Thursday, July 21, 2011

What Hitherby Does to Me

I adore Satanic Panic in the Attic. It is an amazing album that I want to listen to whenever I feel happy, and sometimes when I'm not particularly happy, because it is just so full of happy, amazing songs. That having been said, there are a few songs on the album that I don't particularly care for, and among that number is "City Bird." I just find it kind of dull. Nonetheless, I have had it inexplicably stuck in my head for the past few weeks. I really can't understand it; I have no conscious reason for that particular song to be constantly stuck in my head.

Then yesterday there was this. And today, on one of those occasions when I have to stand around for an hour doing nothing, I was thinking about that, and had "City Bird" stuck in my head, and it suddenly occurred to me, Oh, "City Bird" is a song about a bodhisattva. It simultaneously makes so much sense and is so completely over-interpreting, but I just know I'm never going to unsee it now. From now on, I'm always going to just assume it's a song about a bodhisattva.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Oh, Thank God!

Honestly, this is a somewhat embarrassing thing for me to post about but. . . okay. . . cherries. I had this huge bias against cherries for years. I think part of it was because artificial cherry flavoring is so terrible (as opposed to artificial strawberry flavoring, which is amazing), and part of it was because of maraschino cherries. But eventually people convinced me to try real cherries, and of course they are wonderful. Nonetheless, I've remained somewhat bemused by the fact that cherries are wonderful. Somehow, I only learned today that cherries are actually closely related to all the other small round fruits. I feel like that explains everything. I think I've been subconsciously assuming they were closely related to blackberries and raspberries or something stupid like that for all these years. It makes so much more sense for them to be a small round fruit.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

More Music Video Reviews

Given the fact that I spent my entire high school career procrastinating by watching music videos, it's weird how boring I find most of them now that I have the internet to procrastinate with. This is especially tragic when it's my current favorite band's videos that I'm being bored by. of Montreal has made a couple of really awesome videos - "Heimdelsgate Like a Promethean Curse" is fascinating, and I actually once spent an entire evening repeatedly playing "Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games" and sobbing - but most of their videos I watch only one time, can barely focus at all, and then never care to see again. So with their most recent video - "L'Age D'or". Just boring.

I don't know what it was about the music videos of my adolescence that made at least some of them far more interesting to me - but I guess I have some idea of what I like about certain videos. For example, I definitely know that I approve of videos with charismatic performers, just as I approve of live performances with charismatic performers. I know Kevin Barnes tries really hard to make an aesthetically interesting performance, but I'm not sure he really has that raw charisma. It's definitely something that's different from musical quality. But, whatever it is, it can really make a video. Let me list some examples:

-Save Ferris: "Come On Eileen" - I am far more likely to find male performers charismatic than female ones, but I think Monique Powell is really appealing in this video - I fell in love with their cover when I was a teenager just because she was so attractive in the video. It's hard to sum up what it is that makes her performance work so well for me, but I think her facial expression is a key part of it. She looks simultaneously so happy and kind of knowing. It's an intriguing combination that makes her much more interesting to watch than most singers. I'm able to stay focused and keep paying attention to the video because I want to see more of her expressions.

-Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Under the Bridge" - I don't even particularly like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, on the whole - occasionally I get curious about some of their other songs because I like the video for "Under the Bridge" so much, but none of them has ever worked for me the way this one does. But the reason for that is very clear in this case - in this video, Anthony Kiedis is an attractive man with long, straight hair and no shirt (well, at least for large portions of the video he has no shirt) who occasionally makes rather facetious-looking gestures. He spends the second half of the video running with no shirt on and his long, straight hair blowing in the wind (imagery that is so appealing to me that my best friend has actually recommended a movie to me purely on the basis of its including a scene with similar imagery). I really need say no more.

-David Bowie - "New Killer Star (live)" - Now, of course, as you may have noticed, I do in fact particularly like David Bowie. What's more, more or less everyone I know finds Bowie to be a particularly charismatic and attractive performer. It's therefore slightly embarrassing to me that I never find the younger Bowie particularly attractive, unlike everyone else and despite the way that I love his music. Somehow, though, I get over this problem with the older Bowie. Maybe it's because this 2003 Reality Tour was the only time I ever saw Bowie live myself. I usually really don't enjoy the kinds of concerts where you have to sit all that much (I feel like the point of live music is to get really into the music and dance around to it), but Bowie's concert was an exception. Just because he was that good a performer, that he was still inspiring even when he was tiny.

-Pulp - "His N Hers (live)" - When last I wanted to post this on my blog, I couldn't find it anywhere - now there are actually two versions up on youTube! This one, though cut short, is still worth watching, because, well, it's amazing, but the one I linked to first is the full song and is possibly the paradigmatic example of what artists who want to please me should be doing. The wasp bit! The way he ends the wasp bit! I have to be honest and admit that it's hard to pick apart how much it's true that what Jarvis Cocker does is perfect for my tastes from how much it simply is that Jarvis Cocker was the formative influence on my performance aesthetic, but man. I am not kidding when I say this is what all artists who want me to actually watch their videos should be doing! That little hand wave - "anyway, I'm getting away from the subject here." How do you even come up with such genius?