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· Culture Notes: Samantha Bee on The Daily Show
· Culture Notes: Election 2008
· Culture Notes: Notes on desert island films
· Culture Notes: Rave on
· Culture Notes: John Lennon part 2
· Culture Notes: John Lennon part 1
· Culture Notes: Rickie Lee Jones
· Culture Notes: The Price of Motherhood
· Culture Notes: Coty lipstick & Weird Al
· Culture Notes: Childhood
· Culture Notes: The Game of Life
· Culture Notes: California music part 4 (Southern)
· Culture Notes: California music part 3 (Northern)
· Culture Notes: California music part 2 (California and...)
· Culture Notes: California music part 1 (random)
· Culture Notes: Queen, and some collaborations
· Culture Notes: American music
· Culture Notes: Random unremembered unremembereds
· Culture Notes: What I'm listening to
· Culture Notes: Youtube & perfume
· Culture Notes: Wait For Me (Sean Lennon)
· Culture Notes: More 80's Style
· Culture Notes: Trigger Happy TV
· Culture Notes: Love for Speed
· The Apl Song Video + ASIN Music Balita
· COLDWAR: Nina vs. Kyla
· Culture Notes: Absolutely Fabulous
· Culture Notes: Shabnami Surayyo
· Culture Notes: Red Dwarf
· Boom Boxx featuring Linda O. - Balla Da Li
· Some interesting videos...
· March 13, 2008 11:07 AM by Dain
· March 13, 2008 11:55 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· March 13, 2008 12:38 PM by Dain
· March 14, 2008 12:59 AM by Colleen Shirazi
· March 5, 2008 4:41 PM by Dain
· March 5, 2008 8:53 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· March 5, 2008 9:08 PM by Dain
· March 5, 2008 9:30 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· January 20, 2008 2:17 PM by Dain
· January 20, 2008 3:07 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· January 18, 2008 8:59 PM by Dain
· January 18, 2008 9:32 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· January 16, 2008 2:34 AM by Audrey_H
· January 16, 2008 12:30 PM by Dain
· January 16, 2008 2:08 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· January 16, 2008 2:14 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· January 16, 2008 3:05 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· November 2, 2007 2:51 PM by Dain
· October 31, 2007 6:18 PM by Dain
· November 1, 2007 12:35 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· November 3, 2007 5:13 AM by Audrey_H
· October 10, 2007 9:48 AM by Dain
· September 2, 2007 5:47 AM by Dain
· September 2, 2007 12:45 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 30, 2008 7:28 AM by mack
· August 16, 2007 2:12 AM by Dain
· August 16, 2007 1:23 PM by Colleen Shirazi
· August 3, 2007 7:30 AM by Jenny B
· August 3, 2007 10:40 PM by Colleen Shirazi
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Culture Notes: Samantha Bee on The Daily Show
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, March 12, 2008 2:28 PM (Eastern)
Canada's Samantha Bee has been the top comic on The Daily Show for quite some time. In fact, if I think about it, she's easily as funny as Stephen Colbert, with her unique blend of squeaky cleanliness and depravity (where Colbert is funny almost by default, in the usual Southern paper-cut style).
If this doesn't make you spew your tea, nothing will.
Culture Notes: Election 2008
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, March 05, 2008 4:30 PM (Eastern)
rotfl! You've got to love New York.
I signed us up for a RedLasso account. It isn't the veritable Youtube I thought it would be, but it's not bad. You get feeds from some of the bigger news stations, plus Comedy Central and, of all things, E!. You may then make your own clips.
Culture Notes: Notes on desert island films
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, January 26, 2008 2:39 PM (Eastern)
Heroic Trio (1993)...I saw on one of the Turner stations, TBS or TNT, late one evening. They aired an amazing total of three Michelle Yeoh movies that night, one after the next. I believe it was Heroic Trio, Heroic Trio 2, and Wing Chun.
I was entranced by the first two...by the time Wing Chun rolled around, it was extremely late and I was falling asleep. The Heroic Trio movies are a bit like Jackie Chan's Hong Kong movies, largely action with some comedy. If you like Jackie Chan, you must get hold of Heroic Trio. This is just a trailer, and captures but a smidgen of what the movie's all about.
Heroic Trio Trailer (1993)
Akira Kurosawa's Dreams (1990) is perhaps an obvious choice: it's long and sumptuously made. Dreams consists of eight individual dreams, which capture the edges of childhood, environmental concerns, post-War Japan, Van Gogh's art...there's a lot going on here.
