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She died on February 16th, 2015 from lung cancer. Goodbye, Lesley Gore. I'll miss you.
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I really, really, really dislike Neil Diamond. All his stuff just sounds to me like a long, soulful whinge, which is attractive to some people, but not me. I could handle the droning whines if it weren't for songs like Play Me, which contains the immortal words:

Song she sang to me
Song she brang to me
Words that rang in me
Rhyme that sprang from me
Warmed the night
And what was right
Became me

As far as I'm concerned, this verse illustrates just how creatively bankrupt he is. All his failings are encapsulated in the word "brang." The older I get, the less of a linguistic prescriptivist I am and the more of a laissez-faire descriptivist, but this "brang" deeply irritates me. Using apostrophes for pluralization, deploying "unique" as a synonym of unusual, saying "literally" when one means "figuratively" -- all of these grammatical solecisms that it's fashionable to rant against do not offend me to the core the way that Neil Diamond's "brang" does.

Why do I have such a problem with "brang?" Well, clearly he's not using it as part of a character's particular voice, as it's the only non-standard past participle in the song, so he's using it as a songwriter. He obviously knows the correct past participle, as he sings repeatedly in You Got to Me that "You brought me to my knees." Thus the "brang" is a fully intentional artistic choice.

I could accept "brang" as an on-purpose use if it served some sort of coherent aesthetic program, but it doesn't. It just rhymes with "sang," "rang" and "sprang." "I used it because it rhymes" can be an acceptable justification for certain vocabulary, but only if you really need that word there. This verse does not need "brang" or, indeed, the whole "Song she brang to me" line. The verse could go as follows without a problem:

Song she sang to me
Words that rang in me
Rhyme that sprang from me
Warmed the night
And what was right
Became me

This verse says the exact same thing as the version up above. The singer receives a song as a gift from a woman. It enters his soul and affects him deeply, calling forth an answering rhyme from him. He feels perfect and right in his union with her. 

Unfortunately, Neil Diamond is not taking my lyrical advice. He'd rather inflict us with "brang," which, being narratively unjustified, stands out harshly as a gratuitous mangling of an innocent past participle. He uses "brang" because he likes it and because he's so unreasonably attached to it that he can't excise it, even though its loss would improve the whole song. "I like it, and it sounds nice" is not an acceptable justification for retaining wretched prose or lyrics.

Neil Diamond is like the personification of anti-rap. Rap epitomizes a high-flying, experimental spirit of rapid-fire linguistic invention in which endless play with vocabulary, stress and meter often reveals surprising and illuminating connections between phrases and concepts. Someone with some actual talent could rap that whole verse, including "brang," and it wouldn't be a shitty invented past participle, but an echo of the ringing that touches the speaker so intimately that it changes even the most ordinary words into bell-like sounds. Sadly, however, Neil Diamond does not have that talent. His "brang" depends not on linguistic inventiveness, but on a stale, stagnant affection for a sound he couldn't let go.  
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Men Without Hats' video for Pop Goes the World mostly. Ivan Doroschuk starts out looking kinda tough with his black leather jacket, shredded leggings and stern, angular face. Then the bubble machine starts, and he begins to dance with his usual groovy abandon as the most painfully literal interpretation of the lyrics occurs. [For example, "One two three and four is five / Everybody here is a friend of mine" is accompanied by someone drawing five match marks on a chalkboard.] Furthermore, it's obvious that no one is playing the instruments they're holding. I think this video was filmed for about $100.00 Canadian, $50.00 of which went to space rental and the other $50.00 of which went to the bubble machine. I love you, Men Without Hats, and I like this song, but this is just a hilariously bad effort.
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Journey's song "Separate Ways [Worlds Apart]" came on one of Janna's Pandora stations a few days ago. A few lines caught in my head ["If he ever hurts you / True love won't desert you"], but I didn't know the source. So I banged out the words into a search engine and came up with the full set of lyrics, which I will now summarize as follows:

I'm so obsessed with you that I've been monitoring your activities since our breakup. "You'll never walk alone" -- literally. I'll be watching through my binoculars -- you and your current partner. If he ever hurts you, I'll be right there to comfort you...also to lay the hurt on him for mistreating you. In summary, I am a dangerous, deeply deluded misogynist who is very likely to kill you and your partner once I'm done wailing about how much I love you.

