A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘music videos

[MUSIC] Madonna, “The Power of Good-Bye”

“The Power of Good-Bye”, a stand-out song on a rather strong Ray of Light that became a lovely gentle classic as soon as it was first heard. This song is a good way–a mature way, a pensive way–to say good-bye to a partner who is no longer.

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Written by Randy McDonald

March 1, 2018 at 11:59 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Four city links: global distribution, smaller cities, AI in cities, shopping mall music

  • Marginal Revolution links to a paper suggesting that whereas cities in developed countries tend to be spread evenly across resource-rich agricultural areas, cities in developing countries tend to cluster near coasts where transport is easier.
  • At In Medias Res, Russell Arben Fox responds to Krugman in considering what role there is for smaller cities and towns in the 21st century.
  • Tracey Lauriault at Policy Options argues that, in projects like Google’s involvement in Toronto’s Quayside, the underlying values of the AI systems used should always be thoughtfully considered. What do they represent?
  • Dangerous Minds shares the oddly haunting YouTube videos of a man who plays classic 1980s pop songs in deserted shopping malls.

[MUSIC] Kate Bush, “Moments of Pleasure” (@katebushmusic)

If I have one regret about my visit to New York City last month, it was that I was not able to witness the truth of a lyric from Kate Bush’s 1993 song “Moments of Pleasure”, “The buildings of New York/Look just like mountains through the snow”. It just happened to be too warm for snow, that’s all.

“Moments of Pleasure” is one of the songs off of her The Red Shoes, Bush’s last album for twelve years. It’s quieter than some of the other songs on that album, certainly quieter than her higher-profile hits of the 1980s like “Running Up That Hill.” It’s a song about Kate, the person, remembering the time she spends with the people she loves including the people who have passed. I love the first four lines.

I think about us lying
Lying on a beach somewhere
I think about us diving
Diving off a rock, into another moment

The line about New York City comes at the end of a longer verse, of an imagined encounter with someone dear who is doing poorly in a New York winter. He’s beloved, he’s doing badly and nearing death, it’s cold out, but still, this is a precious moment spent with someone cherished.

On a balcony in New York
It’s just started to snow
He meets us at the lift
Like Douglas Fairbanks
Waving his walking stick
But he isn’t well at all
The buildings of New York
Look just like mountains through the snow

Just being alive
It can really hurt
And these moments given
Are a gift from time
Just let us try
To give these moments back
To those we love
To those who will survive

“Moments of Pleasure” ends on this sadly nostalgic note, Bush remembering the people she lost starting first with her mother. (Hannah Bush had not died when the song was written, but she was ill and was approaching death.)

And I can hear my mother saying
“Every old sock meets an old shoe”
Isn’t that a great saying?
“Every old sock meets an old shoe”
Here come the Hills of Time

Hey there Maureen,

Hey there Bubba,
Dancing down the aisle of a plane,

‘S Murph, playing his guitar refrain,

Hey there Teddy,
Spinning in the chair at Abbey Road,

Hey there Michael,
Do you really love me?

Hey there Bill,
Could you turn the lights up?</blockquote.

I love the intent behind this song. The idea of the critical importance of preserving something of the things of the people we've loved and lost has been in my head ever since I encountered the photographic works of Nan Goldin. This song tries to carry out that vision in musical form, and does so superbly. Kudos, Kate.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 8, 2018 at 11:59 pm

[MUSIC] Ryan Adams, “New York, New York”

The Ryan Adams classic song “New York, New York” is a perfect song to start off a soundtrack for a New York City trip.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 11, 2018 at 11:59 pm

[MUSIC] Robbie Robertson, “Ghost Dance”

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

Written by Randy McDonald

November 23, 2017 at 11:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at the bizarre extrasolar visitor ‘Oumuamua, as does Centauri Dreams, as does Bruce Dorminey. Yes, this long cylindrical extrasolar visitor swinging around the sun on a hyperbolic orbit does evoke classic SF.
  • The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture shares some photos of autumn from around the world.
  • D-Brief examines how artificial intelligences are making their own videos, albeit strange and unsettling ones.
  • Dangerous Minds shares some Alfred Stieglitz photos of Georgia O’Keefe.
  • Daily JSTOR takes a look at the mulberry tree craze in the United States.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining at water delivery to terrestrial planets in other solar systems. Worlds with as little water as Earth are apparently difficult to produce in this model.
  • Hornet Stories profiles the gay destination of Puerto Vallarta, in Mexico.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes the new vulnerability of Haitian migrants in the United States.
  • The LRB Blog notes the end of the Mugabe era in Zimbabwe.
  • The NYR Daily features a stellar Elaine Showalter review of a Sylvia Plath exhibition at the Smithsonian National Picture Gallery.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw reports on how the production of New England Cheese reflects the modernization of Australian agriculture.
  • Roads and Kingdoms reports on the awkward position of Rohingya refugees in India, in Jammu, at a time when they are facing existential pressures from all sides.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel shares twenty beautiful photos of Mars.
  • Towleroad shares a fun video from Pink, “Beautiful Trauma”, featuring Channing Tatum.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that a Trump executive order threatening sanctuary cities has been overturned in court.
  • Window on Eurasia notes one study claiming that the children of immigrant workers in Russia tend to do better than children of native-born Russians.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait looks at enormous, explosive Wolf-Rayet stars, and at WR 124 in particular.
  • The Big Picture shares heart-rending photos of Rohingya refugees fleeing Burma.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the potential of near-future robotic asteroid mining.
  • D-Brief notes the discovery of vast cave systems on the Moon, potential homes for settlers.
  • Hornet Stories exposes young children to Madonna’s hit songs and videos of the 1980s. She still has it.
  • Inkfish notes that a beluga raised in captivity among dolphins has picked up elements of their speech.
  • Language Hat notes a dubious claim that a stelae containing Luwian hieroglyphic script, from ancient Anatolia, has been translated.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money considers the question of preserving brutalist buildings.
  • The LRB Blog considers how Brexit, intended to enhance British sovereignty and power, will weaken both.
  • The Map Room Blog notes that the moons and planets of the solar system have been added to Google Maps.
  • The NYR Daily considers how the Burmese government is carefully creating a case for Rohingya genocide.
  • The Power and Money’s Noel Maurer concludes, regretfully, that the market for suborbital travel is just not there.
  • Visiting a shrimp festival in Louisiana, Roads and Kingdoms considers how the fisheries work with the oil industry (or not).
  • Towleroad reports on the apparent abduction in Chechnya of singer Zelimkhan Bakayev, part of the anti-gay pogrom there.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that rebuilding Kaliningrad as a Russian military outpost will be expensive.