The Peach Orchard Pt.1
A Taxing Woman (1987)...unfortunately, the only clip on Youtube is a mishmash of promotional films for various Japanese movies. I did find a trailer here: A Taxing Woman (1987).
What made A Taxing Woman outstanding...it was perhaps the first movie I saw portraying a professional woman in a wholly non-negative way. The trailer implies the film centers around the relationship of the tax inspector and the tax cheat, but I didn't see it that way. I had to laugh though..."He has a yen for her, but he won't tell her where it's hidden."
Culture Notes: Rave on
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, January 23, 2008 8:06 PM (Eastern)
Originally I was going to do a feature on songs about radio...now that we've all been Clear Channeled ad infinitum, no one sings about the radio anymore. Oh I know that's simplistic; without the Net to replace radio in the first place, the likelihood of the once-brilliant medium boiling down to muzak would have been slim.
So I got together three videos: Donna Summer's On the Radio, R.E.M.'s Radio Song, and Queen's Radio Ga-Ga.
Decided against Elvis Costello's Radio Radio...and yet...here, Costello is doing Buddy Holly, the way everyone else does Elvis. I had a sudden desire to hear Buddy Holly again.
RAVE ON - BUDDY HOLLY
What popped up when I was searching for Holly:
Rave On by John Lennon
So I thought I'd share this moment rather than the radio-on-radio concept. I'd never heard this cover before, in all the odd bootleg Beatles recordings I've heard over the years. Thanks icepick141!
If you're old enough to remember this song, you're probably old enough to know it commemorates the day Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died in a plane crash, along with the pilot of the plane, Roger Peterson. It's a sad song, yet I loved it when I was a kid, and its many references to various pop bands of the time make it a bit historic as well.
Don McLean - American Pie
Culture Notes: John Lennon part 2
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, January 19, 2008 10:18 PM (Eastern)
(see Culture Notes: John Lennon part 1)
Here I was looking for the film Imagine--I'm sure that was the name--one of those art films John and Yoko had made around the time of the album. I saw it in the theatre, where it was pretty much dissed, similarly to, say, the early work of David Lynch. What would make the original Imagine movie stand out now would be the lush youth of John and Yoko, against a fabulously verdant English backdrop, and various noodlings such as trying to morph two faces into one (predating the computer programs which do so now). And Yoko showing off her perfect figure.
Instead I found this; the entire movie is up if you care to watch it.
Imagine - The Movie John Lennon Part 1
Where was I yesterday? I've realized it's not that easy writing a piece on John Lennon. Part of me still doesn't want to believe what happened to him. Of course I remember that, I was fifteen... It is still sad.
But, it's pointless to bury someone's work. I tried finding more from Walls and Bridges, but there are only a few songs up.
Rock 'n' Roll (1975)...hmmm, there's a Wiki. (Isn't it great?)
While still encumbered with the US government's attempts to have him deported, Lennon found himself threatened with a lawsuit, by Roulette Records chief Morris Levy. Lennon had admitted in an interview that his song "Come Together" both borrowed stylistically from Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me", published by Levy, and re-used one line ("Here come old flat-top") from the song. Levy sued Lennon for infringement, but agreed to drop the suit if Lennon recorded at least three songs that Levy published, on his next album (after Mind Games). Browsing Levy's music publishing catalog, Lennon found so many of his old favourites that he decided to do a full album of cover songs, by Levy's artists and others.
Rock 'n' Roll was interesting in that, as much as the Beatles have been lauded as the greatest thing since sliced bread, their chief influences were 1950's American rock 'n' roll artists such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard. When I first heard the album, I found it a tad Anglicized...keep in mind I'm old enough to have heard most of the originals first (1950's and 1960's music got frequent radio play in 1970's Virginia). Hearing it now though, it sounds...fresh.
Rock 'n' Roll John Lennon
Double Fantasy came out in 1980. Here I wanted to embed Yoko's song, "Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him," because it was a lovely pop tune. Unfortunately there isn't much Yoko on Youtube. I'm not blaming anyone...it would be hard to go back and make videos for these songs. I'm hearing it playing in my mind right now.
Every man has a woman who loves him
In rain or shine, life or death...
Why do I run, when I know you're the one
Why do I laugh, when I feel like crying?
There were several hit songs on this record, starting with "Starting Over" (John doing Elvis :D), then going to "Watching the Wheels," "Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)," and "Woman" (which was still considered an unusual feminist statement).
