greatbear: (building face)
What would happen if a Danish chamber orchestra were to encounter red hot chili peppers? Not the funky rock band, but the actual peppers?


And, yes, the bearded fella conducting is really named Chili Claus. I have to say, the musicians kept it pretty much together despite eating some of the hottest peppers in the world. After finishing the piece, though, their reaction is pretty much the same as mine after watching the recent election results.
greatbear: (jeff and me)
Jeff and I met 14 years ago on October 23, 2000. That was yesterday (Thursday). Until we got married, Oct. 23 was our "unofficial official" anniversary date, one we'd always celebrate with a dinner out. While our marriage date has become the "official" anniversary, we will continue to celebrate both days. Why? Well, because it's fun and nice and we get to have a special dinner in unusual places and we can get all sappy and lovey and just plain be happy. So, as has been our tradition all these years, we went out for dinner, trying to pick some place where we never had been before. As it turns out, we didn't have to travel more than about a mile from the the house to a restaurant that opened a couple years ago but one we had not explored yet, saving it for, well, a special occasion. Funny how that turned out. This new place, Sushi Tendou, turned out to be a delightful little Japanese steakhouse. The menu was packed with selections, and we were settling on some interesting things we never had before. Now, I'm not sure exactly why this happened, perhaps being a stone's throw from La Casa Mayhem, or the way that strange things seem to happen to me, but the system they have playing new age-y styled Oriental-tinged music begins playing a song very familiar to me, but one I had not heard in many years, "Midnight in Moscow," also known as "Moscow Nights." Why a Japanese steakhouse would begin playing a very Russian song in a light new age style is beyond me, and it took me a few seconds for the minor keys to register in my brain. Once that happened... I lost it.

This was my Mom's favorite song.

A little bit of history is needed. In the mid-1950s, Mom was settling into her life as an American citizen, having left stateside Army duty as a WAC during the Korean war, and starting to build a domestic life that eventually settled in Maryland not far from where I am today. She got married, Mom and Dad moving into a new home yet still remaining connected to the Army at nearby Ft. Meade. She had come a long way from her early life that began in Kiev, Russia. Around this time "Moscow Nights" was written, being initially penned in 1955 then reworked a bit to become what it is to this day. In 1956 the song was recorded for use in a documentary movie. The movie didn't get very far, but the song became unexpectedly popular. The song won an international song contest, and became popular worldwide, especially, oddly, in mainland China as well. My mother had become more than a tad homesick, as you would imagine, by the time she was settling down. Via shortwave radio, she heard the song first via Radio Moscow. A few years later, this undeniably Russian song was recorded by, of all things, a British jazz group called Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, which had a U.S. hit that peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 right about the time I was born. So now this Russian song that made a circuitous trip from Mom's homeland and eventually finding it's way to our shores as a New Orleans-style jazz makeover, became permanently attached to me as well. In 1966, when she figured I was old enough to travel, Mom and I made our way back to Mother Russia, where I was shown off to her family. I actually remember quite a bit from back then. I was very big and strong for my age, and when Mom's mother asked what she was feeding me, she told her I ate a lot of oatmeal. It was then that I was introduced to Russian oatmeal. I think it was more like oats they fed to horses. Blecch! It was also the time I was introduced to Mom's old friend Alyosha, who worked with electronics and I believe was an aerospace engineer. He also spoke English and he and I hit it off immediately. He saw my very early precociousness with mechanical and electrical things, as well as my extreme interest with things that fly. He and I made several forms of paper airplanes, flying whirlygigs and other fluttering, twisting and soaring bits made from paper. By several, I mean lots. Hundreds, maybe more. We tried different things and tossed them from the window of Alyosha's high-up apartment. I don't know how many things were "designed" and flown from that window. but the street below looked like a parade had gone by. Paper littered the area like autumn leaves. Somewhere in La Casa is a Russian kid's book that I used to be able to read quite well from back in those days, though now I can only at best fake a Russian accent. More importantly, inside that book is a paper airplane that Alyosha made for me. Alyosha and I had a lot of fun. Much more importantly, he worked with me using some of his electronic and electrical bits he had at home. He convinced Mom that I had a natural talent for this sort of thing, to the point where he was practically astounded. He urged Mom to have me pursue these interests as my vocation. It was then she realized I was not taking my toys apart just to be destructive, but I was using the parts to make my own versions of my toys. I have vague memories of a lot of things Mom and I did on that trip, which took us not only to Russia, but had stopovers in Prague, London and I believe France. I got lots of interesting toys that may have strained Mom's meager wages, the one thing I remember well was a die-cast model of James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from Thunderball, which was equipped with all the awesome gadgetry as the one in the film. I wish I still had it (it'd be worth a mint if mint), it was lost or stolen soon after I had gotten back home. Mom's beloved takeaway from the trip was a 78rpm recording of the original version of "Подмосковные вечера (Moscow Nights)" on the Russian state label Μелодия (Melodiya). That record remains safely ensconced in the record collections here. My life took a turn for the better on that trip, and upon coming back to the states, we began visiting hobby stores, and it was that time I discovered Radio Shack. That, dear readers, was my heaven. As things turned out, a seemingly agonizingly long 16 years later, I took an electronic engineering and test job which was involved in the building of fighter jets and radar systems. Funny that, from paper airplanes and little electrical and mechanical experiments to this. And from Russia with love, apparently.

