A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Archive for the ‘Video’ Category

[MUSIC] Robbie Robertson, “Ghost Dance”

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The song “Ghost Dance”, by Robbie Robertson, is the third track on his 1994 soundtrack album Music for the Native Americans. I first heard the song on MuchMusic, when I saw the video, and was caught by it. This song is as powerful now as it is when I first heard it more than two decades ago, in its promise of survival and rebirth.

You can kill my body
You can damn my soul
for not believing in your god
and some world down below

You don’t stand a chance
against my prayers
You don’t stand a chance
against my love
They outlawed the Ghost Dance
but we shall live again,
we shall live again

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Written by Randy McDonald

November 23, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[NEWS] Five links: American gun owners, Japanese inequality, Polish politics, Lexit, #elsagate

  • The small minority of American gun owners who own huge numbers of guns, more than they could seemingly use, is the subject of this study at The Guardian.
  • The Japanese economy may be growing, but so is inequality, Bloomberg reports.
  • This Open Democracy examination of the sharpening political divides in Poland, particularly outside of Warsaw, is gripping. It starts with the self-immolation of Upper Silesian Piotr SzczÄ™sny in his country’s capital.
  • Julian Savarer takes a look at the many problems with “Lexit”, the idea of a left-wing argument for Brexit.
  • James Bridle looks at the complex human and artificial mechanisms behind the production of so much wrong children’s video content. #elsagate is only the tip of it all. Medium hosts the article.

[MUSIC] Alice Glass, “Without Love”

Alice Glass is a rising Canadian star, a singer-songwriter active in the electronic and electropunk scenes for more than a decade, famous for her frenetic stage shows as part of the duo Crystal Castles and since 2014 a solo artist.

Inspired by the #metoo movement, Glass announced that her split was triggered by her abuse from her partner in Crystal Castles, Ethan Kath. “Without Love” is a song addressing this, first track to drop off her new EP with a video full of gorgeous apocalyptic floral imagery courtesy of Floria Sigismondi

I think I like this song better than anything she did in Crystal Castles.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 26, 2017 at 11:51 pm

[PHOTO] Telus House Toroto 3D Light Sculpture, Toronto

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (1) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (2) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (3) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (4) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (5) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (6) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (7) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

Telus House 3D Light Sculpture (8) #toronto #telushouse #yorkstreet #3d #lights #sculpture

I was pointed to the existence of this art in the forum of Telus House, on York Street in the PATH, by Paul. This array of lights, constantly shifting in colour, is entrancing, evoking for me the grains of a crystal.

Written by Randy McDonald

September 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm

[ISL] Five articles from the Toronto Islands in this time of flood

  • blogTO shares Aidan Ferreira’s stunning photos of the Toronto Islands flooded out. The damage, especially to the beaches, looks severe.
  • CTV News shares remarkable drone footage of the Toronto Islands.
  • The Toronto Sun reports on the plight of the water taxi operators, unable to earn their living this summer with trips to the Islands.
  • The Toronto Star‘s Fatima Syed notes that, to stay afloat, the Centreville Amusement Park will be selling its beautiful antique carousel.
  • Katharine Laidlaw’s interviews in Toronto Life with Toronto Islanders tell the story of a very hard year.

Written by Randy McDonald

July 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm

[MUSIC] Bruce Cockburn, “Lovers In A Dangerous Time”

Possibly Canadian folksinger Bruce Cockburn‘s signature song, his 1984 single “Lovers In A Dangerous Time” amply deserves its fame. It’s a strong song, deserving its top ranking on any number of lists of top Canadian love songs, the poetry of Cockburn’s lyrics carried by the urgency of his vocals.

This song arguably achieved greater fame outside of Canada by virtue of the Barenaked Ladies’ later cover. That cover is decent, I grant, but it lacks Cockburn’s signature urgency. Cockburn wrote this song, like other songs at this time, in the context of the Cold War, in his concern for refugees from Latin America. (I read somewhere that he was thinking of couples caught up in Argentina’s then recently-concluded dirty war.) Other critics linked this song to the emergence HIV/AIDS crisis. The Barenaked Ladies’ cover is light, too light–their Scarborough might have been boring, but it was not that bad. Cockburn understood perfectly that love matters, even especially when times were difficult, and his performance gets this across wonderfully.

These fragile bodies of touch and taste
This vibrant skin, this hair like lace
Spirits open to the thrust of grace
Never a breath you can afford to waste

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Lovers in a dangerous time

When you’re lovers in a dangerous time
Sometimes you’re made to feel as if your love’s a crime
But nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight
Got to kick at the darkness ’til it bleeds daylight

Written by Randy McDonald

June 29, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[MUSIC] Pet Shop Boys, “Single-Bilingual”

The Pet Shop Boys’ 1996 song “Single-Bilingual” was not as big a hit as their iconic global singles of the 1980s. Perhaps it was because this song, like the rest of their album Bilingual, was a shift from their previous European-styled electronica, incorporating Latin rhythms. This is a shame, because this song and others are among the group’s slyest.

The songs of the Pet Shop Boys, like those of all great songwriters, can say many things. See “Single-Bilingual”. Listening to the peppy song, Neil Tennant singing in the voice of a self-styled cosmopolitan businessman who claims to be the master of his world, there is humour. As Wayne Studer points out, this man is not all he thinks he is. He’s just a cog in the machine.

They call this a community
I like to think of it as home
Arriving at the airport
I am going it alone
Ordering a boarding pass
Travelling in business class
This is the name of the game
I’m single, bilingual
Single, bilingual

I find myself wondering, too, if this song fits on the soundtrack for Brexit. From a pretended cosmopolitanism down to an actual solitude?

Written by Randy McDonald

June 22, 2017 at 11:59 pm