I remember this period as magical. I went out and bought the record and played it many, many times.
beautiful boy (darling boy)
After John died, there was this sort of hollow feeling. It just seemed incomprehensible, yet there it was.
1984 saw the release of Milk and Honey. This was my last complete year to live in Virginia, and for whatever reason, the popular songs of 1984 and 1985 reside vividly in my memory--Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" and "All She Wants to Do Is Dance," Madonna's "Material Girl," Wham's "Freedom," the stuff on U2's The Unforgettable Fire. I don't actually associate Milk and Honey with 1984 though; it just seems to float, timeless, brave, and stellar.
Nobody Told Me
Culture Notes: John Lennon part 1
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, January 18, 2008 7:43 PM (Eastern)
When I was a kid, I idolized John Lennon. I'm old enough to remember the day the Beatles disbanded...or rather, I have this tiny glimpse of the neighborhood kids and me playing on the street. I'm picturing it as summer, a bunch of kids wearing shorts and goofing around in the neighborhood. In the warmth of golden late afternoon sunlight, someone mentioned the Beatles had broken up. It sounded strange, unreal. This memory coincides with a few others of this time in my life, like the kids down the street setting up their own haunted house.
When I was...thirteen? fourteen?...I got hold of Lennon Remembers, the Rolling Stone interviews he and Yoko Ono had done in 1970, read it cover to cover...and later on, the Playboy interview (1980), which still brings a smile:
PLAYBOY: The word is out: John Lennon and Yoko Ono are back in the studio, recording again for the first time since 1975, when they vanished from public view. Let's start with you, John. What have you been doing?
LENNON: I've been baking bread and looking after the baby.
PLAYBOY: With what secret projects going on in the basement?
LENNON: That's like what everyone else who has asked me that question over the last few years says. "But what else have you been doing?" To which I say, "Are you kidding?" Because bread and babies, as every housewife knows, is a full-time job. After I made the loaves, I felt like I had conquered something. But as I watched the bread being eaten, I thought, Well, Jesus, don't I get a gold record or knighted or nothing?
From Lennon Remembers, I read about the songs on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, the first record Lennon had released after the break-up, long before I actually heard any of them. Bear in mind, the record emerged for me in 1970's Norfolk, Virginia, which is like a conservative sandwich filled with conservative meats, moistened with conservatism, and served on a highly conservative plate. Songs titled "Working Class Hero," "God," "My Mummy's Dead," etc., didn't exactly get much airtime back then.
When I finally bought the record, I was amazed how melodic the work was. For whatever odd reason, I'd had the impression of this wildly atonal explosion of radicalism, but it was really quite nice. Lennon would subsequently make lusher music, funkier music; he would do Elvis, covers of 1950's tunes, a lot of things really, given a period of only ten years...but it was the first album that was, in my opinion, the most beautiful. Even with the Primal Scream stuff. :D
John Lennon - Isolation (1970)
As much as "Imagine" the single has been played, what begins side 2 of the album Imagine (1971) is the most scintillating burst of...words, followed by a smokin' guitar solo by George Harrison.
John Lennon - Gimme Some Truth
I don't remember much of 1973's Mind Games. "Mind Games" the single was widely played on the radio, and "Out the Blue" was a nice little tune.
Walls and Bridges (1974) was better, though some of the production was pretty rough. "What You Got," for example, was a fantastic song, but the voice on it was raspy (I could probably sing as well). "Whatever Gets You Thru the Night," a duet with Elton John, was pure pop perfection. From the Wiki:
The recording featured Elton John on backing vocals and piano alongside the Muscle Shoals Horns. While in the studio, Elton bet Lennon that the song would top the charts, and such was Lennon's skepticism that Elton secured from him a promise to appear on stage at one of his performances should the record indeed hit number one. When the record did achieve that feat, Lennon appeared at Elton John's Thanksgiving performance at Madison Square Garden on November 28, 1974.
There was also the highly accessible (now there's a totally 70's word for ya, along with "derivative") #9 Dream. But let's play something you probably haven't heard:
John Lennon - Bless You
It's too much to cover in a single post, so I'll try to pick this up later.
Culture Notes: Rickie Lee Jones
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, January 15, 2008 8:35 PM (Eastern)
Rickie Lee Jones - Coolsville
I loved Rickie Lee Jones from the time I saw her on Saturday Night Live (where, in fact, she sang this song). As much as people associate the 1970's with excess--disco balls, parties and cocaine--there was a spare coolness to it as well. Or perhaps I'm just being sentimental, because I loved all of the female icons of that time...sensed a restless power and strength, behind the prevailing stereotypes. I mean when this record came out, I'm reasonably sure "ring-around-the-collar" was television's conception of female power and strength. lol
Culture Notes: The Price of Motherhood
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, December 20, 2007 1:56 PM (Eastern)
The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued
And an interview: Ann Crittenden - The Price of Motherhood
Kind of what I've been saying all along, only more eloquent (Crittenden was up for a Pulitzer Prize). I remember her name actually, Ann Crittenden. Quite famous.