Fast forward to last Thursday once again. Jeff was suddenly confronted with me doing a total 180 from our happy perusal of dozens of sushi and seafood items to me having a complete breakdown in less than five seconds. It took me a while to regain enough composure to tell him why and to ease his worried look. I was being bombarded with memories too fast to sort them all out, but I began rambling with stories from my deep past. I managed to gather myself up enough to give my order to the now somewhat concerned waitress then sat there awash in pleasant memories. Jeff said it was Mom's way of joining us for our special night. He's right, I suppose, and what better way to make an entrance. We had a very enjoyable meal, and added the little restaurant to our must-go-again-especially-with-friends list. And if the initial shock and aawww from hearing the song didn't make me feel there was something more to this special night, hearing it being played once again(!) just before we were finishing up kinda made it clear.

Happy Anniversary, Jeff.

Hear the music )

Pink tears

Feb. 24th, 2014 09:41 pm
greatbear: (half awake)
Why is it I can hear a song a million times, have minimal reactions to it for the most part, but suddenly have it hit me like a ton of bricks on a speeding train falling off a bridge? It happened today, and the song was Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." Mind you, I've had the album since it came out in 1975. I used to play the guitar parts by recording myself on tape then following along the same way the song does at the intro, singing in my terrible voice all the way through. I know all the words. I know the meaning, which is basically missing someone or feelings of loss, as Roger Waters wrote as he and the rest of the Floyds lamenting the departure of band-mate Syd Barrett due to increasing mental breakdowns. Yet here I was, being domestic during the day and taking the opportunity to give a high-dB listening to my recently purchased Wish You Were Here Immersion box set. I had the 2009 5.1-channel mix playing while I did various tasks and cleaned the living room. When the subject song came on in full surround splendor, as "Have a Cigar" sucked itself into tinny nothingness and into the opening segment with the radio being tuned among the static, until the now famous guitar lines are found was coming from the back surround speakers, with the harmonizing "lead" feeling as if it was in the middle of the front of the room. I dropped what I was doing and sat on the Swiss exercise ball I use for my back rehab. And I sat there dumbstruck at first, slightly swaying by the all-so-familiar lyrics.

I then began bawling my eyes out.

