A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘video

[BLOG] Some Friday links

  • D-Brief shares rare video of beaked whales on the move.
  • Dangerous Minds notes that someone has actually begun selling unauthorized action figures of Trump Administration figures like Bannon and Spencer.
  • Language Log looks at a linguistic feature of Emma Watson’s quote, her ending it with a preposition.
  • Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen considers, originally for Bloomberg View, if Trump could be seen as a placebo for what ails America.
  • The New APPS Blog takes a Marxist angle on the issue of big data, from the perspective of (among other things) primitive accumulation.
  • The Search reports on the phenomenon of the Women’s History Month Wikipedia edit-a-thon, aiming to literally increase the representation of notable women on Wikipedia.
  • Towleroad notes the six men who will be stars of a new Fire Island reality television show.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy finds some merit in Ben Carson’s description of American slaves as immigrants. (Some.)
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Belarusians are beginning to mobilize against their government and suggests they are already making headway.

[MUSIC] Grimes, “Kill V. Maim”

The Grimes song “Kill V. Maim” is one I’ve been playing a lot this week, with its video set partly in Toronto’s abandoned Lower Bay Station and a threateningly manic song with a chorus–“Are you going to the party?/Are you going to the show?”–inspired by Godfather‘s Al Pacino and by Harley Quinn.

Grimes, a.k.a. Claire Boucher, appears on the latest episode of the “Song Exploder” podcast, a must-listen for music fans who want to hear their fave artists talk about how they created their own songs. In it, Grimes breaks down her thrashing Art Angels cut “Kill V. Maim,” revealing the impetus of it was a friend who doubted her ability to be musically aggressive.

“He kept doing these cute little plucky things, and I was like ‘No, no, let’s make a hard song.’ He was like ‘No, no, you make cute music.’ I was so horrified,” Grimes recalls. “So I went home after that sort of wanting to prove that I could make something that’s going to be really aggressive that I would want to play during an action sequence in a movie.”

After that, she set out to make something that could soundtrack the trailer for a fictional crossover of The Godfather and Twilight. Add in a lot of kick drums, some cleverly buried samples of cheering crowds, and what Grimes calls a “scary, demon chorus” inspired by Harley Quinn, and you have “Kill V. Maim,” which she reveals is “probably my favorite song I’ve ever made.”

Written by Randy McDonald

March 2, 2017 at 11:53 pm

[MUSIC] Annie Lennox, “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye”

This Thursday, a [MUSIC] day, also happens to be World AIDS Day. My song choice was inevitable.

I blogged Annie Lennox’s cover of the Cole Porter song “Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye” back in January 2009. This cover, taken from the 1990 AIDS fundraising album Red Hot + Blue, is perhaps her most beautiful song. The sound of her full voice against the sparse piano and Paris cafe accordion sends chills down my spine. She evokes love and loss–of the epidemic, of the human condition in general–so superbly here she could make me cry.

Written by Randy McDonald

December 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm

[MUSIC] Queen, “The Show Must Go On”

Today, the news feeds remind us, marks the 25th anniversary of the death, of HIV/AIDS, Freddie Mercury. He was an inimitable talent, the vocals of one of his final songs, 1991’s “The Show Must Go On” proving this for posterity.

Mercury sings such potent lyrics so well.

Whatever happens, I’ll leave it all to chance
Another heartache – another failed romance, on and on
Does anybody know what we are living for?
I guess I’m learning
I must be warmer now
I’ll soon be turning, round the corner now
Outside the dawn is breaking
But inside in the dark I’m aching to be free!

We are all the poorer for his absence from the world.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 24, 2016 at 11:59 pm

[MUSIC] Pet Shop Boys, “It’s Alright”

In writing my new Thursday [MUSIC] posts, I find myself revisiting songs I’d touch on before. The Pet Shop Boys’ 1988 single “It’s Alright” is one I had written about back in January 2009.

What is necessarily wrong with that? Songs can remain the same, but interpretations can change. There are some undeniable core continuities between me now and me in 2009, say, but I don’t think about things in quite the same way. I change.

Generations will come and go
but there’s one thing for sure
Music is our life’s foundation
and shall succeed all the nations to come
I hope it’s gonna be alright
’cause the music plays forever
(For it goes on and on and on and on…)
I hope it’s gonna be alright
(On and on and on…)
‘Cause the music plays forever
(For it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on)

A song that expresses hope for the future, and expresses it in the hope of music’s eternal power in the face of all the ills of the world, is always worth listening to again.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 17, 2016 at 11:59 pm

[PHOTO] Five photos from the Choir! Choir! Choir! celebration of Leonard Cohen in Christie Pit

Last night, I went to the Choir! Choir! Choir! celebration of the life and music of Leonard Cohen, held last night at 9 o’clock in the man-made amphitheatre that is Christie Pit.

Assembled for Cohen #toronto #christiepit #leonardcohen #choirchoirchoir

Assembled for Cohen, 2 #toronto #christiepit #leonardcohen #choirchoirchoir

Assembled for Cohen, 3 #toronto #christiepit #leonardcohen #choirchoirchoir

Assembled for Cohen, 4 #toronto #christiepit #leonardcohen #choirchoirchoir

Assembled for Cohen, 4 #toronto #christiepit #leonardcohen #choirchoirchoir

Break #toronto #christiepit #leonardcohen #choirchoirchoir

The sound on my recording of “Suzanne” is not the best, but I think you might be able to get something of the power of the event, of the hundreds upon hundreds of people gathered together.

I liked the Toronto Star report of the event by Alicja Siekierska.

The outpouring of love for Leonard Cohen continued in Toronto on Wednesday, as hundreds of mourners gathered in Christie Pitts Park to sing some of the legendary singer-poet’s greatest hits.

Led by Choir Choir Choir, they began with “Bird on a Wire,” belted “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodby”e and, of course, performed an emotional rendition of Cohen’s best known song “Hallelujah.”

It was an emotional evening for many, but despite the sombre goodbye, it was a joyful event truly celebrating the work and life of Cohen.

“I want everyone in Montreal to hear us from here,” Choir Choir Choir co-founder Daveed Goldman exclaimed to the crowd, just before launching a boisterous version of “So Long Marianne.”

Clad in warm clothing, gatherers young and old began tricking in an hour before the event started. By 9 p.m., the hill in the park was packed, flickering candles lighting up singing faces.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 17, 2016 at 10:03 am

[MUSIC] Erasure, “A Little Respect”

Erasure’s 1988 international breakthrough hit “A Little Respect” has been a much-appreciated earworm for the past week or so.

It’s a great pop song, Andy Bell’s brilliant vocals contrasting what the acoustic guitar and synthesizer of Vince Clarke, all produced with the glorious sheen of Stephen Hague. It’s an ever-listenable plaintive plea by a man to his lover, begging to know what it would take to make things work.

I try to discover
A little something to make me sweeter
Oh baby refrain from breaking my heart
I’m so in love with you
I’ll be forever blue
That you give me no reason
Why you’re making me work so hard

Bell’s status as an out star plays a role here: “What religion or reason/Could drive a man to forsake his lover?” What indeed.

I’ve recently discovered that a remixed version in 2010, the “HMI Redux” version being a digital release to raise funds for the Hedrick-Martin Institute and the True Colors Fund, featuring a choir from said institute’s youth choir providing backing vocals and youth in the video.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 3, 2016 at 11:29 pm