Labels: culture notes
Culture Notes: Coty lipstick & Weird Al
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, December 17, 2007 11:50 PM (Eastern)
What with the stress of the holidays, sometimes it's nice to just step back and breathe. I've had this Coty lipstick video in my bookmarks for a considerable time, and play it every once in a while to cheer myself up. Though the color of the film has degraded to the point many of the shades now look alike, its charm remains, with the bright red lips, graceful dancing, and carefully-composed graphical effects.
1950's Coty Lipstick Commercial
I had this sudden urge today to search for Weird Al Yankovic on Youtube. Came across this gem, from The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. Don't laugh, it was a very cool show--one of the first and last U.S. television shows to feature The Clash (you bet I stayed up to watch that one).
Weird Al Yankovic -Another One Rides the Bus
This of course is a parody of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."
"I Lost On Jeopardy"--perhaps the funniest aspect is it's just as catchy as the original song, maybe more so. Greg Kihn Band "Jeopardy" (John's Live Performance Video)
Greg Kihn is still around btw; he works as a DJ. I try to catch his show now and again (the station it's on is kind of fuzzy from here).
"Weird Al" Yankovic - I Lost On Jeopardy
Featuring the original host of Jeopardy, Art Fleming, a cameo of Dr. Demento, and Kihn himself.
Culture Notes: Childhood
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Tuesday, November 13, 2007 11:21 PM (Eastern)
Though I arrived here on the shores of California ;) twenty-two years ago, in a car I'd bought with my United States Postal Service wages...Toyota Corolla four-door sedan, dark blue beneath a glaze of golden dust from Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and the California desert...with four thousand dollars' worth of travellers checks in my purse...absence does make the heart grow fonder. I haven't been back to Virginia since then, but I was looking for photos of Norfolk online the other night.
The funny part of this image of the Chrysler Museum is its perspective. I suppose it was meant to be taken at an artistic angle, but this is the statue as I used to see it...the statue is on a round platform. I'd like to say the platform is towering, but in all likelihood it's only a few feet high.
Keeping in mind we had nothing better to do--no computers, cable television, VCR's, some people still had black-and-white tv's--the neighborhood kids used to climb this statue. I've climbed it myself many times.
There's a little garden to the right, which had an iron fence. If you were young enough, you could squeeze between the rails of this fence and visit the garden when the museum was closed. I still remember the day I became too old to fit through.
The complete statue has a horse with a guy on it, reaching down to the guy on the ground. The little kids used to climb on the head of the guy on the ground (or technically, on the loop his other arm made), while the more daring climbed onto the horse itself. A few maniacs used to go all the way to sit on the horse's head.
image courtesy city-data.com
Labels: culture notes
Culture Notes: The Game of Life
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, November 07, 2007 3:50 PM (Eastern)
This is a pleasant-enough time-waster. The grid is clickable.
I'm actually wondering a few things...if Blogger is really fixed, and how badly off Sun is.
Labels: culture notes
Culture Notes: California music part 4 (Southern)
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, November 02, 2007 2:32 PM (Eastern)
There are far too many stellar songs from Southern California to fit into a single post, hence I've selected one from each decade, beginning with the 1960's.
Chantays - Pipeline
This song has been on my mind for many years. I heard it growing up in Virginia, where its exotic air hinted at a lifestyle very different from everything I'd already seen.
I was tempted to put Dick Dale and his Del-Tones doing "Misirlou" here, though Dale hails from Massachusetts (and is half Lebanese, which explains the embellished style of guitar-playing), but "Pipeline" better captures the Southern California mystique. Who'd have guessed it was a bunch of kids making this music? Ah, the miracle of Youtube.
I was in grade school when this came out; it immediately became the standard for all aspiring garage bands of the time.
Editor's note: it's a terrific song, but another reason for its popularity is its length. There used to be people called DJ's who used to compose playlists, and, quite frequently, the DJ's would favor longer songs, since these enabled the DJ's to take bathroom breaks and the like.