I thought of how I lost Mom, and how I lost so many good friends over the years, even my long-gone pets. This entirely too familiar piece of music, albeit one of my favorites, took on a new life and feeling as it swept me into a totally not unpleasant trip through my thoughts. Even Snickles, who was playful and carrying on not a moment before, sat for a moment watching me staring blankly into the room with tear-filled eyes before standing between my knees and gripping my one leg in a kind of hug with his head tight in my lap for the rest of the song. He's never done that before. It might've been a painful five-and-a-half minutes in some ways, but it was wonderfully cathartic, completely unexpected and it left me with a warm, comfortable feeling for the remainder of the day. Jeff came home and I played some of the other tracks from the set, including the original quadraphonic mix not heard since it was originally released on Quad LP and 8-track. Even Jeff didn't mind the half-kilowatt plus of amplified goodness while he was making dinner. He usually tells me to turn the music down when he gets home after a long day at work. For Jeff, it was a chance for him to relive a wonderfully relaxing moment we had at Hillside along with some friends we've since lost touch with. It was a quiet night, alongside the creek that runs through the lower part of the campground. I had my iPod filled with lots of Pink Floyd, and we played this as well as DSotM at an elevated volume enjoying the solitude the moment brought us.

Ah, memories.

greatbear: (yes)
I posted this video ages ago, but the original YouTube video was long taken down and there wasn't any replacements until late last year. Needless to say, I made sure to save my own local copy. This is Yes, playing "Parallels" from the album Going for the One. Unlike the finished product from the album, or the rather thin, early vocal rehearsal mix included in the recent Rhino reissue, this take shows the band playing the tune more as an energetic instrumental jam with Jon Andersen sitting out. Unlike the Rhino rehearsal/demo take, this one has the glorious church organ at Saint Martin's Church in Vevey, Switzerland, high in the mix. It also demonstrates, by Chris Squire's highly technical playing, this track was originally meant for inclusion in Squire's solo effort Fish Out of Water but was left out because he didn't feel it fit in with the overall style and feel of that record. I love the energy in the room, the guys are playing locked and tight, and "Parallels" takes on a different life as a pure instrumental.

Oh, how I wish the sound quality of this track were better. For its time, this track pushed the envelope a bit for studio recording by utilizing a bidirectional, high-fidelity stereo telephone link feed between St. Martin's and the studio (Mountain Studios, Montreux) to allow real time playing and recording of Rick Wakeman and the pipe organ while the rest of the band and the engineers did their thing in the studio. The resulting album track is a soaring treat for the ears, the organ serving as a constant backdrop for the harmonizing vocals and Steve Howe's practically airborne lead/rhythm guitar before taking the lead later in the song. Synths are cool and all, but you can't beat a bigass pipe organ for presence. I also kinda giggle at this video, since around the time this was recorded, I had about the same hair as Alan White (drums). And the same 'stache. Well, it was the '70s, after all.

This tune, repeated a few times as well as others were the backdrop to my day. It helped make the day better.

Bear stuffs

Jul. 8th, 2013 12:39 pm
greatbear: (forearms)
Here's a silly little video just in time for Bear Week in Provincetown next week, from local artist Tom Goss.

Who else is heading to PTown?
greatbear: (forearms)
Any time I hear or read "Istanbul", the auto-complete routine in my brain, scrambled as it is, adds "not Constantinople", then I am subjected to a half day-long earworm of said song by They Might Be Giants. I decided to share this time, here's the wonderful version starring Plucky Duck and the Tiny Toons.

Other news from around Mayhem Acres, Snickles continues his painfully long assimilation into family life here. It's at times a rocky road to ride, what with teething, chewing and barking that puppies are wont to do, but there are also those moments of starry-eyed schmoopiness that make it all worth it. I will write more in a State of the Pooch entry later on.

I am finally clearing out the long-neglected Lab of Mayhem of hundreds of pounds of obsolete and worthless electronic gear and other cruft, carrying this activity into the garage as well. Some of the stuff is being dismantled into the few remaining usable parts, the bulk is going into boxes to be taken to the recycling center. The lab itself is getting an overhaul as well, with some new tools and supplies obtained to make and repair stuff built with surface-mount components. I've also taken some of the reclaimed parts and cobbled them into usable items; an old fluorescent arm lamp, a salvaged DC fan and filters for a range hood became a soldering fume extractor, and ancient spectrum analyzer has been brought back to life with donated components, and a number of collected items have been finally installed and put to use. I want to get this all done before the weather breaks and I spend more time outside.