I would really like to believe that, like Sting's Every Breath You Take, Separate Ways is actually supposed to be a disturbing evocation of obsessive, abusive behavior, but I can find no evidence.

Gaaaaaaaaack.


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I'm deeply saddened that I find this noteworthy, but I have to say that, in my albeit limited survey of Queen's music, I have found remarkably little in the way of condescension, objectification and misogyny directed toward women in their songs. I'm still waiting in dread for the inevitable sexist stereotypes to crop up and drop my opinion of them, but so far they seem on a level with Men Without Hats. That is, they care less about slagging more than half the population and more about doing what they love: making music! 

Take, for example, Queen's Killer Queen. It's a character sketch of a rich, powerful woman who has expensive tastes and an indomitable will. After an enumeration of her expensive preferences in company and cuisine, the lyrics describe her as "Dynamite with a laser beam / Guaranteed to blow your mind / Anytime"  -- i.e., she's attractive and sexually powerful, but she doesn't threaten, piss off or annoy the speaker. He calls her "dynamite," in the sense of "highly skilled at what she does," "sexy" and "explosively awesome." He wants her to blow his mind!

Even the verse in which she's compared to a cat comes across as laudatory. While woman:cat similes tend to connote peevish competitiveness [cattiness] and sexual objectification [qua pussy cat], the simile here calls the woman "playful as a pussy cat."  The verse describes how she pursues the speaker avidly, then suddenly stops, "temporarily out of gas." The speaker recognizes that she's playing a game -- "all out to get you" -- but doesn't think she's a cocktease or playing hard to get. No, he goes along, happy to play with the woman. The song ends with an acknowledgment of the woman's irresistible effect on the speaker ["Recommended at any price"], as well as listeners ["Wanna try? / You wanna try..."]. It's very obvious that the song Killer Queen is sung as a tribute by a dude who desires, respects and perhaps even loves a woman for traits that other people would probably deride.

...People like, for example, the Rolling Stones. The Stones' analogue to Killer Queen would have to be Stupid Girl, in which the singer sketches a character similar to the Killer Queen. The woman in Stupid Girl dresses expensively, values material goods ["...she digs for gold"], pursues men aggressively ["...she grabs and holds"], etc. The singer even trots out a feline simile: "She purrs like a pussy cat / Then turns round and hisses back."  Heck, the Killer Queen and the Stupid Girl are probably the same person, just described from different points of view.

While the speaker in Killer Queen thinks that the woman is the best partner he's had, the speaker in Stupid Girl absolutely loathes the woman. It's right there in the title of the song! Finally, the comparison of the woman to "a lady-in-waiting to a virgin queen" implies that she's close to power, but actually lacking it, really just a glorified servant. Furthermore, the virginity of the queen in the simile passes by association onto the woman, connoting sexual inexperience, coldness and inaccessibility. The speaker clearly can't stand the fact that he desires this woman, so he projects all his hostility onto her and vilifies her for being interested in people other than himself. [Gee, I wonder why? He's such a catch! :p ]

In my imagination, this is how the story goes: There's a young woman -- let's say her name is Regina ;) -- born into wealth and power. She's neither particularly good nor particularly bad, neither particularly selfish nor unselfish, just a person of average character. She really enjoys her material privileges, though. She knows that her wealth and attractiveness give her a certain license, so she exploits this in her active, assertive search for romantic and sexual partners. She always has the flashiest and latest and best and most expensive of everything, and she carefully, deliberately cultivates her status as trendsetter. She holds meetings with her staff, for example, where they go over long-range ramifications of, say, choosing vegetarianism. For another example, she has a panel of people who critique every outfit she wears, looking not only for high quality, coordination, fashionability, originality and daring, but also for rip-offs, appropriation, offensiveness, copyright infringement, etc. Regina has a reputation for being somewhat mysterious and reclusive, but this is mostly because she spends so much time analyzing every more in private before she makes it in public.

Regina's work pays off. People wear what she wears, eat what she eats, travel where she travels, support the causes she supports, While not an actor or singer or model or fashion designer or hereditary titled person, Regina hangs out with all the coolest of all these groups, or, more precisely, they seem to hang out with her because they want her awesomeness by association. In short, she has become one of the most powerful people in the country. As a style icon, she has enormous influence to shape the most basic aspects of people's lives, from the contents of their closets to their moral considerations. Regina shamelessly enjoys this power.