The Go Go's - Our Lips Are Sealed
Love this song...it was written by Jane Wiedlin (of the Go-Go's) and Terry Hall (of The Specials and Fun Boy Three). The Go-Go's version is superior to that of Fun Boy Three imo, for its genuine frothiness (as the lyrics suggest it should be).
Not only one of my favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers songs, but also one of my all-time favorite videos. Who wouldn't want to drive like that on the bridge...
Pump it Mix
And finally, a group which I feel has always been somewhat underrated, The Black Eyed Peas. Here a fan has spliced some live footage in with what is another all-time favorite video of mine. (Looks like we'll get some "Misirlou" after all.)
Culture Notes: California music part 3 (Northern)
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, October 31, 2007 2:11 AM (Eastern)
The most fun section, even though we have fewer bands than SoCal. :)
As far as I know, Chris Isaak is the most famous person from Stockton. This video was regarded as pretty hot when it came out although if you look at it, nothing is actually shown, only suggested. Featuring Danish super model Helena Christensen.
Based on her hit records, I can't claim to be a great fan of Janis Joplin, because there her voice sounds too rough. Yet the non-hit songs made toward the end of her short life can be extraordinary. Makes you wonder what she would have done had she lived longer. (Joplin was from Texas of course, but is heavily associated with San Francisco.)
Green Day have been around forever--twenty years--but, like Jon Stewart, what made them suddenly come to the fore was our country's swerve to the right.
Green Day - Holiday (Live Video)
Carlos Santana, who needs no introduction.
Santana - Maria Maria [TheWraith]
And finally, Huey Lewis and the News. One of my favorite Bay Area tunes of all time.
Huey Lewis and The News - I Want A New Drug
Culture Notes: California music part 2 (California and...)
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, October 29, 2007 3:32 PM (Eastern)
From Burt Sugarman's Midnight Special, which was once next to the only way to watch musical performances (Friday Night Videos came later on).
California and England:
Fleetwood Mac - Rhiannon Midnight Special 1976
Though The Doors were formed in Los Angeles, Jim Morrison was born in Florida, and had something of a typical Navy brat's childhood, divided between the South and the West Coast.
California and Florida:
The Doors - Touch Me
Tito & Tarantula, behind Salma Hayek in From Dusk Till Dawn. This scene has been uploaded many times, with varying levels of quality. The best version includes the beginning of the vampire scenes hence I couldn't use it here. In this version, the audio is better than the picture, because this is a feature on music. It was a trade-off but anyway here it is.
California and Mexico:
Salma Hayek - Dancing in 'From Dusk Till Dawn' 
Culture Notes: California music part 1 (random)
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, 2:06 AM (Eastern)
At first I had the idea of organizing this chronologically, starting with the surf music of the early 60's, then the acid stuff of the late 60's, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, The Go-Go's, No Doubt, yadda yadda...it's endless though. Hence, it's probably best to just get into it and follow the road.
They still played a lot of 50's and early 60's music on the radio when I was a kid, so I remember these songs quite clearly.
Ventures - Walk Don't Run - 45 rpm
The Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby
RHCP : I Get Around
Full version of "I've Been Let Down":
Mazzy Star - I've Been Let Down(Full)
Culture Notes: Queen, and some collaborations
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, October 20, 2007 2:18 PM (Eastern)
I was visiting Perfume-Smellin' Things this morning, and came across this gem:
queen - killer queen
Did you know Freddie Mercury was a Parsee? It's been a long time since I've heard this song, and I'm struck anew at what a singular composition it is...that Mercury had sat down and written the lyrics, likely based on an actual person, if not several people. It's a very 70's song.
I could post the entire Queen catalogue, it's that good, but there were a few English-white-guy collaborations I particularly like, so...
Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure
Whatever gets you through the night - Elton John Lennon
Loved that last song when I was a kid. :)
Culture Notes: American music
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, October 06, 2007 12:28 AM (Eastern)
Easily my favorite kind of music...particularly, I think, when performed by non-Americans. I don't know why but it's one of my favorite blends.
Then again, the radio show I loved best was the late Alistair Cooke's "Letter From America"; I still miss it, after three years. Fareed Zakaria is now the best foreign-born commentator on our country, I think...or Stephen Colbert.*
Anyhow...with Youtube as a massive jukebox, I was looking for a few songs today; for example, The Clash's cover of "Pressure Drop." Nissan is using it now, which I don't mind--everyone has bills to pay--what's infuriating is they don't use the entire song. Just the opening guitar line, maybe one round of "ah ah ah, ah ah, oh oh, yeah." That's really annoying.