Health wise, I've noticed more healing of nerves in my legs and feeling returning to my feet in the last few months. I had resigned myself to never having normal feeling and abilities in my legs post-spine surgery, but I am not stumbling as often as I had been, and I can resolve temperatures better in my lower extremities. I might not have a future as an acrobat or b-boying, but anything is better than previous numbness.

I hope all is well with my fine readers this week. Stop in and chat a while!
greatbear: (zep runes)
I always make it a point to watch the annual Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts show bestowing the Kennedy Center Honors on very deserving and diverse individuals for their contributions to the performing arts world. This time, the honorees were prima ballerina Natalia Makarova, actor Dustin Hoffman, blues man Buddy Guy, late-night host David Letterman, and rockers Led Zeppelin. Aside from the obvious presence of the honorees, the roster of greats in the respective fields of the recipients is nothing short of incredible. The performances given to each of the honorees not only highlight the peak of each artists' careers, but the mutual respect between them and their peers is obvious and beautiful. This night was no exception. In fact, it was almost magical.

I sat myself in front of the television last night and let myself become completely wrapped up in the show. I had familiarity with all of the honorees, even Natalia Marakova, getting a bit choked up as a number of familiar dances were performed reminded me of Mom and her constant immersion in opera and ballet. I became giddy and amazed at all the performers, as they followed each other during the show. The performances given in honor of Buddy Guy were outstanding, with Jeff Beck and Beth Hart, Tracy Chapman and Bonnie Raitt bringing down the house. I could not wait to see what awaited Led Zeppelin, who were being inducted as a band and with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones as individual artists.

Lenny Kravitz performed "Whole Lotta Love." The Foo Fighters did "Rock and Roll." Then Jason Bonham, son of late Zeppelin drummer John Bonham was called to the stage, and, well, I'll let the video speak for itself:

Yeah, color me blown away. I hope these videos aren't nuked by YouTube for some silly infringement bullshit. I saved my own local copies.

One more thing. Throughout the performances President Obama and First Lady Michelle are seen thoroughly enjoying each performance, either engaged in the speeches given both seriously and comedic, and completely into the music. They get it. I cannot for the life of me imagine a Mitt Romney and his wooden wife even pretending to enjoy the songs for the scary bluesman or those drugged out rockers. Stairway to Heaven? That'll be a minimum of ten percent of your salary, please. Thankfully, tonight was all about art (of all kinds) in excellence, mutual respect, and a whole lotta love.

Go again

Feb. 9th, 2012 03:58 pm
greatbear: (mad rushin')
Once again, OK Go have come up with yet another entertaining video. This one started life a Super Bowl commercial, with only the intro being seen on TV, with a link to see the rest online. The click was well worth it. Embiggenate and crank the volume for best effect.

There is an article in a recent Car and Driver magazine here at the house that gave details on the making of the video, the history of the band themselves, and how OK Go have morphed away from the typical label-slave "indie" band to plying their craft as they do now, as a series of sponsored videos being the main attraction as well as live shows. I gotta give the guys props for making music that is as much fun to watch as listen to.
greatbear: (forearms)
Continuing my efforts to bring culture to the unwashed masses of LJ (with my usual twists, mind you), I bring you Jacques Snyman singing an (unknown to me) operatic piece. Many of you would appreciate the apparently intentional wardrobe malfunction.

That incongruous feeling in your brain after watching this are its attempts to reboot.

Any feelings further south is y'all's business. ;-)

Yo Ma-Ma

Sep. 15th, 2011 12:20 am
greatbear: (forearms)
Here at the Garage of Mayhem we have a place not just where cars get worked on and modified, or stuff being welded together amongst a shower of sparks and a blare of heavy metal music, it's also a place of culture. Many different facets of culture, in fact. Sometimes two diagonally opposite forms of music and performance can meet with an amazing outcome. On the surface, one would think that classical music and the moves of hip-hop street dancing would be completely incompatible with one another. Well, let me take you to school for a few moments.

