of fifteen complete albums that were significant and unforgettable in some way. Not all the albums need to be 'good' or be representative to great taste, but they are the ones that stand out from the others, the ones I'll remember. My list isn't mind blowing, but I thought I would share it here, along with some accompanying Youtube videos of the songs I remember the most.

Childhood (four to seven years old)

1. The Mini Pops - Mini Pop Kids (1981)
This is one of the first albums I can remember my mom buying for me. I loved every song and it's only recently that I've been struck by how skanky those kids were dressed up and how inappropriate some of the songs were for five year olds to sing - like Tainted Love. I wanted to be a Mini Pop and for awhile whenever I would get a new album, I would speed it up to sound like the Mini Pops. Frankie was my favourite song but I couldn't find it on Youtube so I've settled for a close second, Stupid Cupid.



2. Juice Newton - Juice (1981)
For about five years Queen of Hearts was my favourite song. As I got a bit older (like seven or eight) I grew to also appreciate some of the other tracks on the album including Angel of the Morning and The Sweetest Thing. I still think of that album as classic and after ten or eleven drinks, I've been known to belt out a Newton hit or two at karaoke.



3. Michael Jackson - Thriller (1982)
This album is responsible for my realization that Santa Claus doesn't exist. For Christmas one year (I think I was five or thereabouts) my mother bought me Thriller on vinyl and Santa bought me a small child's record player. I remember asking my mother how she could have known that Santa would bring me a record player unless she was Santa. The jig was up.



I love how this video begins with a disclaimer from Jackson - then a devout Jehova's Witness - that it doesn't endorse his belief in the occult.

4. Cindy Lauper - She's So Unusual (1983)
Again, I received this around the same time I got the Mini Pops and even today I love it. Classics like Time After Time, Girls Wanna Have Fun, Money Changes Everything and She Bop. Best of all though was Cindi Lauper's whole look. Even at five or six years old I wanted to dye my hair orange and yellow and wear multi-colored crinolines.



Honourable Mentions: Live at PJs by Trinny Lopez.



Childhood (7 to 13 years old)

5. Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956, I discovered it mid-80s)
I spent summers at our cabin at Regina Beach as a child and on the drives out, my grandmother would often play this album. I rediscovered it in the early 90s when bits of it were used in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice and even today it's one of the albums stored in its entirety on my iPod.



6. Johnny Rivers - The Best of Johnny Rivers (1975, I discovered it mid-80s)
Secret Agent Man, Midnight Special and Seventh Son. Oh yes.



7. Patsy Cline - The Patsy Cline Story (1963, I discovered it late-80s)
I fell in love with Patsy Cline after seeing her bio-pic. Juice Newton, Dolly Parton and Johnny Rivers aside, I've never considered myself a big country music fan. Apart from the classics like Johnny Cash, listening to country was almost forbidden in my house so my grandmother was none too pleased when my mother bought me the Patsy Cline tape. It is a great album though - Crazy, Walking After Midnight, Blue Moon of Kentuky - and it's still one I listen to occasionally on my iPod.



8. Guns and Roses - Use Your Illusion I and II (1990)
Technically two albums and probably not the GNR one would expect on a best of list - Appetite for Destruction is the more obvious choice. When I was in grade eight I received Use Your Illusion I or II as a gift from someone who had obviously never listened to it and though it didn't really fit in with the poppy stuff enjoyed at the time, I became almost obsessed with it. This was around the same time I thought I wanted to get my belly button pierced. I bought the second volume as soon as I could and listened to both - a lot.



Honourable Mentions: Tiffany by Tiffany, Born in the USA by Bruce Springsteen, The Dirty Dancing Soundtrack, Greatest Hits by the Bangles, Hormonally Yours by Shakespeare's Sister. 



Adolescence (14 to 19 years old)

9. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1994)
Sarah McLachlan became one of my favourites throughout high school. After discovering Fumbling, I bought all of her older music and loved most of that too. I still think this is a good album though I can't say the same for the stuff she's released in the last ten years.



10. Hole - Live Through This (1994)
I loved Nirvana's Nevermind but if I had to choose between it and Live Through This, I would have to pick Hole. I am not a Courtney Love fan and have never been someone who aspired to look and act like a junky but something about the angst of this album resonated with my teenage self and it fed some deep dark part that I mostly kept hidden. I loved Olympia (Rockstar) the most.



11. Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes (1992) and Under the Pink (1994)
Yes, technically that is two albums - but I can't pick one and I can't seperate them. I still love these beautiful, sad songs. Last year I saw Tori play live in London and although she was good, it was disappointing to me because what I wanted more than anything was just her under a spotlight playing her piano. Her new stuff has a lot going on and I think she's at her best when she pares things down. My favourite song by Tori is Precious Thing and my favourite line: "Where the pretty girls are/those demi-gods/with their nine inch nails and little facist panties tucked inside the heart of every nice girl" and when Tori sang the line live, I almost cried.