There are two people -- let's call them Freddie and Mick ;) -- who represent the divergent opinions that the public has about Regina. Freddie recognizes Regina's achievements. He understands that people in Regina's position are neither inherently sexy nor glamorous and that Regina has carefully crafted the role of style icon for herself. He realizes that the creation and maintenance of such a status requires a lot of time, money and energy, and he's impressed by her ambition, acumen, intelligence and hard work. He notes that, while she does not have a traditionally defined profession, she has turned "style icon" into her own demanding, full-time job. And, of course, like many people, Freddie feels the effects of Regina's glamour. Her quick movement through dating/bed partners just proves to him that she's admirably lusty, playful, fun-loving, probably "dynamite" :D in the sack and exhausting to anyone she moves on from. He lusts after her; he has a huge crush on her; he thinks she's amazing and really enjoys their friends with benefits hook-ups. If anything, he has a little hero worship going on that keeps him from seeing Regina as an imperfect person, like him.

On the other hand, Mick contemns Regina as an airhead heiress who does nothing and is famous for being famous. In his eyes, she wastes her fortune on trivial tokens of femininity, like clothes and cosmetics. Her assertive pursuit of sexual and romantic partners makes him think that she's a slutty whore...and also a frigid b***h because she declined to date him after having sex one night. He hates her because she's a woman who has the temerity to be happy without him in her life. It goes without saying that Mick is, of course, a miserable, wretched excuse for a human being. :p
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Freddie Mercury and Queen doing Another One Bites the Dust. I love Freddie Mercury.  He has just such an amazing amount of irrepressible JOY in his performances. He moves with such grace and poise and control -- everything he does on stage is dancing!

Goofin' off with We Are the Champions. So caught up that he starts air guitaring with the mike stand again. ^_^
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That song always gives me chills, forever and ever, and it gives me further chills to hear Nirvana cover it. 

And here's DB himself, covering it acoustically, probably during the Earthling years [aka The Time of the Nasty Nasty Soul Spot].



He covered it live at the Beeb a few years later in 2000 [the Neo-Scrawny Years] with that unforgettable Bowie smile.
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I've been listening to Classic Queen on heavy rotation for the past few days. After grossing out about my favorite songs with stalking in them, I am pleased to note that, at least on this album, Queen avoids that trope. In fact, their lyrics even bend the gendered norms in some cases, describing romantic experiences of one gender in terms usually reserved for another.

Example 1: One Year of Love. The singer says, "It's always a rainy day without you / I'm a prisoner of love inside you / I'm falling apart all around you / And all I can do is surrender to your love." Assuming that this is a man singing to a woman [hooray for heteronormativity -_- ], this is very unusual language for the masculine narrator. The typical masculine experience of love involves pursuit, penetration and conquering. The singer, however, describes imprisonment, dissolution and submission -- traits much more commonly associated with the feminine experience of love.

Example 2: Tie Your Mother Down. At the end of the song, after urging the listener to get her family members out of the way so that she and the singer can screw, the singer says, "Give me all your love tonight / Give me every inch of your love." In the vast majority of rock songs sung by dudes, if there's "love" with any dimensions associated, it just means "penis." [See Not Fade Away by Buddy Holly: "My love's penis is bigger than a Cadillac / I try to show it, but you drive me back." Just stop stalking her already!] Therefore the attribution of a quantified love to the singer's [presumed female], is unusual. The feminine action of loving is described in more masculine terms. I have no grand conclusion, especially not based on these two examples, but they sure make me like Queen even more!
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I realize that a bunch of songs by my favorite artists are about stalking. For example, Love Is Strong by the Rolling Stones. "A glimpse of you / Is all it took / A stranger's glance / It got me hooked..." Mick Jagger sings, then detailing how he follows the woman for vast distances. For another example, Hungry Like the Wolf by Duran Duran. "Burn through the ground / Break from the crowd / I'm on the hunt; I'm after you..." Duran Duran sings. In the second example, the man is literally chasing the woman, trying to run her down. She's trying to escape, probably in fear for her life, if not her safety, and it's a poppy, upbeat New Wave hit!

