Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Sun 22 Feb 2009 5:00 pm   //   Posted in: Music, Videos

A devastating commentary on higher education

Video: “I Love College” by Asher Roth.

Wow. This guy must have spent some time at a Big State University. I’m pleased to see the red plastic Solo cup hasn’t gone out of style.

Sun 21 Dec 2008 2:39 pm   //   Posted in: Movies, Music

The most offensive holiday movie

One of my favorite ways to celebrate the season is to attend the New York Pops holiday concerts at Carnegie Hall. Last night’s show ended with a sing-along to the song “White Christmas,” a thousand voices filling the concert hall with that familiar and peaceful tune. It was the perfect antidote to Scrooge-ism.

We rode the subway back home, lit up the tree, and surfed around for a Christmas movie to play. Sydney suggested “White Christmas,” but iTunes didn’t have it for rental and Netflix didn’t have it streaming. So I found “Holiday Inn,” the 1942 movie in which the song “White Christmas” first appeared, on Netflix. We hit play and sat back on the couch to watch.

“Holiday Inn” is a vehicle for the talents of Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire: A bunch of song-and-dance numbers with some screwball comedy linking them together. Irving Berlin, of course, wrote the music. The movie features a different song for each holiday of the year, and the “White Christmas” scene – the first time audiences ever heard this song, in the middle of a terrible war – is still moving.

But later, the movie gets to a number so awful, it’s unbelievable. The characters put on a show celebrating Abraham Lincoln’s birthday… (more…)

Mon 1 Dec 2008 7:25 am   //   Posted in: Music


A highlight from the holiday weekend was seeing They Might Be Giants perform their entire Flood album at the 9:30 Club in D.C. Friday. (“It’s a brand new record! For 1990!”)

Here’s the thing about rock concerts: They aren’t very much fun. Concert venues treat fans like cattle. The lines are long, the tickets expensive, the beer warm. Usually you have to stand up for three straight hours. Depending on the crowd, there’s probably somebody right in front of you who is so annoying they distract from the rest of the show. It’s hard to see the stage. Occasionally the volume is painfully loud, or there’s a light shining in your eyes. Bathrooms are a disaster. Parking is a joke.

But when you leave, you forget about these things. You remember the music. And the friends you were with. And the rocking out. And how fantastic it was to watch a band play that song that you’ve listened to 65 times on your iPod.

Wed 29 Oct 2008 5:07 pm   //   Posted in: It's a trap!, Music

Wilco are the good guys

I am on the e-mail newsletter list for the band Wilco. Today I got a message that included this “CONSUMER ALERT”:

“Without consulting us, the DVD company (not WB/Nonesuch) that released “I am trying to break your heart” is about to issue a Blu-Ray Edition which, no surprise, costs considerably more (nearly 2x) than the standard DVD. We’re unsure as to the rationale for the release, given that the film was shot in beautiful grainy B&W and has a stereo-only audio track… there is, in our opinion, not much to be gained by spending the extra cash. It’s your money… and in this case you should probably hang onto it.”

Wed 22 Oct 2008 9:00 am   //   Posted in: Music

Elton John is not a good songwriter

Exhibit A: “If I was a sculptor. But then again, no.”

Exhibit B: “Mars ain’t the kind of place to raise your kids. In fact, it’s cold as hell. And there’s no one around to raise them if you did.”

Exhibit C: “The years went by and the rock just died. Suzie went and left us for some foreign guy.”

A good singer, yes. A good performer, unquestionably. Songwriting? Iffy.

Mon 13 Oct 2008 9:28 pm   //   Posted in: Music, Videos

The corner of Ludlow and Sesame

Apropos of nothing, here’s a music video featuring a puppet behaving badly:

The song is “Sugarbaby” by Morningwood. (Direct link.)

Tue 30 Sep 2008 11:28 pm   //   Posted in: Art, Music, Technology

Three cool Internet things I was late discovering

History Eraser Button: Bringing you the things everyone was blogging about several months ago — today!

  1. Pandora Internet radio
  2. Cooliris
  3. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Tue 26 Aug 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Music

I want fruit, I need fruit, I love fruit

Back in Boy Scouts, my friend Patrick would amuse everyone by singing popular songs with different lyrics. He could improve almost any song by replacing the word “you” with “fruit.” Three examples:

“Take my hand
Take my whole life too
For I can’t help
Falling in love with fruit.”

“I’m the one who wants to be with fruit.
Deep inside I hope fruit feels it too.
Waited on a line of greens and blues
Just to be the next to be with fruit.”

“I’ve searched the whole world over
to find a heart so true.
Such complete intoxication.
I’m high on fruit!”

Tue 19 Aug 2008 8:24 pm   //   Posted in: Art, Music

Two things you’re going to love!

Dear blog readers, nothing makes me happier than sharing with you something cool I know you’re going to love – especially something you can enjoy free.

First, you’re going to love the new David Byrne & Brian Eno album “Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.” You can stream the whole thing online. Play it now, before it’s playing in every single coffee shop.

Second, you’re going to love this Donald Miralle photograph from the Olympics. An instant classic.

Tue 12 Aug 2008 8:00 am   //   Posted in: Mixes, Music

6 songs that have improved since the 80s

These songs were totally cheeseball on Lite FM radio in the 80s. But for reasons unclear, they now sound pretty great. Time has been good to this music. Or I’m turning into my parents.

  1. John Parr – “St. Elmos Fire (Man in Motion)”
  2. Howard Jones – “No One is to Blame”
  3. When in Rome – “The Promise”
  4. Corey Hart – “Never Surrender”
  5. Mike and the Mechanics – “All I Need is a Miracle”
  6. Steve Winwood – “Higher Love”