Honourable Mentions: Nevermind by Nirvana,  The Very Best of Otis Redding by Otis Redding, Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morrissette, Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt.


Early Twenties

12. Ani DiFranco - Not A Pretty Girl (1995)
My early twenties were devoted to cultivating a devotion to the music of Ani DiFranco. She made me feel tough and independent when I felt overwhelmed and a bit lost.



13. Fiona Apple - Tidal  (1996)
I've been a bad, bad girl. This was very much how I felt my first few years out of highschool.



14. The Pixies - Death to the Pixies (Limited Edition Bonus Disc, 1997)
This is such a good album.



Honourable Mentions: The Reality Bites Soundtrack, X/O by Elliott Smith, You Were Here by Sarah Harmer, Everybody Else is Doing It by the Cranberries.



Post-Early Twenties

15. Arcade Fire - Funeral (2004)
This album was a gateway album to so much amazing music for me. I credit them with my love for Stars, Broken Social Scene, Neko Case and so many others. Their new album - The Suburbs - also wonderful. One of my favourite songs is Anthem for a Seventeen Year Old Girl and I don't think I would have ever found it without first finding Arcade Fire.



Honourable Mentions: Heart by Stars, You Forgot it in People by Broken Social Scene,  Fever to Tell by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Best of Etta James by Etta James, Arular by MIA, Middle Cyclone by Neko Case, Rumours by Fleetwood Mac.







Want to play? What music defined the different phases of your life? Leave a comment.

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Why Didn't We Cover this in Girl's Choir?



This may be the best thing I've ever seen. Wonder what Gail Fry and Doctor Cherland would think?

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And now on a lighter note...



Pretty good marketing gimmick.

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One Night in San Blas

I really need a new video camera - my old Flip is so grainy. Or I need to learn how to properly compress video files for Youtube. Ah well, here it is:



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New Theme Song?



"You better close your face and stay out of my way if you don't wanna go to fist city." I wouldn't mess with Loretta Lynn.

Oh, this song would have come in handy about four months ago!


(song via Tea Pots Full of Gin)

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Dan and Amy go to Tepic

My old Flip camera is rubbish and the Internet is slow here so I had to compress the heck out of it, but here is a little movie about our trip to Tepic, the capital of the Nayarit region of Mexico. We went primarily for the Walmart because San Blas doesn't have a lot of creature comforts and we realized that there are a lot of things we would need to stock up on to make it through all six weeks. The bus trip costs about $8 USD return each and takes about two hours. We've been twice and this is the time when I didn't feel like puking the entire way.

Oh, and my hair is really bad. I need a haircut. Quite seriously. Yeah, and not so good with the iMovie and not sure how to fade out music. Apart from that, it's wonderful!



Taking the bus in Mexico is an experience. People get on and off constantly with things to sell. In the case of the guy with the nuts (in the video) he came on, gave us all nuts, told us what I'm guess is a sad story about his life and then came around expecting either money or his nuts back. The last time we went to Tepic, on the way back we'd dozed off only to be awoken by buskers who got on and decided to play a rousing mariachi for twenty minutes, and not well. It was funny and a little bit embarrassing - like watching a really bad American Idol audition, two feet away and it goes on for a really long time. I wish I'd had the Flip for it.

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I'm Popular With the Mosquitoes



They've always loved me. We get a lot of them in Saskatchewan, especially in the spring, and I can remember counting one year to find that I had about 200 bites on my hands and ankles alone. Liquid Neurophen is helping quell the itch a bit, but I am feeling a little bit like Will Ferrell in the hideous film Land of the Lost; every morning I wake up with a few new bites. 

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Lemonade



Beautiful, haunting, crack-pot and creepy video for Lemonade by Cocorosie.

The first singer sounds so much like Bjork to me! Speaking of which, have you seen the house the Prime Minister of Iceland recently gifted to her? So lonesome and lovely:


Image via The Independent

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Rosanne Bar on Riot Grrrls and Feminism



Classic, funny and hell yeah!

Via Slow Motion Crawl

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Pretty Pictures - Doris Day with Rainbow Poodles

I spent a lot of time with my grandmother when I was little. Our summers were mostly spent out at a little beach cabin with no running water and no television. I credit the long hot months we spent there during my formative years for my love of reading, writing and my genuine comfort with spending time with myself.

We didn't have a television at the beach so there were no movies or sitcoms, but during the winter we made up for it with a very specific mix made up mostly of musicals, Westerns and Bruce Lee films. Doris Day (pictured above with rainbow coloured poodles) was one of my grandmother's favourites, in particularly her turn as Calamity Jane - the famous female Western gunslinger. Day's portrayal of Jane was quite different from how the character was represented in Deadwood; although I'm sure Deadwood is more accurate, I prefer to think of poor Calamity as the awkward, candy-coloured tom-boy of the classic musical. The girl with the heart of gold and the happy ending. Swoon!





Image via Whorange.

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Daily Affirmation



I'm not terribly into self-help mumbo-jumbo, but this little girl is onto something. If only we could all feel this excited and happy about our lives!

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