Stalking songs disturb me differently than domestic violence songs [e.g., the Rolling Stones' Under My Thumb or There She Goes by the Velvet Underground]. In the domestic violence songs I listen to, the abuse is framed as part of a dysfunctional relationship. Somehow this lets me critique it more effectively. In stalking songs, though, the abuse appears as an acceptable behavior in the context of a two-way, loving relationship. This is false on two counts because a) it's an unacceptable behavior in any context and b) there's no two-way, much less loving, relationship in the stalking songs. It's an entirely imaginary relationship based on misogynist objectification. The singers of stalking songs seem so wrapped up in their own little worlds that they are more impervious to critique.
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...with flame fringe on the kirtle sleeves and bellbottoms, not to mention the neckline that plunges somewhere into the region of the crotch. That certain type of person is Freddie Mercury.

On the other hand, if you're looking for someone to wear a striped vinyl jumpsuit with integrated platform shoes and a similar neckline, you're looking for David Bowie.

And if you're looking for someone whose idea of smashing constitutes a purple Rococo pompadour, a feathered ruff, skin-tight pants and thigh-high ballet boots, just hang in there -- I'm rendering him tonight. :p 
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Now watching Queen's Legendary concert from 1975, I see Freddie Mercury playing air guitar with his mike stand, just like he was 10 years later, during Live Aid. Even rock stars can't resist the power of the air guitar 'cause it's so damn cool! :D

Fabulous costumes!!!!!!!!
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While watching the music video for We Will Rock You, I can't help but notice the difference between Freddie Mercury's moves and those of the rest of the band. Though the guitarist does get his groove on during the solo at the end, most of the band just stand there stiffly, moving no more than necessary. Meanwhile Freddie Mercury is performing in inimitable Freddie Mercury fashion.

I was going to compare him to my usual referents -- you know, Ivan Doroschuk, Mick Jagger, Tim Curry -- but I really can't because he's in a league of his own. Ivan Doroschuk moves, but he does more flailing and bouncing. Mick Jagger and Tim Curry make faces, but I don't think of them as so completely self-possessed as Freddie Mercury. He demonstrates absolute control in every expression and motion of his limbs: a combination of fluid precision and sheer joy of motion.  Kind of like Shirley Bassey or Lesley Gore. And his voice is incredible. The more I think about it, the more apt a comparison is between Freddie Mercury and Shirley Bassey -- both fabulous performers with stunningly powerful voices and charismatic stage presences whose love for what they do so clearly shines through in every word they sing.
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Queer interpretation of Gotye's Somebody That I Used to Know. The facial expressions and acting make it all clear here -- person 1 is a whiny, self-entitled creep, and person 2 is liberated upon ridding their life of them.

Solo interpretation of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody...with bonus translation in notes. Performer's facial expressions and body language during guitar solos show how much fun he's having!

Both of these translations illustrate how putting a song into a different language change, transfigure and enhance it.
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...and goes, "Hah hah, see ya 'round, suckaaaaaaaahs!" C'est a dire que, at the end of the 1.5-hour season finale, the arrangement looks something like this:
  • Abby's in purgatory.
  • Ichabod's in a coffin.
  • Katrina's in the Headless Horseman's possession.
  • Irving's in police custody.
  • Jenny's in a car wreck.
  • Andy's in the remains of Washington's real tomb.
  • The Horseman of War is in the world.
  • Mick Jagger is in the last 50 seconds of the episode. 
And we have resolved precisely nothing while setting up the second season in a most tantalizing fashion.

This show has really grown on me since the first episode or two. It has the escalating weirdness of Haven, in which the supernatural freakery surrounding a single town ends up piling deeper and threatening the very fabric of reality. But it's much better than Haven because Abby has a family in the form of Jenny and female allies in the form of Jenny and Katrina as well. It's also playfully self-aware and silly, which makes it more enjoyable to watch.

Regarding the presence of Mick Jagger in the tail end of the ep, I refer of course to a clip from Sympathy for the Devil, which has always been one of my favorite songs. I personally have memorized the damn thing in several different versions and let it strongly inflect my narrative imagination, so, because of my unreasoning affection for it, it looms large in my consciousness. I always knew that, as an iconic tune by the Stones, it has also infiltrated the popular consciousness to a certain degree. However, I didn't realize how widely known it was until Sleepy Hollow closed out the last ep of season 1 with the first two lines from the song:

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste


Though there's nothing in them to suggest that a diabolical autobiography ensues, these lines, of course, introduce a first-person retrospective by the Devil on all the chaos and cruelty he has caused throughout history. The showrunners thus depend on the viewers' familiarity with the song to make the connection between it and Sleepy Hollow, a TV show about protagonists trying to prevent Hell on Earth. I never knew that Sympathy for the Devil was such a part of modern ambient cultural knowledge that two lines from it -- neither of which mention sympathy or the Devil -- would be sufficient to evoke a realm of gloating catastrophe perfect for the cliffhanger end of Sleepy Hollow.

