Category Archives: Music Videos

Words and Guitar

I’m supposed to be writing the concluding chapter (!) right now, but I would be remiss if I didn’t link to Carrie Brownstein’s review of Rock Band (which I haven’t played yet) in Slate. She’s a little snobbish about it, but when you played guitar for Sleater-Kinney you’re allowed.
She’s the one on the left:

(And I still have an appendix to write, so I’m not quite there yet… also the whole “revision” thing.)

Emma Pollock, Watch The Fireworks

The excellent Scottish band The Delgados unfortunately broke up two years ago, but now there’s the next best thing to a new Delgados record: an Emma Pollock solo album. Delgados fans should check it out, especially if, like me, you preferred her vocals to Alun Woodward’s. Here’s the video for “Acid Test”:

My favorite track, though, is not this one but “If Silence Means That Much To You”. She’s opening for The New Pornographers on their US tour this month—that’s a bill I’d definitely see, if only they were coming to California…

Running against the wind

Stuff I’ve enjoyed recently:

  • Even the filler strips at Dresden Codak are wonderful. The latest (for which a permalink doesn’t seem to exist yet, but it’s on the main page) is a bit xkcd-esque, but with a healthy dose of surrealism.

  • “Don’t Make Me a Target” is my favorite song off the new Spoon album. The rest of the CD is really good too; other favorites are “Rhthm and Soul”, and “The Underdog”, for which there’s a video:

  • This post at 3 Quarks Daily is equal parts geeky, silly, and poetic: “Among the inert gases lowest on the Periodic Table of Elements is love”

Yippie Ki Yay

Last night we watched the first two Die Hard movies to prepare for Live Free or Die Hard. Now I want to trim my beard to look like Alan Rickman’s in the first one:

I had actually never seen Die Hard 2 despite owning the DVD (in a set with the other two, which I had seen). I had heard that it was the worst of the three, and that was my assessment upon seeing it—it doesn’t hang together as well and has some laughably silly moments. (Die Hard with a Vengeance, a.k.a. Die Hard: The Stack has its share of silliness but pulls it off better.) Part of the problem, I’m convinced, is that they spend too much time trying to pay homage to the first movie, bringing back most of the surviving characters for some relatively pointless roles. Meanwhile, the third installment made a connection to the first film in the plot while ditching the entire cast (except of course for Bruce Willis) and bringing on Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Irons, a formula which was considerably more successful.
One thing I didn’t know was that likely Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson appears in Die Hard 2 in a standard Fred Thompson role. Likewise William Atherton appears in the first two movies in a standard William Atherton role.
Finally, I’m sure you’ve all seen this already but no Die Hard post would be complete without the music video:

Fillmore Scene

At the Zero 7 concert, opening act Jose Gonzalez is covering The Knife’s “Heartbeats” on an acoustic guitar.
Guy: Does the original version sound like this?
Me: No, The Knife is an electronica band—it’s very different.
Guy: When were they big?
Me: Well, currently.
Guy: That’s weird, I’ve never heard of them.
Me: [realizing] Well, “big” in the sense—
Guy: Oh, in that particular scene.
Girl: Travis, are you a scenester?
Me: No! I just… listen to scenester music… by coincidence.
I don’t think she believed me. Will “Travis, are you a scenester?” replace “Travis, are you a math major?” I don’t get the latter question much anymore.
(The Knife’s version can be heard here [except it may not be working, so also try here] and Jose Gonzalez’s version here and also in that cool Sony commercial with the bouncing balls in San Francisco.)

But where’s “November Rain”?

Pitchfork hits YouTube and comes back with 100 Awesome Music Videos. Well, some of them are awesome and some are “awesome” (David Hasselhoff covering “Hooked on a Feeling”, for example). I watched “To Here Knows When” (My Bloody Valentine) and “Sugarcube” (Yo La Tengo) immediately, those being two of my favorite songs—the former looks like the song for a nice synaesthetic effect, and the latter is just hilarious. Also, the Decemberists’ “16 Military Wives” video is worthwhile (I saw it a while ago). Later on I’m going to go through and watch a bunch more of these.