The performance below is a collaboration between world-renown cellist Yo-Yo Ma and LA street dancer Lil Buck. This interpretation of Camille Saint-Saëns' "The Dying Swan" shows the power and moves of street dancing usually accompanied by breakbeats can become as graceful and emotional as ballet. Yo-Yo Ma's emotive playing melds perfectly with the amazing footwork and body control that Lil Buck brings. While hip-hop is generally not my style, I am often blown away by some of the dancing. Impressive how it can work so well with different soundtracks.

I've had this in my bookmarks and have been meaning to share for months now, but, as usual, it was forgotten among more pressing issues. I hope you enjoyed!
greatbear: (picture start)
You've probably heard about this one before, back in the days before intarwebz video, or, for that matter, the internet as it has become today. Get yourself a videotape (or DVD) of The Wizard of Oz and your album (or CD, or mp3/ogg file or proprietary Apple version) of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, load both into their respective players, and start the album playback just as the MGM lion finishes roaring. With the sound turned down on the movie, Pink Floyd will provide the soundtrack. The lyrics as well as the music will synchronize with the movie in uncanny ways, as if The Floyd had been watching the movie itself and planned it all along. I tried this before with a VHS tape and a CD, and it's remarkable in spots. I finally came across someone who has done all the work for us and posted the full version in high quality on Vimeo. No bothersome gathering of media, just click play.

Without further ado, here is The Dark Side of Oz. It's an hour and forty-two minutes long, so grab some popcorn, maximize the video window, and put on the headphones. Mind-altering substances optional. ;-)

greatbear: (omgzilla)
Many of you might remember the little "lip-sync meme" that blew through LJ, where so many of us entertained each other with our own versions of various tunes and skits, all inspired by the rotund kid dubbing "Numa Numa." It was huge fun, back in the heyday of LJ. Unfortunately, many participants have moved away from the LJ platform, and, sadder still, some are no longer with us. I'd like to think that perhaps a couple people involved in this slightly more involved version might have been inspired by our musical foray (not "foyer"). This time, it's not just a few people at home, but a whole city. Grand Rapids, Michigan, to be exact. This amazing bit of work was shot in one continuous take, with everyone right on cue. So, if I may have a mere ten minutes of your time, I think you'll come away smiling. Presenting: The Grand Rapids Lip Dub.

My only wish was to not show the chopper at the end. The camera effect would have been a lot more magical.
greatbear: (speaker)
So I told y'all earlier that Jeff and I had dinner at Red Robin (yummmmm!). Those familiar with their TV/radio commercials know of their very brief "jingle" (the aforementioned a capella singing of "Red Robin" followed by "Yummmm") on the outro of the spots. Each time either one of us mentions Red Robin (or for that matter, sees a red robin in a tree, or Batman's sidekick) the other will almost inevitably hum the "yum" part. In my odd little brain of Mayhem, I would always associate the jingle with Paul Simon. Actually, one Paul Simon song in particular. The "yum" in the Red Robin is the same pitch chord as the intro to "Loves Me Like A Rock." Yeah, I know, seems odd, but with my pesky perfect pitch somehow crosslinked with an intermittent case of OCD, tonight I fired up the studio paraphernalia to prove the point to myself, not to mention get rid of a persistent earworm. Sure enough, I was right on. Here are two pitch-unaltered clips merged into my own version of "Loves Me Like Red Robin." Enjoy.

Loves Me Like Red Robin
greatbear: (speaker)
Go out to teh ghey dance clubs often? Here is the latest song that you'll quickly tire of due to its inevitable ubiquity. Not to mention the 50-plus obligatory remixes that will surely follow. So, like bread or fish, enjoy it while it's fresh!