In other news, Mick Jagger claims that Sympathy for Devil has its origins partly in the poetry of Charles Baudelaire, who is apparently leaving his fingerprints all over my life. Wikipedia, the infallible source of all, says:

In a 1995 interview with Rolling Stone, Jagger said, "I think that was taken from an old idea of Baudelaire's, I think, but I could be wrong. Sometimes when I look at my Baudelaire books, I can't see it in there. But it was an idea I got from French writing. And I just took a couple of lines and expanded on it. I wrote it as sort of like a Bob Dylan song."

Maybe he's thinking of Les Litanies de Satan?


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I've been thinking that Boys Keep Swinging [discussed previously in relation to how much I was salivating over David Bowie] is obviously about butches cruising for femmes. It just makes so much sense! Butch power!!

When you're a butch
You can wear a uniform
When you're a butch
Other butches check you out
You get a girl
These are your favorite things
When you're a butch


I think this music video needs to be redone with a femme lead vocalist and butch backup singers. How awesome would that be?

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That's what I like in this Boys Keep Swinging [David Bowie] music video. Posture, gait, the size and shape of gestures -- all these little details develop different personalities.

I wish I could make my dolls move differently, but they don't move. Guess they'll just have to stand and sit and be still differently, which they do. Examples abound in the latest survey of small populations, where especially those in the "dolls who bug me" and "Zombieville" categories evince their personalities through their posture.

Judging from their body language, an inordinate number of my dolls appear to think that they're fabulous: Anneka, Frank 1:6, Jareth 1:6, Will, Jareth regular, Peekaboo, Lucian, Béatrice, Isabel, AJ regular. Out of all the postures in the "all my dolls" series, I most like Janvier Jett's [because she looks like she's about to speaek], Jareth's [because he looks like he's up to something, which he always is], Sardonix' [because she just looks so completely unimpressed with anyone's bullshit], Dillon [because he's just chillin' casually] and Steampink AJ's [because she just looks so serenely superior].

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David Bowie, almost certainly somewhere in the 1970s, possibly in concert?

EDIT: Google Image Search identifies this picture as him on the set of the Boys Keep Swinging video, 1979. 
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 ...androgynous dude with black leather, studs, whip and heavy eyeliner, not to mention killer balletic dance moves. Sexy, maybe, but not bad.

P.S. Yes, we all see your crotch. It's kind of impossible NOT to in those pants.

P.P.S. How did I not see this video of yours until now?

[goes to watch Thriller]
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I thought it just ended up sounding gay. But no, it's gay. [The bit about coming out of the closet should have tipped me off. :p] It's from the La Cage aux Folles musical, which is about gay dudes, and it happens to have been written by a gay dude. It turned even gayer when Gloria Gaynor did a single of it.

P.S. How awesome [+ hot] is Gloria Gaynor?!
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She has such a strong voice, relishing every word she hurls forth. I love that rich underlining that her voice gets when she draws out words. She has such a strong, solid, expressive body, made for propelling out song. I love her self-consciously hammy, dramatic little gestures when she sings, as in this 1974 rendition of Goldfinger ["Goooooooooooooooooldfingaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"]. She also has a marvelous sense of humor; look at her glee as she combines sex appeal and playfulness when singing Big Spender in 2001! Like Leslie Gore, she enjoys herself so much when she sings. You can tell that she's working hard, but loving every minute of it.

I don't think I could stand it if Lesley Gore and Shirley Bassey did a duet. I think my ears would explode from the combined power and sexiness of their voices.

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She makes me actually like the song. I always thought that the lyrics were, "I'm coming out, so you'd better get this party started." 