For whatever reason, I decided to search Lloyd Cole, and came across this charming video made from a VHS recording (complete with whatever else was on the tape before and after, and the first seconds of the video gone as someone ran to the VCR to hit the record button:
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions - Lost Weekend
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions produced some of the finest American music in the 1980's. They were a quiet band, despite the name "Commotions," but excellent.
This morning I woke up from a deep unquiet sleep
With ashtray clothes and miss lonelyheart's pen
With which I wrote for you a lovesong in tattoo
Upon my palm 'twas stolen from me when jesus took my hand
You see I, I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it
Drop me and I'll fall to pieces so easily...
About twenty years prior to this song, another English band doing American music:
The Animals - Don't bring medown
I still love The Animals...if it weren't for John Lennon, I'd prefer them to The Beatles.
Now for some ladies' music...the audio here isn't perfect, but how handily k.d. lang covers Patsy Cline's "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray":
Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray - k.d. lang
I wanted to post Leila Forouhar's cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," but it doesn't seem to exist on the Net in its entirety (mumbles...), only in sample form. But I did find this catchy number. (I can admit I'm a bigger Googoosh fan, but these newer Forouhar songs are really quite good...Forouhar's voice is in good nick.)
Leila _ A Kiss
* lol--just kidding (fellow Southerner)
Culture Notes: Random unremembered unremembereds
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, September 26, 2007 3:51 PM (Eastern)
Perhaps a quote from Donald Rumsfeld is in order.
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."
On the basis of that quote alone, it would appear Mr. Rumsfeld would have made a far better computer programmer than, say, a Secretary of Defense or some such thing. It makes perfect sense to me.
I've been experiencing a similar phenomenon lately, only it's unremembered unremembereds rather than unknown unknowns. Unremembered unremembereds are things you don't remember you don't remember, and only upon recalling them, do you recall you'd forgotten them in the first place.
Take Urgh! A Music War. Urgh! was a movie released in 1981, when I was sixteen. It featured various punk and new wave acts, some of which went on to greater fame, some of which became even less visible after the film was shown, if that were possible.
How I stumbled upon this unremembered unremembered...I was looking for a video for Oingo Boingo's "Weird Science." It's not a very good song, has even been described as the band's least favorite as it was a rush production. Oingo Boingo was a terrific band...not my favorite of the era, yet an interesting blend of their roots as a performance art group, the odd things Danny Elfman did with his voice, and the fact that much of their hit songs were woven into films. They were intrinsically theatrical, and very Los Angeles (if you can imagine anything more exotic to a native Virginian).
My favorite Oingo Boingo song is probably Stay, or even Just Another Day. Visually though, it's hard to beat "Dead Man's Party":
Oingo Boingo Dead Man's Party
Once I delved into the Oingo Boingo "thread" (what do they call that Google thing in Youtube, where they read your mind?), I glimpsed their song on Urgh!: Ain't This the Life?
Urgh! had some wonderful songs. Take "Total Eclipse," the late Klaus Nomi's part-cabaret, part-opera, all-entertaining song about a nuclear attack:
Klaus Nomi - Total Eclipse (live)
(I had seen Nomi prior to that on Saturday Night Live with David Bowie and a gentleman in a red dress.)
In the same prevailing Cold War groove, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark:
OMD - Enola Gay (live)
For every Pere Ubu (I'm not linking to that; even by the standards of the day, it was odd), there were The Go-Go's, Devo, Steel Pulse, UB40...oh, let's let The Police roll through the lineup:
the Police - outro 'So Lonely'
I haven't heard many of these songs easily in twenty years, or at least since I stopped playing them (I had the record). Funny to go back eh?
Culture Notes: What I'm listening to
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, September 09, 2007 9:30 PM (Eastern)
I loved this the first time I saw it. Sure it's a bit dated, but I found it overwhelmingly positive. Always kinda dug Nancy Kwan, don't know why people used to rag on her. To the best of my knowledge, she never did the subservient thing. She was always pretty boss in her movies.
I Enjoy Being a Girl Nancy Kwan Flower Drum Song 61
This, I have no real explanation for. It's Sean Lennon and a French guy known as -M-; French version of "Parachute."
Sean Lennon et M - L'eclipse (duo) clip
Some random comedy...was looking for an episode of The Goon Show to post; unfortunately there aren't many of them up. There's a series of the last Goon Show made, but I wanted one from the original run.
From there I started checking out Spike Milligan's material. There was a reference to Dave Allen in one of the films (Spike Milligan - First Irish Rocket To The Moon).