Lady GaGa - Born This Way

Lyrics: )
greatbear: (Default)
Here's a cute little song by British transplant Cosmo Jarvis called, "Gay Pirates" that's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Why am I posting this? Because it's my blog, and I'll post if I want to.

In other news, I fell asleep inside the MRI machine today while they studied my defective knee. This only extends the proof that I can fall asleep just about anywhere. I woke up craving something with bacon on or in it, the reason being is on the bottom floor corner of the medical professional building there is a deli. This deli is also connected on the interior of the building as well, and they often have their inside door open. The entire building will smell like bacon most days. This includes the ortho/sports medicine department that know me so well, the adjoining physical therapy outfit, and even all the way to the fourth floor operating rooms. Yes, you can have a medical procedure done while the room smells of food, rather than antiseptic and medicine and such. These are the areas and floors I've been on, I can assume the (mostly bacon) smell permeates the other floors as well. I almost never cease to bring this up with my doctors. The ones wearing yarmulkes and turbans, at that. That's me, being sacred and kosher and all. =D

Speaking of sleep, the other day I took an afternoon nap. Jeff has the new flannel sheets I got him for xmas on the bed, as well as several blankets, a comforter and a very old quilt made by his grandmother that is about as heavy as a lead x-ray shielding blanket. After a night with no sleep, a lousy morning of pain and discomfort, I finally felt that I could get some sleep, albeit during the day when I should be doing something constructive. Sure enough, once I pulled the 50 pounds of covers over me, I was comatose. I eventually woke up hours later, as warm as a freshly started nuclear reactor, numb from the sleep paralysis, completely at ease. Well, except for a need to hit the bathroom. I discover trying to move is even tougher than I thought, and find out the reason for this is while laying face down on my belly, both the cat and the dog stationed themselves on top of me as well. That had to be the soundest sleep I had in a long time. I had some strange dreams, but forgot them. Both Jeff and I have been recipients of the dual four-legged blankets. Now if I can only get the two of them to behave, if not actually like each other.

I've been keeping myself busy with all sorts of different things. I can't do anything requiring any lifting, contorting, or lots of standing. To that end I've been continuing to make flurries of little (and not so little) upgrades and repairs around the house and garage. LED upgrades to the kitchen lighting for the fixtures that are not on dimmers turned out well. For the dimmable fixtures, not so much. Dimmable fluorescent and LED retrofit lamps are a mixed bag. The problem is that LED and CFL lamps draw so little current compared to their incandescent counterparts, and do so in a very nonlinear manner, that most dimmers cannot provide a smoothly adjusted source of power to the fixtures. The lights flicker, flash or are impossible to set. I even bought a dimmer made especially for LED and CFL lamps and got the same result. Back to the drawing board.

While I've not been able to make use of the vast majority of tools and equipment while laid up, I've been taking the time to disassemble, clean and lube everything that has moving parts. This means anything from ratchets to power tools to the outdoor power equipment. I did most of the latter during the summer. The smaller stuff has been my undertaking usually in the evening when I need some quiet time. I've made it maybe through half of the stuff, and I've been at it for months. I knew I had a lot of tools and equipment, but interacting with it in this manner really makes me realize not only how much of the stuff I have, but how long I've been at the various endeavors that utilize them. A good majority of my tools and equipment are over 20 years old. Some are even older than me, being handed down to me or picked up at auctions, sales and such. I have thought about how much work I've done over the decades using those tools, and wonder what will become of them once I am no longer. I just hope that someone makes as good a use of them as I have.
greatbear: (goatsmas)
I'm an atheist, most people know that. I let people live their lives and quietly let those who attempt to press dogma on me that, thanks, but no thanks, it's not how I roll. That being said, I do have a soft spot in my heart for certain religiously-themed music (and art, films, etc) as a genre. There's no denying the energy of a gospel choir (think of The Color Purple) or the intricate interplay of a quartet singing in a cathedral with soaring acoustics. Now comes a time of year when there is almost no escaping the Songs of the Season. Yeah, it's Christmastime, and everything from television commercials to background Muzak systems are belting out all the old standards. Some radio stations here switch programming right before Thanksgiving to an all-holiday music format. And most will slip in a Xmas-themed song into their playlist at times. I admit having a certain fondness for a lot of Christmas music. Not for any of the messages, mind you, but for the sake of my family traditions and the memories the tunes often evoke. I'm an old softie. But there are certain tunes that just rub me the wrong way. By far the worst is that sappy, manipulative dreck called "Christmas Shoes" by Newsong. I was thumbing through radio stations earlier and came across the song being played on a country music station (go figure). I. Absolutely. Detest. That. Song. But rather than try to explain to my dear readers as to why my bile rises when I hear that tune (though most can figure it out pretty easily), I'm going to let comedian Patton Oswalt perform a perfect deconstruction of the song along with the most hilarious graphics in the following video:

I'm not mean spirited, but this sums up my feelings about that song, and others in the same vein. Sad thing is, some people just soak up this stuff, and lots of money gets made. If it makes people happy, though, I guess it can't be all bad. Maybe just a bit misdirected.

What's my favorite song of the season? It might be a bit long in the tooth by now, but when I first heard this on my way to work one cold morning, I ended up cranking up the megawatt Alpine audio system in my old truck to the point I smelled the speakers' voice coils burning. Here was my love for classical music that I acquired at a very young age coupled with my absolute need to rock (also acquired at the same young age) mixed in with the memories of all the fun Xmases of my youth, seasoned with a bit of the Russian flavor of my heritage:

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve Sarajevo

Do yourself a favor and crank it up with me.
greatbear: (Default)
Dropping in on Joe.My.God, I find an entry featuring none other than [ profile] 50poundnote/Jeb and one of of his special mixes. He's on his way to widespread, and deserved, recognition. Waytago, Jeb!
greatbear: (forearms)
I knew that the music industry needed a shakeup, and the bands themselves should do more in the way of self-promotion. Well, it's come to pass in this case, and it brings pimpin' your own goods to a deliciously NSFW level.

Here's the best deal you will find on! SO Not Safe For Work!

Mmm hmmm

May. 13th, 2010 12:11 pm
greatbear: (Default)
I'm not sure why I like this band. Singing in a bass-baritone voice that borders on some sort of parody, lyrical flow that smacks of non-sequitur, even the band name does not seem very serious. Maybe because they're Canadian. But I do. This is the opening track "Songbird" from the Crash Test Dummies new CD Oooh La La. It just works for me somehow.

Crash Test Dummies - Songbird

Something seems sort of gentle and calming about this tune. Maybe it's the lush production or the simple lyrics that seem to be diagonally opposing themselves. Or maybe it's Brad Roberts' unconventional voice. Give it a listen, see what you think.

N.B.: I have to go back and re-code my music posts, I had been using a third party embeddable music player which keeps getting lost. I'm hosting everything on my own server now, at least I can be in complete control and not have my entries broken unexpectedly.
greatbear: (candle)
Yesterday, the music world lost someone that might be unfamiliar to most people, but his influence is known by many fans of music in the last 40 years. Alex Chilton was once a member of the 60s group The Box Tops, their most popular songs being "The Letter", "Soul Deep" and "Cry Like A Baby". He went on to for a group called Big Star in the 70s to little commercial success, but his stylings drove the band to influence many bands' sound. like R.E.M, The Bangles, and The Posies, among others. Alex guested with The Replacements, who penned a song with his name as the title. It's a fitting tribute to one of the greatest 'unknown' artists that was, indeed, known by millions, if indirectly.

They even remembered him during today's US House of Representative session (C-SPAN video).

Alex was to have played at the SXSW Music Festival. He died of an apparent heart condition at only 59 years old.

The Replacements
"Alex Chilton"

Thanks, Alex, for all those power pop riffs through the years.


greatbear: (Default)

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