The mist, masks and mirrors are making me think that someone needs to mash this cover up with images from the ballroom scene in Labyrinth.
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I have developed a HUGE crush on Lesley Gore. I could watch her sing all day, even if it's heteronormative bullshit. She sings with such power and force, propelling the words out from inside her with irresistible potency. That voice could knock down walls. She's amazing!
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Here's Lesley Gore doing You Don't Own Me in 1989 with the same expressive passion that she imbued the performance I recently mentioned. I love the way she bounces on her toes, as if the force of her voice is going to sweep her off her feet. She looks so grounded and so powerful.
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This video of Lesley Gore, most likely around 17 or 18, singing You Don't Own Me live, fascinates me. She sings with such joy and passion and expressiveness; she clearly loves to sing! Plus she's hot; I love her baggy eyes and her long straight nose and her rectangular face and those amazing flickery eyebrows. It also doesn't hurt that she's one of us. :D
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Pandora thinks they are. I always thought they were Brit punk. Maybe they're New Wave Brit punk? 

EDIT: And the Ramones? My definition of New Wave must differ from theirs.
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I've been holding onto it for all these years, when all I really want is the track listing and order, so here it is:

Side A
  1. These Are Days by 10,000 Maniacs
  2. A Case of You by Joni Mitchell
  3. Naked Eye by Luscious Jackson
  4. Walk This World by Heather Nova
  5. Dolphin by Poe
  6. More by Tara MacLean
  7. Five String Serenade by Mazzy Star
  8. Chelsea Morning by Joni Mitchell
  9. Fast Car by Tracy Chapman
  10. Airplane by the Indigo Girls
  11. Tennessee by Arrested Development

Side B
  1. I Will Remember You by Sarah McLachlan
  2. Deadman's Hill by the Indigo Girls
  3. I Will Not Forget You by Sarah McLachlan
  4. Natural by Arrested Development
  5. Circle Dream by 10,000 Maniacs
  6. Walking Higher by Heather Nova
  7. Ghost by the Indigo Girls
  8. Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell
  9. Truth and Bone by Heather Nova
  10. For You by Tara MacLean



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Mose Allison's My Brain is my current favorite song, which I've been hearing regularly on Jazz 24. Here's an article about Allison's continuing status as a living jazz legend, even past the age of 83, which is when he wrote My Brain. And here's a studio recording. Lyrics are in the top comment by High Northerner. Here's a live version. It's all the sharper for being sung by a man near the end of his life. If Zombieville had an official song, this would be it: a gallows humor celebration of life.

WTF, U2?

Sep. 17th, 2012 09:58 am
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You're nice to listen to on occasion, despite your sick views of heterosexual love, but sometimes I really don't get you. For example, in So Cruel, you sing:

Oh love, like a screaming flower
Love, dying every hour


Seriously? What does that even mean? I assume you're talking about Bob the Angry Flower, but that really doesn't make much sense.

...Oh. I get it. You just wanted something to rhyme with "hour," didn't you?

>_>

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Jareth's body [with non-Jareth head attached] and shoes arrived today from Mint on Card! By the time I collected Cyril [the name of the head] from the office, deboxed him and shoved him in some of Jareth's clothes, it was too dark to take pictures, so I'll provide some tomorrow.

In the interim, I have a few comments.

1) Doll Chateau's adult male bodies are freakin' scrawny. The limb circumferences, hands and feet are more in line with the proportions of a ~45cm "mature mini," or 1:4 scale BJD. The arms and legs look especially delicate, so I'm taking extra care when bending them. The DC adult male body looks stunning and also kind of ridiculous when naked, while the addition of clothing changes its bulk to that of an appealing gauntness.

2) Cyril [so named because he's currently a full doll] is strung a little tightly, but keeps all his limbs straight, without any snapping into hunched, praying mantis positions. The wrists and ankles flex and lock at a variety of angles, while the head has a nice range of movement up, down and to either side. I hope Jareth's head moves equally well on this body!

3) Bastard demands more shoes. The ones I got with Cyril, unlike most BJD boots, DO NOT zip up the back. Therefore I must rely on the stretch in the vinyl to accommodate his feet. When trying to tug the boots on over Jareth's socks + pants, I encountered a lot of resistance. I don't want to tug too hard and chip one of his delicate limbs, so I'm saving these boots for use over just, say, fishnets and springing for some with zippers from Alice's Collections after all.