From there, this sketch. Dave Allen was better known for monologues, told from a distinctly Irish point of view, so maybe I'll put some of those up later on (or you can check 'em out yourself, there's lots of them on Youtube).
Dave Allen - James Bond
Culture Notes: Youtube & perfume
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, September 02, 2007 12:18 AM (Eastern)
There is a definite renaissance of perfumes lately (meaning the past few years I suppose). Why? Because it's one of the few beauty items that hasn't been played out? Because people now order just about anything online? I think it is caused by both, but my secret pet theory involves a complete misuse of chaos theory.
Just as the advent of cable television meant no television show, no matter how bad, could ever die, so did the advent of Youtube mean that no memory, no matter how trivial, could ever slide into the depths of oblivion.
For example, I was listening to Dain's favorite song lol "Glamorous" by Fergie:
Fergie - Glamorous (Dirty Version)
...and thinking, what does Fergie's rapping style remind me of? It's one of those edges of memory, where you have just enough of it inside your head to drive you crazy, wondering what the entire memory is.
Finally, I realized that part of it reminded me of Mick Jones' rapping in E=MC2:
Big Audio Dynamite - E = MC2
I haven't heard that song in eons; it was never my favorite song, particularly. In fact, only now do I realize all of the references in the song are to films directed by Nicholas Roeg. (Okay, I recognized The Man Who Fell to Earth, Don't Look Now, and Insignificance, at least.)
Thus, youtube has revolutionized memory itself. There are many, many, many videos on youtube of events I never (consciously) thought I'd ever see or hear again.
Now, to the really bad chaos theory analogy: don't perfumes do the same thing? When I smelled Creed's Fleurissimo, from my sample, I knew instantly I'd smelled it before. Who wore it, what decade that was...I can't place those things. If there were a Youtube for that...rolls eyes...
Is it possible the growing popularity of Youtube has somehow encouraged people to want to, or expect to, remember more?
Or is it the other way around? The resurgence of perfume is caused by people's desire to remember more, hence the growing popularity of Youtube?
Ultimately--are we going to forget how to forget?
Culture Notes: Wait For Me (Sean Lennon)
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 31, 2007 3:07 PM (Eastern)
I love this video!
Sean Lennon - Wait For Me
A blend of Woody Allen and Devon Aoki, with, imo, a heavy dose of Yoko Ono (in creating strong visual art). Yay!
There's a series of videos from the album (Friendly Fire) on youtube, and they're all as intricately made...very different from the bling 'n' Benz stuff.
Culture Notes: More 80's Style
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Thursday, August 30, 2007 3:51 PM (Eastern)
"Ello, I'm Gizzard Puke, mugger to the gentry, and anyone who says punk's dead, will be."
"This morning, I spilled coffee all over my wife's dressing gown! Serves me right for wearing it!"
"Me faddah ust'a yell at me so much when I was a kid, I ust'a think me name was 'Shaddup!'"
Hm, looks like someone took down the Kenny Everett Show video I posted earlier. So here is a fresh new 80's video, of one of my favorite U2 songs.
U2 Hattem 1982 - Another Time, Another Place
I haven't actually liked U2 since The Joshua Tree, unless you count "Angel of Harlem." Very few rock bands should, imo, continue playing when they get old. Rock requires the sheer kinetic energy of youth, the ability to run up hills, to stay up three nights in a row, and to be optimistic that things can change.
I still recall Boy as influential however, as genuinely different and almost freakishly good. Perhaps it's all in the drummer, or in the rough lyrics, that uncannily captured the dark shadows of youth, when you caught glimpses of things that didn't make sense at the time.
I'm running in the rain
I'm caught in a late night play
It's all; it's everything
I'm soaking through the skin
Twilight...lost my way
Twilight...night and day
Twilight...can't find my way
Culture Notes: Trigger Happy TV
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 24, 2007 2:18 AM (Eastern)
I'm still pondering whether to go ahead and buy Annick Goutal Passion or Heure Exquise--or to try more samples, different houses, and decide then.
I was pleased to see so much Trigger Happy TV on youtube though. Trigger Happy TV, if you've never seen it, was a brilliant series of street theatre skits. By its nature, it had to be finite, since once people figured out who Dom Joly was, the element of surprise would be lost. A lot of it is repetition, like having people dressed up as rabbits or squirrels, but some of it, like the sketch above, remains laugh-out-loud funny even after you've seen it a few times.
Passion or Heure Exquise? or is it now time to get the Serge Lutens samples?