4) Cyril's a beautiful sculpt. He's got a narrow face, a long and prominent nose, a wide mouth. Mint on Card threw in some nice silver eyes for him that really add to his air of Ultimate Bishounen. He kinda reminds me of Ivan Doroschuk.... <3 <3 Too bad he's going away.
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Some time ago, I created a Youtube playlist based on a concert DVD of Men Without Hats entitled Live Hats, and I love it. In concert, Men Without Hats sound less poppy and harsher, more experimental. Unfortunately, I don't know of any concert recordings of Men Without Hats, with the exception of Live Hats, which is only available on DVD, not CD, hence my constant resort to this playlist. Whenever I need some background music, I just cue this playlist up, and it automatically makes me happy. ^_^

P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU IVAN DOROSCHUK!!!!
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Known online for being the Trololo Man, Russian singer Eduard Khil died yesterday. I didn't know about his iconic video until recently, which is too bad because, every time I see it, it makes me smile. Even though he's singing nonsense syllables instead of censored lyrics, Khil just looks so damn ebullient and joyful. How can you resist that?
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Exactly what it says on the tin. Zooooom zoooom zoooom weeee-ooooooooo! [Insert TARDIS noises here.]
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This video, set to a Proclaimers song, just makes me so happy to see how much fun the cast and crew of David Tennant's Dr. Who run are having! Look at David Tennant's expressions when the Proclaimers themselves come on!
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An extended pun, done to death, then revived and driven to death repeatedly. A zombie pun! More from Da Vinci's Notebook.
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...Brought to you by DaVinci's Notebook's The Title of the Song. Favorite line: "Drop to my knees to elicit crowd response." The same group also has in their repertoire a host of other humorous a cappella songs.

Also in the same vein is Britanick's Trailer for Every Oscar-Winning Film Ever. The accuracy of the parody is marred by useless ableism ["Said retard is now in your custody"]. Phooey. Why does otherwise good humor have to be so corrupted?
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As part of the 1982 program Faerie Tale Theater, Mick Jagger [yes, that Mick Jagger] starred in an episode entitled The Nightingale, in which he donned fingernail extensions, a fake ponytail, heavy eyeshadow and general yellowface in order to play "the emperor of all Cathay." Ever since I heard of its existence at least 20 years ago, I've been wanting to see this ep just because the conjunction of Mick Jagger + Faerie Tale Theater seems incongruously silly. After 10 minutes of viewing, I can report that Mick Jagger as the emperor is indeed incongruously silly, and the whole setting comes across as a load of exoticized, racist, pseudo-Chinese, stereotypical shit. My curiosity of over 20 years has been satisfied, and I'm disappointed.
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Watch a real video of a mechanical doll with a real face watching a video of fake faces and yearning after the fake reality on the real screen with true desire. It reminds me of the scene in MirrorMask when Helena gets literally all dolled up by the clockwork music box mannequins.
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Watched some parts of L just now and came to the conclusion that the songs detract from the stated goal of a children's didactic fantasy film. More specifically, David Bowie detracts from the stated goal of a children's didactic fantasy film. As a rock superstar, he required superstar-sized billing in the film, skewing the film away from the simpler morality tale of Sarah learning altruism through rescuing her brother from the clutches of Immature Childish Fantasy. Read more... )
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Pay attention to the Clash City Rockers in case you need a little jump of electrical shockers:

You see the rate they come down the escalator
Now listen to the tube train accelerator
Then you realise that you got to have a purpose
Or this place is gonna knock you out sooner or later

So don't complain about your useless employment
Jack it in forever tonight
Or shut your mouth and pretend you enjoy it
Think of all the money you've got

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Someone remixed Christian Bale's shit-flipping on the director of photography for Terminator 4, and I've been listening to it a bit over the past few days. The remix brings out the repetitive, whiny, self-important nature of his bloviation and substitutes for an inner monolog when something annoys me.

Did you almost fall on the ice this morning? Play this.

Did you not get the job you wanted? Play this.

Did the post office temporarily misplace your $280.00 doll from Australia? Play this.

Do you have to review a self-insertion wank-off in 350 words or less? Play this.

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I can't find video of Richard O'Brien's Dammit Janet [Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975], but I found Billy Idol's White Wedding (1982). All the weirdos in the church, plus the juxtaposition of coffins and marriage, made me think of Dammit Janet. Billy Idol does an interesting job of fusing both the Brad and the Frank characters in this video...mostly Frank, given the vamping. It is also possible that he is a vampire, although I may be anachronistically projecting from a certain vampiric character [Spike in BTVS] that clearly ripped off his look.