Culture Notes: Love for Speed
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 19, 2007 1:24 PM (Eastern)
Kiosk: Love for Speed (Eshgh e Sorat) with Subtitles
This is not at all a "typical" Iranian pop song, either in terms of music or of lyrics. I debated a bit about putting it up. Okay, I can admit it, I was looking for a Sattar video and couldn't find it. There were a few Sattar songs in a period of my life, and these were beautiful songs. But all I could find on youtube were new Sattar, and old Sattar, nothing in between.
In any case, this is Iran. When I see this video, I feel a bit sad. It's like that part of Hamoon (which I highly recommend, it's a bit of a comedy) where the main character flips through a book of maps of Iran. Because he's flipping the pages, you can see graphically how it got smaller and smaller over time. At the end he says, "How did it get so small?"
I feel we're a bit like that ourselves; we used to be a great country. Whether we can remain a great country is in our own hands. Whether we're building something today, for the sake of tomorrow; that's up to us.
The Apl Song Video + ASIN Music Balita
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 15, 2007 5:21 PM (Eastern)
This is quite interesting; what they did was dub the ASIN song "Balita" over The Black Eyed Peas' video for "The Apl Song." http://www.blackeyedpeas.com
(Annoyingly) you have to register an account to play the original song, but it's charming and I think it's worth doing.
I've liked The Black Eyed Peas for quite some time, always kinda dug apl.de.ap (he's the quiet one). A bit of a surprise for what has been a flashy rap group, but that's why I like 'em.
COLDWAR: Nina vs. Kyla
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Sunday, August 12, 2007 2:55 PM (Eastern)
COLDWAR:Nina vs.Kyla_I Still Believe
I was looking for the Brenda K. Starr one; it is up there, but then I stumbled across this one. Not the same edge as Starr's, but kick-ass all the same. The Filipina Divas did this sing-off in 2003; it's still as incredible today.
Here's a more detailed Kyla vs. Nina video:
KYLA or NINA - LISTEN
There's a lot of other stuff up there, including Regine Velasquez, that's equally as impressive.
images courtesy www.titikpilipino.com
Culture Notes: Absolutely Fabulous
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Saturday, August 11, 2007 2:57 PM (Eastern)
I found it! 0:50 (or 9:00 since we're going backwards)
I saw this ages ago and never forgot the line: You only work in a shop you know, you can drop the attitude. rotfl
Culture Notes: Shabnami Surayyo
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Friday, August 03, 2007 1:23 PM (Eastern)
"Az kudumi safar" (fan version), Shabnami Surayyo, uploaded by a3u3
Shabnami Surayyo is a Tajik singer; there are many of her videos on youtube, along with musical videos from seemingly every place on Earth.
This song in particular--and no, I don't understand a word she's singing--really grows on you, the more you listen to it. The fan video contains clips from some of her other videos, including some from a charming duet with a singer named Parvina.
You'll note the duet video makes inventive use of architecture; a beautiful film from a limited budget. I also enjoyed the use of traditional Tajik clothing, which features intricate handiwork. Eat your heart out, Beyonce & Shakira! (okay just kidding)
"Kulobi Man," Shabnami & Parvina, uploaded by spantadil
Culture Notes: Red Dwarf
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, August 01, 2007 2:47 PM (Eastern)
If you haven't seen Red Dwarf, you've missed out on one of the funniest tv shows ever made.
Even though the show makes much more sense if you've seen it from the beginning and watched it in sequence, there are some episodes so ingenious, it doesn't matter if you haven't.
This is one of my favorites and I was thrilled to see someone had uploaded it to youtube. (For a synopsis of the show's plot, see the Wiki.)
Justice, part 1 (09:14)
Justice, part 2 (08:35)
Justice, part 3 (08:55)
Boom Boxx featuring Linda O. - Balla Da Li
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Wednesday, July 04, 2007 1:48 AM (Eastern)
Europeans do cheese better than we do. Five stars.
Some interesting videos...
Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, April 16, 2007 8:22 AM (Eastern)
Maiko or geisha putting on face make-up in Kyoto
This is quite long for a Youtube video, but for a makeup junkie, it's well worth watching through. I never do my makeup that way :); the artifice here has been honed into art.
Lily Allen, "Smile"
Debated whether to post the funny MTV style one, or one of the (imo better) live videos. But, the comedy here is pretty fine, so I went with this one.
Now, cosmetiholics--what do these two videos have in common? I kid you not: it's pink eyeshadow. grins