...Wow, Billy Idol remade Mony Mony? All I've heard is the original. Maybe I need to investigate his sneer hair washboard abs music some more.

Today's New Wave comments: Dancing With Myself is about masturbation. Safety Dance, besides being about safe sex, is the least interesting Men Without Hats song ever. In comparison to the rest of their thoughtful, poppy, odd oeuvre, it's dull and predictable.



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I liked Mylene Farmer's music before I saw her music videos, but now, having seen a few vids, I like her more. In this music vid, Live a Bercy, she sings Sans Contrefacon to hordes of rythmically waving, singing-along groupies. Well, I think she's singing. Given her sinuous dancing, she could be lip-synching. She radiates a great amount of energy, charisma and simple joy to be performing. At the end, when she is singing out to the audience, who answers her, I think she's laughing; she appears to be elated.

Also I like the back-up dancers.

Click below for lyrics to a defiant genderfucking song!

Fuck gender here. )

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Above and beyond his ebullient, hard-pumping, catchy synth aesthetic, balanced with equal parts fantastical optimism and wistful melancholy aslant:

1. He plays air guitar at his own concerts.

2. He plays air drums at his own concerts.

3. He headbangs at his own concerts.

4. He jumps around in circles at his own concerts.

5. He incorporates these weird noises -- "Wha hoo hah hoo haaa!" -- into his lyrics, as if to indicate that the music is so kickin' rad that it renders him wordless.

6. His style of "dancing" involves lots of fist-pumping, wrist-twirling, spinning in circles and hopping.

7. He never lets his complete lack of kinesthetic talent get in the way of his bodily transmission of the super awesomeness and hip-unscrewing abandon of his music. He doesn't just sing and/or play the music; he becomes it.

8. He is a complete dork, and he doesn't care.

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Even better now that I have discovered that RealPlayer has a feature allowing users to download videos, through which I am attempting to download the many mini-vids on YouTube of each song on the Live Hats DVD, my favorite Men Without Hats album. Then I will try to get them on a CD or DVD [I really just want the music, as much as I love Ivan's jumping around] and put them on my hard drive.
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H2 Creative is I think where Will's head originally came from. I think he's HH042. If so, then this is my reaction: right here.
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Not only is Ivan Doroschuk hot, energetic and smirky, with a shuddersomely wonderful voice, but he's also...GASP...a feminist! Hey Men kind of blows my mind, being as it is a song about respecting women and children and, for men, embracing a wider, more compassionate definition of masculinity. No wonder this song never made any hit lists.

EDIT: This just in. Ivan Doroschuk is also a great big geek. He has been known to jump around in circles singing ["Tell me tell me tell me where do the boys go?!"] regularly and play air guitar at his own shows.

EDIT EDIT: I'm gonna have to buy the Live Hats concert DVD and somehow get the music off it. Here's another awesome tune -- Security -- about being haunted by one's confidence. And here's the creepy original, apparently not available on CD anywhere.

EDIT EDIT EDIT: If I made a 1:6 Ivan Doroschuk, it would fail to capture his appeal because much of his magnetism comes from the sheer abandon with which he flings himself about in spasmodic blitheness.

modernwizard: (Default)
...a time when Web sites were characterized by multicolor walls of cheerfully misspelled text, uselessly animated buttons, blinking banner links, spasmodic mouseover animations and obscure Web rings! Case in point: Men Without Hats' site. Despite the simplistic design, I actually love this site. It was clearly made without a designer [or any sense of design principles] by the hatless dudes themselves, who are just bubbling over with an infectious enthusiasm for the music. That's one of the things I love best about this band: From their music videos and concert vids, it's obvious that they're having so much fun, grinning and singing and flailing wildly.

Anyway, from what I can unearth, Men Without Hats has a NEW ALBUM OUT, No Hats Beyond This Point, marking a return to their synth pop roots after a few decades away. I'm going to get it when I'm not hemorrhaging money in the direction of dolls and doll supplies.

Please excuse me. I need to drool over Ivan Doroschuk listen to more MWH music vids now.

EDIT: Okay, it's not new. It came out in 2004. Well, it's new to me.

modernwizard: (Default)
His voice gives me chills; also, he manages to look like he's glowering and having fun at the same time.

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